NFL DFS Main Slate – Above/Below – Key Plays for Week 9

The main NFL DFS slate features too many viable combinations to count in a lifetime, even when we eliminate several of the lower-end stacks we are left with possibilities galore at several positions. With NFL DFS picks, tips, tricks, touts, shoutouts, tweets, spreadsheets, slams, and sims coming from every direction all week, the purpose of this article is to feature a few plays for which our projections land above or below what appears to be the industry standard for the week, which will identify plays that are potentially over or undervalued by the public.

*note – despite the title of this article and what would probably be a more logical configuration, the “below” category comes first in the following content.

NFL DFS Sunday Main Slate Above/Below – Week 9


Geno Smith – Quarterback – Seattle Seahawks – $6,000/$6,600 – QB15 points/QB19 value DraftKings; QB15/QB14 FanDuel

Against a lesser opponent, we would be all over Geno Smith and his strong army of pass catchers, but the Ravens are one of the league’s very best defenses against both the pass and the run. Baltimore has allowed just 4.6 yards per pass attempt this season, the best mark in football. Their 4.1 yards per rush attempt sits just 20th among 32 teams, but they have kept opponents off the board in the rushing game with fewer than 100 yards allowed per game and 0.38 touchdowns allowed on the ground each week. Baltimore’s defense will go a long way toward limiting the opportunities and success of the typically playable Seahawks offense, even with the extremely limited nature of available stacks, it probably pays to avoid the Seahawks outside of a few shares of individual skill players, including the running backs and top two wide receivers. Smith himself has thrown for 235 yards per game with nine touchdowns and six interceptions while racking up 7.3 yards per pass attempt on 7.2 intended air yards per attempt, he will be facing a very good pass rush that has managed 31 sacks with a 19.3% pressure rate and 24.9% blitz rate this season. Smith does not rate as a strong option in a game that we are less enthused about than the field, both sides seem potentially capped for success with Seattle also carrying one of the league’s elite defenses, though Lamar Jackson has the ability to break the game open on his own for the Ravens, a skill that is far more limited in Smith.

Mark Andrews – Tight End – Baltimore Ravens – $6,800/$7,500 – TE2/TE21 DraftKings; TE2/TE9 FanDuel

Mark Andrews projects very well for his position and, if you have the salary to spend and no better option on deck at another position, he is a worthwhile play on raw scoring potential alone. Andrews ranks second by fantasy points on both sites, but he lands ninth at his position by points-per-dollar on FanDuel and 21st on DraftKings. Andrews drew five targets last week after seeing six in each of the two previous games, he has four catches in each of those three games while scoring three times. Andrews posted 40 yards and a touchdown last week and he had a big day with 63 yards and two scores in Week 7. The tight end has drawn six targets per game while posting 2.0 yards per route run on the season, he is a very good option positionally but the value is potentially critical with the way this week’s slate falls, Andrews almost has to score twice to pay off his high salary against this field of options. The Ravens are facing a tough Seattle defense, the Seahawks rank 8th against the pass with just 6.2 yards per pass attempt and third against the run with 3.6 yards per rush attempt, but they have not been as good against tight ends, ranking in the bottom third of the league against the position overall. Andrews is limited more by his hefty salary overall, he is an expensive touchdown-dependent option whose quarterback may simply run the ball in three times today. Lamar Jackson remains the top play from the Ravens, but Andrews and Zay Flowers are the clear pairing options, Andrews should be owned but an undercut to any significant public ownership would be a sound approach.

Lingering Lows

  • Kenneth Walker III
  • Jordan Love
  • Alexander Mattison
  • Taylor Heinicke
  • Jerome Ford & Kareem Hunt
  • Every rookie QB drafted outside the top-2
  • Colts D
  • Mac Jones & Demario Douglas
  • Patriots D


Bryce Young – Quarterback – Carolina Panthers – $5,100/$6,900 – QB5 points/QB1 value DraftKings; QB5/QB3 FanDuel

Look, we understand, Bryce Young has not lived up to the hype frequently to start his career. The first overall pick of the 2023 draft has just one truly strong DFS day on his resume to this point, a 247-yard three-touchdown game against the Lions in Week 5. Young still threw two interceptions in that game and he has thrown four on the season with seven touchdowns but only the one game with more than one touchdown pass in his six played. Young has all the necessary tools for success and he has viable weapons in the passing game with Adam Thielen, DJ Chark, and Jonathan Mingo, he delivered 235 yards and a touchdown on 22-31 passing in Week 8 against Houston and has a decent matchup against a lousy but improving Colts pass defense. Young has managed just 5.6 yards per pass attempt while throwing for 200 yards a game and completing 64% of his 35.5 attempts per game. On a sheer volume of throws basis, Young ranks second to only Sam Howell in total pass attempts per game so far this season, while the Colts rank 26th against the pass with 7.0 yards per pass attempt allowed this season. Indianapolis has a 20.2% pressure rate on just 17% blitzes with 21 sacks on the season while allowing nine touchdown passes, but they have been better at limiting the passing game in the last three weeks. At a cheap price and with a very strong projection we are several points ahead of the industry average on the Carolina quarterback this week, which would normally be uncomfortable but is less so against a field that includes five quarterbacks who were taken after him in the same draft (or not drafted at all) as well as a few other backups. Young has more talent at his disposal than many of the other quarterbacks in play, he is at very low ownership on both sites, and he makes for a strong tournament option as an excellent points-per-dollar quarterback on both sites.

Derek Carr – Quarterback – New Orleans Saints – $5,700/$7,100 – QB3/QB3 DraftKings; QB3/QB2 FanDuel

Derek Carr had a strong outing in Week 8 with his third-straight 300-yard passing day and two touchdowns. Carr has been underrated this season, he struggled with an early injury that limited his output slightly and he was playing the first few weeks of the season without his big gun Alvin Kamara, but he still has four 300-yard games on the season with eight touchdown passes and four interceptions. Carr has thrown the ball at a heavy clip over the past few weeks as well, exceeding 50 passing attempts in both of Weeks 6 and 7, and completing 19-27 in last week’s game. The quarterback is surrounded by significant talent, he has Kamara, who has been a target monster since his return and could shine today out of the backfield, and the team employs excellent receivers in Chris Olave, Michael Thomas, and downfield dynamo Rashid Shaheed. Add tight end Juwan Johnson and Swiss Army Knife Tayson Hill and Saints stacks are loaded with potential against a team that ranks 27th with 7.1 yards allowed per pass attempt. Chicago has allowed 17 passing touchdowns so far this season, the second-highest total on the slate and they are giving up 262.25 yards per game through the air while Carr checks in with 238.75 yards per game and 6.8 yards per pass attempt. With his excellent points and points-per-dollar rankings, Carr should be a very strong play on both DraftKings and FanDuel this week and we will have plenty of his teammates along for the ride, Alvin Kamara and Chris Olave are both strong options who could have been featured in this space on their own.

Honorable Mentions:

  • Deshaun Watson/Amari Cooper
  • Adam Thielen/Jonathan Mingo/DJ Chark
  • Brandin Cooks
  • Julio Jones
  • Josh Jacobs
  • Saquon Barkley
  • Alvin Kamara
  • CeeDee Lamb
  • Saints D
  • Jonathan Taylor

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