Look, it’s not quite “Best Ball Season,” yet. It’s more like “the 2023 NFL Draft isn’t until the end of the month but we’re desperate for fantasy football season." Well, the cure for that, of course, is fantasy football best ball. So, pop over to Underdog Fantasy, use promo code ALARM (where they will match 100% of your deposit up to $100), and quench that football thirst! In this article, we'll break down some NFL team stacks that you can target in your 2023 fantasy football best ball drafts. More specifically, we'll focus on some value teams and players that you can target in best ball leagues as they fall lower on fantasy football ADP lists. If you haven't tried best ball leagues yet, they are a great way to prepare for your season-long drafts with fantasy football rankings and fantasy football ADP always changing. So, if you're like this guy and desperate for a fantasy football draft like it's water – then dive into a best ball league and target some of these value NFL stacks below.
Fantasy Football Best Ball Draft Strategy: Stacking
Stacking is a popular strategy in formats like this because it does mathematically give you an advantage, as shown in this research by Josh Larky. For those unaware, “stacking” is when you pair two correlated teammates, typically a quarterback with a wide receiver or a tight end. Now, we need to be very careful of how we go about this because you lose all of that value and can actually COST yourself value if you reach too far to complete the stack. What we instead do is this – if we already think a player is undervalued based on ADP, it makes it that much easier to stack him with a teammate. Or, if there are two players who are very close but one is part of a stack with another player we’ve already taken, we use that as a tiebreaker. Work stacking into your strategy, but don’t make it your entire strategy.
What we’re going to do here is look at some early ADPS we like on Underdog. The one contest open right now is the Big Board: Superflex so that’s what we are going to base this on - that format is 1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, and 1 SUPERFLEX (where you can start a QB) so it’s essentially a two QB league where you need to try to get at least 2-3 viable options. Let’s take a look.
2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball NFL Team Stacks
Here’s why we are talking about this one first.
In the Big Board:Superflex, Joe Burrow goes at pick No. 5 overall on average and Ja’Marr Chase is being drafted at pick 10-11. It’s essentially impossible to stack them unless one or both drastically fall past ADP. It’s completely out of your control. In the Seahawks' case, Geno Smith is there in the third round – where we love to take him. If you do get Geno, you can then turn around and take DK Metcalf in the next round. Boom. If someone else blocks that, guess what? Tyler Lockett, who was last year’s PPR WR13, is going off the board as WR31 – and that’s in the seventh round, for some inexplicable reason. He’s basically free and I have no problem taking him in the sixth or even the fifth. In fact, I don’t think it’s crazy to get to the third round and go Smith, Metcalf, Lockett – bing bang boom. You probably don’t have to do that with Lockett’s ADP but I honestly don’t consider that too much of a reach given the upside.
We actually just did a full write-up on why we love Lockett, but the short and sweet is that his “WR2” label behind DK Metcalf deflates his value every year. Surprise surprise, he has beaten his ADP every year since DK has been in the league – four years in a row. And it just so happens that we did a full Player Profile on DK Metcalf as well which fully breaks down why we love him. Check that out for the full info but, in best ball, a touchdown gets that player in your lineup and this tweet here gives a general idea of why we might like someone like DK.
Anyone that follows me on Twitter knows that I’m not the biggest Daniel Jones fan. But you know who is? Brian Daboll. The Giants just paid Jones a lot of money to operate in an offense that is incredibly friendly to the quarterback. Jones was not running 120 times for 700+ yards and seven TDs before Daboll showed up. So, say what you will about Jones as a passer or as the franchise quarterback, but only five QBs ran for more than 700 yards last year:
In fact, no other QB ran for more than 500 yards (the next highest was Marcus Mariota with 438). So Jones has some serious upside – yet he’s still going at QB12. We’ll gladly grab him in the late second or early third round if he’s there. Where he's lacked is passing TDs, though. He only had 15 last year. Kenny Golladay was supposed to be the solution to that but the Giants are trying out a new potential answer. And that’s the next guy we stack up – Darren Waller.
What we loved about Waller a couple of years ago on the Raiders was that he essentially was a converted wide receiver that we could start at tight end in fantasy despite him pretty consistently lining up at WR in games. Since Antonio Brown called the GM a slur (among other things) and Henry Ruggs went to jail, that team was pretty much devoid of targets. So, Waller was capable of monster games with 17-18 targets per week.
A combination of injuries and the arrival of guys like Davante Adams and Hunter Renfrow poured cold water on that, which is what has brought the Waller ADP crashing down. But, now he’s on a new team where he is far and away the biggest and best red zone target for New York. Sure, we like Wan’Dale Robinson just fine and you can stack him if you want, but he’s also 5-foot-8 and 179 pounds – so not the biggest threat in the red area. Folks still have the “old Waller” mindset but he once again has a super-high upside that only the truly elite tight ends have. If he can manage to stay healthy, he might obliterate his ADP of TE7 at pick 91.7. That’s the 8th round and, if you already have Daniel Jones, it’s a no-brainer to just grab Waller in the 7th.
With some stacks, the draft needs to break absolutely perfect for you to make it happen. For instance, let’s say you are on the clock with pick 15. You are sitting there looking at Dak Prescott (ADP 13.9) or Tua Tagovaila (ADP 16.3). Your next pick is 35, so it’s out of your hands to a certain degree whether CeeDee Lamb (ADP 25.4) or Jaylen Waddle (ADP 33.6) make it back. With the Packers as a high-risk, high-reward combo, anyone can do it. It’s just a matter of having the stones.
Jordan Love goes off the board at QB21 which, in Superflex, isn’t as deep as you would think overall. His overall ADP is 54, so we are still talking about a 5th-round pick. Christian Watson goes off the board with an ADP of 65 – so the very next round. I’ve done a number of these drafts already and if I find myself feeling weak at QB and looking for another guy I know will at least start, I don’t mind just grabbing Love and his top option back-to-back. That's especially the case if I have a pick close to the swing where I can be confident that I can grab both (the last time I did it I had the 12th pick and just took them both at 60/61).
Now, no one is saying that Jordan Love is Patrick Mahomes. Nor is he inheriting the team Mahomes inherited from Alex Smith coming off back-to-back Pro Bowls and three playoff appearances in a row. But there are some similarities in the narratives. NFL Network reporter James Palmer compared Love’s arm talent to Mahomes back when he was drafted. The questions on both stemmed from them each throwing exactly 29 interceptions in college. They both ended up first-round picks that had to wait (though the wait for Love has obviously been longer).
But it’s a bit of revisionist history for us to say we all knew Mahomes would be great. All we really heard were rumors from around the Kansas City Chiefs organization that the kid looked good in practice and that they were confident in rolling with him in his second year. Then he blew up for 50 touchdowns. Love isn’t a rookie quarterback. He’s been in the organization for three years now – which is a lot of practice, a lot of meetings, and a lot of football. We already know that Christian Watson can make magic happen and, if Love is a serviceable QB, those two could crack your best ball lineups on a regular basis. Plus, they are cheap.
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Related NFL Links:
- 2023 NFL Free Agent Tracker
- 2023 NFL Offseason Recap
- Superflex Best Ball Live Draft on Underdog Fantasy
- Dynasty Fantasy Football Strategies: Keenan Allen Headlines Win-Now WR Trade Targets
- Quick Out Fantasy Football Podcast: 2023 NFL Free Agency Part 2