This is a simple, straightforward piece. At the end of the week, I’m taking our weekly composite staff rankings from our Season Pass section and comparing those rankings as it pertains to players we see as starting caliber options to the pricing across the two major DFS sites in hopes of discovering some value. Easy as that.
Pricing is tight this week and lines up pretty well with Rotoworld’s composite rankings. Outside of a couple Panthers, there isn’t much disparity. Below, I’ll also highlight a few players from a couple game stacks I like on the main slate for Week 9.
D.J. Moore vs. Titans -- WR22 (FanDuel, WR37, $5,400)
Moore hasn’t scored since a catch-and-run 52-yard touchdown against the Cardinals in Week 3. He’s coming off 38 scoreless yards on nine targets against the 49ers last week. Moore is averaging 8.3 targets per game on the year and has seen at least eight targets in 5-of-7 games. The due factor is in play here against a Titans Defense that was just annihilated by Mike Evans for 11-198-2 on 12 targets last week. At 6’/210, Moore has a distinct size and mass advantages on the Titans’ smallish outside corners Malcolm Butler and Adoree Jackson. Those two have no chance at tackling Moore in space, and that’s his bread and butter. There will be opportunities for Moore to break long gainers off short passes from Kyle Allen Sunday. Tennessee is a middling 20th in pass-defense DVOA, but their strength is slot CB Logan Ryan. Moore runs over 83% of his routes on the outside. Butler has surrendered the 13th-most yards in his coverage among 108 qualified corners at Pro Football Focus. Moore should see him most.
Greg Olsen vs. Titans -- TE8 (FanDuel, TE11, $5,300)
In Kyle Allen’s first start of the season, Olsen hung a 6-75-2 line on the Cardinals back in Week 3. In the four games since, Olsen’s receiving lines are 2-5-0 > 0-0-0 > 4-52-0 > 2-13-0. Olsen has a pair of seven-target games with Allen, but the other three he’s averaged less than three targets per contest. The good news is Olsen is still playing 88.8% of the snaps and is fifth among tight ends in pass routes. The Titans are 23rd in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. Hunter Henry (6-97-0), Austin Hooper (9-130-0), James O’Shaughnessy (2-18-1), Eric Ebron (3-25-1), and David Njoku (4-37-1) have all exceeded expectations against the Titans. Olsen is on the field a ton and runs plenty of routes. That’s about all we want from our tight ends at fantasy’s weakest position.
Favorite Game Stacks
Jets at Dolphins
All the big names are in play for the Jets, including Sam Darnold, Le’Veon Bell, and Robby Anderson. Even Jamison Crowder makes for a fine option on PPR site DraftKings. On the Miami side, Mark Walton and outside WRs DeVante Parker and Preston Williams are options who won’t be highly owned. This game doesn’t figure to see a lot of defense. We just need these inefficient offenses to take advantage. All are fine tournament swings.
Le’Veon Bell at Dolphins -- FanDuel, $7,000, RB8; DraftKings, $7,700, RB3
Bell doesn’t have a 100-yard rushing game to his name through eight weeks and hasn’t even topped 70 yards on the ground. He has just one rushing touchdown but is still the overall RB20 in half-PPR fantasy points per game thanks to a safe floor in the passing game with 32 catches. Unfortunately, that safe floor has been far less stable in recent weeks with catch counts of 1 > 1 > 3 over the last three games. Bell was subject to trade rumors this week but ultimately stayed put and also made noise by showing frustration with his lack of touches last week in Jacksonville when he rushed just eight times for 23 scoreless yards and those three grabs. This is a major get-right spot for Bell, however. Miami is where Bell makes his offseason home. The Dolphins are 31st in run-defense DVOA, 32nd in fantasy points allowed to running backs, 31st in rushing yards allowed per game, and 25th in opponent yards per carry. Miami provided the slump-busting spot for James Conner last week when Conner went for 150 yards and a touchdown in the comeback win. Adrian Peterson hung a 23-118-0 rushing line on the Fins two weeks before that. The Dolphins have also surrendered the most receiving touchdowns to RBs.
Robby Anderson at Dolphins -- FanDuel, $6,200, WR20; DraftKings, $5,500, WR21
Anderson torched the Cowboys for 5-125-1 in Sam Darnold’s first game back from mono in Week 6, but it hasn’t been pretty for anyone on the Jets the last two weeks. Anderson has just five catches for 53 scoreless yards on 14 targets against the Patriots and Jaguars the last two weeks. But he obviously catches a much easier matchup this Sunday. Miami is 32nd in pass-defense DVOA and 27th in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. JuJu Smith-Schuster (5-103-1), Diontae Johnson (5-84-1), John Brown (5-83-1), Cole Beasley (3-16-1), and Terry McLaurin (4-100-2) have all exceeded expectations over the last three weeks against the Dolphins. Anderson was subject to trade rumors this week but ultimately stayed put and gets a nice smash spot Sunday. He’s a high-ceiling, big-play with a safer floor than ever this week.
Mark Walton vs. Jets -- FanDuel, $5,700, RB21; DraftKings, $4,500, RB25
Following the deactivation and subsequent trade of Kenyan Drake, Walton was in on a season-high 87.7% of the downs last Monday night against the Steelers. That’s a true workhorse playing-time clip. He ran a season-high 34 pass routes but still turned 14 touches into just 54 scoreless yards. Volume and snap share is what we’re chasing here though, especially in a much easier matchup at home against a Jets Defense that traded away DT Leonard Williams and again lost ILB C.J. Mosley to a multi-week groin injury. The Jets are No. 2 in opponent yards per carry and No. 3 in run-defense DVOA, but they are 21st in fantasy points allowed to running backs and will feel the losses of Williams and Mosley. This game also has a chance to be competitive, giving Walton a chance to flirt with 20 touches. The only concern for Walton’s outlook is Kalen Ballage’s cemented role as the goal-line back. He vultured short scores from Walton in both Weeks 6 and 7 with identical 3-7-1 rushing lines. Walton is still averaging over 13 touches per game in his three weeks as the starter.
Lions at Raiders
The big three of the Detroit passing game -- Matthew Stafford, Kenny Golladay, and Marvin Jones -- all make for fine plays and will likely be popular. On the Oakland side, Derek Carr, Darren Waller, Tyrell Williams, and Josh Jacobs are in the conversation for cash and tourneys.
Derek Carr vs. Lions -- FanDuel, $7,300, QB11; DraftKings, QB12, $5,500
Carr is completing a career-best 72.1% of his passes at a career-high 7.7 yards per attempt clip. However, he’s 23rd among QBs, attempting just 11% of his passes 20-plus yards downfield. He’s obviously taking the easy route and dumping the ball off in the short areas of the field. Whatever works. He’s having a solid season, but it hasn’t translated to big fantasy numbers, as Carr is the QB22 in points per game. Carr has tossed multiple touchdowns in four of his last five games, with a season-high three last week in Houston, and has just four interceptions on the year. He gets a really nice draw here against a Detroit defense that is 26th in adjusted sack rate, 26th in fantasy points allowed to quarterbacks, and dead last in passing yards allowed while checking in at 22nd in pass-defense DVOA. No defense allows more plays per game either. And we know more plays means more opportunities for fantasy production. This might be the best individual matchup Carr will see all season. Previously struggling Daniel Jones busted his slump in Detroit last week with 322 yards and a 4:0 TD:INT mark. Kirk Cousins hung 338 yards and four touchdowns on the Lions the week before. And Aaron Rodgers went for a fine 283 yards and two scores in Week 6. This game’s 50.5-point total is second-highest on the board, and Oakland’s implied total of 26.25 points is fourth-best.
Bucs at Seahawks
This game features the highest total on the board at 52 points. All the main skill guys are in play on both sides. We are going to want pieces of this game, especially in cash games where Russell Wilson, Tyler Lockett, and Chris Godwin make for safer-floor options. For tournaments, DK Metcalf, Mike Evans, and Cameron Brate stick out as potential avenues to this contest.
DK Metcalf vs. Bucs -- FanDuel, $6,700, WR14; DraftKings, $5,700, WR19
Metcalf’s 13 yards last week against the Falcons were his second-fewest of the season, but he more than made up for it with a pair of goal-line touchdown grabs inside the 10-yard line. Without the touchdowns, we’d get Metcalf at a major price discount instead of these elevate salaries we see now. Metcalf leads the NFL in end-zone targets and paces the Seahawks in air yards. This is a week he could put everything together with his first 100-yard game and a trip to the end zone. The Bucs are an extreme pass-funnel defense, checking in at No. 26 in pass-defense DVOA and No. 1 against the run. The Seahawks are undoubtedly going to try and feed Chris Carson 20-plus carries, but there should be more than enough opportunities for Russell Wilson to hit Metcalf and Tyler Lockett in open space for big plays. Tampa Bay is 26th in fantasy points allowed to wideouts. A.J. Brown caught another touchdown against the Bucs last week, D.J. Moore (7-73-0) and Curtis Samuel (4-70-1) had strong games the previous game versus Tampa, Michael Thomas went 11-182-2 the week before, and all three Rams WRs Robert Woods (13-164-0), Cooper Kupp (9-121-1), and Brandin Cooks (6-71-0) had big games in Week 6. There are going to be downfield shots to Metcalf in this one.
Cameron Brate at Seahawks -- FanDuel, $5,100, TE13; DraftKings, $3,100, TE19
Brate played two-thirds of the offensive snaps last week in place of an injured O.J. Howard (hamstring) and ran 41 pass routes. Howard remains out. Brate should play through his ribs issue and be ready to roll. A long-time favorite of Jameis Winston’s in the scoring area, Brate is automatically on the TE1 map any time Howard is out. Seattle has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to tight ends. Austin Hooper (6-65-1), Ricky Seals-Jones (3-47-1), and Gerald Everett (7-136-0) have all smashed against the Seahawks the last four weeks while Mark Andrews (2-39-0) dropped at least three passes against them two weeks ago.