Fantasy Football Best Ball Strategy Tips

By Michael Dubner
Michael Dubner While August is the time for season-long fantasy football drafts, most June drafts are Best Ball formats (i.e. MFL10). There are key strategy differences for season-long vs. best ball fantasy football leagues, which I will discuss in this article.

1. Optimize Roster Construction

Mike Beer's "MFL10 Optimization" article does a great job showing that the optimal roster construction for MFL10 rosters is: 2-3 QB, 4-6 RB, 6-9 WR, 2-3 TE, 2-3 DST. While drafting the best players is the most important part of a draft, projections will never be 100% accurate, and optimizing roster construction can help minimize the effect of these errors. Even though there will be outliers who win their best ball league without this "optimal" roster construction, this roster construction has the highest probability of winning. Draft more, or less, players at a given position based on the perceived strength of that position.

Note: I would lean towards drafting 3 tight ends because that position heavily relies on touchdowns. I would also lean towards drafting 3 defenses because even the bottom-half defenses will contribute to your starting roster at some point during the year, while the probability of hitting on a late round RB or WR is low.

2. Draft Players Who Outperform Their ADP

While this may appear to be obvious at the surface, drafting players who outperform their average draft position (ADP) is especially important for the middle-later rounds in drafts. Typically, season-long fantasy football and MFL10 strategies will be similar in the first 6 rounds, or so. However, in the middle-later rounds, season-long owners tend to favor drafting for upside because the ability to make in-season transactions reduces the downside of busting on a mid-late round pick. On the other hand, no in-season transactions are allowed in MFL10 draft only leagues. Therefore, in MFL10s, it is important to draft players who will likely contribute fantasy football points throughout the entire season. Drafting middle-late round players, like Kenny Britt, Mike Wallace, and Rishard Matthews, who are unlikely to breakout into the top 15 at their position but are likely to finish in the top 45, are key backbones to an MFL10 roster. Best ball teams can draft some players with upside, but it shouldn't be the entire focus of your second half of the draft. I encourage you to sprinkle in some players who will simply beat their ADP.

3. Have a Healthy Roster

Drafting players who remain healthy for the majority of the season is crucial in MFL10 because owners are not able to make in-season transactions. Having 0's on your roster is detrimental to your team's total points.

4. Bye Weeks Matter

Rosters in season-long leagues are almost never the same by mid-season because owners can make waiver wire claims and trade with other owners. However, rosters are locked after the draft in MFL10 draft only leagues. Therefore, MFL10 owners must pay attention to bye weeks during the draft. For a scoring format that rewards the team with the most total points at the end of the season, owners must minimize simple mistakes, such as having a 0 at a position due to a bye-week mishap.

Don't worry too much about bye weeks in the early rounds, but it should be a factor as you get into the middle-later rounds. Never draft quarterbacks, tight ends, or defenses with the same bye.