Underdog Fantasy Football During NFL Playoffs: 2024 Contests, Rules, Prizes, Strategy
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:
|The Big Mitten
|The Little Gauntlet
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:
- The Mitten 3: $25K first place prize.
- The Big Mitten: $30K first place prize.
- The Little Gauntlet: $20K first place prize.
- The Gauntlet: $150K first place prize.
While the exact number differs, generally, the top 5-33% of finishers are paid out.
TheLines.com Staff Underdog Draft For NFL Playoffs
|WR Tyreek Hill
|WR CeeDee Lamb
|QB Baker Mayfield
|QB Lamar Jackson
|WR Stefon Diggs
|RB Kareem Hunt
|QB Brock Purdy
|TE Travis Kelce
|RB James Cook
|WR Deebo Samuel
|WR Amon-Ra St. Brown
|QB CJ Stroud
|WR Rashee Rice
|QB Dak Prescott
|TE Dalton Kincaid
|RB Jamyr Gibbs
|QB Jordan Love
|WR Elijah Moore
|TE George Kittle
|QB Patrick Mahomes
|WR Brandon Aiyuk
|WR Amari Cooper
|RB Gus Edwards
|RB Devin Singletary
|RB Kyren Williams
|QB Jalen Hurts
|WR Puka Nacua
|TE Isiah Likely
|WR Odell Beckham Jr
|QB Jared Goff
|RB David Montgomery
|WR AJ Brown
|WR Cooper Kupp
|RB Isiah Pacheco
|RB Tony Pollard
|WR Jameson Williams
|QB Matthew Stafford
|TE Sam LaPorta
|RB Jerome Ford
|WR Mike Evans
|QB Tua Tagovailoa
|RB Raheem Mostert
|WR Nico Collins
|WR Zay Flowers
|TE David Njoku
|QB Baker Mayfield
|WR Jayden Reed
|WR Diontae Johnson
|TE Jake Ferguson
|RB De’Von Achane
|QB Joe Flacco
|WR Brandin Cooks
|RB D’Andre Swift
|WR Chris Godwin
|RB Justice Hill
|WR Devonta Smith
|RB Eli Mitchell
|WR Jaylen Waddle
|TE 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).
|Odds to Make Super Bowl
|Implied 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.
- Join TheLines.com’s free sports betting Discord with more than 4,000 community members and our staff sharing betting ideas every day. Go to the #roles server to get push notifications to the Discord app from TheLines.com staff when they lock in a bet.
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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