If Raheem Mostert did not exist last week, it would have been a complete smash for our strategy laid out here in this piece. The Eagles and Dolphins stacks were the ones to have, DeAndre Hopkins and DJ Moore crushed again and super low owned D’Onta Foreman had a monster 3 TD game. These got you nearly all the way there to winning Underdog Fantasy NFL Battle Royale tournaments.
For Week 9, Underdog gives us another shot at trying to take home $50,000 in their main Battle Royale tournaments, as well as more than $100,000 in prize in multiple other tournaments.
Drafters Fantasy offers nearly $10,000 in total prizes, including a 2 QB tournament and deeper rosters with full point PPR.
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 for Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale tournaments 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 into Week 9.
Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale Strategy Week 9 & 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 – called the 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.
Top Plays for Underdog Fantasy NFL Week 9
Aaron Jones – As the Packers offense struggles to get much from its WRs, this has just led to them leaning more and more on Aaron Jones. He got up to nearly 75% of snaps last week against the Bills, and he’s totaled 28 carries, 15 targets, 233 total yards and 2 TDs in the last two weeks. He’s an explosive weapon capable of 40 point games at any moment, and that’s particularly true in a dream matchup with the Lions.
DK Metcalf – Yes, it feels uncomfortable to click Metcalf given he had what looked like a terrible injury 2 weeks ago AND he flopped in this matchup against the Cardinals earlier this year. But that’s EXACTLY why he’s such a good pick, Metcalf shockingly returned to play in Week 8 and dominated the Seattle pass game. He had 10 targets on 34 Geno Smith attempts, and he had 149 air yards, good for 57% of the team air yards. The Cardinals corners are still very bad, and this is a matchup DK can explode in.
Undervalued & Overvalued Players on Underdog Fantasy
DJ Moore – Moore maintains a spot as our Undervalued player this week, as he put up a monster game in Week 8 & it’s like no one even cares. Moore is as target dominant of a WR as there is in the NFL right now, and he also picked up 250 air yards in Week 8. The only thing keeping his ADP down is the start to the season he had and a natural bias against the Panthers, but PJ Walker has been great for DJ Moore. Add in the fact that Bengals star corner Chidobe Awuzie is out to give Moore a sneaky good matchup against bad corners, and DJM is a great WR option.
Dalvin Cook – RB is a bit thin this week, so a guy like Dalvin is getting pushed way up in ADP. He’s found the end zone 5 times this year to offset what has been a fairly down year, and he’s been giving up a bit more work to Alexander Mattison than in year’s past. In a really tough matchup with a pass funnel Washington defense (2nd against the run, 28th against the pass), there are other backs we’d prefer to target.
Top Stacks for Underdog & Drafters
Tampa Bay Bucs – This week’s slate is frankly the toughest for stacks of the season. The Bills are very clearly the true top stack, but Josh Allen goes 1st overall in nearly every draft, so we can only get so many of them, meaning we need to have other targets. The Bucs have been terrible on offense, but their pass rate and skill position talent is finally underpriced by the market. Everyone assumed the Bucs were the same old Bucs for months, but now that they’ve finally given up we can pounce. Brady and his skill players (Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Leonard Fournette) are available to be stacked in any draft, despite averaging 46+ pass attempts per game since Week 3 and facing a Rams pass funnel defense which ranks 4th against the run and just 19th against the pass.
Los Angeles Chargers – Stacking a team that is going to be missing Mike Williams and Keenan Allen? Well, the combination of value and upside is just too much here for the Chargers. They draw a really bad Falcons defense that was just absolutely shredded by the Panthers. Josh Palmer does return to help offset the WR losses, and Austin Ekeler is just a superstar. The matchup is so good, especially with AJ Terrell out for the Falcons at corner, and the prices on every non-Ekeler Charger are so incredibly cheap that they just provide too much upside at cheap prices to ignore.
Off the Radar, Low Owned Plays in Battle Royale
Joshua Palmer – His ADP has slightly crept up (possibly because I keep drafting him), but he’s still not being picked in every draft despite the fact he projects as the Chargers WR1 in an elite matchup with the Falcons. If we remove the name, and the fact that he’s been out for a couple weeks, he’d be going much higher, especially given how appealing Chargers stacks look. When he has played a full time role this year, Palmer has 8, 9, and 10 target games, and that was with Mike Williams in the lineup. There’s double digit target, multi TD upside going way too late here.
Antonio Gibson – Running back is really not as deep as usual this week, so if you need to dip into some late round guys, it gets tricky. Gibson is the one guy who provides some big upside. JD Mckissic has not practiced this week, which opens Gibson up for a larger role in the pass game, and his role has already grown there. If he can take the pass game work and let Brian Robinson just do the between the tackles grunt work, there’s a path to a huge week. If the Vikings get out to a lead, we could see big time usage for Gibson, and he’s show tons of big play ability.