This is a weekly series where I break down my favorite weekly tournament plays. I’m going to be focusing on high upside, low-owned plays and stacks from the main Sunday slate that (hopefully) can really pay off big for you in a large field tournament.
Matthew Stafford ($6,800) – Josh Jacobs ($6,500) – Kenny Golladay ($7,700)
Detroit’s run game was able to produce just 64 yards on 23 carries last week, and now face a Raiders team that is surprisingly one of the better rush defenses in the league, holding opposing teams to just 3.7 yards per carry. Matthew Stafford’s thrown for three or more touchdowns in four of seven games this year, and faces a Raiders team that just traded away its best CB. Oakland’s allowed 13 passing touchdowns in their last four games and the third-most passing yards per game, making this a monster spot for Stafford, who is in the middle of a revival season. Detroit has a multitude of capable pass catchers, but starting any Detroit passing stack with Kenny Golladay makes sense against the suddenly thin Oakland secondary. Golladay leads Detroit in targets (by 16) and should be in a spot here to build on a 32.3 DKFP game from last week. On the flip side, the matchup for Josh Jacobs couldn’t be much better. Detroit’s allowed an average of 4.7 YPC and ceded an incredible eight touchdowns to opposing RBs over their last four games. Jacobs has taken 18 more red-zone touches than any other Raiders running back, and he should be in a great spot here to both find the end zone and see 15-plus carries against a soft run defense.
Just Missed: If you’re looking for a cheap QB-WR duo this week, you could do worse than Mason Rudolph ($5,000) and JuJu Smith-Schuster ($6,300). The Colts have allowed over 100 yards and a touchdown in two of their last three games to an opposing WR, and over 300 yards passing in three of their last five games.
Russell Wilson ($7,100)
Russell Wilson has been a bust from a fantasy perspective in his last couple of starts, but he stands a great chance of being one of the top quarterbacks in Week 9. The Buccaneers are one of the biggest funnel defenses in the league, allowing a paltry three yards per carry on the season, and less than 70 yards rushing per game; all while giving up the second-most passing yards per game (286) in the league. Opposing QBs have averaged over 40 passing attempts per game vs. Tampa Bay (most in the league), and they’ve given up the eighth-most DKFP per game to the position thus far. Wilson bounced back with a 131.7 QB rating against the Falcons last week, and he should be in a position for a big fantasy line, as the Seahawks enter this game with a 28.5 implied team total, against a Tampa Bay team that has only allowed three rushing touchdowns to RBs all season.
Just Missed: It’s all dependant on the health of Patrick Mahomes ($7,000; knee), but if Matt Moore ($4,800) starts again this week, he’ll be a fine target against the Vikings, a team that has allowed over 300 yards passing and two-plus passing touchdowns in two of its last three games to opposing QBs.
Melvin Gordon ($5,000)
Despite being overly terrible since he returned to the field, Gordon sets up well as a bounce-back candidate this week. Not only has his priced dropped $2K from his initial Week 5 salary, but he’s facing a Packers defense that has allowed 4.8 YPC per game thus far, fifth-worst in the league. RBs against the Packers have scored nine touchdowns already (over one per game) and Gordon, despite averaging just 3.4 YPC thus far, has out-touched RB partner Austin Ekeler ($6,000) 10-9 in the red zone in the last three games. Gordon’s averaged 14 touches per game and played on over 55% of the snaps since returning, which more than justifies his lower salary in this sort of matchup. It’s a classic buy-low spot for a player that has proven capable of busting out slate-breaking type of performances against weaker rush defenses in recent seasons.
Just Missed: Despite his team seemingly imploding in the media on a weekly basis, Nick Chubb ($7,300) has produced over 130 yards in four of his last five games. His near every down usage makes him a fine GPP target, as really only Christian McCaffrey ($10,000) can boost a better touch count at RB on this slate.
Tyreek Hill ($7,400)
Despite not having Patrick Mahomes ($7,000; knee) last week, Hill posted a respectable six receptions on nine targets for 76 yards last week vs. Green Bay. With Mahomes still in question for this week, Hill could easily go under the radar in this spot against a Vikings pass defense that has been mostly horrible at defending against big plays this year. Opposing QBs have completed over 80% of their passes for a 119 QB rating when targeting top CB Xavier Rhodes this season, and the Vikings as a team have allowed the 10th-most DKFP per game to the WR position. Even if Hill has to make do with Matt Moore this week, he should see a high volume of targets in this game given the efficiency of the Vikings offense of late. With his ownership also likely to be suppressed if Moore starts, Hill could easily be in line to be a low-owned type of difference-maker in big GPPs for Week 9.
Just Missed: The Panthers Curtis Samuel ($4,300) has seen 30 targets over his last four games, and he is available here at his lowest price point since Week 1. Samuel is more of a big-play threat anyways, and if he hits the end zone on a long play, he’ll have a great shot at reaching 5X value.
Dallas Goedert ($3,100)
A definite shift is taking place in Philadelphia, where former target hog Zac Ertz ($4,700) is now finding himself sharing pass-catching duties with the extremely talented Dallas Goedert. Goedert enters this game having averaged over six targets in his last three starts, and he has actually caught four more passes than Ertz over that span. The second-year player has now played over 70% of the snaps in three of his last four games, and he is actually second on the Eagles in yards after the catch this year, despite being just fifth on the team in receptions. The Bears present a decent matchup for some continuation from Goedert, as they’ve allowed the 11th-most receptions to the position this season. Goedert’s an explosive type of cheap play that looks juicy for GPPs given his bump in usage.
Just Missed: Despite busting last week, Cameron Brate ($3,100) did see six targets against the Titans and could be in a rebound spot if O.J. Howard ($3,200) sits out again for the Bucs. The Seahawks have given up the fourth-most DKFP to opposing TEs this year.
New York Jets ($3,500): The Jets face the Dolphins in Miami this week and enter as three-point favorites. Despite trying to trade half their team this week, the Jets core remains intact, and their defense will be facing a Dolphins offensive line that has the eighth-worst adjusted sack rate in the NFL this year. Additionally, veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick has now turned the ball over an incredible 11 times in just four starts this season and is set to start this game. New York’s rush defense is allowing just 3.3 YPC, which means we should see lots of Fitzpatrick dropbacks this Sunday and, potentially, lots of chances for a defensive touchdown.
Pittsburgh Steelers ($2,400): Pittsburgh’s defense is up to third in the league in adjusted sack rate and has produced 18 sacks over its last four games. This factor alone is enough to justify this unit as a GPP target at an extremely cheap salary, but the Steelers have also turned up the heat in terms of turnover production, landing 12 over their last four games. The Colts offensive line has shown some cracks of late, ceding seven sacks in the last two weeks. It all means that the Steelers are a decent cheap GPP target here, with solid upside thanks to their emerging defensive line.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above.
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