DRAFT

DRAFT DFS Strategy Week 4: Three Person Snake Draft Advice

Melvin Gordon

Three Person Drafts: NFL Week 4

DRAFTThere have been Draft.com inefficiencies that we can take advantage of every week including a couple big ones this week. These projections are for the full 16-game slate and were current as of Wednesday night, but make sure you monitor the situation with Joe Mixon and Giovanni Bernard as the week progresses.

These scenarios include Todd Gurley who plays this Thursday where the Los Angeles Rams are at Minnesota Vikings. I might actually wait until after that game before playing a 3-person draft this week, but more on that later.

Let’s compare some Draft with DailyRoto this week projections:

*Projections may change throughout the week. These projections were pulled on Sept 26th for the full 16-game slate.

Quarterbacks

QuarterbacksDailyRotoDraftDraft Rank
Patrick Mahomes21.6121QB1
Drew Brees21.4420.6QB3
Deshaun Watson20.8620.1QB6
Aaron Rodgers20.6120.3QB5
Philip Rivers20.4719.6QB8
Matt Ryan19.6519.4QB9
Tom Brady19.0519.8QB7
Ben Roethlisberger18.421QB2
Ryan Fitzpatrick18.420.5QB4

Surprise, surprise Mahomes, and Brees are top three on both sites. We’re only drafting three QBs and you can see how tightly projected they are. I was a bit surprised at how low DailyRoto had Ben Roethlisberger. It really comes down to your preference for QB and whether you like to stack a WR/RB/TE with a QB from the same team.

Running Backs

Running BacksDailyRotoDraftDraft Rank
Alvin Kamara22.2322RB1
Melvin Gordon21.0616.3RB7
Ezekiel Elliott20.8416.8RB4
Todd Gurley19.9319.7RB3
Saquon Barkley19.6419.8RB2
Giovanni Bernard17.8115.8RB8
James Conner16.413.5RB11
Tevin Coleman16.2514RB10
David Johnson15.816.7RB5
Leonard Fournette15.5913RB12
Jordan Howard15.5316.5RB6

This is where it starts to get interesting. You can see Melvin Gordon comes in at RB7 on Draft, but he’s DailyRoto’s second highest projected RB. He’s one of the few RBs that will produce elite fantasy numbers regardless of game script. I expect him to be used early and often and get plenty of carries to cement the game even if Austin Ekeler continues to get 10+ touches. Even though we can derive some nice value from Melvin Gordon, both sites pretty much agree on the top RBs with the exception of David Johnson. There just isn’t enough of a difference to push us very far ahead of the field.

See More of Daily Roto’s Projections here.

Wide Receivers/ Tight Ends

Wide Receivers/TEDailyRotoDraftDraft Rank
Michael Thomas19.8118WR1
Antonio Brown18.3516WR3
Odell Beckham Jr17.7814.8WR6
Julio Jones17.6916.4WR2
Keenan Allen17.0415.2WR5
DeAndre Hopkins16.2813.6WR7
Rob Gronkowski15.813.1WR/TE11
A.J. Green15.2712.3WR15
Adam Thielen15.0912.8WR14
Travis Kelce14.5313.3WR8
Tyreek Hill14.3715.6WR4

It’s more of the same here. The top WRs/TEs are grouped together. Even Odell Beckham Jr isn’t projected that much higher than Keenan Allen. Five WRs are projected to score between 17 and 20 points. Even if you snag a couple of the elite WRs, your leaguemates will still get three of the other elite options and probably get Tyreek Hill who can still win someone a contest on any given week. Let’s see what it looks like from the draft positions.

Drafting in First Position

Antonio BrownI learned a valuable lesson last week. Although Todd Gurley was projected for the high score, I played around with a scenario where taking Antonio Brown first would actually yield a larger advantage than taking Gurley or Kamara who were projected for more points.

Immediately after submitting the article I did a draft and got the first draft position. I decided to draft Antonio Brown to see how it would go. Team 2 selected Chris Thompson to my horror, which gave Team 3 both Todd Gurley and Alvin Kamara.

Despite the massive disadvantage, I still came within two points of winning the draft. I would have been happy if AB was able to get just one more reception for 15 yards in the second half of the Monday night game. The lesson I learned is that the assumption of rational decision making is fickle at best. Sometimes it’s best not to get too cute with 50/50 decisions so let’s see what Week 4 looks like from under the gun:

YouTeam 2Team 3
Alvin KamaraTodd GurleyMichael Thomas
Antonio BrownJulio JonesSaquon Barkley
Odell Beckham JrEzekiel ElliottDavid Johnson
Melvin GordonPatrick MahomesTyreek Hill
Drew BreesKeenan AllenBen Roethlisberger
DR Total: 100.86DR Total: 97.11DR Total: 88.02
Draft Total: 89.7Draft Total: 89.1Draft Total: 91.1

I’m not really sure if most drafted will take Gurley or Barkley first. Same goes for Jones and AB, but I am quite certain Barkley and Gurley will be gone before it gets back to you and that you will either land Julio Jones or AB. The rest of the draft flows nicely and you should be able to get Gordon as your second RB. Team 3 is far behind the field. It’s pretty much a toss up between you and Team 2. I talked about not getting cute, but let’s start with Michael Thomas just to see what happens:

YouTeam 2Team 3
Michael ThomasAlvin KamaraTodd Gurley
Antonio BrownJulio JonesSaquon Barkley
Ezekiel ElliottTyreek HillKeenan Allen
Melvin GordonDavid JohnsonOdell Beckham Jr
Patrick MahomesBen RoethlisbergerDrew Brees
DR Total: 101.67DR Total:88.49DR Total: 95.83
Draft Total: 88.1Draft Total: 91.7Draft Total: 90.1

In theory, starting with Michael Thomas is actually better. Starting with Thomas makes Team 2 the dog. Team 3 is now the second place team, but they’re almost 6 points behind you now. As long as Team 2 drafts Kamara second overall, you should have a big advantage. If Team 2 passes on Kamara, they all but remove themselves as a contender, but you’re in a dead heat with Team 3 if they get two of Kamara, Gurley, Barkley, Zeke, or Gordon.

Immediately after writing this, I did a draft and got this exact team. #winning. On to position two.

 

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Drafting in Second Position

Hopefully, you get Alvin Kamara, but you’re probably looking at a choice between Michael Thomas, Todd Gurley, or Saquon Barkley.

Team 1YouTeam 3
Alvin KamaraMichael ThomasSaquon Barkley
Julio JonesEzekiel ElliottTodd Gurley
Antonio BrownOdell Beckham JrTyreek Hill
Patrick MahomesMelvin GordonKeenan Allen
David JohnsonDrew BreesBen Roethlisberger
DR Total: 95.68DR Total: 100.90DR Total: 89.38
Draft Total: 92.1Draft Total: 86.5Draft Total: 91.3

This looks like a win for you, but I think this is a virtual three-way tie. I think DailyRoto might be a little low on Ben Roethlisberger. If you project him for a couple extra points and that trickles down to AB, then this is pretty much an even split and there’s really not a lot you can do about it. You already have two of the top RBs, two of the top WRs, and Brees. I debated in this scenario between going Zeke or AB with the second pick, but it’s really ugly if you go AB:

Team 1YouTeam 3
Alvin KamaraMichael ThomasSaquon Barkley
Ezekiel ElliottAntonio BrownTodd Gurley
Julio JonesPatrick MahomesTyreek Hill
Odell Beckham JrMelvin GordonKeenan Allen
Ben RoethlisbergerGiovanni BernardDrew Brees
DR Total: 96.94DR Total: 98.64DR Total: 92.42
Draft Total: 91.0Draft Total: 87.1Draft Total: 90.9

If you go with AB second, you shut yourself out of the top four RBs. You still get Gordon, but you’ll have to choose between Giovanni Bernard, Jordan Howard, and David Johnson. With Joe Mixon in the running to return, Bernard is an ultra-risky proposition especially on your team that barely ekes out any sort of advantage. I would almost lean towards drafting Mixon and if he’s ruled out, you could swap back to Bernard.

Drafting in the Third Position

Drafting third actually works out pretty well:

Team 1Team 2You
Alvin KamaraSaquon BarkleyMichael Thomas
Antonio BrownTodd GurleyEzekiel Elliott
Julio JonesTyreek HillOdell Beckham Jr
David JohnsonKeenan AllenMelvin Gordon
Patrick MahomesBen RoethlisbergerDrew Brees
DR Total: 95.68DR Total: 89.38DR Total: 100.93
Draft Total: 92.1Draft Total: 91.3Draft Total: 86.5

Your projected score is actually a little bit higher in this scenario than it was when you drafted in first position because the Michael Thomas/Ezekiel Elliott combination is projected for more than the Alvin Kamara/AB combination. You could start RB/RB and still have an advantage, but it’s pretty much a race:

Team 1Team 2You
Alvin KamaraSaquon BarkleyEzekiel Elliott
Antonio BrownMichael ThomasTodd Gurley
Julio JonesDavid JohnsonOdell Beckham Jr
David JohnsonPatrick MahomesKeenan Allen
Ben RoethlisbergerTyreek HillDrew Brees
DR Total: 92.47DR Total: 91.23DR Total: 97.03
Draft Total: 92.1Draft Total: 91.1Draft Total: 87.1

Drafting after the Thursday’s Game

You can see that we end up with a lot of teams that have Zeke and Gordon. We never get Gurley because he’s projected lower in DailyRoto than on Draft, but he’s still a huge asset to whichever team gets him. The top five RBs are pretty close on both sites, but they start to diverge after that, which means there are more opportunities for your opponents to make mistakes. What happens if we do a draft that doesn’t include the Thursday game effectively removing Gurley from consideration?

YouTeam 2Team 3
Alvin KamaraSaquon BarkleyMichael Thomas
Julio JonesAntonio BrownEzekiel Elliott
Melvin GordonDavid JohnsonTyreek Hill
Odell Beckham JrKeenan AllenJordan Howard
Patrick MahomesBen RoethlisbergerDrew Brees
DR Total: 100.37DR Total: 89.23DR Total: 91.99
Draft Total: 90.5Draft Total: 88.7Draft Total: 87.5

 

Team 1YouTeam 3
Alvin KamaraMichael ThomasSaquon Barkley
Julio JonesEzekiel ElliottAntonio Brown
David JohnsonMelvin GordonJordan Howard
Keenan AllenOdell Beckham JrTyreek Hill
Patrick MahomesDrew BreesBen Roethlisberger
DR Total: 94.37DR Total: 100.93DR Total: 89.38
Draft Total: 91.3Draft Total: 86.5Draft Total: 88.9

 

Team 1Team 2You
Alvin KamaraSaquon BarkleyMichael Thomas
Antonio BrownJulio JonesEzekiel Elliott
David JohnsonTyreek HillOdell Beckham Jr
Keenan AllenJordan HowardMelvin Gordon
Patrick MahomesBen RoethlisbergerDrew Brees
DR Total: 95.03DR Total: 91.16DR Total: 100.93
Draft Total: 90.9Draft Total: 89.1Draft Total: 86.5

You get a larger advantage in every position. I probably will do some drafts that include the Thursday slate, but you’re actually better off in drafts that don’t include Gurley. The big thing you need to keep in mind is that you may need to draft Melvin Gordon a bit earlier. Although Draft has Gordon projected behind Jordan Howard and David Johnson, another team may ‘reach’ a little for him especially with Gurley out of the picture.

Conclusion

This week is going to be tough to beat the field if you include the Thursday game, but you can still manage an advantage. Don’t forget to check in on those injury updates and if you have a close decision, go with the more straightforward solution. Happy Hunting.

 

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