James’ DFS Tips – NFL Week 9 by James Platt
Nothing like writing my DFS tips on a Halloween night before I pass out at midnight in a fairy costume from too much tequila. I digress, this week we have some…interesting angles, and some new takes on players we haven’t looked at yet. I hope everyone has a great Halloween and that we all win some money this coming Sunday! Cheers to week 9!
My Tips This Week
Here we are, Fitzpatrick has been named the starter for the Dolphins for the rest of the season. I think he actually might do decently this week against the Jets and he doesn’t have to be elite to be worth it at $4,800. Normally the Dolphins starter would be in trouble with his awful offensive line, but the Jets rank 25th in terms of pass rush and they just traded Leonard Williams so he should be able to have a clean pocket for as long as he needs. I’m not saying the Dolphins are going to win this game, but I am saying the meme is strong enough, the Jets are bad enough and the price is low enough ($4,800) for you to start my favourite player in the league once again.
Last week, I saw that the upside of Derek Carr at $5,000 was too much to pass up on. This week I’ve seen something I thought I’d never see, Phillip Rivers at just $5,100. He isn’t having a bad statistical season at all. Is it down from years past? Sure, but that’s because Ken Whisenhunt is recycling his poor offenses from five years ago. He’s now removed and I’m expecting an amped up Rivers to come out firing against Green Bay. Yes, Green Bay have seen a great change this season on the defensive side of the ball, but they have their weaknesses. Some of their corners are very good at giving up big plays (cough, cough, Josh Jackson) and the Chargers always have the potential for those big plays with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams (mentioned down below for the stack.) Over the last four weeks, Rivers has thrown for over 300 yards twice and should be able to score multiple TDs in week 9, don’t expect the old man to stay cheap.
Having a true breakout season, as predicted by The Daft Kings Podcast in the offseason, give us a listen if you haven’t already, Aaron Jones is giving defences a hell of a lot of trouble. For $7,000 you’re getting a guy who has scored 11 touchdowns on the season so far and just last week had an insane 150 receiving yards against the Chiefs. He has quickly become Aaron Rodgers favourite after Adams was out due to injury and Matt LaFleur has unleashed Aaron Jones as the dynamic playmaker, we all thought he could be. Now they are facing the Chargers who were 6th in rushing defence two weeks ago before the Titans but now they have given up 90 and 130 yards to Henry and Montgomery respectively. Jones is better than both of those players and the Packers have a better offensive line than those teams. I’m predicting another big game for the young star in Green Bay.
I think this is one of the best players that will slip under most people’s radars this week. I’m saying that Tarik Cohen could go off big time against the Eagles. His price has been moving lower each week as we realise the Bears offense is pitiful with Trubisky at the helm and here he lies at the great price of $4,200. It’s another player where you have to trust the volume that is coming his way and trust the way things have unfolded in the past. If we take a look at the Eagles defence (actually one of my picks down below) then we can see that they are extremely good against the run which should flatten any David Montgomery hype after last week. They are not, however, good at stopping the passing game and that is where Cohen excels. Nagy abandons his running game early when he thinks it’s not going to do much against an elite run defence so this should mean a lot of work throughout the game for Cohen. This point can be illustrated by the Saints game where Cohen ran 29 routes, he had nine catches for 29 yards which isn’t ideal, but you have to think given that many catches again he has to break a long one at some point. We all know Trubisky loves a dump off.
The Lions offense is an enigma to me that is truly baffling. Matt Stafford is having a career year and instead of being happy with their RBBC and Stafford throwing more, they were apparently trying to trade for Devonta Freeman at the deadline. Luckily that didn’t happen, and the running backs were less than promising last week, hopefully that means we continue to see Stafford throw the ball more than ever. The only bad thing about this passing offense? You can’t tell who is going to have a huge day, the receivers will either have a career day or do nothing. One week it’ll be Golladay, the next Marvin Jones or Marvin Hall. I’m choosing Marvin Jones at $6,000 and we’re going to believe that he can score another four touchdowns like he did just a few weeks ago. It helps that they face Oakland who are giving up the 6th most points to fantasy receivers, Stafford could also be in play this week.
The Chargers season is all but lost in a very disappointing AFC West division, but Rivers and Co aren’t having bad statistical seasons, the Chargers are just doing what they do best, finding fun new ways to lose. Mike Williams is ridiculously under-priced, you can pick him up for $4,700 this week, just for reference he started the season at $5,500. If you haven’t been glued to Twitter like Tyler and I, then you should know that Ken Whisenhunt, the offensive coordinator, has been relieved of his duties. Honestly, I don’t know how this man keeps getting jobs in the league, his offenses consistently underperform. This offense has so much talent and yet he just couldn’t get them to fire on all cylinders. That being said, I’m expecting Mike Williams to get a lot better. He’s seen nine targets on average across the last four weeks but hasn’t found the end zone this season, follow the volume and you shall be rewarded.
I’m salty that I had this guy as an honourable mention this week when he was only $3,300 and it was a follow the volume type of pick that panned out. I’m talking about Demaryius Thomas and after he helped me win several head-to-heads last week, I feel like I need to show some loyalty as his price rises to $4,000. How did I target Thomas you might ask? Well against the Patriots he had nine targets, only three catches, but that was against the elite New England secondary. So, if you look at their next opponent, the Jags, not a pushover but not on the Patriots level, he came away with five catches and 63 yards. This week the matchup is even juicer against the Dolphins who have just sent their top cornerback to IR which brings up even more backups to a defence that was already giving up the most points to opposing receivers.
This might seem a strange tip considering his starting QB has just been sent to injured reserve, but when your quarterback is Joe Flacco, maybe it makes more sense. Noah Fant is available for the nice low price of $3,000, maybe justified, or maybe not. If you look at his season numbers from afar (20 catches for 185 yards) then you might be one to write off his rookie season and revisit him in 2020. However, last week he got eight targets which is by far the most he’s gotten in any week so far. Add in the fact that he caught a quarter of all his balls in week 8 and we begin to wonder why. We must remember that Sanders leaving town left a lot of meat for other receiving options to fight over. Looks like Fant is fighting his way to the top of the pack after Courtland Sutton. Brandon Allen might not give you much confidence, but rookie quarterbacks are notoriously fond of their tight ends. One more thing, with Cleveland now having its starting corners back, it should be a lot more difficult for the receivers, I expect a lot of targets for Fant this week.
O.J. Howard didn’t get traded but he’s banged up and the Bucs don’t want to unleash him on the defences anyway. For me the Seahawks defence is the new Cardinals defence. They can’t defend tight ends. I’m not going to go through the metrics again like I did last week but they are shockingly high in the rankings of giving up yards and catches. Cameron Brate is no game wrecker, but Winston is a loose cannon, the game should stay close and who knows what could happen. I’m willing to take a flier on Brate for $3,100.
I’ve stated above how I like Noah Fant this week but that’s about all I like of the Broncos coming in to face the Browns. The Cleveland defence has been far from great this season and that’s reflected in the $3,100 price, but they rank 5th in sacks per drop back against Denver’s offensive line ranking 4th in sacks allowed per drop back. It could be a very long night for their 6th round rookie QB and it wouldn’t surprise me if Drew Lock got thrown in halfway through, expect sacks and expect picks.
The Philadelphia Eagle’s secondary has been picked apart by just about every defence over the past two seasons and nothing has been done to address it. This week they face Trubisky and the Bears, the only team in the league who might not be able to exploit it. The running game that emerged last week should be flattened by Fletcher Cox and company, making Trubisky the lone hero to save the game. Not a smart move, I don’t expect the Bears to be scoring many points.
QB Sam Darnold $5,900 [email protected]: Seemingly in a bit of a slump since the Dallas game, Miami without Xavien Howard could put him right.
RB Dalvin Cook $9,500 [email protected]: The Chiefs just gave up 150 receiving yards to Aaron Jones and have given up the 3rd most rushing yards in the league.
RB Derrick Henry $5,700 [email protected]: I didn’t like him last week but I think he’ll return to a model of consistency this week, I expect 15-20 fantasy points.
WR DK Metcalf $5,700 [email protected]: Most end zone targets in the league and is coming into his own, TB does not have a good secondary.
TE Jonnu Smith $3,800 [email protected]: A big day last week put him third amongst all tight ends and as long as Walker is down, he’s a viable option.