Prime Picks – Week 9

Each week I’ll bring you a mix of DFS plays that I like for cash and tournament games. I won’t be focusing too much on the elite plays such as Christian McCaffery, Lamar Jackson and Michael Thomas instead, I’ll look for value in matchups that have the potential to be high scoring and return good points to dollar ratio. If we can find that we can open up our lineups to be built better. Through the season I’ll also review my previous weeks plays so you can judge for yourself how good my takes are. 

Tom Strachan


Week 8 Review

Oh boy, it wasn’t a pretty week. I mainly play cash or double-up games and I felt very lucky that my cash lineup reached 137.04 and cashed in every contest. Most weeks you need to be over the 150 mark but with many high-value players busting, the money lines were brought down across the board. 

At quarterback neither of my choices were great. Jimmy Garroppolo limped out of the 49ers lineup, possibly for the last time, after scoring a terrible 2.8 points. That stung deeply. Meanwhile, Derek Carr at 5500 suffered from strong winds restricting the passing game and managed an okay 12.6. At running back Kareem Hunt failed to take advantage of a good matchup and struggled up to 9.3 points, with season lows in catches and receiving yards. Jonathan Taylor again failed to break out despite a game favouring running backs, as an ankle injury saw Hines and Wilkins outproduce him. He won’t be reappearing in this column again anytime soon. Jamaal Williams smashed at 18.2 points and despite his price increasing to 6100, he still outperformed his projections. At receiver Tee Higgins was our best play, but Rashard Higgins and Denzel Mims badly let us down despite all the matchups pointing to big days. At tight end, Jonnu Smith did just enough to not destroy you at a low-cost punt and Trey Burton at 3500 did a nice job of scoring double digits despite Doyle and Cox both being fit. 

All in all, one of the worst weeks of the season, after two strong weeks. Time to banish Jets receivers from this column and get on track. 

Plays so far (based on price to points ratios):

Great plays: 28

Good plays: 24

Bad plays: 19

Week 9 Picks

Lamar Jackson – $6900 Vs Colts

In my intro, you’ll see I say that I’m not here to talk about the top-priced players like Lamar Jackson, but this isn’t the kind of price that stops me playing him. $6900 is by far the cheapest Lamar has been for over a year. At that price, we’re looking for around 21pts upwards from him. So far this season he averages 21.5 ppg (points per game). The Colts do rank 1st in the NFL in fewest points given up to Quarterbacks but so far this season they have faced Minshew, Cousins, Darnold, Trubisky, Mayfield and Stafford. Hardly any top tier players at the position. In Jackson’s last two games he has run for a combined 173 yards on 25 attempts. Seemingly over whatever knee injury affected him earlier in the season the safe floor looks to be returning. This play may not be for everyone, but I’m confident enough that I’ll start Lamar in plenty of tournament lineups and consider him heavily for cash.

Teddy Bridgewater – $6000 Vs Chiefs

Despite losing CMC in week 2 Bridgewater has been a functional fantasy quarterback regularly. Averaging 263 yards per game this season, which increases to 292 when on the road. The Chiefs are favoured by 10.5 in a 52.5 projected points game. If this game plays out as expected then the game script will favour Bridgewater having to play aggressive from behind. I wouldn’t expect Teddy to get you 30 points, but at this price, if he can return 18-20 we’ll have struck value and the savings will open up better plays elsewhere. He also should see the return of Christian McCaffery to open things up. Speaking of whom….

Christian McCaffery – $8500 Vs Chiefs

As mentioned in the Lamar Jackson section, and at the top of this column, we don’t usually talk about players like CMC in this column. However, at $8500 CMC is an absolute lock for tournaments and cash games unless he suffers a setback in practice. Regular DFS players will be aware that CMC’s price frequently sits around the $10000 range and still returns value even at that. In a game where the Panthers are projected to play from behind CMC should see plenty of volume and could easily reach 20 points against a defence that has been leaky against the run and receiving backs. Allowing the league’s sixth-worst total of 8.73 yards per reception to the position. 

James Conner – $6900 Vs Dallas

The Cowboys defence seems to be built from straw this season allowing virtually any opponent to have a big day. Due to the Steelers great range of plays at receiver it can be tricky to predict which star may go off on a given week. Thankfully that’s not the case in the backfield with James Conner firmly entrenched as the workhorse back. After allowing opportunities to Benny Snell earlier in the season, they seem to have realised Conner is a far superior back and given him the vast majority of the opportunities. With Dallas potentially having to start Cooper Rush rather than giving DiNucci another chance they could easily fall behind early and be fighting to stay in the game whilst the Steelers grind the clock down with the run.

Damien Harris – $5300 Vs Jets

Speaking of running backs facing a terrible defence…normally I don’t like to chase the points in DFS, but Damien Harris racked up a season-high 19.2 points last week against a Bills defence that ranks similarly to the Jets. The Patriots don’t just struggle through the air, they lack options and it remains to be seen how good Cam’s shoulder is. Harris hasn’t seen more than one target in any game this year, but he makes up for that with really good rushing production, averaging 5.3 yards per carry through four games. At 5300 Harris represents a strong opportunity at a good price. In tournaments, this is definitely in play. 

Tyler Lockett – $6800 Vs Bills

Like most weeks this season the Seahawks appear in one of the highest projected points totals of the week, currently sitting at 55. The Bills defence isn’t what it was in 2019, where they finished the season as the 2nd best, according to profootball reference. This year they rank 23rd on footballoutsider. Even if they were the unit of 2019 I’m not sure it would matter against the Seahawks 2020 juggernaut. Plenty of people will feel tempted back to DK Metcalf after his 40 point outing against the Seahawks but at $1000 cheaper and against a secondary that struggles against slot receivers, I’ll be in play on Lockett. Don’t be afraid to use this game for stacking in multiple variations. 

Will Fuller – $6800 Vs Jacksonville

Despite the talk of a deadline day move to Green Bay, Fuller remains the number one option in Houston. The Texans are favoured by 6 points and with Jake Luton playing at Quarterback for Jacksonville, this could easily be a blowout. Fuller has managed a touchdown or over one hundred yards in every game but one this season and there should be no reason for that to stop this weekend. 

Christian Kirk – $5300 Vs Dolphins

Kirk has steadily become a more reliable option as the season has gone on. In his last four games, he has five touchdowns, including two games with two touchdowns apiece. Miami is tough against wide receivers, with their defence finally getting some recognition after an awesome performance against the Rams, but I still like Kirk to have a good day here. Miami hasn’t faced many great quarterbacks this year, and with Kyler’s scrambling skills the corners will have more to keep an eye on than in matches against statues such as Goff, Flacco, and an injured Garoppolo. For tournaments, I like this play. 

TJ Hockenson – $5100 Vs Vikings

At the time of writing Matthew Stafford had just been placed in the Covid close contact protocols so pay close attention to that situation before locking this in. Hockenson currently sits as the TE4 on the season. Only trailing Waller, Kittle and Kelce. He continues to be underpriced and with Kenny Golladay due to miss some time, his targets could see a bump. Minnesota’s defence ranks 16th against the position and is nothing to fear. Hockenson stands a good chance of being my cash TE of the week. 

Evan Engram – $4300 Vs Washington

Not even Jason Garrett can completely hold back Evan Engram these days. Coming off a season-high ten targets Engram gets a matchup against the 24th best defence against the position. The Giants have schemed ways to get Engram into the game, including touch passes behind the line of scrimmage. Another stat to highlight his uptick in targets is that in the last two games he has had 42% of his air yards for the entire season. This game could struggle for fantasy relevance with a current projection of just 41.5 points but with 19 targets in his last two games, I’m confident Engram will be a heavy part of the passing game.  

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