Articles

Best Ball Plays & Strategy

Tales From the Underworld 6: Pre-Draft Underdog Best Ball Fun

by RotoUnderworld, April 27, 2021

Passing on TE at the 6-7 turn was risky, but worth it to nab the Russell Wilson-Jalen Hurts QB duo. But by the time it was my turn to pick in the eighth round, all of Dallas Goedert, Logan Thomas and Robert Tonyan were gone. I then realized I could have/should have passed on one of the QBs for a TE and honed in on Daniel Jones later to pair with Golladay. The tilt. It was, in fact, real.

Getting your QBs early in the Rookies and Sophomores format is basically an unwritten rule. Relying solely on this year’s rookie QB crop is a huge gamble, making a Jalen Hurts/Joe Burrow/Justin Herbert/Tua Tagovailoa selection a vital key to success.

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Underdog Best Ball ADPs to Smash At Value

by RotoUnderworld, April 22, 2021

On top of breaking the single season receptions record in 2019, Michael Thomas was also the WR1 in fantasy by a long shot. Although he wasn’t as electric in 2020, he was still the clear alpha while on the field. Look no further than his leading all qualified wide receivers with a 42.5-percent Air Yards Share. I will be ecstatic to take him at a discount this year.

In his rookie season, Brandon Aiyuk logged a 100.0-percent (No. 1) Route Participation rate and a 31.1-percent (No. 28) Air Yards Share. He put on a show against top corners like Kendall Fuller, Marshon Lattimore, and others. With Aiyuk likely getting a QB upgrade, I’ll pass on receivers like Cooper Kupp, Diontae Johnson and Adam Thielen to smash the value with Aiyuk.

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Underdog Best Ball Strategy: The Ultimate Guide

by RotoUnderworld, April 17, 2021

The general strategy at quarterback is getting two QB1 types early. We aren’t quite sure why, but quarterbacks have been going later on Underdog than on other full PPR best ball platforms. If you want to get the 30-35 point spike weeks from a high-end QB1, you have to pay up. And we’re telling you, it’s worth it in Half PPR. A guy we really like at ADP is Dak Prescott, and a guy we’re currently below consensus on at ADP is Aaron Rodgers. 

If you’re grabbing QB and RB early, you should have 8 or 9 WRs on your roster after 18 rounds. In the final few rounds of Underdog drafts, all high-upside QBs are gone, all starting RBs (and some backups) are gone, and the high-upside TEs are usually gone, too. A guy we really like at ADP is Amari Cooper, and a guy we’re currently below consensus on at ADP is Adam Thielen. 

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It’s an Underdog World: Featuring a Best Ball Mania Draft Recap

by RotoUnderworld, September 9, 2020

The quarterback position, while important, doesn’t require as much depth. Two to three will put most teams in a solid spot. If aiming for a top-tier quarterback, the idea is to then wait until late in the draft to grab another. Owning both Lamar Jackson and Russell Wilson is counter-intuitive, and a waste. If the strategy is to wait on a quarterback, then drafting a total of three is ideal. Whichever approach is taken, no more than three is needed; save those spots for the wide receivers and running backs.

Under this format, the wide receiver position is as important as it gets. Due to the wider range of weekly outcomes for receivers, depth is crucial to having success. Each team should leave a draft with no less than eight to have a chance at winning. The more options available, the greater the chances of success. One thing to keep in mind, is that “big play” receivers do not provide an edge. The deep threat receiver is often viewed in that “big play” lens, but they are just as volatile as others.

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More Late-Round Best Ball Receivers to Target

by RotoUnderworld, August 25, 2020

DeSean Jackson has the highest ceiling among all players drafted outside the top 100 and it is not close. His floor is zero and its unlikely he plays a full season but, at an ADP of 148.11, he is an easy bench stash. Jackson can be the WR1 any given week, and three to five monster weeks is all that’s needed to validate the pick. His 42 career catches of 50-plus yards are the most by any player in the history of the NFL.

With an ADP of 206.98, Randall Cobb is nearly an afterthought in Best Ball drafts. The Texans gave him a considerable amount of money given his age, and his competition for short targets is non-existent. There is no tight end of consequence on Houston’s roster and Deshaun Watson has a tendency to prolong plays rather than simply dump off to the RBs. Etch Cobb’s name in with pen as your WR7/8 in Best Ball drafts.

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Best-Value Stacks to Target in Best Ball

by RotoUnderworld, August 18, 2020

Matthew Stafford’s 2019 metrics show a stud with a 107.9 (No. 6 among qualified quarterbacks) True Passer Rating, a +19.0 (No. 6) Production Premium, and 0.51 (No. 5) Fantasy Points per Dropback. Marvin Jones continues to produce at a similar rate to Kenny Golladay with a much lower cost. Swapping Jones for Golladay also presents monster upside, but at less value. This stack will produce some monster fantasy numbers this season.

Drafting any number of Carolina’s skill position players is a winning strategy this year. Teddy Bridgewater is an extreme QB2 value, with an FFPC ADP of 149.62 (QB25). D.J. Moore is a stud with top 5 wide receiver upside and he is a value in the third round. Curtis Samuel proved his talent in 2019 by leading the league in Air Yards but suffering from a 62.6-percent (No. 105) Catchable Target Rate. This stack presents a strong weekly floor with mega-upside when the shootouts come, and they will.

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Five Undervalued Wide Receivers to Target Late in Best Ball

by RotoUnderworld, August 13, 2020

Though he’ll fight for opportunity with Will Fuller and Brandin Cooks, Randall Cobb’s 10.0 (No. 9 among qualified wide receivers) yards per target in 2019 indicated that he can still be efficient in the face of middling volume. Yes, injury concerns remain, but the same can be said for his teammates. Given all that uncertainty, Cobb is a high-floor bargain at his ADP – 135 picks after Cooks goes.

Yes, the arrival of Emmanuel Sanders in New Orleans puts a cap on potential target volume, but Tre’Quan Smith showcased the ability to make the most of his targets with a +65.2 Production Premium and 94.7-percent True Catch Rate in 2019. Sanders is no sure bet to stay on the field, either; now 33, his 65.8-percent (No. 4) Injury Probability ranking is cause for concern — especially when you can draft Smith over 200 picks later.

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Three Undervalued Wide Receivers to Target Early in Best Ball

by RotoUnderworld, July 30, 2020

Adam Thielen’s ADP falls because of Minnesota’s run-first philosophy and general apathy towards their quarterback’s skillset. Pass volume is far from a concern for 2020, with data from the “World Famous Draft Kit” supporting an argument for reversion to the mean. Positive regression is coming for a unit with a consolidated target distribution between Thielen, Dalvin Cook, and the tight ends.

The Chargers have 104 (No. 17) Vacated Targets, and Philip Rivers leaving implies fewer looks for Austin Ekeler and more for the receivers. Tyrod Taylor can sustain a WR2 floor for Keean Allen, who is drafted as a fringe top-24 play. In three season with Buffalo, Taylor’s completion percentage never fell below 60-percent, and his QBR was also always above 60. Allen is a strong option in the middle rounds with a high floor in Best Ball.

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Garbage Time Quarterback and Wide Receiver Stacks for Best Ball Leagues

by RotoUnderworld, July 8, 2020

The Carolina Panthers offense is loaded with explosive talent all across the board. The defense, on the other hand, is young and terrible. With a 53.3-percent (97th percentile among qualified wide receivers) College Dominator Rating, D.J. Moore is a great target to pair with Teddy Bridgewater and his 7.8 (No. 2) Accuracy Rating.

Joe Burrow posted a 94.9 (99th-percentile) College QBR in a Heisman season for the ages. The Cincinnati Bengals offense has the tools to take off in Zac Taylor’s system. Wide receiver A.J. Green’s 66.7-percent (No. 3) Contested Catch Rate from 2018 will pair nicely with Burrow’s 76.3-percent Completion Percentage. 

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How to Navigate a Best Ball Draft Using Robust RB

by RotoUnderworld, July 1, 2020

Pick 1.02 offers the best opportunity at a well-executed Robust RB draft strategy in a Best Ball league. With the run-oriented Jason Garrett’s arrival, Daniel Jones’ continued development, and significant offensive line improvements, generational talent Saquon Barkley should challenge Christian McCaffrey in both the rushing and receiving departments.

Targets are “earned” unless your name is Leonard Fournette. After posting 316 (No. 2 among qualified running backs) Weighted Opportunities last season, Fournette enters a contract year at the peak of his powers and yet is somehow still available in the third round of fantasy drafts.

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