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Tips and strategy for winning your best ball fantasy football league in 2022

We discuss strategies to utilize during your best ball drafts.

Julio Jones #85 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks to catch a pass during pregame of a preseason NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins at Raymond James Stadium on August 13, 2022 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images

As we continue to chug through the preseason, we get closer to the start of fantasy football drafts. If you don’t feel like waiting or want to play a different kind of fantasy football, check out best ball.

Unlike other fantasy football formats, best ball allows you a deeper roster because there are no waivers or trades as the season starts. Each week, your best possible lineup is calculated, which is your lineup for the week. You don’t have to worry about playing the right player weekly or have to lament leaving a player on the bench. If your backup quarterback throws five touchdowns and your starter fumbles five times, it will automatically be switched for you! All you have to do is monitor your progress throughout the season and eventually check back to see if you won your league!


Depending on the site that you use, your roster format can change. Most commonly, your roster will consist of one quarterback, two running backs, three wide receivers, one tight end, one FLEX (running back, wide receiver or tight end) and then 10 bench spots. The standard for best ball drafts tends to be a half-point point per reception (PPR), but that can be altered to whatever you and your league mates would like to do.

First round pick

The good thing about best ball is that it tends to take pressure off your first-round draft pick. Even if you happen to bust, you will have extra draft picks to fill out your bench. Since it automatically updates your lineup for you every week, you have a better chance of not hurting from a reach in your draft.

Regarding the tops of drafts, I’d argue that the first draft pick will likely be Christian McCaffrey. Even if he does succumb to another injury, you would have other running backs automatically inserted into your lineup. If you pick up his backup as insurance, you can worry less about taking him. Otherwise, it depends on where you draft in the round, but you will likely follow the same draft advice from a 10 or 12-team league. You’re looking for a high-scoring running back or wide receiver to anchor your roster.

When to draft a QB?

This is a great question for best ball. The answer is almost anytime. If you want one of the top guys like Josh Allen or Patrick Mahomes, you will have to draft them early. But if you want a solid quarterback, you should have between four and five draft picks to put together a running back and wide receiver combo that could stack with your quarterback.

Best ball strategy could see you draft Cooper Kupp in the first, Cam Akers in the third and then pair them both with Matthew Stafford later in the draft if you are confident in the Los Angeles Rams offense. However, as you decide on your approach at quarterbacks, keep in mind that you will be drafting two or three of them. The guys that are ranked lower than the stars still have value because you can benefit in best ball from their one good game a season.

When to draft a TE?

The tight end position is one of the more fickle no matter the fantasy football format you play. The good news for best ball is that you just need guys with a high likelihood of touchdowns when you draft tight ends. They don’t even have to come every week as you just need one of the tight ends you roster to have a relevant game each week so they can make it into your final lineup.

Similar to drafting a quarterback, you will have to take them early if you want the top-tier guy. Guys like Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, George Kittle, and Kyle Pitts should all be drafted in the first three or four rounds. After that, you will likely be drafting your tight ends later. Again, the pressure is off because if you draft two or three tight ends, the highest scoring tight end will be inserted into your lineup automatically. My best ball strategy usually sees me pairing a tight end with a quarterback that I draft. This strategy is called stacking and is most prevalent in best ball formats.

Sleeper picks

One of the most advantageous aspects of best ball drafts is that sleepers aren’t really sleepers. You end up drafting 18 players for your roster, and your league will get through 180-216 players depending on its size. When you are looking at sleepers, you can see which quarterbacks you end up with and take their second or third receiver who is liable to catch a handful of touchdowns on the season.

Guys like Julio Jones of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Robbie Anderson of the Carolina Panthers, Jalen Guyton from the Los Angeles Chargers, Donovan Peoples-Jones of the Cleveland Browns and Nico Collins of the Houston Texans will see added value in best ball drafts.

Players to fade

It would have to take a really bad scenario for a player to truly be a fade in best ball. It depends on how your best ball draft goes, but you may want to fade a player who appears as the best available but doesn’t have the best outlook. Tyreek Hill has been a top wide receiver during his career with the Kansas City Chiefs. He is now on the Miami Dolphins with Tua Tagovailoa as his quarterback.

While Hill is likely to still have a good season, he should experience a downgrade at quarterback. So he shouldn’t be selected at his normal draft position, which would be in the top two rounds during his time in Kansas City.

There are few players that I refuse to draft in best ball, but here are others that I wouldn’t be drafting at their average draft position (ADP). Josh Jacobs from the Las Vegas Raiders, Byron Pringle on the Chicago Bears, Kenny Golladay of the New York Giants, and Marvin Jones Jr. from the Jacksonville Jaguars are some of those you might choose to avoid.


If you are the type of person that laments having to make lineup decisions and stresses that you started the wrong player, best ball could be for you! It is a mock draft for which you can end up winning a championship. Best ball is a great change of pace in fantasy football and is a league that you can just keep an eye on after drafting. Even if you have a free hour one night, you can hop into a best ball draft since you don’t have to worry about league interactions like waivers or trades.