With the Regular Season Best Ball playoffs coming to a close, we are all flush with cash to start preparing for NFL Playoff Best Ball. There are plenty of strategies you can employ to set yourself apart from your competitors, but one that might offer the strongest path to winning NFL Playoff Best Ball tournaments is using an Elite QB Strategy.
First, It’s important for us to understand the pros, cons and nuances of all the different strategies available to us in Playoff Best Ball in order to capitalize on them. Everyone is going to have their personal favorites, but as drafters we need to be adaptable. There will be draft rooms where different strategies end up being more optimal based on how the draft falls and our opponents are drafting. Using our Playoff Best Ball rankings (they’re free) can help get you started with our most under or overvalued players and let you take advantage of each draft room you’re in.
Similar to how we frame our regular season strategy around the running back position, these playoff best ball strategies tend to center around differing investments in the QB position due to the limited amount of roster spots (10 total players on Underdog and 12 total players on Drafters).
What is an Elite QB Strategy in NFL Playoff Best Ball?
Elite QB is investing an early pick on a QB. Due to limited resources, most of these teams will only have one QB on the roster but you aren’t limited to only one. I would stick by the policy of no more than 2 on these builds due to capital allotment.
The critical point of the strategy attacks the QB position with early draft capital to secure a strong weekly score (both by floor and by ceiling) at the highest scoring position to decrease what you need to get right in order to advance. The Elite QBs are also on good teams and therefore have a higher likelihood of making/winning the Super Bowl, which we know to be arguably the most important variable in these contests.
You invested early draft capital in the position, so in turn you don’t want to invest a large quantity of picks/roster spots on the position. You use your remaining picks on quantity at the other positions (typically WR/TE) in order to make up for the lack of elite skill position talent since you used it on a QB.
Benefits of an Elite QB Strategy in NFL Playoff Best Ball
With only 10 picks in Playoff Best Ball, it is imperative to contain a high ceiling. The Elite QBs in the NFL have the highest ceilings in the league due to their passing and rushing abilities. They tend to be “cheat codes” in one-week slates as they can easily separate from the rest of the field, increasing your ability to advance.
Not only do they increase your ability to advance one week, having an Elite QB increases your chances of winning in real life. This is important since the goal is to win the entire tournament and you will need a full roster in all 4 rounds to advance/win.
Using significant draft capital in the QB position allows you to build out a stack (since you are taking a stand that team will make the Super Bowl) and give you multiple outs in the other conference to have a full roster. Essentially, you are betting on one team to score every week while maximizing your ceiling with multiple other game-environments.
Risks of an Elite QB Strategy in NFL Playoff Best Ball
The risks should be pretty straightforward. Should the Elite QBs team lose, the team is essentially dead to win the tournament and you’d be hoping for a minimum cash to return something on your investment. The Elite QBs also come with an increased potential of being on the one team that obtains the bye in the first round of the playoffs. This would make it significantly harder to advance out of the first round due to two things. First, you spent one of your top picks on a player who is not playing in the opening round of the contest. And second, multiple of your opponents not only have at least as good of a QB playing in the opening round, but they also likely have one elite skill position player (RB/WR/TE) playing that you do not because you drafted that bye week QB over, let’s say, Justin Jefferson.
Not only do you run the risk of a 0 if they lose or have a bye, you’re most likely missing out on their elite skill-position players to stack with. As we see with ADP on both Underdog and Drafters, it is almost impossible to get some of these Elite QBs paired with their top pass catcher (I.E. Patrick Mahomes & Travis Kelce or Josh Allen & Stefon Diggs). Typically, if a QB produces a ceiling game, it is through the air when they throw for multiple touchdowns. If those touchdowns are condensed, their skill position players could outscore the QB, lowering advancements overall.
All in all, this strategy is extremely viable to win the tournament, but it is also an easy way to sink your chances. Luckily that’s the type of boom-bust strategy we want in these Playoff Best Ball tournaments. You are betting on ceiling outcomes for multiple weeks from a single player. It has extremely strong paths to significant upside when the QB exceeds expectations (and so does his team), which is precisely what makes it viable in tournaments.