Over the Hump

This weekend brings us to Week #9 of the NFL season. We are officially more than halfway through the season now, and there have been a handful of teams that have already made a good case for why they should be in the postseason. One of the fun things about fantasy football—especially daily fantasy football—is that the strength of a team matters a bit less than the strength of the individual players that make up your roster. This leads to a lot of newer players making mistakes.

My goal here is to help you avoid this and other mistakes as you put together a DFS football roster this weekend. By looking at value plays and matchups, my aim is to help you use the available data better than any other fantasy manager out there so that you can have the best possible chances of success in whatever league you are playing in.

Ready to get a jump on your Week #9 daily fantasy football draft? Then just keep reading.

Hump Week Picks and Beyond

Don’t let one guy hold you back from winning the big games you enter.

Quarterbacks on the Rise

Drew Brees: Brees is an obvious choice this week, but he’s not going to be your best one. Despite the fact that he is an incredibly talented QB, there are others that are capable of better fantasy performances in Week #9. He has averaged 22.8 fantasy points per game and has thrown 14 TDs so far this season. He also has 1,990 yards in passing, for an average of 284.3 yards per game, which is very strong. At $6,100, he could be considered a good deal. But why settle for good when you can have great? Brees’ greatest strength is his accuracy, having only thrown 1 interception all season. However, with the strength of the Los Angeles defense he will face this weekend, it’s not likely that Brees will hold up against his average in this game. Hopefully for your sake, his popularity and recent record-breaking endeavors will lead him to be far more heavily used in DFS football than he should be. That will set you up for a strong move somewhere else.

Jared Goff: That someone else is likely to be Jared Goff. Given his price tag compared to his stats, Goff seems like a bargain basement steal this week. His price tag of $6,000 takes him out of the top tier of QBs when it comes to pricing and makes him a mid-tier QB. His numbers tell us that this is a different story, though. Goff has thrown for 2,425 yards and 17 TDs so far this season. Even in this week’s matchup against the New Orleans Saints, he comes out on top. There’s no question that Brees is the better quarterback, but Goff has all the right numbers on his side. At this point in the season, both Goff and Brees have the same number of fantasy points that they are averaging per game (22.8), but the Saints have struggled defensively this season, especially against opposing QBs. Goff comes out ahead on both value and this matchup.

QB Start: Goff

QB Sit: Brees

Running Backs You Should Seek

Jordan Howard: Howard is flying well under the radar this week. Not only does his price of $4,700 but him toward the bottom of mid-tier RBs, he is also going up against the Buffalo Bills this weekend. The Bills have a great defense, but their strengths are in limiting the QB and wide receivers, which leaves Howard open for a breakout game. He is averaging just 56.0 yards per game and has 3 TDs so far this season, but this matchup is a prime place for him to boost these numbers. And thanks to his cheap price, he can take a backseat in your roster and be used as a second tier RB.

Chris Carson: On the surface, Carson seems like a much better choice for your fantasy roster than Howard does. He is the same price at $4,700 but has averaged more fantasy points per game so far this season with his 13.6. It creates the impression of a high value play, at least until you look at the matchup. Carson and the Seahawks are facing the #12 ranked rushing defense in the Los Angeles Chargers. Although Carson would typically be a better play than Howard, he isn’t this weekend. With 76.2 yards per game, Carson can do damage, but it is likely to be limited this game. His 2 TDs so far this season say that he can find the end zone, but with a stronger defense, the odds of a touchdown are much lower. Howard is the better choice here.

RB Start: Howard

RB Sit: Carson

Which Wide Receiver Should You Start?

Kenny Golladay: Normally, Golladay would make for a great mid-level WR. His price tag of $5,500 makes him very approachable, and his average of 14.1 fantasy points per game is a competitive return at that price range. However, because the Detroit Lions have a tough matchup against the Minnesota Vikings, Golladay should be passed by here. They are ranked #5 in the NFL against blocking the passing game, and Golladay is more than likely to see his performance decline markedly this weekend. Even with 3 TDs already under his belt this season, he is in a place where I expect him to have a below average performance.

Devin Funchess: Funchess is in an interesting matchup this weekend. Normally, he would be a WR that would get glossed right over, but not this week. As his Carolina Panthers take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Funchess will likely see a lot of attention as a middle or bottom level WR, depending on how your league is set up. At $5,600, he’s pretty cheap for a WR at DraftKings, but it looks like he will return a nice punch. He has averaged 12.9 fantasy points per game this season with 3 TDs, but the Bucs are the 31st best defense in the NFL against the passing game. That means a mid-level receiver like Funchess could really shine this Sunday.

WR Start: Funchess

WR Sit: Golladay