The Week 9 main slate features 10 games, with bye weeks and a morning London game further limiting our options. The Rams, Saints, Falcons and Bengals are on bye in Week 9. The Jaguars and Texans play an early London game, while the primetime games feature 49ers vs. Cardinals (TNF), Patriots vs. Ravens (SNF) and Cowboys vs. Giants (MNF).
Here are the plays that jump out early, with it looking like one game in particular could hold a majority of the value:
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All lines and odds are provided by DraftKings Sportsbook.
Russell Wilson, SEA vs. TB ($7,100)
Wilson’s the most expensive QB on the slate and is coming off a disappointing game in Atlanta. He played fine, completing 70% of his passes and tossing two touchdowns, but nursing a 24-0 halftime lead meant Wilson didn’t need to do much more. Now Wilson gets just as positive of a matchup against a terrible Tampa Bay secondary that’s allowed the second-most DKFP to QBs this season. Wilson also averages 26.6 DKFP at home this season — about five more than road games.
Matthew Stafford, DET at OAK ($6,800)
Aaron Rodgers ($6,900) is red-hot, throwing eight of his 16 touchdown passes in the past two games alone, along with a rushing score. He’s a solid play against the Chargers, in a stadium that should be filled with Packers fans in Los Angeles. But look at who that 46.76-DKFP game came against: Oakland.
The Raiders rank 26th in DKFP allowed to the QB position, and Stafford’s been in a good groove himself. He’s coming off consecutive 300-yard games, with seven total touchdown passes in the two games, averaging close to 30 DKFP. His salary takes a sizable leap, but Stafford’s worth paying up for in this spot.
Derek Carr, OAK vs. DET ($5,500)
We could see a shootout in Oakland, which gives Carr some value upside. DraftKings’ salaries really tightened up across the board this week, which leaves less value at each position. But the Lions have allowed the third-most DKFP to QBs, and Carr’s coming off a season-high 23.4 DKFP in Houston last week. If Detroit does its part offensively, Oakland’s not going to have a choice but to unleash Carr.
Other value options: Jacoby Brissett ($5,600), Baker Mayfield ($5,100), Ryan Fitzpatrick ($4,800)
Christian McCaffrey, CAR vs. TEN ($10,000)
I mentioned salaries getting a little out of control this week. We’ve got CMC all the way up at 10 grand! Is he worth it? Probably … he’s averaging 31.5 DKFP and faces and average Titans run defense at home. The issue is, can you fit CMC in a lineup with enough strong plays to balance out the lineup? Injury news could change things, but until we get some bigger names ruled out, I don’t see how I could fit CMC into a lineup I’d trust. The same goes for Dalvin Cook ($9,500), although the matchup against Kansas City is a little better.
Aaron Jones, GB at LAC ($7,400)
Once you come down from Cook, there’s an $1,800 gap to Le’Veon Bell ($7,700). If there were ever a week for Bell to go off, this would be it. The Dolphins allow the most DKFP to the RB position, and the Jets are favored for a change. Nick Chubb ($7,300) also makes a lot of sense, facing a poor Denver run defense in a game the Broncos will be without Joe Flacco (neck) in.
But Jones is the guy that pops the most in this price range (although rostering two of these three guys could make sense). Jones has played a huge role in the passing game recently and has three touchdown catches in the past two games combined. He’s a high-ceiling play, with two games of 44-plus DKFP in his past four. The Chargers rank just 23rd against RBs, and like I mentioned, this will be close to a Packers home game.
Royce Freeman, DEN vs. CLE ($4,900)
With Flacco out, Brandon Allen ($4,100) is going to play QB against a healthy Browns secondary that looked much improved against the Patriots. We should see both Freeman and Phillip Lindsay ($5,300) get a lot of work in this one, potentially out of necessity. There’s also very limited value on this slate until injury news becomes more clear.
Other value options: Phillip Lindsay ($5,300), Ty Johnson ($4,900), Devin Singletary ($4,700), Mark Walton ($4,500)
Adam Thielen, MIN at KC ($7,800)
Where did all the WRs go??? I had to do a double take when I saw an injured Thielen was the most expensive option on this slate, not to mention his teammate, Stefon Diggs ($7,600), is the third-most expensive option. But then you glance at the teams on bye and in primetime games and realize just how many big-name WRs are off this slate. Thielen would be a solid play, but we need to make sure he even returns from a hamstring injury first.
Kenny Golladay, DET at OAK ($7,700)
The high-priced WR plays on this slate are kind of a ripoff, but what choice do we have? The Raiders allow the most DKFP in the NFL to WRs, and Golladay’s topped 20 DKFP in three of his past four outings (including a season-high 32.3 against the Giants on Sunday). That said, his salary is up $1,300 in one week. Keep going down the list, and Tyler Locket ($7,500) is the fourth-most expensive WR on the slate. He’s also in a good spot, but his salary made a big jump, too.
Danny Amendola, DET at OAK, ($4,700)
Yep, more Lions, Raiders and Seahawks. Amendola really stood out as one of the prime values on this slate. He’s seen his role significantly grow over the past two weeks and now gets the best matchup in football for a WR. After a big Week 1, Amendola practically disappeared for no real reason. Detroit finally is featuring him again, targeting him 19 times in the past two games. Amendola’s caught 16 of them for 200 yards and is averaging 19.5 DKFP over the past two outings.
Other value options: Marvin Jones ($6,000), Tyrell Williams ($5,900), DK Metcalf ($5,700)
Darren Waller, OAK vs. DET ($6,300)
The Lions rank 27th against TEs this season, and the Raiders are going to have to use much more than their thin WR group to score in this game. Waller’s coming off a weird game, catching just 2-of-8 targets, although one went for a touchdown Assuming he gets back on track in terms of securing those targets, we’ve seen what his upside can be.
Cameron Brate, TB at SEA ($3,100)
O.J. Howard ($3,200; hamstring) is banged up, and his status in Tampa Bay is up in the air. The Bucs have had plenty of success throwing to Brate in the past, and he’s found the end zone in two of his past four games. Seattle ranks 29th against TEs, and the lack of a run game for Tampa has meant throwing the ball more.
Other value options: Jonnu Smith ($3,800), T.J. Hockenson ($3,700), Ryan Griffin ($3,400)
Browns D/ST at DEN ($3,100)
I get that this might not feel like a safe call, but a lot has changed over the past week that points to the Browns having a ton of upside on defense. For starters, Cleveland’s secondary is finally healthy. While it wasn’t good enough to beat the Patriots, it should look a whole lot better in Denver. The Flacco injury is also massive, thrusting Allen into the starting role. This guy hasn’t even thrown a pass for Denver this season, even in preseason. Allen was with the Rams in preseason and tossed three picks and no touchdowns.
Redskins D/ST at BUF ($1,800)
If you haven’t noticed by now, Washington’s defense isn’t all that bad. It’s scored 5.0 or more DKFP in every game since Week 3, which, at under $2,000, is legit value. Buffalo’s offense is nothing special, and the Eagles D/ST ($3,000) just scored 12 DKFP in Buffalo. This is a safe value target and much needed this week.
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