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DraftKings Fantasy Football Tournament Picks: NFL Week 9 2022 Top High-Upside DFS Contrarian Targets

Geoff Ulrich shares his top high-upside targets, stacks and contrarian options for this week’s main fantasy football slate on DraftKings.

Welcome to the weekly tournament plays article for Sunday’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate for Week 9. I’m going to focus purely on upside plays, stacks and strategies to help tackle the largest tournaments on the slate. GPPs are not won by using all of the most popular players on the slate and finding some relatively lower-owned diamonds in the rough will be the goal of this article.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: $3.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry]


Stacks

Game Stack: Los Angeles Chargers vs Atlanta Falcons

Justin Herbert ($7,200) — Joshua Palmer ($5,100) — Tyler Allgeier ($5,400)/Cordarrelle Patterson ($5,800) — Gerald Everett ($4,800)

Both Keenan Allen (questionable) and Mike Williams (out) look likely to miss this game, which will leave Justin Herbert this week without his two best targets. Fortunately for the Chargers — and Herbert’s fantasy owners — Herbert likely won’t need either man to go off against Atlanta. The Falcons have allowed 8.9 yards per pass attempt against over their past three games, which is the second-worst mark in the league. Three out of the past four QBs they’ve faced have now gone for 300 yards or more against them so Herbert — who is not trending with a ton of heat early in the week — is setting up like a great pay-up target to start stacks with in big field GPPs.

While the loss of Williams and Allen makes Herbert’s performance this week more variable, he’ll also now have a couple of cheap options to stack him with in Gerald Everett and Joshua Palmer — two players who were already entrenched in significant roles and who will most certainly see bumps in routes run and usage this week. Palmer may struggle as a No. 1 WR against stiffer pass defenses, but the Falcons have allowed the most receptions and yards to opposing WRs this season. The second-year WR has also picked up six or more receptions twice now in games without Allen in the lineup, and his target share this week will be far more secure without Williams (8.42 targets per game) around as well.

Look for Gerald Everett to get a potential bump, as well. He’s been consistent in his production, posting an average of 6.42 targets per game this year, but saw a big bump last week when Williams went down and now has 16 targets over the past two games alone. Atlanta covers tight ends just as poorly as wide receivers, making Everett a pivotal player in this game for Herbert, who has averaged 44.0 pass attempts per game this year, a league-high.

How to approach the other side of this game DFS purposes is more straightforward. The Falcons run the ball at the third-highest rate, per game, in the NFL and have activated Cordarrelle Patterson (questionable) off IR this week. If he plays, his sub-$6K price tag against a Chargers defense that ranks dead last in yards per carry against at 5.7 would make him a great start. If he doesn’t go, drifting down to Tyler Allgeier would be the play. Allgeier has taken over 60% of the snaps the last two weeks and finally was able to showcase his solid receiving skills last week when he posted a 3-reception, 46-yard receiving line and broke a 25-yard catch for a TD. With the Chargers lacking any elite rush stoppers and Atlanta projecting with a weak pass rush and secondary, the offenses should dominate here making this game ideal for both stacking purposes and for finding elite value plays in DFS.


Quarterback

Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. Miami Dolphins ($5,300)

Justin Fields heads into this game averaging 10.5 rush attempts per game. He’s rushing at a much more efficient pace than last season, as well, and the Bears as a whole have been more efficient rushing the ball in 2022. The Dolphins did upgrade their defensive line at the trade deadline with the acquisition of Roquan Smith but have allowed the sixth-most rush yards to opposing QBs this season. The Bears were mainly sellers at the trade deadline but also made a savvy acquisition at wide receiver bringing in Chase Claypool. While Fields’ passing totals this year have been somewhat pathetic, the Dolphins' defense has allowed the eighth-most yards and receptions to opposing WRs this year.

Fields has averaged 23.2 DKFP over his past three games and now gets an upgrade at receiver and a defense that has allowed plenty of yards both on the ground and on the outside. Fields’ price on DraftKings hasn’t moved at all this week and we should expect his passing totals and volumes to potentially see a slight uptick going forward. It’s a great spot to deploy him as a cheap QB start in big-field GPPs.


Running Back

Top End: Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers at Detroit Lions ($7,400)

The Packers take on a Lions team that ranks fifth-last in yards per carry against and dead-last in yards per play against. Jones is coming off a spirited effort against a tough Buffalo defense in which he rushed for a mammoth 143 yards on just 20 touches. More importantly, Jones took 14 more touches than AJ Dillon ($5,700) last week, which is the biggest discrepancy between those two in terms of usage we’ve seen all year. Clearly, the Packers know they need to win games and that they no longer have the luxury of managing Jones’ snaps or touches. Jones put up four TDs against this same Detroit team in Week 2 of last season and — with his usage trending well up — looks likely to put in another ceiling-type game this week. Don’t fear paying up in what can only be described as a true smash spot for the Packers' best offensive weapon.

Value: D’Onta Foreman, Carolina Panthers at Cincinnati Bengals

($6,000)

D’Onta Foreman took over the lead duties at RB for Carolina last week and promptly put up an epic fantasy day, rushing for 118 yards on 26 carries while also grabbing three TDs on the day. Foreman’s touchdowns weren’t flukes either as he was the only Panther to touch the ball in the red zone (he had 11 red-zone carries on the day) and positioned himself as the bell cow for this offense going forward. The Bengals still have injury issues in the middle of their defense with DJ Reader (IR) out and were exposed last week by Nick Chubb, who put up 101 yards and a pair of rushing TDs. Foreman is essentially playing for a bigger role next year and should get a boatload of carries again given the limitations of the Panthers’ QB. He offers elite upside at just $6K.


Wide Receiver

Top end: Amon-Ra St. Brown, Detroit Lions at Green Bay Packers ($6,600)

With his injury issue behind him and one solid game under his belt, we should be looking to roster target monster Amon-Ra St. Brown again at what are bargain-bin-type prices. Before he went down with an injury, St. Brown had put together a terrific start to the season, averaging 11 targets and catching three TDs through the first three games. While the big plays weren’t on the table against Miami last week, he did convert on seven of 10 targets and now will have less competition for passes with no T.J. Hockenson ($5,000) on the team. Green Bay’s secondary has seemingly taken a step back in 2022 and St. Brown put up a healthy 8-109-1 line against them in Week 18 of last season. He makes for an elite upper-tier value that may not carry much ownership in Week 9.

Value: Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears vs Miami Dolphins ($4,700)

Mooney has been very consistent of late without actually producing any big games for fantasy purposes. The WR has now gone for over 50 yards in five straight games and still carries an elite team target share of 28%. That may change slightly with Chase Claypool ($4,800) coming to town, but Claypool could also help open up more big plays for the third-year wide receiver, who possesses 4.38 40m speed and has been having to take on his opponent’s top cornerbacks all season. Mooney has yet to find the end zone this year but his price for DFS purposes also reflects that at well under $5,000. Miami has allowed the 11th-most TDs and seventh-most fantasy points to opposing WRs this year already and present a solid match-up for the perennially low-owned WR.


Tight End

Hayden Hurst, Cincinnati Bengals vs Carolina Panthers ($3,600)

In the first game without Ja’Marr Chase in the lineup, Hayden Hurst didn’t see a huge uptick in usage, but he did run more routes and saw an increased snap count. A lot of the Bengals' woes last week were caused by the Browns' pass rush and Carolina, which ranks second last in sacks per game, simply won't be able to bring the same level of pressure on Joe Burrow ($6,600).

The Bengals have thrown the ball the sixth-most times per game this season at a 38.6 per game clip, so seeing Hurst take an even bigger jump in this second week without Chase makes sense. Carolina’s defense also hasn’t displayed elite tendencies against TEs and has allowed a 76% completion rate to the position this season. Ultimately, Hurst is a cheap way to get exposure to a Bengals team that has a solid 25.0-point implied team total and likes to throw the ball. He should be lower-owned given the lower sentiment surrounding Cincinnati’s offense in Week 9.


Defense/Special Teams

Washington Commanders ($2,400) vs. Minnesota Vikings

The Commanders have turned things around on defense after a slow start. Washington has allowed less than 300 yards of total offense in three of the past five games and hasn’t allowed an opposing QB to throw for more than 200 yards in four straight contests as well. While turnovers can be a highly variable thing, it’s also worth noting that the Commanders’ defense has been far more successful in creating fumbles and INTs of late, grabbing five turnovers total over their past three games.

On the flip side, we have Kirk Cousins ($6,200), a dome QB who has posted just a 4-TD, 4-INT line and a 76.2 QB rating in three road starts. It’s a small sample but with Washington’s defense trending up and their leader on that side of the ball in Chase Young (out) back practicing this week, this unit should be fired up to take advantage of the immobile Cousins. Washington may have some ownership but they’re a fine play in Week 9 given the home-field advantage and cheap salary they bring to the table.

Set your DraftKings fantasy football lineups here: $3.5M Fantasy Football Millionaire [$1M to 1st + ToC Semifinal Entry]


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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is wavegoodbye) and may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and do not constitute a representation that any particular strategy will guarantee success. All customers should use their own skill and judgment in building lineups. I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.