Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 9

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Johnny's Cash Game Plays: Week 9

Armed with all the lessons I’ve learned the last eight weeks, I’m back to pinpoint some specific plays I like this week for DFS. I’ll never point out only the players I like for a given week, so just because a player isn’t profiled or covered, it doesn’t mean I’m out on the player. As usual, I’m simply isolating the players who stand out to me based on my projections, cost, and a lack of potential pitfalls like injury, weather, gameflow, etc.

Here’s what I’m seeing for Week Nine.

QUARTERBACKS

Derek Carr (LV, at LAC - $5700 on DK and $700 on FanDuel) - He’s the #1 value on my board on DK and the #2 on FanDuel. Last week’s bad weather game ended a run of throwing for 250+ yards with 2 TDs or more in five straight games, which is worth noting because his matchup this week is probably the best one he’s seen all year. The Chargers just gave up 248/3 passing against Drew Lock, who was working without his #1 WR on the outside in Tim Patrick. The Chargers just traded a solid veteran corner in Desmond King and their underwhelming pass rush will likely take a hit with Joey Bosa listed as Doubtful. Carr may get promising rookie Bryan Edwards back this week, so they are loaded with more than enough for Carr to get back on track against a defense he completed 77% of his passes against in his last two games in 2019 (and he’s a lot better this year).

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Justin Herbert (LAC, vs LV - $6800 on DK and $7900 on FanDuel) - I have him as the third-best value on DK and the best value on FanDuel. Our Greg Cosell did not think his 2 INTs last week were his fault, which is worth noting because we’re all waiting for the rookie to come back down to earth. But until proven otherwise, he should be used until he proves you wrong for rolling with him. It hasn’t happened yet, as he’s thrown for 3+ TDs with 23+ FP in four straight games. The Raiders had allowed 25+ FP to QBs in three straight games before playing the lame Browns offense and Baker Mayfield in a bad weather game last week.

Russell Wilson (Sea, at Buf - $6800 on DK and $7900 on FanDuel) - I have him as the third-best value on DK and the best value on FanDuel. Chris Carson and Carl Hyde are out, so Russell will have to stay in the kitchen and keep cooking - which shouldn’t be a problem. Wilson has hit 21+ FP in every game this season with 4+ TDs in four of seven games, and the struggling Bills defense had allowed 2 TDs or more in five straight games before playing a minor league team in the Jets last week. The Bills won’t have starting CB Josh Norman this week, and LB Matt Milano is out, which is huge because he’s a key coverage guy against RBs and TEs.

Deshaun Watson (Hou, Jax - $7100 on DK and $8300 on FanDuel) - He may not have to throw it much this week and he’s not an incredible value on either (eighth-best on DK and fifth-best on FanDuel). Our Greg Cosell has seen every one of Watson’s games and he feels Watson’s last three games represent the best football he’s ever played. He’s hit 300+ passing yards in four straight, and he crushed the Jaguars earlier this season for 359/3

Josh Allen (Buf, vs. Sea - $7000 on DK and $8200 on FanDuel) - He’s no lock these days and isn’t a particularly great value, but Allen is also a guy who’s feasted on good matchups, and this is still a good matchup. In his career, Allen has averaged 25.8 FPG against bottom-12 by FPG allowed, and If over a full season that would rank 6th-most all-time, comparable to Peyton Manning’s famed 2013 season (26.3).” That trend has remained true this year as well, though he’s faced just one opponent ranking bottom-12 in schedule-adjusted FPG, and owns our 4th-toughest QB schedule to-date (-1.9). This week? He gets the ultimate QB matchup, against a Seattle defense that’s allowing opposing QBs to exceed their per-game average by a league-high 7.9 FPG.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Drew Lock (Den, at Atl - $5200) - He’s shaky enough to where I’ll pass on him on FanDuel, where he stands out as a bad value at $7200. But he’s going to get WR Tim Patrick back this week, which is huge. Jerry Jeudy is also due to explode, and Noah Fant looks to be back in September form. The Falcons have been more aggressive on defense with their new head coach, so it might get ugly for the shaky Lock, but they did still allow 2 or more passing TDs or more to multiple scores to quarterbacks in each of their first six games. Lock’s now thrown the ball 40+ times a game two games in a row, and the Falcons may make it three, so Lock does look like a lock to deliver at least 3X on his low salary.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Tom Brady (TB, vs. NO - $6900 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site, and he’s a better value on Fanuel (fourth-best vs. ninth-best). Brady was not great in his first game as a Buc back in Week 1, but if 239/2 is the absolute worst he can do this year, I’ll consider him a good play here. He’s thrown for 2 TDs or more in three straight, and the Saints have allowed 2 TD passes or more in all seven of their games. They have been playing more zone, and it hasn’t been going well. The Saints will be at full-strength with their key skill players back, and Brady now has Rob Gronkowski returning to his old form, Antonio Brown, who’s played one regular season game with Brady in his life and has a TD catch, and Chris Godwin will play. Brady should be a top-7 QB in Week 9.

RUNNING BACKS

James Conner (Pit, vs. NO - $6900 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - I have him as the top value on both sites, so hopefully he doesn’t get vultured for a TD Ben Snell or someone else. Conner has scored in five of his last six games and he gets an incredible matchup this week against a Dallas team that has faced a league-high 27.9 carries per game from RBs for the second-most rushing yards per game (138.6). In their last four games, they’re giving up 26/141/1 (5.5 YPC), so Conner looks like a lock for 100+ total yards and a TD minimum. He will be popular, most likely, though.

David Johnson (Hou, at Jax - $6900 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s a slightly better value on DK but a top-5 value on both sites. Unlike Todd Gurley, Johnson has looked pretty darn good all season, and while he hasn’t been a world-beater, he’s been getting the ball and producing decent totals all year (11-17 FPG in his last five games). He put up a season-best 96 rushing yards against Jacksonville back in Week 5, and volume shouldn’t be a problem as the hapless Jags roll out rookie 7th round pick Jake Luton at QB this week. We all like Luton as a long-shot prospect, but he’s going to struggle to play a solid, complete game, so DJ is looking at 20 opportunities.

DeeJay Dallas (Sea, at Buf - $5000 on DK and $5100 on FanDuel) - We may see a little more of Travis Homer this week, and veteran and former Seahawk Alex Collins is now lurking and should be active. But with Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde out, Dallas should get every chance to deliver nicely at this low price. Dallas dominated the snaps last week (56 snaps vs. 7 for Homer), and he caught 5 of 5 targets with 18 carries. The Bills defense has been below average in almost every area this year, and over the last four weeks they’re giving up 4.7 YPC to RBs and 132 rushing yards with 5 TDs scored against them on the ground by RBs. They won’t have LB Matt Millano, which is huge for Dallas, since Millano is often the RB matchup in the passing game. Dallas will be popular at his price, but he’s hard to pass up if you’re looking for a guy capable of producing top-10 RB totals, as he did last week.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Dalvin Cook (Min, at Det - $8300 on DK and $9300 on FanDuel) - I don’t like chasing points, and he’s expensive on both sites, but he’s still a top-5 value on both sites because his upside is through the roof, and his matchup is good. The Lions have given up 9 TDs to the RBs their last four games, and Dalvin in this matchup last year averaged 21.7 FPG with 200+ yards rushing and 6 TDs total. Per sources, that’s good.

Chase Edmonds (Ari, vs. Mia - $6800 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s pricey and not a great value on either site, plus he’ll be popular as hell, but he must be listed because the numbers will be there with Kenyan Drake out. Edmunds has been THE pass-catching back for the Cardinals this year 5+ catches in three of his last four games, and he’s at 6.1 YPC on the season. The Dolphins tend to funnel production to opposing RBs, and they are giving up 149 yards a game (total) with 5.2 YPC given up the last four weeks and 5+ catches. 20+ FP may be a bit too much to ask, but 15-20 is likely.

Derrick Henry (Ten, vs. Mia - $7400 on DK and $7900 on FanDuel) - He’s really not a good value on either site, but the Bears have been ripped for some big plays against RBs this year, and their suspect run defense may be worse off with a couple of key defensive lineman out. Their OL is in really bad shape, so there’s less chance this week Henry the runner gets taken out of the equation.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

J.K. Dobbins (Bal, at Det - $4900 on DK and $5300 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on FanDuel, but he’s top-13 on both sites. Gus Edwards is less expensive and well in the mix, but Dobbins saw a 66% snap share last week and is the clearly preferred pass-catching option, giving him a better chance to come through. The matchup is terrible by the numbers and the Ravens lost LT Ronnie Stanley last week, but Dobbins is leading the league with 6.7 YPC and is a threat to rip off a long run against anyone.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

None of note.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Tyler Lockett (Sea, at Buf - $6800 on DK and $7400 on FanDuel) - He’s a better value on FanDuel, but this should be a “Lockett Game” like it was two weeks ago when I listed him here. Obviously, with DK Metcalf coming off a huge game and a good bet to see a lot of top corner Tre'Davious White, Lockett must be strongly backed, since the Bills have been sketchy covering slot receivers all year. Even Jakobi Meyers hit 10+ FP against them last week.

Justin Jefferson (Min, at Atl - $6100 on DK and $6800 on FanDuel) - He’s a considerably better value on FanDuel, but he’s still a much better value on DK than teammate Adam Thielen, for what it’s worth. The Lions are definitely playing more zone lately because they have been bad in man-to-man, but they are still playing man 50% of the time, third most in the league. The Lions may opt to play more zone because Kirk Cousins is clearly better against man, and they will get CB Desmond Trufant back, so Jefferson is no lock. But I do like their passing game quite a bit this week coming off a huge game by Dalvin Cook, and given the sad state of their secondary, this could be a shootout IF Matthew Stafford is cleared.

Jerry Jeudy (Den, at Atl - $4700 on DK and $5700 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-5 value on both sites. He lined up outside a lot last week, running out of the slot only 11% of his snaps, but Tim Patrick is back, so Jeudy should be inside more unless they want KJ Hamler there. Regardless, while the Falcons are improving, they’re still giving up the third-most FPG to outside WRs and a whopping 46.9 FPG to WRs the last four weeks. Jeudy will compete for the ball with several others, but he’s looked fantastic on film and had a mini-breakout last week, so I’m expecting his positive momentum to continue.

Marvin Jones (Det, vs. Min - $5100 on DK and $6100 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-10 value on both sites. Three weeks ago I spoke with a Lions beat writer who wasn’t concerned about Jones’ horrible slump to open the season, and sure enough the streaky Jones has now put together consecutive games with 13+ FP. Jones posted a solid 8/88/1 on 14 targets in the first two games of the season when Golladay missed, and the Vikings are down THREE corners in this one, including key players Dantzler and Hill. Finally, he’s been a Viking killer in the past, and he had a 4-TD game against them just last year. The Vikings have also allowed #1 WRs to have top-12 weeks in each of their last four games. Marvin will be the #1 this week with Kenny Golladay out.

Cole Beasley (Buf, vs. Sea - $5400 on DK and $5300 on FanDuel) - He’s a much better value on FanDuel with only $100 separating the two sites. Beasley came up small last week, but he previously had posted 11+ FP in six straight games. Teams have been playing a lot of zone against the Bills, which has been great for Beasley, and while Seattle has been changing things up lately, they are still zone-heavy. Seattle has been burned by slot receivers most of the year, including most recently by Larry Fitzgerald (8/62 receiving) in Week 7, and one the season they give up the third-most FPG to slot receivers.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

Stefon Diggs (Buf, vs. Sea - $7400 on DK and $7600 on FanDuel) - He’s a much, much better value on FanDuel at those price points. Seattle is down it’s top corner in Shaquill Griffin, and they simply don’t have anyone close to a shutdown or shadow corner, so Diggs should be free to do whatever he wants this week, and they should have to throw it a lot against a potent offense. The Seahawks are still also giving up the most FPG to outside WRs and to WRs in (47 PPG) and Diggs has 6+ catches in each of his last five games.

Julio Jones (Atl, vs. Den - $7200 on DK and $8200 on FanDuel) - He’s not a great value on either site. Calvin Ridley didn’t practice all week and is a GTD, but it’s not looking promising, so Julio should be a major go-to guy like he was last week. Julio has looked great on film since returning from his hamstring injury and has 7+ catches and 95+ yards in his three games back. The matchup is good no matter what, but it’s even better with top corner A.J. Bouye (concussion) out.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Danny Amendola (Det, vs. Min - $4700 on DK and $5300 on FanDuel) - He’s a much, much better value on DK. He’s not easy to trust, but he’s still capable of a big game, and one could be coming this week with the Vikings down three corners and giving up the second-most FPG to slot receivers. Amendola saw 7 targets in the two games that Kenny Golladay (OUT) missed in September, and he put up 13/139 receiving against them last year.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

None of note.

TIGHT ENDS

TJ Hockenson (Det, vs. Min - $5100 on DK and $6000 on FanDuel) - He’s the top value on FanDuel and only the ninth-best on DK (which is still solid). Hockenson has been amazingly consistent this year with a TD and/or 50+ yards in all seven games, and he actually got volume last week! He caught all 9 of his targets 118/1 receiving in the first two games of the season when Golladay missed. Packers TEs Robert Tonyan and Jace Sternberger combined for 8/125 receiving against the Vikings last week, and they’re giving up a healthy 14.9 FPG the last four weeks to TEs. As long as Matthew Stafford goes, he’s one of the best and safest options on the board.

Noah Fant (Den, at Atl - $4600 on DK and $5800 on FanDuel) - He’s not an amazing value on either site, but top-10 on both. He’s now competing for the ball a little with Albert Okwuegbunam, but Fant last week ran 33 routes to Albert’s 12, and he had a decent 7/47 receiving on 9 targets. The Falcons are still giving up the most FPG to TEs (19.3) with a league-high eight TDs allowed to the position and also the second-most FP per target on the season. This one could be high-scoring, and Fant should be very involved.

HIGHER-END GUYS I’M OKAY WITH

None of note.

BARGAIN BASEMENT GUYS

Logan Thomas (Was, vs. - $3700 on DK and $5000 on FanDuel) - He’s a top-5 value on both sites. Thomas really does have a pulse with Kyle Allen at QB. Thomas has 7/102/2 receiving on eight targets in his last two games with Allen, which includes a 3/42/1 receiving performance against the Giants in Week 6. Thomas is averaging 1.85 yards per route run in that span after averaging a pathetic .58 yards per route run with Dwayne Haskins in Weeks 1-5. The Giants have allowed 11+ FP in three straight games, which includes Thomas’ performance against them in Week 6.

Mark Andrews (Det, vs. Min - $4800 on DK and $6600 on FanDuel) - This entry has nothing to do with the player’s recent performance since Andrews has fallen below 35 yards in 4 of 5 games this season. It’s not about matchup either, since the Colts are giving up the fewest FPG to TEs (7.24). But T.J. Hockenson did have 7/65 receiving against them last week, and Andrews also has two 2 TD games this year, so he’s worth a shot in some lineups given his low price tag.

PRIMETIME GUYS I LIKE

Jared Cook (NO, vs. Chi - $4400 on DK and $5800 on FanDuel) - Targets are still a problem for him but this guy has now scored double-digit fantasy points in 13 of his last 16 regular-season games dating back to last year. Cook has scored in three straight games and in four of his last five games. While Michael Thomas and Emmanual Sanders back will hurt his volume, it does also make him sneakier both on the field for the Saints and in DFS. The matchup is decent by the numbers, with TB giving up 13.4 FPG to TEs the last four weeks and actually had his most active game against the Buccaneers with 5/80 receiving on seven targets back in Week 1 against Tampa.

Lineups

Fantasy Sports Writers Association Hall of Famer John Hansen has been an industry leader and pioneer since 1995, when he launched Fantasy Guru. His content has been found over the years on ESPN.com, NFL.com, SiriusXM, DirecTV, Yahoo!, among others outlets. In 2015 he sold Fantasy Guru and in 2020 founded FantasyPoints.com.

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