For the uninitiated, playing daily games on DraftKings can be an enjoyable experience, but equally sobering is the fact that season-long knowledge does not always translate to success in the daily space. FootballGuys will bring you a series of value- and strategic-based selections from a number of seasoned daily veterans throughout the NFL season. Herein is another edition of “Tipandpick’s Tips and Picks,” where we will examine the salaries of players at each position on DraftKings and make value-based recommendations for both your cash games and tournaments.
Below you will find a list of recommended players for both formats. GPP players generally have high-upside, but are too risky for cash games; cash game players are consistent with high fantasy floors. In some instances, the value for a player is so strong, he may fall into both categories…let’s have a look.
In order to help you build winning rosters, let's walk through some of the observations that I have made while doing my research for DraftKings this week. As you build out your lineups on DraftKings, try to take into account the following commentary, which revolves around game strategy and how we will want to take advantage of what the masses are doing when they construct their own lineups.
CASH GAME TIPS
RECEIVERS ARE KEY: Your results in cash games on DraftKings (and other sites, for that matter) will almost assuredly come down to what you do at the WR and TE position this weekend. There are clear options at QB (Aaron Rodgers) and RB (Ezekiel Elliott, Charcandrick West) this week, which means that the difference between winning and losing is going to come down to what you do with your receivers. On DraftKings, where receptions are king, you will want to be looking for volume-based receivers in situations where gamescript and/or matchup is in those receivers' favor; on other sites, the likelihood for scoring should play more into your decision-making process. At TE, I think you are well-advised to find a cheap option who you suspect will achieve 3x (or more) value and move on; this does not seem to be a week where spending up at that position makes a lot of sense because the two most viable options in that upper echelon of pricing are Greg Olsen and Travis Kelce, both of whom have immense upside, but are also quite volatile from week to week. Kyle Rudolph is going to be the chalk at the position and is definitely an option, but his $4.0K price tag feels just a tad more than I want to pay on a week where Jerick McKinnon is returning and should get some of the outlet passes that Rudolph has been enjoying in his two-week absence. My preliminary lineups are gravitating more towards Eric Ebron, who looked great in his return from injury last week, or Antonio Gates, who should benefit from Hunter Henry missing his first game of the season; by rolling with one of these two tight ends, I am saving $1K that I can spend on safer wide receivers, some of whom I discuss in the "Picks" section below.
HEDGE STRATEGIES: If you are rolling out multiple cash game lineups this week, my advice is to differentiate those rosters at the WR/TE positions for all the reasons outlined above. Aaron Rodgers is going to be the highest-owned quarterback on the week with Ezekiel Elliott and Charcandrick West locking down the RB position; if you go away from those players, you run the risk of them performing up to expectations and being behind 50+% of your competitors from the start. Instead, think about mixing your receivers to the point where you have a distribution that feels reasonable without sacrificing a scoring floor. If you find that you are diversifying to lesser options just for the sake of diversification, that is a long-term negative expected value and you would be better off with a single cash game roster (which is something I routinely do, if I feel strongly about the players on that roster).
BEING CONTRARIAN: Just a quick note on being contrarian in tournament formats...many believe that choosing a low-owned player is absolutely essential for winning GPP's and there is a substantial body of evidence to support that notion. However, rostering a player with no upside at 3% does absolutely nothing to get you to the top of GPP leaderboards; selecting contrarian players is an art that requires an analysis of what the masses are thinking and then combining that analysis (game strategy) with fantasy knowledge to make informed decisions about where to zig when others are zagging. The opposite is also true--if a player is completely mispriced (i.e., Devontae Booker in Week #8), there is not a lot of reason to fade that player despite the fact that you know he is going to be 50+% owned; if you avoided Booker last week in tournaments, you likely did not cash because he reached 5x value (and nearly missed 8x value). This week, an argument could be made that Charcandrick West fits into that category, although I think to a lesser degree. If you are a single-entry GPP player, he needs to be in your lineup; if you run multiple lineups into tournaments, I think you can justify getting away from him in a portion of those lineups (~ 20-40%), in the event of bad gamescript and/or injury. To summarize, be contrarian where it is smart to do so, but always roster players with upside and do not fade a highly-owned player where it is unlikely that he will fail to reach value.
ROSTER CONSTRUCTION: When building my GPP lineups this weekend, I find myself starting with a receiver who has two-touchdown upside (> $4.0) or the ability to reach 5x value (< $4.0K) and stacking him with his respective quarterback. In instances where that receiver is expensive (i.e., Jordy Nelson @ $7.8K), I am forced to find value elsewhere on my roster; with cheaper options (i.e., Brian Quick @ $3.4K), I am able to spend up with my remaining positions. That said, this is a unique week because there are a lot of attractive GPP options in the middle-tier of wide receivers (see "Picks" section for some of my favorites) and I think this could be a week where building out a 'balanced' roster of mid-priced players could pay dividends because the majority of people are going to take the 'stars and scrubs' approach to roster building. This observation goes back to the previous paragraph where I describe not being contrarian for the sake of being contrarian--if you knowingly focus on the middle-tier of high-upside wide receivers, you will almost assuredly build a unique roster without intentionally being contrarian. However you decide to attack those tournaments, I wish you the best of luck.
Let's take a deeper look into some of the players who I will be targeting for my cash game and tournament rosters this weekend. There is little difference in terms of strength of selection between those players who have text to justify their appearance in this article versus those in the "also eligible" section; all are strong plays in their respective categories, but time and space restrictions do not allow for expansive written summaries of every player listed.
CASH GAME PICKS
Aaron Rodgers (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $7,800). The implied team total for the Green Bay Packers is currently sitting at 31 points and the Packers will be without both of their primary running backs, Eddie Lacy and James Starks. Without a bona fide running back to tote the rock, expect to see Aaron Rodgers toss the ball 40+ times on Sunday against a Colts' 29th-ranked DVOA pass defense that has allowed at least two passing touchdowns in five consecutive games; the Colts could also be without perennial All-Pro cornerback, Vontae Davis, who will need to be cleared from the league's concussion protocol on Saturday, if he wants to suit on Sunday afternoon. Reaching a bit further into the rabbit hole, the Colts have allowed the 7th most fantasy points to the quarterback position, a number that would likely be significantly worse if not for the fact that the best offense the Colts have faced all season was the Chargers back in Week #3. Meanwhile, Aaron Rodgers seems to be finding his groove, having thrown seven touchdowns over his previous two games. His uptick in production is aligned with the Packers' loss of legitimate running backs, which has led to 30% more pass attempts since Lacy and Starks were injured; over those two weeks, Rodgers has thrown the ball on 69.1% of the Packers' offensive snaps. This week should be no different, as Ty Montgomery is expected to lead the charge out of the backfield, which should continue to put the heavy lifting on the shoulders on Rodgers, making him an excellent cash game and GPP option.
Colin Kaepernick (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $5,600). If you need to save salary from Aaron Rodgers or want to diversify away from him, Colin Kaepernick is a viable cash game option this weekend at home against the New Orleans Saints. Kaepernick's fantasy floor comes not with his arm, but with his legs--in his first two starts, Kaepernick has scrambled for 150 yards on 17 carries, netting 15 DraftKings' points for his owners before any passing statistics are tallied. In the passing category, Kaepernick has been somewhat disappointing, logging only a hair over 300 passing yards and a pair of touchdowns against Buffalo and Tampa Bay. That said, his salary is fair at only $6.1K and he gets a plus matchup against the Saints, who have allowed 300 passing yards and/or two passing touchdowns to every quarterback they have faced this season except for one. Considering Kaepernick only has five career 300+ yard passing games, it is difficult to concede that he will reach that plateau in this effort, but 200+ passing yards, 40+ rushing yards, and a pair of touchdowns would appear to be his floor, easily netting 20 fantasy points and cash game value for his owners.
Also eligible: Dak Prescott ($6,100)
Ezekiel Elliott (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $7,900). This is the matchup that we have all been waiting to see--what happens when the unstoppable force (Ezekiel Elliott) meets the very movable object (the Browns' defense)? We will know the answer to that question tomorrow afternoon when Zeke Elliott matches up against the Browns' 31st ranked rush defense (DVOA) that is allowing 4.8 yards per carry and 143.8 rushing yards per game on the season. Need further convincing? Fellow Footballguy and lineman guru, Matt Bitonti, tweeted that the league's best offensive line (Dallas) will take on the league's worst defensive line (Browns) this Sunday. The gamescript also favors a heavy role for Elliott because the Cowboys are projected to score 28 points and win this game by a touchdown; if Jason Garrett continues to call Elliott's number (24.9 touches per game entering Week #9), it is virtually impossible to envision anything less than 120+ all-purpose yards and a touchdown for Zeke with upside approaching double those projections. Lock and load in cash formats and give him serious consideration in tournaments, as well.
Charcandrick West (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $4,400). Currently being referred to as "Chalk-candrick West" on Twitter DFS, Charcandrick West is this week's version of last week's Devontae Booker, who was mispriced due to an injury suffered by the RB1 on his offense. As you no doubt know, Jamaal Charles was recently placed on the injured reserve and Spencer Ware was unable to practice all week due to a concussion, leaving only Charcandrick West (and newly-acquired Bishop Sankey) to handle the running back duties in Kansas City. It could not have happened at a better time for West, as the Chiefs will play host to the Jacksonville Jaguars, who are the league's 27th ranked rush defense (DVOA) and are allowing the 6th most rushing yards per game (124.7) on the season. Like Ezekiel Elliott (above), the gamescript sets up perfectly for West, as the Chiefs are projected to score 26 points and win by a touchdown, which should yield somewhere in the neighborhood of 18-24 touches for West at a bargain $4.4K salary. In the three games where West saw that kind of volume in his career, he averaged an impressive 24.7 DraftKings points, which would represent nearly 6x value on his current salary. West is as close to plug-and-play as it gets on DraftKings this week for these reasons.
Jarvis Landry (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $7,100). With an average of 9.3 targets per game, Jarvis Landry is leading his team with a 31.4% share of the Dolphins' passing attack. The next closest receiver is a downward-trending DeVante Parker, who has surpassed five targets only once in the previous month. This, along with a plush matchup against the Jets, bodes well for Landry this weekend in Miami. ProFootballFocus alumnus and current ESPN analyst, Mike Clay, suggests that Landry will be shadowed by Darrelle Revis, but that is of little concern at this point in Revis' career because he is allowing nearly 70% of balls thrown into his coverage to be completed and is ranked in the bottom 20th percentile of all NFL coverage cornerbacks this season. The knock against Jarvis Landry is that he does not score enough touchdowns to make him an elite fantasy receiver, but on DraftKings, where each catch is a full point, his value comes in the form of receptions. Furthermore, Landry averaged one touchdown every 21.7 receptions in his first two years in the league; at the half-way mark of this season, he has only one touchdown despite catching 46 passes, an indication that he is in line for some positive regression in the touchdown category in the near future. This would appear to be a prime situation for him to have a big day, particularly if you believe that Jay Ajayi will struggle to get past the Jets' 3rd-ranked rush defense.
Stefon Diggs (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $5,900). Another possession receiver to take advantage of DraftKings' full PPR scoring format, Stefon Diggs is in a prime position to do more than just catch passes this weekend. Diggs gets an elite matchup against a defender with the same surname, Quandre Diggs, who mans the slot position on the Lions' defense. The latter Diggs (Quandre) is ranked amongst the bottom of all coverage metrics from the slot position; he has allowed almost 90% of passes thrown into his coverage to be completed and opposing quarterbacks have thrown into his coverage an average of once every 6.6 snaps, both of which are key indicators of how bad Diggs' coverage has been this season. Coming off a 13-target game last week against Chicago, Stefon Diggs could be in line for a similar workload this week because the Lions' best pass rusher, Ezekiel Ansah, should play his first full game since the beginning of the season when he suffered an ankle injury; Ansah had 14.5 sacks last season and should have zero problems getting past this league-worst offensive line, putting pressure on Sam Bradford to get rid of the ball quickly, which should be a boon to Stefon Diggs' fantasy prospects.
Kyle Rudolph (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $4,000). Likely the chalk tight end of the weekend, Kyle Rudolph will face a Lions' defense that is allowing more fantasy points to the position than any other team in the league. The Lions have allowed opposing tight ends to score a touchdown in six out of eight games (75%) and have allowed multiple touchdowns on two of those occasions. Meanwhile, Rudolph is averaging 7.7 targets per game this season and is the Vikings' unquestionable favorite redzone target, with more than twice as many redzone looks as any other player on the team. With Ziggy (Ezekiel) Ansah putting pressure on Sam Bradford (see Stefon Diggs' writeup above), Rudolph could serve as a check-down receiver and pick up even more looks than he generally does in this Vikings' offense. On a week where the tight end position is somewhat thin due to bye weeks for Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Reed, and Tyler Eifert, Kyle Rudolph is one of the safer options at a fair $4.0K salary.
Antonio Gates (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $3,000). If you want to diversify away from the Vkings' passing offense by not having both Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph in the same cash game lineup, you might consider rolling with Antonio Gates at a $1K discount from Rudolph. Gates has 19 targets over the previous two weeks and remains Philip Rivers' favorite target inside the redzone. It has been somewhat disconcerting to roster Gates when rookie Hunter Henry has outsnapped him for most of the season, but this week will be different because Henry will miss his first game of the season with a knee injury, which should lead to additional looks in Gates' direction. One additional factor that should not be ignored? Antonio Gates is currently only four touchdowns away from tying Tony Gonzalez for the all-time lead in touchdowns for tight ends and Philip Rivers has gone on record on multiple occasions stating that he would like to see Gates finish his career leading that category; if we believe Rivers, he has only eight games to get Gates those four (or more) touchdowns, in what is likely Gates' last season as a pro.
Also eligible: Eric Ebron ($3,100)
Vikings (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $4,000). After starting off the season on fire with double-digit fantasy points in four of their first five games, the Vikings have laid back-to-back stinkers against the Eagles and Bears in the past two weeks. That might be enough to dissuade some DFS players away from the Vikings' 5th-ranked overall DVOA defense, but oddsmakers in Vegas are not ready to back away from them; there is currently no team on the Week #9 slate with a lower implied team total than the Vikings' opponents, the Detroit Lions, at 17.5 points. Detroit is currently ranked 7th worst in sacks allowed (19) on the season and will have trouble finding the open receiver with the likes of Terence Newman and Xavier Rhodes locking down the Lions' exterior receiving options. This all bodes well for Minnesota, who enter this game with a league-leading 14.9 points per game allowed on the season.
Chiefs (Cash and GPP formats, Salary: $3,500). The chalk defense of the weekend, the Kansas City Chiefs will host the disappointing Jaguars offense in Arrowhead Stadium on Sunday afternoon. The Jags have the 27th overall DVOA offense, whose upside is almost entirely predicated on a passing game that has underperformed for most of the season; their rushing attack, consisting of Chris Ivory (3.2 yards per carry) and T.J. Yeldon (3.5 yards per carry) has been non-existent, which is unfortunate because the Chiefs' defensive weakness is defending the run (23rd DVOA rush defense). This means that Blake Bortles will likely be asked to beat the Chiefs, an unlikely task in the unfriendly confines of Arrowhead Stadium against a secondary that boasts the league-lead in interceptions (11) and defensive touchdowns (2). The collective body of data suggests that this is an ideal spot to roster the Chiefs in all formats and wait for Blake Bortles to implode with multiple turnovers.
Ryan Tannehill (Salary: $5,600). After starting September with a pair of 300+ passing yard performances, Ryan Tannehill has come plummeting back to Earth, averaging a smidge over 200 yards passing and only 0.5 touchdowns per game across the past month. If Tannehill is going to be able to bust out of that slump, it will be this week against a New York Jets' secondary that is allowing more passing yards per game (289.1) than any other team in the NFL. Exacerbating the Jets' defensive woes is the fact that they are stellar in defending the run, having only allowed 3.3 yards per carry and 74.0 rushing yards per game, both best in the league. As a result, opposing offenses are forced to air out the ball against the Jets' 31st ranked (DVOA) pass defense, which has resulted in nine 40+ yard passing plays this season (2nd worst in NFL). All of this should slow down the Dolphins' red-hot Jay Ajayi, who has back-to-back 200-yard rushing performances and put the pressure on Tannehill and his receivers to get the job done. As discussed earlier in this article, Jarvis Landry has an elite matchup and is well-placed for a solid Sunday, but Kenny Stills is also an option as a big-play receiver who could stretch the field and log fantasy points in a hurry. Rested and coming off a bye week, Tannehill should be modestly-owned due to recency bias, which makes him an intriguing play against this dichotomous defense.
Cody Kessler (Salary: $5,000). This space was originally a toss-up between Case Keenum and Cody Kessler, but Kessler won out because I suspect he is going to be lower-owned this weekend and because Keenum has already made an appearance in "Tips and Picks" this season. Kessler will get the nod this weekend in Cleveland after missing Week #8 with a concussion. Prior to his injury, Kessler was quietly putting together some solid numbers without much talent around him; he logged a 66.9% completion percentage, a 4:1 TD/INT ratio, and a respectable 7.1 yards per attempt in four starts this season. Those numbers are more impressive when one takes into account that Kessler was playing without explosive rookie WR Corey Coleman, who missed the past six weeks with a hand injury. Coleman will return this week, giving Kessler three legitimate receivers when lined up alongside Terrelle Pryor and Gary Barnidge; add in Duke Johnson Jr, who is averaging six passing targets per game, and Cody Kessler has an arsenal of weapons to take on the Cowboys' 17th ranked DVOA pass defense. Dallas, however, will be without Morris Claiborne and Barry Church in their secondary, both of whom were injured last week, which should help the Browns' receivers find space during a game that projects to have them playing from behind often. You can certainly pair Kessler with any of the aforementioned receivers, but playing him "naked" (without a stack) is also a viable strategy that could pay dividends if he spreads the ball around efficiently. At minimum salary, Kessler will allow you to load on the names like Ezekiel Elliott, Le'Veon Bell, and Jarvis Landry, all while providing you the sub-5% ownership you need to differentiate your tournament roster from the masses.
Devontae Booker (Salary: $6,400). Hiding somewhere between obvious DFS favorites, Ezekiel Elliott ($7.9K) and Charcandrick West ($4.4K), is Devontae Booker coming off a strong performance just a week ago as the Broncos' lead running back. Booker was owned at levels approaching 65% on DraftKings last week due to a surprise start after C.J. Anderson underwent knee surgery to repair a meniscus injury; Booker easily reached value on his $3.7K salary, scoring 18.4 fantasy points and satisfying his owners without putting up a huge game. This week, his salary nearly doubled to $6.4K, which is going to dissuade a lot of casual DFS players from rostering him, thinking that he is too expensive in comparison to other more recognizable names. That said, Booker is a more talented back than C.J. Anderson and might even keep the job when Anderson is finally cleared to play. Last week, he was on the verge of a ridiculous fantasy day, if not for an unfortunate fumble on the 1-yard line and a vulture touchdown by teammate Juwan Thompson, both of which probably cost Booker an additional 12 fantasy points. If Booker had ended last week with 30 DraftKings points, he would be one of the highest-owned running backs this week against an Oakland Raiders' defensive front that is allowing as many yards per carry (4.8) as the Cleveland Browns. Instead, Booker is going to be modestly-owned (~ 15%), despite the fact that he will likely see 20+ touches once again this week and has an elite matchup against the league's 25th ranked DVOA rush defense.
Mark Ingram II (Salary: $4,800). Call it a hunch, but I suspect Mark Ingram II is going to see the lion's share of the carries out of the Saints' backfield this Sunday. Last week, Ingram fumbled for only the second time all season and ended up playing only six snaps, yielding way to Tim Hightower, who finished the afternoon with a 26/102/0 stat line against a stingy Seahawks defensive front. Sean Payton later stated that ball control is priority number one on the Saints' offense, but that Ingram not getting back on the field was more of a reflection of Hightower's success than a punishment for Ingram's inability to hold onto the ball. Looking at their respective histories, Ingram has fumbled only five times as a rusher in his career across 837 attempts, a rate that is half of the league average; meanwhile, Hightower was basically run out of Arizona because he fumbled a rate that was twice the league average in his first three years in the league! Furthermore, Hightower has been with the Saints for two seasons now and has only gotten substantial time when Ingram has been injured; in those games, he has been very inefficient, averaging only 3.9 yards per carry and not staving off Ingram upon his return from injury. With this collective body of evidence in mind, it would appear that Sean Payton is sending a wake-up call to Ingram, who I expect to rebound this week against a 49'er defensive front that is hemorrhaging rushing yards at a massive 5.1 yards per carry clip. The risk in rostering Ingram lies in whether you believe Payton's talk about Hightower earning more time in the backfield; if he does, I still expect to see Ingram touch the ball 16-22 times in this game, which should be enough to compile some solid fantasy production against the league's worst rushing defense.
Donte Moncrief (Salary: $5,800). Coming off a shoulder injury that cost him six weeks of the season, Donte Moncrief looked solid in his first game back last week against the Chiefs' 7th-ranked pass defense. Moncrief was targeted 9 times, pulling in 4 catches for 41 yards and a touchdown, but his stat line does not show that he had a 45-yard touchdown negated by a penalty, nor does it show that he had beaten a defender on a "nine-route" but missed an opportunity for a touchdown when Andrew Luck overthrew him. With those near-misses in mind, Moncrief is an excellent GPP play this weekend against the Packers' hapless secondary. With Sam Shields watching Packers' games from his couch in Florida and Casey Hayward now shutting down receivers in San Diego, the Packers have been running out a rag-tag team of defensive backs for most of the season, which has resulted in 13 of the 15 touchdowns (86.7%) they have allowed to come through the air. To make matters worse, Demetri Goodson and Demaryius Randall, two starters in the Packers' secondary, are both unlikely to play after missing practice every day leading up to this game; that should leave a barren selection of options to man the Packers' defensive backfield in Lambeau on Sunday afternoon. If we take into account the likely gamescript and the fact that T.Y. Hilton's hamstring is a question mark, Moncrief could be the beneficiary of all of these factors, resulting in a huge game for the third-year receiver.
Jordan Matthews (Salary: $5,700). The loss of All-Pro offensive tackle Lane Johnson (suspension) has certainly affected the Eagles' offense (28.9 versus 21.3 points per game before/after his suspension), but that is no reason for us to avoid this offense altogether. Jordan Matthews has a solid matchup against the Giants this weekend in what would appear to be a low-scoring game (Vegas total of 43 points); the implied team total for the Eagles will deter most people from rostering Matthews, particularly when they could have names like Ty Montgomery, Willie Snead IV, Stefon Diggs, and Donte Moncrief at the same (or similar) price point. However, Matthews is a sneaky GPP play because of the Giants' complete failure to defend opposing slot receivers this season. Looking over their game logs, they have allowed some big games to slot receivers, resulting in a 6.4/67.6/0.4 average stat line (16.3 DraftKings points) for the position. Coming off a week that saw Jordan Matthews receive 14 targets, the Eagles could look to exploit this weakness in the Giants secondary, particularly because of the strength of the Giants' exterior defensive backs, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Janoris Jenkins, both of whom are ranked in the top 10% of coverage cornerbacks this season.
Travis Kelce (Salary: $5,300). Coming off his best game of 2016, Travis Kelce is one of only a few high-upside tight ends available this Sunday due to other options having a bye week. Kelce was finally utilized in a manner consistent with his level of talent last weekend against the Colts; he was targeted 10 times, catching 7 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown (26.1 DraftKings points) en route to a big 30-14 victory over Indy. That 10-target effort tied a career-high for Kelce and was a breath of fresh air after watching him compile a measly 5 catches for 56 yards over his previous two games against Oakland and New Orleans. That volatility, however, is what keeps Kelce as a GPP-only option in daily fantasy circles because he is just as likely to deliver 5 fantasy points as he is to deliver 20 fantasy points. This week will be interesting, though, as Nick Foles will go under center as the Chiefs' quarterback and Foles is far less conservative than Alex Smith, which could lead to continued opportunity for Kelce.
Lance Kendricks (Salary: $2,900). With 17 targets over his previous two games, Lance Kendricks is a sneaky GPP option at an otherwise thin position this weekend. Kendricks has never been an elite tight end, but his recent usage and matchup against a Panthers' defense that allows the 5th most fantasy points to the tight end position argues that Kendricks could be in store for a solid fantasy day. The Carolina defense has allowed six touchdowns to tight ends in just seven games, a statistic that is more telling when one considers that the Panthers have only faced one top-ten tight end all season (Kyle Rudolph). Kendricks is dirt-cheap at only $2.9K and basically needs to score a touchdown to reach tournament value; at a projected ownership level of less than 4-5%, Kendricks is an excellent GPP option for these reasons.
Also eligible: A.J. Derby (Salary: $2,500).
Broncos (Salary: $3,700). We saw last week why paying up for the Broncos' defense can pay dividends--they finished Week #8 as the highest-scoring team defense with 22 fantasy points and single-handedly made the difference between cashing in double-ups and 50/50's across the DFS industry. This week, the Broncos will host the Oakland Raiders' high-flying offense that is averaging 26.9 points per game (6th in NFL) and 401.6 offensive yards per game (5th in NFL). The matchup against the Raiders is somewhat intimidating, particularly when one considers that Aqib Talib will miss his second consecutive game with a back injury, but the Broncos are deep at cornerback with Bradley Roby and Chris Harris Jr, both of whom should be able to contain Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree while Demarcus Ware, Von Miller, and company get after Derek Carr, who has not seen an elite defense since he faced this same Broncos' team last season. Incidentally, Carr averaged 192 passing yards, 1.5 touchdowns, and 0.5 interceptions per game in those efforts. The Raiders have been beating up on inferior teams all season long and this game will give fans and the DFS community a better measure of just how good their offense is.
Eagles (Salary: $3,100). Having scored double-digit fantasy points in five out of their seven contests this season, the Philadelphia Eagles are an interesting GPP play this weekend against Eli Manning and the Giants. The Birds yielded almost 30 points to the Cowboys last week, which might be enough to drive down ownership entering Week #9. That could prove to be a mistake against Eli Manning, who has thrown almost as many interceptions (6) as touchdowns (8) this season and has blowup potential on any given Sunday. The Eagles are tied for the third-most sacks in the league (22) behind only the Bills and Broncos, but will have their work cut out for them against the Giants, who have only allowed 11 sacks on the season (2nd in NFL). This game is projected to be low-scoring with neither team having a clear edge, which could come down to a key turnover or defensive score to declare the winner; whatever happens, it would appear to be a low-scoring affair, which should keep you in the running for tournament formats if you roll with the Eagles on your DFS rosters.
Also eligible: Panthers ($3,400), Dolphins (Salary: $3,100).
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