Week 4 was Lions-Seahawks week, and if you weren’t all in on that game in drafts, then you were probably just hoping to stay afloat. Who doesn’t love a good ol’ fashioned Geno Smith/Jared Goff shootout?
For Week 5, 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 5, 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 5 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 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.
There are two variables that jump out right away for Week 5. The first is that we still have a very top heavy QB pool. However, as we saw in Week 4, that doesn’t always play out the way we expect. Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Jalen Hurts ALL underperformed, and those who were willing to get different at QB were rewarded. Of course, that does not mean that the top options will fail again this week, but there are also really just two – Josh Allen & Jalen Hurts – even available on this slate this week.
The other biggest variable this week is the tight end position. If you think QB is weak at the top, then don’t look at TE. Neither of Mark Andrews or Travis Kelce are on the slate, and the other “elite” options have been massive under-performers. This creates an amazing opportunity for sharp drafters to instantly create leverage on the field with TE options that are lesser owned.
Lastly, the running back market is about as wide open as I can remember. There are a boatload of running backs that rank in our Top 60 Overall this week, and while of course some rank higher than others, the separation at running back doesn’t really exist quite like it does at WR or QB.
Tyreek Hill – Tyreek is going in the middle of the 2nd round, but we have him as our 4th overall player in Week 5. He draws a good matchup with the Jets, and he is as target dominant of a player as there is in the NFL right now. If we toss out the weird Bills game where the Dolphins ran less than 40 offensive plays, Tyreek has seen 12, 13 and 14 targets. The 14 targets last week were more impressive when you realize it was on just 37 total pass attempts and Teddy Bridgewater took over at QB. Tyreek should be considered in that top tier of wideout, but drafters are pushing him to the 2nd round.
Pat Freiermuth – In case you haven’t noticed, getting cheap leverage at TE is one of my favorite routes to success in these tournaments. With the Steelers going to Kenny Pickett, this should give Freiermuth a nice boost. Pickett, albeit in a very small sample, showed the willingness to get the ball out quicker on Sunday, and we saw Pat get 9 total targets. He’s 5th in the NFL amongst TEs in total targets and 4th in target share. Now he draws a strong Bills defense, but they’re an opponent that should push the Steelers to be aggressive through the air.
Undervalued & Overvalued Players
Washington WRs – With Jahan Dotson likely out, we should see more targets condensed to Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel. They draw a strong matchup with a vulnerable Titans secondary, and as poor as Carson Wentz has been, he’s been able to facilitate production from his weapons so far this year. Neither Terry or Samuel are super undervalued by themselves in a vacuum, but the combination of both offer unique target and big play upside to mix into your portfolio at a high rate.
Jeff Wilson – Wilson had a nice game against the Rams in Week 4, but the Panthers defense is sneaky good, and he’s being drafted very high. Even with last week’s production, he’s still going too high, as he’s our 54th overall player, but has an Underdog ADP of the RB6.
Philadelphia Eagles – Arguably the best and highest upside offense in the NFL squaring off with a very bad Cardinals defense. They’re not cheap, but we know the points are coming here and the upside in every offensive player is immense, so they’re easily the top stack of the slate.
Jacksonville Jaguars – They may have came back to earth against a really tough Eagles defense in Week 4, but it’s the perfect bounce back spot for a high upside offense with that saw their ADP plummet after last week, despite a pristine matchup.
Off the Radar, Low Owned Plays
Zay Jones – Piggybacking on the Jags stack, Zay should be extremely low owned after missing last week’s game. However, he returned to practice on Wednesday, and he’s been the 1B to Christian Kirk’s 1A this year. He even out-targeted Kirk in Week 3 (11 to 9), and has 2 more end zone targets on the season than Kirk despite one less game.
Rhamondre Stevenson – The Patriots have basically no one getting drafted despite drawing a matchup with the Lions that is a fantasy gold mine for opposing skill players. We saw what the Seahawks offense just did to them, so even with Bailey Zappe or Brian Hoyer at the helm, the Patriots should put up some points. The Pats are in a split backfield, but Rhamondre is seeing the passing work, which gives him that extra added upside and he’s going completely undrafted.