Last month the New Orleans Saints traded future Hall of Fame Running Back Adrian Peterson to the Arizona Cardinals and the impact was immediate. In week 6 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Peterson blew up, producing his first 100+ yard rushing game since December of 2015. With a stat line of 26-134-2 and a 5.15 average, the feeling was, AP is back.
Despite the Cardinals moving away from Peterson after falling down early to the Los Angeles Rams two weeks ago before the bye, you shouldn’t be too concerned with his prospects for this week. Here are my reasons, plus the logic behind five other DFS plays you should trust in Week 9.
ADRIAN PETERSON (RB, Arizona Cardinals) @ SF
In Week 7 Peterson was stifled for 21 yards on 11 carries, a 1.91 yards per carry average. This, believe it or not, is a good thing. With DFS players still unsure of Peterson’s impact, ownership should be lower than what seems logical against a San Francisco 49ers defense that has been repeatedly backhanded when attempting defend the run.
The 49ers have surrendered 100+ yard games in 6 of 8 games, including a staggering 26-147-2 day from Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliot, who also scored on a 72-yard reception. The 49ers give up the 4th most rushing yards per game (131.8) and their picture continues to grow more bleak with defensive linemen Arik Armstead (hand) and Solomon Thomas (MCL) out indefinitely.
Unlike the Rams, who rank 2nd in points per game (30.3) and jumped out ahead early against the Cardinals, forcing a pass heavy attack, the 49ers 16.6 points per game lean heavily towards a plus game script for Peterson.
DREW BREES (QB, New Orleans Saints) vs TB
The Tampa Bay Bucs are a sieve against the pass and their defense will be missing starting CB Brent Grimes. There is no pass rush to be had and the New Orleans Saints own a +15% pass blocking advantage, which points to Brees having all day to pick apart a bad secondary. The sharp betting action is leaving towards the over in a game with a high point total (50), so with a potential shoot-out on deck, Brees is set to have his biggest game of the year.
Brees should be stacked confidently and often with WR Michael Thomas. Going up against embattled CB Robert McClain, who allows 1.19 yards per route run, Thomas should be able to bust through for his first 100 yard game of the year and his first touchdown since Week 4. Other stacks to consider include cheap WR Ted Ginn, RB Mark Ingram, and RB Alvin Kamara.
DAK PRESCOTT (QB, Dallas Cowboys) vs KC
Since losing Eric Berry, the Kansas City Chiefs defense has been inconsistent against the pass, ranking 20th per Football Outsiders DVOA while getting blown up by the Oakland Raiders for 417 passing yards in Week 7. Prescott has turned in three games with 3 touchdowns, including a three game stretch with 11 total touchdowns before having a pedestrian showing against the Washington Redskins last week.
Nobody plays more man coverage than the Chiefs defense, which is always a plus for a running QB. The Chiefs have allowed 157 rush yards from Quarterbacks on the year and Prescott should add a few points to his total in these favorable conditions. Stack him with Dez Bryant, who is likely to see CB Kenneth Acker in coverage (1.73 yards per coverage snap).
TODD GURLEY III (RB, Los Angeles Rams) @ NYG
Per Pro Football Focus, the Los Angeles Rams hold a +14% run blocking advantage over a New York Giants defense that allows an average 120 yards per game. Gurley comes in fresh off a bye and should eat volume once again, having eclipsed 20 catches in 6 of 7 games this year.
Gurley has produced 100 yard games in 4 of his last 5 games and has contributed as a receiver as well with receiving yards of 56, 48, 36, 94, 7, 4, and 48 for the season. With the Rams scoring often, Gurley will have plenty of opportunities and a plus game script against a Giants team that is missing playmakers.
JIMMY GRAHAM (TE, Seattle Seahawks) vs WAS
With only a single game with less than 5 targets on the year (Week 2 vs SF), Graham has logged 4 touchdowns and 260 yards in his last 5 games. Meanwhile, the Redskins have struggled to contain Tight Ends, with Zach Ertz (8/93/0, 5/89/1), Gerald Everett (3/95/0), Jared Cook (4/43/1), and Travis Kelce (7/111/1) all producing solid-to-excellent fantasy days against them.
With zero run game to speak of, the Seahawks will have to depend on QB Russell Wilson to work his magic, and provides a solid stack with serious upside against a Redskins team traveling 2,700 miles to Seattle.
EAGLES D/ST vs DEN
This one is simple and for a more in-depth look at this smash spot for the Eagles, I wrote about it here. Some quick facts on the Denver offense:
- 18th ranked passing attack (218.3ypg)
- 9th ranked rushing attack (123.4ypg)
- 24th points per game (18.1)
- 2ND in turnovers (17)
- T-3rd sacks allowed per game (3.6)
- 22nd in 3rd down covnversion (39.4)
- 0 for 7 on 4th down conversions
Now enter Brock Osweiler into the equation. Do I really need to go any further?