4 NFL FanDuel Studs to Target in Week 9
Spending your available salary in any DFS lineup on a stud can make or break your lineup. These high-salaried players will take up the majority of your budget, so it’s critical to carefully consider which ones you’ll want for each slate. Whether it’s trying to capture a safe floor in a cash game or chasing a huge game to help you win a tournament, nailing the expensive players is one of the keys to making winning NFL lineups on FanDuel.
We're at the halfway point, and let's hope we can easily find the stars who will shine at this point of the season.
Josh Allen, QB, Buffalo Bills
FanDuel Salary: $9,300
Projected Points: 25.6
There is still a legitimate debate to be had about the best quarterback in the NFL. There is no reasonable debate about who the best fantasy quarterback is. Josh Allen has been the best quarterback in fantasy for the past two seasons and is nearly lapping the field again this year.
Allen is averaging nearly five more fantasy points than any other quarterback. He's actually coming off of his worst fantasy performance of the season, as he only had 19.62 FanDuel points in Week 8. However, this was only the second time this season he has been under 25 fantasy points.
Allen definitely isn't the most productive rushing quarterback this year, but he has at least 32 yards on the ground in six of seven games. Those extra yards on the ground combined with big performances through the air are an unbeatable combo in fantasy.
The Buffalo Bills face the New York Jets this week on the road. The Jets have been a pretty solid pass defense this season, ranking fifth according to numberFire's metrics. However, they are 16th in adjusted fantasy points per drop back allowed. They've faced a soft schedule of quarterbacks, including many backups, and won't have an easy time this week facing one of the league's best.
Despite being on the road against a team with a good record, the Bills are 12.5-point favorites and have an implied team total of 29.5 points. The bookmakers are not concerned at all that Allen and company might struggle in this spot.
Our projections have Allen for the most points at quarterback, and he is by far the most enticing play at the position this week.
Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders
FanDuel Salary: $8,800
Projected Points: 18.0
If you read the tea leaves for Josh Jacobs this offseason, things were not looking promising.
The Las Vegas Raiders brought in a new head coach in Josh McDaniels, who had an extensive history of preferring multiple backs in different roles. The team drafted Zamir White and brought in Brandon Bolden, someone who McDaniels was very familiar with. Jacobs also played into the fourth quarter of the Hall of Fame Game, something that rarely happens for starters.
Jacobs has quelled any and all of those concerns this season.
He's played on 72% of the snaps, a high number for a running back in today's game. Passing game volume has always been a concern for Jacobs, but he has seen at least four targets in every game since Week 2. That's all we really need when a back is routinely seeing over 20 carries and getting 82% of the red zone carries.
He had a poor performance last week but should be able to bounce back on Sunday.
The Raiders are on the road to face the Jacksonville Jaguars. Jacksonville is on a five-game losing streak and has allowed four 100-yard rushers during that stretch, with Dameon Pierce finishing Week 5's game with 99 yards. Overall, the Jags are 23rd in adjusted fantasy points allowed per carry.
Las Vegas laid an egg last week on the road, and it affected Jacobs' fantasy output. Assuming they can get back on track this week, they should look to establish Jacobs in this game. If you have the cap space, Jacobs makes sense in all formats.
DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
FanDuel Salary: $8,600
Projected Points: 15.0
We thought we might have seen the beginning of the end for DeAndre Hopkins last season. He was propped up in fantasy because of touchdowns but had zero 100-yard games for the first time in his career. He ended up missing the last seven games of the season with an injury and then was suspended for PED use heading into this season.
Since returning, he has been excellent and looks back to his best.
Hopkins already has two 100-yard games in just two games back from suspension. He's seen a 36.9% target share in those two games and caught 22 balls. He seems to be exactly who Kyler Murray needed to jumpstart this passing game.
Hopkins has seen three red-zone targets, including one in the end zone where he made a ridiculous, one-handed catch for a touchdown. Nuk is back and putting himself in the conversation for one of fantasy's best receivers.
The Arizona Cardinals play the Seattle Seahawks for the second time in four games. Last time, this game had a high total and was a bust. It once again has a total above 50 points, so we should expect some fireworks. Seattle's pass defense still ranks 25th despite being better in the last few weeks, and they will likely struggle to contain Hopkins.
In his prime, Hopkins was one of the receivers you could rely on to get consistent volume. Through two games this season, it's starting to feel like that is the case again. We can be comfortable firing up Hopkins in this game.
Kyle Pitts, TE, Atlanta Falcons
FanDuel Salary: $6,300
Projected Points: 9.0
Last week, we had no Mark Andrews or Travis Kelce on the slate, clearly the two best tight ends in fantasy football. We at least had George Kittle, and while his game wasn't spectacular, he did have a touchdown. None of these three players are on the slate this week, so we have to look elsewhere.
There has been a ton of discourse around Kyle Pitts this year, which dates back to the offseason. He was drafted as early as the second round in some formats after a promising rookie year. His start to the season was anything but promising, though, with back-to-back games of exactly 2.9 FanDuel points. It's hard to blame Pitts for this, as it's a combination of a lack of pass attempts and the team doing a poor job of scheming him the ball.
But Pitts has shown some life recently, with touchdowns in two of his last three games. His last game was particularly encouraging, with a season-high nine targets and turning that into five catches for 80 yards and a score.
This week, the Atlanta Falcons are at home against the Los Angeles Chargers. This is a game in a dome that has one of the higher totals on the main slate. The Falcons got back to a reasonable 28 pass attempts this past week after only having 13 in Week 7. If they continue with this ratio, there should be enough volume going Pitts' way.
The sentiment around Pitts will likely keep his popularity down, and he makes for an intriguing option if stacking this game.
Nicholas Vazquez is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Nicholas Vazquez also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username hbyanksman. 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.