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Best Ball 101: A beginner's guide on optimal roster construction

Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates during the fourth quarter in the AFC Championship Game against the Buffalo Bills at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Roster construction is the most important strategy to building a winning best ball team. There is an enormous edge in maximizing the strengths and weaknesses of each position group on your roster.

Specifically, the players selected in the early rounds will determine the strategy for the rest of the draft. Understanding how to create a fundamentally sound roster with the correct positional breakdown will give you a major advantage over the competition.

For those unfamiliar with best ball, it's fantasy football without waivers, trades or start/sit decisions. Don't worry about setting lineups — simply draft and forget because that is your finalized roster for the entire season. However, best ball is still a weekly game, and the statistics for the highest scoring players automatically accumulate points as designated starters, while the lowest scoring players are automatically stored on the bench.

We are using the format on Underdog Fantasy that includes a roster of 18 players with the following weekly starting positions:

  • One quarterback
  • Two running backs
  • Three wide receivers
  • One tight end
  • One flex

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The 10 commandments of best ball roster construction

1. Make every single draft pick count

All 18 players on your roster should be drafted with the thought that they could emerge as contributors at some point in the season. Every roster spot is precious — do not waste even one.

2. If you are not first, then you are last

Upside is the name of the game in best ball. When drafting your team, consider the optimal scenario where each player leads you to a championship. Do not worry about injury risk or downside. In the later rounds, hunt for potential league-winning players who could emerge later in the season.

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