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2023 NFL Week 9: Top Underdog Higher, Lower Entries to Consider

We will evaluate the projections available on Underdog Fantasy each week and craft entries that leverage game environments and correlation to maximize value. 

Week 9 Higher/Lower Entries

Daniel Jones LOWER than 0.5 interceptions, Josh Jacobs LOWER than 18.5 rushing attempts, Saquon Barkley HIGHER than 76.5 rushing yards

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As the re-energized Las Vegas Raiders take on the New York Giants, Daniel Jones returns to action. The Raiders’ rushing defense is in the league’s bottom five in both success rate and estimated points added (EPA) per play. The Giants’ offense might rely on Saquon Barkley and want to limit their passing attack’s opportunities.

In games where the Giants successfully rush the ball and Jones does not throw an interception, the Raiders have less play volume and are more likely to shift their tendencies to pass the ball more often. Additionally, given the new coaching staff taking over for Las Vegas this week, its rushing rotation could incorporate other backs more often, or the Raiders might default to the pass more often than their predecessor, creating fewer attempts for Josh Jacobs

Ja’Marr Chase HIGHER than 15.25 fantasy points, Dalton Kincaid HIGHER than 38.5 receiving yards and Joe Burrow HIGHER than 18.75 fantasy points

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The Buffalo Bills visit the Cincinnati Bengals in Week 9’s Sunday night game. Recent injuries to Tre’Davious White, Matt Milano and others have depleted the Bills’ defense.

In the Bengals’ past three games, when Joe Burrow seems to have recovered from his calf injury, their offense ranks fifth in EPA per dropback and first in dropback success rate. The Bengals offense appears to be hitting its stride as the Bills defense has struggled. As such, Burrow is more likely to surpass 18.75 fantasy points than he is to fall short. When Burrow exceeds his fantasy points, Ja’Marr Chase becomes more likely to eclipse his fantasy point total of 15.25. 

When the Bengals’ passing attack succeeds, it will force Buffalo into a negative game script or be in response to Buffalo also having offensive success. Both of these situations provide Dalton Kincaid ample opportunities in the passing game. With Dawson Knox still out, Kincaid has no obstacles to a full-time role.

Stephon Gilmore HIGHER than 3.5 tackles + assists, A.J. Brown HIGHER than 83.5 receiving yards, DaRon Bland HIGHER than 4.0 tackles + assists, Devonta Smith HIGHER than 48.5 receiving yards and Jalen Hurts HIGHER than 21.5 completions

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The Philadelphia Eagles’ passing attack remains concentrated on A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith and, to a lesser extent, Dallas Goedert. In all three games where Smith has surpassed 48.5 receiving yards and Brown has surpassed 83.5 receiving yards, Jalen Hurts has at least 23 completions for 275 passing yards. While the Dallas Cowboys’ defense ranks in the top 10 in every metric, the Eagles’ passing attack block is strongly correlated. 

When the Eagles’ aerial offense moves the ball enough for Hurts, Brown and Smith to have higher than their projections, the Cowboys’ defensive backs are incredibly likely to have tackle opportunities. Starting cornerbacks Stephon Gilmore and DaRon Bland will guard Smith and Brown throughout the game, so any receiving yards will come on plays where tackles are available. 

Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah LOWER than 6.0 tackles + assist, Kyzir White HIGHER than 8.5 tackles + assists, Jalen Thompson HIGHER than 3.0 solo tackles, Jerome Ford HIGHER than 42.5 rushing yards and Deshaun Watson LOWER than 0.5 interceptions

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Fifth-round rookie Clayton Tune starts for the Arizona Cardinals against the Cleveland Browns and their league-leading defense. When Tune struggles to sustain drives for the Cardinals’ offense, Browns’ linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah will have fewer tackle opportunities. 

When Cleveland elects to play a ball-control offense as it manages a lead, Jerome Ford should see enough rushing volume to have at least 43 yards more often than not. Additionally, Deshaun Watson not throwing an interception increases the play volume for the Browns’ offense, making Ford’s rushing projections easier to surpass. 

If the Arizona defense has to stay on the field more often as the Browns drive down the field, its play volume also increases. As such, linebacker Kyzir White and safety Jalen Thompson will have significantly more situations to record tackles.

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