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Best Ball Priorities and How to Achieve Them (Fantasy Football)

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Jun 18, 2019

Succeeding in a best ball league is no different than succeeding in a season-long league. Sure, there are plenty of differences in lineups, scoring, and transactions, but the basic principles remain the same. Know what you want, have a plan, and execute that plan effectively. That idea seems very simple on its face, but knowing what you want means that you need to understand the game of best ball and some rules and scoring that impact the types of players you select. Information without context is useless, so today we’re going to take a look at some best ball priorities and how to achieve them.

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POSITIONS TO TARGET EARLY

It’s important to target an elite TE early in your draft in order to gain an advantage over the competition. Tight end is by far the most volatile position in fantasy football, and there is a steep drop-off in talent between the most elite handful of options and the rest of the pack. Therefore, snagging one of the best at the position will ensure that you have a leg up on most of your league-mates who choose to take a TE in the mid- to late rounds of drafts. Gaining even one positional advantage over the course of the season can make the difference between a championship and coming up empty-handed.

Because best ball leagues rely so much on high-upside plays and because there are so many roster spots to fill, there is some built-in risk with many of your picks in a best ball draft. It is important to grab a solid core of reliable studs who can generate a lot of points each week without fail. Dependability can go a long way in best ball, especially when that dependable player also has a high ceiling.

FILLING OUT THE ROSTER

DEPTH
There is a certain amount of depth that needs to be addressed in best ball formats because most platforms use an 18-20 man roster. You should have 2-3 QBs on your team for the huge upside you could gain. Quarterbacks in best ball leagues can be drafted in the mid- to late rounds of drafts, because of the vast amount of talent at the position. You should roster 6-8 WRs because it is typically the position which requires the most roster spots. The RB position should occupy 4-6 spots on your roster because you have to play two of them a week and can play an additional one in the flex. The tight end position requires 2-3 roster spots, including an elite option and some quality backups with high upside later in the draft.

UPSIDE
Aside from your core of top-tier talent, the rest of your best ball roster should be comprised of high-upside players who can go off for big games any given week. These types of players can be boom-or-bust options at receiver such as deep threats who can turn a few big plays into a worthwhile fantasy week. Gunslingers at QB who take a lot of chances or running signal callers who can scramble for 80 yards and a couple of trips to the end zone make good selections here.

COME PREPARED

STRATEGY
While it seems so simple, it cannot be stressed enough to have a strategy in mind when setting out to complete a best ball draft. Develop your own personal rankings, decide which players you value highly and which you don’t, and understand where to reach and where to fade. Keep a basic strategy of positions you want to target and in which rounds you want to target them. Of course, strategy can and will change during an actual draft, but coming into a draft blind is unacceptable.

PRACTICE
Just like in other fantasy football formats, you need to practice! That means mocking early and often. Mocking can help you out in a number of ways — measuring ADP trends, drafting at different positions, and trying out new positional combinations. By mocking, you can apply an initial strategy to see if it holds water, then modify accordingly. Determining a strategy should be fluid, and mocks will give you the practical application of your plans. Of course, you can always use our free mock draft simulator to prepare for your drafts.

CONCLUSION

As outlined above, you should have clear priorities when going into a best ball draft. Understanding which players to target early can lay the foundation for a championship team. Still, the rest of the roster is as important as those early picks. A best ball roster consists of a lot of players, and to have success, the entire roster needs to be well-balanced with the right amount of upside and some educated picks. To achieve your priorities, it is most important to develop a clear strategy before drafting and practice that strategy through mocks. By prioritizing the most important aspects of best ball lineup construction and understanding how to achieve them, you can give yourself a great chance of winning your best ball league this year. Thanks for reading, and good luck!

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Zachary Hanshew is a correspondent at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

Best Ball, Featured, NFL, Vault