NFL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Week 9 Sunday Baller

NFL DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Week 9 Sunday Baller

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Football series.

The Week 9 NFL main slate begins Sunday at 1:00 p.m. EDT and features 10 games. There are six teams on bye this week: the Browns, Cowboys, Broncos, Giants, Steelers and 49ers. Additionally, the Thursday Night Football (Eagles-Texans), Sunday Night Football (Titans-Kansas City) and Monday Night Football (Ravens-Saints) participants are also excluded. With so many teams on bye and a few of the league's most fantasy-friendly offenses playing in prime time, the pool for the Week 9 is smaller than usual, but there are still appealing options to choose from. Yahoo will be running plenty of NFL DFS contests for Week 9, but the biggest is the Sunday Baller, which pays out a guaranteed prize pool of $250,000 to the top 2,700 finishers, including $50,000 to the winner. You can submit up to 150 entries into this contest, which has a maximum total capacity of 14,700 entries but will still run if it doesn't fill, potentially providing you with enhanced odds of winning, also known as overlay. 

Playing in guaranteed prize pool (GPP) contests is about chasing upside, while lineups geared towards head-to-head, 50/50 or double-up formats should prioritize high floors. The players you want to target for these different contest types aren't mutually exclusive, but winning a GPP tournament usually requires finding a hidden gem or going against the grain in a spot or two, while building a solid base of the same chalk plays you would use anywhere. Against-the-grain plays typically consist of big-name players in tough matchups or boom-or-bust types with uncertain roles.

Keep in mind that Yahoo DFS contests use 0.5 PPR scoring rather than full PPR, which lowers the comparative value of wide receivers and running backs (in that order) while especially affecting high-volume pass-catchers. Your NFL $300k Sunday Baller lineup will consist of one QB, two RBs, three WRs, one TE, one FLEX (RB/WR/TE) and one D/ST unit. Suggested plays for Week 9 include a dual-threat quarterback hosting a defense that's struggled on the road, a pair of 2021 draft picks emerging as stars at running back, and a receiver who has benefited from a recent change under center.

QUARTERBACK

Kyler Murray, ARI vs. SEA ($31): The Seahawks routinely have some of the starkest home/road splits in the NFL, and the same trend is taking hold in 2022, as Seattle is 3-1 with 16.5 points allowed per game at home and 2-2 with 31.5 points allowed per game on the road. Meanwhile, the positive effect of DeAndre Hopkins' return from a suspension has outweighed the negatives of Marquise Brown's foot injury (and the new Call of Duty coming out) when it comes to Murray's passing stats. The QB threw for season highs in yards (326) and touchdowns (three) last week in Minnesota, with 159 of those yards going to Hopkins. The mobile quarterback's also sixth at the position in rushing yards with 299, and that dual-threat ability should be on full display against a Seattle defense that turns into the Lions on the road.

Honorable Mentions

Justin Herbert, LAC at ATL ($34); Kirk Cousins, MIN at WAS ($29); Aaron Rodgers, GB at DET ($27)

Against the Grainers

Josh Allen, BUF at NYJ ($40); Tua Tagovailoa, MIA at CHI ($30); Taylor Heinicke, WAS vs. MIN ($22)

RUNNING BACK

Travis Etienne, JAX vs. LV ($27): Etienne has shown he can thrive as a workhorse in recent weeks, and the lead role is all his since James Robinson's now a Jet. Over the past two weeks, Etienne has rushed for 270 yards and two touchdowns on 38 attempts. His scouting report coming out of Clemson compared him to Alvin Kamara, and the Raiders had absolutely no answer for Kamara last week as the Saints running back torched them for 158 scrimmage yards and three touchdowns. Etienne will look to post a similar performance, and if the Jaguars fall behind, he'll likely see some extra targets out of the backfield against a Vegas defense that's allowed 428 yards and three touchdowns through the air to running backs -- third most and second most in the league, respectively.

Rhamondre Stevenson, NE vs. IND ($23): Stevenson took over the lead role in New England's backfield when Damien Harris hurt his hamstring, and the second-year running back performed so well that he's continuing to be used as a workhorse even with Harris healthy. In his last four games, Stevenson has rushed 71 times for 347 yards and three touchdowns, and he's been used much more as a pass catcher in the last two, securing all 15 of his targets for 131 yards. With Mac Jones struggling to push the ball downfield, Stevenson should continue to gobble up carries and check-downs in a game which figures to see New England's offense on the field a lot against a Colts team that has unproven youngster Sam Ehlinger under center without the benefit of a healthy Jonathan Taylor

Honorable Mentions

Austin Ekeler, LAC at ATL ($39); Aaron Jones, GB at DET ($26); D'Onta Foreman, CAR at CIN ($17)

Against the Grainers

D'Andre Swift, DET vs. GB ($22); Cordarrelle Patterson, ATL vs. LAC ($21); Antonio Gibson, WAS vs. MIN ($15)

WIDE RECEIVER

Tyreek Hill, MIA at CHI ($32): Hill leads the league in both catches (69) and receiving yards (961), so he's delivered elite production despite finding the end zone only twice. The sky's the limit for the speedster against a Bears defense that's sure to be demoralized after trading away arguably its two best players in Robert Quinn and Roquan Smith. Chicago just gave up 49 points to the Cowboys, and while other teams have been able to run all over the Bears, Miami isn't built that way. Instead, expect to see plenty of production from the one-two punch of Hill and Jaylen Waddle.

Terry McLaurin, WAS vs. MIN ($19): McLaurin has seen a noticeable uptick in effectiveness since Taylor Heinicke took over under center in Washington. These two built chemistry last season and have picked up where they left off, with McLaurin catching 11 of 16 targets for 186 yards and a touchdown over the past two games. Washington will likely have to throw to catch up against the 6-1 Vikings, and Minnesota has escaped with wins in each of its last two games despite being unable to contain the opposition's top wide receiver; Tyreek Hill and DeAndre Hopkins combined for 24 catches, 336 yards and one touchdown over that stretch against Minnesota.

Romeo Doubs, GB at DET ($14): Doubs played well as the de facto top target for Aaron Rodgers last week in Buffalo, and he should continue to play a prominent role against the leaky Lions secondary even if Allen Lazard is able to return after missing the previous game due to a shoulder injury. The rookie made a nice touchdown catch in the loss to the Bills, marking the third time that Doubs has finished with at least 47 yards and a touchdown. His floor has been lower than you would like, but that's why he can be found at a bargain salary against a Lions defense that's allowing the most points (32.1) and scrimmage yards (421.3) per game.

Honorable Mentions

Justin Jefferson, MIN at WAS ($35); Tee Higgins, CIN vs. CAR ($28); DJ Moore, CAR at CIN ($16)

Against the Grainers

Mike Evans, TB vs. LAR ($23); Michael Pittman, IND at NE ($16); Garrett Wilson, NYJ vs. BUF ($14) 

TIGHT END

Gerald Everett, LAC at ATL ($18): Justin Herbert should have no trouble carving up a Falcons secondary that's allowing a league-high 306.9 passing yards per game, but the Chargers' receiving corps is falling apart, which should leave plenty of targets for Everett. Mike Williams is out with an ankle injury, while Keenan Allen returned from a hamstring injury last week but didn't play in the second half and may need additional recovery time. Even No. 3 receiver Joshua Palmer isn't a lock to play as he recovers from a concussion. There's only so many times Herbert can check it down to Austin Ekeler, and Everett has had some nice performances for the Chargers, topping 50 yards in four of seven games and scoring a touchdown in two of those four. The tight end's primed for another strong outing against a Falcons defense that's allowed 54 catches (second most) and 552 yards (third most) to the position.

Honorable Mentions

Zach Ertz, ARI vs. SEA ($23); Robert Tonyan, GB at DET ($16); Evan Engram, JAX vs. LV ($15)

Against the Grainers

Darren Waller, LV at JAX ($21); Kyle Pitts, ATL vs. LAC ($16); Tyler Conklin, NYJ vs. BUF ($11)

DEFENSE

Cincinnati Bengals, CIN vs. CAR ($14): Bill Belichick against an inexperienced quarterback is a tempting proposition, but the Patriots are awfully expensive. The Bengals come in at a much more reasonable salary against a Panthers offense that's bereft of playmakers. Stack the box to stop D'Onta Foreman and shade some extra attention DJ Moore's way, and what do the Panthers have left? PJ Walker has made some key throws but still has a 5:9 career TD:INT, and No. 2 wide receiver Terrace Marshall's still searching for his first NFL touchdown. The Bengals defense will be angry and motivated at home after being blown out by the rival Browns in front of a national audience, and this visit from the Panthers should be just what the doctor ordered to get the taste of that Halloween defeat out of Cincinnati's mouth.

Honorable Mentions:

New England Patriots, NE vs. IND ($22); Buffalo Bills, BUF at NYJ ($20); Green Bay Packers, GB at DET ($15)

Against the Grainers: 

Carolina Panthers, CAR at CIN ($16); Los Angeles Rams, LAR at TB ($13); Los Angeles Chargers, LAC at ATL ($10)

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Sasha Yodashkin plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: Youngsash, DraftKings: Yashdogg,Yahoo: Sasha, Fanball: Yashdogg.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sasha Yodashkin
Sasha has been contributing NFL, NHL, NBA, MLB and Tennis content to RotoWire since 2015, with an emphasis on DFS. He is a huge New York sports fan who has been playing fantasy sports since middle school.
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