Thursday, Sep 8th
Monday, Sep 12th

Shooting The Moon

Underdog Best Ball Playoff Strategy

Hello OWS family! I wasn’t planning on writing this article, but after completing around 75 UD best ball playoff drafts (my first year participating), and planning on doing another 25, I’ve developed a few strategies. I thought sharing my favorite would be a great way to say thank you to everyone for a great experience writing for you this season! Majesstik did a great piece on the overall UD Best Ball playoff strategy (I highly recommend reading), so I’m only going to cover one specific draft plan that I’ve been calling in my head “Shooting the Moon”. 

What is Shooting the Moon? Hearts players know the phrase. Shooting the Moon is when instead of trying to avoid taking points (points are bad in Hearts), you try and take all the points! Why would you do that? Because in taking the maximum risk, if you’re successful, you get the biggest reward, automatically winning the round. So how can we “Shoot the Moon” in UD Best Ball? 

UD playoff best ball is filled with uncertainty. Beyond the first round, we don’t know which teams will be left, or which teams will be playing. When we have that much randomness, a good place to start is by asking ourselves, what do we know? There is only one thing we can say with absolute certainty, If the Packers and Titans meet in the Superbowl, the maximum number of players any team will be able to have in the final round is five. That is certain because drafting more than five Titans/Packers would mean that your roster isn’t full for the first round. Many years (imagine if KC was the one seed) stacking the two tops seeds wouldn’t even be possible, but this year drafting combinations of Tannehill/Henry/Brown/Jones and Rodgers/Jones/Adams/Lazard/MVS is very attainable. Drafting five of these players guarantees that if your lineup makes it to the Superbowl, and the two number one seeds meet, you’ll have as good a shot as anyone to win the top prize. Sounds great! The rub? We must escape the first round with only five players and will be facing teams with ten. How do we accomplish that seemingly impossible task? Below is an example of a roster where I’m trying to “Shoot the Moon”. 

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You can utilize this strategy from every draft spot, all leading to different Titans/Packers stacks, my favorite way to try and “Shoot the Moon” is from the first pick. Many people attempting a Packers stack would assume that you must select Adams, and while you certainly can, I prefer the above because of the juice it gives you in the Wildcard round. If the two top seeds meet in the Superbowl, my stack would be Tannehill/Henry/Julio/Jones/Lazard. Remember to make sure you’re picking five players that can all fit on the same lineup. Can this team get there? Let’s look at the five brave souls that need to carry me through the first round.  I’ll be playing Stafford/Mitchell/Kupp/Kittle/DJ. A quick glance at DFS salaries for the week says that team could win! That’s why I prefer this approach (I’ve used others, but this is my favorite) to “Shooting the Moon”. The ability to field a Kupp/Stafford stack gives you a lot of hope in the Wildcard round. Other players that I’ve found fit well on “Shoot the Moon” teams are Najee Harris, Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller, Dallas Goedert, Devonte Smith, Hunter Renfrow, and Jalen Hurts. 

Thank you all for a great season! Let’s finish it off with an OWS member taking down the Best Ball championship.  I’ll see you all at the top!