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Week 9 DFS don’ts: Kicker and defense

week 9 DFS don'ts

Week 8 was much kinder to my ego and my bank account than Week 6 and 7. I managed profit in my cash games and tournaments without having a top three scoring kicker or defense.

So, it is possible to overcome a missed pick. However, the boost you get by identifying the right player(s) at each position can set you apart from your competition drastically. Let’s dive into who should be left off your lineups with the kicker and defense edition of Week 9 DFS don’ts.

Brandon McManus: FanDuel Price $4,700

As a rule, I don’t pay up for kickers. My lineup construction process doesn’t allow me to pay, at most, more than $4,900 for a kicker. This past week was good for you if you paid up, but I won’t be doing so in Week 9. One player I’ll certainly be avoiding in the mid-price range is Brandon McManus.

Kickers are tied to their offense and the stadium they are kicking in, and McManus is more so than anyone. This week he will not be kicking in the confine of Mile High Stadium. Automatically, we have to discount his upside, as he’s less likely to connect from long distance. His last outing against the Giants was awful. He failed to connect on two of his three attempts.

McManus is also tied to an offense with an identity crisis. When C.J. Anderson has 20 or more rushing attempts, the Broncos are 3-0. Conversely, when Andersen gets fewer than 11 attempts, the Broncos are 0-3. I’m writing this article ahead of the Monday night game against the Chiefs, but I think the trend will continue.

During that stretch when the Broncos committed to running the ball, McManus averaged 7.6 points per game. When they are not running the ball, McManus averages a full point less. In DFS, every point counts, so I will be staying away from McManus this weekend when they visit the Eagles.

Cody Parkey: FanDuel Price $4,500

This is just a reminder that if you’re bargain shopping at the kicker position, please don’t go with Cody Parkey. At this point, accidentally playing Parkey is inexcusable.

Since Week 1, he’s had zero games where he scored double-digit points, including two games where he scored zero points. He’s now tied to an unpredictable offense with a revolving door at quarterback and an offensive line that cannot create room for Jay Ajayi.

Please, avoid Parkey like the plague and pivot to a guy like Adam Vinatieri if you’re playing a minimum priced kicker.

Houston Texans: FanDuel Price $5,200

Week 9 DFS don'ts
Can the Texans bounce back from a completely inept performance in Seattle against the division rival Colts? (Photo from Torro Times)

We talked about this at length last week on the Suck My DFS Podcast. This Houston defense was going into the game with a vastly inflated ranking. Since losing J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus, they played Cleveland and had their bye week.

Even worse, they had extra time to prepare for a Seattle offense that cannot run the football. It doesn’t matter what pitiful running back they play, their offensive line is totally incapable of creating running lanes. Against a one-dimensional offense, the Texans allowed Russell Wilson and company to light them up for more than 40 points.

This defense will now host their division rival, the Indianapolis Colts. This Colts offense just went on the road and put together a decent performance against a good Cincinnati defense.

Even if the Houston offense clicks for 28 or more points, the Colts will still be able to move the ball against this injury-stricken Houston team.

They will not be nearly as bad as they were against Seattle. However, I struggle to see them making value, since Cincinnati only came through on a fluke pick-six by a defensive linemen.

Cincinnati Bengals: FanDuel Price $4,600

Speak of the devil and they shall appear. I love playing defenses who are facing an offense that is in an identity crisis like the Broncos or the Buccaneers. This Sunday, the Bengals will face a team that has gone all in on their current identity. The Jaguars are going to run the ball over 30 times and play suffocating defense.

The Bengals, in a spot in which they were a double-digit home favorite, should have lost to an inferior team. The Bengals themselves are struggling with their identity, since they continue to limit the touches of their best running back and not target one of the leagues premiere receivers.

The Jaguars defense could totally shut down the Bengals offense with their incredible pass rush and corners. Thus, the Bengals defense will eventually break like the Pittsburgh Steelers did and give up long runs.

There are better options in play at this price range, or at the very top of the board. The Bengals join the Texans as two defenses to avoid on my Week 9 DFS don’ts.


Featured image from Sporting News

Like what you read? Tune into the Suck My DFS Podcast this Friday and find out who TGH fantasy experts will be playing in their DFS lineups this week. You can find the link to our podcast on the Podcast page.

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