The Beginner’s Guide to DRAFT Best Ball (2018 Fantasy Football)
If I had the power to slow down time, there’s a massive list of convenient changes I would make to my life. I would spend more time with my kids, cook and enjoy meals more, take naps and go on more walks. Somewhere on that list, however, I would join hundreds of fantasy football leagues.
In reality, though, every league you join stretches you thinner and thinner. Waivers, trades, starters, rinse, repeat. You blink, and Sunday’s already here. You haven’t had time to look at articles, dive into advanced stats or even create daily fantasy lineups.
Best ball on DRAFT has served as an excellent remedy to these issues. I’ve completed over 40 drafts and will likely double that come Week 1. If we’re honest, drafting is the most fun part of fantasy football anyway, so if you can draft every day, you’re living the high life.
DRAFT is known for being a daily fantasy sports platform that still uses old-school snake drafts in place of the popular salary-based formats of DraftKings, FanDuel, and FantasyDraft. Like those platforms, DRAFT offers contests that last a week or even a day. Following the 2016-17 NFL season, DRAFT introduced season-long best-ball contests that started well before the season began.
In fact, they began before the NFL Draft even took place! Best ball drafts offered fantasy football gamers like me a bridge to cross over the troubled waters of the offseason, putting an end to the bleak existence of life without drafting. Dynasty startups and rookie drafts have done this before, but the thing that pushed DRAFT to the forefront of offseason drafting has been the hands-off nature of best ball drafts.
In these drafts, fantasy owners select 18 players to eventually fill eight starter spots: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE and 1 FLEX. There are no defenses or kickers in best ball — yet another reason to love the format. That isn’t the biggest lure of these contests, though. Zero. Roster. Management.
Fantasy football turned upside down. Zero roster management isn’t just the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae; it’s the whipped cream, the caramel topping and the candy bar center. No trades, no waivers, and no starting lineups. The 18 players you draft are the 18 players you have for the whole season, which creates some exciting draft strategy opportunities. At the end of each NFL week, the computer selects your starters for you.
Whichever players perform the best within their position are entered into your lineup, regardless of how you thought they would do before the week. So, if you have Aaron Rodgers go down in the first quarter and Tyrod Taylor outscores him by 12 fantasy points, Taylor would be inserted into your lineup. It relieves you of the stress of start/sit decisions and, most importantly, allows you to join infinite drafts without bogging yourself down during the season. The only in-season work you do is follow along with your scores.
Under the best ball umbrella, there are two separate draft types: fast and slow. Fast drafts have a 30-second pick clock and usually take between 60-90 minutes. Slow drafts have an eight-hour pick clock and can take weeks to complete. Each has its allure, and I have finished quite a few of each.
Fast drafts require much more focus and diligence, which often leads other users to make mistakes or get caught up in something in their real life. I have experienced the benefits of this and the drawbacks. Just last week, I accidentally joined a fast draft instead of a slow draft, causing me to miss my first two picks before recognizing the blunder. On the other side of the coin, I witnessed a user select David Njoku with pick 1.11. How this happened, I’m completely unsure, but it was to my benefit nonetheless. If you can set aside 90 minutes to fully focus on a fast draft, they provide a distinct advantage to knowledgeable drafters.
Slow drafts allow you to do more in-depth research between picks and scan all the way down your draft board to identify any players who have fallen well below their ADP. Your opponents also have this luxury, so it’s somewhat of a catch-22. Another positive that comes from slow drafts is that it allows you to stretch your money further. $30 could be as many as 10 slow drafts, each of which takes a week or more. DRAFT does provide contests from $1 all the way up to $275 and leagues of three, six, 10, or 12 owners, which creates different strategic approaches and unique rosters.
In the coming week, I will provide you with a full-fledged strategy guide for different best ball contests so that you can also draft year-round with no of fear of overburdening yourself with waivers, trades, and roster decisions. Until then, go join a $3 slow draft and say goodbye to the offseason. Happy drafting!