There are 9 bye weeks this NFL season and 3 of those weeks include 6 teams which is nearly 20% of the league. That’s what we’re looking at for Week 9 as Atlanta, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay, and Tennessee are off. And if you’re drafting a team for this Sunday’s Millionaire Maker contest, Drew Brees and Cam Newton are not eligible since that game set includes Sunday and Monday only. That limits you to 24 quaterback choices for Week 9. Let’s take a look at some of them.
Turn $27 into $1 MILLION in DraftKings’ Millionaire Maker contest this Sunday!
Five Highest Priced Quarterbacks
Andrew Luck, IND @ NYG, $10,000 – Andrew Luck has become the first quarterback on DraftKings to hit the $10K price tag during the regular season (Peyton Manning’s pre-season price for Week 1 was set at $10,100). Are Luck’s 29 fantasy points per game worth 20% of your budget? They very well might be if you can find values at other positions. Luck has thrown for 300+ yards in 7 of 8 games and 3+ touchdowns in 5 of 8 games. A bad performance by Luck is 275 yards with 2 TDs. He will at least be that “bad” against the Giants this weekend.
Peyton Manning, DEN @ NE, $9,800 – Long-time rivals Peyton Manning and Tom Brady square off in New England on Sunday in what will widely be considered the game of the week in the NFL. Peyton will also cost you nearly 20% of your budget, but he should easily be worth it. Jay Cutler had one of the quietest 3 touchdown performance against the Pats last week in a 28-point loss. Peyton should have no problem throwing for 3+, and it won’t be quiet. Darrelle Revis can only shut down one of Denver’s playmakers and Peyton won’t have to worry about top pass rusher Chandler Jones, who was lost for the regular season to a hip injury. It is both interesting and worth noting that Manning’s teams have gone just 1-7 against Bill Belichick and Tom Brady in Foxboro, but that shouldn’t factor into his fantasy performance this weekend. Peyton will get his, even if the Broncos lose the game.
Tom Brady, DEN @ NE, $8,400 – Tom Brady helped make leav11it a millionaire at the conclusion of Week 8. Brady had one of the best performances of his Hall of Fame career, completing 30 of 35 passes for 354 yards and 5 touchdowns. That was good for a passer rating of 148.4, just shy of a perfect 153.3. Tom’s 37 fantasy points against the Bears nearly matched the sum of his first 4 weeks. You can no longer buy low on Brady, his price has increased $2,400 in just 2 weeks. His current price relative to Luck’s and Peyton’s still reflects his lack of consistency this season. Brady has thrown 12 touchdowns in the past 3 games, so I say who cares what happened in September. Draft Brady over Luck/Manning and use the $1,000+ savings to upgrade at another position.
Philip Rivers, SD @ MIA, $8,300 – Rivers finally got some of the recognition he deserved during the pregame show of the primetime Chargers vs. Broncos matchup last Thursday, but after kick-off he was quickly overshadowed by a record breaking Manning performance. In a tough 35-21 loss, Rivers still managed to throw for 252 yards and 3 scores. Rivers is 3rd in the league in TDs (20) and QB Rating (109.9), and 5th in the league in yards (2,213). Rivers is a safe play at his price, he has a high floor and a low ceiling. He has a very realistic chance of 300 yards passing with 3 touchdown each and every week.
Russell Wilson, OAK @ SEA, $7,800 – There is something going on inside that locker room in Seattle, but on the surface Russell Wilson remains the unquestioned leader of the franchise. In fantasy, however, he’s been a rollercoaster ride over the past 4 weeks, putting up the following point totals from Week 5 through Week 7: 37-11-43-14. Clearly he’s put up some duds, but Wilson’s 40-point ceiling is just as high as any other quarterback in the league, which is why he is such an ideal tournament play at his usual sub-$8,000 price tag. Russell Wilson has a great opportunity against a winless Raiders team to help make someone a millionaire. I bet rayofhope agrees with me.
Five Mid-Priced Quarterbacks
Ben Roethlisberger, BAL @ PIT, $7,500 – Big Ben just became the first player in NFL history to throw for 500+ yards in 2 games. That’s pretty remarkable considering the quarterback era we’ve lived in for the past 10 years or so. Ben also threw more touchdowns on Sunday (6) than he has in the Steelers four road games (4) this season. Luckily the Steelers aren’t on the road this weekend, but they welcome division rival Baltimore to Heinz Field in a matchup that always seems to feature more defense than offense. The final score of their past 3 matchups have been 26-6, 22-20, and 19-16. Numbers don’t lie, and while Benny had a performance for the ages last week, I suggest staying away from him on Sunday night.
Colin Kaepernick, STL @ SF, $7,000 – Kaepernick has the physical ability to become a top tier fantasy quarterback, but he flashes brilliance rather than maintaining it. Known more for his dangerous ability running and throwing outside the pocket, Kaep delivered inside the pocket on Monday Night Football against the Rams 2 weeks ago with 343 yards and 3 touchdowns. If he does it again, he’s a steal at this price. It’s worth noting that was his only 300+ yard fantasy performance of the season where he typically hovers around 250. For the most part he’s been pretty inconsistent and disappointing this season from a fantasy perspective, but we all know he’s capable of putting up monster numbers any given week.
Carson Palmer, ARI @ DAL, $6,800 – Although his performance was inflated by a late 75-yard touchdown pass to John Brown, Palmer finished with 329 yards and 2 scores. He has now thrown for 2 touchdowns in 3 consecutive games since returning from a shoulder injury. In four starts this season, he has a 98.3 rating, good for 8th in the league between Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson. I’ll take 21 points per game from a $6,800 quarterback every week, and that is exactly what Palmer gives you. He should be in line for another solid performance this week as the Cardinals continue their tour of the NFC East.
Michael Vick, NYJ @ KC, $6,600 – The salary team at DraftKings priced Vick and RG3 as if they were going to start Week 9. So far, they’re right about Vick. I’m not going to say that Vick has earned his first start of the season, but he has officially been named the Jets starter. Vick squares off against a stout Kansas City defense that has limited opponents to just 18.3 points per game this season despite some key injured players including defensive captain Eric Berry. Vick came off the bench on Sunday and put up some terrible passing numbers, including 4.3 yards per attempt, but he did manage 69 yards on the ground on just 8 carries. Vick’s rushing ability makes him an upside play, but don’t expect much from him through the air unless he and Percy Harvin become best friends this week.
Andy Dalton, JAX @ CIN, $6,300 – With the potential return of A.J. Green, Dalton projects to be highly drafted this weekend at his modest price against a terrible defense. Since we talked about him earlier, Phillip Rivers threw for 377 yards and 3 TDs against the Jags in Week 4. Giovani Bernard tweaked his hip, but if he and A.J. are both active, Dalton could easily be in line to have a day like Rivers did. Draft Andy with confidence this week and maybe he’ll even surprise us with a rushing score.
Five Low-Priced Quarterbacks
Alex Smith, NYJ @ KC, $5,700 – After a 20-point loss to the division rival Bills, the Jets have officially mailed it in. I don’t see how Rex Ryan can actually keep his job at this point, but that’s a topic for another post. Let’s talk Alex Smith and get straight to the point. He offers probably the least upside at the quarterback position. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a solid NFL quarterback, just a pretty bad fantasy one, and his price now reflects that. Smith suffered a right shoulder strain in Sunday’s win over the Rams, but he is still expected to suit up against the 32nd ranked Jets defense on Sunday. The Chiefs won’t need to throw much to win, so I would stay away from Alex and spend your Chief dollars on Jamal Charles or Knile Davis.
Mike Glennon ($5,700) or Josh McCown ($5,000), TB @ CLE – There is officially quarterback controversy in Tampa Bay, well, kind of, because the latest reports suggest that Glennon will remain the Bucs starter for another week. I like McCown at the QB minimum price of $5,000 a lot more than Glennon for $700 more, but both can be considered solid values against Cleveland this week. Glennon went on a Carson Palmer like stretch from Week 4 through Week 6, throwing for 2 touchdown in each game while averaging just shy of 300 yards. Look for Glennon to post a similar line this weekend.
Austin Davis, STL @ SF, $5,500 – Remember when Austin Davis was drawing the comparison to Drew Brees? That was following 2 of his best performances of his career where he threw for 300+ yards and 3 touchdowns against the Cowboys and Eagles. Since then, the Brees comparisons have simmered, as Davis has turned in 3 consecutive poor fantasy performances scoring 12, 14, and 9.5 points. To make matters worse, he just lost rising star WR Brian Quick. Don’t chase past performance this week. Erase the Brees comparisons from memory and avoid Davis on the road in San Francisco.
Brian Hoyer, TB @ CLE, $5,300 – Just a week ago, all signs pointed to Johnny Manziel being named the Browns Week 9 starter. Brian Hoyer was supposed to play horribly against the Raiders and the fans and media were going to scream for Manziel until head coach Mike Pettine made the switch. So much for that. Hoyer led the Browns to 14 fourth quarter points in a must-win game. Cleveland is now 4-3, just 1.5 games back from the division lead (thanks to a Bengals tie). I love the way Hoyer has played this season despite all the pressure he’s faced. He’s my top target for a quarterback under $6,000 this week as he draws another very beatable Buccaneers secondary.
Teddy Bridgewater, WAS @ MIN, $5,200 – Here’s a surprising stat that you may not realize. Throughout Teddy Bridgewater’s 3-year college career at Louisville, he averaged 5.8 rushing attempts per game for just 0.8 yards. In his first 5 NFL starts, he has averaged just 3.2 rushes per game, although he has at least become more efficient with his carries, averaging 4.7 yards per. The point is, any rushing statistics from Teddy should be looked at as a pure bonus and nothing more. It shouldn’t be expected like it is if you are to draft Michael Vick this weekend. Teddy has the ability to succeed in the NFL as a passer, but keep your expectations low if you draft him, and make sure you spend wisely on other positions with the money you saved.