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Welcome to Week 9 of the football season. I’ll be providing you with some DFS content, covering Running Backs and Defenses. We’ll take a look at some potential cash-game plays as well as some pivots that could be used in tournaments. If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out in the comments section below.
Cash Game Options:
Nick Chubb, CLE ($13,100) at DEN
Chubb has 20 or more touches in 6 of 7 games this year and that is what I am looking for in my cash game running backs. The Broncos have seen the 10th most rushing attempts against them thanks to their poor offense and stout defense against the pass. Cleveland’s offensive line is 12th in adjusted line yards and the Broncos defense is dealing with multiple injuries in their front seven at the moment. It is also a boost for Chubb that he has seen four or more targets in five of his last six games and that should continue with Baker Mayfield likely to be under pressure often this week.
Le’Veon Bell, NYJ ($14,300) at MIA
Bell’s usage has been a disappointment over the last couple of weeks. He has 16 or less touches in each of the last three games. Head coach Adam Gase has come out and said that he wants to get Bell the ball more and I think he should get back to 20 this week. The real reason we want Bell in cash this week is his matchup. The Dolphins give up the most yards per target to running backs and the fourth-most yards per carry to go along with 10 rushing touchdowns allowed in seven games. The Dolphins see about 33 running back touches against them a game and Bell has been given about 85 percent of the Jets running back touches this year. Bell is a great way for us to lock-in 20+ touches and a great matchup.
Josh Jacobs, OAK ($11,900) vs DET
There aren’t a lot of cheap options that we can project high volume for. Jacobs has at least 17 touches in each of the last four games he has played including multiple receptions in each one too. He also gets all of the red-zone work at running back which we like to see. The Lions opponents have run 69 plays per game against them, which the most in the NFL. Also, every running back that has had at least 15 touches against the Lions has been a top-eight fantasy option. The Raiders offensive line has been mauling as they are fourth in adjusted line yards. The Raiders should see an uptick in plays, Jacobs is running behind a great run-blocking offensive line and the volume plus red-zone work is there.
Jaylen Samuels, PIT ($7,800) vs IND
Starting running back James Conner hasn’t practiced this week after suffering a shoulder injury in week eight. His backup in that game, Benny Snell, is out multiple weeks after injuring his knee in week eight also. Samuels has missed the last couple of games with injury himself but he practiced last week and is in line for lead back duties in week nine. In Samuels’ two games with Mason Rudolph at quarterback, he has 12 targets. The Colts have given up a healthy 4.8 yards per carry but have faced bottom-ten rushing attempts against them. With the Colts offense able to control the time of possession well, opposing offenses can’t run as many plays against them. Samuels is very cheap, allowing us to pay up at our other spots and he makes for an intriguing option on PPR sites.
Jordan Howard, PHI ($10,100) vs. CHI
Howard is coming off a season-high in snaps and touches in a game where Miles Sanders left early. Sanders has yet to practice as of Thursday afternoon. The Eagles may be getting back Darren Sproles from injury. In the three games that Akeem Hicks has missed for the Bears, their defense has allowed 4.2 yards per carry and six touchdowns to running backs. It is also worth noting that Howard may be playing with some extra motivation against his former team in a “revenge narrative” if you believe in that. I like Howard’s price and the fact that he should dominate in carries and is set up for most, if not, all of the goalline work against a team that has been hemorrhaging rushing scores of late.
Christian McCaffrey, CAR ($18,700) vs. TEN
McCaffrey is the no doubt RB1 every week that he is playing. He has scored more than five points per game than the second running back in PPR leagues. He is also very expensive on FantasyDraft and rightfully so. He is $1,400 more than Dalvin Cook who has a great matchup and gets elite usage too. With the price that high, he won’t have any kind of crazy ownership especially without any lock-button values on the slate and a pretty tough matchup ahead. The Titans have been stout against running backs allowing only one top-12 result on the season and a stingy 3.81 yards per carry to running backs. The Titans, however, have allowed the fifth-most points through the air to running backs, and that is an area where McCaffrey shines of course. Make sure you have exposure to McCaffrey every week as he has the highest upside of any running back
Cash Game Option:
Cleveland Browns ($5,200) at DEN
The Browns are reasonably cheap and allow us to pay up at other spots. They are above average in pressure and the Broncos offensive line is bottom five in adjusted sack rate. It is also worth noting that the Broncos are starting Brandon Allen for his first game action in three years as a pro. The Broncos will no doubt be run-heavy but if the Browns offense can generate some points and force Allen to dropback that will give this defense a shot sacks and turnovers. It is also nice that Broncos implied total is only 18, the second-lowest on the slate.
Carolina Panthers ($5,600) vs TEN
The Titans offensive line has the worst adjusted sack rate in the league, giving up a sack on a league-high 12.6 percent of dropbacks and their starting center is in the concussion protocol. The Panthers defense is top-five in both QB hits and sacks. The Titans quarterback Ryan Tannehill has played in three games (started two) and has been sacked nine times, thrown two interceptions and has also fumbled three times. The Panthers at home give us a good chance at a ceiling game with the pressure they force.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)