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2023 Fantasy Football: NFL Week 16 Underdog Fantasy Battle Royale Christmas Slate

Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco
Green Bay Packers linebacker Preston Smith (91) tackles Kansas City Chiefs running back Isiah Pacheco (10) at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Wm. Glasheen-USA TODAY Sports

If you are new to Battle Royale, check out our strategy guide.


With Underdog hosting two battle royales of equal size this week, main slate and Christmas slate, I’ll review the Christmas slate due to a stronger edge and fewer injuries. I firmly believe the smaller slates are better for sharp drafters as less variance and luck are involved. On top of that, with four-person drafts, Underdog sorts by their not great projections and not by ADP, giving us another area to find advantages.


Jalen Hurts is the clear QB1 on this slate and is ranked third by Underdog. Take advantage of this, as a significant number of drafters will be selecting by the projections displayed. Hurts can monopolize rushing touchdowns into a massive ceiling, but this comes at the expense of other Eagles players, so make sure to mix him in solo.

The next three studs – Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Brock Purdy – are all in the same tier. Given only four quarterbacks can be selected, once Hurts is gone, there is no rush to prioritize any of these three unless your stacking options are limited — always single- or double-stack Purdy and Mahomes. Jackson can be treated like Hurts.

Tommy DeVito and Aidan O’Connell will rarely ever be drafted, but I still do not see an edge with such a massive dropoff in ceiling and median outcomes. Drafters are letting the second tier of quarterbacks fall due to the abovementioned reasoning, so there is not even an ADP opportunity cost to DeVito and O’Connell. Don’t draft them.

Running Backs

I won't rave about Christian McCaffrey for the 16th week in a row; take him first in every draft.

Isiah Pacheco is fully back and healthy. He projects for the second most yards and touchdown equity by a significant margin, behind only McCaffrey. Underdog has him projected as RB4, meaning he will go later than he should in many drafts. Pacheco is a huge home favorite against a defense that he already went off against, an ideal scenario.

We’ll get further into receivers below, but Justice Hill and Clyde Edwards-Helaire (he stinks, but Jerick McKinnon is out) are viable flex options as opposed to a third receiver. Hill out-snapped Gus Edwards in week 14 with a healthy Keaton Mitchell and now there are even more snaps available.

The issue is that the Ravens absolutely love to run Edwards in the red zone, making Hill relatively boom or bust. Both are more likely to fall into the endzone than the wide receivers after Odell Beckham Jr.

Wide Receivers

Deebo Samuel is very undervalued, according to the projection displayed. He has been on a tear lately, and the Baltimore Ravens will hopefully force the San Francisco 49ers to stay honest in the second half for once. He also provides tons of leverage on a heavily drafted and consolidated offense. Get overweight on Samuel when he slides.

Davante Adams should not be drafted as the slate's second-best wide receiver. His team is projected for the fewest points on the slate, so touchdowns will be hard to come by. He is the seventh most likely receiver to score, behind even Zay Flowers, who is being drafted much later. 

It gets really ugly after Meyers, and most drafters will probably avoid the rest of the player pool. If there is no sliding value to be had, the New York Giants wide receivers are an interesting click, being rarely ever drafted.

Wan’Dale Robinson certainly has the highest median projection, but he has very low variance and aDOT, all while being drafted the most frequently. This allows us to draft the higher variance Jalin Hyatt and Darius Slayton at lower rostership.

Tight End

There is not much discourse regarding tight end strategy on this slate as the options are limited and the Underdog projections are relatively sharp, but there are a few nuances to look into.

George Kittle should be in a tier by himself behind Travis Kelce, but the draft projections have him almost identical to Dallas Goedert. Draft Kittle more often than Goedert.

Isaiah Likely is firmly above Darren Waller, according to Sportsbooks’ props, but with only four tight ends ever being selected, Likely is likely far more drafted than Waller. Given their outcomes are not massively different, lean into Waller at much lower rostership.

Selecting anyone after Waller is really threading the needle to outscore a few elite tight ends on the slate – avoid them.