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Battle Royale 10.23

Lex is a matchup researcher who focuses his play on Underdog’s Battle Royale contest

Welcome to Week 10!

If you are new to this contest or just want to get a bigger picture of the first two years of the contest, here is my review of the top Battle Royale rosters in 2021 and 2022.

For this week, I’ll be hitting on some of my thoughts on each position and updating some trending stats. Let’s get started!

Looking at Week 10

This week has a bit of everything, from missing elite QBs, thin RB depth, and both missing and questionable elite WRs. This week looks like another that will produce a lower-than-average winning score, making double stacks more viable and making it more important to find those under the radar guys that drafters are overlooking. Last week, CJ Stroud stacks were overlooked past grabbing Nico Collins, and even the popular PHI/DAL game had viable double stacks that went under owned. There are constant opportunities in this contest to scroll down and find players with high ceiling outcomes who are going overlooked just by a matter of not being in the top 36 ADP that basically forms off Underdog’s projections.

QB:

Notable QBs missing from the slate: Patrick Mahomes, Jalen Hurts, Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Allen, Justin Fields, Matthew Stafford

Top 6 QBs by ADP: Joe Burrow, Dak Prescott, Lamar Jackson, Justin Herbert, CJ Stroud, Jared Goff

Not that this is the right strategy for every draft, but I will be looking at double-stack options this week whenever it makes sense given the offensive environments we have to work with. Burrow and Dak have double stack options but some game questions, whereas Goff, Herbert, Geno, Howell, Purdy, and Lawrence are all expected to play in a competitive game and come with several strong stacking partners for 6 and 12 man drafts.

Notes:

  • Geno Smith vs WAS: WAS’s pass defense has been struggling mightily all year, and they recently shipped off two of their best pressure generators on the defensive line. Geno’s stock is low coming off a tough week, and without a big game since Week 2, but this is a great time to buy, especially on a week missing many elite options. Seattle Geno has shown that 300+ yards and 3 TDs are within his range of outcomes if Pete Carroll is forced to let the offense throw more, and with a very capable WAS offense on the other side against a still weak Seattle pass defense, this game environment could take off. SEA is one of only 3 teams implied for 26+ points (SEA, CIN, DAL). 
  • Jared Goff @ LAC: While the Chargers defense could be improving, they’ve also just played Tyson Bagent and Zach Wilson. Goff and the Lions have been one of the best offenses in football in 2023, and they will have a full complement of weapons for the first time all season. The Lions have multiple ways to attack the weaknesses of this LAC defense, and Goff has already demonstrated a high ceiling in this offense. Herbert and co. should be able to make this game competitive as well.
RB:

Notable RBs missing from this slate: Jonathan Taylor, Rhamondre Stevenson, Breece Hall, Josh Jacobs, Raheem Mostert, D’Andre Swift, Isiah Pacheco, James Cook, Javonte Williams

Christian McCaffrey should be locked into the 1.01 this week, as there’s a clear tier break between him and the rest of the guys on the slate this week. Most of the RB plays I’m interested in this week are guys who have been coming off some down weeks and have taken ADP hits as a result. The guys below are all in the best matchups they’ve had in weeks, and I’m trying to get back on board at their depressed prices.

Notes:

  • Kenneth Walker vs WAS: While this defense is easier to pass on than run on, we know what the SEA offense prefers to do, and Walker is fully capable of busting some big runs in this matchup. He’s still the lead back in positive game scripts, and SEA being a 6+ point home favorite against a defense trending the wrong way is a good spot for this home run hitter. If this game environment turns into some of the higher scoring SEA games we’ve seen over the last couple of years, it’s possible for Walker to hit big alongside one of the WRs as well. Double SEA stacks are going to be inherently more unique in this contest.
  • Tony Pollard vs NYG: Pollard has not had the kind of year even the bigger pessimists probably expected, but he’s also had a run of really tough matchups. The NYG defense has been burned by RBs all year, including Pollard himself in Week 1, and a 27.5 point team total as a home favorite is a great setup. RB is not deep this week, and Pollard is already discounted several rounds from where he started the year (he’s already climbed a full round from the contest open this week), so this is a spot I’m looking to jump back on earlier than later. His pass catching role and paths to ceiling always make him stackable with Dak as well.
  • Joe Mixon vs HOU: Mixon still owns all the usage in this backfield, Ja’Marr Chase is questionable, CIN is favored at home, and the matchup sets up well for Mixon to succeed in any gamescript. Rachaad White is the only RB to really “go crazy” vs HOU, but Mixon has a very similar role to White, and the depth at the position this week makes this one of the better spots to get a helpful score.
  • Bijan Robinson @ ARI: His stock has taken a hit over the course of the season, mostly due to his usage rather than his actual play, but coming off multiple losses and a hammering from media and fans alike, we can only hope this is the week he sees more high-value touches. If he was going early then that would not be the bet I would want to make, but given that he’s currently fallen to the RB7 on the week going in the 3rd-4th rounds, I am more willing to take the chance on him again in a matchup that has ceded four 100-yard runners, and two more over 80 yards. Even if his usage just returns to early season levels, he sets up well here in a game environment that could get interesting depending on Kyler Murray’s return on the other side.
WR:

Notable WRs missing from this slate: Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, AJ Brown, Devonta Smith, Cooper Kupp, Puka Nacua, Stefon Diggs, Garrett Wilson, Davante Adams, Jakobi Meyers, Courtland Sutton, Michael Pittman, DJ Moore, Adam Thielen

WR is missing an abundance of talent this week, and even some of the best guys on the slate have concerns (Chase/Higgins-Q, Lamb-blowout, SF-everyone healthy). There is a lot better value at WR late than there is for RBs, and in the 12-man drafts especially I am looking at more doubles than usual (DET, SEA, and WAS all come to mind) as the winning score is likely to be lower than average again this week.

Notes:

  • DK Metcalf vs WAS: Metcalf is possibly my favorite play of this week (which could surely go extremely poorly). WAS has one of the worst pass defenses in football and has particularly struggled against some bigger-bodied pass catchers (AJB, London, Waller, DJM). Metcalf has had a run of some extremely difficult matchups, all while playing through multiple injuries, so this spot is one I’m running to jump back on board. I do think he’s best played across WAS pieces, as we know that’s the best path to SEA opening up their offense enough for Metcalf to reach a high ceiling game. This slate has enough questions at WR that I’m willing to take Metcalf earlier than he’d normally be valued on a typical week, and I may even be trying to get one SEA player on nearly every team this week (especially for 12-person drafts), as this is a spot difficult to see the SEA offense failing.
  • Mike Evans vs TEN: While TEN has tightened up since the early season, the weakness of the defense is still the secondary and that was before they shipped off an All-Pro safety. Evans has the more valuable fantasy role in this offense, with more chances for big gains and TDs, and we know TEN can be tested deep. 
  • Jahan Dotson @ SEA: SEA has been struggling against WRs much more than in 2022, and Dotson is likely to see less time matched up with Tariq Woolen than McLaurin. He’s also available at the end of drafts so he will be far lower owned in this contest than his teammate. Finally getting the usage we’ve been looking for all year (26 targets last 3 weeks), Dotson is flashing the talent he displayed as a rookie and now gets another game environment that could see Howell drop back 40-50 times.
  • All of the elite WRs from the LAC/DET and SF/JAC games should be considered here given their propensity to produce big scores and the potential for each game environment to “take off.”
TE:

Notable TEs missing from this slate: Travis Kelce, Dallas Goedert, Dalton Kincaid, Cole Kmet

Last week TEs went crazy, scoring TDs all across the league. We shouldn’t expect that from the later TEs every week, but on a week down Kelce, Andrews in a weird spot, and Hockenson questionable, there are plenty of later TEs that could appear in top scoring lineups this week. This section is more just some quick notes on basically all the TEs that are viable this week rather than me pointing out overlooked plays.

Notes:

  • Mark Andrews vs CLE: Already torched this defense earlier this season and is one of the most consistent players at the position attached to an elite offense. Not the most ideal matchup/game environment, but also one of the only guys here who can actually separate from the pack at the position on a given week.
  • TJ Hockenson vs NOR: NOR has been giving up significant production to TEs of late, and Hockenson is playing with a QB who’s heavily targeted the TE position all season.
  • Sam LaPorta @ LAC: LAC has bled production to TEs, LaPorta’s role has grown over the season (28 targets last 3 weeks), and this game environment has one of the best chances of popping off.
  • Jake Ferguson vs NYG: Highest team total on the slate, second most consistent pass catcher on team, positive matchup.
  • Kyle Pitts @ ARI: London is questionable again, Heinicke showed a little more consistency than Ridder, and should once again see 6+ targets.
  • Trey McBride vs ATL: Better matchup than the WRs, has been getting more usage since Ertz went down, and gets Kyler Murray back.
  • Dalton Schultz @ CIN: Much better matchup than the HOU WRs, and with Collins questionable he could get even more targets filtered his way.
  • Logan Thomas @ SEA: Potential high-scoring environment, good for about 5 targets every game, and has a penchant for the endzone.

Underowned Combos:

  • Geno Smith + DK Metcalf + Jahan Dotson
  • Sam Howell + Logan Thomas/Terry McClaurin + DK Metcalf/Kenneth Walker
  • Jared Goff + Sam LaPorta + Amon-Ra St. Brown/Jahmyr Gibbs
  • Justin Herbert + Austin Ekeler + Gerald Everett + (DET RB)
  • Dak Prescott + Tony Pollard + Jake Ferguson
  • Brock Purdy + Christian McCaffrey + Jaguar
  • Kyler Murray + Trey McBride/Marquise Brown + Falcon
  • Joe Burrow + Joe Mixon + Dalton Schultz

Notable Stats

These are some notable stats from rosters appearing in the top 5 of the contest so far this season.

1st place performance:

  • 31 of the 45 teams had at least one flex player score 30+ half-PPR fantasy points
  • 20 of the 45 teams had all flex players score at least 20+ half-PPR fantasy points
  • 41 of the 45 teams had all flex players score at least 15+ half-PPR fantasy points

Stacking and Correlation:

  • 25 of 45 had a QB paired with just one teammate
    • WR (18), TE (5), RB (2)
  • 7 of 45 had a QB stacked with two teammates
    • WR-RB (4), WR-WR (2), WR-TE (1)
  • 5 of those 32 QB stacks had a runback (Opposing player)
  • 44 of 45 had at least one game correlation
  • 13 of 45 had two different game correlations

FLEX usage:

  • 152 of 225 top-5 rosters have had two RBs, meaning they chose RB at FLEX over WR and TE.
  • 72 of the other top 5 rosters all used WR at FLEX, meaning there’s only been one instance of double-TE to ever finish top-5 (2023 W7: Kelce/Andrews). 

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