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Andrew Swanson | Archive | Email |
Staff Writer

DFS Preview for Week 9

The NFL trade deadline took on a fantasy-like feel on Tuesday with multiple teams exchanging marquee skill position players, while the Browns continue to be the laughing stock of the league for allegedly failing to submit the paperwork on time for a trade with the Bengals.

The trades of Jay Ajayi to the Eagles and Kelvin Benjamin to the Bills are the most intriguing moves for fantasy purposes. Although Ajayi has been a bust for fantasy owners, ranks him as a top-10 running back regarding his overall play this year, opening the door for higher fantasy returns as part of the potent Philly offense.

Benjamin joining the Bills may not be an increase in fantasy value now that he joins a team that ranks 26th in pass attempts and runs the ball more than any team in the league. But it is undoubtedly an increase in value for quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who now has a decent wide receiving corps with Benjamin and Jordan Matthews.

Many DFS players will not focus on the players who were traded, but rather the players moving up on the depth chart for their respective teams like Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams in Miami, and Curtis Samuel in Carolina.

I plan on taking a wait and see approach this week to see how these changes pan out. However, Samuel’s $3,100 salary in what could be a shootout against Atlanta is a nice cheap play in a GPP.

Here are a few other DFS options I am targeting for Week 9:

Drew Brees

Tampa Bay has given up the 6th most fantasy points to QBs and 2nd most fantasy points to WRs.


H2H/Cash - Drew Brees vs. Tampa Bay ($7,000 on DraftKings)

With the NFC South-leading Saints sitting at 5-2 on the year, it may surprise some fantasy players to know that Drew Brees is on pace for his fewest passing touchdowns, attempts, and completions since joining New Orleans in 2010. The 2017 Saints are winning because of their run game and defense, while Brees is limiting his turnovers (on pace for his lowest interception total as a Saint at 10).

The new approach to winning games is great if you are a Saints fan, but not so great if you invested an early round pick on Brees, who is tied with Matthew Stafford for 11th in points per game this season. With that said, if there were ever a time to start Brees in DFS, a home game against the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs would be the time.

Other options to consider - Russell Wilson vs. Washington & Dak Prescott vs. Kansas City

GPP - Jared Goff @ New York Giants ($5,500 on DraftKings)

The Giants come out of the bye decimated by injuries and team-imposed suspensions, as five starting players, including linebacker B.J. Goodson and defensive end Olivier Vernon have already been ruled out. Also, starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been suspended indefinitely for violating team rules.

This bodes well for all Los Angeles skill position players, including quarterback Jared Goff. A Goff/Sammy Watkins stack could be fantasy gold in GPP.

Other options to consider - Jacoby Brissett @ Houston & Jameis Winston @ New Orleans

Fade - Kirk Cousins @ Seattle ($5,700 on DraftKings)

With injuries to key skill position players like Jordan Reed, Jamison Crowder, and Terrelle Pryor, and starting offensive linemen Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff limited with knee injuries, the Redskins could be in for a long afternoon in Seattle on Sunday. I’m not banking on a second-consecutive shootout at the Link, and neither should you.

Running Backs

H2H/Cash - Leonard Fournette vs. Cincinnati ($8,400 on DraftKings)

Rookie sensation Leonard Fournette is a full participant in practice after missing Week 7 with an ankle injury. The matchup against the Bengals 7th ranked rush defense isn’t great, but Fournette is a touchdown scoring machine with a TD in all but one game, and the Jags defense will give numerous short fields for Blake Bortles and the Jacksonville offense to score points.

Other options to consider - Ezekiel Elliott vs. Kansas City & Mark Ingram vs. Tampa Bay

GPP - Alvin Kamara vs. Tampa Bay ($6,300 on DraftKings)

I love both Saints running backs this week and plan on playing Mark Ingram in many cash lineups. For GPP, the big play ability of Kamara against a Bucs team that allowed the 11th-most points to opposing backs is too enticing to pass up. Dalvin Cook, James White, Tarik Cohen, and LeSean McCoy all had big performances in the passing game against Tampa Bay. Kamara will be the next star added to this list.

Other options to consider - Alex Collins @ Tennessee & Derrick Henry vs. Baltimore

Fade - Devonta Freeman @ Carolina ($6,600 on DraftKings)

A shoulder injury has limited Freeman this week in practice, making him a risky play this week in DFS against a Panthers defense that has allowed the third-fewest points to opposing RBs. I am avoiding Falcons as much as possible, and there are too many other good options to use $6,600 on this week.

Wide Receivers

H2H/Cash - Michael Thomas vs. Tampa Bay ($7,200 on DraftKings)

Although he has only two receiving touchdowns on the year and two 20-plus point games, Thomas continues to be peppered with targets (19 combined in his last two games), with seven catches for at least 75 yards in each of his previous two contests. It doesn’t get much better than the Bucs pass defense that ranks second in points allowed to opposing wide receivers.

Other options to consider - Dez Bryant vs. Kansas City and Julio Jones @ Carolina

GPP - Cole Beasley vs. Kansas City ($4,000 on DraftKings)

The Oakland Raiders provided a blueprint for other teams to use against the Chiefs when Amari Cooper busted out with his 200-yard game against Kansas City. The Chiefs are vulnerable in the slot and can be beaten with underneath passes against nickel and linebacker coverage.

With just 13 targets in his last three games, Beasley has been the forgotten man in the Dallas passing game in 2017 after a career-high 98 targets in 2016. Look for Beasley to have at least seven targets and a score this week in what could be a high-scoring game.

Other options to consider - T.Y. Hilton @ Houston & Tyreek Hill @ Dallas

Fade - Will Fuller vs. Indy ($7,000 on DraftKings)

The Will Fuller express will come to a screeching halt this week now that Deshaun Watson is out for the season with a torn ACL. Fuller may continue his touchdown streak, but a low-volume passing attack to limit mistakes from Tom Savage is likely the game plan for head coach Bill O’Brien.

Tight End

H2H/Cash - Jack Doyle @ Houston ($4,300 on DraftKings)

Doyle is clearly Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target and the number one receiving option on the Colts after his 12/121/1 line last week in a loss at Cincinnati. While I do anticipate the Colts making a concerted effort to give squeaky wheel Hilton more work, Doyle will continue to be peppered with targets and is a great value at $4,300.

Other options to consider - Jimmy Graham vs. Washington & Evan Engram vs. L.A. Rams

GPP - Gerald Everett @ N.Y. Giants ($2,600 on DraftKings)

Quite possibly the best upside tight end is a mere $2,600 on DraftKings this week, despite the fact that the Giants have allowed the most points to opposing tight ends and at least one receiving TD to tight ends in every game this year. Although I anticipate a high ownership level in GPP, I am still rolling out Everett in multiple tickets this week.

Other options to consider - Ben Watson @ Tennessee & A.J. Derby @ Philly

Fade - Travis Kelce @ Dallas ($6,700 on DraftKings)

There are no must-fade tight ends for me this week, so I decided to go with Kelce against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed the second-fewest points to opposing tight ends and Kelce is coming off a massive game against the Broncos and could be in line for a down fantasy performance.

Defense & Special Teams

Philadelphia vs. Denver ($3,300)

The no-brainier play of the week is Jacksonville against a Bengals team that struggles to protect the quarterback. After the Jags, my second favorite play is the Eagles at home against Brock Osweiler and the Broncos. Not only is Osweiler an interception waiting to happen, but the Denver offensive line has also struggled to protect the quarterback, and the Eagles excel at putting pressure on the QB.