January 16, 2021

NFL DFS Thursday Night Football picks for Packers vs. 49ers Week 9

8 min read
Week 9 of the NFL and fantasy football season begins with a Green Bay Packers vs San...

Week 9 of the NFL and fantasy football season begins with a Green Bay Packers vs San Francisco 49ers Thursday Night Football game in Santa Clara with both teams missing vital players. However, when you have so much uncertainty due to players missing the game, it creates many opportunities to find some very valuable Thursday night football picks in the NFL DFS market that normally would not be there. Let’s take a look at which players are missing before diving into our NFL DFS picks for the Week 9 Thursday Night Football game.

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Who are some of the players missing this week?

The biggest issue going into the game, and what could be the biggest determining factor when setting lineups is the status of Packers RB Aaron Jones. Jones has missed the last two weeks while dealing with a calf issue but has a shot at playing on Thursday. Rob Demovsky of ESPN reported that head coach Matt LaFleur said holding him out last week “definitely helped him, but he’s got to continue to improve and get better each day.”

Luckily, we did get clarification on Aaron Jones’s status for tonight’s game. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Jones is expected to be active tonight barring any pregame setbacks, per source. The Packers plan to be “careful”, and want to see how he feels pregame with his calf injury, but he is expected to be available for tonight. The wording of that makes me pause at what the workload might be for Jones tonight. Knowing how good he is and the limited options on the team, the risk might be worth the reward.

With Packers RBs AJ Dillon and Jamaal Williams along with 49ers WRs Kendrick Bourne and Brandon Aiyuk missing the game, players such as Dexter Williams and Tyler Ervin now have an incredible value that can open up your NFL DFS lineups to fit in several big-name players in Week 9. 

Another player who will be out is superstar 49ers TE George Kittle. Kittle is dealing with a foot injury that he suffered in Week 8 that could keep him out anywhere from two weeks to ending his season, with the latter being the most likely outcome. Kittle also joins QB Jimmy Garoppolo, who was placed on IR, and WR Deebo Samuel, who will miss Week 9. 

Related | George Kittle’s Injury Outlook: 5 fantasy waiver wire replacements to target

When building an NFL DFS lineups, you have to have an image in your head of how you think the game will go. If you think the underdogs (49ers) win the game, there would be no reason to load up on Packers players. Same for if Aaron Jones does play and you throw him in your Captain slot on DraftKings, then playing the 49ers defense wouldn’t make sense because for him to have a good day, it likely means that the San Francisco defense struggles unless you are baking on a fluky defensive touchdown. 

Now whether you want to play in tournaments or cash lobbies or use an MME (Mass Multi-Entry) system, it all comes down to finding guys who are underpriced for the value they can bring. This week, a few guys fit the bill and allow us to get several critical players in our NFL DFS lineups on DraftKings.

One thing to remember, especially in a week like this, don’t be afraid to leave some money on the table. Just because you have a $50,000 budget to build your NFL DFS lineups does not mean you have to spend it all. 

As with all fantasy and especially NFL DFS, where you have money on the line, ultimately, the choice is up to you in the end when making your NFL DFS picks for Week 9, and these are just a few ways that I would look at building a lineup.

DraftKings NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Packers vs 49ers (Jones out)

Captain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): WR Davante Adams, Packers ($18,600)

Yes, this is absolutely the chalk play, but I am going to eat it and have Davante Adams in nearly 100% of my NFL DFS lineups on DraftKings.  

Adams has been nearly unstoppable this season, having already recorded 43 catches for 502 yards and seven touchdowns. Adams is tied for the NFL lead in touchdowns (seven), and he’s now scored five touchdowns in his last two games. In Green Bay’s loss to the Vikings last week, Adams hauled in seven of 12 targets for 53 yards and three scores. 

He now is facing off against a San Francisco defense that gave up four touchdowns in Week 8 against the Seahawks. Lock him in because he is arguably the safest Thursday night football picks you can make. 

FLEX: QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($11,000)

If I am playing a wide receiver in the Captain slot in an NFL DFS lineup, I will always stack him with his quarterback. With the backfield decimated by injuries or unable to play due to NFL protocol, Aaron Rodgers will have to put the team on his back. 

Rodgers has passed for three or more touchdowns and thrown for more than 280 yards in five of his first seven games this season. He currently sits as QB6 in 4-point per passing touchdown formats. 

Featured | QB Power Rankings 2020 Week 9: Stage set for Russell Wilson, Patrick Mahomes showdown

Now this will not be a cakewalk matchup for Rodgers and the Green Bay passing game. The 49ers are 11th in fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks at 17.71 per game. The 49ers defenses rank 29th in Defense Points Against Consistency (DPAC) with a score of 4.9, meaning they are a matchup that you want to avoid in fantasy unless you have someone who is a weekly must-start. I am putting Rodgers in that category and locking in the elite stack of the night.

FLEX: RB Aaron Jones, Packers (%9,600)

Normally in island slates like this, I try to cram in both quarterbacks. However, if there was a week to avoid it, this would be the week to do it as the 49ers have virtually no one to throw the ball to and Nick Mullens is anything but reliable. We got word earlier in the day that Packers RB Aaron Jones is going to be active and anytime he is playing, he is going to be one of my Week 9 Thursday Night Football picks.

The downside is I have no clue how much work he can get. If healthy, I’d expect him to see 20 carries and an additional five to seven targets. Yes, the 49ers give up the fewest fantasy points per game to running backs (17.76) but Jones is too electric when on the field to ignore but this could absolutely be the money trap in the Week 9 NFL DFS slate. They could very well have him on a touch count tonight but if we can get 15-18 opportunities for Jones, he should pay off his price tag.

FLEX: RB Jerrick McKinnon, 49ers ($8,000)

Playing Jerrick Mckinnon is addition by subtraction for the 49ers. It is also a bit of a contrarian play as I think most people will choose JaMycal Hasty out of the backfield duo after seeing what Dalvin Cook just did against the Packers last week. The Packers are also dead last in fantasy points per game allowed at a whopping 35.63 PPR points. A big part of that has been how susceptible the Packers are in the passing game when it comes to opposing running backs.

Though the Packers have faced just the 16th-fewest passing attempts to RBs (51), they have allowed the 10th-most receptions (45) and have allowed the most receiving yards in the NFL (443) and the most receiving touchdowns (four). That is a massive 2.21 fantasy points allowed per target.

Related | Thursday Night Football Betting Preview: Odds, lines, trends for Week 9

The magic number of the day is 177 or 64.4% 

That is the number and the combined target share that the 49ers are missing for their Thursday game. Playing McKinnon gives the best of both worlds; opportunity and a great matchup.

In three guys, we have spent 90% of our allotted budget. Here is where the cost-saving comes into play in this game.

FLEX: WR Trent Taylor, 49ers ($400)

This is the Hail Mary of the Week 9 slate. The 49ers have no one on their roster who can catch the ball at the receiver position. The 49ers called up Kevin White from the practice squad to serve as the team’s WR2. 

Don’t get me wrong, this play could blow up in my face, especially if Taylor is going to get Jaire Alexander. I am looking for volume in this matchup. If he can catch four passes he can vastly outperform his $400 price tag. If he can get into the endzone, this could be the player who wins the slate and takes down the tourney.

FLEX: RB Tyler Ervin, Packers ($200)

Right here is how the whole thing can work. Usually, I stay away from the bare minimum guys, but Ervin is potentially starting and should be the running back to get the passing work with Aaron Jones playing. Ervin is more of a wide receiver than he is a running back, and in a full PPR league, which DraftKings is, that is perfect with me. As far as Thursday Night Football picks go, you won’t find a cheaper DFS option in the Packers vs 49ers game.

Ervin is set to be the Packers RB2 but at the same time, we won’t know the usage of Jones until it happens. They announced that Allen Lazard is not going to be activated from the IR meaning they are still lacking a WR2, and Ervin is closer to a receiver than a running back. 

Even if he gets the Jamaal Williams role, that’s perfect. Over the past two years, in 19 games that Williams played with Jones, he averaged three receptions on 3.5 targets per game along with eight carries per game for 9.86 PPR points per game. If the floor is 11 opportunities, I’ll take a shot on that in the better offense for only $200.

Week 9 DraftKings NFL DFS Showdown Picks: Packers vs 49ers

Captain (1.5x price, 1.5x points): WR Davante Adams, Packers ($18,600)

FLEX: QB Aaron Rodgers, Packers ($11,000)

FLEX: RB Jerrick McKinnon, 49ers ($8,000)

FLEX: RB, Aaron Jones, Packers ($9,800)

FLEX: WR Trent Taylor, 49ers ($400)

FLEX: RB Tyler Ervin, Packers ($200)

$2,000/$50,000 remaining

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Tommy Garrett is a writer for PFN covering Fantasy Football. You can read more of his work here and follow him at @TommygarrettPFN on Twitter.

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