Underdog Fantasy's "Battle Royale" Strategy

Sep 11th 2021

Hayden Winks

Yes, we love best ball drafts at Underdog Fantasy, but that’s just the beginning game for us. We’re building daily fantasy games and a whole lot more over the next few seasons. And that doesn’t include the games already in the lobby like Pick ’Em and Rivals.

Today, I’m going over “Battle Royale”. It’s a daily fantasy game with $1,000s in prizes, and it’s very easy to play and only takes 3–6 minutes to complete. Each manager completes a short draft — it’s not a salary cap format — before the slate begins with the goal being to score the most points, not just in your personal draft but in the entire tournament.

There are two slightly different Battle Royale formats: Single Game and Daily.

The Single Game Slate (think Monday Night, Sunday Night, or Thursday Night Football) is a four-round draft with three users, so 12 players are selected in total. We’ve removed the QBs here, so it’s just four “flex spots” (RBs, WRs, and TEs).

The Daily Slate (think Sunday Week 1) is a six-round draft with six users, so 36 players are selected. Since there are more teams to draft from, the roster spots include 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR, 1 TE, and 1 FLEX. Battle Royale: Week 1 is $100,000 guaranteed, so let’s start the season off with some general strategy on how to beat it.

In my opinion, it’s a game with an edge, especially now because there’s not too much content being created for it.

Strategy #1 — Look at the depth of each position, particularly at TE.

If you’ve played 3-person or 6-person drafts, you know the edge that Travis Kelce has over the field. That’s even more true in Battle Royale because some of the elite and mid-range TE1s are not on the slate. For example, Darren Waller (the consensus TE2 in best ball) is not on the Sunday slate because he’s playing on Monday Night Football. That makes Travis Kelce even more valuable. For Battle Royale: Week 1, the TE tiers are Travis Kelce / George Kittle / Kyle Pitts and T.J. Hockenson / Logan Thomas, Robert Tonyan, Noah Fant, Dallas Goedert, Mike Gesicki, and other borderline TE1s.

This same strategy can be applied to RBs and WRs, but there can be between 6–18 RBs and 12–24 WRs drafted as a whole. That makes the tier-based calculation a little tougher to grasp. There’s an edge there if you can handle it.

Strategy #2 — Stack your team.

This is a DFS tournament after all, so some correlation is +EV. That can be as easy as stacking your WR with his QB, or can include a WR with a WR from his opponent. It’s not necessary to go overboard with this, however, because we aren’t constrained by a salary cap like we are on other sites. It’s okay to limit things to just single stacks with a come back option here. That’s QB/WR with an opposing WR for those unfamiliar with the DFS lingo.

Strategy #3 — It’s okay to wait on QB.

This isn’t always necessary and won’t even be optimal on every slate, but there’s a benefit to waiting until the last (or second-to-last) round to draft your QB. Because we want that correlation from Strategy #2, we can draft some of the best WRs and TEs available early and then select that team-stacked QB at the end. An example this week could be A.J. Brown early and then Ryan Tannehill in Round 6.

Strategy #4 — Differentiate with your last couple of picks.

This is the BIG one.

The draft lobby isn’t based on average draft position (ADP) like it is in best ball. Instead, it’s based on our third-party daily player projection provider. You’ll see QBs at the top of the queue often despite them not being +EV picks early. That’s a win for sharper players.

But the real benefit to the draft lobby being set up like this is to take advantage of low-rostered players. A large chunk of people will be selecting the highest-projected player available each round, leaving a large chunk of the player pool tied to just a handful of players. For example, the top-6 projected QBs in Week 1 are Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray, Josh Allen, Russell Wilson, Jalen Hurts, and Aaron Rodgers. These QBs, most likely, will be the top-6 most-drafted QBs on the slate. But DFS is largely a game of finding correlated bets against high-owned plays.

Take advantage by scrolling down a few players with your last two picks. Instead of taking QB5 Jalen Hurts, draft QB9 Trevor Lawrence at a much lower ownership. Finding a player who isn’t drafted often isn’t hard with only 36 players being drafted each time, so this is BY FAR the best advice in this column.

Tournament Example for Battle Royale: Week 1

  • Round 1: TE1 Travis Kelce, the TE1 in projections

  • Round 2: WR1 Calvin Ridley, the WR4 in projections

  • Round 3: WR2 Justin Jefferson, the WR7 in projections

  • Round 4: RB1 Nick Chubb (to stack with Kelce), the RB7 in projections

  • Round 5: FLEX Devonta Smith (to stack with Ridley), the WR29 in projo.

  • Round 6: QB1 Matt Ryan (to stack with Ridley), the QB10 in projections

Good luck this week!