The 2022 NFL Season kicked off with a bang in Week 1 with an action packed slate of games. Multiple overtime games, some huge performances from big names and much more.
For Week 2, Underdog Fantasy made their Battle Royale contests even BIGGER with their main tournament being $250,000 in total prizes and $50,000 to 1st Place. They have several other additional tournaments. Drafters Fantasy has posted nearly $20,000 in total prizes for their Snake Draft tournaments, including 2 QB tournaments and “winner moves on” tournaments starting this week through week 5. There are Sit n Go options on DraftKings.
The goal of this article is to talk through strategy and ways to attack these specific snake draft style tournaments. By now most people are award of Daily Fantasy (DFS), and of course traditional season long snake drafts. But this is the first year we are getting truly huge in-season, weekly and daily snake drafts that are the perfect combination of the two.
If you are looking for rankings for these contests, we’ve got you covered there too. You can check out our Main Slate Draft Rankings or our Showdown/Single Game Draft Rankings to get a sense of some of the top plays and positional priorities. If you combine them with these strategy articles, our goal is that you’ll be able to put together drafts that give you a huge leg up on your competition who is probably not draft completely optimally for these types of tournaments.
On to the fun stuff.
Week 2 Snake Draft & Battle Royale Top Plays
The first thing to consider, by far, in these drafts is not just “who you like” or “who projects the best”, but how our opponents are handling the week in terms of ADP. There are only 36 players drafted in every draft, and so that means a HUGE percentage of the player pool goes undrafted most of the time. But many of these are still really quality options with upside, so we need to consider what is the best way for us to beat thousands of other teams that drafted VERY similar combinations.
With that in mind, our “top plays” will be a combination of the highest upside options overall and some “sneakier” options that may be drafted late or not at all.
This week in particular it’s important to take into account the specific set of games on the main slate. Many of the highest powered offenses and biggest name weapons in fantasy are playing in primetime, so they are not available here. These are the perfect slates for us if we think deeply about how to gain leverage on the field.
George Kittle – Since he didn’t play last week, Kittle is going undrafted or in the last round of most drafts, especially on Underdog. However, Kittle said he would have played if they weren’t being extra cautious, and everyone’s expectation is that he will play this week. The 49ers offense was stuck in the mud (both literally and figuratively) last week without him, and we know the upside he brings at the TE position. He draws a super favorable matchup, will be under drafted all week, and the TE position is missing Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert and Dawson Knox (to name the biggest names) from the main slate, so options are lacking for this upside.
Leonard Fournette – There are a bunch of high upside RBs at the top of drafts this week, but the most underpriced based on our rankings is Lenny. He settles in a 11th overall for us, but his ADP is currently 25 on Underdog despite establishing his dominance in the Bucs backfield in a butt whipping of the Cowboys. The Saints have historically been a tough matchup, but they just got lit up on the ground by Cordarrelle Patterson and might be more susceptible than year’s past.
Undervalued & Overvalued Players
Amon-Ra St. Brown – If you were worried about ASB’s target share for 2022 with healthy weapons around him, that was alleviated in Week 1 as he posted 12 targets on 37 Jared Goff pass attempts. The matchup this week with the Commanders is middling, but his upside is severely underrated as shown by his ADP of 27 vs our ranking of 20.
Brandin Cooks – Brandin Cooks is a really good football player and should continue to have an excellent target share, but target share’s aren’t all created equal. Despite playing for a worse offense (the Texans) and drawing a tougher matchup with the Broncos, he goes multiple rounds ahead of ASB. He comes in 27th overall in our rankings, but his ADP is a very lofty 15th overall on Underdog.
Las Vegas Raiders – The Raiders are a little tricky simply because, a) they are pricey in drafts, and b) Derek Carr isn’t the typical mega upside QB we love, but the Cardinals are just a defense we want to continue to target. They predictably got boat raced by the Chiefs in Week 1, and the Raiders should bounce back after a tough week 1 draw with an underrated Chargers defense here, especially with Davante Adams looking as good as ever.
San Francisco 49ers – Bounce back week! Fantasy football twitter is obsessing over a poor performance from Trey Lance and the Niners, but this is the perfect bounce back spot for them and letdown spot for the Seahawks. Especially with so many elite offenses missing from this slate, Lance’s dual threat upside combined with 3 awesome weapons in Deebo Samuel, George Kittle and Brandon Aiyuk (all cheap in drafts) make the Niners the best tournament stack of the week in drafts.
Off the Radar, Low Owned Plays
Russell Gage – Ok, hear me out. Chris Godwin got hurt last week, and the Bucs were never really pushed by the Cowboys to put their foot on the gas down the stretch of Week 1. Gage should be the huge beneficiary in the slot in the absence of Godwin, and the Saints should have Marshon Lattimore on Mike Evans and/or Julio Jones on the outside. The Saints also traded away elite slot corner Chauncey Gardner-Johnson, and even though we like Fournette (see above), the Saints have been historically really tough against the run and should bounce back against a bad Bucs offensive line. This all sets up for a big Russell Gage week, and he is NEVER drafted.
Pat Freiermuth – RB is so strong up top this week that there is a bit less incentive to get crazy at that position, but TE is very weak and thin outside of the top few guys. Obviously, we love Kittle, but Freiermuth is not always drafted and he settles in as the 5th TE for us on this slate after the big 4 (Andrews, Pitts, Waller, Kittle). With all the obsessing over target shares and week 1 usage, I haven’t really heard a peep about his 10 targets (26%, 2nd on team behind Diontae Johnson’s 12). He could easily be the highest scoring TE of the week if he continues to earn targets, and the Patriots might just be a pretty bad football team.