Early Week 9 Bargain DFS Targets Include Alvin Kamara, Zach Pascal, Ronnie Rivers, and Terrace Marshall Jr.

    If you're competing in Week 9 DFS tournaments or any other competitions, here's an early look at our favorite DFS targets for each team.

    If you’re looking for early Week 9 DFS targets before crafting your lineups, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve analyzed each team’s highest-probability game scripts to assess which player on each team has a great shot at outproducing expectations. Some of these guys will be pricey for good reasons. Others might be cheap, high-upside bargains.

    Favorite Week 9 Undervalued DFS Targets

    Last week, I made some ugly recommendations and some that played out. The ugly? Pushing guys like Drake London, Cade Otton, Patrick Taylor, and James Robinson.

    In fairness, last week’s column hit a lot more than it missed. Some of these calls were about great players dominating, such as D’Onta Foreman, Josh Allen, Rhamondre Stevenson, and Derrick Henry. Nothing too shocking there.

    MORE: NFL Survivor Pool Picks Week 9

    I also recommended CeeDee Lamb, stating that he “could easily hit an 8-110-1 receiving line” (he finished with 5-77-1), and Justin Fields (“the only ‘safe’ play” for Chicago). I pushed T.J. Hockenson, who led all Lions in receiving yards, as well as Tua Tagovailoa for 20+ fantasy points (he was the No. 1 fantasy QB on Sunday).

    And facing the dilemma between choosing the ultra-expensive Justin Jefferson and Dalvin Cook, I suggested Kirk Cousins was the best Vikings DFS bargain, predicting a season-high 23+ points. He scored 23.5.

    Also, in fairness, some deeper dives hit — relatively affordable DFS options well-positioned to break out. Greg Dulcich comes to mind. And taking a leap on Andy Dalton paid off.

    The following recommended Week 9 fantasy football DFS targets (for tournaments, 50/50, or head-to-head competitions) aim to lock in relatively high floors while maximizing upside, identifying one player for each team.

    Thursday Night Football

    Texans vs. Eagles. Are there any Houston players we can trust besides Dameon Pierce? And, that said, can we even trust him against one of the league’s most potent defenses? As with most weeks, this is a week to fade the Texans in DFS. I wouldn’t overpay for Pierce. Instead, go cheap with O.J. Howard or Brevin Jordan — whichever TE costs less.

    For Philly, we have so many great options, of course. In what should be a blowout win, we’ll want Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and the other heavy hitters in our single-game lineup. But the best bargain? That goes to Zach Pascal or Quez Watkins — whoever’s cheaper. I believe Jalen Hurts will keep at least one of them involved because, longer term, Pascal or Watkins could be instrumental if Brown or DeVonta Smith gets hurt.

    Sunday 1 p.m. ET Games

    Falcons vs. Chargers

    Remember, this is about value, not just projected cheap pricing (although sometimes that helps). For Atlanta, the cheap-but-effective Younghoe Koo was a key part of my recommended Week 8 Falcons-Panthers DFS lineup that finished 13th out of 3,500+ competitors.

    The question is whether the Chargers will score enough to compel Atlanta to forgo field goal attempts in pursuit of touchdowns. Likely half the price of guys like Kyle Pitts and Marcus Mariota, Koo is someone I’m comfortable with as a fantastic bargain.

    For L.A., I can’t justify getting cute with an inexpensive player like DeAndre Carter. At 4-3 and against one of the league’s worst defenses, the Chargers should continue to lean heavily on Austin Ekeler on the ground and through the air. I believe Ekeler will hit 27+ points this week; he’s my favorite Chargers “bargain.”

    Bears vs. Dolphins

    Another week, another Justin Fields recommendation. David Montgomery might cost almost as much, but Chicago’s starting RB remains a weekly risk of getting poached and/or outplayed by Khalil Herbert. Fields is the safest 14+ point bet.

    For Miami, the explosive upside of Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill, and Jaylen Waddle eliminates the need to search for cheap bargains. We need to lock in one of these three guys. I’d recommend Tagovailoa.

    Let’s also keep in mind that the Bears’ respected pass defense factors in matchups against the Patriots (Mac Jones and Bailey Zappe), Commanders (Carson Wentz in his injury-plagued last start), Giants (Daniel Jones), Texans (Davis Mills), and 49ers (Trey Lance in brutal field conditions). In other words, Chicago is not as good as their stats suggest.

    Bengals vs. Panthers

    It’s tough to pick a bargain for Cincinnati because Joe Burrow easily could get four TDs in this one, while Tee Higgins might get a pair. In the end, given how few Bengals have great upside, I’d lock in Burrow.

    For Carolina, D’Onta Foreman is the easy call, though his DFS price will be sky-high. What about DJ Moore? Probably the same issue, although Carolina should be playing from behind for most of the game. Assuming Terrace Marshall Jr. is less than half the price of Foreman and Moore, I’d rather roll the dice on a pass-heavy second half that continues to target Marshall.

    Lions vs. Packers

    Who will Green Bay’s Jaire Alexander shadow? Possibly Amon-Ra St. Brown early and often. Perhaps a mix of receivers, depending on how Detroit adjusts. Regardless, I expect D’Andre Swift to continue ramping back up; he’ll be my favorite DFS bargain based on cost vs. production.

    For Green Bay, how can we ignore Aaron Jones? The flailing Packers have no choice but to lean on him yet again. No one has his 20+ point upside. I’d bet on Jones once again outproducing lofty expectations.

    Patriots vs. Colts

    For New England, there’s Rhamondre Stevenson and Jakobi Meyers, and then there’s everyone else. DeVante Parker’s Week 8 injury compounds this fact, although Parker might be back for this one. Either way, the offense largely runs through Stevenson. He’s a must-start, even at his high price.

    MORE: Early Week 9 Start ’em Sit ’em

    And assuming Sam Ehlinger remains at the Colts’ helm, can we trust any of his receivers to dominate? What about Jonathan Taylor? My money’s on kicker Chase McLaughlin to be the best Indy DFS bargain this week, as he’ll be roughly 2x cheaper than the Colts’ wideouts and possibly 3x cheaper than Taylor. But with strong 10+ point potential, McLaughlin seems like a great bet.

    Jets vs. Bills

    Who can we trust on the Jets these days, especially facing Buffalo? I’d recommend the fairly cheap Tyler Conklin. Not a bold selection, I know. He’s coming off a big day against New England. Still, I don’t see how Zach Wilson finds success throwing deep.

    And with Buffalo, as always, it’s Josh Allen or bust. It doesn’t get more complicated than that. He’s a weekly threat for 30+ points.

    Commanders vs. Vikings

    How affordable will Antonio Gibson be? I’d choose whoever’s cheaper between him and Terry McLaurin. Both guys should hit 5+ receptions and 50+ yards. The question comes down to who scores. Go with the less expensive guy.

    And should we go Cousins again? Well, if Irv Smith Jr. is forced to miss time, I’d roll with the ultra-cheap Johnny Mundt, who might be 10x cheaper than Cousins, Jefferson, or Cook. A starting Mundt should bring in 5+ points, which is what you want out of a roughly $1,000 DFS player. If Smith returns, then I’d bet on a blow-up performance for Jefferson.

    Update: Irv Smith Jr. is expected to miss time with a high ankle sprain.

    Jaguars vs. Raiders

    I’ve pushed Travis Etienne Jr. across Pro Football Network’s website for months. There’s nothing left to say, except that he’ll probably be the most expensive Jaguars DFS option. Facing a deserted Raiders defense that can’t even stop tumbleweeds, I’d bet on a big rebound for the cheaper Christian Kirk — the kind of performance that justifies what the Jags are paying him.

    For Vegas, if Darren Waller remains out, I like Foster Moreau maintaining his “great bargain” reputation. That said, if Moreau’s price exceeds 40% of Josh Jacobs’, I’d rather go with Jacobs.

    Sunday 4 p.m. ET Games

    There are two games on this docket featuring, yes, four teams. Here’s the rundown of the best DFS bargains, regardless of price. And because you’ve already read many words, we’ll shift into “speed round,” hitting on the most essential points (and nothing about my fear of trees becoming sentient . . . and vengeful).

    Cardinals vs. Seahawks

    In this week’s Survivor Pool article, I walked through the statistical near-impossibility of Kyler Murray’s Week 6 letdown against the Seahawks, which marked the first time in his career that he passed for less than 250 scoreless yards while committing more than one turnover. So many missed opportunities deep in Seattle territory — including at the 1-yard line.

    And yet, Murray gained 100 yards on the ground. Even Daniel Jones was held to 20 rushing yards this past weekend.

    MORE: Week 9 Waiver Wire Pickups

    I believe Murray will hit 25+ fantasy points against these Seahawks, making him the clear-cut top bargain for an ailing Arizona franchise. This isn’t a shot in the dark. There’s research to back this up, including data I gathered this summer on every player performance in 2021 when rematching an opponent. It’s compelling stuff, and the findings bolster what I’m saying today.

    (OK, this turned out not to be a “speed round.” But I’d rather take more time to walk through my process than simply toss out random stats with no predictive qualities.)

    As for the Seahawks? Although Kenneth Walker III scored fewer points on Sunday than Geno Smith, Tyler Lockett, or D.K. Metcalf, much of that seemed to be due to the Giants trying to slow him down. And it worked, though it simply forced Seattle to win through the air.

    This week, I see Walker as the best Seahawk scorer against a middling-at-best Arizona run defense. Bank on him as his team’s best DFS bargain.

    Buccaneers vs. Rams

    A battle between the last two Super Bowl champs. Realistically, at least one won’t reach the postseason. Tampa Bay has four uber-priced players with sky-high upside, as well as several middling options. If Cooper Kupp’s injury proves serious enough to sideline him for this one, I’d pick the Bucs D/ST as the best bargain, eyeing 15+ points for the underperforming unit. Otherwise, I’d angle toward Chris Godwin.

    For the Rams, can we trust anyone besides Kupp? Probably not. If Kyren Williams comes off IR and is declared the starter — and if he’s somehow extraordinarily inexpensive in DFS — then he’d be an intriguing flier. But more realistically, I’d recommend Ronnie Rivers if he’s declared the starter and is no more than one-third of the price of Matthew Stafford. Otherwise, I’d suggest the mid-priced Tyler Higbee.

    Sunday Night Football

    For the Chiefs vs. Titans, will Kadarius Toney make his debut? And if he does, will it matter? Kansas City paid a decent amount for him (though not as much as the Giants did to draft him last year). When it comes to bargains, I’d have to say Patrick Mahomes, who has solid 27+ point potential against a highly suspect pass defense.

    The Titans’ best hope would be to work the clock on the ground behind Derrick Henry. And although I doubt Henry cracks 80 rushing yards on Sunday night, he’s the only Titan worth investing in — unless you can get Dontrell Hilliard for at least 4x cheaper.

    Monday Night Football

    Finally, for the Saints vs. Ravens, much depends on the health of Michael Thomas and Jarvis Landry. If they’re out, Rashid Shaheed could comfortably outperform expectations if he’s priced at least 5x below Alvin Kamara. That said, regardless of Kamara’s price, New Orleans’ starting RB is the safest DFS “bargain” on this team.

    For the Ravens, if Mark Andrews is out, Isaiah Likely should be cheap enough to fire up as a top-flight bargain. Otherwise, I’d go with the presumably cheap Demarcus Robinson if Rashod Bateman is out. Otherwise (yeah, injuries breed contingencies), I’d roll with Lamar Jackson and call it a day.

    Good luck with your DFS selections this week. And remember that some of the most surprising producers each week aren’t always that surprising. By sizing up likely game scripts and personnel pressure points, we can make sound assumptions on relatively high-probability outcomes.

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