NFL DFS: DraftKings Week 9 Values
We’re halfway through the season! Have you been setting your goals for your cash game lineups?
If you’re playing cash games on DraftKings, your goal for each player on your roster should be to score three times his salary.
For example, Frank Gore is $4,500 on DraftKings this week. For Gore to score three times his salary, he would need to produce 13.5 points (4.500 x 3).
Finding players who will score three times their salary can be difficult, but a stable set of projections should be your starting point.
Last year, Gridiron Experts’ projections were very efficient in finding these players — we’ll call them our Gridiron 3X.
Our projections are posted every Tuesday morning by Jody Smith — you can find them here.
In the table below, you’ll see how often the average player surpassed 3X his salary last season — only players who were projected for more than 5.0 points were included to remove injured players and those with minor roles). Next to it, you’ll see how often our Gridiron 3X guys surpassed 3X their salary. The difference between the two is in the final column:
So who fits the criteria in Week 9?
Nick Foles, $5200, Projected 3.9x: Alex Smith had to be removed twice from the Chiefs’ Week 8 game against the Colts with a head injury, yet the training staff denies Smith suffered a concussion. He’s practicing on a limited basis, but the team isn’t taking any chances and have named Nick Foles the starter against Jacksonville for week nine.
The Chiefs are 9-point home favorites against the Jaguars, and with Jamaal Charles on injured reserve and Spencer Ware going through the concussion protocol, Foles may be required to do more of the heavy lifting on offense on Sunday. Foles needs just 15.9 DraftKings points to reach cash game value, which should be easily attainable given that the Chiefs have thrown at least two touchdowns in three of their last four games. The added bonus is the ex-Eagle reunion. Andy Reid drafted Nick Foles and Jeremy Maclin during his time in Philadelphia, and the combo are reconnecting for the first time on Sunday. Foles has a cannon for an arm and may take a few deep shots down field.
Colin Kaepernick, $5600, Projected 3.8x: Fresh out of a bye week, the 49ers will host the Saints in the game with the highest Vegas total on the board (52.5 points). Kaepernick’s salary has remained reasonable since he took over the starting job, so his threshold for cash game value remains low. With 150 rushing yards combined in his first two starts this season, Kaepernick’s rushing ability is the key to his fantasy value — assuming he rushes for 50 to 60 yards, he’ll need to add just 135 passing yards and a touchdown to be worthwhile in cash games. With his high floor, matchup, and high game total, you’ll want exposure to Kaepernick this weekend.
Dak Prescott, $6100, Projected 3.8x: It’s not clear if or when Tony Romo will get his starting job back, but Dak Prescott will start for at least another game against the Cleveland Browns in Week 9. The Browns have allowed 19 passing touchdowns this season and only one quarterback — Ryan Fitzpatrick last week — has failed to score 18.3 DraftKings points (3X target for Prescott this week) against them. With Dez Bryant back in the mix, Prescott has a higher ceiling in both the yardage and touchdown departments. It’s hard to find a better mix of floor and upside at quarterback in Week 9.
Other Gridiron 3X QBs: Marcus Mariota, Eli Manning, Tyrod Taylor, Case Keenum, Jameis Winston, Trevor Siemian, Blake Bortles, Carson Wentz, Philip Rivers, Ryan Tannehill, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Sam Bradford, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, Cody Kessler, Cam Newton, Joe Flacco, Derek Carr, Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan, Drew Brees
Antone Smith, $3000, Projected 4.2x: The Bucs have had some terrible luck at the RB position, losing Doug Martin for multiple weeks with a hamstring injury, Charles Sims for the season with a knee injury, and now Jacquizz Rodgers for at least a couple weeks with a foot injury. Antone Smith, hand-picked from head coach Dirk Koetter’s time in Atlanta, will lead the Tampa backfield on Thursday night against the Falcons. Koetter has shown loyalty to his guys (giving Rodgers, who played for Koetter in Atlanta, 25 touches per game as the starter), so we should see Smith get the bulk of the work as the starter. There’s also the whole revenge narrative this week if you’re into that sort of thing. Regardless, Smith is an excellent play at minimum price.
Charcandrick West, $4400, Projected 4.0x: Jamaal Charles was placed on injured reserve this week, as he’s been struggling with his recovery from ACL surgery all season. That cements Charcandrick West as the number two back in this offense, but he could be starting on Sunday if Spencer Ware can’t clear the concussion protocol in time. As 9-point home favorites, whoever starts should get plenty of touches as the Chiefs drain the clock in the second half. West proved he can be productive with a starter’s workload when Charles went down last season, so he’s an attractive option at just $4400 against the Jaguars’ defense on Sunday if he draws the start.
Carlos Hyde, $6200, Projected 3.2x: Carlos Hyde missed the 49ers’ Week 7 game with a shoulder injury, but he’s had two weeks to heal up with San Francisco on bye last week. He was in a no-contact jersey in Tuesday’s practice, but he should be cleared in time for Sunday’s game against the Saints. New Orleans has allowed the most DraftKings points to opposing running backs this season, giving up 1.9 touchdowns per game to the position. With a game total of 52.5 points, there will be plenty of opportunities for Hyde to take advantage of the Saints’ porous rush defense on Sunday.
Other Gridiron 3X RBs: Darren Sproles, Theo Riddick, Isaiah Crowell, Devontae Booker, Jay Ajayi, Melvin Gordon, Devonta Freeman, Paul Perkins, DeMarco Murray, Peyton Barber, Terrance West, Ezekiel Elliott, Le’Veon Bell, Frank Gore
Tyrell Williams, $5000, Projected 3.7x: With Keenan Allen and Stevie Johnson gone for the year, Tyrell Williams has stepped up tremendously and is second on the Chargers in targets this season. He hasn’t had as many opportunities as Travis Benjamin and he hasn’t played as many snaps as Dontrelle Inman, but he’s been the trusted playmaker for Philip Rivers. He’s averaging 16.6 yards per reception and has two 100-yard games in the last four weeks. He faced a tough task in Week 8 against the Broncos, but it’s smooth sailing on Sunday — he’ll have a home matchup against the middle-of-the-road Titans’ pass defense. They’ve allowed a 100-yard receiver in half of their games this season, and as long as Williams is healthy, he’ll have an excellent chance to reach 3X value.
Quincy Enunwa, $5100, Projected 3.2x: Despite seeing 18 less targets than Brandon Marshall, Quincy Enunwa actually leads all Jets’ receivers in receptions (36) and touchdowns (3). Enunwa will have the pleasure of facing off against the Dolphins’ rag-tag group of cornerbacks this week that has allowed 13 receptions, 165 yards, and 1.1 touchdowns per game to wide receivers. Enunwa and Marshall have combined for 66 percent of the passing targets since Decker was injured, so they’ll continue to receive a majority of the passing game production. While everyone else pays up for Marshall, grab the more productive Jets’ receiver.
Golden Tate, $4700, Projected 3.1x: Even with Eric Ebron and Theo Riddick returning last week, Golden Tate maintained his share of the passing game and saw 9 targets against the Texans. He only turned those targets into 11.2 DraftKings points, but that’s still 32 opportunities he’s seen over the last three games. He has a tough matchup with Minnesota this week, but it’s hard to find a receiver in this price range with this kind of expected volume. Seven catches for 71 yards will do the trick this week for cash games, an easily attainable number for someone with Tate’s role in this offense.
Other Gridiron 3X WRs: Dorial Green-Beckham, Tajae Sharpe, Dontrelle Inman, Russell Shepard, Tyreek Hill, Dez Bryant, Mike Evans, Cordarrelle Patterson, Robert Woods, Davante Adams, Seth Roberts, Mohamed Sanu, Rishard Matthews
Antonio Gates, $3000, Projected 3.6x: Antonio Gates appeared in this column last week and did not disappoint, scoring a touchdown against the Denver Broncos. His salary has only increased $300 this week on DraftKings, which hasn’t caught up with his role in the Chargers’ offense since he returned from injury. He’s totaled 30 targets since his return, including 19 in the last two games. He finally surpassed Hunter Henry in snaps this week, sending the rookie back to a specialized role. It doesn’t matter how old he is, this play is simple — Gates’ salary is nowhere near his recent play, so fire him up in Week 9.
Kyle Rudolph, $4000, Projected 3.6x: It’s rare for a tight end to lead his team in targets, but Kyle Rudolph has done just that with 54 this season. Vikings’ offensive coordinator Norv Turner resigned this week, so we may see a new look on offense from Minnesota. But even if we do, Sam Bradford has shown a major rapport with Rudolph and that won’t go dissolve regardless of offensive philosophy. This week, Rudolph has the best matchup possible — the Detroit Lions are allowing 18.7 DraftKings points per game to opposing tight ends, the worst in the NFL. If you decide to spend a little more at the position, Rudolph is the prime target.
Eric Ebron, $3100, Projected: 3.4x: As mentioned in the Golden Tate blurb above, Eric Ebron returned from injury last week after missing a few games with an ankle/knee ailment. He commanded 10 targets against Houston, turning seven of them into 79 yards. It’s a tough matchup for Ebron at Minnesota, but sometimes DFS is only about salary and volume. For $3100, Ebron needs just 9.3 DraftKings points to be useful for cash games, which is a number he’s hit in all but one game this season.
Other Gridiron 3X TEs: Delanie Walker, Virgil Green, Cameron Brate, Coby Fleener, Clive Walford, Austin Hooper, Travis Kelce
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.