NFL BestBall Strategy – Roster Breakdown and Construction for DraftKings and Underdog Fantasy

NFL BestBall Strategy – Roster Breakdown and Construction for DraftKings and Underdog

Looking to dip your toes in the water and join some BestBall 2021 NFL drafts on DraftKings or Underdog as we approach the start to the 2021 season?  Look no further, we will be releasing a few articles a week to help bring you up to speed on some ideas, tips and advice in terms of some things that will help along the way!

With drafts consisting of 18 rounds, one of the first questions that gets asked when players start to draft NFL BestBall teams on DraftKings or Underdog Fantasy is, ‘how many players should I draft at each position?’  I really don’t think there is a ‘rule’ to follow here – but in general terms, I think that most rosters should consist of the following ranges:

  • QB: 2-3
  • RB: 5-6
  • WR: 7-8
  • TE: 2

There are some exceptions to this, mainly in the large field mega contests where you are really trying to get your team to have the highest ceiling possible – but those approaches are much more boom/bust.  I will write a piece on that in the coming weeks.  If you are focusing on entering individual leagues that are not a part of a large field mega contest, I really like the idea of going with 2-3 QB, 6 RB, 7-8 WR and 2 TE.

Two QB or Three?

With the two ranges listed above, if I end up with one of the upper echelon QB’s (looking at ADP, I would probably draw the floor for this tier at Kyler Murray) – I am much more likely to go with only two QB’s unless one of the low-end starting QB’s is available later than I should be.  With payouts being fairly top heavy, I try to chase first place versus a min cash 3rd place finish, and so I really don’t mind if I draft some teams that ultimately end up near the bottom of their leagues (odds of this happening significantly increase if you lose a QB to a long-term injury for instance).  Adding a 3rd QB to the roster helps minimize the likelihood of a QB injury crippling your roster, but you do lose a lottery ticket at WR by doing so, and with the volatile nature of point prodution at WR, I find it quite helpful to have as many high upside options at the position as possible.  I find if you draft two quality options at QB, the third one drafted isn’t too impactful in terms of chipping in with weeks where they are the highest producer you have at the position – but make no mistake, it does provide a nice safety net, as long as that QB keeps their job.

Do I have to go with six RB?

Simple answer – no.  Espeically if you draft 2-3 in the first three rounds.  Some go as far as only drafting 4 in some of the mega contests, opting to load up on scare 3-down RB’s early in drafts and then picking up WR’s in bulk throughout the later stages of the draft.  With so many backfields in time shares, I think you can make a strong argument to blitz them in rounds 1-3, then take a bit of a breather on them before targeting some potential high upside handcuffs late.  If you get four RB’s that you really like through the first 7-8 rounds, I think you can make a strong case to only draft 5 in total.  Keep in mind, if you are worried about injuries torpedoing your season for that draft – this is certainly a risk of only drafting 4-5 RB’s, but if you are trying to maximize your EV in contests, I think that you can make an argument to just embrace the risk and know that no matter what approach you take, you can’t completely remove risk/variance from the equation, regardless of how good of a drafter you are.

I hope that you enjoyed the first 2021 NFL BestBall piece as you’re entering your drafts on DraftKings and Underdog as the season approaches!  Our next article will be focused on my thoughts for approaching the first 7-8 rounds of a draft and some different ways that you can approach your drafts in the first half of them!

About Brad

Brad hates the term fantasy sports expert, so instead he is someone who specializes in NFL, NHL and MLB DFS notes and analysis. He had a 68.2% win rate in 2015 NFL cash games to go along with a 83.5% win rate for the 2014 season. For NHL he had a 58.7% win rate in the 2015-16 season for cash games and a 66.2% win rate for the 2014-15 season. You can follow him on Twitter @bradsgotmoxy.

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