Daily Fantasy Football Value Plays: Week 9

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski
Oct 20 2013 East Rutherford NJ USA New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski 87 runs with the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium The Jets won the game 30 27 in overtime Joe Camporeale USA TODAY Sports

Not having Calvin Johnson firmly planted in your Week 8 Star Fantasy Leagues lineup was, in retrospect, daily fantasy malpractice.

I committed said malpractice in most of my Week 8 lineups, and I deserve the maximum sentence. Lock me up, swallow the key, and leave me to my shame.

Every one of the top five finishers in last week’s $2 tournament on SFL had Megatron in their lineups. They recognized that Johnson was something of a value – he wasn’t even the week’s highest priced receiver – and, as always, a foundational piece with a freakishly high fantasy floor.

It’s important to learn from weekly miscues. Leaving Megatron out of most of my Week 8 lineups showed me – in a terribly clear way – that I might put too much emphasis on matchups. I momentarily forgot that some guys are immune to matchups. Calvin fits that bill.

I’m also taking baby steps away from the low-priced quarterback dogma, of which I’ve been a committed acolyte. I’ve preached for the entire season that it’s critical to spot cheap signal callers so we can pour our cash into running backs and wide receivers. I’m not abandoning this strategy, but a strategical tweak is in order.

Beat C.D. Carter this week on Star Fantasy Leagues and double your Week 9 winnings!

Running backs not named Jamaal Charles have proven weekly crapshoots. Yes, even Adrian Peterson isn’t the locked-in daily fantasy centerpiece he was a year ago, thanks to the Vikings’ putrid offense.

A bunch of cash-winning SFL squads have taken down tournaments thanks to lineups peppered with low-cost running backs, along with high-end quarterbacks.

Many of Week 8’s highest scoring SFL teams sported the likes of Joseph Randle and Peyton Hillis. Cashing in on those thrifty plays ensured those daily gamers wouldn’t commit malpractice. Megatron became more than affordable.


Player Salary Projected points DPP
Philip Rivers $17,637 20.9 $843
Josh McCown $9,829 16.3 $603
Jason Campbell $9,400 15.5 $606


  • McCown, in case you missed it, scored 15.5 fantasy points in three quarters in relief of Jay Cutler two weeks ago. The Green Bay secondary has improved since it was skewered throughout September, capping McCown’s ceiling. If you think the Bears are going to transform into a grinding, run-heavy team while Smokin’ Jay is shelved, you don’t know Marc Trestman.
  • Campbell, dare I say, was shockingly good last week against a brutal Kansas City defense. He goes against a Baltimore defense allowing 15.9 schedule-adjusted fantasy points per game, according to 4for4, and I think it’s safe to say Campbell will benefit from the Browns’ almost total lack of a running attack.


Player Salary Projected points DPP
Zac Stacy $5,277 13 $405
Ryan Mathews $7,858 10.8 $727
Alfred Morris $10,084 13.6 $741


  • My Week 9 infatuation with Stacy should come with an asterisk. The rookie runner – who bowled through the Seattle defense for 134 yards last Monday – has a low ankle sprain that could sideline him against the Titans. Nowhere on the planet, however, can you find a guy guaranteed 20 touches for such a low price. Plug him in if he suits up.
  • I hope you’ve been able to overcome your fear and loathing of Mathews this year. He’s been a low-cost play all season, posting more than 100 yards in his last two games. Mathews will lose passing down work to Danny Woodhead, but at more than $3,000 less than Woody, who cares?


Player Salary Projected points DPP
Jarrett Boykin $5,777 12.9 $447
T.Y. Hilton $9,061 13.8 $656
Darrius Heyward-Bey $5,296 10 $529
Golden Tate $7,251 10.8 $671


  • I closed my eyes and put Tate on a lot of my Week 8 teams, and the little taunting wonder delivered with 93 yards and two scores. Tate is the team’s only legit receiving threat until Percy Harvin manages to get on the field. Here’s what I know about Golden: he’s a petulant man-child and a screaming Week 9 value play. Tampa is allowing 22.3 adjusted fantasy points to receivers.
  • Colts’ head coach Chuck Pagano said this week that Heyward-Bey’s role wouldn’t change much in the wake of Reggie Wayne’s season-ending injury. I expect a slight uptick from the 4.5 targets DHB has seen on a weekly basis. Anyone expecting a suddenly sky-high fantasy floor is off base. This is Hilton’s show now.


Player Salary Projected points DPP
Rob Gronkowski $8,933 13.4 $666
Tim Wright $4,092 9 $454
Garrett Graham $6,657 8.6 $774


  • Gronkowski would’ve been a top-3 Week 8 tight end play had his lengthy touchdown not been called back on a penalty. The good news about his Week 8 dud? His SFL price dipped, and he’s now the 10th most expensive tight end on the board. Take full advantage.
  • Here’s everything you need to know about Wright, the default No. 2 pass-catching option for rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. Wright has been anything but efficient this season, but with a jump in route running – and continued garbage time production – he should prove a value for most of the season’s remaining eight weeks.
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C.D. Carter Fantasy Football Analyst
C.D. Carter is a reporter, author of zombie stories, writer for The Fake Football and XN Sports. Fantasy Sports Writers Association member. His work  has been featured in the New York Times.