All You Need Is Love
With the news that Aaron Rodgers will miss Sunday’s game after testing positive for COVID-19, Jordan Love becomes our Upside Finder’s top play at quarterback. Love checks all the boxes we love in an upside-streamer: he’s bargain-priced, has a great matchup, and has a solid supporting cast. Near the minimum price, his $4400 tag only requires him to score around 18 DKPt for tournament viability. This value also opens up pricey spend-ups at other positions as well.
The Chiefs have been a sieve for opposing offenses. Their 3.7-percent Sack Percentage (No. 2) has contributed to their defensive woes. Equally as bad against both the rush and pass (No. 4 and No. 5 in Rush and Pass Success Rate allowed), the Chiefs have had a tough time all around. Among their weaknesses is containing rushing quarterbacks. They rank bottom two in rushing attempts, yards and touchdowns allowed to the position. This situation sets up nicely for the former first rounder who has some wheels. His 75th-percentile 40 Yard Dash and 87th-percentile Burst Score are top-notch. The Packers are expected to have both Davante Adams and Allen Lazard back from the COVID-19 list which should give the rookie some reliable targets.
The Bills have another massive team total in Week 9 (31.5) meaning Josh Allen is back in play. The path of least resistance for the Bills here will be via the pass. The Jaguars have been stout against the rush only allowing one rusher over 100 yards this season (Derrick Henry, who else?). This is fine though as the Bills opt to run the ball on just 37-percent of offensive plays. The Jaguars defense has been much worse against the pass allowing the third most pass plays of 20-plus yards (h/t RotoGrinders). This suits Allen well, with his (slate-leading) 351 Air Yards Per Game.
At a projected 0.7-percent projected ownership, Tyrod Taylor is an intriguing quarterback punt. He has everything going for him that we look for in a GPP quarterback. He’s garnering virtually no ownership, has a clear-cut stacking option in Brandin Cooks (42-percent Air Yard Share and 29-percent Target Share) and he is mega-cheap (just $5,000). The Dolphins have allowed the most fantasy points to both quarterbacks and wide receivers over the past four weeks.
Losing Jameis Winston isn’t good for the Saints offense overall, but expect Sean Payton to adapt and lean more heavily on his best player, Alvin Kamara. After underweighting the field on Kamara in Week 8, I’ll look to do the opposite in Week 9.
The game splits with Taysom Hill under center are damning for Kamara, but a full vulture workload for Hill coming off a lengthy concussion protocol, or Trevor Siemien, would be reckless. Kamara leads the Week 9 running backs with a whopping 82.1-percent (No. 3) Opportunity Share. Play him with confidence.
Running Back Reflections
Dallas’ massive 29.5 implied team total is second only to the Bills on the main slate. With Dak Prescott returning from injury, the Cowboys should focus more on Ezekiel Elliott and the run game. The Broncos have been bad against running backs as highlighted most notably by the D’Ernest Johnson smash game a couple weeks back. Now they have lost their best defender in Von Miller (No. 6 ranked by PFF). The Cowboys are running the ball 60-percent of the time (No. 4) when leading by seven-plus points and are nine point home favorites versus the Broncos.
I can’t remember a vulturing troll-job worse than what the Eagles backfield did in Week 8. It was Matt Asiata-esque. Anyway, with Miles Sanders shelved on IR, the field was all over Kenny Gainwell but the Eagles (of course) had other plans. Getting the starting nod, Boston Scott was able to rumble for a pair of touchdowns. Also getting in the mix with his own pair of touchdowns was Jordan Howard, fresh off the street. With Howard back on the practice squad though, Scott is in play facing a Chargers rush defense that is allowing a lofty 63.5-percent Rush Success Rate (No. 1 h/t RotoGrinders). The Eagles/Chargers game ranks No. 1 in Pace of Play so there should be plenty of opportunities for the Eagles offense (h/t Football Outsiders).
With Henry Ruggs being released following his DUI arrest, Josh Jacobs is expected to see an expanded workload against the Giants. Jacobs already led the Raiders with a 28.1-percent Total Market Share (h/t RotoGrinders) but that number should go up with Ruggs gone. Jacobs has scored in three straight games but has yet to hit the hundred yard mark this season. He should, however, have more success against a Giants rush defense that is bottom five in both rushing attempts and rushing yards allowed.
By Hooks Or By Cooks
Having the Broncos stack not pan out last week would dissuade some from chasing matchups but I love pain.
no. 1 nfl air yards share: brandin cooks
no. 1. nfl target share: brandin cooks. pic.twitter.com/ffYRxgxwOg
— the podfather↗️ (@Fantasy_Mansion) September 29, 2021
The Dolphins rank dead last in Passing Yards Allowed and Sack Percentage (304 Passing Yards Per Game/ 3.58-percent Sack Rate). Brandin Cooks gets one of the best matchups on the slate yet projects under 2-percent ownership. His 41.9-percent Air Yards Share leads the league at the position and his 29.2-percent Target Share is also good for No. 6. My stack preference here is a Texans skinny stack with a Mike Gesicki runback.
Wide Receiver Reflections
Marquise Brown looks to be in a good spot fresh off a bye week and hosting the Vikings. My interest here lies in Brown’s’ deep ball prowess. He leads the Ravens with a 25.6-percent (No. 15) Target Share and 34.8-percent (No. 22) Air Yards Share. His 2.57 Deep Targets Per Game is also league-best. The match here with the Vikings defense who allow a 14.9-percent (No. 3) success rate on passes of 20-plus yards is compelling. The Rashod Bateman triple stack is interesting too with his $4,000 salary and Baltimore’s hefty 27.75 implied total.
The shorter your memory, the better DFS player you make. So, let’s forgive and forget Stefon Diggs‘ Week 8 performance and go right back to the well. For all the reasons we like Josh Allen, apply them to his top target. On the main slate, Diggs is top four in Receiving Targets Per Game (10), Receptions Per Game (7.1) and Receiving Yards Per Game (88.1). With game log browsers chasing points with Cole Beasley, be sharp and pay up for Diggs at lower ownership.
The DraftKings algorithm hasn’t seemed to factor Dallas Goedert‘s new role into his $4,500 price tag. In the two games without Zach Ertz, Goedert has led the team in both Targets and Receptions. His matchup with the Chargers is a good one too. PFF gives Goedert a 39-percent advantage against this Chargers secondary. The Chargers are allowing 18.5 DKPt/gm (No. 2) which if Goedert hits would easily 4x his salary. At 17-percent projected ownership, he is good chalk.
Tight End Reflections
Mike Gesicki is the other cheap tight end option worth considering. The Dolphins rank No. 3 in fantasy points earned by tight ends while the Texans rank No. 6 in fantasy points allowed to tight ends. The Texans also rank last in aFPA to tight ends.
Gesicki is the kind of player who can produce in this situation. His receiving upside is clear given his 25.5-percent (No. 3) Air Yards Share. A touchdown would be massive given his $4,900 price tag and with the Texans allowing the most touchdowns to tight ends, that’s a bet I’m willing to take.