Expert DRAFTing Week 9

Exploring strategies on beating this week's snake drafts on DRAFT

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DRAFT offers weekly snake draft contests with 5-man rosters (1 QB, 2 RB, 2 WR/TE) with 0.5-point PPR scoring (the same as FanDuel). There is no salary cap on DRAFT which makes it unique to how you play compared to the other daily fantasy sites. Teams are built through live snake drafts that have 30-second timer per pick. The most common contest sizes are Head-to-Head, 3-Team, 6-Team, and 10-Team.

We will explore both the rankings and draft strategies for each of these four DRAFT sizes. To understand why players are ranked where they are, be sure to check out the overall rankings where I will have in-depth breakdowns of some of the top options and some personal favorites down the list. When developing these rankings we will be excluding the Thursday Night games and only focus on the main slate on DRAFT, the Sunday and Monday games.

If you want to follow me on DRAFT my username is "Eaglezzz" as I sometimes will post contests and would love to play along with fellow Footballguys like yourselves. Please feel free to contact me on Twitter with any questions or if you would like to discuss this article or draft strategies. I welcome constructive feedback on the article and as always best of luck in this week's contests.

WEEK 9 - QUICK NEWS AND NOTES

We are in the middle of bye weeks now and with that comes a condensed player pool as this week Arizona, Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, NY Giants, and Philadelphia are all on bye. Excluding those teams takes a dip into the overall player pool and you will have to dig deep at the end of drafts. We also can disregard the Thursday Night game between Oakland and San Francisco, and with the six teams on bye as well the positions will be thin when drafting in 10-man leagues. Taking away eight teams this week that all have some good options at all the positions will make for a tougher roster construction on DRAFT this week. Another critical area to look at is injuries as the weeks go by and in Week 9 they are starting to pile up. We have big names such as Melvin Gordon III, Dalvin Cook, Sony Michel, Chirs Thompson, Royce Freeman, and Alex Collins all at running back that are either out already or that have their status up in the air. At wide receiver, we also have some question marks now with Cooper Kupp, Tyreek Hill, Mike Evans, Stefon Diggs, Julian Edelman, Kenny Stills, Amari Cooper, Allen Robinson, and Jamison Crowder. These are all big names to watch as we go into the weekend and with only having to roster five players it makes it hard to draft these guys with comparable options out there. It is almost better to see your opponents selecting these players with the questionable tag as it could give you a slight edge on the week.

The popular high scoring games to target this week are going to be LA Rams vs New Orleans (59.5 O/U), Green Bay vs New England (56.5 O/U), Tampa Bay vs Carolina (55.0 O/U), and Kansas City vs Cleveland (51.0 O/U). It will be hard to not focus only on the LA Rams vs New Orleans game as there are so many big-name players in that game and the over/under is one of the highest we have seen all season. Whenever you are in a position to choose between two players you feel have similar upside you might just want to choose the one that is from one of these five games as they all seem to ones that will have some high scores and lots of fantasy points from all the star players involved.

HEAD-TO-HEAD DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Julio Jones WR1
  5. Adam Thielen WR2
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR3
  8. Antonio Brown WR4
  9. Kareem Hunt RB4
  10. Cam Newton QB2

For a head-to-head contest you need to look for the top 2 quarterbacks, 4 running backs, and 4 wide receivers/tight ends - For a total of 10 players. The main key to look at when drafting in H2H contests is to know what your opponent is doing. You want to watch if he takes WR/WR to start out the draft you know that you can draft your WR positions with your last two picks. Same goes if he drafts a QB or RB/RB, you know that you can leverage that information and wait at those positions.

In H2H drafts I typically come in with a game plan and like to stick closely to it, and let the other drafter I am up against decide what type of team I will build depending on their picks. Often times you will find others that like to draft their favorite team, maybe they just follow DRAFT's own projections/ADP and stick to those numbers just going down the list. I feel like this week you can almost just go with any of the top running backs with your first pick and follow it up with WR/RB depending on who you like with your top four picks. This week at quarterback I think Patrick Mahomes II is the top pick at the position, but I would still rather lock in my two running backs before I pulled the trigger on him. If you miss out on Mahomes I feel you can still safely select Cam Newton at the end of the H2H draft and feel pretty good about it.

3-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Julio Jones WR1
  5. Adam Thielen WR2
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR3
  8. Antonio Brown WR4
  9. Kareem Hunt RB4
  10. James Conner RB5
  11. Cam Newton QB2
  12. Michael Thomas WR5
  13. Alvin Kamara RB6
  14. Davante Adams WR6
  15. Aaron Rodgers QB3

For the 3-man contests, you will need to look at ranking 15 total players consisting of 3 quarterbacks, 6 running backs, and 6 wide receivers/tight ends. The priority here is the RB and WR spots as quarterbacks will often fall and getting either Aaron Rodgers or Kirk Cousins at the end of the draft is a win.

The best advice for drafting in 3-mans would be to come up with your solid 15 player ranking list that you feel most comfortable with and don't get frustrated if the top players that you have on that list get taken right before your pick. If you have picks 1.01 or 1.03 you will be picking at the turn and can have an advantage in following your league mates roster construction closely and be able to know when to take certain positions or if you wanted to stack players you will have an easier time doing so with back to back picks.

6-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Julio Jones WR1
  5. Adam Thielen WR2
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR3
  8. Antonio Brown WR4
  9. Kareem Hunt RB4
  10. James Conner RB5
  11. Cam Newton QB2
  12. Michael Thomas WR5
  13. Alvin Kamara RB6
  14. Davante Adams WR6
  15. Tyreek Hill WR7
  16. Melvin Gordon III RB7 (Questionable)
  17. James White RB8
  18. Aaron Rodgers QB3
  19. Nick Chubb RB9
  20. Keenan Allen WR8
  21. Robert Woods WR9
  22. Mike Evans WR10
  23. Kerryon Johnson RB10
  24. Julian Edelman WR11
  25. Kenyan Drake RB11
  26. Kirk Cousins QB4
  27. Jared Goff QB5
  28. Mark Ingram II RB12
  29. Travis Kelce WR/TE12
  30. Tom Brady QB6 (Or Drew Brees)

Just like every week the running back position is the one you want to pound early hoping that you can land one of the top backs this week in Gurley, McCaffrey, Elliott, Hunt, Conner, and Kamara and build your team from there. Once again Todd Gurley sticks out above the others as the clear number one pick this week. After Gurley, the next five running backs are jumbled and you would be fine with any of them. The wildcard this week is where to draft Melvin Gordon III as we are still waiting on confirmation regarding his hamstring injury. Wide receiver is deep this week and also has plenty of big names at the top with Thielen, Jones, Hopkins, Brown, Thomas, Adams, Hill, Allen, Woods, and Evans who all have very good matchups. I think Mahomes is the top quarterback play on the week with Cam Newton and Aaron Rodgers not too far behind as far as matchups and opportunities go.

If I am picking at the turn I would be thrilled to land a pair of those top six running backs and almost think that gives you an advantage over the competition. After those top six running backs, there are also some other good alternatives with the likes of Gordon, White, Chubb, Johnson, Drake, and Ingram that all should have heavy usage this week and all have touchdown potential because of the number of touches they should see. After the top ten wide receivers, you still have some big names in Edelman, Kelce, Cooks, Sanders, Marvin Jones Jr, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Stefon Diggs that you can settle on to fill out your draft. The key this week will be going heavy on the running back and wide receiver positions and relying on your player rankings and hoping some of your favorite plays fall to you.

10-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Julio Jones WR1
  5. Adam Thielen WR2
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR3
  8. Antonio Brown WR4
  9. Kareem Hunt RB4
  10. James Conner RB5
  11. Cam Newton QB2
  12. Michael Thomas WR5
  13. Alvin Kamara RB6
  14. Davante Adams WR6
  15. Tyreek Hill WR7
  16. Melvin Gordon III RB7 (Questionable)
  17. James White RB8
  18. Aaron Rodgers QB3
  19. Nick Chubb RB9
  20. Keenan Allen WR8
  21. Robert Woods WR9
  22. Mike Evans WR10
  23. Kerryon Johnson RB10
  24. Julian Edelman WR11
  25. Kenyan Drake RB11
  26. Kirk Cousins QB4
  27. Jared Goff QB5
  28. Mark Ingram II RB12
  29. Travis Kelce WR/TE12
  30. Tom Brady QB6
  31. Drew Brees QB7
  32. Brandin Cooks WR13
  33. Emmanuel Sanders WR14
  34. Marvin Jones Jr WR15
  35. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR16
  36. Adrian Peterson RB13
  37. Latavius Murray RB14
  38. Tevin Coleman RB15
  39. Jarvis Landry WR17
  40. Phillip Lindsay RB16
  41. Lamar Miler RB17
  42. Isaiah Crowell RB18
  43. Deshaun Watson QB7
  44. Stefon Diggs WR18
  45. Chris Carson RB19
  46. Matt Ryan QB8
  47. Ben Roethlisberger QB9
  48. Kenny Golladay WR20
  49. Ryan Fitzpatrick QB10
  50. LeSean McCoy RB20

The 10-man contests become more and more difficult as bye weeks and injuries start to pile up and in Week 9 we are dealing with both of those issues. The drop off is bigger than normal at the running back position so you are going to want to make sure you have that position filled by the end of round three if possible. At wide receiver, you can always seem to be able to find value late in these drafts so choosing a second receiver over your second running back seems foolish in the 10-man format. Also look to pair your final receiver spot with a quarterback in the last round to give your team a little boost.

Stacking is something you will want to look at in these 10-man leagues as you will be looking for advantages to put up big points and get on top of the leaderboard. You can look to stack a QB/WR from the same team or if you are attacking a certain game you can try to draft players from both teams. In the 10-man leagues, you are shooting to win it of course but these leagues offer top-three prizes to land in the money. Even finishing in third place out of 10 teams can be a very profitable outcome so building a team with a high floor with a couple of high ceiling type players and a possible stack can help you get there.

The 10-mans look to be tough this week as there is a big player drop-off after the first three rounds with so many bye weeks and with the Thursday Night game along with the London game. Follow the news closely this week if you are playing 10-mans and fine tune those 31-50 player rankings as we lead up to the start of Week 8.

As always best of luck in this week's DRAFTs!


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