Best Ball Winning Team Breakdown: DraftKings $2120 for $50K

Winning DraftKings $2120 / Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith and wide receiver D.K. Metcalf

This is part two of a three-part series. The first part detailed the author’s winning team in the DraftKings $555 for $250K best ball tournament. 

The $2,120 best ball tournament on DraftKings included a 72-person field that paid $50k to the winner. The group sizes of the playoff rounds and their payouts can be seen below. The graphic also shows best ball contests with higher-stakes entry fees often have a gentler advance rate in the playoff rounds.

Winning Team’s Structure

My team’s structure included:

  • Three quarterbacks
  • Six running backs
  • Eight wide receivers
  • Three tight ends

For my team stacks, all three of my quarterbacks got their top pass catcher, which is a dream scenario. There also were two other team stacks:

Trevor LawrenceChristian Kirk, Geno Smith — D.K. Metcalf, Derek CarrDavante Adams and James CookGabe Davis, Michael CarterTyler Conklin. In total, 10 of my 20 players were team stacked. 


My Week 17 game stacks included: New York Jets vs. Seattle Seahawks (four players), Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans (three players), Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos (two players), Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Carolina Panthers (two players). I also had Carr and Adams go off for the Las Vegas Raiders against the San Francisco 49ers (two players) and the Buffalo Bills vs. the Cincinnati Bengals (two players), which ended up being canceled after Bills safety Damar Hamlin collapsed after making a tackle in the first quarter.

A total of 15 of my 20 players were stacked in some way for a Week 17 final. Game stacking for Week 17 is slightly less important for tournaments with smaller finals fields (this one included only three teams), but I’d guess stacking is being done at a far lower rate. 

What follows is a breakdown of my team by position.


I selected Lawrence and Carr in the middle rounds (ninth to 12th) to pair with Kirk and Adams. As I did in the DraftKings $555 for $250K, I took Smith at the end of the draft, but this time to stack him with Metcalf. If you don’t have to overpay, pairing three good quarterbacks with their top pass catchers is the dream in best ball.

Smith had a great season and was selected as the NFL’s Comeback Player of the Year. Lawrence improved significantly as the season progressed. And Carr to Adams provided plenty of spike weeks. That combination made these three QBs good enough to combat the Jalen Hurts and Josh Allens of the world. 


Running Backs

I picked DeAndre Swift in the second round. He was a player I drafted quite a bit in best ball last season because he was young. I liked the Detroit Lions’ offensive line and their offense in general, and they had favorable playoff matchups, especially in Week 17 against the Chicago Bears. Swift was injured much of the season or vultured by Jamaal Williams in the red zone, but he scored well in Week 17. 

I added Texans rookie Dameon Pierce around the sixth round. Pierce went from around a 12th-round cost up to the fifth-sixth range. In general, I don’t tend to draft a bunch of these players, as I feel better teams exist with the player at cheaper costs. I’m open to revisiting this process since the market is good at identifying players who should rise in ADP. I didn’t draft Pierce a lot in best ball, but I wanted a share of him on a higher stake team as a hedge.

After Pierce, I took three mid-round running backs with good upside: Cook, Rachaad White and Carter. Cook provided some good weeks in the fantasy playoffs, and White had a decent season splitting time with Leonard Fournette. Carter’s season was pretty disappointing after Breece Hall went down to injury. 

I ended again with probably the late-round MVP draft pick in Jerick McKinnon of the Chiefs. McKinnon had huge weeks during the fantasy playoffs and finals. 

Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams

Wide Receivers

Six of my wide receivers were drafted early, so I stopped with only eight total. A common mistake drafters make is to pick wide receivers early and then draft a lot of them. Instead, spend the extra picks at running back and tight end if you’re going to draft a bunch of receivers early. In other words, draft like you know you’re right.

My six early receivers were Adams (first round), Davis (third), DJ Moore (fourth), Metcalf (fifth), DeVonta Smith (seventh) and Kirk (eighth). Drafting Adams, Metcalf and Kirk allowed me to back-stack my quarterbacks with their primary pass catchers. 

Adams had a huge season, helped by injuries to tight end Darren Waller and receiver Hunter Renfrow. Davis’ and Moore’s seasons were a mixed bag: Davis showed spike-week potential, but they came the wrong weeks, and he likely was battling an ankle injury all season; Moore had a terrible fantasy regular season but great playoffs. 

Metcalf, Smith and Kirk had huge seasons and were far too cheap because each of them had QB concerns, according to the market. 

My last two receivers were Michael Gallup of the Dallas Cowboys and K.J. Hamler of the Broncos. Both had quarterbacks I wanted pass catchers from, but both receivers had disappointing years due to injury. 


Tight Ends

I punted the position and took three during late rounds. When I punted tight ends, I often pick four tight to try to make up for the lack of quality with quantity. Conklin was my best tight end, which doesn’t say much about this group. 

Conklin and Logan Thomas were two late-round tight ends I drafted quite a bit because they had decent upside potential. Thomas battled injuries much of the season, which at his age (31) isn’t shocking. Mo Allie-Cox was a tight end the market felt had decent upside, but I might have only drafted him once last year. I thought the Indianapolis Colts would continue utilizing three tight ends, and that’s exactly what they did.

If you’re going to totally punt off a position, tight end makes sense because they score the fewest points. If you have a wide receiver or running back who scores 30-40 fantasy points, you can live with your tight end scoring five points. 

>>READ: Best Ball: Everything You Need to Play, Win

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