The NFL season may only have a few weeks remaining in the regular season but that hasn’t stopped DraftKings from introducing a new format! Snake Draft Showdown is now open and ready for you to dive into, kicking off with Thursday’s game between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams, which starts at 8:20 p.m. ET.
If you’ve ever played season-long fantasy before, you’re likely familiar with how a Snake Draft works. In short, for these Showdown 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.
For a full breakdown of rules, please visit our How to Play Classic and Showdown NFL Snake Draft page.
Cooper Kupp, Los Angeles Rams
Snake Showdown Rank: 1st
It’s been hard to decide between Kupp and Robert Woods (Ranked 2) on a weekly basis. In this format you’re (very likely) not going to get both. If you’re lucky enough to draw the first overall pick, Kupp is a great starting point for this game. He draws the better matchup in coverage over Woods, who should see shadow coverage from CB Stephon Gilmore. This leaves Kupp against slot CB Jonathan Jones and the matchup we want to target.
In coverage, Jones has been against 69 times, allowing 45 receptions (65.2% catch rate) for an average of 10.4 YPR and four touchdowns scored against. Among all wide receivers in the league, Kupp leads the league in yards after the catch at 486, which is good for a 6.6 YAC/REC. While Woods is seeing the larger target share lately, Kupp is still averaging a healthy 24.4% share on the season and 21.3% in the last three games. With Gilmore all over Woods, that could easily go up this week, easily making Kupp one of the top picks.
Jakobi Meyers, New England Patriots
Snake Showdown Rank: 6th
Meyers has become a favorite target of QB Cam Newton, especially after Julian Edelman went down with a knee injury. Since the beginning of Week 8, Meyers is averaging a massive 33% target share, including four weeks of at least 35%. Meyers has been the primary slot receiver as of late for the Patriots, as his snap count continues to rise. In Week 13, Meyers played 56 total snaps, 67% of which were out of the slot.
Meyers will see coverage against Rams CB Troy Hill, who has been targeted against 71 times, allowing 50 receptions (70.4% catch rate) for an average of 9.6 YPR and a touchdown scored against. While the YPR is not overly high, the catch rate allowed and the heavy volume Meyers receives makes this a matchup worth targeting. Going off the ranks, Meyers can likely be had in the second round as well, allowing players to potentially get the WR1 on both teams in subsequent rounds.
Matchups to be aware of
Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams
Snake Showdown Rank: 2nd
At the end of the day, these players will be drafted, so it’s not as if you can really “avoid” these players. However, it’s potentially worth taking into consideration, especially if you have the first overall pick.
As mentioned, Woods should be drawing shadow coverage from Gilmore, who is still having a good season despite his numbers not being as impressive from last year. He’s been targeted against 37 times, allowing 23 receptions (62.2% catch rate) for an average of 14 YPR and two touchdowns scored against. While the catch rate is up (49.5% and 44% last two seasons) the YPR are in the vicinity (13.1, 12.9 last two seasons). With Kupp receiving almost equal volume, this is a spot where I’d be looking more toward him over Woods. For what it’s worth, Kupp has a distinct advantage in red zone targets as well, at 25.6% compared to the 18.6% of Woods.
Damien Harris, New England Patriots
Snake Showdown Rank: 3rd
Harris is another player you’ll likely see go in the first round or the first pick of the second. His role in the offense warrants it, as he seemingly has a stranglehold on the RB1 spot, phasing Sony Michel out of the picture. Michel handled 23.3% of the carries in Week 13 while Harris was at 37.2%. I have a big issue with Harris in Week 14, which is worth discussing.
According to DraftKings Sportsbook, the Patriots are 5-point underdogs in this matchup, as of Wednesday morning. Going off that game script, that’s not a favorable one for Harris. He simply doesn’t catch out of the backfield and hasn’t seen a target share higher than 5.3%. When the Patriots a throwing to a running back, it’s James White (Ranked 8th). White has a 14.2% share overall while none of the other backs are even close. In second was Rex Burkhead, who is out for the season. If anything, White would be my preferred option in this game. While the Patriots are a team that likes to run the ball, I don’t think this is a favorable spot for Harris and isn’t worth the likely first round pick.
Third Round Flier
Van Jefferson, Los Angeles Rams
Snake Showdown Rank: 18th
Going wayyyyyy down the ranks for Jefferson, who you should easily nab in the final round of the draft. If you’ve been paying attention as of late, you may already be on the Jefferson bandwagon. If not, well, that’s likely why you’re reading this article.
The way it’s been trending lately, Jefferson has overstepped Josh Reynolds (Ranked 9th) as the WR3 in this offense. After playing at least 80% of the snaps during Week 10-12, Reynolds fell all the way down to 45.8% in Week 13. Subsequently, Jefferson jumped all the way up to 48.2%, a number he hasn’t come close to since Week 1 when he played on 45.2% of offensive snaps. He commanded an 11.2% target share last week, which is impressive when you consider how much Woods and Kupp generate.
I think Jefferson being ranked so low is something to consider and could be a nice player to target if you miss out on some of the big guns if you have the third overall pick.
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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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