Best Ball Plays & Strategy

Tales From the Underworld 7: Post-Draft Underdog Best Ball Fun

by Ray Marzarella, June 13, 2021

While reaching too egregiously to complete any stacks is not recommended, the best way to win Best Ball Mania II will be to differentiate ourselves from the field while still being smart about optimal roster construction. Starting with four straight Dallas Cowboys may not be the world’s worst strategy given that, contrary to popular belief, there is no RB dead zone this season. It would still be a struggle to win this tournament without guaranteed bell cow production from at least two players.

Drafting two early quarterbacks is the key to survival in the Rookies and Sophomores format. Relying on Zach Wilson and/or Mac Jones to bail you out is not, especially when considering this stacked QB field. The key to putting together teams with this much upside is D’Andre Swift continuously being available in the fifth round, which allows me to go after players like Jalen Hurts and Brandon Aiyuk.


Way Too Early Underdog Fantasy Seasonal Value Plays

by Corbin Young, June 11, 2021

With all the hype surrounding Travis Etienne, James Robinson keeps seeing his ADP drop, which helps him land as a Way Too Early Seasonal Value Play at RB. From a real-life perspective, it’s confusing that the Jaguars drafted Etienne in the first round since they essentially struck gold with Robinson. Sure, he will likely eat into the receiving opportunities, but I’ll take the discount on Robinson in 2021. 

Even with Gardner Minshew and Mike Glennon as his QBs in 2020, D.J. Chark earned a 20.0-percent (No. 37 among qualified wide receivers) Target Share and 34.3-percent (No. 14) Air Yards Share. Overall, he feels like a post-hype receiver in 2021, which makes him my favorite Way Too Early Seasonal Value Play at WR.


RotoUnderworld Junior Writer Draft Recap No. 2 – Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Draft

by Chase Vernon, June 3, 2021

I didn’t even have to think about smashing the draft button on J.K. Dobbins at 3.08. This likely gives me guaranteed points from my top two runners and my late selections can be purely based on upside. It’s not only his profile and metrics, but also his ability to score inside the five, where he scored on 88.9-percent of his rookie season carries, that gives him a massive ceiling. 

Tyrell Williams should see plenty of opportunities as he reunites with offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn. In two seasons with Lynn, while being the fourth pass-catching option, he had ten double-digit fantasy point games, and four with over 20 fantasy points. Now he will be the second or third option for the Lions, and with the last pick in a best ball draft, what more could you want?


Tales From the Underworld 6: Pre-Draft Underdog Best Ball Fun

by Ray Marzarella, April 27, 2021

Passing on TE at the 6-7 turn was risky, but worth it to nab the Russell Wilson-Jalen Hurts QB duo. But by the time it was my turn to pick in the eighth round, all of Dallas Goedert, Logan Thomas and Robert Tonyan were gone. I then realized I could have/should have passed on one of the QBs for a TE and honed in on Daniel Jones later to pair with Golladay. The tilt. It was, in fact, real.

Getting your QBs early in the Rookies and Sophomores format is basically an unwritten rule. Relying solely on this year’s rookie QB crop is a huge gamble, making a Jalen Hurts/Joe Burrow/Justin Herbert/Tua Tagovailoa selection a vital key to success.


Underdog Best Ball ADPs to Smash At Value

by Will Barrett, April 22, 2021

On top of breaking the single season receptions record in 2019, Michael Thomas was also the WR1 in fantasy by a long shot. Although he wasn’t as electric in 2020, he was still the clear alpha while on the field. Look no further than his leading all qualified wide receivers with a 42.5-percent Air Yards Share. I will be ecstatic to take him at a discount this year.

In his rookie season, Brandon Aiyuk logged a 100.0-percent (No. 1) Route Participation rate and a 31.1-percent (No. 28) Air Yards Share. He put on a show against top corners like Kendall Fuller, Marshon Lattimore, and others. With Aiyuk likely getting a QB upgrade, I’ll pass on receivers like Cooper Kupp, Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen to smash the value with Aiyuk.


Underdog Best Ball Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

by Josh Larky, April 17, 2021

The general strategy at quarterback is getting two QB1 types early. We aren’t quite sure why, but quarterbacks have been going later on Underdog than on other full PPR best ball platforms. If you want to get the 30-35 point spike weeks from a high-end QB1, you have to pay up. And we’re telling you, it’s worth it in Half PPR. A guy we really like at ADP is Dak Prescott, and a guy we’re currently below consensus on at ADP is Aaron Rodgers. 

If you’re grabbing QB and RB early, you should have 8 or 9 WRs on your roster after 18 rounds. In the final few rounds of Underdog drafts, all high-upside QBs are gone, all starting RBs (and some backups) are gone, and the high-upside TEs are usually gone, too. A guy we really like at ADP is Amari Cooper, and a guy we’re currently below consensus on at ADP is Adam Thielen. 


It’s an Underdog World: Featuring a Best Ball Mania Draft Recap

by The “Mad Chatter” Ryan MK, September 9, 2020

The quarterback position, while important, doesn’t require as much depth. Two to three will put most teams in a solid spot. If aiming for a top-tier quarterback, the idea is to then wait until late in the draft to grab another. Owning both Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson is counter-intuitive, and a waste. If the strategy is to wait on a quarterback, then drafting a total of three is ideal. Whichever approach is taken, no more than three is needed; save those spots for the wide receivers and running backs.

Under this format, the wide receiver position is as important as it gets. Due to the wider range of weekly outcomes for receivers, depth is crucial to having success. Each team should leave a draft with no less than eight to have a chance at winning. The more options available, the greater the chances of success. One thing to keep in mind, is that “big play” receivers do not provide an edge. The deep threat receiver is often viewed in that “big play” lens, but they are just as volatile as others.


More Late-Round Best Ball Receivers to Target

by Christopher Buonagura, August 25, 2020

DeSean Jackson has the highest ceiling among all players drafted outside the top 100 and it is not close. His floor is zero and its unlikely he plays a full season but, at an ADP of 148.11, he is an easy bench stash. Jackson can be the WR1 any given week, and three to five monster weeks is all that’s needed to validate the pick. His 42 career catches of 50-plus yards are the most by any player in the history of the NFL.

With an ADP of 206.98, Randall Cobb is nearly an afterthought in Best Ball drafts. The Texans gave him a considerable amount of money given his age, and his competition for short targets is non-existent. There is no tight end of consequence on Houston’s roster and Deshaun Watson has a tendency to prolong plays rather than simply dump off to the RBs. Etch Cobb’s name in with pen as your WR7/8 in Best Ball drafts.


Best-Value Stacks to Target in Best Ball

by Christopher Buonagura, August 18, 2020

Matthew Stafford’s 2019 metrics show a stud with a 107.9 (No. 6 among qualified quarterbacks) True Passer Rating, a +19.0 (No. 6) Production Premium, and 0.51 (No. 5) Fantasy Points per Dropback. Marvin Jones continues to produce at a similar rate to Kenny Golladay with a much lower cost. Swapping Jones for Golladay also presents monster upside, but at less value. This stack will produce some monster fantasy numbers this season.

Drafting any number of Carolina’s skill position players is a winning strategy this year. Teddy Bridgewater is an extreme QB2 value, with an FFPC ADP of 149.62 (QB25). D.J. Moore is a stud with top 5 wide receiver upside and he is a value in the third round. Curtis Samuel proved his talent in 2019 by leading the league in Air Yards but suffering from a 62.6-percent (No. 105) Catchable Target Rate. This stack presents a strong weekly floor with mega-upside when the shootouts come, and they will.


Five Undervalued Wide Receivers to Target Late in Best Ball

by Rob Patterson, August 13, 2020

Though he’ll fight for opportunity with Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb’s 10.0 (No. 9 among qualified wide receivers) yards per target in 2019 indicated that he can still be efficient in the face of middling volume. Yes, injury concerns remain, but the same can be said for his teammates. Given all that uncertainty, Cobb is a high-floor bargain at his ADP – 135 picks after Cooks goes.

Yes, the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders in New Orleans puts a cap on potential target volume, but Tre’Quan Smith showcased the ability to make the most of his targets with a +65.2 Production Premium and 94.7-percent True Catch Rate in 2019. Sanders is no sure bet to stay on the field, either; now 33, his 65.8-percent (No. 4) Injury Probability ranking is cause for concern — especially when you can draft Smith over 200 picks later.