Players to Avoid in Week Nine: Don’t Dig Diggs

Daily fantasy football isn’t all about who you are going to use. Sometimes it’s just as important to determine who you aren’t going to use. That way, if the salary happens to fit for your last spot, you’ll know which names to disregard in order to produce the greatest overall fantasy point output. Here are the guys to cross off your list heading into the ninth week of the NFL season.

Sam Bradford, Eagles, $11,600 – Staring at pieces in Chip Kelly’s offense is enticing week in and week out due to his fast-paced system.  However, after leading the NFL in offensive plays per game last season (70.7 plays per game), Philadelphia only ranks fifth in the category this season with 68.1 plays per game. They’re down almost three plays per game, but also are only averaging 238 yards passing this season versus more than 272 last year. They’re slower and just overall ineffective, and Bradford is largely to blame. Wide receivers (WRs), such as Jordan Matthews, are guilty of dropping paces, though. Since neither the pace nor personnel is helping out Sam Bradford, there’s no reason to toss him out there against the team allowing the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. Marcus Mariota is a far better play at over $1,000 less.

C.J. Spiller, Saints, $6,000 – After catching a receiving touchdown (TD) last week, C.J. Spiller is priced at the absolute bare minimum on FantasyDraft. Punts are important to roster construction because they allow you to pay up for the studs you want to play. Let me be the first to warn you that this is a poor week to bet on Spiller because his skill set doesn’t coincide with the matchup. While the Saints play at home where they typically thrive, they face a defense that has allowed the fewest receptions (RECs) to opposing running backs (RBs). Considering Spiller has not received more than four carries in one game all season, it’s safe to say he’s been delegated to a pass-catching specialist. The Titans have only allowed 22 RECs to RBs in seven games, so avoid the urge to use Spiller at this price and lean in a different direction.

Stefon Diggs, Vikings, $10,500 – Teddy Bridgewater has a tough matchup lined up against him this week as the Rams’ stifling defense will head to TCF Bank Stadium. The Rams have allowed just six points in back-to-back games and will look to keep that streak going against a QB that has thrown just six TDs in seven games this season. To be fair, he has really developed a connection with Stefon Diggs in recent weeks; Diggs has been targeted at least nine times in each of the past four games, leading to at least six RECs for 87 yards during that streak. He also has now caught a TD REC in back-to-back games, but I think that streak comes to an end this weekend. According to Football Outsiders, only six teams have held number-one WRs to a lesser percentage below their season average. In other words, the Rams have played as a top-seven defense against opposing number-one WRs, and that’s not a great sign for Diggs’ hopes this week. I would get ahead of the curve and predict his recent string of production ends this week against a very difficult opponent.

Donte Moncrief, Colts, $10,800 – Offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton was fired on Monday, which doesn’t help Donte Moncrief’s cause. He had developed chemistry with Andrew Luck during the previous regime, but there’s no telling how Rob Chudzinski will see things. Maybe he tries to work T.Y. Hilton back into the offense as a true number-one target or maybe he puts more eggs into the Andre Johnson basket. We just don’t know. Furthermore, the Colts will draw a matchup against the Denver Broncos, who probably possess the best duo of corners in the league (Chris Harris Jr. and Aqib Talib). Not only will the WRs (including Moncrief) have a difficult time getting open, but the pass rush led by DeMarcus Ware should rattle Luck in no time. I’m avoiding the Colts’ offense fully this week and I recommend all my readers do as well.

Ladarius Green, Chargers, $6,600 – This price point hurts the argument against rostering Ladarius Green in tournaments, because he could easily score and meet value. Unfortunately, the odds of such an outcome occurring greatly decrease while Antonio Gates is active and (reasonably) healthy. Last week wasn’t a true gauge because Ladarius Green was forced to leave in the first half with an ankle injury. Regardless, he only caught one pass and it’s clear Rivers looks for him less when his guy Gates is on the field. Expect Green’s targets to decrease to around five as opposed to the nine he saw against Oakland with Gates sidelined. This one may not matter this week, as it’s possible Green sits due to that very same injury he suffered last week, but I would avoid even if he fights through it.

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders

Ricky Sanders is a fantasy sports expert with over 15 years of playing experience. After starting several freelance fantasy sports blogs, Ricky moved up in the fantasy industry when he joined Going9 Baseball. He wrote fantasy baseball content and had a weekly radio spot on the site’s SiriusXM Satellite Radio show. Shortly thereafter, in early 2013, Ricky joined RotoExperts as a three-sport fantasy contributor, eventually becoming one of the site’s lead basketball writers. While writing for RotoExperts, Ricky was introduced to daily fantasy sports and immediately fell in love. With help from some of his mentors, some of the best DFS players in the world, he honed his skills and became the daily fantasy expert he is today. When RotoExperts created a daily-focused website called, Ricky was brought on as one of the main contributors. He still makes frequent appearances on the RotoExperts SiriusXM Radio show and on the FNTSY Sports Television Network, talking daily fantasy sports. He also continues to write for a few DFS content sites: RotoCurve and The Fantasy Fix. Ricky is a proud and active member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association. He has agreed to be a writer and representative for the FantasyDraft brand and serves as an ambassador to the site. He has no more access to the site than the typical user. Don’t hesitate to contact Ricky with questions on Twitter @RSandersDFS.

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