Welcome to week 9 of the NFL season! Each week, we’ll be previewing the main slate on DraftKings. Our philosophy with these selections is to provide you with solid floor plays with some upside to start your roster construction, with potential GPP pivots for even further upside in tournaments.
If you're new to DFS, I'd recommend checking out our DFS 101 article before getting started, as it can give this column a lot more context.
If you'd like to see how I did in previous weeks, you can find that here:
Please note that the authors of this post are also players of daily fantasy sports, and the selections they make when creating their rosters may or may not include players listed below. You can find Derek Devereaux on DraftKings via the username DerekDevereaux.
This week’s lineup building beer of choice
Fresh from Kansas City, I'm enjoying a Single Wide IPA from Boulevard Brewing Company. It's got this interesting blend of citrus flavors and a grassiness to it, too, which is totally not everyone's thing but something I do enjoy in moderation.
All lines via Bovada, current as of midday Saturday.
CAR at KC -10.5, 52.5 total
DET at MIN -4, 52.5 total
CHI at TEN -6.5, 47 total
SEA -3 at BUF, 55 total
DEN at ATL -4, 50 total
BAL at IND (even), 48 total
HOU -7 at JAX, 50.5 total
NYG at WAS -2.5, 43 total
LV at LAC (even), 51.5 total
MIA at ARI -4.5, 49 total
PIT -14.5 at DAL, 43 total
Favorite games to target
I think for cash this week you can spread out quite a bit, but for GPPs, I can't imagine that the Las Vegas and LA Chargers game will be high owned - I would guess that Seattle/Buffalo and Detroit/Minnesota will be popular, and Kansas City is always popular, too. So keep an eye on that one - if we get low ownership on that game, in a really good total, you'll want exposure to it.
Deshaun Watson, $7100, HOU (at JAX)
Paying up at QB seems like the play this week, as I think literally any of the top seven are absolutely in play. To me, Watson feels the most underpriced of the group, with 300 yards passing in four straight games with multiple touchdowns in each, plus we get some rushing yards mixed in too. I'm going to go with him for this article, but if you told me you were playing Herbert or Kyler or Russ or Lamar instead, I'm not going to blame you - they're all totally fine.
Derek Carr, $5700, LV (at LAC)
Throw the Cleveland game out for terrible weather conditions. Carr has 30 or more attempts in every other game this season and has been a model of consistency that we don't necessarily see from guys under $6000 on a regular basis. I mentioned earlier that I like this game, and I don't suspect there'll be a bunch of ownership here as people gravitate to the guys above. This can make a really nice GPP stack.
Jake Luton, $4900, JAX (vs. HOU)
Trubisky rule. A starter under $5000, thankfully in a plus matchup, who has good weapons, in a game script that they'll have to throw. Will he suck? Will he be good? Who knows! He won't be owned by anyone, he's cheap, we're looking for 20.
Potential GPP pivots: Kyler Murray ($7800, vs. MIA), Justin Herbert ($6800, vs. LV), Nick Foles ($5500, at TEN)
Dalvin Cook, $8200, MIN (vs. DET)
This is such a classic get-off spot after he exploded last week for over 200 total yards and 4 touchdowns. But for cash games, you know you are going to get the volume and this might be the best matchup he can get, with Detroit just routinely getting gashed on the ground. In GPPs, I'd probably go underweight and expand with some of the other guys in the range (Hello, me likely having CMC exposure in the hopes he gets his normal workload), but nearly all the stars align for another big day.
Antonio Gibson, $5800, WAS (vs. NYG)
The reigns have been let loose, and yet DK kept him under $6000 to gift us with a clear-cut undervalued player. Yes, he sucked against the Giants three weeks ago. But he's a multi-down back with versatility in the passing game, he's not sharing work anymore, and he's in a plus matchup. 20+ touches under $6000 in a positive game environment (albeit a low total) seems logical to me.
J.K. Dobbins, $4900, BAL (at IND)
The matchup isn't great, but no Mark Ingram is. Is Harbaugh really going to have him split time with Gus Freaking Edwards? Even if he does, we saw it last week - Dobbins is clearly the more dynamic player, both in the run game and in the passing game. I think Baltimore might be kind of sneaky this week after looking horrible against Pittsburgh last week. I'm hoping that rebound comes here.
Potential GPP pivots: Christian McCaffrey ($8500, at KC), James Conner ($6900, at DAL), Wayne Gallman ($4500, at WAS)
Keenan Allen, $7000, LAC (vs. LV)
He popped up on the "injury" report with an illness, to which I say - great! Maybe we'll get lucky and his ownership will drop from like 20% to 17%. Volume, volume, volume, volume, volume - we have it here, in a game I love. Plug and play.
Dionate Johnson, $5000, PIT (at DAL)
Never again, and yet, like a habit I just can't quit, here he is. What am I doing to myself? I don't know. His hamstring will blow out in the first quarter, and somehow he will end up in like every lineup. Ugh. It's like playing Rich Hill in baseball. You know he's going to have a blister, and yet, there he is, staring you in the face. Look at the volume! Ugh. I'm either going to hate this or love this. Please talk me out of this - @DerekDevereaux on Twitter.
Darnell Mooney, $3900, CHI (at TEN)
He has been a symbol of consistent volume, and yet DK just refuses to raise his price. Five or more targets in six straight contests, he's not exactly lighting up the scores, but what more do you need under $4000? I think there's two clear punts down here (second one coming soon, be patient...), with Darnell being the play that feels like a safer floor of the two.
Potential GPP pivots: Stefon Diggs ($7400, vs. SEA), Marquise Brown ($6000, at IND), Marvin Hall ($3800, at MIN)
Darren Waller, $5800, LV (at LAC)
Even in garbage weather, he somehow manages six targets! Again, I love this game and I love this spot for Waller, and I think he makes more sense than paying an extra $1400 to move up to Kelce. We're locking in somewhere in the 7-9 target range, and Carr has been relatively efficient throughout the season. Let's hope he also falls into the endzone.
Evan Engram, $4300, NYG (at WAS)
I'm pretty sure he's leading the league in rushes by a tight end. What more do you want? While five rushes on the season is fine, 19 targets in the past two weeks is juicy, and Washington isn't a defense that scares me too much. Daniel Jones isn't great, and there are other targets there, but Engram is becoming the security blanket we thought Golden Tate was going to be - and we know Engram isn't going to end the season with just one touchdown, either.
Jimmy Graham, $3800, CHI (at TEN)
Talk about inefficiency, there's nothing like Nick Foles and Jimmy Graham trying to connect. But they're trying! He gets end zone looks. He gets looks down the seam. He gets intermediate, over-the-middle looks. Averaging 7 targets over his last three games, under $4000, why not?
Potential GPP pivots: TJ Hockenson ($5100, at MIN), Hayden Hurst ($4100, vs. DEN)
Pittsburgh is $4900. The next highest defense is $3700. I just wanted to say that so I can laugh at the absurdity of how lopsided that matchup is going to be. TJ Watt will have six sacks by himself. That being said, that's expensive, so we're back to the original theory: Play whoever you want, but make it the last spot you fill in on your roster.
Good luck, and may your screens be green!