NFL DFS Picks Week 9: Best sleepers, value players for DraftKings, FanDuel daily fantasy football lineups

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It’s Week 9, and it’s time to talk NFL DFS value plays. Professional quarterbacks named Mike White, Cooper Rush, and Davis Mills comprised three of the top-five passing performances last week. That really happened. Those guys were priced at $5,000, $4,000, and $4,800, respectively, on DraftKings. You can’t get much better return on investment than that, something we appreciate as we continue our quest to find low-cost, high-value daily fantasy football sleepers week in and week out on DraftKings and FanDuel.

If you regularly play DFS or you just like to find an edge or angle with all your football-related bets, this column will be up your alley all season. Each week, we compile a list of sleepers and/or dark horse picks to help you win some cold, hard cash on the two most popular daily fantasy sites. The more value players you add, the more money you’ll have left for proven weekly studs at other roster spots. 

MORE WEEK 9 DFS: Lineup Builder

If you read this column ahead of Week 8, you would have benefited from our advice to plug a plethora of low-cost, high-value players into your DFS lineups. Here’s a list of a few of our hits from last week, including each player’s DraftKings cost and final PPR output:

  • Geno Smith, Seahawks vs. Jaguars (DK: $5,300 | FD: $7,000): 26.6 fantasy points
  • Carson Wentz, Colts vs. Titans (DK: $5,700 | FD: $7,200): 24.34 
  • Damien Harris, Patriots at Chargers (DK: $6,100 | FD: $6,900): 14.0
  • Michael Pittman Jr., Colts vs. Titans (DK: $5,300 | FD: $6,600): 30.6 

That’s a much more modest list than we’ve had the past couple weeks, but it’s still 95.54 points at a little over $22k total on DraftKings. If you plugged in two or three of these low-cost, high-production players, you likely afforded yourself two more elite players at other roster spots. Getting the most bang for your buck has always been the name of the game in DFS, so it’s important to do your due diligence before constructing lineups. 

Leave the deep-diving to us—we are here for you, from the first kickoff through the last play of the 2021 NFL season. Let’s jump right into Week 9!

All player values are from DraftKings and FanDuel. All stats are from NFL.com and Pro Football Reference.

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: QB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel

Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins vs. Texans (DK: $5,800 | FD: $7,300)

Tagovailoa had been looking pretty good since returning from injury, putting 25.36 fantasy points against Jacksonville in Week 6, and 28.54 against Atlanta in Week 7, but he ran into the buzzsaw known as Leslie Frazier’s Bills defense last week. Expect a rebound against the lowly Texans South Beach. Houston ranks 19th in the NFL in passing yards allowed and 23rd in passing touchdowns surrendered, and Matthew Stafford and the Rams just put up 302 air yards in the Lone Star State last week. It’s Tua Time, once again. 

Daniel Jones, Giants vs. Raiders (DK: $5,600 | FD: $7,300)

Give Jones some credit — the Dukie QB might not always look pretty, but he’s pretty damn athletic and always competes hard. Jones almost led the Giants to the upset of the reigning AFC-champion Chiefs on Monday night. His 20-point fantasy performance marks the fifth time he’s exceeded 19.52 this season, and he’s surpassed 30 points twice. A home game versus a mediocre Raiders defense should yield yet another strong outing, so don’t be too concerned about volatility. The Raiders has given up 640 total yards to QBs over the past two weeks, including 70 on the ground, and Jones can break off chunk-yardage on scrambles in a flash. Keep competing, Danny Boy. 

Teddy Bridgewater, Broncos at Cowboys (DK: 5,300 | FD: $7,100) 

We love Teddy B, a frequent visitor to this column this season. He may not have the high floor of the two other QBs we listed, but he certainly has a high ceiling in what should be a close matchup against Dallas. The Cowboys rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, and Bridgewater plays smart, efficient football. You could do a lot worse than Teddy B, who will benefit from the second full week of second-year wideout Jerry Jeudy’s return from injury.

WEEK 9 STANDARD RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: RB sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel

Nick Chubb, Browns at Bengals (DK: $6,700 | FD: $7,600)

Rejoice, Dawg Pound — you have your beloved Chubb back! Of course, the two-time Pro Bowler managed just 7.9 points against a stingy Pittsburgh defense, but he should see more running lanes against Cincinnati this Sunday. If you remove Chubb’s tough games against the Steelers and Bears this season, he has an average PPR output of 20.35 points. The Bengals rank 27th in fantasy points allowed to running backs, so Chubb should meet or exceed that 20-point level.

Eli Mitchell, 49ers vs. Cardinals (DK: $5,800 | FD: $7,100)

You’ll have to keep your eye on the injury reports, as Mitchell’s ribs got banged up on Sunday, but he’ll be a big-time value for the third consecutive week if he suits up against Arizona. The 23-year-old rookie has amassed 244 yards and two touchdowns on 36 carries over the past two weeks, and he’s very quietly averaging 5.3 yards per tote on the season. If all systems are a go, how can you pass on this dude? He has 42.4 collective PPR points against the Bears and the Colts the past two weeks, and he costs just $5,800 against a Cardinals D that just let Aaron Jones and A.J. Dillon gash them for 31-137-1 last Thursday. Sign me up. 

Boston Scott, Eagles vs. Chargers (DK: $5,200 | FD: $6,300)

I’m a Boston Scott believer, so I bought plenty of shares of him in fantasy leagues last week after Eagles starting running back Miles Sanders (ankle) hit the IR. Scott didn’t disappoint, turning 12 carries into 60 yards and two scores in Detroit. The Chargers aren’t quite as bad as the Lions, but they’re certainly not a strong run defense. L.A. just let Damien Harris (who was listed as a value on here, by the way) run for 80 yards and a TD last week. Scott’s the best healthy back in Philly right now, so hopefully he doesn’t get too many goal-line carries vulture by veteran bruiser Jordan Howard. 

WEEK 9 PPR RANKINGS:
Quarterback | Running back | Wide receiver | Tight end | D/ST | Kicker

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: WR sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel

Brandin Cooks, Texans at Dolphins (DK: $6,100 | FD: $6,800)

Nobody springs for the Texans in DFS, but Cooks produces just about wherever he plays, so get him in your lineup at $6,100. After catching all eight of his targets for 83 yards and a touchdown against the big, bad Rams last weekend, the veteran speedster now has four 20-plus point PPR games on the season. Miami has served as the third-most generous defense to fantasy wide receivers in 2021. Further adding to Cooks’ appeal is the potential return of Tyrod Taylor (hamstring).

Courtland Sutton, Broncos at Cowboys (DK: $5,900 | FD: $6,700)

Sutton might seem like a boom-or-bust receiver to the average DFS player. Over four down games this season, he put up a total of 11 catches for 138 yards and no scores. Over his four good games, he logged a collective 29 catches for 441 yards. Okay, that does look like a pretty good case for a boom-or-bust argument. Here’s the counterargument: Three of Sutton’s down games were easy wins for Denver, and one was a blowout loss. It’s all game script! Against a very good Dallas team, the lanky 26-year-old receiver should have a busy day. He has 20 targets over Denver’s past three competitive games. With that kind of target share, I’d gladly pay $5,900 for a guy with his size, speed, talent, and playmaking ability. Trevon Diggs looks like Prime Time 2.0 in Dallas, but the Cowboys still rank 25th against wideouts in fantasy. Break your opponents off a little Sutton Sutton. 

Amari Cooper, Cowboys vs. Broncos (DK: $5,700 | FD: $6,900)

Two wide receivers in the same game? Why not? Cooper just exploded for 29.2 PPR points with Cooper friggin’ Rush at QB, catching eight-of-13 targets for 122 yards and a TD. Somehow, though, Cooper’s DraftKings’ cost went from $6,000 last week to $5,700 right now. Either Dak Prescott (calf) returns and capitalizes on a Cooper hot streak, or the Cooper-to-Cooper connection continues if Dak sits another game. Either way, don’t expect a Cooper pooper — his ceiling remains sky high, especially in what should be a competitive game projected by oddsmakers for 50 total points.

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: TE sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel

Mike Gesicki, Dolphins vs. Texans (DK: $4,900 | FD: $6,500)

Gesicki has been a legit TE1 this season, averaging 13.1 PPR points per game, but he’s somehow still priced at or below $5,000 each week. Now he gets a Texans squad that surrenders the fourth-most fantasy points to the tight end position on the season. Fire up that sticky icky Gesicki. 

Dallas Goedert, Eagles vs, Chargers (DK: $4,500 | FD: $6,200) 

Goedert must be loving life since the departure of Zach Ertz via trade. In the two games since the Ertz was shipped out to Arizona, Goedert has caught nine-of-12 targets for 142 yards. He received exactly half of second-year QB Jalen Hurts’ targets last week, catching six-of-seven targets for 72 yards despite the Eagles destroying the Lions 44-6. This game should be much more competitive, so expect even more healthy numbers out of the fourth-year big man. 

NFL DFS Picks Week 9: D/ST sleepers, values for DraftKings, FanDuel

Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans (DK: $3,100 | FD: $4,300)

Don’t get me wrong, the Fish have been getting fried by offenses all season, but the Texans’ offense has a way of making even the most subpar defenses look elite. Miami seems a bit rejuvenated since the return of Tua Tagovailoa, so let’s buy low and shoot for the risk-reward play. Only two squads have yielded more fantasy points to D/STs than Houston this year. 



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