Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Terminator Tournament Challenge: The Future Is In Your Hands

Many of you are familiar with best-ball leagues. You draft a full squad, then sit back and watch your optimal lineup each week accumulate points. No lineup decisions, no waivers, no in-season management. No muss, no fuss. Some people love the appeal of putting all their eggs in the draft basket and constructing multiple rosters to see which ones perform best. Some miss the hands-on aspect of traditional leagues and want an opportunity to tweak their team throughout the year.

What if you could have the best of both worlds? The FFPC (Fantasy Football Players Championship) is not just the leader in high-stakes fantasy leagues, they are the originators of the most unique version of best-ball - the Terminator Tournament. In this league, you don't add, you terminate! Over a full 16-week schedule following typical best-ball rules (no H2H, total points only, no waiver adds or lineup changes), you must drop one player each week. What if you forget or simply don't want to drop anyone? Failure to do so terminates your team!

The good news is that each draft goes 26 rounds, so there should be plenty of options. The strategy really comes in to play once the bye weeks get heavy and then again toward the end of the season when rosters are thinner. So, how does one approach this type of league, based on this unique wrinkle? Allow me to share my draft results and reaction in order to give you some encouragement before you take the leap yourself!

Editor's Note: For a limited time, we are offering all new FFPC players a $25-off coupon for any contest! You can play a $35 contest or a $70 contest, we'll give you $25 off either one! Whether you want to play a Best Ball challenge, join a Dynasty Startup, or try FFPC's unique Terminator challenge (best ball spin-off), there's a $25 discount waiting for you! All you have to do is be a new FFPC customer, sign-up for any game on FFPC through one of the above links, and the $25 discount will be automatically applied to your account!


FFPC Terminator Draft Results

Here is the draft board, showing results from last weekend's Terminator Challenge draft. For a full-size image, click the board below or visit the site directly here.

One important note - FFPC best-ball leagues utilize a TE premium, which includes 1.5 points per reception. For that reason, ADP for the tight end position skews much higher in general. As expected, Travis Kelce was a first-round pick, going fifth overall. There weren't too many big surprises early on, as the top running backs flew off the board, George Kittle and Zach Ertz were second-rounders and then high-end receivers followed.

In a scoring system where passing touchdowns are worth four points, not six, it might seem as if the third round is a bit early for Patrick Mahomes. In each league there is always someone who wants to grab that elite QB though. What was more surprising is that Baker Mayfield was the second QB selected, a full round ahead of Aaron Rodgers and Deshaun Watson. That same drafter took Chicago's defense in the seventh round and was the first by far to select a kicker, so maybe there's a correlation.


Notable ADP Risers and Fallers

If you're playing in an ultracompetitive league, you really don't want to draft before September. This draft took place on the first of the month, so cutdowns had already occurred, as had the news of LeSean McCoy signing in Kansas City. This led to Devin Singletary and Shady himself being taken in round eight.

Damien Williams was a third-rounder, which is about where he is going these days. Some are still keeping the faith, despite the writing on the walls.

Justin Jackson and Tony Pollard could find themselves with much bigger roles than expected if these holdouts continue. As of now, it looks like the ninth round is where owners feel comfortable taking a chance on them.

The Darrell Henderson hype has thankfully died down. Instead of a fifth-round ADP which he was seeing months ago, he dropped to round 10.

It's hard to imagine how Carlos Hyde, starting RB in Houston, was taken the same round (12) as Dare Ogunbowale, who hasn't been named starter in Tampa Bay. Even if he were, it would be in a timeshare with Peyton Barber (don't talk to me about Ronald Jones) and it's hard to understand why fantasy owners expect Ogunbowale to suddenly break out after two years doing nothing in the league. By the way, Barber in the 14th round is a steal in best-ball, as he presents a decent floor if nothing else.

He may not light the world on fire but why is Kirk Cousins going as the QB22? He completed 70% of his pass attempts and threw for almost 4,300 yards with 30 touchdowns last year. I was on the verge of taking him as my backup QB before I was sniped and settled for Derek Carr.


Draft Recap: Lessons Learned

Here is my final roster, more than half of which will be cut by the time the season is over. Can you identify the players that might be first on the chopping block?

I've done a ton of best-ball drafts but this was my first Terminator challenge. Knowing that we could actually cut players without adding them back meant a slightly different approach. The initial reaction might be to take more chances on fliers and sleeper picks since they could just be the first to go if they don't pan out. To some extent, that might be true. But too many chances could spell doom, as an injury to a key starter or two could ruin your squad if the bench is completely ineffective. My first reaction was to play it safe early on and build a strong core at key positions. Here are the strategies I implemented and my thought process behind them:


Starting Out Strong Is Crucial

Julio Jones isn't the most exciting first-round pick but that's not what matters. He is a near shoo-in to be a top-five player at his position and this averts risk in the beginning of the draft. In terms of production, he not only brings a high floor, but we know he has several games per year where he simply dominates. He surpassed 120 yards in a game six times last year and those worries about end zone production can be squashed now that he scored eight TD.

I could have gone RB, as most do in the first round, but had my reasons not to out of the eighth spot. I have too many shares of James Conner already. I'm not feeling David Johnson as a first-round value. I love Dalvin Cook this year and briefly considered taking him, but have been waiting to see if he would fall to me in the early portion of the second round. Of course, that didn't happen.

In the second round, I went WR again since the top 11 RBs were off the board already. Tyreek Hill is probably the first name you think of when it comes to big-game production. In a shallower format, I would have gone with JuJu Smith-Schuster or Michael Thomas, but I know that the occasional game where Hill disappears can be covered up by one of my other six bench receivers. In this case, roster construction mattered because I know you only have to start two WRs. That meant seeking out more "boom" plays rather than worrying about floor.


It's All About Balance

I'm not a ZeroRB, ZeroWR, or extreme drafter in any sense. I believe balance is an essential component of our existence, both in fantasy and reality. Yin and yang, my friend.

FFPC Terminator leagues have balanced starting rosters, with two RB, two WR, and two Flex spots (we'll address TE in a minute). That warranted a balanced approach in drafting, although it would be logical to stack one more RB than WR because of the attrition and volatility at that position. Seeing as how I started out with two wide receivers, it would also make sense to backload a bit more at RB. That's not what I did.

First, as has occurred in pretty much every draft I've done this year, the quality running backs are gone by the time the middle rounds arrive. You're looking at third-string ball-carriers, undrafted rookies, and players that you know won't sniff the ball unless a season-ending injury occurs to the starter. Even then, there's no guarantee that running back will be effective. I'm talking about players like Malcolm Brown, Chase Edmonds, Rex Burkhead, Benny Snell, Devine Ozigbo, etc. Sure, they can always be cut loose in the first few weeks. I'd rather take a player with a chance to actually contribute and save my potential cuts for injured players or extra K/DST that I won't need late in the season. I never pick someone who I plan to cut - that just seems like a waste of time.


TE Premium Matters... Sort of

I opted not to take one of the top three tight ends, despite having the perfect opportunity to snag Zach Ertz at 2.05 just after George Kittle was taken. Don't get me wrong, I like Ertz this year even if he regresses a little. I just don't love spending a second-round pick on a tight end when I can have an elite receiver like Hill. One of my bold predictions this year was that O.J. Howard would outscore George Kittle, so my plan was to wait until round four and take him instead. What do you know, it worked out! I have at the very least a top-five tight end, assuming good health, and am set at receiver. I believe the combined production from Hill and Howard will outweigh that of Ertz and either Lockett, Hilton, or any of the Rams receivers who would have been the best available to me in round four.


What About Running Back??

Suddenly the most important position in fantasy once again, I didn't completely forsake the position. I spent a third-round pick on Carson, who also is in my bold predictions and seems like a nice low-end RB1 at that spot. Phillip Lindsay in the fifth round still seems like a steal. He is totally healthy and will retain the same role as last year, when he ran for over 1,000 yards, caught 35 balls for 241 yards and scored 10 times. Royce Freeman would have to take a huge step forward and even so, he's not a pass-catching threat. The Denver offense as a whole should be better with Joe Flacco at QB and more experience at receiver.

In best-ball, stacking RBs on the same team is a great strategy, even if they come from the hapless Dolphins. Kenyan Drake had a fifth-round ADP not too long ago, but the recent buzz about him being on the trade block and firesale in Miami have cooled owners on him big time. Enough so that I took him in round nine(!!!) and was able to back him up with Kalen Ballage a round later. That means I own all the rushing production on that team, which will likely occupy one of my flex spots most weeks.

There aren't many lotto tickets I'm interested in this year at RB, but Qadree Ollison is one I'll gamble on. As much as I like Brian Hill, I believe Ollison is set to take on a short-yardage role that could make him an unpopular touchdown vulture to Devonta Freeman in many weeks. He's worth a shot in best-ball. I would have liked to acquire Hill too but ran out of space because I opted to take three kickers. Let me explain why...


Three Kickers? Really???

In 12-team redraft leagues, you can get away with owning one kicker. In deeper leagues and best-ball formats where kickers are actually accounted for, two should be enough. This is a 26-round Terminator. Not only do I have the luxury of dropping one at any time, I am also maximizing my scoring potential from the most unpredictable position. Jake Elliott and Josh Lambo should be enough to get me through the year but I took Eddy Pineiro instead of another running back because realistically he will outscore one of those two more often than Brian Hill or Ryquell Armstead will outscore Devonta Freeman and Leonard Fournette. Also, kickers are human and do get injured, so carrying one all year in this format is just too risky.


Final Thoughts

As you can tell, this draft took a lot more thought and planning (some might say "strategery") than a typical best-ball draft. Competition is at its peak as well. FFPC players know what they are doing and it was not often that I felt a great value pick fell to me. You have to stay on your toes and try to maximize the potential of each position. If you haven't jumped into a Terminator league before, I highly recommend giving it a try. It's a spin on the set-it-and-forget-it format that keeps you more invested than usual. It's not too late!

Try out one of these leagues before the season gets underway! Live Terminator drafts are still taking place Tuesday, Sept. 3 at 8:30 PM Eastern and Wednesday, Sept. 4 at 7:30 PM Eastern.

More Best-Ball League Strategy

More Recent Articles


Waiver Wire Express - Week 15 Lightning Round

An injury-laden Week 14 decided many matchups, with several big names going down in a Red Wedding-esque affair. Not only was Josh Jacobs was a late inactive, but Jared Cook, Devante Parker, Albert Wilson all left with concussions, Mike Evans pulled up with a hamstring injury, Calvin Ridley and Ryan Griffin hurt their ankles, Derrius... Read More

Fantasy Football News and Injuries - Running Updates

Below is a quick-hit list of running notes on relevant injuries and player news, including pre-game reports and live in-game updates. Stay tuned for updates all throughout the week and on Sunday morning game day:   Week 14 Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Jared Cook has been ruled out of the game after... Read More

Week 14 Chat - Live Fantasy Football Game Day Q&A

It's Sunday Morning Week 14... Do You Know Who to Start? Each Sunday morning of the NFL season, RotoBaller's experts will be moderating the industry's leading live chat room and answering a bunch of your fantasy football questions, from around 10:30 AM to 1:00 PM ET. Come join in on the fun, and get your... Read More

Updated Week 14 PPR Rankings (Top 300)

Welcome to Week 14 RotoBallers. Below are our updated consensus Week 14 PPR rankings for fantasy football, including some running notes on relevant injuries, player news and rankings updates: Josh Jacobs (shoulder) has officially been ruled out. Will Fuller (hamstring) is expected to miss Week 14. Adam Thielen (hamstring) has officially been ruled out. Le'Veon Bell... Read More

Fantasy Football Mailbag - Q&A for Week 14

This article's content may vary week-to-week, but generally, it will be answering questions fielded from either the @RotoBallerNFL twitter account or my personal one (@RotoSurgeon). This week, the focus is on start/sit questions, and there were plenty. Every week, many of us struggle with which quarterback to start, or who to flex, and I am... Read More

Fantasy Football Starts and Sits: Matchups Analysis for Week 14

Welcome to our Week 14 matchup analysis and start/sit column for fantasy football. We'll be covering every single contest from the Sunday slate in one convenient location, helping you make the best decisions for your fantasy lineups. Be sure to check back regularly because this article will be updated as news comes in regarding injuries and other... Read More

Monday Night Fantasy Football Starts/Sits - Week 14

Finally, we had a good fantasy matchup last week. And now, as punishment, we get this. The Eagles against the Giants is a good rivalry game. But for fantasy? Not so much. Even key players Saquon Barkley and Carson Wentz have been severely disappointing in 2019. The game is not going to be something to... Read More

Wide Receiver Matchups To Target In Week 14

In Week 13, Davante Adams and Tyreek Hill were the high-end options that had great matchups. Adams had a huge two-touchdown game while Hill only came up with 55 scoreless yards, falling victim to game flow as the Chiefs led from start to finish, scoring a defensive touchdown in the process. Several of the wide receivers... Read More

Week 14 Fantasy Football Staff Rankings

Below you will find all of RotoBaller's fantasy football weekly rankings, tiers, player news and stats for the 2019 NFL season. Our Ranking Wizard displays our staff's rankings for various league formats, all in one easy place. Here's what you'll find: Weekly PPR Rankings Weekly Half-PPR Rankings Weekly Standard Rankings Dynasty League Rankings     Fantasy... Read More

Week 14-16 Playoff Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

The playoffs are here, and that means we're going to do things a little differently. I want to take a look at the playoffs as a whole (and in this case we are considering Weeks 14-16) and determine which DSTs you can ride all the way through and which ones you should stream this week.... Read More

Key Starters and Tough Calls - Lineup Spotlights for Week 14

Welcome to Week 14, RotoBallers! Below you will find some of my spotlight plays and tough lineup decisions for the upcoming week of the fantasy football playoffs. These player selections are based on my Premium Weekly Lineup Rankings, available as part of the RotoBaller's NFL Premium Pass. Enter promo code KING at checkout for a... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 14) - Targets and Avoids

If there were a dozen people left in a survivor pool this past week, odds are those pools are down to just several. The upsets began Thursday when the Bills beat the Cowboys, and continued Sunday when the Dolphins and Redskins won as 10-point underdogs. If you're somehow still alive in your pool with just... Read More

Week 14 Stream Team - Free Agent and Bye-Week Streamers

Now that the playoffs are beginning in most leagues and the final march for a championship has begun, streaming becomes a  necessary strategy. Knowing who to add and when to start them could be the ultimate difference-maker in a weekly matchup. Making the right streaming decisions could easily be the difference in winning a championship.... Read More

Fantasy Football Playoff RB Handcuffs: Add Them Now!

The fantasy football postseason has begun, so it’s time to re-evaluate your depth, especially at running back. With only three weeks left on most fantasy scoreboards and each matchup possibly being your last, there is no more time for stashing players for potential contributions later. You also cannot waste roster space on guys who will... Read More

Fleaflicker's Most Added and Dropped: Week 14

Week 13 just served to remind us all that anything can happen in the National Football League and that you can't ever look past the New York Jets when you're trying to lose. The Cincinnati Bengals learned that lesson on Sunday, beating the Jets handily in a game that wasn't even as close as the... Read More