Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 9

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 9

Fantasy football start-bench list

Fantasy football start 'em, sit 'em: Week 9

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In what will be one of the most difficult weeks for fantasy football managers, the lineup decisions could make or break a matchup.

There’s a lot of fantasy firepower sitting on the bench this week with six teams on a bye, including the Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, Pittsburgh Steelers, Dallas Cowboys, and San Francisco 49ers.

Doing start/sit articles can be a little challenging. The players featured on the list below should not be taken as “must starts” or “must sits.” Instead, these are more suggestions on what we believe managers should do with fringe players heading into the weekend. The choice is ultimately up to the manager.

Just because a player is listed as a “start” doesn’t mean he should be put in the lineup over the secure, bona fide studs. Vice versa for the “sits.” If there’s no better option on the waiver wire or the bench, a manager shouldn’t automatically sit the player. That’s why these can be tricky waters to navigate.

You also can check out our start and sit bench list for Week 9.

Sit: TE Tyler Conklin, New York Jets

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Conklin exploded for a finish as the TE1 in Week 8, but managers should be weary about chasing those points against a tough Buffalo Bills defense. Though he’s seen 16 targets in his last two games, this is a matchup that could easily get out of hand quickly. The Bills aren’t completely shut down against the tight end position, but they haven’t allowed a touchdown reception to tight ends yet this season. That severely hinders Conklin’s upside in what could be an ugly matchup for the Jets offense.

Start: TE Evan Engram, Jacksonville Jaguars

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One of the top streamers and one of our sleepers for Week 9, Engram is in line to have a strong day as a bye-week fill-in against the Las Vegas Raiders. The Raiders defense has allowed the seventh-most PPR points per game (15.5) to the position. Engram has been one of the better tight end options over the last month with three finishes inside the top 10 in his last four games. The Jaguars offense hasn’t been exactly lighting it up, but this is the kind of matchup that could get them back on track.

Sit: WR Robert Woods, Tennessee Titans

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Woods has been the only reliable pass-catcher for the Titans ever since rookie Treylon Burks went down in Week 4. The matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs is extremely enticing, but it may be difficult to actually start Woods this week. There’s a chance Ryan Tannehill doesn’t play again this week, which means it would be Malik Willis under center. He’s coming off his first-career start in which he threw for just 55 yards. Even if Tannehill is active, this may be a situation to steer clear of.

Start: WR Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears

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Mooney is slowly getting back into being a relevant fantasy asset, coinciding with Justin Fields’ explosive run over the last three games. Mooney has been the target leader for the entire season, but he’s finally connecting more with Fields in recent games. He draws a solid matchup against the Miami Dolphins defense, which has allowed the 10th-most PPR points per game (33.9) to the position over the last five weeks. Mooney is a solid flex play with some upside if he finds the end zone for the first time this season.

Sit: RB Clyde Edawards-Helaire, Kansas City Chiefs

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It’s always a bit risky sitting players on elite offenses, especially those at positions with scarce upside like running back in Week 9. But things are not trending in the right direction for Edwards-Helaire. Rookie Isiah Pacheco was named the starter just before the bye week and while CEH did find the end zone in Week 8, he logged single-digit carries for the third game in a row and was held without a reception for the second game in a row. It’s a full-blown committee backfield in Kansas City, and the Titans have allowed the third-fewest PPR points per game (16.9) to the position over the last five weeks.

Start: RB Kenyan Drake, Baltimore Ravens

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This one is a bit risky considering the Ravens don’t play until Monday night against the New Orleans Saints. But there’s a chance Drake will have the backfield mostly to himself in primetime. Gus Edwards is dealing with a hamstring injury, and while there’s still a chance he plays, he hasn’t practiced yet going into the weekend. The Saints have been solid against running backs over the last five weeks, allowing the 12th-fewest PPR points per game (21.8) to the position. But Drake has shown to be explosive when he’s getting the majority of the work, and he possesses the type of upside that’s difficult to find during this bye week.

Sit: QB Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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It has certainly been a trying year for Brady, and his fantasy upside simply isn’t there. Even though he’s 42.5 pass attempts per game, he has finished as a QB1 just twice this season and hasn’t reached that range in any of his last three games. He’s thrown one or fewer touchdowns in all but one of his games this season. The matchup against the Los Angeles Rams could be a shootout, but the odds may be against that. The Rams have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over the last five weeks.

Start: QB Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

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The Seahawks offense has been one of the big surprises this season, and while Smith’s fantasy production has been inconsistent, he’s been a fine streaming option during bye weeks. He might be one of the better starts of the week against the Arizona Cardinals, who are allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game (19.2) to quarterbacks over the last five weeks. Though Smith didn’t find the end zone at all during the first meeting back in Week 6, he’s thrown multiple touchdown passes in five of his last six games.

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