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2023 NFL Week 9 DFS Lineup Recap: What We Can Learn From Results

In DFS, crafting the perfect lineup is an art and a science. It requires a deep understanding of player dynamics, game environments and the unpredictable nature of sports. 

In the following article, we will review two of our lineups to give you insight into how we constructed them and where we went wrong.

Week 9 DFS Lineup Recap

Mark Garcia’s Review

Contest: Double Spy

Entrants: 833

I was back to single entry as I continue to work through my process this year. I’m attempting to get back to the basics and eliminate the noise introduced via my journey into mass multi-entry (MME) play, which has been a difficult transition (again). I entered the $200 Double Spy and $100 Spy this week, each with 833 entries. I bubbled both contests, and this is how.

I knew going into the weekend that the game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Houston Texans carried one of the best chances of developing into a game environment conducive to elite fantasy production. Both defenses are pass-funnel defenses; Tampa Bay struggled to run the football through the first two months of the season; the Texans were without their starting running back and getting an offensive tackle back from injury; Houston OC Bobby Slowik has shown elite “catch-up” play-calling tendencies to date. That all added up to game plans most likely involving additional aerial aggression.

Nico Collins went into the weekend with top 18 numbers against both man and zone coverages. Knowing that the Buccaneers blitz at an elevated rate but generate pressure at a below-average rate, in addition to playing man and zone at near league-average rates, meant Collins was the player likeliest to excel in this spot.

Furthermore, C.J. Stroud carried top 12 numbers when kept clean and entered the weekend as the third-best passer when an opposition blitzed but didn’t generate pressure on the play, which is exactly the archetype of the Buccaneers’ defense this season.

What ended up happening is WRs Tank Dell and Noah Brown and TE Dalton Schultz going over 100 receiving yards and scoring at least one touchdown, with Dell popping in two. Collins had a median game, while all three remaining primary contributors had 80-percent-plus outcome games, with Brown likely closer to 95 percent outcome (extremely variant but elite production). That left me behind the eight ball, even with an elite score from my quarterback at six percent ownership.

I chose to save salary at running back through the duo of Jonathan Taylor and Jerome Ford, who were in matchups against defenses that had allowed the first- and third-most fantasy points per game to opposing backfields this season. Taylor returned elite production in the first half before being used sparingly in the second (again!), while Ford simply didn’t get the goal line carry against the Arizona Cardinals (curse you, Kareem Hunt!).

But the bigger picture there is that the salary saved allowed me to spend up on two players: Adam Thielen in the same game environment as Taylor and Davante Adams against the man-heavy ways of the New York Giants’ defense. Game environment largely crushed both of those plays, with Adams not seeing a single target until the second half and Thielen needing garbage time to even get to five receptions.

I hyped Cade Otton entering the weekend as the forgotten man in the Buccaneers' offense, but he entered the weekend with top four numbers in routes, route participation and route rate, among qualified tight ends. The roster came together with Marquise Brown and the Giants' defense, each of whom were extremely variant plays I likely didn’t need to make in a field size of only 833 entries.

In another late mistake, I pivoted from the Cleveland Browns’ defense and Noah Brown to Marquise Brown and Giants’ defense Sunday morning, costing myself the cash and sending me to another week of negative ROI. There are still numerous things to fix moving forward as I trudge along in a slump.

Jordan Vanek’s Lineup

Contest: NFL $500K Power Sweep 3 Entry Max

Entrants: 4,444

In my previous week's decision to start Stroud, I anticipated facing the Carolina Panthers' heavy usage of Cover 3, but they unexpectedly switched things up. This week, I found a similar matchup against the Buccaneers, who have shown a high rate of Cover 3 usage this year. Stroud delivered the performance I was hoping for, but it became clear that the real standout performers were the Texans’ pass-catchers — except Collins.

For my coming lineup adjustments, here's what I have in mind:

Dallas Goedert to Dalton Schultz: The switch from Dallas Goedert to Schultz makes sense if Schultz has a more favorable matchup or the potential for a higher target share. Consider the defensive matchups and their tendencies against tight ends.

Saquon Barkley to Rachaad White: While Saquon Barkley is undoubtedly a talented back, choosing Rachaad White might be a wise move if he offers a better value or faces a more favorable runback situation in the game. Always watch player injuries and their roles in their respective offenses.

Upgrade the Giants’ defense to the Packers’ defense: Upgrading from the Giants’ defense to the Green Bay Packers’ defense should be based on the specific defensive matchups and recent performance. Ensure the Packers’ defense has a better chance of success against their opposing offense.

Nico Collins to A.J. Brown: Upgrading from Collins to A.J. Brown is a good idea if you believe A.J. Brown has a more advantageous matchup or a higher potential for a big game. This also gives me a mini-stack with Lamb.

Overall, the thought process of this week was a great one, and the results were close to me having a very good weekend. Collins being a disappointment in that big of a game from Stroud was very surprising, and I would also note the amount of tight ends who dominated.

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