If you are new to fantasy football, I would recommend playing in a best ball league format. What is this format? It takes the headache for some (joy for us fantasy football lovers) of setting your lineup every week and plays the best player on your roster for the respective position. Best to show an example with a roster:
|QB: Jalen Hurts||Bench: Josh Jacobs|
|RB: Miles Sanders||Bench: Julio Jones|
|RB: Derrick Henry||Bench: Henry Ruggs|
|WR: Allen Robinson||Bench: DeSean Jackson|
|WR: Darnell Mooney||Bench: Matt Ryan|
|WR: Chris Godwin||Bench: Tim Patrick|
|TE: Travis Kelce||Bench: OJ Howard|
|FLX: AJ Brown||Bench: Boston Scott|
With the roster listed above let’s assume Derrick Henry had a down week (week 1) because the defense stacked the box against him putting up 20 attempts for 70 yards. Pretty bad day. In almost every format, any analyst would tell you that starting Henry over Josh Jacobs is a better play; however week 1 Josh Jacobs put up 15 rushes for 105 yards and 3 touchdowns. You would be bummed beyond belief to not have that kind of production in your line up. Good news is in Best Ball, you get the best positional player for your team to fill your starting lineup. Same thing if week 1 DeSean Jackson goes crazy and has 2 80 yard touchdowns for the day compared to Chris Godwin only caught 3 passes for 50 yards. Since Jackson had a better fantasy day, he would be in your fantasy starting lineup over Godwin. These formats are a draft’em and watch’em approach as usually there are no trades (yes that is allowed) and never any transaction after the draft is over.
What advice do you give to a 1st year Best Ball Player?
Find Late Round Gold: In most 12 team leagues, the first 5-7 rounds are going to feel very familiar with a lot of studs going with a few QB’s sprinkled in there. After the 5th round don’t be afraid to pull the trigger on a guy you think has the potential. Remember this format plays only your best players for that week, so draft players who will see a lot of on the field stats with high targets. One player I am grabbing in the 11th round in best ball drafts is Russell Gage. Last season he saw 110 targets which was the same as Mike Evans. He is a fantastic late round guy that has high upside that will see a lot of volume which will increase his touchdown percentages. Others I am targeting are Darnell Mooney (ADP is 10th round), Jakobi Meyers (ADP 15th round) and Quintez Cehpus (20th round).
Don’t Draft The Same Guys Everytime: Again, the first few rounds it is “OK” to have a little bit of repetition of high volume players if they do fall to you at an amazing price however if that player (Jonathan Taylor as an example) has a terrible first week, you don’t want to feel like you just lost all of your best ball week 1 matchups because you have him across the board. Take a shot at a guy you know that won’t fall back to you. It is OK to take Travis Kelce with the 1st overall pick in a best ball draft if you want to have him as the chances of him falling back to you in the 2nd round are very slim. Take a shot at different running back studs as a mix and match approach based on your tier rankings (if you aren’t using tier rankings I would recommend doing so).
Draft at least 3 QB’s and 3 TE’s: Alright so you were the guy in your league who did the Travis Kelce/Patrick Mahomes stack (guilty) Congrats! It is a fun ride however, the big guys still bust. Last season week 7 Travis Kelce had 6.10 points in PPR format finishing as the TE 71 on the week with Donald Parham Jr scoring as the TE 25 on the week (YIKES). Yes every week before and after that Kelce was at least a top 5 TE on the week so you would have been happy those weeks however bad games will happen. Some late round TE’s I am targeting: Tim Tebow (Last round pick folks what do you have to lose), OJ Howard (2 weeks last season with 6 target and you have Tom Brady throwing the ball), and Mo Alie-Cox (he is 6’5= big guy big target). QB’s are for the reasons and injury’s occur more often than not. Some late round QB’s: Jimmy Garaoppolo (he is the presumed starter as of now), Teddy Bridgewater (QB changes can occur at any time), Tyrod Taylor (with Watson’s legal situation taking a shot at him having a big week at least once and/or injury).
Stacks on Stacks on Stacks: One opportunity to have a big week (highest scoring week on the week for the league always means you will win) is to stack your QB with at least one positional player (RB/WR/TE). Why? If that player is having a good game the pass typically comes from the starting QB for that team which means more points. Let me take you back to week 1 of the 2019 NFL season, DeSean Jackson (he is a highly referenced player because he is now a big boom/bust player compared to the beginning of his career and yes you should draft him this year), went nuclear for 8 receptions, 154 yards and 2 touchdowns, from Carson Wentz throwing 3 touchdowns 313 yards and no interceptions. That season that was Jackson’s’ only playable week due to an injury but if you had him on your best ball team that year you would have had him automatically into your lineup.
I’d recommend using Sleeper for any best ball formats and once you get comfortable go to Underdog (US based peeps!) to go for a little cash (they have some starting at just $1). Find friends to get involved with as you are surprised where some people will draft players and you can get a good feel for the lay of the land.
As always thanks for reading and let’s connect on Twitter @loganbrown0805