In a fissured Week 9 Main slate that’s nothing pretty at a surface glance, featuring the likes of the Buffalo Bills (who I feel like have been home for the entire season) hosting the Redskins, the Titans visiting the Panthers, and the Cleveland Browns going into Mile High.
Not the most appealing variety.
But when it comes to fantasy matchups, there are actually several points in this slate that I find to be potential hinging points for the start of your rosters if you’re hand-building. If you’re using an optimizer (ie: Fantasy Cruncher or Roto QL), these spots are ones I would personally suggest being bumped up in your projection in order to generate more of them in your builds.
The thing is, in order to afford a number of these coveted plays we’ll get into momentarily, we’re going to have to rely on some savvy spend-down options without trying to get too cute with where we are striving for savings. Let’s get to it and figure out a method to the madness, because there are some pricey players with some excellent matchups on their plates.
Although the slate may be muddied with a lack of fireworks on both sides of some fields, Week 9 has some pockets of players (namely up at the top of the pricing) who are in some outstanding matchups that can be exploited in spots with what’s looking to be lower ownership. Running backs are especially loaded with some must-haves, from the McCaffreys to the Gores, it’s hard to miss at the position as a whole (at least from how it looks).
So if you’re mass-multi entering, also known as MME, then I would be sure to be getting to the entire gamut of the number of stellar offerings. Dalvin Cook, Nick Chubb, Christian McCaffrey, James Conner (should he play), and even Jaylen Samuels regardless of Conner’s health, are all going to be among my higher exposed players and I see myself getting to running backs at the flex in most of my roster construction.
But the quarterback position is one strewn about with some high ceilings at the top with Russell Wilson at home in raucous Seattle against the Buccaneers 26th-ranked pass defense (per Football Outsiders DVOA rankings), down to Derek Carr at home in the Black Hole against a shaky Detroit Lions secondary who ranks 22nd in the same category. Baker Mayfield is the cheapest he’s been all year on DraftKings at $5,100, but going into Mile High isn’t the most welcoming venture so I’ll be leaning heavily on Carr to burden the load in regards to frugality.
I feel much more the necessity to get to as many of the running backs as possible, and the list above is only the tip of the iceberg. Le’Veon Bell, Aaron Jones, Derrick Henry, and Royce Freeman/Phillip Lindsay are all nearly every bit as enticing to roster (which I will be doing).
You can also go the spend-up route at quarterback if you’d like, but at that rate you’re gambling on the ceilings of Russell Wilson and Aaron Rodgers (and possibly Patrick Mahomes) to pay off the $1,400+ difference between them compared to Carr with a trio of top backs (or two top backs with Darren Waller). By all means, you do you, but I know exactly where my priorities will be focused in these running backs over the top field generals.
Derek Carr, OAK ($5,500 DK/$7,300 FD)
Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)
Spend-Up GPP Pivot: Matthew Stafford, DET ($6,800 DK/$7,900 FD)
Direct GPP Pivot: Philip Rivers, LAC ($5,100 DK/$7,200 FD)
If you happened to have checked out my latest Waiver Wire article for season-long leagues, you must think I’m either a massive Derek Carr fan or heavily invested in a prop bet ticket on the guy. While I happen to be a Fresno-native, and can attest to how exciting a time it was living there while he and Davante Adams were tearing it up in the Central Valley, I can assure you that this is not my reason for advocacy on the Main slate for Week 9.
Besides his rough outing against Chicago (a top-7 defense in DVOA rankings), Carr has engineered fantasy productivity that’s been a bit overlooked considering the lack of boom his raw numbers have disillusioned a tad. In fact, it’s moreover the lofty expectations the public has attached to him from his NFL inception. He’s thrown for one interception since Week 4 and averaging over 20 DK points since the Raiders’ bye week in Week 6.
It won’t take a landslide of points to pay off his price tag, and given the matchup with the mediocre-at-best Detroit secondary, who has but one interception since Week 3, and the defense as a whole is averaging 29.8 points per game in that five-game sample size. They’ve also given up the most passing yards per game (289.7) in the entire league. The ceiling is promising here, and at a discount compared to the other quarterbacks worth considering (one being on the opposite side of this field in Matthew Stafford, whom I’ll be rostering as my spend-up hedge pivot to my lineup shares of Carr).
In order to get the shares of upscale running backs in one roster, a discount elsewhere will be necessary and Derek Carr provides the salary relief being sought (especially when paired with one of his wide receivers).
Cash QB Considerations:
Russell Wilson, SEA ($7,100 DK/$8,600 FD)
Kirk Cousins, MIN ($6,700 DK/$7,800 FD)
Aaron Rodgers, GB ($6,900 DK/$8,100 FD)
Jacoby Brissett, IND ($5,600 DK/$7,300 FD)
GPP QB Considerations:
*Patrick Mahomes, KC ($7,000 DK/$8,500 FD)
Jameis Winston, TB ($6,100 DK/$7,500 FD)
Josh Allen, BUF ($6,500 DK/$7,700 FD)
Philip Rivers, LAC ($5,100 DK/$7,200 FD)
DART-THROW GPP QB:
Ryan Fitzpatrick, MIA ($4,800 DK/$7,000 FD)
*Monitor Injury Status Throughout The Week
Aaron Jones, GB ($7,000 DK/$7,700 FD)
Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)
Spend-Down GPP Pivot: Jamaal Williams, GB ($5,900 DK/$5,400 FD)
Direct GPP Pivot: Josh Jacobs, OAK ($6,500 DK/$7,200 FD)
The Green Bay Packers began the season with countless questions swirling around how Matt LaFleur’s offense would mesh with the merits of Aaron Rodgers and Co. Much to the surprise of several doubters, the Pack is back, and in fact of many thanks to the strides of Aaron Jones.
Jones has been the epitome of a stud running back this season, while only really being chalky the week following his monster performance (and naturally being one of his mere two under-performing weeks). He’s averaging 23.8 DraftKings Fantasy Points per game, which is the third-highest among running backs in 2019 to this point. While his offensive snap percentage appears to fluctuate from week to week, it’s namely due to his injury-prone nature that takes him out of the game at times between plays (and the most recent instance just last week against the Chiefs), while Jamaal Williams makes as a great pivot considering he is about 2/3 as involved as Jones these days, with roughly a 15% difference in snap involvement from game-to-game on average (ie: 46% for Williams, 64% for Jones in Week 8).
And with how bad this Chargers defense is against both facets of ball movement [through ground & air], ranking 24th against the pass and 25th against the rush in the latest Football Outsiders DVOA Defensive Efficiency Ratings, I would be led to believe that Rodgers will coast Green Bay to an early lead and ride on the productive coattails of Jones and Williams to clean-up the remainder of the game (see: garbage-time touchdowns also).
Aaron Jones’ moderate price tag combined with offensive ceiling and promising matchup make him a staple of my roster construction in Week 9, with no shying away from the pivot down to Jamaal Williams in slightly more contrarian builds and balanced exposure to the same backfield.
Cash Game RB Considerations:
Dalvin Cook, MIN ($9,500 DK/$9,000 FD)
Derrick Henry, TEN ($5,700 DK/$6,800 FD)
Marlon Mack, IND ($6,300 DK/$6,900 FD)
Nick Chubb, CLE ($7,300 DK/$8,100 FD)
Jaylen Samuels, PIT ($4,000 DK/$5,000 FD)
GPP RB Considerations:
Christian McCaffrey, CAR ($10,000 DK/$9,700 FD)
Phillip Lindsay, DEN ($5,300 DK/$6,200 FD)
Royce Freeman, DEN ($4,900 DK/$6,100 FD)
Austin Ekeler, LAC ($6,000 DK/$6,500 FD)
LeSean McCoy, KC ($4,800 DK/$6,000 FD)
DART-THROW GPP RB:
Adrian Peterson, WAS ($4,200 DK/$5,700 FD)
Tyler Lockett, SEA ($7,500 DK/$7,500 FD)
Consideration: Cash Games, GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)
Spend-Down GPP Pivot: D.K. Metcalf, SEA ($5,700 DK/$6,700 FD)
Direct GPP Pivot: Stefon Diggs, MIN ($7,600 DK/$7,900 FD)
It’s home sweet home for the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday, welcoming the thunder of the 12th Man to the visiting Buccaneers. And as the lead Seattle pass-catcher opposing the Tampa Bay secondary, things couldn’t get much sweeter for Tyler Lockett on Sunday afternoon.
Facing a Tampa Bay pass defense that’s given up the second most passing yards per game all year (285.9), Lockett is in line to torch the field as he’s currently averaging 17.1 DKFP per game. He’s also been involved in the special teams game as kick returner and has scored four touchdowns by that route in addition to his four receiving touchdowns on the year.
I plan on getting to an equal amount of spend-down pivot D.K. Metcalf as well, and certainly both are fine together in Seattle stacks including Russell Wilson of course. The difference in the two besides the price tag is distinctly the offensive snap percentage, with Lockett always in the high 90-percentile while Metcalf hovers in the 70-80% range of snaps despite only trailing in targets on the season by nine in total.
I believe the Bucs are all but broken, with a high-flying offense that uninspiringly counters with a pass defense that’s every bit as bad as their own passing offense is good. Both Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf are standout plays regardless of ownership on Sunday, and I will likely be besting the field’s ownership of both.
Cash Game WR Considerations:
Tyrell Williams, OAK ($5,900 DK/$6,300 FD)
Tyreek Hill, KC ($7,400 DK/$7,700 FD)
Kenny Golladay, DET ($7,700 DK/$7,600 FD)
Cole Beasley, BUF ($4,100 DK/$5,600 FD)
Chris Godwin, TB ($7,300 DK/$8,200 FD)
Adam Thielen, MIN ($7,800 DK/$7,100 FD)
GPP WR Considerations:
T.Y. Hilton, IND ($6,500 DK/$7,400 FD)
Allen Robinson, CHI ($6,800 DK/$7,200 FD)
JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT ($6,300 DK/$7,300 FD)
Mike Evans, TB ($7,200 DK/$8,100 FD)
Danny Amendola, DET ($4,700 DK/$6,000 FD)
DART-THROW GPP WR:
Hunter Renfrow, OAK ($4,100 DK/$5,400 FD)
T.J. Hockenson, DET ($3,700 DK/$5,000 FD)
Consideration: GPP (All Entry Field Sizes)
Spend-Up GPP Pivot: Travis Kelce, KC ($6,900 DK/$6,700 FD)
Direct GPP Pivot: Dallas Goedert, PHI ($3,100 DK/$5,000 FD)
Although he has been on a skid the past three weeks, one could argue the matchups were rather stiff opposition against the tight end position according to Football Outsiders DVOA rankings versus receiver type (NYG are 6th against TE; MIN is 2nd). His worst week was against the Giants last week, but better days remain ahead for the rookie tight end.
Hockenson is averaging five targets per game (excluding last week’s one target against the Giants) and involved in just under 70% of snaps on offense (65% on average to date). The Raiders defense ranks 29th against the tight end position, as well as 29th against the pass, which adds up to a very high ceiling given the potential on-field we’ve witnessed from Hockenson earlier in the year. And when Matt Stafford finds a weakness to exploit, he tends to beat it over the head the entire game (see: Marvin Jones in Week 7).
Should the Raiders’ weakness against the tight end come to exposure on Sunday, you can best be certain that Hockenson will be eating, and most likely from the red zone. With tons of attention seeming to be focused on Zach Ertz this weekend, T.J. Hockenson will be in more lineups than I would’ve initially anticipated, in both my hand-builds as well as optimizer lineups generated.