Time sure does fly by when you are having fun (watching football). It almost seems like yesterday when I was coming up with my favorite stacks for Week 1 of the 2021 NFL season. Stacking Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs seemed to be a no-brainer back in the first week of action, but that has since changed over the course of the season.
While Mahomes is going to be fine, and he’s still one of the elite quarterbacks in the NFL, it’s tough to pay nearly $8,000 in salary on DraftKings for Mahomes as he leads the league in interceptions thrown and he’s thrown an interception in seven consecutive games. There are other quarterbacks I’d rather use that are cheaper until Mahomes returns to his MVP form. That being said, I will have pieces from the showdown between the Green Bay Packers and the Chiefs on Sunday. With all of that out of the way, here are my favorite stacks and bring-back options on DraftKings’ Week 9 main slate.
BAL: Lamar Jackson ($7,300), Marquise Brown ($6,000), Mark Andrews ($5,500), Sammy Watkins ($4,300), Rashod Bateman ($4,000)
My favorite stack of the week is the Baltimore Ravens, who are coming off of their bye week. Lamar Jackson is the cheapest he’s been all season at $7,300, and I believe he’s underpriced on the green site. While the Minnesota Vikings have limited quarterbacks to 106 rushing yards this season, quarterbacks have carried it only 16 times against them. Some people may be traumatized by dropped touchdowns from Marquise Brown that may avoid the speedy wideout. Brown is seventh in fantasy points per game among wide receivers and he has the sixth-most air yards at the position. Mark Andrews continues to be a reliable option for Jackson, earning the third-highest target share among tight ends. Sammy Watkins returned to practice on Thursday, which could bode well for his status on Sunday. If Watkins is back, I still believe Rashod Bateman can have value in this offense, making him a decent value play at $4,000.
Bring-back options: Dalvin Cook ($7,700), Justin Jefferson ($7,500), Adam Thielen ($6,900), Jack Conklin ($3,000)
The defense of the Ravens almost dares teams to throw the ball against them. Seeing that Baltimore’s defense is a pass-funneling group, while you can make the decision yourself, I won’t have much of Dalvin Cook this week. The three guys I’m targeting on the Vikings are Justin Jefferson, Adam Thielen, and Tyler Conklin. Jefferson should bounce back after a quiet four-target performance in Week 8, while Thielen continues to show that he’s a candidate to score a touchdown every single game. Conklin seems to be too cheap for a tight end that has seen 5+ targets in four out of his past five games.
DAL: Dak Prescott ($6,900), CeeDee Lamb ($7,200), Amari Cooper ($5,700), Dalton Schultz ($4,800), Michael Gallup ($3,900), Cedrick Wilson ($3,600)
All signs point toward Dak Prescott being back under center for the Dallas Cowboys in Week 9 versus the Denver Broncos. Cooper Rush was able to fill in for Prescott last week as he carved up the defense of the Vikings, you know the one that Jackson will face this week. The defense of the Broncos doesn’t scare me, especially with them trading Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams. CeeDee Lamb suffered an injury in practice on Wednesday, so it will be worth monitoring his status as the weekend progresses. Regardless of Lamb’s status, Amari Cooper appears to be a decent value at only $5,700 in an efficient offense. Whenever Prescott has been operating the offense, Dalton Schultz has been effective, and Blake Jarwin is out for the Cowboys. I listed Michael Gallup — who could return in Week 9 from injured reserve — and Cedrick Wilson, but I’d mainly focus on Lamb, Cooper, and Schultz of the players listed above.
Bring-back options: Courtland Sutton ($5,900), Melvin Gordon ($5,200), Jerry Jeudy ($5,000), Noah Fant ($4,400), Albert Okwuegbunam ($2,600)
For the Broncos, Teddy Bridgewater has played as well as you’d expect from someone that is a bridge quarterback. The arrival of Bridgewater has aided Courtland Sutton in becoming a premier option in fantasy football this season. Sutton leads the league in air yards, and with Denver likely needing to keep up with Dallas, he could be busy on Sunday. Jerry Jeudy is entering his second game since coming back from injured reserve, which means he should see more than the four targets he saw in Week 8. As much of a fan I am of Javonte Williams, Melvin Gordon has performed well enough to maintain the starting job and he’s only $5,200 on DraftKings. Noah Fant was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list and will need to produce two negative tests before Sunday, so if he’s unable to go, Albert Okwuegbunam becomes a viable value at the tight end position.
BUF: Josh Allen ($8,200), Stefon Diggs ($7,700), Emmanuel Sanders ($5,600), Cole Beasley ($5,400), Gabriel Davis ($3,500), Tommy Sweeney ($3,100)
Stacking the Buffalo Bills burned some people in Week 8, unless you were heavy on Cole Beasley. Josh Allen still had a healthy 29.5 points on DraftKings, so it’s not like he was the reason your lineup would have sputtered. Stefon Diggs has yet to have that true WR1 game that we’re accustomed to seeing from him. That being said, he draws a Jacksonville Jaguars defense that just got torched by Geno Smith. Emmanuel Sanders is also in a prime spot to bounce back after essentially getting a good cardio workout in with zero receptions in Week 8. Beasley has missed back-to-back practices entering Friday, so there’s a chance he misses Sunday’s contest. Gabriel Davis would see an increased role if Beasley is unable to suit up. Tommy Sweeney is another value tight end with Dawson Knox likely sidelined again, but I’d rather go with Conklin or Okwuegbunam if I’m going that low at the position.
Bring-back options: James Robinson ($6,400), Marvin Jones Jr. ($5,700), Carlos Hyde ($4,900), Laviska Shenault ($4,400), Jamal Agnew ($4,300), Dan Arnold ($3,400)
As we enter Friday, James Robinson has yet to log a single practice for the Jaguars, so it will be crucial for him to do something on Friday to improve his chances of playing in Week 9. Carlos Hyde is dealing with a calf injury himself, but he practiced fully on Thursday, setting him up to start versus the Bills. Starting running backs against the Bills isn’t ideal, but Hyde is only $4,900, so there’s that. Jamal Agnew has assumed the role that many assumed Laviska Shenault would garner, as he saw a team-high 12 targets in Week 8. Marvin Jones is still a threat down the field with Trevor Lawrence, and Dan Arnold has continued to see an increased workload since joining Jacksonville, making both of them viable bring-back plays.
CIN: Joe Burrow ($6,800), Ja’Marr Chase ($7,600), Tee Higgins ($5,300), Tyler Boyd ($5,000), C.J. Uzomah ($3,900)
The Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase connection remains strong for the Cincinnati Bengals. Chase caught his seventh touchdown of the season in Week 8 despite scoring only 13.1 DraftKings points on nine targets. The discrepancy between Chase’s salary and Tee Higgins makes Higgins an enticing play. Higgins has seen fewer than six targets just once in his six starts this season. Tyler Boyd has always been a strong slot option, so he’s in play in PPR formats, especially with Burrow playing at a high level. C.J. Uzomah is touchdown-dependent like most tight ends, seeing four or fewer targets in all but one of his eight starts this season.
Bring-back options: Nick Chubb ($6,700), Jarvis Landry ($5,100), Donovan Peoples-Jones ($4,400), Austin Hooper ($3,200), David Njoku ($3,000)
Odell Beckham Jr. wasn’t traded by the Cleveland Browns, but his time in Cleveland appears to be coming to a close. Even though Beckham wasn’t lighting it up, his absence does open up more opportunities for Jarvis Landry and Donovan Peoples-Jones. Peoples-Jones is trending toward making a return in Week 9 after missing the past two weeks for the Browns. Before missing two games, Peoples-Jones combined for 41.1 DraftKings points from Weeks 5-6. Nick Chubb is still arguably the best pure runner in the NFL, and he should see an uptick in touches with Kareem Hunt still on injured reserve. I’ll continue to take a shot on Chubb, especially with him being sub-$7,000 on DraftKings. Cleveland has run 13 personnel (one RB, one WR, three TEs) a league-high 21% of the time this season, making Austin Hooper and David Njoku options at tight end.
GB: Jordan Love ($4,400), Davante Adams ($8,200), Allen Lazard ($4,600), Marquez Valdes-Scantling ($3,700)
To Jordan Love or not to Jordan Love will be on everyone’s mind on Sunday for NFL DFS. His price definitely makes him enticing at only $4,400 on DraftKings with Aaron Rodgers on the reserve/COVID-19 list. And while we haven’t seen Love play in a meaningful game in his career yet, he does have a favorable matchup against a Chiefs team that has given up the second-most points per game to quarterbacks on DraftKings. Also, there’s the fact that he should have a healthy group of weapons with Davante Adams and Allen Lazard returning from the reserve/COVID-19 list. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was designated to return from injured reserve earlier this week, so he could make be back in time for Sunday. I wouldn’t be opposed to using Aaron Jones in a Love stack due to the common theme of young quarterbacks targeting their running backs in the passing game.
Bring-back options: Tyreek Hill ($7,900), Travis Kelce ($7,000), Darrel Williams ($5,700), Mecole Hardman ($3,900)
The offense of the Chiefs continues to revolve around Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce. While Kelce has struggled in recent weeks, Hill has earned a league-best 27 targets in the past two weeks. Seeing that Kansas City didn’t add anyone at the trade deadline, Hill and Kelce remain the go-to options on the Chiefs. Darrel Williams has performed well in relief of Clyde Edwards-Helaire, scoring 17+ points on DraftKings in two out of his past three outings. He’s also involved in the passing game more than Edwards-Helaire was, so he’s a bit underpriced at $5,700. If you want a cheap way to get exposure to the Chiefs, Mecole Hardman is only $3,900, but be wary of his boom-or-bust role in Kansas City’s aerial attack.