Best Ball 101: Win Rates & Roster Construction (Fantasy Football)

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Every week leading up to the season, the Fantasy Footballers will be giving tips, insights, and observations for playing Best Ball on Underdog Fantasy.

At the end of Thursday’s Mock Draft episode, Jason broke down some simple roster construction parameters for approaching Best Ball.

Roster Construction is the key. You have 18 spots and every one of them is valuable because you can’t alter your lineup at all…

In Best ball, you can play in a 3-person/6/10/12 team league or a massive tournament like Underdog’s BestBallMania3. This is a 450,000+-entry tournament with a 470-team Week 17 final. You’re playing to make it to the playoffs and ultimately win a ton of money. 

Best Ball Positional Advance Rates

We compiled some data from last year’s BestBall Mania worth highlighting the importance of Roster Construction looking “advance rates”.

Advance Rates are calculated by taking the total number of times a strategy (i.e. team rosters 5QBs) or a player (Cooper Kupp) was drafted and dividing that by the number of playoff rosters they ended up on. For a deeper dive on the topic, I wrote a primer article entitled Best Ball Win Rates & What They Tell Us.

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For reference, on an individual player basis, anything above 8 percent is really good. 10-15 percent and you’re cooking with gas. 20+ is otherworldly and you need to frame that bad boy. To give context on how insanely good Cooper Kupp was last year as a 4th/5th round pick: 48 percent of the rosters with Cooper Kupp on them got to the Best Ball Mania playoffs. The next closest player

If you want a deeper dive on the topic, Borg & Betz on our DFS Podcast discuss Best Ball all summer long.

Quarterbacks

2-3 QBs are what we’re shooting for.

  • Teams with 2 total QBs had the highest advance rate last year- 17.5%
  • If you get an elite guy (Josh Allen), no need for a 3rd QB.

Runningbacks

5-6 RBs had the highest advance rate. Both roster constructions had a 17.1% win rate.

    • So many early RBs injured/busted last year (CMC, Henry)
    • Those busted teams relied on four RBs and immediately were tossed aside.

Wide Receivers

6 WRs is a minimum; no team made the BestBall Mania finals with fewer than six WRs but 8-to-9 WRs had the highest advance rate last year. Sometimes it’s about quantity over quality at WR.

Tight-Ends

Teams w/ 3TE builds had a higher advance rate (18%) to playoffs, BUT 2TE teams had more upside to get to semi-finals/finals win it all.


In summary,  for your 18 spots you’re thinking: 2-3 QBs/ 5-6 RBs / 6-9 WRs / 2-3 TEs

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