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DraftKings Best Ball Contest Strategy

Nicholas Berault
Written by Nicholas Berault
June 6, 2023
DraftKings Best Ball Contest Strategy

Those of us heavily invested in the performance of our fantasy football lineups deeply understand the feeling of watching a benched player torch an opponent while providing zero value to your weekly matchup. If anything, they may be scoring those points against you.

The solution to avoiding this feeling is simple: play your season-long fantasy league through DraftKings’ Best Ball contest, where the best players on your roster are automatically started each week and count toward your matchup or season-long points standings.

We recently provided an overview with more detailed information on the Best Ball contest offering and will dig into the strategy of succeeding in a league where the draft is the only opportunity to add players to rosters.


Best Ball rosters on DK consist of 20 players. Each team must have at least one quarterback, two running backs, three receivers, one tight end, and a flex player between the non-QB positions to fill a starting lineup. After that, it’s entirely up to each player how to approach the draft.

As we mentioned, the draft is the only time to alter rosters. There are no waivers in Best Ball leagues and no exceptions for injuries, suspensions, or otherwise. DraftKings uses a full PPR format, so volume pass-catchers at each skill position are even more valuable.

We’ve outlined a few simplified concepts for how to approach your draft in the Best Ball setting here:

Prioritize the Best Available Wide Receivers

Don’t focus on filling your roster position by position. Having four or five top 30 players at a position like receiver can offset a lineup with one or two top 30 running backs or a mid-tier quarterback or tight end from week to week for a season.

In 12 of the 18 weeks last season, wide receivers made up at least two of the top five fantasy scorers and, in extreme cases, up to four of the top five.

Managing a roster with multiple top-tier receivers filled out with depth at running back in the middle rounds can provide a strong foundation for success in Best Ball. With the ability to start up to four receivers, it makes sense to focus on the best at this position early.

Embrace Volatility

Fantasy experts in traditional season-long formats emphasize players with a high floor who reduce the chances of a goose egg in the middle of your starting lineup.

In Best Ball, players with the ability to go off but who may experience scoring droughts are more valuable because of the top-end potential they add to a roster.

Nineteen non-quarterbacks had multiple games with 30+ fantasy points in PPR scoring last season. Among those to accomplish this feat were 12 receivers, five running backs, and two tight ends.

Be Aware of Conflicting Bye Weeks

Because no players can be added from a waiver wire to stream roster positions during heavy bye weeks, managing that at the draft is necessary.

It’s inevitable that rosters will weaken while not at full strength throughout an 18-week season, but don’t completely throw away your chances because you can’t fill out a starting lineup.

Setup Pre-Draft Rankings and Player Queue

In the shorter format of Best Ball contests, players have just 30 seconds to make a selection during the draft. It can be easy to miss a pick or two, if not more, because drafts begin as soon as the 12 team slots in the league are filled.

Players who auto-draft are still eligible for prizes, but only if they’ve made alterations to pre-draft player rankings or added players to their selection queue.

DraftKings offers push notifications that can help avoid this situation, but it’s a good risk management practice to ensure your hard-earned entry fee isn’t squandered before the season kicks off.

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