Can someone please get Leonard Fournette a map. The dude cannot seem to find the end zone for the life of him. Seriously, he leads all running backs in carries, Weighted Opportunity, Opportunity Share and Yards Created. He has 791 rushing yards and an additional 263 receiving yards. Yet, he has one lonely touchdown that came back in Week 5. He has 38 red zone touches, only Ezekiel Elliott has more, so that’s not the problem. Still, Fournette has finished as an RB1 in five straight weeks and is ninth in Fantasy Points Per Game. Eventually, the probabilities will revert back in his favor. Until then, he remains a weekly lock button start with the hopes he finally finds the promise land.
Speaking of lock-button plays, we turn the focus back to Week 9 as we present 12 lock-button players who are primed for success. These players should be in our lineups based on usage, opportunity, matchups, advanced stats and metrics. Let’s assume PPR scoring with four points per passing touchdown.
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Russell Wilson was a disappointment in Week 8 thanks to Seattle’s dedication to run after building a 24-0 halftime lead. While there is a possibility of that happening again, the success of the ground game will be limited against a Buccaneers team that has been the best run defense in football through eight weeks. Therefore, it is likely the Seahawks will ask Wilson to throw more than the 20 times he did in Week 8. Which is great news considering how effective he has been.
Wilson leads the NFL in passing touchdowns and is second among quarterbacks in rushing scores. He is top-10 in completion percentage under pressure and top-three when given a clean pocket. No quarterback has made more Money Throws and only Kirk Cousins has a better True Passer Rating. Take that efficiency and put it against a Bucs defense that has allowed the 10th most passing yards and seventh most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, and we have ourselves a lock-button play. Wilson becomes even more appealing when we consider the main slate will not include Deshaun Watson or Lamar Jackson, with Patrick Mahomes expected to sit another week.
Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
Is there a hotter running back in fantasy football right now than Aaron Jones? He has finished as the overall RB1 twice in the last four weeks, averaging 29.3 Fantasy Points Per Game over that span. Jones now leads the NFL in total touchdowns and is behind only Christian McCaffrey and Dalvin Cook in Fantasy Points Per Game among running backs. He’s 12th in carries and only 21st in Opportunity Share, but is fifth in Weighted Opportunities thanks to his 42 (No. 6 among qualified running backs) targets. He has seen at least six targets in five of his last seven games and is third among running backs in receiving yards. His hot streak should continue this week with a matchup against the Chargers on tap.
The Chargers have been torched by opposing running backs in recent weeks, giving up a total of 573 rushing yards (143.3 yards per game) over the last four contests. That includes a 125-yard performance by Bears rookie David Montgomery in Week 8. Despite the recent dominance, Jones is priced as the RB10 at $7,000 on DraftKings. While not as criminally undervalued on FanDuel, he is still the RB7 at $7,700, making him an easy lock button play on both platforms.
Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
The Chiefs are a dream matchup for Dalvin Cook in Week 9. Kansas City has allowed the second most rushing yards and second most receiving yards to running backs. Unsurprisingly, they have given up the most Fantasy Points Per Game to the position. Cook leads the NFL in rushing yards and is sixth among running backs in receiving yards. He is third in both carries and Weighted Opportunities, while trailing only Christian McCaffrey in fantasy points per game.
Check out Dalvin Cook on PlayerProfiler’s Updated Weekly Rankings and Projections:
Cook is breaking a big run at a rate of 6.4-percent (No. 6), so he is a threat to score at any moment. His 55 evaded tackles are the second most in the NFL. Cook should be able to add to his 27 (No. 5) red zone touches and seven (No. 2) goal line carries in what may turn into one of the weekend’s highest scoring games.
Chris Godwin, WR, Buccaneers
Last week was the Mike Evans show with Chris Godwin being to 43 yards on four receptions, but this will be the week Godwin gets back on track against a vulnerable Seattle secondary. The Seahawks have allowed the third most passing yards and were just picked apart for 460 yards by Matt Schaub in Week 8. Godwin will be matched against Seattle slot cornerback Jamar Taylor, who is No. 101 in PlayerProfiler’s cornerback rankings.
Godwin, on the other hand, is the top ranked wide receiver for the week. He has finished as a top-six receiver in four of the last six games and is second among wideouts in Fantasy Points Per Game. He ranks in the top-10 in targets, receptions, Yards Per Target, and Completed Air Yards. Godwin is top-five in receiving yards, yards after the catch, and True Catch Rate. He enjoys a 24.4-percent Target Share despite sharing the field with Mike Evans. Godwin is a better value on DraftKings ($7,300) than on FanDuel ($8,200), but is worth the cost either way for those looking to spend up on wide receiver.
Tyler Lockett, WR, Seahawks
We like to target wide receivers in games that are expected to be high-scoring, so we go back to the well for this Seattle-Tampa Bay matchup. As we mentioned with Russell Wilson, the Seahawks will get back to throwing the football this week against the league’s best run defense. While they are stout against the run, the Bucs have allowed the 10th most passing yards and the fourth most Fantasy Points Per Game to wide receivers.
This sets up nicely for Tyler Lockett, who has finished as a top-24 WR in six of his last seven games. No wide receiver is more efficient with his targets, in large part due to the spectacular play of Wilson. Lockett is No. 1 in catchable passes, Target Quality and Catch Rate. He is top-10 in receptions, Yards Per Target and Completed Air Yards. He averages 2.42 (No. 8) Fantasy Points Per Target. Lockett is modestly priced at $7,500 on both FanDuel and DraftKings. He is worth the cost with the high floor and massive upside in this matchup.
Darren Waller, TE, Raiders
The Darren Waller breakout season is now eight games in and the 2015 sixth-rounder has shown no signs of letting up. Waller leads all tight ends in Target Share and has converted his 58 (No. 5) targets into 46 (No. 2) receptions for 496 (No. 3) yards and three (No. 43) touchdowns. That’s good for second among tight ends in Fantasy Points Per Game. Week 9 presents a matchup with the Lions, who have allowed the ninth most receiving yards to tight ends. Among the top-four tight ends on this week’s main slate, Waller has been the most consistent and offers the highest upside.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions at Raiders: Stafford has thrown for 342 yards and 364 yards with seven total touchdowns in his last two games. The Raiders have allowed the second most Fantasy Points Per Game to quarterbacks.
Le’Veon Bell, RB, Jets at Dolphins: A get-right spot for the former Steeler against a Dolphins defense that just allowed James Conner to run for 145 yards.
Kenny Golladay, WR, Lions at Raiders: Golladay is in line for another big week after posting 123 yards and two scores in Week 9. The Raiders have allowed the sixth most fantasy points to wide receivers. A bit costly on DraftKings but a decent play on FanDuel for those who want to pivot from the high-priced Godwin.
Allen Robinson, WR, Bears at Eagles: The Eagles have allowed the most Fantasy Points Per Game to wideouts and have been particularly bad against outside receivers such as Robinson.
Mike Evans, WR, Buccaneers at Seahawks: Leads the NFL in both Target Distance and Deep Targets, and should see plenty of opportunities in a potential shootout with the Seahawks.
Hunter Henry, TE, Chargers vs Packers: Henry has finished as a top-five tight end twice in the last three weeks. The Packers have allowed five touchdowns to tight ends and the sixth most Fantasy Points Per Game to the position.