Fantasy Overwatch 2021 Kickoff

Welcome to the Fantasy OWL 2021 Season! In the height of fantasy draft season, we are here with a draft day guide and early season strategies to help you navigate the noise OWL will be blasting us with this year – tournaments, hero pools, and divisional changes. 

I’ve been playing Fantasy Overwatch since day one of OWL before there were public stats and I’ve played through a mid-season pandemic trashing our best laid plans, so I’ve learned a few important lessons I think will help you win your upcoming draft and/or quickly adjust your team over the critical first few weeks of the season.

  1. If all the players are pre-ranked in the app, how am I supposed to draft a better team than anyone else? And how do I know when to draft DPS Vs. Tanks. Vs. Support?

Draftbuff has done a great job providing us with player rankings and write ups for well over a hundred players from OWL YouTube guru ATP Overwatch, but you can outperform your league mates by knowing how to optimally use that list. When it comes down to it, fantasy Overwatch is a game of supply and demand. I’m in the middle of my third draft now and here’s what I see:

There are a lot of great DPS players available, but if you look at OWL rosters, there are typically 3-4 DPS likely to get play time. The other less obvious fact is that when it comes to OW statistics, the flex support far outperforms the main support, the flex tank far outperforms the main tank, but almost all types of DPS (hit scan, projectile, flankers) score similarly well. See below a hero-by-hero chart from 2020 of the average fantasy output by hero per 10 minutes:

I’ve had three years of watching OWL matches/stats teach me that through season one moth meta, season two goats, and season three hero pools, having as many strong flex supports and flex tanks as possible gives you the best chance of winning as shown by how poorly main tanks score as well as how poorly Mercy players score, not to mention that Lucio is a hero that has one of the widest variances between 2020’s high performers (FunnyAstro) and low performers (Masaa). 

It’s ok to pass up on some exciting DPS players for mid-tier off-tanks and mid-tier flex supports. Just be sure to load up on as many of those high-risk, high-reward DPS players later in the draft like Architect, Shockwave, Shax, Valentine, Nero, Doha etc. who have a possible, but not guaranteed path to high play time and big point totals across multiple metas.

  1. What do you think of my starting 6 players I drafted? Can you rank them for me?

While I love ranking teams and seeing how you did in your drafts, this is the wrong question to ask! Don’t focus too much on your “starting 6” which I put in quotes because there are a lot of bye weeks coming up this season. Below is a chart of the schedule for the year, with a quick reminder that on the Sunday of every 3rd week of play, there will be a knockout tournament and every 4th week is tournament weekend:

This means that to win in fantasy, you’ll need more depth than you’ll need the best starting 6. Actively managing your roster week to week to put in your players who are not on bye will be essential, which means you’ll also need quality backups to fill those slots when your starters are on bye. More than in any previous year in fantasy Overwatch, teams with the best depth who actively manage their rosters week to week will win out this season more than the teams with the best 6 players.

  1. I’ve already drafted – what if I don’t like my team? What if I didn’t follow your advice above? Have I already lost?

At the end of each week of play, you can take any undrafted players from waivers. Last year, the #2 player in all of fantasy on a per match basis, Crimzo, wasn’t even drafted. In fact, four of the top twenty-five players were typically only picked up via waivers after week one. 

It seems funny to think back to last year when we were debating whether KSP would be able to take play time away from KSF – unexpected superstars will pop up this year so be ready to follow our future columns/advice on Draftbuff on which players you’ll need to pick up.
Good luck in this draft season! If you have questions or want to discuss strategies with others, be sure to join the Draftbuff Discord – feel free to ping me (dhulky#4783) on there as well.