Week 9 Contrarian Picks
November 3, 2017
By Craig Bengel
DFS Best Bets - Week 9
The Gainsayer – Week 9 Contrarian Picks for DraftKings GPP’s
gainsayer. Noun. (plural gainsayers) One who contradicts or denies what is alleged; an opposer.
Week 9 was the most action we’ve seen prior to the trade deadline in several years, with the trades of Jay Ajayi, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Kelvin Benjamin to name a few. Fortunately we probably won't have any of them available on Draft Kings week 9 to muddy the waters in an already mucky, chalky slate. Then, just as I was finishing this article, I opened my phone to see that Deshaun Watson just caught a season ending ACL injury in practice today. What horrible luck for a Texans team that's already been thoroughly devastated by injury in 2017. We should completely downgrade expectations for this Texans team going forward. But like the Texans, we must move forward and find shiny new pieces to plug in and play in our DFS lineups.
This week we have a chance to capitalize on a few low owned players in great spots for production. I am bumping up my expectations for a few underwhelming teams that will undoubtedly lead us to the top of the leader board should they perform well Week 9.
Week 9 contrarian selections for Draft Kings
(Complete Sunday slate)
Disclaimer: The players below should not necessarily be the centerpieces of your roster construction when scripting lineups. They should be used to compliment the core players you’ve selected for this week’s slate and as fill-ins when you find yourself gravitating to common chalky plays.
Jacoby Brissett $5200
Options at quarterback this week appear to be very slim, so we can take a few chances for the sake of differentiating our lineup from the rest of the field. Jacoby Brissett should fly steadily under the radar in week 9 against a Houston defense that is perceived to be one of the best in the NFL. That perception is somewhat misleading though, since injuries have sidelined some of their top performers. Russell Wilson showed us last week that they are beatable via that passing game as he threw for over 400 yards and 4 touchdowns. Most of the Houston defensive unit is performing average but there are two very attackable corners, Kareem Jackson 52.7 and Kevin Johnson 31.3. At such a low DK price, 20 points would be a nice return on investment for Brissett.
Alex Smith $6500
This week’s Kansas City/Dallas matchup was just made much more interesting with the suspension of Dallas superstar running back Ezekiel Elliott. The clock-control dominant ground game of the Cowboys may have to take a back seat to Dak Prescott’s passing and scrambling ability, as the likes of Alfred Morris and Darren McFadden are significant downgrade from Elliot, even behind a strong offensive line. Alex Smith owns the 3rd best quarterback performance rating through 9 weeks according to PFF, and with weapons like top ranked tight end Travis Kelce and top ranked running back Kareem Hunt, it’s hard to go wrong with any part of this unique Kansas City offensive unit. Expect the Chiefs to try to jump out ahead early and put the pressure on Dallas to come from behind, a situation they aren’t used to in 2017.
Christian McCaffrey $6500
At first glance the Atlanta Falcons look like a matchup we may want to avoid with our running backs, but if we dig a bit deeper this may be a great spot to target McCaffrey. The Falcons have been lit up by opposing running backs that catch the ball out of the backfield, ranking 4th in points per opportunity through the air against opposing running backs (Pro Football Focus). McCaffrey comes into week 9 with 49 catches, which is tops for running backs and third in the NFL amongst active wide receivers to boot. There also will be more targets spread around this offense as well, since their top receiver is now headed for Buffalo. Expect McCaffrey to get around 3 extra targets in this game and in games moving forward.
Adrian Peterson $5600
Many DFS players will overlook the picture perfect matchup for Adrian Peterson week 9 due to the simple fact that his last performance was a complete dud. The 49ers defense has proven ineffective against the run and the pass this year, and this week shouldn’t be looked at any differently. Drew Stanton is the starting quarterback for the Cardinals and that should certainly be a boost to Peterson’s outlook, and we can also assume that means a bump in carries/touches. San Francisco still features 5 poor performers defensively and it’s hard to envision Peterson finishing Sunday’s game without a TD. In a 10 game slate Sunday, I’m willing to bet this game is goes slightly overlooked by the masses.
Julio Jones $7800
It surprised me to find Julio Jones ranked 2nd in 2017 by PFF metrics, but nonetheless he is an elite talent that can disrupt the game simply by drawing double coverage each snap. Even in an underwhelming 2017 campaign statistically he still absolutely “jumps off the TV screen” on Sundays. This week should be a “get right” game for Jones, who traditionally torches this Panthers defense in each and every matchup. Cornerback James Bradberry 71.9 is severely outmatched by Jones, and god forbid he sees any coverage from Captain Munnerlyn 47.5 or Vance Worley 45.4, because he can take them to the house on any given play. Julio Jones is not typically as contrarian as I would like, but he may garner less ownership than DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Thomas and Will Fuller. It’s also interesting to note his price drop this week at $7800, he was priced at $9300 as recently as week 3. In my opinion, we have a nice discount on Jones week 9.
TY Hilton $4900
Colts head coach Chuck Pagano keeps telling us that he needs get TY Hilton more involved in the gameplan… well Chuck, I think this is a good week to follow through with your promises. It should be noted that Hilton does have a very nice ceiling, posting games of 27.7 and 31.3 fantasy points earlier this year. 3 consecutive duds of less than 8 points should keep ownership minimal, and the price point of $4900 on Draft Kings almost seems absurd with a receiver this talented. He is certainly limited by the play of his young quarterback Jacoby Brissett, but again, this Houston defense can be lit up by the passing game as we saw week 8 in Seattle. If Houston jumps out to an early lead, which they should, we could see a healthy amount of targets while the Colts are in catch-up mode week 9.
Vernon Davis $4100
It appears the Redskins may be without playmaking tight end Jordan Reed yet again in week 9. This news does wonders for Vernon Davis, as he excels almost every time Reed is sidelined. His ceiling up this point is a meager 16.9 points, but the Seahawks defense my put the clamps on Redskins wide receivers and lend more targets to the tight end position. The fact that the only real weak spot on this defense is the linebackers gives Davis an immediate boost, with LB’s KJ Wright 59.5 and Michael Wilhoite 49.5 performing sub-par this year. Furthermore, Davis is priced as the 12th ranked tight end but is 5th highest projected tight end week 9 according to PFF and Draft Sharks. This should be the week that Davis posts his season high in DK scoring if everything goes his way.
Philadelphia Eagles $3300
The benching of Denver quarterback Trevor Siemian this week leaves the opportunistic Eagles defense with a great matchup against the meddling journeyman Brock Osweiler. Fresh off the 20 fantasy point blowout of an awful San Francisco team week 8, they look to continue their success in another double digit effort week 9. Even if Emmanuel Sanders is able to go this week, I’m not sure Osweiler will be able to do much of anything with this offense. Throw in the fact that this defense has 6 of 11 starters performing above average according to PFF, and we have a great recipe for sacks, turnovers, and overall success in week 9.
Week 9 Notables: Jason Witten, Evan Engram, Eddie Lacy, Leonard Fournette, Ted Ginn Jr., Dez Bryant, Dak Prescott, Jared Goff, Colts Defense, Cardinals Defense.
LATE THURSDAY NEWS: Fade Texans skill players with the exception of Lamar Miller
Good luck in Week 9!
Don’t forget to check out the Week 9 RotoQL NFL optimizer if you haven’t already.
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