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Best Ball Mania IV Top Values

By Matt Schauf 4:25pm EDT 5/1/23


What’s the most you’ve ever won in a fantasy football competition?

I’m gonna bet it’s a lot less than the top Best Ball Mania IV payouts.

This year’s edition of the flagship tournament for Underdog fantasy football carries a $3 million top prize, $1 million for second place and prizes for the highest regular-season finishers. (Last year, only the top regular-season team won money.)

The altered payout structure will impact roster planning a little bit. But you’re ultimately still playing a large-field tournament to pursue those top prizes.

And what’s the best way to propel your roster ahead of those around you? By grabbing the top values.


Best Ball Mania IV Values

You want the players set to dramatically outperform their draft position in any fantasy format.

You need those guys when you’re trying to beat thousands – or hundreds of thousands – of other teams.

That’s why I’ve compared early Underdog Fantasy ADP with our 2023 fantasy football rankings to highlight some of the top values in current drafting.

Those highlights include:

  • a zero-RB plan that can still land you THREE lead backs
  • a pair of criminally undervalued veteran WRs
  • an exciting young TE who you can stash late

Tip: If you’re new to Underdog Fantasy, click this link or use promo code DRAFTSHARKS for a deposit match up to $100.


Joe Mixon, Bengals (RB)

Draft Sharks fantasy football RB rankings: RB13
Underdog Fantasy ADP: RB26

Many considered the Bengals a strong candidate to select one of the NFL Draft’s top RBs and cut Mixon.

Instead, they waited until Round 5 to add Illinois RB Chase Brown. Two days later, HC Zac Taylor said Mixon’s “future is here with the team.”

We already had Mixon projected as though he would lead this Cincinnati backfield in 2023. And that’s even below where he finished last year: RB8 in half-PPR points per game.

Frankly, I’m not sure what drafters are doing still leaving Mixon on the board this long (late Round 7).


James Conner, Cardinals (RB)

DS fantasy football RB rankings: RB21
Underdog Fantasy ADP: RB27

If you’ve listened to me at all this offseason or last, then you might be tired of hearing about Conner. But I’m not going to stop bringing him up until he’s properly valued in BBMIV drafts.

And we’re not remotely close to that point yet.

Draft weekend went even better for Conner than I expected. I would have bet on the Cardinals drafting a RB at some point, but they didn’t. 

That leaves this scrubby depth chart behind our champion:

Don’t be surprised if the Cardinals add another veteran to that shudder-inducing group. But Conner is set to count $9.5 million against the cap. And cutting him would leave an even larger dead-cap number ($11.75 million).

Conner’s the guy. And he has finished half his pro seasons inside the top 10 in fantasy points per game (across formats).

You should be drafting
James Conner


Cam Akers, Rams (RB)

DS fantasy football RB rankings: RB17
Underdog Fantasy ADP: RB24

The Rams didn’t touch their offensive backfield until Round 6, drafting Ole Miss’ Zach Evans at that point. He joins RB Kyren Williams, who tested poorly as a prospect last offseason and then averaged just 4.7 opportunities per game as a rookie.

They’ll back up Akers, who has apparently mended the rift with HC Sean McVay that almost sent him packing in 2022.

Akers remains largely unproven as a pro. Injuries certainly haven’t helped. But he finished last year with a tremendous run that included top-4 scoring among RBs (across formats) over the final six weeks.

Anything near that over a full season in 2023 would make him an advance-rate leader.

Akers is coming off the board early in Round 7 of Best Ball Mania IV drafts, with Mixon and Conner following. So you could start with five or six non-RB picks and still land this trio as your top 3.

Cam Akers is a best ball value


Tyler Lockett, Seahawks (WR)

DS fantasy football WR rankings: WR19
Underdog Fantasy ADP: WR32

What would any “values” article be without Lockett?

The argument for him is the same as ever: The market NEVER enters a season valuing him appropriately.

Lockett’s annual finishes in half-PPR points per game:

  • 2022: WR15
  • 2021: WR15
  • 2020: WR12
  • 2019: WR23
  • 2018: WR23
  • 2017: WR72
  • 2016: WR64
  • 2015: WR52

If you believe that this is the year he finally regresses to pre-2018 form, then by all means pass on him.

If you think Jaxon Smith-Njigba will immediately mitigate one of the most consistently useful fantasy WRs of the past five years, then pass on Lockett.

I’ll be waiting to catch him – and beat you.

(Just in fantasy; not physically.)


Keenan Allen, Chargers (WR)

DS fantasy football WR rankings: WR17
Underdog Fantasy ADP: WR25

The primary argument against Allen for best ball tournaments such as Best Ball Mania IV: teammate Mike Williams is built more for the format.

That’s not necessarily wrong. Over Justin Herbert’s three seasons, Williams has scored 16+ half-PPR points at a higher rate than Allen (29.5% of games vs. Allen’s 27.5%). He has also scored 20+ at a higher rate (13.6% vs. 10%).

Williams beats Allen in TD rate: 9.6% of receptions since Herbert arrived, compared with Allen’s 6.6%.

But Allen has outscored Williams overall for that span: 13.3 half-PPR points per game to 11.0.


Both players will help you; only Allen is being undervalued

Williams’ Underdog Fantasy ADP matches our half-PPR ranking: WR21. As you saw above, Allen sits well ahead of his ADP in our rankings.

If you’re going to win a tournament such as BBMIV, then you need to advance through several rounds of play. And Allen has long ranked among the position’s most consistent scorers.

You won’t regret drafting the veteran. And the ADPs on both WRs and Herbert give you room to play around with your lineup building.

You can start with Williams late in Round 4. Stack him with Herbert in Round 5. And take Allen there if you miss out on Herbert.

In that case, you could combine the points of both WRs with an upside stack from another offense (CeeDee Lamb + Dak Prescott? Amari Cooper + Deshaun Watson?).

Or you could simply target Allen ahead of his market price no matter your build.


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Nico Collins, Texans (WR)

DS fantasy football WR rankings: WR42
Underdog Fantasy ADP: WR67

You don’t have to love Collins to like him as a value in Best Ball Mania IV drafts. Heck, we have him in the middle of WR4 range. But that’s still way above his market price.

This is a good example of the market failing to look past its bias against the situation.

No one believes this Houston offense is going to explode. But just look back at last year.

Those Texans finished 30th in scoring, 31st in yards, and 25th in passing yards. Yet Brandin Cooks finished 40th among WRs in half-PPR points per game. And Collins checked in 53rd. Even Chris Moore popped for a big week.


Someone will score points, even if just in spike weeks

Collins led last year’s group in average depth of target (11.8 yards). And now he gets a QB upgrade in second overall pick C.J. Stroud.

You could pair them as a cheap stack. Or you can skip the rookie QB and just dine on Collins spike weeks.


Jelani Woods, Colts (TE)

DS fantasy football TE rankings: TE17
Underdog Fantasy ADP: TE31

Woods ranked second among rookie TEs (min. 30 targets) in yards per route last year. Over the past five years, he ranked sixth among 22 qualifiers in that category.

Among all TEs who saw 30+ targets last season, Woods ranked fifth in average depth of target (10.7 yards).

That all means he got downfield and was fairly efficient in his NFL debut. And that came with poor QB play.

The Colts have since imported Gardner Minshew and then drafted Anthony Richardson, who Jim Irsay says will start this year.


Downfield Passing Unlocked

In addition to his high-level rushing ability, Richardson throws a gorgeous deep ball. Pro Football Focus graded him elite as a deep passer.

That’s the kind of upside we’re looking for in a late TE pick. And that’s where Woods’ ADP sits. 

You don’t need to draft the TE as high as we rank him. Just don’t be surprised if that’s where he finishes.


How to Win Your Tournament

We’ve run through some top values for BBMIV, but there’s a lot more you can do throughout your draft to take advantage of your competition’s mistakes.

The big, flashy values earn the headlines and push you over the top. But winning your draft – in any format – is about making the right moves at every turn.

What position should you target first?
Should you follow that QB run or pivot?
Who’s the best pick for your team?

We built the Draft War Room to answer all these questions and more. Through every round of your best ball draft. So you can just focus on winning.

Create your Draft War Room now to take advantage.


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