Fantasy News & Analysis

NFL Week 9 DFS Tournament Picks

Baltimore, Maryland, USA; Los Angeles Chargers tight end Jared Cook (87) catches the ball over Baltimore Ravens free safety Brandon Stephens (21) during the first half at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

To win a DFS tournament, it is essential to build a unique roster that embraces the randomness within each NFL game. We must identify players and game scenarios the rest of the field is overlooking so that when these low-rostered plays hit, rosters soar past the competition and into first place.

The Carson Wentz and Michael Pittman Jr. stack was our top play last week, as the duo absolutely smashed and even featured in the Milly Maker winning roster on DraftKings. We also nailed Joe Mixon’s two-touchdown performance at low rostership. However, DeVonta Smith was a major bust because the Eagles simply trucked the Lions via the run game.

Here are this week's DFS tournament picks. Be sure to check out PFF's projected DFS rostership percentages and DFS lineup optimizer to help you rack up those massive scores.

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RB Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers (10% projected rostership)

There is chaos in Green Bay, with Aaron Rodgers missing this game due to COVID-19. Expect Head Coach Matt LaFleur to create a game plan that looks very similar to what we saw against Arizona last Thursday — a heavy dose of Aaron Jones in both the rushing and receiving game.

Jones saw a monster workload last week, with 11 targets, seven catches and 15 carries. That is an opportunity score of 26, which would yield another smash performance.

The Packers' star running back has been balling out this season, earning a fifth-ranked 82.3 PFF grade while ranking as the overall RB5 in PPR scoring. This matchup against a Swiss cheese Chiefs defense could see one of those eruption games that we love.

Kansas City Rushing Production Allowed | 2021
Metric Rank
4.6 yards per carry 28th
1.8 yards before contact per attempt 30th
10 touchdowns 30th
26 runs of 10-plus yards 27th

The Chiefs have also been cooked by opposing running backs in the receiving game this season. 

Kansas City Receiving Production by Running backs Allowed | 2021
Metric Rank
48 completions 25th
438 receiving yards 28th
8.0 yards per attempt 29th
10 catches of 15-plus yards 31st

Jones ranks as the overall RB6 in fantasy projections, and his consensus ranking is RB7. He carries the easiest running back matchup in the league, per PFF’s strength of schedule tool.

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WR Rashod Bateman, Baltimore Ravens (10% projected rostership)

The Ravens are coming out of their bye week, and it seems likely that they spent the break working on ways to feature their star rookie wide receiver. We see teams do this all the time — look at the Jets unleashing Michael Carter after their bye. So, let’s get ahead on finding the next Carter and chase a potential breakout performance from Bateman.

The rookie wide receiver is very cheap at $4,000 on DraftKings and $5,400 on FanDuel. He busted as chalk in Week 7, which means we are likely to get him in this spot at depressed ownership. The first-year pass-catcher tallied five targets in Week 7 and six targets in Week 6, so perhaps he sees a spike into the range of eight or more targets.   

The matchup against a Vikings defense that just surrendered 325 passing yards to Dallas Cowboys quarterback Cooper Rush could hardly be better. Both CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper torched this secondary for over 100 receiving yards last week.

Minnesota’s secondary has been shredded by opposing wide receivers on big plays, as they have given up nine touchdowns and 39 catches of 15-plus yards, which ranks 26th and 31st, respectively.

We need salary-saving options like Bateman to pay up for studs such as Jones and Josh Allen. The Ravens' receiver can be played as a one-off or in full-blown game stacks built for a Ravens-Vikings shootout.

WR Brandin Cooks, Houston Texans (12% projected rostership)

Tyrod Taylor will be making his return for the Texans this week, which should elevate the offensive potential for this entire offense. Cooks is checking in with relatively high rostership as of right now, but I imagine this number will creep down by the time Sunday rolls around. Nobody wants to click on a Houston Texans player at $6,100 on DraftKings and $6,800 on FanDuel.

Cooks is posting solid numbers as a deep receiving weapon despite inconsistent quarterback play. Here are his numbers on passes thrown 10-plus yards downfield: 

Brandin Cooks' Receiving Stats on 10+ yard passes | 2021
Metric Rank
30 targets 13th
18 catches 11th
379 yards 13th
5 contested catches 9th

Miami’s secondary has been burned on passes thrown 20-plus yards downfield this season. 

Miami Dolphins Secondary Against 20+ yard Passes | 2021
Metric Rank
45 targets 32nd
22 completions 32nd
649 yards 29th
117.1 passer rating allowed 26th

Take a shot on Cooks as a one-off piece or correlation play with Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker, Mike Gesicki or Myles Gaskin.

PFF’s WR/CB Matchup Chart is a fantasy football tool that you can use to help you set the best lineups. You can toggle between showing the Matchup Advantage column against all projected coverage or the individual defenders.

TE Jared Cook, Los Angeles Chargers (3% projected rostership)

We are dumpster diving here at the tight end position because paying down to $3,300 on DraftKings and $5,200 on FanDuel unlocks the ability to jam in studs at other positions.

Cook boasts arguably the top matchup of any tight end on the entire slate, as he's set to go against an Eagles defense that bleeds production to opposing tight ends. 

Jared Cook Receiving Production | 2021
Metric Rank
68 targets 32nd
56 catches 32nd
472 yards 23rd
6 touchdowns 32nd

The routes run statistic is king at projecting tight end production, and Cook posted a solid 72% route rate last week — just above his season average of 69%. There is minimal concern that Cook is tallying a middling 50% snap rate this season because he is running routes when he is on the field.

Cook has the sixth-best tight end matchup of the weekend. All we need is 50 yards and a touchdown for the burly Chargers tight end to become a core piece of a winning lineup.

You've got the first pick with your finances. Western Southern Financial Group.

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