The first half of the NFL season has officially concluded, but the All-Star list of season-ending injuries continues to pile up. As season-long fantasy owners feel the increasing consternation of weekly lineup conundrums, DFS sites like DraftKings and FanDuel continue to rise in popularity. Why roll the dice with the same team for three months when you can draft a brand new (and healthy) team each week? Week 9 is the perfect time to make the switch, as there are plenty of sleepers and value picks that can help you take down a daily fantasy football contest.
If you read this column last week, sorry for the mulligan. We had just done a victory lap for hitting on all but two value picks in Week 7 and received a healthy serving of humble pie. When picking under-the-radar players, it happens to the best of us.
We did hit with RB Giovani Bernard (22.8 PPR points) and WR Brandon Aiyuk (23.1), but admittedly, there were far more misses than hits for the first time all season. We’ll chalk it up to a once-in-a-Blue-Moon-on-Halloween occurrence and move forward with our heads held high. There are loads of puns to be enjoyed today and Dad jokes a-plenty to lift our spirits.
MORE WEEK 9 DFS: Best stacks | Lineup Builder
As always, fantasy owners can read Week 9 previews and fantasy prediction articles 24/7 on BetQL, find out which side the pros are betting on their NFL expert picks dashboard, follow all the NFL public betting data, and build DraftKings lineups on RotoQL.
Let’s break down our top Week 9 DFS value plays, and you can get an idea of why 100,000 DFS players trust RotoQL to build lineups. We constantly monitor pricing and provide the most up-to-date insight and analysis to maximize your lineup success. Optimize, find value plays, and increase your chances of cashing today!
WEEK 9 DFS TOURNAMENT LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel
NFL DFS Picks Week 9: QB sleepers, values
Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders (DK: $6,800 | FD: $7,900)
Nobody will fault you for spending a few extra hundreds on Deshaun Watson at Jacksonville, but it’s just impossible to get away from Herbert with the way he’s playing right now. The kid has absolutely no fear, and his combination of vision, accuracy, and arm strength far exceeds the vast majority of veteran QBs. Add in the fact that his defense collapses with seemingly every lead he gives them, and you have constant volume to go with consistent talent. As long as Herbert gets listed under $7,500, he’s a huge value pick nearly every week the rest of the way. The Raiders give up the ninth-most fantasy points to QBs, so don’t overthink it and get him Justin time.
Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers (DK: $5,700 | FD: $7,000)
We’ve sung this tune before, but the way Carr plays against forgiving secondaries just makes this too tempting to pass up. The Chargers have a good front-seven, but their back four just continue to let teams back in games through the air. Expect a shootout, as oddsmakers definitely do — the implied total as of Tuesday morning is 52. Since Week 2, Carr has averaged 27.4 fantasy points when the Raiders score 23 or more points in a game. The Chargers D could be just what the mechanic ordered to get this old Carr started back up. (Might as well face it, I’m addicted to puns.)
Drew Lock, Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (DK: $5,200 | FD: $7,200)
Lock was nerdy dancing on the sidelines last Sunday after storming back from a 21-point third-quarter deficit to beat the red-hot Chargers 31-30. He flat-out stunk in the first half, but he delivered an emotional halftime speech and summoned the intestinal fortitude to rally back. After winning the game for the Broncos with a triumphant touchdown as time expired, Lock had a final stat line of 248 passing yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. Consider now that he takes on a notoriously generous Falcons pass defense in Week 9, and you should be licking your chops at these prices. Lock him in for 20-plus points.
WEEK 9 DFS CASH LINEUPS: DraftKings | FanDuel
Week 9 DraftKings, FanDuel Picks: RB sleepers, values
David Johnson, Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK: $5,600 | FD: $6,800)
This will be criticized as a boring or safe pick, but value selections are often both. The Jaguars surrender the fifth-most fantasy points to running backs, and they will be starting somebody called Jake Luton in place of Gardner Minshew, who is down with a thumb injury. We don’t like Luton’s chances against the Texans. Johnson has appeared in over 80 percent of Houston’s offensive snaps, and he averages 4.7 yards per touch. This DJ might not have all the funky new jams, but he’s got a good enough playlist to get the job done week in and week out.
Chase Edmonds, Arizona Cardinals vs. Miami Dolphins (DK: $6,800 | FD: $7,400)
It’s Edmonds time once again in Arizona with starter Kenyan Drake recovering from an ankle injury suffered in the win over Seattle before the Cards’ bye. Edmonds has performed admirably in his limited opportunities. Despite playing in just over 36 percent of offensive snaps prior to Drake’s injury, the third-year back has averaged 25.1 rushing yards and 31.7 receiving yards per game. At $6,800 and against a middle-of-the-pack run defense, you’ll take a guy who averages 6.1 yards per carry, 8.5 yards per reception, and catches 81.3 percent of his targets. He rushed five times for 58 yards and caught all seven of his targets for 87 yards against Seattle, so it’s safe to Chase the points here.
Zack Moss, Buffalo Bills vs. Seattle Seahawks (DK: $5,200 | FD: $5,800)
Moss appeared in this column a couple weeks ago, which in hindsight turned out to be one week premature. The rookie back exploded last weekend against the division-rival Patriots, racking up 81 rushing yards and two scores. He still cedes backfield passes to second-year back Devin Singletary, but he clearly has more early-down burst, and the coaches obviously favor him near the goal line. In what should be a classic shootout, expect more than a few red-zone opportunities for the talented Utah product. You’re skeptical now, but Moss will grow on you.
WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
FanDuel, DraftKings Picks Week 9: WR sleepers, values
Tyler Lockett, Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills (DK: $6,800 | FD: $7,400)
Two weeks ago, Arizona tasked star cornerback Patrick Peterson with taking second-year stud DK Metcalf out of the offense. He even saw double-coverage. The result: 53 fantasy points for Lockett. Last week, San Francisco successfully kept Lockett from gashing them, and instead ceded 40.1 fantasy points to Metcalf. How maddening it must be to game-plan a defense against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Next up for Metcalf: Bills star cornerback Tre’Davious White, likely leading Wilson to look for No. 16 once again. Ten catches for 150 yards and a score? Lockett in.
Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK: $5,500 | FD: $6,100)
Suffice to say that we like the Texans’ skill-position players against the down-and-out Jaguars. After a shaky first four games with Houston, Cooks found his rhythm with Watson, averaging 22.6 PPR points in his past three contests. He’s a WR1 with a WR3 price tag. He sees the field on 83 percent of Houston’s offensive snaps, and he’s averaged eight catches on 10 targets the past three games (scoring in two of the three). Here’s betting he Cooks with gas again on Sunday.
Marvin Jones Jr., Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (DK: $5,100 | FD: $6,100)
Throughout his career, Jones has been one of the all-time most difficult fantasy football players to project week in and week out. But with Kenny Golladay out due to a hip injury, a bunch of Matthew Stafford targets should once again go Jones’ way in what will be a high-scoring game. Jones enjoyed a 16.6 percent target share last week after Golladay went down against the elite defense of the Colts. Two of his catches landed him in the end zone. The first was a crossing-route strike from Stafford, which Jones snared and then muscled through a defender to cross the plane. The second was a fourth-quarter hook-route that Jones got up and pinned to his chest for a four-yard score. The Vikings are the third-most generous defense to receivers in fantasy, so they’ll more than likely be Jonesing on Sunday.
WEEK 9 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker
Week 9 NFL DFS Picks: TE sleepers, values
Noah Fant, Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons (DK: $4,600 | FD: $5,800)
The time has come for Fant to emerge as the strong receiver Broncos fans all know he can be. Against the Falcons, who rank dead last in fantasy points surrendered to tight ends, what better time to stack him and the aforementioned Lock? He put up 11.7 fantasy points against the Chargers last week, and Lock has increased his looks to tight ends in each of the past few games. RotoQL projects Fant to score 12.5 points, listing his ceiling at well over 24. That would make for some Fant-astic value! (I know, we’ve reached new lows.)
Darren Fells, Houston Texans at Jacksonville Jaguars (DK: $4,200 | FD: $5,200)
All in on the Texans! Jacksonville ranks 27th in fantasy points allowed to tight ends, and Fells has very quietly posted 34.2 total PPR points over Houston’s past two games. Don’t be surprised to see Watson and Company run the score up on the division-rival Jaguars this week, asserting their dominance as the better of the 1-6 AFC South teams. If you’re feeling Darren, you might be rewarded mightily if the veteran scores for the third time in four games.
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Week 9 NFL DFS values: D/ST sleepers
Arizona Cardinals vs. Miami Dolphins (DK: $2,900 | FD: $4,300)
Admit it: You thought we were going Texans here. Gotta mix it up sometimes, so why not go with an underrated Cardinals defense? Arizona’s D/ST has scored 29 fantasy points its past three games despite having to face Russell Wilson its last time out. This weekend provides a much easier challenge, as Arizona hosts Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa in his second start as a professional (Tua had 93 yards and a touchdown in his debut last week, scoring just 6.72 fantasy points in the Dolphins’ 28-17 win over the Rams). RotoQL projects a 6.3-point floor and a 15-point ceiling for ‘Zona, the highest of any team priced at or below $3,000 on DraftKings. Play your Cards with confidence.