Home Articles Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Draft | 2024 ADP Takeaways & Analysis
Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Draft | 2024 ADP Takeaways, Analysis

Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Draft | 2024 ADP Takeaways & Analysis

Unwind: A Community of Women in Fantasy Football

by Rachel (@tootsiepop6)

In October, I launched a series of Zoom events called “Unwind” with the premise of connecting women who love fantasy football. These events have been successful, and we are now an Unwind community that includes 60+ members and continues to grow. I recently hosted a Zoom event with 12 of us drafting an Underdog Fantasy best ball draft.

In this article, I will take a look at current Average Draft Position (ADP) post-NFL Draft and the different strategies employed by these drafters.

These astute drafters included:

(This best ball draft consisted of a roster construct of 1 QB, 2 RB, 3 WR, 1 TE and 1 Flex)

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Underdog Fantasy Best Ball Draft | 2024 ADP Takeaways

Early Rounds (1-6)

In the early rounds, there wasn’t anything too surprising about the quarterbacks taken and where. Jaime, Anne, Stephanie and I took Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts, Lamar Jackson and Patrick Mahomes as the first four quarterbacks off the board. These coincide with current Underdog ADP and the current Footballguys and FantasyPros rankings.

Kate selected Sam LaPorta, who has an Underdog Fantasy ADP of 28, as the first tight end off the board at the 2.09. LaPorta was the top-scoring tight end of the 2023 season, being the only one to score 11 total touchdowns. As the reigning NFC North champions, the Detroit Lions look to continue their success this season with LaPorta playing a key role.

Perennial favorite running back Christian McCaffrey was taken at the 1.01 by Ashlie. Over the 2023 season, McCaffrey had an astonishing 1,727 rushing yards and 716 receiving yards. He finished as the top running back last season and is currently ranked No. 1 for 2024 by both Footballguys and FantasyPros. Having him on her best ball squad, Ashlie is securing one of her two starting running back positions with a sure thing.

Stacy kicked off her draft by taking four wide receivers consecutively, with A.J. Brown, Drake London, Stefon Diggs and Zay Flowers. With half-Points Per Reception (PPR) scoring on Underdog Fantasy, receivers are valued higher because they get 0.5 points for each and every reception. Taking five receivers in her first six picks, Kim also capitalized on the half-PPR scoring, adding Marvin Harrison Jr., Malik Nabers, D.K. Metcalf, Christian Kirk and Xavier Worthy. Note that three of these receivers are rookies just starting their NFL careers this season.

Middle Rounds (7-12)

Five of these savvy drafters waited until the middle rounds to take their first quarterback. Brenda Sue drafted Dak Prescott at the 7.03, Kate took Brock Purdy at the 7.04 and Erika snagged her Bears’ quarterback Caleb Williams at 8.03. Because this draft is a 1QB league, Stacy and Kim chose to wait on this position until the ninth round. Stacy took Matthew Stafford at 9.09, and Kim selected Jayden Daniels at 9.12. NFL.com’s QB Index Rankings had Stafford as the No. 5 last season, so this was a steal for Stacy to snatch him as the 19th quarterback off the board. Taken as the second-overall pick in the 2024 NFL Draft, Daniels is primed to be the Washington Commanders starting quarterback of the future. With both his mobility and passing talent, Daniels figures to score well for Kim in this best ball format.

The tight end position is one of the more challenging positions to roster. Susan took two tight ends back-to-back with David Njoku at the 8.02 and T.J. Hockenson at the 9.11. Njoku and Hockenson are both ranked in the top 12 for the upcoming season by Footballguys and FantasyPros, so Susan adds extra insurance to her 1 TE starting position. Getting the tight end value of the draft, Kim picked up George Kittle at the 7.12 as the ninth tight end off the board. Kittle is currently ranked fifth and sixth on the Footballguys and Fantasy Pros tight end rankings, respectively. Having 170.7 half-PPR fantasy points in 2023, Kittle is a good value pick by Kim getting him later than his ADP of 66.9.

Balancing Rookies With Veterans

Some of these drafters began considering rookie running backs during these middle rounds. Carla drafted Trey Benson at the 7.08, Kim took Jonathon Brooks at 10.01 and Stephanie picked up Blake Corum at 12.07. These backs all have a chance to play a considerable role on their respective teams in 2024.

As it pertains to veteran running backs, I took touchdown vulture Raheem Mostert at the 7.02 as the 22nd running back off the board. In half-PPR, Mostert was ranked as the No. 2 running back last season with a total of 21 touchdowns. Another interesting back to look at this year is Tony Pollard. Ashlie took him at the 9.01 as the 27th running back off the board. Finisng last year as the 15th-best running back in half-PPR, Pollard produced a respectable 1,005 rushing yards. Joining the Tennessee Titans, a traditionally run-heavy team, Pollard has the potential to fare even better this season.

Titan Time

Getting a steal at wide receiver, Anne snatched up veteran Calvin Ridley at the 8.06 as the 40th receiver off the board. Ridley is currently ranked as WR30 on Footballguys rankings and WR33 on FantasyPros. Anne got him later than his current Underdog Fantasy ADP of 65.2. Perhaps this is due to the uncertainty of how he will do coming to a new team, the Tennessee Titans. In fantasy points per game in half-PPR, though, Ridley averaged 11.3 in 2023, so Anne secured a reliable receiver for her best ball team.

Brenda took the other top Titans receiver, DeAndre Hopkins, at the 9.03. Averaging 10.9 fantasy points per game in 2023, Hopkins also figures to perform well in this best ball format where blow-up games are coveted. The Titans brought in talent this offseason, which will only benefit quarterback Will Levis coming into his first full year at the helm.

Late Rounds (13-18)

During the late rounds of a best ball draft, drafters shoot their shot on deeper roster picks. In this type of format, there is also variation in how many of each position drafters decide to take.

Stephanie and Erika took their second and final quarterback, with Stephanie taking Drake Maye at the 15.06 and Erika taking Derek Carr at 14.03. Both will have starting roles on their respective teams. These two quarterbacks may be lower on this draft board because they don’t have as many offensive weapons as other teams do. Meanwhile, Jaime went bully quarterback and took her fourth quarterback with Aidan O’Connell at 16.08. It may not be a glamorous pick, but O’Connell has the potential to be the Las Vegas Raiders’ starting quarterback for 2024, especially if Gardner Minshew struggles.

Anne went bully tight end in this draft and took her third and fourth of this position with Tyler Conklin at the 14.06 and Ja’Tavion Sanders at the 16.06. These were the 17th and 23rd tight ends taken in this draft and add depth to her team.

Taking J.K. Dobbins at pick 16.02 and as the 54th running back off the board, Susan may have one of the sneakiest picks of the draft. Plagued by injuries the past couple of years, Dobbins has a new chance with the Los Angeles Chargers this year. The Chargers parted ways with long-time starting back Austin Ekeler this offseason. Opportunity presents itself for Dobbins to compete for the starting position.

Carla leaned heavily on wide receivers, taking Dontayvion Wicks, Quentin Johnston, Demario Douglas and Cedric Tillman in rounds No. 13-16. Having receiver depth is advantageous in a half-PPR scoring format. It’s also noteworthy that the last seven picks of the draft were all receivers.

Stacking Up

A common strategy with best ball formats is stacking multiple players from the same team. This usually means drafting a quarterback and at least one of their skill-position players. Nine of these drafters from Unwind utilized this strategy.

Going homer for her Dallas Cowboys, Brenda paired Dak Prescott with receiver Brandin Cooks. Anne did a triple stack of Jacksonville Jaguars playmakers with Trevor Lawrence, Evan Engram and Gabriel Davis.

Going ballsy with multiple stacks, Kate did a triple stack of San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel and rookie Ricky Pearsall. She then stacked new Minnesota Vikings quarterback J.J. McCarthy with the newly-rostered Aaron Jones. Carla hatched together an Indianapolis Colts stack of Anthony Richardson with running back Jonathan Taylor. She then stacked Carolina Panthers quarterback Bryce Young with new addition Diontae Johnson.

The nature of a best ball draft is that once drafted, it is left alone. The top-scoring players fill out the starting lineup each week. There is no in-season management. Putting together a best ball draft in May highlights the current ADP. Over the next couple of months, there will be ADP movement as new information regarding training camp performance and depth chart positioning come to light.

In an Underdog Fantasy best ball draft, drafters try to pick a variety of high-floor and high-ceiling players to fare favorably. We shall see how the season shakes out for this group of 12 women from Unwind.


Thanks for reading my ADP analysis & takeaways from Unwind’s recent Underdog Fantasy best ball draft. For more information on Unwind, you can reach out to me @tootsiepop6 on Twitter or Instagram. 

*Photo Credit: Lon Horwedel – USA TODAY Sports*

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1 comment

Carka May 27, 2024 - 11:46 pm

Very thorough write up. It’s a wrap! Nice to see so many strategies.

Reply

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