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DraftKings Fantasy Football Tournament Picks Today: NFL Week 9 Top High-Upside DFS Targets

Geoff Ulrich shares his top high-upside targets, stacks and contrarian options for this week’s main fantasy football slate on DraftKings.

New York Jets v New York Giants Photo by Kathryn Riley/Getty Images

GPPs are not won by using all of the most popular players on the slate. Being a contrarian in a big-field event can help separate your lineup and gain you leverage over the field when some of the more popular names bust. The goal of this article won’t be to highlight the popular “play-it-safe” names that your Dad talks about at family dinner.

No. Us? We’re looking for some diamonds in the rough and guys that no one talks about — not even their own coaches.

OK, we’re not going that deep, but you get the idea — lower ownership and high upside. We’re looking for players who we feel good about but still make us feel alive inside. That’s the goal.

Let’s dive into Week 9.

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Game Stack: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles

Dak Prescott ($6,500) — CeeDee Lamb ($8,200) — Michael Gallup ($3,600) — D’Andre Swift ($6,600)

We have two elite offenses in this game and a QB in Prescott who has produced a 75% completion rate and a 9.4 yards per attempt over his last two starts. Prescott also has a history of very solid production against the Eagles over his career and in his last three games against them, he has thrown for a combined 11 TDs. Prescott will also have three healthy WRs to work with against an Eagles secondary that has regressed and allowed the second-most yards now to opposing WRs.

CeeDee Lamb (32% target share, 41% air yards share last two weeks) has really popped off lately and given his connection with Prescott since Week 6, makes sense as a pay-up option. If we’re playing for a monster day from Prescott, it’s a near certainty that Lamb will be posting huge numbers in that scenario as well.

Despite his inconsistency, I also wouldn’t hesitate to include Michael Gallup in any Cowboys passing stack. Gallup consistently sees the ire of Cowboys fans and he was on the injury report this week (illness) but returned a full practice Thursday. Gallup plays an Eagles secondary that allowed secondary receivers such as Jahan Datson and Jamison Crowder to post monster games last week. He’s in a good spot to finally produce some numbers and his salary is essentially at an all-time low.

I also love coming back with D’Andre Swift on the other side of this game. The Eagles gave their lead back Miles Sanders 18 and 21 carries against the Cowboys in two games last season and Swift is a superior runner who has already produced five games with 16.0 or more DKFP. Swift has also continued to build a role as a receiver, garnering 4.6 targets per game. Swift has gained full control of the Eagles’ backfield and it seems unlikely to see a volume drop-off after Kenneth Gainwell dropped a key fumble last week.

Overall, this game has one of the largest totals on the slate and a decent chance of producing some big fantasy days given the failing state of the Eagles’ defense. Given all the backup QBs we’ll be seeing, looking to stack two elite offenses in this game is a good way to start lineups for Week 9.

Quarterback: Jaren Hall ($4,800), Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons

First, a warning. There is a ton of risk with Hall this week. He’s a 25-year-old, fifth-round rookie who is making his first start on the road. Not a recipe for success. Still, his best attributes are his legs (348 yards rushing in his final season of college) and he will almost certainly have a few designed run plays thrown in for him this week, which may catch the Falcons’ defense off guard.

Atlanta’s defense is solid against the pass (7th in yards per attempt) but we’re not playing Hall because he’s going to be Kirk Cousins. If Hall can generate some rushing yards and potentially find the end zone with his legs (or arm), his $4.7K price tag would start to look pretty solid. Overall, Atlanta has ceded the 10th most fantasy points to opposing QBs this year and Hall will likely be in a spot where he’s dropping back (running or passing) late into this game. If you want a cheap flyer at QB, he’s (sadly) your best option in Week 9.

Running Back

Top End: Saquon Barkley ($7,900), New York Giants at Las Vegas Raiders

This is easily the ugliest game on what will be a very ugly slate given all the backup QBs we have in play. With that being said, I fully expect Saquon Barkley to once again get all of the work he can handle. Barkley heroically totaled 36 carries last week against the Jets while also catching three passes for zero yards. He may not approach 30 carries against the Raiders but I fully expect that the Giants will be loath to allow Daniel Jones ($5,600) to use his legs much given the injury issues he’s dealing with.

The Raiders are a terrific matchup up front as they have some of the weakest coverage linebackers in the league who allowed Jahmyr Gibbs to tear them up both on the ground, and through the air last week — ceding fives catches for 37 yards. Barkley may be in for a career day in this spot and should see massive volume once again.

Low End: Darrell Henderson Jr. ($5,100), Los Angeles Rams at Green Bay Packers

The Packers have become one of the best defenses in the league to target with RBs. They’ve now allowed the sixth-most fantasy points to opposing RBs on the season and are still just 19th in yards per attempt against them. Overall, they’ve now allowed five TDs to the position in their last three games alone.

The Rams’ offense may look ugly ugly this week if Brett Rypien ($4,700) is forced to start but I would also expect that they will try to funnel a lot more work to their RBs in that situation, with Henderson being a prime beneficiary from a volume perspective. Despite being held out of the end zone last week, Henderson was the only Rams RB to see work in the passing game, where he converted all three targets into catches and went for 54 yards. He also led the Rams in carries with 12. Given the Packers’ deficiencies up front, this is a great spot to look to the Rams’ lead RB for some value in DFS.

Wide Receiver

Top End: Nico Collins ($5,800), Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The matchup for the Texans this week screams bounceback for their passing attack. Collins endured a rough outing against Carolina last week, an emerging defense that held the downfield threat to just 30 yards and 7.5 yards per catch. Collins is still fourth in the league at 17.5 yards per catch and Tampa Bay’s defense has been cratering against the pass after a decent start. Last week the Bucs allowed 8.2 yards per pass attempt against and allowed three different Bills WRs to go for 70+ yards.

Even with Tank Dell ($5,300) back last week, Collins has maintained an average 27% target share the last two weeks and maintained a massive hold on the air yards for Houston. Despite going for over 30.0 DKFP twice already, Collins’ price remains sub-$6K — making it a nice spot to continue to buy low.

Top Value: Christian Watson ($4,900), Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams

Watson has obviously had miserable production over the last few starts, with his one big catch and run against the Raiders being his only bright spot. Still, there is no reason to throw in the towel on the second-year WR who has posted an air yards share of over 35% in two of his last three games — and remains a big play machine waiting to be turned on.

Watson has been terrible on contested catches this season (he’s 0/8) but this is a statistic he can flip on its back at any time. The Rams’ secondary has also been terrible at slowing down any type of WR lately — giving up 8.4 yards per attempt to the Cowboys last week and have now ceded back-to-back games of 100+ yards to an opposing WR. Their defense also has the fifth-worst pressure rate in the NFL, which should make this a good breakout spot for Jordan Love ($5,500), who is one of the most pressured QBs in the league. It’s not pretty but Watson makes for a good buy-low target in Week 9.

Tight End: Cade Otton ($3,000), Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Houston Texans

Otton’s usage over the last few games is showing that there may be some breakout potential lurking. The Tampa Bay TE has taken a 15% and 16% target share in his last two games and has a very strong 85% route rate on the year. When we are talking about TEs and who is seeing targets in Tampa Bay, the buck (pun intended) stops with Otton for the Bucs.

While he’s yet to breakout for a massive game, he does have 9 receptions over his last two starts and now faces a Texans’ defense that has allowed the third most fantasy points and third most receptions to opposing TEs. Houston has now allowed seven receptions to Taysom Hill and a season-best 7-for-87 line to Kyle Pitts over its last three starts. Otton should be in a good spot for a career day this week and makes sense as a cheap TE target for GPPs at just $3K.

Defense/Special Teams: Seattle Seahawks ($2,400) at Baltimore Ravens

We all know Lamar Jackson ($8,200) is an elite QB but let’s give some credit to the Seahawks’ defense while we’re here — who look dangerously underpriced this week at just $2.4K.

Seattle is fifth in yards per attempt against and third in yards per play allowed over its last three games. Their young secondary is starting to emerge as one of the league’s best and their defensive line has picked up 21 sacks over their last four games (11 came against the Giants, but still).

In short, this is a defense that has been tough to gain yards against and has also been solid for DFS scoring purposes in both the sack and turnover department (seven over their last four games). Even in a tough matchup, they shouldn’t be this cheap and given that most people will simply bypass them given the matchup with Jackson, it makes it a good time to use them if you are in need of some salary space. Jackson has lost five fumbles this year and isn’t infallible, despite being the highest-priced QB on this slate.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.