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Battle Royal

By >>> Lex
How to Use this Article

The goal of this article is to help you hunt for first place in Underdog’s Battle Royal tournament. Each week I will provide players going underowned that I believe have the ceiling to be difference makers as your last picks.

What is Battle Royale?

Battle Royale is Underdog’s main slate tournament offered each week. You and five others participate in a six-round draft, selecting a QB, RB, 2 WR, FLEX, and TE from Sunday’s games (SNF no longer included). Your final roster then competes with every entry in the tournament, not just your fellow drafters, for the highest score of the week.

The weekly main tournament has a $5 entry fee with a $50k first place prize, and a contest size of around 55,000 entrants each week.

This is a daily fantasy tournament! Right now the edge is that too many players are still treating drafts like season-long teams instead of one-week teams. This article will explore how to think correctly about drafting in this format.

New to Underdog? Use this link to receive up to $100 matched on your first deposit

the Data

I have been tracking Battle Royal data since inception in 2021 (25 slates). Here’s a few things that have stood out to me.

  • In 17/25 weeks, there have been at least 4 QB-teammate stacks in the top-5 rosters (12 of 17 were QB-WR)
    • Stack!
  • 2022 QBs + teammate in top-5: Mahomes (5/5) // Lamar (9/10) // Tua (1/1) // Allen (5/9) // Goff (1/1) // Burrow (10/10)
    • Stack!
  • While most QBs in 2021 top-5 lineups stacked upwards of 80% of the time, Allen was stacked just 19% of the time while also being the most frequent top-5 lineup QB (16)
    • When it comes to Allen, it has been combo of rushing scoring, spreading the ball around, and being drafted too high to typically stack with Diggs
  • Of the 125 top-5 rosters, 89 have had two RBs (71.2%)
    • TDs win this contest (half-PPR, no bonuses)
  • Amount of weeks (of 25) these TEs have appeared in the top-5 in at least one lineup (though usually more): Andrews (11) // Kelce (10) // Hockenson (5) // Kittle (4)
    • More often than not, you need one of the two TEs at the top of the food chain
Week 8 Underowned

Even with ADP shifting over the course of the week, we can get a pretty solid idea of who is going where early in the week, and what players are being left off the board that might provide overlooked winning upside.

Quarterbacks:

Notable QBs missing from this slate: Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson

This puts Jalen Hurts squarely at the top, and leaves a big toss-up of QBs behind him. The next 5 drafted are all QBs of highly drafted WRs: Kyler Murray (Deandre Hopkins) // Tua Tagovailoa (Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle) // Kirk Cousins (Justin Jefferson) // Derek Carr (Davante Adams) // Dak Prescott (Ceedee Lamb).

QBs with upside outside the top-6 drafted:

  • Daniel Jones: Can be paired with Saquon Barkley, or opposite Tyreek Lockett/Kenneth Walker. Brings high floor and high ceiling with rushing ability against a defense that allowed big ground days to Murray & Taysom Hill.
  • Jared Goff: Has struggled lately, but has already made the top-5 rosters once before in 2022. Can be stacked with D’Andre Swift, Amon-Ra St. Brown, or TJ Hockenson, and fits in opposite the Dolphins players as well if game-stacking without Tua.
  • Jameis Winston: If named the starter, he carries upside with an offense that has been performing well and has a reeling defense. Can be paired with Chris Olave, Alvin Kamara, Juwan Johnson, or maybe Michael Thomas, and also fits in opposite Adams, Josh Jacobs, or Darren Waller. No team has allowed more fantasy ppg to opposing QBs than LV in 2022.
Running Backs

Notable RBs missing from this slate: Austin Ekeler, Leonard Fournette, Nick Chubb, Joe Mixon, Aaron Jones, Travis Etienne

There are still a lot of very strong RBs in the top-12 RBs, with several in extremely plus-matchups (Derrick Henry vs HOU, Saquon vs SEA, Kamara vs LV, Walker vs NYG). Given what is available and also who is not on the slate, I likely wouldn’t venture outside the current top-12 this week very frequently.

RBs with upside outside the top-12 drafted:

  • D’Andre Swift: Swift would be drafted much higher without his injury concerns that have held him out since his hot start. This game has the potential for heavy scoring, and Swift can succeed in any game-script. Leverages St. Brown & Hockenson a bit.
  • D’Onta Foreman: Foreman received 15 att & 2 tg in first post-CMC game, and now gets the 32nd ranked defense by DVOA (26th in rush def). Chuba Hubbard’s 9 att & 3 tg of his own may make Foreman too thin here (or at least unnecessary given the RBs at the top and lack of clear leverage point here besides ownership), but he did have 3 games of 100+ rush yds in 2021 after Henry went down for TEN.
Wide Receivers

Notable WRs missing from this slate: Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Mike Williams, Keenan Allen, Amari Cooper, Stefon Diggs, Gabe Davis, Courtland Sutton

Basically all the elite WRs at the top are in strong spots, and they are being drafted early accordingly (especially with the lack of elite QBs & TEs on the slate this week). Stacking the WRs with their QB is actually easier than it has been all season this week.

WRs with upside outside the top-14 drafted:

  • DJ Moore: Finally got his fantasy feet wet this season with some PJ Walker chemistry vs TB. Now gets the 32nd ranked pass defense by DVOA in part due to a very banged up secondary. Talented player with proven elite upside. Downside is lack of clear leverage and mostly unstackable game.
  • Adam Thielen: With ARI having a lot of success slowing down opposing #1s, the door is open for Thielen to have a big game and provide direct leverage against Jefferson’s ADP & ownership. He has 7+ tg in all but the first game, and he made it on a top-5 roster in two different weeks in 2021 (proven upside). He can be included in gamestacks of this ARI-MIN game quite easily.
  • Brandin Cooks: Hasn’t quite shown the upside in 2022, but he had 4 games of 100+ yds and two different week’s appearances on a top-5 roster in 2021. TEN allowed the 2nd most fantasy points to WRs in 2020 & 2021, and currently is allowing the 3rd most in 2022. Provides a little leverage off Dameon Pierce, and can be played opposite Derrick Henry (higher scoring games have typically been when Henry has his biggest performances).
  • Michael Thomas: For obvious reasons Thomas is included here. Barring health concerns, he’d be drafted much higher both for his talent and his scoring potential he displayed to start the season prior to getting hurt again. If expected to play a full game, he can provide leverage off Kamara & Olave, as well as be played in stacks involving this game (Totals of last 4 NOR games: 53, 71, 56, 72).
Tight Ends:

Notable TEs missing from this slate: Travis Kelce, Mark Andrews, David Njoku, Gerald Everett, Dawson Knox, Robert Tonyan

With the big two missing, Darren Waller still questionable after an extended absence, and Kyle Pitts virtually invisible for fantasy in ATL, TE is more of a guessing game this week. George Kittle is coming off his best games of the season, and carries by far the highest ceiling at the position of those playing. TEs rounding out the top-6 are Dallas Goedert, TJ Hockenson, Zach Ertz, Tyler Higbee, & Taysom Hill. All are players that can be involved in interesting game stacks this week, and can potentially provide leverage off their team’s top WR(s).

There are several TEs worth mentioning after the top-6 given the amount of them basically on the same tier this week, and most even include a little bit of leverage as well: Pat Freiermuth // Dalton Schultz (Lamb) // Darren Waller (Adams, Jacobs) // Pitts // Irv Smith (Jefferson, Dalvin) // Gesicki (Hill, Waddle) // Juwan Johnson (Olave, Kamara)

Hope this helps you get started with the contest and ship that first place! Good luck everyone!