DRAFT DFS Strategy: 3 Person Snake Draft Advice

Dominate 3 Person Tournaments on Draft: NFL Week 2

DRAFTOne of my favorite formats to play fantasy football throughout the year is’s 3-Person tournaments. They’re quick to knock out, really simple, and deal almost exclusively with the top options in offenses. I love that I can manipulate the draft to give myself the biggest edge.

How to Play?

Starting lineups are limited to 1 QB, 2 RBs, and 2 WR/TEs that are chosen through a snake draft. Scoring is standard with .5 PPR. The nice thing about these drafts is the reliance on the projections on Draft. We can use the projections on to come up with a strategy that applies game theory to give your team a leg up. There are about 284.8 points to divide among three teams by using the top player projections on DailyRoto this week. It’s a zero-sum game so what benefits your team necessarily hurts the other two. How you draft is critical.

Let’s start with a look at the projections on both sites:


Draft QB Draft Proj DailyRoto QB DailyRoto Proj
Drew Brees 20.6 Ben Roethlisberger 21.91
Ben Roethlisberger 20.1 Drew Brees 21.81
Deshaun Watson 19.6 Aaron Rodgers 20.24
Aaron Rodgers 19.6 Alex Smith 19.52
Alex Smith 19.5 Jimmy Garoppolo 19.15

Running Backs

Draft RB Draft Proj DailyRoto RB DailyRoto Proj
Todd Gurley 21.7 Alvin Kamara 22.84
Alvin Kamara 20.3 Todd Gurley 20.3
David Johnson 18.8 James Conner 19.15
Melvin Gordon 18.8 Ezekiel Elliott 18.83
Ezekiel Elliott 14.8 Melvin Gordon 18.61
Joe Mixon 14.7 Christian McCaffrey 18.46
Dalvin Cook 14.6 David Johnson 18.01
LeSean McCoy 14 Saquon Barkley 16.22

Wide Receiver/ Tight Ends

Draft WR/TE Draft Proj DailyRoto WR/TE DailyRoto Proj
Antonio Brown 18.6 Antonio Brown 21.4
Michael Thomas 16.9 Michael Thomas 20.78
Julio Jones 16.6 Julio Jones 17.36
Keenan Allen 15.7 Odell Beckham Jr 15.71
DeAndre Hopkins 15.5 DeAndre Hopkins 15.39
Rob Gronkowski 14.9 Rob Gronkowski 14.24
Tyreek Hill 14.5 Keenan Allen 13.93
Odell Beckham Jr 14.3 Adam Thielen 13.45

*Projections may change throughout the week. These projections were pulled on Sept 11th for the full 16-game slate.

Todd Gurley Fantasy FootballThe QB projections are fairly in sync, but some things should stick right out and we’ll start with the RBs. Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara projections are flip-flopped between Draft and DailyRoto with Kamara projected 2.5 points higher than Gurley. We are going to draft Kamara first even if we have the very first pick although they’re close enough that it’s not a deal breaker to go Gurley first if that’s your preference. The second thing you should notice is James Conner and Christian McCaffrey. Neither are projected in the top-8 RBs per Draft! This is going to be the single biggest inefficiency we can exploit this week. While David Johnson gets drafted too high, we can take Conner or McCaffrey for free.

You can also see a quick drop off between Antonio Brown, Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, and the rest of the receivers. The two sites have Odell Beckham Jr. and Keenan Allen flip-flopped. We want at least one of those top WRs, but we can probably safely draft OBJ late just like we can with Conner and McCaffrey. Let’s take a look at the draft from each position.

Drafting in First Position

I already mentioned Kamara’s projection so we’re going to start with him. The order might change a little bit depending on what the other two teams do, but we can safely assume Gurley, AB, and some combination of Michael Thomas, David Johnson, and/or Melvin Gordon are taken with the next four picks. If you look at the projections on draft, there is a sizable drop off between Melvin Gordon/David Johnson and the rest of the RBs while the four WRs after AB are all projected within 1.5 points of each other. I’m going to assume the drafters in the second and third slot take those RBs, which should let us select Michael Thomas and Julio Jones. Let’s take a look at what this draft may look like:

You Team B Team C
Alvin Kamara Todd Gurley Antonio Brown
Michael Thomas Melvin Gordon David Johnson
Julio Jones Keenan Allen DeAndre Hopkins
James Conner Rob Gronkowski Ezekiel Elliott
Drew Brees Ben Roethlisberger Aaron Rodgers
DR Proj Pts: 101.94 DR Proj Pts: 88.99 DR Proj Pts: 93.87
Draft Proj Pts: 88.4 Draft Proj Pts: 91.2 Draft Proj Pts: 87.3

Congrats, you have a massive advantage with this lineup. I used LeSean McCoy’s 14.0 points projection from Draft for James Conner. Even with that low projection for Conner, your team is within three points of Team B and you crush everyone using DailyRoto’s projections. If by chance Team B or Team C pick Michael Thomas, you can still select Julio Jones and Odell Beckham Jr. You’ll lose a little bit of your advantage, but not that much.

You may notice that you have three players on New Orleans. If you wanted to change it up a bit, you can start with Gurley and/or choose another QB like Ben Roethlisberger, Philip Rivers, or Alex Smith. It comes down to preference, but I’d rather roll with the three New Orleans players than stack James Conner and Ben Roethlisberger. Your drafts are going to be filled with a lot of players from New Orleans and Pittsburgh since both teams are projected to score more than 28 points this week so some sort of stack is nearly inevitable.

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Drafting in Second Position

Drafting in the second position may actually be better than the first position. No matter what you get Gurley or Kamara, but you move up a spot for the second round so your chances of landing Michael Thomas increase. Here’s how the draft should look:

Team A You Team C
Todd Gurley Alvin Kamara Antonio Brown
Melvin Gordon Michael Thomas David Johnson
Julio Jones Odell Beckham Jr Ezekiel Elliott
DeAndre Hopkins Drew Brees Keenan Allen
Ben Roethlisberger James Conner Aaron Rodgers
DR Proj Pts: 92.42 DR Proj Pts: 100.29 DR Proj Pts: 92.41
Draft Proj Pts: 92.7 Draft Proj Pts: 87.5 Draft Proj Pts: 87.5

Once again, we’re loaded with players from New Orleans. We might have a problem if Team C goes AB/Michael Thomas. If that happens, we take Julio Jones with the second pick. The rest of the draft should remain unchanged.




Drafting in the Third Position

This looks like an ugly place to draft from. Gurley and Kamara will almost certainly be off the board by your pick. The normal draft flow has us selecting Antonio Brown, but we want to draft James Conner. Pittsburgh has a well-established history of feeding the RB even in Bell’s absence, but there have been a couple games in the past where DeAngelo Williams had single-digit carries. With Pittsburgh abandoning the run in those games, Brown was a target monster but we don’t really want to have one player thrive at the expense of our other. There’s the chance both players have great fantasy production like last week, but I’d rather have Michael Thomas and Kamara on my team than Conner and AB. Here are a few different team build options:

Team A Team B You
Todd Gurley Alvin Kamara Antonio Brown
Melvin Gordon David Johnson Ezekiel Elliott
Michael Thomas Julio Jones Odell Beckham Jr
DeAndre Hopkins Keenan Allen Ben Roethlisberger
Drew Brees Aaron Rodgers Christian McCaffrey
DR Proj Pts: 96.89 DR Proj Pts: 92.38 DR Proj Pts: 96.31
Draft Proj Pts: 93.5 Draft Proj Pts: 91.0 Draft Proj Pts: 81.8

You could start this draft Brown/Gordon as well without much of a drop-off. We avoid the Brown/Conner stack, but look at the projected points. It’s almost a three-person race. From a straight expected value standpoint, this is fine but Draft obviously gets their cut. Their rake means that over time you would lose money with this lineup since you’re only going to win right around 33% of the time. Let’s look at another option:

Team A Team B You
Todd Gurley Alvin Kamara Ezekiel Elliott
David Johnson Antonio Brown Michael Thomas
Julio Jones Melvin Gordon Odell Beckham Jr
DeAndre Hopkins Keenan Allen Drew Brees
Ben Roethlisberger Aaron Rodgers James Conner
DR Proj Pts: 91.30 DR Proj Pts: 97.02 DR Proj Pts: 96.28
Draft Proj Pts: 92.7 Draft Proj Pts: 93.0 Draft Proj Pts: 80.6

We avoided Brown so we could get the value with Conner, but the result was just about the same. Team B thanks you though. Where it was a virtual tie between you and Team A in the first scenario, now it’s a tie between you and Team B. What if we went WR heavy, but skipped Brown?

Team A Team B You
Todd Gurley Alvin Kamara Michael Thomas
Melvin Gordon Antonio Brown Julio Jones
Keenan Allen David Johnson Drew Brees
Rob Gronkowski DeAndre Hopkins James Conner
Ben Roethlisberger Aaron Rodgers Ezekiel Elliott
DR Proj Pts: 88.99 DR Proj Pts: 97.88 DR Proj Pts: 97.93
Draft Proj Pts: 91.2 Draft Proj Pts: 92.8 Draft Proj Pts: 82.9

This actually isn’t too bad. We’re in a virtual tie with Team B, but Team A is well behind. This might actually be profitable in the long run. Let’s just go for broke and see what it would look like to stack the Pittsburgh players:

Team A Team B You
Todd Gurley Alvin Kamara Antonio Brown
David Johnson Julio Jones Michael Thomas
Keenan Allen Melvin Gordon Ben Roethlisberger
Rob Gronkowski DeAndre Hopkins James Conner
Drew Brees Aaron Rodgers Ezekiel Elliott
DR Proj Pts: 88.29 DR Proj Pts: 94.44 DR Proj Pts: 102.07
Draft Proj Pts: 91.7 Draft Proj Pts: 90.8 Draft Proj Pts: 84.4

This we can work with. As ugly as it looked not getting Gurley or Kamara, we still end up with a significant advantage. I already talked about the problem with having Brown and Conner on the same team. It may work out, but I don’t like it. What I would probably do is modify this team just a little bit. I can replace Conner with Christian McCaffrey. I lose less than a point from the DailyRoto projection, but I still have a massive advantage. Notice that the RB order in the above draft doesn’t really matter. By your third pick, both of the other teams will have their two RBs. That’s why you may as well draft your QB of choice. This is also why I said Team C may be a problem if they go WR/WR when we draft in the one or two spot.


You should be able to finagle yourself a nice little advantage by recognizing the value of James Conner, Christian McCaffrey, and OBJ. If you happen to find yourself drafting third, make sure you go WR/WR. Happy hunting.


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Good Luck this week

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