Best Ball Mania has literally gripped the fantasy football nation and Underdog’s Best Ball Mania IV is home to the biggest grand prize within that nation ($3 million to first place). But that’s not the only contest they’ve cooked up over there and it’s not even the only format. Today we are looking at one of their newer contests called The Eliminator. And you’ll need to move quick since, as of the writing of this article on our strategy for the $50 contest, it is now over 50% filled (edit: Underdog has now opened a second version of the contest called The Little Eliminator). So make you are up to date on your fantasy football ADP and have your fantasy football rankings tuned up. Also, make sure you’re all signed up over at Underdog Fantasy via this link by using promo code ALARM (where they will match up 100% of your first deposit up to $100)! Let's now take a look at the best fantasy football best ball draft strategies for The Eliminator contest on Underdog Fantasy. 


Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Strategy for The Eliminator on Underdog Fantasy

How It Works

The contest is fairly simple yet also ingenious - every week, a portion of the contestant pool is ELIMINATED (though you probably gathered that based on the name). The full rules can be found here but he’s a brief summary. It starts with your typical 12-team draft. In Week One, the bottom two teams are eliminated. They then take the remaining teams and put them in groups of 15. In Week Two, the bottom two teams from those groups are eliminated. Week Three they put you in ten team groups and two more are eliminated. A similar pattern rolls on all season until there is only one champion at the end in Week 17. 

The pool has a $50 entry and payouts start for teams that survive at least seven weeks. Here are the payouts based on which week you are eliminated:

  • Week 8: $55
  • Week 9: $80
  • Week 10: $110
  • Week 11: $190
  • Week 12: $300
  • Week 13: $500
  • Week 14: $1,000
  • Week 15: $2,000
  • Week 16: $3,000

Then the final teams that make it to Week 17 get the following:

  • 6th: $5,000
  • 5th: $7,500
  • 4th: $10,000
  • 3rd: $15,000
  • 2nd: $20,180
  • 1st: $50,000

Without further ado, here are some tips we are using to try to land within those payouts!

Handling NFL Injuries and Suspensions

This might seem obvious but there is also a little nuance to it. The obvious point is that you can literally be eliminated in Week One so, even with only a three-game suspension, someone like Alvin Kamara would have zero use for you. And, with any players that have suffered recent injuries (like a Kyle Philips) or are at risk of possible suspension (perhaps someone like Joe Mixon) that likely isn’t going to be baked into their ADP yet and they might not be good values in any format. You’ll want to avoid drafting any injured/suspended players at ADP if you don’t think there’s a true value add there. Let someone else who is not necessarily up to date draft guys like Treylon Burks or even Rashod Bateman where we don’t know if/when they will be ready.

The nuanced part is this - any dummy playing this game likely knows that you want to avoid guys missing games early. So, with certain players where the issues came up weeks ago and have been very public (like Jameson Williams or Alvin Kamara), the draft room might actually OVERCOMPENSATE in this format. I’m not likely to draft guys like that at their ADP but, if they start sliding way too far because the room thinks they are slick, I’ll consider taking them. The BIG money comes if you make it all the way to the end and, if you can survive three games with no Kamara, you might be getting a CRAZY discount. 

NFL Rookies in Fantasy Football Best Ball

One spot where folks might not be paying as much attention is with rookies. They are still likely going to be drafted at their normal ADP despite the fact that they can often start out slow. We like drafting rookies in regular best ball and redraft because it doesn’t matter if they start slow like Amon-Ra St. Brown or Mike Evans or David Johnson. But, in this format, leaning too heavily on rookies could have you getting bounced from this tournament before your young studs even have a chance to heat up. I’m not saying avoid them completely, but make sure you have a balance. 

Handling Bye Weeks

Conservative Bye Week Strategy 

In a regular best ball draft it doesn’t nearly matter as much if you “punt” one week because it’s total points that matter most. In this, if you punt a week you will likely be eliminated in that week. This is especially true at the “onesie” positions of tight end a quarterback. Waiting on tight end then taking David Njoku and Pat Freiermuth is a pretty solid strategy in your average best ball draft - you don’t really even need a third. In The Eliminator though, you just drafted two tight ends that have bye weeks five (Njoku) and six (Freiermuth). If Muth doesn’t show up Week 5 or Njoku in Week 6, you could be eliminated way before you even have a chance to sniff the money.

As we mentioned above, the money starts in Round 8 but you win $55 on a $50 entry so not really what we are shooting for. Anything after that, you start to reel in bigger cash. No team has bye week 8 so the safest strategy would be to load up on players with bye weeks as late as possible knowing that, as long as you make it to Week 9, you’ll at least make $30. Here are the teams with bye weeks 9 or later.

Week 9: Broncos, Lions, Jaguars, 49ers

Week 10: Chiefs, Dolphins, Eagles, Rams

Week 11: Falcons, Colts, Patriots, Saints

Week 13: Ravens, Bills, Bears, Vikings, Giants, Raiders

Week 14: Cardinals, Commanders

Aggressive Bye Week Strategy 

Now, with all that said, there is a HIGH RISK way to play this. Here are the group sizes and how many players are eliminated each time.

WeekGroup SizeEliminatedMoving On% Eliminated


I mean, correct me if I’m wrong here, but a bigger percentage of teams are being eliminated in certain weeks vs. others are they not? Especially early on, you are seeing only 20-30% of the field getting the boot vs. later on when it’s half the remaining players on multiple occasions. If you REALLY want to shoot the moon here, the play might be to load up on players with bye weeks in the low percentage weeks giving yourself a better chance to survive the weeks where half the field gets the axe. Obviously, teams with bye week 5-7 have low elimination rates (no team has bye week 8). But if you do lose in those weeks you would be out of the money so you have to be careful there. Weeks 11 and 14 seem to offer interesting little oases in the middle of those weeks with 50% rates as well. Here are the teams that have bye weeks those weeks if you want to load up.

Week 11: Falcons, Colts, Patriots, Saints

Week 14: Cardinals, Commanders

Stacking in Fantasy Football Best Ball

Stacking is a popular strategy and quite conducive to spike weeks but here’s the thing - until the very end, you don’t really need mega spike weeks. You kind of just need to survive. But a big down week can kill you at any time and that’s what might happen if you have the QB, WR, and TE all from the same team. The other obvious killer is that, when you do that, all those players have the same bye week. So you better be ready to survive that week. 

This is a fairly new contest so I don’t have much definitive data on it right now but my general policy on stacking in best ball is to only do it if I don’t need to reach. I use it as a tiebreaker. For this particular format, I might go the other way. I might want to diversify as much as possible in which case I will actually opt not to stack as a tiebreaker. Either way though, I’m still focused on simply taking the best possible players so, if they happen to stack, they stack. 

Good Luck

Good luck and make sure to tag me @CoopAFiasco and Fantasy Alarm @FantasyAlarm when you win big!


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