Thursday, Sep 5th
Monday, Sep 9th

Battle Royale 16.23

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

Welcome to Week 16!

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.

The goal of this article is to hit on some thoughts regarding the layout of the slate, present some stacks and players I’m interested in for the contest format, and update some trending stats of winning teams.

Many people are drafting the “same way,” falling into similar buckets of player combinations, leaving guys outside that top 36 far less owned relative to those above them for not much more reason than a slightly higher projection. Every week there are some underowned guys that are available at the end of drafts that can help you win a tournament, as the 6-person drafting means you aren’t having to find $3k DraftKings priced players just to be unique.

Looking at Week 16

Another condensed slate of several ugly offenses due to the number of primetime games this holiday week. There are very few “standout” spots, with DAL@MIA being the only game that even carries a significant game total. DAL’s offense has been much weaker on the road, and Tua has struggled more against stronger defenses, so even that game comes with questions, especially as neither defense has given up many big fantasy games on the season. The lack of good offenses presents two paths to play out:

1. Someone like Fields/Dak at the top can put up a score that is “must-have,” meaning it was necessary to take a QB in the early rounds at the expense of higher ADP skill players.

2. Neither put up a ceiling game on a slate with no other elite QBs, giving viability to all the last-round QBs with mediocre ceilings and giving more importance to which combination of skill players were drafted in the first few rounds.

Stacks I’m Targeting:

Justin Fields + DJ Moore:

  • With Trevor Lawrence set to miss, and others like Tua, Goff, and Kyler dealing with significantly tougher matchups, I believe Fields carries a ceiling far above anyone else’s reasonable expectations this week (save Dak, who is on the road against solid defense). DJ Moore in Fields’ last 6 starts has fantasy scores of 23.1, 45, 19.1, 16.9, 23.8, 7.2. ARI has allowed FIVE WRs to reach 140+ receiving yards this year, and Moore is the most likely beneficiary of a Fields blowup game in this spot. Since returning from injury, Fields has rushed 49 times for 251 yards in 4 games. The two come with ADPs right now of 6 (DJM) and 9 (Fields), making the combo possible consistently.

Tua Tagovailoa + Tyreek Hill vs DAL:

  • Tyreek Hill is going at the 1.01 and doesn’t need a Tua stack to pop off, but if I take Tua it will almost solely be on Tyreek Hill rosters, as his ceiling games almost come exclusively in games Tyreek Hill posts a monster day. DAL has been pretty limiting in terms of allowing big games in 2023, but we have seen them hit for a couple of big days by pocket passers attached to elite weapons at home (Purdy, Geno). If Tua is going to be the winning QB on the week, it’s almost certainly going to mean these two are combining for at least 50 points.

Baker Mayfield + Buccaneers vs JAC:

  • Positives: Mayfield has 4 scores of 20+ points, multiple viable stacking partners, and JAC has allowed 8 passers of 300+ yards. Negatives: Mayfield has just one game of more than 30 pass attempts in the last 7 games, and Lawrence is questionable to even play which could lead to easier game control by Tampa Bay.
  • What attracts me here on that positive side of things is that JAC is much tougher against the run, which could lead to an uptick in pass attempts, and they’ve been very vulnerable to RBs through the air, making one of Baker’s favorite things (throwing short to White) more efficient than on an average week. It’s more viable here just due to the lack of good QB options on the state, but the nice thing is Baker has also had a solid floor all year so it’s unlikely he hurts you himself.

Others to Target:

Chuba Hubbard vs GB:

  • Hubbard has 70 carries over the last 3 games against good RB defenses. Now he gets a weak Packers RB defense at home and goes frequently undrafted. GB has allowed 8 rushers of 80+ yards on the season.

Calvin Ridley @ TB:

  • Ridley has been getting the targets and air yards of late, but the production has yet to follow. Well, this is a matchup that has tilted towards the air the entirety of Bowles’ tenure, and JAC is down their other starting WRs. Beathard would definitely be a big downgrade, but Ridley also comes free in drafts and still possesses a strong ceiling in a game where he’s expected to keep being fed targets.

TE:

The main three guys come with much higher median and ceiling projections this week, and ideally, I don’t want to be left without one of them in the 6-person drafts. Hockenson paired with Tyreek Hill is one of my favorite ways to leverage first-round Jefferson.

TJ Hockenson vs DET:

  • Hockenson has a QB who loves to throw to his TE, has 10 straight games of 50+ yards, and faces a matchup soft to pass-catchers. While this spot is more favorable to Jefferson having a big game, Hockenson would be the next most likely to pop here, and his ceiling at TE is only rivaled by McBride and Njoku here.

Trey McBride @ CHI:

  • McBride is averaging 9.6 targets/game over his last 7 games, producing 4 scores of 15+ points in that span. CHI’s defense filters targets to RBs and TEs through the air, giving him the best matchup on the offense this week after smashing in a tough matchup last week vs SF. McBride paired with Fields and Moore is my favorite game correlation on the slate this week.

David Njoku @ HOU:

  • Njoku is averaging 9.3 targets/game over his last 9 games, producing 7 games of 50+ yards in that span and back-to-back 20+ point scores in the last two weeks with Flacco. There is nothing that “stands out” about the matchup, but a TE getting the usage he is, especially on a slate down Kelce, Kittle, Andrews, etc. means we need to keep him in consideration.

Notable Stats

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

1st place performance:

  • 36 of the 51 teams had at least one flex player score 30+ half-PPR fantasy points
  • 21 of the 51 teams had all flex players score at least 20+ half-PPR fantasy points
  • 47 of the 51 teams had all flex players score at least 15+ half-PPR fantasy points

Stacking and Correlation:

  • 30 of 51 had a QB paired with just one teammate
    • WR (22), TE (5), RB (3)
  • 7 of 51 had a QB stacked with two teammates
    • WR-RB (4), WR-WR (2), WR-TE (1)
  • 5 of those 37 QB stacks had a runback (Opposing player)
  • 50 of 51 had at least one game correlation
  • 15 of 51 had two different game correlations

FLEX usage:

  • 169 of 255 top-5 rosters have had two RBs, meaning they chose RB at FLEX over WR and TE.
  • 85 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!