How Should You Tackle the DRAFT 2019 NFL Best Ball Championship?

Looking to grab a share of the $3,500,000 up for grabs in the DRAFT 2019 NFL Best Ball Championship? Our experts share how they’re attacking the format, including the optimal ways to put together a potential winner.

Will you approach the DRAFT Championship differently than other contests, and why?

STLCards: Yes – I will look for upside, upside, upside in this format. It’s all about trying to have a shot at the top prize, and “playing it safe” goes out the window in these types of contests.

Beermakersfan: You absolutely have to swing for the fences when playing this tournament. There are multiple ways to do this, and the most important is roster construction. The more correlations you can build into your 18-man roster, the better. Stacking is not only a DFS thing, it should be one of your primary focuses during a best ball draft. Don’t be afraid to work multiple stacks into one roster as well. This may require you to “reach” a bit on guys at some points but it’s better to reach than to get sniped on a guy that makes sense on your roster. Be aggressive and think outside the box if you want to have a shot to take this baby down!

Chris Gimino: Absolutely. The game itself demands a roster that is not only capable of defeating your league in regular season play, but also defeating similar teams in playoff battle. Strategic differentiation and contrarian decision-making will be themes in my tournament rosters … deviating with different types of roster setups, deep round player choices, and more stacks than you would be trying in 12-man leagues. The purpose is to find diversity from your opponents and maximize your chances of first place when the playoff stages begin.

JSURab: Of course with this format, it’s all about taking chances with those who are big risk-reward players and just thinking a little outside of the box when you’re drafting. Playing it safe in this type of tournament will not get you far.

JoshADHD: If I’m satisfied with surviving the initial 12-week “group stage,” then I wouldn’t vary my strategy all that much from a normal best ball draft where the top three finishers are paid out. On the other hand, if I’m aiming at the top prize, I owe it to myself to build rosters with unique aspects (low-owned offenses and stacks) and thinner position groups with little to no margin for error or injuries. If I’m going for the big prize, I must be willing to accept a goose egg if things don’t work out.

Does the DRAFT Championship setup present any difficulties? Opportunities?

STLCards: I am being a curmudgeon here, but the format is flawed. There is a HUGE advantage if you are involved in a draft where one or two players don’t pay attention during the draft. This will lead to more loaded rosters for those who do pay attention in those leagues, and those players are at an inherent advantage right from the jump. The earlier you enter the games, the more advantage you can potentially get. As we get closer to the start of the season, that edge disappears a lot more. Enter early if you’re going to play. Potential overlay might also end up being an opportunity.

Beermakersfan: I think there is a tremendous opportunity for those that draft early in the summer. The obvious downside is the unknown injuries that will always happen during the preseason and training camp. But the counter balance is the huge values on players that are out there early, mainly because of missing information and lack of clarity. People tend to shy away from these situations until they have more information and it’s a short window that the well prepared/informed fantasy player can swoop in and take advantage of. Drafting early is not for the faint of heart but as the edges get smaller in our games, this is one that we can still exploit.

Chris Gimino: The difficulty of this format is that you are tremendously likely to lose money. If you are entering as an investment strategy, you have already made a mistake. You should be playing such contests for fun, and for the thrill of playing for big prizes. You can do much better for yourself in smaller leagues with more appropriate payout structures. Some very seasoned players may have a long run theoretical advantage, but the typical player will have a hard time proving they have a sustained edge.

JSURab: You definitely have an advantage if you are drafting earlier. Once it gets closer to the season, you will see guys who are being talked up in camp and preseason shoot up the draft boards.

JoshADHD: The difficulty comes as the offseason progresses. Early drafters, if they are savvy, can capitalize on situations that haven’t materialized yet. They might also draw infrequent or novice drafters that do not understand the format and draft suboptimal rosters with poor construction. As news begins breaking in mid-July when training camp opens, you must be plugged in and ready to strike immediately, otherwise any value proposition you could’ve had evaporates.

Is it worth it for casual players to enter the DRAFT Championship?

STLCards: If you are playing for entertainment, yes. If you are playing to try to grind a profit, that’s a clear no. This is a tournament geared toward sweating a huge first-place prize — and let’s be honest — the odds are against all of us in a large tournament.

Beermakersfan: If it makes sense for your bankroll to take a few shots at a huge payday, yes it is worth it. Best ball drafts are also an amazing way to prepare for your season-long drafts as it is a much more effective gauge than your traditional mock draft lobby. It’s also a nice sweat that plays out over multiple months which gives you a great bang for your buck!

Chris Gimino: It depends on your goals. Is your goal to make money only? Then I would say no it is not worth it. Is your goal to have a good time and have a sweat? Then perhaps you can find some value in the format.

JSURab: If you’re playing just for fun, it’s absolutely worth it, but it’s not something you should be playing if you’re looking to make a profit. This contest is all about the top prize, which makes this an extremely challenging tournament but also exciting.

JoshADHD: If you’re willing to tie up your money for 5-6 months with the hopes of breaking even, by all means, go for it. You’re doing this because it is fun, not because it will make you wealthy.

How balanced are your entries across sites?

STLCards: They are fairly balanced across sites, especially when I get a similar draft spot.

Beermakersfan: Mainly will be attacking the DRAFT Championship, but will be dabbling on Yahoo as well this season.

Chris Gimino: I will play the vast majority of teams on DRAFT this year but will mix in Yahoo as the season approaches.

JSURab: Balanced across sites.

JoshADHD: I focus on DRAFT because of their superior mobile interface.

About the Author

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