What is the Best Ball format in fantasy football?
Best Ball is a growing fantasy game that eliminates the stress and time of making week-to-week fantasy football lineup decisions and acquisitions. You are only responsible for drafting your fantasy team and that’s it. You draft and then your best lineup will automatically be calculated each week. The highest scorers from each position will be inserted to make your optimal/Best Ball lineup.
It’s a great way to prep for fantasy leagues/drafts with substantial stakes on the line. Mock drafting can be lame and a waste of time since people often quit in the middle. Or you may encounter a team that drafts in a way that would never happen. For example, drafting a kicker early or selecting a player far ahead of their actual ADP. Best ball leagues typically have “some” stakes and truly tests your ability to draft a team built for the entirety of the NFL Regular Season.
Ricky Bobby Rule: You’re either first or you’re last. The Best Ball format is unforgiving. Only the number 1 team makes the money in these types of leagues, so go for the gold. Take big swings.
Building a portfolio:
One way to approach multiple best ball leagues is to build a portfolio like stocks. You don’t have the ability to sell or buy mid-season like in a traditional league. What you draft is what you’re rolling with throughout the year. Conveniently, these sites will tell you what percentage of ownership you have on players throughout the platform. I try to not go over 30% on any single player and that especially applies to the higher drafted players. It’s great to get those guys, but one way to mitigate risk is by pin-pointing those late fliers or mid to late round picks that you like more than anyone else and go heavy on them. That way if one of them gets injured for the year, at least the draft capital that you put into those high percentage owned players is low enough that it won’t kill your rosters immediately.
Last year, I had over 20% Melvin Gordon shares. I took him anywhere from 5th overall through the end of the first round non stop and it was great while he stayed on the field, but once he got injured those rosters faded quicker than they would have if I would have diversified my top picks along the way. I know this is anecdotal, but try to diversify your high round draft picks since those guys are more ‘slotted’ than the mid to late round picks. You can still keep that ownership high if you want, but it’s certainly riskier in the high rounds than the later ones when your roster can survive losing a 6th WR or RB.
There are zero transactions throughout the season for Best Ball. What you draft is what you get.
Aim for upside always. The only thing that matters for your team is spike weeks. You want players who have a high ceiling. They are way more valuable in this format since first place is really all that matters.
I’m not a fan of handcuffing when it comes to players on the same roster. However, I love the idea of taking a players handcuff across teams in Best ball. For example if you are drafting two separate teams in two different drafts. In the first draft you select David Johnson, don’t draft Chase Edmonds on that same roster. Instead, on the second team make sure you haven’t taken DJ and take Chase Edmonds there. This way, if DJ goes down, that second team benefits majorly from the injury instead of taking him on the same team when it becomes a wash. If you’re top players go out that squad is pretty much cooked anyways. You need to make sure that you’re maximizing upside wherever you can and this is a way to push those boundaries.
Draft multiple teams early and often:
Know that there are degenerates who have been drafting since even before the NFL Draft and before the schedule for the season was even released. The sooner you get into the market the better you’ll know it and the bigger advantage you’ll have over people who get in late. ADP at this point has been skewed by thousands of drafts so it’s becoming increasingly hard to trust. The more patterns of player movement you can pick up on by drafting early and often the more of an advantage you’ll have over opponents and the better shots you’ll have at payouts come the end of the season.
Trust your gut:
At the end of the day these are your drafts. You’ll learn more and more as you go. Take the players you want, especially if you aren’t doing that many drafts. Embrace the randomness of fantasy. You have to live with whatever team you draft. Take the stuff you learn from these drafts and use it in your season long drafts and hopefully win some money along the way.
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