It is finally that time of the year. The Super Bowl is over and the offseason begins. For many, this is their time away from fantasy football. For others, like myself, this is the beginning of the draft season. Last year I completed well over 800 best ball drafts and plan to do the same this year. I have been very successful when it comes to best ball drafts over the years and want to give an edge to the degenerates like myself who start drafting this early.
This early in the offseason, there are always a lot of questions surrounding players, rookies, coaching etc. While many would look at this as a reason not to draft this early due to risk of situations being murky, I look at this as an opportunity to gain an edge.
While I draft all formats this early, I tend to do very well in the double-up (2X) format. The two sites I use that offer this format is FFPC and MFL10s now known as Bestball10s. I personally prefer FFPC who pay out the top 6/12 whereas MFL10s pay out the top 5/12. The FFPC has higher stakes double-ups ranging from $35-$250 and MFL10 from $10-$100. There are also different scoring systems on both sites, so be sure to familiarize yourself with the scoring before you start drafting. Just be prepared that the double-ups tend to fill much as traditional leagues, so you may wait some time between leagues.
This early in the offseason, there are more questions about situations than any other time of the year. While this scares many people off of drafting early, you can use this to your advantage in double-up drafts. One of the major advantages is that some of your opponents will draft them exactly how they draft traditional best ball leagues. You can use this to your advantage early in the draft season more than any other time. Remember, you only need to come in the top half to double-up your money.
Let’s take an FFPC draft which is 28 rounds and tight end premium scoring as an example. I prefer this format due to the fact that kickers are still rostered. A big advantage I use especially in a double-up is that I will always draft three kickers with job security. You will likely have 1-3 teams in each league that by the end of the season will have 0 active kickers. If you are drafting your kickers early, you are doing it right. This is a big advantage with no in-season pickups. For FFPC my preferred roster construction for a double-up is 3QB, 6-8RB, 7-9WR, 3/4TE, 3K, 2/3DEF. For MFL I prefer 2/3QB, 5/6RB, 6-7WR, 3TE, 2DEF. Who I have on my roster will depend on if I take the low or high end of each position, but I tend to always fall into these ranges. When doing a double-up, I only draft two defenses on MFL and almost always on FFPC. My reasoning for this is you want to try and avoid injuries throughout the season, but they do happen. I would rather take that extra running back or wide receiver, knowing that your two defenses will always produce weekly points, since there is no injury risk.
When it comes to drafting players early on in double-ups, you want to draft the “safest” team possible. Every year you get the guys like Josh Gordon and Martavis Bryant who are oozing with upside and get over-drafted, but in reality, their floor is zero weekly points. Of course every year you get guys like James Conner who will be a league winner but remember you don’t need to win the league. For every James Conner, there are five or more Martavis Bryant’s. If you do want to take a shot or two at boom or bust players in a double-up, take them towards the end of the draft. Another example of the type of player you should not be drafting is Rob Gronkowski. Sure he has the upside of being the best tight end in football, but there is a better chance he retires. Let someone else take that risk. Instead draft guys like Vance McDonald or Jared Cook later. One last strategy I will share when drafting in this format is to draft running backs early. You want to draft running backs that have a clear role the following year. I will usually try to have at least three running backs in the first four rounds. If the value isn’t there, you can always draft the “ppr” running backs later on. Last year if you had 1-2 studs and guys like James White, Jalen Richard, TJ Yeldon, Austin Ekeler who received a few weekly receptions, you would have been most likely cashed in most leagues.
If you are looking to build a bankroll or first getting into best ball, go ahead and use this strategy and you will win! Remember, in a double-up your goal is to come in the top half; draft as “safe” as possible and double your money. For example, if you draft fifty double-ups and cash in thirty, you turn your fifty entries into sixty for the following year. Do another fifty double-ups and with the ten extra entries, take your shot in top three payout leagues.
Thank you for taking the time to read this draft strategy article and be sure to follow me at @FFLINX.