Russell Wilson- As I discussed in my game-by-game article this week, this is the ugliest slate by far of the season and it’s going to leave us with some critical decisions to make come Sunday. Spending all the way up at Quarterback is not something I typically do personally, but this week is an anomaly with just four games featuring point spreads over 43 points. The clash between the Seahawks and Tampa Bay Buccaneers owns the highest of the bunch at 53, and with just five points separating the two teams, Vegas clearly expects a shootout. This also sets up as a huge pass-funnel spot, we have attacked the Bucs through the air all season and they are currently first overall in run-defense DVOA. Wilson has a slew of 20+ point fantasy games this season with an outlier of 44, showing us that the ceiling is there despite a typically run-first offense.
Matt Moore- I would LOVE to be able to jam in CMC/Dalvin and Russell Wilson, but if Patrick Mahomes misses this game, we are awarded Matt Moore who is priced under $5,000 on DraftKings. There are other QB’s in play this week, Derek Carr and Matt Stafford each project for double-digit ownership in a game with a 50 O/U, but I feel much better about Wilson than I do either of them. So, it basically comes down to spending up for Wilson, or taking the punt and being able to play whatever skill position players I want. We need the Mahomes news before we even know if we can play Moore, but he has looked good in relief and topped 19 DK points in Week 8. The Vikings are not an easy opponent, but that should be a close game, and it’s not going to be easy for the Chiefs to run on Minnesota — he should be able to comfortably hit value at his basement-tier price tag. Anthony and I discussed him briefly on this weeks ‘The Cash Process” podcast, but as the week has wore on it has become clear he is a real option for me as of now.
Christian McCaffrey/Dalvin Cook- This slate is so flat-out gross that locking in the floors of both Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook seems like the most logical route to me in a cash game setting. These guys need no introduction or analysis of their elite advanced metrics, they have been the two best backs in fantasy football and that’s why they are priced the way they are. Cook in particular has been severely limited by the Vikings blowing teams out this season, but that shouldn’t be the case this week with the Vikings listed as slim favorites. We got some much needed value on Friday afternoon — more on that next — so locking these two in as a pair should be a popular decision in Week 9.
Jaylen Samuels- Samuels is 100% a lock play for this week with James Conner doubtful and Benny Snell out. I will probably have him in every lineup I build on any site, and I don’t see any reason to get cute and fade him at his price. With BOTH guys out, there’s a good chance that he doesn’t leave the field on Sunday and we have seen him have success earlier this season when Conner was banged up. They also have used him in the wildcat, so there is a small chance he picks up a few passing yards on Sunday as well. Either way, I’m locking him in for cash games and moving on.
Josh Jacobs- It’s pretty obvious that I’m playing the aforementioned three RB’s, but if you only want to spend up on one guy and get some more roster flexibility, I don’t mind Josh Jacobs — who I think will come in under-owned. I’m not a Jacobs fan at all, but this is the spot to target him in, listed as a home favorite against a defense that has been carved up on the ground in recent weeks. Derek Carr is going to be chalk, so this gives us natural leverage by snagging the teams Running Back, rather than Carr or a pass catchers. He isn’t super involved in the passing game, which is why it’s bog that they are expected to win this game, and I could see them returning to a run-first approach at home this weekend like we saw in Week 1. He’s cheaper than Aaron Jones as well, another player who should see significant ownership.
Tyler Lockett- This one is pretty easy, Russell Wilson is my favorite QB on this slate so wanting to pair him with his top receiver is an obvious move. I don’t think I will have enough money to get up here, especially if I do land on Wilson, but he is definitely one of my favorite receivers on the slate in this matchup.
Allen Robinson- Robinson is someone I would love to fit in my main lineup on at least one site, he gets my favorite matchup against the Eagles secondary. If anyone reads my content regularly, you will know that the Eagles are one of the few teams I have gone out of my way to attack with receivers pretty much every week of the season. ARob destroyed them in their meeting last season, and still ranks fourth-overall in weighted opportunity rating according to airyards.com. I can’t believe how good this guy has been throughout his career with just garbage throwing to him, so I’m not even concerned about Trubisky or the low total here.
Danny Amendola- You guys are really going to hate me for the receivers I’m considering this week, but if you want to jam in the three best plays on the slate in my opinion, you have to make sacrifices somewhere. The Lions have been using Amendola heavily since Kerryon Johnson went down due to injury — has has 19 targets over the last two weeks with an aDOT of under 10 yards. This Raiders secondary has been burnt to a crisp all season, and they have allowed the third-most passing touchdowns through 9 weeks of action.
Jarvis Landry- Landry will definitely be one of the highest-owned receivers this week — he’s priced at just $4,500 on DraftKings…that’s crazy! Sure, he hasn’t produced at an elite level this season, but $4,500 for a player of Landy’s caliber seems like it’s too good to be true. The matchup against the Broncos is not an above average one, but with Chris Harris moving out of the slot to shadow receivers this season, he should be locked onto Odell Beckham giving Landry the much more positive individual spot. He went 5-65 on 10 targets against the Patriots in Week 8.
Mike Williams- I don’t know if I can handle watching Mike Williams drop touchdown passes on my team again this week, but his price puts him right back into play. He does get a slight bump down with Keenan Allen looking much healthier this week, but how unlucky can this guy get? He drops passes over and over, he dropped a touchdown last week AND he stumbled and fell on what would have been another touchdown. He’s due for positive regression seeing as he has his yard total sits 54% less than his air yards, and he could end up being a popular play due to the salary.
Note: There are other cheap guys in play for me such as Cole Beasley, Demaryius Thomas and Zach Pascal — hitting on these cheap WRs is going to be crucial for success this week, so be sure to tune into the Sunday morning live stream to get my complete up-to-date thoughts on this position.
It’s clear that we aren’t going to have money to spend up on Tight End this week… at least I won’t, so I’m going to be focusing on the punts in cash games once again while pivoting to guys like Darren Waller and Hunter Henry in tournaments.
Cameron Brate will get a bump up again with OJ Howard out, in an expected shootout with the Seahawks. Brate saw six targets last week. Noah Fant is coming off a season-high eight targets against the Colts, and was moved into the slot quiet often last week in the absence of Emmanuel Sanders. Fant has yet to deliver a big game, but the Browns are vulnerable in the middle of the field and he is really cheap for someone that has eight targets in the realm of possibilities. People may want to go to one of Eric Ebron or Jack Doyle with TY Hilton out, but that’s probably a bit too thin for me and I prefer choosing between Brate and Fant.
Written by Ben Hossler (Follow @BenHossler on Twitter)