Lessons from 2023 Best Ball – Weaknesses to Improve

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Part 1 – Lessons from 2023 Best Ball – Weaknesses to Improve

Part 2 – Lessons from 2023 Best Ball – Strengths to Continue


The 2024 Best Ball season is here and Underdog Fantasy released its BBMV big flagship tournament with $1.5 Million up top! But the best part about BBMV is the payout structure is much flatter this year from the top all the way down to minimum cash.

You get paid more just for making the playoffs, there is a better advance rate this year to the Semifinals, and you get paid more to make the Finals. We already have a Strategy Show up about this on the Fanspeak Network!

So my #1 priority this season is advance rate because that impacts the total ROI, and ultimately will give me a better shot to make the Finals too!

I analyzed my teams both good and bad last year, and what was interesting is the margins from 2nd to 3rd most times were very thin. One different pick could have swayed making or not making playoffs.

It was a few small mistakes that kept the 3rd place teams from making playoffs. And it was a lot of my big stands (ex:  3 QB builds) that helped my 2nd place team make it to playoffs. And while I didn’t make Finals last year, it was my 2nd place teams that made Semifinals in BBMIV. So that’s why the advance rate is SO pivotal to me.

So in looking at my bad teams beyond just bad variance (injuries), I came up 4 points that I want to improve upon this year to help cut down on mistakes and improve my advance rate. Last year my advance rate on Underdog Fantasy was 27% total, so that’s great, but I’m shooting for 30%+ advance rate this year!


4 Best Ball Draft Strategies to Improve this Season:


#1 – Limit Heavy Exposure to High Capital Players:

I had around 20%+ exposure to Nick Chubb and 30%+ exposure to Mike Williams across all my teams on three best ball sites. Obviously, both went down with season-ending injuries in the first quarter of the season.

It’s actually amazing my advance rate was still strong considering this high of exposure to these two since Chubb had end of 1st – early 3rd round capital depending when you drafted him and Williams had 3rd-5th round capital.

I want to have much flatter exposures to players in the top 5 rounds this year, so when injuries occur, it’s not the body blow that losing Chubb and Williams were last year. I wish we could turn off injuries for the man, the team, and fantasy. But it’s football and unfortunately, injuries are inevitable.

Each round after round 5, I’ll be more comfortable increasing my exposure. For instance, last year I had 50%+ exposure to TE Sam LaPorta and that paid off huge. But I was drafting him from the 12th to 18th round depending when in draft season. If a mid to late-round pick is lost due to injury, the impact is much less. So I’m not afraid to have big exposures, but it will go up each round and the highest exposure players will be late-round picks.


#2 – Avoid Dead Roster Spots – Especially at RB:

As Pete Overzet discusses in this very helpful month-by-month Best Ball Guide, you can avoid dead roster spots by taking shots on back-up running backs in August/early September when we’ve gathered much more information.

Even though I was very mindful of avoiding dead roster spots last year, I was too confident and took too many shots on back-up RBs that never got the roles I anticipated. I drafted way too much Rashaad Penny, Damien Harris, Tank Bigsby, and Jamaal Williams. These weren’t even super late-round picks either. Big yikes!

So this year, I’m going to try to draft RBs in more certain roles May-July in an attempt to avoid this error. As Pete mentions in the video, in August and early September I’ll lean more heavily on zero RB builds and more into these backup RBs by using more information.


#3 – Avoid 3rd WR or 4th or 5th Targets on Bad Offenses or Low Volume Passing Offenses:

Even though I was mindful about not drafting receivers just to stack for the sake of stacking without a strong role (ie Chiefs dustball receivers), I still made some mistakes here. I also was careful not to draft too many receivers from low-volume passing offenses like the Chicago Bears (it was all DJ More and Cole Kmet).

Yet, I still had too much exposure to receivers on the Giants, Panthers (not named Adam Thielen), Commanders, and Ravens that were not the Alpha receiver or one of the main targets.

Two questions I’ll ask myself for even later round receiving options:

-Is this a good offense?

-Is this a high-volume passing offense?

If the answer is no to both questions, then it’s a pass for me.


#4 – Mix QB styles:

Especially since I lean heavily on 3 QB builds, I think that gives me extra leeway to mix QB styles. That means drafting a dual-threat or QB that can get a lot of rushing TDs (high ceiling) with pocket passer QBs (less volatile and safer week to week). That way I’m mixing the high variance and higher risk of injury with the dual-threat QBs with the high-floor pocket passers.

If you draft a team of even 3 rushing QBs, you could quickly be down to a 1 QB team. If you draft 3 pocket passers, you’re limiting your ceiling and thus limiting your chance to advance to playoffs.

I would consider QBs like Justin Herbert, Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, and Dak Prescott in the high ceiling category, because they can run some and they have 3-4 passing TD games in their bag more than most. So even though they are not a true dual-threat QB, they offer a lot of upside.

You always need to think of total draft capital used on the QB position, especially if you lean into 3 QB builds, but I’m going to try to mix high-ceiling and high-floor QBs on my teams better.


Part 1 – Lessons from 2023 Best Ball – Weaknesses to Improve

Part 2 – Lessons from 2023 Best Ball – Strengths to Continue



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