Opportunity, opportunity, opportunity — that’s what fantasy football is all about. Each week I aggregate projections from around the internet and find the best DFS values from a dollar-per-opportunity perspective.
Another big week as my picks went 6-3 (45-37 overall), which included James Conner‘s smash week (5.4x), Marlon Mack again (5.9x), old man Larry Fitzgerald (6.6x), Odell Beckham Jr. (3.3x), and Case Keenum (3.4x) all hitting value. I was hit by Martavis Bryant‘s disappearing act (0x) and Emmanuel Sanders (1.4x) while both Kareem Hunt (2.8x) and Vance McDonald (2.1x) were fringe values.
Let’s get to the Week 9 plays!
Disclaimer: I’m not listing Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, Jared Goff, or Drew Brees here as they are all in great spots and obvious plays. The following are more off-the-board plays for Week 9.
Mitch Trubisky | 37.5 Opp Score | $5,800 DK
This ain’t your grandmother’s Mitch Trubisky. This Mitch has averaged 58 yards rushing with 306 yards passing over his last four game while eclipsing two passing touchdowns in each game. His ceiling might be a bit lower due to game script concerns, but you should have no issues firing him up in cash if you need to save some extra cash. He gets a Bills defense that has looked stout this season, but with Nathan Peterman under center we should expect a lot of turnovers and a lot of short fields for the Bears offense. His GLSP projection shows why he’s a strong cash play:
Ryan Fitzpatrick | 37.9 Opp Score | $5,500 DK
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the top value play this week as his 37.9 opportunity score ranks second and his salary ranks 14th. Given how the Buccaneers defense tends to give up points at will we should expect Fitzpatrick to be playing from behind and airing it out early and often — for better or worse. We’ve seen both the highs and lows of Fitzmagic already, which is why he’s more suited for GPPs.
Alvin Kamara | 33.1 Opp Score | $7,300 DK
Last year, we consistently saw Alvin Kamara pushing over $8,000 salary with Mark Ingram active, so the fact that he’s discounted this much in what should be the shootout of all shootouts is just bizarre. If this were 2017, Kamara would be the mega-chalk, but in 2018 he’ll be less chalky than Todd Gurley, Kareem Hunt, and possibly Christian McCaffrey. Even Ingram at $5,000 is a ridiculous value and in large-field GPPs I love the idea of stacking both Saints running backs with Drew Brees to lock in the entire Saints offense.
Adrian Peterson | 24.6 Opp Score | $6,000 DK
Personally, I have a hard time pulling the trigger on someone like Adrian Peterson given how dependent he is on touchdowns. However, given the injuries on the Redskins offense, his matchup against a soft defensive front, and the Redskins’ desire to play 1990s football we should expect another heavy workload for AP1. This is why we see him so high on the dollar-per-opportunity ranks — he ranks 16th — and if Chris Thompson ends up inactive that will only boost him further up the ranks.
Kenyan Drake | 22.2 Opp Score | $5,100 DK
Frank Gore is still lurking, but Kenyan Drake’s role has remained consistent over the last four weeks and his involvement in the pass game makes him game script proof. Via the Weekly Stat Explorer:
I’m finding myself in the middle range for RB values this week and Drake will find his way on a lot of my lineups as he gets a nice matchup against a Jets defense he has already scored against this season.
Duke Johnson Jr. | 16.5 Opp Score | $3,800 DK
This is a GPP only play, but it’s more probable than not that the Chiefs are ahead most of the game and that will force the Browns to pass the ball. We know the Nick Chubb doesn’t factor much in the passing game so it’s not crazy to think Duke Johnson Jr. will see an uptick in usage. Obviously, there are a lot of questions with the massive coaching changes this week, but Johnson comes in as the RB27 in salary so it won’t be hard for him to smash value if he can catch a handful of passes.
Adam Thielen | 30.9 Opp Score | $8,900 DK
Adam Thielen‘s projected opportunity score ranks fifth among all skill position players so I’m not being deterred by his high price. I don’t have to tell you he’s a great DFS play — he’s eclipsed 100 receiving yards in every game and has scored in all but two games — but I will tell you that you need to make it a point to lock him in at WR1 and figure out the rest of your roster for Week 9. This is the week you pay up for wide receiver’s and go value hunting at the RB position.
Devin Funchess | 15.2 Opp Score | $5,600 DK
With Torrey Smith out last week, D.J. Moore slotted into the WR2 rather nicely putting up season-highs in snaps (46), routes (30), targets (6), and yards (90). He’s the wide receiver that pops off the sheets, which means the ownership will flock to him. This means that Week 9 is setting up great for a Devin Funchess leverage play. Tampa Bay’s swiss cheese defense is on the docket so Funchess should have no trouble getting open. He’s the clear WR1 on the Panthers offense and they are implied for 30 points. Don’t overthink this.
Courtland Sutton | 14.5 Opp Score | $3,900 DK
No one benefited more from the trade deadline than Courtland Sutton, who should see an increase in targets with Demaryius Thomas out of the picture. Obviously, his salary didn’t adjust and he’s easily the top value on the board. Through eight weeks, Sutton was already challenging Thomas in air yards, but was lacking the target volume to be a consistent DFS value. Moving forward we should see that target floor tick up and given his role in the Broncos offense — he’s the downfield threat — we could see splash weeks more often in the second half.
Travis Kelce | 20.0 Opp Score | $6,600 DK
If you can find a way to fit both Thielen and Travis Kelce into your lineups this week (hint: pay down at RB) you should be sitting pretty. I don’t have to sell you on Kelce’s skills, but he’s underpriced for his role on an offense that’s implied to score over 30 points. The tight end position is a mess so paying up for a high floor is where I want to be if I can afford it.
David Njoku | 12.2 Opp Score | $3,600 DK
Few tight ends have the ceiling that David Njoku possesses and given he put up a zero burger (zero targets!) last week you could get him at suppressed ownership. Prior to last week, Njoku was averaging 7.4 targets and gets a great matchup against the Chiefs in a game where the Browns should be passing a ton.
Last week’s optimized lineup put up 156.9 DK points despite massive duds from Geronimo Allison and Michael Roberts. Here’s what the DFS Lineup Optimizer came up with this week after locking in some plays above:
Good luck in Week 9!
- He’s averaged 25 rush attempts the last two weeks. (back)