Week 9 is here, so we need to know who to start and who to sit. Our start/sit article is not going to discuss the apparent players who should always be played. We aim to help you with the players that you might be on the fence about heading into the weekend. Good luck this week and don’t overthink it.
Here are the Starts/Sits for Week 9:
Kirk Cousins, QB, Minnesota Vikings Vs. Washington Commanders
Cousins has been great as of late and his success should continue this week against his old team. Cousins has been surrounded by talent and now he has a new offensive weapon in TJ Hockenson to utilize. With the offensive weapons and the good matchup, Cousins is primed for another big day this weekend. Cousins is a low-end QB1 with a top-tier upside in week 9.
Justin Fields, QB, Chicago Bears Vs. Miami Dolphins
As I had written in my waiver wire article, Fields is set up nicely this week against the Dolphins. The Dolphins defense is banged up and should allow many opportunities for Fields and the Bears to score. The Dolphins offense has been firing on all cylinders which should turn this game into a high-scoring situation in week 9. If you decided to pick Fields off of the waivers this week, you should have no problem confidently putting him into your starting lineup. Fields is a low-end QB1 with a really high ceiling this week.
Geno Smith, QB, Seattle Seahawks Vs. Arizona Cardinals
Smith has been a massive steal and easily one of the best waiver wire additions of the year. He should have no problem returning your investment on him this week in what should be a great game against the Arizona Cardinals. Both the Cardinals and Seahawks have less-than-stellar defenses that should allow each other’s offenses plenty of opportunities to score. Smith should be as reliable an option as you can get. Smith is a low-end QB1 in week 9.
Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers Vs. Los Angeles Rams
The current state of the Bucs is rough and it is hard to get excited about most of the pieces on the team with how volatile things have been lately. Brady doesn’t look done but he hasn’t been performing at the usual rate that we have known and loved this season. I predict that this matchup against the Rams will be a low-scoring matchup overall due to both offenses having difficulties scoring and both defenses being better than average. Until the offense gets right, I would be hesitant to start Brady unless the matchup is too good to pass up. Brady is a risky high-end QB2 in week 9.
Jared Goff, QB, Detroit Lions Vs. Green Bay Packers
A tough matchup and a lack of offensive weapons leads me to not want to start Goff in week 9. The Lions have been dealing with their fair share of injuries and now they have traded away one of their best offensive weapons in T.J. Hockenson. Goff is going to have boom games in the future but I don’t see that happening this week against the Packers. Goff is a low-end QB2 with limited upside in week 9.
PJ Walker, QB, Carolina Panthers Vs. Cincinnati Bengals
Walker has looked like the best QB that the Panthers have started all season. He has been competent and has brought out the talent in star wide receiver, DJ Moore, that we always knew existed. All of that said and I still am not rolling him out as a starting option yet. Walker just doesn’t offer a high enough ceiling to warrant streaming potential. His floor is decently safe in good matchups but could turn out to be very low in matchups where they shut down the passing game. This week against the Bengals should prove to be one of the more difficult matchups that Walker has seen and should limit his overall upside. Walker is a low-end QB2 in week 9.
Khalil Herbert, RB, Chicago Bears Vs. Miami Dolphins
The Bears said they were going to ride the hot hand this past weekend and it is no surprise that the “hot hand” was Herbert for a second week in a row. Herbert and the Bears have a great matchup against the Dolphins this week, this matchup has all the characteristics of a very high-scoring affair. If you need a bye-week fill-in/ flex play in week 9, Herbert should be able to fill that void and then some. Herbert is a low-end RB2 with upside, especially in full PPR leagues.
Antonio Gibson, RB, Washington Commanders Vs. Minnesota Vikings
I never thought I would be writing about Gibson in the start section again this season but here we are. Over the last two weeks, Gibson has looked really good and has been receiving a great workload/ # of targets. This week’s matchup is favorable and if Gibson gets a similar workload he should be able to feast against the Vikings. Gibson low-end RB2 with upside in week 9.
Deon Jackson, RB, Indianapolis Colts Vs. New England Patriots
If Jonathan Taylor is out this week, Jackson will be a major value off of the waiver wire in week 9. We have already seen what Jackson can do with a full workload. The matchup isn’t all that great but that doesn’t really matter as Jackson should be an integral part of the offense this week. With the current QB change, the Colts may have to rely on the RB position even more than usual. Due to all of the bye’s this week, Jackson is a high-end flex with an upside in week 9.
Devin Singletary, RB, Buffalo Bills Vs. New York Jets
Just when you thought things couldn’t get any worse for the Buffalo Bills RB upside, they go and trade for former Colts RB, Nyheim Hines. Hines is known for being a receiving back, so his addition to the team really limits any and all targets that Singletary had been receiving previously which was low before the trade. The matchup against the Jets also doesn’t offer much upside to the running back position either. The Jets defense has been performing much better than it was at the beginning of the year. The Jets offense has also been playing poorly over the last two weeks and they shouldn’t have any easier time against a tough Bills defense. Singletary is a risky low-end RB2 in week 9. His ceiling is ultimately capped due to the addition of Hines, the matchup, and Josh Allen’s rushing ability.
Brian Robinson Jr., RB, Washington Commanders Vs. Minnesota Vikings
Robinson is easily the most talented back on the Commanders but that doesn’t mean he will be used properly. For whatever reason Antonio Gibson is being used heavily again and has looked good doing it. With the murkiness of the overall team and the QB change, Robinson just isn’t being used enough to be a startable asset for your fantasy rosters. He should be left on your bench until we see him receive the bulk of the carries. Robinson is a mid-tier flex with a very low floor and ceiling this week.
Clyde Edwards- Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Tennessee Titans
After an extremely hot start, CEH has returned to his minimal role for the Chiefs. It is hard to get excited about a 3 person committee and that is exactly what the Chiefs backfield is at the moment. The Titans also offer a difficult matchup for running backs which only helps my case against CEH this week. I would look for a flex option with a much higher ceiling than Clyde offers this week. Clyde is a low-end flex with a low floor and limited ceiling this week.
JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Kansas City Chiefs Vs. Tennessee Titans
For most of the season, you couldn’t decide who would be the Chief receiver to start but now it is a little clearer. It has been evident over the last two games that Juju has been the WR1 for the Chiefs and he is being used that way. This week’s matchup against the Titans should prove to be a successful outing for JuJu and the Chiefs offense. JuJu can be looked at as a low-end WR2 with a high ceiling this week.
Jakobi Meyers, WR, New England Patriots Vs. Indianapolis Colts
Meyers has been the epitome of reliability this season and has even added the ability to score touchdowns throughout the season as well. He should continue to be the number 1 target for the Patriots regardless of who the QB is. Meyers has as safe a floor as possible and a decent ceiling in a good matchup against the Colts this week. He is a low-end WR2 with an upside, especially in PPR leagues.
Joshua Palmer, WR, Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Atlanta Falcons
Palmer is set up to succeed this week in a great matchup against the Falcons. The Falcons defense is banged up and should allow the Chargers defense to have a big fantasy day. With Mike Williams and Keenan out due to injury, Palmer falls into the WR1 slot for the team. He should be able to handle this matchup as one of the main guys and should receive a heavy target share in week 9. Palmer is a high-end flex with an upside this week.
Gabriel Davis, Buffalo Bills, WR, Vs. New York Jets
I love Gabe Davis the player, but from a fantasy standpoint, he is just too inconsistent to start this week. There are only two players who offer reliable starting output on a weekly basis, and those two players are Josh Allen and Stefan Diggs. The Bills just don’t need Davis to produce on a weekly basis to win. This week’s matchup against the Jets is also not one that would expect the Bills to be behind in, so it should really limit Davis’ boom/ bust upside. Davis offers an extremely low floor and an extremely high ceiling on any given week, but I would bet against his ceiling this week. Davis is a risky low-end WR2 this week.
Michael Pittman Jr., WR, Indianapolis Colts Vs. New England Patriots
Coming into the season I was extremely high on Pittman, unfortunately, his fantasy success has not come to fruition. The QB situation in Indy will continue to hurt Pittmans upside and there is currently nothing that is going to change that. Until we see more stability from the QB position for the Colts, I would be hesitant to start any of their receivers. Pittman is a low-end WR2 with a limited ceiling this week against the Patriots.
Drake London, WR, Atlanta Falcons Vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Don’t let a good matchup fool you into starting Drake London. We have seen his production over the last 8 weeks and outside of the first two games, it has been nothing to write home about. Mariota doesn’t throw the ball enough to support a WR1. Until there is a QB change or they decide to change their game plan, Drake is nothing but a desperation flex play.
Gerald Everett, TE, Los Angeles Chargers Vs. Atlanta Falcons
Talk about the last man standing. Outside of Ekeler and Josh Palmer, Everett is one of the last targets standing for the Chargers with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams being out with injuries. Everett has shown that he can be a startling tight end throughout the season and should have his best game yet this week against a weak Falcons defense. Everett is a mid-tier TE1 with an upside this week, especially in PPR leagues.
Evan Engram, TE, Jacksonville Jaguars Vs. Las Vegas Raiders
Coming into this season I didn’t think I would be writing about Evan Engram so much, but here I am. As of late, Engram has been a great streaming option at the tight-end position. He is receiving a healthy target share and has been a red zone target for the Jaguars. He should continue to have success this week against the Raiders. Engram is a low-end TE1 with an upside in week 9.
Robert Tonyan, TE, Green Bay Packers Vs. Detroit Lions
Tonyan hasn’t been the picture of consistency this year but should offer managers the kind of ceiling that they want in their starting tight end. If the Packers were ever going to turn it around, it should be this week against the Lions. The Lions defense is ranked at the bottom of the league and has not been able to stop opposing offenses all season. Tonyan should be able to feast this week and I would bet on him finding his way into the end zone. Tonyan is a low-end TE1 with an upside in week 9.
Dawson Knox, TE, Buffalo Bills Vs. New York Jets
Knox was able to find the end zone last week but I don’t see him having the same kind of success in week 9. The Bills should have no problem being in the lead for the majority of the game. If Know doesn’t receive an early TD, I would expect that he will leave fantasy managers with an abysmal stat line. Knox is a high-end TE2 with TD or bust potential.
T.J. Hockenson, TE, Minnesota Vikings Vs. Washington Commanders
I understand how it may be difficult to sit Hockenson this week but it may be for the best. Hockenson was just traded to the Vikings this week so it may take some time for him to get used to the Vikings playbook. It also may take some time for Hockenson and Cousins to develop some chemistry, which could limit his upside this week against the Commanders. I would recommend looking for an option with a higher ceiling this week, at least until we see what kind of usage Hockenson receives. Hockenson is a mid-tier TE2 in week 9.
Tyler Conklin, TE, New York Jets Vs. Buffalo Bills
I know it may be difficult to bench Conklin after such a big game and in a big bye week, but I would recommend it if you can. Conklin is not going to be the TE1 on the week every week, most weeks he will give you the production that has left you disappointed and bitter that you started him. The Jets are dealing with some issues on the offensive side of the ball and should find this week’s matchup against the Bills very difficult. I would look for an option with a safer floor and a higher ceiling in week 9.