Best Ball Mania III is a 451,600-entry tournament with a 470-team Week 17 final. Because of this, finding ways to build high-upside teams that are meaningfully different from the field is of the utmost importance. Accounting for the fact that a large percentage of the prize pool is dedicated to the top few places (38% is for the top-five finishers) is a core facet of tournament play. As such, being profitable in the long run is extremely reliant on maximizing your chances of getting in the top few scores. Arguably the most important skill in the tournament is building unique structures that also have strong upside. The advantage of having unique combinations of players is that the forces that can propel your players to top 1% percentile outcomes is different from the field. Having Ja’Marr Chase’s 50.1 half-ppr point performance helps you climb the leaderboard more if fewer teams also have those points.
Because of the importance of uniqueness, it is tempting to do things that are counter-intuitive for the sake of uniqueness. Examples of this include drafting only one elite tight end, handcuffing your running back, and drafting four late tight ends. There is strong evidence, with data going back to 2015 that these strategies reduce the ability of your roster to compete. Luckily, it is entirely unnecessary to pursue losing strategies for the sake of unique builds. By combining strategies advocated in Michael Dubner’s excellent roster construction series, we can have our cake and eat it with high upside constructions which are considerably underutilized by the field.