Week 9 FanDueling

For an explanation of the FanDueling series, click here.


Before we move on to Week 9, let’s take a look at the results from Week 8:


It was a close-but-no-cigar week, as I finished short of 500th place, which was the cutoff to win some money. The person in 500th place had 120.34 points, so I was just a little short of the cut line. It’s a good thing none of my players celebrated prematurely just before scoring a touchdown. Oh, wait…

watkins failure

I can’t totally blame it on Sammy Watkins, though. He was still my highest scoring player, and the touchdown would have only given me 6.5 more points. There were also probably some people ahead of me who had Watkins (thank goodness I replaced Edelman with him) who also would have moved up 6.5 points, so it’s not like that play cost me any money. No, there are other culprits.

Number one has to be Jerick McKinnon. It was kind of a bummer that he could only mange 8.7 points against the Bucs’ D. Though as you can see up there, he was owned by 57.7% of the players in the league, so maybe his success wouldn’t have helped me much.

Next up is, sadly, Russell Wilson. It was also disappointing that he could only manage 14.46 against the Panthers. He may be more to blame than McKinnon, since Wilson cost more of my budget and was owned by fewer players. There were some mistakes by the Seahawks’ offense that turned out to be costly.

Jordan Reed, Chandler Catanzaro, and the Texans’ D didn’t exactly light the world on fire, either. I didn’t pay much for them, though, so it’s tough to fault them. No, I have to put my crosshairs of failure on Wilson and McKinnon. It certainly wasn’t my fault. I’m awesome.

Well, enough of the past. On to Week 9! Here’s the team I’m rolling with this week.

QB – Russell Wilson (OAK@SEA) – $8,600

“But Derek, weren’t you just whining about how Russell cost you money last week?” First of all, shut up. Second of all, yes. I was. But hear me out.

In my opinion, there aren’t very good quarterback options this week. Colin Kaepernick seems to be the best value, but I’ll happily piss money away before I force myself to root for him. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are naturally appealing, but not at the hefty asking price. I’m not a fan of Nick Foles in Houston or Philip Rivers in Miami at 10 a.m. PT (though they will gain an hour due to daylight saving time). So the choice came down to Russell, Andy Dalton at home against Jacksonville, Carson Palmer in Dallas, or a couple of other low-priced lottery tickets. I stuck with Russell for three reasons:

1. His salary went down by $300 after last week. I like the value.

2. The Seahawks are back in the friendly confines of CenturyLink Field.

3. With the Raiders visiting and the offense struggling, the Seahawks may try to sustain offensive success for as long as possible to improve the offense’s confidence. (This is a homerish way of saying the Seahawks might try to run up the score.)

I don’t love the pick because the Seahawks should get a big lead and stop passing, but I think Russell can do some damage before then.

Also considered: Andy Dalton ($8,500), Carson Palmer ($7,800), Colin Kaepernick (my soul), Brian Hoyer ($6,200), Teddy Bridgewater ($5,900).

RB – Andre Ellington (ARI@DAL) – $7,700

Really wanted Marshawn Lynch here. The Raiders have allowed the second most fantasy points to running backs and, if the game goes as people believe it will, Lynch will get a ton of carries while the Seahawks protect a lead. I won’t bore you with every single combination I explored, but none of the ones with Lynch were to my liking. It was tough not picking him this week.

Instead, I’ll roll with Andre Ellington again. Like I said last week, he gets tons of opportunities. Plus, goal line vulture Stepfan Taylor is out this week, so Ellington should see more red zone carries.

RB – Jeremy Hill (JAX@CIN) – $5,200

Giovani Bernard is out this week, so Jeremy Hill will start against Jacksonville. The Jags are actually pretty decent against the run, as they have a solid defensive line. Though, like Lynch, Hill should get plenty of opportunities in the second half and in the red zone.

Also considered – Marshawn Lynch ($8,200), Ronnie Hillman ($7,200), Bobby Rainey ($6,200)

WR – Antonio Brown (BAL@PIT) – $9,000

My big ticket purchase this week. Demariyus Thomas is considered the top wideout this week, and I have the money for him, but I like Brown more. He’s at home and he’s been very consistent. The Broncos have somehow only played two road games this season, and Thomas was a non-factor in one of them. He’s also likely drawing Darrelle Revis this week. Brown has scored more than 10 fantasy points (FanDuel scoring) in each game, and he’s on fire right now. I think he’s the clear choice over Thomas.

WR – DeAndre Hopkins (PHI@HOU) – $6,900

The Eagles are allowing the fourth most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Hopkins or Andre Johnson should have a big game. Wouldn’t you know it, they’re the same price. I’m picking Hopkins because he’s scored a few more points this year and has been more consistent.

WR – Jermaine Kearse (OAK@SEA) – $4,700

Toyed with the idea of Andrew Hawkins/Kenny Britt instead of Hopkins/Kearse, but eventually settled on this. This way, I can pair Seattle’s #2 wideout with Wilson. Kearse is super cheap for a reason, though. He’s probably only valuable if he scores a touchdown. He usually gets one every few games. I think he’s due.

Also considered: Demariyus Thomas ($9,200), Emmanuel Sanders ($8,200), Andre Johnson ($6,900), Andrew Hawkins ($6,400), Malcolm Floyd ($5,600), Riley Cooper ($5,300), Kenny Britt ($5,300)

TE – Rob Gronkowski (DEN@NE) – $7,900

And this is the reason why Jermaine Kearse is my third wide receiver.

I usually don’t like spending money on tight ends. They have a chance to be turned into sixth offensive lineman and removed from fantasy relevance. My usual philosophy is to roll with a cheap tight end with a good match-up and hope for the best.

However, Gronk is seeing a boatload of targets. He has the potential to produce as a high end wide receiver, even though he’s priced as a middle-of-the-pack one. He finally seems healthy, and I think the Patriots are going to have to throw a lot to keep pace with Denver. I think he’ll be worth the price.

Also considered: Julius Thomas ($7,800), Travis Kelce ($5,400)

K – Steven Hauschka (OAK@SEA) – $5,000

The Seahawks are favored by 15 points at home. Seems like a good match-up for the kicker.

Also considered: None

D/ST – Houston Texans (PHI@HOU) – $4,800

[Edit: Now that both Brian Cushing and Jadeveon Clowney are out, I’ve talked myself out of the Texans. I’m going with the Browns ($4,800). They should be a safe play at home against the Bucs.]

This seems to be an unpopular selection from looking at various fantasy rankings on the Internet. Yes, the Eagles will probably score some points. But, as I mentioned in my pick for this game, the Eagles are second in the league in giveaways and the Texans are second in the league in takeaways. The Houston D’s potential for sacks, turnovers and touchdowns in this game is well worth the low price.

Also considered: Cleveland Browns ($4,800)


TOTAL – $59,800

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