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