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Erickson: 2021 Best Ball Tiered Rankings

There’s no debate that the best-ball format is the best thing to happen to fantasy football in recent years. Few things are better than scratching the fantasy draft itch with skin in the game in anticipation of your home fantasy football draft. 

That said, drafting with other degenerates in the best ball streets especially on Underdog Fantasy means stiff competition. Opponents aren’t the casual drafters who show up to the draft with a fantasy football magazine from a local 7-Eleven. They know their stuff.

It then becomes critical to leverage tiered rankings to gain an edge. Using these rankings makes it simple to extract value from the players available in each round and gain an advantage over other drafters. 

Below, you’ll find my tiered rankings for QB, RB, WR and TE, with some insight on select tiers. Recall that the best ball format favors lineups that are strong down the stretch as opposed to early on, so that’s while you see slight discrepancies between these versus PPR and Half-PPR rankings

Pair these tiered rankings with my overall best-ball rankings and wreak havoc across best-ball formats before things kick off in September.


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QUARTERBACKS

QB scoring tends to be flat across the board, meaning there are few major jumps in output — the difference from one ranking to the next is negligible.

Selecting the final quarterback remaining in any given tier is the best way to extract value, and the best approach is to target QBs from Rounds 6-14 (the quarterback sweet spot) so that a third quarterback isn’t required.

Drafting two QBs within the top four tiers should ensure that you don’t need to overinvest in the position. However early your QB1 gets selected should influence how long you wait to pick your QB2 — invest in a Tier 1 QB? Wait until Tier 4 to snag QB2.

TIER 1: THE FANTASTIC FOUR

TIER 2: TOP-TIER UPSIDE

TIER 3: POCKET PASSERS AND MOBILE ROOKIES

Chicago Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields has essentially played one full game of football through two preseason games. He has totaled 222 passing yards, one passing touchdown, 79 rushing yards and one rushing touchdown in those contests, good for a whopping 26.7 fantasy points.

High-end fantasy football production is exactly what best-ball drafters should expect from Fields once he takes over the starting gig from veteran Andy Dalton. Just make sure you pair Fields with another solid quarterback option so you don’t post low numbers at the position while head coach Matt Nagy maintains his eagerness to keep the Red Rifle under center. 

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