Upside is Overrated in Underdog’s Best Ball Mania II (and 4 more thoughts on how to win $1,000,001)

Don’t tell my wife, but I plan on ATTACKING Underdog’s Best Ball Mania II Tournament this summer. I’ll let her know when I take home the $1,000,001 grand prize.

You can check out the full rules here -- and you definitely should because it’s important to understand all the intricacies of the contest. But here’s the gist:

You can get customized rankings for the Underdog format by creating an MVP Board.

Here are some strategies and philosophies to keep in mind when drafting Best Ball Mania II teams.

Upside is Overrated

It’s a top-heavy payout structure. Nearly 30% of the money goes to 1st place. Come in 11th place and you win “just” $7,500.

So upside is important. But not as important as you might think.

If this was 1 giant 155,520-team best-ball contest where the team with the most total points over 17 weeks won, upside would be all that mattered. But it’s not. It’s actually 4 separate contests.

Our 1st job is to finish top 2 in a 12-team league. You don’t need a Super Team to do that. Then we need to finish top 2 out of 18 teams in Week 15. That’s a little tougher. Then we need to beat out 17 teams in Week 16. Tougher -- but still not a herculean task.

It’s not until that final round when we really need a top percentile outcome to finish 1st among 160 teams.

So ceiling should definitely be on your mind during these drafts. But just snatching up value -- and even (gasp!) taking a “floor” player or 2 -- can work.

We’re really just looking to win those first 3 mini contests and then, to be frank, get lucky with a big Week 17. (There are ways that we can increase our chances of getting lucky, which I’ll get into below.)