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MFL10 Retrospect - What Worked and (Mostly) What Didn't

MFL10 is one of the fastest growing forms of fantasy football and can lead to a host of unique draft strategies. If you aren't familiar with it, let me explain. In MFL10 leagues, you put down $10 for a season-long league with a chance to win $100. The twist is that it is a draft-only league done via email where no in-season moves are allowed. No waiver wire, no trades, just the team you picked.

Some fantasy baseball players may be familiar with this "best-ball" format. This eliminates the need for those agonizing weekly lineup decisions or regrets when your bench player go crazy and your starters stink it up.

I tried MFL10 for the first time last season and loved the format. The final results... not so much. I learned a lot from analyzing the teams I put together and am happy to share my newfound wisdom so that you don't repeat my mistakes!


MFL10 Do's and Don'ts

Slow and steady doesn't win the race

Drafting a high-floor player like Jarvis Landry sounds like a pretty safe bet in PPR leagues. In a best-ball format, however, you need to chase upside rather than security. I'm not saying you need to load up with boom/bust players across the board, but if you have to choose between a high-floor player who gets you 7-8 points every week (Landry) or a high-ceiling player who gets you 20+ points a few times a year with some duds in between (Brandin Cooks), go with the ceiling. In those weeks where the duds happen, someone else's points will simply take his place.

Quarterbacks are crucial, so choose wisely

Let me start by telling you one of my QB combos to see if you can guess what place I finished: Carson Palmer, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brock Osweiler. I'm sure you're guessing last place, but somehow I salvaged seventh in that league thanks to a decent receiving corps. Picking a backup QB isn't the time to get cute. If your starting signal caller goes down, you'll need a reliable point-getter each week. Quarterbacks accounted for five of the top 10 overall scorers in MFL10 leagues and 13 of the top 20. That doesn't even include Tom Brady's production from Week 5 on. Rolling the dice on someone like Osweiler (just not him specifically) is acceptable for a third QB, which I highly recommend drafting, but save your deep lottery ticket picks for RB or WR.

Take chances on rookies, just not early

This is the ideal format to stash rookies and hope for a breakout season. Whereas taking up valuable roster space with late-round prospects or rookies without a clear path to playing time early on may be risky in traditional leagues, it can pay off hugely in MFL10. Anyone who took a chance on Jordan Howard, Michael Thomas or Dak Prescott in 2016 were likely to finish near the top of the standings. On the other hand, investing an early pick on Derrick Henry, Corey Coleman, or Josh Doctson provided little to no compensation. In this case, I recommend passing on the 1st and 2nd round draft picks unless you are completely confident in their ability - Ezekiel Elliott turned out OK after all. Spend a couple of picks between rounds 15-20 on lesser known rookies that have breakout ability and hope for the best. This year that crop may include Donnel Pumphrey, Joe Mixon, James Conner, Carlos Henderson, Dede Westbrook, Ryan Switzer, Adam Shaheen, Michael Roberts and Brad Kaaya.

Don't wait too long on a defense... seriously

It's well-known that in fantasy football, taking a defense earlier than the last two rounds is considered noob behavior. I always save my defense for the final round and then wind up adding one during the bye week or streaming defenses throughout the season. There is no such option in MFL10, so you're stuck with what you pick. Unless you're willing to simply punt points during a bye week and put all your faith into one defense because you're investing in Denver or Seattle early, you're going to need to pick two teams. I made the mistake of mimicking my usual strategy and picked my defenses in the final two rounds. In one league I wound up with Oakland and Dallas as my options, in another in was Miami and Washington. Ultimately, the highest any of those squads ranked was 12th (Dolphins), which means I was losing points to everyone else at that position nearly every week. I still wouldn't recommend picking a defense too soon, but if the top 10 defenses are flying off the board, don't hesitate to grab one before it's too late.

Pick good players

This isn't mean to be as condescending as it sounds. When selecting players in an MFL10, choose talent over opportunity. Many fantasy players downgraded the likes of Tom Brady and Le'Veon Bell due to suspensions or shied away from DeMarco Murray and Devonta Freeman because of concerns over playing time. The beauty of MFL10 is that you don't need your best players to be at their best each week. As long as you have sufficient depth, having a couple of elite players may just be enough to win your league. Take chances and remember - when in doubt, talent supercedes.