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Week 9 FD Building Blocks

What a week. If you read my Sunday morning update hopefully you made your way into a Wilson + Metcalf lineup or a Rodgers + Cook + Adams lineup. I had these two lineups in my high-stakes contests, but unfortunately I also had Henderson and Hilton, both of whom left their games early, taking me from first-place potential to just trying to make the cash line.

The winning lineup had the old standard 2 + 1 stack with Rodgers + Cook + Tonyan. Had an unconventional RB + WR pairing with Dallas and Metcalf (although Dallas fit the same ‘free square’ philosophy we touted with Bernard). And a Bernard + Davis mini-stack.

On to Week 9.

QB

As we saw last week, Mahomes is always a good option, but I’ll defer to the Chiefs running game this week.

Wilson is in play again this week. The game is in Buffalo and the out-of-date reputations of these teams might make you think it’s more of a slow-paced fight, but it has the highest Vegas total of the week and a pretty close spread. Allen on the other side figures to also be popular and he’s due for a ceiling game. But if he puts up enough points to pay off, that means he was probably playing catch-up and Wilson probably had another big game. So, depending on who looks to be more popular, I’d go with the lower-owned, which, strangely, could be Wilson. Every one is on the play either Lockett or Metcalf, so seems like a good week to go back to stacking them both, if you can afford the price tag.

Watson is the first one that has me really interested. He has a high floor and a high ceiling in this matchup, but it could be a blowout against the Jags, giving us a chance to play David Johnson instead.

Back to Herbert again. He’s hit 3x value in 5 out 6 games and this may be his best matchup yet. Well, second best, he put up 38 points, almost 5x value against Jacksonville already. This is a good point to mention again that you don’t have to get silly at the QB position. Ownership is pretty spread out each week, so you don’t gain a ton of leverage by playing high-variance QBs. We’re barely into the QB list and I’d be fine playing five guys so far. You can find lineup differentiation in other places.

On the other side of this game is Carr, who is going overlooked. People seem more interested in Jacobs, although that may change now that he’s sick. We’ll see if Carr gets more popular in the next couple days but some things stand out about his price… he’s (rightfully) $900 less than Herbert, strangely $200 cheaper than Drew Lock, and only $100 more expensive than Jones and Rivers. If he remains overlooked, I’m likely to go here in my main build.

This might be the week Roethlisberger finally gets some ownership. I’m tempted to play him here, but like Mahomes, I’m probably deferring to the running game. Connor hasn’t his 3x value once this year, so could go overlooked and makes a nice stack with Steelers D. I don’t hate a Ben + Johnson + Ebron + Steelers stack though if you want to go that route.

Not much I like from the cheaper options. I might throw Foles into a lineup, but, like I said, no reason to go away from some of these top options unless you’re really stuck for salary savings.

RB

Cook will be the most popular play this week, barring any other value options popping up. He has another good matchup and like I said about Davante Adams, if anyone can put up a repeat monster performance, it’s Cook. This week the passing game has an equally good matchup and, at this point, no weather concerns so I may fade Cook here at what should be very high ownership after a laughably low ownership level last week. If Stafford is out, Cook gets bumped up even more, so play around with your lineup and see how he fits.

Henry disappointed again. For all the attention we – and others – give Henry, he’s only hit 3x value twice. Chicago isn’t the easiest matchup, but it’s also not an easy passing game matchup, meaning we could see the Titans lean on Henry even more this week. This is a great spot for that Foles pick, if you want to go Foles + WR + Henry. I definitely won’t be there with my main lineup. And I’m probably not playing Henry as a stand-alone play unless the ownership on Cook is so high that we can get some good leverage by going to Henry instead. I’ll see how the week goes and what it looks like the public will be doing and what other options we have available. Update: Cook does seem to be the most popular, making Henry a nice leverage play. I still have other options I’m probably leaning to instead, but if you’re paying up this is a good option.

Mentioned Conner above. He’s not showing much of a ceiling but in a game where people will flock to the passing attack, the Cowboys are equally bad (and probably worse) against the run right now. He’s my number one.

Clyde Edwards-Helaire gets one of the best RB matches this week and may go overlooked after Mahomes threw for 5 TDs, especially with Bell around. I’ll be mixing him into my main GPP lineups, but  safer plays for cash games though.

David Johnson is another I mentioned already. Johnson + Texans feels like a nice stack.

Justin Jackson has the same great matchup we talked about with Hunt last week, but without the weather concerns and without the team-still-adjusting concerns. At $5,900 he’s a near must-start and is great in a mini-stack with Waller.

That’s about all I like. Sure, someone else will probably surprise, but this doesn’t seem like a week with a lot of RB value.

WR

Hopkins has an okay matchup but he’s pricey and hasn’t hit 3x value yet. His monster game could come any week though.

Will skip Tyreek Hill this week. He got the two-TD week we called for last week, will go to the running game this week. Although he’s in play for a ceiling game every week.

Thielen is a nice pivot off of Cook. Jefferson, $900 cheaper, is also a good option. I’m fine with either depending on what salary you have left. When we’re making a bold fade (not playing the most popular player in a great matchup) we have to think about what would happen if that fade is successful. If Dalvin does not pay off his salary, and unless you think the Lions blow out the Vikings, then it’s likely the passing game had success. Thielen is near the top (if not the top) in red zone targets and it’s easy to see a scenario where he “steals” a couple TDs from Cook.

If you think SEA/BUF is high-scoring and you’re playing Allen you have to come back with Diggs. I’m not sure I’m going to Diggs as a stand-alone option (because he’ll be popular) but the matchup and upside is certainly there.

I’m probably going to Herbert so Keenan Allen becomes a must-stack for me. We’re not there yet, but Hunter Henry is due for a ceiling game and I’ll likely add him for my 3 + 1.

Golladay is likely out this week. I’m probably avoiding the Lions this week, but a Marvin Jones + Hockenson stack is cheap if you’re banking on Cook getting the Vikings out to a lead and the Lions racking up garbage time. This elevates Cook for me some despite the high ownership and, again, even more so if Stafford is also out.

Fuller and Cooks are both in play against Jacksonville.

Allen Robinson had a solid game against the Saints and is in an even better spot this week. I like this more in a stack with Foles but he’s also a good stand-alone play.

JuJu showed signs of life the last two games, but if I’m playing the Steelers passing game I’m taking the big-play upside of Diontae Johnson and TD upside of Ebron (although with Sean Lee and Vander-Esch both back the Cowboys should be better against the TE). Johnson and Claypool make a nice stack instead of Ebron.

Mike Williams is the boom-or-bust type play we want in a GPP and is fine to stack alongside Allen if you don’t go the Henry route. Of if you want to go more contrarian can fade Allen and go with Williams and Henry.

Ruggs is a fine option to come back with a Herbert stack, assuming Carr can get anything going in the deep passing game.

I don’t think I’m interested in Jeudy but you could do a lot worse than him against Atlanta for only $5,700. If he can keep his target totals up and get into the endzone, he hits value. Doesn’t need a monster game. Although, I don’t think I’m ready to jump on the Broncos yet, even against Atlanta.

John Brown at $5,500 is hard to look past. Ironically, he’s priced the same as TY Hilton last week, who, even without the injury, probably would’ve disappointed us. Brown just isn’t putting together any good performances recently, but he did start the year with two games that were 3x this value. If he’s going to get it going any week, this is it. I’m starting to like an Allen + Diggs + Brown + Lockett lineup.

Mooney if you’re looking to complete a Foles stack, but I’d be going down to Miller for $400 less.

Hamler/Hamilton depending on Patrick’s status this week. No reason to get cute here, but you can fit an anwful lot of studs in around a Lock + Hamler + Hamilton (or even Jeudy) lineup. Run it back with Julio. Play Cook. Maybe Derrick Henry. Lot of options. I’m just not sold on Denver yet and think a letdown could be in order.

TE

Kelce always in play. Andrews always in play, despite tougher matchup. I’m probably skipping both though.

Waller should be popular this week, probably highest owned, but for good reason.

Hockenson by default is good option.

Fant is pretty high on the list due to the matchup. He’s a nice stacking partner with one of the Denver WRs.

Engram simply for the sheer volume he should see each week as the Giants play from behind.

DEF

Steelers the clear number one and I just don’t see any way you don’t pay up for them this week, unless you think they ease up late in the game.

Washington against the Giants is okay, but their floor is pretty low.

The Ravens are priced down and get Rivers and the Colts who are always susceptible to turnovers. With the focus on the Steelers this spot could go overlooked.

Texans is a strong option if you want to get away from Steelers ownership. Like we saw with the Chiefs last week, there is always variance at the DEF spot so if you can get away from a high-owned option – as long as the other option is good too – it’s not a bad move. Not sure if I do this instead of Steelers, but not a bad option. I like fitting both Conner and David Johnson into lineups this week, so can make an RB + DEF stack both ways.

The Falcons and particularly the Vikings strike me as two of best options we’ll see this year near the bottom of the pricing list. With Golladay out, if Stafford is also out, a Cook + Vikings lineup saves you salary, gets you away from the chalky Steelers and Texans, and gives you some differentiation in a Cook lineup.

Lineup Build

With my first build of the week, I’m heading toward a Herbert + Allen + Henry stack, running it back with Agholor or Ruggs. And I’m playing around with some Herbert + Allen + Williams + Waller looks as well. I like Justin Jackson though as well, and he’s so cheap that a Herbert + Jackson + Allen + Waller stack could be in play this week. No matter how you build it, it’s the highest point total of the week (now down to second highest) and the closest spread – that’s the recipe we want, no reason to overthink it. UPDATE: I’m leaning toward Carr now instead as he appears to be overlooked this week, has a natural stacking partner with Waller, and allows you to come back with Allen and/or Justin Jackson. Adding Jackson to this stack probably allows you to pay up for Cook.

I’m pretty intrigued by the Allen + Diggs + Brown stack, which may make it as my secondary lineup. Metcalf probably sees coverage from White so, like the public, I’d be bringing it back with Lockett instead. But look out for a surprising TE performance here too.

And I’m going to play around with some of those cheap Lock stacks to see what other pieces I can fit in – maybe Lock + Fant + Jeudy + Julio. Or maybe one of the other cheap WRs so I can go up to someone like Waller at TE.