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The A List at DFS Academy | NFL DFS Week 9

NFL DFS Week 9

NFL offenses seemingly got back on track in Week 8, releasing the pent-up energy caused by the lack of scoring thus far. This translated to massive scoring in fantasy football and DFS lineups. With that, we had our second 180-point cash line of the season. In particular, you were missing out if you didn’t have Tony Pollard in your lineup.

This highlights the importance of staying in the game throughout the weekend up until kickoff starts. While this article posts late in the week, we had yet to get confirmation that Ezekiel Elliot was out for Week 8 when this article was posted. But once that happened, it became clear that Tony Pollard was a value play for the week. 

(Shameless plug for why you should follow me on Twitter)

And boy, did he pay off. 

Not only did Pollard score a whopping three touchdowns, but he was the player to have in DFS. In one of my double-up contests, he had a 92% roster share, the highest I’ve seen this year. Y’all are getting good, that’s for sure.

A DFS Reminder

This is why it’s crucial to play both double-up and head-to-head lineups. Because while I missed the cash line in that double-up contest, I still won one of my head-to-head matchups, easing the loss. 

But beware, there are people out there looking to take advantage of inexperienced players. So when setting head-to-head lineups, make sure you choose your opponent. And if you can’t find an opponent you like, just wait. Otherwise, you may have the same person place multiple lineups against you, attempting to take all your money. And if the same person continues to take advantage of you, there’s no shame in blocking them on the respective app.

Mix up your contests to increase your exposure, and continue to trust the process. As always, my DMs are open for feedback and questions, both on Twitter and Instagram.

Cash is in session.

NFL DFS Week 9 

NFL DFS Week 9

NFL DFS Week 9

Teacher’s Pet

Travis Etienne (DraftKings: $6,300 / FanDuel: $7,600)

Did someone forget to update their prices? Or not watch the Jacksonville game last week? Travis Etienne has caught fire over the past few weeks. I’ll admit I was nervous about his upside for this season coming off the injury, but he has proved all the haters wrong. 

After running for over 150 yards against the Denver Broncos, Etienne gets a matchup against the Las Vegas Raiders. Out of the defenses on this week’s slate, the Raiders give up the third-most points to running backs. So keep riding the hot hand and lock Etienne in your lineups. 

NFL DFS Week 9

Honor Roll

Josh Allen (DraftKings: $8,500 / FanDuel: $9,300)

When you go to set your lineup this week, you will see a red number next to Josh Allen, telling you that he has a poor matchup this week. This may scare you away from starting him this week, but there’s more to the story.

Yes, the New York Jets give up the seventh-fewest points to quarterbacks. But here are some of the quarterbacks they’ve faced this year: Mac Jones, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Skylar Thompson, Kenny Pickett, and Mitch Trubisky. None of those quarterbacks scare you, at least not in 2022.

Meanwhile, both Joe Burrow and Lamar Jackson also played the Jets and put up 23 points each. I’m looking for a similar performance from Josh Allen. Additionally, the Bills have a 30-point implied point total, which is the highest I’ve seen this season. If they hit that mark, Allen will be a large reason why. Keep him in your lineups this week.

Aaron Jones (DraftKings: $7,400 / DraftKings: $7,800)

Aaron Jones has clearly become the focal point of this Green Bay offense. He is coming off a performance where he scored 22.7 DraftKings points against the Buffalo Bills, who have been really good against running backs this season, despite how they looked on Sunday Night Football.

And as every DFS columnist knows, when there’s a matchup against the Detroit Lions, it’s one to exploit. Detroit is giving up the eighth-most points to running backs on a points-per-game basis. Additionally, Jones’ prop line has continued to creep up throughout the week. Underdog started his Over/Under for rushing plus receiving yards at 92.5 yards. It has since moved to 100.5 yards, signaling that they believe he is in for a bigger performance. I expect a lot of players to be in on Jones this week, and I’m planning to eat the chalk and watch him torch the Lions.

Christian Kirk (DraftKings: $5,500 / FanDuel: $6,300)

The receiver options are more challenging this week. There are few clear-cut decisions, so I dug deeper into the matchups for this week. Christian Kirk has had a few down weeks, as evidenced by his depressed price point. Despite that, I believe Kirk is in for a bounce-back week.

First off, he has a 24% target share over the season, continuing to be an important part of the offense. This week, he has the opportunity to exploit weaknesses in the Las Vegas Raiders secondary, who are decidedly mid-tier against receivers. But there’s a catch.

Three Raiders defensive backs primarily line up in the slot – Amik Robertson, Jonathan Abrams, and Nate Hobbs. Those three players average 8.3 catches and 89.4 yards allowed, according to PFF. Christian Kirk leads the Jaguars in slot snaps, and it isn’t even close. He has recorded 227 slot snaps through Week 8 (PFF). That’s a full 110 more snaps in the slot than the next pass-catcher, who is Evan Engram. More on that later.

Needless to say, the Raiders’ weakness is Kirk’s strength. If all he does is match the Raiders’ average allowed to the slot, he will pay off at this price. Add in a touchdown or two, and he might just make up for any busts elsewhere on your lineup.

Zach Ertz (DraftKings: $5,100 / FanDuel: $6,600)

Once again, the NFL has gifted us with another slate without both Travis Kelce and Mark Andrews. As such, Zach Ertz is the most expensive tight end on the slate. I typically plan to punt at tight end, but Ertz has been a consistent target in the Arizona pass game, and his seven-catch, 70-yard performance against Seattle in Week 6 speaks for itself. The Seahawks are still the worst team against tight ends, so I expect Ertz to dominate again. 

Bookmark this moment. It may be the only time I ever pay up for a tight end not named Travis Kelce or Mark Andrews.

Before you set your Week 9 NFL DFS lineups, be sure to check out Austin and Ryan’s weekly rankings!

Check the Chalkboard

Justin Herbert (DraftKings: $7,200 / DraftKings: $7,800)

Have you watched the P.J. Walker deep shot to D.J. Moore? I bet Justin Herbert did, too, and thought, “I can do that.” Look, I don’t know why the Falcons decided to take another good thing away from me, but this secondary is awful. Because of this, they give up the fourth-most points to opposing quarterbacks, averaging 22.12 DraftKings points and 21.75 FanDuel points allowed per game. So if P.J. Walker can do it, surely Justin Herbert can.

Participation Grade

Isaiah McKenzie (DraftKings: $4,900 / FanDuel: $5,500) 

Similar to our discussion on Josh Allen, the Bills receiving room looks like an avoid this week, as the New York Jets allow the fifth-fewest points to receivers on the slate. However, they’ve allowed big games to several receivers, including Tyler Boyd (four catches, 105 yards, one touchdown), George Pickens (6-102), and Jerry Jeudy (7-96). What sticks out is none of those players is the number one receiver in their offense.

Looking closer at the Jets’ secondary, we find that Michael Carter II (no, not that one) lines up as their slot corner. Carter has given up a 77.1% catch rate, which is the highest catch rate among Jets defensive backs with over 100 snaps (PFF). On those passes, he’s allowing over 10 yards per catch and has given up 215 yards after the catch. 

All of that build up to say, Isaiah McKenzie leads the Buffalo Bills in slot snaps at 111 (PFF). I’m looking for him to exploit this matchup, and again, the Bills have a 30-point implied total this week. I also am comfortable playing Stefon Diggs this week, as they frequently move him into the slot. Diggs actually has the second most slot snaps at 101. But McKenzie provides an option to save money if you so desire. 

Back of the Classroom Studs for NFL DFS Week 9

Raheem Mostert (DraftKings: $6,100 / FanDuel: $6,500)

I know, I know. We tried this last week, and it didn’t work. But I’m blaming this on the game script. I don’t think anybody ever thought the Detroit Lions were actually going to beat Miami last week, even though they held a 14-point lead on two separate occasions. Miami didn’t hold the lead until 13 seconds remained in the third quarter. Because of that, they had to pass to ensure their victory, which meant Raheem Mostert was pushed to the side. 

But this week, he faces off against a Chicago Bears defense that gives up fourth-most points to running backs. I especially like Mostert on FanDuel because of the potential touchdown upside at his price. Additionally, the Bears lead the NFL in rushing touchdowns allowed, averaging nearly two rushing touchdowns allowed per game (FantasyData). Lastly, Miami is a 4.5-point favorite, so they should be playing from ahead and grinding it out. 

Tyler Allgeier (DraftKings: $5,400 / FanDuel: $6,400)

This is somewhat about Tyler Allgeier but mostly about the Falcons’ run game against the Los Angeles Chargers. You can honestly insert the lead back from the Falcons here, and the content would remain the same. This is good, considering Cordarrelle Patterson is potentially coming off the injured reserve list. 

The Chargers are giving up the second-most points to running backs, despite how much they’ve invested in run defenders. The Falcons are not afraid to continue pounding it out despite being down by multiple touchdowns. Even when they put up 37 points last week, it came off 37 run plays compared to only 28 pass plays. And that’s balanced for them. 

Lastly, the Chargers are averaging a rushing touchdown allowed per game, giving Allgeier a chance to score in back-to-back weeks (FantasyData). He also started getting used in the passing game, which helps his upside.

Josh Palmer (DraftKings: $5,100 / FanDuel: $6,200)

It’s the Falcons. They are the worst against receivers, particularly outside receivers. That’s all I have to say at this point. Josh Palmer has a chance to show out with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams out of the lineup. I also like DeAndre Carter, who is $800 cheaper on DraftKings and $700 cheaper on FanDuel. 

Romeo Doubs (DraftKings: $5,300 / FanDuel: $6,100)

With Allen Lazard likely returning this week, Romeo Doubs is set to have less attention on him from defensive secondaries. Plus, the Packers are playing the Detroit Lions this week, who, apart from being the third-worst team against receivers, just fired their defensive backs coach. It will take more than a week for any positive impact of that change to take place. And if I know Aaron Rodgers, he will want to beat up a bad team to prove that he still has it. Whether or not beating the Lions proves anything is a different question, but Doubs is in line for a solid outing for our purposes. 

Evan Engram (DraftKings: $3,300 / FanDuel: $5,200)

As mentioned earlier, Evan Engram ranks second in most slot snaps for the Jaguars. Additionally, the Raiders sometimes rotate linebackers into the slot, presumably to defend larger-body receivers and tight ends. In particular, Divine Deablo (top-tier name) has taken 37 snaps in the slot this year. On those snaps, he has allowed 32 catches, 320 yards, and three touchdowns (PFF). Engram is the exact pass catcher that can take advantage of this matchup. Look for him to get in the end zone on Sunday.

Carolina Panthers (DraftKings: $2,300 / FanDuel: $3,300)

I am either paying up or completely punting at defense this week. With no appealing mid-tier options, the Carolina Panthers present an interesting opportunity as the second-cheapest defense on DraftKings and the fourth-cheapest on FanDuel. The Panthers’ defense has been frisky at times this year. Additionally, Brian Burns is building his resume for his next team or his next contract. The Bengals’ biggest weakness continues to be their offensive line. If Burns and the Panthers get pressure on Joe Burrow, they could provide a safe floor with a few sacks. Those sacks will provide an opportunity for fumbles, which could lead to touchdowns. Save your money and go pay up elsewhere.

Green Bay Packers (DraftKings: $3,700 / FanDuel: $4,100)

If I have saved money elsewhere, I would consider paying up for the Green Bay Packers this week. Simply put, the Lions’ offense has begun to struggle in recent weeks, despite their strong start. Meanwhile, Green Bay played Buffalo tough in the second half of that Sunday Night performance, demonstrating they have the ability to lock it down against the best offense in the NFL. 

Report Card

I changed my process slightly prior to last week, being more intentional about checking values on both DraftKings and FanDuel to identify a mix of players that I expected to be successful on both sites. And wow, did I like the outcome. We hit our second A of the season on DraftKings and scored a solid B on FanDuel. We’re still averaging a C on FanDuel over the season, but last week significantly closed the gap to a B grade. This week, I’m aiming to finish closing that gap.

Scoring System

  • A: Scored over three times their price
  • B: Scored over two times their price
  • C: Matched their price
  • F: Scored lower than their price


Player Price Points Grade
Saquon Barkley $8,100 15.2 C
Kenneth Walker $6,500 12.2 C
Tua Tagovailoa $6,200 32.18 A
Derrick Henry $8,400 38.8 A
A.J. Brown $7,700 42.6 A
Jalen Hurts $8,300 28.4 A
Kalif Raymond $4,300 10.6 B
D.J. Moore $5,300 30.5 A
Raheem Mostert $5,900 7.7 C
Brandon Aiyuk $6,100 20.1 A
Irv Smith Jr $3,500 6.8 C
Ian Thomas $2,600 1.2 F
Washington Commanders $2,600 7 B
Indianapolis Colts $3,700 5 C
Overall $79,200 258.28 A
Season Long $611,600 1590.72 B

*Left early due to injury


Player Price Points Grade
Saquon Barkley $9,500 13.7 C
Kenneth Walker $8,400 11.7 C
Tua Tagovailoa $7,700 29.18 A
Derrick Henry $10,000 35.3 A
A.J. Brown $8,200 36.6 A
Jalen Hurts $9,200 28.4 A
Kalif Raymond $5,600 9.1 C
D.J. Moore $6,200 24.5 A
Raheem Mostert $6,800 7.2 C
Brandon Aiyuk $6,700 17.1 B
Irv Smith Jr $5,000 4.8 F
Ian Thomas $4,400 0.7 F
Washington Commanders $3,400 7 B
Indianapolis Colts $3,900 5 C
Overall $95,000 230.28 B
Season Long $736,400 1391.22 C

*Left early due to injury

Looking for the Week 9 NFL DFS plays with the best possible matchups? Our Weekly Matchup Report gives you that info every Wednesday.