Two of our fantasy experts — Dylan Fraychineaud and Harris Ahmadzai — have challenged each other to a season-long FanDuel battle. For those that aren’t familiar with FanDuel, it’s a daily fantasy football site that allows millions of people from across the world to duke it out on the virtual gridiron. Typically, each ‘contest’ involves some sort of salary cap, and the players are tasked with building the most optimal fantasy football lineup within the confines of said cap.
Rules are fairly standard — 4-point passing touchdowns, 6-points for a rushing or receiving touchdown, and .5 PPR. Lineups are comprised of 1 QB, 2 RB’s, 3 WR’s, 1 TE, 1 Flex, and a defense/special teams. We’re going to keep a running tally throughout the year of who wins every week, and the winner will receive monetary compensation and ultimate bragging rights.
A blowout victory for Dylan, 134.88-73.64, brings the season score to 6-2 in favor of Dylan.
Here’s what they each came up with for Week 9:
QB — CAR Cam Newton (vs. TB) — $8,600
There a couple of things working in Newton’s favor this week. For starters, Carolina’s offense is coming off their best performance of the season. Combine that with the fact that Tampa has allowed five teams to score 30+ points thus far, and one would assume Newton is primed for a big day. Furthermore, Newton has been better with the ball as of late. Over his past three starts, the former MVP has thrown six touchdowns and only one interception. Lastly, Newton is averaging nearly 50 rushing yards per game over the same period.
RB — CAR Christian McCaffrey (vs. TB) — $7,900; KC Kareem Hunt (at CLE) — $8,500
For all the same reasons I went with Newton, I’m taking McCaffrey. In addition to averaging 4.6 YPC on the season, McCaffrey is hauling in six passes a game. His ability as a pass-catcher is incredibly valuable. In a possible shootout with the Bucs, I want Carolina’s top playmaker.
A lot of attention has been on Patrick Mahomes, and rightfully so, so Kareem Hunt has flown a bit under the radar. Hunt is quietly fourth in the league in rushing and has taken off the last few games. In addition to his solid rushing numbers, Hunt has 15 receptions-for-196 yards and four touchdowns his last three contests.
WR — MIA DeVante Parker (vs. NYJ) — $5,800; DEN Courtland Sutton (vs. HOU) — $5,500; MIN Adam Thielen (vs. DET) — $8,900
I am taking Thielen for obvious reasons — and I am banking on a ninth-straight 100-yard game. When it comes to Parker and Sutton, I am taking a bit of a risk. Parker finally got an opportunity to play last week and promptly rewarded the Dolphins with a 134-yard performance. While Parker could provide little to nothing this week, I’m hopeful for another decent showing.
In Sutton’s case, with Demaryius Thomas now out of the mix, the rookie becomes the clear No. 2 option. With Emmanuel Sanders likely to garner the majority of Houston’s attention, Sutton should have plenty of room to operate.
TE — TB O.J. Howard (at CAR) — $6,000
Howard is having a good season, and his best games have come with Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback. With Fitzpatrick back at the helm, Howard should see a slight uptick in production. If the Bucs fall behind in Carolina, Tampa will start slinging the ball all over the field. Even if it’s a result of garbage time, I expect Howard to have a good showing.
FLEX — CHI Anthony Miller (at BUF) — $5,400
Due to Allen Robinson’s health concerns, Miller will likely see a good amount of targets against Buffalo. The recipient of 14 targets the past two weeks, Miller is becoming a bigger part of Chicago’s attack. The rookie has also found the end zone twice since Week 6. Miller could also benefit from Buffalo trying to limit Tarik Cohen and Taylor Gabriel.
DEF — Tennessee Titans (at DAL) — $3,400
The Titans may have a losing record but it is not because of their defense. Through seven contests the Titans have allowed 127 points — the second fewest in the NFL. Conversely, the Cowboys have scored the fifth fewest amount of points this year, checking in at 140. Coming off a bye and in need of a win, Tennessee should come out aggressive.
QB — SEA Russell Wilson (vs. LAC) — $7,700
Wilson hasn’t had a breakout performance just yet, though his stock has been trending upwards over the past few weeks. Without Joey Bosa, the Chargers haven’t been nearly as dominant defending against the pass. Without a plethora of pass rushers, Wilson should have the time to pick apart this Chargers defense.
RB — NE James White (vs. GB) — $7,800; NO Alvin Kamara (vs. LAR) — $8,000
White’s consistency has been something to behold this year. The Patriots pass-catching back has reached “set it and forget it” territory, and has been the MVP of PPR-leagues across the web.
With Kamara’s price going down by the week, I felt like this was a tasty matchup to scoop him up in. The Rams have struggled defending running backs out of the backfield, which doesn’t bode well for a team that faces off against a tailback that has 128 catches through 23 career games. Kamara will feast against the undefeated Rams.
WR — DEN Emmanuel Sanders (vs. HOU) — $7,100; PIT Juju Smith-Schuster (at BAL) — $7,200; Keenan Allen (at SEA) — $7,400
Sanders was already the No. 1 in Denver, but with Demaryius Thomas now in Houston the number of possible targets for QB Case Keenum. I really like rookie Courtland Sutton moving forward (especially in keeper leagues), but for now, the rapport between Keenum and Sanders has been too reliable to pass up. Juju has cooled down a bit since his torrid start. He could be in a for a big bounce-back week with the Ravens defense likely keying in on Antonio Brown.
Allen has been one of the bigger disappointments among receivers this year. His talent will eventually shine as the Chargers have been one of the hottest teams in the league for the past month.
TE — CLE David Njoku (vs. KC) — $5,200
I still believe in Njoku’s talent coming off a zero-catch performance. The entire Cleveland offense looked out of sorts against the Steelers last week, and have a much more favorable matchup against Kansas City’s leaky group. The change in the coaching staff could energize a Browns team that has struggled mightily on the offensive end. With multiple injuries across the board on KC’s defense, they don’t have a single player that can match Njoku’s size and speed combination.
Flex — DET Kenny Golladay (at MIN) — $6,200
Golden Tate’s departure sets up nicely for the rest of Detroit’s receiving corp. The Lions have been dying to get Golladay the ball more often, and he’ll likely now operate as the team’s No. 1 receiver opposite Marvin Jones Jr. The Vikings defense has been a much more winnable matchup this year, and cornerback Xavier Rhodes has been beatable. After hauling in just three catches in his last two games, Golladay comes through with a big performance in a must-win for Detroit.
Defense — Tennessee Titans (at DAL) — $3,400
I picked my defense last this week, and was simply looking for a matchup that I wasn’t scared of. Regardless of how many Dallas has hung up the past few weeks, I don’t worry about an explosion from Dak Prescott and company. The Titans have a supremely talented defense that has gotten a bit tired following lame performances from the offensive end. They can keep the Cowboys in check, and not completely ruin my lineup for the week.
Sources: Jay Biggerstaff/USA TODAY Sports