The Best Strategies for Winning Underdog Fantasy Tournaments

There is a lot of money to be made in Underdog Fantasy tournaments so we've put together the best strategies that will get you more fantasy points and rank you higher.

Matt Brown
By Matt BrownPublished: May 15, 2024
The Best Strategies for Winning Underdog Fantasy Tournaments
Nathan MacKinnon stacked with Mikko Rantanen could be a killer DFS combination.

When it comes to absolutely dominating Underdog Fantasy tournaments, having a game plan is everything. Whether you're into baseball, football, or any other sport, nailing the right strategy can make all the difference in where you place in the tournament.

These are four of the best strategies for playing like a pro in Underdog Fantasy tournaments.

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Understanding Player and Position Value

  • Why we love it: It integrates the depth and nuance of evaluating player and position value, which makes the drafting process both strategic and rewarding in the long-run.
  • Why it works: By focusing your early picks on high-scoring positions, you're ensuring consistency and maximizing return on investment by targeting top-tier players in key positions.

A key strategy in winning Underdog Fantasy tournaments, especially in baseball and football, is understanding the real value of players and their positions.

For baseball, while pitchers can bring in quite a few points themselves, the scoring system on Underdog heavily favors hitters due to their ability to accumulate more points consistently. And that's what we want in a DFS lineup — consistency.

You should always focus your early draft picks on high-scoring positions, such as outfielders, and avoid overvaluing mid-tier outfielders, who often don't provide enough return on investment. That's where we see the biggest slump in value.

Instead, concentrate on drafting superstar outfielders early and then pivot to infielders who can outscore outfielders in later rounds​.

In football, quarterbacks bring in the most value when it comes down to it, but the current market conditions on Underdog Fantasy have created an opportunity to acquire high-ceiling quarterbacks at lower prices.

Adopting a strategy that combines top-tier quarterbacks with high-risk, high-reward rookies can optimize your point potential for the upcoming tournament. This strategy of "anchor ceiling QB" paired with a "rookie ceiling chaser" takes advantage of market inefficiencies and sets up a strong foundation for your DFS team​​.

The Power of Stacking

  • Why we love it: It leverages the synergy between players from the same team, making games more exciting and rewarding when the team performs well at large.
  • Why it works: It maximizes scoring potential through correlated performance, particularly in tournaments where high weekly scores are essential.

Stacking, or drafting multiple players from the same real-world team, is a strategy that has proven itself across fantasy sports that aims to capitalize on the collective success of a single team.

Imagine you own Patrick Mahomes and Rashee Rice, and Mahomes throws to Rice for a 30-yard touchdown. You would get points for the TD pass, the passing yards, the receiving TD, and the reception yards — all from a single play. That's what stacking does.

In tournaments with a large number of entries, having a correlated group of players can greatly increase your chances of hitting high scores if your team performs well.

This strategy is particularly effective in Underdog's best ball tournaments, where high weekly scores are crucial for advancing and ultimately winning​.

Late-Round Draft Strategy

  • Why we love it: It adds a strategic element to drafting by finding hidden gems that can turn into pivotal players.
  • Why it works: It provides an edge by locking in high-value players at a lower cost, which is especially beneficial during playoff weeks or when dealing with injuries.

The ability to identify and select high-value players in the later rounds of the draft is another pivotal component of successful fantasy play when playing tournaments on Underdog. It's a quick way to get points you weren't necessarily banking on as you do from the big-name players.

This involves looking for players who may not have secured starting roles or are considered underdogs but have the potential to perform well.

Late-round picks should not be seen as throwaways, which is something we see from most DFS players; instead, they're opportunities to draft players who could become pivotal during the playoff weeks or fill in for injured starters, thereby providing your team with a competitive edge at a lower cost than some of the other stars​.

To find these picks, don't look at drafting them early on. Because of their "potential" fantasy points, they're not going to get the deep look some of the other players will get, so they should be available in the later rounds.

Adjusting for Injuries and Variance

  • Why we love it: It keeps you engaged and informed throughout the season, making the game dynamic and strategic. It's fun to see what players step up and add in fantasy points you weren't even banking on.
  • Why it works: It ensures that your team remains competitive by having star backup players ready to step in, minimizing the impact of injuries and unexpected performance changes.

Managing the impact of injuries and variance is vital for any DFS tournament, and Underdog's tournaments are no exception. Although Best Ball Mania tournaments help you out in this area, just a bit.

Successful fantasy teams often cash in from having backup players who can perform well when starters are injured — and starters will get injured; it's inevitable.

This requires keeping up-to-date with player health and team news throughout the season to make decisions about who to draft and when. 

The best thing about Best Ball Mania is that Underdog Fantasy will automatically add in the points from the top performers. This makes managing the lineup easier, but you still have to draft the right players.

Understanding and anticipating changes in player availability and performance can make a massive impact, especially in the playoffs when every point counts.

Use These Strategies Like a Pro

Winning Underdog Fantasy tournaments is about strategic thinking, understanding market conditions, and making the most of every draft pick. When you use these strategies, that's exactly what you're doing.

By focusing on high-value positions, leveraging stacking, making smart late-round picks, and adjusting on-the-fly to injuries and other changes, you can make a massive improvement in your chances of success. These strategies require continuous learning and adaptation to the nuances of fantasy sports, ensuring that each decision is backed by thorough analysis and a clear understanding of the game's mechanics.

Matt Brown

Matt Brown

Head of DFS

Matt's deep-rooted enthusiasm for sports betting and daily fantasy sports infuses the EatWatchDraft team with valuable expertise in football, hockey, and baseball. His forward-thinking perspectives are grounded in a solid academic foundation, including a B.S. in Aeronautical Computer Science and an M.S. in Project Management. This combination of sports passion and technical knowledge fuels Matt's innovative input to the platform.