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NFL DraftKings Week 9: Picks and Lineup Strategy

Regress to the mean. A very standard ebb and flow here as we experienced the highest of highs in Week 7 only to come crashing back down in Week 8. Flew a little too close to the sun, got a little too comfortable. Per usual though, we come back stronger than even as we dig deeper into the data and matchups for next week. Also, Zach Miller caught that ball in the end zone while his leg/knee was exploding so screw the referees for taking it away. Jerks.

Per usual, these follow standard DraftKings prices and consist of every NFL game of Week 9.

Quarterbacks

  • Top Shelf
    • Deshaun Watson ($8,100) – Watson has entered “matchup proof” territory as he gashed the Seahawks defense on the road. He’s likely to be a very popular play at home against a bad Colts defense that’s missing a couple key secondary members.
    • Drew Brees ($7,000) – Brees at home in the Super Dome against a Tampa Bay defense that has repeatedly struggled defending the pass. With all the attention Watson should get, Brees can save you a thousand in salary while still likely to throw for 300+ and a few scores.
  • Retail Price
    • Dak Prescott ($6,700) – Now that Zeke is finally suspended, Dak’s going to be looked upon to shoulder a huge load for the Cowboys. Luckily, he welcomes the Chiefs defense that has struggled with defending the pass. Dak had been on fire until going into terrible passing conditions in Washington and having the benefit of just feeding Zeke all game.
    • Carson Wentz / Matthew Stafford ($6,100) – Wentz is likely to be an unpopular play taking on the Broncos defense, but the leading MVP candidate saw his salary drop over a thousand dollars. It’s going to be a tough task against Denver, but knowing what he can do makes for an intriguing play with this likely one week discount. As for Stafford, following a disappointing home loss on SNF should motivate the Lions to perform better against a divisional foe. The Packers haven’t been good in their secondary and Detroits receivers are getting healthier.
  • Bang For Your Buck
    • Jared Goff ($5,500) – The suspension of corner Janoris Jenkins is big time for Goff as that opens up the Giants secondary tremendously. He’s picking up steam this year now has the ability to spread it around to all his receivers with this elite corner stuck on the sideline.
    • Jacoby Brissett ($5,200) – In a game where Indy is likely to be throttled by the Texans on the road, Brissett should have the ball in his hands plenty while down a handful of points. Houston’s defense has been devastated with injuries and we’ve seen them involved in shootouts far too often.
    • Brock Osweiler ($4,500) – Just kidding! HA!

 

Running Backs

  • Top Shelf
    • Leonard Fournette ($8,400) – Fournette returns to action from the bye and with a healthy ankle which is good to see. He’s the cornerstone of Jacksonville’s offense and will be featured again versus Cincinnati. He has such a high floor thanks to his extreme workload.
    • Todd Gurley ($8,100) – Gurley is the other RB I would consider paying up for this week also because of his volume. He’s been a true bell cow this year and offers the same upside as the higher priced 8k or 9k players on the slate.
  • Retail Price
    • Christian McCaffrey ($6,500) – He might have boned me last week, but “Dairy Sanders” finds himself in a great Week 9 spot. The team just traded away Kelvin Benjamin, the teams top receiving weapon. This allows CMac to step up, on top of the fact that Atlanta has been terrible with pass catching running backs.
    • Alvin Kamara ($6,300) – Kamara’s value comes from the passing game and touchdowns he scores. It was harder to trust him with low rushing totals. His price went up this week following a week where Ingram fumbled twice and had a brief altercation with head coach Sean Payton. Kamara could be looking at an increased role in Week 9.
    • Chris Thompson ($6,100) – Thompson continues to be a beast for the Redskins and saw a season high in targets last week with nine. It’s likely to be another uphill battle against the Seahawks so Thompson will be present again catching passes out of the backfield.
    • Carlos Hyde ($5,200) – Hyde’s price dropped considerably as his usage rate has decreased over the course of the last few games. A divisional contest against the Drew Stanton led Cardinals could be exactly what Hyde and the 49ers need to pull out their first victory on the year.
  • Bang For Your Buck
    • Alex Collins ($4,600) – Collins ran like a man possessed last game against the Dolphins. He was quick on his feet and made people miss left and right. Flacco is rumored to be able to return this week but regardless the passing game has been less than stellar. Look for the Ravens to ride the hot hand of Collins.
    • DeAndre Washington ($4,200) – Washington had a large presence in the team’s passing game as he and Richard split time in Marshawn Lynch’s absence. Beast Mode still isn’t at team practice yet as of Tuesday and has been largely underwhelming in his Oakland stint. The Raiders could look to expand on Washington’s performance, especially against a Miami defense that was just lit up by Collins above.
    • Kenyan Drake ($4,000) – With Ajayi being shipped off to Philadelphia, Drake steps in as the Dolphins RB1. We expect him to get the lions share of touches over Damien Williams. Oakland has struggled with RBs, so perhaps taking a flier on Drake could pay off large dividends.
    • Orleans Darkwa ($3,800) – Darkwa had been turning in solid performances before the Giants dud performance against Seattle. The Rams defense has been vulnerable to the running back spot, and if the Giants want to establish tempo and a game flow it’s likely to be on the ground.

 

Wide Receivers

  • Top Shelf
    • Michael Thomas ($7,200) – If we expect big things from Brees at home against the Bucs, it would be likely that Thomas is the receiver with the highest ceiling. After continuously being picked on through the air, Saints receivers look like great plays this week. Thomas will be in my lineups.
    • Will Fuller ($7,000) – Likely to be heavily stacked with Watson this week, Fuller makes for a sensible play versus the Colts. This defense has been the worst against deep passes (15+ yards) and what receiver has been better with the deep ball and converting those into touchdowns? There isn’t one in the NFL right now.
  • Retail Price
    • Tyreek Hill ($6,700) – With the Chiefs playing ahead majority of the MNF game, Hill wasn’t needed for his patented big time play. It’s much harder to pull these off against the Broncos anyways, so now facing the struggling Cowboys defense should open things up for TyFreak. Add in the prime time 4:00 spot on television and Hill seems poised for a smash day.
    • Dez Bryant ($6,400) – On the other side, there’s Dez who looks fairly under priced at 6.4k. Kansas City has allowed yards and scores through the air, as the awful Trevor Siemian was able to look good at brief periods of time. Despite some coverage from Marcus Peters, this seems to be the game where Dez takes that step up to replace Ezekiel Elliott.
    • Marvin Jones ($5,600) – Double digit targets in back to back games and now facing a soft Packers secondary. Golden Tate looks like a nice play, but Jones offers more value in this contest.
    • Devin Funchess ($5,400) – Forced into the WR1 role with Kelvin Benjamin traded to the Bills, Funchess is left as Newton’s top target this week. Somebody has to make plays in the passing game and he’s really the only guy left. For that reduced WR2 price, why not?
    • Mohammed Sanu ($5,300) – Another game, another double digit performance from Sanu who is seemingly just as valuable as Julio Jones at the moment. A tough road matchup against the Panthers should make for a good game and Carolina has done very well shutting down the run.
    • Ted Ginn Jr ($5,000) – As mentioned earlier, we love Saints receivers this week and Ginn has been quietly good. Rather good for tournament plays, he’ll pay off when he takes that 80 yarder to the house and you’re left doing cartwheels.
  • Bang For Your Buck
    • Jamison Crowder ($4,900) – Crowder and Cousins appeared to finally get back in sync together with 13 targets. Terrelle Pryor has essentially been fazed out of the offense and Josh Doctson is slowly carving a role into this team. The Seahawks will be a tough task, but Crowder appears to be the guy in Washington, especially with Jordan Reed already ruled out.
    • Paul Richardson ($4,700) – Richardson ended up having the stat line and game I was expecting out of Doug Baldwin which was super frustrating. Nonetheless, he looks like a legit red zone and overall option for Seattle at receiver as the team continues to have no running game.
    • Sammy Watkins ($4,200) – The news of Janoris Jenkins being suspended was big time for Watkins who was likely to draw that coverage. Now he’s able to run much more free after three straight games against great #1 corners (Cardinals, Jaguars, Seahawks).
    • Robby Anderson ($4,200) – Anderson has become the deep threat I expected him to be at the start of the season, only it’s taken McCown and the offense a bit longer to become relevant. With touchdowns in back to back games and favorable home splits, Anderson is worth a look in the Thursday slate against Buffalo.
    • Dede Westbrook ($3,500) – Here’s your longshot receiver play of the week. Westbrook was a stud in the preseason before landing on the IR designated to return. Well, now he’s back and ready to add some more life into Jacksonville’s passing game and offense as a whole.

 

Tight Ends

  • Top Plays
    • Zach Ertz ($6,800) – Another week, another score for Ertz. As consistent as they come at the TE spot. That won’t change this week, even if it’s Denver.
    • Jimmy Graham ($5,000) – Graham has scored in three straight and is looking like the beast we all know him to be. A home matchup with the Redskins is a plus for him as Washington has struggled with covering tight ends.
  • Bargain Plays
    • Jack Doyle ($4,300) – Doyle was a target HOG last week with 14 going for 12 catches, 121 yards and a score. As we mentioned with Brissett, Indy will likely be behind and have to throw a decent amount to keep up. Doyle is the guy most comfortable with the young QB at the moment.
    • Tyler Higbee ($2,800) – Trust the flow chart. Tight ends facing the Giants always score. Even if they are very low priced Tyler Higbee of the Rams.

Defense

  • Top Plays
    • Jacksonville Jaguars ($3,800) – At home against Andy Dalton who only really won because his defense bailed him out with a defensive score, while the team refuses to establish a running game. This sets up nicely.
    • Seattle Seahawks ($3,500) – Seattle at home is always a good call, and when turnover prone Kirk Cousins comes to town it looks even nicer.
    • Philadelphia Eagles ($3,300) – Brock Osweiler is starting for the Broncos. That is all.
  • Bargain Plays
    • Baltimore Ravens ($2,900) – Sure there’s recency bias for the Ravens who just destroyed the Dolphins, but now they face the Titans who barely beat the Browns in overtime. That team as a whole is struggling.
    • Carolina Panthers ($2,700) – Matt Ryan and the Falcons have really struggled in life post-Kyle Shanahan, while Carolina continues to be one of the sneaky better teams in the league fueled by their defense. Not a bad value play here.

Be sure to let me know how much money I won you, @theJMcGuinness.

Also, last week’s picks can be referenced here.

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