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!)
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Know how valuable players from each round should be.
Sweet breakdown of value per position per round below (from Fantasypros.com) →
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:
Breaking Down My Best Ball Mock Draft
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.
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:
Juju Smith Schuster
Duke Johnson Jr.
Ronald Jones ll
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.
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!