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How to play Best Ball fantasy football

We go over how to play the Best Ball format in fantasy football.

Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) shakes hands with Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) after a game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Playing in multiple fantasy football leagues each season can become burdensome at times, but you don’t think of that when you’re doing draft after draft before the season starts because it’s fun! What if I told you that there was a fantasy format where you’d get to have all the fun of drafting multiple leagues, but then didn’t have to ever look at your team again? Yes, it’s true and it’s called Best Ball.

Sure, in-season team managing is challenging and a huge part of playing, but you can save those leagues for high-stakes or family and friends and still do even more Best Ball leagues. DraftKings offers Best Ball games during the NFL regular season and in the playoffs.

How to play Best Ball fantasy football

The game itself is as simple as can be. You draft a fantasy football team and then you forget about it and hopefully get an email at the end of the season saying you won. Or, you can follow along to track your progress if you have the time and energy.

Unlike head-to-head leagues, which are the fantasy norm, when drafting, you need to strategize and pick players you believe will accumulate the most points overall versus the most points each week. You may ask, huh? Well, it’s tricky, but in Best Ball you can pick players who are inconsistent, but have big upside. If they do nothing for three weeks, but then put a three touchdown game the following week, you’re still on track. If that happened in a head-to-head league, you might have lost all three of those dud games waiting for that blow up game.

Roster construction

Roster construction will depend on your format and scoring as usual, but the main variable you need to consider is that in Best Ball you don’t pick players to start or bench. Best Ball scoring takes the best fantasy points at each position and uses those for your total that week. That means you want the computer to have at least one active player at a position for a given week scoring fantasy points.

That means you need to pick multiple quarterbacks, tight ends and D/STs, which isn’t the usual strategy in head-to-head leagues because you can find players on waivers to fill in for injured or bye-week positions.

Playoff Best Ball

One of the perks of Best Ball leagues is that they are perfect for the playoffs. Before Best Ball came around we’d put together playoff player pool leagues and have to do scoring by hand, but now with Best Ball and DraftKings, it is much easier and you can do multiple leagues.

Of course, in playoff Best Ball you also have to take into consideration whether the players on your team will actually play more than one game or not. That adds to the strategy, but like all Best Ball leagues, once you draft, your’e done.

In the end, Best Ball is yet another way to play fantasy and a particularly good one for the NFL playoffs. It allows you to draft with skin in the game, but also reduces the amount of time you have to spend on that team throughout the season to a cool zero minutes.