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FanDuel Week 9: GPP Tournament Plays

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NFL DFS: FanDuel Week 9 Tournament Plays

fanduel-adviceIn daily fantasy football, it is essential to find value for your lineups. If we want to be able to afford the top dollar names like Aaron Rodgers and Rob Gronkowski, we’ll inevitably need to balance our lineup with less expensive players who provide upside.

There are certain value thresholds that we need from these players in order to cash in, and more importantly, win tournaments and larger leagues.

For FanDuel tournaments, we need our guys to reach 3x their salary (for example, Jay Ajayi is $7,100 this week and would need to score 21.3 FanDuel points to justify his usage).

If these high-upside plays are also low-owned, we now have an elite GPP tournament play. Each week, we’ll look at who the most popular plays will be and how we can pivot away from them without losing upside.

Here are the top tournament plays for Week 9.

Three cheap quarterbacks:

Dak Prescott

$7600 | DAL -7, 49

Dak Prescott is one of our Gridiron 3X quarterbacks this week, as he has one of the best matchups of the weekend against the Cleveland Browns. The Cowboys have the second highest implied team total in Week 9 at 28 points, as Vegas isn’t expecting Cleveland’s defense to provide any resistance to Prescott and company. In fact, the Vegas total for the game has risen to 49, up 2.5 points from when it opened earlier in the week. Dallas has some injuries in its secondary which may result in this game being a shootout, something we would have never thought was possible with these two teams just a couple of weeks ago. Prescott’s rushing usage in the red zone is just a cherry on top of this excellent tournament play.

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Cody Kessler

$6000 | CLE +7, 49

Browns coach Hue Jackson still isn’t ready to name his Week 9 quarterback… but as mentioned above, the Cowboys will be without CB Morris Claiborne and SS Barry Church for an extended period of time, which is great news for the Cleveland offense in Week 9. Kessler has been in and out of the lineup, but he’s expected to be under center this weekend after clearing the concussion protocol and putting in a full practice on Wednesday. The biggest boost to Kessler’s stock will be the return of Corey Coleman, who will return after missing six weeks with a broken hand. Coleman was the first receiver taken in this year’s draft and was the number two fantasy receiver after two weeks of the season — throwing the ball to Coleman and Terrelle Pryor against a banged up secondary gives Kessler a great chance of reaching tournament value.

Case Keenum

$6300 | LA +3, 44.5

This is a great spot for Case Keenum and the Rams’ offense. They’re off a bye week and facing the Carolina Panthers, who will have to travel across the country after a big win to save their season against the Arizona Cardinals. The Panthers are inexperienced at the cornerback position and that shows in the numbers — they’ve allowed the third-most FanDuel points to opposing quarterbacks this season, giving up 306 passing yards and 2.3 passing touchdowns per game. A cheap stack of Keenum with either Kenny Britt, Tavon Austin, or Lance Kendricks will give you plenty of room to fit multiple studs at other positions into your tournament lineup.

Three backs who should get the bulk of the work for their team:

Christine Michael

$7500 | SEA -7, 43.5

christine-michaelLast week was a frustrating week if you rostered Christine Michael. Against the porous Saints’ defense, he was a popular play, but he played just 28 snaps and touched the ball 11 times. Expect the Seahawks to control the game a little in Week 9 as touchdown favorites at home against the Buffalo Bills, which should mean more of Michael grinding the clock in the second half. He’s $300 cheaper this week and with the recency bias of last week’s letdown, he’ll be low-owned in Sunday-Monday slates on FanDuel. You get the whole east coast team coming to the west coast angle, but you also get a dynamic running back on Monday Night Football — RBs have scored 16 percent above their projected performance on Monday nights over the last three seasons.

Melvin Gordon

$7800 | SD -5, 47

Melvin Gordon didn’t get into the end zone last week, but he still managed 155 total yards against the Broncos’ defense. He’s going to continue to get 25-plus touches per game plus all the red zone work he can handle, giving him both a high floor and a high ceiling every time he steps on the field. The way you win a large-field GPP is for a couple of your players to have multi-touchdown performances and few backs in the league meet that upside requirement. Gordon is second in the NFL in red zone opportunities (carries plus targets) behind only David Johnson, so as 5-point favorites at home, he’ll have numerous touchdown opportunities as the Chargers should be in the red zone plenty of times against the Titans on Sunday.

Carlos Hyde

$7000 | SF +3.5, 52.5

Carlos HydeAfter missing one game with a shoulder injury, Carlos Hyde will have rested through the San Francisco 49ers’ bye week in time to be cleared for Sunday’s matchup against the Saints. He’s still wearing a non-contact practice jersey, but he’s expected to receive clearance to play by Friday. This game is one of the highest totals on the board (52.5) and Hyde will be playing against a defense that currently allows the most FanDuel points to opposing running backs. In a fast-paced shootout with a great matchup, Hyde is an easy play in all formats in Week 9.

Two receivers with high ceilings:

Corey Coleman

$5600 | CLE +7, 49

Everything that was said in the Cody Kessler section applies here — Coleman’s return from injury, injuries in the Dallas secondary, and the Vegas total rising throughout the week. While it’s a small sample, Coleman was averaging 24.7 yards per reception before his injury and finished with a 5-104-2 statline in Week 2 against the Ravens. A first round NFL starter in this situation is just too good to pass up for only $5600.

Stefon Diggs

$6500 | MIN -5.5, 41

Stefon Diggs led the Vikings’ pass catchers with 13 targets on Monday night and will continue to be the number one receiver in this offense, regardless of how it looks after offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned. In recent weeks, the Vikings’ offense has featured a more vertical passing game, something that just won’t work with the state of this offensive line. Pat Shurmur will step in and likely will bring the team back to a philosophy that gets the ball out of Sam Bradford’s hand quicker. Diggs would benefit from this change with his exceptional YAC skills and he may face a Detroit secondary without its top corner, Darius Slay, in Week 9. Diggs has the potential for a monster day, making him a top GPP option.

Don’t overlook these tight ends:

Antonio Gates

$5500 | SD -5, 47

Until Antonio Gates’ salary catches up with his role in the San Diego offense, you need to continue to play him on FanDuel in all formats. He’s officially jumped ahead of Hunter Henry, playing more snaps than Henry for the first time last week since he’s returned from injury. Gates has received 25 targets in the last three weeks, which is unreal volume for a tight end in this pricing tier. He’ll face Tennessee this week, who allows 2.4 more FanDuel points per game than the league average to tight ends. Use Gates before his salary increases to $6000 or more next week.

Lance Kendricks

$4500 | LA +3, 44.5

Before the Rams’ bye week, Lance Kendricks was seeing a large market share in the Rams’ offense. In Weeks 6 and 7, he received 19 targets and turned them into 12 receptions for 89 yards and a touchdown. He has a great chance to continue this success this week, as the visiting Panthers have allowed the fourth-most FanDuel points to opposing tight ends this season. They’ve incredibly given up six touchdowns to tight ends in just seven games this season, so if Kendricks adds to that total, he’ll need just four catches for 55 yards to reach tournament value on FanDuel.

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About the author

Brian Jester

Brian has been playing fantasy football for 16 years and commissioned his first fantasy league at age 12. When he’s not writing about sports, you can find him playing every daily fantasy sport and participating in high stakes fantasy football contests. Brian won more than 1,000 NFL contests on FanDuel last season and has won multiple league championships in the Footballguys Player Championship contest. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Brian usually spends his winters agonizing over Terrapins basketball. When the weather is warmer, Brian is known for his receiving prowess in flag football leagues on the National Mall in Washington, DC.

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