NFL DFS Picks – 2016 Week 9

I’m still trying to process last week, as it was one of those weeks where chalk didn’t make it. Now, granted, every week some chalk play doesn’t hit, but for the most part, more chalk plays failed than any other week this year. I’m telling you that my cash games on FanDuel totaled 66 points – with Mike Evans, Julio Jones, T.Y. Hilton, Spencer Ware and Jimmy Graham as my core. Yeah. Any other week this year, that would have cashed and potentially took down a tournament. But they all crashed. The important thing to note here is diversifying your lineups into cash and tournaments. Because of two very strong tournament lineups, my weekend was not last, and I actually finished in the black. For new players, this is an important thing to remember. Typically, I play cash games to hedge my tournament play, since I typically do hit in cash games, but there is certainly a situation where the opposite can be true as well. Anyway, on to the picks!

Prices are FD/DK

QUARTERBACK:

Aaron Rodgers (9100/7800) – Aaron Rodgers is likely to be the top quarterback this week, and I do believe he is the most likely to finish with the top score. This team literally has no running game right now, meaning Rodgers is going to pass and pass some more. The Colts are getting killed on the ground mostly, which certainly does skew their rankings when it comes to defending the pass, so Rodgers should have no issues here. In cash games, I don’t see a reason to go any other way.

Cam Newton (8100/7000) – I think Newton could go overlooked this week, as he didn’t do very well last week and some people think the Rams defense is tough. I think this is a perfect time to target Newton, who most likely has the highest upside on the week due to his legs. I’m not considering him at any point in cash games, but I do think there is some merit in using him in tournament games this weekend.

Colin Kaepernick (7200/5600) – My favorite tournament play on the week at the position is definitely Kaepernick. It is tough to trust him because he is not very good, but he is at home and he is playing a defense that is likewise not very good. He has upside here, and I think things could be even better for him if Carlos Hyde is able to return, as it gives this offense another option. I think he is a guy who could end up hitting than 5x value marker, at least on DraftKings where his price is very, very low.

RUNNING BACK:

Ezekiel Elliott (9200/7900) – Unquestionably, Elliott is the top option on the week at any position. The Browns are not going to have any kind of an answer for him, despite the fact that they picked up Jaime Collins this week. He’s playable in both formats, and I think he should be able to eclipse the 100 yard mark and add at least one touchdown this week, giving him huge upside.

Devonta Freeman (7600/6700) – For those of us playing on the Thursday night slate, Freeman poses a huge upside play as the only real running back in the backfield with Tevin Coleman sidelined. While it is true that the Buccaneers are much more susceptible to the pass than the run, Freeman’s involvement in both aspects of the game will do his fantasy owners major favors.

Melvin Gordon (7800/6300) – Gordon makes for an excellent tournament play in a matchup that looks poor on paper this week. He has been one of the most stable running backs in the NFL all year, which is really saying something considering how poorly he played last year. I think this is a week that you can get him at low ownership and he could end up cracking the 20/30 point mark, site specific.

Terrance West (6400/4700) – A lot of fantasy players are going to be down on West after putting up a putrid outing before the bye week, but not this guy! I’ll gladly buy in at his price, especially on DraftKings, as the Steelers defense is showing their true colors and getting gashed through the air and now the ground. I think we’ll see West break over the 100-yard mark and anything else above that will just be icing on the cake.

Tim Hightower (6100/4000) – I don’t really feel comfortable paying this price on FanDuel, but he makes an excellent punt option on DraftKings. He will probably carry high ownership at this price, so there is certainly merit to fading him completely, and possibly going back to Ingram who is likely to be far, far less owned. I will probably have a lineup or two with him, and a lineup or two with Ingram.

WIDE RECEIVER: 

Julio Jones (9000/9600) – Julio was a colossal disappointment last week, and even though I dislike playing guys on Thursday nights, I think I will have a number of them this week. At the top of the list in Julio, as I think we will bounce back nicely from his dud last week. There is no one on the Tampa Bay defense that is going to be able to hold him down, and I fully expect to see him over 100 yards with at least one touchdown in this one.

Amari Cooper (7700/7700) – Cooper is going to be an interesting case this week, as he is coming off a huge game last week, but is facing a pretty good defense. I’m thinking this will likely bring his ownership numbers down quite a bit, and even though I’m not going to go overboard, I will have some shares of Cooper. If he is able to have another monster game this week, it is likely to be at low ownership, which will certainly drive your squads up the leaderboard.

Jarvis Landry (7600/7100) – The Jets defense isn’t very good against the pass. I’m still not sure what to make of Jay Ajayi, but if he isn’t able to get the offense going, I expect Tannehill to look to his security blanket to go to work. He’s likely to see a high amount of targets, and he should be able to crack the double-digit mark. He’s an excellent cash game play in this matchup.

Davante Adams (7100/5900) – I want to say that Adams production is largely dependent on Randall Cobb and Ty Montgomery remaining out, but I don’t think that is the case. Even with those two in the lineup, he saw double-digit targets. He’s clearly Rodger’s top guy right now, and that means a lot considering that they still don’t have a running game. I think I’d probably roll him out only in tournaments, but he is a high upside play.

Kenny Britt (6000/4400) – Britt is going to be a relatively low owned play, because I think many fantasy players are still holding out hope that Tavon Austin will be the top dog in the passing game. I think he should be able to beat the weak Carolina secondary, and I think he could put up another nice outing. Again, this is nothing more than a tournament play, but it could surely pay off this week.

TIGHT END:

Travis Kelce (6600/5300) – My top option at the position this week is going to be Travis Kelce. I think many DFSers are going to go the route of Charcandrick West, and while I don’t think they are totally wrong, I think I would prefer to go the route of Kelce who will look to build off a strong game last week. Jacksonville is beatable regardless of what has happened thus far, and I am expecting a high score from Kelce.

Dennis Pitta (5200/3800) – If you wanted to save a little bit of cash, I think there is some merit to looking into Pitta. He has back-to-back double-digit target games, and eventually those are going to turn into big fantasy games. This matchup against Pittsburgh could definitely be the opportunity Pitta has been looking for all year, and I think he’ll get into the end zone this week.

Austin Hooper (4500/2500) – On Thursday night, if you wanted to save some cash, I think that going to Hooper would be a good idea. Jacob Tamme has been ruled out for this game, and we’ve already seen some flashes out of Hooper this year. I think he’s a pretty good tournament play that could end up paying dividends in what could end up being the highest scoring Thursday night game of the year.

DEFENSE:

Kansas City Chiefs (5100/3500) – Jacksonville looks horrible right now, and I don’t think going on the road to face off with a tough Chiefs defense is going to make them look any better. I think this is a good spot to run with the Chiefs, as they could end up in double-digits, which is just about all we hope for from our defenses.

Seattle Seahawks (4900/3900) – If playing the Thu-Mon slate, running the Seahawks defense is a good idea. They are going to be home and I am not sold on this Buffalo offense. I could certainly see them being able to shut down the Buffalo offense, and that could result in a big fantasy day.