The best of both worlds has arrived.
This past Monday, DraftKings launched DFS Best Ball, offering, for the first time, a season-long traditional fantasy sports experience. The new offering comes just in time for quarantined managers looking for a true 17-week DFS competition.
In a statement from DraftKings about the launch, co-founder and President of Global Technology and Product Paul Liberman said the launch was motivated by customer feedback.
“As part of a continued commitment to putting our customers first, DraftKings Best Ball is an exciting new feature within our fantasy product that our customers have asked for. Best Ball provides our DFS customers with a season-long option, supplementing the wide array of game types available on DraftKings. We look forward to this season of sports as our customers experience and compete under this new offering.
At the time of publishing, only NFL leagues were available, although DraftKings also plans to launch NBA and NHL leagues.
The most lucrative available Best Ball league is a 150-max entry, $3 million guaranteed tournament with a $20 entry fee. The winner gets $1 million.
What is DFS Best Ball?
Whereas the typical DraftKings DFS contest is a one-week or one-night competition, Best Ball is a season-long competition. Each week, your final score is made up of the best performances from each roster spot.
Best Ball drafting departs from the usual “pick your lineup” format of DFS, where all managers have access to the same players.
The Best Ball leagues follow traditional fantasy sports drafting via the “snake” format, which means the manager with the last pick in the first round has the first pick in the second round, and the manager with the last pick in the second round has the first pick of the third round.
There are two draft formats:
- 30 seconds per pick
- 8 hours per pick (“slow draft”)
Once the draft is over, rosters are final. There are no free-agent pickups. Managers don’t have to do anything once the draft is over.
The DraftKings Best Ball football lineup includes 20 players who must come from at least two different NFL teams.
Managers have eight starters:
- One QB
- Two RBs
- Three WRs
- One TE
- One flex (RB/WR/TE)
DraftKings tallies the scores for each player in your lineup and selects the best scorers from each position to be your “starters.”
For example, if a manager drafts Matthew Stafford, Gardner Minshew and Carson Wentz, then the quarterback with the highest score each week is the score DraftKings counts for the QB slot.
The format is similar to golf Best Ball. A team of, say, three golfers hits every shot, but only the best shot of the three counts.
DraftKings’ football Best Ball leagues follow standard point-per-reception scoring:
- Passing yards: 1 point per 25 yards
- Rushing/receiving yards: 1 point per 10 yards
- Passing TDs: 4 points
- Rushing/receiving TDs: 6 points
Best Ball NFL scoring includes 10-point bonuses for the following performances, too:
- 300 or more passing yards in a game
- 100 or more rushing yards in a game
- 100 or more receiving yards in a game
At the time of publishing, DraftKings’ NFL Best Ball tourneys offered a wide variety of buy-ins, prizes and skill levels:
- Entries ranged from six to 12 per league
- Entry fees ranged from $1 to $1,000
- Prizes ranged from $10.80 to $3,000
DraftKings following customers’ lead
The decision to offer Best Ball leagues was born from DraftKings customers.
The company’s statement noted: “An overwhelming 92% of respondents in a recent DraftKings consumer-led study reported high interest in engaging with the format.”
The company plans to launch basketball and hockey Best Ball leagues, too, but did not indicate when those launches would happen.