Week 3 was a mixed bag for us here. The trend of waiting on running back, jamming superstar QBs and elite TEs was the meal ticket, and oddly enough being higher than consensus on Derrick Henry was helpful, but we’ll see if we can nail wide receiver better this week and avoid an injury to a top play like David Montgomery.
For Week 4, Underdog Fantasy continues to give us a several different tournament options, with their main contest being $250,000 in total prizes and $50,000 to 1st Place. They have several other additional tournaments, and even a more cash game style contest with a “double up”.
Drafters Fantasy posted more than $10,000 in total prizes for their Snake Draft tournaments for Week 4, including 2 QB tournaments and “winner moves on” tournaments starting this week.
There are also some 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.
Let’s get it.
Week 4 Snake Draft & Battle Royale General Strategy & 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.
*Note that Underdog also launched a 12 person Battle Royale draft – this week called Goal Line Stand – which is still 6 players for each team, but obviously doubles the amount of players drafted. The exact players will change in that contest, but the strategy remains the same. Additionally, I increased our weekly rankings from a top 40 to top 60 to account for this contest and the slightly larger Drafters tournaments.*
Particularly on Underdog, you’re going to need to nail basically your entire roster for that week. You may not need the absolute perfect lineup in every tournament, but at least in their big $5 Battle Royale with more than 50,000 entries, you have to navigate your way to the nearly optimal lineup most weeks. However, most of the field is still drafting off ADP for the entire 6 round draft, meaning that there are so many players being drafted in nearly every draft, while so many other players (including plenty of quality options) are being undrafted.
Look at Devonta Smith in Week 3 as the perfect example. He was the highest scoring WR of the week, and he was the WR2 for one of, if not the best stack of the week in the Eagles. But he was largely ignored in drafts because he had yet to produce a big game this year. At RB, despite a great matchup with Seattle, Cordarrelle Patterson was largely undrafted, and he produced the RB4 score of the week. Every single week there are options like this that are the difference between 5 figure scores and losing weeks.
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 we remove a few of the top offenses in the NFL, which has an interesting effect on drafts. There are a fairly clear top 3 QBs that have upside just on a different level than the rest – Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts. Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs are on the Drafters slate, and that makes him an appealing 4th option there. Justin Herbert should be your 4th option against the Texans this week, but after him it does seem to fall off a cliff at QB. On one hand, you don’t want to reach too high for QB and miss out on the elite skill players, but I think it’s pretty paramount to have plenty of exposure to these top QBs given their profiles right now.
Similar to last week, the other huge factor I’ve noticed thus far in drafts is that the field has come around to the superstar WRs early in drafts. On top of that, without Kelce on the main slate, Mark Andrews has no real rival at the top of TE, and that has elevated him into the 1st round of ADP on Underdog, as he should be.
And normally we would be jamming the elite TE and elite WRs early, but so many of our superstar WRs are not on this slate. The Bengals and Dolphins play on Thursday, removing 4 stud WRs. Vikings/Chiefs are in London Sunday Morning, so Justin Jefferson is off the board. Chiefs and Bucs are on Sunday Night (which is on Drafters, but not Underdog), and the Rams and 49ers are on Monday Night, which removes Cooper Kupp.
So while it feels a bit painful to pay these QBs prices this week, I think given the depth of RB options later in drafts and the lack of the superstar WR depth at the top of normal, we can dip our toes into the elite QBs (and of course Mark Andrews).
With some injuries at RB, we have some options down the board in Khalil Herbert and Jamaal Williams that really help beef up the depth at RB. And the market has generally pushed down some RBs that makes for the above roster construction possible with still having really strong RBs.
Mark Andrews – What Andrews is doing so far is hard to ignore, but even more so in these particular drafts. On Drafters, you at least have Travis Kelce as a peer at the top of TE. But on Underdog, Andrews stands a lone, and we’ve seen back to back weeks now of what he provides over the field at TE. Somewhat hilariously, Andrews is actually 2nd in the entire NFL in total Air Yards, and he has the highest target share in the league. The TE position is extremely weak in Week 4, so you’ll see that even with an ADP at the 1/2 turn, he’s a huge value for us as our number 2 overall player.
CeeDee Lamb – Who knew all CeeDee needed was Cooper Rush to play over Dak in order to be unlocked. Mostly kidding, but even despite a horrible drop of a long TD last week, CeeDee popped up for another big game and dominant target share. Now he draws a Washington defense that has been absolutely bleeding fantasy points to opposing pass games. They’ve been crushed by Christian Kirk, Amon-Ra St. Brown and most recently Devonta Smith (and AJ Brown). CeeDee has at least 11 targets in all 3 games, including 23 targets on 62 attempts the last two weeks. He trails only Andrews in target share in the NFL.
Undervalued & Overvalued Players
Khalil Herbert – The Bears offense stinks, but it’s not because they can’t run the ball. They have had a ton of success on the ground, particularly the last two weeks, and that gives Herbert a ton of upside at his cheap price. The fact that David Montgomery hasn’t been ruled out yet is keeping his price in check, and we should take advantage as much as we can early in the week. Herbert became a total workhorse for the Bears after Montgomery was injured last week, and he draws a Giants defense that has given up 322 yards on the ground the last two weeks.
Christian Kirk– Kirk has been one of the best values of the fantasy football offseason to date, but he finally draws his toughest matchup against the Eagles defense here. This team is loaded with talent in both the front 7 and in coverage, and they have not allowed more than 205 passing yards in a game yet this year.
Los Angeles Chargers – The Bills, Ravens and Eagles are all clearly “top stacks”, but their QBs all go in the first round, so that felt like cheating a bit. The best stack you can get in absolutely any draft is the Chargers. They’ve obviously underperformed, but if I told you a month ago that you could get Justin Herbert and Chargers stacks whenever you wanted against the TEXANS, you’d think I was crazy. It’s the perfect bounce back spot for this offense, and Keenan Allen is expected to be back at practice this week, which gives you a few different stacking partners to cycle through with Herbert.
Off the Radar, Low Owned Plays
DJ Moore – Another year, another disappointing situation for DJ Moore. Baker Mayfield has certainly not helped Moore take the next step, but that’s what the Arizona Cardinals are for this week. This is a defense and particularly a secondary we want to attack every single week, and that’s something the market has been hip to so far. However, this week they’ve drawn the line at the Panthers and are totally ignoring a high level talent against this defense that just hands out fantasy points to opposing pass catchers.
Gerald Everett – While I do still like Waller, Pitts and Goedert, if you can’t get your hands on Mark Andrews in drafts, I think it makes a lot of sense to go off the board to a low owned tight end. The position is incredibly week, and there’s very little difference between someone like Everett, who goes undrafted, and some of the TEs drafted in every draft. In fact, Everett might even be better given a matchup with the lowly Houston Texans who are giving up over 400 yards per game to opposing offenses. Everett got up to 75% of snaps last week, and he has the 2 TD upside we want at the position.