NFL DFS Week 9 Picks
Last week was a classic example of how much of a roller-coaster NFL DFS can be. You either won with Evans/Kupp or had to fight through the day with short TDs to Metcalf while yelling at the TV at the utter lack of proper play-calling for every single Fournette goal-line touch. Throw in some expletives about the early whistle by the refs on the ill-fated Fournette 1 yard touchdown. Ah, well. Them’s the breaks sometimes when it comes to playing NFL DFS. In the meantime, come check out all the goodies that DailyRoto has to offer! Even my terrible picks have had some pizzazz to them lately, with the QB picks nearly a lock for the past month. Nearly I say only due to the Seahawks’ unfathomable ability to turn into a salt-infested slug whenever they have a decent lead going into the second half. Pitiful!
Stop me if you’ve heard this before – Wilson is once again one of the best QB plays on the slate. As I mentioned before, whenever the Seachickens manage a solid lead, they tend to milk the clock and run the most boring offense possible to chew away the game. It’s extremely frustrating from a fantasy standpoint, but that’s just the risk you have to accept in order to plug in a stud QB play. He’ll face a Bucs defense that continues to shoot themselves in the foot with blown assignments and ineptitude from the secondary. Add in Jameis Winston’s proclivity to turnovers resulting in short fields for opposing teams (see – Tannehill’s two short TDs were results of two Winston turnovers). The Bucs continue to operate as the best overall run defense in the NFL (1st DVOA, 5th best-graded run defense) with by far the fewest rushing yards surrendered (lowest average total rush yards per game and lowest YPC). As a result, teams have thrown at the highest rate against the poor Bucs with tremendous results. They’ve surrendered the 9th most passing yards to opposing QBs with the T-7th most pass TDs allowed. You know the deal with Wilson – he’s been an MVP candidate and a top ten fantasy scorer….provided the Seahawks actually run their offense for the full game. Chances are even if the Seahawks do shut it down early, Wilson will have padded his stats by then due to the nature of a run-funnel Bucs defense. Lock him in and pray.
Whew. Stafford’s price finally caught up with his big fantasy season. He added his 4th 300/3 TD game of the season in a rout against the Giants last week. He’ll get yet another cake match-up against an Oakland defense that just got shredded by Deshaun Watson and his swollen eye. The Lions have been a pass-heavy team as of late (64% last 3 games), both due in part to the Kerryon Johnson injury and Stafford’s sizzling play, which bodes well for Stafford’s ceiling against a 29th DVOA Oakland pass defense. They’re also running at the 11th highest pace, a number that would likely rank top ten if they’d stop having slow starts (17th slowest 1st half, 9th fastest 2nd half). Oakland’s pass defense has allowed the 6th most fantasy points to opposing QBs with the T-2nd most pass TDs allowed. Both Golladay and Marvin Jones are healthy with slot Danny Amendola at full health as well. Stafford has two healthy legs and a rifle of an arm. Oakland does not possess a pass defense. What’s not to like here?
On a slate where every QB seems to have been priced well above their usual range, the cheap-ish QB options aren’t very appealing. Brissett is always a solid option whenever he’s priced below the DK 6k floor, while Rivers’ bottom cellar price is both laughable and a grim tale of the Chargers’ season thus far. Carr seems to offer the best of both worlds as a cheap QB with real upside. Carr has legitimately been a top-five QB this season if you just look at the analytics and ignore his actual stats. He’s tied with Cousins for the best completion percentage, ranks 2nd best in QB rating under pressure, and has seen his YPA steadily increase over the past few weeks with now the 10th highest mark. And he just got back his best WR in Tyrell Williams the past week! Sure, he’s only thrown for 11 total TDs and is on pace for barely 3k passing but much of that can be attributed to an early-season slow-but-steady offense that’s started to kick it up a gear as the team melds together.
Carr’s YPA in the last two games went up from his piddling 6.4 YPA average (ignoring Week 1’s 10.0 YPA but if you do insist, 7.12 with it) to a 10.5 and 9.5, while adding his two highest passing yard games and his first 3 TD game of the season. Having one of the best deep threats in Tyrell Williams has obviously bolstered Carr’s fantasy ceiling, making Carr a must-have as a value QB play off of price alone. He’ll get a Detroit defense that started the season strong with a top ten ranked defense but has fallen off over the past month. The Lions pass defense without Darius Slay has just been largely average (22nd DVOA overall) and teams have started to catch on Patricia’s defensive scheme regardless of Slay’s participation. They’ve now given up the 11th most points to opposing QBs with a run defense that’s continued to deteriorate over the past few weeks (19th DVOA, 8th worst graded run defense). That should allow Carr to run the offense without any hitches and if his last few games are any indication, he’ll more than double his fantasy return for his salary relief.
BOOST ‘EM UP!
Okay, yeah. It’s just a game stack in the QB aisle over here. Truthfully, there are a couple of QBs worthy of a slight boost but I felt compelled to warn write about Famous Jameis. As many of you know, Winston thrives in garbage time after he puts his team into perilous situations with his ill-advised interceptions and has to attempt a “comeback” if you can even call it that. Still, the fantasy world cares not for his predilection towards turnovers as long as Winston pads the stat sheet with plenty of yards and touchdowns. That may very well be the timeline for Winston against a Seattle defense that just allowed Matt Schaub to pass for 480 yards! It would have been their 3rd 400+ passing yards given up had Goff just mustered 5 more passing yards. It’s a trend that’s continued for most of the season as the Seahawks just don’t play fundamental football in the secondary. They’ve allowed the 3rd most passing yards but only the T-8th fewest touchdowns, taking their bend-but-don’t-break defense to the absolute limits weekly. Winston very well could join the 400-yard club with his two stud WRs and an offense that’s been skewing towards a pass-heavy offense (67% last 3 games) as teams continue to gain early big leads on the Bucs. Seattle may be 19th DVOA against the pass but Winston makes every defense look like the 2019 Patriots, ranking a pathetic 24th in QB rating with clean pockets and 20th under pressure. Still, he gets points! And Seattle sure loves to play prevent defense in the later games while giving absolutely no cares on whether or not the QB gains yardage as long as it isn’t a touchdown. Crank up the volatility to your max tolerance and accept either the best Winston game of his life or a halftime benching.
Yes, it’s another week of FADE CMC AT YOUR OWN RISK! Thankfully, Cook has just been as stupendous as CMC on a lesser level. He’s been tearing it up since his Week 1 explosion with a top-three RB pace thus far. He’s now up to 7th most redzone opportunities with the 4th most redzone carries among RBs. Add in his increasing pass-work (65 routes ran Week 1-4, 81 Week 5-8) that’s steadily pushed Cook to near top 10 RB metrics as a receiver. Sprinkle in the 2nd run-heaviest Vikings (53%), a number that’s stayed steady all season (54% last 3). We all saw what Aaron Jones did to the poor Chiefs through the ground and air, so it makes complete sense that Cook could very well do the same thing. After all, he’s been an elite RB all season and his increased receiving work should be a boon against a KC run D that’s now giving up the most points to opposing RBs. Run heavy offense, worst graded run defense and 30th DVOA, elite RB production with plenty of RZ equity. Yeah, I like my odds.
With the prices being pushed up overall, for the most part, the value RB plays took a hit for this particular slate. Instead of diving into the 4-5k range on DraftKings, it would be more prudent to grab one of the enticing 7k options and look elsewhere for relief. Jones is in a position where he could be worth paying up for and still maintain as a great value. While Jamaal Williams is going to be a thing as long as he’s healthy, Jones still maintained a 60% snap rate and has been quite productive in the redzone as the clear scoring option. He’s turned 26 RZ opportunities into 9 total touchdowns with half of those touches coming from inside the 10. A recent trend that also bolsters Jones as a great RB play has been his increased role as a receiver. Last week was Jones’ most snaps split out wide so far this season, and he gave his thanks to the Packers with a 7/159/2 receiving stat-line on 8 targets! Impressive! He’ll need all the touches he can get against a soft Chargers run defense that’s surrendered the 5th most rushing yards. Derwin isn’t expected back anytime soon so the injury-riddled Chargers D likely will still be relatively easy to run on. They rank bottom 10 as both a pass and run defense, allowing the Packers to be business as usual for their well-oiled offense (for now?). Davante Adams’ status is still up in the air but if he’s still sidelined, then Jones should be able to maintain his increased snaps split out wide. Vroom, vroom!
BOOST ‘EM UP!
Coming back from injury, Singletary was understandably eased in against the tanking Dolphins. His snap rate jumped up from 38% to 67% in the last two games, which matches his Week 1 usage at 68%. The Bills clearly want Singletary to be their playmaking bellcow despite Gore’s consistency at churning out 3-4 yards a carry but zero explosive plays. Singletary has largely been used as a pass weapon, racking up 6 targets last week with a solid 4/30/1 stat-line. He’s just not getting enough touches in relation to his snap count usage. But that very well could change against a Redskins team that’s about to become extinct. The Redskins run defense has been a mess for most of the season after a solid early start, hemorrhaging fantasy points and rushing yards to opposing RBs (4th most). Worst of all, they’ve been getting absolutely slashed by receiving backs, giving up the T-2nd most receptions to opposing RBs. That’s great news for Singletary if his pass-catching role is still his main source for yardage. I’m banking on his increased snap count and the Redskins’ inability to cover running backs for a potentially big day from Singletary. It doesn’t hurt that he’s very price friendly. Dropping a 20 boost to get him to a positive value (barely) and a 50 volatility to account for the Bills being the Bills.
With the lack of a clear option or two, game-stacking seems like the most optimal use for the slate’s WRs. Lockett/Metcalf stacks should be popular and are currently my favorite, while others might look to bring it back with a Bucs WR or two. Personally, I think it’s Godwin’s turn to drop 40 this week with how dreadful the Seahawks’ slot coverage has been, but that duo is just too unpredictable to take only one of Evans/Godwin. Stack ’em!
Then you’ve got the Vikings with a healthy Thielen back on the team and Diggs making a remarkable resurgence as an elite deep threat (leads all WRs in YPR/R and 7th most air yards). Full-stack with Cook? Could work, but I lean towards running single Cooks since Mahomes won’t be back once again. That limits the possibility of a shoot-out even if Matt Moore has just been a fine and dandy back-up.
Even the Lions have a potential stacking game with Golladay/Jones and a little bit of Amendola. Much like the Vikings stacks, I much prefer single Golladays as the premier target with his 4th most air yards and 22% market share of the team’s targets.
They’re all fine stacks, but I think the Lockett/Metcalf gives more flexibility to build around the lineup and still maintain a high upside.
Going back into the Samuel well onceeeeeeee more! Yes, he’s recovering from a shoulder injury suffered due to diving for Allen’s inaccurate deep passes. He’s fine though (full participant) and still ranks 6th in air yards with a 14.7 aDOT. Too bad Allen just still hasn’t been able to perfect his deep passing, often missing long bombs to Samuel that could go for a 70-yard touchdown. Sigh. You know the deal with Samuel as a huge risk/reward WR play. My reasoning for placing him here is mostly due to how much of a stalwart the Titans run defense has been in general. They rank 2nd DVOA and grades out as the best run defense in the NFL. They’re also giving up the 2nd fewest explosive plays (20+) on the ground. It’s a run defense that’s continued to get stronger over the past month, only giving up 3.1 YPC over the last 3 games (3.9 on the season). The Titans are not dissimilar to the Bucs’ run-funnel defense as they rank 20th DVOA against the pass with one of the most picked on cornerbacks in the NFL, Malcolm Butler. He’s been strong against WRs who lack deep speed but has been taken to the shed against anybody with actual speed (12th most yards given up). All it takes is one well-placed bomb for Samuel to double his value at his current price. Worth the risk to me.
BOOST ‘EM UP!
Man, oh man. Poor Robinson. Dude has had to deal with both Blake Bortles and Mitch Trubisky as his quarterbacks. He’s still plugging away with solid stat-lines but just hasn’t had a blow-up game yet. Yet being the keyword here. He gets an Eagles defense famous for giving smash spots to anyone that can run a route. The good news about A-Rob – he most certainly can run a route! 273 routes to be specific, but I digress. Robinson still corrals a 26% MS/T of the overall targets with 31% MS/T of the RZ targets. The Eagles have given up the most fantasy points to opposing WRs, with the 4th most yards surrendered and T-2nd most receiving TDs. C’mon, guys. If there ever was a time to use a stinky Bears receiver, it’s THIS WEEK! I don’t care how bad Troob is as a QB nor Nagy’s ineptitude at understanding game fundamentals such as running for a closer field goal. I don’t care! The Eagles are putrid against competent #1 WRs and have been for years. Look at who they’re trodding out at cornerback these days! Give me alllll of the A-Rob this week! He deserves a 10 boost in my very humble opinion.
Here we go again with the TE roulette. You can’t go wrong with Kelce as a top TE play on any week….provided you’re okay with spending WR money for Kelce’s production. Yeah, I just heard you groan loudly. The Vikings do get targeted heavily in the middle with quick dump-offs with QBs screaming at the sight of Danielle Hunter and electing to throw it to the closest guy in their vicinity. That’d explain why the Vikings have seen the most targets by opposing TEs, which would also explain why they’ve given up the 6th most yards on the T-2nd most catches allowed. Unfortunately, they’ve given up zero touchdowns to TEs. Womp, womp. Kelce could very well break that trend, but be prepared to be mildly disappointed with an 8/85/0 day.
Now, that’s more like it. While I do like Darren Waller as a top TE play, I think Henry might offer more upside against a Packers defense that’s forcing teams to target the middle with their 8th ranked DVOA pass defense. In his last three games since he returned from last season’s ACL injury, he’s picked up 23 targets as Rivers’ 2nd favorite target behind Keenan Allen. He got 4 RZ targets over that span with two successful touchdown grabs, picking up where he left off as a premier redzone weapon. The Packers happen to dislike redzone weapons like Henry, with the 3rd most TDs allowed to opposing TEs. Packers rank bottom ten in other metrics, but the takeaway here is: Henry good at football, Henry good at catching touchdowns, Packers bad at defending bigly targets in redzone, Packers no like athletic tight ends. Pay up for Henry and enjoy that TD equity!
Jonnu Smith/Cameron Brate/Josh Hill Greg Olsen
Just like last week, the cheap TE options are pretty straightforward but barely palatable. Walker looks like he’ll be out again which leaves all TE duties to Jonnu Smith, but he’ll be facing a Panthers defense that’s barely seen TE targets (3rd fewest) and rank top ten in stuff allowed to tight ends. Meh, serviceable? Then you’ve got Brate again if Howard is out (trending that way) against a torch-able Seahawks defense that’s allowed the 3rd most in stuff. Brate was in a similar spot last week and laid a goose egg, but his price is still too low not to take a flier on his high redzone usage on the snaps he’s played. Lastly, you’ve got the elder Greg Olsen against a Titans defense that’s sort of middle of the road against opposing TEs. They’re not awful but they’re not good. Olsen is kind of the same way, too. Some games you love his 7 target games, then you bemoan his two reception games for barely any yards. Still, you have to respect his 3rd most routes ran in the slot among TEs. His price’s also low enough to take some fliers and not regret it later. Kind of like Thai food, as long as you don’t go too crazy on the heat.
BOOST ‘EM UP!
Ahhhhh, scraping at the bottom of the barrel here, eh? Well, I tried to find a TE play that I liked enough to boost them up a bit if the projections hated them. The problem with that is….the projections hate everybody. And so do I. And so do you! Still, I gotta put something here, so here are some mediocre numbers to chew on for Handy Vance.
- The Colts have allowed the 12th most yards on the 10th most targets.
- They also play a bend-but-don’t-break defense that allows plenty of dump-offs in front of them to limit big plays downfield.
- McDonald saw his most targets since his breakout two TD game in Week 3.
- Those 4 targets went for a whopping 19 yards and no touchdowns.
- We don’t know the status of James Conner, but if he were to miss the game then McDonald could potentially see more targets as Pitt would probably need to pass more. Maybe?
So, yeah. No boost. Volatility not needed here. Just a guy to think about…