Popular Strategies to Win Your Weekly Fantasy Football Snake Draft

NFL Quarterback With a Football Stats Background

Weekly fantasy football options just keep on keeping on, don’t they? Today, we’re talking about a familiar presence yet something different simultaneously. The good old snake draft, which we often use in our traditional, year-long fantasy football leagues.

The catch, of course, is that this version of the snake draft lasts for just one weekend, from the Thursday games to the Monday games.

There are a variety of ways to win your snake draft and this article outlines seven popular strategies for you to win your snake draft and before it, a brief overview of how the snake draft works in weekly fantasy.

Let’s get started.

How Does the Snake Draft Work?

Since thousands of sports gamblers play this new game each week, the snake draft comprises a traditional fantasy football draft. The first pick picks first in the odd-numbered rounds, and last in the even-numbered rounds.

Simple, right?

Players can only be drafted by one team, so unlike Classic or Tier-based weekly fantasy, this works just like a traditional fantasy league. You can compete head to head or in a variety of contests.

Drafts begin once each league fills and following the draft, there are no trades, adds, drops, or waivers. Your team is set.

Ready to set the strategies?

Let’s go.

Know the Statistics

The great thing with the weekly snake draft game is that you already know how players are producing for the given season.

Unlike our preseason fantasy drafts for traditional fantasy football which are based on last season’s totals and projections for the upcoming season, you already got a sample size. The later in the season, the greater the sample size.

NFL Quarterback Patrick Mahomes

So, even if a player looked like a good pickup in the preseason, they may not be so hot now because of injuries or lack of production. Some may have even been supplanted on the depth chart.

Key in on Positions Where Production Drop Offs Exist

Just like when you are betting on football, you want to key on positions that feature the highest drop offs in production. The only outlier is tight end, since only five of the league’s 32-plus starting tight ends feature monster numbers.

However, after the first 15 or so running backs and receivers go, you will see a blatant drop off in production. That said, go after the backs and receivers before other positions, as you would in a traditional draft.

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A great strategy if you’re picking first or early is to pick the best player on the board and be done with it. Then, take a different position in the second round. So if you take the best back in football first, take the best receiver that falls to you second.

When you pick in the middle rounds, take the best back or receiver that falls to you. In round two, do the same with the opposite position. So if you take the back first, take the receiver next.

When picking late, find two players you really like and pick the player you think most likely won’t be available when you pick again. Once the pick swings back around to you, go ahead and get the next player if they’re still available. If not, get the next best player at that position.

Do the same if you’re picking last then snatch them up back to back.

Don’t Overestimate Quarterbacks

Yeah, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, and Kyler Murray will almost always have good matchups regardless and post monster numbers. But when evaluating quarterbacks, you should know there is a plethora of high-production quarterbacks aren’t too far behind our Big Three.

NFL Quarterback Josh Allen

Guys like Josh Allen, Dak Prescott, and even Joe Burrow are good options. And don’t forget about quarterbacks like Russell Wilson or Deshaun Watson. Both quarterbacks can still put up outstanding fantasy football numbers.

Just because you don’t land a marquee fantasy option in the early rounds, don’t sweat it. Especially in those weekly 12-team leagues where you’re sure to find a high-producer somewhere in the middle rounds.

Pick a Kicker on a Good Offense

Kickers are at the mercy of their offenses and yes, every now and again you’ll see a kicker catch a case of the yips for a week, as Stephen Gostkowski did during the first week of the 2020 NFL Season.

Under most circumstances, your highest-producing fantasy football kickers are in sync with the league’s best offenses. Look at the 12 highest-scoring offenses and pick the best kicker available when the time is right to pick one – in the mid-to-late rounds.

Another advantage in the weekly fantasy realm is that you know who the best offenses are plus their weekly matchups. That said, it shouldn’t be too hard to have a premonition as to which kickers are the best options for a given week.

Just follow the criteria that they must play for a high-profile offense and the offense must have a favorable matchup.

Fantasy Defenses Win Championships

It’s true. Fantasy football defenses win championships in general, but it’s even more so in weekly fantasy football.

In your traditional league, have you ever faced an opponent whose defense spoiled your win? I’m sure of it. And I can tell you it’s a more common occurrence at the weekly level because you know which defenses are facing weak offenses.

For example, if the league’s best defense or one of the league’s best defenses is playing the worst or one of the worst offenses, you know they’re a hot pick for the weekly game.

Like the kickers, look for defenses to go during the mid-to-late rounds and make sure you grab one with a favorable matchup that also puts up decent numbers in yards allowed, takeaways, and points allowed.

So a little more criteria here.

Don’t Flip if You Don’t Grab a Marquee Tight End

Before 2020 you had four top tight ends and as the season evolved, at least one if not a second tight end joined this crew. One of them was a teammate of one of the top four—Dallas Goedert. Of course, Zach Ertz was one of the top four.

Early in 2020 it was Goedert, and not Ertz, whose fantasy production warranted that worthy of a TE1. This shows that just because one was a projected marquee tight end before the season doesn’t mean it’s set in stone.

It’s the big advantage you have in weekly snake drafts. All of us would’ve taken Ertz in our traditional draft unless we were looking for a decent TE2, then we’d have taken Goedert because Ertz was long gone.

Most of your competition would still likely have taken Ertz in this situation, even if Goedert has posted better numbers, thinking Ertz will break out sometime during the season if the Eagles have a favorable matchup.

However, just because Ertz and the other Big Five tight ends are gone doesn’t mean the highest producing tight ends are. Goedert can obviously outplay Ertz in any given week, as he showed during the first two weeks of 2020.

The same goes for tight ends like T.J. Hockenson, Tyler Higbee, and other forgotten names who are also solid producers at the position.

Double Those Points

This is a riskier strategy that can definitely reap the rewards when done properly. It involves taking a pass catcher along with a quarterback. Now, these players don’t need to have off-the-charts numbers.

They just need to have good chemistry. In all, the pass-catcher is a favorite target of the quarterback and the dynamic duo here hooks up for what could double your fantasy output.

NFL Wide Receiver DK Metcalf

Again, we need someone spectacular. Something like a Russell Wilson-DK Metcalf is a perfect example, or Derek Carr-Darren Waller, and a budding example could be the duo of Dwayne Haskins-Terry McLaurin.

Only Wilson has been a true fantasy stud through and through in the examples provided. Again, there’s risk involved given the possibility of a bad fantasy day from either player, or if the quarterback has a hot target elsewhere.

But if you like to take some risks in your fantasy game, you may want to give this sports betting strategy a whirl.

Conclusion

As you can see from the examples above, there are some stark differences between your traditional and weekly snake drafts. The main difference being that you already have a feel for how a player is performing during the season in the weekly realm.

But, each position has its own strategy. Load up on your backs and receivers first because those positions have the highest drop off rates in production the longer you wait. Don’t fret if you miss out on a high-profile tight end or quarterback.

Stick to the mid-to-late rounds for kickers and defenses. And remember, kickers are at the mercy of their offense.

What strategies do you employ during your weekly snake drafts?

Let us know in the comments.