News & Analysis

Boom/bust report: Which Week 9 DFS options could pop?

CINCINNATI, OH - OCTOBER 8: Joe Mixon #28 of the Cincinnati Bengals avoids a tackle by Greg Mabin #31 of the Buffalo Bills to score a touchdown during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium on October 8, 2017 in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cincinnati defeated Buffalo 20-16. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Boom – to flourish vigorously
Bust – a worthless thing

Daily fantasy sports is a hyper-nuanced game. Theory can inform personal ownership stakes, or desirable plays can be identified and then analyzed for fit. I prefer the latter method. Which players do I want to be heavier on than the field, and which players do I want to be light on, or avoid entirely? The boom/bust report will feature players that fit the following descriptions: a boom is a high-priced stud with favorable conditions to hit 3x value, or a lower priced player with favorable conditions to hit 4x value. A bust is any player with unfavorable conditions to hit 3x value, regardless of salary.

(Prices and advice based on DraftKings salaries)

Booms

Quarterback

Russell Wilson ($7300, QB2) vs. Washington Redskins

Wilson was a successful Week 7 call, and I'm going back to him in Week 9 in this potential blowup spot against a Washington defense that has struggled on the road. The Redskins have allowed huge games to opposing quarterbacks in their last two road spots against Carson Wentz (268 passing yards, 4 TD) and Alex Smith (293 passing yards, 1 pass TD, 56 rushing yards, 1 rush TD). With Deshaun Watson out of play, Russ is now technically priced as the QB1 and as a result I think the temptation for many players will be to look elsewhere. Despite his high salary, he's still got an excellent shot at hitting 4x or even more this week.

Running back

Joe Mixon ($5100, RB18) vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Mixon finally broke free for a long reception in Week 8 but was dragged down just short of the goal line or his day could have been much bigger. Jacksonville is a run-funnel and Cincinnati will want to minimize turnover opportunities for Andy Dalton in this must-win game. Mixon is a strong bet for 20 or more touches. He also has at least three receptions in five out of seven games this season.

Wide receiver

Dez Bryant ($6400, WR9) vs. Kansas City Chiefs

If we can't play Bryant this week, when can we ever play him? The Chiefs rank third-worst in fantasy points allowed to wide receivers this season, and Bryant has a plus-matchup against Kenneth Acker, who should cover Bryant on at least half of his routes this week, according to our PFF WR/CB Matchup data.

Tight end

Jimmy Graham ($5000, TE4) vs. Washington Redskins

I'll be stacking Wilson and Graham in plenty of lineups this week, as the Redskins are allowing the third-most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Graham has hit 3x his DraftKings salary in three straight performances and has scored four touchdowns in those games.

Busts

Quarterback

Marcus Mariota ($6000, QB9) vs. Baltimore Ravens

Insert name of quarterback facing the Ravens defense here. Baltimore is a brutal road matchup for Mariota and the Titans passing offense. The Ravens have only allowed more than one passing touchdown once this season. They've also only allowed more than 250 passing yards once this season. Mariota may also be without Delanie Walker this week. He has only returned 3x his DraftKings salary one time this season. I find nothing to like about this matchup and Mariota will be a strong fade in my lineups this week.

Running back

Devonta Freeman ($6600, RB6) vs. Carolina Panthers

Freeman hasn't scored a touchdown in over a month and has failed to eclipse 100 total yards in any game during the same span. The Panthers have only allowed three total touchdowns to running backs this season and as a result they rank fifth-best in fantasy points allowed to the position. Another concerning trend for Freeman; he's had 15 or fewer touches in three consecutive games.

Wide receiver

DeAndre Hopkins ($9,200, WR1) vs. Indianapolis Colts

This one is almost too easy, but Hopkins isn't playable in tournaments at this price point without Deshaun Watson. His volume may remain intact, but Tom Savage has never thrown a touchdown, and Hopkins would certainly need at least one score to have a prayer at approaching the type of return on salary we'd need at this price.

Tight end

Travis Kelce ($6700, TE2) vs. Dallas Cowboys

Kelce was fantastic last week in primetime, but this week he faces a Dallas that is much easier to attack on the perimeter (bottom-10 in points allowed to wide receivers) than down the middle (top-10 in points allowed to tight ends). It's too hard to justify this price when you can buy Zach Ertz against the Denver team which Kelce destroyed last week for a mere $100 more, or save $1700 to play Graham, who I covered earlier.

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