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Tips and strategy for winning your 2023 best ball fantasy football league

We run through fantasy football best ball strategy, sleepers, and tips for your 2023 draft.

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images

Best Ball leagues for Fantasy Football have surged in popularity over the past few years. It’s an exciting format where you can draft a team (or multiple teams) and then leave them to play out - no weekly management required.

Let’s dive into how these leagues operate and provide strategy tips, along with sleeper picks, to gear up for the 2023 season.

Settings

Best Ball Fantasy Football Leagues only require effort during the draft. Once you assemble your team, the highest scorers from each position automatically contribute to your weekly total. There’s no need for waiver wire moves, setting lineups, or distinguishing between starters and bench players. For example, if your league has 2 RB spots and you’ve drafted five RBs, only the top two performers for any given week will count toward your score.

First-round pick

In best ball leagues, wide receivers like Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Cooper Kupp are highly prized, ranking within the top five picks.

Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, and A.J. Brown are also considered first-round values, especially toward the latter part of the first pickings in a 12-team draft. Christian McCaffrey and Austin Ekeler remain top-five assets. Rounding out the first round are rookie RB Bijan Robinson and Travis Kelce.

When to draft a QB?

In 12-team best ball leagues, quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen are often taken in the second or third round, followed by Jalen Hurts.

Then, Lamar Jackson and Joe Burrow typically find homes in rounds three to four.

Justin Fields and Justin Herbert are commonly drafted in rounds four to five, providing great value without breaking the bank on high-upside quarterbacks. If those choices don’t pan out, securing someone like Geno Smith in round eight or nine serves as a solid fallback option.

When to draft a TE?

To secure Travis Kelce, you’d typically need a late first-round or early second-round pick. But if he’s out of reach, there’s merit in picking several later-round tight ends and banking on a breakout season from at least one of them.

Players like Dalton Schultz, Dalton Kincaid, Chigoziem Okonkwo, and Sam LaPorta fit the bill between rounds 10 to 13 or even later.

Sleeper picks

We’ve discussed several tight ends and Geno Smith as a quarterback option. Adding to this, when seeking players drafted in the later rounds with the potential to become top fantasy producers, Rookie QB Anthony Richardson is noteworthy; he’s typically chosen between rounds 8-10.

Moreover, Rashaad Penny presents significant upside around the 7th or 8th round. With his high-reward potential, he’s apt for best ball formats. Similarly, Miami Dolphins’ rookie De’Von Achane stands out. He’s the type of player who can notch long touchdowns any given week and potentially expand his role as the season progresses.

Players to fade

Mike Evans, DK Metcalf, and Deebo Samuel seem to be drafted earlier than their current value warrants. I often pass on them, suspecting their selection is driven more by name recognition than actual fantasy expectations. Their upside doesn’t appear as promising as in earlier seasons when they were genuine fantasy standouts.

Summary

Best ball fantasy leagues are a lot of fun, and they become a very popular choice among football enthusiasts. In these drafts, prioritize players with high upside, even if they’re seemingly inconsistent on the surface. Their peak performances will benefit you without the stress of deciding when to start or sit them. QB Anthony Richardson, RB Rashaad Penny, and RB De’Von Achane are a few examples that come to mind.