Daily Fantasy Sports

How to Play Fantasy Football Best Ball Leagues

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Hello! I wanted to take this post to do a general introduction to how to play Fantasy Football Best Ball leagues.

Best ball has become a popular format over the past few years, and it is easy to see why! It incorporates arguably the best (and my favorite) aspect of Fantasy Football in the draft and requires zero maintenance throughout the season.

Let’s dive a little more into the basics.


How to Play Fantasy Football Best Ball Leagues

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Format / Scoring

Like in every other league, make sure you have an understanding of the scoring system being used. PPR vs. Half PPR, points per quarterback touchdown, etc. Fantasy Football 101!

Next would be to evaluate which positions are being calculated. For DRAFT, the roster breakdown for scoring consists of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1FLEX. You’ll want to keep this in the back of your mind while drafting your team and addressing needs.

The Draft

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As mentioned previously, this is the best and only part of a best ball league that requires your attention! Best ball has zero waivers, zero free agents, zero trades. People often refer to best ball as “set and forget” leagues. Once you draft your team, there is no additional involvement. This is why the draft is very important.

Obviously, injuries are going to happen to your team. If you think you can beat the injury bug, I have a timeshare to show you.

There are a lot of different ways to go about drafting your team, which makes the format that much more fun. Especially in the later rounds, when players are seeking out handcuffs for their running backs or adding that high risk, high upside receiver to complete their teams.

So I Really Don’t Need to Set My Lineup?

Correct! After each week, your highest scoring players automatically slot into your “starting” roster for that week.

Again, you do NOT set your weekly roster! If you have two quarterbacks on your roster, it takes the best score and counts it for that particular week. Same with your top two running backs, three receivers, tight end, and flex.

The flex gives teams, well, flexibility to design their roster in unique ways. I have seen teams take just three running backs and load up on WRs, and vice versa.

When Does the Season End? How do I Find the Right League For Me?

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There are a few different formats for best ball. One is a simple regular season, where the league goes through Week 16 and teams that finish 1-2-3 get a payout.

There are also tournaments, which typically run from Weeks 1-12 and have a higher risk but greater possible payout. This is for all the hardcore players out there looking for that big tournament win. Leagues are available for as little as $1!

Do I Value These Players the Same as I Would in Season-Long Leagues?

Nope! With this format, it gives players who are not the most consistent a better chance to shine. Remember, it calculates your highest scorers at the position for each week.

While in season long you aren’t benching your studs, you don’t have to be concerned about that with a best ball format. If one of your receivers has a two-touchdown, 150-yard game and that makes up for 50% of his production for the entire season, it still helps your score for that given week.

There is no stress about leaving that guy on the bench due to inconsistency. This is particularly relevant when selecting WRs, as that is the position with the highest chance of a monster game from a non-stud.

So Why Play Best Ball?

If you are itching to draft for the 2019 season, best ball formats are likely your only option at the moment. It is a great source for tracking ADP and keeping tabs on the players throughout the summer to find value that nobody else sees.

As training camp begins, the pecking order on each roster becomes more and more clear, and the “sleeper” tag is all but eliminated. If you have confidence in your drafting ability, or just love to go through the process of a draft, this is the format for you.

It’s a long summer out there, and drafting can keep you sharp for whatever format you decide to play once the regular season arrives.

I hope this intro to best ball was helpful. Happy drafting!


Get prepared for the 2019 Fantasy Football season by checking out the rest of our Fantasy Football content.

About Finkytown

Bert is a 15+ year veteran in fantasy sports. He wanted to start writing about fantasy sports so here he is. Yahoo! calls him platinum. You can chop up with him on twitter @Finkytown.

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