Best-Ball Roster Construction
Updated: Jun 18, 2019
In my last article, I covered the basics of best-ball: Popular sites, most-used scoring formats, draft options, and buy-ins. Here, I’ll dive into Roster Construction.
Roster construction is the single most important component in best-ball. It encompasses everything from how many players to draft at each position, to making sure your single starting positions don't share bye weeks. Starting lineups usually look like this: 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX. And I’ll give you some tips and a glimpse into how I build by best-ball rosters.
Construction of a best-ball roster should depend entirely on your early round picks! Be liquid as they say. Allow the draft to come to you and let your roster construction emerge. For example, if you take Travis Kelce early, you don't need 3 tight ends and don’t need to address the position again until later.
The same can be said at quarterback, drafting 3, statistically is a big mistake. You cannot wait too long to select your one-start positions. I tend to have both my QB’s by round 14 at the latest. Otherwise you are faced with a second quarterback that is shrouded with question marks- in turn making you select an obligatory third QB.
4for4.com provides essential research material on best-ball. I've found that my favourite construction is not the best when it comes to win rate. In both 2016 and 2017 the roster construction that had the highest win rate was 2 QB, 6 RB, 7 WR, 3 TE (Include 2 team defense for MFL10's).
Some positions seem to be more rigid than others. in 2017 we saw 61% of winning teams with only 2 QBs. For ideal roster construction, all of the per position number suggestions above do play out as the highest win rates per 4for4.com.
My ideal roster construction is rigid. I stick to the same rules that have been profitable thus far. Almost invariably I draft only 2 QBs. I always select 6 RBs (Including drafts where I take a top 4 RB or even when I’ve started drafts RB-RB-RB)
The only variation I found intriguing when comparing sites was on Draft.com. The percentage of teams that won with 3 Tight ends was the same as 2 Tight ends. I often only draft 2 tight ends as I love firing an extra bullet on a WR or RB before roles solidify during training camp.
Tight Ends carry the most ambiguity and personal discretion. The position itself being top-heavy, we must use that discretion and some instinct when drafting past the top tier of tight ends. If I claim a high end Tight End I will only have 2 on my roster and both are generally in the first 6 rounds Ideally, your 2 TEs, not unlike QB should be on your team by round 14. Can’t get your mitts on a tight end? Just realized it’s already round 11? Punt the position. Grab 2-3 guys late. TE is usually the least valuable position on your fantasy team (especially in recent years) If you are weak at TE you’ve probably compensated elsewhere.
Wide Receiver is dictated by most other positions. There’s always a WR to draft. Early, mid-round or late fliers! There seems to be an abundance of options. I draft 7 or 8 Wide Outs depending on capital spent and balance I have at WR.
My favourite roster consists of 2 QB/ 6 RB/ 8 WR/ 2 TE/ 2 DST
Best-Ball Drafts are always different and liquidity is needed for roster construction. So whatever the next draft throws at you -try keeping your rosters within this guideline.