November 5, 2021

DraftKings: Best DFS Values And Leverages For Week 9

Week 9 of the NFL season is upon us, and with it the DraftKings Millionaire contest. This $20 slate has a prize pool of $3.5 million, with a cool million going to the winner.

On FanDuel, the main slate is the $1.75 Sunday Million, a $5 entry with $300,000 going to first place. We take a look at the best value plays on the two slates, with commentary focused on DraftKings, offering salary flexibility to go for the big prize on either site.


Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles vs. Los Angeles Chargers ($6,700 DK, $7,800 FD):

Hurts had his first clunker of the season last week, putting up just 11 DK points after being over 20 in every previous game. DraftKings reacted sharply, reducing his salary to its lowest point since Week 3.

That seems like an over-correction that can be exploited this week. We like Boston Scott again, but can he really be expected to vulture away Hurts’ touchdown equity? I think not, and getting a dynamic playmaker at home against a team that historically struggles to play on the East Coast is something to strongly consider.

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants ($5,900 DK, $7,500 FD):

There is simply no minimizing the tragedy in Las Vegas this past week. We do not wish to trivialize this in any way. But we are here to talk about the games on the field and how to gain leverage over the field in DFS lineups, and seems likely and natural that the field will shy away from the Raiders’ passing game this week.

Carr still has receivers he trusts and have played well. Darren Waller is back, and Hunter Renfrow has been solid in the slot. Bryan Edwards has shown flashes and now gets a full-time role. Carr can be successful here, especially with the Giants being a mediocre football team.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans ($5,800 DK, $7,300 FD):

Tagovailoa has now attempted 47, 40, and 39 passes in his last three games. He struggled against Buffalo, but duh, of course he did. Also duh, the Texans are not the Bills.

This is another great opportunity with a quarterback coming off a dud game, but who has excelled against bad defenses in recent weeks and has his best receiver, DeVante Parker, back in the fold. If you can’t trust a QB against the Texans, who can you trust?

Running Back:

Darrell Williams, Kansas City Chiefs vs. Green Bay Packers ($5,700, DK $6,700 FD):

Frankly, it didn’t look good for Williams’ future in the first half on Monday night. See what I did there? Derrick Gore stole a great deal of thunder against the Giants, but Williams was still the man to close things out in the second half, and he ended up with a solid number thanks to six receptions.

If the Chiefs are consistent with using Williams in the passing game, while also getting him double-digit carries, he just needs to find the end zone to truly pay off his salary. With the Packers’ offense possibly grounded without Aaron Rodgers, this could be a spot for Williams to be busy.

Damien Harris, New England Patriots at Carolina Panthers ($6,000 DK, $6,600 FD):

Harris carried the ball 23 times last week against the Chargers, matching his season-high from Week 1. He also scored a touchdown for the fourth consecutive game.

With Mac Jones still learning the ropes, it is clear that Harris is the top option in the Patriots’ offense. With Christian McCaffery back for the Panthers, look for the Pats to try to control the ball with the run, with Harris leading the charge.

Mike Davis, Atlanta Falcons at New Orleans Saints ($4,700 DK, $5,600 FD):

The Falcons had to do things on the fly last week, with Calvin Ridley’s sudden departure from the team. Cordarrelle Patterson remained the primary focus in the backfield, but Davis had nine carries and was targeted six times.

The coaching staff was already on record saying they want to get Davis more involved, and now that they know Ridley is out of the lineup, they’ve had a week to prepare and find a way to get both Patterson and Davis involved. At his discount price, and with Patterson being the more popular choice, Davis is a great cheap leverage play.

Wide Receiver:

Jaylen Waddle, Miami Dolphins vs. Houston Texans ($5,600 DK, $6,100 FD): 

With the news on Friday that DeVante Parker was placed on injured reserve with shoulder and hamstring issues, the focus returns to Jaylen Waddle.

Waddle had two of his best weeks of the season with Parker sidelined in Weeks 6 and 7 and has been targeted at least 12 times in three games, including last week with Parker in the lineup. Tagovailoa and Waddle obviously have a long history of chemistry and this is a great spot for them to continue to link up.  

Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos at Dallas Cowboys ($5,000 DK, $5,800 FD):

If Trevon Diggs is out there for the Cowboys this week, it stands to reason he will shadow Courtland Sutton, which should leave Jeudy to have a big day as the No. 2 option.

Jeudy caught all four of his targets last week in his first action since Week 1 because of an ankle injury. He could be a star in the making if he stays healthy, and a marquee matchup in Dallas might be his launching pad.

Hunter Renfrow, Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants ($4,800 DK, $5,600 FD), Bryan Edwards, Las Vegas Raiders at New York Giants ($4,100 DK, $5,300 FD):

As we mentioned with Carr, we don’t mean to trivialize the tragedy that occurred this week. But we have to recognize the opportunity that now exists for these two receivers. Renfrow and Edwards were already having successful seasons, and now their roles are certain to expand as Carr’s target portfolio tightens to these two and Waller.

DFS players may choose to take a wait-and-see approach here. The leverage is in not waiting. They will get all the targets they can handle this week.

Tight End:

Evan Engram, New York Giants vs. Las Vegas Raiders ($3,800 DK, $5,100 FD): 

Did you see on the Manning Cast how excited Eli Manning got for Engram on his touchdown Monday night? Engram is a talented receiver who has just fallen off the face of the earth the past few seasons. But the talent is there and he can help this team in the red zone.

Maybe something clicked with his first TD of the season. The Raiders are allowing the ninth-most points to opposing tight ends this season, which plays well for us in this spot.

Tyler Conklin, Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens ($3,000 DK, $5,200 FD):

The man they call “Gronk-lin” has 12 targets over his past two games and has scored in double-figure DK points in both contests.

With so much focus rightly played on Justin JeffersonAdam Thielen, and Dalvin Cook, Conklin tends to get lost in the shuffle, but Kirk Cousins knows where he is. The Ravens are the second-worst defense in the league against the tight end position.

Fire him up.

Brevin Jordan, Houston Texans at Miami Dolphins ($2,500 DK, $4,600 FD): 

Pharaoh Brown still isn’t practicing, and his absence last week opened the door for Jordan to make his season debut and crush it with a 4-41-1 line against the Colts.

If Jordan gets the nod again this week against one of the worst defenses in the league against the tight end, lookout. This is the salary-saver of the week, at any position.

Photo: Getty Images