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FanDuel NFL Cash Game Lineup Advice: Week 9 (2020)

by Matt Giraldi | @Mgiraldi | Featured Writer
Nov 6, 2020

Justin Herbert is the first quarterback to start his first six games with 1,500 passing yards and 15 touchdowns.

Welcome to Week 9 everyone. We’re more than halfway through the NFL season and it seems like more than half of the NFL is currently dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in one way, shape or form. That makes it all the more challenging to plan ahead, but it also makes it important to have contingency plans.

I often try to at least note here each week to keep your options open from week-to-week when it comes to your FLEX spot. Give yourself a chance to pivot in case a player (or players) in the early slate are struggling to perform. Even in cash games you might be able to make a roster decision late in the day that saves your skin.

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The players below are ones I’m looking at for cash game considerations in Week 9 of the 2020 season:

Quarterbacks

Josh Allen (BUF): $8,200 vs. Seattle Seahawks
After starting the season looking like a viable MVP candidate, Allen has come back down to Earth the past couple of weeks. Fortunately for Allen and the Bills passing game, they’re getting a defense that has been absolutely roasted through the air. While the Seahawks are likely getting Jamal Adams back at safety, this defense wasn’t playing that great with him.

On the season, the Seahawks are allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. The Bills are among the league leaders in using 11 personnel according to Sharp Personnel statistics, and according to Pro Football Focus, the Seahawks allow 8.2 yards per passing attempt against that personnel grouping, second-worst in the NFL. Approximately 78% of the total yards the Seahawks defense has allowed has come through the air.

We know that the Seahawks offense is going to move the ball and score points. This game has the highest scoring total of the slate. It’s a great game to get exposure to in some capacity.

Justin Herbert (LAC): $7,900 vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Herbert is the first quarterback to start his first six games with 1,500 passing yards and 15 touchdowns. Herbert has faced pressure on approximately 38% of his dropbacks. According to Pro Football Reference, the Raiders are getting pressure 20.2% of the time. Last week’s wild weather makes the Raiders pass defense look a lot better on the season than they are.

In the prior three games before facing the Cleveland Browns, the Raiders allowed 997 passing yards, eight passing touchdowns, and all three quarterbacks had a rushing touchdown. Four different quarterbacks have rushed for 20 or more yards against the Raiders this season. Herbert is currently averaging 23.6 rushing yards per game.

Other notables: Drew Lock (DEN): $7,200 @ ATL; Deshaun Watson (HOU): $8,300 @ JAC

Running Backs

Dalvin Cook (MIN): $9,300 vs. Detroit Lions
The Lions will be without Matthew Stafford and Kenny Golladay. Their run defense is one of the worst in the NFL. It’s not out of the realm of possibilities that Kirk Cousins throws the ball less than 17 times.

The Lions are ranked 21st in run DVOA while the Vikings are ranked third in offensive rush DVOA. Minnesota is ranked second in offensive stuffed rank while the Lions are ranked 22nd. The Lions are allowing 114.9 rushing yards per game to running backs (fifth-worst in the NFL). Last season Cook averaged 1.5 touchdowns, 23.5 touches, and 112 yards from scrimmage in his two games against Detroit. Seven different running backs have scored double-digit FanDuel points against the Lions this season despite only one going over 100 rushing yards.

James Robinson (JAC): $7,300 vs. Houston Texans
The Texans have allowed a league-high 151 rushing yards per game to opposing running backs. For whatever reason, Robinson had his second-fewest carries against the Texans in their first meeting this season. He was however targeted in the passing game seven times hauling in five receptions. Over the last four games, Robinson has accounted for 45.1% of the Jaguar’s touches.

My only trepidation in starting Robinson this week is the quarterback situation for Jacksonville. We know that the Texans can score on the Jaguars. The problem ultimately is that if the Jaguars get down early, what type of usage will Robinson be looking at, and will Chris Thompson (if active) eat into his snap count? In the last two games that Thompson was active he saw 40% (against Houston) and 31% of the team’s offensive snaps while Robinson saw just 57% (against Houston) and 69%, respectively.

Other notables: James Conner (PIT): $8,200 @ DAL; David Johnson (HOU): $6,800 @ JAC; Chase Edmonds (ARI): $6,700 vs. MIA

Wide Receivers

Stefon Diggs (BUF): $7,600 vs. Seattle Seahawks
Yes, please. Diggs has helped Josh Allen’s emergence this season with a 29.0% target share on the season. Over the last four weeks, Diggs has a 35% target share with 42% of the air yards. Diggs has six or more catches in all but one game this season.

Now Diggs gets to match up against Quinton Dunbar who has allowed 25 receptions on 42 targets for 327 yards and a 98.0 passer rating on passes targeted against him.

Keenan Allen (LAC): $7,500 vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Allen’s usage with Herbert at quarterback has been absolutely sensational.

For whatever reason too, Allen’s DFS pricing across the industry just doesn’t seem to be at the level his production is currently at.

Allen is second in the league in target share at 30.0%. He has the third-highest PFF grade at wide receiver (89.2) and has not dropped a pass. His 192 receiving yards over the last two weeks ranks fifth in the NFL. Allen’s 10 contested catches rank third in the NFL. Only three wide receivers have more targets than Allen, and all three have played an additional game.

Now Allen gets the Raiders. Over his last five games against the Raiders, Allen has 51 targets, 36 catches for 419 yards, and two touchdowns.

Other notables: Marvin Jones (DET): $6,100 @ MIN; Brandin Cooks (HOU): $6,100 @ JAC

Tight Ends

Noah Fant (DEN): $5,800 at Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons defense has allowed passing yards at a clip only the Seahawks could match. The Falcons are allowing the most fantasy points to the tight end position this season. Fant currently leads the Broncos in red-zone targets despite missing Week 6 against the Dolphins. When active, he’s been dominating the snaps at tight end (above 70% every game minus the Week 4 against the Jets where he got hurt). This spot is a perfect set-up for a big game for Fant while also providing some great salary relief.

T.J. Hockenson (DET): $6,000 at Minnesota Vikings
Hockenson has seen increased usage lately, but the biggest question lies at quarterback. Since Week 4 PFF has Hockenson as their fourth highest-graded tight end. Hockenson currently leads the Lions in targets, receptions, receiving touchdowns, and broken tackles. He’s third on the team in receiving yards.  In order for the Lions to remain competitive in this game, they’re going to need a big game from Hockenson.

Other notables: Darren Waller (LV): $6,400 @ LAC;

Defense/Special Teams

Pittsburgh Steelers D/ST: $5,000 at Dallas Cowboys
We’ve reached the point in the season where plenty of backup quarterbacks are seeing time. In this case, though, I just don’t know how you don’t lock in the Steelers defense in a cash game lineup. They generate the most pressure in the NFL. They’re facing a quarterback that has been relegated to the practice squad and couldn’t beat out Ben DiNucci. This game could legitimately get ugly. I really even struggle to add other notable defenses this week as the Steelers could finish the week as one of the overall top-scoring fantasy players in Week 9.

Other notables: Arizona Cardinals D/ST: $4,300 vs. MIA; Minnesota Vikings D/ST: $3,400 vs. DET

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Matt Giraldi is a correspondent at FantasyPros. To read more from Matt, check out his archive or follow him @Mgiraldi.

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