Gutentag! Underdog Fantasy released the THUNday Muncich Melee contest with a $5 price point, 13,752 entries and $9k top prize. It is the same format as the Main Slate contest but with only 4 drafters instead of 6 (constant shift from 3 to 4). For this week, we get the Falcons (-2.5) traveling to Carolina to take on the Panthers with a 42.5 o/u in a projected rainstorm on Thursday and the NFL’s first game in Germany showcasing the Seahawks taking on the Buccaneers (-3) with a 44.5 o/u on Sunday morning.
Reminder that you can also user our FREE Rankings for Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale “Showdown” tournaments to help aid in your drafts alongside this article. They are updated for every new slate each week (3x per week).
Let’s dig in.
Draft Strategy for Week 10 Thursday Night Football and Sunday Munich Game Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale
The main takeaway from looking at this slate is to win you will need to navigate the utter chaos. The player pool is very top heavy and since these drafts are 4 players, you are forced to take some stands early. The Falcons and Panthers are bottom 5 in PROE the last 4 weeks (tied-2nd, and 4th, respectively) Divisional games typically end-up being more defensive focused so overall, you will need to find all the touchdown scorers since they are so important in half ppr. Add in the projected rainstorm and 30 MPH winds and we should prefer the running options over the receivers. In the other game, the Buccaneers are 8th and Seahawks are 9th in PROE over the last 4 weeks. It should be no surprise that the Bucs are underperforming, the books seem to think this will be a get-right spot against an overachieving Seahawks team. With some of the big-names in this game, this game has shootout potential.
These contests have been shuffling between 3 and 4 man drafts, for this slate we get 4-man drafts. It will be easy to get different and provide unique lineups as the player pool is top-heavy and is full of dart-throw options. It will be difficult for super teams to get formed due to the format, which allows you to feel comfortable sacrificing projection later in drafts to reduce duplicates.
With the significant change to 4 person drafts and this particular slate, it personally makes me prioritize the QB position. We are routinely seeing at least 2 QBs go in the first round with Geno Smith and Tom Brady. Brady has the higher projection on Underdog but Geno provides a rushing floor. If Brady is going to be the highest scoring QB, he will do it by having multiple passing touchdowns and bringing his receiving options with him. Geno, Marcus Mariota and PJ Walker all bring some rushing to the table. With Mariota having the most designed runs. Walker and Geno are just more prone to scramble due to collapsing pockets. Mariota and Walker are really capped on their upside due to how run heavy the Falcons and Panthers are. They will struggle to top 25 pass attempts lowering their ceilings.
For pass catchers, the ownership will naturally (and deservedly) condense around Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, Drake London, Mike Evans, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf and Terrace Marshall. Since there will be at least 8 WRs selected, this means due to the uncertainty, it will be easy to get different. With Russell Gage missing last week and questionable again, I would expect most of the ownership to land on Julio Jones due to his down-field ability and Olamide Zaccheaus since he plays in 2WR sets.. Shi Smith is playing as the Panthers 3rd WR over Laviska Shenault. Smith is currently projected for less points than Laviska despite laying 80% snaps to Laviska’s 10%. Damiere Byrd remains involved as the WR3 for the Falcons, albeit in a limited role. He has 10 total targets on the year (with 6 coming in week 8, 1 in every other game since week 4) but is used down the field (35.5 yards per reception) which translates to one play causing him to crack the optimal.
On the RB end, Kenneth Walker is in a world of his own. He comes with 100+ yards and 2-TD upside and is the focal point of the offense (23.5 touches since becoming the lead back). He is my 1.01 in drafts. Cordarrelle Patterson returned in week 9 to score 2 TDs, yet only played 39% of snaps. It was a clear 3-headed committee with Tyler Allgeier (38%) and Caleb Huntley (21%). CPat should see his workload increase as he is the most talented, but Allgeier played respectively and will continue to rotate in. D’Onta Foreman carried the load to start the game in week 9 but since the Panthers got blown out, Raheem Blackshear rotated in down the stretch. Foreman was not very effective after back-to-back 100 yard games and could start to see his snap counts decrease due to the Panthers being in evaluation mode. Chuba Hubbard was close to returning last week from an ankle injury. My assumption is he is going to play on Thursday and potentially lead the team in snaps. He is available in the 6th round of drafts. One of the major questions is what to do with Leonard Fournette? The Buccaneers’ backfield continues to look like a 60/40 timeshare between Fournetter and rookie, Rachaad White. White has impressed with his limited snaps and there are reports coming out that White may be taking on a bigger role moving forward. Lenny has not been effective this year which leads me to downgrade him in drafts and get more aggressive on White. I will mix in some Fournette as he has 2-TD upside with pass-catching.
The TE slate is gross again. With much of the ownership landing on Kyle Pitts, Noah Fant and Cade Otton, and Will Dissly. Kyle Pitts is the generational talent TE who is like a WR in a TEs body. His ceiling is limited since the Falcons don’t throw often. His previous week’s box score would look better if Mariota didn’t overthrow him on a would be 60-yard TD. Fant is not an integral part of the offense. He usually targeted 3 or 4 times again, yet will be overdrafted due to producing against the TE-passing funnel, Arizona Cardinals. Otton has been filling in admirably for Cameron Brate. If Brate is active, he will be low-owned but the TE-role down the seam in a Brady offense is valuable. The Panthers do not really use their TEs. Tommy Tremble plays more snaps but Ian Thomas has more of the receiving TE role. Will Dissly is more of the receiving TE for the Seahawks. In total, you are trying to find the TE that scores a TE to crack the optimal.
Top Plays for Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale Drafts
- Kenneth Walker – Highest ceiling for a position player
- Geno Smith – Pass-first offense who is not scramble-averse
- Tom Brady – Bucs need an offensive explosion
- Chris Godwin – Operating as the WR1 for Brady since returning from injury
Players That Could Differentiate Your Lineup
- Russell Gage – WR3 if healthy and going undrafted.
- Chuba Hubbard – Potential starting running back available in the last round.
- Shi Smith – WR3 for the Panthers playing 80% of snaps.
- Rachaad White – Usually draft but could be the Bucs starting RB at a discounted price.