With Halloween now behind us, The Fantasy Football Ghost has a few more treats to share with us in Week 9!
Week 8 worked out well for us despite one of the players I suggested, Jared Cook, sitting out with an injury. Excluding Cook, the collection of players I suggested last week surpassed the successful mark of 2.5 times value I set forth for myself in this column with an average multiplier of 2.52 on the week. A narrow win, no two ways around it, but I’ll take it. The top play I identified was Derek Carr, who posted 23.4 points, good for 3.4 times value, whereas the worst value was Austin Ekeler, who only managed 1.35 times value with only 9.2 points scored. Obviously, we would like all our players to be over 2.5 times value, but you can’t win them all. Or can we? Let’s see if we can’t hit that mark by season’s end — hopefully as soon as Week 9!
To measure the success of the players I recommend to our RotoViz readers, I will review the players I recommended the prior week, determining their value multiplier. I will then calculate the average multiplier across the recommended players to give me a barometer of success for that week. My stated goal is to produce an average greater than 2.5 times value. If I can manage to surpass that goal, I will consider the week a success. If I fall short of that goal, obviously, the week would be considered unsuccessful.
You can find much of the data presented in this piece in the RotoViz NFL Stat Explorer and Game Level Similarity Projections. I also want to encourage readers to check out the RotoViz NFL Lineup Optimizer so that everyone can squeeze the most value out of their lineups each week.
FanDuel NFL Cash Plays for Week 8
Quarterback: Matthew Stafford ($7,900)
In Week 8, we went heavy on the Raiders with great success, but just as young love is fleeting, so too are our loyalties when it comes to DFS. To kick off my player suggestions, we are now flipping on Oakland for Week 9 and are going to roll with the quarterback opposing them, Matthew Stafford. The Raiders present a golden opportunity at the quarterback position for us in Week 9 cash games, allowing the league’s fourth-most passing yards per attempt and the third-highest Quarterback Rating (QBR) over the past five weeks.
This porousness has resulted in Oakland allowing the third-most PPR points to the position over those five weeks and allowing the second-most fantasy points over expectation (FPOE). The RotoViz Fantasy Streaming App ranks the Raiders as the second-most exploitable defense for the quarterback position this week, behind only Tampa Bay, who is facing Russell Wilson with a price tag that is $700 steeper. Slip Stafford into your lineup with the confidence that you’re saving a significant amount of cash while expecting a top-tier performance.
Running Back: Dalvin Cook ($9,000)
Running back will be our “pay up” position this week with the selection of Dalvin Cook, FanDuel’s second-highest priced player at the position. Despite the hefty $9,000 price tag, Cook’s matchup against Kansas City is as juicy as a nice T-bone steak. The NFL Stat Explorer shows a veritable sea of green for Cook’s matchup against the Chiefs. Kansas City is allowing the second-most rushing attempts to the position as well as the second-most rushing yards. Beyond simply being exploitable on the ground, the Chiefs also present a significant scoring opportunity for Cook as a receiver out of the backfield as well. Kansas City has allowed the eighth-most receptions to opposing running backs over the past five games, but those receptions have resulted in the most receiving yards allowed to the position over that time.
Collectively, this has resulted in the Chiefs being the second-most exploitable defense in terms of PPR scoring for opposing running backs and the best target this week for the position according to the RotoViz Fantasy Streaming App. Pardon the pun, but I’m certainly looking to “Cook” up some lineups with him as the main ingredient this week.
Wide Receiver: Tyler Lockett ($7,500)
While we passed on Russell Wilson for a cheaper option in Matthew Stafford, we can get a piece of Wilson’s production this week by grabbing his favorite target Tyler Lockett to help insulate us against any opponents who may have paid up for Wilson. Lockett has the most favorable matchup of all wide receivers according to the Fantasy Streaming App, and many of the statistics presented in NFL Stat Explorer support that ranking. His opponent, Tampa Bay, has allowed consistently allowed the second-most, well, everything, over the past five games. The Buccaneers rank second in targets allowed to opposing wide receivers, receptions allowed, receiving yards allowed, PPR points allowed to the position, expected points (EP), and fantasy points over expectation (FPOE).
Whew, at least they are consistent! Tampa Bay is also allowing the third-most air yards and eighth-most yards after contact (YAC), all making for the premier wide receiver match up in Week 9. I’m going to try to fit Lockett and possibly Kenny Golladay into a few lineups to both insulate and extend any leads I can get on my opponents this week.
Tight End: Hunter Henry ($6,400)
The Chargers have had quite a miserable season thus far this year, posting a disappointing 3-5 record at the halfway point, but one of their few bright spots has been the injury-shortened season that their tight end Hunter Henry has turned in. Despite facing three of the league’s top ten defenses, Henry has averaged 13.4 fantasy points per game thus far in the season. He will now face a Green Bay defense that has allowed the third-most targets to the tight end position as well as the third-most receptions as well. Collectively, this has resulted in the fifth-most receiving yards allowed, and the second-most PPR points surrendered to the tight end position.
Furthermore, Henry ranks as the top tight end play this week in the Weekly Game Level Similarity Projection (GLSP) application with a two out of three likelihood that he will surpass the target 2.5 times value we’ve targeted as a successful play in this column.
We were able to rebound just over the 2.5 times value mark last week and are now halfway through the “bye week desert.” With some high-powered options off the table to us in Week 9, including the Rams, Saints, and even some Falcons players, I sincerely believe that we have an excellent shot at building upon last week’s success with the options available to us! As always, good luck to everyone, and feel free to both reach out to me and follow me on Twitter at @TheFFGhost. I’ll do my best to answer any and all questions you may have!