Matt Savoca’s Daily Fantasy Football Matchups Column returns for Week 9 of the NFL season. In it, he goes through every single game on the main slate on Sundays for your season-long fantasy football lineups on Yahoo, ESPN and CBS and your NFL DFS ones on DraftKings and FanDuel. We have 11 games on tap for Week 9, so let’s dive into the action.
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You can check out Matt Every Thursday on the NFL DFS Strategy Show, going over all the fantasy football matchups with Dave Loughran. And don’t forget to tune into the Awesemo YouTube Channel for On The Contrary for Week 9 this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. EST!
Week 9 Daily Fantasy Football Matchups Breakdown for NFL DFS
Daily Fantasy Football Matchups: Early Games
Daily Fantasy Football Matchups: Afternoon Games
Daily Fantasy Football Matchups: Seattle Seahawks (27) at Buffalo Bills (25)
Seattle Passing Game
Week 8 was another MVP-level performance from quarterback Russell Wilson in a resounding Seahawks victory over the division-rival 49ers. Wilson tossed four touchdowns Sunday, his fourth game with four or more passing scores this season. Wilson’s underlying metrics were just as impressive, as he ranked eighth among quarterbacks in adjusted completion percentage, third in the league in Quarterback expected points added, and first in play-action completion percentage. Wilson’s transcendent play continues to be a prominent NFL storyline on a week-to-week basis, and it will be no different when Wilson and company head across the country. The Bills followed up back-to-back losses in weeks 5 and 6 with back-to-back wins in weeks 7 and 8, good enough for a two-game lead in the AFC East. The Bills, despite a defensive-oriented Coach in Sean McDermott, have been fairly mediocre as a defense this season, ranking 18th or worse in yards allowed per pass attempt, points allowed per play and PFF defensive coverage grade. In fact, when comparing the offensive grades of the Seahawks to the defensive grades of the Bills, Seattle has the highest net offensive advantage of any team on the main slate. This looks like yet another smash spot for Seattle.
In the receiving game, the pendulum swung back towards D.K. Metcalf in a huge way in week 8, as Metcalf commanded an astounding 15 targets (second most among wideouts in week 8) and 145 air yards (fourth most). He turned those into a league-high 161 receiving yards and two scores, leading to the highest receiving expected points added of any receiver last week. Tyler Lockett, after his own 20-target game in week 7, was much quieter, commanding only five looks and gaining only 33 yards, while Metcalf stole the show. Metcalf now has a 8.5% lead in air yards share over Lockett, and the two are within 2% of each other in their season-long target share. With Metcalf at the second highest salary among wide receivers once again, Lockett presents the slightly better value, but among the two of them, predicting which of the two blows up week to week outcome has become a true toss-up. Third receiver David Moore got in the action as well last Sunday, catching a touchdown on one of his three receptions. Over the past three weeks, only Moore and Jacob Hollister have recorded a three-reception game, indicating that nearly the entirety of the offensive volume goes to Metcalf, Lockett or the backfield. For this reason, along with the All-Pro-level play of Wilson, the trio of Wilson Metcalf, and Lockett remains the highest-upside quarterback-two-receiver stack in the NFL.
Seattle Rushing Game
With Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde ailing, fourth-round rookie DeeJay Dallas played on 79% of Seattle’s snaps last weekend, the highest percentage of any Seahawks back this season. Dallas’ 23 total opportunities was also a 2020 team high. In fact, Dallas’ combined with passing-game standouts Metcalf and Lockett to command over 68% of the Seahawks’ total offensive opportunities. As of midweek, the Seahawks backfield health remains quite murky, but the assumption should still be that if Carson plays, he’ll see the bulk of the work, likely right around his season average of 29% of team opportunities. In the scenario where Carson must sit another week, Dallas, who produced just 58 total yards but added two touchdowns, likely played himself into a timeshare role with Travis Homer and Hyde (if he’s able to suit up). Dallas’ performance is a poignant reminder that if 30% of Seahawks’ backfield touches are given to one player, the fantasy results will continue to be tremendous.
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Buffalo Passing Game
The Bills are 6-2, the AFC East is theirs to lose, and Josh Allen seems to have turned the corner after two tough losses in weeks 5 and 6. After breezing through the Jets in week 7, Allen was faced with less-than-ideal weather conditions in week 8 against New England and effectively executed a conservative-yet-efficient passing attack that was more than enough to hold off the Patriots. Allen’s 18 pass attempts were by far his lowest total of the season, as were his 173 air yards, but that was to be expected given the conditions and the anemic offense the Bills faced in week 8. In week 9 against Seattle, we should assume an extremely different game flow.
The Seahawks, of course, come in with arguably the most lethal offense in football, ranking first in true early-down pass rate and second in air yards per second in neutral game scripts, and will undoubtedly score enough points to force the Bills into running their typical pass-oriented approach. Allen should bounce back to his typical 35-40 passes and 3-5 deep passes per game, marks that we’ve consistently seen from him this season, especially against a Seahawks defense that ranks 27th in yards allowed per pass attempt and 30th in Football Outsiders’ pass DVOA. This game has all the makings of a shootout, and despite it ranking third in terms of Vegas game totals this weekend, could easily end up being the game with the most touchdowns scored in the main slate.
Assuming Buffalo passes as much or more than usual, Stefon Diggs would, of course, be the main beneficiary. Diggs continues his Pro-Bowl caliber season, ranking first in the NFL in total targets (sixth in targets per game) and fourth in total air yards. He hasn’t recorded a game with fewer than 95 air yards since week 3 and only has one game with fewer than 89 air yards. And they’re not empty air yards either — Diggs already has caught at least six passes in 86% of his games this season. Especially considering the Seahawks are among the worst teams in the league in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to opposing top wideouts, Diggs appears to be in a fantastic spot this weekend. Despite the third-highest salary among receivers on the main slate, the Awesemo projections like Diggs just fine in that salary range. Fantasy gamers can play Diggs without hesitation in their daily fantasy football lineups.
The only wideout to play at least 80% of snaps for the Bills last weekend was John Brown, who commanded just two targets. In fact, no Bills player (other than Diggs) commanded more than that number a week ago. Over the last three weeks, however, Cole Beasley has commanded 25% of the team’s targets and has tied for the team lead with a 33% red zone target share, increasing his ceiling from the typical Beasley stat lines of years past. Diggs and Beasley are the only players averaging even 3 targets per game over the Bills last three games, making the Bills sneakily stackable, especially in this game flow, where the possibility of a shootout is rather high. MME players could absolutely consider Gabriel Davis (although his usage shrinks tremendously when Brown is on the field) or Tyler Kroft. But if the Awesemo projections are to be believed, fantasy gamers should stick to the big three of Diggs, Beasley and Brown if looking to put members of the Bills passing attack in their daily fantasy football lineups this weekend.
Buffalo Rushing Game
With the Bills committed to a run-first approach in less-than-ideal conditions week 9, the Bills utilized running backs on nearly 57% of their offensive plays, with Zack Moss and Devin Singletary splitting the opportunities evenly. They even commanded the exact same number of targets: 0ne each. But despite Singletary outgaining Moss 92-to-81 in total yards, it was Moss who got the two scores, making him the much more worthwhile play on fantasy rosters. The Seahawks tend to be much more exploitable through the air than the run, which makes the Bills passing game options more exciting than this 50-50 backfield timeshare. That said, it doesn’t preclude either from having another 80-plus yard, multi-touchdown performance such as the one posted by Moss in week 8. It is worth noting, however, that Singletary’s salary is now lower than Moss, which could make him a solid value play, considering he has an equally likely chance of leading the team in quality opportunities. Moss, however, seems to be the preferred goal line back, earning five high-value opportunities compared to Singletary’s one (his lone target). Therefore, the preferred option is Moss despite the budget considerations fantasy gamers will need to make in order to fit Moss into their daily fantasy football lineups.
Prediction: Seahawks 37, Bills 31.
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