DRAFTKINGS BEST BALL BREAKDOWN
Draftkings Best Ball
This time of year is firmly Best Ball season, or 'SZN' if you're down with the kids. Dynasty rookie drafts are behind us, redraft season isn't yet upon us and aside from sending trade offers and trying hard to convince your home league to move platforms, what else is there to do? Some of what I cover here is also in my general strategy overview and if you're new to the format, I'd recommend reading both.
Of all the Best Ball platforms Draftkings offers the greatest difference in entry fees, with drafts from $1 all the way up to $1060. Like every platform, there are nuances and differences so it's important to understand these before diving in.
First thing first, it's important to discuss the difference between 'Tournament' and 'Sit & Go' options.
Sit & Go offers a more classic best ball experience. You have a choice of 3/6/12 team drafts for $1/$10/$109/$1060. With twelve-team options being the most popular, most of my content will be tailored to that. In twelve-team leagues, the top three teams will take home the prizes, with first-place taking roughly 60% of the pot ($5.60 in $1 leagues and $56 in $10 leagues), whilst second and third place share smaller chunks of the prize pool. Leagues run till week 17 of the regular season and the places are settled by the highest-scoring teams.
Tournaments offer a much higher upside but also a much smaller chance of winning. These contests are lottery tickets, and generally speaking, you'll need to stack well whilst not reaching on ADP to do well. There are three price points for tournaments;
$3 - 20 entry max - $50k top prize (116640 max entrants)
$20 - 150 entry max - $1m top prize (203040 max entrants)
$555 - 59 entry max - $250k top prize (1980 max entrants)
To have a chance to win the top prize you'll need to be in the top two of your 12 man league at the end of Wk14, then you'll need to top a 12 man league of people who advanced into Wk15. This process repeats for round 3 (Wk16) to progress into the final in Wk17. If you're not lucky enough to progress you will still pick up prize money in these rounds, but generally, it's nothing to write home about. The prize structure is quite top-heavy.
Draftkings, like Underdog, use a twenty man roster for best ball drafts and deciding how to balance your roster will be a huge part of your success or lack thereof.
Quarterbacks - Draftkings ADP puts QB's higher than any other single QB best ball format. It's important to familiarise yourself with their ADP before diving in and finding yourself with a late-round selection of Drew Lock as your only 'starter'. I'd recommend looking at my stacking charts for Draftkings. There are two common approaches to the position.
A) Take one early from the elite eight with rushing upside, and then one later at a time that feels right for your team.
B) Take a total of three.
If you go with the first option it's important to understand why we're only taking two QB's. Let's say you've taken Mahomes, Lamar or Allen. How often are the likes of Burrow, Tannehill & Darnold going to outscore these options? Not too often and if we have more than one of these backup options on the bench they're taking up valuable spots that could be used on WR's. In reality, if Lamar, Allen or Mahomes bust for the season then your team will probably be outside of the prizes. We look to offset the cost of taking a QB early by making sure we have more WR/RB's in total. Taking more than three quarterbacks generally proves to be unnecessary for similar reasoning. In that scenario, you use 20% of your total roster on a position that can only start one individual each week.
Wide Receivers - This position is the heart of the best ball rosters. Wide receivers outscore running backs at almost every round's ADP. Jack Miller and Mike Leone at Establish The Run have written extensively about this and I'd urge you to read their stuff. In short, we want as many wide receivers as possible, without ruining the depth of our other positions. You are required to start three each week and will likely end up with one filling in your flex position as well.
Generally, I draft 8-10 receivers per team.
Running Backs - this can be a tricky position to deal with in best-ball and I'll have more content regarding the position coming in the next few weeks. Until then it's best to remember that too many running backs aren't going to do you any favours. Each week you'll be starting two, with a third possibly in the flex. Similar to what I mentioned in the Quarterbacks section, your choice of when to take RB's should be dictated by how much early draft capital you invest in the position. I typically like to take two in the first two rounds if possible. With that said, I don't reach much at all in my rankings or against ADP to get a back here and will happily pivot to receiver or tight end if need be. After round two the running backs drop off in value quickly and it's time to hit the receivers heavily. The so-called 'running back dead zone' is rounds 3-7 and there are years of evidence to show the majority of running backs in this area don't live up to ADP. It's not uncommon for me to draft one or two in the first two rounds and then avoid the position entirely till rounds eight or beyond. With that said, don't be afraid of taking a back in this area if they fall beyond their ADP and you believe in them.
I aim for 4-6 running backs per team.
Tight ends - All the theory here is consistent with the quarterback section above. If you take one or two TE's early, you don't want to give up more draft capital to the position when you need to draft the other areas. If you don't go early TE, you'll want three to hopefully get enough spike weeks out of the position. Although TE's can play the flex, they're not worth drafting with the hope of this, unless you're talking about the top three.
If you've played DFS on Draftkings this scoring format will feel familiar to you. It's full PPR with three-point bonuses for either a 300+ yard passing game, a 100+ yard rushing game or a 100+ yard receiving game.
Lastly, we get down to the nitty-gritty. Choose either a slow draft (which will be labelled as such in the title), which has a max of eight hours per pick or a fast draft (not labelled as such), with 30 seconds per pick. The fast drafts generally take about 40 minutes to complete and start as soon as they're full. Slow drafts take closer to two or three weeks to complete.
There's so much that goes into best-ball strategy and I'm always happy to take questions and talk about my thought process. Find me on Twitter @BestBallUKNFL
If you haven't played Draftkings before, sign up using my referral code and we'll both get a $20 bonus if you deposit $20. That's enough for 20 free drafts!