DFS Plays: NFL Week 9 DFS Game-by-Game Analysis

NFL picks against the spread

We have now eclipsed the midpoint of the 2016 NFL season and can begin our journey through the second half. As the scales tilt towards the back-end of the schedule, we also see a less balanced slate of games than we received, last week. There are a handful of potentially one-sided contests, which sets up for some prime game flow projections.

One of the most prevalent features of the latter half of games for a given season is the increase in injuries around which we must navigate. Players’ bodies are breaking down, concussion protocols are in effect, and the number of fantasy options will shrink respectively.

Sporfolio’s NFL Daily Fantasy Sports game-by-game analysis columns are driven by expected game flow. Based on a combination of our Week 8 NFL picks against the spread and our expectations for a given game, we project the actions necessary to make these picks come to fruition. We aim to pinpoint players integral to our predicted game flow for each game of the week.

DFS Plays

Luke May is Sporfolio’s NFL DFS expert, and Mario Mergola operates Sporfolio as the expert for NFL Picks Against the Spread.

New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers

Luke’s DFS Take: One of the hardest games of the week to ignore for fantasy purposes, the Saints and 49ers meet on Sunday afternoon in a matchup of two horrible defenses. The Saints’ offense has found success against everyone, this season, and a trip to San Francisco to face the worst scoring defense in the league should continue to produce fantasy points. The entire New Orleans offense is in play, highlighted by Drew Brees and Brandin Cooks, especially since the team’s run game is somewhat unpredictable after Mark Ingram was benched following a Week 8 fumble. The best part of this matchup, however, comes from the other side of the game, as the San Francisco offense finally catches a break by facing the terrible New Orleans defense with two weeks to prepare. Colin Kaepernick has already been a decent fantasy option solely via his legs carrying any risk that his arm brings, and playing against the Saints in a game that might develop into a high-scoring back-and-forth affair should place the quarterback in position for one of his best fantasy weeks. Torrey Smith deserves equal consideration as the skill position player most likely to benefit from the flow of the game.

Mario’s DFS Take: One of my absolute favorite games of the week for both picks against the spread and fantasy purposes, the Saints are about to walk into a trap in San Francisco. As everyone points out repeatedly, the Saints’ defense is flat-out awful. The 49ers – and head coach Chip Kelly – will have had two weeks to prepare for New Orleans with Colin Kaepernick under center and the possible return of running back Carlos Hyde. If Hyde plays, he is arguably a must-start. Without Hyde, Kaepernick has massive upside for both his running ability and the powderpuff matchup. Of course, no game featuring the Saints would be complete without also targeting Drew Brees, as his defense constantly puts him in such a poor situation that he must take to the air. Against the 49ers’ defense – statistically, the only team allowing more points-per-game than New Orleans – Brees and the usual suspect of Brandin Cooks should be in play for another decent afternoon. Unfortunately, Mark Ingram’s recent benching in light of a fumble in Week 8 takes him off the radar, as he would have been a decent target if the Saints do pull away.

Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers

Luke’s DFS Take: It is difficult to not like someone from the game between the Colts and Packers. Green Bay’s offense has been rolling and should face little-to-no resistance from the Colts’ defense. With James Starks ruled out, it will, once again, be the ‘Aaron Rodgers show’ via a heavy passing attack. With Randall Cobb possibly returning, there are options to target, but my favorite will be Ty Montgomery. He was a relatively late ‘inactive’ in Week 8 but is expected to be fully healthy for Sunday’s tilt. Without Starks or Eddie Lacy – and now with Knile Davis released – Montgomery should see a large amount of snaps from the backfield which has already led to his high production. With the Colts likely playing from behind, Andrew Luck will be asked to try to match Aaron Rodgers – at least in pass attempts out of necessity. Luck, T.Y. HiltonDonte Moncrief, and Jack Doyle will be busy throughout the contest and make for solid plays on Sunday afternoon.

Mario’s DFS Take: Little has changed in the past few weeks for Aaron Rodgers, as the Packers continue to draw favorable matchups against weak defenses and have virtually no running game to steal plays away from an aerial attack. With that, Rodgers is, again, one of the top plays of the week against a Colts’ defense that has allowed the second-most passing yards in the league. Especially after a highly-publicized loss to a difficult conference opponent – in a game where Green Bay led late – expect Rodgers to try to take control early, yet again. Of course, the deep receiving corps of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, and Davante Adams make targeting any one player that much more difficult, but each are worth consideration. Davante Adams has the edge thanks to his fourteen-target performance in Week 8 that was a direct response to two touchdowns on sixteen targets in Week 9. Indianapolis is not without its own offensive firepower, as Andrew Luck and T.Y. Hilton – assuming he plays – should benefit from an increased effort to pass if trailing in the game, but the Packers just allowed a late touchdown to Matt Ryan and the Falcons one week earlier and it is unlikely that the league’s seventh-best defense – in yards allowed – gets bested again.

Featured Image Credit: By Mr.schultz (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Mario Mergola
Mario Mergola is a writer, avid sports fan, former ESPN Radio producer, husband, and father who specializes in finding the hidden gems of the less-explored option. Follow @MarioMergola