Welcome to King for a Day - Our new weekly feature focusing on DraftKings' Fantasy Football contests.
For the uninitiated, DraftKings runs fantasy salary-based football contests where users can take home cash each week instead of waiting for the end of the season. It's a great time to start playing fantasy football contests on DraftKings, as new depositors receive a free qualifier ticket into the Millionaire Grand Finale.
Like most fantasy football formats, it's all about value on DraftKings. Don't be afraid to scroll down a bit when picking players, as the beginning of the season is the best time to cash in on some of your "sleepers". Is there a rookie who you believe is headed for instant stardom? If so, now would be the best time to pick him on DraftKings. If he breaks out like you think he will, the player's cost will rise over the course of the season. He may be one of the cheapest options at his position this week, but that won't be the case after a string of 100-yard games.
Now, on to some of the best values in Week 9:
Aaron Rodgers, GB, $8100 vs. CHI – Rodgers doesn't seem to mind playing without three of his top four receiving targets, as he's completed 75 percent of his passes over the last two games with five touchdowns and no fumbles or interceptions. Last week against Minnesota, the Packers amazingly managed to score on every possession, keeping punter Tim Masthay on the sideline. Meanwhile, the Chicago defense is fading fast and still hasn't held an opponent under 21 points so far this season. You probably won't get another crack at Rodgers for less than $8500, so take the bargain while you can.
Andy Dalton, CIN, $7300 vs. MIA – The matchup isn't particularly good, but with apologies to Aaron Rodgers, the Red Rifle is arguably the hottest quarterback in the league. Dalton has thrown for at least 300 yards and three touchdowns in each of his last three games, including a 325-yard, five-touchdown performance last week against the Jets. This looks like more than a flash in the pan, as Dalton is now on pace for 32 passing touchdowns and nearly 4,500 yards through the air.
Eddie Lacy, GB, $6600 vs. CHI – The Bears' run defense has been abysmal recently, while the Packers have a strong running game for the first time in years. This isn't all about Aaron Rodgers setting Lacy up with easy yards, either. The rookie out of Alabama has flashed an impressive combination of vision, strength, and quickness that should serve him well throughout his career. The only thing missing has been big plays, and that's not an overriding concern for a running back that has topped 20 carries in each of his last four games.
Stevan Ridley, NE, $5200 vs. PIT – Ridley has produced at least 4.5 yards per carry in four consecutive games, finding the end zone four times during that stretch. While he's still somewhat limited by the Patriots' committee approach, Ridley seems to be working his way back into favor. It won't necessarily happen this week, but at some point Ridley could find himself back in the full-time role that saw him rush for 1,263 yards in 2012.
Harry Douglas, ATL, $5500 vs. CAR – Douglas isn't a great player by any means, but he's been Matt Ryan's favorite target with both Roddy White (ankle) and Julio Jones (IR-foot) sidelined. While White may have a chance to return this week, Douglas should maintain a large role in the offense, regardless of White's status. With 25 targets and 270 receiving yards over the last two games, Douglas probably won't be disappearing anytime soon.
Pierre Garcon, WAS, $5800 vs. SD – Garcon ranks fourth in the NFL with 78 targets, and he's caught at least five passes in every game. His lack of big plays is a bit surprising, but he should have a chance to break free against a shaky San Diego defense. Per usual, Garcon gets a boost due to DraftKings' PPR format. The sixth-year wideout is on pace for a career-high 107 receptions.
Keenan Allen, SD, $4600 vs. WAS Allen doesn't seem to be getting much love after a mediocre performance against the Jaguars and a bye week. Don't be fooled by the low price or lack of media attention. Allen has clearly emerged as the Chargers' top receiver with 23 receptions for 369 yards and two touchdowns over the last four games. The $4600 price tag would be cheap if Allen were facing a solid defense, and it's an absolute steal against the Redskins' miserable pass D.
Rob Gronkowski, NE, $6800 vs. PIT – Gronk's second game of the season was a major disappointment, though he did have a long touchdown negated by a penalty. Most importantly, Gronkowski looks healthy so far, and he's clearly the most talented receiving option in the New England offense. Even with a difficult matchup on tap, Gronkowski's a good bet to break out in his third game of the season. Remember, this guy has 38 touchdowns in 45 career games.
Jordan Reed, WAS, $5000 vs. Was – Reed and Pierre Garcon are clearly the top options in the Washington passing game, with Reed leading the way over the last two weeks. The rookie out of Florida has 17 receptions on 23 targets over his last two games, as he appears to be one of the breakout stars of the season. Facing a weak San Diego defense, it won't be a surprise if Reed's hot streak continues. This guy is the real deal, and he'll probably be one of the more expensive tight ends by the end of the season.
Cincinnati, $3700 vs. MIA – Cincinnati boasts one of the elite defenses in the league, while Miami has been middling (at best) on offense. These teams appear to be headed in different directions, as the Dolphins are stuck in a four-game losing streak, and the Bengals have won four in a row. I'm also a fan of Seattle ($5,500) against Tampa Bay's hideous offense, though I'm reluctant to pay that much for any defense, regardless of how favorable the matchup.
Kai Forbath, WAS, $3000 vs. SD – If you couldn't tell yet, I think the Redskins and Chargers will end up in a shootout. Forbath isn't a great kicker but he'll cost you just $3000, and he ‘s attached to a respectable offense that is facing a weak defense.