Deshaun Watson is amazing. Almost too amazing. Seriously, it really is crazy to see a rookie quarterback go this nuts and when it’s all said and done, he could go down as the best rookie passer we’ve ever seen.
Regardless, FanDuel has listed him at an obnoxious $9.6k this week. The funny thing is nobody will pay that, so if you aim high you just might get him in a killer matchup with the Colts at really low ownership.
I can’t swing that price tag, however. Watson is still a rookie and divisional games are always tough to gauge. Instead, I’ll let others pay that steep price and look for some value at quarterback this week. That should play into the rest of our NFL DFS squad, as we’ve seen time and time again we don’t need to force the issue to find ourselves in the green at the end of the week.
Let’s see which value picks can open up salary for a winning team ahead of week 9:
QB: Drew Brees – New Orleans Saints ($8.3k)
Week 9 lacks an abundance of elite passers, so it will be interesting to see how many people pay up for Watson. I prefer to save some cash with Brees, who is in just as good of a spot at home against a terrible Buccaneers pass defense.
Brees has been a bit inconsistent on the year and has yet to deliver one of his coined blow up games. I think it could finally come this week, when he faces a Bucs defense that ranks 26th against opposing fantasy passers.
RB: Adrian Peterson – Arizona Cardinals ($6.8k)
Nobody wants to touch Peterson after the dud he put up two weeks ago, but this week is about as good as any week to give him another shot. Not only should AZ pound the rock more than ever with Carson Palmer (broken arm) sidelined, but the Cards also face a 49ers defense that hasn’t been able to stop the run all year.
Peterson showed in his Arizona debut he can still ball a bit, and this week we can try him out against a Niners run defense that ranks dead last against running backs on the year. San Francisco has lived up to that horrid ranking over the last four weeks (32nd), too, so there are no real reasons to be concerned here.
RB: Todd Gurley – Los Angeles Rams ($9.1k)
Gurley enters week 9 as the most expensive fantasy running back on the slate, which will hopefully drop his ownership a bit. He could live up to that status, as he’s been a monster for much of 2017 and gets a winnable matchup against a regressing Giants defense.
New York has been merely a middle of the pack defense all year and they’ve slipped against the run over the last four weeks. That, combined with Gurley’s elite role and talent, makes him one of the more compelling high-priced options.
WR: T.Y. Hilton – Indianapolis Colts ($6.7k)
Hilton is impossible to trust these days due to shaky quarterback play, but that is one huge reason why I want him – low ownership. On top of that, Hilton and the Colts face a banged up Texans defense that just got torched through the air by the Seattle Seahawks.
Houston’s defense is slipping and over the last four weeks ranks just 28th against fantasy wide receivers. Hilton is restricted by bad play under center, but I think he breaks a few big plays in this one and if he does, we’ll get a strong performance that few others will be in on.
WR: Michael Thomas – New Orleans Saints ($7.6k)
We don’t want to fade every single chalk play this week and for me, Thomas is one I have to have. The top wide receiver for New Orleans, Thomas is in a great spot at home against a Buccaneers defense that has struggled against the pass in 2017.
Thomas has yet to truly bust out with a massive outing, but this is a great place to brace for it. Tampa Bay ranks 30th against fantasy receivers on the year and it hasn’t been much better over the last four weeks. Expect Thomas to thrive in a potential shootout.
WR: Sammy Watkins – Los Angeles Rams ($6k)
I like the Rams as a whole this week, as they’re taking on a beaten down Giants team that has little life left. That, and I find it difficult to pass on a cheap Watkins anytime he has a beatable matchup.
Watkins has flashed brilliance in this offense in 2017, but the Rams have suggested they won’t force anything that isn’t there. They shouldn’t have to in week 9, as the speedy Watkins takes on a Giants pass defense that has slid to 23rd overall against wide receivers over the last four weeks. Add in the absence of top cover man Janoris Jenkins due to a violation of team rules, and Watkins is all systems go this week.
TE: Jack Doyle – Indianapolis Colts ($5.7k)
I’m not willing to bet the farm on Jacoby Brissett, but he clearly has some chemistry with his top tight end (12-121-1 line last week). I am pretty open to Indy receiving options in this one, as the Texans have fallen apart through the air defensively and have specifically had difficulty with tight ends (29th) over the last four weeks.
Most will pay up for Zach Ertz or Travis Kelce on the main slate this week, but Ertz’s price tag is inflated and Kelce will be battling a Dallas defense that has been extremely stingy against tight ends. I’d rather pay down and Doyle feels like an elite value play in this spot.
K: Jake Elliott – Philadelphia Eagles ($5k)
Elliott has been one of the most reliable kickers in the league this year, registering 9+ fantasy points in every single game he’s played. This week he’ll be at home, where he’ll take on a Broncos defense that has lost some of it’s bite.
Denver is still not an easy opponent, but that actually aids Elliott, who could get in a decent amount of work in this one.
DEF: Los Angeles Rams ($4.8k)
FanDuel has the best defensive options at obscene prices this week. An absurd five team defenses are priced at $5k or more. It’s truly ridiculous, but fortunately the Rams are one of the better options and we can get a mild discount.
This is still a lot to play for your defense, but trust me, the value beyond the Rams is risky, at best. L.A. has been sharp for much of the year, having topped 8+ fantasy points four different times. In week 9 they face an Eli Manning-led Giants offense that is utterly hopeless. If they don’t get 10+ fantasy points here, it’ll be an embarrassment.
You can also consider the Oakland Raiders against the Miami Dolphins, but that is purely matchup based. The Raiders have actually been abysmal defensively, registering 0 or -1 fantasy points in three of their last four games.