The NFL trade deadline took on a fantasy-like feel on Tuesday with
multiple teams exchanging marquee skill position players, while
the Browns continue to be the laughing stock of the league for allegedly
failing to submit the paperwork on time for a trade with the Bengals.
The trades of Jay Ajayi to the Eagles and Kelvin Benjamin to
the Bills are the most intriguing moves for fantasy purposes.
Although Ajayi has been a bust for fantasy owners, ProFootballFocus.com
ranks him as a top-10 running back regarding his overall play
this year, opening the door for higher fantasy returns as part
of the potent Philly offense.
Benjamin joining the Bills may not be an increase in fantasy
value now that he joins a team that ranks 26th in pass attempts
and runs the ball more than any team in the league. But it is
undoubtedly an increase in value for quarterback Tyrod Taylor,
who now has a decent wide receiving corps with Benjamin and Jordan Matthews.
Many DFS players will not focus on the players who were traded,
but rather the players moving up on the depth chart for their
respective teams like Kenyan
Drake and Damien
Williams in Miami, and Curtis
Samuel in Carolina.
I plan on taking a wait and see approach this week to see how
these changes pan out. However, Samuel’s $3,100 salary in
what could be a shootout against Atlanta is a nice cheap play
in a GPP.
Here are a few other DFS options I am targeting for Week 9:
Tampa Bay has given up the 6th most fantasy
points to QBs and 2nd most fantasy points to WRs.
Drew Brees vs. Tampa Bay ($7,000 on DraftKings)
With the NFC South-leading Saints sitting at 5-2 on the year,
it may surprise some fantasy players to know that Drew Brees is
on pace for his fewest passing touchdowns, attempts, and completions
since joining New Orleans in 2010. The 2017 Saints are winning
because of their run game and defense, while Brees is limiting
his turnovers (on pace for his lowest interception total as a
Saint at 10).
The new approach to winning games is great if you are a Saints
fan, but not so great if you invested an early round pick on Brees,
who is tied with Matthew Stafford for 11th in points per game
this season. With that said, if there were ever a time to start
Brees in DFS, a home game against the lowly Tampa Bay Bucs would
be the time.
GPP - Jared
Goff @ New York Giants ($5,500 on DraftKings)
The Giants come out of the bye decimated by injuries and team-imposed
suspensions, as five starting players, including linebacker B.J.
Goodson and defensive end Olivier Vernon have already been ruled
out. Also, starting cornerback Janoris Jenkins has been suspended
indefinitely for violating team rules.
This bodes well for all Los Angeles skill position players, including
quarterback Jared Goff. A Goff/Sammy Watkins stack could be fantasy
gold in GPP.
With injuries to key skill position players like Jordan Reed,
Jamison Crowder, and Terrelle Pryor, and starting offensive linemen
Trent Williams and Brandon Scherff limited with knee injuries,
the Redskins could be in for a long afternoon in Seattle on Sunday.
I’m not banking on a second-consecutive shootout at the Link,
and neither should you.
Rookie sensation Leonard Fournette is a full participant in practice
after missing Week 7 with an ankle injury. The matchup against
the Bengals 7th ranked rush defense isn’t great, but Fournette
is a touchdown scoring machine with a TD in all but one game,
and the Jags defense will give numerous short fields for Blake
Bortles and the Jacksonville offense to score points.
I love both Saints running backs this week and plan on playing
Mark Ingram in many cash lineups. For GPP, the big play ability
of Kamara against a Bucs team that allowed the 11th-most points
to opposing backs is too enticing to pass up. Dalvin Cook, James
White, Tarik Cohen, and LeSean McCoy all had big performances
in the passing game against Tampa Bay. Kamara will be the next
star added to this list.
A shoulder injury has limited Freeman this week in practice,
making him a risky play this week in DFS against a Panthers defense
that has allowed the third-fewest points to opposing RBs. I am
avoiding Falcons as much as possible, and there are too many other
good options to use $6,600 on this week.
Although he has only two receiving touchdowns on the year and
two 20-plus point games, Thomas continues to be peppered with
targets (19 combined in his last two games), with seven catches
for at least 75 yards in each of his previous two contests. It
doesn’t get much better than the Bucs pass defense that
ranks second in points allowed to opposing wide receivers.
The Oakland Raiders provided a blueprint for other teams to use
against the Chiefs when Amari Cooper busted out with his 200-yard
game against Kansas City. The Chiefs are vulnerable in the slot
and can be beaten with underneath passes against nickel and linebacker
With just 13 targets in his last three games, Beasley has been
the forgotten man in the Dallas passing game in 2017 after a career-high
98 targets in 2016. Look for Beasley to have at least seven targets
and a score this week in what could be a high-scoring game.
The Will Fuller express will come to a screeching halt this week
now that Deshaun Watson is out for the season with a torn ACL.
Fuller may continue his touchdown streak, but a low-volume passing
attack to limit mistakes from Tom Savage is likely the game plan
for head coach Bill O’Brien.
H2H/Cash - Jack Doyle @ Houston ($4,300 on DraftKings)
Doyle is clearly Jacoby Brissett’s favorite target and
the number one receiving option on the Colts after his 12/121/1
line last week in a loss at Cincinnati. While I do anticipate
the Colts making a concerted effort to give squeaky wheel Hilton
more work, Doyle will continue to be peppered with targets and
is a great value at $4,300.
Quite possibly the best upside tight end is a mere $2,600 on
DraftKings this week, despite the fact that the Giants have allowed
the most points to opposing tight ends and at least one receiving
TD to tight ends in every game this year. Although I anticipate
a high ownership level in GPP, I am still rolling out Everett
in multiple tickets this week.
There are no must-fade tight ends for me this week, so I decided
to go with Kelce against Dallas. The Cowboys have allowed the
second-fewest points to opposing tight ends and Kelce is coming
off a massive game against the Broncos and could be in line for
a down fantasy performance.
Defense & Special Teams
Philadelphia vs. Denver ($3,300)
The no-brainier play of the week is Jacksonville against a Bengals
team that struggles to protect the quarterback. After the Jags,
my second favorite play is the Eagles at home against Brock Osweiler
and the Broncos. Not only is Osweiler an interception waiting
to happen, but the Denver offensive line has also struggled to
protect the quarterback, and the Eagles excel at putting pressure
on the QB.