DRAFT Daily Fantasy Football Helper: Week 9
Just because the NFL season is underway doesn't mean you can't enjoy fantasy football drafts.
Over at DRAFT.com, you can get the experience of a fantasy draft while building your daily fantasy rosters, and the format is quite simple.
You roster one quarterback, two running backs, and two wide receiver/tight ends, while drafting against opponents in real-time. That means the typical "value" aspect of daily fantasy is different, as you're not worrying about salary cap and instead just playing your opponents for your preferred picks of the week.
What stands out for Week 9's main slate?
When considering running backs in the DRAFT format, you are required to draft two, but the difference between the top options and the next grouping can be a big drop-off.
Our projections have only two running backs projected for 20.1 points or more, while the third running back is projected for 18.8 fantasy points. This might not seem massive, but in fantasy football or DFS, every point matters. In your head-to-head matches, you will 100% be grabbing at least one of these top running backs, but as you move on to 4-Person, 6-Person, and 10-person DRAFTS, things can change dramatically.
Let's take a look at a few players by tiers, so you can get a clear picture of where you should be targeting each player.
1. Christian McCaffrey (RB1) - Another week, another time we see Run CMC at the top of our projections. Last week, the Carolina Panthers only scored a single offensive touchdown -- which did come from McCaffrey -- and he still managed to post 25.5 FanDuel points. Nothing can stop this man, and we have him going for over 20 rushing attempts and seven targets in the passing game.
2. Dalvin Cook (RB2) - Cook is just 1.7 projected points behind McCaffrey, and it shouldn't be a surprise -- Cook is having an unbelievably consistent season. Cook has rushed for over 100 yards or scored a touchdown in every single game this season, which, oddly enough, will continue this week. He is up against the Kansas City Chiefs, who are allowing 27.7 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season -- the third-worst in the league.
3. Nick Chubb (RB3) - Despite being on the road, the Cleveland Browns are -3.5-point favorites against the Denver Broncos. Chubb has 20 or more rushing attempts in four of his last five games, over 100 yards in three of those games, and five touchdowns in this span. The Broncos are allowing 21.3 FanDuel points per game to running backs this season.
4. Le'Veon Bell (RB5) - Listen, you shouldn't be watching this New York Jets at Miami Dolphins game unless you are checking in on your fantasy players. Bell should be one of those players despite the fact he only has two touchdowns on the entire season. The Dolphins are allowing the fourth-most FanDuel points per game to running backs, and with Bell's role in the rushing and passing game, he will feast this week.
5. Aaron Jones (RB6) - Jones has a whopping 38 FanDuel points or more in two of his last four games, and a total of 22 FanDuel points in the other two games. A slight bit of boom or bust potential recently, but with the Green Bay Packers carrying an implied team total of 25.25 points, he should be firmly involved in the offense. We have him projected for nearly 20 total touches this week.
6. Josh Jacobs (RB8) - Jacobs is dealing with a shoulder injury but we saw much of the same last week and was in the starting lineup. This is, as they say, an absolute smash spot for Jacobs since he is up against the Detroit Lions, who are allowing a horrible 28.2 FanDuel points per game to running backs, which is the second-worst in the league.
7. Derrick Henry (RB9) - Plenty of people are talking about Henry this week and how he has 15 or more carries in every single game this season. The matchup versus the Carolina Panthers is very solid, but Henry falls to the third-tier since the Tennessee Titans only have an implied team total set at 19.00, which is the fourth-lowest on the slate.
8. Chris Carson (RB7) - How can Carson, who has 20 or more rushing attempts in five straight games, be in the third-tier? The matchup versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is horrible, as they are one of the best units in the league, allowing the third-fewest FanDuel points per game to running backs.
9. Marlon Mack (RB10) - Mack is the clear workhorse back for the Indianapolis Colts -- playing over 60% of the snaps in all but one game this season -- just a tougher matchup this week. The Colts are road underdogs against the Pittsburgh Steelers, who are allowing the seventh-fewest FanDuel points to running backs this season.
1. Keenan Allen (WR1) - Allen is our highest projected receiver for yards, targets, and FanDuel points, as he is up against the Green Bay Packers in what could be a very high-scoring game. The total is set at 47.0 right now, but with how average both defenses have been at times this season. Great spot for a potential game stack.
2. Tyler Lockett (WR2) - Lockett is the cover boy of this article for a reason, he could EASILY end as WR1 on this slate. He comes in with five or more receptions in three straight games, 75 yards or more in two of his last three, and one touchdown. A consistent and great option on a weekly basis is ready for an unbelievably soft matchup versus the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Seattle Seahawks have the highest implied team total on the board, and with Tampa having such a strong run defense, the Seattle scoring should come via the passing game. Tampa Bay is allowing 34.7 FanDuel points per game to wide receivers, which is the fifth-most in the league.
3. Chris Godwin (WR3) - On the other side of Lockett is Godwin, who is also an elite option this week. He has over 100 yards in three of his last four games, will likely be trailing -- which will force Tampa to pass the ball more -- and comes in as our third-highest projected wide receiver.
4. Tyreek Hill (WR4) - Hill is only 0.1 points behind Godwin in terms of projections, but is clearly a step behind due to the loss of Patrick Mahomes. Hill always has big-play ability, which could shine through this week against a sneaky bad Minnesota Vikings defense, who are allowing over 30 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers.
5. Mike Evans (WR5) - Evans is just a slight step behind his teammate Godwin in terms of projections, but you can confidently go to him in all DRAFT formats. Evans is slightly more volatile compared to Godwin, but with an over/under at 52.5 points, there is plenty of offense to soak up.
6. Kenny Golladay (WR6) - Golladay is behind these top-tier players in terms of projections but in an elite spot to attack. He is up against the Oakland Raiders, who are allowing 34 FanDuel points per game to opposing wide receivers this season. This is also a spot to look for plenty of offense with a 50.5 over/under and a game stack as well.
7. Stefon Diggs (WR7) - With Adam Thielen listed as questionable for this week's game, Diggs could be in for a very large role. He is projected for 7.8 targets and 12.6 FanDuel points, which would only jump higher if Thielen is, in fact, ruled out.
8. Odell Beckham (WR8) - Beckham hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 2, and there have been a few rumblings in the media that he is unhappy with his production. Take that for what you will, but he falls into a lower-tier simply based on a tough matchup versus the Broncos.
9. Marvin Jones (WR13) - Jones seems entirely too low this week considering we have Stafford as the third-highest quarterback, so it makes sense to target his receivers. This is the same spot as Golladay, but Jones has a lower overall target share, which is why he is in the third tier.
We all know you should be prioritizing elite running backs and receivers over taking a quarterback in season-long fantasy, and that should be the same here. This week, there are five quarterbacks who we have projected to score from 18.8 to 22.1 FanDuel points, and another three projected at 17.4 to 18.4. At a certain point, it can be splitting hairs and essentially comes down to personal preference, but know that you will be in a good spot at quarterback this week.
1. Russell Wilson (QB1) - As mentioned above with Lockett, the Seahawks are in a great spot with their slate-high 28.50 over/under. The Buccaneers are allowing the eighth-most FanDuel points per game to quarterbacks, and with Wilson's ability to reach for multiple touchdowns, this is a near lock. The Wilson to Lockett stack could single-handedly win you your matchups.
2. Aaron Rodgers (QB2) - Rodgers has 10 passing touchdowns over his last three games and by no means should you be passing on him. The Packers are carrying a 25.25 implied team total this week in what could be a shootout versus the Chargers. Davante Adams could also be back this week, boosting him even further.
3. Matthew Stafford (QB3) - A quarterback going against the Oakland Raiders has been very productive all season long, which is why they are averaging 24.1 FanDuel points per game -- the second-most in the league. There is no doubt that the Stafford to Golladay and Wilson to Lockett pairings will be popular this week, try to grab one of them.
4. Jameis Winston (QB4) - Some people view Winston as a "bad" quarterback, but he has thrown for 300 yards or more in four of his last five games, two or more touchdowns in each of those games, and has 17 or more FanDuel points in each of those games. What is bad about that? The game script projects him being down, which means more passing for the Buccaneers' offense.
5. Josh Allen (QB5) - Allen is a large -9.5-home favorite against the lowly Washington Redskins, which should put him in a spot to control the game. Allen is one of maybe three quarterbacks on this slate who can go for one and one. That is one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown, the latter which boosts his potential ceiling.
6. Philip Rivers (QB6) - The Chargers' running game hasn't been anywhere near good over the past few weeks, which means all of their offense has come via Rivers. He has passed for two touchdowns in four of his last six games, something he will almost certainly need to do this week as a home underdog against the Packers.
7. Derek Carr (QB8) - The Raiders' offense has been very efficient recently and now faces the Detroit Lions who are allowing the seventh-most FanDuel points to quarterbacks this season. The over/under is 50.5 points. With two bad pass defenses in this game, we are in for all of the scoring. Carr has multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games; we're in for more of that.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB7) - Is that, is that Ryan Fitzpatrick music? He has a 17.7-point projection this week, and if there is any chance for the Dolphins to win, it's against the Jets. As mentioned with Bell above, don't watch this game.
9. Kirk Cousins (QB9) - We all saw what Aaron Rodgers did to the Chiefs defense last week, and while Cousins isn't Rodgers, he has been playing great as of late -- excluding last week. He has 10 touchdowns in the three weeks prior along with 300 yards or more in each of those games.