Major League Baseball’s regular season will get started on Thursday, March 30. This is the time that fantasy baseball leagues are being drafted for the 2023 season. If you don’t want to deal with lineups or roster moves throughout the season, best ball may be the perfect format for you.
Typical fantasy baseball leagues require you to set a daily or weekly lineup. You also may want to look into trading players or adding and dropping players from the waiver wire. Best ball does away with all of that. Instead, you draft a team with a deep bench, and your points are automatically calculated, giving you the best potential lineup possible. You can check your progress throughout the season, but really you could leave it until October and check back to see if you won.
When it comes to strategy in best ball, you really have free reign over your team. If you want to load up on power hitters, you can. If you want to try and dominate pitching categories and then take the minimum number of position players, you can certainly do that. Or, if you don’t feel like drafting at all, the computer can autodraft for you.
For me, I utilized a 12-person best ball draft at DraftKings Daily Fantasy. They have drafts as small as three players and as big as tens of thousands; it all depends on what you are looking for. Forwarning, keep an eye on the draft once you join it. The platform is great and easy to use, but the biggest downfall is that it doesn’t make a sound or let you know you are on the clock, so pay attention if you're trying to avoid autodrafting.
Once the 12-team league was filled, the draft order was randomized. I was given the 10th overall pick in the snack draft. This meant I picked 10th in the first round and then third in the second round, with this process alternating throughout the remainder of the draft. The lineup included three starting pitchers, three infielders and three outfielders. We were then able to draft 11 bench spots for that extra depth throughout the year.
10. Corbin Burnes
15. Sandy Alcantara
34. Michael Harris
207. Tony Gonsolin
226. Darick Hall
231. Carlos Carrasco
I typically alternate pitchers with hitters to go with a well-rounded lineup. I switched it up with the way this draft board fell to me. I took Burnes with my first pick and then followed it up with Alcantara. This gave me the last two NL Cy Young Award winners on my squad. Yes, it was at the expense of hitters in my lineup, but with so many rounds to go, I didn’t worry.
Harris was a sleeper at the start of the offseason, but everyone seems to be catching on that expectations are high for the reigning NL Rookie of the Year. We have seen his displays of power, and the recent decision to increase the size of the bases projects Harris to swipe an increased number of bags. The benchmark for a successful season from Harris is a 30/30 season, which would be the fifth time a Braves player achieved the feat in franchise history.
Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Rhys Hoskins suffered a torn ACL in a spring training game. This is an unfortunate setback for a promising player for the Phillies. In terms of his replacement. Hall should be the next man up at first base. Provided he holds onto the role, this was crazy value for him.
The New York Mets’ rotation is stacked with Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander leading the way. National League Rookie of the Year contender Kodai Senga holds down the third spot in the rotation, pushing Carlos Carrasco to the fourth. Carrasco is still a talented pitcher that will benefit from a strong New York lineup.
106. Hunter Renfroe
135. Salvador Perez
159. Josh Naylor
There isn’t anything bad about taking Renfroe overall, but I think I took him a little early. He is in line to be a starter for the Los Angeles Angels, but there were some other talented players around him, like Tyler O’Neill, Lars Nootbaar or Cody Bellinger, that I could've gone with over him.
I have done so many fantasy baseball mock drafts that I am accustomed to drafting catchers. I typically draft a starter and a backup, so when I got to the 12th round without one, I saw Perez and drafted him. With the only positions in this draft being IF, OF and P, there was no reason for me to specifically draft a catcher. I could have drafted Riley Greene, Jordan Montgomery or Jake Cronenworth and felt better about it.
Naylor is a fine player. The reason that he was a poor pick is that I thought that Merrill Kelly or Nathan Eovaldi would come back around the next time I was on the clock, and they didn’t. I had both players queued up but went with Naylor.
Francisco Lindor, New York Mets
Dansby Swanson, Chicago Cubs
Jeremy Pena, Houston Astros
Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals
Luis Arraez, Miami Marlins
Josh Bell, Cleveland Guardians
Darick Hall, Philadelphia Phillies
Michael Harris, Atlanta Braves
Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees
Hunter Renfroe, Los Angeles Angels
Andrew Benintendi, Chicago White Sox
Josh Naylor, Cleveland Guardians
Joey Gallo, Minnesota Twins
Corbin Burnes, Milwaukee Brewers
Sandy Alcantara, Miami Marlins
Hunter Greene, Cincinnati Reds
Logan Gilbert, Seattle Mariners
Tyler Anderson, Los Angeles Angels
Tony Gonsolin, Los Angeles Dodgers
Carlos Carrasco, New York Mets