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Week 9 FanDuel Picks

By Kevin English | Updated on Tue, 23 May 2023 . 1:27 PM EDT

Quarterback

Cash Game Option

Matt Stafford, Lions ($7,900) at Oakland

Stafford’s become a weekly staple here — and he’s earned it.

He’s posted lines of 342-3-1 and 364-4-1 over his last 2. Now he hits the road for an Oakland secondary that’s among the league’s worst. They sit 29th in Football Outsiders’ pass D rankings and lack any semblance of a shutdown CB.

Volume should remain present with the Lions trotting out committee backs. Last week against New York, the Lions combined for 2.7 YPC on 23 attempts. Detroit enters the weekend implied for 24 points against an Oakland D that’s much stronger vs. the run than vs. the pass.

Tournament Target

Sam Darnold, Jets ($7,300) at Miami

Sure, Darnold hasn’t played well of late. After returning from mono to post 338-2-1 vs. Dallas, he’s tallied 304-2-7 over the past 2 weeks. Ugly.

Sunday just sets up nicely as a rebound spot. The Dolphins’ secondary is filled with practice squad talents — especially now that CB Xavien Howard is on IR. This unit has allowed a massive 8.9 YPA to enemy QBs. I love the stacking upside here with Robby Anderson.

FanShare Ownership Projection: 4.3%

Also consider: Russell Wilson, Derek Carr

Running Back

Cash Game Options

Dalvin Cook, Vikings ($9,000) at Kansas City

Christian McCaffrey is certainly in play, and you can make him plus Cook work. But if forced to take one, I’ll save $700 and go with the Viking.

I expect Patrick Mahomes to miss another week, which is reflected in the betting line (Chiefs +2.5). That’ll help Cook see another 20+ touches, a threshold he’s reached in all but 1 game. Kansas City, meanwhile, has allowed the 4th most fantasy points to RBs. They’re also expected to remain without key DL Frank Clark.

Jaylen Samuels, Steelers ($5,000) vs. Colts

It’s really hard to get away from Samuels in cash — assuming James Conner (doubtful) is out. Benny Snell has already been ruled out, leaving former UDFA Trey Edmunds as the new backup.

Now, Samuels is set to return from a knee score that’s sidelined him since Week 5. But all indications are that he’s ready to assume lead back duties.

He’s fine to fade in tournaments, as FanDuel’s salary cap remains relatively soft.

Tournament Target

Le’Veon Bell, Jets ($7,000) at Miami

My hunch is that Bell doesn’t reach 20% ownership. But either way, I think he’s an exciting tournament play against a Miami squad with Pro Football Focus' 25th-ranked rush defense. More broadly, no team’s allowed more points per game than the Dolphins (34.0).

We also have a “squeaky wheel” narrative this week, fueled by an exchange between Bell and HC Adam Gase. I think he sees 20-25 touches and pays off a very fair price tag.

FanShare Ownership Projection: 21.4%

Also consider: Christian McCaffrey, Nick Chubb

Wide Receiver

Cash Game Options

Marvin Jones, Lions ($5,700) at Oakland

Jones’ wide range of outcomes are a bit worrisome. He’s posted games with 2 and 3 catches — and, of course, one with 4 TDs.

This week, though, he’s appealing in a perfect road spot at Oakland. Pro Football Focus ranks the Raiders 30th in pass coverage; 31st in pass rush. So Jones should have downfield opportunities alongside a well-performing Matt Stafford. A price of $5,700 is nice, too, and helps Jones sit #1 in our $/point ranks.

Adam Thielen, Vikings ($7,100) at Kansas City

Assuming Thielen’s hamstring checks out, he’ll carry plenty of appeal at his lowest salary of the season.

"In this league, it's all about being close to 100 percent on game day," Thielen said this week. "Luckily, I've got three more days to get to that point."

A limited participant in practice, an active Thielen would retain his usual FanDuel-friendly scoring upside.

Tournament Target

Tyler Lockett, Seahawks ($7,500) vs. Tampa Bay

Lockett has remained efficient this year with am 85.1% catch rate. He’s caught 24 of 26 targets over the past 5 games. On the year, he ranks 2nd among WRs in yards per route run.

Now, due to volume, Lockett hasn’t always cashed in big fantasy games. He’s reached 70 yards in 4 of 8 games. He’s topped 7 targets only twice.

Sunday looks like a matchup that could see him reach double digit looks, though. The Bucs are stout vs. the run but among the league’s worst defending the pass by virtually any metric. They rank 2nd league-wide in passing yards allowed per game. And Lockett’s projected defender — slot CB Vernon Hargreaves — is a bottom-10 cover CB, per PFF.

FanShare Ownership Projection: 13.0%

Also consider: Chris Godwin, Robby Anderson, D.J. Moore, Jamison Crowder, DeVante Parker

Tight End

Darren Waller, Raiders ($6,800) vs. Detroit

Waller enters Week 9 with 7+ targets in all but 1 game. He’s also scored his only 3 TDs of the year over the last 2 weeks, highlighting his improved red zone usage. Per Pro Football Reference, his 28% share of the team's red zone targets leads all TEs.

Meanwhile, the Lions sit 24th in Football Outsiders’ TE coverage rankings. They’ve surrendered 19-224-2 to Packers, Vikings and Giants TEs over the last 3 weeks.

FanShare Ownership Projection: 15.7%

Also consider: T.J. Hockenson, Jack Doyle (if Eric Ebron is out)

Defense

Cash Game Option

Steelers ($3,900) vs. Colts

Tournament Target

Bills ($5,000) vs. Redskins

Kevin English Author Image
Kevin English, Senior Analyst
Kevin brings 15 years of experience as a fantasy analyst and mid-stakes competitor across various formats (redraft, best ball, dynasty, DFS). His work has been featured on The Mercury News, Rotoworld, and FantasyPros.
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