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Remember: All positional breakdowns are open to the PUBLIC. Here they are:
Welcome to Week 9 Cheat Sheet! This is a feature that will be released every Friday throughout the season. It will be a fluid article (so check back often!) that will encompass everything you need to set your lineups for the NFL. We will go game by game, discussing the most relevant players on each team.
If you are interested in reading last week’s Cheat Sheet, here it is for Week 8.
DraftKings strategy and pricing is front of mind, but these can also help you set your season long lineups. I love action, so we will go in order of Vegas point totals, highest to lowest! Let’s do it!
BYEs: Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, Seattle
New England (-14) vs. Washington o/u 52.5
I can’t imagine fading Tom Brady ($8,500) anymore, specifically in cash games. His price is ridiculous, but he literally hasn’t scored less than 25 DraftKings points in any game this season and is averaging 29.1 points per game. He has done it at home, on the road, versus good teams, bad teams, whatever. It doesn’t matter. He’s killing everyone! Now he gets a long week to prepare for the Redskins at home?! GOOD LUCK! I expect he’s going to shred Washington like he has to everyone all season long.
Dion Lewis ($6,400) is essentially a WR disguised as a RB. His value comes in the form of the full point PPR and he’s hauled in 22 catches in the last four games. Lewis has only scored less than 16 DraftKings points on one occasion this season (week 6). With how often the Patriots drop back to throw, Lewis will always have value and flashes of significant upside.
I have been waiting all season for Desean Jackson ($5,700) to suit up for weeks now and this would be a great opportunity to buy low on a dynamic WR. Jackson hasn’t played since Week 1 so he either had a very serious hamstring injury or the Redskins were very cautious with his return. Jackson would step into a great situation as WR1 on a team that is going to have to throw a TON to stay in this game.
Speaking of throwing a ton, Jordan Reed ($4,500) has been very solid this season. He hasn’t caught fewer than 5 balls in any game this season and is coming off a massive 11-72-2 game against TB. He’s earned the trust of QB Kirk Cousins and should retain his value whether Jackson plays or not.
San Diego (-4) vs. Chicago o/u 49.5 (MNF)
Plenty of value down here. Assuming Matt Forte misses, Jeremy Langford ($4,000) will jump up the boards. With the way the CHI offense works, the running back rarely comes off the field. Langford could be forced into three down duty in the best matchup we could ask for against SD. The Chargers are dead last in points allowed versus RBs this season.
The popular value play is going to be Malcom Floyd ($3,900). Keenan Allen is out for the year, which will open up a ton of targets for Floyd as he steps into the WR1 role for the Chargers. Allen saw 92 targets this season to Floyd’s 39. That’s a ton of looks that Philip Rivers will have to replace. The Chargers aren’t going to stop throwing the ball, so expect an influx of opportunity for Floyd.
As much as I hate to say it, Jay Cutler ($5,200) makes for an interesting GPP play this week. The almost-min priced QB has returned an average of 3.7x value over his last four games, scoring no fewer than 18.24 DraftKings points in that span. Vegas expects this game to be a shootout, with the second highest total on the board. If that’s the case, both QBs are going to find success in this matchup.
When healthy, there are few WRs better than Alshon Jeffery ($6,700). His season has been hampered by injury but has now put up back to back monster games of 31.7 and 30.6 DraftKings points. With RB Matt Forte currently listed as doubtful for this game, Jeffery should be the main offensive weapon for the Bears.
Pittsburgh (-4.5) vs. Oakland o/u 48
I love the prospects of Ben Roethlisberger ($6,600) this week. He’s priced the lowest he’s been all season and, while looking a little rusty in his first game back, I think he’ll be able to shake that off in a great matchup this week with OAK. Only four teams have allowed more points to opposing QBs this season than the Raiders. A great sign for Big Ben that he attempted 45 passes last week. With the injury to LeVeon Bell, the Steelers should be relying heavily on the passing game moving forward.
Unfortunately, the pricing was updated on Deangelo Williams ($5,500) after the LeVeon Bell news. Williams was excellent this season in games that Bell missed. Williams ran for 127 and 77 yards including 3 TDs in the two games without Bell. I expect him to step in and continue to have a really nice season. He’s still under-priced, but not nearly as good of a value as I would have hoped.
A really impressive game for Derek Carr ($5,500) last week, throwing for 333 and 4 TDs against a very good Jets defense. Carr is boasting a solid 15:3 TD to INT ratio and as now hit over 4x value in four games this season. This PIT/OAK game could very easily turn into a shootout and is boasting a 48 O/U which is third highest on the entire slate.
Amari Cooper ($6,700) was a resident of “Revis Island” last week, but still found a way to catch five balls for 46 yards. If you read the Quarterback Preview, you’ll know that I like Derek Carr this week and Cooper is Carr’s favorite target. The Steelers do not have a CB who can lock down Cooper and this game has a massive O/U. Should be plenty of opportunity for Cooper and the Raiders.
New Orleans (-8) vs. Tennessee o/u 48
We have to talk about a guy who threw SEVEN TDs last week, right?! I love Drew Brees ($7,200). He won me a lot of money and allowed me to break the all-time scoring record in my season long dynasty league. As much as I love him, I will be fading him this week. The entire world is going to flock to Brees after his game last week expecting a repeat performance. The Titans defense has been very stout this season and they are one of only three teams who have allowed fewer than 200 passing yards per game this season. That’s not to say Brees won’t have a solid game, but his upside is capped and his ownership will be too high. For those reasons, I’m out.
Antonio Andrews ($3,600) has been announced as the starting RB moving forward. Andrews has been a versatile back, running well and showing the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. He broke off 64 yards on 16 carries last week against Houston and will get an ideal matchup with NO this week. The Saints have allowed the sixth most fantasy points to opposing RBs. I am hoping that the Titans could keep this game close so they don’t have to abandon the run, but as noted, if they do throw the ball, Andrews will still be involved.
If you’re looking for a valuable cash game player, look no further than Delanie Walker ($4,200). He has returned at least 3x value in all but one game this season and has succeeded under multiple QBs. He’s the top target for whoever will start at QB this week for the Titans and he will face the 27th ranked defense in New Orleans. WR Kendall Wright has been ruled out for this week, so Walker is by far the Titans best receiving option.
NY Giants (-2.5) @ Tampa Bay o/u 47.5
The boom-or-bust season continues for Eli Manning ($6,900) after an incredible 350 yards, SIX touchdown performance against the Saints in a losing effort last week. Many will flock to Drew Brees since he through for seven TDs and got all the industry press. It’s Manning that has a chance to back up his big day with another as he faces the porous Tampa Bay defense who has surrendered the 3rd most DraftKings points to opposing QBs and their last three weeks have been their worst three weeks, giving up 32.22, 34.18 and 25.08 to opposing play callers.
I don’t need to sell you on Odell Beckham Jr. ($8,800). He could quite possibly be the best WR in the league on any week and he’s got the Buccaneers who allow the 3rd most DraftKings points to opposing WRs. He’s scored 19+ in 5 of 8 weeks and scored 42 points last week. No brainer, fire him up!
You better believe I am firing up Doug Martin ($5,700) again. A down week last week against ATL, but he still saw 23 carries. That type of workload is difficult to find around the league and he’s in a great matchup with NYG this week. The Giants have allowed a single opposing RB to score at least 15 points in every game this season. No other team has been that consistently bad against the run. Do I have to say more?
I am begging…BEGGING for Austin Seferian-Jenkins ($2,800) to suit up this week. He’s been practicing last week and this week and this might be the first time we see him in action since Week 2. He has so much upside (31 points in Week 1) and would be a steal at only $2,800. No team has given up more points to opposing TEs than the Giants. The icing on the cake would be for ASJ to suit up and Vincent Jackson to miss another game (currently questionable) as that would thrust ASJ into the #2 target in this offense.
Green Bay (-2.5) @ Carolina o/u 46
Am I concerned about Aaron Rodgers ($7,400)? I sure am. This makes four straight games without cracking 20+ points for the best QB in the league. Unfortunately, when you’re paying his price tag, you need to get optimal returns which will be difficult this week again against CAR. The Panthers have allowed the fourth fewest DK points to opposing QBs and have not allowed any QB to score more than 19.36 this season and their average allowed is 15.26.
We all now how good of a season Rob Gronkowski ($8,000) is having, but maybe we are over-looking another tight end. Check this out:
Those numbers are essentially identical between these two Tight Ends. Both had had their BYE week and still lead the league in TE targets. Both have a bunch of catches and the most touchdowns. The player on bottom is Rob Gronkowski. The player on top is Greg Olsen ($6,500). The point is that Olsen is having a very similar year to Gronk and can save you $1,500 less. He’s also in a better matchup against GB who’s allowed the 8th most points to opposing TEs this season.
Cincinnati (-11.5) vs. Cleveland o/u 45 (TNF)
Last week was the first week that Andy Dalton ($6,200) hadn’t scored 21+ DraftKings points since Week 1. Dalton has been outstanding this season and currently sits as DK QB3. I certainly expect him to get back on track at home versus Cleveland this week. The Browns have allowed at least 23 DraftKings points to opposing QBs in four of the last six weeks.
The Bengals run game has been difficult to pinpoint all season long but it was interesting to see Jeremy Hill ($5,200) earn 15 carries to the 1 carry of Giovani Bernard ($4,800). If that type of unbalance continues, Hill will make for an excellent play this week at the Bengals are massive favorites and no team has been worse against the run than CLE this season. He’s a little risky because the workload is never consistent, but what a high-risk/high-reward proposition he would offer.
Plug and play on AJ Green ($7,600). Great matchup, solid season and coming off a massive 11-118-1 game for 31.8 DraftKings points. He has as much upside as any WR in the league. Roster him liberally.
Atlanta (-7) @ San Francisco o/u 44.5
After two straight games of failing to reach value, I am hopping back on Devonta Freeman ($8,000) again this week. Atlanta is a massive favorite against the 49ers, so we should see a heavy dosage of Freeman who has seen exactly 27 touches in each of the last two weeks. This matchup is excellent as the Niners have been gashed by RBs all season long, allowing the third most DraftKings points.
Julio Jones ($9,300) is a god amongst mere mortals. He has scored 24+ DraftKings points in 5 of the 8 games he’s played this season. He’s continue to dominate all the looks from QB Matt Ryan. Julio has 109 targets with the next closest WR, checking in with 40 (Hankerson). He’s the safest WR on the slate and has all the upside in the world.
The San Francisco 49ers are a joke right now. After benching Colin Kaepernick for Blaine Gabbert, it’s clear that they’ve given up on this season. They do not have a single fantasy relevant player on this roster.
Denver (-5) @ Indianapolis o/u 44.5
I guess Ronnie Hillman ($4,600) is a “thing” now? I hate this DEN RB situation so much, but it’s hard to ignore when a guy who’s priced sub-$5K who’s seen 19 and 20 carries in the last two weeks. Hillman has been very solid, scoring 18.5, 17.5 and 20.8 in three of his last four games. He’s getting a prime matchup with IND who has given up the 8th most DraftKings points to opposing RBs this season.
Demaryius Thomas ($7,500) jumps off the page. He’s priced nearly $2,000 lower than Julio Jones and DT has just as much upside as any WR in the league. He’s a target monster and has returned 24.1 and 27.8 DraftKings points in the last two games, despite not finding the endzone. In fact, DT only has one TD this season. He could be in for a big second half if the touchdowns start falling his way. Another excellent matchup, indoors versus the porous IND defense.
Vernon Davis ($4,400):
You’ve been warned! We will re-visit Davis next week as the Broncos were dying for a TE that could pose a Redzone threat. If you roster him this week you will be awarded no points and may God have mercy on your soul.
Buffalo (-3) vs. Miami o/u 44
Keep an eye on the status of Tyrod Taylor ($5,300) this week. He hasn’t played since Week 5, but looks like he might be in-line to return to action this week. I would be very interested in rostering Taylor who was having a great fantasy season before his injury. He scored 23+ DraftKings points in three of his five starts this season and will face Miami at home this week, who he dropped 24.28 DraftKings points against in Week 3.
There’s something mysterious about LeSean McCoy ($5,500) this week that has me interested. For a statistical standpoint, he’s seen 35 rushes over the course of the last two weeks despite being essentially blown out in both games. This should be a much better gamescript for McCoy as the Bills are 3 point favorites against the Dolphins who have allowed 29.5 and 23.2 DraftKings points to lead backs in the last two weeks. The BYE week was probably much needed for McCoy who’s been bothered by a hamstring injury all season. There are a lot of ingredients in play for a nice day for McCoy.
Jarvis Landry ($6,300) is always an interesting player. He’s scored double digit points in every game this season and has averaged 17.9 DraftKings points per game. He provides a nice floor in PPR formats and his role as the punt returner boosts his value a tick if he can break off a return. The Bills have the long week to prepare for the Bills, who have allowed the 7th most DraftKings points to opposing WRs.
Philadelphia (-2.5) @ Dallas o/u 44 (SNF)
It’s very concerning that the Eagles are are playing in a game with a total of 44. This is the lowest total assigned to an Eagles game since Week 17 of the 2012 season. It appears the well is running dry on the Eagles offense right now. Their mediocre play is going to be tested by the Cowboys defense this week. DAL has allowed the 6th fewest DraftKings points to opposing QBs and the fifth fewest to WRs. They have been susceptible to the run, which leads us to:
You want the revenge narrative this week? How about DeMarco Murray ($6,400) headed back to Dallas for the first time. It’s more than a narrative, with Murray seeing more touches in the last three weeks (71) versus the 40 he saw in the previous three games. An increased workload and a great matchup as Dallas has given up the 5th most DraftKings points to opposing RBs.
It looks like it will be the Darren McFadden ($4,300) show again this week, simply because he’s the only game in town. He saw 31 touches and 26 touches in back to back weeks, earning 27.2 and 27.3 DraftKings points. It’s not a great matchup for McFadden, but it wasn’t last week either against SEA and he was able to be effective on the ground (64 yards) and through the air (6-49). It’s hard to find a RB who should see 20+ touches at this price.
There is probably no player more volatile this week than Dez Bryant ($7,900). Is he hurt? Can Cassell get him the ball? Is he a decoy? There’s so many question marks around this guy, but when he’s healthy, he’s one of the most dynamic WRs in the league. If you are willing to stomach a major letdown, Bryant is in a dream matchup with the PHI secondary who has allowed the 3rd most DraftKings points to opposing WRs.
NY Jets (-7.5) vs. Jacksonville o/u 42.5
I hope everyone is jumping off the Chris Ivory ($5,900) bandwagon and I say good! Because I am loving him again this week. Two straight sub-par weeks for Ivory are nothing to panic about as he’s been one of the best valued RBs all season long. This is an A+ matchup and gamescript for Ivory. The Jaguars have been miserable against the run (28th) and as a 7.5 point favorite, there should be plenty of opportunity for the NYJ lead back.
We talk about him a ton, but Eric Decker ($5,300) is constantly under-owned. He’s been one of the most consistent WRs in the league this season. Here are his weekly outputs: 11.7, 23.7, 14.6, 14.9, 15.4, and 18. He’s not throwing up gaudy numbers, but it’s hard to find a guy who’s very likely to return you 3x value on a weekly basis. He’s also caught a TD in all but one week this season. He’s even more intriguing this week as teammate Brandon Marshall is banged up. He’s listed as questionable for this weekend, but if he’s out or limited in any way, that would increase Decker’s value significantly.
Speaking of great gamescripts, you better believe that the Jaguars are going to be throwing early and often in this game. That should lead to plenty of opportunity for Allen Robinson ($6,400) and Allen Hurns ($5,300). Robinson has been outstanding this season and has turned in three straight games of 20+ DraftKings points. He might get the Darelle Revis treatment, however, which would boost the value of Hurns. Hurns has been solid and has a nose for the endzone as he’s caught a TD in five straight games. Hurns has been nursing a thigh injury through the bye week but looks like he’s on track to suit up on Sunday.
Minnesota (-2) vs. St. Louis o/u 39.5
I’m terrified to fade Todd Gurley ($6,900) but this feels like the week to do it. The lowest total on the slate and Minnesota has been solid against the run, allowing the 7th fewest DraftKings points to opposing RBs this season. Gurley’s price has skyrocketed during this incredible run of success and his ownership numbers have reach critical mass. With the amount of value at RB this week, it’s going to be hard to pull the trigger on Gurley.
Another tough matchup for star-on-the-rise Stefon Diggs ($5,300). Three massive games in a row for Diggs (22.9, 26.7 and 21.5) but will face a STL team that has locked it down on defense lately. They have allowed a COMBINED 24.6 DraftKings points to the four highest scoring WRs in the last two weeks. Think about that. That’s ~6 DraftKings points to each of the four starting WRs. There’s just too many other great options to bother ourselves with Diggs in a poor situation.
That’s all folks! Follow me on Twitter for updates as injuries and news rolls out for this weekend!