Show Me the Money!!!
Would you like to wager $25 to win $1,000,000?
If your answer is yes, then let me introduce you to Tournament Best Ball. Tournament Best Ball is like other best ball leagues except Weeks 1-12 are the regular season and Weeks 13-16 are used as a playoffs (top 3 per bracket advance until the Finals). A field of 165,888 teams is eventually whittled down to one winner of a million dollars with small payouts to everyone making the playoffs.
Here are the full rules from Draft.com (https://draft.com/events/best-ball-championship/)
How do strategies differ for Tournament Best Ball (compared to Normal Best Ball)?
Variance matters even more in tournaments. Your team needs to come out on top in a field of 165888 lineups. That means placing more and bigger bets and having them pay off will let you get ahead of the field. Check out our article on variance:
Read more about The Importance of Variance
Early Season Matters.
Just like in traditional fantasy football, if you don’t make the playoffs, it doesn’t matter how strong your end of season is. Avoid players like Kareem Hunt (8 game suspension), Melvin Gordon (holdout) and AJ Green (injury) as they do not help much in the regular season and they’re also no guarantee to have great production when being brought into the fold. Unless there is an extreme ADP discount, we’re not drafting these players.
Late Season Matters.
Didn’t we just say the early season matters? Have we lost our minds? Well, everything matters and late season might matter more. With some good drafting and a healthy dose of luck, your team can make it to the playoffs. Once you get there, your team needs to go bonkers placing top 3 out of 24 in weeks 13-15 against other powerhouse teams and then crush it in the Finals in order to win the top prize.
Guys like Tony Pollard, Austin Ekeler, and Justin Jackson could lose a lot of steam if and when Zeke and Gordon come back. Players who are injury risks like Todd Gurley, Leonard Fournette, Will Fuller, Keke Coutee, Jordan Reed, and Tyler Eifert might not make it to the end of the season to help you in the playoffs when your team needs them the most. Lamar Jackson is healthy right now, but is expected to take a lot of punishment during the season. Limiting these types of players especially in limited slots (QB/TE) is critical.
High level handcuffs can pay dividends like Rashaad Penny, Royce Freeman, or Damien Harris as the season wears on. They’re the type of players that can provide extreme value if they hit.
Tournament style play is often seen on popular fantasy sports sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. Teams are mainly drafting for extreme upside to come out on top of a very large field. Winning lineups often have a super stack where an owner goes all-in and drafts 3+ players from one NFL team. Betting big on one team creates a lot of variance in total points scored and provides differentiation from most lineups in the tournament.
We picked one team per division that can be drafted as Super Stacks (3 or 4 players from one team):
- Eagles – Wentz, Sanders, Jeffrey, Jackson, Ertz
- Steelers – Conner, Juju (at the 1-2 turn), McDonald, Big Ben
- Texans – Hopkins, Watson, Hyde, Duke Johnson
- Raiders – Brown, Jacobs, Williams, Carr, Waller
- Lions – Kerryon, Golladay, Jones, Stafford
- Seahawks – Carson, Lockett, Penny, Wilson, DK Metcalf (currently injured but can be drafted really late)
- Falcons – Julio, Freeman, Ridley, Ryan, Hooper, Sanu
Draft for Upside at Every Position
In these huge tournaments, all of your picks have to hit and have some upside. That means not totally ignoring the QB or TE positions. Around the 10th round is usually where the mid-tier QBs (Newton, Goff, Winston) that could breakout are all gone. Potential break-out TEs are in even shorter supply drying up around the 8th round (Cook, McDonald).
If the top end QBs and TEs fall to your pick, do not hesitate to draft one of them. You’ll lose out on value at the other positions, but you’ll have to count on the depth of the position to be able to find some gems (rookie RBs, backup RBs, deep threat WR, or high TD-upside WRs).
Ultimately, this is a game of skill and luck, so prepare, draft, and then cross your fingers!
Written on 9/1/19 by Winston Lee