Happy Best Ball season to all who celebrate. Today, we're taking a dive into one of the most perplexing questions out there. In 2022 fantasy football best ball should you draft 3 TEs?
Before we get started, I wanted to remind everyone, if you haven't signed up yet over on Underdog, use our sign-up link for a free bonus upon first deposit.
2022 Fantasy Football Best Ball: Should You Draft 3 TEs?
Earlier this year, Underdog's Hayden Winks wrote a fantastic case study on three quarterback builds with Josh Allen. The main focus was to explore if taking a third quarterback was better than taking a sixth running back or ninth wide receiver.
The findings were extremely insightful. Taking a third quarterback proved much more beneficial. Even on teams that had the fantasy QB1.
Hayden's article sparked some interest on my end. I, therefore, decided to explore this from the tight end perspective. So in turn, I decided to examine three tight end builds on teams, specifically those with Mark Andrews.
Utilizing data from Underdog's Best Ball Mania 2, I collected data for all teams that drafted Mark Andrews. From there, I condensed the sample down into teams that drafted a third quarterback, sixth running back, ninth wide receiver, or third tight end, with a pick between rounds 15 and 18.
The main thing I wanted to look at was the points contributed by those picks. As in, was a third tight end, on a team with Andrews, contributing more points than a ninth wide receiver. After all, Andrews was the overall TE1 last year.
Let me preface by saying these certainly aren't large samples. After all, only roughly 13,000 teams drafted Andrews. And once you break it down into teams fitting the criteria, the list shrinks.
|# of Teams
The data is in line with what Hayden originally found. Typically, it's best to draft a third quarterback. A third quarterback significantly outperformed a sixth running back, ninth wide receiver, and third tight end.
This usually stems back to the week-to-week volatility at the position. Even an elite quarterback like Josh Allen has down weeks: Like five weeks with less than 21 fantasy points in 2021.
Aside from the three quarterbacks, three tight ends seemed to pose a slight advantage. Realistically, there's variance at every position. Sometimes too much quantity (as in 9 or 10 wide receivers) isn't a good thing.
It's important to consider how that variance can easily affect a one-starter position like quarterback and tight end. Taking three players for those positions certainly had its advantages.
With the confirmation that a third quarterback will contribute more points on average, I wanted to take the analysis one step forward. If a team with Andrews drafted three quarterbacks, how did an eighth wide receiver drafted contribute compared to a third tight end? Essentially these are all 3QB/5RB/8WR/2TE or 3QB/5RB/7WR/3TE builds that drafted Andrews.
|# of Teams
There really wasn't a significant difference here. While there is the need for three tight ends, there's still enough week-to-week volatility with the wide receiver position.
At the same time, once you only draft seven wide receivers, you're not providing much room for added depth if you plan to start four wide receivers weekly. That is if you aim to fill the flex with a wide receiver.
I think the main takeaway stems back to the initial analysis. While a third quarterback had the best average by a decent margin, a third tight end still proved beneficial.
I think this more so speaks volumes that a sixth running back or ninth wide receiver can be overkill. Here is the takeaway. You're better off adding depth to a single starter position.
As for teams that drafted three quarterbacks and a stud tight end, you can take an eighth wide receiver or a third tight end. Go with whatever available player you think has the most upside.
Check out more of our Best Ball Content like Best Ball Overrated Quarterbacks