2023 Scott Fish Bowl Draft Strategies
The Scott Fish Bowl 13 — or #SFB13 on Twitter — is getting closer, and the official scoring settings for the massive tournament just dropped.
This is the largest, most popular redraft fantasy football contest in the world. Fantasy analysts and fans are grouped up to duke it out over the course of the season, and all proceeds go to charity. Shout out to Scott Fish. Donate to Fantasy Cares here.
At face value, you’re in a single 12-team league. But there are also many other 12-team leagues happening simultaneously, and when the fantasy playoffs arrive, all the best teams get merged together for an epic tournament.
Since this isn’t a normal 12-team redraft league and is instead a big tournament, we’ll see some out-of-the-box strategies. This piece will go over some of the more popular strategies you’re likely to see this year.
Key things to remember:
- SFB13 is a superflex league (you can start 2 QBs)
- Premium scoring for TEs (extra 1 point per reception and first down)
- Players also get additional points for things like first downs and passes completed
- Drafting is “third-round reversal,” which means the player who picks first overall picks again at 2.12, but instead of picking at 3.01 like normal, they have to wait until 3.12 to make their third selection. Then the rest of the draft continues like a normal snake (they pick 4.01, 5.12, 6.01, etc.)
Notably new this year:
- No negatives — including for INTs or fumbles (-4 for INT last year)
- Full PPR instead of half-PPR
- Full point per first down instead of 0.5
- Even more premium TE: They get 1 extra PPR and point per first down, up from 0.5 last year
- 0.25 points per rush attempt
- 0.1 points per pass completion
- 0.1 points per pass first down
- Kicker premium: 3.3 points per made XP, up from 1 last year
Scores will be high. Scott Fish himself breaks it down here:
Let’s take a look at some of the key approaches for this year’s draft. Note: I’m writing this the day it came out. I reserve the right to update this as the drafts get closer.
Strategy 1: Start QB-QB
I wrote this last year, but it still stands. QBs will always go early in a superflex league, and SFB will be no different, especially with QBs scoring 6 points per TD (up from the standard 4) and 0.1 points per completion and first down. The rushing QBs also get the bonus 0.25 points per rush attempt.
So once again, QBs are going to fly off draft boards.
Most teams will have at least 1 QB after the first two rounds are completed. But many people will start QB-QB, regardless of their draft slot.
If you start QB-QB, you’ll have to draft just one more down the road so that you can always start a QB in one of the Flex spots. Just make sure your third QB doesn’t share a bye!
Strategy 2: Bully TE
I did not expect many people to do this strategy last year, but I absolutely expect it to be popular in 2023.
The way the scoring is currently set up, Travis Kelce would score 6 points every time he catches a 20-yard pass. This scoring set up absolutely puts him on the table as the first overall pick, and it makes other TEs much more valuable as well.
If the cards fall right for you on draft day, you may be able to walk out with some combination of Kelce, Mark Andrews, T.J. Hockenson, George Kittle and, if you’re up for the pain again, Kyle Pitts. Even the mid-tier TEs like Darren Waller, Evan Engram and Dallas Goedert are all pairable with a second TE.
You’re going to see many teams take two of the above-mentioned TEs.
Strategy 3: Zero RB
I think we’ll see more Hero RB (drafting one good RB and then waiting) than Zero RB (not drafting an RB for the first 5-7-plus rounds) in 2023, but we’ll still see plenty of Zero RB.
There’s a bit of an unspoken flex in the fantasy community of who waited the longest to draft an RB. The SFB app run by @Josh_ADHD makes it easy to spot the waiters. Whether or not the flex is warranted is another story.
Strategy 4: Team Stacking
I expect to see the best ball “team stacking” mindset seep into SFB13. That’s not to say stacking hasn’t been popular in the SFB in the past, but look for much more chatter on the subject this year.
For the unfamiliar: Stacking is when you take a team’s QB and pair them with one or more pass-catchers from the same team. So drafting Joe Burrow and then Tee Higgins (or Ja'Marr Chase if you’re lucky).
With so many QBs being drafted early, it means some top WRs are going to fall further than they do in normal drafts. In other words, you may be able to land stacks that are harder to accomplish in a normal league.
And with TEs being juiced up so much in SFB13, it means QB-TE stacks are a lot more legitimate as well, so there are new paths for stacking that don’t feel weak. Something like Darren Waller and Daniel Jones is much more powerful in this scoring format.
And if you wait on a QB (say you take someone like Desmond Ridder), you can still complete your stacks late.
Strategy 5: Kickers?
I’ll revisit this one after giving it more thought and analysis, but my initial reaction is that with kickers scoring 3.3 points per extra point, we may actually see kickers get drafted much earlier. And starting 1 or more doesn’t seem insane.
Kickers will regularly drop 20-bombs. Starting two may become the norm.