Best Ball Fantasy Football Drafting Strategy - 2019

Best Ball Team Draft Strategy – Fantasy Football 2019

June 3, 2019

Calling all diehard fantasy football players. Are redraft leagues not enough for you? Maybe you’re in a dynasty league, where trades and rookie drafts keep you involved year round.

But you still need MORE. What’s the best part of fantasy football? Trading is fun, and I love winning fantasy championships, but nothing is better than drafting a fantasy football team.

This is the premise of Best Ball Fantasy Football leagues. You draft a team, and that’s it. The league automatically sets your best possible lineup AFTER everyone has played each week, and you end up with your weekly score that way. You draft a team and then check back in January to see if you won and made some money.

The Best Places to Play Best Ball

My favorite best ball site is Draft.com. (Please use the Promo Code “hydeandzeke1” when you sign up!)

  1. Draft.com
  2. BestBall10’s
  3. MY FFPC

I have a pretty basic gameplan going into any Best Ball Draft. Say the average Best Ball Draft has 16 rounds (and we aren’t playing with Kickers or Defenses) I want to have roughly this many players at each position:

  • QB – 2-3
  • RB – 5-6
  • WR – 5-6
  • TE – 2-3

I also try to reserve rounds 5-8 for WR’s and ELITE handcuffs (Henderson if you own Gurley) depending on how draft falls, because the WRs here are way better than the RBs.

Obviously, drafting out of the 7 spot, my team didn’t follow this strategy, but I’m fine with how things turned out.

Elite Best Ball Tips

Here’s some of my specific strategies I’m using for my best ball leagues in 2019.

  1. Go after Travis Kelce if I have a late draft pick. Using pick 1.10 – 2.04 on Travis Kelce gives us a ridiculous positional advantage. I’m more comfortable with Kelce in the 2nd for Best Ball because positions are a little less important, but in Redraft I have Kelce as a first round pick, and his projected stats for me would put him at WR5 right in front of Juju.
  2. Don’t be afraid of risk. That’s how you win best ball. Todd Gurley has been pushed to a late 1st, early 2nd round pick, and rightfully so. Everything that the Rams have done in the offseason has made me more nervous about Todd Gurley’s knees. But if you go back to February 2019, Todd Gurley was being picked as the 1.01 even ahead of Saquon. My favorite draft strategy for Best Ball is to draft Todd Gurley, and wayyy overdraft Darrell Henderson. I want to lock in certain backfields, not just certain players. We know that whoever is the starting RB for the Rams is MINIMUM a top 8 RB. Give me Gurley mid-to-late first over Melvin Gordon, David Johnson and Lev Bell, because Gurley can win the league for you.
  3. Building off the 2nd tip, I’m going after Damien Williams and 1 other piece of the Chiefs backfield, because I know the Chiefs starting RB is fantasy gold.
  4. Target Desean Jackson-type players. I’m SPECIFICALLY targeting Desean Jackson, but that’s not the point here. You want to go after players that will have good seasons, but a majority of their points come in just a few games. Say Jackson has a 4 week span of 15 catches for 300 yards and 3 touchdowns. That’s a decent stretch. But what if his stat lines in those 4 games look like this:
    • 1-25-0 , 4-105-1 , 3-55-0 , 7-115-2
    • This is what you want in best ball, because you don’t need to hope you started him the right week. In best ball, your best possible lineup is made every week. Desean Jackson’s bad weeks won’t hurt you, but his amazing weeks are awesome for your team. Don’t be afraid of boom or bust players, this format was built for boom or bust players.
  5. Know the scoring of your league. Is it PPR? TE Premium? Superflex? Do you use defenses and kickers (I hope not) These things drastically affect your draft strategy.
  6. Know how valuable players from each round should be.

Sweet breakdown of value per position per round below (from Fantasypros.com) → 

value-per-positifantasy football big board 2019 from fantasy pros

Best Ball Mock Draft May 22nd, 2019:

The best way for me to give analysis on a Best Ball league is by doing a mock draft and breaking down my decisions and thought process throughout.

This mock draft was for a 1QB PPR league with the following starting spots:

  • QB
  • RB
  • RB
  • WR
  • WR
  • TE
  • FLEX
  • FLEX

Breaking Down My Best Ball Mock Draft

1st Round:

I would’ve loved Todd Gurley to fall to 7 because I would prefer to draft 2 RB’s with my first 2 picks, but I have Davante Adams as my WR1 for 2019, so I can’t hate that pick at all. I think there is a RB tier break between Gurley and Gordon, so I found more value in WR. Always draft by tiers and stick to them when you draft.

2nd Round

Looking back at how the draft played out, I would have preferred drafting Dalvin Cook in the 2nd and Diggs in the 3rd, as opposed to Juju – Aaron Jones, but I’m fine with how things played out. In the first 2 rounds I want to get 2 players that can be the number 1 player at their position, but also adds consistency.

3rd – 8th Round

The meat of the draft, where fantasy teams are built. Historically, running backs in these rounds are hard to hit on because they aren’t the sure things that first 2 round RBs typically are, hence why I prefer to go RB early.

This year specifically, I think the WRs in round 5-8 are ridiculously good values, so I’m hoping to have 2+ RBs and my TEs by this point. This all comes down to roster construction preferences, but I just wanted to share my opinion that WRs are very deep this year, especially in a best ball format. My picks (and reasons for drafting) in the 3rd through 8th rounds were:

  • Aaron Jones – legit RB1 upside with crazy talent at over 5 YPA and a great offense with new head coach that might not hate him
  • Robert Woods – Woods is my top ranked Ram WR and my WR11. Too hard to pass on Woods here to grab an RB
  • Chris Carson – most run heavy offense, still the lead back, best chance to finish as a high-end RB2 in this range
  • OJ Howard – give me the best ball upside (15+ Y/C). LOVE the TB offense this year David Montgomery – best chance to get all the Jordan Howard work. Team moved up to draft him in 3rd round. Great team for fantasy RBs
  • Rashaad Penny – I love Penny, and might as well handcuff Carson. Best Ball is the place where I focus the most on handcuffs, typically going against the grain in this philosophy

After round 8, go get your favorite QBs and fill out the rest of your roster with high upside players that you believe in. Even without Gurley, I drafted Henderson. These late rounds are typically dart throws anyway, and he’s the only RB1 upside left at this point.

My Best Ball Big Board Rankings 2019

Here is where I stand as of 6/3/2019 with my big board rankings for the 2019 fantasy football season:

Player PositionTeamPosition Rank
Saquon Barkley
RB NYG1
Ezekiel Elliot
RBDAL2
Alvin Kamara
RBNO3
Christian McCaffrey
RBCAR 4
Todd Gurley
RBLAR5
Davante Adams
WR GB1
Deandre Hopkins
WR HOU2
Melvin Gordon
RBLAC6
Le'Veon Bell
RB NYJ7
David Johnson
RBARI8
Julio Jones
WRATL3
Odell Beckham
WR CLE 4
Travis Kelce
TE KC1
Joe Mixon
RBCIN9
Nick Chubb
RBCLE10
Juju Smith Schuster
WRPIT6
Michael Thomas
WR NO7
Dalvin Cook
RBMIN11
James Conner
RB PIT 12
Antonio Brown
WROAK8
Mike Evans
WRTB9
Zach Ertz
TEPHI2
TY Hilton
WRIND10
Keenan Allen
WR LAC11
Stefon Diggs
WR MIN12
Damien Williams
RBKC13
Aaron Jones
RBKC13
Kerryon Johnson
RBDET15
Josh Jacobs
RB OAK16
AJ Green
WRCIN13
Amari Cooper
WR DAL14
George Kittle
TESF3
Adam Thielen
WRMIN15
Robert Woods
WRLAR16
Leonard Fournette
RBJAX17
Marlon Mack
RBIND18
Devonta Freeman
RB ATL19
Phillip Lindsay
RBDET20
DJ Moore
WRCAR17
Chris Godwin
WRTB18
Jarvis Landry
WR CLE19
Julian Edelman
WR NE20
Patrick Mahomes
QBKC1
Sammy Watkins
WRKC21
Brandin Cooks
WRLAR22
Sony Michel
RBNE21
Chris Carson
RB SEA22
Kenny Golladay
WRDET23
Mike Williams
WRSF24
Calvin Ridley
WRATL25
Andrew Luck
QBIND2
Aaron Rodgers
QBGB3
Tarik Cohen
RBCHI23
James White
RBNE24
Tyler Lockett
WR SEA26
Derrius Guice
RBWAS25
Derrick Henry
RBTEN26
Kenyan Drake
RB MIA27
Allen Robinson
WR CHI27
Cooper Kupp
WRLAR28
Mark Ingram
RBBAL28
Rashaad Penny
RBSEA29
David Montgomery
RBCHI30
Tyler Boyd
WRCIN29
Eric Ebron
TEIND4
OJ Howard
TETB5
Deshaun Watson
QBHOU4
Hunter Henry
TELAC6
Lamar Miller
RBHOU31
Latavius Murray
RBNO32
Corey Davis
WRTEN30
Tyreek Hill
WRKC31
Christian Kirk
WRARI32
Dede Westbrook
WR SEA33
Russell Wilson
QBSEA5
Evan Engram
TENYG7
Robby Anderson
WRNYJ34
Darrell Henderson
RBLAR33
Royce Freeman
RBDEN34
Miles Sanders
RBPHI35
N'keal Harry
WRNE34
Desean Jackson
WR PHI35
Marvin Jones
WR DET36
Anthony Miller
WRCHI37
Dante Pettis
WRLAC38
Courtland Sutton
WRDEN39
Jared Cook
TENO8
Vance McDonald
TEPIT9
Deebo Samuel
WRSF40
DK Metcalf
WRSEA41
Curtis Samuel
WRCAR42
Sterling Shepard
WRNYG43
Keke Coutee
WRHOU44
Nyheim Hines
RBIND36
Jameis Winston
QBTB6
Kyler Murray
QBARI7
Cam Newton
QBCAR8
Austin Hooper
TEATL10
David Njoku
TECLE11
Kareem Hunt
RBCLE37
Will Fuller
WRHOU45
Alshon Jeffery
WRPHI46
Golden Tate
WRNYG47
Dion Lewis
RBTEN38
Jerick McKinnon
RBSF39
Mike Davis
RBCHI40
Peyton Barber
RBBAL41
Duke Johnson Jr.
RBCLE42
Tevin Coleman
RBSF43
Lamar Jackson
QBBAL9
Jared Goff
QBLAR10
Matt Ryan
QBATL11
Baker Mayfield
QBCLE12
Matt Breida
RBSF44
Ronald Jones ll
RBTB45
Geronimo Allison
WRGB48
Jamison Crowder
WRNYJ49
Chris Herndon
TENYJ12
Trey Burton
TECHI13
TJ Hockenson
TEDET14
Mark Andrews
TEDAL15
Dak Prescott
QBDAL13
Carson Wentz
QB PHI14
Austin Ekeler
RBLAC46
Adrian Peterson
RBWAS47
Larry Fitzgerald
WRARI50
Tre'Quan Smith
WRNO51
AJ Brown
WRTEN52
Jordan Howard
RBCHI48
DeVante Parker
WRMIA53
Mecole Hardman
WRKC54
Jimmy Graham
TELAR16
Noah Fant
TEBUF17
Jordan Reed
TEWAS18
Antonio Callaway
WRCLE55
DaeSean Hamilton
WRDEN56
Michael Gallup
WRDAL57
Jalen Richard
RBOAK49
Ian Thomas
TECAR19
Dallas Goedert
TEBAL20
Jamaal Williams
RBGB50
Lesean McCoy
RBBUF51
Gio Bernard
RBCIN52
Jaylen Samuels
RBPIT53
D'onta Foreman
RBHOU54
Adam Humphries
WRTEN58
Zay Jones
WRARI59
Marqise Lee
WRJAX60
David Moore
WRSEA61
Nelson Agholor
WRPHI62
Parris Campbell
WRIND63
Jack Doyle
TEIND21
Josh Allen
QBBUF15
Ben Roethlisberger
QBPIT 16
Philip Rivers
QBLAC17
Jimmy Garoppolo
QBSF18
Mitch Trubisky
QBCHI19
Tom Brady
QBNE20
Derek Carr
QBOAK21
Drew Brees
QBNO22
Matt Stafford
QBDET23
Kirk Cousins
QBMIN24
Sam Darnold
QBNYJ25
Carlos Hyde
RBKC55
CJ Anderson
RBLAR56
Kalen Ballage
RBMIA57
Emmanuel Sanders
WRDEN63
Devin Funchess
WRIND64
Demarcus Robinson
WRKC65
Hollywood Brown
WRBAL66
James Washington
WRPIT67
Ito Smith
RBATL58
James Williams
RBKC59
Benny Snell
RBPIT60
Damien Harris
RBNE61
Myles Gaskin
RBMIA62
Tyler Eifert
TECIN22
Dawson Knox
TEBUF23
TJ Yeldon
RBBUF63
Justice Hill
RBBAL64
Terry McLaurin
WRWAS70
Tyrell Williams
WROAK71
Danny Amendola
WRDET72
Chris Thompson
RBWAS65
Alexander Mattison
RBMIN66
Albert Wilson
WRMIA73
Mohamed Sanu
WRATL74
Kenny Stills
WRMIA75
John Brown
WRBUF76
Quincy Enunwa
WRNYJ77
Andy Isabella
WRARI78
Donte Moncrief
WRPIT79
Robert Foster
WRBUF80
Hakeem Butler
WRARI81
Josh Oliver
TEJAX24
Theo Riddick
RBDET67
Justin Jackson
RBTB68
Devin Singletary
RBBUF69
Devine Ozigbo
RBNO70
Kenneth Dixon
RBBAL71
Darrell Williams
RBKC72
Chase Edmonds
RBARI73
Randall Cobb
WRDAL82
Trey Quinn
WRWAS83
John Ross
WRLAR84
Chris Conley
WRJAX85
Willie Snead
WRBAL86
Kelvin Harmon
WRWAS87
Phillip Dorsett
WRCIN88
Tony Pollard
RBDAL74
Gus Edwards
RBBAL75
Jordan Wilkins
RBIND76
Elijah Mcguire
RBNYJ77
Josh Reynolds
WRNE89
Cole Beasley
WRBUF90
Josh Doctson
WRWAS91
Kyle Rudolph
TEPHI25
Gerald Everett
TEMIN26
Blake Jarwin
TETEN27
Mike Gesicki
TEMIA28
Marcus Mariota
QBTEN26
Andy Dalton
QBCIN27
Nick Foles
QBJAX28
Dwayne Haskins
QBWAS29
Eli Manning
QBNYG30
Joe Flacco
QBDEN31
Josh Rosen
QBMIA32
Ryan Fitzpatrick
QBMIA33
Case Keenum
QBWAS34
Daniel Jones
QBNYG35

Putting it All Together

If you love fantasy football, and love to draft, then best ball is for you. I run a ton of best ball teams every year and will play in a ton more this year. If you and some friends have best ball leagues that you’re looking to fill, reach out to me and I’ll play in some of your leagues! First come first serve. And I’m not going easy 😉

Are you ready to crush your Best Ball leagues this year? Your fantasy football life will never be the same! I’d love to hear about your draft philosophies in best ball leagues, and some of your draft targets of 2019.

Also, I’d love for you to screenshot me the results of your Best Ball fantasy football drafts and share them with me on Twitter @hydeandzeke.

Happy Drafting!

BONUS: For anyone interested in playing Best Ball, sign up on Draft.com by following this link to register. Please use the Promo Code “hydeandzeke1” when you sign up! Also, message me on Twitter, and let’s play in some leagues on Draft together!

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