Daily Fantasy Mailbag  


Ben Roethlisberger and the boys are Week 9 DFS studs


Welcome to the Week 9  edition of the FanDuel DFS mail bag. Every week I'll take questions on Twitter pertaining to daily fantasy strategy and particular players on FanDuel. If you'd like to have your question featured, shoot it to me on Twitter (@MattHarmon_BYB), and it may just find its way into the mailbag.

You're on the right track with these picks. Daily fantasy players will want to target players from this game. Pittsburgh's offense is poised to start putting up a lot of points this week in Ben Roethlisberger's second week back, and Derek Carr has the Raiders offense soaring. Last week's Saints and Giants game reminded us why we are always targeting potential shootouts for DFS. This game may not approach that over 100 point total, but it should be one of the higher scoring contests in Week 9.

The Raiders rank 12th in wide receiver fantasy points against per game, but a little context shows regression is coming. Despite already having their bye, Oakland has allowed the third most wide receiver targets per game. Yet, they've only allowed three receiver touchdowns, even though their cornerbacks lack any semblance of starting talent. If ever there was a team to set the regression back on its way, it would be the Steelers. A Roethlisberger/Brown/Bryant triple stack is in play, and you could even pivot down from Bryant to Heath Miller.

Amari Cooper makes for a good pivot play in this high-scoring game, as well. Sometimes, winning big in DFS can be just as simple as finding the game with shootout potential, and making sure you get plenty of players from it in your lineup.

Doug Martin is a fine play this week, even though he was a big letdown in Week 8. His volume is just too secure, and the matchup with the Giants is not prohibitive.

Of the two stacks, I prefer the Carr/Crabtree combo. Not only are both a better value, but I feel safer with Crabtree squaring off against the Steelers reserve cornerbacks than Jeffery taking on Jason Verrett. However, both are solid plays.

Darren McFadden is a good value and volume play at running back in DFS. Until he gets hurt, he'll see just about all of the touches out of the backfield in Dallas. However, this is not a good week to chase that volume. The Eagles quietly have one of the fiercest run defenses in the league. Phildelphia ranks 6th in the NFL in terms of running back fantasy points allowed per touch.

Carr is the better value, but I have the two of them third and fifth in my rankings, respectively. I'm fine with both options, as they play in games with shootout scripts against weaker defenses. You can construct lineups with both, the choice just comes down to who else you want to build around.

Do not go in for Vernon Davis in DFS this week. Beat writers speculate it could take up to a month for Vernon Davis to get familiar with the offensive system. There are far better value tight ends, such as Heath Miller or Austin Seferian-Jenkins, if that's the path you choose. Avoid Davis until we see him integrated into his new team's game plane. As for Watson, he's a fine play this week, but in the same range as Jordan Reed, the Washington tight end is the way to go.

Absolutely. We discussed this here in the Fantasy Stronghold today, and I think this might be a good week to chase the high-end running backs. Freeman seems like the best option out of the bunch. As you indicate, the Falcons should easily dispense of the Gabbert-led 49ers, creating a perfect game script for a volume back like Freeman to get plenty of chances to run on a defense that allows the 10th-highest yards per carry average in the NFL.

Even considering that, I'll go Ben/Brown. These two are at home, and against a secondary I feel more confident in targeting. This is not to say that Alshon Jeffery is a bad play, despite a potential showdown with Jason Verrett. He just gets pummeled with targets from Jay Cutler, and is listed below the elite receiver tier. Overall, just really confident in this script for the Steelers.

It is a Blount week, I imagine, but let's get this straight once and for all. There are no longer "just Blount weeks" where Dion Lewis will not be a factor. Lewis is far more a part of the base offense than Shane Vereen, Kevin Faulk or any of those players of that ilk were before. In the games he's been fully healthy, Lewis played 65 percent of the snaps, and averaged 15 standard fantasy points per game. That's a RB1 in fantasy. I think the whole world knew that, but just in case there was still any "Belitricks" fears out there, it was safe to take once last chance to tell you to let it go.

As for LeGarrette Blount, he does have scheduled weeks where he'll be fed way more carries than others. This matchup with Washington in New England should be one. Last week he saw nearly 20 carries, but only scored seven points. That's not a hideous floor when the game script is right. Find a way to get him in your DFS lineups and hope he scores a touchdown this time.

As previously mentioned, I'll be riding the New England assets heavy this week, and that means their defense, as well. Facing Kirk Cousins on the road is a recipe for success in any defensive endeavor. Blount and the Patriots DEF makes a sneaky good correlation stack, too. If I have to jump down from Julio to make it happen, so be it. Even if you're not in love with Thomas this week, you can make a pivot down to Julian Edelman, Brandon Marshall (if he plays) or Alshon Jeffery.

Matt Harmon is an associate fantasy writer/editor for NFL.com, and the creator of #ReceptionPerception, who you can follow on Twitter @MattHarmon_BYB.