Best Ball Breakdown: Leverage Stacks
The NFL season may be over, but fantasy football draft season has just begun, with pre-draft best ball tournaments already in full swing. Underdog Fantasy has launched The Big Board contest, featuring $1 million in total prizes and $200k to first. The contest requires a $10 entry fee (150 max) and consists of 112,800 total entries. For those looking for a more budget-friendly option, there is also The Little Board which is just $3 per entry (2 max). The Little Board is a much smaller field, with only 3,552 entries, but it still has a prize pool of $50k and $10k to first. Regardless of your contest selection, both are filling fast and the time to draft is now.
The edge in drafts has started to dwindle as ADP has started to correct itself, finally becoming more efficient. Players' values have shifted dramatically over the past couple of weeks resulting from trades and free-agent signings. Although you may not get the best closing value, there is an advantage to drafting later with more information. For example, you can target certain stacks that were not available earlier. In this article, I’m going to highlight some stacks to target, that can help separate your teams from the earlier drafts. If you’re a first-time user, be sure to sign up for Underdog with the promo code “FTN” to get a 100% deposit match.
2023 Fantasy Football Best Ball Leverage Stacks
New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr was the first starting quarterback to find a new home, signing a four-year deal in New Orleans. Because he was released by the Raiders, Carr was able to ink a new deal before the “legal tampering” period. Although Carr signed his deal earlier than the other signal callers, contests on Underdog were already over halfway filled, meaning most lobbies did not have an obvious quarterback pairing for their Saints’ stacks. Carr hasn’t shown much of a ceiling, averaging less than 16 fantasy points as a starter, but makes for a viable QB2 with Saints’ players. There is also additional leverage by including Jamaal Williams and Juwan Johnson who signed as free agents earlier in the week.
Las Vegas Raiders
After letting go of Derek Carr, Josh McDaniels brought in a familiar face in Jimmy Garoppolo, signing him to a three-year deal. Although Garoppolo has largely been a product of Kyle Shanahan’s scheme, it’s easy to forget the 49ers traded a second-round pick for Garoppolo after a handful of starts under McDaniels. There is an injury risk for Garoppolo, who has played 16 games just once in his career, but he provides significant leverage after going undrafted for most of the contest. There is a chance that the Raiders draft a rookie quarterback, however, it’s worth gambling on a player who fills a onesie position, still going in Round 15 or later. Another former Patriot in Jakobi Meyers also helps differentiate the stack who signed with Las Vegas earlier this week.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After getting benched and released by the Panthers, Baker Mayfield was able to salvage his career while filing in as the starter for the Rams. This week, he signed a one-year with the Buccaneers, who have a significant void to fill at quarterback following Tom Brady’s retirement. Although Mayfield isn’t confirmed as the starter, I’ll give him the slight lean over Kyle Trask, who was inactive as the QB3 last season. That isn’t to say Mayfield can’t lose his job midseason like last year, however, he is still practically free in drafts. Players drafted in Rounds 19-20 already have a small chance of hitting, but if Mayfield is the starter, he'll immediately provide value even if it’s just a bye-week filer. If you’re comfortable drafting Chris Godwin and Mike Evans in the first six rounds, it’s worth considering their quarterback with the final pick.
New York Jets
As of today, Aaron Rodgers is still a Packer. But it appears he’s a near lock to end up in New York at the start of the season. After hiring his former quarterback coach Nathaniel Hackett as the new offensive coordinator, the Jets have continued to build the team around Rodgers by signing Allen Lazard in free agency and publicly displaying interest in Randall Cobb and Marcedes Lewis. Rodgers's destination next season was a question mark for most of the draft season but has become clearer in recent weeks. Although the Jets players' ADP has steadily risen, tacking on Rodgers is a great way to extrapolate value. Those who were already drafting Rodgers in Jets stacks were also unlikely to include Lazard.