An Intro to Best Ball Leagues: Prizes, Rules & Basic Strategy

Jun 08, 2022
An Intro to Best Ball Leagues: Prizes, Rules & Basic Strategy

What are Best Ball Draft-Only Leagues?

Best ball is a fantasy football format where league managers draft their team but there is no in-season management—no waiver wire, no trades, no setting lineups. Instead, your highest-scoring players are optimized to form your starting lineup. Leagues are decided by cumulative season points rather than head-to-head matchups. Roster size and payout structures vary by platform and while there are traditional live drafts available, slow drafts (1- 2- 4- 6- and 8-hour timers) are also popular for best ball leagues.

The following will take a look at specifics for some of the most popular best ball platforms.

Best Ball Rosters and Leagues

Best Ball Rosters
Site QB RB WR TE Flex DEF K Bench Total Roster Spots Scoring
DraftKings 1 2 3 1 1 N/A N/A 12 20 PPR
Underdog 1 2 3 1 1 N/A N/A 10 18 Half-PPR
FFPC 1 2 2 1 2 1 1 18 28 PPR/TE-Premium
FFPC Slim 1 2 2 1 2 N/A N/A 12 20 PPR/TE-Premium
Yahoo! 1 2 3 1 1 N/A N/A 9 17 Half-PPR
BestBall10s 1 2 3 1 1 1 N/A 11 20 PPR
Drafters 1 2 3 1 1 N/A N/A 11 20 PPR
Best Ball League Types
Site League Sizes Buy-in Options Pick Clocks
DraftKings 3, 6, 12, Tournaments $1–$2,120 30 Sec, 8 Hrs
Underdog 3, 6, 12, Tournaments $3–$100 30 Sec, 8 Hrs
FFPC 12 $35–$1,250 60 Sec, 2 Hrs, 6 Hrs
FFPC Slim 12, Tournaments $5–$250 30 Sec, 2 Hrs, 6 Hrs
Yahoo! 10 $1–$500 30 Sec
BestBall10s 3, 6, 12 $5–$100 1 Min, 1 Hr, 2 Hrs, 4 Hrs, 8 Hrs
Drafters 3, 6, 10, 12, Tournaments $1.10–$530 40 sec, 8 Hrs
2022 Best Ball Tournament Structures
Site Contest Entries Prizes Buy-In # Cash Min Cash 1st Place 10th Place Total Buy Ins % Paid % of Prizes to 1st 10th Prize vs 1st Prize Min Cash Multiplier Rake
DraftKings Millionaire 837,216 $3,522,667 $5 139536 $7.50 $1,000,000 $20,000 $4,186,080 16.7% 28.4% 2.0% 1.5 15.8%
Underdog Best Ball Mania 3 451,200 $10,000,000 $25 75200 $35 $2,000,000 $20,000 $11,280,000 16.7% 20.0% 1.0% 1.4 11.3%
FFPC Best Ball Tourney 9,072 $1,094,000 $125 1512 $300 $200,000 $4,000 $1,134,000 16.7% 18.3% 2.0% 2.4 3.5%
Drafters Drafters Million 55,008 $1,000,000 $20 9175 $40 $250,000 $5,000 $1,100,160 16.7% 25.0% 2.0% 2.0 9.1%

This is not a comprehensive list of all leagues available but these are the most popular offering. Payouts vary by site and league type and are not consistent enough across all platforms to list here. View each site for details on different league payouts. Note that there are variations in scoring across sites for yardage, points allowed, etc.

General Strategy to Get Started

Specific strategy for each site varies but, in general, you should go into a draft with the aim to draft the following number of players at each position in hopes of maintaining enough active players through all 17 weeks:

  • 2–3 QB
  • 4–6 RB
  • 6–9 WR
  • 2–3 TE
  • 2–3 Defenses
  • 2–3 Kickers

For more in-depth strategy, check out all of our best ball articles here.

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