BEST BALL STRATEGIES

In our final article of this series, we’ll be discussing best ball drafts, which have become popular in the last year or so.

Best ball is marketed as a simple way to play season-long fantasy football; you draft 18 players and that’s it.  No waiver wire pickups, no agonizing over who to start or sit, and you don’t have to give up a kidney in order to get a trade through.  Every week you’ll start 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, and 1 FLEX.  Your highest-scoring players at each position are automatically started, and the team with the most points at the end of the season wins.  Sounds easy, right? 

Well, not necessarily.

When a player gets hurt, that’s it; he’s no longer an option to give you points.  You can’t drop him and add another player.  So you have to build a roster of players that can sustain injuries.  And you’ve only got one shot at doing so: the draft.  So here’s a few tips to help you be successful:

DRAFT RUNNING BACKS EARLY

RBs typically get the 2nd most opportunities each week behind QBs, so always try to add guys that get volume early.  Volume RBs are also more prone to injuries, so be sure to stock up.  You’ll want to have at least 4-5 RBs on your roster to ensure you have the best chance of making it through the season with enough starting backs.

GET 3 QBs

I know it sounds crazy. In season-long drafts, I usually roll with just 1 QB on the roster all season and pick up an additional guy for the bye week.  Sometimes I’ll even stream the QB position all or most of the season. But in BB, you’ve GOT to have 3.  Inevitably the bye week will come around and you’ll need to have a backup, but should an injury occur, you’ll really be screwed.  Avoid that situation by having a 3rd guy.  Most likely people will let QBs fall, so picking up a solid 3rd QB late in the draft is no biggie.  Plus you’ll have 3 shots at putting up good points at the position.

GET 3 TEs

Same strategy used with the QBs applies here.  With the dearth of TE points, you’ll want to have 3 options going so you’ll have the best chance of putting up points at the position.  Don’t go for TEs too early though.  You can pick up 2nd and 3rd TEs late in the draft that can do the job.

TO HANDCUFF OR NOT TO HANDCUFF?  THAT IS THE QUESTION

Just like in traditional season-long, it’s a good idea to handcuff your RBs in case of injury.  Since you’re trying to build an injury-proof roster, you’d think handcuffing would be the way to go.  Depending on how your draft is shaping up, if it’s late in the draft and you’ve got a roster spot to spare, pick up a handcuff for one of your starting RBs.  But I highly recommend against more than one handcuff.  Again, BB takes your 2 highest-scoring players at the RB spot to tabulate your final score for the week.  A handcuff won’t be consistently putting up many points, so you’re actually hindering your performance if you load up too many backups.  I’d recommend drafting RBs for volume as much as possible, and only going to a handcuff if there’s no other RBs available with volume.

BONUS TIP: TAKE LATE FLYERS ON POTENTIAL

Mecole Hardman, Jamison Crowder, Justice Hill, and Darwin Thompson may not make a lot of noise at the beginning of the season, but later in the year, when injuries kick in and they’re given an opportunity, these guys will pay off.  Look to take chances on guys that aren’t sure things with your last couple picks just to round out the roster.

I just completed a BB draft over at draft.com.  My next article will chronicle the results.  I’ll be giving more BB tips and strategies as well during the season, but you’ll have to subscribe to get that info!