Cam Newton: vs TB (DK 6600; FD 8600)
Andy Dalton returned value which was a positive but Joe Mixon was a one-man wrecking crew against the Buccaneers which reduced Dalton’s impact in that game. The one thing that Cam Newton provides that Dalton doesn’t is the rushing upside. Cam should have his way against a Tampa Bay defense that allows just shy of 31 FPPG to fantasy quarterbacks on the road, the worst mark in the league. He averages 7.84 FPPG with his legs alone and should be able to thrash the Buccaneers through the air with ease against a porous Tampa Bay secondary. It’s hard to go wrong with either him or Patrick Mahomes but I like Cam just a little more here as he is cheaper on both sites.
Jared Goff: at NO (DK 6000; FD 8400)
The home/road splits would suggest that Jared Goff is a much better play at LA Memorial Coliseum as he is averaging almost double the fantasy points there than on the road. However, with Vegas setting the total at 59.5, it certainly suggests that points will be scored early and often in a fast-paced Mercedes-Benz Superdome. New Orleans is the worst fantasy defense against wide receivers; against opponents with strong receiving corps like Atlanta, Tampa Bay, and Minnesota, the Saints hemorrhage fantasy points to the tune of 69.86 FPPG in PPR scoring. Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Cooper Kupp could be the best trio of receivers the Saints defense sees all year which all bodes well for Jared Goff in this game. Not to mention the utilization of Todd Gurley in the backfield and it sets up another avenue for Goff to return and exceed value in this potential shoutout.
Ryan Fitzpatrick: at CAR (DK 5500; FD 7100)
How long he remains the starting quarterback will be determined but Ryan Fitzpatrick will be under center when the Buccaneers head to Carolina. With the exception of week 4 against the Bears, he has returned value every week on both sites, including when he replaced Jameis Winston last week in the third quarter against the Bengals. Carolina has allowed multiple touchdown passes in each of its last five games while Fitzpatrick has thrown for multiple touchdowns in four of the five games he has played in 2018. Whether it be attacking the Carolina cornerbacks on the outside or utilizing the tight ends against the worst fantasy defense against that position, Fitzpatrick is in a great position to return value for the fifth time in six games.
Todd Gurley: at NO (DK 9500; FD 11200)
If the fact that the Saints have surrendered the 5th fewest FPA to running backs causes concern, Todd Gurley will still find his way to a minimum of 20 FD/25 DK points with ease. Plug him in lineups, it’s way too easy.
Christian McCaffery: vs TB (DK 7800; FD 7900)
Christian McCaffery held his own against Washington, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, all teams that feature stout rushing defenses, as he averaged 16.46 FPPG in PPR scoring in those contests. While his home/road splits in 2018 aren’t as drastic as they were the prior year, he has performed better at Bank Of America Stadium in his short time in the NFL and it bodes well heading into week 9 as the Panthers are six-point favorites against a Buccaneers team that fails to play defense on a weekly basis. His biggest asset is his availability as he played all but one of Carolina’s offensive snaps in the aforementioned games and in a system where him and Cam are the focal points of the offense, he should see plenty of volume in this favorable matchup.
Kareem Hunt: at CLE (DK 7700; FD 8500)
While he saw just five targets in the Chiefs first four games, that number has increased to 22 in the last four, a number that is ideal for running backs in PPR formats. Kareem Hunt finds himself in a promising matchup against a Browns rush defense that has surrendered 90+ rushing yards in six of eight games and allowed both James Conner and Melvin Gordon to rush for 100+ yards and two touchdowns. He is certainly in the category of Conner and Gordon and being part of an electric offense that moves up and down the field at a moment’s notice makes him appealing not just in this juicy matchup but on a weekly basis.
Nick Chubb: vs KC (DK 4500; FD 6600)
Only the Lions allow more yards per carry than the Chiefs 5.31 as rushing has been a method of attack for opposing offenses that have typically played from behind against this high-octane Kansas City offense. The Broncos trailed from 9:31 remaining in the 2nd quarter to the end of the game against the Chiefs in week 8 and the Broncos still allowed Phillip Lindsay to rush 18 times. That’s how putrid the Kansas City rush defense has been and I expect Cleveland to play to that weakness utilizing Nick Chubb who is way underpriced on DraftKings this week. He’s averaging 19 touches per game since Carlos Hyde was traded to Jacksonville and given this favorable matchup and expected volume, Chubb is a good option that will allot salary to other positions in week 9.
Adam Thielen: vs DET (DK 8900; FD 8900)
Like Gurley, there shouldn’t be too much thought regarding Adam Thielen against a Lions secondary giving up the 4th most FPA to slot receivers over the last four weeks. He has topped 100+ yards in every game this year and that doesn’t look to change this week.
Michael Thomas: vs LAR (DK 7600; FD 8600)
What sticks out here is the low price tag in a game with a total of nearly 60 points. Michael Thomas was on fire to start the year and we learned that part of it was due to the ineptitude of the Atlanta and Tampa Bay secondaries. Against a Rams secondary that has allowed 100+ yard games to Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Emmanuel Sanders, and Davante Adams, Michael Thomas more than possesses the ability to put together a similar performance. In a game where both quarterbacks could be slinging the ball downfield, give me the receiver that is seeing 45% of the wide receiver targets at a slight discount on DraftKings.
Cooper Kupp: at NO (DK 6000; FD 6800)
Patrick Robinson was brought in from Philadelphia to be the slot corner until he broke his left ankle. Since then, P.J. Williams has been slaughtered by opposing slot receivers and this week features Cooper Kupp returning from a two-game absence in a game with the highest total on the main slate. Prior to the injury, Kupp led the Rams in red zone targets as Jared Goff looks to him and Gurley on 46.94% of his red zone targets. Not counting the game he was injured against the Broncos, he’s seeing eight targets per game, just shy of Robert Woods team-leading 8.13 targets, and being he’s one of Goff’s preferred red zone options, I certainly want some Kupp exposure in a game with the highest total on the board. Keep an eye on the injury report on Friday to ensure Kupp is still on track to play as Sean McVay stated earlier in the week.
Courtland Sutton: vs HOU (DK 3900; FD 5500)
You get the Broncos #2 receiver at a bargain price courtesy of Demaryius Thomas being traded to the Texans. The Denver coaching staff felt that Courtland Sutton has progressed well enough that DT was expendable and certainly his 19.05 yards per catch and six red zone targets, one and two fewer than Emmanuel Sanders and Thomas respectively, reflect that confidence. Opposing offenses have attacked the right side of the Houston secondary which has given up the 5th most FPA to receivers lined up on the left side of the ball. This correlates well for Sutton as he lines up on the left side on 52% of his snaps. He’s the free space on both sites this week as he will be heavily owned but his chemistry with Case Keenum sets up well to do more than just return value.
Greg Olsen: vs TB (DK 4700; FD 6200)
Heading into last week, the Buccaneers were giving up the most fantasy points to the tight end position. Don’t be fooled by the ineffective performance of the Cincinnati tight ends as the Bengals haven’t utilized them since the loss of Tyler Eifert. Since returning from his foot injury, Greg Olsen has played all but two offensive snaps and found the end zone twice in those three games. Cam Newton looks towards his veteran pass catcher often and Olsen should play an important role in this game against a Tampa Bay defense that has struggled mightily against the position.
Kyle Rudolph: vs DET (DK 3600; FD 5700)
This is the cheapest he has been this year on DraftKings and it’s for a tight end that is seeing 5.37 targets per game. Kyle Rudolph faces a Lions team that has given up 16.7 FPPG to the position in PPR scoring over the last three games. Not to mention Rudolph has scored five touchdowns in his last six games against the Lions and it makes for a good spot start in a solid offense.
Charles Clay: vs CHI (DK 2700; FD 4500)
This is as cheap as I want to go at tight end this week against a Bears defense that has allowed five touchdowns to the position. If Charles Clay crosses the pylons in this game, he returns value which is all I’m trying to do here to make room for the other pieces I want in lineups this week. I’m not fond of Nathan Peterman throwing to Clay but I’m willing to make a dart throw at tight end for the benefit of the rest of the lineup.
Chicago: at BUF (DK 4100; FD 5400)
Nathan. Peterman. Nothing else needs to be said here. In his three career starts, fantasy defenses are averaging 16.33 fantasy points against the Bills. If you can afford the Chicago defense, they’re worthy of the roster spot.
Miami: vs NYJ (DK 2800; FD 4200)
Quincy Enunwa and Robby Anderson are still not practicing at the time of this writing on Thursday night which could further limit Sam Darnold if they don’t suit up this week. Darnold turns the ball over 1.37 times per game while fantasy defenses average 9.25 FPPG in the Jets four road games.
Kansas City: at CLE (DK 2700; FD 3900)
The Browns have replaced the head coach and offensive coordinator heading into this game. Cleveland allows 4.25 sacks and 1.37 turnovers per game and this sets up perfectly for a Chiefs defense to come in and take advantage of a team currently in disarray.
Each week, I will identify what players are bargains based on the salary cap percentage difference they represent on the respective site. Here are the notable week 9 bargains from both sites
NOTABLE DRAFTKINGS BARGAINS
QB Alex Smith: 2.5
QB Jared Goff: 2
RB Nick Chubb: 2
TE Kyle Rudolph: 2.3
NOTABLE FANDUEL BARGAINS
RB Christian McCaffery: 2.6
WR Mike Evans: 3.04
WR Tyreek Hill: 3
WR Adam Thielen: 2.94