Introducing the Best Ball Interview Series

Memorial Day weekend is almost here, and that means it is officially NFL best ball season! This summer I will be interviewing several Run Pure Sports Coodinators about their NFL best ball experience and strategies. Whether it’s high level strategies or individual player takes, it is useful to get several points of view for best ball. So look for a different RPS coordinator best ball interview each week!

I will also be writing other best ball content on RunPure this summer, mainly keeping a close eye on ADP (average draft position) movement and how we can take advatage to find an edge. You will also find me on the RPS Youtube channel for live drafts and weekly short videos on best ball strategy.

So since I will be contributing to best ball here on RPS this summer, I figured I’d introduce myself and my background in NFL best ball. An informal interview with myself so to speak. Haha!

 

How long have I played best ball?

I drafted a handful of best ball contests on Underdog Fantasy in 2020 and 2021. But in 2022, I decided to really take best ball seriously and drafted approximately 50 best ball teams last summer. I had a successful season with an approximate 27% advance rate to the playoffs. But the best part is one team made the BBM3 Finals on Underdog! I did not max enter either, I only had 9 entries in the BBM3 contest too! More on the BBM3 Finals below.

 

Why I love best ball?

I’ve been playing DFS for 10 years now, and I still love DFS as much as when I started. But there is no doubt the competition has gotten sharper (thanks to sites like RPS) and the edge is less than it was 7-10 years ago. I think best ball right now is where DFS was at in 2014-2016. We currently have just a few years of best ball data. And there is good content out there and starting to be simulators, but it’s not near to the level of daily fantasy. But just like DFS, I think best ball will get more and more competitive each year as more great content and simulators are added. So I really want to enjoy and take advantage of best ball now, while the market is still learning how to play most efficiently.

After having success last season in best ball, I’m officially hooked and all-in! I can honestly say, having a 3 week sweat to make the best ball finals was probably the most exciting “sweat” I’ve had and even more exciting than DFS wins I’ve had. You’re literally hanging on every play for your best ball team(s) and players you rooting against (opponent’s players) for 3 weeks. It’s truly a wild ride!

 

“Best” best ball experience?

As I already mentioned, last year I made Underdog’s Best Ball Mania 3 Finals. The competition started with approximately 451K entries, and I made it to the top 470 in the Finals! Last year the top prize was 2 million and 2nd place was 1 million and I was one of 470 entries playing for that!

I had a Cowboys stack that played Thursday night of week 17 and Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott did good, but TE Dalton Schultz caught two TDs and by the end of the night my account read 1,000,000 and I was in 2nd place!

I’ve played DFS long enough to know there were still a ton of games to be played. But I had a huge advantage with a low-owned Schultz and all my remaining players were healthy. A lot of finals teams were decimated by late-season injuries, so I had every reason to believe I could have a strong finish if the rest of my roster played like they had through the playoffs.

Well, Sunday came and that did NOT happen. My running backs were solid but my other quarterbacks and wide receivers absolutely choked (or did not play – Tee Higgins). Justin Jefferson played like Van Jefferson with one catch!

So not the finish I was hoping for, but as I mentioned the 3 week sweat was amazing and I want to run that back this year! Coming that close and not finishing high just motivated me more to crush it in best ball this year!

 

Which best ball site do I like the best?

I’ve played best ball mostly on Underdog Fantasy. But last year I did a few Drafters and DraftKings tournaments. I think they all offer something unique and so I am going to be heavily invested in all 3 best ball sites this season. I do like that Underdog added a regular season prize pool to their BBM4 contest.

 

Favorite lineup construction for best ball?

I’ve always leaned more Zero-RB builds. And my BBM3 Finals team was a modified zero-RB build. I am coming around more to hero RB or even double hero RB lineups builds. Especially since running backs are falling this year. But if you do that, you still need to make sure to get 4 receivers by the 8th round before that position gets ugly.

I think I may draft more Zero-RB or Hero RB on DraftKings and Drafters since it’s full-point PPR. And may do more Hero RB and double Hero RB (or bimodal RB) on Underdog Fantasy since it’s similar to FanDuel and touchdown hunting.

 

Favorite best ball strategy?

You’ll hear a lot of best ball content hammer different strategies like ADP value, week 17 correlation, and more. I think it’s important to utilize these strategies but to not overdo or hyperfocus on any one strategy. If I’m overstacking or only focused on week 17 correlation then I’m probably hampering my team’s upside or even chances to make playoffs. Week 17 correlation doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t make the playoffs in best ball.

So make sure you have a balanced build, that accounts for bye weeks and gives the best chance to make the playoffs. Because once you make the playoffs, anything can happen! My favorite strategy is probably to simply focus on stacking top offenses or offenses that could break out this season and be a top 12 offense. I don’t overstack and think the sweet spot is 2-4 players from one team in a stack.

Finally, as I mentioned earlier, the wide receiver position dries up in the 9th round. Hayden Winks of the Underdog Network, has made the point to make sure to draft at least 4 wide receivers in the top 8 rounds (can be in any order depending on the build strategy you use). You can always come back to receiver later in the draft for a deep flier.

 

I look forward to contributing a lot of best ball content on RunPure all summer!

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