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Draft Strategy

8 Players to Draft NOW in Underdog's Best Ball Mania 3

By Jared Smola 7:55am EDT 8/1/22

There are lots of unique facets to Underdog’s Best Ball Mania 3. It’s a 451,000-team contest. It has a $2 million grand prize. And drafts run for over 4 months.

That last part creates an interesting strategy wrinkle. We’re drafting in the same contest – but in all sorts of different draft landscapes. ADP in May is much different than ADP in July. ADP in July is much different than ADP in August.

That gives us an opportunity to capture value vs. our competitors by pinpointing players who will climb in ADP. If you can draft a guy in Round 6 now that will be going in Round 4 in late August, that’s a win.

Here are 8 guys I expect to rise significantly in Underdog ADP over the next month.

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Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints

Current ADP: 3.07
End-of-August ADP Prediction: mid-2nd round

Kamara still has the risk of a suspension hanging over his head. But the tea leaves are pointing toward that suspension likely not coming until 2023, when the legal process plays out.

If we learn that Kamara will be eligible for all 17 games this season, his price will immediately shoot up at least a round. Despite dealing with a knee injury last year, Kamara ranked 5th among RBs in half-PPR points per game.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

Current ADP: 7.01
End-of-August ADP Prediction: late-5th round

After nearly 2 years of uncertainty about Thomas’ health, we’re finally getting some clarity. He was activated from the PUP list and returned to practice last week. Reports out of New Orleans have been unanimously positive.

Thomas won’t be a comfy pick in August and won’t get nearly as pricey as he was before the ankle trouble. But I do expect Thomas to climb at least into mid-range WR3 territory. He’s currently the 35th WR off the board in ADP.

Treylon Burks, WR, Titans

Current ADP: 8.09
End-of-August ADP Prediction: 7th round

It was a tough spring for the rookie, who struggled with conditioning that might or might not have been related to his asthma.

Burks has been locked in since, though, and reported to camp ready to roll. "I've heard he's in shape, I've heard he's lost weight, I've heard there's been so much growth already,” ESPN’s Dianna Russini said in late July.

Burks is an exciting talent with a path to lead the Titans in targets this season. How high will his ADP climb? Potentially into Round 6, which is where he was going when Best Ball Mania drafts kicked off in May.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, Patriots

Current ADP: 9.02
End-of-August ADP Prediction: late-7th round

Longtime insider Peter King said last week that Stevenson “probably will get the bulk of the carries” this season. If we get further confirmation – say, Stevenson drawing the start in preseason action – his price will climb quickly.

New England’s backfield is always tough to figure on a weekly basis, but that matters much less in best ball. And we know there are TDs to be had. The Patriots have finished top 12 in rushing TDs in a remarkable 18 straight seasons.

Jalen Tolbert, WR, Cowboys

Current ADP: 12.03
End-of-August ADP Prediction: 10th round

Amari Cooper and Cedrick Wilson are gone. Michael Gallup flat-out admitted last week that he won’t be ready for Week 1 after February ACL surgery.

That creates a huge opportunity on a Cowboys offense that ranked top 6 in pass attempts, yards and TDs last year. Tolbert is a relatively polished prospect: a 3-year college starter and already 23 years old. And it won’t take much to beat out James Washington, who ranked dead last among 101 qualifiers in Pro Football Focus receiving grade last season.

Trevor Lawrence, QB, Jaguars

Current ADP: 12.11
End-of-August ADP Prediction: 10th round

Lawrence never had a chance last year amid the disaster that was the Urban Meyer. Not only is Meyer gone now, but Lawrence got an aggressive HC in Doug Pederson who figures to deploy a fast-paced, pass-heavy offense.

The early camp reports on Lawrence have been glowing. It won’t take long for folks to remember how strong a prospect he was coming out of Clemson – a polished passer with rushing ability.

Lawrence is QB19 in ADP right now. I expect him to climb into the top 16 by the end of August.

Wan’Dale Robinson, WR, Giants

Current ADP: 16.01
End-of-August ADP Prediction: 13th round

Robinson has been buzzing early in camp. He’s been locked in with the 1st-team offense (along with Kadarius Toney and Kenny Golladay) and been getting work from the backfield, too. This should be a more-imaginative and much-improved Giants offense under HC Brian Daboll.

An undersized but electric playmaker, Robinson could make a play or 2 this preseason that makes SportsCenter – and vaults his price tag. He’s a priority target late in Underdog drafts right now.

Brian Robinson, RB, Commanders

Current ADP: 16.03
End-of-August ADP Prediction: 13th round

Robinson might be the single biggest value in Underdog drafts right now.

The 3rd-round rookie is coming off a huge season at Alabama: 1,343 yards and 14 TDs on the ground, plus a 35-296-2 rushing line. He’s been getting 1st-team reps early in camp as RB Antonio Gibson nurses a hamstring injury. And HC Ron Rivera has talked up Robinson’s power running style.

At minimum, Robinson is a handcuff to a RB who’s dealt with toe, shin and calf injuries through 2 NFL seasons. And there seems to be a good chance that he sees enough work alongside a healthy Gibson to provide some starter-level fantasy weeks.

Underdog Match

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