Thanksgiving NFL DFS - Battle Royale Underdog Strategy

Nov 23rd 2022

Underdog Fantasy

Thanksgiving DFS is here, and Underdog Fantasy is joining the party with multiple DFS contests, snake draft style (not salary cap). We've partnered with The Badge Bros, who analyze and stream these Battle Royale DFS drafts weekly. Here is their spin on the slate. Make sure you subscribe to their YouTube, follow on Twitter, and use Underdog Fantasy promo code 'BADGE' to match your first deposit up to $100!

Badge Bros Notes

QB: Running naked QB is in play on this slate but it’s largely only viable with Allen, Dak and Daniel Jones. Outside of those three I’m implementing a minimum plus-one stacking rule which includes a mix of pass-catching RBs, WRs or TEs. Outside of BUF, DAL, and MIN, I likely won’t aim to onslaught stack the underdog QBs but if I do those builds will include 2+ players from the heavy favorite side. Example being, Diggs-Singletary-Knox (Rounds 1-3) + Goff-Swift-Reynolds (Rounds 4-6).

RB: The most projectable volume and late-round value on the slate resides here. As such, I’m largely gravitating to 1-2-2-1 builds in “The Turkey.” With talent spread so thin, the floor that a 6-to-8 touch RB in the 6th round provides might be all you need to win. Justin Jackson repeating his 10-touch performance from last week could provide great dividends.

WR: Don’t be afraid to go deep on the depth chart of both the heavy favorites and the teams projected to be chasing points. Garbage time fantasy points are worth the same amount. Both potential gamescripts setup beautifully for fantasy goodness. It’s within the range of outcomes that someone like Isaiah Hodgins finds his way to 5-65-1 and is the one-off leverage you need.

TE: Stars and scrubs vibe where the stars aren’t exactly standouts thus setting up as the most optimal punt position on the slate. That being said, there is merit to buying the volume and getting unique through some double TE combinations mainly from the left-side of the draft board (slots 1.01-1.03). Locking up Jefferson-Hockenson-Schultz from the 1.03 in hopes that you get a 4th round Cousins to fall, because no one in the draft wants to take him unstacked, is a viable path to a unique ceiling build.

The Draft Board

Rounds 1-2

  • QB: Josh Allen, Dak Prescott

  • WR: Stefon Diggs, Justin Jefferson, CeeDee Lamb, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Gabe Davis

  • RB1: Saquon Barkley, Tony Pollard, Dalvin Cook, Rhamondre Stevenson

  • RB2: Devin Singletary, Jamaal Williams, Ezekiel Elliott

This part of the draft is easy. These players should almost *never* be leapfrogged.

Rounds 3-6

  • QB: Kirk Cousins, Jared Goff, Daniel Jones, Mac Jones

  • WR: Jakobi Meyers, Darius Slayton, Adam Thielen, Michael Gallup, Isaiah McKenzie, DeVante Parker, Jameson Williams

  • RB: D’Andre Swift, James Cook, Damien Harris, Justin Jackson

  • TE1: TJ Hockenson, Dalton Schultz, Dawson Knox

  • TE?: Hunter Henry, Jonnu Smith, Brock Wright, Lawrence Cager

One of the most lucrative strategies is to punt the tight end position. From a projection standpoint you’re sacrificing much less than if you were to take a top two or three player at the position to then have to scroll down and draft the likes of DJ Chark, Josh Reynolds, Kalif Raymond, etc.

The most viable way to draft a top TE while still giving yourself a chance at the top prize in the average draft room is to punt QB. By telling yourself that Josh Allen and Dak Prescott are not putting the slate out of reach relative to their counterparts, you can then wait to grab Goff, or one of the Jones’. If you’re in a room where Cousins falls, you can certainly stack your Hockenson with him. But again, you’re likely sacrificing many points if you’re not playing chicken with your draft room and hoping to get Cousins at a huge value.

When punting QB and going for an “elite” (relative to this slate) TE build, it’s important to tell yourself a story. If you want to stack Dak with Schultz, you’re likely saying Dak is doing it all with the help of Schultz and maybe CeeDee and/or Gallup. An onslaught of the passing game is your most likely path to first, as you should strongly consider fading the rest of the Dallas pieces in this game when going this route. The same can be said for the Vikings as well.

Battle Royale Thanksgiving Contests

The Turkey ($150k in prizes, $5 entry, 6-person drafts)

Correlation is king on small game slates. The fewer the games, the more densely correlated scoring is. Add in the fact that the player pool is stretched thinner than normal and correlation becomes the focal point of this slate. ... We’re accustomed to seeing two or three game slates be limited to three or four person drafts but in the case of The Turkey, we’re drafting a three game slate in six person draft lobbies. As such, the elite talent in the player pool dries up in a hurry. This means that our best point of leverage over the field comes through correlation and sound roster construction. By this I mean, pairing a pocket passing QB (for instance, Mac Jones) with multiple pass-catchers or pairing a heavily favored RB (Devin Singletary) with an elite WR runback option (Amon-Ra St. Brown). ... We’re not going to be able to consistently build lineups around the elite projectable talents so we must aim to draft rosters with logical gameflow patterns regardless of who the specific players we draft on a given roster are. It’s cliche to say but each individual roster we draft has to tell a story regardless of what that story may be.

The Big Gobble ($10k in prizes, $25 entry, 3-person drafts)

Although we’re dealing with the exact same slate of games, our strategy is distinctly different in the higher priced contest. And that has nothing to do with the price point. This doesn’t mean we should forgo correlation and logical gameflow patterns but rather given the prevalence of elite talent available, natural correlation and common ADP patterns emerge. And this creates a large number of “chalk builds” where everyone’s rosters will look very similar and be extremely common/repeatable. So unless you want to chop the first-place prize with thirty of your best friends, we’re going to have to push the boundaries of ADP and get different. ... Stop if you’ve heard me say this before: “Scroll the eff down!” This is the perfect contest to get comfortable being uncomfortable. We love to think we know exactly what is going to happen on a slate when in reality the variance associated with three games has a far larger range of outcomes than our drafting tendencies like to give credit. Don’t be afraid to forgo ADP “value” in an effort to create unique lineups. The road to first place is often the one least traveled. While everyone attempts to build a “super team,” focus your attention on creating a unique team so you face less resistance in pursuit of the overall prize.

Player Pool By Team

Bills (31.5 implied points)

  • Josh Allen 1.3 ADP

  • Stefon Diggs 2.3

  • Gabe Davis 11.2

  • Devin Singletary 13.2

  • Dawson Knox 19.9

  • Isaiah McKenzie 27.9

  • James Cook 31.8

Cowboys (27 points)

  • Dak Prescott 5.3 ADP

  • CeeDee Lamb 6.1

  • Tony Pollard 6.5

  • Ezekiel Elliott 16.6

  • Dalton Schultz 17.6

  • Michael Gallup 23.5

  • Noah Brown 33.9

Vikings (22 points)

  • Justin Jefferson 3.7 ADP

  • Dalvin Cook 8.7

  • TJ Hockenson 15.1

  • Kirk Cousins 18.3

  • Adam Thielen 22.3

  • KJ Osborn 34.7

Lions (22 points)

  • Amon-Ra St. Brown 8.9 ADP

  • Jamaal Williams 13.6

  • D’Andre Swift 22.1

  • Jared Goff 26.2 - QB5 but the tied-third highest team total on the slate.

  • Kalif Raymond 34.2

  • Brock Wright 34.5

  • DJ Chark 35.0

  • Justin Jackson 35.9

  • Jameson Williams 36.0

Patriots (19.5 points)

  • Rhamondre Stevenson 10.4 ADP

  • Jakobi Meyers 18.1

  • Damien Harris 26.8

  • Hunter Henry 28.1

  • Jonnu Smith 30.5

  • Mac Jones 31.6

  • DeVante Parker 32.4

Giants (17.5 points)

  • Saquon Barkley 4.7 ADP

  • Daniel Jones 17 - QB3 but the lowest team implied total on the slate.

  • Darius Slayton 19.4

  • Richie James 30

  • Lawrence Cager 35.5

  • Kenny Golladay 35.6

  • Isaiah Hodgins 35.9