This article is part of our DraftKings USFL series.
We're down to the penultimate week of the regular season, and fortunately, there's still one playoff spot up for grabs. The fact that the two teams vying for it, the Breakers and Bandits, are playing each other this week makes this late-season slate all the more intriguing.
USFL DK contests will require players to roster one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers or tight ends, two FLEX spots with either a running back, receiver or tight end and a team defense.
USFL DFS Picks and Plays - Week 9
Quarterback Plays for USFL Week 9
Kyle Sloter, NO vs. TB ($11,000): Sloter has had trouble turning the ball over at times this season, never more drastically than in the Week 8 one-point heartbreaker of a loss to the tough Stallions defense when he was picked off three times. However, the final interception was somewhat of a desperation heave with time winding down, and he'll face a more palatable opponent overall this week. The Bandits have only recorded three interceptions on the season, and Sloter also lit them up for 26.7 DK points in Week 2 on the strength of a 266-yard, two-touchdown effort. Tampa Bay ranks in the middle of the league with 188.6 passing yards per game allowed, and Sloter should be particularly locked in with a playoff spot on the line for New Orleans.
Case Cookus, PHI at PIT ($9,800): Cookus enjoyed a sensational Sunday afternoon in Week 8, extracting some serious damage on the Panthers through both the ground and air on his way to a whopping 47.1 DK points. The mobile signal-caller threw for 247 yards and four touchdowns while also ripping off a memorable 79-yard touchdown run on his way to 102 rushing yards. While those types of numbers are naturally going be hard to replicate, Cookus does have another favorable matchup versus a Maulers team whose motivation could be in question at this point with only two games remaining. Pittsburgh has also allowed 24.1 points and 302.9 yards per game, and they've been susceptible to the run in particular while yielding 141.1 rushing yards per contest.
Luis Perez, NJ at MICH ($7,700): Perez put together another ultra-efficient performance in Week 8, completing over 70.0 percent of his passes for the fourth straight week on his way to 12.4 DK points. The Texas A & M product typically takes a conservative approach and therefore doesn't rack up many gaudy numbers, but he has a deep pool of targets to throw to and a formidable ground attack to keep the defense honest. Additionally, the Panthers have yielded between 313 and 416 total yards in the last three games, including Cookus' aforementioned 247-yard, four-touchdown effort that also included 102 rushing yards in Week 8.
ALSO CONSIDER: J'Mar Smith, BHAM vs. HOU ($10,600)
Running Back Plays for USFL Week 9
Darius Victor, NJ at MICH ($9,200): Victor took his already impressive game up another level in Week 8 against the Maulers, scoring three touchdowns while amassing 106 total yards. The breakout effort led to a season-high 29.6 DK points, his second tally of over 20 DK points this season. Victor gained 40 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries versus the Panthers back in Week 2, and Michigan has conceded tallies of 175 and 188 rushing yards in two of the last three games.
Matt Colburn, PHI at PIT ($9,000): Colburn has been a key asset for the Stars in their recent surge, scoring 19.5 to 38.2 DK points in the last three games. The versatile back struggled with his efficiency on the ground in Week 8 against Michigan, but he still scored a rushing touchdown and added a 4-49-1 line through the air. Colburn has logged between 16 and 22 carries in those games, and he should once again be set for a clear lead-back role against a Maulers defense that's allowed a robust 141.1 rushing yards per game.
Bo Scarbrough, BHAM vs. HOU ($7,600): Scarbrough saw double-digit carries for the third straight game in Week 8 following back-to-back 100-yard efforts. The Alabama product, who's also logged seven targets in that span, seems to have wrested the lead-back role from C.J. Marable for the time being, making him an intriguing value play at running back against the feast-or-famine Gamblers defense. Houston has been gashed on the ground to the tune of 141.1 rushing yards per game, and given the Stallions are a solid favorite, game script could well be very friendly to the ground attack, especially in the second half.
ALSO CONSIDER: Trey Williams, NJ at MICH ($8,900); Madre London, PIT vs. PHI ($5,700)
Wide Receiver/Tight End Plays for USFL Week 9
Kavontae Turpin, NJ at MICH ($10,000): Turpin has become an every-week staple in this space due to his outstanding work the majority of the season and the upside he always carries. After a so-so Week 7 where he still managed to muster 11.3 DK points, Turpin bounced back with 20.3 DK points on a 5-83-1 line in Week 8 against the Maulers. He hasn't posted a single-digit fantasy-point tally since Week 2, and with at least five targets in five of the last six games and multiple rush attempts in each contest, he's once again in play despite the elevated salary.
Jordan Suell, PHI at PIT ($8,500): Suell came through in Week 8 with a 5-46-1 line that netted 15.6 DK points. That effort was preceded by a season-high tally of 18.9 DK points in Week 7 that also saw him find the end zone, and Suell has now posted four double-digit fantasy-point totals overall this season. That includes the 13.2 he posted against these same Maulers back in Week 2, when he recorded a co-season-high six receptions and season-best 72 yards and 10 targets. Pittsburgh has allowed a trio of 200+-yard passing days this season – which is something to note in the USFL – and Suell could certainly be a beneficiary in Week 9 when considering his significant chemistry with Cookus and his quarterback's improved play.
Jonathan Adams, NO vs. TB ($7,100): The Breakers' passing game has been one of the best in the league throughout the season, and Adams has been one of the key components. The big Arkansas State product has a 27-372 line for the season, and he's posted five double-digit DK-point tallies in the first eight weeks. Adams has seen between five and nine targets in six of the last seven games, and he already recorded 16.2 DK points on a 5-92 line (nine targets) against the Bandits back in Week 2.
Marlon Williams, BHAM vs. HOU ($6,100): Williams's profile rose significantly in Week 8 with Victor Bolden out due to a hamstring injury. While Bolden has been transferred back to the active roster Friday and is therefore in line to play in Week 9, but given the Stallions have their postseason spot locked up, it's certainly possible coach Skip Holtz is careful with his leading receiver. That could set Williams up for another strong return on what remains a very reasonable salary after he hauled in seven of 12 targets for 109 yards to net 20.9 DK points against the Breakers. Williams has three other double-digit DK-point tallies this season as well, including a total of 17.8 against these same Gamblers, which have allowed 223.9 passing yards per game.
ALSO CONSIDER: Taywan Taylor, NO vs. TB ($5,200); Alonzo Moore, NJ at MICH ($4,600)
Team Defense Plays for USFL Week 9
Birmingham Stallions ($5,500) vs. Houston Gamblers: The Stallions have been the league's best all-around defense all season, and they'll check in with 21 sacks, eight interceptions, seven fumble recoveries, a defensive touchdown and a safety on the way to 9.3 DK points per game. Birmingham put up 14 DK points against Houston in Week 2 as well, and they'll have the benefit of facing backup Kenji Bahar again this week with Clayton Thorson (elbow) unavailable. Starting running back Mark Thompson could also miss a second straight game for the Gamblers with a shoulder injury, and Birmingham's quest to keep its record unblemished should lead to another ferocious effort from its defense.
ALSO CONSIDER: New Orleans Breakers ($4,200) vs. Tampa Bay Bandits
USFL DFS Cheat Sheet for Week 9
My Week 9 core would be focused on this trio, which will account for $27.3K of your $50K salary cap. The pairing of Sloter and Adams could pay big dividends in a must-win game where the Breakers figure to remain aggressive, while Victor's workload should once again be elevated in a game the Generals have a good chance of controlling throughout.