What is NFL Best Ball?
Best ball leagues are focused entirely on the draft as you get one shot to build your team, and after that, there is no team management allowed or required. Whatever website you draft your best ball team on, they will automatically set your top scoring roster at all the required positions from your 18-20 player team. No waiver wire, trades, adds, drops, or other types of in-season management is required or allowed.
Best Ball is similar in some ways to regular redraft fantasy leagues regarding the draft itself. Often you will be in 10- or 12-team leagues that are 18 or 20 rounds in length, and you draft from a player pool that includes quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and the tight end position. There is also a flex position that you can use with one of your running back, wide receiver, and tight end positions. The standard starting roster requirement for most of the best ball sites is starting one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, and one flex spot.
What makes best ball different?
Quickly, here are the two major differences between Best Ball compared to traditional fantasy league:
- There is no player movement after the draft (no trades, free agency, drops, etc.)
- You don't have to set a weekly lineup (your best possible lineup is automatically started)
We all love the draft portion of fantasy football as it allows you to build a team of players you believe in at that moment. We often will draft mock drafts to prepare for our big redraft leagues to help us prepare. Best ball now has taken the place of the mock draft as you can draft in leagues for as little as a dollar and into the thousands of dollars. You can draft a single best ball team, five, 50, 200, or even thousands. There are cash game types of leagues where the top three out of 12 teams would win cash prizes, and there are also big tournaments where hundreds or even thousands are aiming for the top prize. You can choose how you want to play in the best ball world. But starting slow is always the best way to learn and understand the game theory of it.
You always have to remember that whatever player you draft in a best ball draft will be on your team all year, regardless if they get hurt in Week 1, suspended, quit, or just don't score points for you. There is no turning back on the players you draft, but at the same time, you don't have to make the hard decisions on who to start each week, as the site you are playing on will automatically just populate your roster each week with the highest scoring players at each position requirement.
Best Ball sites General Roster Requirements
The current options for platforms to play on right now are Underdog Fantasy, DraftKings, FFPC, Drafters, Yahoo, BestBall10s, and FanDuel.
Platform Structures, Features, and Options
With the seven best ball platforms, they each have different cash games or tournament options and a variety of league sizes.
|Platform||Tournaments?||Cash League Sizes||PPR Scoring?|
|Underdog||Yes||3, 6, 10, 12, and 14 teams||Yes (0.5 PPR)|
|DraftKings||Yes||3, 6, and 12 teams||1.0 PPR (with bonuses)|
|FFPC||Yes||12 teams||1.0 PPR(TEs 1.5 PPR)|
|Drafters||Yes||3, 6, 10, and 12 teams||1.0 PPR|
|Yahoo||No||10 teams||Yes (0.5 PPR)|
|BestBall10s||Yes||3, 6, and 12 teams||1.0 PPR|
|FanDuel||No||3, 4, 5, 8, 10, and 12 teams||Yes (0.5 PPR)|
|Platform||Entry-Fee Range||Pick Timer (Fast/Slow)||Tournament Format|
|Underdog||$3-1000||30 secs/8 hrs||Playoff Weeks 15, 16, 17|
|DraftKings||$1-2120||30 secs/8 hrs||Playoff Weeks 15, 16, 17|
|FFPC||$5-2000||60 secs/2 or 6 hrs||Playoffs|
|Drafters||$1.10-530||40 secs/8 hrs||Total Points|
|Yahoo||$1-500||30 secs/no slow||n/a|
|BestBall10s||$5-100||60 secs/1 2 4 or 8 hrs||Total Points|
|FanDuel||$1-100||30 secs/no slow||n/a|
10 Drafting Tips and Tricks for Tournaments
When you first learn how to play best ball, I recommend taking it slow and sticking to the smaller buy-in cash games. After you have done a few cash games and understand the best ball game and process, you might be tempted to dip your toes into the tournaments, and with that, you go from beginner level to a whole new level where the stacks are much higher. I outlined some tips and tricks this summer that I like to use personally when drafting tournament teams and also wanted to share them here. This is more specific to Underdog Fantasy's big BBM3 tournament, but it also translates to all the best ball platforms that offer tournaments.
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