With the “Summer of Best Ball” coming to a close (the second best summer after the Summer of George, of course), I decided to field some questions about the best ball dynasty format. For those unfamiliar, I wrote a pair of articles about the format earlier this off-season with Best Ball Dynasty Leagues: Forget the Rest? and Best Ball Dynasty Strategy. Alright, let’s get to the questions.
1.) @Tpmaltbie asks, “Which is better in best ball, studs and duds or team depth?
In Best Ball Dynasty Leagues, I think team depth is more important than the studs and duds strategy. Like I’ve discussed previously, a lot can depend on the transaction policy of your league. In leagues with no waivers or in-season trades, the studs and duds strategy becomes much more risky because you don’t have the ability to pick up unknown breakouts during the season like a Justin Forsett or Larry Donnell and you won’t be able to go out and replace studs who get injured with inseason trades, you will just be relying on the team you have. In leagues that allow trades inseason, the studs/duds route is a little more feasible, but we also know in-season is the worst time to buy veterans from a market value perspective.
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2.) @14TeamMocker asks, “What is the breaking point of owning Rodgers or Luck vs two later round QBs?”
Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers averaged 22.46 and 21.98 fantasy points, respectively, in leagues with fairly normal quarterback scoring (25 passing yards per point and four points per passing touchdown). For many of the late round quarterback advocates, the goal isn’t necessarily to score as much as the top quarterbacks, but more so to get close while spending much less capital. For example, Philip Rivers and Eli Manning, who finished as QB10/QB11 respectively would’ve combined to average 20.88 fantasy points per game. That’s less than two points per game with using two late round quarterbacks compared to using a pick on Andrew Luck where you could’ve had players like Demaryius Thomas or Alshon Jeffery, who are both being selected after Luck in August ADP. For comparison, the wide receivers being selected around Phillip Rivers are Justin Hardy and Anquan Boldin and I anticipate a much larger drop than two points per game from Demaryius Thomas to Justin Hardy or Alshon Jeffery to Anquan Boldin. As far as an exact breaking point, the cheapest you could go with two quarterbacks to exceed Andrew Luck’s fantasy pointers per game was QB7/QB8 with Matt Ryan and Tom Brady who combined to score 22.67 points per game. I think each year it could be a little different, but for the most part, that’s about what it’s going to take to match the top quarterback in points per game
3.) @RavageFF asks, “Overall feelings on stacking certain teams Coby Fleener/Dwayne Allen or Davante Adams/Jeff Janis/Ty Montgomery in Best ball vs. lineup setting?”
It is easy to say, “I like players in good offenses,” but in best ball dynasty, I’m more apt to stack the secondary players on an elite offense. So, the value of TY Hilton, Andre Johnson, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb all stay relatively the same, but finding out who will be the third most targeted receiver in a game can be a little more difficult, so if you have a trio of Adams/Janis/Montgomery or a pair of tight ends in Fleener/Allen, you’re more likely to “hit” on a given week than with two secondary options in different offenses. I also like “stacking” a high powered offense from a developmental perspective. Phillip Dorsett and Donte Moncrief are two high upside young wide receivers in one of the best offenses in the NFL. I recognize both players have some bust potential and there is no guarantee one of them “hits,” but I feel safer in a way when I both of them, rather than just one. However, the one thing that this comes back to – it has to be valuable. Team stacking or handcuffing only works if it is the right value. You aren’t doing yourself any favors taking a player two rounds before his ADP because you have the player ahead of him on the depth chart. If you like that individual player that much more than the consensus, go for it, but it has to be about more than just handcuffing. Another key element is the price of the players in the stack involved, which is why I suggest targeting the secondary options in elite offenses because many times they are still affordable. In lineup setting leagues, I think stacking players on a team can be a little less optimal, mostly because those secondary team options are less valuable because predicting targets can be such a chore. In lineup setting leagues, I’m more apt to target players in lesser offenses who I know will get targets this year and likely in the future.
4.) @DwayneB13 asks, “How many WR2’s does it take to average WR1 production (and wr3’s, Rb2’s, TE2’s etc)?”
This is similar to the quarterback question, so I will approach it similarly. In normal PPR leagues, the top 12 (WR1) wide receivers averaged 19.56 points per game. The WR18/WR19 with Steve Smith and Anquan Boldin averaged 16.65 PPR points, which would be good for WR12 in points per game. The WR14/WR15 featuring DeAndre Hopkins and Kelvin Benjamin averaged 18.85 PPR points, so two mid-WR2’s finish just shy of the average WR1 and good for WR7 in points per game.
At running back, top 12 (RB1) running backs averaged 17.73 points per game. The RB16/RB17 with Fred Jackson and Alfred Morris averaged 16.28 PPR points, good for RB8 in points per game. So, like with wide receivers, a couple of mid RB2’s can get you a top 12 RB in points per game. One thing to keep in mind with this, you are using two players to fill one spot, the other in the combination could still help fill out your best ball lineup, but they also might be on the bench because you are taking the better performance of the two each week.
With the tight end position, it isn’t nearly as deep as running back, wide receiver, or even quarterback. TE16/17 featuring Jared Cook and Mychal Rivera combined for an average of 11.26 PPR points, which would be good for TE8 in points per game. So, you aren’t going to be able to combine TE2’s to get Rob Gronkowki, or RB2’s and get Le’Veon Bell, but this does show the importance of depth in the best ball format.
For RB3’s, a pair of RB3’s in Andre Williams and Steven Jackson (RB27/RB28), they combine to average 11.14 PPR points per game, which is actually lower than the season long output, finishing at RB29 in points per game. For WR3’s, a pair of WR3’s in Eric Decker and Sammy Watkins (WR26/WR27), they combine to average 15.62 PPR good for WR17 in points per game. In conclusion, you can frankenstien your RB/WR/TE2’s into top 12 finishes, as well as WR3’s into WR2’s, but RB3’s and TE3’s are going to give you what they are. Depth is key here, but, you aren’t going to be able to combine TE2’s to get Gronkowki, or RB2’s and get Le’Veon Bell, but this does show the importance of depth in the best ball format.