With the All-Star Break now a memory, many fantasy players have turned an eye from MLB to the looming NFL season. More people than ever are getting into best ball drafts. They allow you to scratch that drafting itch with minimal cost and also strengthen your drafting savvy way more than any mock could. Let’s break down some key components to successful best ballin’.
Where to play: My personal preference is to play MFL10s through Fanball. They offer a $10,000 overall prize, which is a pipedream, but the only overall offered. Draft.com offers a wider variety of entry costs and also eliminates defenses, which many prefer. Lastly, don’t forget Fantrax. As a newer player in best balls you can find lesser competition on occasion there.
Roster Construction: Depending on the site there may be slight tweaks to these. Overall though, you want the following numbers at each position: QB 2-3; RB 5-7; WR 7-9; TE 2-4; DEF 2-3. These builds have been proven to result in the highest number of league winners. Color outside the lines at your own risk. One thing you have to focus more on than in a season-long league is bye weeks. Since you can’t make roster moves you need to make sure your QB/TE/DEF have alternating byes or you take a zero that week.
When to invest: How you allocate your draft capital is the key to any type of draft. With best ball, we have the advantage of the system selecting our highest scoring lineup for us. Use this to your advantage.
WAIT ON QUARTERBACK. You can cobble together a usable QB from two or three late picks. My own preference is to take my first QB between rounds 10-12 with another somewhere between the 14th-17th, and I roll with just two QBs. It’s more risk than some are comfortable with. Try it out. See if you can stomach not having a safety net. Pat Mahomes and Marcus Mariota are a couple of my top exposures so far.
This season has people so thirsty for running backs. If you’re at an early slot, it’s fine to go RB. Don’t pass on quality receivers for the sake of feeling good at RB, though. You can find names after the first few rounds that still offer upside. There’s plenty of upside WRs later on, too. Don’t panic if you take the best player available and end up with 3 RBs or 2 RBs and a TE. The backbone of your roster is made up of WRs and RBs since you start 2/3. Focus here for the first half of the draft.
Tight end has a bit more usefulness than QB since you can start a second one in the Flex spot. I don’t mind getting Gronk/Kelce at the start of round 3 if they’re there. I’ve even grabbed Ertz at the end of round 3 in a few. My favorite target is Trey Burton in the 9th round. Matt Nagy brings a KC style offense to the Bears, and that means TE scoring. Austin Serafin-Jenkins and Ben Watson are solid second TEs going late. Jake Butt and Tyler Kroft have upside as TE3s with your final picks.
If you need a defense, it’s wise to wait on it as well. If a top unit is still out there in the 16th round I’m OK with considering it. The longer you wait the better, in general. Houston and Arizona have a history of big weeks in past seasons, and both are going late.
Rankings: Figure out how to abuse the sites default rankings. People are lazy. They will let the available players screen guide their picks. Spend the time customizing yours. Don’t be afraid to go way down the list for a pick either. Rankings will look far different when Septemeber arrives.
The last thing to remember is that you can, and should, do many best ball leagues. Draft has them starting at $1. Any budget can mix exposure. Don’t reach too far in one draft just to get “that guy.” You should be able to land him in others. If done right, your teams will be similar yet slightly different.
Follow Mike Alexander on Twitter @Roto_Wan.