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Expert DRAFTing Week 15

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 15 - QUICK NEWS AND NOTES

The bye weeks are officially over for the season so the next three weeks on DRAFT will be with all teams available to select from except for Thursday and Saturday games that won't be on the main slate. The Thursday night game this week is LA Chargers vs Kansas City and will not be part of this week's discussion on expert DRAFTing. The Saturday games will be Houston at NY Jets and Cleveland at Denver. 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 15 they are starting to pile up. There are a few names to worry about at the running back position this week as James Conner, Rashaad Penny, Kenyan Drake, Matt Breida, LeSean McCoy, Isaiah Crowell, and Kerryon Johnson are either out or questionable. At wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr, Keke Coutee, T.Y. Hilton, Allen Robinson, Quincy Enunwa, Josh Doctson, and DeSean Jackson 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 New England at Pittsburgh (52.0 O/U), Philadelphia at LA Rams (52.5 O/U), and New Orleans at Carolina (51.5 O/U).

HEAD-TO-HEAD DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Saquon Barkley RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Julio Jones WR1
  5. Antonio Brown WR2
  6. Michael Thomas WR3
  7. Christian McCaffrey RB4
  8. Davante Adams WR4
  9. Cam Newton QB1
  10. Drew Brees 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 Gurley, Barkley, Elliott, and McCaffrey are all excellent plays. This week at quarterback there is not an option that stands out above the other and targeting one of the higher point spread games could make some sense with the likes of Newton, Brees, Brady, Goff, and Roethlisberger. I view all the wide receivers at the top as equals as well as one doesn't stand out over the other in Jones, Brown, Thomas, and Adams.

3-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Saquon Barkley RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Christian McCaffrey RB4
  5. Alvin Kamara RB5
  6. Julio Jones WR1
  7. Antonio Brown WR2
  8. Michael Thomas WR3
  9. Davante Adams WR4
  10. Amari Cooper WR5
  11. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR6
  12. Joe Mixon RB6
  13. Cam Newton QB1
  14. Drew Brees QB2
  15. Ben Roethlisberger 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. Todd Gurley RB1
  2. Saquon Barkley RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Christian McCaffrey RB4
  5. Alvin Kamara RB5
  6. Julio Jones WR1
  7. Antonio Brown WR2
  8. Michael Thomas WR3
  9. Davante Adams WR4
  10. Amari Cooper WR5
  11. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR6
  12. Joe Mixon RB6
  13. Dalvin Cook RB7
  14. David Johnson RB8
  15. Aaron Jones RB9
  16. Adam Thielen WR7
  17. Robert Woods WR8
  18. Mike Evans WR9
  19. T.Y. Hilton WR10 (Questionable)
  20. Leonard Fournette RB10
  21. Chris Carson RB11
  22. Cam Newton QB1
  23. Brandin Cooks WR11
  24. Drew Brees QB2
  25. Zach Ertz WR/TE12
  26. Ben Roethlisberger QB3
  27. James White RB12
  28. Andrew Luck QB4
  29. Jared Goff QB5
  30. Tom Brady QB6

The running back position is weak at the top of the board this week as you have five big names in Todd Gurley, Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey, and Alvin Kamara that you want to target if you have a top-five pick. After that, it takes a drop to guys like Joe Mixon, Dalvin Cook, David Johnson, Aaron Jones, and Leonard Fournette. 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 five guys I might want to try to lock in on the next best option in Joe Mixon. After that, I like to target wide receivers this week and will most likely wait until round five to draft my quarterback.

At wide receiver, I like Julio Jones, Antonio Brown, Michael Thomas, Davante Adams, Amari Cooper, and JuJu Smith-Schuster at the top. The position is loaded at wide receiver this week and I think it makes some sense to go RB/RB with your first two picks this week. At quarterback is the wait until the last round to take the best available strategy and see who is left out of Newton, Brees, Brady, Goff, and Roethlisberger.

After the big names at the top at running back, you will have to dig deep to find an RB2 that you feel good about. Names like Chris Carson, James White, Derrick Henry, Tarik Cohen, Sony Michel, and Mark Ingram II will all be in play. There is less of drop off at wide receiver in the next tier of players as you still have the likes of Adam Thielen, Robert Woods, Mike Evans, Brandin Cooks, and Zach Ertz. 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. Saquon Barkley RB2
  3. Ezekiel Elliott RB3
  4. Christian McCaffrey RB4
  5. Alvin Kamara RB5
  6. Julio Jones WR1
  7. Antonio Brown WR2
  8. Michael Thomas WR3
  9. Davante Adams WR4
  10. Amari Cooper WR5
  11. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR6
  12. Joe Mixon RB6
  13. Dalvin Cook RB7
  14. David Johnson RB8
  15. Aaron Jones RB9
  16. Adam Thielen WR7
  17. Robert Woods WR8
  18. Mike Evans WR9
  19. T.Y. Hilton WR10 (Questionable)
  20. Leonard Fournette RB10
  21. Chris Carson RB11
  22. Cam Newton QB1
  23. Brandin Cooks WR11
  24. Drew Brees QB2
  25. Zach Ertz WR/TE12
  26. Ben Roethlisberger QB3
  27. James White RB12
  28. Julian Edelman WR13
  29. Stefon Diggs WR14
  30. Corey Davis WR15
  31. George Kittle WR/TE16
  32. Tyler Lockett WR17
  33. Andrew Luck QB4
  34. Jared Goff QB5
  35. Tom Brady QB6
  36. Derrick Henry RB13
  37. Jeffery Wilson RB14
  38. Tarik Cohen RB15
  39. Sony Michel RB16
  40. Mark Ingram II RB17
  41. Tyler Boyd WR18
  42. Josh Gordon WR19
  43. Lamar Jackson QB7
  44. Kirk Cousins QB8
  45. Tevin Coleman RB18
  46. Jaylen Samuels RB19
  47. Kenny Golladay WR20
  48. Dion Lewis RB20
  49. Matt Ryan QB9
  50. Aaron Rodgers 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. 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 Chargers, Chiefs, Texans, Jets, Browns, and Broncos players this week it should not affect 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!