Week 9 NFL DFS DraftKings Picks & Lineups
Seven weeks of the season are in the books, and we’re back with a full slate of NFL DFS games at DraftKings for Week 9. We’re listing our NFL DFS best picks at quarterback, running back, wide receiver, and tight end to target in Cash and GPP lineups.
Please note the advice below is relevant for daily fantasy purposes and slanted toward tournaments. A player or team might be better or worse from a fantasy perspective than in real life due to matchup, price, and lots of other factors. This is important to consider when constructing a roster. Injuries can also play a huge role in NFL DFS on a weekly basis. So always, always check the injury reports when playing an NFL slate.
DraftKings DFS Tournaments
Best Week 9 NFL DFS Quarterbacks
Jared Goff @ NO ($6.0k DraftKings)
I keep going back to Goff, and this week is no different. He’s an underdog on the road against Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints, the same Saints team that ranks 29th in DVOA against the pass. Goff has one of the best arsenals in the league with Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, and Robert Woods. Plus, Kupp returned to practice this week and could play on Sunday. With that kind of firepower, and an implied team total of 29, Goff should be called upon more often than usual. The Rams starter threw 35 times last week, his second-most attempts in a game this season. With the Saints as favorites, and ranking second in DVOA vs. the run, there certainly seems reason to believe Goff can match his 26.5 DK points from last week, and perhaps do even more damage considering game flow.
Alex Smith vs. ATL ($5.0k DraftKings)
Last week, the Atlanta Falcons allowed 399 passing yards and a touchdown to Eli Manning. The week prior, they allowed 395 yards and four touchdowns to Jameis Winston. Alex Smith, like Manning and Winston, has had a very disappointing year but could find some footing against a struggling Atlanta pass defense. The Falcons rank 28th in DVOA vs. the pass, and their recent history is very troubling. And cornerback Robert Alford still hasn’t practiced this week. Smith hasn’t exceeded 20 DraftKings points in a single game this year and hasn’t thrown for more than 300 yards in a start, but if ever there was a week for him to check both those achievements off his list, it’s at home in a close game against the visiting Falcons. It might not be 395 yards, but Smith has a high floor in this one, and some serious upside and leverage.
Kirk Cousins vs. DET ($6.2k DraftKings)
An obvious pivot off Patrick Mahomes, Cousins will likely go well under-owned this week due to his good, but underwhelming performances of late. Last week, he turned in a 24.66 DK-point outing against the Saints, driven largely by 359 passing yards and two scores. But the Lions won’t draw many people to Cousins in DFS the way a matchup against the Saints did. Yet this game could very well be something of a shootout. Vegas has the Vikings pegged for just over 26 points with a spread of -4.5. Considering the Lions just allowed three touchdowns to Russell Wilson (on only 17 attempts), Cousins should be a driver of the Vikings’ scoring, and he should get about twice as many as attempts as Wilson did. Take the upside and the savings (at least compared to Mahomes), plus some nice leverage on the field.
Cash Game Options: Patrick Mahomes, Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Ryan Fitzpatrick
Best Week 9 NFL DFS Running Backs
Latavius Murray vs. DET ($5.1 DraftKings)
Murray has at least 20 DraftKings points in three consecutive games, and Dalvin Cook’s hamstring injury looms large in Minnesota. If Murray is expected to be the lead back, which he should be, he provides great value at just $5.1k. The veteran back has four touchdowns and 280 rushing yards over his past three games, and last week he got the most work in the passing game he has to date, reeling in five receptions for 39 yards. The Detroit Lions allowed Chris Carson to run all over them last week, and the week prior, the Dolphins even managed over 100 yards rushing. Murray’s recent track record, coupled with the -4.5 line favoring Minnesota, makes him a strong start.
Nick Chubb vs. KC ($4.5 DraftKings)
As the lead back in Cleveland, Chubb is priced extremely low for a guy that has flashed big-play potential on a few occasions this season. The rookie will face a Kansas City defense that is above average in points allowed to running backs over the past year, and the Browns have an implied total of 21. They have to get those points somehow. Chubb is a risk, if only because he’s so young and has shown his inconsistency over the past few weeks. But he’s just too cheap not to consider in GPPs. The Browns defense is no joke, and while I don’t see them outright stopping Mahomes, they could at least keep it somewhat close. If Chubb reignites some of the magic from earlier in this season (i.e., three carries for 105 yards and two touchdowns against the Raiders in September), he’ll easily pay off that more-than-affordable price tag.
Adrian Peterson vs. ATL ($6.0 DraftKings)
Let the masses flock to AP this week, or maybe they’ll fade him? It’s hard to tell now, but Peterson will likely garner ownership in the mid-teens on DraftKings. That’s conflicting for me when suggesting him here, but he’s in a fantastic position to continue his run of success. The Falcons rank 31st in DVOA vs. the run, and they’ve allowed strong performances to the likes of Peyton Barber, James Connor, and even Giovani Bernard. Peterson is definitively better than two of those backs. Last week, he turned 26 carries into 149 yards and a score, while adding one reception for seven yards, which also happened to go for a touchdown. And though his 24 carries for 99 yards the week prior was just OK, it’s a strong sign that the RB workload in Washington is his. I expect a good overall day for this Washington squad, but Peterson has the highest upside of anyone on the team.
Cash Game Options: Todd Gurley, Mark Ingram, Peyton Barber, Chris Carson, Kareem Hunt
Best Week 9 NFL DFS Wide Receivers
Michael Crabtree vs. PIT ($4.8 DraftKings)
Crabtree saw only five targets last week, after combining for 30 targets over his past three games. Some positive regression (at least from a workload perspective) should be in store for Crabtree, who has seen eight or more targets in all games but one since joining the Ravens. This week, he’ll take on a Steelers team that he struggled against earlier this season (three catches for 29 yards). But as slight home favorites, the Ravens get road Ben Roethlisberger this week in what should really be their game to lose. Crabtree’s consistent workload over the season gives him a nice floor. It doesn’t hurt that in three home games this season he’s managed double-digit DK points in all of them (albeit still mediocre weeks). This Ravens offense doesn’t turn on the firepower all that often, but with no running game, playing in a close matchup, they’ll need to find a way to move the ball. Crabtree’s double-digit target upside and low ownership make him a strong GPP candidate in this one.
Julio Jones @ WAS ($7.9 DraftKings)
Washington ranks seventh in DVOA against WR1s, but Julio Jones is arguably the best of them all right now. However, his touchdown total this season doesn’t show that, and his ownership this week should trend downward (again) as a result. However, with Devonta Freeman out, there’s no reason to believe Jones’ upside isn’t still there, especially not when he’s sub-$8k. Jones still has zero touchdowns this season, but he’s scored 20 DraftKings points in three of the past four weeks. During that span, he’s averaged around 12 targets per game, but the Falcons are inexplicably not looking for him in the red zone. That provides some risk (and will be why many fade him), but Jones’ yardage and workload are safe. The touchdowns have to come eventually, right?
Courtland Sutton vs. HOU ($3.9 DraftKings)
With Demaryius Thomas shipped off to Houston, the Broncos welcome … the Houston Texans to Mile High Stadium on Sunday. Potential awkwardness noted, this is an immediate revenge game for DT against the team that drafted him, stood by him during injury, all to deal him away after he hit 30. But the real story is the flipside with Courtland Sutton. The rookie has flashed his skill this season, but three receptions for 78 yards last week was a career best. With Thomas gone, the Broncos are ready to expedite Sutton’s progress. The Texans have an above average passing defense, but Sutton’s salary is far too low for a starting wideout of his caliber, plus the vote of confidence Denver made by dealing Thomas. Sutton will be popular, but he opens up higher priced players elsewhere, so fade him with extreme caution.
Marvin Jones Jr. @ MIN ($5.3 DraftKings)
I like Courtland Sutton now that Thomas is gone. So why not Kenny Golladay here instead of Jones Jr. in the wake of Golden Tate’s departure? Well, for starters, the Vikings have been terrible against WR2s this season, ranking 26th in DVOA vs. that position, while ranking first against WR1s. Second, Jones and Matthew Stafford have had a remarkable rapport, and while Golladay could be in line for the majority of Tate’s targets, Jones faired just fine last week with both of them there, catching seven balls for 117 yards and two touchdowns. Golladay is an excellent player, and, of course, I’d rather have him long term, but there’s a big difference between long-view logic and DFS logic. Tate’s departure helps both guys, but Jones is the guy who will do more with it, and at a lower salary.
Stefon Diggs vs. DET ($6.8 DraftKings)
Speaking of a guy you’d rather have long term, Adam Thielen is clearly the guy on this Vikings team, but the Lions are bad against WR2s. Enter Stefon Diggs, and we’ve already gone through why we like Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins in this one. More specifically, the Lions rank 28th in DVOA vs. WR2s, and Diggs is an elite one of those. His 30-point week on DraftKings this past Sunday was a reminder of that, and he should do it all over again. Pressure on Thielen should mean more work for Diggs.
Cash Game Options: Cooper Kupp, Michael Thomas, Desean Jackson, Emmanuel Sanders, Kenny Golladay
Best Week 9 NFL DFS Tight Ends
Benjamin Watson vs. LA ($3.2 DraftKings)
Benjamin Watson’s highest DK point total this season hasn’t exceeded 17. That’s frustrating for the countless fantasy owners who have rostered him in favorable matchups. He’s interesting again this week, however, as he faces a Rams team that can score. Watson is a high-risk play, and he’s busted more than he’s boomed this year, but this will only drive down his ownership. You’re going to want exposure to this game, and there are plenty of options (mostly chalky) to sift through, many of which carry hefty price tags. Watson doesn’t and still provides some game-flow upside, even with his inconsistent performance in 2018. The Rams have a great defense, but they aren’t anything special in terms of DVOA vs. TE (9th). Watson should work with some more favorable matchups on the other side of the ball, and he could grab a chunk of the many points that should be scored in this one.
Greg Olsen vs. TB ($4.7 DraftKings)
Many DFS players don’t like spending into the $4ks for a tight end, but have you seen Tampa Bay recently? The Bucs rank 26th in DVOA vs. TE, and Olsen has been an elite one for the past several seasons. Though his 2018 campaign has been limited due to injury, he’s caught two touchdowns in consecutive games. And he looked downright “back” last week with four catches for 56 yards and a score at just $4.2k on DraftKings. The Panthers have an implied total of more than 30 points in this one, and Olsen is arguably the second-best scoring threat in this offense behind Christian McCaffrey.
Cash Game Options: Kyle Rudolph, Austin Hooper, Vance McDonald
*Eligibility restrictions apply. See website for details.