Underdog Fantasy Football Drafts: Best Ball 101
From Underdog to Wonderdog: Nick Raducanu says if you haven't tried Best Ball fantasy football drafts, you're missing out. He's right. And it's not just because he's obsessed with 3-person and 6-person drafts.
We can all agree that the draft is the best part of fantasy football, right? RIGHT?!
So what would you say if I told you that you could replay the best part of fantasy football over and over again? Well, Best Ball drafts allow us to do exactly that! And Dr. Roto has partnered with Underdog Fantasy to get you started with a special deposit bonus!
Go to underdogfantasy.com, the app store or the Google Play store, sign up with the code DOC, and get a free $25 in bonus cash!
What Is Best Ball?
It’s pretty simple. Best Ball is nothing more than a draft. No waivers, no trades, no setting (or forgetting to set) your lineup each week. All you have to do is draft your roster of 18 total players and move on with your day. The software at Underdog will take your player totals for any given week and choose the best quarterback score, two best running back scores, three best wide receiver scores and best tight end score.
How Does The Scoring Work?
Again, it’s pretty simple. (Noticing a theme here?) Let’s say you draft Patrick Mahomes and Baker Mayfield as your quarterbacks. Each week throughout the season, Underdog will automatically assign the higher-scoring of those two players as your quarterback score for any given week. If Mahomes scores 25 points in Week 1 and Mayfield scores 13 points, you’ll get 25 points assigned to your quarterback spot for Week 1. But if Mahomes puts up 12 points in Week 4 and Mayfield puts up 22 points, you’ll get 22 points assigned to your quarterback spot for Week 4. In a nutshell, all the week-to-week lineup decisions (headaches) from a normal fantasy league are taken off the table and your score is maximized based on your roster.
Should I Use The Same Strategy For Best Ball That I Would In My Normal Leagues?
Yes and no. You’re still playing fantasy football, so what you know about Alvin Kamara and Tyreek Hill isn’t going to change just because you’re playing Best Ball. However, you want to maximize your ceiling for each week, so it’s OK to introduce a little more volatility (read: higher-ceiling players) to the mix. So for example, a lot of people shy away from Tyler Lockett in their normal fantasy leagues because he’s been a boom-or-bust player. That’s understandable when you might be counting on him from week to week as your WR2. But you’re very likely not going to have to use his bust week scores in Best Ball since you’ll probably have other wide receivers with higher scores to replace him.
How Many Of Each Position Should I Draft?
You get 18 total roster spots on Underdog (which thankfully doesn’t include a kicker or defense!), but as I mentioned, only 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs and 1 TE actually count each week. If you feel good about your quarterback spot (let’s say, Mahomes and Tom Brady), then you probably only have to draft two. If you decide to wait on quarterback and have Kirk Cousins and Mayfield as your two quarterbacks, you might want to take a flier on someone like Zach Wilson a little later in your draft just to be safe. The same principle would apply for tight ends, but I generally like to draft only two quarterbacks and two tight ends because it lets me load up on running backs and wide receivers since you need more than one weekly score at those positions. I’ve seen people draft anywhere from four to seven running backs and anywhere from five to nine wide receivers. Again, this depends on your league size and comfort level with your positional depth, but I usually like to land at 5-6 running backs and 7-8 wide receivers.
Is There Anything Else I Should Know?
Two things before I let you go:
- Try the 3-person and 6-person drafts. Underdog has 3-person, 6-person, 10-person and 12-person Best Ball drafts. It’s easy to make fun of the 3-person and 6-person drafts because everyone’s roster looks LOADED, but as someone who has done no fewer than 100 (seriously) 3-person drafts – I promise you they’re a lot harder than they sound. There’s a bit of a rush that comes with the rapid-fire approach of a 30-second draft clock and only a few picks to plan ahead, and there’s a LOT of strategy involved with trying to figure out if you should take all the elite tight ends and quarterbacks first, all the elite running backs and tight ends first, or some mix of the two. AND you have to make adjustments on the fly depending on what your opponents are doing. The 3-person drafts are some of the most fun I’ve had drafting this summer, and they only take about 15 minutes.
- Use tiers when you draft. Top-150 rankings are great, but they’re not all that useful when you’re trying to construct a roster. For example, it might sound like a no-brainer to draft Mahomes at a certain spot based on your top-150 rankings sheet. But you might encounter a scenario where Mahomes, Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson are all available, while Terry McLaurin is the only wide receiver in his tier left. Using a top-150 rankings sheet would very likely lead you astray in that scenario. Each draft is a living, breathing organism, and you’ll need to make different adjustments within each one, but I promise using tiers is a much better approach to constructing a solid roster. I’ll get off my soapbox now, but don’t forget to check out our draft kit that includes tiers!
I hope you’ve found this Best Ball primer useful and enjoy Underdog as much as I have all summer. Don’t forget to sign up using the link below for a special deposit bonus. Happy drafting!
Remember: Go to underdogfantasy.com, the app store or the Google Play store, sign up with the code DOC, and get a free $25 in bonus cash!