Beginner’s Guide To Best Ball Football Draft Strategy Pt.2

by Davis Peng
Best Ball Football Draft Strategy

Welcome back to Fantasy Six Pack's Beginner's Guide To Best Ball Football Draft Strategy Pt.2! If you still need to read the first part, you should before reading below.

My Beginner's Guide To Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Strategy will be based on the Underdog Best Ball Championship tournament rules. The rules are a Half-PPR scoring system, a snake draft, and 18 total players. The scoring lineup is 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, and 1 Flex, with ten bench players that will rotate into the starting lineup based on the position's highest-scoring person. 

I will give my draft strategies and tips in this Beginner's Guide To Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Strategy article. These articles will cover beginner to advanced concepts. Reading all these articles will help you prepare for Best Ball season, where I have consistently had over 30% advance rates and been a finalist multiple times. 

I am a big proponent of Best Ball Football tournaments and currently do all my championship drafts/tournaments on Underdog Fantasy. Underdog can be accessed via app or on their website, use the PROMO code SIXPACK, or the link above, for your first deposit, and you will get a money-back guarantee during your first month.

Beginner's Guide To Best Ball Football Draft Strategy

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Contribution Points And Why It Matters

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Let's discuss "contribution" and what it means in Best Ball. Contribution points are the final set of points a player has contributed to your roster that week and the season in total. To further break this down, I will emphasize that total points scored are near-pointless in Best Ball. Not all points scored in a season contribute to a team. How do we differentiate contributed points vs. regular points? It's pretty simple when you break it down. In the first article, we establish that you need approximately 1680 points by week 14 to have a high possibility of advancing into playoffs. That averages your weekly score to 120 points per week, which means your team needs to average 15 points per position.

In Underdog Half-PPR formats, only a handful of players per position can do that. In the 2022 season only a total of 12 players were able to do that through the skill positions. How do we accomplish the 120 per week consistently? You do that by drafting the players with the most likely outcome of getting contribution points or hitting contribution rates. These players should get touchdowns, have a good balance of yards per reception, and receptions, also known as upside players. The further we get into drafts, the likelihood we find a consistent player with an upside diminishes. That's fine, your goal is to average 120 points or more per week, but that doesn't mean you lose if you miss the mark.

The question to ask is, what points are the contribution points per position? Listed below is the scoring threshold your team should be hitting on average in these three positions Quarterback, Flex, and Tight-End.

  • Quarterbacks - 18.5 points
  • Flex - 10.5 points
  • Tight End - 8 points

When you combine these scores, you will end up with 37 points. This doesn't mean that hitting these markers will guarantee your team is doing well. This is a threshold set of points to establish that your team is losing if your team is doing less than this per week. The flex is the most important indicator. If your flex is under 10.5 points that week, you likely have multiple positions falling short that week. Therefore we should be drafting players with a higher rate of breaking that 10.5 threshold and, at the same time, not settling at 10.5 points.

The million-dollar question is, who should I be drafting, and should I not be drafting? Luckily, I prepared an example of Diontae Johnson and Christian Watson. These two players scored nearly the same amount of points. But the contribution points to their team were significantly different. Christian Watson's contribution was seven times more points than Diontae Johnson's points. Johnson's season is an outlier due to him having no touchdowns but this was an outcome that did occur and was predictable.

The main takeaway from this is to balance your roster with upside players and consistency players. Although a player such as Diontae Johnson may have more “contribution weeks”, doesn’t mean he contributes as much. Building your roster is more than filling position it’s about having the highest amount of points on any given week.

Reference these articles listed to understand hit rates and how scoring works.

Diontae JohnsonPoints ScoredField of 10.5Contribution Christian WatsonPoints ScoredField of 10.5Contribution
Week 19-10.5-1.5Week 15.1
Week 210.7-10.50.2Week 22.4-10.5-8.1
Week 312.4-10.51.9Week 30-10.5-10.5
Week 43.2-10.5-7.3Week 48.8-10.5-1.7
Week 58.5-10.5-2Week 50.3-10.5-10.2
Week 66.1-10.5-4.4Week 60-10.5-10.5
Week 77-10.5-3.5Week 70-10.5-10.5
Week 86-10.5-4.5Week 80-10.5-10.5
Week 9ByeByeByeWeek 91.7-10.5-8.8
Week 108.3-10.5-2.2Week 1030.7-10.520.2
Week 114.2-10.5-6.3Week 1119.1-10.58.6
Week 127.4-10.5-3.1Week 1219-10.58.5
Week 138.5-10.5-2Week 1322.9-10.512.4
Week 1411.2-10.50.7Week 14ByeByeBye
Week 1515-10.54.5Week 156.6-10.5-3.9
Week 168.9-10.5-1.6Week 167.9-10.5-2.6
Week 174.5-10.5-6Week 171.6-10.5-8.9
Week 186.8-10.5-3.7Week 1814.1-10.53.6
Contribution Total7.3Contribution Total53.3

Draft Capital And How To Build Depth Correctly

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In my first article, we talked about how to draft depth. Now that we have also covered what contribution points are. How do we combine that information to maximize the point contributions and spend our capital correctly? We do that by not over-drafting at the position and having faith in your elite level picks. Suppose you have an elite asset such as quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The last thing you should be doing is spending up on another elite quarterback. We don't do this for multiple reasons, but the main one is that you can only play one quarterback a week. The odds of Joe Burrow providing more value to your team than someone such as Patrick Mahomes is unlikely/limited. You need to allocate your top draft picks correctly. Based on last season's score, this is how the weekly points are shaped between the two.

Weeks Mahomes PtsBurrow PtsPlayer UsedBurrow
Week 134.922.2Mahomes
Week 217.316.6Mahomes
Week 318.123Burrrow4.9
Week 424.420.1Mahomes
Week 530.518.3Mahomes
Week 621.632.5Burrrow10.9
Week 727.939.2Burrrow11.3
Week 8Bye14.5
Week 935.119.1Mahomes
Week 1032.1ByeMahomes
Week 1127.528.7Mahomes
Week 1219.318Burrrow
Week 1319.830Mahomes10.2
Week 1422.817.6Mahomes
Week 1532.725.8Mahomes
Week 1623.825.5Mahomes
Week 1725.56.3Mahomes
Week 181511.6Mahomes

This is one example, but this is a general idea of how diminishing returns work in the Best Ball format. Your total gain on the season without including bye-weeks was 37.3 points—a drop in the bucket when you're trying to get 1680 or more on the season. If you feel at any point you are over-drafting at the position, you probably are.

Final Thoughts

We covered a lot about contribution points in this article, and if you enjoyed the second part of this beginner's guide, know there is much more to Best Ball Football. I will cover more advanced items/metrics in the other articles. Although this is a draft-only format, much more goes into the game that will have a significant impact if you're taking a high-end prize or paying the rake on the tournament.

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