Best Ball Opportunity Cost

As the Summer kicks off it is officially moving into Best Ball tourney season. Let me help you to understand a basic risk management concept to drive home the most important thing you can measure yourself against in a tournament setting, advancement rate. After you finish top 2, the gods decide who gets the fortunate bounce in the knockout rounds. Pat Mahomes yourself on the back. At this point in time, we are not going to discuss 3D Chess trying to correlate Week 17. Let us just focus on making it to the dance, for today.

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Speaking of Pat Mahomes, how did that guy do last year? What a loaded question. Mahomes 2021 season is a lesson in Best Ball lore. To the casual Fantasy Football player, caveman math makes the most sense. Good player, good season, good Best Ball. No. The asset’s performance is only half the equation, the other half is cost (ADP). We cannot control the back-end cost (Actual performance), only the front-end buy price (ADP). The public is still coming around to ADP becoming more important in drafts, and I hope this article shows you why that is.

Patrick Mahomes 2021 season was a smash. Let’s take a look at the future HOFer stats:

Games played: 17
Passing Touchdowns: 37 4th
Pass Attempts: 658 3rd
Passing Yards: 4,839 4th
Rushing Yards: 6th
Expected Points added: 1st
Accuracy Rating: 1st

If you saw those stats, you would know the Chiefs had to of had a good season. He was not the best QB in the land, but he is still elite. So, I would imagine his Best Ball Underdog advancement rate was probably top 3 among QB’s, right? Wrong. Top 10? Nope. Top 15? Not even close. Top 20!!?? Nah. Patrick Mahomes playoff advancement rate was 21st among all QB’s. That is worse than Cam Newton, Same Darnold, and Teddy Bridgewater. Sam Darnold played just 9 games of pre-playoff football and never threw over 2 TDs in a game! How is this possible? Opportunity Cost.

Thinking through the QB Position

The QB position and its scarcity for these points can be a fuzzy topic. Good QBs are few and far between, and only one can start at a time. However, the spread between actuals is fairly tight and we don’t need to draft the first QB off the board. When I see Patrick Mahomes, Dak Prescott, and Aaron Rodgers all threw for 37 TDs last year, yet their ADPs are dozens of picks apart, I know that the scarcity + ADP spread was an advantage. Case in point, an ADP of 100 can be the WR35, whereas ADP 100 can be a projected QB9. Keep in mind people try and conflate future upside with their Redraft demand, hence why we see Justin Fields and Trey Lance last year get bought up to Aaron Rodgers/Brady level. Those are older patented MVP QBs that we are trying to call the top on, not drafting due to being over the age apex, and trying to find tomorrows new shiny object. Of course exiting before the crash is ideal, however the market has gotten ahead of itself. Be sure to stack side-by-side, your projections vs. current ADP. Find the spreads and capitalize on the inefficient market. Now go win your league.

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Image Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig – USA TODAY Sports