FanDuel Single-Game Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 9 Sunday Night
We get another marquee matchup on Sunday Night Football as the Green Bay Packers hit the road to take on the New England Patriots. With the FanDuel main slate ending after the afternoon games, this allows fantasy enthusiasts to stay involved in the games through the evening and showcase their knowledge on smaller slates.
For those unfamiliar, single-game slates feature five flex spots with identical scoring to the main slate. However, kickers are included in these contests and there is an "MVP" roster slot. The MVP receives 1.5-times his total fantasy points, making this spot crucial.
These two teams last met in 2014, with the Packers winning, 26-21. Today's game, however, is projected for 56.5 points, providing the perfect environment for fantasy scoring. With a potential shootout ahead, let's examine some of tonight's top plays, starting with MVP considerations.
Aaron Rodgers ($17,000): The MVP slot on single-game slates can't be discussed without mentioning the quarterbacks. This slate just so happens to have arguably the two best quarterbacks in the game in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. Coming in $500 cheaper, Rodgers will be the preferred option in this game. Recovered from his Week 1 knee injury, Rodgers has at least 250 passing yards in each game this season, including 400 in two of his last three. He should have a clean pocket to pass from with the Patriots ranking 30th in Football Outsiders' Adjusted Sack Rate. New England's defense has allowed the fifth-most passing yards this season (2,312) and the third-most rushing yards to quarterbacks (181). Rodgers ranks 12th among passers with 116 rushing yards on the year. With the Packers 5.0-point underdogs, Rodgers should throw early and often.
James White ($14,500): On the Patriots side, no player has been more reliable than James White. While Sony Michel is questionable to return, White's fantasy production should not be greatly influenced even if Michel plays since the two are so diverse in what they do. White leads the Patriots in targets (76), receiving yards (478), and receiving scores (6). White also ties for the team lead with 21 red-zone touches. The Packers have played stout defense on the ground and through the air against enemy backs. However, White has double-digit targets in five of his last six games, and the Packers allowed Todd Gurley to rack up 81 yards receiving last week. White's usage alone keeps him in the MVP conversation.
Julian Edelman ($12,500): Brady's top wide receiver in recent weeks, Julian Edelman has at least seven targets in every game this season. He has also played a crucial role for Brady in scoring position, logging eight red-zone targets and four targets inside the 10-yard line in only four games. The 32-year old draws a particularly attractive matchup against Packers 35-year-old corner Tramon Williams. Per Pro Football Focus, Williams has allowed a team-high four touchdowns in his coverage.
Aaron Jones ($11,500): Following the trade of Ty Montgomery, Aaron Jones becomes particularly interesting in this matchup. Even prior to the trade, Jones separated himself from the pack in Green Bay's running back by committee by playing a season-high 62% of snaps and drawing a season-best 14 touches in last week's game. New England has defended opposing rushers well, for the most part, allowing only 675 rushing yards on the season. However, they have been susceptible to pass-catching backs, allowing the second-most receiving yards to the position this year (520). Jones is by no means a pass-game star, but with TyMont out of the picture, he should be looking at increased playing time. Jones makes for a solid under-the-radar MVP option on this slate.
Jimmy Graham ($9,500): Narrowly missing a touchdown after a booth review that called him down at the one-yard line, Jimmy Graham finished with one catch for 21 yards last week. However, in his last three games, Graham has 24 targets, 12 catches, 201 receiving yards, and 235 air yards. The Patriots have surrendered 41 catches, 505 receiving yards, and 5 scores to the tight end position this season, all bottom-12 marks in the NFL. Graham has played a pivotal role in the red zone for the Packers, with six red-zone targets in his last five games. At $9,500, Graham's touchdown equity makes for a nice pivot off Davante Adams in tournaments.
Stephen Gostkowski ($9,500): On single-game slates, anyone who gets snaps should be on our radar, particularly those who play a role in scoring position. Specifically, kickers often go overlooked on single-game slates, yet they often see a few scoring opportunities each game. With Mason Crosby struggling with accuracy issues this season, Stephen Gostkowski will be the preferred kicker option Sunday night. With the Patriots implied to score 31.0 points, Gostkowski provides a cheap way to obtain a fraction of those points while giving you some cap relief. Gostkowski has made 100% of his extra points and 89.5% of his field goals this season.
Chris Hogan ($8,500): A preseason darling, Chris Hogan has struggled mightily this year, with 333 yards and 2 scores through eight games. With Josh Gordon and Edelman in the fold, Hogan's snaps have hovered around 60% the past three weeks, and his targets have fluctuated between 2 and 7 during that span. However, wideouts on the field that much with Brady remain noteworthy. The Packers have allowed the third-most touchdowns to wide receivers (12), and those rostering Hogan will need to hope he can secure one. Despite the sour season, Hogan remains in play as a cheaper way to get exposure to the Patriots' offense.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($7,500): With Geronimo Allison ruled out, Marquez Valdes-Scantling should step back into a full-time role against the Patriots at a mere $7,500. Playing with Rodgers at this price almost makes Valdes-Scantling an auto-play on the single-game slate. In a pair of games earlier in the season in which Randall Cobb and Allison missed with injuries, Valdes-Scantling recorded games of 7 catches for 68 yards and a score and 3 grabs for 103 yards. Even last week, when Cobb and Allison suited up, Valdes-Scantling played 60% of the Packers snaps and had 2 catches for 45 yards and a score.
Matthew Gajewski is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Matthew Gajewski also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mgajewski. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his/her personal views, he/she may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his/her personal account. The views expressed in his/her articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.