4 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups to Exploit in Week 9

The beauty of daily fantasy football is that, unlike a season-long draft where someone is tied to their top players all year, any top players in the NFL can make their way into your lineup. While that can be a blessing, it can also be a curse.

Although you're able to roster Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, and Derrick Henry all at once if you want, it is unlikely that all three running backs are optimal plays at their respective salaries for a particular week. There are many elements to decide which players are the best plays, and a large aspect of daily fantasy is the matchup a player has.

While usually encompassed in some respects inside the salary figure, a soft matchup can carry a good running back to a great week. On the other hand, a tough matchup can make superstars suboptimal to roster.

Which matchups are lurking in this weekend's games that we can take advantage of on FanDuel?

Both Passing Attacks in Dolphins-Texans vs. The Terrible Secondaries

Rarely will you find a situation that better exemplifies the Spider-Man meme than the passing games in Dolphins-Texans this week.

Amazingly, both defenses in this game are allowing the fourth-most Adjusted Defensive Passing Net Expected Points (NEP) per drop back (0.26), and both offenses have only been able to post 0.09 Passing NEP per drop back on the offensive side.

It's just bizarre to see two teams -- this late into the season -- tied in both categories. Nonetheless, for daily fantasy purposes, the bet is the average offenses win out despite the 46.0-point total in the game; we've seen their offenses functional enough recently.

Tua Tagovailoa has been solid since returning from injury all things considered. He's posted a league-average 0.15 Passing NEP per drop back in those three weeks, but a vaunted Buffalo defense is in that sample.

He's certainly done well to concentrate the target volume as we would hope, as well. DeVante Parker (29.7%), Jaylen Waddle (26.7%), and Mike Gesicki (16.9%) all have had viable enough target shares in the past three weeks for their positions considering Miami's 67% pass rate. Parker may not play though due to various injuries -- only heightening the other two's potential.

On the other side, Houston will get back Tyrod Taylor for this contest. The mobile Taylor averaged a massive 0.55 Passing NEP per drop back before his injury, and that should propel Brandin Cooks back into relevance. Cooks has a 23.5% target share on the whole year, but he was significantly harder to trust with Davis Mills. Cooks specifically saw 21 targets in two weeks with Taylor. He's a clear top option, but Danny Amendola returned to a 70.5% routes run percentage in Week 8.

This game is quietly an appealing one to stack in the mid-range, and a clear, 75-degree forecast in Miami is a dome-like condition compared to most environments in Week 9 as we have -- amazingly -- crept into November.

AJ Dillon vs. The Chiefs Run Defense

Just about any value running back has some concerns this week, so A.J. Dillon operating primarily as the backup to Aaron Jones is definitely one of them.

However, Dillon's $5,200 salary is one that could carry enormous upside. With Aaron Rodgers out for the Packers, their offense likely changes dramatically to protect Jordan Love. Even with Rodgers in Week 8 -- but without his weapons -- Green Bay's first-and-second down pass rate in the first half was just 41.9%.

We've seen Matt LaFleur be pliable with his offense before. In a snowstorm against the Titans last season, the Packers turned to a 41.3% pass rate. The primary beneficiary even with Aaron Jones healthy? A.J. Dillon.

Dillon saw 21 carries in that snow game, and he saw a season-high 16 carries last week against Arizona. Whenever the Pack wants to get their ground game going, it's with A.J. Dillon.

The Chiefs can help that, as well. Kansas City is allowing 0.11 Adjusted Defensive Rushing NEP per play, which is the second-highest mark in the league to the Chargers.

Dillon could do major damage even with just his 16 carries from last week against a rush defense that is vulnerable, and his salary is low enough to include in game stacks with the other high-salary options that this game provides.

Dallas Goedert vs. Chargers Linebackers and Safeties

Last week's matchup of Hunter Henry against this same Chargers defense fell flat on its face as Jonnu Smith was active. With both in the picture, neither was viable in DFS.

There is no one else in the picture with Dallas Goedert right now. The Eagles tight end has an 80% snap share and has run 84.8% of Philadelphia's routes since the trade of Zach Ertz to Arizona.

Last week, Goedert turned that into 7 targets for 72 yards against Detroit. Quietly, he's become the top option in the passing game with nine targets in the Ertz-less era. That sets up well into this date with Los Angeles.

Henry and Smith only saw 4 targets, but they still caught 3 balls for 45 yards. That's been a problem for the Chargers this season, as their 1.80 adjusted FanDuel points per target to tight ends is still the second-worst mark in the league to the Chiefs' terrible defense.

Los Angeles continues to funnel fantasy points to running backs and tight ends, and with Philadelphia's backfield a dumpster fire, Goedert is the one viable bring-back when stacking Chargers this weekend.

Bills Good Defense vs. Jaguars Bad Offense

I normally target offensive lines in this spot, but truth be told, the Jacksonville Jaguars' offensive line doesn't pass protect poorly.

They're allowing just a 24% pressure rate, and that makes it almost absurd that they've failed to score more than 23 points this year with Trevor Lawrence at the helm. Those struggles won't get any easier against a Bills defense that analytically could be considered the best in the league.

Their -0.08 Adjusted Defensive NEP per play is not only the best in the league, but it's only one of two defenses (Arizona; -0.06) that are surrendering negative NEP on a given play. The Bills are also allowing the fewest FanDuel points to quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers. Hey, at least Dan Arnold is still on the menu, right?

You hardly ever see a defense north of $5,000 on FanDuel, but the floor on the Bills this weekend is largely responsible for their $5,200 salary. Can their 32% pressure rate cause problems for Lawrence to create a ceiling as well? Of course. They'll be popular, but justifiably so.