Underdog Fantasy Football During NFL Playoffs: 2024 Contests, Rules, Prizes, Strategy

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Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
fantasy football during nfl playoffs

Just because the NFL regular season closes Sunday doesn’t mean your opportunity to play fantasy football is over. Underdog Fantasy offers an enticing lineup of options for fantasy football during NFL playoffs. Prize pools range from $200K with The Mitten to the granddaddy $1.5M for The Gauntlet. Unfamiliar with Underdog’s NFL contests? No worries – we’ll go over everything you need to know, plus a few pointers to help you succeed.

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Underdog NFL Playoff Contests

Underdog offers four major NFL contests this postseason, ranging in buy-in, group size, and payout:

ContestBuy-InPrize PoolPool SizeSeat Final
The Mitten$5$250,00055,800155
The Big Mitten$250$200,00090010
The Little Gauntlet$50$200,0004,50050
The Gauntlet$25$1,500,00067,200400

These contests fill fast, so don’t hesitate to jump in. Note that each contest has its own limit on the number of entries allowed per player. The Big Mitten allows 27 entries, while The Gauntlet allows up to 150. However, unlike traditional DFS, each entry puts you in a draft with five other players. So, while some players have the experience, you won’t deal with sharks spam-entering lineups optimized by a model.

How Do The Underdog NFL Playoff Contests Work?

If you’re familiar with Underdog’s best ball format, the playoff contests are more of that. If you’re unfamiliar with best ball, let’s quickly go over the regular season format:

  • Contests are divided up into groups, in this case, groups of six.
  • Entrants draft players like a traditional fantasy football league.
  • Starting lineups feature 1 QB, 1 RB, 2 WR/TE, 1 FLEX (RB/WR/TE), and 5 BENCH spots.
  • No lineup setting or waiver adds are needed! Underdog takes the best possible score from your player pool. No more leaving 33 points on the bench.

Unlike the regular season, Underdog fantasy football during NFL playoffs have an element of Survivor pools to them. The format is still best ball – picking from the pool of playoff teams’ rosters – but you must score enough points each round to advance. But remember! When a team is eliminated from the playoffs, you don’t have a chance to replace that player. They’ll sit on your roster scoring zero points in the remaining weeks.

Here are this season’s playoff teams:

  • NFC: 49ers (first-round bye), Cowboys, Lions, Bucs, Eagles, Rams, Packers
  • AFC: Ravens (first-round bye), Dolphins, Bills, Chiefs, Texans, Browns, Steelers

The “seat final” numbers listed above refer to how many players make it to the final round (the Super Bowl). From there, each contest has its own prize structure. Visit Underdog’s app and click into each contest to see the prize breakdown.

Grand prizes are as follows:

While the exact number differs, generally, the top 5-33% of finishers are paid out.

TheLines.com Staff Underdog Draft For NFL Playoffs

RoundGiovanni ShorterMo NuwwarahMatthew AmatoStephen AndressZach TilleyEli Hershkovich
1WR Tyreek HillWR CeeDee LambRB CMCQB Baker MayfieldQB Lamar JacksonWR Stefon Diggs
2RB Kareem HuntQB Brock PurdyTE Travis KelceRB James CookWR Deebo SamuelWR Amon-Ra St. Brown
3QB CJ StroudWR Rashee RiceQB Dak PrescottTE Dalton KincaidRB Jamyr GibbsQB Jordan Love
4WR Elijah MooreTE George KittleQB Patrick MahomesWR Brandon AiyukWR Amari CooperRB Gus Edwards
5RB Devin SingletaryRB Kyren WilliamsQB Jalen HurtsWR Puka NacuaTE Isiah LikelyWR Odell Beckham Jr
6QB Jared GoffRB David MontgomeryWR AJ BrownWR Cooper KuppRB Isiah PachecoRB Tony Pollard
7WR Jameson WilliamsQB Matthew StaffordTE Sam LaPortaRB Jerome FordWR Mike EvansQB Tua Tagovailoa
8RB Raheem MostertWR Nico CollinsWR Zay FlowersTE David NjokuQB Baker MayfieldWR Jayden Reed
9WR Diontae JohnsonTE Jake FergusonRB De’Von AchaneQB Joe FlaccoWR Brandin CooksRB D’Andre Swift
10WR Chris GodwinRB Justice HillWR Devonta SmithRB Eli Mitchell WR Jaylen WaddleTE Tucker Kraft

Playoff Contest Strategy

The skeleton key to these contests is striking the right balance between scoring enough points in the Wild Card Round to advance to the next week while also having enough Super Bowl players on your roster to compete on the final weekend. In short, one strategy could be picking players from the Wild Card team(s) that have the best shot at making it to The Big Game.

Let’s take a look at those teams (odds accurate as of Jan. 8).

TeamOdds to Make Super BowlImplied Win Rate

What About The Ravens And 49ers?

The Ravens and 49ers are already locked in the top overall seed in each conference. While drafting Lamar Jackson and Brock Purdy are perfectly fine picks – ones that likely win some rounds later on – the first goal is to advance past Wild Card Weekend. Because of that, you’d think Jackson (or even Christian McCaffrey) would fall further in the draft than expected. However, their Underdog Average Draft Position for these contests has been in the first round.

Players like CeeDee Lamb, Puka Nacua, and Jahmyr Gibbs will be in high demand.

Player Selection Strategy

The rest of your draft strategy falls on your own risk tolerance. Do you want to load up on the two teams you believe make the Super Bowl, knowing there’s a chance your roster is entirely out by Round 2? Do you want to diversify your roster a bit, hoping that this year’s parity knocks the top contenders out? Will you roll the dice on Jackson or CMC, hoping you advance through Round 1 without a staple player?

Chances are, the largest-pool winners strike gold on the first strategy.

Winners further differentiate themselves by finding playoff breakouts in late rounds. Many boom-or-bust players like Amari Cooper and Evan Engram can decide the contest. With smaller pools, players can be more conservative. But in large Guaranteed Prize Pools (GPPs), players must be aggressive and hit on those later-round gems.

One potential example: Ravens star TE Mark Andrews is injured and has an Underdog ADP in the last round of these contests, but what if he comes back healthy in the divisional round?

Best of luck and have fun playing fantasy football during NFL playoffs!

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