The Sackreligious Approach to Playoff Best Ball

The Sackreligious Approach to Playoff Best Ball

A Sackreligious Introduction

When I started Legendary Upside, I was excited about how it could eventually grow beyond my own writing and content and begin to feature other voices in the industry.

I've really enjoyed collaborating with Daniel Racz and Kyle Dvorchak on our best ball rankings and podcasts and with Jakob Sanderson and Davis Mattek on our dynasty rankings and pods. And it's been awesome to partner with Erik Beimfohr on Legendary Sickos and with T.J. Hernandez and John Daigle on DVS MVP.

And there's no way I'd have launched this site in the first place without the support of my Ship Chasing co-hosts, Ben Gretch and Peter Overzet.

But... so far, I've been the only author publishing on Legendary Upside. Granted, even my written content has received essential editing help from Nic Bodiford on the Walkthrough and Jackson Kane during the preseason. Still, my name has been on each and every byline... and there will be a little more variety going forward.

I'm thrilled to announce the addition of Sackreligious as a new author for Legendary Upside.

You're probably already familiar with Sack from our Playoff Best Ball overview or from our first premium Playoff Best Ball pod. You may also know him from Stat Chasing, which he hosts with Conor O'Driscoll, and where he's been providing the answers to the weekly draft tests all season on his way to finishing third in the Dawg Bowl.

Sack is an extremely sharp drafter. Fortunately, he also has the ability and inclination to explain how and why he attacks drafts. And that will make us all sharper.

Speaking for myself, I'm seeing the playoff best ball game much more clearly since diving into the article you are about to read.


P.S. The Walkthrough will be published on Friday this week. I am what one might call "wildly behind schedule," but I think you'll be excited to see where some of my time has been going when we launch our playoff best ball tool next week.

The Sackreligioius Approach to Playoff Best Ball

If you are taking best ball seriously and trying to make your hobby a profitable one, Playoff Best Ball is one of the best formats to play.

There are some very simple nuances to the game that a large portion of the field is simply unaware of, which makes the game very exploitable.

Last season I max entered the Gauntlet on Underdog, a $25 entry fee, 150-max tournament. In my average draft room, I almost always saw at least one team, and often two teams drafting rosters that were ENTIRELY DEAD to win 1st place in the tournament. With this many dead teams in the tournament, as long as you follow this strategy guide, you can confidently be drafting playoff best ball teams effectively rake free, just by letting those dead entries light their money on fire.

So why is it that so many drafters are missing the mark when it comes to playoff best ball strategy? It’s surprisingly simple: many drafters don’t even give themselves a chance to field a full starting lineup of five players – 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR/TE, 1 FLEX – in their lineup in the Super Bowl.

Play to Win the Game

When drafting your teams, the easiest thing you can do to be better than the field on average is to ensure that you have a viable combination of at least five players that could play in some scenario in the Super Bowl. For example, if you draft only NFC teams and never more than four players on any one team, you’re guaranteed not to be able to field a 5-man starting lineup in the Super Bowl.

To illustrate how impactful it is to have five live players in the Super Bowl, here is the data on last season’s Gauntlet finals:

  • 40 teams with 0 live players
  • 24 teams with 1 live player
  • 30 teams with 2 live players
  • 39 teams with 3 live players
  • 13 teams with 4 live players
  • 9 teams with 5 live players
    • Only 8-of-9 had Hurts or Mahomes

You’re reading those numbers right; if you managed to get a full 5-man roster with a QB into the finals, you were looking at approximately a 1/8 chance to win $100k, with a very strong chance of finishing top 8, locking in a payday of at least $7,500.

Granted, last season was one of the hardest scenarios to advance a team that could field a full 5-man roster to the finals, given that both 1 seeds made the Super Bowl. Advancing a team of at least five players on bye out of Round 1 is no easy task.

Scenario-Based Drafting

The way that we accomplish this simple objective of “five live in the Super Bowl” is by utilizing scenario-based drafting. Scenario-based drafting is simply the classic best ball adage of “draft like you’re right” taken to the extreme.

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