DRAFT

DRAFT DFS Strategy Week 4: Three Person Snake Draft Advice

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

Quarterbacks DailyRoto Draft Draft Rank
Patrick Mahomes 21.61 21 QB1
Drew Brees 21.44 20.6 QB3
Deshaun Watson 20.86 20.1 QB6
Aaron Rodgers 20.61 20.3 QB5
Philip Rivers 20.47 19.6 QB8
Matt Ryan 19.65 19.4 QB9
Tom Brady 19.05 19.8 QB7
Ben Roethlisberger 18.4 21 QB2
Ryan Fitzpatrick 18.4 20.5 QB4

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 Backs DailyRoto Draft Draft Rank
Alvin Kamara 22.23 22 RB1
Melvin Gordon 21.06 16.3 RB7
Ezekiel Elliott 20.84 16.8 RB4
Todd Gurley 19.93 19.7 RB3
Saquon Barkley 19.64 19.8 RB2
Giovanni Bernard 17.81 15.8 RB8
James Conner 16.4 13.5 RB11
Tevin Coleman 16.25 14 RB10
David Johnson 15.8 16.7 RB5
Leonard Fournette 15.59 13 RB12
Jordan Howard 15.53 16.5 RB6

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/TE DailyRoto Draft Draft Rank
Michael Thomas 19.81 18 WR1
Antonio Brown 18.35 16 WR3
Odell Beckham Jr 17.78 14.8 WR6
Julio Jones 17.69 16.4 WR2
Keenan Allen 17.04 15.2 WR5
DeAndre Hopkins 16.28 13.6 WR7
Rob Gronkowski 15.8 13.1 WR/TE11
A.J. Green 15.27 12.3 WR15
Adam Thielen 15.09 12.8 WR14
Travis Kelce 14.53 13.3 WR8
Tyreek Hill 14.37 15.6 WR4

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:

You Team 2 Team 3
Alvin Kamara Todd Gurley Michael Thomas
Antonio Brown Julio Jones Saquon Barkley
Odell Beckham Jr Ezekiel Elliott David Johnson
Melvin Gordon Patrick Mahomes Tyreek Hill
Drew Brees Keenan Allen Ben Roethlisberger
DR Total: 100.86 DR Total: 97.11 DR Total: 88.02
Draft Total: 89.7 Draft Total: 89.1 Draft 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:

You Team 2 Team 3
Michael Thomas Alvin Kamara Todd Gurley
Antonio Brown Julio Jones Saquon Barkley
Ezekiel Elliott Tyreek Hill Keenan Allen
Melvin Gordon David Johnson Odell Beckham Jr
Patrick Mahomes Ben Roethlisberger Drew Brees
DR Total: 101.67 DR Total:88.49 DR Total: 95.83
Draft Total: 88.1 Draft Total: 91.7 Draft 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.

 

 

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 1 You Team 3
Alvin Kamara Michael Thomas Saquon Barkley
Julio Jones Ezekiel Elliott Todd Gurley
Antonio Brown Odell Beckham Jr Tyreek Hill
Patrick Mahomes Melvin Gordon Keenan Allen
David Johnson Drew Brees Ben Roethlisberger
DR Total: 95.68 DR Total: 100.90 DR Total: 89.38
Draft Total: 92.1 Draft Total: 86.5 Draft 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 1 You Team 3
Alvin Kamara Michael Thomas Saquon Barkley
Ezekiel Elliott Antonio Brown Todd Gurley
Julio Jones Patrick Mahomes Tyreek Hill
Odell Beckham Jr Melvin Gordon Keenan Allen
Ben Roethlisberger Giovanni Bernard Drew Brees
DR Total: 96.94 DR Total: 98.64 DR Total: 92.42
Draft Total: 91.0 Draft Total: 87.1 Draft 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 1 Team 2 You
Alvin Kamara Saquon Barkley Michael Thomas
Antonio Brown Todd Gurley Ezekiel Elliott
Julio Jones Tyreek Hill Odell Beckham Jr
David Johnson Keenan Allen Melvin Gordon
Patrick Mahomes Ben Roethlisberger Drew Brees
DR Total: 95.68 DR Total: 89.38 DR Total: 100.93
Draft Total: 92.1 Draft Total: 91.3 Draft 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 1 Team 2 You
Alvin Kamara Saquon Barkley Ezekiel Elliott
Antonio Brown Michael Thomas Todd Gurley
Julio Jones David Johnson Odell Beckham Jr
David Johnson Patrick Mahomes Keenan Allen
Ben Roethlisberger Tyreek Hill Drew Brees
DR Total: 92.47 DR Total: 91.23 DR Total: 97.03
Draft Total: 92.1 Draft Total: 91.1 Draft 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?

You Team 2 Team 3
Alvin Kamara Saquon Barkley Michael Thomas
Julio Jones Antonio Brown Ezekiel Elliott
Melvin Gordon David Johnson Tyreek Hill
Odell Beckham Jr Keenan Allen Jordan Howard
Patrick Mahomes Ben Roethlisberger Drew Brees
DR Total: 100.37 DR Total: 89.23 DR Total: 91.99
Draft Total: 90.5 Draft Total: 88.7 Draft Total: 87.5

 

Team 1 You Team 3
Alvin Kamara Michael Thomas Saquon Barkley
Julio Jones Ezekiel Elliott Antonio Brown
David Johnson Melvin Gordon Jordan Howard
Keenan Allen Odell Beckham Jr Tyreek Hill
Patrick Mahomes Drew Brees Ben Roethlisberger
DR Total: 94.37 DR Total: 100.93 DR Total: 89.38
Draft Total: 91.3 Draft Total: 86.5 Draft Total: 88.9

 

Team 1 Team 2 You
Alvin Kamara Saquon Barkley Michael Thomas
Antonio Brown Julio Jones Ezekiel Elliott
David Johnson Tyreek Hill Odell Beckham Jr
Keenan Allen Jordan Howard Melvin Gordon
Patrick Mahomes Ben Roethlisberger Drew Brees
DR Total: 95.03 DR Total: 91.16 DR Total: 100.93
Draft Total: 90.9 Draft Total: 89.1 Draft 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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