Why MFL10 leagues are the essence of all things fantasy football
Find a person who isn’t addicted to fantasy football after their first year of playing, and you’ve found a unicorn.
While it seems fantasy football has exploded in popularity these past few years, it really is nothing new.
Players have been participating in fantasy football for the better half of 20 years. League commissioners would tally up the stats after the end of the football week via the newspaper, and winners weren’t notified until Tuesday morning at the earliest.
Fast forward to now and fantasy football has evolved to a multi-faceted monster of different league structures, formats, and time-focused matches.
And while standard/PPR fantasy football leagues tend to still be the most popular, daily fantasy sports (DFS) has absolutely transformed the game of fantasy football. While there may be an expiration date on the existence of DFS (gambling laws), there is a trending fantasy football league that is gaining steam: enter the MFL10 league.
What Is An MFL10 League?
An MFL10 league (also known as My Fantasy League 10 or a best ball league) is a draft-only fantasy football league. You can enter and play in as many leagues as you would like at myfantasyleague.com
Adopting the structure of a 12-14 person league with PPR scoring, an MFL10 has a few critical components that make it a very playable league with little-no-maintenance.
How MFL10’s are different from your Standard/PPR Leagues:
- Each team is designated 20 roster spots versus your usual 15.
- It’s draft only. Meaning once you draft your initial 20 players, there’s no waiver wire, no free agency, no trades for the remainder of the season. Say what!!!
- Your team does not require a kicker.
- Your lineup automatically sets itself. This is why it’s called a best ball league. The players that scored the most points the week prior will automatically start the following week.
- The team with the highest amount of points accumulated from Week 1 t0 Week 16 is deemed the winner of the league.
The number 10 represents the entry fee for an MFL10 league. For only $10, the winner will take home $100 at the end of the season. Remember, there are no fantasy football playoffs in MFL10 formats. The winner is purely based on the player who has accumulated the most points through the regular season.
Looking to play higher stakes? You’re in luck. There are larger entry fees for best ball leagues as well:
MFL25 Entry Fee: $25 1st Place Payout:$200
MFL50 Entry Fee: $50 1st Place Payout: $400
MFL100 Entry Fee: $100 1st Place Payout: $800
How Does An MFL10 Draft Work?
An MFL10 draft is quite a bit different from your normal standard and PPR drafts.
An MFL10 league draft notifies you via email, with an 8-hour time limit for each pick. Email notifications will be sent to your email address based on your preference; when the draft starts, every time a pick is made, when it’s your pick, or when you’re time limit is about to expire. Most MFL10 drafts adopt the snake method for drafting.
If you do not draft a player within the limit window, a player will automatically be selected for you. Although auto draft may have selected your pick, this will not continue for the rest of your picks. Your 8-hour time limit will renew for the next pick, allowing you to make a real-time selection.
Time is a crucial factor for an MFL10 draft because it’s consistently running. An MFL10 draft can sometimes last weeks.
This can be a problem if a pick is made late at night and you happen to be asleep. A crucial setting to combat this problem is pre-draft lists.
Setting up a pre-draft list will ensure that players you’re targeting will be drafted on your team in case you’ve defaulted to auto draft. An added bonus to these pre-draft lists is that you can create a curated list for each round, and not one default list for your entire draft.
How An MFL10 Roster Is Broken Down
With 20 roster spots assigned to each MFL10 team, your starting roster mimics a standard or PPR fantasy football league. Each week, a roster is automatically set based on these positions:
- Flex (RB/WR/TE)
Scoring for each week is based on a traditional PPR Format. Points are attributed differently based on the positions listed below:
QB: 4 points/touchdown, -2 points/interception, 1 point/20 passing yards
RBs: 6 points/touchdown, 1 point/10 yards, -2 points/fumble
WRs: 6 points/touchdown, 1 point/reception, 1 point/10 yards receiving
DEF: -3 to 10 points/points allowed, 6 points/DEF/ST touchdown, 2 points/interception/fumble/safety, 1 point/sack
Because your roster is equipped with 11 bench spots, it’s important to stock up on positions that obtain the most volume within a game, along with multiple options at each position that allow you the greatest bandwidth for points.
Ideally, here is a basic structure of how many players you should draft at each position:
6-8 WRs (most valuable due to the points per reception scoring format)
MFL10 Draft Strategy
Much like traditional standard and PPR drafts, there are several draft strategies that you can apply to your MFL10 league.
Should you draft Quarterbacks late?
Seeing it’s PPR scoring, should I adopt the Zero RB Strategy or frontload on running backs?
While there is no end all, be all strategy to drafting an MFL10 team, below are some experienced players who have expressed their most important factors in partaking in a best ball league:
To me, it doesn’t matter the type of league, have fun.
Draft the players you love. It is always better to lose with your favorites than to them.
If you need to reach a little, reach. Don’t take a guy you don’t want because a chart tells you to; take the guy you love and want to root for.
Bonus MFL10 draft tip: Unless you have a full-man crush on a quarterback, wait until the later rounds.
Constructing a team is not a time to get cute. It is not a time to try and outsmart those you are playing against.
It is a time to play smart for your team.
Once you start drafting against other teams in MFL, you’ve lost. You start to draft in a way to block others instead of what will help your team score the most points.
Concentrate on the task at hand. Look at your roster and where it could improve, pick-by-pick. Thinking of your team as a whole before it is complete will cause you to feel comfortable and not attack where you may need it the most.
Look 20 players deep for each pick. Don’t limit yourself to the players listed next.
The way I play MFL10s is quite similar to the way I draft some of my dynasty teams in a start-up. I look for starting WRs with a significant amount of volume.
Some people prefer to go RB heavy to start a draft because they touch the ball more. While they may touch the ball more, it is less efficient. It’s not feasible for an RB averaging 4 yds a carry as a better pick compared to a receiver averaging 10+ yds a reception.
Tight ends are where you can get lost.
I tend to focus on TE later within the draft, and with teams that typically have a cloud of question around the WR2 role.
Example: Cincinnati in 2015 was a prime example. Mohammed Sanu and Marvin Jones occupied the WR2/3 role but weren’t reliable behind AJ Green. Tyler Eifert became the go-to guy for Andy Dalton when Green was seeing double coverage.
QBs is something I wait as long as I can on. It is a position that relies heavily on surrounding players for production.
In my opinion, any QB (based on the opposition), can put up 25+ fantasy points in a given week. Waiting for someone like Philip Rivers, who is always criminally underrated, is worth the wait while stocking up on more valuable positions in the earlier rounds.
Bonus MFL10 draft tip: When drafting RBs, target mid-round backs. Giovanni Bernard and Theo Riddick are players I love having on my MFL teams.They are the type of RBs that are in committee roles; receiving backs that can also handle a full series of rushes.
I love the MFL10 format because just like little scoring tweaks in redraft/dynasty leagues, it makes me entertain selecting players I wouldn’t otherwise; making drafts way more enjoyable.
My fantasy football draft strategy tends to vary, and MFL10s are no exception. Rather than draft RB-RB early, I look at my own personal drop-off rates for each position.
I’d say this is reasonably comparable to how NFL teams have round grades on each guy. I’m comfortable having the 18th RB off the board as my RB1 because that usually means I have two premier WRs.
RB2 and flex RBs are usually where I wait, but players like Giovani Bernard, Duke Johnson, Theo Riddick, Justin Forsett, CJ Prosise, and Bilal Powell make me feel at ease when I decide to wait.
If you choose to wait on your 2nd WR, you’ll find guys like Allen Hurns, Eric Decker, Emmanuel Sanders, Michael Crabtree, Tavon Austin, and Steve Smith who should easily fill that void and then some.
And if we must keep Team D I like selecting teams that bring the heat. Todd Bowles is going to have some interesting rookie pieces on his defense now, the Broncos still have a majority of their playmakers, and the Rams have probably the best rushing DT in the game along with a hopefully fully healthy Robert Quinn. Last, the Packers could move Clay Matthews back outside with their Blake Martinez pick.
MFL10s help hardcore fans stay limber in the offseason while providing casual players a chance to brush up on player valuation before their home league holds their draft.
Regardless of the outcome, I have enjoyed every one I’ve participated in.
Bonus MFL10 draft strategy tip: Players have to limit their risks. The longer I wait on any particular starting spot/position, the more players I like to throw at it.
2016 will mark my 3rd season playing in My Fantasy League’s, aptly named, MFL10 best ball drafts.
In the timeI have been playing MFL10s I have seen more and more attention given to how to best approach this format. There are numerous fantastic articles out there on strategies and approaches, so I would like to address something that I wish I would have seen written about more when I started entering, “Why play?”
This may seem like it has an extremely obvious answer “To win”, but from my experience playing poker, I know that this obvious answer isn’t always the truest motivation.
I started playing poker, and more importantly reading poker books, nearly half my life ago at age 15. One of the most influential things I read early on was on the subject of bankroll management.
In life, we are often motivated by many different factors, but I think it is important to know which motivation relates most to the reason you are signing up for that next MFL10 draft.
DRAFTING FOR FUN
Fantasy Football should be fun, so I hope this is at least partially the motivation anyone has for entering an MFL10 or any other fantasy draft for that matter. In this case, those drafting for fun, are only doing a handful of MFL10s and don’t have much invested in the $10 entry fee. Of course, they want to win, but those who fall into this being their truest motivation with benefit from these sage words of advice, “It’s just a game, games are meant to be fun, so have fun”.
In regards to MFL10s, having fun means drafting the players you love to watch on Sundays… or Thursdays… or Mondays… some Saturdays… if you are truly drafting for fun, realize that there is not much skin in the game at $10 and not much on the line in the way of pride playing against what is likely a bunch of unknown opponents.
Don’t worry about reaching three rounds on the player you’ve just had to have or having your favorite player on every single team you draft. What’s more fun than watching your favorite players performance is knowing that you actually did well too. It’s a great feeling and a reason I think almost anyone gets into fantasy football initially, so have fun.
IT’S A BETTER MOCK DRAFT
This is the reason I entered my first MFL10 and I honestly think it’s a good chunk of my motivation for playing in them today.
Growing up as a teenager who loved poker, but was too young to gamble legally, people in my life (mostly elders) would ask “Why not just play poker for fun (free)?”
The same reason I don’t play poker for free is the same reason I hated mock drafting on any old website; without skin in the game, your opponents have no risk and therefore no need to be risk averse.
In poker, if we are playing for free, what does it matter if I bet $10 in chips or go all in and push all of my chips in with any given hand? Ultimately the risk is the same, nothing.
With fantasy football, it is definitely less extreme, but I faced many situations of being in mock drafts with trolls (who just draft kickers every pick), people who do not know what they are doing, or people who simply do not care.
MFL10s changed all of that.
With the risk of $10 to win $100, the drafts that occur mimic my normal money league drafts so closely, that after a year of MFL10s, I really stopped mock drafting.
Now I still think mock drafts can have a ton of value, but unless you get involved in an industry mock or have 11 people you know who want to do a fake fantasy football draft, MFL10s might be your best option.
If you’ve never done an MFL10 before and have had any sort of negative experience doing traditional mock drafts, I’m sure you’ll find them a welcome escape from the pain of constant timed out computer picks.
TO MAKE MONEY
This is why I currently play MFL10s and is my truest motivation moving forward.
That first year when I found MFL10s to be a welcome escape from the standard mock draft site; I started late in the season, I think late July, and invested $100 in 10 drafts. I figured that if I won one that I would be happy getting my money back and thought that it’d give me an edge come draft day in my “real” drafts. Well, my “real” leagues didn’t go so well, but it was those little $10 drafts that paid off and had me break even on the year.
After that first season, I knew that in year 2 (last season) I wanted to figure out the optimal strategy for profiting in MFL10s. In order to do so, I started following some of the players who played the highest volume of MFL10s on Twitter.
In doing so I learned the first valuable lesson to making money playing MFL10s, enter as many drafts as possible.
This is going to be different for everyone depending on their individual bankroll, but at only $10 and spread over a few months, it was relatively easy for me to up my entries from 10 to 30 in year 2. This increase is not that dramatic though when, at the beginning of June 2016, the top 6 MFL players have entered over 100 each.
Be realistic with yourself and your bankroll on how many you can enter, but if your motivation is to make money, then take advantage of this quarter of the year in which MFL10s are around and get into as many MFL10s (or MFL25s or MFL50s or MFL100s) as your bankroll will allow.
Once you figure out that your motivation is to make money and you have an amount that you are comfortable committing, disperse your funds wisely. Early in the offseason when MFL10s first start opening up, it’s only natural to be eager to jump into as many MFL10s as possible.
However, there is a reason those who are drafting early are doing so and it’s often because they are sharks, and they know exactly what they are doing. One of the most valuable lessons I ever learned in poker is that you never have to be the best, you just have to be the 10th worst player in the world sitting with the 9 players who are worse than you are.
Therefore, just dip your toes in the water early, do a handful of drafts, get a feel for how average draft position is moving, and watch what those “sharks” are doing.
The beautiful thing is as MFL10s gain popularity before July/August starts to roll around, many people with the first 2 motivations start finding these MFL10s, and players that are normally drafted in the 7th round start falling to the 10th, and you know who those values are because you were drafting early, watching who those sharks picked, and now you’re the shark.
Bonus MFL10 draft strategy tip: Do just a few of your MFL10s early in the off-season and learn from the players who do MFL10s in bulk. Then come July/August enter as many as you can and dominate those new to the format.
There you have it! MFL10s provide a unique fantasy football experience for those who are too eager to draft until August or for the fantasy football player who loves to draft and with little to no waiver maintenance.
When will you start playing?