SportsTradex Weekly Fantasy Football Draft Games: Strategy to Help You Win Thousands in Prizes
If you're looking to play a daily fantasy game that's not salary-driven, our friends at SportsTradex have the perfect contest for you.
They're hosting their weekly draft games again this week - specifically an $8,000 Big Pooch Kick GPP - where users draft a 7-, 8- or 9-player team from particular tiers of players. Each tier is labeled A through D, with Tier A consisting of studs, while Tier D is filled with sleepers.
The smaller, seven-player teams will choose three Tier A players, two Tier B ones and one player from both Tier C and D. Since the team is smaller, they're able to get more players from that top tier. Meanwhile, eight-player teams will choose two guys from each tier, while the nine-player squads are only able to choose one player from Tier A, three from Tier B, two from Tier C and three from Tier D.
Clearly there's a lot of strategy involved with a game like this, and that's where we come in. Let's take a look at how you should approach this week's contest.
A Winning Strategy
The first thing we have to look at is who's included in which tier. Six of the 10 players included in Tier A are quarterbacks, with the others being two running backs (Jamaal Charles and Matt Forte) and two wide receivers (Demaryius Thomas and Calvin Johnson). Like I mentioned above, these dudes are studs.
Tiers B and C are mostly comprised of running backs and wide receivers, with only six quarterbacks and four tight ends among the 36 players players in these two tiers. Julius Thomas is the only tight end included in the top two tiers following his ridiculous seven-catch, 107-yard, three-touchdown performance in Week 1, while Ryan Fitzpatrick is the only quarterback listed in Tier C. No quarterback is included in Tier D.
Speaking of which, Tier D is the most evenly distributed tier, though the majority of the players included in it aren't the number-one option in their respective offenses. Some of these players, like James Jones and Niles Paul, are coming off of strong Week 1 showings. Others in this tier, like Jarrett Boykin and Jace Amaro, didn't live up to their preseason hype.
Keep in mind - and this is something that's pretty unique - that there are no positional limits here. You aren't forced into playing a set number of players at each position - you can play however many players from each position as you want, as long as you meet your tier requirements.
And this makes understanding the scoring system extremely important. SportsTradeX uses a point per reception (PPR) format, and in PPR leagues, quarterbacks are inherently less valuable than in standard scoring ones because the added dimension of receptions boosts many running backs, wide receivers and tight ends.
With quarterbacks making up the majority of the top tier, you may want to steer away from using the seven-man lineup with three Tier A players. Outside of quarterbacks, the tier has very limited choices. Forte gets a less-than-ideal matchup against a 49ers team who, despite giving up 118 rushing yards to DeMarco Murray in Week 1, gave up the 13th fewest rushing yards in the league and the seventh-fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs last season.
Megatron draws a Panthers defense who gave up the sixth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers in Week 1, and the third fewest last season. They also held Vincent Jackson to just four catches and 36 yards a week ago.
Even the quarterbacks in Tier A have mostly poor matchups. In fact, of all the quarterbacks included in the top tier, only Aaron Rodgers is facing a defense that didn't finish in the top half of the league in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks a year ago.
While there aren't really any great matchups to exploit in Tier A, there are a few very strong matchup plays in Tier B. For example, Arian Foster is facing a Raiders defense that gave up the fourth most fantasy points to opposing running backs in Week 1, and fifth most last season. And Giovani Bernard faces off with a falcons defense that gave up the tenth most points to opposing running backs last season. Money in the bank.
Tier C features some decent matchup plays as well. Roddy White makes a strong play against a Bengals secondary that gave up seven catches for 118 yards and a touchdown to Ravens' number-two wideout Steve Smith. Alfred Morris has a great matchup against a Jaguars defense that gave up the eighth highest Rushing Net Expected Points (NEP) to opposing running backs last season.
When you get down to Tier D, it becomes extremely difficult to predict which players will bring value. While players such as Paul and Jermaine Gresham will get boosts due to injuries to players in front of them, it's hard to say exactly how involved in the offense they will be.
Considering the strongest value can be found in Tiers B and C this week, it is probably best to avoid playing a seven-man roster for Week 2. With that said, the players in Tier D are so volatile that having an extra player from that tier with only one player from Tier A and C is almost not worth it. With roster construction, tier values and the scoring system in mind, rolling with an eight-man roster comprised of two players from each tier seems like the ideal strategy for Week 2.