DraftKings NFL: Week 9 Picks
DraftKings NFL: Week 9 Picks

This article is part of our DraftKings NFL series.

Sunday's 10-game slate is the smallest we've had this season, and the lack of star power at certain positions makes guys we're used to getting a little cheaper now look overpriced. Thankfully, there are some values at every position, so cash-game lineup construction should continue to be relatively spread out, with one or two key players looking chalky.

QUARTERBACKS

Russell Wilson, SEA vs. TB ($7,100): The case for Wilson is pretty simple: the Seahawks have the highest implied team total and are playing a Buccaneers defense that's allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season among teams on the slate (sixth-most overall). After a decent statistical start, the Bucs have allowed 15 touchdowns to QBs in the past five games (13 passing, two rushing), including five in the past two weeks to Kyle Allen and Ryan Tannehill. Additionally, they've been elite against the run, allowing the third-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs, giving the Seahawks even more reason to rely on Wilson, who happens to be the most expensive quarterback on the slate.

Derek Carr, OAK vs. DET ($5,500): You could certainly make the case that the other quarterback in this game, Detroit's Matthew Stafford ($6,800), should get some serious consideration given the Raiders have allowed more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than any other team on the slate, but at just $300 less than Wilson it's tough to see many going that way in cash games, with the pivot more obvious in GPPs because of potentially lower ownership and easier stacking options. However, Carr has a solid matchup in his own right, as the Lions' defense has been surprisingly poor, allowing just as many fantasy points per game to quarterbacks as the Buccaneers, and none of the quarterbacks they've faced have scored a rushing touchdown, so it's not like the profile of players beating the Lions is different than Carr. After a pretty poor start to the season, Carr has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of his past five games, including 285 yards and three touchdowns last week at Houston. Additionally, the Raiders are playing their first home game since Week 2 (their Week 5 "home" game against Chicago was in London), and while Carr struggled there earlier in the season, a $5,500 price will surely make you think the home cooking will help.

RUNNING BACKS

Christian McCaffrey, CAR v. TEN ($10,000): There was some hesitation on McCaffrey last week because of his matchup against the excellent 49ers defense, and he responded by rushing 14 times for 117 yards and a touchdown while catching four of five targets for 38 receiving yards, finishing with 30.5 fantasy points, the fifth time in seven games he's breached 30.0. Finally up to a five-digit salary, McCaffrey's matchup is easier than last week but not so easy that you shouldn't hesitate on his price. With Kyle Allen under center again, there's no denying that McCaffrey will be the focal point of the offense, and while the Titans have allowed the 11th-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season, they allowed over 20.0 fantasy points to running backs from the Browns, Colts, Falcons, Broncos and Chargers while keeping Leonard Fournette out of the end zone (shocking, I know), along with Frank Gore and Peyton Barber. Needless to say, McCaffrey is far better than anyone on that list, and the only reason to think about fading him is that you can get Dalvin Cook ($9,500) for slightly less in a prime matchup against a Chiefs defense that's allowed the most fantasy points to running backs this season, including four touchdowns to the Packers in Week 8. There aren't a plethora of value wide receivers, but there may be just enough for those who want to roster McCaffrey and Cook together.

Le'Veon Bell, NYJ at MIA ($7,700): Bell has been significantly disappointing this season, though much of the blame can be put on the offensive line and head coach Adam Gase's play calling. However, a matchup against the Dolphins, even in Miami, isn't something that should be avoided. Only three teams in the NFL, including two on the slate, have allowed more fantasy points to running backs this season, and while his efficiency hasn't been good, Bell is still getting plenty of touches, as only five running backs have been targeted more times than his 42, and his 108 rushing attempts are 90 more than the rest of the team's running backs combined. If there was ever a time to use Bell in cash games, this is it.

Jaylen Samuels, PIT v. IND ($4,000): The matchup against the Colts isn't ideal, as they have allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season, but a Steelers' starting running back at $4,000 can't be ignored, especially when the regular starter (James Conner) and the third-stringer (Benny Snell) don't play. Conner was knocked out of last week's game because of a shoulder injury and was unable to practice Wednesday and Thursday, while Snell has already been ruled out after undergoing knee surgery this week. Conner being active would make Samuels a lot riskier of a play, and probably unsuitable for cash games, but if he gets the full workload at this price, he could be the highest-owned player in double ups. And if you're stuck in this range but Conner plays, Mark Walton ($4,500) has a solid matchup against the Jets.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Mike Williams, LAC vs. GB ($4,600): Williams was a popular cash-game wide receiver last week at Chicago, and while he finished with a serviceable three catches on six targets for 69 yards at a $4,000 salary, he actually dropped a potential long touchdown pass that could have really made his score explode. The matchup at home against the Packers should be slightly easier, even if it'll probably sound like a Packers home game, and Williams comes in with at least six targets in five straight games, not to mention his five targets inside the five-yard line this season. His salary range is one that could be very popular for those who want to pay up elsewhere, as DeVante Parker ($4,400) and Preston Williams ($4,200) have a solid matchup against the Jets, Danny Amendola ($4,700), who comes in with 16 catches on 19 targets for 200 yards over the past two games and will line up against a struggling Raiders defense, and D.J. Moore ($4,800), had 27 targets in his last three.

DK Metcalf, SEA vs. TB ($5,700): The Bucs vs. Seahawks game has the highest total on the slate, and with a few values at running back and tight end, you can pretty easily stack the top two receivers on both teams along with one of the quarterbacks. Metcalf is the cheapest of the group, as teammate Tyler Lockett is $7,500 while Chris Godwin ($7,300) and Mike Evans ($7,200) are worthwhile targets; if only they could more consistently dominate together. Evans leads the league with 1,012 air yards and is sixth in receiving yards while Godwin is one spot ahead in the latter category. The Seahawks' pass defense has gotten better recently, but with the team expected to be behind and having to pass their way back in, there are still high expectations for the receivers. Meanwhile, Metcalf hasn't been able to rack up the yards like the Bucs guys (or like Lockett, who has 615 yards on 54 targets), but his 14.0 aDOT is encouraging, and he had two touchdowns just last week (he only had three catches on five targets). Metcalf's consistency isn't there for cash games, but the matchup, game total and salary have to put him in the discussion. If you really don't want to trust it, Jamison Crowder ($5,300) is only slightly cheaper, while Courtland Sutton ($5,800) isn't as enticing with Brandon Allen ($4,100) throwing passes to him instead of Joe Flacco (knee). Actually, he is.

Allen Robinson, CHI at PHI ($6,800): Robinson makes a ton of sense in a vacuum, as he's been targeted at least seven times in every game this season, though he has yet to reach 100 yards since Week 1 thanks to relatively mediocre quarterback play. His matchup Sunday is excellent, as the Eagles have really struggled to contain no. 1 wide receivers, allowing the most fantasy points to the position overall this season. The difficulty with rostering Robinson is that it handcuffs you a bit if you want to pay up for two running backs, which certainly isn't a must even if the best players on the slate are the expensive backs. Consideration for Robinson should come after deciding whether Kenny Golladay ($7,700) is worth paying up for in his prime matchup against the Raiders, a price that may not seem all that nuts if guys like Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins and Cooper Kupp were on the slate. With lots of people possibly going in that direction, we could get a lower-owned Davante Adams ($7,100) in a game that could actually have a lot of points and cheap-enough fantasy players to do a full game stack.

TIGHT ENDS

Darren Waller, OAK vs. DET ($6,300): It's not often that you consider a tight end who costs more than the quarterback who will be throwing him the ball, but here we are with Carr and Waller. The Lions haven't faced the toughest group of tight ends this season, though they did give up nine catches on 10 targets for 128 yards to the Chiefs, including seven catches for 85 yards to Travis Kelce ($6,900), the most expensive tight end on the slate. Waller is coming off one of his worst games of the season, catching two of eight targets for 11 yards and a touchdown, but the matchup against Detroit and the possibility of stacking him with Carr should surely have people considering him at his salary, especially with Kelce likely trying to catch passes from Matt Moore ($4,800) instead of Patrick Mahomes ($7,000).

Zach Ertz, PHI vs. CHI ($4,700): Consideration for Ertz is wholly dependent on the expectation that the Eagles revert back to when they used him as a significant part of their passing game and not what he's produced recently, catching four of 10 targets for 58 yards in the past two games combined. The reduced production was preceded by six consecutive games with at least seven targets, so there's a relatively recent track record of interest from quarterback Carson Wentz ($5,700). However, the recent play by Dallas Goedert ($3,100) could continue to make people shy away from Ertz. Goeddert has caught seven of nine targets in the past two games, but more importantly, he's racked up 91 yards and two touchdowns in that span.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

Steelers vs. IND ($2,400): The Steelers defense is surprisingly cheap for a unit that's scored at least 11.0 fantasy points in five straight games, with just one touchdown in that span. Despite 17 turnovers and 19 sacks in this five-game run, there are only five defenses that are cheaper than the Steelers, who face an Indianapolis offense that scored fewer than 20 points in two of their last three games. If you're not looking to pay down at defense, the Seahawks ($3,600) are big home favorites and facing a Tampa Bay offense that continues to be led by Jameis Winston, who has 12 interceptions and eight fumbles (three lost) in seven starts this season.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Andrew M. Laird plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: kingmorland, DraftKings: andrewmlaird, Yahoo: Lairdinho.
RotoWire Community
Join Our Subscriber-Only NFL Chat
Chat with our writers and other RotoWire NFL fans for all the pre-game info and in-game banter.
Join The Discussion
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Andrew M. Laird
Andrew M. Laird, the 2017 and 2018 FSWA Soccer Writer of the Year, is RotoWire's Head of DFS Content and Senior Soccer Editor. He is a seven-time FSWA award finalist, including twice for the Football Writer of the Year Award.
NFL Injury Analysis: Few Details on Stafford’s Injury
NFL Injury Analysis: Few Details on Stafford’s Injury
Streaming Defenses: Week 11 Options
Streaming Defenses: Week 11 Options
Hidden Stat Line: NFL Week 10 Recap
Hidden Stat Line: NFL Week 10 Recap
IDP Analysis: Week 11 Matchups
IDP Analysis: Week 11 Matchups
NFL Waiver Wire: Week 11 Pickups
NFL Waiver Wire: Week 11 Pickups
East Coast Offense: Making Peace With the Arbitrary
East Coast Offense: Making Peace With the Arbitrary