Hello all and welcome to my NFL GPP breakdown for Week 9 of the NFL season. For those of you who were here last year, we had a ton of success with this article throughout the year and saw a plethora of screenshots throughout the season of MAJOR wins from in cooperating this article into your weekly research and lineup construction. For those of you who are new, welcome, my name is Bob Viafora and I am one of the lead DFS analysts at DFS Karma. I’ve been with DFS Karma for 2+ years now and looking forward to what our team (and you – the reader) is able to accomplish this season. As a staple of your weekly reading/research, please reach out to me on twitter @DF_Advantage (throw me that follow if you don’t already) each week and let me know how your rosters did as well as sharing any #screenshots you may have. Football is back! Let’s GO!
High Tier: Kirk Cousins ($6200 – DK / $8300 – FD) – Everyone seems to be all over Adam Thielen but people so easily forget the guy throwing him the ball who is top-5 in the NFL in passing yards this season and should definitely be low owned on this slate. The volume is certainly there for Cousins who is consistently throwing over 40 pass attempts per game and we should expect the yardage to be here this Sunday facing the Lions defense that has allowed the highest aDOT in the league through 8 weeks.
This exact scenario sets up very well for Cousins who has been having a TON of success with passes of an aDOT over 10 yards this season. Adam Thielen is now considered a top-5 WR in the NFL and Stefon Diggs, who will be matched up with Darius Slay, posts slate-breaking upside in the matchup against a CB that is allowing over a 68% catch rate this year in addition to a passer rating of 117.4 when targeted. On a slate where Cousins will virtually go unowned at QB where everyone will be playing Newton/Brees/Goff Cousins seems to be a lock for the 300-yard bonus and multi-touchdown upside.
I feel comfortable game stacking Cousins-Thielen-Diggs and bring it back with Kenny Golladay who is primed to pop off this week with additional targets and Golden Tate out of the picture.
Mid Tier: Philip Rivers ($5600 – DK / $8000 – FD) – While I do think it is optimal to lock in either Cam Newton or Drew Brees this week and get contrarian elsewhere, Rivers seems poised for a major game after game script and volume has not been on his side through the first half of the season. It is notable Rivers hasn’t eclipsed 30 pass attempts in the past three weeks but as I just said game script has not been in his favor like it should be this week where the Chargers are projected to be trailing in this one on the road. As a result of the Chargers past three dominate wins where they chose to keep the ball on the ground and slow down the game, Rivers price has dipped to the lowest it’s been since November 12th last season against the league’s best defense in the Jaguars. While the Seahawks have been more respectable of a defense than we expected to come into the season they really haven’t faced a ton of great competition between guys like Keenum/Prescott/Carr/Rosen so we can interpret that these defensive ratings could be slightly skewed giving an untested defense the benefit of the doubt. Marvin Jones ripped apart this defense last week on two deep balls over 15 yards down the field which really lines up for some big plays from Mike Williams or Tyrell Williams this week. Both are matched up with below average burn-candidate cornerbacks in rookie Trey Flowers and Shaquill Griffin who legitimately looks bad in his second season. Rivers has thrown for 2 or more touchdowns in every game this season and could be leaned on more from a volume perspective with Melvin Gordon questionable.
Pairing Rivers with either of the Williams sets up for an extremely high upside pairing. I don’t think you need to bring it back with any Seattle players.
Low Tier: Alex Smith ($5000 – DK / 7500 – FD) – This sets up as a huge game for Alex Smith who is my clear play to pay down at Quarterback on a week where everyone is paying up and throwing away the +EV strategy of paying down at QB. The Falcons are hungry for a win and although Vegas has the Redskins favored here by 1.5 points this is going to be a close game. In the Redskins two losses this season we have seen Alex Smith throw for 39 and 46 attempts.
Alex Smith’s aDOT this season is about 35% higher than his career average which really raises his ceiling and the ceiling of his receivers. He is the same Alex Smith though so those dump-offs to Chris Thompson should provide a ton of upside against one of the leakiest defense against RBs out of the backfield this season. If you’re scripting this game and see the Falcons leading which is extremely possible given the offense they have, Chris Thompson makes for an amazing play at just 5.4k on Draftkings. Albeit a risky play, he is an awesome milli-maker play for your lineups this week if you’re multi-entering. In addition, Jordan Reed one of the most underrated tight ends in the NFL is coming off a week he saw 12 targets and should see between 8-12 again this week as one of my favorite plays on the slate. I left him out of my tight-end section but just had to throw in that I love love loveeee Jordan Reed this week.
Stacking Smith-Thompson-Reed while bringing it back with Julio Jones is my approach to this game.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (FP/$): Alex Smith
High: Kareem Hunt ($7,700 – DK / $8,500 – FD) – Kareem Hunt has finally got it going for Kansas City and it seems the community is off him a bit this week with some other appealing options on the slate. Hunt has posted back to back to back games of six target/five reception games which has really just elevated his play and ceiling for DFS purposes. Hunt has an insane 27 looks in the red zone this season which includes week 1 where he didn’t get ONE red zone carry or target. Averaging a crazy 3.9 looks in the red zone per game is going to lead to a VERY high ceiling. Not only is Cleveland easier to target on the ground from a yardage perspective where they are 24th in the league in yards per carry to running backs but they are allowing the most rushing touchdowns in the entire NFL. Hunt has the upside to break this slate in a game that seems to be scripted in his favor and should have half the ownership of Todd Gurley where in my opinion is a better point/$ play *ducks*.
Mid-Tier: Kerryon Johnson ($5,600 – DK / $6,400 – FD) – Kerryon Johnson as well as some other great running back plays on this slate are going to go overlooked as people plug in touchdown dependent Nick Chubb, 9.5k Todd Gurley, and running back committee Alvin Kamara. While the latter two do truly have the upside to break the slate and own the highest projected raw point total, guys like Johnson who are emerging as legitimate great running backs in the NFL are going overlooked in DFS on a week like this. While normally we would be concerned with LeGarrette Blount stealing some carries here, the game script is heavily against the Lions as five-point dogs. With Theo Riddick most likely sitting out this week (hopefully), Johnson is going to take all those potential targets really elevating his floor and ceiling at only 5.6k on Draftkings. Similair to last week where the game script negatively affected the Lions, we saw Johnson get eight targets. A similair target share in addition to 10-12 carries will provide more than enough opportunity for this running back to break the slate.
Low Tier: Isaiah Crowell ($4,200 – DK / $5,700 FD)- While I do like Crowell’s opportunity to post a higher raw score on Fanduel where the site is more touchdown dependent, I do think Crowell has a ton of upside to crush his 4.2k on Draftkings. Bilal Powell is out this week and although Crowell is dealing with a slight foot injury, what player in the NFL isn’t dealing with an injury midway through the season… I’m not concerned. Powell being out should increase Crowell’s usage in the passing game where we can expect 3-4 targets in a game that should be pretty close between the Jets and Dolphins. Miami is in the bottom three in the NFL in allowed rushing yards to running backs and bottom four in touchdowns allowed to the position. 15-20 touches should be in line for Crowell, as basically the only running back on the roster, this week against one of the worst run defenses in the NFL. Yes, I’m interested at 2% ownership.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Kareem Hunt
High Tier: Julio Jones ($7,900 – DK / $8,500 FD) – I’m amazed at the lack of interest people have in Julio this week but I guess the red-zone/touchdown factor is really catching up to him and people are getting sick of waiting around for his first touchdown. How perfect will it be when Julio catches two this week? It will be amazing and I think we get that this week from Julio. I really love Alex Smith this week and think this is going to be a competitive high-scoring game so I really am on Julio on the other side at potentially the lowest ownership we’ll get on him all season.
This is Julio’s touchdown conversion rate on targets in the end zone the past five seasons. Obviously, there is a bit of noise and small sample size in this chart but the key thing to be aware of it that he CAN catch the ball in the end zone. He just hasn’t been getting the looks and the Falcons are going to realize this and start feeding him there. It’s also notable that any week now Julio is going to break a huge touchdown as he is posting the highest aDOT of his career (same as past two seasons) and is essentially producing the same amount of YAC as he did in 2016 where he caught six touchdowns. I hate to be that guy but Julio is DUE. LOCK.
Mid-Tier: Jarvis Landry ($6,500 DK / $6,600 FD) – I mentioned earlier this season how Jarvis Landry is typically thought of as a low aDOT type of guy and while this may have been the case in years past it is no longer true. Landry is close to doubling his aDOT from last year where it now is at 10.4. Unfortunately, while the volume has been there Landry has not been able to capitalize conversely cutting his career RACR in half this season. These are figures that seem due to regress and in my opinion poised to happen against a bad Chiefs defense this week. Landry has almost surpassed his air yard total from last season on almost half the targets. The fact that we haven’t seen a slate breaking score from Landry yet with the type of volume he’s fed in this Cleveland offense is surprising, but we know the talent is there and the regression is coming when you’re fed this type of volume.
This is Landry’s RACR over the course of his entire career.
This is Landry’s RACR this season.
It’s logical to assume that Landry has had an unfortunate first eight weeks and to side with the sample size of his career to interpret he’s going to break out of this funk ASAP and when he does is set up for ELITE success. He’s close to a lock for me at what I think is an extremely cheap price for him this week.
Low Tier: Tre’Quan Smith ($4,200 – DK / $5,100 – FD)- Last but not least is Tre’Quan Smith who really isn’t getting the love he deserves as the number 2 receiver in this offense that is going to go off this week. We see the WR3 for the Rams getting more love than Smith where these two teams totals are essentially the same and Smith is essentially priced 3k cheaper. With the herd on Courtland Sutton this week (ARGHHHH 40% projected ownership? REALLY?), Tre’Quan Smith is going to be one of my highest owned players on this slate. The rookie has only seen 17 targets this season but has taken on that Brandin Cooks role with a 12.5 aDOT and 213 air yards on the year. The third round pick out of UCF (shoutout Trevis) is in line for 6-8 targets this week in which case he’ll be able to crush his measly 4.2k price tag on Draftkings. While there’s not enough data to pull to show any graphs about Smith’s efficiency, feel comfortable knowing his volume will be there in one of, if not the, highest scoring games of the year.
PERSONAL FAVORITE PLAY (PT/$): Tre’Quan Smith
Ben Watson ($3,200 DK / $5,400 FD) – As I mentioned above I do love Jordan Reed at the tight end position this week but the projected ownership on Ben Watson has me extremely concerned. People seem to be extremely scared to use him after he didn’t record a target last week and I seem to be less bothered by it with a 60 point game total. Watson saw almost half the amount of snaps he had been getting all season last week and I believe that has something more to do with the opponent and how the Saints prepared for the game rather than Watson’s long-term opportunity with the team. He was coming off a week where he caught all of his six targets for 43 yards and a touchdown. If you’re going to tell me he has his best week of the year and then is planned out of the offense I just wouldn’t see the logic. Watson is on the older side which makes him pretty risky but still posts great workout numbers and is extremely fast/athletic (profiles well with Eric Ebron). At 3.2k on Draftkings this week I feel like I have to play him at sub-5% ownership. This is going to lead me to having a couple double tight end teams this week on Draftkings (Reed-Watson).
I will be giving out more of my low-owned GPP’s plays on Sunday morning where I will be hosting an Instagram live show you can find @DFS_Karma on Instagram around 11am. Make sure to stay tuned and thanks for reading! I better see ALLLL the screenshots Monday morning with all of you RAKING in the cash! LET’S GOOOOO! #MONEYTEAM
WRITTEN BY: @ DF_ADVANTAGE – Follow me on Twitter
*THIS ARTICLE IS DESIGNED SPECIFICALLY FOR GPP ENTRY CONTESTS ON DRAFTKINGS AND FANDUEL. MY GOAL WHEN SHARING MY THOUGHTS/INFORMATION WITH YOU ALL IS THAT THESE PLAYERS COME IN UNDER 10-15% OWNED IN GPP’S. TO FIND PLAYERS THIS LOW OWNED, WE ARE TAKING ON A “BUST RISK”. THIS IS THE TYPE OF RISK AS A GPP PLAYER YOU NEED TO TAKE DOWN A TOURNAMENT. *