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Week 9 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Best NFL Player Props Picks




The Fantasy Football Matchups Column returns for Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season. The column will break down key matchups for the most important players each week to provide tips for NFL DFS, player prop bettors and season-long fantasy football setting lineups on Yahoo, ESPN, Sleeper and CBS. Let’s dive into the all the NFL DFS tips matchups and daily fantasy football lineup decisions.

Week 9 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups & Player Props

Quarterback: Josh Allen vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Buffalo Bills offense, led by quarterback Josh Allen, have been steamrolling opponents. If it weren’t for an unfortunate slip on fourth down against the Titans, would likely have the highest win percentage in the AFC, and the inside track to the No. 1 seed. Allen has been excellent during the last six weeks, throwing 14 touchdowns, and adding three more with his legs, while tossing just two interceptions during that same span. Now he gets the Jaguars, who rank 31st in yards allowed per pass attempt, and 29th in points allowed per play. I’m grabbing the over on his passing yards prop of 285.5 yards, as well as his completions prop of 24.5. I may even take the over on 33.5 rushing yards, though the Player Props tool is less-bullish on his rushing props than his passing. Even 2.5 passing touchdowns looks like a quality over bet this weekend.

Quarterback: Kirk Cousins vs. Baltimore Ravens

After back-to-back highly efficient games against the Lions and Panthers, Cousins came crashing back down to earth in Week 8 against the Cowboys, throwing for a season-low 5.3 yards per pass attempt and a paltry 184 yards in a 20-16 loss to the Dak Prescott-less Cowboys. The Vikings have now scored under 20 points in two of their last three contests, and now rank 21st in expected points added per play. This week, he faces a Baltimore defense that hasn’t been quite as effective as season’s past, but still have the necessary talent at cornerback to matchup with the Vikings’ big two receivers, and rank right at league average in points allowed per play. I’m slamming the under on Cousins’ entire passing line this Sunday. The line at 23.5 completions and 275.5 passing yards are both way too high, and I’m definitely taking the under on 1.5 passing touchdowns, which has one of the highest expected ROIs of any bet on the player props tool this weekend.

Running Back: Joe Mixon vs. Cleveland Browns

Clearly the healthiest he’s been in weeks, Mixon saw his snap share jump above 80% for the first time since Week 2, and his 25 routes was one short of tying his season high. He also saw 19 opportunities for the second time in three games. Better yet, Mixon remains extremely elusive as a rusher, ranking third in the NFL with 52 evaded tackles and top 20 at his position in evaded tackles per touch. That’s allowed him to maintain a healthy 4.7 yards per touch while earning the second-most carries in the league. Playing the division rival Browns this weekend, Mixon should have the upper hand against a pass-rush focused defensive line and an overall defensive unit that ranks eighth worst in the NFL in EPA allowed per play. Grab the over on 60.5 rushing yards before it goes up. I’m bullish on over 2.5 receptions as well.

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Running Back: Boston Scott vs. Los Angeles Chargers

While many expected rookie Kenneth Gainwell to command a large opportunity share in Philadelphia with Miles Sanders sidelined, the Eagles, instead, turned to a three-back committee, heavily utilizing Boston Scott and Jordan Howard, while treating Gainwell like an afterthought in what, ultimately, turned into the easiest win of the Eagles’ season. Scott led the backfield in snap share, playing on 44% of the team’s plays, and nearly doubling Howard’s snap share. But Scott only saw 16% of the team’s rushes inside the 10-yard line, and quietly ranked third on the depth chart in percent of running back carries. The Chargers rank dead last in yards per carry allowed this season, which makes this a decent matchup for running backs on paper, but guessing the opportunities share is much too difficult. That said, I’m inclined to take the unders on most of the running back prop line, particularly Scott’s. The player props tool indicates Scott goes under his rushing yards prop line of 44.5 a staggering 84% of the time, making it one of the highest ROI under bets on the entire slate.

Wide Receiver: Amari Cooper vs. Denver Broncos

The Cowboys maintained their pass-happy ways against the Minnesota Vikings, and while there were plenty of stalled drives with Cooper Rush at the helm, Rush still managed 325 passing yards and two scores, including the game-winning touchdown pass to Cooper in the back of the end zone. Cooper saw a game-high 13 targets and 185 air yards, the most he’s earned all season, ultimately catching eight passes for 122 yards. This week, Cooper has been hyped up for his viability in DFS, mainly due to the fact that fellow wideout CeeDee Lamb has a sprained ankle, which could limit his availability for Sunday against the Broncos. However, I believe betting on Cooper is even more advantageous if Lamb is in. While the Broncos are above average in most defensive metrics, the quality of Cooper’s matchups might actually slightly improve with Denver’s defense forced to deal with the full Dallas receiving corps. Even if Lamb sits, I’m leaning towards taking the over on 60.5 receiving yards for Cooper.

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Wide Receiver: Brandin Cooks vs. Miami Dolphins

Cooks has done his best to make the most out of a terrible situation in Houston this season, ranking sixth in NFL in target share and fourth in air yards share. He has turned that elite usage into the fourth-most receptions in the NFL, all while the team lost seven straight games with Davis Mills at the helm. This week, mercifully, they’ll get Tyrod Taylor back, who had a strong five quarters of play this season before suffering the injury that held him out until now, which could boost the quality of the looks Cooks is seeing by a large amount. Cooks’ catchable-target rate sits at 74% — 57th among all wide receivers — while his true-catch rate of 98% indicates that Cooks catches essentially everything that’s remotely catchable. Taylor, on the other hand, completed 70% of his passes in the team’s Week 1 victory against Jacksonville. Against Miami’s fourth-worst defense, the over on 4.5 receptions and 65.5 yards both look like fantastic bets this Sunday.

Brandin Cooks also looks great in Awesemo grades and values tool, which Awesemo’s Geoff Ulrich broke down even further in the Week 9 From The Slot article.

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Tight End: Travis Kelce vs. Green Bay Packers

The Chiefs are a mess on offense right now. The team that consistently broke our top stacks tool with it’s absurdly high top-stack probabilities suddenly seem like trap plays in DFS, with Patrick Mahomes leading the league in interceptions over the last five weeks. They don’t look like solid individual bets even as touchdown favorites against the Packers’ middling defense in one of the highest Vegas total games on the slate. The Chiefs, including Kelce, have been turning the ball over at an alarming rate over the last month of the season, and now rank 18th in NFL in points scored per play behind the likes of New Orleans, New England and San Francisco. Kelce is still seeing elite-level volume, but has not seen seven or less targets in two of his last five games, and his has under 60 yards receiving in three of his last five. The Packers’ defense has improved of late as well, quietly ranking sixth-best in the NFL in yards allowed per pass attempt, and third-best in points allowed per play over their last three games. I’m siding with the player props tool and taking the under on both 6.5 receptions and 76.5 receiving yards, that both have over a 70% expected win rate, and have a combined win percentage of well over 50%.

Tight End: Mark Andrews vs. Minnesota Vikings

Andrews has been excellent this season for the Ravens, who have experienced a major boost in pass efficiency this year compared to last, while still ranking outside the top-20 teams in pass plays per game. Andrews ranks sixth among all tight ends in route participation rate and third in target share, which has helped him earn six double-digit fantasy-point performances in his last seven games. But Andrews’ future production might be more volatile than those consistent fantasy performances indicate, as he has played on less than 70% of the team’s snaps in two straight games, running less than 25 total routes in each game. Against Minnesota this weekend, he’ll need to have an elite level of targets per route run, and yards per route run if he’s used as sparingly has was against Bengals and Chiefs. Though the Vikings and Ravens are both quality teams to target in DFS tournaments, their individual prop lines are fairly uninspiring across the board. Under 59.5 receiving yards for Andrews may be the only bet to take for any of the big-name receivers from this matchup.

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We also have NFL DFS single-game projections and showdown ownership projections. If you’re interested in other DFS NFL tools for multiple game slates, head over to DFS NFL ownership projections, Awesemo's NFL Data Central, NFL rankings, and daily fantasy football stacking. View our FanDuel NFL rankings and our DraftKings DFS NFL ownership rankings. Take a look at our depth charts for NFL games, NFL inactives and NFL starting line-ups.

A middling athlete who was offered his first sports analytics position at age 14, I've been working on NFL and fantasy football data science since 2017. With a particular passion for data visualization and dashboard building, I love to make data accessible by using graphs and charts to communicate ideas that are difficult to explain with words alone. You can contact me by e-mailing [email protected]

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