The 2024 NFL Draft is in our rearview mirror. The first preseason game, the Hall of Fame Game in Canton, Ohio between the Houston Texans and Chicago Bears, isn’t until August. We want to draft fantasy teams now, but we don’t want to deal with all the changes and injuries we’ll see during training camp this summer. And we definitely don’t want to have to deal with lineups, waivers, trades etc. for a hundred leagues all year. That’s where best ball comes in.

Since an algorithm automatically sets your lineups and in best ball and there are no waivers or trades, you are free to draft as many teams as your little heart desires. And there’s plenty of advice and strategies for you to deploy - especially in our 2024 Best Ball Cheat Sheet which is available now and will be updated all summer. But what isn’t talked about enough are some of the common mistakes I see folks make. With the margins so thin, even the smallest mistake can mean the difference between winning and losing. And, with $15 million in prizes available on Underdog’s Best Ball Mania V (which is now open), that little mistake can end up costing you a lot.


The Stack Reach

Stacking in this case refers to drafting multiple correlated players from the same team (e.g. drafting a quarterback and wide receiver from the same team). It’s a good way to create leverage - especially in the big tournaments. If it’s championship week and Baker Mayfield throws three touchdowns to Mike Evans, you’re in good shape. But you need to be smart about where and when to do it.

The key is to resist the temptation to reach too far above ADP simply to complete a stack. As Josh Larky pointed out in his Complete Guide to Stacking article, you negate the benefits of the stack if you reach too far and give up that value. Stacking should be used as more of a tie-breaker than as a focal point of your strategy. When you are REALLY generating tournament winnings value is when you get both players at a discount. So much needs to come together just right for you to beat these massive fields of players. 


We often preach that you should “draft as if you are right” in redraft and dynasty. In those formats, you likely don’t have a huge number of teams so you want to lean into your beliefs. And you naturally want to do that in this format to some degree as well. But high-level best ball player are drafting A LOT of teams. The experts max out tournaments like Best Ball Mania V at 150 entries and that is just one tournament. So you want to be careful reaching to draft the same player over and over and over and over. You are likely leaving a lot of value on the board.

Not only are you losing value by reaching but, if you are wrong or that player gets hurt, you did serious damage to a huge chunk of your best ball portfolio. If you do enough drafts, drafting the guys you believe in just ahead of ADP should give you plenty of shares without bleeding value. That’s how you maximize value. And that’s what our 2024 Best Ball Cheat Sheet truly does best - the tiered draft grid helps you stay within a certain realm where you can get the guys we believe in without over drafting them and hurting yourself along the way.

Predetermined Strategy

Strategies like Zero RB and Hero RB are incredibly popular these days. And for good reason as folks have had great success with them. But you have to be careful walking into every draft saying “I’m going Zero RB no matter what”. Because a lot of folks have that same mentality now. If you pick at 12 and the first 11 players picked are wide receivers, are you really generating any value going WR-WR at the swing?

The real secret is to “be like water”. Know ALL the strategies. Know the late targets for Zero RB and Hero RB but also know Late Round QB, Yin & Yang Tight End, Wait on Wide Receiver. If you know ALL of them, you can draft the best available players early on then pivot to a strategy. It’s okay to walk away from a draft saying “there was a lot of WR value early so I went with a Zero RB”. What you want to avoid is locking yourself into a specific strategy before the draft even starts. If you do 100 best ball drafts and all 100 of them are either Zero or Hero RB, somewhere along the way you lost value. And that value could have won you a lot of money.

Poor Roster Composition

You can draft your positions in any order. In fact, as we just talked about in the previous section, it’s encouraged to be fluid. By the end of the draft though, when it comes to the number of each position you have, you really should try to arrive within a certain range of destinations. TJ Hernandez at 4for4 has been tracking the advance rates of certain roster compositions for a while and it seems pretty clear at this stage that you have the highest success rate if your final roster falls into the realm of these totals at each position. So, no matter how you start, do your best to round it into that. Again, it’s not REQUIRED, but you could have an incredible start to your draft then blow it by finishing your draft with six quarterbacks or only drafting two wide receivers.

  • Quarterback: 2-3
  • Running Back: 4-7
  • Wide Receiver: 6-9
  • Tight End: 2-4

Dr. Fortuneteller

I’ve heard it a million times: “he’s burned me before,” or “he’s just going to get hurt.” It’s an emotional response. And those emotions are something we can take advantage of in fantasy football. I completely understand fading a player if that player is currently hurt. If I hear that Odell Beckham. is “dealing” with anything, I’m not going anywhere near him. Same goes for a guy coming off a serious injury. If you want to fade T.J. Hockenson because you are worried about his knee, you can absolutely do that.

Where I draw the line is trying to guess which currently healthy player is going to get hurt. We’ve seen this a million times. A fairly recent example happened at the very top of draft boards in 2022 when people were drafting Jonathan Taylor over Christian McCaffrey because CMC’s hamstrings. They just KNEW he would suffer another soft tissue injury. And what happened? CMC played every game. And it was Jonathan Taylor that actually got hurt. Literally EVERY player could get hurt and miss the entire season. Stop trying to guess who gets hurt and who doesn’t. It’s not a dependable process. Just draft the best players when they are available. Leave the guessing game up to Dr. Fortuneteller.

ADP Slave

Don’t be a slave to ADP. As Mathew Berry’s Fantasy Life’s Pete Overzet and his crew often say, “scroll the F down”. Yes, we want to accumulate value. No, we don’t want to “reach” too often. But at a certain point in your draft, ADP becomes far less important. At the very end of the draft especially there will be guys going undrafted that will outscore a lot of the guys being drafted. Early on with the builds ADP is a good guide and it helps you know where and when you need to strike on the values you like. Later on, you just need to get your guys. Our 2024 Best Ball Cheat Sheet is loaded with sleepers that you can take advantage of on all platforms!