Week 9 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug

Week 9 NFL DFS Main Slate Daily Plug


The following article appears on OccupyFantasy.com every Friday! Become a member for as little as $2/week with an annual subscription for NFL DFS analysis, as well as MLB, NBA, NHL and more.

The Daily Plug is our weekly NFL DFS picks write-up that highlights the top plays from our Occupy Model. The Plug then provides actionable information for each slate by making specific recommendations on how much of your bankroll to allocate and exactly what types of contests to play — all depending on the type of player you are.

Occupy Fantasy’s Chris Rooney has written up a guide to the slate using the Occupy Model, betting line movements, and news updates. Be sure to read all the way through to the end!

Follow Chris on Twitter @cdr02989 for updates through lock.

Keep an eye on this page, updates will be made IN BLUE on Sunday mornings if anything changes. For NFL Inactives, visit this link to the NFL.com page – updates roughly 90 minutes before kickoff for each game.

Consider the Plug an in-depth road map for the main slate. Let’s get to it!

Want analysis for every player in Week 9? Check out the Occupy Model. Want help building lineups? Our partner, DFS Magic, is offering an optimizer FREE for all Occupy members through the end of November.

BETTING ODDS

Biggest Favorites:
Bills, -12
Seahawks, -5
Browns, -4
Eagles, -4
Panthers, -3.5

Highest Game Totals:
TB@SEA, 52
DET@OAK, 51
GB@LAC, 48.5
MIN@KC, 47
NE@BAL, 44.5 (Yahoo! Only)

Highest Implied Team Totals:
Seahawks, 28.5
Raiders, 26.75
Packers, 26

Vikings, 25.25
Bills, 24.5

Lowest Implied Team Totals:
Redskins, 12.5
Broncos, 17.5
Bears, 18.5
Titans, 19.5
Dolphins, 19.5

GAMES TO STACK

Each week, we’ll point out three games to stack based on the Occupy Model, betting line information such as game totals, implied team totals, line movements, and more. 

MIN@KC, TB@SEA, TEN@CAR

Week 9 features some of the most creative pricing from contest operators we’ve seen this season, and it completely dictates how we must approach this slate.

On DraftKings, the Chiefs and Vikings game features a $9,500 RB who isn’t the highest priced player at his position – Dalvin Cook. The Chiefs are 30th by Football Outsiders’ DVOA against the rush this year, allowing 145 rushing yards per game to their opponents at a 4.9 yard per carry (YPC) clip. Kirk Cousins has shown access to a ceiling, with two 300+ yard, 4 touchdown pass games in October. His two favorite targets, Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen (if active) rank inside the top 10 of the Occupy Model in Week 9.

Matt Moore is the top ranked QB in the Occupy Model – rostering him for this game stack really opens things up. LeSean McCoy may still be the lead back for Kansas City, but focusing on the likes of Travis Kelce, Tyreek Hill and Sammy Watkins might be the best way to get exposure to this side of the game. The Chiefs-Vikings game is off the board at most books due to Patrick Mahomes’ questionable tag, but did post at a 48.5 total at one book we were able to find. Total is now down to 47 with the Vikings -3.5.

Jameis Winston heads to Seattle to face Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Both quarterbacks are inside the top 5 of the Occupy Model, likely because this is the highest total game on the slate at 52 points. The Buccaneers should continue to focus on their usual suspects in the passing game – Chris Godwin and Mike Evans project to be 2 of the highest owned receivers in Week 9. In fact, the only receiver that projects for higher ownership (as of Friday) is Seattle’s Tyler Lockett. If you choose to stack this game up, remember the Bucs have a really stout rush defense in 2019 – Chris Carson is in a really difficult spot as a result.

In order to fit some of the higher priced studs into our lineups on this slate, we’ll need to find lower priced opportunities at several positions. One way to do this in high-risk contests is to stack the Titans and the Panthers. While Christian McCaffrey features the second highest price tag ever seen at the position (on DraftKings), you can probably get to him thanks to the low prices of Ryan Tannehill, Kyle Allen, Curtis Samuel, Jonnu Smith, Corey Davis and A.J. Brown. This game has a modest 42 point total, therefore it is by far the highest risk of these 3 games to stack heavily.

BEST PLAYS BY POSITION

Quarterback

Stud: Russell Wilson (vs. Tampa Bay)

We told you last week about Tannehill being in a good spot against the Bucs because of how they force teams to throw the football – if we liked Tannehill in that spot, you can assume we love Russell Wilson in this one. Wilson will have to wait a week to use his new toy, Josh Gordon – but should be able to connect with his receivers that will suit up in Week 9. The Bucs rank 24th by Football Outsiders DVOA against WR1s, and 29th against WR2s on the season. Wilson has the highest floor of all QBs on the slate; despite the price tag, he’s a great play for low-risk contests here.

Value: Derek Carr (vs. Detroit)

Derek Carr should face very little resistance against this Lions defensive front – we project them to generate the 4th least amount of pressure in the Occupy Model. He’s 7th in the NFL by net yards per attempt (NY/A), and 10th by regular yards per attempt (Y/A) in 2019. The Lions are 22nd by DVOA against the pass, meaning Carr should be able to find success on Sunday. Also of note – Oakland’s pass blocking grades out  as 4th best in the entire NFL by adjusted sack rate this season.

Running Back

Stud: Christian McCaffrey (vs. Tennessee)

Despite the 51-13 loss to the 49ers in Week 8, CMC was able to post a 14-117-1 line on the ground, while adding 4-38 in the passing game on 5 targets. He won’t face much more of a difficult matchup than that, especially since both Tampa Bay games are now behind Carolina. As far as we can tell, CMC’s five figure price tag on DraftKings has only happened four other times at the position on a main slate.

 



Can we afford to use 20% of our budget on him in cash games? Thanks to some of the value available, it’s not as crazy as we first thought. CMC’s 34.2 projected weighted-opportunity score in the Occupy Model leads all RBs on the slate.

Stud: Dalvin Cook (@ Kansas City)

It’s incredibly likely people will choose at least one of CMC or Dalvin Cook for their low-risk lineups this week, and with the slight discount in price from CMC, expect Cook to be the player many settle for. His 27.1 weighted-opportunity score actually trails several lower priced RBs on the slate, but the bigger context is important here. Kansas City is the third-worst run defense in the league, allowing opponents to rush for 145 yards/game at a 4.9 yard per carry clip. The only team who runs the football more than Minnesota is San Francisco – Cook’s going to get plenty of work on Sunday, and he’s going to have plenty of opportunity to meet value.

Stud: Nick Chubb (@ Denver)

It’s not normal to see a potentially game script dependent road RB as a top play. It’s especially weird when that RB is heading to Denver to play at Mile High Stadium. Nick Chubb has shown he is up to the task in recent weeks, however, posting a 56-340-2 line on the ground in Weeks 5 through 8 despite facing the 49ers, Seahawks and the Patriots (with a bye in between). He trails only Dalvin Cook, Chris Carson and Leonard Fournette for rushing yardage gained in that span, despite playing one less game. So yes – we get it – the Browns are an uninspiring 2-5 football team. Very little of that has anything to do with Chubb’s safe workload, though. He’s in a great spot as a 4 point favorite against the Broncos.

Value: Jaylen Samuels (vs. Indianapolis)

The Colts head to Pittsburgh, bringing their 29th ranked rushing defense along with them. James Conner is incredibly doubtful to play after missing practice all week due to his shoulder injury. Every time the Steelers have listed a player as doubtful in the last 3 years, they’ve been inactive on Sunday per report. As we discussed in the Week 9 DFS podcast, when you get a low-priced back like Jaylen Samuels elevated into a full-time starter’s role, he should be a lock for your low-risk lineups (and high-exposure for you in your tournament builds as well). Pittsburgh runs the football an average of about 22-23 times a game this season. Samuels should be in line for 75% or more of those carries against the Colts, and as a former TE prospect, he knows how to catch the football. Expect Samuels to be heavily involved – at his low salary and anticipated workload, he’s the closest thing to set and forget there is in NFL DFS lineup construction.

James Conner is expected OUT, official per report.

Value: Mark Walton (vs. NY Jets)

Walton gets a chance to prove he can ball out with the Dolphins now that Kenyan Drake is off the roster. The first of Miami’s two Jets games this season might be where he starts to show what he’s capable of. His 24.7 weighted-opportunity score in the Occupy Model is one of the best values on the slate. Miami is a 3 point underdog at home against the Jets.

Note – for low-risk, you can only roster 3 total RBs. It’s really, really advisable to just plug in Samuels and try to pay up for 2 of the other 3 RBs we mentioned here in low-risk contests in Week 9. Walton should be considered as a pivot off Samuels here if for some reason we get news James Conner is active on Sunday.

Wide Receiver

Stud: Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf (vs. Tampa Bay)

At just $7,500 on both DraftKings and FanDuel, Lockett is a great value. His 46-615-4 line on 54 targets is one of the most efficient in the entire NFL – his 11.4 yards per target is 5th highest for all NFL WRs in 2019. We have him projected for 7.2 targets in the Occupy Model. It will be tough to stack Lockett with Russell Wilson and to play some of the top RBs on this slate, so DK Metcalf is a fine pivot as a cheaper option. Metcalf is projected for 6.7 targets in the Occupy Model, and leads all Seattle players with 11 red zone targets on the season (Lockett has 9).

Stud: John Brown (vs. Washington)

With 5 receptions in 4 straight games, but only one touchdown, John Brown’s price has stayed in check. While Washington has actually been the best defense against WR1’s on the season, Brown’s high average depth of target (aDOT) of 13.9 yards sets him up to be a real home run threat every single week with Josh Allen throwing to him. The Redskins allow the 10th most fantasy points per game to opposing WRs, something that bodes well for Brown, who has probably not yet reached his true ceiling on the year.

Value: Diontae Johnson (vs. Indianapolis)

Since Week 3, Johnson’s share of Pittsburgh’s targets and air yards has been much closer to JuJu Smith-Schuster’s than people realize – he’s posted a 21-254-3 line on 29 targets, while JuJu has 19-281-3. Johnson comes in significantly cheaper than JuJu for a chance at similar upside. The 2019 third round draft pick is having a much larger impact in his rookie season than anyone anticipated. He’s extremely viable in DFS.

Value: DeVante Parker & Preston Williams (vs. NY Jets)

Parker and Williams are very, very close. In the four games Ryan Fitzpatrick has started at quarterback, Parker has a 31% share of the air yards, and a 23% share of the targets. He’s still massively underperforming his opportunity with Fitzpatrick overall, with just 189 receiving yards on 475 targeted air yards. So while we slightly prefer Parker, we understand the slim salary savings by going with Preston Williams may be what you need to fit the studs at other positions. The good news is, Williams has been viable on his own with Fitzpatrick – his 25% of the air yards and 19% of the targets comes at a similar 14.4 yard aDOT to Parker’s 14.8 aDOT.

Bargain Bin Flier: Parris Campbell (vs. Pittsburgh)

First, understand that rostering Campbell is absolutely the definition of “taking a flier” on a player in DFS here. Campbell led all Colts WRs in targets and air yards in Week 4 when T.Y. Hilton was last inactive. Then he missed the next 3 weeks of action with an abdominal strain. The Colts’ 2nd round draft pick’s season has been derailed by injuries, as he missed most of the preseason as well. His 4.31 second 40 yard dash time was the fastest at the position in the 2019 NFL Draft Combine (tied with Andy Isabella). There are worse fliers on the board you can take here – the Colts apparently had “legit plans” for Campbell last week even with Hilton in the lineup:

 

Now that Hilton is out, the Colts will likely need some help from Campbell against the Steelers. He’s looking like the minimum priced play we might need to fit some of the higher priced studs in our lineups in Week 9.

Tight End

Stud: Darren Waller (@ Houston)

There are a couple of paths to high floor stacks for low-risk contests on this slate. While we outlined the Seahawks option above, Derek Carr is also stackable with his favorite target, Darren Waller. Now, the Lions have actually been excellent defending short routes on the season – Waller’s 6.6 aDOT suggests he may be more limited than usual if that plays out here. Early returns suggest sharp players don’t seem concerned about it – he’s the highest projected owned TE on the slate. We have Waller slated to receive 7.7 targets in the Occupy Model on Sunday.

Value: Zach Ertz (vs. Chicago)

Think of DFS pricing like a see-saw – when one side goes up, the other must go down. In this case, the TE position happens to be that other – Ertz is super affordable, particularly on DraftKings. The 8.3 targets we project for him are the third most at the position. Ertz has continued to play 80-90% of Philadelphia’s snaps per game over the last three weeks despite failing to score more than 9 fantasy points in any of those games. With a date Sunday with Chicago, the 20th DVOA defense against TEs, this looks like a great spot to “buy the dip” with Ertz’s pricing.

DST

Defenses are not typically going to be written up in detail in our Daily Plug on main slates. One of the optimal ways to select defenses for low-risk contests? Focus on defenses facing opponents with low Vegas team totals. We also want to target turnover prone quarterbacks when it makes sense. You shouldn’t ever pass on a player at another spot just to jam in a defense. We’ll always provide a list of low and high risk defenses in the player pool below.

BANKROLL ALLOCATION

If you find this slate tough, remember – that means most DFS players are right there with you feeling the same way. Week 9 marks the halfway point of the DFS regular season – We have 8 more main slates we can play that we might feel better about. 4-6% of your bankroll (a reduction from our normal 6-8% we recommend for NFL) is perfectly fine here if you feel overwhelmed by the radically different pricing on this slate.

Play 60-70% of that allocation in low-risk, and take some careful shots for your bankroll tier (recommendations below) at tournaments with the other 30-40%.

For low risk, remember to focus on H2Hs, single entry double ups (as always, multi-entry double ups are OK if you can max enter them).

Our studs and values by position are intended to be a roadmap to help you win in low-risk contests. For high-risk, there are plenty of strong GPP plays in the player pool, as well as contests for you to target.

For more information on contest selection and bankroll allocation, check out our MUST-READ Ultimate Guide e-book.

LINEUP STRATEGY

Check out the player pool below. In low-risk contests, you should continue to try and play 3 running backs from the write-up and low-risk sections. Often, the highest projected owned RBs in the Occupy Model end up being the sharpest low-risk plays. Smart players have all week to figure out who to run, ownership projections reflect that. 

Building 5-10-20 or more lineups for these large-field GPPs? Stick to a core of top plays (outlined below) that are projected to be highly owned, and build game stacks around that core. We strongly recommend stacking the highest total games on the slate above to accomplish this. Our partner, DFS Magic, has a lineup builder you can use to set your groupings using the Occupy Model rankings!

CONTEST RECOMMENDATIONS

Smaller Bankrolls

First and foremost, always play freerolls. Two of them available in the DraftKings lobby for Week 9 – the AutoNation Free Football Challenge, and a FREE satellite contest for next week’s $100 Fantasy Football Millionaire, with 10 tickets to be awarded.

Look for no-badge users for low-risk H2Hs in the lobby. On DraftKings, post your own H2Hs and make sure you limit the opponents to 1 entry (per price point) against you (FanDuel doesn’t have this option). With the rest of your low-risk allocation, play single-entry double ups.

This is likely most people reading this – single-entry GPPs are the best high-risk tournaments to play. You want to give yourself the best shot to win; being on a level playing field with every other user by max-entering a contest is the way to go. Single entry contests are the easiest places to do this.

The first place you can do that are with “Contests” – these low priority, blandly named GPPs come with smaller field sizes and (usually) less experienced players. On DraftKings, the $0.25, $1, and $3 Contests are good places to start looking at playing. On FanDuel, the single entry 3-100 Player leagues meet this criteria. Everyone is drawn to the sexy, high-dollar top prize contests – you can lay low in here and (hopefully) grow your bankroll. You can 20-25x your entry fee by beating just 99 other people in these formats – it’s a great place to play.

The $3 entry fee, NFL $60K Pylon or $12 entry fee, NFL $200K Fair Catch on DraftKings are great places to spend your high-risk allocation. On FanDuel, there is also the $5 entry fee, $130K Sun NFL Spike, $2 entry fee $25K Sun NFL Safety, and $1 entry fee $22K Sun NFL Squib you should look at for single entry GPPs.

You should continue to play satellites for Millionaire Maker tickets you can use in later weeks. There is also an NBA Holiday BBall Millionaire contest that has satellites available on DraftKings now for some cross-sport opportunity – you have several weeks to rack up tickets for this.

Want to practice your multi-entry skills? Max enter a three entry max contest like the $5 entry fee, $75K Nickel on DraftKings.

The $35K Quarter Jukebox is a 20 entry-max tournament that costs just $5 to play at $0.25 per entry. Practice your mass-multi entry skills with our optimizer with a shot to win $1,500!

Want an even bigger challenge? FanDuel has a 150-entry max contest at just $0.05 per entry, the $16K Sun NFL Pooch Punt.

Larger Bankrolls

100-player Leagues/Contests remain great places to play – on DraftKings look for Contests in the $5 to $50 entry fee range, these are the best places to build your allocation around.

We introduced 20 entry-max contests to the Smaller Bankroll contest players. At your level, you should consider max entering the $3 entry fee, $1.2M Play-Action on DraftKings. This contest comes with a shot of taking down $100K, so you should have exposure to that nice prize here.

You can also probably look at some of the higher dollar value single entry GPPs at your bankroll size – The $27 entry fee $75K Blind Side, $50 entry fee $125K Red Zone and $100 entry fee $250K Spy contest are the best ones available to you on DraftKings (there’s also a $50K Spy at the same entry fee with a smaller field).

For FanDuel users, you can consider the $1, 294 person WFFC Fan Championship on 12/15 satellites in addition to the NFL Sunday Million ones. The best single entry GPPs in the next tier up not mentioned above? The $33 entry fee, $120K Sun NFL Sweep, the $100 entry fee, $140K Sun NFL Cover 2, and the $50 entry fee, $50K Sun NFL Hot Route.

Largest Bankrolls

Have enough to (WITHIN our allocation guideline for your bankroll) max-enter a larger GPP? Congrats on being a big baller! Teach us your ways.

The $150 entry fee, $500K Power Sweep is a three entry-max GPP on DraftKings with a $100,000 prize to 1st (there’s also a $100K Power Sweep with a smaller field). Consider this heavily every week it’s offered at your bankroll size.

On DraftKings, the largest expense (and largest upside) play is the $3M Fantasy Football Millionaire, which is a 150-max contest with a $1 million dollar top-prize. We like to say you shouldn’t play contests with your own dollars unless you can max enter them – the Milly Maker is no different.

The next best 150-max contest is the $9 entry fee, $400K Slant. It has one of the flattest payout structures on the slate, and a $40K top prize.

FanDuel users, you’ve got the $1.75M NFL Sunday Million which is a $9 entry fee 150-max contest with a $300,000 top-prize. They did, unfortunately, drop this down from a seven figure payday, but the GPP is actually flatter, so it’s a “better” contest, honestly.

BEST OF THE REST

If building player pools for mass-multi entry is your thing, consider using these names in addition to top plays above. Please remember – the Occupy Model is designed for high-risk contest optimization. Lower-ranked plays may still be great low-risk plays for that reason.

QUARTERBACKS:

LOW-RISK: Aaron Rodgers, Josh Allen, Sam Darnold, Jacoby Brissett

HIGH-RISK: Matt Moore, Ryan Tannehill, Jameis Winston, Philip Rivers, Kyle Allen, Matthew Stafford, Mason Rudolph, Kirk Cousins

RUNNING BACKS: 

LOW-RISK: Le’Veon Bell, Josh Jacobs, Aaron Jones, Frank Gore

HIGH RISK: Chris Carson, Marlon Mack, Derrick Henry, Devin Singletary, Austin Ekeler, Nyheim Hines, David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, LeSean McCoy, Melvin Gordon III

WIDE RECEIVERS: 

LOW-RISK: Chris Godwin, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Davante Adams (if active), Tyrell Williams, D.J. Moore, DK Metcalf, Cole Beasley

HIGH RISK: Keenan Allen, Tyreek Hill, Stefon Diggs, Courtland Sutton, Odell Beckham Jr, Mike Evans, Adam Thielen (if active), Kenny Golladay, Allen Robinson, Terry McLaurin, Robby Anderson, Jamison Crowder, Curtis Samuel (if active), Mike Williams, Corey Davis, Marvin Jones Jr, Danny Amendola, Sammy Watkins, A.J. Brown, Zach Pascal

All of Adams, Thielen, Samuel expected to play.

TIGHT ENDS:

LOW-RISK: Travis Kelce, Hunter Henry, Jack Doyle

HIGH RISK: T.J. Hockenson, Cameron Brate, Jacob Hollister, Vance McDonald, Jonnu Smith, Greg Olsen, Jimmy Graham, Noah Fant

DST:

LOW-RISK: Cleveland Browns, Carolina Panthers, Buffalo Bills, Washington Redskins

HIGH-RISK: Tennessee Titans, Philadelphia Eagles, Oakland Raiders, Denver Broncos

Plays are listed in order of preference (OF Index, DK Index where applicable).

Situation statistics sourced from Pro-Football-Reference.com’s Play Index Finder. DVOA data from FootballOutsiders.com. Air yards data pulled from AirYards.com. All salaries from contest providers. While we like the player pool selected above, we reserve the right to roster other players should news and trends closer to lock push us in that direction. Pay attention to our stream schedule for discussion of those thoughts!