The Hail Mary (NFL DFS): Week 9 WEEKEND UPDATE November 4, 2016  |  Doug Shain


The Huddle – Opening Statement

Welcome to the Hail Mary WEEKEND UPDATE where I look at our GPP plays for NFL Week 9. You can check out my First Look article to see what I was thinking on Tuesday night but this is my most up to date thoughts on the weekend slate. I’ll be using ownership data from the Fantasy Aces Thursday slate to help me determine public and HuLo plays. Public plays will be the players who were 10% owned or more on those slates unless otherwise noted. These have been pretty accurate over the last few weeks and have gone a long way in helping to find value we might not have realized existed.




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Dak Prescott (DAL) @ CLEPhilip Rivers (SD) vs TENBen Roethlisberger (PIT) @ BAL
Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs NOMarcus Mariota (TEN) @ SDBlake Bortles (JAX) @ KC
Drew Brees (NO) @ SFRyan Tannehill (MIA) vs NYJCam Newton (CAR) @ LA
Aaron Rodgers (GB) vs INDEli Manning (NYG) vs PHINick Foles (KC) vs JAX
Andrew Luck (IND) @ GBCase Keenum (LA) vs CAR
Derek Carr (OAK) vs DEN


– What a shock- Brees, Luck, and Rodgers are among the most popular QB plays this weekend. I like Brees, I do, but given the choice between he and Rodgers this weekend I’m going to be all about the guy playing at home. The fact that Rodgers spreads the ball around a lot only concerns me when I want to stack a WR of his with him, but even then I’m not too worried given the low ownership of Jordy Nelson (more on that below). I’d have been a lot more interested in Luck as a HuLo type of play. He’s just not a guy I want to have a shared ownership of.  Dak is another QB I’d be more than happy to use in my lineups this week. I’m going back and forth between using a Dak/Dez stack or just using Elliott and another QB. I don’t see a ton of value in using both Dak and Elliott since Big Zeke is rarely a guy that gets a lot of targets.  I know that the running ability and upside is there given the matchup, but I’m not touching Kaepernick. He’s a little overpriced and I’d much rather spend down for Keenum or Foles and not deal with a high ownership.

– Ian Goldsmith, my colleague and editor here at The Fake Football, sent me a note before he posted the first edition of this article on Tuesday because he thought I forgot to include Ryan Tannehill. I explained as politely as I could that Mr. Tannehill is hot garbage and I wouldn’t touch him. While I still don’t love the talent of Tannehill, you can’t question the matchup against the worst pass defense in the league. I do like Jarvis Landry and Kenny Stills, so it would stand to reason that Tannehill is a good play this weekend. In the interest of being forthcoming, I’m not using him, but I also couldn’t talk you out of putting him in your lineup. I would personally rather use Mariota as a lower cost, lower owned QB. I like a guy who has some running ability and who has been taking full advantage of bad defenses for three weeks in a row. That guy is Mariota, not Tannehill.

– I love when we’ve got a week where top tier QB’s are incredibly underowned. This week that distinction goes to Ben Roethlisberger, Cam Newton, and Derek Carr. I’m not really high on any of those guys, but I wouldn’t fault you for using a guy like Carr after his huge game last weekend. I know the matchup is tough, but he’s at home and Aqib Talib is going to not play for Denver. I’m not ready to jump back on Big Ben, and there’s something off with Cam Newton this year; I’m not ready to buy back in just yet. The guy I do want is Nick Foles. If you remember from Tuesday’s article, I was all over him even before Alex Smith was ruled out this weekend. I love the idea of a Foles/Hill hookup while everyone else is using West and/or Kelce. I wasn’t on him on Tuesday, but I’m starting to come around on Case Keenum. He’s been sneaky OK this year in the right matchup, and the Panthers secondary has been a mess.

My guys: Aaron Rodgers, Dak Prescott, Marcus Mariota, Nick Foles, Case Keenum




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Le'Veon Bell (PIT) @ BALTim Hightower (NO) @ SFDeMarco Murray (TEN) @ SD
Ezekiel Elliott (DAL) @ CLETheo Riddick (DET) @ MINTodd Gurley (LA) vs CAR
Jay Ajayi (MIA) vs NYJTy Montgomery (GB) vs INDDerrick Henry (TEN) @ SD
Melvin Gordon (SD) vs TENJonathan Stewart (CAR) @ LAFrank Gore (IND) @ GB
Devontae Booker (DEN) @ OAKMatt Forte (NYJ) @ MIA
Charcandrick West (KC) vs JAXDarren Sproles (PHI) @ NYG


– With a few big names on the bye this weekend, it’s going to be up to Bell and Zeke to hold down the high end RB spectrum. I like both guys and am going to try to build lineups around both of them. If I had to pick one it’d be Elliott based on his matchup against CLE, but it wouldn’t shock me if Bell’s receiving skills brought him a higher score. Melvin Gordon is so much better than he’s given credit for. Heading into last weekend, in a PPR setting, he’d be the #10 RB if you took away everyone’s TD’s. Even with a 3.3 YPC his volume has been enough to make him a very valuable asset. People love to crap on him, but I love using him and will do so again this weekend. By the time lock comes around it wouldn’t shock me if Charcandrick West overtook Elliott as the most widely owned RB of the week.

– Ty Montgomery is supposedly back and healthy so I’ll be all over him with the release of Knile Davis. If Montgomery is listed as a WR on the site you play then I still like him, but not as much as if I can use him as an RB.  Theo Riddick is a PPR stud, and last weekend the Bears sort of exposed the Vikings’ linebackers; they can’t cover good receiving RB out of the backfield. Few RB are better at that than Riddick.

– I kind of think Derrick Henry is going to see increased action this week to keep DeMarco healthy. I love the production we’ve seen in limited time from Henry, so if we can get to 15 touches then I think he’s in line for a very nice game. Frank Gore is about as boring of a play as there is but he also rarely disappoints. I won’t use him much (because I prefer upside), but he’s a smart play to use as a “he fits the amount of money I have left” type of guy. Once of these days Todd Gurley is going to full Todd Gurley. I’ll keep using him until he does. If Doug Pederson is to be believed, then Darren Sproles in the man in Philly and that means plenty of opportunity to touch the ball against a touch-and-go Giants defense. I don’t know how it happened, but on Thursday slates Matt Forte was only 1% owned. If he’s going to stay under 5% then I want a piece of that action with his high level of usage for the Jets.

My guys: Ezekiel Elliott, LeVeon Bell, Charcandrick West, Melvin Gordon, Theo Riddick Ty Montgomery, Derrick Henry, Darren Sproles, Todd Gurley, Matt Forte




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Michael Thomas (NO) @ SFTerrelle Pryor (CLE) vs DALMike Wallace (BAL) vs PIT
Dez Bryant (DAL) @ CLEBrandin Cooks (NO) @ SFTyreek Hill (KC) vs JAX
Stefon Diggs (MIN) vs DETKenny Stills (MIA) vs NYJDemaryius Thomas (DEN) @ OAK
Jarvis Landry (MIA) vs NYJMichael Crabtree (OAK) vs DENAntonio Brown (PIT) @ BAL
Tyrell Williams (SD) vs TENAllen Robinson (JAX) @ KCSammie Coates (PIT) @ BAL
Donte Moncrief (IND) @ GBKenny Britt (LA) vs CARJordy Nelson (GB) vs IND
Davante Adams (GB) vs INDT.Y. Hilton (IND) @ GB
Odell Beckham Jr (NYG) vs PHI


– Dez Bryant is back and he looks awesome. He’s got another fantastic matchup this weekend, and I won’t be shy at all about using him. Donte Moncrief was a guy I kind of poo-poo’d on Tuesday, but then I did some more digging and realized that he was just too good to pass up (9 targets last weekend, incredibly cheap price, drawing a good CB matchup). Apparently I wasn’t the only one who realized this as he jumped to the top of the WR ownership charts on the Thursday slate. All my reasons for turning around and liking him remain, and he’s one of my top WR plays of the weekend regardless of his high ownership. I’m coming around on Jarvis Landry, and he should be in for a nice PPR game…but he’s more of a cash guy for me. If I’m going to take advantage of the Jets’ secondary in a GPP then it’s going to be with Kenny Stills (more on that below). I totally whiffed on the Stefon Diggs play (probably because the Hail Mary was written and submitted before his last TD on Monday night). He’s inconsistent, but his upside is great and he’s facing a really bad Lions defensive secondary.  I don’t get why people like Tyrell Williams. He won’t be anywhere near my teams.

– I was both shocked and thrilled to see the low ownership on Terrelle Pryor. Are people scared of Corey Coleman?  Really? Pryor is a target hound, and he’s constantly productive. If he could just get the ball in the end zone we’d be talking about him as a top 12 WR. I’m all about using him against Dallas. The Jets give up long TD passes on a weekly basis; the guy to do that in MIA is Kenny Stills. Someone is going to have a good day for the Rams, and I’ll put my hunches on Kenny Britt. I know that Brian Quick and Tavon Austin have the upside, but it’s Britt that has the most trust from Case Keenum. Michael Crabtree is going to get a shockingly decent CB matchup as long as Amari Cooper is healthy enough to play this game. If Cooper is out then I’d want to move my Raiders WR shares to Seth Roberts.

– Tyreek Hill made me look pretty smart last week, and I say he keeps it up this weekend. He’s only going to get better; his speed is outstanding. I won’t heavily own him, but he’s a punt play with a ton of upside. Mike Wallace has come out of nowhere to be a 10 target kind of guy. He’s still fast and can break one against a bad PIT defensive backfield. Let’s not forget that Wallace used to play for PIT, and that narrative has worked out a lot recently (if you believe in narratives).  Just like with the QBs, we’ve got a lot of stud WRs with very low ownership percentages this weekend. I’d rank them Jordy, OBJ, Brown, Thomas, Hilton. I probably wouldn’t play any of them ranked lower than OBJ.

My guys: Dez Bryant, Donte Moncrief, Kenny Stills, Michael Crabtree, Kenny Britt, Mike Wallace, Tyreek Hill, Jordy Nelson, Odell Beckham Jr




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Kyle Rudolph (MIN) vs DETTravis Kelce (KC) vs JAXLance Kendricks (LA) vs CAR
Greg Olsen (CAR) @ LACoby Fleener (NO) @ SFGary Barnidge (CLE) vs DAL
Jack Doyle (IND) @ GBDelanie Walker (TEN) @ SDDennis Pitta (BAL) vs PIT
Antonio Gates (SD) vs TENZach Ertz (PHI) @ NYG


– Gronk, Eifert, Fiedorowicz, Reed, Vernon Davis, and Zach Miller are all on byes this weekend. That leaves TE as a very ugly Wild Wild West. Greg Olsen is probably the safest play at TE, but I’m not going to spend that much for a TE when his name isn’t Gronk. There are better values at a much cheaper price. One of those guys is Kyle Rudolph, who wins the “which TE plays the Lions” lottery for Week 9 so he’s automatically near the top of my rankings. Welcome back to fantasy relevance, Antonio Gates! Gates has been great the last few weeks and I see no reason for Rivers to stop looking his way. He’s been especially productive down near the goal line, and I bet we see a few more red zone targets this weekend as well. Even though he’s highly owned I’m still going to have a lot of exposure to him because of the flexibility his price gives me with the rest of my lineup.

– Delanie Walker had another nice game in Week 8 and is hitting value regularly. Travis Kelce should be more widely owned than he was on the Thursday slates, but if I don’t start hearing some chatter about him I’m going to move him up my rankings (as of right now I’d rather have Gates, Rudolph, and Walker). I’ve seen and heard a lot of Ertz talk this weekend. I don’t like him but I guess the theory is that he’s “due” for a good game. I’ll pass.

– I’ll look at Barnidge any time McCown is in at QB for the Browns, but I’ll still take a chance on him at the right price if Kessler is the QB. Pitta keeps getting the targets, he just needs the TD’s (almost like a TE version of Terrelle Pryor). Lance Kendrick is kind of like scraping the bottom of the barrel, but he’s been kind of productive and he doesn’t need to do much to hit value.

My guys: Kyle Rudolph, Antonio Gates, Travis Kelce, Delanie Walker, Dennis Pitta




Public PlaysExpert PlaysHuLo Plays
Kansas City Chiefs vs JAXDenver Broncos @ OAKMinnesota Vikings vs DET
Miami Dolphins vs NYJTennessee Titans @ SDCarolina Panthers @ LA
San Diego Chargers vs TENDallas Cowboys @ CLEGreen Bay Packers vs IND
Oakland Raiders vs DEN
Philadelphia Eagles @ NYG


– Oh my goodness, Blake Bortles has to go to KC. This is not going to end well for the Jacksonville QB (well, not until he goes for 200 yards and 2 TD in garbage time). Before that garbage time heroism though, KC should have a field day with the Jaguars. We could be looking at multiple sacks and turnovers as well as a possible pick six (Bortles is that bad). Using the Chiefs is going to be very chalky, but I’m more than OK with that this weekend. Miami and SD? I’ll go hard pass on both teams. Just because they’re facing bad offenses doesn’t suddenly make them good defenses (forget this comment when I recommend the Oakland defense).

– Denver isn’t a top 3 owned defense this weekend? I don’t care who they are playing, they should always be in consideration (even without Talib). Tennessee leads the NFL in sacks and Phillip Rivers is playing behind some Scotch Tape instead of an offensive line. Lots of upside here that I didn’t really see on Tuesday. I like them now.

– Indy continues to struggle and now they head to Lambeau. The Packers aren’t really strong defensively, but against IND you just have to show up and you’ll get a few sacks and some chances for turnovers. Oakland has actually improved a lot on defense over the course of the year and their secondary is a little bit underrated. Trevor Siemian is good for a pick or two, and that DEN offensive line isn’t special. I like the Raiders as a sneaky defensive play in Week 9. CAR and MIN are two struggling defenses that are going way underowned this weekend. I’d rather have CAR against a bad Rams offense, but I still think the Vikings have huge upside against Stafford.

My guys: Kansas City, Tennessee, Denver, Oakland, Carolina


Best of luck this week! I hope you all kick some butt and make a ton of money. Make sure to check out all the great content at The Fake Football including the Cheat Sheets.You’ll find a ton of analysis, and data. It’s well worth the cost of subscription.

Your feedback is always welcome.  You can find me on Twitter @bankster17. I’m around all the time for questions, advice, and comments.  I answer every single person that sends me a Tweet.



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