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    NFL DFS Value Plays - Week 9 (11/03/16)

    By Mark Dankenbring
    With Week 9 of the NFL season upon us, let's take a look at who sets up to have the most value based on their salary in daily fantasy for DraftKings and FanDuel. With injuries opening up expanded roles for certain players, and favorable matchups determined after eight weeks of action, we have a solid list of value plays this week. Value plays are centered around players who are below the average salary cost for their position and will produce the most points per dollar spent. Below are a list of some highlighted players on both platforms, but to see a full ranking of players and their value this week, visit our Optimizer tool for full control over your lineup.

    Each player is listed with their salary and projected points for the week.

    DraftKings

    Quarterbacks



    Kaepernick sits atop our value play list this week at quarterback in large part due to his matchup against the Saints. Kaepernick has struggled throwing the ball in his first two starts, going 29-63 for just 330 yards. However, he has salvaged his fantasy weeks by scoring plenty of points on the ground, as he's rushed for 150 yards in the last two games. The Saints defense has struggled on the road this year, allowing an average of 301 yards passing to opposing QBs. On the other side of the ball, the 49ers defense has allowed a remarkable 36.5 points per game over their last six games, meaning Drew Brees and the Saints offense will likely put up plenty of points. All of these stats point to Kaepernick having to throw and throw often, which will open up the scramble game as well. Look for Kaepernick to have a solid fantasy week against a struggling Saints defense.



    Our second pick as a value play this week also deals heavily with Bradford's matchup against the Lions. Bradford comes in at the minimum salary for a quarterback on DraftKings, and will face a Lions defense that has struggled all year against the pass. The Lions have allowed the most fantasy points to opposing QBs on DraftKings this year, so Bradford should be able to exploit their secondary even with Norv Turner stepping down as the offensive coordinator. Bradford has been consistent through his six starts this year, throwing for at least a touchdown in every one and only failing to reach the 200-yard mark once. Look for Bradford to dial it up a notch and have a solid fantasy week based upon his $5,000 salary.

    Running Backs



    After a few quiet performances in Week 5 and 6, Crowell has posted back-to-back solid weeks on the ground for the Browns. Crowell is still seeing the majority of snaps and large majority of rushing attempts over Duke Johnson Jr., making him a solid value play this week against a Cowboys team that allowed Darren Sproles to average 5.7 yards a carry last week. Crowell has run well this year for the Browns, averaging 4.9 yards a carry and scoring a touchdown in five of their eight thus far. Also, Crowell has found himself a little more involved in the passing game, as he's caught five of six targets for 50 yards in the past two weeks. Look for Crowell to post another solid fantasy week, even if his team continues to go winless on the field.



    West's value this weekend rests largely on whether Spencer Ware will clear concussion protocol and be active for Sunday. If Ware is unable to play, West has a great matchup against a Jaguars defense that has allowed five touchdowns on the ground in their last three games. In a half of filling in last week, West was able to rush for 52 yards on 14 carries, and he also caught a couple passes out of the backfield. With Jamaal Charles put on IR and the limited options behind West, if he gets the start on Sunday he'll be in line for his fair share of touches. Keep an eye on Ware, and if he's unable to go, make sure West finds his way into your lineup.



    Smith enters this week as the likely starter for the Buccaneers as Jacquizz Rodgers and Doug Martin have both been ruled out for tonight. After Rodgers exited last Sunday, Smith was on the field for 22 of the 25 snaps, carrying the ball four times for 16 yards and also catching a pass for nine yards. Smith has never had a large workload, with four carries being his career high for a game, so it's a little uncertain what we will see out of him. We do know that he's a big play waiting to happen, as he's averaged 9.1 yards per carry in his career to go along with 15.7 yards per reception in his career. Therefore, with the amount of snaps he's bound to get Thursday night, look for Smith to turn his opportunities into fantasy points against a Falcons defense that has allowed the fifth most points to opposing running backs this season.

    Wide Receivers



    Inman enters Week 9 after his second best game of the year as he hauled in four catches for 72 yards last week against the Broncos. Inman and the Chargers have a much more favorable matchup against the Titans this week, who have allowed five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in the last three games. Both Tyrell Williams and Travis Benjamin missed practice on Wednesday, meaning that even if they play on Sunday, Inman will likely be the healthiest of the trio. With a near DraftKings minimum salary of $3,100, look for Inman to produce solid value as he continues to get more opportunities in the Chargers' offense.



    The Rams' number three wide out comes into Week 9 after a bye week and a game where he saw his most targets of the year with nine. Quick and the Rams will face a Carolina defense that has been torched by the pass this season. Carolina's defense has allowed the fourth most points per game on DraftKings this season, and in their last two games on the road, the Panthers have allowed 747 yards to opposing wide receivers. Yes, 747. If Case Keenum can find any sort of rhythm this weekend, look for Quick to have a solid outing against one of the league's worst passing defenses.



    For several of the reasons listed under Brian Quick, we get a double dose of Rams' receivers this week on our value play list. Britt enters Week 9 as the Rams most consistent wide out this season, having caught at least four passes in all but one game this year. And yes, he'll be facing the same secondary that has allowed 747 yards to opposing wide receivers in their last two road games. Look for Britt to establish himself as the number one downfield passing option for Keenum this weekend and have a solid week coming off the bye.

    Tight Ends



    Hooper enters Week 9 as another injury beneficiary on our value play list. Coming in at the DraftKings minimum of $2,500 for a tight end, Hooper will face off against a Tampa Bay defense on Thursday night that has been relatively susceptible to the tight end position in recent weeks. After Jacob Tamme left last week's game with a shoulder injury, Hooper entered and caught all five targets for 41 yards. Hooper has now caught all 11 targets on the season, showing Matt Ryan he's ready for more this week. As the starting tight end in the league's best offense, look for Hooper to have a solid night tonight against the Buccaneers.



    Ebron is licking his chops entering Week 9 as the Vikings just gave up nine catches for 101 yards to Chicago tight ends last week. After missing three weeks of action, Ebron saw his most targets of the season in Week 8 with 10, catching seven of those for 79 yards. Ebron's post injury price remains low this week at only $3,100, and with a Vikings' team that seems to be on their heels, he lines up well as a value play this weekend.

    FanDuel

    Quarterbacks



    *See Explanation Above*



    Prescott will face the winless Browns this weekend as he comes off of his best fantasy performance of the year. Prescott threw for 287 yards with two touchdowns, as well as ran for 38 yards and a score in the Cowboys' overtime win against the Eagles. Now he'll face a team who surrendered fewer than two passing touchdowns for the first time this season in Week 8, only allowing one to Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Jets. The Browns have allowed the third most points to opposing QBs this season, and with Dez Bryant about to play for the second consecutive week, Prescott has his full range of options for just the second time since Week 3. Look for Prescott to keep the wheels rolling in Dallas and have another solid fantasy week at the quarterback position.

    Running Backs



    *See Explanation Above*



    *See Explanation Above*



    After last week's showing against the Cowboys, it appears that head coach Doug Pederson will ride Darren Sproles as the starting back for the Eagles. Sproles carried the ball 15 times for 86 yards against the Cowboys and caught five passes for 17 yards. Sproles' 15 carries match Week 12 of 2015 for the most he's had since 2009. Therefore, if Sproles continues to get touches on the ground, he will find himself as a solid fantasy running back as his production in the passing game is always a factor. Look for Sproles to see increased touches this week as well as the Eagles look for an every down back they can rely on.

    Wide Receivers



    Williams enters Week 9 trying to bounce back from his worst performance of the season. As mentioned above, the Chargers will face a Titans' defense that has allowed five touchdowns to opposing wide receivers in the last three weeks. Even though Williams missed practice Wednesday, he is confident he'll be able to suit up on Sunday. Williams also enters Week 9 with his lowest salary on FanDuel since Week 2, which lines him up well to be a great value play this weekend. Look for Rivers to get his big wide out more involved against a Titans secondary that has had trouble stopping everyone the last few weeks.



    *See Explanation Above*



    Thomas and the Saints will head to San Francisco this weekend to face a 49ers defense that has allowed 36.5 points per game in their last six, by far the worst in the NFL over that span. Thomas put up another solid week in Week 8, catching all six of his targets for 63 yards, but it was his first game under 12 FanDuel points since Week 2. Thomas has solidified himself as a reliable target for Drew Brees, and with one of the league's worst defenses ahead of them, I expect the two to connect several times this weekend. With a low salary and a prime matchup, make sure Thomas finds his way into one of your lineups this weekend.

    Tight Ends



    *See Explanation Above*



    After hauling in five catches again last week, Rudolph now has at least five catches in four of his last five games. That stat will likely change into five out of six games as Rudolph will face the Lions this weekend, who are the worst in the league defending tight ends. Detroit has been shredded by tight ends all year, allowing touchdowns to them in six of their eight games. Also, the Lions have only one game all year where they've kept a tight end below 11 FanDuel points. If you want what is closest to a sure bet in fantasy, make sure Rudolph is in your lineup this weekend against the Lions.
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