The NFL may only have a couple of weeks remaining in the regular season, but that hasn’t stopped DraftKings from introducing a new format! NFL Snake contests are now open and ready for you to dive into, with a slate set for Week 16’s games on Sunday.
If you’ve ever played season-long fantasy before, you’re likely familiar with how a Snake Draft works. In short, for these Snake contests, once the allotted number of entries are filled in a contest, the draft will begin one minute later. The entrants are assigned a random draft order and will commence in that order. The player with the first pick gets dibs on everyone while the player with the last pick will get a double pick, as it’ll end the first round and thus begin the second.
Roster requirements for lineups: QB - 1 RB - 1 WR/TE - 2 FLEX - 2
For a full breakdown of rules, please visit our How to Play Classic and Showdown NFL Snake Draft page.
Favorable Early Round Matchup
Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
Snake Classic Rank: 3rd
While I don’t expect Tyreek Hill (Rank: 2) to end up missing this game, you could certainly play it safe and roll with the healthy Kelce instead. The Chiefs are huge favorites against the Falcons and have a projection of 32.5 points in this game, according to the DraftKings Sportsbook. So it would be quite wise to try and get a piece of this game and Kelce is the “safer” way to do so. He ever so slightly has the edge in target share at 24.1%, compared to Hill’s 23.8%. Kelce does, however, dominate in the red zone with 34.2% of the red zone targets, which in a game with such a high total, is a good number to have on your side. With nine touchdowns and 58 receiving yards allowed on average to this position by the Falcons, Kelce is very much a favorable target.
David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears,
Snake Classic Rank: 10th
Montgomery won’t be going in the first round but he should be someone you’re looking at in the second. He continually has been gifted unbelievable matchups and he has responded each and every week. Listen to this — since Week 12 against the Packers, he’s averaging an insane 28.7 DKFP. In that span, he’s carried the ball 71 times for 434 yards, which shakes out to 6.1 (!) YPC! If we take that four-game sample and look at the rest of the league, Montgomery is fourth in YPC (6.1), second in yards after contact (293) and third in yards after contact per attempt (4.13). Truly, amazing numbers to consider. At this rate, I can’t ignore Montgomery and neither should you.
Early Round Matchup To Avoid
Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens
Snake Classic Rank: 6th
If anyone can go off on a given week, we all know and have seen what Jackson is capable of. So it’s never a feel-good move to fade him. With that said, I’m not crazy about drafting him in the early rounds. It’s by far Patrick Mahomes (Rank: 5) for me if I’m taking a quarterback early and if not, we have a number of other offensive players to choose from.
The matchup itself isn’t all that great. The Giants, defensively, feel quite underrated. You may be surprised to know that they’ve held opposing quarterbacks to just an average of 17.8 DKFP, 263 passing yards and just 11.7 rushing yards. Even Kyler Murray only managed 47 yards on 13 carries, which is 3.6 YPC. The Giants will also be able to get plenty of pressure on Jackson, who has been under pressure on 36% of his dropbacks, leading to 29 sacks on the season.
Late Round Fliers
It should be noted that these players are ranked below the threshold of players that would be drafted. This section simply tries to exploit players who are in favorable matchups and are down the rank list.
J.K Dobbins, Baltimore Ravens
Snake Classic Rank: 36th
Now, if you are fading Jackson, I do like using Dobbins instead. He has become a big part of this offense and after returning in Week 13, he’s averaged 26.2% of the overall touches. This has grown as Mark Ingram (Rank: 116) continues to be phased out of this offense, leading Dobbins to also be the main focal point in the red zone. Over the past three weeks, Dobbins has 12 (!) red-zone carries. Gus Edwards (Rank: 107) and Jackson will be in the mix as well, but the Ravens seem committed to giving the ball to Dobbins in those situations.
Baker Mayfield, Cleveland Browns
Snake Classic Rank: 38th
Mayfield is a great way to load up on high-profile offensive players in the early round while also not punting at QB. It’s hard to not like this spot for Mayfield, who quite frankly, has looked like a wizard as of late. Even with a dominant running game, Mayfield produces plenty of fantasy points to make him worth using and the matchup against the Jets shouldn’t be any different. Opposing quarterbacks are averaging 288 passing yards and 7.7 yards per pass attempt against New York, both of which are amongst the highest in the league. When he’s working with a clean pocket, which he should have plenty of in this game, Mayfield has a 79.4% adjusted completion percentage and 8.5 YPA.
Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons,
Snake Classic Rank: 69th
With the Chiefs as big favorites, the Falcons will be in a pass-heavy game script. Let’s say you missed out on Calvin Ridley (Rank: 4th), which is a bummer, but there are still reasons to target Gage late. Without Julio Jones on the field, Gage is another receiver who like Ridley, sees quite the bump in production. Gage averages a 15% target share with Jones inactive and six of his 16 red-zone targets have also come in that scenario. The Chiefs’ secondary is a tough one to combat but Gage is easily the WR2 in this offense sans Jones.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is steveazors) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.
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