Best Ball Strategy 2024

Fantasy Football Best Ball Strategy 2024

Best Ball StrategyOne of the best things about fantasy football is that no two leagues are exactly alike. Every league comes with its own set of rules, roster size, and scoring system. This makes it impossible to develop one strategy that works for every league you’re in. The format is another key factor in how you draft and play throughout the season. Whether you’re in a standard league, a keeper league, a 1QB league, a TE premium league, a Superflex/2QB league, or a best ball league, your strategy will have to be formed to fit each format. Today I’ll look at one of my favorite formats: Best Ball. This format is all about drafting since you can’t drop, add, or trade throughout the season. The fact that so much is riding on the draft makes preparing and strategizing even that much more important. While basic concepts never seem to change from year to year in Best Ball, minor tweaks arise each season based on recent trends that can lead to greater success.

Everyone has their idea of the best way to approach a best ball draft; here is my Best Ball Strategy for 2024

1. You Can Wait On QBs, To A Certain Point

In 2023, the elite-level QBs were going much higher than they are in 2024. The top eight QBs by ADP are all going later than just a season ago which makes waiting on them and securing players at other positions of need a smart strategy. It’s still early so this is one trend that could swing back the other way as we get closer to the season so be sure to keep an eye on it. Remember you want to leave your draft with at least two, preferably three QBs, so that if there’s an injury you aren’t stuck and playing without someone in your QB slot. If it does hold, though, and you’re able to get one or two of the top guys later than you should be able to, you will be in a position to spend another roster spot on RB, WR, or TE depth. This could make for a squad that competes for the top of the league. 

2. Stud WRs Early For The Win

One of the mistakes I have seen managers make is spending an early pick on a player coming off a breakout season that could be hard to duplicate. The key to best ball is building a squad that has a variety of safe floor and high-ceiling players. But the middle rounds are when you should take a chance on breakout potential. In the first few rounds, target players who have proven to be stud WRs every year and who are likely to be a top option at the position again. Players like Ja’Marr Chase, Tyreek Hill, and CeeDee Lamb are great targets in the first round while players like Mike Evans, Nico Collins, and Davante Adams are solid choices in the second round. There’s nothing worse than completely whiffing on an early pick and being able to do nothing about it because you can’t trade that player away. Don’t get yourself in that position.

3. Be Aware of 2024 Running Back ADP

While the days of running back-heavy first and second rounds are a thing of the past, regardless of format, you don’t want to find yourself with nothing but RB3s on your roster because you waited too long to grab one. So being aware of their ADP will play a role in helping you stay ahead of the curve and beat your league mates to the punch. One interesting development is that the top 11 RBs have an ADP nearly identical to what it was a year ago, while RBs 12 through 24 are being drafted about a full round later than they were in 2023. This signifies a clear tier-break, at least in the minds of drafters. It’s hard to make a case that this philosophy is wrong. While all running backs come with some risk due to the nature of their position, those after the top 11 all have clear question marks. But waiting on a couple of running backs in this range (ie. James Cook, Isiah Pacheco, or David Montgomery) is not a bad best ball strategy if you choose to prioritize wide receivers early. You can win by targeting one of the top 11 running backs, but you’ll have to pay up for them.

4. Stacking Can Still Lead To Success As Long As You Don’t Reach

Most fantasy managers who have experience have tried a best ball strategy that involves stacking. A typical stack pairs a QB with their primary pass-catcher, but you can also pair QBs with pass-catching running backs or tight ends. Even if you miss out on the QB you can stack multiple receivers from the same team to maximize your chances when that team plays. This can lead to a bunch of points in an instant, especially in the case of a QB/WR stack. If you’re approaching a certain turn and are trying to decide between a second QB or a different skill position, check if you have the other half of a potential stack on your roster. Taking a chance on the stack will provide a bigger boost for your team than hoping that a QB and WR from different teams will hit simultaneously. But it’s important not to reach for the stack. You don’t want to choose an inferior player earlier than you should just because you want to complete a stack. Doing so can undermine any benefit you may get from it and ultimately hurt your team.

5. Be Flexible, Don’t Forget About Tight ends

While having a game plan going into any draft is important, the worst thing a fantasy manager can do, especially in best ball, is stick so stringently to it that you lose sight of what is happening throughout the draft. You want to be aware of what other managers are doing. If you go into the draft targeting a wide receiver early, but all the top wide receivers go off the board before your pick, the wise choice might be to pivot away from wide receiver and take a top running back. Being mindful of runs will keep you from being too thin at any specific position, including at tight end. While there are only a few sure things at the position, and even they have their up and down weeks, getting a consistent producer at tight end can be the difference between winning and losing. If you’ve stocked up on elite players elsewhere, then you can get by with low-end tight ends. But since it’s preferable to have two or three tight ends on your roster, forgetting about the position and waiting too long could leave you with players like Hunter Henry, Luke Musgrave, and Cade Otton, which might be the same as punting the position altogether.

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T.J. Besler
A die hard Bears fan and fantasy sports fantastic, T.J. Besler earned his journalism (and theatre) degree from The University of Iowa. When he isn’t busy writing parodies for his YouTube channel Parodies for Charities he can be found either on stage performing or doing all things fantasy football related. Besler has traveled to nearly all 50 states either for work or leisure, and is grateful to everyone who has helped him along the way, especially his lovely wife Elsa, without whom much of this would not be possible. BEAR DOWN!