Daily Fantasy Football Week 9: DraftKings Optimal Lineup Advice, Matchup Guide

R. Cory Smith@@RCorySmithSenior Writer INovember 2, 2015

Nov 1, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws a pass in the second quarter against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Looking to get ahead in daily fantasy football for Week 9 of the NFL season? The key is starting early in the process, crunching the numbers and processing matchups to dominate tournaments on DraftKings.

Sifting through 24 rosters in 12 games is an arduous task, so we've done the leg work for you. As the midway point of the NFL season approaches, here's a look at a matchup guide to build your optimal lineup.


QB Options for Week 9
Top PerformerDrew BreesNew Orleans SaintsTEN$7,200
Safe BetPhilip RiversSan Diego ChargersCHI$6,900
Value PickPeyton ManningDenver BroncosIND$6,300
Wild CardDerek CarrOakland RaidersPIT$5,500
Salary info courtesy of DraftKings.com

It's going to be hard to improve upon his seven-touchdown performance on Sunday, but Drew Brees has yet another decent matchup to explore. Going against the Tennessee Titans, Brees should certainly match the huge points total that Brian Hoyer put up in Week 8.

Brees has been up-and-down this season but clearly has his offense running on all cylinders again at the Superdome. With Ben Watson suddenly looking invigorated and Willie Snead becoming a reliable target, Brees should have no trouble against the Titans secondary at home.

Nov 1, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) looks on prior to the game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

For those who don't want to pay the high price for Brees, Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning come at reasonable prices. Rivers has been on fire all season and plays a putrid Chicago Bears defense. Meanwhile, Manning will be facing the Indianapolis Colts, which rank 23rd on DraftKings against quarterbacks.

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Coming in at $300 less than Brees, Rivers might be the more consistent target for the QB slot in Week 9. Given the fact that he hasn't scored less than 30 points in his last three games on DraftKings, Rivers should be locked in for most lineups.

Still not coming down to your level in price? There's this guy named Derek Carr whom you might want to start paying attention to this season.

Carr hasn't been shaken this season when playing on the road, either. In fact, he's had two games with over 23 DraftKings points away from Oakland. Coming off a torching of the New York Jets offense, look for Carr and Amari Cooper to light up the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Running Back

RB Options for Week 9
Top PerformerTodd GurleySt. Louis RamsMIN$6,900
Safe BetChris IvoryNew York JetsOAK$5,900
Value PickRonnie HillmanDenver BroncosIND$4,600
Wild CardJeremy LangfordChicago BearsSD$4,000
Salary info courtesy of DraftKings.com

Sticking with the hot hand is a great strategy in daily fantasy. In Todd Gurley, DFS owners have the hottest hand in the entire league right now.

But wait, the Minnesota Vikings have been stout against running backs this year, can Gurley get going?

That's why sometimes matchups can be deceiving. While the Vikes rank 11th against running backs on DraftKings, a quick look at the teams they've faced gives us a clearer picture. According to Kyle Thele of the Chicago Sun-Times, through seven games, Minnesota has faced the Lions twice, the Chargers, the Chiefs during Charcandrick West's first game as a bell-cow back, and the Bears when Matt Forte suffered an injury.

When they've faced good running backs, it's been a different story. Carlos Hyde rushed for 168 yards and two touchdowns against Minnesota. Ronnie Hillman passed the century mark with a touchdown. Expect the same from Gurley at the top of your lineup.

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 01:  Ronnie Hillman #23 of the Denber Broncos runs the ball against the Green Bay Packers in the fourth quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High on November 1, 2015 in Denver, Colorado. The Broncos won 29-10.  (Photo by Justin
Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

Looking to pair Gurley up with a ridiculously productive back at a low price? Chris Ivory hasn't been strong recently but has a get-right game this week against the Jacksonville Jaguars. At just $5,900, Ivory is an RB1 this week at an RB2 price.

Still not saving enough salary to build your team? Luckily, Hillman and Jeremy Langford come at great prices. Hillman is coming off his first multi-touchdown game of the year. Langford should have a heightened role if Forte misses time against the Chargers, who rank 32nd on DraftKings against running backs.

Wide Receiver

WR Options for Week 9
Top PerformerOdell Beckham Jr.New York GiantsTB$8,800
Safe BetDemaryius ThomasDenver BroncosIND$7,500
Value PickEric DeckerNew York JetsJAX$5,300
Wild CardBrandon LaFellNew England PatriotsWAS$3,200
Salary info courtesy of DraftKings.com

Hello, Odell Beckham Jr.! The Giants' dynamic wide receiver took advantage of the Saints to the tune of eight receptions for 130 yards and three touchdowns. That's absurd, but his encore against the NFC South set for this weekend might be equally as great.

Coming off a matchup against the No. 6-ranked Saints secondary against receivers, Beckham faces the 29th-ranked defense. A week after Julio Jones ravaged the Bucs to the tune of 12 receptions for 162 yards and a touchdown, expect similar results from Beckham en route to a massive afternoon.

Demaryius Thomas hasn't exactly enjoyed a stellar season for the Broncos, but his two straight games of over 110 yards shows he's clicking in this offense. He also cracked the 10-yard line twice while narrowly missing out on a touchdown after landing near the goal line.

No. 88 will reach the end zone several more times this season, and at least one will come against the porous Colts secondary. Coming at a price point of over $1,000 less than Beckham and Jones, Thomas is a great option for owners who need extra salary.

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - OCTOBER 18:  Wide Receiver Eric Decker #87 of the New York Jets greets fans after the game against the Washington Redskins at MetLife Stadium on October 18, 2015 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.  (Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images for
Al Pereira/Getty Images

Another solid option is Eric Decker, who has a touchdown in all but one game this season. The New York Jets quarterback situation looks dicey with Geno Smith and Ryan Fitzpatrick injured, via Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com. Why shouldn't you worry? Because Decker played well with both under center.

A great flex play this week comes from Brandon LaFell, who showed life in his second game back from injury on Thursday. He might not have a double-digit-fantasy-point game this year, but LaFell should shine against a Redskins defense that ranks 22nd against receivers.

Follow R. Cory Smith on Twitter for more NFL DraftKings advice.

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