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Week 9 DraftKings Tournament Picks

By Jared Smola | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT


The slate is difficult to parse through.The popular games — KC/GB & ARI/SF — are dealing with COVID and injury concerns, which may move chalk elsewhere. Game selection and selecting where to pay up will be crucial parts of this week’s slate. There are enticing cheap plays at every position, as well as star players in smash spots.

Let’s ride.


QBs

Josh Allen ($8,200)

12.2% Projected Ownership

In tournaments, we’re chasing ceiling performances to climb the leaderboards. Even though Allen will be 1 of the highest owned QB on the slate, he has the highest ceiling. Our ceiling projections have him at 32.4 points, which is 4.5 points higher than any other QB this week.

The Jaguars defense ranks bottom five in pretty much every pass defense category:

  • 32nd in pass defense DVOA
  • 32nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs
  • 31st in PFF coverage grade
  • 31st in adjusted yards per attempt allowed

In Josh Allen’s career, he averages 28.35 fantasy points per game and 8.62 yards per attempt against bottom 5 pass defenses.

Justin Herbert ($7,000)

6.6% Projected Ownership

The Chargers/Eagles game is the fastest-paced game of the slate, with both teams ranking in the top 5 in neutral script pace of play.

The Eagles pass defense has been tough to beat with big plays, allowing the 2nd fewest 20+ yard attempts at 7.1%.Philly is also a top 3 defense in fewest fantasy points allowed to QBs. However, they’ve beaten up on some bad passing offenses such as SF, ATL, CAR and DET, allowing just 11.25 DraftKings points per game. Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr & Dak Prescott all had 20+ DK point outings against the Eagles.

Cheap Option: Jordan Love ($4,400)

Love is completely unknown, but he faces a top 5 matchup in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs and passing defense DVOA.I don’t mind using him to unlock the elite RBs/WRs.

Also consider: Dak Prescott ($6,900) & Lamar Jackson ($7,300)


RBs

Austin Ekeler ($7,900)

20.8% Projected Ownership

This is my lock of the week.

As mentioned above, the Eagles are not a defense susceptible to big plays (aka Mike Williams).This defense has been susceptible to pass-catching RBs and none are more valuable than Ekeler. Swift was disappointing against this matchup last week, which may scare some people off Ekeler.But Swift disappointed due to the Lions having only a 25:00 time of possession.

Ekeler has caught at least 5 passes in every game that has hit the over for the Chargers so far this season. The sharps are betting the over in this Chargers/Eagles game: over 86% of the bets are on the over of 49.5.

Aaron Jones ($7,200)

6.8% Projected Ownership

Jones projects well in this game against the 29th ranked Chiefs rush defense in DVOA and a top 5 defense in receiving yards allowed to RBs, but he will see suppressed ownership for a few reasons:

  1. AJ Dillon is involved and out-carried Aaron Jones last week.
  2. Aaron Rodgers is out.
  3. His price point is sandwiched between Ezekiel Elliott, Dalvin Cook & Austin Ekeler, who project to be highly owned.
Ezekiel Elliott ($7,000)

21.3% Projected Ownership

I’m not messing around this week.There are some excellent plays at RB and I’ll have to differentiate in other spots. Elliott’s only 2 contests with under 17 DraftKings points were last week without Dak and Week 1 against the Bucs. The Broncos currently rank 27th in rush defense DVOA and just traded Von Miller, who boasts the 2nd-highest run-defense grade among all edge defenders, according to PFF.

Cheap options: Devontae Booker ($5,900) & Melvin Gordon ($5,200)


WRs

Because I’m not messing around at RB this week, it means I can’t afford expensive WRs.

If you can, here is my #1 play at WR:

Justin Jefferson ($7,500)

7.2% Projected Ownership

Jefferson has the single highest PFF receiving grade against man coverage this season, and the Ravens are running man coverage at a top 5 rate. Last week was the only week where Jefferson saw fewer than 7 targets this season, which may suppress his ownership.

Amari Cooper ($5,700)

15.0% Projected Ownership

He will be a popular play this week but for good reason. Already priced far too low for the ceiling that Cooper can provide, this matchup is set up for Dallas to score with the 2nd highest implied team point total of 29.75. CeeDee Lamb is dealing with an ankle injury he suffered in practice on Wednesday. Whether Lamb plays or not, Cooper also provides good exposure to the Cowboys' offense as a one-off play and pivot away from Elliott.

Emmanuel Sanders ($5,600)

8.5% Projected Ownership

The Bills have the highest implied team point total at 31.5 this week. Jacksonville is putrid on defense as mentioned above and Sanders may see the lowest ownership between him, Stefon Diggs, and Cole Beasley due to the goose egg last week. Before last week he’s had 6+ targets in every game except 1 this season, and if Josh Allen goes wild, Sanders has a good shot at a big play.

Jerry Jeudy ($5,000)

4.2% Projected Ownership

Cowboys CB Trevon Diggs is slated to be across from Courtland Sutton, leaving Jeudy, who ran 77% of the teams' routes last week and commanded the same number of targets as Sutton, to see the more favorable matchup.In his 2nd game back, Jeudy should be back up to 90+% of the teams' routes this week.The Broncos being 10-point underdogs may force them to throw in this game.

Other options: Christian Kirk ($5,300) & Hunter Renfrow ($4,800)


TEs

I’m spending down at TE this week due to the plethora of RBs and QBs I’m trying to jam into my lineups. If you can afford Darren Waller ($6,200), he’d be my top play at TE this week.

Dallas Goedert ($4,500)

11.2% Projected Ownership

Since Zach Ertz was traded, Goedert has run 88% and 80% of the routes, respectively, and commanded a 22.5% target share. That type of usage at the TE position is usually upwards of $6K on DraftKings. This matchup also projects as the fastest-paced game of the main slate. And the Chargers rank #1 in fewest adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs, pointing to a big Goedert game.

Dan Arnold ($3,400)

7.2% Projected Ownership

Since Arnold became a full-time part of the Jags offense, he’s commanded 23 targets over the last 3 games and run over 70% of the routes in 2 of those 3. The Jags will need to score points and pass the ball in this game with the Bills on the other side and James Robinson banged up with an ankle injury.

Albert Okwuegbunam ($2,600)

Noah Fant is expected to miss this game on the COVID-19 list. When Fant was alone in this TE corps while Albert O was on IR for 3 weeks, he was running upwards of 90% of the Broncos’ pass routes.Albert O also should get good game script with the Cowboys' implied team point total near 30 points.


DSTs

Texans ($2,400)

3.5% Projected Ownership

Tua Tagovailoa has 4 INTs in his last 3 games and the Dolphins currently have the 32nd-ranked pass-blocking offensive line in the NFL. This game also has 94% of the money on the under of 46.5.

If you have the salary: Bengals ($2,900)

Jared Smola Author Image
Jared Smola, Lead Analyst
Jared has been with Draft Sharks since 2007. He’s now Lead Analyst, heading up the preseason and weekly projections that fuel your Draft War Room and My Team tools. He currently ranks 1st among 133 analysts in draft rankings accuracy.
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