Hello there and welcome to Week 9 fantasy football DFS GPP picks! I know there is a good amount of DFS information available, so I’m trying bring attention to picks that aren’t already being talked about extensively. My research centers around finding exploitable matchups in lower owned players that hopefully fly under the radar in Week 9. Pair these picks with your core players as nice pivots to the chalkier plays. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Kirk Cousins vs Detroit Lions
Though Kirk Cousins dipped just a bit lower than QB1 in more weeks than I expected (four games), he’s scored in the top 12 in the other four. What kind of game will Week 9 be? I’m predicting the latter. Cousins faces a Detroit defense that allowed at least two TDs and 200+ yards in 5/7 of their games in 2018. That sets a solid floor for Cousins. His ceiling? Well, I’ll take stock in a guy that throws to the #1 fantasy wide receiver in 2018. Oh wait, he also throws to the #11 overall fantasy receiver. Did I mention the great match-up for his TE Kyle Rudolph this week as well? Right.
In addition, Detroit allowed two touchdowns to the WR position in their last three games (and a TD to the TE position in 4/8 games). I’m liking Cousins chances to please fantasy owners this week. Week 9 has owners salivating over the Saints vs Rams game and Cam’s match-up with Tampa Bay. So, Cousins may go slightly overlooked despite his consistent fantasy contribution. We know how dangerous he and his weapons are this season. Take advantage.
Matt Ryan vs Washington Redskins
If Eli Manning can throw for 300+ yards on Washington (last week), I’m pretty sure Matt Ryan can do the same for the 5th time this season. With other matchups gaining more attention, Ryan will gain less ownership than you might expect based on current ownership projections. Washington allowed 260+ passing yards and at least one TD to every QB they faced since Week 2.
Matt Ryan threw at least 270+ passing yards and one TD in all his games besides Week 1 so far this season. That’s his floor. He currently stands as the #6 overall fantasy QB, throwing the 10th most pass attempts in 2018. I’m expecting this trend to continue in Week 9. Game script may come into play, as the Falcons should lead Washington and may rely more on their running game as the game progresses. However, teams have been more successful through the air versus the on the ground vs Washington, so don’t overlook Ryan as a solid GPP option this week with his killer weapons.
Joe Flacco vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Ew. I hate typing it as much as you probably hate reading it, but it’s the truth. Pittsburgh allows an average of 284 passing yards per game in 2018. Flacco is not a sexy pick. I’m not going to lie to you. However, most DFS owners will gravitate towards towards other QBs with higher floors and you’re definitely rooting for a ceiling game from Joe Flacco if you take a chance on him.
The good news is that the Steelers allow at least one TD a week to the WR position and also aren’t strong agains the TE position either. They’re much better against the run, so if the Ravens work smarter, not harder, they’ll use Flacco’s arm to gain success. Signs point to this as a likely game plan, given that Flacco already is #4 in passing attempts this season so far. I wouldn’t expect a monster game, though at $5.3K, he’s probably the lowest I might go at QB without feeling pretty uncomfortable at the position this week (only Smith, Osweiler, Keenum, and Darnold are priced lower). If you want to zig while others zag, Flacco could be your guy in Week 9.
Jared Goff vs New Orleans Saints
Yup, big surprise here I’m sure. But, I can’t leave out any QB, especially one in such a high powered offense, versus the Saints. Goff threw 200+ passing yards and two TDs in five out of his eight games this season. His ceiling? He threw for 465 yards and five TDs vs MIN in Week 4. The Saints allowed the third most fantasy points to the QB position this season and that won’t stop this week. He will be higher owned, but I couldn’t neglect mentioning this juicy matchup. He’s priced below Mahomes, Newton, Watson, Cousins, and Brees on DK and has as much or more ceiling in Week 9 than the majority.
Lamar Miller vs Denver Broncos
Lamar Miller finished the last two weeks as a top 15 fantasy running back. He hit his stride and gained over 100+ yards and one TD in both Week 7 and 8. This week, Miller faces a Denver rush defense that allowed at least one TD to the running back position in six out of eight weeks in 2018. Just to refresh your memory, this is the defense that allowed 330 yards and a TD in Week 5 (Jets), 225 yards and two TDS in Week 6 (Rams), and 86 yards and a TD in Week 8 (Chiefs) to the running back position.
Miller represents a high floor option with a great ceiling in a game that should stay competitive. He is a true bell cow back, getting 18 touches per game on average. In a week when Gurley, Kamara, CMC, and Hunt all have decent matchups and dominate ownership, Miller’s fantasy ceiling may go overlooked. Add to this that Keke Coutee is OUT and newly acquired Demaryius Thomas is still developing chemistry with his new QB, Miller represents a safety net for Watson and the shaky Houston offensive line.
Jordan Howard vs Buffalo Bills
This one is a little riskier, just because of the hot hand of Tarik Cohen. However, Howard gets the smaller price tag and ownership this week, but still sees the same juicy match-up. Even with Cohen’s success, Howard receives an average of 18 touches per game. This week, the Bears face a Bills run defense that Marlon Mack shredded for 159 yards and a TD in Week 7 and gave up 94 yards and a TD to James White last week.
Howard has game script in his favor in this one, as Vegas odds as well as anyone with a brain, has the Bears favored in this game. If Bears get up, they will run the ball to control the game flow and clock. Howard currently is priced at a meager 4.7K on DK, compared to Cohen’s 6.2K price tag (plus higher ownership). Take a swing at Howard this week and bank on at least one rushing TD for him against Buffalo.
Kenyan Drake vs New York Jets
Kenyan Drake’s production over the last four weeks: 115 yards and 1 TD; 78 yards; 87 yards and 1 TD; 95 yards and 2 TDs. I’ll just let you sit with those stats. This week, DK priced Drake at $5.3k versus a defense that just allowed 106 yards and two TDs to Vikings RBs (Week 7) and then 191 yards and two TDs to the Chicago RBs (Week 8). Drake shares the wealth with Frank Gore, but has out-shined him and shows more burst and upside. The ceiling is there for Drake this week.
Emmanuel Sanders vs Houston Texans
Those that know me already know my love for Emmanuel Sanders in redraft. Well, he’s no slack in DFS either. Especially this week. The recent trade of Demaryius Thomas to their Week 9 opponents, only opens up targets (and an interesting narrative) for this week’s contest. Sanders received a hefty 65 targets on the season (good for #16 in the league) BEFORE DT’s departure. So, to say I’m confident in Sanders’ floor this week is an understatement.
However, in GPP, we want a ceiling right? Well, the Texans allowed at least one TD or 80 yards to the slot receiver in 5/8 games this season. Sanders plays 64% of his snaps in the slot position. Sanders snagged 24% of the overall target share (with DT) this season so far and is the #16 overall fantasy WR this season in PPR. With fantasy owners drooling over teammate Courtland Sutton’s 3.9K price tag, Sanders may go overlooked regarding ownership. Don’t let that mistake be yours.
Willie Snead vs Pittsburgh Steelers
See above in my explanation for Joe Flacco for some reasons you should be targeting the Ravens offense. Why Willie Snead in particular? Well, because he should definitely fly under the radar. But, in addition, Pittsburgh struggles against the slot receiver position in general, which is where Snead lines up 82% of the time according to Profootballfocus.com .
Their last three games, Pittsburgh allowed the following to slot receivers: Week 5 (Mohamed Sanu) 73 yards and a TD; Week 6 (Tyler Boyd) 62 yards and 2 TDs; Week 8 (Jarvis Landry) 8 catches for 39 yards. This past week wasn’t the highest in fantasy production, but in PPR, was still a decent fantasy play. Snead, who dipped below double digit PPR points just twice so far this season, represents a nice stack option in GPP with Joe Flacco. Most will go for the flashier John Brown, so Snead’s $4.2k DK price tag ($1.6K less than Brown) will let you fit one of those shiny top dollar players in your Week 9 lineups.
Danny Amendola vs New York Jets
Amendola received 24 targets over the last three games for Miami and scored double digit PPR fantasy points in each of those weeks. In Week 9, the Dolphins face a Jets defense that struggles to guard the slot WR position. Just to illustrate this point over recent weeks: Anthony Miller (37 yards/1 TD), Adam Thielen (110 yards/1 TD), Chester Rogers (55 yards/TD), Emmanuel Sanders (9 catches/72 yards), and Jarvis Landry (103 yards). Amendola lines up in the slot position 80% of the time and currently is priced at $4.7k on DK.
Side note: It looks like I’m really picking on defenses against the slot position this week haha. I didn’t even notice until I wrote all three up and even threw in an honorable mentions below (Sharpe, Lockett) that is ALSO a slot receiver. Hm. I guess I have a pattern. We shall see if I’m right soon enough!
Jordan Reed vs Atlanta Falcons
With both Jamison Crowder and Chris Thompson out, the fantasy world zeros in on Adrian Peterson (appropriately) in Week 9. I love this because Reed continues to fly slightly under the radar, though he possesses monster fantasy potential this week. Reed disappointed fantasy owners for the most part the last four weeks, only breaking into double-digit fantasy points once. This will help lower his ownership for GPPs. I know what you’re thinking. Jen, but he hasn’t even snagged a touchdown since Week 1! True. Until this week.
In Week 8, he soaked up a season-high 12 targets. He stands behind, you guessed it, Crowder and Thompson in red zone targets (15% overall red zone target share) who are both out of his way this week. Reed leads Washington in overall targets and faces a Falcons defense that allowed at least 70 yards or a TD to the tight end position in their last 3/5 games. That includes 70+ yards and two TDs to the position in Week 6 alone. Coming off a Week 8 bye, the Redskins most likely will need to throw the ball to stay in the game with Atlanta, making Reed an enticing pick just for game script/targets alone.
Many owners see Alex Smith’s measley 6.9 yards per attempt as a reason to steer clear. I, on the other hand, think this only helps lower Reed’s ownership more since many don’t trust Smith even in a good matchup. Smith will look for AP (Kapri Bibbs if active), and Reed on dump offs and shorter routes, only raising Reed’s floor.
David Njoku vs Kansas City
Now, I’m keeping an eye on Njoku’s ownership, but with the TE position, we don’t always have a ton of choices with this solid of a floor and upside. I’m hoping that his goose egg last week will help reduce the ownership in Week 9. In his four games prior to last week, Njoku received between 6-12 targets and caught at least 50 yards or a TD.
This week, Njoku faces a KC defense that allowed a TD to the TE position the last two weeks, and 97 yards to Gronk the week before that. Njoku receives 18% of the overall target share and 14% of the red zone target share (tied for 2nd on the team) for the Browns. His slightly higher price tag (4.6K on DK) hopefully leads to additional lower ownership and the Browns will need to throw to keep up with the high octane KC offense.
Kyle Rudolph vs Detroit Lions
I’m not going to say a lot about this match-up because this isn’t under the radar as far as ownership. BUT, Rudolph’s price ($3600 on DK) is just way too cheap. As I mentioned in my Cousins write up, the Lions gave up four TDs to the TE position in eight games in 2018. Rudolph sees 13% of the overall target share and 19% of the red zone target share for the Vikings. Pay down for his floor, so you can fit higher priced players at the other skill positions and hope we see his ceiling. Either way, Rudolph is a TE1 play this week at his price.
Chris Herndon vs Miami Dolphins
Riddle me this. Name a TE that scored a TD in his last three games and faces a defense that allowed FIVE TDs to the TE position over the last three weeks (no, you didn’t just hallucinate. Five is correct). The answer, of course, is my man Chris Herndon. I’m going to be honest, I’ve capitalized on Herndon the last couple of weeks and hope that he will give those DFS players who read this a continued edge.
Unfortunately, he isn’t flying as much under the radar as I would like, but he still should be a solid snag at his price. Herndon finished as a top 10 PPR TE in two of the last three weeks. He’s $3k on DK and is one of the lower owned TEs that possesses TD upside at a discounted price. Don’t forget that Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson are both currently Questionable. If they are ruled out, Herndon could see a bump up in targets.
Chicago Bears vs Buffalo Bills
I know. This one isn’t going to go overlooked. But, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t always target the defense against the Buffalo Bills in any DFS format due to the ceiling. The Bills allowed the most fantasy points to defenses this season so far, so it’s hard to leave out the Bears as a necessary DFS consideration. The Chicago defense started the season strong, but struggled the last few weeks in sacks with Khalil Mack injured. He is questionable this week as well. Keep an eye on this, though even if Mack misses, I like Chicago here.
The Bears DST still had at least one fumble recovery in 5/7 games and at least one interception in 6/7 games. They face a Bills team that allowed a TD to the opposing DST the last 2/3 weeks and at least one interception in EVERY GAME except Week 3. Fire this DST up.
Dallas Cowboys vs Tennessee Titans
Let’s face it, the Titans are no offensive juggernaut in 2018. They’ve allowed at least five fantasy points to opposing DSTs in every week but one and allowed a whopping 18 and 21 points to Miami and Baltimore defenses, respectively. The Cowboys defense snagged an interception and a fumble recovery in two out of the last three weeks. They aren’t on the main slate, but I wanted to make sure I mentioned them for those that play these formats.
Miami Dolphins vs New York Jets
The Jets give up the 13th most fantasy points to opposing defenses so far this season. Sam Darnold threw for at least one INT in six out of eight games in 2018 and less than 200 yards passing in five out of eight. The Jets scored more than 17 points total in only two games this season, so signs point to Miami having at least a decent floor with some upside.
Carolina Panthers vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Panthers DST draws a match-up this week versus Ryan Fitzmagic. Will he turn to Fitztragic? No one knows. But, the chances of him throwing at least one INT is pretty high and CAR DST is a cheaper option. You’re hoping for a meltdown similar to Week 3 when Fitz threw for three interceptions versus Pittsburgh. Carolina DST managed nine sacks, two interceptions, and two fumble recoveries over their last three games, so they’ve shown fantasy potential. They give up a lot of points to opponents though, so they’ll need to come up with at least a couple of turnovers to give you the upside you need.
Higher Risk Options
Philip Rivers vs SEA (I don’t think he’s that risky, but SEA has been solid against lesser talented QBs this season so far.)
Tajae Sharpe vs DAL
Tyler Lockett vs LAC
Elijah McGuire vs MIA
Dion Lewis vs DAL
Charles Clay vs CHI
Thank you for taking the time to consider my Week 9 fantasy football DFS GPP picks! I know this week was a late publish, but I’ll try to get this information to you every week before lock. Please check out the rest of our great fantasy football content at The Fantasy Authority, including redraft, dynasty, and DFS content! Goodluck and I hope you make the big bucks in Week 9!