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Fantasy Football: Best and worst DFS targets in Week 9

Foxborough, Massachusetts, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Taysom Hill (7) looks over the New England Patriots defense during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Week 9 of the NFL DFS slate will feature the return of Taysom Hill as the New Orleans Saints quarterback and a high-upside, tournament-winning play in Austin Ekeler.

Let’s dive into the best and worst Week 9 DFS plays at every position, based on matchup, opportunity, salary and roster projections.

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Best: Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints
DK: $5,500 | FD: $7,000

Hill hasn’t played since Week 5, so this is a great way to build a risky yet contrarian lineup. The Saints lost Jameis Winston to a season-ending injury last week, so Hill will inevitably return to the starting quarterback job.

Starting a player in his first game at a “new” position is a risky proposition, especially when that player has just had three weeks off. Still, Hill scored double-digit fantasy points in every game in which he attempted at least 16 passes last season. His rushing ability is a major reason why his floor is so high, and it's why he has top-12 upside at the position.

Worst: Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans
DK: $6,300 | FD: $7,500

Tannehill hasn’t fallen off much since an MVP-caliber 2020 campaign — he’s the QB11 in scoring so far, with 147.6 fantasy points on the year. His consistency offers some comfort for DFS players, but his matchup against the Los Angeles Rams is tough, as McVay's squad has been effective at limiting quarterbacks this season.

Los Angeles Rams vs. opposing quarterbacks | 2021
Category Fantasy points allowed (Rank)
Week 1 12.2 (5th)
Week 2 16.5 (14th)
Week 3 28.6 (29th)
Week 4 22.4 (20th)
Week 5 18.6 (17th)
Week 6 4.0 (1st)
Week 7 11.0 (6th)
Week 8 20.4 (23rd)

The Rams’ defense has simply not been susceptible to quarterbacks outside of two garbage-time sparring performances in Week 3 and Week 8. Tannehill may construct a performance worthy of a DFS starter, but there are major unknowns for a Titans offense that will be without Derrick Henry for the foreseeable future.

Running Back

Best: Austin Ekeler, Los Angeles Chargers
DK: $7,900 | FD: $9,000

Ekeler may not get the same hype other top running backs do, but he ranks third in scoring with an elite 153.2 fantasy points through eight weeks. He doesn’t have the same rushing volume as other top backs, either, though his 39 targets and 302 receiving yards are tied for the fourth-most at the position.

Ekeler is in a major smash-spot against the Philadelphia Eagles this week. Philadelphia ranks 24th in passing allowed yards to running backs and 27th in rushing yards allowed to the position. Their defense leaves something to be desired, evidenced by their 19th-ranked -0.012 EPA allowed per play.

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