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Top Picks for Underdog Fantasy Pick'em Week 9

By Matt Schauf 4:52pm EDT 11/3/23

To Recommend ... or Not?

Whew, challenging week meant a late arrival for this one. So let’s get right to it.

Season-to-Date Results

I said in this space last week that I hoped Patrick Mahomes could lead a rebound. By Sunday, we knew he was battling the flu. 

Probably wouldn’t have played his overs in Underdog Fantasy Pick’ems under those circumstances. And that would have saved us what turned out to be a pair of wrong plays.

Overall, the week came in slightly sub-.500:

  • Week 1: 13-22 (three injured)
  • Week 2: 14-14 (four injured)
  • Week 3: 11-10
  • Week 4: 9-11 (two injured)
  • Week 5: 14-11 (three injured)
  • Week 6: 15-20 (three injured)
  • Week 7: 4-8
  • Week 8: 7-8
  • Overall: 87-104

 

Top Picks for Underdog Fantasy Pick’em

This week’s late arrival means a lot more available plays. And I’m also introducing something different.

I’ve said before I don’t like to add bias by leaving out “qualifying” options just because I don’t like them. Well, that doesn’t mean I can’t signal such players while including them.

You’ll find “Not Recommended” preceding some of the picks. But you’ll also still find those players included – just in case you disagree.

The difference: I won’t be counting them for the hit-miss tally next week.

Check the Rankings for More

As always, the market lines and our projections will be subject to change throughout the week. Make sure you check our Week 9 fantasy football rankings for updated plays along the way.

TIP

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Passing Yards

Mac Jones, New England Patriots
Draft Sharks projection: 244.2
Underdog: 218.5
Difference: 25.7

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys
DS projection: 274.6
Underdog: 249.5
Difference: 25.1

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints
DS projection: 266.4
Underdog: 246.5
Difference: 19.9

Bryce Young, Carolina Panthers
DS projection: 244.3
Underdog: 229.5
Difference: 14.8

Not Recommended: Zach Wilson, New York Jets
DS projection: 227.7
Underdog: 215.5
Difference: 12.2

Not Recommended: Taylor Heinicke, Atlanta Falcons
DS projection: 195.5
Underdog: 209.5
Difference: -14

Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers
DS projection: 202.3
Underdog: 220.5
Difference: -18.2

QB Total Yards

Tyson Bagent, Chicago Bears
DS projection: 193
Underdog: 204.5
Difference: -11.5

Note

The top four and last two QBs from the passing-yards section also met the +/-10 yards threshold for total yards. So you can decide which spot at which you prefer them. All six seem to make more sense in the passing category from here.

Why 'Not'?

Why the first two "not recommended" labels on Zach Wilson and Taylor Heinicke? Simple.

The first one is Zach Wilson. You can try his "over" if you want. I just can't.

Heinicke is about to make his first start for a new team against a fairly neutral defense -- and for a coach (Arthur Smith) who sometimes seems like he's trying harder to make fantasy managers angry than to actually win football games.

We have to project the new Atlanta QB, but none of us really knows what's coming.

Receiving Yards

Tee Higgins, WR, Cincinnati Bengals
DS projection: 64.6
Underdog: 47.5
Difference: 17.1

DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
DS projection: 64.6
Underdog: 48.5
Difference: 16.1

Marquez Valdes-Scantling, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
DS projection: 32.2
Underdog: 16.5
Difference: 15.7

A.J. Brown, WR, Philadelphia Eagles
DS projection: 97.1
Underdog: 81.5
Difference: 15.6

Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
DS projection: 71.1
Underdog: 55.5
Difference: 15.6

Tyreek Hill, WR, Miami Dolphins
DS projection: 106
Underdog: 91.5
Difference: 14.5

CeeDee Lamb, WR, Dallas Cowboys
DS projection: 86.8
Underdog: 73.5
Difference: 13.3

Rashid Shaheed, WR, New Orleans Saints
DS projection: 41.6
Underdog: 28.5
Difference: 13.1

Garrett Wilson, WR, New York Jets
DS projection: 77.3
Underdog: 65.5
Difference: 11.8

Not Recommended: Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
DS projection: 39.6
Underdog: 28.5
Difference: 11.1

Gabriel Davis, WR, Buffalo Bills
DS projection: 52.8
Underdog: 42.5
Difference: 10.3

Why 'Not'?

There's plenty of passing upside for Dallas in the Philly matchup, which is why you'll find Dak Prescott higher up in the article.

Gallup, though, has just two games all season in which he beat this week's market line and just three games with more than 2 receptions.

It wouldn't be shocking if he hits the over. But I'm wary of playing it.

Rushing Yards

Chuba Hubbard, Carolina Panthers
DS projection: 60.5
Underdog: 46.5
Difference: 14

Not Recommended: James Cook, Buffalo Bills
DS projection: 63.9
Underdog: 50.5
Difference: 13.4

Zack Moss, Indianapolis Colts
DS projection: 56.6
Underdog: 43.5
Difference: 13.1

Tyler Allgeier, Atlanta Falcons
DS projection: 48.8
Underdog: 36.5
Difference: 12.3

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
DS projection: 61.2
Underdog: 49.5
Difference: 11.7

Breece Hall, New York Jets
DS projection: 68.6
Underdog: 57.5
Difference: 11.1

Brian Robinson Jr., Washington Commanders
DS projection: 54.3
Underdog: 43.5
Difference: 10.8

Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
DS projection: 57.1
Underdog: 46.5
Difference: 10.6

Kenneth Walker III, Seattle Seahawks
DS projection: 64.1
Underdog: 53.5
Difference: 10.6

Not Recommended: Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders
DS projection: 62.4
Underdog: 72.5
Difference: -10.1

Why 'Not'?

The Bills are the fourth-most pass-leaning offense this season and were the second-most pass-leaning of Week 8. The Bengals have been the most pass-leaning since Week 5.

Buffalo is no lock to run often enough to support a James Cook "over" even in positive game script. And this road game carries full shootout potential.

If you're feeling Cook, the total-yards play might be best -- so you don't have to choose between rushing and receiving.

Josh Jacobs, meanwhile, has been highly inefficient on the ground. So he could very well hit that "under." But he's also likely to log lots of carries in rookie QB Aidan O'Connell's second start.

And the Giants defense will be playing its first game without D-lineman Leonard Williams. That could be a big blow to the run D.

RB Total Yards

Raheem Mostert, Miami Dolphins
DS projection: 78.5
Underdog: 64.5
Difference: 14

Cam Akers, Minnesota Vikings
DS projection: 47
Underdog: 35.5
Difference: 11.5

Not Recommended: Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints
DS projection: 81.7
Underdog: 93.5
Difference: -11.8

Why 'Not'?

Alvin Kamara has 16 more receptions than the next RB since his Week 4 return. He trails only TE Travis Kelce and WR A.J. Brown across positions for that span.

He could catch 10 passes this week, and it would only be his third-largest total this season.

We tend to lean a little conservative in these median projections. I'm certainly not comfy betting against Kamara going over.

 

More Week 9 Fantasy Football

Check out this preview of all the Week 9 fantasy football action.

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