The Week 9 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and features 11 games. Detroit, Seattle, Tampa Bay and Washington are on bye, while the usual three games fall outside the main slate this week. The action kicks off Thursday at 8:20 p.m. with Jets-Colts, while Titans-Rams (Sunday night) and Bears-Steelers (Monday night) wrap up the slate. Even with a few of the league’s most exploitable defenses — not to mention one of the most stackable offenses — off this week, there’s no shortage of fantasy options and lineup building strategies to choose from. Some of the most enticing Week 9 options include a high-floor passer facing a surprisingly vulnerable secondary, a pair of running backs that have produced in all situations, and a couple of high-ceiling speedsters out wide.
TOURNAMENTS (GPP – GUARANTEED PRIZE POOL)
QB: Jordan Love, GB at KC ($20): With Aaron Rodgers set to sit out this high-profile matchup after entering the COVID-19 protocols, Love will be a low-risk, high-reward option against the struggling Kansas City defense. K.C. is allowing 391.5 scrimmage yards (fourth most) and 27.5 points (eighth most) per game, while the Packers are expected to get No. 1 wide receiver Davante Adams back from the COVID-19 list. This will be the first career NFL start for Love, whom the Packers drafted in the first round in 2020.
RB: Myles Gaskin, MIA vs. HOU ($19): Gaskin has had an up-and-down season, but if ever there was a time to look his way in DFS, it’s at home against the 1-7 Texans. With 34 touches over the past two weeks, Gaskin has established himself as the leading man in Miami’s backfield, and Houston has shown an utter inability to contain running backs. The Texans have already allowed 1,034 rushing yards, topping every other team by more than 100, while surrendering eight touchdowns on the ground and two more through the air to RBs.
WR: Tyreek Hill, KC vs. GB ($30): Hill has immense upside every week, and this matchup against a depleted Green Bay secondary is no exception. The Packers have done a nice job defensively despite shoulder injuries to Jaire Alexander and Kevin King, but the speedy Hill’s as tough a cover as they come. Coming off an 18-target game against the Giants, Hill’s now tied with Cooper Kupp for the league lead with 90 targets. Having topped 40 fantasy points once and 30 another time this season, Hill’s capable of carrying your team on any given week, while a steady diet of passes from Patrick Mahomes keeps Hill’s floor high as well.
DST: Green Bay Packers (at KC, $16), New York Giants (vs. LV, $13)
CASH GAMES (H2H, 50/50s and DOUBLE UPS)
Joe Burrow, CIN vs. CLE ($33): Burrow’s the only quarterback to throw multiple touchdown passes in all of his team’s games this season, compiling a 20:9 TD:INT through eight games and topping 18.5 fantasy points in all but one. Meanwhile, the Browns have surrendered a 17:3 TD:INT, allowing the third-most touchdowns while totaling the fifth-fewest interceptions. With Cincinnati’s full complement of receiving weapons at his disposal, Burrow’s a high-floor option given the likelihood of another multi-score performance.
Austin Ekeler, LAC at PHI ($30): Ekeler’s average of 19.5 fantasy points per game is the highest among all healthy running backs playing in Week 9. Coming off an 11-carry, 10-target performance in which he produced 124 scrimmage yards and a touchdown, Ekeler’s effectiveness as both a runner and a pass-catcher should allow him to carve up an Eagles defense that has allowed 1,306 scrimmage yards — second most behind the idle Seahawks — and nine touchdowns to running backs.
Najee Harris, PIT vs. CHI ($25): These teams play similar styles, emphasizing their defense and running games, and Harris’ three-down workhorse role gives him an elite volume floor. Since posting just 5.4 fantasy points in his NFL debut, Harris has mustered 16.6 or more in every game, including over 18 in each of the past five. The rookie has racked up over 20 touches in each of those five games, and he has proven to be effective regardless of game script with 479 yards and three touchdowns on the ground as well as 273 yards and two touchdowns through the air. Chicago’s one of only three teams that has allowed over 900 rushing yards to running backs this season, and Harris should help push that total significantly higher, making him an excellent option if you’re playing in a full-week contest.
Marquise Brown, BAL vs. MIN ($23): Coming out of its bye, Baltimore should have some nice downfield shots drawn up for Brown, who has mustered at least 16.4 fantasy points in five of seven games this season while posting season totals of 37 catches for 566 yards and six touchdowns on 57 targets. He was targeted a season-high 14 times the last time the Ravens took the field, and Brown usually either helps Baltimore build up a lead or is peppered with targets down the stretch if the team finds itself trailing. While Minnesota’s defense looks decent at first glance, the Vikings have played only three road games and allowed at least 27 points in each.
Cole Beasley, BUF at JAX ($17): Beasley sees a bevy of targets from Josh Allen, and he should have no problem making the most of that volume against a Jacksonville defense that’s giving up 29.0 points per game. He has been thrown to 13 times on three different occasions already this season, and Beasley has quietly secured 17 of 22 targets for 198 yards and a touchdown over the past two games. The veteran slot receiver should build on his recent success here, as he actually has one more catch and only 90 fewer yards than teammate Stefon Diggs, who costs $10 more. A rib injury sidelined Beasley in practice Wednesday, so that injury situation will be worth monitoring if he doesn’t raise his participation in the coming days.
Tajae Sharpe, ATL at NO ($12): Sharp’s a nice value play. In the two games Calvin Ridley has missed this season, Sharpe has hauled in nine of 11 targets for 111 yards, topping 50 receiving yards in both contests. While those receiving totals are modest, Sharpe has been more effective than Atlanta’s alternative options at wide receiver sans Ridley, who is expected to sit for a second consecutive game due to personal reasons. The Saints secondary has allowed the fifth-most yards to wide receivers (1,458) despite having played one fewer game than any other team in the bottom 10.
Dallas Goedert, PHI vs. LAC ($20): Goedert no longer has to worry about sharing playing time with Zach Ertz, and it’s no coincidence that Goedert has reached 70 receiving yards in both games since Ertz was traded after previously failing to hit that mark at all this season. A visit from a Chargers defense that has allowed the fifth-most yards (522) to tight ends and is one touchdown short of the most touchdowns allowed to the position has Goedert primed to build on his recent success.
Buffalo Bills, BUF at JAX ($22): Splurging on an elite defense should be worth it this week. Buffalo has proven it can dominate in favorable matchups, putting forth performances of 22, 23 and 17 fantasy points, with two of those three outbursts coming on the road. The Bills are poised for another such effort here against the lowly Jaguars, who are averaging only 17.6 points per game and may not have running back James Robinson available. Rookie quarterback Trevor Lawrence has an 8:9 TD:INT, while Buffalo’s defense has limited quarterbacks to a 5:11 TD:INT all season while allowing a league-low 15.6 points per game. Buffalo should outperform plenty of the skill position players found around this salary range.
DST: Miami Dolphins (vs. HOU, $14), New England Patriots (at CAR, $20)