Week 9 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em and Sit “Em: The King’s Guide to Tough Lineup Calls
We head into Week 9 Fantasy Football with more bye week and injury issues to deal with, but you won’t get any sympathy for it as all owners deal with the same challenges. Also, it’s important to remember that Thursday night results are not any true indicator of which way your weekly matchup is headed. The first game of the week is just one singular matchup and is no real reflection of whether you are going to win or lose. That game is just being played earlier than the others, the bulk of the lineups on both sides have yet to register any points. There is way too much football left to be played to consider Thursday night stats as any solid predictor of the final outcome.
Week 9 Fantasy Football Start ‘Em
Melvin Gordon vs. GB: This is the week when you should use him as a flex play and we may start to see improved results. The Chargers have made an offensive coordinator change and Gordon started to run with more authority at times last week. He delivered his first rushing TD of the season in Week 8. The Packers allow the third-most rushing yards in the NFC to RBs and have let up eight TD runs, second-most in the NFL.
Devin Singletary vs. WAS: The rookie is well past an earlier hamstring injury and can add a real spark to the Buffalo offense. Washington allows the second-most Fantasy Points Per Game to opposing RBs and this would be a good time to turn the versatile Singletary loose. Buffalo simply needs a jolt on offense and he can provide it in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
Mark Walton vs. NYJ: The trade of Kenyan Drake officially swung the gate open for Walton to take over as Miami’s lead RB. He is an adequate streamer this week if you need to plug an RB hole. The Jets allow the fourth most FFPG in the AFC to RBs and have given up eight rushing TDs. Walton won’t hurt you this week and he may even get into the end zone for the first time in his career. This matchup looks like Miami’s best bet for its first win of the season and Walton will be a factor.
REVENGE GAME ALERT: Jordan Howard vs. Chicago
Michael Gallup vs. NYG: He has been rather quiet the past two weeks, but should re-emerge as a quality playmaker for the Cowboys and Fantasy players this week. The Giants allow the most receiving yards and third-most FFPG to WRs. Dallas is going to rev up the offense on Monday Night in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
D.J. Chark vs. HOU: All of the Jaguars WRs have been having their moments recently and it’s going to be Chark’s turn again this week. He is a regular big-play target and has a terrific matchup against the highly vulnerable Texans secondary. Houston has allowed the most receiving yards to WRs among AFC teams.
Tyrell Williams: He is very underrated and has turned out to be the Raiders’ best offensive playmaking add from the offseason after another departed guy quickly ran himself out of town. Williams has scored in every one of the five games he has played this season as Oakland faces the league’s worst pass defense in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
REVENGE GAME ALERT: Alshon Jeffery vs. CHI
T.J. Hockenson vs. OAK: If you don’t own a must-start TE, you should consider using the Lions rookie in Week 9 Fantasy Football. In what should be a high scoring affair, Hockenson goes up against the AFC’s most generous team in allowing FFPG to TEs.
Vance McDonald vs. IND: He is somewhat overrated and very unreliable, but McDonald will occasionally contribute and the Colts allow the second most FFPG to TEs.
Derek Carr vs. DET: He has thrown for 578 yards and five TDs over his past two games. Carr has settled into a pretty good groove recently and we have already noted where the Lions rank in pass defense (last in the league).
Gardner Minshew vs. HOU: Divisional games can sometimes trick you and be lower-scoring then the stats indicate. The Texans’ pass defense ranks 28th, but even if the Jaguars don’t completely light it up this week, Minshew should be able to connect with Chark for some splash plays and he has a decent floor. He will at least be adequate and there is upside for a big game here in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
Fantasy Football Sit ‘Em
LeSean McCoy vs. MIN: He has been decent with no upside, a guy who can give you about 60 yards a game or so, maybe a little more from scrimmage. McCoy is the uninspiring leader of a mediocre committee and there is no telling who will get goal-line carries at any time. Minnesota is Top 5 in FFPG allowed to RBs.
Sony Michel vs. BAL: The Ravens defense is starting to come together and has looked more formidable recently. Baltimore is best in the AFC in rushing yards allowed and this could be one of those games where Michel has 30 rushing yards and a TD at best. You’ll have to be hoping a short scoring run can save his day in Week 9 Fantasy Football. The Ravens are also best in the AFC in receiving yards allowed to RBs, so you should consider reserving James White, too.
Royce Freeman vs. CLE: He has become a quality flex play and Fantasy RB4 this season. Freeman has rushed for scores in each of his past two games. But with Brandon Allen starting at QB this week, you cannot count on scoring opportunities and an adequate stat line from Freeman in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
Terry McLaurin vs. BUF: The rookie has produced better than expected, but the Redskins now lean on the run first and Buffalo is third-best in the AFC in allowing FFPG to WRs.
Courtland Sutton vs. CLE: In a 10-team league, I would consider reserving Sutton in Week 9 Fantasy Football. Allen at QB is a big risk for his production. Joe Flacco was mediocre, but he did have a strong rapport with Sutton.
Marquez Valdes-Scantling vs. LAC: He is much too unreliable and Aaron Rodgers is spreading the ball around to so many different targets. Rodgers may continue to flourish, but that means nothing in terms of his dependability, or lack of it. If Davante Adams returns Valdes-Scantling sees even fewer looks from his QB.
Carson Wentz vs. CHI: The Bears defense has not been quite as good as advertised. But the same can be said about Wentz. In three of his past four games, he has just one TD pass. You likely can turn to better options in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
Kirk Cousins vs. KC: He is not a definite reserve recommendation, but you cannot trust him, as we found out last week against Washington after two stellar prior performances. The Chiefs defense has started to play better recently and it’s not easy to succeed at Arrowhead Stadium. Cousins is a danger to deliver a dud or so-so outing in any matchup, and doesn’t have a solid floor in Week 9 Fantasy Football.
Tight Ends: There are no pure sit recommendations here. If you have a Top 8 or so Fantasy TE, like an Evan Engram or Zach Ertz, you start them, because even though they have frustrated you recently, they are still better options than most other guys at the position. If you don’t have one of those type of TEs, you have to go with Jimmy Graham. Jonnu Smith or Darren Fells. Otherwise, you have to look to stream the kind of options we mentioned in our Start ‘Em section.
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