September 26, 2023
11 11 11 AM
Chrissy Teigen Recalls Her and John Legend’s Emotional Vow Renewal
Osiris-Rex: Nasa confirms return of asteroid Bennu samples
Why Matthew McConaughey Is Alright if His Kids Have Their Secrets
Lampedusa: Inside the camp at the heart of Europe’s migrant surge
Shop The 10 Best Birthday Gifts for Libras in 2023
Ukraine war: Moment missile hits Russia’s Black Sea fleet HQ
Al Nassr vs Al Ahli live score, updates, lineups and result as Ronaldo and Talisca put hosts ahead
Zendaya Sets the Record Straight on Tom Holland Engagement Rumors
Rupert Murdoch steps down as Fox and News Corp chairman in favour of son Lachlan
Inside Nicole Richie’s Private World as a Mom of 2 Teenagers
Latest Post
Chrissy Teigen Recalls Her and John Legend’s Emotional Vow Renewal Osiris-Rex: Nasa confirms return of asteroid Bennu samples Why Matthew McConaughey Is Alright if His Kids Have Their Secrets Lampedusa: Inside the camp at the heart of Europe’s migrant surge Shop The 10 Best Birthday Gifts for Libras in 2023 Ukraine war: Moment missile hits Russia’s Black Sea fleet HQ Al Nassr vs Al Ahli live score, updates, lineups and result as Ronaldo and Talisca put hosts ahead Zendaya Sets the Record Straight on Tom Holland Engagement Rumors Rupert Murdoch steps down as Fox and News Corp chairman in favour of son Lachlan Inside Nicole Richie’s Private World as a Mom of 2 Teenagers

Fantasy Fantasy Best Ball Draft Strategy 2023: Tips, advice for how to play in best ball leagues

Best ball fantasy football leagues have skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, and 2023 is no exception. With more DFS websites offering best ball drafts, the trendy, new format is officially mainstream. Even so, many best ball novices are just figuring out how to play or refining their draft strategy for building a winning roster.

The beauty of best ball leagues is that they require no maintenance. You cannot make any roster moves once the draft is complete, so your roster must carry you through a 17-week fantasy season.

Because of this format, fantasy owners need not worry about difficult start-or-sit decisions each week. The highest-scoring player at each position will automatically make his way into the weekly lineup. Rosters usually consist of about 20 players, so that allows owners to have an active player at each position even as injuries and ineffectiveness whittle away the depth of each team.

DOMINATE YOUR DRAFT: Ultimate 2023 Fantasy Cheat Sheet

Still, those injuries and ill-timed bye weeks can still conspire against owners, adding to both the fun and frustration.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Ks | Top 200 | S-Flex | IDP

The other aspect that makes this format unique is that the draft is easily the most important part of the best ball season. It’s absolutely critical to nail almost every pick and create a strong roster that can put up consistently solid points every week while also having a sky-high ceiling.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Ks | Top 200 | S-Flex | IDP

How can you do that? Here are some of Sporting News Fantasy’s top strategy tips for best ball drafts, from the basics to the position-by-position specifics.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Each Team

Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Strategy Tips, How to Play

Here are a couple of key best ball tips that beginners should know before drafting:

Keep an eye on bye weeks

This seems self-explanatory, but it’s a step that even the most seasoned fantasy experts can forget in the heat of a best ball draft. Managing bye weeks in best ball is even more important than in season-long leagues because you can’t make any changes to your roster once your draft is over. So, if you have multiple players at one position with the same bye week, there isn’t anything you can do to help your team score during that week.

This isn’t like normal fantasy where stacking bye weeks can be a viable strategy. You need top-tier scorers each week or you won’t find success. Make sure you stagger effectively to avoid one empty week being your downfall.

2023 AUCTION VALUES (Standard & PPR):
QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/STs | Ks | Overall

Make sure you land viable backups

In season-long fantasy leagues, many will take the strategy of waiting on a quarterback or tight end to load up on running back and receiver depth. That can work in best ball, but you also need to have at least one good starter and one high-end backup (preferably two) to avoid getting quickly decimated by injuries.

So, just make sure that if you take a quarterback early, you don’t wait too long to add another one to your roster. If you do, you may find yourself plucking upside guys like Sam Howell and Desmond Ridder instead of a more proven commodity like Geno Smith or Daniel Jones.

You should have at least three options at every position if possible. You can get by with two QBs or TEs, but you will be at the mercy of the injury gods without being at least three deep.

QBs | RBs | WRs | TEs | D/ST

Fantasy Football Best Ball QB Strategy

Don’t wait too long to get a quarterback

We’re going to belabor this point because it’s important. Sure, you don’t need an elite quarterback to win fantasy best ball leagues, but it definitely doesn’t hurt. Quarterback is one of the deepest positions in fantasy, and you can typically find a solid starter in the middle of the draft. Getting a high-end QB2 like Aaron Rodgers or Kirk Cousins certainly won’t keep you from fighting for a title in best ball leagues.

That said, it’s imperative that if you wait at quarterback, you need to land a solid backup. Viable QB2s can dry up quickly in best ball, so unless you’re willing to take on a low-end option at the position, be ready to expend some early-ish draft capital on a second QB. 

How can you do this? Just keep an eye on the position throughout the draft. If you get into a situation where you only like a couple of quarterbacks left on the board, take one. After all, quarterbacks are the most consistent point producers in fantasy, so skimping at that position can have disastrous consequences.

Snake | Auction | Dynasty | IDP

Running quarterbacks are valuable — but risky — in best ball

Finding a quarterback in best ball is all about the floor vs. ceiling debate. You want a player that is going to be safe enough to trust on a weekly basis, but QBs that run the ball have very high ceilings given the difference in value between passing yards/TDs and rushing yards/TDs.

That’s why Lamar Jackson is always a popular pick in best ball drafts. He has the potential to be a 100-yard rusher each week. The same can be said of Justin Fields, who ran for 1,000 yards last season despite not playing a full campaign. Jalen Hurts also comes with the benefit of his usage as a runner in short-yardage situations on the goal line.

Of course, the downside to these quarterbacks is that they are often banged up at some point in the season. So, while they can put up some of the best weeks among fantasy quarterbacks, they also can be kryptonite for a best ball team if they miss time.

So, what’s the strategy here? The best approach if you get a great scrambling quarterback is to pair him with a more traditional pocket passer at the position. The latter player could certainly get hurt, but odds are that he comes with a bit less risk than his run-happy counterparts.

If you draft a risky quarterback, consider handcuffing him with your last pick

The other option when taking a risky quarterback is to handcuff him.

Don’t laugh.

As silly as it sounds to take a backup who will play only if your starter struggles, it can make sense in best ball. Provided that you know who a team’s top backup is, you can scoop him in that last round. That way, you at least have somebody getting points in that spot, even if they aren’t a Week 1 starter.

This isn’t just something to consider with your top quarterback, however. If you wait on a backup quarterback too long and end up with someone like Sam Howell, you can grab Jacoby Brissett and know that if Howell struggles, you won’t be out a quarterback. You’ll still have the Washington starter barring two injuries.

This strategy is one that chips at the overall ceiling of a team, but ask yourself this: Would you rather have a deep-ball-dependent receiver like Nelson Agholor who is unlikely to crack your lineup, or would you rather have insurance at one of best balls thinnest positions?

We’ll take the latter in the 18th round or later.

Fantasy Football Best Ball RB Strategy

Don’t be afraid to take a risk with your RB2

Running back is often the thinnest position in fantasy football, so some owners will load up at the position early. You don’t necessarily have to do that, though.

Best ball teams tend to start two RBs, three wide receivers, and a flex, so receivers are a bit more important to have. Waiting on running back can be risky, but there are plenty of 1B options at the position this year who can be solid mid-round additions.

AJ Dillon, Jamaal Williams, Samaje Perine, and Rashaad Penny all have the potential to emerge as lead backs in 2023 even if injuries don’t limit the starters ahead of them. They are being drafted as high-end RB3s despite this, so that means they are strong value picks. Grabbing one of them in Rounds 6-8 while focusing on mostly on receivers in the first few rounds will give rosters more upside, which is key in best ball leagues.

Besides, RBs are arguably the most oft-injured position in fantasy. So, loading up on top-tier handcuffs, backups and those in position battles could pay off in spades if just a few guys go down with injuries.

You should still take a running back with one of your first two selections (or, at a minimum, one of your first three), but if you want to wait for your second back, just load up on these mid-tier values.

Handcuff your RBs if they have a clear backup

Speaking of handcuffs, you need to draft one if you get a high-end back. In fact, overdraft them. Just make sure you have them in case your top guy goes down with an injury.

If you want to grab a guy like Bijan Robinson early, you should protect yourself in case he gets hurt. Considering that Tyler Allgeier was a solid starter last season, you could certainly do worse than landing him as an RB3 to protect your high-end investment. Besides, you’ll still have plenty of time to load up on other RB sleepers later.

If you don’t handcuff Robinson and he gets hurt, good luck replacing him. You’re not going to be able to make roster moves, so you would need to have a lot of high-end depth at running back to ensure that you could adequately replicate those lost numbers.

Of course, there is a caveat to this. Some RBs, like Alexander Mattison in Minnesota, don’t have clear handcuffs. But many do, so if you happen to be taking one who does, just make the sacrifice and get the handcuff. Trust me, you’ll be thanking yourself for drafting Elijah Mitchell if Christian McCaffrey gets dinged up early in the season again.

Trust the rookie running backs this year

We brought up Bijan Robinson above. Some may shy away from taking a rookie early in the best-ball format, but he figures to be explosive and handle a lot of the workload in Atlanta. He’ll be a top pick for a reason.

Ditto for Jahmyr Gibbs. Sure, David Montgomery may get a chunk of the workload early in the season, but eventually, Detroit’s first-round pick should take on a majority of the carries. That makes him a nice value pick in the early rounds; and if you’re still worried about Montgomery, draft him, too!

Even some other rookies further down the board are worth considering. Kendre Miller could get carries with Alvin Kamara suspended for three games; Chase Brown looks like the top backup behind Joe Mixon, who somewhat disappointed last season; and Zach Charbonnet could eventually emerge as a key cog in a run-heavy Seahawks offense.

There are a lot of reasons to be excited about this year’s rookie running back class. That’s not to say that you should only draft rookies, but don’t be afraid to have two or maybe even three as a part of your final running back room. It might be a boom-or-bust combination, but it could definitely pay off.

Fantasy Football Best Ball WR Strategy

Take WRs early and often

Receivers are more important in best ball than running backs. Why? Because in most formats, your lineup is always required to start at least three receivers; at running back, you typically are only able to start up to three at the position.

With that in mind, you should plan to take receivers early and often. You certainly want some of the stud producers that will have massive games every week. That’s why Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase have often gone within the top-three selections of most best ball drafts.

While landing top-end talent at receiver is important, don’t confuse it for depth. There are plenty of high-end receivers that can be found outside of the first few rounds, so the more you take, the better your chances are of landing a top-tier talent at a bargain price.

All that’s to say make sure that you are stocked more at receiver than any other position. It will pay off in the end, especially if the injury bug bites.

Target deep threats at the end of best ball drafts

Depth dries up at the end of best ball drafts, so if you’re still wanting for receiver depth after the 15th round, don’t be afraid to take a big-play guy. Sure, they are boom-or-bust playmakers that probably won’t crack lineups most weeks, but they are always threats to reel in long touchdowns, too. Those can be especially important in weeks when your top wideouts have down performances.

Think about it like this: If a deep-ball receiver catches one 60-yard TD in a PPR league, that’s worth 13 points. Often, 13 is enough to crack a lineup, so even if they aren’t a consistent player, that type of investment can be enough to carry a team to victory.

Among the players that fit this mold are the Ravens’ Devin Duvernay, the Jets’ Mecole Hardman, and a host of rookies like the Chargers’ Quentin Johnston or the Broncos’ Marvin Mims. 

Stack WRs with QBs

Stacking can work very well in best ball formats, and it tends to be easy to do. It creates a great opportunity to get double points for your lineup, and if you land playmakers in an elite, undervalued offense — like the Bengals last year — it can spark a championship run.

You don’t just have to stack a quarterback with his top weapon. Sure, stacking Josh Allen with Stefon Diggs might be nice, but if you’re able to grab Gabe Davis or Dalton Kincaid instead, it could pay off in a similar manner. This will give your lineup more upside and synergy as you look to compete for a fantasy championship.

When in doubt, draft a Chief

Nobody knows exactly how the Chiefs’ receiving corps is going to shake out, but there’s no denying that all of the team’s pass-catchers have upside. After all, they are playing with Patrick Mahomes in Andy Reid’s pass-heavy offense. What’s not to like about that?

So, if you get to a point in the draft and you don’t love any of the receivers on the board, just see which Chiefs are available. If you like Richie James, Justyn Ross, Rashee Rice, or Skyy Moore enough, don’t be afraid to select one in the hopes that he becomes Mahomes’ top receiver. In the later rounds, these types of picks have a great chance of paying off.

Fantasy Football Best Ball TE Strategy

Don’t wait too long on a tight end

The strategy at tight end is similar to that of quarterback. You can wait on the position, but you just can’t wait too long to take your first.

Tight ends don’t score as much as quarterbacks, but there are fewer high-quality options than any other position. That’s why Travis Kelce is often a first-round pick while Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson, and George Kittle are also pushed up draft boards.

You don’t need one of those top four guys to succeed at tight end, but if you miss out on the next tier of TEs — like Dallas Goedert, Darren Waller, Evan Engram, and Kyle Pitts, to name a few — good luck. Make sure you start thinking about landing one by the seventh or eighth round if you don’t get one of the top options.

Red-zone threats are viable wild cards at the position

If you do find yourself thin at tight end, you can add some later-round options to bolster the position. Look for guys who get a lot of red-zone targets, as they will have the best chance at cracking your lineup with a touchdown.

Tyler Higbee is a good example of a late-round tight end who gets a lot of attention in the red zone. He saw 16 targets inside the 20-yard line last season, good for fifth-most among tight ends, so he is a solid boom-or-bust option. David Njoku is a bit better-regarded, but he also would fit the bill among mid-tier TE targets.

And if you’re looking for a real wild card, taking Jake Ferguson, who is replacing Dalton Schultz in Dallas, is a nice late-round pick.

Trust the second-year tight ends as value/sleeper picks

Greg Dulcich; Chig Okonkwo; Jelani Woods; Jake Ferguson; there are a lot of second-year tight ends that look like quality sleeper picks this year.

Each of the sophomores mentioned above is entering his second offseason with his club and has a shot at winning the starting job. Dulcich looked good last season with the Broncos despite playing in a poorly coached offense; Okonkwo also played in a middling offense, but he made some explosive plays thanks to his speed.

As for Woods, he is a size (6-7, 265 pounds) and speed freak who scored three touchdowns last season in limited playing time. He could become a favorite target of Anthony Richardson as the rookie adjusts to the NFL. 

Ferguson has a more reliable QB and offense, and he should get a good chunk of the 89 targets fired Dalton Schultz’s way in his 15 games last season.

In short, all of these guys have upside, and none are going within the top-10 TE picks. Pairing one with a top tight end will give you a top-tier TE room; and if you miss on one of the top guys at the position, grabbing two or three of the second-year guys should work out OK.

7 thoughts on “Fantasy Fantasy Best Ball Draft Strategy 2023: Tips, advice for how to play in best ball leagues

  1. Thank you for the good writeup. It actually was once a
    entertainment account it. Glance complicated to more introduced agreeable from you!
    By the way, how could we be in contact?

  2. Hi there, alll thhe time i usedd too check weblog posts here earlly iin thee morning, siknce i like tto learrn more annd

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *