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Creative new strategies emerge every summer within the fantasy community as the game grows in popularity. Years ago, RotoViz’s Shawn Siegele helped pioneer the Zero RB strategy, from which equally popular offshoots like Hero RB have emerged. In recent times, Elite QB has become en vogue again as more dual-threat quarterbacks populate the NFL.

This offseason, 4-TE has been widely debated as best ball players continue to hunt for undiscovered edges. Michael Leone and Justin Herzig discussed the strategy on a recent episode of Establish The Edge. 4-TE will likely never be widely accepted by the mainstream fantasy audience, but it seems very likely to be used more than 2.5% (frequency of 4-TE teams in Best Ball Mania 3) of the time in BBM4.

It’s not a yes or no answer whether 4-TE is viable, as the response depends on multiple factors, including when those TEs are taken and the advancement structure of the tournament it’s used in. Today, we’ll dig into the numbers to figure out if/when you should be using 4-TE for best ball teams on Underdog.



At first glance, spending four picks on a low-value position doesn’t make sense. Unless you have Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews, tight end is typically not a high-scoring position. You can start at most two tight ends in a single week, one in the TE slot and one in the flex.

However, taking a tight end in the middle rounds is a dangerous proposition when WRs in that range have been so lethal over the past few seasons. And with running back ADP torpedoing on Underdog this offseason, they are becoming more viable too. Furthermore, there are countless examples of RBs and WRs in the final rounds being stone zeroes, and Leone showed in his Best Ball Manifesto how valuable it is to avoid those dead picks. With that in mind, maybe it’s better to take a tight end in those rounds — who often have a more assured roster spot and/or path to snaps — and approach the TE position with a quantity-over-quality approach. A lot of the time, all it takes for a tight end to have a usable week is an accidental stumble into the end zone. The bar for being a fantasy-relevant RB/WR is significantly higher. Furthermore, Davis Mattek pointed out that there has been a late-round or undrafted TE finish as an upper-half TE1 in four consecutive seasons (and there were two in 2023 with Taysom Hill and Evan Engram). These late-rounders have legitimate upside relative to the rest of the position, and obviously taking four of them increases your probability of hitting on one of the surprise overperformers.

This isn’t to say that 4-TE is definitely an amazing strategy. It’s just explaining that there is some logic behind it and it’s worth exploring further.



Teams that drafted four tight ends advanced at a 17.0% clip in 2021, but the strategy has led to below-expectation advance rates in the other two years of Underdog’s existence.


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