WATCH: How Dez Bryant’s matchup affects his Week 9 fantasy football value
Here’s a data-driven breakdown featuring five key NFL stats, courtesy of FantasyLabs contributor Bryan Mears.
FantasyLabs is a daily fantasy tool and real-time analytics platform that enables players to test theories, create and backtest models, and construct customized lineups. In this piece, Mears leverages the same tools used by co-founders Jonathan Bales and Peter Jennings (CSURAM88) for each fantasy football main slate.
+3.82 Projected Plus/Minus — Dak Prescott
Our proprietary Plus/Minus metric measures actual versus expected fantasy production based on the historical performances of previous players at comparable salaries. Prescott leads all QBs in Week 9 with a +3.82 mark, and he could be one of the most popular signal-callers in Week 9 after Deshaun Watson’s unfortunate injury.
Prescott has been one of the NFL’s best QBs this season, although he’s coming off his worst game of the season for the Dallas Cowboys, throwing for 143 yards and accumulating just 7.32 DraftKings points against the Washington Redskins. That said, he’s in a nice spot to get right, facing a Kansas City Chiefs team that ranks 26th in DVOA. This game has the highest implied total on the slate at 52 points, and that number might go even higher with Friday’s news that Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott will play Sunday.
8 Pro Trends — Mark Ingram
Ingram easily leads all running backs this week for the most “Pro Trends” — angles we at FantasyLabs have identified that historically yield value. With Le’Veon Bell (bye week) and LeSean McCoy (in the Thursday night game) out of the main slate, Week 9 lacks a lot of top-end running back talent. As such, it might be wise to pay up for Ingram, who has been brilliant over the last couple of weeks.
In the three games since the Saints traded Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals, Ingram has averaged 21.7 rush attempts, 98 rushing yards, 1.3 rushing touchdowns for the New Orleans, with 25.0 DraftKings points. Those are massive increases from his splits with Peterson, and Ingram will look to continue his great play in Week 9 against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that ranks 30th in DVOA this season. With the Saints 6.5-point home favorites, Ingram should have positive game script all day long.
1.50 Red-Zone Opportunities Per Game — Dez Bryant
Bryant is third among all wide receivers this week with an average of 1.50 red-zone opportunities per game and first in opportunities inside the 5-yard line. He’ll face a Chiefs team that’s ill-equipped to handle him: Although they have a solid cornerback in Marcus Peters, they refuse to move him from his left spot. Teams have easily shifted their No. 1 receivers to avoid him as a result, and the Chiefs rank 29th in DVOA against WR1s this season.
Bryant is fourth among all receivers this season with a 30.8 percent target share over his last four games, and his 0.29 DraftKings points per snap are one of the best marks among Week 9 wideouts. If this game is a shootout, you’ll want heavy exposure to the Cowboys.
+4.0 Opponent Plus/Minus — Zach Ertz
Ertz is tentatively expected to suit up after being limited in practice this week, and if he goes for the Philadelphia Eagles, he’ll be a terrifying fade in tournaments. He has exceeded salary-based expectations in 75 percent of his games this season, and he now has six touchdowns over his last six games. Further, he has a matchup that might seem tough on the surface but actually is excellent: The Denver Broncos rank second in total DVOA but specifically 27th against tight ends.
The Broncos’ elite corners lock up the outside of the field, but they really struggle in the middle, allowing opposing tight ends to score a whopping 4.0 DraftKings points over salary-based expectations over the past year. That’s easily the best mark in Week 9, and, as a result, Ertz has the highest projected ceiling among all tight ends by a couple points.
9.91 Sack Percentage — Jacksonville Jaguars Defense
It’s no surprise that the Jags are elite on defense: They rank first in total DVOA and arguably have one of the best pass defenses we’ve seen in a long time. That bodes well against a Cincinnati Bengals passing offense that ranks 26th in DVOA and whose offensive line is a bottom-five unit.
The Jags have the highest sack rate of all teams in Week 9 at 9.91 percent, and they’ve allowed a low 6.19 yards per play. The Bengals currently are implied for 16.8 points — the lowest mark in the main slate — and QB Andy Dalton has a high 2.8 percent interception rate over the last year. So if you’re looking for a defense that has 20-point upside in tournaments, look no further than Jacksonville.
I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is bcm9795) 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.