DraftKings Week 9: Capitalize On Those Injuries

In a league where so much changes from week to week, there’s one thing we can perpetually count on: injuries. A few weeks ago we lost Jamaal Charles. Last week we lost Arian Foster. And this week we can add to the list the likes of Le’Veon Bell, Steve Smith, and likely Matt Forte (at least for a while). But, for as much as we hate when players go down, it does create opportunities for others to shine and allows us degenerates to capitalize on some serious value plays.

This week, for example, with Bell out, we can pounce on that very nice $5,500 price tag attached to Deangelo Williams. Now, obviously it would be much nicer if DraftKings’ algorithm wouldn’t have accounted for his new usage, but you have to think he’s still underpriced given that we’ve seen what he can do given a full compliment of touches in that offense. The matchup against Oakland isn’t a walk in the park, but Pittsburgh will be a home favorite against a west coast team coming east. Game script should be in his favor.

Additionally, with Forte likely out for at least and extended period of time – if not the season, we can give serious consideration to Jeremy Langford at $4,000. We don’t have the sample size with Langford that we do with Williams, but at $1,500 cheaper he opens up a lot of cap space that you can allocate elsewhere. And, he could potentially be a Monday night hammer this week against a Chargers defense ranked dead last against the run.

Those are a couple of injury situations to capitalize on, let’s hope we’re not discussing similar circumstances next week. Here’s to staring anew in week 9!



Tom Brady ($8,500) vs. Washington

I’m generally not one for paying up this much for quarterbacks, but “Touchdown Tommy” is just on another planet right now. Washington has an injury-riddled and talent deficient secondary, so I doubt they’ll be able to slow the machine down. He’s not a must-play in cash, but the matchup and upside make him a tempting play.

Philip Rivers ($6,800) vs. Chicago

Outside of Mr. Brady has there been a more consistent fantasy signal caller than Rivers? The answer is no. With the exceptions of week’s 2 and 3, he has 300-plus yards in every game, and has two or more touchdowns in every game but one, too. And, thanks to a non-existent running game, we can expect more of the same on Monday night against the Bears.

Jameis Winston ($5,200) vs. New York Giants

Don’t look now, but Winston has now gone three straight games without throwing an interception. Of course by saying that I’m sure to jinx him, but I like his matchup against a secondary that just allowed seven touchdowns to Drew Brees. Winston is far from Brees, but if he gets you close to 200 yards, a touchdown, and mixes in 20 or 30 yards rushing, that’s an easy, cheep 20 points.

Other Considerations: Eli Manning ($6,900) @ Tampa Bay, Cam Newton ($6,9000 vs. Green Bay


Ben Roethilisberger ($6,600) vs. Oakland

Big Ben could be a cash play, too, but I like him for GPP’s this week because I think he’ll fly under the radar after he struggled in his first game back last week. Oakland is stout on the ground, but is a sieve through the air. This is a great spot to target all your favorite Pittsburgh offensive players.

Running Back


Todd Gurley ($6,900) @ Minnesota

The matchup against Minnesota doesn’t make Gurley a no-brainer play this week as apposed to the last two, but his price has only gone up $600 and even Jeff Fischer admits we probably haven’t seen him at his best. Opening odds have this game at a 40 point total, which leads us to believe it will stay a low-scoring, grind-it-out affair. So, even though this might be his toughest test to date, he still makes for a good play considering he’s probably still underpriced.

Chris Ivory ($5,900) vs. New York Jets

Ivory has had two rough weeks in a row, as the Jets had to keep pace with the Patriots in week 7 and faced a stout Raiders run defense last week. A reprieve should be in line in week 9 with the Jaguars paying a visit. Although slightly improved from last season, the Jag’s defense still struggles overall and will have their hands full on the outside with Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker, giving Ivory room to operate. The Jets are slight home favorites which should allow game script to stay in Ivory’s favor.

Ronnie Hillman ($4,600) @ Indianapolis

Fantasy football is a cruel mistress. Coming into the year, CJ Anderson was a lock as a first round pick after dazzling in the second half of the season last year and being the lead back in a Peyton Manning-led offense. My, how the tables have turned. Anderson had been relegated to backup duty, and instead it’s Hillman beginning to find his way in the offense. He’s received 20-plus touches over the past two games and clearly has gained Manning’s trust. I’m not crazy about the road spot against the Colts, but Denver has opened as three-point favorites. Denver’s defense will keep things tight, and Hillman will be counted to aid a dwindling Manning.

Other Considerations: Adrian Peterson ($7,300) vs. St. Louis, Dion Lewis ($6,400) vs. Washington


Devonta Freeman ($8,000) @ San Francisco

Freeman is the highest priced running back on the slate, and had this game been at home I would’ve loved this spot for him in cash games. He could still be considered for cash, i suppose, but San Francisco plays much better defense at home, and will look to make Atlanta one dimensional. However, despite a down week last week, Freeman is still getting a ton of usage and he could revert back to his form from a few weeks ago, giving you an elite play who’ll be very low owned.


Wide Receiver


Antonio Brown ($8,100) vs. Oakland

For a brief moment against the Bengals on Sunday, we were reminded of how glorious the Ben to Brown connection was. But then things went array, and Brown couldn’t do more with his 11 targets, leaving him with a 6/47/1 line. This week against Oakland, he will surely be the chalk play at receiver with Roethlisberger now having a game under his belt and Bell on the shelf for the rest of the year. This will be our last chance to take advantage of a still-depressed price tag. I’m starting my lineups with Brown this week.

Emmanuel Sanders ($7,300) @ Indianapolis

With a 48-point total, the Denver/Indianapolis game has one of the highest over/under’s on the slate. The Denver’s offense is not the juggernaut that it once was, but they did show some signs of life last week. And, despite possessing the league’s most feared defense, will still likely need to put up several scores to keep pace with Luck and that offense. Demaryius Thomas will have his hands full with Vontae Davis most of the game, meaning Manning should funnel targets to Sanders. Expect a major bounce back from his two-catch performance last week.

Stefon Diggs ($5,300) vs. St. Louis

Not unlike Atlanta’s offense, Minnesota’s offense also revolves around two players: Adrian Peterson and the rookie sensation Diggs. He’s clearly Bridgewater’s first look, and when you you can bank on 8-10 targets per game, especially with this price tag, you have to seriously consider him. St. Louis has a deadly defensive line, but the secondary is mediocre and can easily be exploited.

Other Considerations: Odell Beckham Jr ($8,800) @ Tampa Bay, Julian Edelman ($8.200) vs. Washington, Willie Snead ($4,800) vs. Tennessee, Stevie Johnson ($3,200) @ Chicago


Amari Cooper ($6,700) @ Pittsburgh

Outside of the traveling to the east coast, I love everything about this game for the Oakland air attack. They’ll need to throw to keep pace, and now’s the time to roster Cooper as he’s coming off of a dud being stuck on “Revis Island” last week.

Tight End


If you’re not paying up for Gronk…

Antonio Gates ($4,700) vs. Chicago

Not much to think about here: Kennan Allen is out, and Ladarius Green is questionable heading into the game. Outside of Stevie Johnson and Michael Floyd, Rivers doesn’t have a ton to work with. Gates is going to be force fed the ball in a game with a very high over/under of 52 points.

Jordan Reed ($4,500) @ New England

When healthy, Reed is Washington’s primary offensive threat. He soaks up targets and catches. In the games he’s played, he has five or more catches and has failed to reach 60 or more yards just once. Washington is going to be playing catch up big time in this game, and as long as Reed doesn’t bump his dome too hard he should have absolutely no problem hitting value.


Heath Miller ($2,700) vs. Oakland

If you’ve been playing NFL DFS for any stretch of time, you’re probably aware that targeting tight ends against Oakland is a pretty smart strategy. I’ve already gushed over how good this matchup is for the Steelers, and that includes Miller. He’s a GPP player for due to his lack of targets, but also for his chance of finding the end zone a couple of times.


Minnesota ($3,100) vs. St. Louis

Nothing jumps out at me this week when it comes to defense, so I’ll listen to Vegas and go with some home teams in games with low over/under’s. Minnesota currently has a three-point edge in a game with a 40-point o/u.

New York Jets ($3,100) vs. Jacksonville

Jacksonville’s offense isn’t the dumpster fire this year like it was last year, thanks to some improved play by Blake Bortles and the emergence of Allen Robinson, but’s it’s still one to target in DFS. I just don’t see a way this goes well for them this week; the Jets are coming off a surprising loss to Oakland, their home favorites, and Revis should take Robinson out of the game. They also won’t be able to run the ball, which means Bortles will likely be forced into some bad throws. It’s not as clear cut as rostering the Rams’ defense the past couple of weeks, but it’s still a solid play.



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