Welcome to Week 9 of the RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship and this is a week more about the players on the bye week along with injuries and suspensions than anything else.
For this week there is NO Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, three of the top priced FanDuel players basically every week.
And before Thursday this is what I wrote: “Who would ever have thought that Houston Texans’ quarterback Deshaun Watson ($9,600) would be the highest priced player in the contest.”
Well, scratch that because beware Watson is OUT for Week 9 and for the season and that’s how things can change in a minute where the Texans signal caller suffered a right ACL tear during practice. And what did Allen Iverson say about “Practice!!!!,” but Watson knows now what ‘Practice’ is all about and not in a good way.
And in addition to the Watson injury, as of this writing on Friday morning, Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott ($8,900) was suspended for six games. If his people get a stay at the last minute, it will very well change a lot this week including season-long leagues.
But in Daily Fantasy Sports you can change pretty much on a dime even if there is an injury in practice or in the courts for suspensions.
With that said, if you are unfamiliar with the RotoWire & FanDuel Fantasy Football Championship competition, here are the basics:
– 10-week competition hosted on FanDuel
– $10 entry
– Compete against other users and three FanDuel experts (Jeff Erickson, Derek VanRiper, Kevin Payne)
– Finish above the experts and win an entry in the Week 11 Freeroll with over $4,000 in prizes and RotoWire subscriptions up for grabs
– Each qualifying week acts as a double-up with the top 150 doubling up their cash
– This is not a continuous competition so you can enter every week, and you don’t have to have participated in Week 1 to enter this week’s competition
– You can sign up for this week’s competition here
There is also a separate RotoWire expert competition that is taking place concurrently with the public competition including myself. It was a big week for Hunter Van Asten (hvanasten) who scored a 156.84 that was more than 15 points ahead of the second place finisher. Van Asten had one of the biggest producers last week in JuJu Smith-Schuster who had 28.8 points on Sunday night. Van Asten coupled that with Elliott (25.9 points) and Will Fuller (27 points) to take the top spot. With 141.22 points in second place last week, Mike Doria (mikeinlalaland) kept his lead overall with 964.36 points, less than 32 points ahead of the second overall placeholder, James Anderson (realjranderson at 932.80). You can check out the full expert leaderboard here, but here’s the current top 10:
1. Mike Doria (mikeinlalaland) 964.36
2. James Anderson (realjranderson) 932.80
3. Chris Benzine (crispy272001) 932.76
4. Logan Larson (lxlarson) 930.48
5. James Seltzer (schweppy23) 913.30
6. Tate McIntyre (tamc10) 912.82
7. Brett Goldhammer (bretskyball) 910.04
8. Benjamin Donabedian (jd0505) 906.92
9. Chris Smith (smithca28) 898.12
10. Vladimir Sedler (rotogutguy) 891.48
Note: Games for this contest are for Sunday afternoon and night only so the Detroit-Green Bay Monday Night Football game is not included.
As you will see below, there is a definite trend in stacking either the Dallas Cowboys or the Kansas City Chiefs in what Las Vegas is portraying as the highest scoring game of the week.
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QB Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys
FanDuel Price: $7,900
The highest over/under total on the slate (51 points) even more than New Orleans/Tampa Bay (50 points) and Indianapolis/Houston (49 1/2 points). Smith has shown that he can throw the ball this season. With Ezekiel Elliott most likely on the shelf, Dallas will be looking to throw the ball and in turn, I think this will push the Chiefs to also throw the ball.
QB Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Price: $8,200
This might not be technically a value pick, but he is probably the most reliable pick especially with some quarterbacks like Texans’ Tom Savage ($6,000) and Cards’ Drew Stanton ($6,400) going up pass friendly defenses of the Colts and 49ers respectively that you would not bank on especially in first or second starts of the season. Savage started the first week, but that now is almost two months ago. As of this writing on Friday, Ezekiel Elliott is suspended so there will be definitely being an uptick in passing for the Cowboys.
RB Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals at San Francisco 49ers
FanDuel Price: $6,800
The 49ers are one of the leakiest run defenses in the league by allowing 132 yards on the ground per game to go along with nine rushing touchdowns. And for Arizona, it is a new quarterback under center Drew Stanton that equals a heavy load for Peterson.
RB Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars
FanDuel Price: $6,300
The drums have been beating to give Mixon the ball more and that has started to be the case. In addition, Jacksonville has given up the most rushing yards per game, almost 139 yards per game. It was a disappointing 10.4 FanDuel points last week against Indianapolis, but there is no doubt the future has Mixon’s name on it for Cincinnati.
WR Tyreek Hill, Kansas City Chiefs at Dallas Cowboys
FanDuel Price: $7,700
This is the highest scoring game on the slate. With Ezekiel Elliott out Dallas will most likely be throwing the ball more and in turn, there will be more plays on the clock. Hill had a disappointing 3.8 FanDuel points last week, but it was a tough Denver secondary.
WR Dez Bryant, Dallas Cowboys vs. Kansas City Chiefs
FanDuel Price: $7,700
Without Ezekiel Elliott again another effect will be Dallas passing the ball, they will give the ball to the Alfred Morris ($5,600)/Darren McFadden ($5,600) combo, but Dak Prescott ($8,200) will have to throw the ball and that means Bryant.
High Risk/High Reward
RB Todd Gurley II, Los Angeles Rams at New York Giants
FanDuel Price: $9,100
This spot was originally for Deshaun Watson; but with Watson gone for the season, there must be a player in this spot. Without the usual, Tom Brady, Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, I have gone to a pretty dependable player in Gurley. The Rams would rather run the ball and Gurley should have a good day against a Giants run defense that has allowed top 10 yards per game.
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans vs. Indianapolis Colts
FanDuel Price: $9,100
Hopkins could very well score some points without quarterback Deshaun Watson, but the reason he is $9,100 is that of Watson. Now with quarterback Tom Savage under center, his expectations are way down and not worth $9,100.