Expert DRAFTing Week 13

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 13 - QUICK NEWS AND NOTES

The bye weeks are officially over for the season so the next five weeks on DRAFT will be with all teams available to select, minus the Thursday night games. The Thursday night game this week is a big one with New Orleans and Dallas as there are a lot of offensive players that won't be in the main slate of games this week. With no bye weeks to worry about now the player pool will be larger which will help open up your draft strategy. Another critical area to look at is injuries as the weeks go by and in Week 13 they are starting to pile up. There are a few names to worry about at the running back position this week as Melvin Gordon III, Chris Thompson, Marlon Mack, Kerryon Johnson, Kenyan Drake, Alex Collins, and Leonard Fournette are either out or questionable. At wide receiver Keke Coutee, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Green, T.Y. Hilton, Doug Baldwin, Sammy Watkins, Devin Funchess, Quincy Enunwa, Calvin Ridley, DeVante Parker, DeSean Jackson, Pierre Garcon, and Jamison Crowder are the names to keep an eye on. 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 Kansas City vs Oakland (55.5 O/U), LA Rams vs Detroit (55.0 O/U), Carolina vs Tampa Bay (54.5 O/U), and LA Chargers vs Pittsburgh (51.5 O/U). The games with the Chiefs and Rams have interesting angles as the Raiders are 15 point underdogs and the Lions are 10 point underdogs. If those two teams get up big it could be a mix of players in the second half of the game getting all the fantasy points this week. The big name players on both the Chiefs and Rams will come with some risk even in fantastic matchups. Targeting players on Carolina, Tampa Bay, Chargers, and Pittsburgh all make some sense as they have high over/unders but also have tight point spreads that could lead to close games in the end where all the star players will be needed.

***I have took Kareem Hunt out of my rankings with the news breaking on 11/30/18. I added Spencer Ware as RB12***

HEAD-TO-HEAD DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Christian McCaffrey RB1
  2. Todd Gurley RB2
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3
  4. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  5. Julio Jones WR1
  6. Davante Adams WR2
  7. Tyreek Hill WR3
  8. James Conner RB4
  9. Adam Thielen WR4 (Questionable)
  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 as McCaffrey, Gurley, and Barkley are all excellent plays. This week at quarterback all the options we have Patrick Mahomes II back from his bye week and after the top running backs I prefer to go with him over the wide receivers. I view all the wide receivers at the top as equals as well as one doesn't stand out over the other.

3-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Christian McCaffrey RB1
  2. Todd Gurley RB2
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3
  4. James Conner RB4
  5. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  6. Julio Jones WR1
  7. Davante Adams WR2
  8. Tyreek Hill WR3
  9. Adam Thielen WR4 (Questionable)
  10. Aaron Jones RB5
  11. DeAndre Hopkins WR5
  12. Keenan Allen WR6 (Also consider Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, and Mike Evans)
  13. David Johnson RB6
  14. Cam Newton QB2
  15. Jared Goff 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 any of the quarterbacks at the end really doesn't matter much as their projections are all right in line with each other.

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. Christian McCaffrey RB1
  2. Todd Gurley RB2
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3
  4. James Conner RB4
  5. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  6. Julio Jones WR1
  7. Davante Adams WR2
  8. Tyreek Hill WR3
  9. Adam Thielen WR4 (Questionable)
  10. DeAndre Hopkins WR5
  11. Keenan Allen WR6
  12. Odell Beckham Jr WR7
  13. Antonio Brown WR8
  14. Mike Evans WR9
  15. Aaron Jones RB5
  16. David Johnson RB6
  17. Nick Chubb RB7
  18. Cam Newton QB2
  19. Joe Mixon RB8
  20. Austin Ekeler RB9
  21. Phillip Lindsay RB10
  22. Brandin Cooks WR10
  23. Zach Ertz WR/TE11
  24. Jared Goff QB3
  25. Matt Breida RB11 (Questionable)
  26. Spencer Ware RB12 (or Lamar Miller, James White, Tevin Coleman)
  27. T.Y. Hilton WR12 (Questionable)
  28. Deshaun Watson QB4
  29. Jameis Winston QB5
  30. Kirk Cousins QB6

The running back position is weak at the top of the board this week as you have three big names in Christian McCaffrey, Todd Gurley, and Saquon Barkley that you want to target if you have a top four pick. After that it takes a drop to guys like David Johnson, James Connor, Nick Chubb, and Aaron Jones. These are all nice options but nothing seems like a clear cut play this week so I feel if you miss out on one of the top three guys I might want to try to lock in on the next best option in James Conner. After that I like Patrick Mahomes II at the top as he has so much touchdown potential even in a blowout potential game against the Raiders.

At wide receiver I like Julio Jones, Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill, Adam Thielen, DeAndre Hopkins, Odell Beckham Jr, Antonio Brown, Mike Evans, and Keenan Allen. At quarterback it's Mahomes and if I miss out on that I might try for Newton or Goff in round four if they are there and if not it is a hard wait until the last round to take the best available.

After the big names at the top at running back you have some nice options at players who have been considered more of RB2 types this season but are in great matchups this week with the likes of Austin Ekeler, Phillip Lindsay, Matt Breida, Lamar Miller and Tevin Coleman. The drop off at wide receiver is also there and the next tier of players to target is the likes of Brandin Cooks, T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Golladay, Corey Davis, Travis Kelce, and JuJu Smith-Schuster. 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. Christian McCaffrey RB1
  2. Todd Gurley RB2
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3
  4. James Conner RB4
  5. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  6. Julio Jones WR1
  7. Davante Adams WR2
  8. Tyreek Hill WR3
  9. Adam Thielen WR4 (Questionable)
  10. DeAndre Hopkins WR5
  11. Keenan Allen WR6
  12. Odell Beckham Jr WR7
  13. Antonio Brown WR8
  14. Mike Evans WR9
  15. Aaron Jones RB5
  16. David Johnson RB6
  17. Nick Chubb RB7
  18. Cam Newton QB2
  19. Joe Mixon RB8
  20. Austin Ekeler RB9
  21. Phillip Lindsay RB10
  22. Brandin Cooks WR10
  23. Zach Ertz WR/TE11
  24. Jared Goff QB3
  25. Matt Breida RB11 (Questionable)
  26. Spencer Ware RB12
  27. T.Y. Hilton WR12 (Questionable)
  28. Kenny Golladay WR13
  29. Corey Davis WR14
  30. Travis Kelce WR/TE15
  31. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR16
  32. Lamar Miller RB13
  33. Emmanuel Sanders WR17
  34. Robert Woods WR18
  35. Tevin Coleman RB14
  36. James White RB15
  37. Josh Adams RB16
  38. Chris Carson RB17
  39. T.J. Yeldon RB18
  40. Alshon Jeffery WR19
  41. Dalvin Cook RB19
  42. Julian Edelman WR20
  43. LeSean McCoy RB20
  44. Deshaun Watson QB4
  45. Jameis Winston QB5
  46. Kirk Cousins QB6
  47. Ben Roethlisberger QB7
  48. Aaron Rodgers QB8
  49. Andrew Luck QB9
  50. Carson Wentz QB10

With the bye weeks now not an issue you are going to have a bigger player pool to select from but this week almost feels like we have a bunch of bye weeks built in as so many big name players are banged up or are playing for the Saints and Cowboys on Thursday night. It looks like you should be able to snag a top running back this week and if you don't there are lots of RB2 types that have some nice upside this week that can be considered in rounds 2 and 3. 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 like strong options to play this week as there is plenty of depth to go around this week at the RB and WR positions and you should expect to be able to build some solid rosters because of the depth. Even with the injuries and no Saints and Cowboys players this week it should not effect your ability to build a very competitive 10-man team this week. 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 the week.

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