Underdog Battle Royale Picks: Week 1

Alas, the time of the year has arrived when we have no more drafts to look forward to but rather revel in our glory or wallow in our failures as our rosters head to the grill for another season of. fantastic football.

If, however, the desire to write is too strong. If it ends up being an itch, you can’t help but scratch; then the good people of Underdog Fantasy are here for you. Last season, Underdog Fantasy presented its weekly Battle Royale drafts. This format, similar to the weekly competitions in the once beloved DRAFT app, gives you a chance to draft against a weeklong league in which the goal is simple: beat your opponents.

True to their half-PPR format, Underdog’s Battle Royale format offers writers a chance to throw $ 5 programming into a pool of 22,600 attendees for a chance to win a grand prize of $ 20,000. Each draft consists of a pool of six and plays out like a GPP tournament where your roster must knock down 22,599 other teams to come out on top.

You’ll definitely want to enter these drafts with some knowledge of roster formats, which vary a bit from the top Underdog ball leagues, as shown below. List ownership will also be important to keep in mind, as you will very easily find several duplicate queues with many players likely to choose from the top of the projection pool.

The biggest difference in roster formats for battle royale versus best ball is the loss of a running back and wide catcher in your starting lineup. This can make your flexible choice all the more vital, but it could also mean that deploying popular DFS tactics like stacking teammates or finding correlated players in the same game could have an added benefit.

Another key piece of writing these teams could come down to Vegas totals.

If the goal is to score fantastic points, then it would make sense that chasing players in games that should have a higher score could result in a better result from a fantastic point of view. There’s a reason we want to draft players in the Chiefs vs. Browns, who has an o / u of 54.5 points, and not players in the game Giants vs. Broncos, who currently has an o / u of 42 on the DraftKings Sportsbook. – the lowest of any total this weekend.

It’s not just because the Chiefs and Browns have good players, it’s because we expect these good players to score real points, which then translates into fantastic points. Some of this might be old news for seasoned fantasy veterans, but if there’s a time to reiterate those points, it’s week 1 of a new season.

To ensure that we are looking at players in matches with higher scores, we’ll be looking to focus on the most screened matches based on the DraftKings Sportsbook at the time of publication of this article, which will often take place on Wednesdays starting. of week 2.

Barring any complications from the holiday week, the eight highest match totals will be presented for the 1:00 p.m. Battle Royale contest. We will then report a few players from these clashes for the week to deepen. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t draft good players who play low total games, but it will hopefully give you a better idea of ​​where the perks lie when building up. your battle royale lists.

So, without further ado, let’s get into our totals and players for Week 1 of the Underdog Battle Royale!

Spread and over / under

  • Kansas City (-6) v Cleveland – O / U 54.5
  • Tennessee (-3) vs. Arizona – O / U 52
  • Indianapolis (-2.5) vs. Seattle – O / U 50
  • New Orleans (+2.5) vs. Green Bay – O / U 50
  • Buffalo (-6.5) vs. Pittsburgh – O / U 48.5
  • Cincinnati (+3) vs. Minnesota – O / U 48
  • Atlanta (-3.5) v Philadelphia – O / U 48
  • Los Angeles Rams (-7.5) vs. Chicago – O / U 47.5


Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints

If there’s ever been a time to welcome Jamies Winston back to the realm of fantasy, it might be this week. Winston has reclaimed his throne as an NFL starter and looks set for a career revival in New Orleans. Even with star wide receiver Michael Thomas sidelined (ankle), Winston should have plenty of fantastic point scoring chances thanks to Alvin Kamara and the recent emergence of wide receiver Marquez Callaway. In Winston’s last full season as a starter (2019), he averaged a fantastic 18.7 points per game (QB8) while throwing for 5,109 yards and 33 touchdowns. The worry for Winston is that he is losing fantastic points against Taysom Hill, but if you see him as a player worth the risk in Week 1, he should cost you next to nothing at the end of your draft.

Jalen hurts, Philadelphia Cream Eagles

As it stands, Underdog screened Jalen Hurts as the fifth highest rated QB of the week at a fantastic 21.4 points, just behind Russell Wilson’s 21.9 points. We’re not as bullish on Hurts this week, projecting him as the QB10 with 19.5 points, but he has a clash with the Falcons that we currently rank as the second weakest of the week behind Jimmy Garoppolo against Detroit.

After replacing quarterback Carson Wentz at the end of 2020, Jalen Hurts stepped in and immediately became a fantasy football superstar. He posted 19.3 PPG in his Week 14 clash against the Saints and brought it back the following week against Arizona to the tune of a whopping 37.8 points. During the brief time he was the Philadelphia starter, Hurts was QB10 in points-per-game aggregate (23.0).

Back runners

Dalvin cook, Minnesota Vikings

If you’re thinking of shooting a chalky running back game, it might as well be elite running back with a juicy match. And that’s exactly what Dalvin Cook is. Cook secures a clash against the Cincinnati Bengals who placed 25th in calendar-adjusted fantasy points allowed per game to opposing backs (22.8) and are ranked as having the eighth easiest match for running backs this week . Last season, Cook was the overall RB2 in half-PPR with 22.6 PPG.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Kansas City Chefs

If you choose to let a running back pass in the first round, a later shot could be fired at Kansas City’s Clyde Edwards-Helaire. CEH is screened for 12.9 points in Week 1 at Underdog. Here at 4for4, we projected it at 12.5 points.

As well as offering an advantage to your fantastic roster (2.8 recs / gm in 2020), CEH and the Chiefs are also favored in this home game against Cleveland (-6). If this holds up, CEH could contribute in several ways to this shootout between moving the chains early and running out of time.

Wide receivers

ByAndré Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals

In what is projected to be the second-highest total on the slate in the Titans vs Cardinals game, wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins has a chance to feast on a disappointing Titans defense that allowed 36.0 points from fancy adjusted by match. According to our Week 1 half-PPR ranking, Hopkins has the fifth easiest matchup for wide receivers in Week 1 and is set to score a fantastic 15.2 points. He averaged 10 targets per game last season, with a reception line of 7.2 / 87.9 / 0.38.

Diontae Johnson, Pittsburgh Steelers

Earlier this offseason, I highlighted Steelers wide receiver Diontae Johnson as a player that fantastic players misjudge.

Heading into his Week 1 clash against the Buffalo Bills, Johnson is set to score a fantastic 11.2 points against the Bills and has a rather tough clash. That being said, with the Steelers being 6.5-point underdogs before this one, there could be plenty of passing attempts in this one.

Last season, Johnson led all of the Steelers’ receivers in targets / gm (9.6) and finished the season with a receiving line of 88/923/7.

Tight ends

Dallas goedert, Philadelphia Cream Eagles

The obvious TE1 now and forever is Travis Kelce. However, if you choose to avoid one of the tighter ends of the slate, Dallas Goedert is a worthwhile choice. Goedert is the planned starter in Philly and gets what should be a relatively mild clash against the Falcons. He plans to have the third easiest matchup on the Week 1 roster and is screened as the overall TE8 of the week at 8.4 fantasy points.

While the plus / minus for this game is 48, it’s not hard to imagine this game going higher than expected.

Kyle pitts, Atlanta Falcons

Sticking to the same game in this one, tight end Kyle Pitts finally has a chance to show us why the Falcons made him the fourth overall pick in this year’s NFL Draft.

Much like Goedert, Pitts plans to have an easy clash on paper, facing an Eagles defense that allowed the seventh most adjusted points per game at the opposing tight ends (11.8). With Julio Jones leaving this offseason, Pitts has a chance of being the second target in an attack that should be in the top 5 in terms of passing volume. He’s likely to be used throughout training and is a nightmare for any linebacker, cornerback or security tasked with covering him up.

Our weekly leaderboard projects Pitts for 10.0 fantasy points in week 1.

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