Fantasy Football: Early Look at DraftKings Week 9 Salaries, Roster Construction

WATCH: Will Fitzpatrick hold onto the starting job this time?


Another week is nearly in the books, but it’s never to soon to look ahead to Week 9. The Early Look will highlight salaries that jump out on this 10-game main fantasy football slate.

It’s crucial to have all the latest lineup and injury news when constructing your lineups. Make sure you’re following @DKLive for every update, and also feel free to hit me up on Twitter with any comments or questions —- @JulianEdlow.

Quarterbacks

Expensive

Patrick Mahomes, KC at CLE ($7,100) — Mahomes topped 300 yards with four touchdown passes for the third straight game in Week 8. Nothing to see here, just another average game from Mahomes with 30 DKFP. Playing in Cleveland might not be the best spot to roster Mahomes, but he remains the safest QB play on the slate if you can afford him.

Cam Newton, CAR vs. TB ($6,600) — Cam turned out to be one of Week 8’s best value plays, reaching the end zone twice through the air and once on the ground against a stingy Baltimore defense. While an $800 boost in salary is never ideal, a home matchup against Tampa Bay is. The Bucs rank 31st against QBs this season, and are yet to limit an opposing signal caller to a poor fantasy day. This is a spectacular spot to slightly pay up for Newton, who hasn’t been priced this high since Week 2 when he dropped 31.6 DKFP on the Falcons.

Value

Jared Goff, LAR at NO ($6,000) — Goff is somehow too cheap yet again, especially for how fantastic of a spot he’s in. He was overlooked by many, including myself, against the Packers. Goff thrived in a closer game than expected, tossing three touchdowns en route to 26.5 DKFP. This week he’ll face a New Orleans defense that has allowed the most DKFP to the QB position this season. The Saints have an explosive offense which should be able to compete with the Rams at home, so this one has shootout written all over it.

Other Options — Russell Wilson ($5,900), Mitch Trubisky ($5,800), Matthew Stafford ($5,600), Philip Rivers ($5,600)


Running Backs

Expensive

Todd Gurley, LAR at NO ($9,500) — Basically, Gurley is going to be in this spot for the rest of the season unless he’s injured or off the main slate. Gurley’s 36.5 DKFP were his second-best effort of the season on Sunday, bringing his average to 31.6 DKFP, while still yet to score fewer than 25 in any individual game. Lock him in regardless of matchup if you can afford him, and there’s no issue stacking him with Goff.

Kareem Hunt, KC at CLE ($7,700) — This is a really interesting price point for the RB position. Christian McCaffrey ($7,800) and Alvin Kamara ($7,300) also make for really good plays, but a day removed from Week 8, I’m leaning towards Hunt. Kareem was one of my favorite plays in Week 8, and while he didn’t go off for a monster game, 19.6 DKFP wasn’t a letdown either. I trust the role the Chiefs are featuring Hunt in, primarily because we saw his role in the passing game was maintained — he caught 5-of-6 targets with a receiving touchdown for the third week in a row. He makes for a strong play against a Browns defense which ranks 25th against the RB position.

Value

Lamar Miller, HOU at DEN ($5,200) — Miller’s come alive recently for the Texans — he has consecutive games with at least 18 carries, 100 rushing yards and a touchdown. That RB1 workload is finally paying off like we thought it would earlier in the season, and the matchup here is perfect to take advantage of Miller’s recent play. Denver ranks just 20th in DKFP allowed to RB, and has been shredded for some of the highest rushing yard totals we’ve seen this season.

Other Options — Latavius Murray ($5,100; if Dalvin Cook remains out), Mark Ingram ($5,000), Jordan Howard ($4,700)


Wide Receivers

Expensive

Adam Thielen, MIN vs. DET ($8,900) — Thielen is the Gurley of the WR position in fantasy land this season. The dude is simply automatic, leaving the only downside here as his salary finally catching up to his play. While Thielen did see under 10 targets for the first time this season on SNF against the Saints, he took advantage of the plus-matchup and brought in all seven of his targets for 103 yards and a touchdown. It marked his fifth consecutive game with a score and remarkably was the eighth time he’s topped the 100-yard mark in eight outings this season. Thielen is perfectly safe to roster against a mediocre Detroit defense.

Julio Jones, ATL at WAS ($7,900) — Some of the top WR plays on this slate check in with pretty difficult matchups. Julio is priced below all of them, has produced similar fantasy value this season despite failing to reach the end zone, and faces a Washington defense ranked 20th against WRs. Jones has seen 12 or more targets in three of his last four games, going to between 104 and 173 yards in each of those outings. If he can FINALLY reach pay dirt while putting up numbers like that, a monster game could be on the horizon.

Value

Chris Godwin, TB at CAR ($4,400) — We’ve potentially got a sneaky spot here for Godwin with DeSean Jackson ($5,000) requesting a trade from the Bucs. If Jackson is shipped out this week, Godwin would slot in as the WR2. Ryan Fitzpatrick ($5,500) looked like he had command of the offense after Jameis Winston ($5,400) was benched against the Bengals, which could also be a plus for Tampa’s pass-catchers. Godwin averaged 15.7 DKFP in Fitzpatrick’s three starts this season, and that was with D-Jax putting up huge numbers alongside him.

Other Options — Michael Crabtree ($4,800), Cortland Sutton ($3,900), David Moore ($3,900)


Tight Ends

Expensive

Travis Kelce, KC at CLE ($6,600) — We have no Rob Gronkowski or Zach Ertz for the second straight main slate, leaving Kelce as the lone TE stud yet again. Kelce hasn’t been a bust since Week 1, and is coming off his strongest fantasy showing since back in Week 4. The Browns rank just 24th against TE, so this is an easy spot to roster a slightly underpriced Kelce.

Value

O.J. Howard, TB at CAR ($4,300) — No matter who the QB in Tampa is, Howard’s been killing it out of the team’s Week 5 bye. Howard has topped 62 yards in each of his last three games, scoring touchdowns in two of them — averaging 15 DKFP over the three-game span. Carolina actually ranks dead last against the TE position, so Howard has plenty of upside here. If Jackson winds up getting moved, it would only open more targets for him too.

Other Options — Vance McDonald ($3,700)


Defense/Special Teams

Expensive

Bears D/ST at BUF ($4,100) — The Bears didn’t live up to the hype from a fantasy standpoint against the Jets, but they were without stud LB Khalil Mack (ankle) for that game. Assuming Mack winds up on the field in Buffalo (where he played his college ball) in Week 9, Chicago would be in a dominant spot against a horrible Bills offense.

Value

Seahawks D/ST vs. LAC ($2,500) — We might need to wait and see where the value shakes out on defense this week, but the Seahawks could be a solid target. The Chargers offense is pretty solid, and will be fresh coming off a bye, but traveling to Seattle is still a tough place to play. With 27 total DKFP in the last two games (both on the road) for the Seattle D/ST, maybe they can carry some of this momentum back home.


I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.