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Dan's DFS picks for NFL Week 9

5 Nov 2015

By Dan Podheiser
So close, but so very, very far away.

I had a decent week in the DraftKings Millionaire Maker in Week 8, but my picks came up just a tad bit short. I was 11 points away from a cash, but there were still a whopping 54,000 entries between me and the first player to min-cash.

Yeah, these DFS guaranteed prize pool (GPP) tournaments are tough.

But we're back on the grind again this week, and we're taking somewhat of a new strategy. We're going with a bunch of sleepers and a few high-priced monsters, including at the tight end position, where we have almost always picked from the bargain bin. Time to change things up, right?

For a full explanation of the differences between DraftKings and FanDuel scoring, read this blog post by Daily Fantasy Sports 101.

Quarterback: Derek Carr, Oakland Raiders (DK: $5,500; FD: $7,000)

I'm pretty surprised that Carr, who torched the stout New York Jets defense last week for 333 yards and four touchdowns, is one of the lowest-priced quarterbacks on the board this week. Granted, Carr's Raiders are facing the Pittsburgh Steelers, who held the high-powered Cincinnati Bengals offense to just 16 points last week. But Pittsburgh is 27th in the league in passing yards allowed this season, and Carr has been red hot.

Overall, I think this is a tremendous value play at the quarterback position. Carr and the Raiders are on a roll, and I don't think it'll stop this week.

Running Back (DK): Chris Ivory, New York Jets ($5,900)

The Jets need to get back to playing Jets football, and that means handing Chris Ivory the rock close to 30 times a game. After rushing for 166 and 146 yards in consecutive wins over the Dolphins and Redskins, Ivory has been held to just 58 yards combined over the past two weeks, both losses for New York.

This week, Ivory and the Jets get a favorable matchup at home against the Jacksonville Jaguars. And even though Jacksonville has been decent against the run this season, the Jets' defense should be able to keep the game close enough to warrant handing the ball off to Ivory 25-30 times this week. This play has a lot of value this week.

Running Back (FD): Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears ($6,400)

Langford is filling in for the injured Matt Forte, who has been the focal point of the Chicago Bears' offense every game for the past five seasons. When Forte went down with an injury last week, Langford stepped in nicely, gaining 46 yards on 12 carries.
The Bears face the Chargers this week, who are 29th against the run. That's the basis of this entire pick, really. That, and that Langford is pretty cheap. He'll get a ton of volume this week out of the backfield, and you can't turn down that value.

Wide Receiver (DK): Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers ($3,900)

Meanwhile, in San Diego, the Chargers face injury issues of their own, as starting wide receiver Keenan Allen will miss the rest of the season with a ruptured spleen. In steps Floyd, who burst onto the scene last week in Baltimore with four catches for 92 yards and two touchdowns. He also had a five-catch, 95-yard performance two weeks earlier in Green Bay, a game in which he was targeted 12 times.

Floyd should get more targets now that Allen is gone, and he's benefitting from his quarterback, Philip Rivers, having the best season of his career. A starting wide receiver playing for the leading passer in the NFL is always a good bet.

Wide Receiver (FD): Odell Beckham Jr., New York Giants ($9,000)

Not much to say here. Beckham Jr. might just be the best wide receiver in football, and he's going against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense that, while decent, looked like a Pop Warner team last week trying to defend Falcons wideout Julio Jones. Look for Beckham, who had a monster game last week in New Orleans, to pick up where he left off against the Bucs.

Tight End: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots (DK: $8,000; FD: $8,500)

Gronk is far and away the best tight end in football, and he's a fantasy monster. The only reason not to take him for your team every week is because of his high price. He's always priced around $2,500 more than the next closest tight end, and that's just because he's so damn consistent. This week, in a matchup against the Washington Redskins, I'm going to use my Gronk card. Let's hope this isn't the one week he catches two balls for 27 yards. Tom Brady would do that just to spite me.

Defense: Philadelphia Eagles (DK: $2,700; FD: $4,700)

I don't understand the prices for these defenses sometimes. The Eagles have one of the best units in the NFL, and they're going up against the Dallas Cowboys this week, who have a scarecrow playing quarterback. This is an obvious pick.
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