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DraftKings Fantasy Football Early Look: NFL Week 9 DFS Picks, Sleepers, Fades

Julian Edlow goes position-by-position breaking down some of the best and worst NFL targets for Week 9’s main DraftKings fantasy football slate, which locks at 1:00 p.m. ET on Nov. 8.

After all the chalk seemed to hit in Week 7, we had a handful of Week 8 chalk busts and some low-owned pivot plays make a massive difference in tournaments — looking at you, Dalvin Cook. Here’s what jumps out in my first look at Week 9.

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Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Carolina Panthers ($8,100) — Mahomes was overlooked in Week 8, with the Chiefs nearly three-touchdown home favorites against the Jets. It was one of those spots where most discarded him because the Chiefs were supposed to just be grinding down the clock the entire second half, never considering how much damage Mahomes was capable of in building an enormous lead. Turns out he threw five touchdowns, scoring nearly 40 DKFP in the process. Here we are again, with Mahomes more expensive than usual as a double-digit home favorite. He’s a viable tournament play, but the Panthers do rank in the top 10 in DKFP allowed to QBs.

Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills ($7,600) — Wilson’s been about as safe a play as you could find all season, and now goes on the road to face a Buffalo defense that ranks 29th in DKFP allowed to QBs. It doesn’t hurt that Seattle’s top-three RBs are banged up, which has led to 87 passing attempts from Russ the last two weeks combined. Deshaun Watson ($7,100) is another tempting option in Jacksonville, a defense he went for 30 DKFP against earlier in the season.


Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at Los Angeles Chargers ($5,700) — The “value” at QB this week is pretty expensive. I don’t think I want to go below Justin Herbert ($6,800), with the only other consideration Matthew Stafford ($6,600) — although no Kenny Golladay (hip) hurts. Carr looks like the strongest value spot, facing a Chargers’ defense that’s allowed the second-most DKFP to QBs. Prior to an awful weather game in Cleveland, Carr was averaging over 20 DKFP, and consistently scoring around that number.

Other Options: Jake Luton ($4,900)

Running Back


Dalvin Cook, Minnesota Vikings vs. Detroit Lions ($8,200) — Cook’s probably the chalkiest play on this slate, but one that we can’t avoid going back to in cash. He reminds me a lot of Davante Adams last week — coming off an enormous game and entering a smash matchup. People laid off Adams because of the wind, and he still caught three touchdowns. In his first game back from injury, Cook ripped off a 30-163-3 line on the ground, with two receptions for 63 yards and another score (51.6 DKFP). The Vikings are home favorites, and the Lions have allowed the most DKFP to the RB position.

James Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. Houston Texans ($7,000) — It’s a really interesting spot for Robinson, as the Jags come out of the bye with Luton at QB. Robinson had his best game of the season prior to the bye, scoring on the ground and through the air for 34.7 DKFP. He should be even more heavily leaned upon to help out with a QB making his first start against a defense that ranks 29th against RBs. Robinson is relatively safe regardless of game script, getting a lot of check downs when Jacksonville trails.


Justin Jackson, Los Angeles Chargers vs. Las Vegas Raiders ($4,900) — Jackson was set to be a very popular value a couple of weeks ago, and then fell of the radar with a bunch of other great plays jumping out. That left him as an afterthought in Denver in Week 8, but we wound up seeing Jackson get 20 touches and score 17.3 DKFP. With the Raiders ranking 27th against RBs, this is a good spot for Jackson to put up some numbers, assuming he sees a similar workload.

Other Options: DeeJay Dallas ($5,000 — if he starts), Wayne Gallman ($4,500 — if Devonta Freeman is out), Jordan Wilkins ($4,200 — if Jonathan Taylor is out/limited)

Wide Receiver


DeAndre Hopkins, Arizona Cardinals vs. Miami Dolphins ($8,200) — While Miami does rank just 26th in DKFP allowed to WRs, the defense has looked really good the last three times out. Hopkins has pretty casually put up big numbers all season, and I think that could lead to him getting highly-owned in a spot that looks a little better than it is on paper.

DK Metcalf, Seattle Seahawks at Buffalo Bills ($7,800) — Metcalf’s matchup doesn’t look as good on paper, but the dude is pretty much matchup proof at this point. Outside of the dud against the Cardinals, DK’s putting up more consistent numbers than any other WR, and he’s only further breaking out — 43.1 DKFP last week against the Niners. He and Russ are the safest stack you could play. If you’re looking to game stack, Stefon Diggs ($7,400) is a solid play on the other side against this cushy Seattle defense, which still allows the most DKFP to WRs.


Marvin Jones, Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings ($5,100) — I mentioned Golladay’s absence this week, which opens up value when it comes to Detroit’s pass-catchers. Kenny G went down after failing to catch all four of his targets last week, and now the Lions face a Minnesota defense allowing the fourth-most DKFP to WRs. Jones stepped up and caught two touchdowns last week, but his 18.9 DKFP was somewhat disappointing, as he caught just 3-of-7 targets for 39 yards. I expect a better game this time around, but don’t sleep on Marvin Hall ($3,800) being just as involved in the offense. Hall was targeted seven times last week, hauling in four for 113 yards (18.3 DKFP).

Other Options: Jerry Jeudy ($4,700), John Brown ($4,600), Marvin Hall ($3,800)

Tight End


T.J. Hockenson, Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings ($5,100) — Targeting Travis Kelce ($7,200) is fine by me, as he’s finished with at least 22.5 DKFP in three of his last four. But with a spike in salary and value so tough to come by at each position, it’s tough to pay up at TE. I think highlighting Hockenson for over $2,000 savings makes more sense, given the matchup and injury to Golladay. The Vikings rank 25th in DKFP allowed to TEs, and Hockenson saw a season-high 10 targets last week.


Albert Okwuegbunam, Denver Broncos at Atlanta Falcons ($2,800) — The TE position continues to decline week after week. If you can’t pay up, it’s worth going full punt play, and Albert O is my favorite of the group this week. Even with Noah Fant ($4,600) working back into the mix, Albert has been solid the last few weeks, averaging 9.1 DKFP in his three games. He’ll see less targets with Fant back, but Atlanta ranks 26th against TEs this season, and you can’t beat the price.

Other Options: Evan Engram ($4,300), Darren Fells ($4,200 — if Jordan Akins is out)



Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST ($4,900) at Dallas Cowboys — This defense was priced for Andy Dalton to remain out, and that will be the case with the veteran placed on the Reserve/COVID-19 list. Despite being on the road, this is the most expensive D/ST play in the history of DraftKings! That makes it almost impossible to expect the play to live up to the hype, but this D/ST is averaging double-digit fantasy points, and will face an incapable QB with an awful offensive line.


New York Giants D/ST ($2,700) at Washington Football Team — Giants D/ST hung tough on MNF against the Bucs, scoring 4.0 DKFP in a terrible matchup. This isn’t a bad spot to look for some savings, with the G-Men averaging 6.3 DKFP, and scoring a season-high 14 DKFP in their last matchup against Washington.

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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is jedlow) 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 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.

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