What’s up everyone and welcome to Ben’s Building Blocks! If you’ve never read my content before, welcome. To those that have, welcome back. I truly appreciate everyone that reads and supports during NFL season. This article is designed for me to highlight the top plays of the week, and my overall player pool for the main slate. Obviously, things can change rapidly in the NFL with injury news on the weekends, so I would be sure to subscribe to our premium package for access to my Final Thoughts cheat sheet, our premium discord channel and my core plays. Our Core Plays product gives you the ability to tail all of our analysts in your contests each week. We do the work for you, and you simply plug and play with our premium Core Plays. With that being said, let’s hop into the Week 9 slate…
Josh Allen is back on the slate this weekend, making it fairly clear what the move is for cash games. He’s averaging 30 DK points per game this season and is pretty much five points clear of anyone else in our Projections Portal. Buffalo doesn’t need the Jets to be in the game of them to keep their foot on the gas, and Allen has proven of capable of doing his damage in 30 point blowouts if it gets to that point. There is very limited value on this slate (again) but I find it very hard to avoid playing him in cash games / main team scenarios. He’s the clear number one play on the slate.
I am keeping Justin Fields in my cash game / core pool only because of that lack of value. Fields has been legitimately good for fantasy purposes the last few weeks, and is averaging 11 carries per game over the last three games. He’s topped 60+ rushing yards in all three of those games, and if he’s going to run like this with a semi-capable offense he should be higher-priced. Given the lack of value, saving $3,000 in salary by dropping to him loosens things up a ton and it appears he’s showing like a five or six point floor with his rushing ability. Allen is the optimal play, but I am considering Fields as well as it currently stands.
Tournaments are straightforward for me, I’m going to be very in on Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow. Herbert is missing all of his top pass catchers, but that’s not going to stop the Chargers from throwing and they’ve shown that in the past. Atlanta has been a cheat-code to target in DFS in recent weeks and will continue to have a banged up secondary down their top two corners in Week 9. With no Keenan and Williams, it’s so cheap to stack Herbert making him my top stack in tournaments. Burrow has never played good against the Browns, but now nobody wants to play him. Yes, their offense suffers with no Ja’Marr Chase but we saw him have multiple monster fantasy games his rookie year with no Chase. He’s such a good play this week, and can easily be stacked with some solid bring-back options on the Panthers.
Kyler is a good play as well, but I prefer Herbert/Burrow if only building a few teams.
Core: Josh Allen, Justin Fields
Pivots: Kyler Murray, Tua Tagovailoa, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert
The theme of this year in DFS has been severe lack of value, but a very strong mid-tier at running back that continues in Week 9. Travis Etienne is underpriced on both sites for the bellcow role the Jaguars are handing him, and I think he’s the number one option in all formats on both sites. Getting that out of the way, there’s a big conversation to have around Austin Ekeler. He’s never a must-play on FanDuel, but on DraftKings I don’t see how you can fade him right now. He’s caught double-digit passes in each of his last two games and Keenan Allen/Mike Williams remain out for the Chargers. He’s a threat for 10+ catches again and that’s extremely tough to fade in full PPR scoring. Playing him and Allen together is a tough fit, but it’s probably optimal this weekend.
Outside of those two, there are several strong mid-tier plays such as Joe Mixon, Rhamondre Stevenson and Kenneth Walker. Mixon is currently projecting the best, he’s been inefficient but is second-overall on this slate in weighted opportunity and seems to be due for some positive TD regression. Stevenson has been the focal point of the Patriots offense, and if Damien Harris gets ruled out he would become a must-play for me maybe in all formats. All of these guys are viable in all formats, and choosing the right mid-tier RB’s is going to be crucial to success this weekend.
Aaron Jones is my favorite tournament play on DraftKings this week. I don’t think you can fit him in for cash games, but he’s in such a strong spot against the Detroit Lions. He’s averaging almost 20 touches per game over the last two weeks — while Detroit is allowing the seventh-most fantasy points to running backs. If Green Bay even sniffs their team total, it feels like Jones will be a big part in doing so.
Core: Austin Ekeler, Aaron Jones, Joe Mixon, Travis Etienne
Pivots: Josh Jacobs, Rhamondre Stevenson, Kenneth Walker, Josh Jacobs, D’Onta Foreman, Deon Jackson
Given the lack of value, I think it’s going to be hard to get to some of these expensive receivers. DeAndre Hopkins sticks out as my favorite spend-up, he’s commanded nearly 50% of Kyler Murray’s targets since returning yet is still priced below $8,000 on DraftKings. Outside of Nuk, we have several strong options in the $6K tier including Amon-Ra St. Brown and Chris Godwin. Both these guys are inside the top-three value rating in our Projections Portal, and I think they’ll be equally high-owned on Sunday. I would lean ARSB over Godwin if choosing one, but I think I would prefer having both in my cash build if possible. Dropping down further, DJ Moore is still underpriced, as is Josh Palmer. Palmer is a solid bet to lead the team in targets after averaging nearly seven per game with Williams still active. With AJ Terrell out, ATL has really struggled in coverage and I think Palmer is a near-lock for me in all formats.
For tournaments, I’ll be looking to fill in my stacks. I love the Herbert double-stacks with two of Palmer, Bandy and Gerald Everett. I love the Burrow stacks with two of Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd and Hayden Hurst. I also think getting to the Buffalo receivers is a good move in small-field — both Diggs and Gabe Davis will be under-owned in comparison to Josh Allen.
Core: Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Amon-Ra St. Brown, Chris Godwin, DJ Moore, Josh Palmer, Romeo Doubs, Tyquan Thornton
Pivots: Cooper Kupp, Justin Jefferson, Tee Higgins, Tyler Boyd, Michael Bandy, Bills WRs, Kalif Raymond
I love weeks where we return to our roots and get to pure punt in cash games — enter: Brock Wright. Wright has questionable for most of the week with a concussion, but he was out of the non-contact jersey on Friday and HC Dan Campbell said he thinks he will be good to go for Sunday. He’s the minimum price on DraftKings, making him tough to avoid in cash game builds.
Outside of the punt Wright, I love Gerald Everett this week. Like the WR’s, he gets a major boost with all these guys out this weekend. He’s been a reliable target for Herbert this season, and ATL has allowed the second-most catches to tight ends. Obviously Mike Williams plays a huge role in the red-zone, so him being out positively affects Everett there as well — he’s seen 7 targets inside the 10 yard-line in 2022. Since I love Herbert this week, I will be stacking him with Everett in my tourney builds.
I also love Hayden Hurst as a one-off, or in a stack with Burrow for GPPs.
Core: Bob Tonyan, Brock Wright
Pivot: Gerald Everett, Hayden Hurst, Evan Engram?
Bold Call of the Week
Justin Herbert throws for 350+ yards and 3+ TD’s!
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)