Week 9 Starts And Sits
November 2, 2016 | Jackson Safon
Like Week 8, there are six teams on bye this week, with some very fantasy-relevant teams such as New England, Cincinnati, and Arizona. Because of this, you’ll likely need to make some tougher start and sit decisions than normal.
If it feels like I say you’ll have some tough decisions to make every week, that’s because I do. Because it’s hard. Choosing who to start and who to sit is hard enough with a full roster, and while six byes could lead to easier decisions because of limited options, it also means choosing between lower level players, which is often tough.
Last week I nailed the running backs (start Melvin Gordon, sit Mark Ingram), but also flopped pretty badly on a couple (start Russell Wilson, sit Alshon Jeffery). I still feel like my process is good, so hopefully both you and I can benefit from my calls this week.
Start: Jameis Winston vs. Atl
Thursday night games are often sloppy, low scoring, and good games to fade. This one, on the other hand, has the second highest over/under of the week at 51 points and should be an air raid. Both teams have pretty terrible pass defenses, with the Falcons allowing the most points to opposing quarterbacks of any team in the league.
While Winston didn’t exactly take advantage of his juicy matchup against the Raiders, he did throw for over 280 yards and four touchdowns against the Falcons in week one. With Jacquizz Rodgers looking like he could potentially miss this game, the Buccaneers should be going all in on the passing game. I wouldn’t be surprised to see at least 40 attempts from Winston this week, so start him with confidence.
Other starts: Ben Roethlisberger @ Bal and Marcus Mariota @ SD
Sit: Russell Wilson vs. Buf
This is a game the Seahawks aren’t likely to lose. Seattle has historically responded well coming off losses, and has performed fantastically in primetime games. Throughout his career, Wilson has scored more than four points per game more in wins than in losses. But goodness gracious he looks awful right now.
The injuries are clearly taking their toll on the dynamic quarterback, and he just can’t seem to put up any points for the Seahawks, never mind fantasy points for you. He couldn’t take advantage of an unbelievable matchup against the Saints last week, and I’m staying away even with Wilson playing in the confines of Seattle.
Other sits: Derek Carr vs. Den and Tyrod Taylor @ Sea
Start: Carlos Hyde vs. NO
UPDATE: Hyde appears to be OUT for this week. DuJuan Harris is next in line and makes for a decent start, but doesn’t have the upside of Hyde.
If Hyde is back and healthy, you should feel very confident starting him. The Saints have allowed the second most fantasy points to opposing running backs, and it doesn’t look like that will stop anytime soon. This game actually has the highest over/under of the week, and provides a great chance for Hyde to find the end zone against the Saints’ porous defense.
The 49ers offense has actually been pretty awful since Colin Kaepernick took over the starting job, but Kaep is putting up solid numbers in the rushing department. While, to this point, that hasn’t carried over to the San Francisco running backs, the more Kaepernick runs the ball, the more opposing edge players will have to account for him, opening up lanes for Hyde and the other 49ers backs. This play is more of a matchup start than anything, but nonetheless, assuming Hyde is healthy he’s a good start.
Other starts: Jerick McKinnon vs. Det and Bilal Powell @ Mia
Sit: LeSean McCoy vs. Sea
There’s three potential outcomes here.
- McCoy reaches 100% and faces the Seattle defense.
- McCoy doesn’t reach 100%, but still plays against the Seattle defense.
- McCoy doesn’t play.
The Seattle run defense has allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points to opposing running backs this season and even after allowing over 100 yards to Tim Hightower last week, I don’t expect the Buffalo ground game to have much success this week. Bobby Wagner is playing out of his mind, Earl Thomas is returning to form, and there’s a good chance Kam Chancellor makes his return this week. Yikes.
Other sits: T.J. Yeldon @ KC and Latavius Murray vs. Den
Start: Ty Montgomery vs. Ind
If you watched any of the Packers’ game last week, you saw the wasteland that is their backfield right now. Without Lacy, Starks, or Montgomery, Green Bay could’ve started you this week and gotten similar production to what they got. Ty Montgomery will be thrust back into that role, and whether he qualifies as a RB or WR for you, he’s a must start in PPR leagues.
In his two starts at running back for the Packers, Montgomery had double digit receptions in both games. He’s PPR gold, and this is an absolutely cake matchup in a game that should be very high scoring. Please and thank you.
Other starts: Randall Cobb vs. Ind and Stefon Diggs vs. Det
Sit: Kenny Britt vs. Car
This may seem like common sense to some and like blasphemy to others. Britt has actually been surprisingly successful this year, and on paper it looks like a good matchup with the weakened Panthers secondary. Too bad Britt isn’t actually good and neither is the Rams offense.
The Panthers secondary has allowed the most points to opposing receivers of any team this year, but they held the dynamic Cardinals offense to only 20 points last week. The defensive unit is finally rounding into form, and I think they keep that momentum going this week against a terrible Rams offense.
Other sits: Golden Tate @ Min and Allen Hurns @ KC
Start: Eric Ebron @ Min
I know, normally I preach the importance of staying away from the Vikings defense. AND the Vikings have multiple athletic linebackers with the potential of covering Ebron. But Stafford simply loves the guys this year. He hasn’t had less than eight PPR points in a game all season and had a season-high 10 targets last week.
The Minnesota defense is definitely scary. However, Ebron’s floor has just been so strong this season, I’m feeling fine starting him this week.
Other starts: Kyle Rudolph vs. Det and Gary Barnidge vs. Dal
Sit: Julius Thomas @ KC
There’s a number of factors here.
A. Bortles has been awful
B. New offensive coordinator
C. Kansas City has been really good against tight ends this year
It almost seems so easy that Thomas is going to explode this week and make me look like a fool. Either way, he’ll be on my bench.
Other sits: Charles Clay @ Sea and Clive Walford vs. Den