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DraftKings

NFL Prime Time Games: Week 9 Sunday Night Football Saints at Buccaneers | DraftKings + FanDuel

Eric MacPherson

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Greetings, NFL DFS Gamers! Welcome to the Awesemo daily fantasy football Single-Game Prime Time series for FanDuel and DraftKings Showdown slates. For each of the featured games, typically Sunday Night Football, Monday Night Football and Thursday Night Football slates, we will be providing a free analysis for the single-slate action on DraftKings and FanDuel. This will include team capsules as well as player rankings and comments for all of your daily fantasy needs. We have loads of information and NFL DFS picks to get into for both DraftKings and FanDuel on this Week 9 Sunday Night Football slate between the New Orleans Saints at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.


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DraftKings + FanDuel NFL DFS Picks: Week 9 Sunday Night Football | Saints at Buccaneers -4.5 | O/U 50.5

New Orleans Saints: 23.0

Quarterback

Drew Brees (shoulder) is listed as a game time decision, though he is expected to play. In the event that he doesn’t, expect DFS Twitter to spontaneously combust with Jamison Winston #RevengeTaeks. Back to Brees, is indeed his right shoulder that is sore which means this could be impacting his throws. Tampa Bay has the top passing DVOA and the third rushing DVOA on the season. The Bucs are also first with 14 takeaways including 11 interceptions and second in the league with 28 sacks. Finally Teddy Bridgewater (367) and Justin Herbert (290) are the only quarterbacks to top 288 passing yards.

On the other hand, Brees has posted 288+ yards only twice – just a little fun cherry picking that number as he actually has 280+ passing yards in five of his seven starts. Emmanuel Sanders should be back after missing time on the Covid-19 list and Michael Thomas (hamstring) is a game time decision. The return of either or both will help the Saints passing game.

Running Back

When these two teams squared off back in Week 1, it was the Saints that held serve against the visiting Buccaneers 34-23. While Alvin Kamara had just 16 rushing yards, he did have a dozen carries and a touchdown. Additionally, he saw eight targets catching five for 51 yards and another score. We have seen Kamara carry the load offensively in the absence of Thomas this season and it will be nice for him to have some help in a tough road matchup.

Latavius Murray should see between 10-15 touches between the rushing and passing games. On the season he has ha at least two red zone opportunities in five of the Saints seven games.


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Alex “Awesemo” Baker’s projected stats (part of  Awesemo+) have Drew Brees projected for 304.3 passing yards Sunday night, making the 278.5 OVER at +105 on OddsShopper a solid deal. Click on the image below to start shopping for the best edge in betting and check out all the player props available for tonight’s Sunday Night Football game between the Buccaneers and Saints.


Wide Receiver

Smoke and mirrors is the best description for the New Orleans wide receiving corps. Michael Thomas has missed all but the first half of the season opener. Sunday night he will be a game time decision with a sore hamstring that he picked up a couple weeks ago in practice. Emmanuel Sanders is expected to return after missing the last two games on the Covid-19 list. Rookie Marquez Callaway is expected to return after missing last week with an ankle issue. Deonte Harris has had a tender hamstring most of the season and the Saints would prefer to have him focus on returning punts and kickoffs with just 15-20 offensive snaps. That leaves Tre’Quan Smith who continues to just meander along with only 32 targets for 25/291/2 despite all of the available opportunities this season.

Tight End

Though he does not see the volume one would expect, Jared Cook has turned his 29 targets into 19/249 and four touchdowns which is second on the team. Josh Hill will be on the field a decent amount as a blocker, but he has been bestowed more than one target just once this season with two back in Week 2. Adam Trautman is a DFS heartbreaker who has just four targets on the year.

Defense/Special Teams

The Buccaneers have allowed just two sacks in their last three games and the have ceded none in four of their eight tilts. They have just eight turnovers, but in a silver lining, two of Brady’s four interceptions have been returned for touchdowns.

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Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 27.5

Quarterback

Tom Brady leads Brees by one passing touchdown 561 to 560 at the top of the career list. In turn, Brees is first for career passing yards, attempts and completions. Expect this to be a talking point once again on Sunday Night Football. With a combined age of 85 and 41 NFL seasons between them, these milestones should be no surprise to anyone.

The Saints have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in every game this season despite having the 13th best passing DVOA. On a fun note, we should see the TB debut of Antonio Brown as well as the return of Chris Godwin (fractured left index finger).

Running Back

There is not a lot of clarity with the Buc’s backfield as seen on Monday Night Football when Leonard Fournette saw 73% of the snaps and Ronald Jones II 24% though the workload was more evenly distributed between the pair. Jones had 7/23/0 on the ground and caught all four targets for 4/23/0 in the air. Fournette was 15/52/0 rushing and 3/19/0 receiving on seven targets. This breaks down to Jones seeing the ball on 11 of his 17 plays (65%) and Fournette on 22 of 51 (43%).

The Saints have been solid against the run with the fourth best passing DVOA and they have allowed just five combined touchdowns to the position. On FanDuel, the choice is easy where Fournette is at a significant discount of $3,000. DraftKings is much different with Fournette $200 more, of course this is where popularity will come into play for the single game contests.

Wide Receiver

Chris Godwin is likely to return after missing a game with a hairline fracture of his left index finger. Antonio Brown is on track to make his first appearance in a Bucs uniform. Coach Bruce Arians has said he will play somewhere between 10 and 35 snaps so your mileage may vary. This will push Scott Miller into the fourth wide receiver role and mostly eliminate Jaydon Mickens and Tyler Johnson as options. Mike Evans has scored in six of eight games this season, but he had only two targets in two of the last three.

All of this bodes well for Brady, but choosing the right receiver each week going forward is going to be tricky when the full stable is available.

Tight End

Rob Gronkowski has been dominating the snaps playing on just shy of 80% this season. Cameron Brate will be on the field for around 15-20% of the snaps, but he has seen only four targets over the last three weeks. Gronk has at least one red zone opportunity in each of the last six games with nine total across that span.

Defense/Special Teams

Tampa Bay leads the league in takeaways, interceptions, overall DVOA and passing DVOA and is second in rushing DVOA and sacks. New Orleans has allowed only nine sacks and five turnovers. The Pewter Pirates are a differentiation play at best.

Sunday Night Football DraftKings Showdown + FanDuel Single Game NFL DFS Strategy

The rankings below are best utilized for building out single-entry and three-max lineups and also for head-to-head and three-man formats. They provide a nice barometer for player value, but for those of you who are taking the MME approach, remember that correlation with your lineups is key. This means matching a receiver or two if you have a quarterback in the Captain/MVP slot. This also works conversely with pairing a Captain/MVP pass catcher with their signal-caller.


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EMac’s Week 9 Sunday Night Football DraftKings + FanDuel NFL DFS Rankings

Notable Inactives: TB Justin Watson, Ke’Shawn Vaughn, NO Ty Montgomery

Notable Actives: TB Antonio Brown, Chris Godwin, NO Drew Brees, Michael Thomas

Sunday Night Football Top 10 NFL DFS Picks

  1. Alvin KamaraWe are paying top dollar on DraftKings but getting a sizable $2,000 discount to Brady on FanDuel.
  2. Tom BradyA nice way to consolidate all of the Tompa (cwidt) Bay passing production.
  3. Leonard FournettePrice is too good to pass on FanDuel, he makes a nice flex play on DraftKings.
  4. Chris GodwinDoes seem to be TB12’s favorite wide receiver, depends on how much of an impact his fractured finger and the addition of Antonio Brown have on his opportunities.
  5. Ryan Succop/Wil LutzWe need some salary relief.
  6. Latavius MurraySalary relief and a dedicated role make him a play over all the remaining WRs if everyone is active.
  7. Michael ThomasTough matchup after a long layoff and no price break.
  8. Rob GronkowskiI must admit, he is performing better than I thought he would after retirement.
  9. Jared CookHoping for some red zone love.
  10. Emmanuel Sanderskeep an eye on news of his health or potential for any limited snaps as he works his way back.

Sunday Night Football Secondary NFL DFS Picks

  1. Mike Evansthe price and everyone being health along with the concerning two targets in two of his last three games land him here. Oh also Marshon Lattimore.
  2. Antonio Brownif you think he plays 20+ snaps move him above Sanders, if it is 25+ then move him ahead of Gronkowski.
  3. Ronald Jones II: clear second fiddle, but still gets a solid workload out of the backfield.
  4. Tre’Quan Smith: not particularly exciting but he will be on the field.
  5. Tampa Bay D/ST: phenomenal unit, but Brees is not easily rattled by anyone.

Sunday Night Football Lottery Tickets NFL DFS Picks

  1. Scott Millernot much of a price break if both Brown/Godwin play.
  2. Deonte Harrisreturns kicks and the Saints will likely try to get him five looks per game.
  3. Taysom Hill/Jameis Winston: at his price, Hill has to reach pay dirt – Winston is the #2020 wild card play for the bold and those okay with burning bankroll.
  4. Cameron Brateneeds a lucky touchdown on a team with red zone god Gronkowski.
  5. New Orleans D/ST: meh.
  6. Josh Hilldouble meh.
  7. Jaydon Mickens, Adam Trautman, Tanner Hudson, Tyler Johnson, Michael Burtontime to go buy an actual lottery ticket.

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Eric "EMac" MacPherson won the 2007 Fantasy Baseball grand prize (trip for two to the MLB All-Star game) in the Roto format on ESPN. He won again in 2008, this time in the H2H format. As one of the early adopters of daily fantasy sports, EMac has been providing content for baseball and basketball as well as both professional and college football since 2012 for a variety of websites including DraftKings Playbook, FanVice, RotoWorld, Daily Fantasy Bootcamp, and RotoGrinders. He is well into his third decade of fantasy sports and has a wealth of knowledge and experience. Follow him on Twitter @EMacDFS or contact EMac by emailing support@awesemo.com.

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