Fantasy Football: Week 9 DFS Recap and Lessons Learned

Week 9 was one full big news that significantly affected many people’s lineups. First there was the big one with Deshaun Watson tearing his ACL. That was massive because I was all over the Colts and Texans game. The second was Ezekiel Elliott’s news of being eligible for the game against the Chiefs.

Then there were two very surprising things on late Sunday morning just about when I was pretty set with my lineups. It was soon revealed that Zach Ertz was a no go against Denver after feeling uncomfortable during warm ups. Then Leonard Fournette’s suspension came out of no where to surprise very many fantasy owners all over the industry. These last two were very big as I had a significant number of lineups with these two guys and I was left scrambling in the last hour readjusting my lineups. So a very hit and miss week for me. Part of it could be blamed on the late news but sharp players were all over it by switching to Burton for the stone minimum. But I will take most of the blame for being a donkey and deciding to play video games with friends a few hours before the 1 PM kickoff.

I had a number of great plays and a few bad plays. Overall, I think my player and game projections were pretty good but my lineup construction prevented me from winning big. I just didn’t have the one lineup that had all the right plays together.

First I’ll recap my breakdown from last week and then I’ll go through a few lessons I learned.

Recap of Week 9

Both the Deshaun Watson and Ezekiel Elliott news on Thursday threw a wrench in my favorite games of the week and actually affected many players that I wrote about. Watson’s injury would bring down the stock of everyone in the game including Lamar Miller. Then Elliott’s return hurt Kareem Hunt’s outlook and the Dallas pass catchers too because they were definitely going to run with him more. I believe with the uncertainty of Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension, Dallas will just keep feeding him knowing that he may get a 6 week break any time now.

The Parts Where I Nailed It:

Jacoby Brissett

Despite Deshaun Watson being out, I still believed Jacoby Brissett was a good play at a low price. The Houston Texans defense is a much weaker and depleted team at this point in the season. Their run defense is still somewhat average but they can be taken advantage of through the air and Brissett did just that.

Adrian Peterson

He was in such a great spot at a low price and he ended up paying off his salary with a strong 20.7 DK points on a whopping 37 carries. I expected a positive game script and lots of rushing yards for the Cardinals because C.J. Beathard may be the worst QB in the league right now and he just lost WR Pierre Garcon to for the rest of the season. The only problem with Peterson is that he doesn’t catch a lot of passes so his upside is always somewhat limited. He has to get touchdowns to really hit a high ceiling. Unfortunately, that was not the case in week 9 but he still had a solid game.

Mike Evans

This one was simple. Marshon Lattimore is legit. He clearly got into Mike Evans’s head. He ended the day with only 1 reception on 6 targets for just 13 yards.

T.Y. Hilton

T.Y. Hilton continues to prove that he is good in domes on turf where his speed shines. I also heard an interesting stat where T.Y. Hilton has gotten a strong majority of his fantasy points this year when the Colts are in a close game but Jack Doyle is the one who gets a lot of fantasy points when the Colts are being blown out. The absence of Watson made him an even stronger play as this was no doubt going to be a close game.

Tyler Higbee

He didn’t do much but did catch that one TD pass that he was almost guaranteed to get.  The Giants D do not cover TEs and continues to give up a TE touchdown every week this season so far.

NO vs TB low scoring game

Many people including Vegas, who had this game as the highest total of 54.5, believed that the Saints and TB game would be high scoring because they play in the Superdome which is known as “Coors Field” of the NFL. But many failed to realize that is no longer the case this year. In the past, the Saints scored so many points not just because Brees is really good but because their defense is really bad. Almost any team could just throw 300+ yards on the Saints defense in the dome on a turf field. That’s why Brees had to throw so much to catch up and try to win games. One reason for this not difference is the Saints defense which rates as one of the better pass defenses in the league with two top 15 CB, including #1 rated CB Marshon Lattimore, and a strong pass rush led by Cameron Jordan who has a top 10 pass rush grade based on PFF’s metrics. Now the Saints actually have a strong run game now too. They are able to run with two RBs they like and keep control of the ball. This means other teams get less possessions as running the ball kills the clock and gives the Saints more ball control. These factors mean that it is not easy to just pick on the Saints anymore and that Drew Brees is not the same fantasy QB he once was even though I still believe he is still a great QB. This game was an easy fade for me.

Eagles DST & Jacksonville DST

Both of these defenses performed well this week. Jacksonville actually got somewhat lucky with a special teams TD.


The Parts Where I Might Have Missed A Little:

Kareem Hunt

I thought this was a prime bounce back spot for Kareem Hunt. He was finally getting a healthy offensive line back and Dallas had a soft run defense. Zeke’s presence did hurt Hunt’s outlook as well but his performance was still disappointing to me. I also did not correctly anticipate Charcandrick West’s heavy usage in the passing game. Hunt played just 54% of the Chiefs snaps, this could be due to the team using West has a passing down back as they tried to get back in the game. This looks like an anomaly and should not happen too often. Hunt should be fine in the future.

Matt Ryan, pub-1100396528751056, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0

I really didn’t expect Matt Ryan to have a good game and he proved me wrong. He ended up with a solid 22.42 and could have had more had Julio Jones not dropped a very catchable wide open touchdown.

Todd Gurley

I did not expect Gurley to pay off salary because I saw the Rams beating the Giants through the air with Jenkins out but he barely did with a 24.4 point performance. His day was also mainly saved from two touchdowns he managed get. because he did not do too much on the ground.

Evan Engram

The guy is a great athlete. The Giants are going to throw his way because they have no other options. Even though he only caught 4/10 targets, he still managed to get 17 DK points. As long as he keeps getting this volume at a reasonable price, he is always in play. His lone TD reception was off a spectacular jump ball he easily just ripped out of the air.


I am nullifying the IND vs HOU over call due to the Watson injury. So I was a solid 2/2 on bets this week.

Lessons Learned

  1. Sean Lee is a legit stud. I completely underestimated his impact on the Dallas defense, the man is absolutely everywhere on every play.
  2. Tony Romo continues to drop knowledge in his broadcasts. The Chiefs run D numbers were abysmal this year and I thought Zeke was a great play while downgrading the Dallas pass catchers. But what I didn’t notice was the Chiefs played a lot of nickel and dime formations which means more DBs on the field and less LB and linemen to stop the run. They went back to the normal 3-4 with Tamba Hali returning from injury and managed to hold Zeke to a modest 93 yards on 27 carries.
  3. Curtis Samuel is a beneficiary of the Kelvin Benjamin trade. He is not necessarily a polished WR yet but he got 49 snaps to Russell Shepard’s 38 snaps. He also got 5 targets over Shepard’s 2 targets as well.
  4. This does not necessarily pertain to this week, but air yards matter! I missed out on a season long trade where I had the option of selecting either Marvin Jones Jr. or Jordan Matthews. I had the air yards and schedule data in front of me but I went with Matthews because of the schedule but Marvin Jones has been the king of air yards while Jordan Matthews has been mediocre at best. Air yards matters because not all targets are created equally, Jones gets a lot of targets down the field and he’ll eventually catch some, and when he does, he will be satisfying many fantasy owners with a good day which is what happened on Monday night. You can find lots of great data on air yards here.



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