Diving in a bit deeper into Best Ball strategies plus some stacks to shoot for.
I want to do a quick reference back to May’s Best Ball article here. We talked about: Money Strategy, Stacking, and tips for drafting RBs, WRs, TEs.
I want to review the Money Strategy, so we can expand on why stacking is important to Best Ball leagues.
Overall Money Strategy:
Yahoo pays $$$ for highest weekly scores, so if your team scores more points than any of the other nine teams, you get paid (20%-25% of the entree fee back, depending on league fee). My strategy is to get as many high scoring weeks as possible, preferably 4 or 5 weeks (making the entree fee back), then attempt for a 3rd or higher finish in total points on the season, for maximum ROI. To do that requires several weeks when scores must “pop,” which brings us back to the topic of stacking.
Getting Scores To “Pop”:
How do you get your scores to “pop?” By drafting players on explosive teams who, in any given week, can score well above the average points for their position.
Example: Last year’s top QB (Lamar Jackson) averaged 28.11 pts/game, while the #20 ranked QB (Jacoby Brissett) averaged 15.61 pts/game. The average of all QBs between QB#1 and QB#20 was 18.64 pt/game.
Deshaun Watson was the QB#2 at 22.13 pts/game.
So if you remove Lamar Jackson’s freakish season, the difference is very slim between having the #2 overall QB at 22.1 pts/week or an “average” QB at 18.6 pts/week on your roster.
You need players to have games that “pop” way over that 18.6 pt average. While consistent QBs that score 16-21 points a game are great for non-best-ball leagues, that consistency is the opposite of what you want in best-ball leagues.
Take Jameis Winston, for example. Last year he averaged 21 pts/game but had games where he scored: 31.5 pts, 36.3 pts, 31.32 pts, 43.74 pts, and 39.72 pts. He also had games of 6.06 pts, 9.72 pts, etc…that’s where “best ball” comes into play. If one QB is bad, on any given Sunday, your other QB(s) picks up the slack.
Every time Winston scored greater than 18.64 pts, he was growing the season total points advantage for his teams over the rest of the league. If you want to win $$$, having the most total season points is the overall goal of best ball leagues.
So those 6 Winston “pop” weeks=90 points over average
While the 16 Watson average weeks (3.5 pts/game)=56 points over average.
Having a lower-ranked QB, in Winston, provided an additional 34 points to add to season totals because of the “pop” weeks/big games.
Why Stack Best Ball Players From High-Powered Offenses:
Just like QB, the other positions have slim differences between top players’ points/week and “average” players’ points/week. WRs ranked #1-#20 averaged 15.65 pts/week
The same week that Jameis Winston scored 36.3 points, his fellow teammate, Chris Godwin, scored 41.2 points (25+pts over average). If you had both players on your team that week you’d have gained 40+ points over the pts/week average (for QB+WR).
Both players played for Tampa Bay, an offense that scored 458 total points last season. This tied for the 3rd highest point total in the NFL, providing many chances for doubling up (ditto for Winston and Mike Evans).
This is the basis of smart stacking: the more high-powered the offense, the better the chances for “pop” scoring stacking.
High-Powered Offensive Stacks To Aim For in June:
Here are some team stacks that you can pull 2-4 players from, to make explosive, “popping” rosters:
Dallas Cowboys: Dak/Zeke/Cooper/Gallup/Lamb
New Orleans Saints: Brees/Kamara/Michael Thomas/Sanders/Cook
Kansas City Chiefs: Mahomes/CEH/Hill/Kelce/Hardman
Atlanta Falcons: Ryan/Julio Jones/Ridley/Gurley
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Brady/Godwin/ Evans/Gronk
Baltimore Ravens: Lamar Jackson/Ingram/Hollywood Brown/Andrews
Los Angeles Rams: Goff/Kupp/Woods/Higbee/Akers
[Cheat Code: Every team in the NFC South scores bunches of points. Those teams are great to pull stacks from. You can even have NFC South stacks, aka an entire roster made up mostly of NFC South players!]
It’s possible to combine two or more high-powered stacks. Here’s one of my $5 Yahoo rosters, from a few days ago:
Cowboys stack: Dak/Cooper/Gallup
Buccaneers stack: Brady/Gronk/Evans/Godwin
Patriots stack: White/Harry
Also included: Broncos stack/Patriots stack/Colts stack
Practice makes perfect:
Play around with the different combos and stacks. Yahoo has free leagues where you can practice drafting. Try doing a few drafts, get your strategy down, get used to the flow of the draft, and how the Yahoo site operates when the draft is live. Every draft that you complete gives you a better understanding of how best ball leagues work. As a result, you get a leg up on your competition.