NFL - Fantasy

Week 9 Thursday Night Football Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Eagles vs Texans

Adam Taylor McKillop
Fantasy football picks for the Philadelphia Eagles vs Houston Texans Week 9 matchup, including DeVonta Smith and Dameon Pierce.
Fantasy football picks for the Philadelphia Eagles vs Houston Texans Week 9 matchup, including DeVonta Smith and Dameon Pierce. / ASSOCIATED PRESS
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Week 9 of the 2022 NFL season kicks off with a potentially lopsided match between the undefeated Philadelphia Eagles and Houston Texans clashing on Thursday Night Football. FanDuel Sportsbook's NFL odds list the Eagles as massive 14-point home favorites over the Ravens.

If you need some help with your fantasy lineups, here's our start 'em, sit 'em advice for this Week 9 Thursday Night Football matchup.

DeVonta Smith Fantasy

Start DeVonta Smith, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: The Houston Texans defense is not good, meaning it's a sound decision to throw most Eagles playmakers into the starting lineup in Week 9. DeVonta Smith is an interesting option. A true boom-or-bust talent, Smith still ranks firmly as the No. 2 wideout on Philly's roster. He holds 25% of the target share and second on the team with 4 red zone targets. Houston's defense will pay close attention to A.J. Brown after another terrific 3-TD performance in Week 8, which means there will be holes for Smith. Houston actually allows the fifth-fewest PPR points to opposing wideouts, but their overall No. 30 ranking in DVOA proves a lot of that is from game script. An early Eagles lead is the only thing that scares me off Smith, but he should be able to do damage while Philly is building that lead. Smith is a solid WR2/FLEX play in Week 9.

Dameon Pierce Fantasy

Start Dameon Pierce, RB, Houston Texans: Considering the ups and downs of Brandin Cooks (which we'll get into more below), Dameon Pierce is the only reliable fantasy player on this Texans roster. He ranks as RB14 heading into this matchup and averages more than 20 touches per game, even with the Texans losing a handful of games by lopsided figures. He's failed to score a TD in the last two weeks but still finished at least RB20 or better, proving a stable floor for the young back. The Eagles also rank just 22nd in Football Outsiders' rush-defense DVOA metric, and this is a unit to attack.

Kenneth Gainwell Fantasy

Sit Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Dredging down to Philly's backup running back as a sit option is further proof what a juicy fantasy matchup this is. Start all of the Eagles top playmakers with confidence, but think twice before slotting Gainwell into your starting lineup. Even with the Texans allowed the most PPR points to opposing running backs, and ranking 32nd in Football Outsiders' rush-defense DVOA metric, this isn't a wise option. The Eagles running attack is dominated by Jalen Hurts and Miles Sanders. The two account for 78.7% of the rushing share, meaning there's very little opportunity for Gainwell and Boston Scott. Gainwell salvaged top-40 performances in the two weeks he's scored, but there's nothing here to justify starting him.

Brandon Cooks Fantasy

Sit Brandin Cooks, WR, Philadelphia Eagles: Trade drama! Brandin Cooks sent out an disconcerted tweet after the Texans failed to trade him at the deadline on Tuesday. And then he sat out of both Tuesday and Wednesday's practices. In what's classified as both an ankle injury and person reasons, it's unclear if Cooks will even suit up on Thursday. Even if he does, keep him on the fantasy bench. Despite dominated 22.8% of the team target share, Cooks ranks just WR44 in PPR formats. He's found the end zone just once and is catching just over 60% of his targets. He's not a good option against Philly's secondary, which ranks second in Football Outsiders' pass-defense DVOA metric.


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Adam Taylor McKillop is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Adam Taylor also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username atmckillop. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel. 

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change.

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