Expert DRAFTing Week 16

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 16 - QUICK NEWS AND NOTES

Now with only two weeks left in the season, the news and notes are even more important. Some teams are still fighting for their playoff lives, other teams are in the playoffs already, and some are out altogether and have very little to play for. On top of all this, you will have to juggle the news of injured players and other star players that could just be rested at this point in the season. We won't include the Saturday games on this week's main slate and those include Washington at Tennessee and Baltimore at LA Chargers. 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 16 they are starting to pile up. At quarterback, we already have Cam Newton, Carson Wentz, and Colt McCoy listed as OUT and Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Sam Darnold listed as questionable. There are also a few names to worry about at the running back position this week as Todd Gurley, James Conner, Joe Mixon, Spencer Ware, Matt Breida, LeSean McCoy, LeGarrette Blount, and Jamaal Williams are either out or questionable. At wide receiver Keke Coutee, Julio Jones, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Odell Beckham Jr, Sammy Watkins, T.Y. Hilton, Kenny Golladay, Doug Baldwin, Alshon Jeffery, Randall Cobb, Tyler Boyd, and Quincy Enunwa are all 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 at Seattle (54.5 O/U), Pittsburgh at New Orleans (53.0 O/U), and Tampa Bay at Dallas (48.0 O/U).

HEAD-TO-HEAD DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Ezekiel Elliott RB1 - Safest option at any position this week as the Cowboys will be looking to lock up the division with a win.
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2 - Workload is in question with Panthers shutting down Cam Newton for the year.
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3 - Slight concerns with workload as the Giants have nothing to play for these last two weeks.
  4. Patrick Mahomes II QB1 - I am not in love with any of the high-end wide receivers this week so locking in Mahomes makes some sense.
  5. DeAndre Hopkins WR1 - Top WR this week against a suspect Eagles secondary.
  6. Michael Thomas WR2 - This Steelers/Saints game should be a high scoring one and if that is the case Thomas will likely be a key player.
  7. Tyreek Hill WR3 - I think going for Mahomes/Hill stack in the second/third is a strong option.
  8. Antonio Brown WR4 - With Smith-Schuster now questionable, you have to give Brown a bump.
  9. Alvin Kamara RB4 - I can see making a case for him as the RB2 this week ahead of McCaffrey and Barkley
  10. Ben Roethlisberger QB2 - This game is the second-highest over/under, and it all starts with Roethlisberger for the Steelers.

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 Ezekiel Elliott is locked in as the top player on the slate, and after that, it is a toss up of McCaffrey, Barkley, and Kamara as I like them in that order. At quarterback, I really like Patrick Mahomes II and think it makes sense to go after him in the second round. I view all the wide receivers at the top as equals as well as one doesn't stand out over the other in Hopkins, Thomas, Hill, and Brown.

3-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Ezekiel Elliott RB1 - Safest option at any position this week as the Cowboys will be looking to lock up the division with a win.
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2 - Workload is in question with Panthers shutting down Cam Newton for the year.
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3 - Slight concerns with workload as the Giants have nothing to play for these last two weeks.
  4. Alvin Kamara RB4 - I can see making a case for him as the RB2 this week ahead of McCaffrey and Barkley
  5. Nick Chubb RB5 - The Browns are one of the teams with nothing to play for but won't quit and continue to play hard.
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1 - I am not in love with any of the high-end wide receivers this week so locking in Mahomes makes some sense.
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR1 - Top WR this week against a suspect Eagles secondary.
  8. Michael Thomas WR2 - This Steelers/Saints game should be a high scoring one and if that is the case Thomas will likely be a key player.
  9. Tyreek Hill WR3 - I think going for Mahomes/Hill stack in the 2nd/3rd is a strong option.
  10. Antonio Brown WR4 - With Smith-Schuster now questionable you have to give Brown a bump.
  11. Amari Cooper WR5 - Cooper will look to bounce back from his subpar performance last week and has a good matchup against Tampa Bay.
  12. Ben Roethlisberger QB2 - This game is the second-highest over/under and it all starts with Roethlisberger for the Steelers.
  13. Dalvin Cook RB6 - The matchup is not the best but the volume for Cook has risen and the Vikings are fighting for their lives right now.
  14. Davante Adams WR6 - It is hard to know how the Packers attack these final two games so that is why Adams gets bumped to WR6.
  15. Deshaun Watson QB3 - He is a great option to pair with Hopkins and hope for a shootout game against the Eagles.

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 running back and wide receiver 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. Ezekiel Elliott RB1
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3
  4. Alvin Kamara RB4
  5. Nick Chubb RB5
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR1
  8. Michael Thomas WR2
  9. Tyreek Hill WR3
  10. Antonio Brown WR4
  11. Amari Cooper WR5
  12. Dalvin Cook RB6
  13. Davante Adams WR6
  14. Chris Carson RB7
  15. Marlon Mack RB8
  16. Phillip Lindsay RB9
  17. Jaylen Samuels RB10
  18. Adam Thielen WR7
  19. Ben Roethlisberger QB2
  20. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR8 (Questionable)
  21. David Johnson RB11
  22. Julian Edelman WR9
  23. Travis Kelce WR/TE10
  24. Mike Evans WR11
  25. Deshaun Watson QB3
  26. Russell Wilson QB4
  27. Andrew Luck QB5
  28. Todd Gurley RB12 (Questionable) - Hard situation here to know what to do with Gurley; that is why he is so low for me. I want others to draft him.
  29. Zach Ertz WR/TE12
  30. Dak Prescott QB6

The running back position is weak at the top of the board this week as you have five big names in Ezekiel Elliott, Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, and Nick Chubb that you want to target if you have a top-five pick. After that, it takes a drop to guys like Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson, Marlon Mack, Phillip Lindsay, and Jaylen Samuels. 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 Dalvin Cook After that, I like to target Patrick Mahomes II as the top quarterback and end the draft with wide receivers.

At wide receiver, I like DeAndre Hopkins, Michael Thomas, Tyreek Hill, Antonio Brown, Amari Cooper, and Davante Adams 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 Mahomes as the favorite and Roethlisberger next in line.

10-TEAM DRAFT RANKINGS AND STRATEGY

  1. Ezekiel Elliott RB1
  2. Christian McCaffrey RB2
  3. Saquon Barkley RB3
  4. Alvin Kamara RB4
  5. Nick Chubb RB5
  6. Patrick Mahomes II QB1
  7. DeAndre Hopkins WR1
  8. Michael Thomas WR2
  9. Tyreek Hill WR3
  10. Antonio Brown WR4
  11. Amari Cooper WR5
  12. Dalvin Cook RB6
  13. Davante Adams WR6
  14. Chris Carson RB7
  15. Marlon Mack RB8
  16. Phillip Lindsay RB9
  17. Jaylen Samuels RB10
  18. Adam Thielen WR7
  19. Ben Roethlisberger QB2
  20. JuJu Smith-Schuster WR8 (Questionable)
  21. David Johnson RB11
  22. Julian Edelman WR9
  23. Travis Kelce WR/TE10
  24. Mike Evans WR11
  25. Deshaun Watson QB3
  26. Russell Wilson QB4
  27. Andrew Luck QB5
  28. Todd Gurley RB12 (Questionable)
  29. Zach Ertz WR/TE12
  30. Joe Mixon RB13 (Questionable)
  31. Dak Prescott QB6
  32. Alshon Jeffery WR13 (Questionable)
  33. T.Y. Hilton WR14 (Questionable)
  34. Jamaal Williams RB14
  35. Stefon Diggs WR15
  36. Mark Ingram II RB15
  37. Sony Michel RB16
  38. George Kittle WR/TE16
  39. Brandin Cooks WR17
  40. Robert Woods WR18
  41. Tyler Lockett WR19
  42. Tarik Cohen RB17
  43. James White RB18
  44. Tevin Coleman RB19
  45. Drew Brees QB7
  46. Kirk Cousins QB8
  47. Tom Brady QB9
  48. Matt Ryan QB10
  49. Allen Robinson WR20
  50. Elijah McGuire RB20

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 Washington, Tennessee, Baltimore, and LA Chargers 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!