Fantasy Football Week 9 Start 'em & Sit 'em

We are now entering the final stretch of the fantasy football season. As we kick off Week 9, there are now around five or six weeks left in your fantasy football regular season, making those start ’em sit ’em decisions as important as ever.


Automatic Starts: Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Russell Wilson, Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady, Kyler Murray, Deshaun Watson

start 'em sit 'em Week 9
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - OCTOBER 12: Justin Herbert #10 of the Los Angeles Chargers looks to pass against the New Orleans Saints during their NFL game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on October 12, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

Start of the Week: Justin Herbert vs. Las Vegas Raiders

This kid is so damn impressive. Is he offensive rookie of the year? Heck yeah he’s leading the race right now! The Chargers are blowing leads left right and centre but Herbert goes from strength to strength in fantasy terms. Four consecutive weeks scoring over 24 points and each week he’s thrown for at least three touchdowns! The Raiders have been allowing over 20 points to opposing QBsm so pencil in Herbert for another great showing.

Other notable starts:

Cam Newton @ New York Jets

It’s all going wrong in New England. The Patriots looked set to at least tie the game up late against the Bills when Newton coughed up the ball on a designed run while in field goal range. That won’t sit well with Bill Belichick, but he will be desperate for wins. Luckily it’s everybody’s get right game against the Jets and Cam should bounce back with a nice performance, Mahomes just scored an easy five TDs on the Jets D.

Drew Lock @ Atlanta Falcons

Lock looked to have some swag about him in the second half against the Chargers and it’s this momentum (three second half scores) that has put him into my starts of the week. It is worth noting Atlanta has been better on defense the last couple of weeks, but Lock has some offensive firepower for sure and I expect him to need to put up points to keep up with Matt Ryan, Julio Jones & Todd Gurley in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

Ben Roethlisberger @ Dallas Cowboys

The worry here is the Cowboys not being competitive, leading to James Conner getting 50 touches and run them into the ground. The good part is Roethlisberger may decide to destroy the Cowboys and has an elite array of talent at receiver to do so. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool & Diontae Johnson are exceptional and the cowboys are coughing up 2.2 TDs to opposing wideouts per game, they will all want in on the action!

Sits – Ryan Tannehill, Teddy Bridgewater, Philip Rivers

Running Back

Automatic Starts: Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Aaron Jones, Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chris Carson, Josh Jacobs, James Robinson

Start of the Week: Chase Edmonds vs. Miami Dolphins

I’m benching Zeke and introducing Chase Edmonds to my starting lineup fresh off a bye week and ready to wreak havoc in the Miami run D. This should be a competitive match with two teams with winnings records and two exciting QBs in Kyler Murray & Tua Tagovailoa. The Dolphins were extremely impressive on defense last week but over the course of the season they are allowing over 20 points to opposing RBs. Kenyan Drake’s status for Sunday is very much up in the air, but even with a returning Drake, this is Edmonds backfield for the time being and he’s been awesome (145 total yards from scrimmage vs. a good Seattle run D).

Other notable starts:

James Conner vs. Dallas Cowboys

As mentioned above with Big Ben, if Dallas doesn’t show up offensively then this game will get out of hand quickly. This will fall into the hands of James Conner nicely and he is in for a monstrous game (He was very nearly my start of the week). Conner proved he can do a solid job against a really good run D in Baltimore so this will feel like the proverbial knife through butter. Dallas ranks dead last in opposing rushing yardage given up and I can only see the Steelers leading all game so Conner will get a big workload.

Antonio Gibson vs. New York Giants

Wow Gibson’s fantasy value is skyrocketing. Trusted with the workhorse role Gibson thrived and gashed the Cowboys for 128 yards on the ground a good score. The only frustration was no involvement in the passing game with just one target, Gibson had seen five targets in each of his previous three games. The Giants were fairly good against the run on Monday but Gibson poses a bigger all-around threat than Jones & Fournette. Following the bye week Gibson should be fresh and the Giants played on Monday so had slightly less time to prepare, I’m banking on a big day for Gibson.

Zack Moss vs. Seattle Seahawks

Moss was back with a bang last week against the Patriots, with two rushing touchdowns propelling the Bills to a fabled win over their rivals. Moss has started to eat into Singletary’s workload and I only see this heading one way as we get deeper into the back end of the season. Moss is most certainly the goal line guy and although Seattle rank near the top in run defense, they did allow the 49ers to punch it in twice, giving hope to the run heavy game of the Bills.

Sits – Devin Singletary, Jonathan Taylor, Matt Breida

Wide Receiver

Automatic Starts: Michael Thomas (if healthy), Tyreek Hill, Calvin Ridley (If Healthy), Julio Jones, Mike Evans, Stefon Diggs, Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, Adam Thielen, Chris Godwin (if Healthy), Deandre Hopkins, Davante Adams

Sep 24, 2018; Tampa, FL, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster (19) runs the ball during the first half against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Start of the Week: JuJu Smith-Schuster v Dallas Cowboys

I’ve now picked all three Pittsburgh WRs as my start of the week over the course of the season and I think it’s the right time to have JuJu in your lineups ready for a matchup with the Cowboys, who ship 2.2 TDs to opposing WRs. JuJu has had two strong showings back to back against the Titans & Ravens, in which he’s seen 22 targets and fantasy managers can have more confidence in him going forward. JuJu shouldn’t find it difficult to get open and as long as the game plan is to not to run Dallas into the ground then there will be enough really good openings for JuJu to carry on his good form.

Other notable starts:

Marvin Jones @ Minnesota Vikings

It is worth noting that Marvin Jones didn’t put up elite numbers when Golladay missed the first two weeks of the season. This time could be different though and fresh off a two score performance against a good Colts defense, Jones’ stock is on the up. Minnesota allowed Davante Adams to dominate them with three TD grabs through the air in Week 8 and Jones will be the go-to guy for Stafford, or whoever is in at QB for Detroit. Golladay is listed as doubtful for the contest so Jones is primed for plenty of targets against their division rival, who have conceded the most TDs to receivers this season.

Christian Kirk vs. Miami Dolphins

I’ve been banging the drum for Kirk to get more opportunities all season, he was my best dynasty wide receiver target before the season and his value is pointing upwards so don’t miss the boat! Kirk followed up his impressive two score performance against the Cowboys with another pair of TDs against the Seahawks in Week 7 before the bye. Miami gave up 340 total yards and two big performances to Cooper Kupp & Robert Woods in Week 8. I’m rolling with Kirk to keep his great streak going with all the attention on DeAndre Hopkins.

Jakobi Meyers @ New York Jets

Jakobi Meyers is a nice pickup this week by the way. Two solid games back to back of 13+ fantasy points and a delicious meeting with the Jets approaching cannot go unnoticed. There is no timetable for Edelman’s return & Harry is still dealing with a concussion, means Meyers could continue to see a decent amount of targets against a defense who just gave up five passing TDs to the Chiefs. The Jets are pretty stout against the run, so Newton won’t be able to run all day long and when he does throw it’s generally been towards Meyers of late, making him worth another week in your lineups.

Sits – All Cowboy WRs, All Titans WRs not named AJ Brown, all Giants WRs

Tight End

Automatic Starts: Travis Kelce, George Kittle, Mark Andrews, Darren Waller

Start of the Week: Noah Fant @ Atlanta Falcons

Fant continues to be Drew Lock’s favourite target as he saw a team high seven passes come his way in the comeback win over the Chargers. This was close between Fant & Hockenson for my start of the week, but I give the edge to Fant due to the matchup (Falcons allow the most points to opposing TEs) and the fact Fant is another week removed from his ankle injury so he is getting healthier and healthier. The Falcons are favoured by four points at home and will score points on this beatable Denver defense, so Lock will have to respond with points himself and I’m betting on his favourite target.

Other notable starts:

T.J Hockenson @ Minnesota Vikings

As above, T.J Hockenson was close to my pick of the week. He’s a really good start and as long as his toe injury doesn’t turn out to be serious he will be a top target against the Vikings on Sunday. Tight end Robert Tonyan had a team high 79 receiving yards against the Vikings last week, and Hockenson will need to be actively involved in the offense, especially if top target Golladay proves to indeed miss out of the game.

Ross Dwelley vs. Green Bay Packers

You may not have heard of Ross Dwelley before last week where he caught a 16-yard TD pass in the big game against the Seahawks. The 49ers are dealing with all sorts of injuries and are going into Thursday night’s game with Trent Taylor & Richie James as their pass catching options. This opens up nicely for Dwelley and Jordan Reed, if he suits up for the game. The 6-foot-5 Tight end Dwelley could be a surprise sneaky big play this week.

Rob Gronkowski vs. New Orleans Saints

Gronkowski has been on my list for a few weeks now and I can’t find any reason to take him off. Three TDs in consecutive games and the old Gronkowski is back. Antonio Brown starts his first game for the Buccaneers in Week 9, but Gronkowski has been pivotal to the Buccaneers offense in their run of three straight wins. He’s healthier than he has been in a number of years and he’s going to continue to be a nightmare for defenders whether Godwin is back or not this week. He has a safe floor and he has been targeted so often by Brady in the red zone lately.

Sits – Mike Gesicki, Robert Tonyan, Dalton Schultz

Alastair Cook

Fantasy Football Analyst