When you have a pass-catcher in your daily fantasy football roster who doesn’t even get a target (like we did with Ben Watson in last week’s Yahoo GPP lineup), you know it’s going to be a tough week. We also whiffed on T.Y. Hilton (who knew it would be “attack of the Colts tight ends”?) and Demaryius Thomas (turns out he can be shut down twice in one season by the Chiefs defense), but we really nailed our Bengals onslaught of Joe Mixon, Tyler Boyd and the Cincinnati D/ST, plus got decent, if somewhat disappointing, showings from Kirk Cousins, Doug Martin, and David Johnson. It wasn’t good enough for our standards, so we’re back at it with our Week 9 NFL DFS picks for Yahoo tournaments, where the “stars-and-scrubs” strategy is on full display.
We’re paying up for the most-expensive players at two different positions (QB and RB), but we’re actually not that upset about it. (It worked in last week’s perfect DraftKings lineup.) The rest of our lineup has a few question marks (most notably at defense), as well as one low-ceiling play at RB, but we’re still getting pieces of some high-scoring offenses and/or favorable matchups.
Week 8 Rankings:
Quarterback | Running Back | Wide Receiver | Tight End | D/ST | Kicker
Yahoo Fantasy Football: Week 9 NFL DFS tournament lineup
QB Jared Goff, Rams @ Saints ($39). Most lineups will look to jam in at least one Rams player, but Goff is tied for the most expensive QB with Patrick Mahomes II and Cam Newton. Because it will be difficult to stack him with a pass-catcher, many might opt for another QB. Even if you’re willing to pay top dollar, Newton and either Devin Funches ($22) or D.J. Moore ($19) is a more affordable stack. We’re willing to pay up for this Rams onslaught and go all-in on a potential shootout.
RB Todd Gurley, Rams @ Saints ($37). This is typically our weekly Joe Mixon spot, but since the Bengals are idle this week, we figured we’d upgrade to the most bankable fantasy asset alive. The Saints had been limiting running backs all year, but Latavius Murray broke through last week, and Gurley will break through double this week. DFS sites can’t set his price high enough.
RB Frank Gore, Dolphins vs. Jets ($14). When you pay up for Goff and Gurley, you’re going to have to pay down elsewhere. Enter Gore, who might be the most boring “starting” RB in the league. Kenyan Drake has finally been playing like many expected he would in the preseason, but Gore is still leading the team in carries. The Jets have struggled against Latavius Murray (69 yards, two TDs) and Jordan Howard (81 yards, TD) in recent weeks, so Gore could pay off with similar numbers. It’s not a particularly high ceiling, but if Gurley, Goff and Brandin Cooks explode, we only need a decent game from Gore to maintain a high point level.
WEEK 9 DFS GPP LINEUPS: FanDuel | DraftKings (coming soon)
WR Brandin Cooks, Rams @ Saints ($29). The “Revenge Game” narrative is a favorite of fantasy owners, and the past two weeks, we’ve seen it flop horribly (Willie Snead vs. New Orleans; Golden Tate vs. Seattle). So, we’re not playing Cooks based on that angle — we’re playing him because of his massive ceiling against a highly burnable Saints defense. Cooks is priced right in between Robert Woods ($30) and Cooper Kupp ($28), so there’s really no big difference between the three. We suspect many will opt for Josh Reynolds ($10) if Kupp is out, and while he would obviously be a remarkable value, Cooks remains our favorite to post big numbers in his old stomping grounds.
WR Sammy Watkins, Chiefs @ Browns ($19). If Tyreek Hill (groin) is out, Watkins will probably be a major chalk pick. As it stands, he’s already too cheap, and while this feels a little like chasing points after Watkins had his best game of the season, it’s tough to imagine a top WR in the Chiefs offense not having a good game against the Browns. As with Reynolds, someone like Chris Conley ($10) will be a popular value pick if Hill is out, but we still think Watkins will produce against a Cleveland defense that has been shredded by No. 1 WRs much of the year (167 yards and three TDs to Antonio Brown in two games, 107 yards to Mike Evans, 128 yards and a TD to Amari Cooper, 89 yards and two TDs to Michael Thomas).
WEEK 9 DFS CASH LINEUPS: Yahoo | FanDuel | DraftKings
WR Tyrell Williams, Chargers @ Seahawks ($16). Here’s our big contrarian pick of the week, but is it really that contrarian? If anything, we’re chasing trends, which is scary in its own right. As we pointed out in our review of last week’s perfect DraftKings lineup, if Seattle gives up WR touchdowns, it’s almost always to secondary receivers. Marvin Jones made the perfect lineup against them in Week 8, and Williams has a similar profile to Jones. He enters Week 9 coming off a bye, but in the two games prior, he produced 236 yards (118 in each) and three total TDs. This game is in Seattle, where the Seahawks defense usually plays better, but we expect Williams to be fairly low owned despite some obvious signs pointing to continued success from the boom-or-bust Williams.
TE O.J. Howard, Buccaneers @ Panthers ($19). Again, we might be chasing points here, as Howard scored last week, but his remarkably high floor for a TE (at least 54 yards in every game he finished this year) is a factor, even in GPPs. The switch back to Ryan Fitzpatrick shouldn’t affect Howard much, and a matchup against a Panthers defense that has struggled against TEs all season (second-most fantasy points per game allowed) should guarantee success. (Sorry for the jinx.) You could also save $4 with teammate Cameron Brate, who has a similar ceiling despite a much lower floor. This might actually make sense in tournaments, but you better not waste that extra money if you do so. For instance, if a bump down to Brate could’ve landed us Funchess for our FLEX, we would’ve gone for it, but we would’ve needed another $2. D.J. Moore is tempting because we really want a piece of the Panthers offense against the Bucs, but we’re not sure he’s worth the extra risk.
MORE WEEK 9 DFS: Values | Stacks | Lineup Builder
FLEX Willie Snead, Ravens vs. Steelers ($16). Snead continues to see a nice volume of targets (11 last week), but he’s yet to top 60 yards in a game and hasn’t scored since Week 1. Opportunities eventually yield points, and we’re banking on that happening against a Steelers team that has struggled vs. WRs most of the season.
D/ST Detroit Lions @ Vikings ($11). Here’s where we wish we had that extra $4 we spent on Howard. Miami ($14) at home against the Jets is much more appealing than the Lions on the road against the Vikings, but defense has been a crapshoot most of the year anyway, so we’re going with a leaky, big-play defense against a solid, big-play-allowing offense. As good as Minnesota’s attack has been, it has often allowed big defensive plays, including three D/ST touchdowns, four games with at least four sacks allowed, and at least one turnover in all but one game. The Vikings are going to score points, but at almost the Yahoo minimum, Detroit could still pay off with one big play.
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