MFL10 Draft Strategy
Every fantasy owner has had the excruciating experience of a start-sit decision involving an all-or-nothing player. Their name may or may not have been DeSean Jackson. Maybe C.J. Anderson. Could have been Martavis Bryant, Mark Ingram, or Brandin Cooks. When you start them, they put up a goose egg. When you make them ride the pine, they go for 30 or more. We could all collectively mourn for the forehead wrinkles and gray hairs created by these guys, or we could wander into the wonderful world of MFL10s.
For those of you who don’t know, MFL10 is an increasingly popular league format on MyFantasyLeague.com. How will it save you from those mentioned above, painstaking start-sit decisions? Best ball format. Best ball means that you will not have to set a starting lineup every week. Instead, your starting lineup will be automatically filled by the players on your roster who score the most points during the week. Additionally, there is no waiver wire. The 20 players you draft are the 20 you will have for the remainder of the season. Essentially, you participate in the draft; then you never have to make another decision.
Starting Lineup, Scoring System, and Roster Construction
MFL10s are PPR scoring and have a starting lineup consisting of 1 QB, 2 RBs, 3 WRs, 1 TE, 1 FLEX, and 1 D/ST. 11 more players round out your bench to form a 20-man roster. The format places a premium on the WR position, which is why I am a proponent of the Zero RB strategy. I believe stockpiling stud WRs in the early rounds of the draft and collecting high-upside, pass-catching RBs in the later rounds gives you the highest probability of success in a format that features up to 4 starting WRs and PPR scoring. Obviously, Zero RB is not the only draft strategy that can produce a winning roster. A more balanced effort can be successful, or even attempting a Zero WR strategy due to the utter lack of elite RB talent in the NFL.
Regardless of the draft strategy you employ, roster construction is pivotal. 4for4.com produced a great article regarding the number of players at each position you should draft in MFL10s. Successful lineups generally field 2-3 QBs, 5-6 RBs, 7-8 WRs, 2-3 TEs, and 1-2 D/STs. Multiple combinations can be created from the given ranges, but there is an important observation to be made. At least 12 of your 20 roster spots (most of the time even more than 12) should be used on RBs and WRs. Similar to almost every other fantasy format, RBs and WRs rule the day.
Rankings players in the first 6 or so rounds of an MFL 10 is a similar exercise to PPR redraft leagues. Stud fantasy players are always studs, regardless of the format. Consistency is one of the defining factors of an early-round fantasy pick, so it should come as no surprise that best ball format doesn’t necessarily change that. However, the later rounds can call for a different strategy. I locate my late-round RB and WR MFL10 targets primarily through two avenues: Weekly Volatility and Storytelling.
|Player Name||Year||Weekly Volatility||MFL10 ADP|
|Ted Ginn Jr.||2015||8.8||12.02|
Storytelling[the_ad id=”66786″]Sometimes in fantasy football, the metrics and data need to be placed aside for a moment (it pains me even to write that) and you need to let your imagination do the heavy lifting. This is where “fantasy storytelling” can become a useful exercise. Every player in fantasy has a range of potential outcomes. For some, like David Johnson, that range of outcomes is narrow. We all know how his story is most likely going to end. He has a high probability of being a top-5 fantasy RB in 2017 barring injury. The chances of him finishing much lower than that are minimal. This is one of the main reasons why David Johnson is being drafted universally in the top 3.
Other players, like Mike Gillislee, have a wide range of possible fantasy finishes. He could be buried in an impossible to predict, four-man committee with Burkhead, White, and Lewis. He could also take hold of the early-down, game-closing, fantasy goldmine role in that Pats offense and score 15 TDs. There isn’t much that would have to break right in the Mike Gillislee story for him to become a borderline RB1. Metrics, athleticism, and talent still matter when conducting these speculative exercises. Players who we know are more athletic, productive, or talented (Mike Gillislee has shown that he is all three in a limited sample size) are more likely to see their stories turn in a positive direction. This strategy is most helpful when analyzing RBs because of how situation-dependent the position is in comparison to WRs. Before you enter an MFL10, take some time to run through the range of potential outcomes for players in the later rounds and try to uncover who has the clearest path to fantasy scoring potential.
The Onesie Positions: QB, TE, D/ST
In the MFL10 format, you are only required to start 1 player for the QB, TE, and D/ST positions. Thus, they are referred to as the “onesie positions”. Most current fantasy gamers are familiar with the concept of waiting to draft players from these three position groups, so I won’t bore you with the details. Essentially, difference-making RBs and WRs are more scarce because you have to start more of them every week. Therefore, you can wait until the later rounds to draft the onesies and stockpile the more limited assets at the RB and WR positions. The notable exception in an MFL10, however, is the lack of a waiver wire. Make sure to draft at least two of the onesie positions to protect yourself from bust potential and injuries. This popular strategy is effective in MFL10s and would be my suggested course of action.[the_ad id=”58837″]There is one exception to this strategy I have experimented with, however. Since most people playing in MFL1os are experienced fantasy-gamers, stud QBs and TEs will often fall well below their ADP. If there is a stud QB or TE (Rodgers, Brees, Gronkowski, Kelce, etc.) that falls into a round you feel comfortable drafting them, pull the trigger and wait until the very end of the draft to grab another. The security of a stud at a onesie position who will start for your team every week allows you a longer wait time to pick your second player. You might be surprised at how many winning MFL10 teams this year feature the combination of Aaron Rodgers and Brian Hoyer.
Hopefully, the strategies discussed in this article inspire you to sign up for an MFL10 and give it a try. It’s always fun to test your fantasy football talents in a new format, especially one that is growing so rapidly. Rejoice in the knowledge that there is a format where DeSean Jackson doesn’t shorten your lifespan every Sunday and go dominate. Good luck!
Hunter is an Oklahoma City native who graduated from the University of Tulsa with a B.S. in Mathematics. He has a penchant for analytics and views sports primarily through a statistical prism. He remains unbiased when analyzing and watching sports, but the Dallas Cowboys and OKC Thunder have a special place in his heart. Fantasy football has been a favorite pastime of his as long as he can remember, particularly the 16-team home league he commissions with his younger brother and DFS. Hunter is an avid writer, a professional wrestling fanatic, and a literature and television snob. If he isn’t watching Better Call Saul or Jane the Virgin, reading a novel, or watching Roman Reigns spear someone into next week, he is spending time with his wife and his dog in Yukon, Oklahoma.