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Best Ball Mania IV: Underdog Fantasy Picks to Draft NOW

By Kevin English | Updated on Thu, 18 Apr 2024 . 12:15 PM EDT

Get These Guys Before the ADPs Rise

Back in the spring, Underdog Fantasy’s flagship contest returned with a bang.

With a $25 buy-in, Best Ball Mania IV features a $3 million top prize with payouts down to 75200th.

Here's a look at the top 10:

(For full contest details, hit the Best Ball Mania IV rules page.)

As of this writing, the contest is roughly half full. There’s no doubt it’ll sell out prior to Week 1 -- so don't wait to jump in.

*** If you’re new to Underdog Fantasy, sign up here or use promo code DRAFTSHARKS for a deposit match up to $100.

If you’re in the club already, let’s shift to some of our top Underdog Fantasy picks with the upside to bring you a massive ROI.

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Get your Best Ball Strategy down before your next draft

 

Underdog Fantasy Picks: Get Ahead of Training Camp Hype

Media reports bring the potential to boost any player's ADP.

Heck, even a single highlight on Twitter can force player movement.

We're looking to get ahead of that ADP movement by drafting these eight players today:

Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 149.2 (QB19)

Profit Potential Remains

Murray’s ADP has dipped outside the top-20 QBs at times. (Congrats if you got shares of him then. )

Despite his rise, Murray’s still a fine target. Sure, the Cardinals recently placed him on the physically unable to perform (PUP) list. That wasn’t a surprise, though.

Our fantasy QB rankings assume his ACL rehab will force five missed games. Longtime beat writer Bob McManaman recently estimated 3-5 absences and shot down any talk of the Cardinals sitting Murray all season.

A slow start is reasonable. But Murray should be further along late in the year when you need prime performances to cash in.

J.K. Dobbins, RB, Ravens

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 59.2 (RB18)

Buying the Dip

Baltimore sent Dobbins to the PUP last Friday. What few clues we've gathered suggest his absence stems more from a lack of compensation than injury. (Dobbins will make a base salary of $1.39 million in 2023, a contract year. )

Here’s HC John Harbaugh:

“That’s a J.K. question,” Harbaugh responded when asked about Dobbins’ absence. "I wish there was a simple answer. There’s always a lot of things that go into football, but there’s some complexity to it. We’re working through all that, and we’re looking forward to when he’s out there.”

Harbaugh added that Dobbins still attends team meetings.

More Upside Than Downside

Ultimately, we’re not too concerned about his health five weeks out from Week 1. We don’t expect Dobbins to hold out into the regular season, either.

So you might see a slight ADP dip on the Raven. Perhaps he misses most (or all) of camp and the discount grows. Either way, Baltimore’s upgraded offense – combined with the upside for workhorse touches – makes Dobbins a calculated risk.

Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 86.7 (RB28)

Superhuman Return

Williams beat the odds and avoided Denver's PUP list despite coming off multiple torn knee ligaments.

"We're pleased with his progress," HC Sean Payton said at training camp. "We felt really good about it in the spring."

Broncos reporter Zac Stevens took it further, saying Williams appears on track to start the opener.

You shouldn't expect pre-injury Williams immediately. But you're playing the long game in Best Ball Mania IV, since the real paydays come in Weeks 15-17.

Optimize Your Best Ball Rosters

Stacking is only one of several concepts you need to grasp when constructing Underdog Fantasy rosters.
Get the rest with our comprehensive Best Ball Strategy guide. 
And remember to check out our updated best ball rankings too.

Zamir White, RB, Raiders

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 190.4 (RB60)

No Jacobs = Starting Reps

Josh Jacobs' holdout officially kicked off this week. And while there's not a clear RB2 on Vegas right now, we'll put our chip on White.

Look at Vegas' current RB depth: Ameer Abdullah, Brandon Bolden, Brittain Brown, Austin Walter, and Sincere McCormick.

White isn't proven. But the Raiders traded up for him in Round 4 last year. You can excuse the slow start, given Jacobs' league-leading 1,656 rush yards.

What Does White Offer?

At bottom, White couples youth (age 24) with top-end athleticism (9.82 RAS score) and solid college production (2,043 career rushing yards at Georgia).

Zamir White's RAS score is one reason to buy him as a prime Underdog Fantasy Pick at cost.

Now, he'll run behind an O-line that just ranked first in Football Outsiders' adjusted line yards.

White is an ideal handcuff, and Jacobs' holdout supplies an additional path to fantasy value.

Elijah Moore, WR, Browns

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 87.2 (WR44)

Can This Former Fantasy Darling Rebound?

The buzz on Moore started in OTAs. His ADP, once outside the top-50 WRs, has steadily climbed. There's likely room for it to rise in training camp.

CB Greg Newsome clearly agrees.

"I'm just going to tell the NFL to better watch out for him," Newsome said at camp. "He's one of the best that I've honestly been against. I'm not just saying it because he's on my team, but I had the pleasure of guarding him every single day in OTAs and now he's a great route runner, he has speed. So, I'm definitely super excited for him. "

Here's another situation to watch: Amari Cooper has missed several practices with what the team calls a "minor tweak" (likely a soft-tissue injury).

Moore shouldn't struggle for volume, even with a healthy Cooper. Our fantasy WR rankings show the new Brown with nearly 100 targets (6.4 per game).

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 94.6 (WR47)

It's fair to have significant injury concerns here.

Why would you draft a guy with 10 games played over the past three seasons?!

Useful ... When Active

Thomas reached 16 PPR points in six of those 10 games. Historically, that’s a fringe WR1 figure.

Thomas would be easier to quit had he stunk when active. Quite simply, that hasn't been the case. Plus -- save your eye-rolls -- the 30-year-old at least enters camp without any limitations.

You're certainly not expecting WR1-level production with Chris Olave around. (And with Drew Brees comfortably in retirement.)

That's fine, as Thomas' ADP sits on the WR4/5 fringe.

Now's the time to buy in.

Skyy Moore, WR, Chiefs

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 99.7 (WR50)

You won't get the springtime discount, but we still see upside on Moore at cost.

Toney's Injury, Buy-in From Mahomes

Kadarius Toney's recent injury locks Moore into an early-season role. (Toney's iffy for Week 1 after knee surgery. )

There was reason for optimism before then. Moore garnered offseason praise from Patrick Mahomes, who anticipates Year 2 growth.

Recall that Moore came out of small-school Western Michigan.

"He's someone that's going to be called upon more, kind of in that same role that JuJu (Smith-Schuster) was in last year," Mahomes shared via USA today. "But he can also go over the top and make big plays happen.

"Then another year in the offense, I think you see with coach Reid's offense, it's hard for those young guys sometimes to have an expanded role and as the season goes on, the role kind of expands. Then that second year is really when they take off."

TIP

The Chiefs have 135 vacated targets from JuJu Smith-Schuster and Mecole Hardman (in only 24 combined games). 

Jelani Woods, TE, Colts

Underdog Fantasy ADP: 212.0 (TE31)

Rough Year 1 Situation

Let's first acknowledge the ugliness of Woods' rookie-year setup.

He witnessed 12 starts from Matt Ryan, three from Sam Ehlinger, and two from Nick Foles. This trio failed to stretch defenses vertically (or, frankly, in any direction).

Meanwhile, Woods experienced a midseason coaching change to Jeff Saturday, who'd never coached above high school.

Yet Woods, with elite size-adjusted athleticism and Round 3 draft capital, flashed fantasy potential.

Promising Signs

Woods tallied 25-312-4 as a rookie.

Among 42 TEs with 35+ targets, he tied for seventh in yards per catch, ranked 12th in yards per route run, and ranked 19th in Pro Football Focus receiving grade.

He also caught five of six contested targets.

Year 2 Breakout?

The arrival of former Eagles OC Shane Steichen could present a scheme upgrade. And you couldn't ask for a more dramatic playmaking/arm strength upgrade than the move to QB Anthony Richardson.

Yeah, the Colts project as a low-volume pass offense. But a lack of established WRs -- along with Underdog Fantasy's half-PPR format -- helps Woods. His size (6'7, 253) adds scoring appeal.

Want even more help for your Underdog Fantasy drafts?

Our Draft War Room will sync directly with your Underdog Fantasy entry and tell you who to pick at every turn.

 

Four More Underdog Fantasy Picks to Target TODAY

Get four bonus picks -- two rookies and two veterans -- to bolster your Underdog Fantasy rosters:

Other rankings are stale  before the 2nd round.

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