Lessons from 2023 Best Ball – Strengths to Continue

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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 good teams from last year, I came up with three points of emphasis that I want to continue this year. Even though I’m looking at successful teams, I’m keeping in mind process over results. And these three strategies stand out as good processes that I want to continue and build upon this year.

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!


3 Best Ball Draft Strategies to Continue this Season:


#1 – 3 QB Builds

I discussed my main macro strategies at the end of last draft season, and #1 was 3 QB builds, even on Underdog. I saw the year prior how it helped push some teams to playoffs and I leaned into this strategy heavily.

Of course last year it felt like the quarterback apocalypse and it seemed like multiple starting QBs were going down each week. But actually, this is a trend we should pay attention to. Look at the number of QBs that started in the last 3 years:

-2023 – 66 different QBs recorded at least one start 

-2022 – 68 different QBs recorded at least one start

-2021 – 62 different QBs recorded at least one start

What this ended up meaning is just a little over a quarter of the NFL had a starting QB for all 17 games. In 2023, only 9 QBs started every game for their team. In 2022, it was just 10 QBs that started every game for their team.

Some of these additional QBs were because of inefficiency and benching too, but a majority were due to injury. But that brings up another point, with scoring down the past two seasons, that means QB scoring is also down. So having 3 QBs protects not only from injury, but from those floor weeks that happen even to the best QBs.

If all told you Jalen Hurts, Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson, and Dak Prescott were all outscored in week 1 by my QB3’s, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But see the tweet after week 1.

Bottom line, perhaps the 60+ starting QBs and just a little over a quarter of NFL teams having their starter for all 17 games is more sticky than we want to believe. Even if that number of starting QBs goes down this year, unless scoring goes dramatically back up, then 3 QBs will help protect floor weeks too.



#2 – Hero RB Builds

In another uber-successful year of Zero RB strategy, I leaned a little more on Hero RB builds, or sometimes even Dual Hero RB (two RBs drafted in first 3 rounds). I still diversified my portfolio and of course did plenty of Zero RB builds as well.

But a lot of my successful teams were Hero RB builds anchored by Christian McCaffery, Breece Hall, Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, Derrick Henry and even Tony Pollard. You still have to hit on running backs in the mid to late rounds, but having that anchor was a huge benefit and something I’m going to lean into, especially early in draft season when RB depth charts are more unknown.

The bottom line or takeaway here is you can have success with any strategy, you just have to draft it effectively. Even when I did a Hero RB or even Dual Hero RB, I still made sure to keep pace on my receivers before the “receiver avalanche”. As many other best ball content providers discussed last year, making sure to pace your receivers helps. So I made sure most drafts had 3 receivers by round 6, 4 receivers by round 8, and 5 receivers by round 9 or 10.

I also mostly did 3-5-7-3 builds with a Hero RB strategy since it was anchored by one stud. So again, the draft capital and overall build should just be done correctly, no matter what strategy you employ. And I’m going to continue to lean into that early this draft season.



#3 – Team Stacks – Not just QB/WR

As I mentioned in last year’s macro strategy article, I also liked stacking a team at multiple positions. Instead of forcing a 3rd, 4th or god forbid 5th receiver on the depth chart, I liked adding to my team stack with a RB and/or TE. I also don’t mind stacking your QB with just a RB and/or TE. It allows for more flexibility when correlating your team and doesn’t force you to reach or to take a 4th or 5th receiver for the sake of stacking that won’t get many targets.

This is of course for projected high-scoring teams. I’m not going to try to get 4+ players on a weak offense. My favorite stack is QB/RB/WR/TE. This allows you to ping-pong spike weeks throughout the season and especially in playoffs.


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

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


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