Juwan Johnson

Positional Hot Spots in Pre-Draft Best Ball

At this time of year, the NFL Fantasy Football space is dominated by Dynasty content. Everybody is talking about NFL Teams, Free Agency, The Combine, and NFL Mock Drafts while Redraft season is a million miles away. Don’t get me wrong, I love rookie hype and lopsided trade offers as much as the next guy, but I also love to draft. And I assume you feel the same way; otherwise, you wouldn’t have clicked on this article. In my opinion, the best way to scratch that itch is with pre-draft Best Ball on Underdog Fantasy. 

If you haven’t signed up for Underdog yet, please do so immediately. But then come right back because I’m about to go over my favorite “positional hot spots” in Underdog’s standard 12-team drafts. 


In these 12-team Underdog drafts, you don’t need the upside of Patrick Mahomes or Josh Allen to win. In fact, their current cost (mid-second round) makes them difficult to draft outside of large-field tournaments. While I’m not opposed to sprinkling in some Jalen Hurts or Joe Burrow, I think the real hot spot for QB value is closer to the middle of the draft, roughly rounds eight to eleven. Here you’ll find a healthy mix of floor and ceiling at the position. I love grabbing two QBs from this tier and then a third much later. 

Favorite targets: Dak Prescott, Deshaun Watson, Daniel Jones, Trey Lance, Geno Smith, Jared Goff, Russell Wilson

Wide Receiver

Once upon a time, the WR-heavy approach was just a cute niche in the fantasy football space. Now it’s the standard. Everybody wants to build around elite WRs and those juicy spike weeks. To ensure you don’t fall too far behind at the position, grab at least one WR in the first three rounds and try to have three or more by the end of round six. 

Favorite early targets: Justin Jefferson (duh), Ja’Marr Chase (also duh), CeeDee Lamb, A.J. Brown, Tee Higgins, Chris Olave, DeVonta Smith, DeAndre Hopkins

Favorite mid targets: Amari Cooper, Mike Williams, Calvin Ridley, Drake London, Christian Watson, Jaxon Smith-Njigba, Tyler Lockett

Running Back

While many fear the hurricane of uncertainty that is the NFL Draft, I welcome the chaos with open arms. The RB hot spot, which stretches from Round 8 to Round 15, is ripe with landmines. However, many of the rookies and volatile veterans in this range will see their ADP spike massively in a month or two when they land in favorable offenses or avoid being replaced. I like to take a “Hero RB” approach, grabbing one or two RBs early and then loading up later on after most of the desirable WRs are gone. 

Favorite targets: Zach Charbonnet, Khalil Herbert, Rashaad Penny, James Conner, Antonio Gibson, Devon Achane, Raheem Mostert, Elijah Mitchell, Samaje Perine, Sean Tucker

Tight End

Okay, so there’s not really a hot spot for drafting TEs. Sorry. The position is too spread out and individual TEs can see wild swings in draft position from one board to the next. Instead, I’ll lay out a few approaches to the position.

1) If you draft Kelce or Andrews, you only need to grab one more TE and you can usually wait quite a while to draft that player. Chigoziem Okonkwo and Juwan Johnson are solid TE2 options for this build.

2) If your TE1 comes from the next tier (someone like Kyle Pitts or Dallas Goedert) you’ll want to add two TEs in the later rounds to ensure you have some spike-week potential. 

3) If you really procrastinate and find yourself with David Njoku or Pat Freiermuth as your TE1, don’t panic. Take a few deep breaths and then immediately draft Greg Dulcich as your TE2. Round things out with a Hayden Hurst or Gerald Everett and you should be fine. 

Bonus Tip

Pre-Draft Best Ball drafts on Underdog are 20 rounds instead of 18. Because of these extra rounds, I am more likely to draft three QBs and three TEs to the same team. There are always usable players at those positions very late in the draft, long after the interesting WRs and RBs have dried up. Sam Howell, Ryan Tannehill, Baker Mayfield, and Desmond Ridder fit the bill at QB while Noah Fant, Jelani Woods, and Cade Otton are attractive TE3 options in those final rounds.

Thanks for reading this article! Follow me on Twitter at @fantasyfreezer if you’d like to hear more from me. I love discussing strategy and trades and engaging in heated debates about this very silly game we play.

About The Author

%d bloggers like this: