If you haven't heard, Underdog Fantasy rolled out a massive new fantasy football game called Weekly Winners, where you draft a team in the offseason that enters 17 weekly tournaments throughout the NFL regular season. It's merging best ball and daily fantasy sports, with a full guide into the format here.
This new game can be as simple as drafting the best players and drafting the best teams using normal best ball practices (team stacking, 2-6-7-3 roster construction, diminishing returns at each position, ADP values, etc.). It can also be as chaotic as you want it to be.
I'll merge each style in my 10 strategies for Weekly Winners.
Whenever we launch single entry, winner take all, three max, or any other fun but weird tournament, I notice that it's like us giving permission for drafters to lose their damn mind. I see more reaching on "their guys" or reaching on game stacks well above ADP, which loses a lot of the value of the stack. I also see bad roster construction, too. In those tournaments, I think there's a lot of value in just being normal! I definitely think this tournament will lead to some really insane teams and draft boards. Relatively sticking to the norm, while letting everyone else shoot themselves in the feet could be what it takes to build a super team.
To reiterate, there will be massive reaches, which also means more massive in-draft fallers. Sprinkle in some sweet, sweet ADP value when it's very-clearly presented. There are other rounds to go on with your galaxy-braining stacks and getting players way past ADP is how you help build uniqueness to your roster.
Teams play their divisional rivals twice per season, so simply stacking them adds some correlation multiple times throughout the year. The only small pitfall is that one of those divisional games is in Week 18, which we're not including in this tournament. Look at the schedule below to see which divisional teams do play each other twice when it matters, if you want to scoop up every penny of EV.
Drafting too many players with the same bye hurts your advance rate in normal best ball tournaments, but that doesn't apply here. If you want to sacrifice all of Week 7 with going ham on those teams, then that gives you a very slight edge in all of the other weeks. Here are all the bye weeks, with more on this topic later on:
I think it'll be worthwhile to focus in on certain weeks where you'll have an advantage on the field, who are spreading themselves too thin. If you grab the schedule for Week 6 for example, then only game stack those games, you will have some positive expected value. (After doing so, re-name your draft "Week 6 Stacks" so you can easily sweat those teams when the time comes) Here's the full NFL schedule to nail this strategy, which I think is very clearly an optimal strategy for this. Definitely experiment with it.
Draft the olds altogether for early-season EV, or draft the rookies, injured, and suspended players altogether for late-season EV. Just make sure you're combining players who will peak at nearly the same time in the schedule. For example, I'd like to draft rookie Jordan Addison with suspended Jameson Williams and a bunch of classic Zero RB contingent players on the same team. It takes some time for the insurance RBs to get starts due to injuries/benchings, which will line up with the Post Bye Rookie Bump. Late in the season, this team could look fire.
This is a game literally about "Better In Best Ball" players, so study which types of players actually spike and how often they have big games. I broke down the data from the last two years in this column "Where Do Fantasy Football Spike Weeks Come From?". Recently, the elite QBs are accounting for a larger chunk of the position's spike weeks (because QB scrambles and QB goal-line runs are up, which literally only helps them). I also confirmed that it's hard to find major weekly ceilings at WR late in the draft. Most late-round WR wins look like Zay Jones, who was a very good pick at cost but wasn't dropping 30-point bombs. The position that's least consistent in separating from my research is at TE, where there's the most weekly volatility and most correlation with TDs (which are volatile). I'll be prioritizing QB and WR more than ever here.
Because advancement doesn't matter anymore, then we can sacrifice some normal roster construction strategy. I'll be drafting some elite QB teams that have either a stud WR or TE, and I'll build the rest of my roster around them, assuming that they'll combine for 3-6 spike weeks where I'll want a ton of players at the other positions. For example, I'll draft some Lamar Jackson and Mark Andrews, but I won't draft 3 QBs or 3 TEs on these teams. I could stick with just them (though I'll probably still draft 2 QBs and 2 TEs), but either way, I'll draft even more RBs and WRs to give me more shots on goal at those positions for the inevitable weeks when Jackson+Andrews are the guys you need that week.
It's hard to guess just what will happen and what the consensus strategies will be, but we should work against them if those strategies suck. For example, I guess more teams will stick with one elite TE. That could be really smart because advancement doesn't matter, but that also means the drafted rate for the late-round TEs could be really low. If so, there's leverage in drafting a handful of the late-round TEs, as they're only being drafted let's say 33% of the time compared to the usual 75-100% of the time from Best Ball Mania.
Another way this could play out is that QBs and WRs get even more pushed up because of stacking, meaning the RBs project even better at ADP. If so, just give me the damn projected fantasy points with the RBs over and over and over again. Last time I checked, you can have a stud RB in the flex in half PPR best ball.
This has been my favorite galaxy brain. The weeks with the most bye-week teams are these two, so if we pull up the matchups for these weeks and only draft those players, we'll have an advantage over all the teams who have these players sitting on benches. For example, in Week 7 the projected high-scoring matchups are Lions vs. Ravens, Chargers vs. Chiefs, Dolphins vs. Eagles, and 49ers vs. Vikings. Just keep stacking those four teams.
I typically draft within 2-3 QBs, 4-7 RBs, 6-9 WRs, and 2-3 TEs in normal best ball tournaments because the research is very clear that those are the optimal ways to play the game via advancement. That doesn't fully apply here, so I'll be willing to draft more of one position if I didn't draft much of it early on. Without doing any research on it, I think I'll be within 2-4 QBs, 3-8 RBs, 5-10 WRs, and 2-4 TEs now. I expect others will go even crazier (either with 1QB or 12WR), but I do think the diminishing returns of drafting each position will counteract that galaxy braining quicker than most realize.