An Intro to MFL10 Draft-Only Leagues: Prizes, Rules & Basic Strategy
What are Best Ball Draft-Only Leagues?
Best ball draft-only leagues are just as they sound: You win by amassing total points over the course of the season (rather than a competing for a win in a head-to-head matchup each week) and your team goes unchanged once drafted, allowing you to sit back and relax all season, rather than adding or dropping players and setting your lineups. There are no waiver claims or picking who to start and sit each week. Instead, the site's scoring system automatically picks your highest scorers each week to create your starting lineup. Your weekly point totals from your starters accrue all season, and at the end of the season the top two (or three) teams win a prize.
The most popular format and site for best ball leagues is MyFantasyLeague (MFL), which will be described in more detail below. There is a dashboard where you can sign up for drafts as well as view a list of all your leagues at mfl10s.com (you can also go to myfantasyleague.com). Going forward, I will use the term MFL10 to describe all best ball leagues on MFL, but note that the number denotes the particular league's entry fee.
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MFL rolls out leagues for various entry levels throughout the off-season, starting with just the MFL10. On the mfl10s.com dashboard, you can load as much money into your account as you want to use for entering leagues. Once money has been loaded in, you can go ahead and enter a league. After twelve people join, you will be notified of a draft time. The drafts start at either 1 p.m. or 5 p.m. Eastern.
Below is a table of the four MFL entry levels and payouts. Note that the $10 level pays out the first two spots while the other three levels pay out the top three spots.
|Entry Fee||1st Place||2nd Place||3rd Place|
|$10||$100||$10 Credit for next year||N/A|
|$25||$200||$50||$25 Credit for next year|
|$50||$400||$100||$50 Credit for next year|
|$100||$800||$200||$100 Credit for next year|
MFL 50/50 Leagues and Prizes
For the 2017 season, MFL will be introducing a new version of best ball leagues known as 50/50s. While the league structure and rules mirrors that of a traditional MFL10, at the end of the season the top six (50%) teams win a prize. The payout structures are as follows:
|Entry Fee||1st - 5th Place||6th Place|
|$10||$20||$10 Credit for next year|
|$25||$50||$25 Credit for next year|
|$50||$100||$50 Credit for next year|
|$100||$200||$100 Credit for next year|
MFL10 Rules: Draft
Once you are placed in a league you will get an email or text notification of the draft's start time. There is an 8-hour timer per pick; if it runs out, a pick will be automatically made for you. Unlike conventional re-draft leagues, auto-pick doesn't stay on for the whole draft; even if you run out of time on one pick, you will still get a full eight hours for your next pick.
Each of the 12 teams will draft 20 players to fill their team, with each team selecting their players in a classic snake draft format. MFL gives you the ability to create pre-draft rankings, including lists specific to each round. For example, if you know you want to take a RB in round 5 and a WR in round 6, you can easily create two different lists, one for each round, and not have to worry about two RBs being automatically selected because they were the two highest remaining players on your list. The other large benefit of creating pre-draft lists is that it ensures the 8-hour timer won’t expire on you (the timer never stops). If you know you are going to be away for 8 hours (sleeping for example) it is imperative that you use this feature. Other than that, it’s a pretty straightforward draft format.
MFL10 Rules: Scoring
MFL10s use a pretty standard PPR scoring system with decimals out to 2 places:
- Passing – 4 points per TD, -2 points per Interception, 20 yards per point
- Rushing – 6 points per TD, 10 yards per point, -2 points per fumble lost
- Receiving – 6 points per TD, 1 point per reception, 10 yards per point
- Defense – From 10 to -3 for points allowed, 6 points per Defensive/Special team TD, 2 points per fumble/interception/safety, 1 point per sack
Each week the system will automatically create your best starting lineup consisting of 1QB, 2RB, 3WR, 1TE, 1 Flex (RB/WR/TE), and 1 DEF (Kickers were removed in 2015), and 11 bench spots to make up your 20-man roster.
General MFL10 Strategy to Get Started
You should go into a draft with the aim to draft the following amount of players at each position:
- 2-3 QB
- 4-6 RB
- 6-8 WR
- 2-3 TE
- 2-3 Def
In future articles we will dive deeper into different strategies, but let's get started with some general strategy of how to approach a draft:
- At the start of the draft (especially if you are new to the format) it’s best to stay pretty balanced between RB and WR in the first 5-6 rounds.
- It can be risky to draft only four RBs, so make sure you are fully confident in that group if you choose to go that route.
- You can generally grab your first QB somewhere around rounds 8-10 (depending on draft) and the 2nd when you are comfortable with who’s left; follow a similar strategy for TE.
- Wait as long as you can before selecting a defense -- anytime past round 15 is fine.
- During the later rounds of the draft you will have a feel of what position you think needs to most help. For example, if you wait until very late in the draft to select your first QB or TE, it may be advantageous to draft three QBs/TEs to help cover the weak position. Another example of a common tactic is if there are no players at all that you like near the end of the draft, a third defense isn’t a bad option.
When we get into different strategies in later articles, you will learn how you can employ different tactics. But as with all drafts, at the end it comes down to taking the right players. Good luck!