Week 9 DraftKings Preview
Welcome back to another week of DFS! Let me start off by saying, this is my largest player pool of the season. However, that will quickly change as news breaks and inactives are released Sunday morning. I generally play 3-5 lineups and rarely reach the 7-9 lineup range. While this feels like a week I could get there, I prefer to eliminate plays throughout Sunday morning and concentrate my player pool in a manner that maximizes my financial upside while also being cognizant of not being over-leveraged. As always, I will try to pay down at TE and DEF as often as I can. You can read previous articles where I discuss why I usually pay down at those high-variance positions. Now, let’s dive in to my Saturday night player pool for week 9!
Much like every single week this year, Russ starts us off. He’s expensive so not a must, but he simply has some of the best point per dollar upside each week. Not much to say other than he’s cooking, so let’s have seat and see what the chef serves. Seattle games have the highest combined point totals and play volume on the year making Josh Allen my next target. He’s played poorly since week 5, but I think a lot of that has been matchup and/or weather related. The Bills are also a hyper adaptive coaching staff so playing against recent run funnels could attribute to his low output. Seattle is this years premier pass funnel. They stuff the run, and the Bills don’t force the run so there’s no reason to think they try to do it against a Seattle defense that is actually good against the run. These reasons are why I prefer Allen over Russ based on price. I think they have similar outcomes which is going to push me towards the cheaper player. Herbert has been phenomenal since taking over. Oakland is poor against the run so it’s possible I cross Herbert off my list by lock tomorrow. I also expect Oakland to slow the chargers down and possibly play with a lead which would hinder Herbert’s play volume. Nonetheless, he has been fantastic. The Ryan/Lock combo is simple. High total, indoors, Atlanta’s defense sucks and Denver’s is severely injured. What’s also interesting about Denver is their recent increase in pace. I am hoping they revive Atlanta’s early season pace and we get ourselves a good old fashioned shootout in Georgia. And by old fashioned I mean modern because that old fashioned stuff is kind of boring. I mean who wants to watch Gurley run the ball 25 times anyways? Anyways, keep in mind that Atlanta is a pass funnel so that works in Lock’s favor as well and the difference in price puts him just above Ryan for me. Here’s to hoping Lock doesn’t pull a Jimmy G this week.
Note: Lamar is 6.9k this week. That’s the cheapest he’s been in ages. He is a great tournament play because we know what he can do. As of Saturday night I am unsure about playing Him, but will contemplate this one.
Running Back is very long this week and that has to do with the injury news I’m waiting on. This will be cut in half or more by lock tomorrow. Let me start this section acknowledging CMC’s return. There is uncertainty with his workload this week, but he is cheap and the matchup is great. I may add him to my player pool, but feels like Davis could still be involved more than we prefer. Similar to Lamar, this will require further thought tomorrow morning. On to Dalvin. He’s a monster, high total and Detroit sucks. That’s it. Minus the High total, same goes for Henry. Last week Cook was Leverage off Henry and Hunt so it’s possible that could reversed this week. By the way, Bears/Titans has some sneaky appeal. Robinson is in a great matchup and gets the passing down work. However, that could be diminished this week with Chris Thompson’s return. The Jags should be able to run all over the Texans, but does that matter if you’re down 30? This is why like David Johnson at his cheap price. Jags Defense should be healthier after the bye, but I think that helps their pass D more than the run D. The blowout factor could take me off Robinson, but there is a world where Jacksonville gets Robinson going early and he goes off. Edmonds is playing a run funnel as a home favorite without Kenyan Drake. Only negative factor is Kyler stealing the rushing TD’s much like he did to Drake. Edmonds is explosive and should have a nice day, but I am cognizant of Murray’s rushing presence. Josh Jacobs is shaping up to be a phenomenal Leverage play this week. If you think Oakland wins or keeps it close then he could blow up. The chargers allow the 6th most yards per attempt, according to Pro Football Reference.
They don’t allow a ton of yards per game, but data always has a story behind it. Since Herbert took over, they have forced teams to pass more by jumping out to early leads. The Chargers have played fast and aggressive with Herbert. Of course, they couldn’t get any slower either. With this context, we can derive that the Chargers probably don’t have too many attempts against them in the run game.
Well would you look at that. They are 30th in rushing attempts against. I understand they only haver 7 games under their belt but nearly half the league has had their bye so I think we have enough data points strongly consider Jacobs this week. He has been awful since week 1, but that’s why he was such an easy fade in drafts. We know that after the Panthers, his schedule was going to be difficult so we have to keep that in mind when considering recent results. The other thing to consider is his lack of pass catching. If you think the Chargers do what they have been doing then you should consider Waller over Jacobs because once the Raiders get down big, he is largely useless. Essentially, this is a game theory play. IF you think Oakland either keeps this close or leads most of the game THEN Jacobs is a premier play based on price and matchup. Vegas thinks they do, and I think they do so hopefully we’re both right.
Enough Josh Jacobs talk. Gordon is only in play IF Philip Lindsey is ruled out. Atlanta is a pass funnel, yet they are bottom 3 in receptions allowed to RB’s which makes Gordon a solid volume play on a PPR site. IF Lindsey plays then I avoid both. The final 3 are potential salary savers. Dallas showed last week he can put up points, and Carson/Hyde are out again this week. Alex Collins was activated to the gameday roster and a healthy Homer could syphon some work from Dallas but he’s cheap and in a top 3 offense. Swift can blow up at any moment, and with no Golladay it’s possible they utilize Swift as a pass catcher more. However, the Lions are one of the worst offensive staffs in football so you can’t bank on them being smart. We just know that Swift’s usage is growing and he has RB1 upside, but it only matters what Darrell Bevell thinks. Jackson is playable as the other RB in the Oakland/LAC game. If Pope is ruled out then I like him even more. If pope plays then I don’t care that much because Kelley would still be there making it a 3 man backfield. Note: Connor is a great play too. He is under consideration against the worst run D in football. If you like him then play him, I likely add him by tomorrow. Only hesitation is simply the Steelers have a ton of weapons to spread it around.
I’ll make WR much more brief than RB. Diggs/Brown are going against a pass funnel in a high total. Davis and Beasley are fine too but I don’t like their upside. Julio might get 15 targets without Ridley tomorrow, and Gage will also have his increased. Bouye and Callahan both could miss this game for Denver which would only raise the ceiling of Julio and Gage so keep that in mind as inactives are released. Allen leads the league in targets. That’s all you need to know. (Mike Williams is the top play if Allen misses tomorrow, but he should play) ARob is a beast in a great matchup. We have watched the Titans defense fall apart over and over this year so the Bears should at least be able to do something. I like Mooney at his price for the Bears and Miller is cheap too. I hate touching anything with Bears players, but these two teams actually play with some pace so it could actually provide some points. Lockett is the Seattle WR to target this week. Bills are weakest against the slot so naturally Lockett becomes our guy at a much cheaper price than the Transformer on the outside. Metcalf is always playable, but I am leveraging off him with Lockett and David Moore. I talked about using David Moore as leverage last week to build a more cost effective Russ/Metcalf stack and it worked. Moore typically needs a big play or TD to pop, but if it hits then you are sitting pretty. One of Thielen or Jefferson probably go off. This seems to be the theme. Last week I faded them for Dalvin, this week I’m unsure. They look like good leverage plays, but it’s always hard to fade Dalvin in a good matchup. I prefer Thielen over Jefferson so he likely gets into a lineup somehow. All Pittsburgh WR’s are in play because, you know, Dallas. Cooks has the better matchup over Fuller but both are fine. Cooks is also cheaper and has been featured since week 5. I can’t stand playing Marvin Jones, and this feels like a trap even though every DB for MIN is hurt. Marvin Hall should fill in for Golladay, he’s better than Cephus. Again, can’t bank on the Lions doing the smart thing. Finally, Jeudy is trending up in every peripheral category. Targets, routes run, air yards, etc. Great matchup, but would like him more if Tim Patrick is ruled out.
Tight End and Defense are pretty simple for me as usual. Fant is in the best spot he’s going to see all year. This never guarantees production, but it's looking positive for him at that price. Dissly is my cheap play of the week. He could fall in the endzone and I always like to find a cheap TE in a potential shootout. By the way, Engram, Gesecki, Henry, and Waller are all good plays this week. I just try to narrow down my TE plays for roster construction purposes. As for Defense, you know the drill. Look for pressure rate, go as cheap as possible and don’t worry about points allowed.
Good luck this week and keep your eyes peeled for breaking news!
Top Leverage Plays: Henry, Jacobs, Swift, Thielen Or Jefferson, Moore, Dissly