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DraftKings core plays for Week 9

Matthew Stafford looks like a safe bet to put up fantasy points in Oakland while Jaylen Samuels comes in this week at great value. Who else make the core DraftKings plays for Week 9?

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford drops back to pass during the game against the New York Giants at Ford Field. Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

When doing research for DraftKings, I usually end up with a set of core players that end up running through all of my lineups. Typically, they are consistent fantasy producers in good matchups or have value due to an injury. You will likely see them across the fantasy football blogosphere because, well, they’re core plays for a lot of people. We could probably call them chalk plays too, so there is a good reason to lean toward cash games with these types of players, but even in GPPs, I want consistent and high-upside plays, and sometimes my core players might not be fully in the chalk column. Let’s get to it.

Quarterbacks

My top plays this week are Russell Wilson ($7,100), Matthew Stafford ($6,800), Jameis Winston ($6,100), Derek Carr ($5,500) and Matt Moore ($4,800)

Core QB

Matthew Stafford: I rather pay down at quarterback when I can, but Stafford is in a prime spot, as he has no running back to take away from him and faces a Raiders team that is awful against the pass and okay against the run. The Raiders should also have good luck against the Lions’ weak defense, both run and pass, which is why this game has the second-highest over/under of the week. I expect the over to hit and Stafford to clean up.

Running Backs

My top plays this week are Christian McCaffrey ($10,000), Dalvin Cook ($9,500), Le’ Veon Bell ($7,700), Aaron Jones ($7,000), Josh Jacobs ($6,500), Mark Walton ($4,500), Jaylen Samuels ($4,000)

Core RBs

Jaylen Samuels: There is no doubt that Samuels will have the biggest ownership percentage this week with James Conner. But, I don’t see how you get around rostering him in the bulk of your lineups. With Benny Snell out, Trey Edmunds will be his backup, so we should see a significant snap share for Samuels, who played multiple positions in college, including tight end. He’s shown his receiving ability time and time again, and Pittsburgh has no problem giving him a workload when needed. The Colts are without TY. Hilton and the Steelers are favored, meaning Samuels should get plenty of rushing attempts to go with his targets at Heinz Field.

Dalvin Cook: The value you get from Samuels makes it a little easier to reach for McCaffrey or Cook. If I happen to have the extra $500 for McCaffrey, I will make that jump, but Cook is in a better matchup and continues to see high usage. He’s had one game with fewer than 19 DK points, and that came against the Eagles defensive line. Kansas City allows the highest yards per carry and yards per touch to running backs, and as long as Matt Moore remains the quarterback, the Vikings should be able to get a lead or at the very least, keep the game close, giving Cook plenty of work.

Wide Receivers

My top plays for this week are Kenny Golladay ($7,700), Tyler Lockett ($7,500), Chris Godwin (7,300), Mike Evans ($7,200), Allen Robinson ($6,800), John Brown ($6,100), Marvin Jones ($6,000), DK Metcalf ($5,700), Robby Anderson ($5,500), Jamison Crowder ($5,300), Danny Amendola ($4,700), Devante Parker ($4,400), Cole Beasley ($4,100), Parris Campbell ($3,000)

Core WRs

Tyler Lockett: I’m going to mine a lot of my fantasy points from this matchup in Seattle, as I see both offenses being able to keep the scoring up, forcing Russell Wilson to throw the ball. Lockett is, of course, his favorite receiver, and if he averaged ten targets a game, he would be the No. 1 fantasy receiver by a wide margin. This week I think he gets close to those ten targets and Tampa Bay has been awful against slot receivers, as they’ve given up 83.7 yards per game and five touchdowns to the position

Chris Godwin: I expect a rebound game from Godwin after Mike Evans hogged all the fantasy points last week. This game has the highest over/under of Week 9, and Seattle hasn’t been a good defense in a while. Godwin should also see quite a bit of slot cornerback Jamar Taylor, who allows 1.8 yards per defensive snap. Godwin has yet to post back-to-back down games and ranks first in DK points per game, so there’s no reason not to expect some fireworks at Century Link.

Danny Amendola: I’ll likely need to find some value at the wide receiver position, and Amendola is in a great spot, especially for PPR upside. Amendola has seen 11 and eight targets in his last two games and caught eight passes in each for 105 and 95 yards. Those strong PPR performances gave him 17.5 and 21.5 DK points without scoring a touchdown. This week he’ll see cornerback Lamarcus Joyner, who has been awful this year. He’s given up 32-of-41 receptions for 334 yards and one touchdown while covering the slot, and on the season, the Raiders have allowed four touchdowns to slot receivers.

Tight Ends

My top plays for this week are Darren Waller ($6,300), Hunter Henry ($6,000), Jonnu Smith ($3,800), Cameron Brate ($3,100),

Core TE

Darren Waller: If I can’t afford Waller, I will likely move down to Brate, but if I can, I love him this week in a game where he should lead the team in targets in what should be a high-scoring game. The passing offense runs through Tyrell Williams, and Waller and Williams should see a lot of Darius Slay.

D/STs

My top plays this week are the Bills ($3,800), Seahawks ($3,600), Browns ($3,100), Broncos ($2,900), Panthers ($2,800), Washington ($1,800)

Washington: At just $1,800, it’s not that much of a leap to see Washington giving you value. Over their last six games, they’ve topped five DK points, including five against the Patriots, eight against the 49ers, and six against the Vikings in Minnesota. Those aren’t world-beating numbers, of course, but they work at this bargain-basement price, and Josh Allen isn’t exactly the most accurate quarterback in the league.