We’re now in Best Ball summer, and there’s money to be won everywhere. The Best Ball prize pools from the major providers doubled from 2020 to 2021. It’s already more than doubled again from 2021 to 2022. Best Ball is booming.
Underdog is the most popular place to play, and for good reason. The user experience is second-to-none, the mobile app works great, the tournaments are gigantic and fast-filling, and they track much of your data for you. Plus, they make their data publicly available for free allowing for thorough analysis. But, because they’re offering so much money and providing such a great platform, the competition is stiff.
We love DraftKings. The vast majority of DFS content centers on DraftKings. But their Best Ball product sucks.
They don’t provide the user with any of their data, so you’re on your own for exposures and there’s no way to upload your own rankings. If you want to adjust the rankings, you literally have to drag players manually up and down a list into the correct positions and expect that to take an hour each time you make any sizable changes. There’s no draft board, so good luck keeping track of what your opponents are doing while drafting. The roster page offers far less information than on Underdog. And the mobile app is buggy and crashes if you switch between apps too often. Plus, the only data available is your personal contest results.
But the prize pools are mouth-watering, and the competition’s mouth-breathing.
Because of these issues, there’s a profound lack of Best Ball content focused on the DraftKings platform. There’s simply a lack of thought behind how to succeed in these tournaments. Luckily, I qualified for the finals of last season’s $300K Play Action tournament ($3 entry fee, max 20 entries, $50K to first), so I had at my disposal the raw data from that contest’s Week 17 championship. This data does not include anything about when a user’s team was drafted, or what pick they got each player. It’s simply their roster and the points scored in Week 17. But, by contrasting this data with data from a similar tournament on Underdog, I was able to uncover some important takeaways to help you win against a softer field of competition.
Even with less savvy opponents on DraftKings, you cannot expect that you’ll be able to draft like you’re playing on Underdog and see the same level of success. I’ve seen plenty of otherwise smart players making basic mistakes in the DraftKings tournaments because they’re too comfortable with Underdog and not keeping in mind the platform differences in scoring system and playoff structure. Here are the main takeaways from this analysis: