2023 Week 9 Top DFS Values

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2023 Week 9 Top DFS Values

NFL DFS is a tough game. But whether you are playing cash games or tournaments, you need to be acutely aware of the slate’s top values.

These are the best plays of the slate once price, matchup, median projection, and a player’s floor and ceiling are factored in.

You’ll want to maximize your exposure to these players in cash games (50/50s, head-to-head contests, etc). And you’ll be mixing these players into your tournament lineups alongside some of our favorite GPP plays – which are discussed in Scott Barrett’s DFS Breakdown.

It’s important to note that ownership will not be a factor in this article. These are simply the best values of the slate once all other variables are considered. Plays are listed in descending order of salary, but a full ranking of the slate’s best plays in order can be found in Scott Barrett’s DFS Breakdown.

QB

Lamar Jackson, QB, Baltimore Ravens (VS. SEA)

DraftKings: $8,200 (QB2) | FanDuel: $8,600 (QB2)

Lamar is coming off his worst passing performance of the season, scoring just 12.0 fantasy points in Week 8. But I’m more than happy to go back to him – he has averaged a slate-leading 26.4 FPG as a home favorite since 2019. Baltimore is tied for the highest implied team total on this slate (25.0), and Seattle is the 7th-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing QBs (+2.4 FPG). Don’t forget just how incredible Jackson was prior to his Week 8 dud. Jackson is the cash play on FanDuel and a solid value on DraftKings.

Dak Prescott, QB, Dallas Cowboys (@ PHI)

DraftKings: $6,500 (QB5) | FanDuel: $8,200 (QB3)

Dallas finally let it rip through the air in Week 8. The Cowboys' PROE in their first six games was -1.2%. But it jumped to +14.2% in Week 8. Their highest mark last year was +9.0%, and Dallas only had four games with a positive PROE that season. And that led to Dak Prescott’s best fantasy performance of the season (32.1 DraftKings points). For Week 9, it’s notable that no team has forced a higher defensive PROE than the Philadelphia Eagles (+8.7%). Combine that with Dallas being listed as a 3.0-point underdog, and we should get another pass-happy outing from Prescott against a defense that’s the 4th-best schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing QBs (+3.4 FPG). He’s a strong value on DraftKings but a sub-par value on FanDuel.

Deshaun Watson, QB, Cleveland Browns (VS. ARI)

DraftKings: $5,400 (QB14) | FanDuel: $7,000 (QB11)

Through three fully healthy games, Watson has scored 21.7, 14.6, and 21.2 DK fantasy points (19.2 DraftKings FPG, 4th-best among slate-elgible QBs). He gets an A+ matchup against a Cardinals defense that’s giving up the 5th-most schedule-adjusted FPG to opposing QBs (+2.8). And his $5,400 DraftKings salary is the cheapest he’s been since Week 4 of 2017 (2,224 days ago). I’d lean toward Watson as the cash play on DraftKings, but he’s merely a top7(ish) QB value on FanDuel.

Aidan O’Connell, QB, Las Vegas Raiders (VS. NYG)

DraftKings: $4,500 (QB36) | FanDuel: $6,200 (QB30)

O’Connell is a total punt, but his near-minimum salary makes him a top-3 projected value on both sites. He managed 12.8 DraftKings fantasy points in his lone start this season and is averaging 18.4 DraftKings fantasy points per four quarters (6th-best among slate-eligible QBs). New York is a bottom-10 schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing passers, but O’Connell’s price more than makes up for that. Really, the strongest argument for O’Connell is that he allows you to pay up for studs everywhere else.

RB

Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints (VS. CHI)

DraftKings: $8,100 (RB1) | FanDuel: $9,200 (RB1)

Kamara leads all slate-eligible RBs by both XFP/G (by +19%) and DK FPG (by +21%). The one whole you can poke in him is that his touchdown upside isn’t as high as it looks – Taysom Hill has 6 carries inside the 10-yard line over the last two weeks. But even then, Kamara has 8 over the same span. This matchup also looks perfectly suited for Kamara’s skillset – the Bears are giving up a league-high +6.9 schedule-adjusted receiving FPG to opposing RBs (+6.9).

Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants (@ LV)

DraftKings: $7,900 (RB2) | FanDuel: $8,600 (RB2)

Barkley’s volume and usage have been insane since returning from injury – 28.5 carries and 4.5 targets per game. The only issue is that this might be the worst offense (and offensive line) we’ve seen in a decade. Things should get better in Week 9, with Daniel Jones likely to return, and potentially also OT Andrew Thomas, OT Evan Neal, and C John Michael Schmitz. Even if all three starting offensive linemen are still out, Barkley is still a terrific play, up against an Aidan O’Connell-led Raiders team that ranks 2nd-worst in schedule-adjusted rushing FPG allowed to opposing RBs (+4.5). He’s right behind Kamara (in terms of value) if you are paying up at RB.

Josh Jacobs, RB, Las Vegas Raiders (VS. NYG)

DraftKings: $6,900 (RB4) | FanDuel: $7,500 (RB5)

Jacobs hasn’t done anything all year, but his volume has legitimately been amazing, ranking behind only Alvin Kamara, Saquon Barkley, and Christian McCaffrey in XFP/G (18.3). The Raiders aren’t expected to score very many points this week, but they are favored (by 1.5 points) against the Giants who have surrendered the 7th-most schedule-adjusted rushing FPG to opposing RBs (+1.9).

Tony Pollard, RB, Dallas Cowboys (@ PHI)

DraftKings: $6,800 (RB5) | FanDuel: $6,600 (RB14)

Scott Barrett detailed here why we can’t give up on Pollard and why he’s a massive positive regression candidate. But Week 9 is a brutal spot for Pollard. The Cowboys are 3.0-point dogs against an Eagles defense that’s giving up the 2nd-fewest schedule-adjusted rushing FPG to opposing RBs (-3.8) and is the league’s biggest pass funnel (+8.7% PROE allowed). His RB5 price tag on DraftKings is reasonable relative to his RB4 workload (17.6 XFP/G), considering the matchup, but his FanDuel price tag is truly absurd. He’s a cash game must-play and the top RB value of the slate on FanDuel.

Bijan Robinson, RB, Atlanta Falcons (VS. MIN)

DraftKings: $6,100 (RB9) | FanDuel: $7,100 (RB7)

If excluding Week 7 for obvious reasons, Robinson ranks 8th in XFP/G (14.8) and 4th in DK FPG (16.3). We know he’s a tremendous talent and one of the most efficient RBs in the NFL, and when you combine that with a workload and production that’s clearly better than his DFS salaries, he’s a top-5 value on both sites.

Rhamondre Stevenson, RB, New England Patriots (VS. WAS)

DraftKings: $5,400 (RB15) | FanDuel: $6,200 (RB18)

It’s hard to make a great upside case for Stevenson as he’s losing ~60% of goal-line work to Ezekiel Elliott, but he’s still a solid value on the basis of his recent usage. Stevenson is 3rd in targets (16) and 11th in XFP/G (14.9) over the last three weeks. Gamescript should be in New England’s favor as a 3.0-point favorite, and this is either a neutral or slightly better-than-average matchup after Washington shipped off their best defensive linemen at the trade deadline. Stevenson is a top-5 RB value on both sites – that’s how gross this slate is.

Chuba Hubbard, RB, Carolina Panthers (VS. IND)

DraftKings: $5,000 (RB21) | FanDuel: $6,500 (RB16)

Heading into last week, HC Frank Reich and OC Thomas Brown went out of their way to trash Miles Sanders – who the team had just signed to a $25.4M deal (6th-most among RBs) – while praising Chuba Hubbard. Sanders was fully healthy entering the game, and NFL Insider Tom Pelissero did warn us a demotion was coming, so I do believe Hubbard is simply now the team’s RB1… He only scored 7.4 fantasy points in Week 8, but he did play on 66% of the team’s snaps. Better yet, he handled 76% of the team’s backfield XFP (8th-most on the week), totaling 15 of 20 carries and 2 of 4 targets out of the backfield, including all 3 of the backfield touches inside the 10-yard line. This amounted to 17.4 XFP, which ranked 9th-best among all RBs on the week. This week, in a top-10 matchup against the Colts, Hubbard stands out as a top-5 value on both sites.

Devin Singletary, RB, Houston Texans (VS. TB)

DraftKings: $4,300 (RB35) | FanDuel: $5,300 (RB35)

Singletary has been inefficient (3.7 YPC), and Tampa Bay is a top-3 pass funnel by PROE allowed (+6.8%). That’s not an ideal setup for Singletary, but the workload should be there with Dameon Pierce now ruled out. I’d much rather find the salary to get to Chuba Hubbard, but Houston has been stubbornly run-heavy in the red zone since Week 4 (63% rush rate, 3rd-highest) and Singletary should handle ~70% (or more) of backfield XFP. He’s an objective value at cost.

WR

AJ Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles (VS. DAL)

DraftKings: $8,600 (WR1) | FanDuel: $9,000 (WR1)

Brown has six straight games with at least 125 receiving yards – an NFL record. On this gross slate, it feels like he should be $1,000 more expensive. But it’s worth noting this matchup is pretty brutal – Dallas ranks best in the league in FPG allowed to opposing WR1s (11.7) and 3rd-best in schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to opposing outside WRs (-5.9). (Although the schematic matchup is absolutely in his favor.) Regardless, Brown is the WR you want if you are paying up.

A.J. Brown (2023)

vs. Single-High: 4.29 YPRR (3rd-best of 146)
vs. Two-High: 2.55 YPRR

DeVonta Smith (2023)

vs. Single-High: 1.19 YPRR (95th-best of 146)
vs. Two-High: 2.08 YPRR

Eagles face the Cowboys who play Single-High at the 2nd-highest rate in the league (68.6%) pic.twitter.com/spvDNYbM11

— Scott Barrett (@ScottBarrettDFB) November 1, 2023

Chris Olave, WR, New Orleans Saints (@ NO)

DraftKings: $6,300 (WR13) | FanDuel: $6,900 (WR16)

Across the full season, Olave ranks 2nd in air yards (1,061), 6th in targets (77), 7th in XFP, and just 26th in fantasy points scored. He’s glaringly one of the best XFP-related values on the slate, but he’s also been one of the least efficient WRs in fantasy this season. I’ve been wrong for a number of weeks now, but I still think a massive blowup game is coming soon. And maybe that’s this week. Jaylon Johnson hasn’t been shadowing this year, leading Chicago to rank 9th-worst by FPG allowed to WR1s (14.1) and 10th-worst by schedule-adjusted FPG allowed to outside WRs (+4.5). He’s a cash game must-play on FanDuel and a strong DraftKings value.

Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Commanders (@ NE)

DraftKings: $5,600 (WR20) | FanDuel: $7,200 (WR11)

After coming into the season with a turf toe injury, McLaurin has been a lot better over the last 5 weeks, ranking 17th in YPG (73.8), 16th in XFP/G (16.7), and 21st in FPG (14.4). He’s a top-7(ish) DraftKings value on a thin slate but merely an above-average value on FanDuel.

Demario Douglas, WR, New England Patriots (VS. WAS)

DraftKings: $4,000 (WR36) | FanDuel: $5,400 (WR41)

Kendrick Bourne is done for the season with a torn ACL, and DeVante Parker is in the concussion protocol. that should mean elite usage for “Pop” Douglas. Over the last two weeks, Douglas has earned a 79% route share, 6.5 targets per game, and 15.8 XFP/G. Over the full season, 15.8 XFP/G would rank 16th-best among WRs – and Douglas earned that usage with Bourne and Parker in the mix. Don’t overthink it, Douglas is the top WR value on both sites.

Noah Brown, WR, Houston Texans (VS. TB)

DraftKings: $3,100 (WR61) | FanDuel: $4,800 (WR66)

Excluding the Week 1 contest where he got hurt, Noah Brown is averaging 10.5 XFP/G. Over the full season, that would make him the 2nd-best usage-based DFS value on the slate (3.4X). He draws an outstanding matchup – the Buccaneers are the single-softest schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing slot WRs (+6.0 FPG). Noah Brown ran 65% of his routes from the slot in Week 8, I’d expect more of the same this week, with Robert Woods looking very unlikely to play. If you are desperate to save salary at WR, Brown is your guy.

TE

TJ Hockenson, TE, Minnesota Vikings (@ ATL)

DraftKings: $5,200 (TE2) | FanDuel: $6,700 (TE2)

Hockenson has averaged 9.7 targets per game, 74.7 receiving YPG, 17.1 FPG, and 16.8 XFP/G over the last three games without Justin Jefferson. Among WRs over the full season, those marks would rank 12th, 17th, 13th, and 14th – but Hockenson is priced as the WR23 by salary (on DraftKings). Jaren Hall starting is an issue for the entire offense (16.75 implied team total), but Hockenson’s volume (likely) won’t take a major hit, as he leads the team in target share under pressure (20%) and target share under 10 yards (32%), which we would expect to either stay the same or improve with an inexperienced QB. Tack on a top-7 schedule-adjusted matchup, and Hockenson is right there as the top TE value on both sites.

Logan Thomas, TE, Washington Commaders (@ NE)

DraftKings: $3,500 (TE13) | FanDuel: $5,600 (TE7)

Thomas has averaged 10.7 DraftKings FPG in his six full games this season, scoring over 16.0 DraftKings points in two of his last four. Over the full season, 10.7 DraftKings FPG ranks 4th-best among slate-eligible TEs.The game environment here (41.0 total) is slightly better than average for this slate, and Washington should be forced to throw as 3.0-point underdogs. Crucially, the Patriots are a bottom-8 schedule-adjusted matchup for opposing WRs, but a top-10 matchup for opposing TEs. We know New England focuses on taking away a team’s No. 1 offensive weapon, and that should funnel volume to Thomas. He’s a top-3 TE value on DraftKings and a fringe top-10 TE value on FanDuel.

Jake Tribbey is a recent college graduate and lifelong football fan obsessed with extracting every edge possible from NFL DFS, Best Ball, and player props/futures.