It is Week 9 of the NFL season and I’m sad to be talking about how we didn’t get a start out of Kevin Hogan last week. … That just about tells you where we are in the year. The madness is real right now, especially with bye weeks in full swing. Let’s try to find some value plays that can make this crazy time of year profitable for you.
Ryan Tannehill vs. Jets, $5,700
Tannehill is priced as the QB24 this week on Fantasy Aces, which is a far cry from his salary rankings of QB16 and QB14 on FanDuel and DraftKings, respectively. He has not been great by any stretch this season, throwing just seven touchdowns and seven interceptions on the year, but he is fourth in the NFL in yards per attempt. The Jets are 26th in yards per attempt against and were 31st in Football Outsiders pass DVOA rankings entering Week 8. This is a premier matchup and Tannehill may be due for some touchdown regression.
Case Keenum vs. Panthers, $5,000
Keenum isn’t someone you want to make a weekly target, but at a price $600 less than Landry Jones you have to consider him. Add in that the Panthers haven’t stopped the pass all year and he becomes a legitimate play. Carolina was 27th in pass DVOA heading into Week 8 and have allowed at least 350 yards passing to three of their last four opponents. It probably won’t be pretty, but I like Keenum to hit 3x value on this price in the dome against Carolina.
Charcandrick West vs. Jaguars, $4,400
Charcnado has returned! With Jamaal Charles suffering setbacks to his surgically repaired knee, and Spencer Ware leaving Sunday’s game with a concussion, it looks like we could see West for extended action on Sunday in a terrific matchup with Jacksonville. The Jags were 24th in rush DVOA heading into Week 8, and most recently allowed the Tennessee combo of DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry to combine for over 200 total yards and two touchdowns. The Chiefs opened up as massive nine-point home favorites in this one, so they should lean on the run game aplenty.
Matt Asiata vs. Lions, $4,300
Detroit is 25th in rush DVOA entering the Monday Night game and the Vikings prefer to win their games on the ground than through the air. Jerick McKinnon was out for Week 8 and his status for Week 9 is unclear. This is a situation where Asiata could be the lead back in a good matchup, where Minnesota will almost certainly be home favorites. Even if McKinnon does play we’ve seen Asiata vulture numerous touchdowns from the young SPARQ star. He could still pay off his relatively cheap price without a full workload.
Tyrell Williams vs. Titans, $4,100
The Chargers have played Denver in two of their last three games, which has affected Williams’ bottom line. In his last two games against non-Bronco secondaries he has gone over 100 yards. Williams is a consistent part of the Charger passing attack, averaging seven targets per game over his last six outings. I love getting that kind of cheap volume in a slightly above-average matchup.
Kenny Stills vs. Jets, $3,800
This is a little bit of a risky play, but I like the way Stills matches up with the Jets. New York is 28th or worse in DVOA against both number two WRs and all other groups of wideouts. They are 20th in DVOA against the deep ball, and Stills is a huge play threat, averaging 16.7 air yards per target. He had 100 yards and a touchdown on eight targets in Miami’s last game before the bye. Stills is basically free and has some pretty tremendous upside in this matchup.
Antonio Gates vs. Titans, $4,000
I’m pretty content with playing Gates every week until he is priced closer to Hunter Henry. Gates caught a touchdown against Denver and has now seen 19 targets in his last two games. Seemingly healthy, he has gone back to being the best friend of Philip Rivers on the field. Tennessee is a much easier matchup than Denver and San Diego has the sixth-highest Vegas implied team total of the week. This is affordable touchdown upside that is playable weekly.
Vance McDonald vs. Saints, $3,500
A punt in the truest form, McDonald should have a shot to be effective against a Saints defense ranked 26th in DVOA against the tight end position entering Week 8. He saw his highest target total of the year with six before the bye week, and that hopefully bodes well for his volume going forward. This matchup with New Orleans has the second-highest over/under of the week and the 49ers are home underdogs. There should be plenty of passing, which means tons of opportunity for an affordable McDonald in a great matchup.
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