Week 9 FantasyDraft Advice

Updated: November 3rd 2016

Week 9 of the NFL season is upon us and what better way to complement yearly leagues than by playing daily leagues as well? Assuming your opponent’s team is stacked and you’re fighting a losing battle, DFS is a way to still monetize your football knowledge on a lost week in yearly leagues. However, there is a bit of a strategy difference due to the weekly salary cap. In this article, fantasy expert Ricky Sanders will walk you through the thought process of putting together the best possible FantasyDraft DFS lineup for the upcoming week:

Joe Flacco, Ravens, $10,900 – Prior to the bye week, Joe Flacco was dealing with a sore shoulder but obviously the additional week of rest could only have helped. With him hopefully feeling close to 100-percent, it is time to fire up the NFL’s leader in pass attempts per game. No, that is not a typo, Flacco has seriously attempted 44.1 pass attempts per game, slightly edging out Drew Brees (44.0). Running games have doomed the Steelers mostly to this point but the Ravens really do not possess the personnel to make that happen. Furthermore, the over/under currently sits at 43.0 but it should be on the rise as the statuses of both Ben Roethlisberger and Antonio Brown are updated. In four of his last five matchups against the Steelers, Flacco has managed at least 14 fantasy points. While it does not sound like that much, the construction of the offense was a lot more conservative at that point. With the team airing it out now, Flacco has a shot at a big game…especially if the team is playing from behind (and the team is listed as 2.0 point underdogs).

Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys, $14,900 – Sometimes a play is just obvious that it is not even worth overthinking. In this case, Ezekiel Elliott certainly applies against the Browns. So far this season, the Browns have surrendered the third most fantasy points to opposing RBs including 12 total TDs (second most of any team). Sure the team just added linebacker Jamie Collins via trade but he is not going to cure all of the defense’s woes especially in one week. Heading into Week 8, Elliott had run for 130-plus yards in four consecutive games and then he “flopped” for only 96 rushing yards and 18.80 fantasy points last week. If that is Elliott’s floor behind this dominant offensive line then he is worth rostering each and every week. Against the lowly Browns, he is much likelier to approach his ceiling than to simply flirt with the low-end of his outcome spectrum once again.

Darren Sproles, Eagles, $7,700 – CSN Philly reports Coach Doug Pederson will “evaluate in these next couple of days” whether to replace Ryan Mathews with Darren Sproles as the team’s lead back. Basically, Pederson already did this week as Sproles touched the ball 20 times (15 carries and five receptions) to Mathews’ five (four carries and one reception). In an extended role, Sproles is an intriguing fantasy proposition mostly because of his ability to catch the football. Remember, Sproles is a player who has caught 55 passes or more in five of his last six seasons. At this price tag, the five passes he caught last week alone would justify rostering him and now he is set to see that sort of workload on a weekly basis. The team’s offensive coordinator, Frank Reich, schemed Danny Woodhead all the way to 80 receptions (RECs) last year and favored him to the likes of Melvin Gordon. It appears once again this season Reich is comfortable building the offense around a little scat back once again so Sproles deserves consideration in all formats.

Antonio Brown, Steelers, $16,700 – What really is there to say about Antonio Brown at this point especially when Ben Roethlisberger is healthy. Neither are completely healthy this week but both are fully expected to play against a Ravens secondary that has allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing WRs including a league-worst 13 TDs. In 77 career games playing alongside Roethlisberger, Brown has averaged 6.83 RECs and 19.45 fantasy points per game compared to just 4.57 RECs and 11.2 fantasy points per game with someone else under center. For someone who is quite clearly above and beyond the top WR on the slate, his price tag is surprisingly affordable. Last week, Julio Jones was priced at $18,000 so fantasy owners get a $1,300 discount for the top wideout in Week 9. Quite simply, the best player in daily fantasy football is worth rostering when his pal Roethlisberger is active and throwing to him.

T.Y. Hilton, Colts, $14,300 – An injury slowed down T.Y. Hilton against the Chiefs and led to him catching just 1-6 targets for a measly 20 yards. However, a week of taking it easy in practice should only help him prepare for a fantastic matchup against a banged up Packers secondary in Week 9. Sure Julio Jones struggled in this very matchup last week but he too suffered an injury mid-game and fought through it to the best of his ability. If Jones were playing at full strength, the result likely would have been completely different. Nevertheless, the comparison is more applicable when talking about Mohamed Sanu anyways because both he and Hilton move around the formation but play mostly out of the slot. Sanu was the one to enjoy the monster game against the Packers last week as he caught nine passes (on 10 targets) for 84 yards and a TD. With this game projected with the highest over/under of the weekend (54.0 points), the Colts are absolutely going to need to score to stay in the ballgame. Considering the team is listed as 7.5 point underdogs, game script may prove to be perfect for Hilton to light up the fantasy scoreboard.

Kyle Rudolph, Vikings, $7,800 – Having played on Monday Night Football, Kyle Rudolph will non-ideally be playing on short rest. Still, he draws a matchup that is basically the Coors Field of daily fantasy football: TEs versus the Lions. Over the course of their last 24 games, the Lions have allowed a ridiculous 20 TDs to the position including one last week to C.J. Fiedorowicz. On consecutive weeks now, Vernon Davis and Fiedorowicz have finished as top four TEs against this defense and Davis did not even score. Amazingly, only Greg Olsen and Jason Witten have been targeted on a higher percentage of their respective team’s red zone targets compared to Rudolph and only Martellus Bennett and Jack Doyle have scored more TDs (both have scored four) than Rudolph’s three. Basically, he has emerged as true TE1 on an offense who often needs to throw the ball in the red zone because their porous offensive line cannot create enough running room for the backs to score. On this week specifically, that could turn into fantasy gold for Rudolph.

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called DailyRoto.com, Ricky was brought on to FantasyDraft as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: FanVice, RotoCurve and Daily Fantasy Cafe. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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