The Bottom Line: Week 9 DraftKings & FanDuel GPP Plays

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The Bottom Line: Week 9 DraftKings & FanDuel GPP Plays

Quarterbacks

Dak Prescott, DAL vs. DEN ($6.9K DK | $7.9K FD | ExpOwn: 4-5%)

Dak Prescott missed Week 8 with a calf injury. Now that he’s returned to practice in full and announced as the starter on Sunday, it would seem that the field would recognize the potential built into his pricing. At least for this analyst, Prescott priced under $7.0K on DK and $8.0K on FD screams opportunity. He’s free of any coverage vulnerabilities, speaking to his elite pre- and post-snap reading of the defense. He’s also protected by the top O-line in the game. Add in the fact that he’s surrounded by elite playmakers at each skill position. The Cowboys are in outstanding shape for a serious playoff run.

The Bottom Line: The only factor that could explain Prescott’s anticipated low ownership is the perception that Denver’s defense is somehow going to shut down Dallas’ offense. An argument could be made, coming into the season, that the Broncos had the top secondary in the NFL.

But Bryce Callahan, in my view the top NFL slot CB, joined Michael Ojemudia on IR last week. The Broncos made two big preseason free agent signings at cornerback with Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby. Fuller was removed from the starting lineup three weeks ago due to poor play. And Darby has not even come close to repeating his 2020 success with Washington.

The ‘Boys are double-digit home favorites. But this is also a great stylistic matchup for Teddy Bridgewater. I’m anticipating scoring well in excess of the 49.5 implied total. Prescott is going to put up some very good numbers.

Tyrod Taylor, HOU at MIA ($5.0K DK | $6.9K FD | ExpOwn: 4-5%)

In six career starts against Miami, Tyrod Taylor has thrown 10 TDs, zero INTs, generated a 112.2 passer rating, and completed 73% of his attempts. Of the 197 dropbacks for Taylor in my dataset, intentionally cut off at Week 1 of 2018, if his numbers against Cover 1 qualified, Taylor would be tied with Josh Allen at seventh-best with 0.48 FP/Db. On 30% of his total dropbacks during that time, Taylor has tossed for 67% of his TDs.

The Bottom Line: The Miami teams Taylor faced in the past were very different from the team he’ll face on Sunday. But this Dolphins’ defense has one very important thing in common: it also features a Cover 1-heavy scheme. And Miami is giving up the fourth-most FPs to QBs this season, the most over the last 4 games. In relation to his pricing, Taylor may offer the highest upside of any QB on the main slate. And we can roster him knowing less than 1% will be doing the same.

Pivots (Capped at 7.5% Expected Ownership)

*Justin Herbert, LAC at PHI ($7.0K DK *| $7.6K FD | Spread: Chargers -2.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 6-7%)**

Derek Carr, LV at NYG ($5.9K DK | $7.5K FD | Spread: Raiders -3.0 | O/U: 46.0 | ExpOwn: <5%)

Contrarian (Capped at 5% Expected Ownership)

Kirk Cousins, MIN at BAL ($6.2K DK | $7.4K FD | Spread: Ravens -6.0 | O/U: 50.0 | ExpOwn: 2%)

Teddy Bridgewater, DEN at DAL ($5.3K DK | $7.1K FD | Spread: Cowboys -10.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 3%)

Punt (Capped at 1% Expected Ownership)

Mac Jones, NE at CAR ($5.3K DK | $6.5K FD | Spread: Patriots -3.5 | O/U: 41.5 | ExpOwn: <1%)

Running Backs

Derrick Gore, KC vs. GB ($4.0K DK | $5.4K FD | ExpOwn: 3-4%)

I’ll keep the analysis very simple here. This Green Bay defense has greatly benefited from Aaron Rodgers controlling the clock. The Packers currently rank fifth in time of possession. All of that changes without Mr. Rodgers in Kansas City on Sunday. Based on the Chiefs’ pass-run distribution when leading by more than a TD, I’m projecting 36.3 carries for KC.

The Bottom Line: In a head-to-head comparison, I actually prefer Darrel Williams’ athleticism and pass-catching ability to Derrick Gore’s playstyle. But Williams brings pricing as the RB22/19 (DK/FD), while Gore is available as the RB65/48. It wouldn’t surprise me to see him owned above the projections, but he still won’t be owned high enough.

Damien Harris, NE at CAR ($6.0K DK | $6.6K FD | ExpOwn: 4-5% DK | 4-5% FD)

Even though I’m not as high on Damien Harris this week compared to the last few weeks, his ownership is forcing my hand. Carolina’s defense got Shaq Thompson back on the field last week, also adding Stephon Gilmore to their struggling secondary. And the Panthers are limiting RBs to the second-fewest FPG this season. But DFS success is not directly collected from the results of the past. We see stats thrown about every week detailing something like Team A hasn’t allowed a certain result in X number of games. And we see those stats taken down without much fanfare.

The Bottom Line: Over the last four weeks, Carolina is giving up the 10th-fewest FPG to RBs. It’s not the sexiest of stats, but we are seeing some dings in the armor. Perhaps the Panthers will shut Harris down. Nobody is suggesting you should make room for him in your Cash lineup. This is an article series intended to aid in uncovering large-field GPP plays with anticipated ownership considered lower than the matchup should allow. And Harris perfectly fits inside that mold.

Pivots (Capped at 7.5% Expected Ownership)

Zack Moss, BUF at JAX ($5.3K DK | $6.0K FD | Spread: Bills -14.5 | O/U: 48.5 | ExpOwn: 7%)

Darrel Williams, KC vs. GB ($5.7K DK | $6.7K FD | Spread: Chiefs -7.5 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 7-9%)

Punts (Capped at 5% Expected Ownership)

D'Ernest Johnson, CLE at CIN ($5.4K DK | $5.5K FD | Spread: Bengals -2.5 | O/U: 47.0 | ExpOwn: <1%)

James Conner, ARI at SF ($5.3K DK | $6.1K FD | Spread: 49ers -2.0 | O/U: 45.0 | ExpOwn: 4-5%)

Tony Pollard, DAL vs. DEN ($4.7K DK | $5.8K FD | Spread: Cowboys -10.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 3%)

Scottie Phillips HOU at MIA ($4.0K DK | $4.7K FD | Spread: Dolphins -5.5 | O/U: 46.0 | ExpOwn: <1%)

Wide Receivers

Adam Thielen, MIN at BAL ($6.9K DK | $7.4K FD | ExpOwn: 4%)

The pricing for Adam Thielen is catching up to Justin Jefferson’s. In a straight head-to-head comparison, I prefer Jefferson this week. But JJ is projected to have six times the ownership of Thielen. And, even if the alignment percentages hold up and Thielen works against Marlon Humphrey, I’m still be on him with ownership under 1%. Humphrey is giving up the 15th-most FPs/coverage snap among 83 qualified outside cornerbacks Thielen has been playing at a very high level during his recent stretch against man-heavy defenses. Don’t forget that Thielen scored on Trevon Diggs last week.

The Bottom Line: That man coverage success for Thielen is a far cry from something limited to his recent games. Thielen has shredded Cover 1 the last three seasons. He ranks seventh-best in FPs/Route. On 22% of his routes, he’s collected 33% of his yardage, and 37% of TDs against single coverage. I’ll be all over the Minnesota passing game this weekend.

Marquise Brown, BAL vs. MIN ($6.0K DK | $7.7K FD | ExpOwn: 9% DK | 6-7% FD)

During Marquise Brown’s career, he ranks third-best among all wideouts with 0.51 FP/Rt when facing Cover 2. That success is fueled by 2.68 YPRR (fourth-highest), 18.7 YPT (first), and with an 18% increase in air yards/attempt (seventh). I check to see if Brown will face enough Cover 2 snaps each week. He’s that good against his favorite coverage. And it just so happens that Minnesota features the sixth-highest rate of Cover 2. With a 50-point implied total, the sixth-highest team total at 28 points, you can imagine my surprise to see that Hollywood will be passed over by 98-to-99% of the field.

The Bottom Line: Running just under 70% of his routes from the right side, Brown will see a ton of reps against Bashaud Breeland, the Vikings’ starter at left CB. Breeland is supporting 1.97 YPCS (81st among 83 qualified outside CBs), 0.44 FP/CS (82nd), 0.33 AY/CS (33rd), and a 118.7 TPR (73rd). For obvious reasons, he’s also been the seventh-most targeted outside corner. The Vikings are promoting sixth-most FPG to opposing WRs this season (40.3), the most over the last two games (63.9). And they are also pacing the league in production allowed to receivers working from the outside (21.5). Need I say more?

Brandin Cooks, HOU at MIA ($6.1K DK | $6.8K FD | ExpOwn: 10-11%)

I’ve made my case for rostering his QB. And, in every lineup where I have Taylor rostered, I have him stacked with Brandin Cooks. The alignment rates indicate that Cooks will see the most reps across from Byron Jones. But Cooks’ time is distributed pretty evenly across the formation, so he’ll also see coverage from Xavien Howard, Nik Needham, etc. Even if Miami ends up tailing Cooks directly with Howard, I still see this as must-start territory. Miami is using the second-highest rate of Cover 1, the highest rate of man coverage. If Howard doesn’t shadow Cooks, Jones is permitting 1.15 YPCS (ranked 41st out of 83 qualified outside corners), 0.27 FP/CS (46th), 0.31 AY/CS (52nd), and a 105.0 TPR (53rd). The ‘Phins are kindly distributing the most FPG to opposing offenses (105.9). That includes the fourth-most to QBs (21.6) and second-most to WRs (43.6).

The Bottom Line: Cooks is collecting a 29% target share (fifth-highest), so his 0.46 FP/Rt (17th) and 2.21 YPRR (18th) inform us he has significant room for improvements now that Taylor is back in control of the offense. I am anticipating Houston taking this game on the road. And I see a lot more scoring potential than the 46 implied points. Taylor showed us earlier this season that he is going to drive this offense down the field no matter what the public perception might be. And the Dolphins’ defense is, in my view, at least 75% responsible for Miami’s terrible 2021 season. Finding out that Cooks is barely going to be owned above 1% this weekend really opened my eyes.

Rashod Bateman, BAL vs. MIN ($4.0K DK | $5.4K FD | ExpOwn: 8-9%)

Yep, I just did it. Three of the four wideouts I am writing up will play in the same game. I am anticipating a season-high FPG total for Lamar Jackson. Since I am not expecting Baltimore’s RBs controlling the scoring of this offense and expecting a difficult challenge for Mark Andrews, the expectation for L-Jax feeding his WRs should not come as a surprise. Even with Sammy Watkins returning to practice, I am very confident in Rashod Bateman this weekend. And Watkins’ return may further depress Bateman’s ownership.

The Bottom Line: Hollywood is already running a third of his routes out of the slot. And we may see Bateman and Watkins upping their own slot percentages when all three take the field for the first time on Sunday. Bateman is seeing 5.8 targets/game and generating 2.08 YPRR. Rather than those numbers declining with Watkins in the fold, I expect them to increase with the Vikings attaching the Cover 1 of Baltimore. Needless to say, I will have a ton of ownership to the passing game options within this matchup.

Overlooked (Capped at 10% Expected Ownership)

Justin Jefferson, MIN at BAL ($7.5K DK | $7.6K FD | Spread: Ravens -6.0 | O/U: 50.0 | ExpOwn: 7-8%)

*CeeDee Lamb, DAL vs. DEN ($7.2K DK *| $7.5K FD | Spread: Cowboys -10.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 9%)**

Ja’Marr Chase, CIN vs. CLE ($7.6K DK | $7.9K FD | Spread: Bengals -2.5 | O/U: 47.0 | ExpOwn: 9-10%)

Pivots (Capped at 5% Expected Ownership)

Rondale Moore, ARI at SF ($4.2K DK | $5.3K FD | Spread: 49ers -2.0 | O/U: 45.0 | ExpOwn: 3-4%)

Jerry Jeudy, DEN at DAL ($5.0K DK | $5.8K FD | Spread: Cowboys -10.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 4-5%)

*Mike Williams, LAC at PHI ($7.1K DK *| $7.3K FD | Spread: Chargers -2.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 4-5%)**

Contrarian (Capped at 2% Expected Ownership)

Christian Kirk, ARI at SF ($5.3K DK | $6.4K FD | Spread: 49ers -2.0 | O/U: 45.0 | ExpOwn: <2%)

Punts (Capped at 1% Expected Ownership)

Tim Patrick, DEN at DAL ($4.7K DK | $5.6K FD | Spread: Cowboys -10.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: <<1%)

Tight Ends

Mike Gesicki, MIA vs. HOU ($4.9K DK | $6.5K FD | ExpOwn: 6-7%)

Very nearly listed Travis Kelce here. We are going to see some overwhelming recency bias on Kelce after some down games. But the overreaction will take place in a game where he has an excellent opportunity for a get-right performance. Mike Gesicki doesn’t need a get-right game. Yeah, he submitted less than 10 FPs last week, but he’s been one of the most consistent TEs of the ‘21 season. Allow that last sentence to rattle around in your brain a bit. I’ve been preaching about the merits in favor of Gesicki since the preseason.

The Bottom Line: My favorite runback to a Taylor-Cooks stack is, hands-down, Gesicki. He’s seventh among TEs with a 17.8% target share, seventh with 6.6 targets/game, eighth with 1.76 YPRR, sixth with 61.7 air yards/game, and ninth with 12.4 FPG. If Gesicki burned you in whatever format last season, don’t let that stand in your way this weekend if you have some cap dollars to spare.

Albert Okwuegbunam, DEN at DAL ($2.6K DK | $4.5K FD | ExpOwn: 3%)

If you have the available cap space, Kelce and Darren Waller are your elite options, and Gesicki is my favorite mid-priced guy. Even if Noah Fant manages to play, Albert Okwuegbunam is still on my radar. That said, at least at the time of this writing, it appears Fant is facing an uphill climb to play (COVID). Fant has put up a massive chunk of his numbers against Cover 3. Okwuegbunam is the Denver TE with the Cover 1 chops. If his Cover 1 numbers qualified, Okwuegbunam would rank sixth-best with his 0.45 FP/Rt.

The Bottom Line: Okwuegbunam Cover 1 numbers on their own do not get me very excited. But Teddy Bridgewater, over the last three seasons, ranks third-best with 0.56 FP/Db, third with a 114.9 passer rating, and second with a 24% increase to his YPA. If you need the salary relief, Okwuegbunam is my favorite TE punt of Week 9.

Pivot (Capped at 5% Expected Ownership)

Dalton Schultz, DAL vs. DEN ($4.8K DK | $6.1K FD | Spread: Cowboys -10.0 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 4%)

Travis Kelce, KC vs. GB ($7.0K DK | $7.8K FD | Spread: Chiefs -7.5 | O/U: 49.5 | ExpOwn: 5%)

Contrarian (Capped at 2% Expected Ownership)

Austin Hooper, CLE at CIN ($3.2K DK | $4.9K FD | Spread: Bengals -2.5 | O/U: 47.0 | ExpOwn: <2%)

Defense/Special Teams

Arizona Cardinals, ARI at SF ($3.4K DK | $4.4K FD | ExpOwn: <1%)

Los Angeles Chargers, LAC at PHI ($3.2K DK | $3.7K FD | ExpOwn: 1-2%)

Pivot (Capped at 5% Expected Ownership)

Buffalo Bills, BUF at JAX ($4.0K DK | $5.2K FD | Spread: Bills -14.5 | O/U: 48.5 | ExpOwn: 3-4%)

Contrarian (Capped at 2% Expected Ownership)

New England Patriots, NE at CAR ($4.1K DK | $4.8K FD | Spread: Patriots -3.5 | O/U: 41.5 | ExpOwn: <2%)

Punt (Capped at 1% Expected Ownership)

Houston Texans, HOU at MIA ($2.4K DK | $4.0K FD | Spread: Dolphins -5.5 | O/U: 46.0 | ExpOwn: <1%)

With a dedicated focus on studying game film and a faithful commitment to metrics & analytics, Huber’s specialties include DFS (college and NFL), Devy & Dynasty formats, and second-to-none fantasy analysis of high school prospects.

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