Point/Counterpoint: Week 9 DraftKings Strategies
By Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup:
Every week of the season for daily fantasy brings new debates about core plays, fades, game stacks, and more. For fantasy purposes, it is best to read about both sides of the argument and decide which side, data, and analysis YOU agree with.
For the NFL season, our series of Point/Counterpoint will be a back-and-forth discussion between siblings Megan Shoup and Steve Shoup about the slate strategy, stacks, core plays, and fades for that week.
So let’s get to Week 9 strategy talk!
We had a decent week 8 with the Tua stacks that we discussed last week! Now it’s time for Week 9! A lot of data is now showing certain trends or best teams to target.
For this week though, there aren’t a lot of games I love at first look. I think you could poke holes in one side or the other. The Packers/Lions is the only one, but the Packers’ offense looks rough.
I like more one sides, like the Bills, Dolphins, Vikings, Chargers, and Bengals bounce back.
What are your favorite team or game stacks this week?
As we saw this past week, once again you didn’t need to worry as much about bring backs or major game stacking. We had multiple running backs put up major points (CMC, Henry, Pollard, and Foreman), but did you really want any players from the Rams, Texans, Bears, and Falcons (Kyle Pitts was fine but that’s about it). Tua Tagovailoa, Jalen Hurts, and Kyler Murray were all great QB options, with at least one elite WR to pair with, but did you really need any Lions, Steelers, or Vikings?
We’ve seen this happen a number of weeks this season, where even when a team goes off, there are only average at best bring-back options, and I think we should start to acknowledge that there are just some serious differences in team talent out there right now. So I agree that I’m really only focused on targeting players from one side of the game this week. If there is a potential bring-back option, I’ll consider it, but I don’t want to force it in.
For me, the Bills and Chargers are my favorite teams to stack this week. Followed closely by the Dolphins, Cardinals, Bengals, and Vikings. I know Kyler failed in this spot versus the Seahawks just a couple of weeks ago, but the Cards are at home this time, and Kyler has Hopkins back. We’ve seen the connection these two have, and I think this is another good match-up for the pair.
You make a great point about the lack of bring backs needed this season. I can think of two weeks where it was absolutely necessary – Ravens vs. Dolphins (week 2) and Seahawks vs. Lions (week 4). Other than that, you really didn’t want to force a bring-back/game stack.
I think as you mentioned, part of that is because of major differences in team talent and more one-sided games. I also think some offenses are just more spread out. Look at the Dolphins vs. Lions this week. The Lions pushed back but it was spread out among their running backs and no player really was worth points/dollar stacking with Tua double-stacks. Finally, in general, scoring is down too, which hurts the game stacks in a trickle-down effect.
The two games I have an interest in stacking are Packers vs. Lions and Cardinals vs. Seahawks. But I think have more interest in stacking up more one-sided of the Bills, Dolphins, Bengals, and Vikings.
Who are your core plays at RB, WR, and TE?
Running back is again strong this week, and where I figure I want to spend up. Austin Ekler’s usage has been off the charts recently, and has slate breaking upside, even at the high price. Aaron Jones and Josh Jacobs are the next names on my list. I’m hoping the Raiders’ offense shows up this week, but if they do Jacobs could be back to a 25-35 point game. Jones is basically the Packers’ offense at this point, and they are playing the woeful Lions’ defense. I also like the $6000-$6500 range of backs with Travis Etienne, Kenneth Walker, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Raheem Mostert all in strong spots. I will probably try to have one of the top 3 backs, plus two of these backs in most of my lineups this week.
For wide receivers, if I can afford them, I like a lot of the top options. Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, DeAndre Hopkins, Jaylen Waddle, and Tee Higgins are all strong plays. Unfortunately, I don’t know how much I can afford these guys, particularly two of them. For mid-tier receivers, Tyler Boyd, Terry McLaurin, Adam Theilen, and Josh Palmer are all guys I think are good value. Palmer especially could end up very interesting with Mike Williams out and potentially Keenan Allen missing time.
Tight end is not great this week as I’m searching for cheap value, but not really finding it. I do think Zach Ertz, Gerald Everett, and Robert Tonyan are all in great match-ups. Tonyan and Everett both figure to be no worse than the 2nd or 3rd option on their respective teams this week.
I agree with all your core plays. Ekeler and Jones are my favorite RBs this week, but that will be hard to fit into a lineup together. As we’ve seen lately with several running backs going off, it’s going to come down to points/dollar. So I really like Etienne, Walker, Stevenson, and Mostert too.
I know you mentioned the Bills’ receivers earlier, but Diggs and Davis will be in my core. The only other main receiver I’d add is Amon-Ra St. Brown. For receiver value, I like Kalif Raymond without TJ Hockenson, DJ Moore, Garrett Wilson, and Jahan Dotson if he returns.
For TE, I’m fine punting if off again since there are no spend-up options anyways. As of now, I like Tonyan, Engram, Knox, and Hurst. If you really want to punt TE for the minimum, we need to see if Brock Wright should get most of the receiving TE snaps for the Lions in place of Hockenson.
Any major fades or lineup construction strategies this week?
I like the idea of taking a shot at Brock Wright as the cheap TE play. He should pick-up some of the slack from losing Hockenson, and the Lions will probably be throwing a lot.
The only real fades I see are Dalvin Cook at RB and Cooper Kupp at WR. I know it is scary to fade Kupp, but there are just so many other top WRs in better match-ups. Kupp is also coming off an injury, so I just don’t see the need. Cook is coming off his best game of the season, but the Vikings are still mixing in Alexander Mattison too much. Also, that Minnesota passing attack will always get a good share of the yards and TDs. Cook could have a solid 20+ point game, but it’s tough to see him getting to the 30-35 points he’d need at his price. I have mixed feelings about Jonathan Taylor. On one hand, with Hines traded, Taylor could see even more involvement. On the other hand, the Colts’ offense is so uninspiring right now. Taylor is the cheapest he’s been in a long time, but I just don’t know if he’s worth it.
As for construction strategies, as I hinted earlier, I see this as another three-running-back week. The potential for those $6,500 and below backs feels better than a lot of receivers in that area. I see most of my builds ending up with a flex option from the backs in this area.
I agree with the fades and I like the three-running back week call too. I’m still deciding which three RBs I like most or which three are most likely to hit the optimal points/dollar. I also am still deciding which stacks I like best and which secondary stacks or receivers I like the most. I have a player pool set, I’m still just prioritizing at this point.
What do you think of these strategies for Week 9 DFS on DraftKings? Who are your main game stacks and core plays?