Week 9 DraftKings Tournament Picks
Josh Allen ($8,500) stands alone as the lone elite QB on this main slate. He’s also easily the most expensive. And draws a Jets team that ranks 8th in Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and 6th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.
If Allen goes for 35+ DK points, he’s a strong bet to be the QB you need to win tournaments. But if the Jets can limit him to, say, 25 or 26 points, the slate suddenly opens up to a ton of different QB and stacking options.
Here are the ones I’m focusing on …
Justin Herbert ($7,200) + Austin Ekeler ($8,800) + Josh Palmer ($5,100) + Gerald Everett ($4,800)
No Mike Williams or Keenan Allen obviously dings Herbert’s upside. But it also makes the healthy Chargers stronger stacking partners. And Ekeler, Palmer and Everett are just about the only healthy Chargers left. TE Donald Parham will also miss this game, and WR DeAndre Carter is questionable with an illness.
Even with all the injuries, Herbert has big-game potential against a bad and banged-up Atlanta defense. The Falcons rank 30th in both Football Outsiders’ pass defense DVOA and adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. And they’ll be without CBs Casey Hayward and A.J. Terrell again this weekend. Atlanta has allowed 300+ passing yards and/or 2+ passing TDs in 7 of 8 games this season.
Tom Brady ($6,000) + Mike Evans ($7,200) + Chris Godwin ($6,200)
I’m not expecting this Bucs passing game to return to 2020/2021 levels. The offensive line is an issue, and Rob Gronkowski’s retirement has hurt.
But I do think Brady will have some big games over the 2nd half of the season. He actually leads the league in pass attempts, completions and pass yards. But he sits just 17th in pass TDs. Positive TD regression is coming. And if it hits all at once – like it did for Alvin Kamara last week – look out.
We can soak up a huge chunk of Brady’s projected passing production by stacking him with Evans and Godwin. Those 2 have combined to account for 46% of Brady’s completions and 55% of his yards over the past 3 weeks.
Trevor Lawrence ($5,200) + Christian Kirk ($5,500) + Evan Engram ($3,300)
Lawrence has been a prototypical GPP QB this season. Some ugly outings. But also some strong outings. He has 3 games of 21.7+ DK points, including 25.2 in Week 3 and 24.9 in Week 6.
He’s set up for another strong outing on Sunday vs. the Raiders, who sit 31st in Football Outsiders’ pass defense rankings and 32nd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs.
Lawrence looks even better as a tournament play because Kirk and Engram and nice standalone values.
Kirk has cooled off since a hot start to the season. But he’s still seen 17 targets over the past 2 weeks and has dipped below 7 targets in just 3 of 8 games. Vegas ranks 28th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs and dead last vs. slot receivers, per Fantasy Points. Kirk has played 65% of his snaps in the slot this season.
Engram is our top dollars-per-point value at TE. His 29 targets over the last 4 weeks lead the Jaguars and rank 3rd among all TEs. Engram also ranks 3rd at his position in expected PPR points over the last 4 weeks. The Raiders sit 24th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.
As usual, I’m willing to play the chalk at RB. I highlighted Austin Ekeler ($8,800), Josh Jacobs ($7,300) and Travis Etienne ($6,300) in the cash-game article. Aaron Jones ($7,300), Rhamondre Stevenson ($6,200) and Kenneth Walker ($6,200) are also strong options worth playing even at high ownership.
The one chalk RB I’ll be fading is Deon Jackson ($5,200). In a conservative, run-leaning offense piloted by QB Sam Ehlinger, Jackson might not have the ceiling to return tournament-winning value.
If you’re looking to get different at RB, consider these 2 guys:
Dalvin Cook, Vikings ($7,800)
Cook is relatively overpriced and gets a tough on-paper matchup against a strong Washington run defense. That’s why he’s projected for just 6% ownership.
But Cook has gotten workhorse usage over Minnesota’s last 2 games, posting 87% and 76% snap rates and totaling 33 carries and 7 targets.
And while Washington’s run defense is solid, the pass defense is bad. So the Vikings should be able to move the ball and set up Cook for scoring chances. Minnesota is a 3-point favorite on Sunday with a respectable 23.25-point implied total.
Antonio Gibson, Commanders ($5,500)
Washington’s backfield seems to be shifting back toward Gibson. He tied for the backfield lead with a 36% snap rate last week and led the backfield with 14 opportunities (7 carries, 7 targets).
Gibson had seen 4 targets in each of his previous 3 games and should be busy in the passing game again on Sunday with RB J.D. McKissic out. He leaves behind 5.0 targets per game.
Justin Jefferson, Vikings ($8,600)
It looks like Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs will be the most popular expensive WRs. That’s curious, because Jefferson has the better matchup. In fact, he has the best matchup. The Commanders rank dead last in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.
Jefferson’s season might feel a bit underwhelming so far. But that’s only because he’s tied for just 30th among WRs in TDs, despite ranking top 7 in targets, catches and yards. Even still, he’s topped 33 DK points 3 times. Hill and Diggs have only done that twice apiece.
Terry McLaurin, Commanders ($5,900)
I’ll have a bunch of Jefferson-McLaurin mini stacks.
McLaurin has scored 18.3 and 19.6 DK points in QB Taylor Heinicke’s 2 starts. He’s seen 8 targets in both games for a 25% share.
The Vikings rank 24th in adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs.
Tyler Lockett, Seahawks ($6,100)
Lockett put in full practices on Thursday and Friday and isn’t listed on the final injury report. It looks like he’s healthier than he’s been the past 2 weeks.
Lockett was quiet vs. the Cardinals back in Week 6. But he posted 4-115 and 5-98-2 lines against them last season.
Also consider: Mike Evans ($7,200), Amon-Ra St. Brown ($6,600), Chris Godwin ($6,200), D.J. Moore ($5,800), Adam Thielen ($5,600), Christian Kirk ($5,500), Jakobi Meyers ($5,400), Josh Palmer ($5,100), K.J. Osborn ($4,200), Kalif Raymond ($4,000)
Gerald Everett, Chargers ($4,800)
Everett is a must in Justin Herbert lineups. But he’s also worth considering as a one-off.
He’s averaging 6.4 targets per game this season and is a good bet to top that number on Sunday with Mike Williams, Keenan Allen and Donald Parham out.
Atlanta ranks 23rd in adjusted fantasy points allowed to TEs.
Evan Engram, Jaguars ($3,300)
People really hate Engram.
He ranks 12th among TEs in PPR points this season. He ranks 8th at the position in targets on the season and 3rd over the past 3 weeks. He draws the Raiders’ 24th-ranked TE defense on Sunday. And he’s just $3,300.
Yet Engram is projected for just 9% ownership.
Cade Otton, Bucs ($3,100)
TE Cameron Brate is out again for Sunday’s game vs. the Rams. In 3 games without Brate this season, Otton has averaged 5.7 targets, 4.0 catches and 41 yards.
He checks in as the 2nd best dollars-per-point value at TE but is projected for just 2% ownership.
Also consider: Dawson Knox ($3,500), James Mitchell ($2,500)
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