Daily Fantasy Football Picks and Helper: Week 9

Brandon Gdula
Brandon Gdula@gdula13
Daily Fantasy Football Picks and Helper: Week 9

With bye weeks and an overseas game, there are only 10 games on the Week 9 main slate.

Totals are (mostly) low again, too, so we have to get a bit picky with our player pool.

Let's take a look at some of the best daily fantasy football plays at each position -- accounting for salary -- on the Week 9 FanDuel main slate.

Slate Overview

Here is a snapshot of each team's outlook, including opponent, implied team total, over/under, and spread based on FanDuel Sportsbook odds, and opponent defensive ranks for overall defense, pass defense, and rush defense, based on numberFire's Net Expected Points (NEP) model.

Implied Total
Opp D Rank
Opp Pass D Rank
Opp Rush D Rank
View Full Table


Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

FanDuel Salary: $8,600
Matchup: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Another week, another time to target Lamar Jackson. Jackson is coming off of a down game with a lot of handoffs leading to touchdowns.

The Seahawks rank 7th in adjusted pass defense, according to numberFire's metrics, but they're 14th against the rush.

Jackson is operating with plus efficiency (0.08 EPA per drop back over expected based on defenses played and a 54.3% passing success rate), and he has averaged 47.5 rushing yards per game while maintaining a 36.4% red zone rushing share.

Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints

FanDuel Salary: $7,100
Matchup: vs. Chicago Bears

Derek Carr hasn't been very efficient, but he should be this week. Carr is facing a Bears team that is 32nd in pressure rate and 22nd in completion percentage over expectation.

Carr's averaging 238.8 yards and 1.0 touchdowns per game with average efficiency, numbers that seem destined to improve in this particular matchup.

Others to Consider

Jalen Hurts ($9,000 vs. Dallas Cowboys) - Projects well even against a tough defense.

Daniel Jones ($7,000 at Las Vegas Raiders) - Has path to upside against a low-pressure team; 43.3 rushing yards per game.

C.J. Stroud ($7,000 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - Funnel defense should lead to more passing; could be windy.

Running Backs

Alvin Kamara, New Orleans Saints

FanDuel Salary: $9,200
Matchup: vs. Chicago Bears

Alvin Kamara has the best workload among all running backs on the Week 9 main slate.

He is averaging 17.2 carries and 8.8 targets per game for 109.6 scrimmage yards.

He's now up against a Bears defense that is rather good against the rush but that gets hammered by receiving backs in terms of efficiency (1.93 yards per route run; league average is 1.10).

Josh Jacobs, Las Vegas Raiders

FanDuel Salary: $7,500
Matchup: vs. New York Giants

Josh Jacobs has some efficiency concerns (-0.55 rushing yards over expectation per carry and a 36.1% rushing success rate), but he's averaging 16.6 carries and 5.4 targets for 81.3 scrimmage yards.

The catch rate over expectation is also bad (-13.1%).

Basically, production can't get worse on the volume he's getting.

The Giants are outside the top 20 in rush defense, per numberFire, and they're allowing a top-four RYOE rate to RBs (+0.75).

Tony Pollard, Dallas Cowboys

FanDuel Salary: $6,600
Matchup: at Philadelphia Eagles

Tony Pollard is also under-performing overall. He's turned 15.4 carries and 4.3 targets per game into an average of 85.9 scrimmage yards.

He has 4.4 red zone carries per game (a 58.5% team share) yet hasn't scored since a two-touchdown game in Week 1.

The Eagles are 10th in overall adjusted rushing defense but are first in RYOE and in adjusted FanDuel points per target allowed to RBs.

The salary accounts for the matchup well enough to make Pollard a priority play.

Others to Consider

Saquon Barkley ($8,600 at Las Vegas Raiders) - Nearly 100 scrimmage yards (99.8) on a per-game average of 22.0 carries and 5.0 targets.

Rachaad White ($6,900 at Houston Texans) - Efficiency is trending up; playing around 80% of snaps.

Rhamondre Stevenson ($6,200 vs. Washington Commanders) - Locked into a 60-plus-percent snap rate; has a plus matchup.

Devin Singletary ($5,300 vs. TB) - Should be the RB1 at a true value salary.

Wide Receivers

A.J. Brown, Philadelphia Eagles
DeVonta Smith, Philadelphia Eagles

Brown FanDuel Salary: $9,000
Smith FanDuel Salary: $7,000
Matchup: vs. Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles' top pass-catchers, A.J. Brown and DeVonta Smith are in an appealing overall game.

Brown's role is phenomenal. He has a 31.3% target share (10.3 targets per game for 115.9 yards and a 47.9% air yards share).

But Smith's splits are noteworthy, too: 21.8% target share (7.1 targets per game for 60.3 yards and a 31.3% air yards share). Notably, Smith is averaging 3.1 downfield targets per game (with Brown at 5.0).

Smith has a 44.0% catch rate on targets traveling at least 10 yards downfield. That's down from the WR average of 48.4% and his team's average of 53.3%. Regression could come.

Chris Olave, New Orleans Saints

FanDuel Salary: $6,900
Matchup: vs. Chicago Bears

Speaking of downfield target regression, let's look at Chris Olave.

Olave's -155.2 receiving yards over expectation on downfield passes is by far a position-worst this season, according to NextGenStats. But teammate Rashid Shaheed ($6,200) is second in that stat (156.6) and trails -- coincidentally -- just A.J. Brown (232.9).

In games with Alvin Kamara active, Olave leads the Saints in target share at 23.6% with 135.3 air yards per game but 43.0 yards per game. He is averaging 5.2 downfield targets per contest.

Something has to give eventually.

Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens

FanDuel Salary: $6,100
Matchup: vs. Seattle Seahawks

Zay Flowers continues to have a good role within the Ravens' offense. Since Week 3, his in-game target shares have been 33.3%, 22.2%, 28.9%, 27.6%, 21.4%, and 26.9%.

The team also is now in what should be a back-and-forth game with the Seahawks.

Seattle is just 21st in adjusted FanDuel points per target allowed to opposing receivers, as well.

Others to Consider

CeeDee Lamb ($8,800 at Philadelphia Eagles) - Eagles allowing second-highest target-per-route rate to WRs.

D.K. Metcalf ($7,200 at Baltimore Ravens) - Tough matchup but salary doesn't account for ceiling.

Tank Dell ($5,800 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - 5.3 targets and 1.2 rushes per game; has a plus matchup.

Demario Douglas ($5,400 vs. Washington Commanders) - 22.4% target share in two games with role expansion and should be featured without Kendrick Bourne.

Tight Ends

Dallas Goedert, Philadelphia Eagles

FanDuel Salary: $5,800
Matchup: vs. Dallas Cowboys

The salary for Dallas Goedert is very reasonable. He has a 20.3% target share (6.7 per game) since a strange Week 1.

Including Week 1, he has an 18.3% target share, ranking him fourth among healthy main slate tight ends.

Dallas is also letting up a +7.5% CROE to tight ends, which you love to see.

Kyle Pitts, Atlanta Falcons

FanDuel Salary: $5,200
Matchup: vs. Minnesota Vikings

Kyle Pitts hasn't erupted yet (he's maxed out at 12.3 FanDuel points).

But he has an 18.7% target share with a strong 10.9-yard average depth of target. He leads all main slate tight ends in downfield targets (2.9 per game with nobody else above 2.3 per game).

The QB change probably can't hurt his efficiency, either.

Others to Consider

Mark Andrews ($7,500 vs. Seattle Seahawks) - Middling matchup; 38.5% red zone target share (but 14.9% overall red zone play share).

Dalton Schultz ($5,400 vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers) - 5.6 targets per game but a -7.0% CROE so room for more production on them.


New England Patriots

FanDuel Salary: $3,700
Matchup: vs. Washington Commanders

The New England Patriots are just 21st in overall defense by numberFire's metrics but are 4th against the rush. That should help against a Commanders offense that is outside the top 20 in both rushing and passing offense.

The wind should be up, and that means sack and turnover potential.

Others to Consider

New Orleans Saints ($4,600 vs. Chicago Bears) - Top-10 defense against a reeling offense.

Baltimore Ravens ($4,300 vs. Seattle Seahawks) - Elite defense at a reasonable salary in a game that can go back-and-forth.

Arizona Cardinals ($3,400 at Cleveland Browns) - Terrible defense but a terrible offense in the wind.

Be sure to check out all of the Week 9 daily fantasy football contests on FanDuel.

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The above author is a FanDuel employee and is not eligible to compete in public daily fantasy contests or place sports betting wagers on FanDuel. The advice provided by the author does not necessarily represent the views of FanDuel. Taking the author's advice will not guarantee a successful outcome. You should use your own judgment when participating in daily fantasy contests or placing sports wagers.