Start Em’ Sit Em’ Week 9

Frank Dyevoich | November 3rd, 2018

With six teams on bye this week, our start/sit decisions become more crucial than ever. While it is tough to sit players who have a decent role on their team, it is the tough decisions that separate the champions from everyone else. Based on this week’s matchups, I recommend starting and sitting the following players.

Start Em’

Quarterbacks:

Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. CAR – Fitzpatrick is back at the helm and he is going to be slinging the rock all game in an attempt to keep up the Panthers. In his first three starts, Fitzpatrick averaged 37 pass attempts for just over 400 yards and 4TDs per game. Those are astronomical numbers that will not be repeated, but he will certainly not be shy about gunning it downfield. The Panthers are allowing 20 Fantasy points to opposing QBs, and in a situation where the Buccaneers are likely to be chasing points, Fitzpatrick should deliver another QB1 performance. Projection: 376 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs.

Jared Goff vs. NO – The Saints are amongst the best in the league at stopping the run. I am not suggesting that they will be able to stop Todd Gurley, but the Rams will certainly target the favorable matchups in the receiving game in this one. The Saints are allowing roughly 28 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, and they have put up over 40 points in their last two home games, so Goff is going to have to light it up if the Rams hope to remain undefeated. Not to mention, Cooper Kupp should return this week, which gives Goff is favorite target back. Projection: 351 yards, 3 TDs, and 1 INT

Dak Prescott vs. TEN – Prescott and the Cowboys are a different animal at home this season. In his last two games, Prescott was the QB2 and the QB6 in 6-point passing TD leagues due mainly to his rushing ability, as he is averaging just under 8 carries for 50 yards per game and has scored on the ground in back to back weeks. This week he takes on the Titans, who can’t seem to figure out how to play at their highest level. He also gets Amari Cooper added to his cast of wide receivers. Look for Prescott to take over this game in primetime at home and put forth another top-ten performance this week. Projection: 236 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, 43 rush yards and 1 TD.

Joe Flacco vs. PIT – Flacco is an excellent bye-week fill-in this week as he faces the Steelers at home. The Ravens run game is a disaster so Flacco will need to air it out in order for the Ravens to come out on top. Flacco is averaging just under 20 fantasy points per game at home this season, but the Steelers are allowing over 21 fantasy points to the home team quarterback when they are on the road. Further, the Steelers are extremely vulnerable versus the pass and the Ravens have three excellent WRs fully capable of shredding their secondary. Projection: 275 yards, 2 TDs.

Running Backs:

Lamar Miller vs. DEN – Miller is coming off of back-to-back 100-yard games, and this week the streak will continue. He is the clear-cut workhorse for the Texans, and he is facing the Broncos, who are bottom of the barrel when it comes to stopping the run. They are only two-games removed from allowing back-to-back 200-yard rushers and their defense has not improved. Miller should easily top 20 touches this Sunday, and he must be started in all formats. Projection: 103 yards, 1 TD and 4 receptions for 33 yards.

Isaiah Crowell vs. MIA – This one is a matter of both matchup and availability. Crowell is the man for the Jets plain and simple, and this week he faces the Dolphins, who have allowed at least one RB each week to either score a TD or rush for 100 yards or both. Elijah McGuire is expected to make his debut this week, but he should be on a snap count. Expect Crowell to see a floor of 15 touches this week. Fire him up with confidence. Projection: 106 yards and 1 TD.

Tarik Cohen vs. BUF – Cohen has been on an absolute tear this season and it is going to continue this week. The Bills are pretty stout against the run, which means another slow day for Jordan Howard and plenty of work for Cohen in the passing game. Look for him to have double-digit targets once again and to finish as a fringe RB1 in PPR. Projection: 38 yards, 8 receptions for 76 yards and 1 TD.

Nick Chubb vs. KC – The Browns have just fired their head coach and offensive coordinator, so they are going to do whatever they can to get the offense moving. They are going to tailor the offense around Baker Mayfield’s strengths, and they are going to feed Chubb every week. So far as a starter, Chubb has 18 carries in each game, and it appears that is the floor for him moving forward. Going against the Chiefs, who are allowing over 5.0 yards per carry to opposing RBs and are dead last in fantasy points allowed to RBs in PPR, look for Chubb to have his best game of the season so far. Projection: 96 yards, 1 TD and 3 receptions for 22 yards.

Aaron Jones vs. NE – Last week, Jones was featured for the first time and all he did was rush for 86 yards and a TD on 12 carries. Now with the recent trade of Ty Montgomery, look for Jones to be more involved in the passing game as well. Jamaal Williams will still have a role on this offense, but it seems like this is the launch point for a second-half breakout for Jones. He should have a floor of 15 touches per week going forward, and it starts this week against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football. Projection: 93 yards, 1 TD and 3 receptions for 24 yards.

Adrian Peterson vs. ATL – AP has been reborn this season. He has clearly lost a step, but that has not stopped him from dominating. This week he will be the man once again as Chris Thompson has already been ruled out, and he is a must-start in all formats since he is going against the Falcons at home. Look for AP’s targets and receptions to get a bump this week as they take advantage of the Falcons’ banged-up defense. Projection: 87 yards, 1 TD and 4 receptions for 42 yards.

Wide Receivers:

Devin Funchess/D.J. Moore vs. TB – Start the wide receivers going against the Buccaneers as they are allowing the second-most fantasy points to the position. Every week they surrender WR1 numbers and this week Funchess and Moore will reap those benefits. Moore broke out last week laying down five receptions for 90 yards and 39 rushing yards, and this week he will continue his surge. His snaps have gone up each week and his targets have been steadily increasing. And with Torrey Smith to miss another week, Moore should have his best fantasy day yet. Funchess has a high floor from week to week as he is a lock for 5 receptions for 50 yards, but against this defense, he is in line for his highest yardage output this season and is a near lock to score a TD. Projection: DF 7 receptions for 93 yards and 1 TD/ DM 24 rush yards, 6 receptions for 102 yards and 1 TD.

Courtland Sutton vs. HOU – Sutton is about to break out in a huge way. Demaryius Thomas is gone, traded to the Texans, and so are his seven targets per game. Sutton was already commanding a massive 40% of the Broncos’ end zone targets and now he steps into a featured role. This week he takes on none other than the Texans, where he can show DT first hand that Broncos will be just fine without him. Further, the Texans secondary is extremely beat up so Emmanuel Sanders and Sutton should have their way with them. Projection: 6 receptions for 89 yards and 1 TD.

Kenny Golladay vs. MIN – Golladay is about to see a huge bump in targets as Golden Tate’s departure frees up 10 targets per game. In fact, he and Marvin Jones are now weekly WR2s with upside and they should be started as such. This week, I prefer Golladay to Jones as Jones is likely to see plenty of Xavier Rhodes in this matchup. However, Rhodes is questionable, so if he misses the game, then Jones and Golladay can both be started with confidence. After averaging six targets per game through the first half of the season, Golladay should now have a floor of nine targets, and with his talent, he is a set it and forget it WR2 going forward. Projection: 7 receptions for 93 yards and 1 TD.

Tre’Quan Smith vs. LAR – This is sort of a dart throw, but I really like Tre’Quan Smith’s potential for a few big plays this week. He is the clear WR2 opposite Michael Thomas and the Saints are averaging over 40 points in each of their last two home games. This week they take on the Rams, so the Saints are going to have to light it up once again if they hope to hand the Rams their first loss. Fortunately for the Saints, the Rams secondary has been dreadful, so I like Smith to break free for a long TD this week. Projection: 4 receptions for 82 yards and 1 TD.

Tight Ends:

Greg Olsen vs. TB – Olsen has been a bust this season due to the injury that sidelined him until week 7. However, since he has returned, he has been steadily improving his numbers week to week. This week, he is a must-start option going against the Buccaneers, who have the worst passing defense against opposing TEs and have allowed either 100 yards or a TD or both to opposing TEs in all but one game this year. Olsen should continue to regain form in this one and put down his best game of the year so far. Projection: 5 receptions for 62 yards and 1 TD.

David Njoku vs. KC – Njoku was a colossal bust last week in a favorable matchup. However, fantasy owners should go back to athletic TE this week in an even better matchup against the Chiefs. The Browns are going to let Baker Mayfield run this game his way and that means tons of targets for Jarvis Landry and David Njoku. In a game where Mayfield might top 40 pass attempts, ignore Njoku’s pitiful performance last week and fire him up. Projection: 6 receptions for 63 yards and 1 TD.

O.J. Howard vs. CAR – Howard has double-digit PPR points in each of his last three games, and now he gets the gunslinger Ryan Fitzpatrick back. Fitzpatrick significantly favored Howard to Cameron Brate, and this week the Bucs will be in catch-up mode. I expect Fitzpatrick to lean heavily on Howard this week and he is a near lock to get into the end zone. Projection: 5 receptions for 63 yards and 1 TD.

Defense/Special Teams:

Dallas Cowboys vs. TEN – The Cowboys have been an entirely different beast at home this season and this week they take on a dreadful Titans offense. It will be difficult to trust any Titans offensive weapons, and in turn, you should trust the Cowboys defense.

New York Jets vs. MIA – The Jets are pretty stout defense, and while they struggle on the road this season they should have no problem containing Brock Osweiler. I expect upwards of three sacks and a minimum of two turnovers.

Sit Em’

Quarterbacks:

Ben Roethlisberger vs. BAL – Big Ben is typically a disaster on the road, and this week he takes on the Ravens who are allowing just under 10 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs at home. Further, Big Ben has been incredibly bad in Baltimore over his career, averaging under 300 yards and 1 TD per game. He is also dealing with a fractured index finger, and though it is on his non-throwing hand, it is not ideal for your QB1. Projection: 260 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, and 1 FUM.

Matthew Stafford vs. MIN – The Vikings defense is starting to come around, and they just held Drew Brees to under 200 passing yards and 0 TDs. Stafford only has 20 fantasy points or more in two games this season, and he just lost his favorite target in Golden Tate. Going on the road against the Vikings, Stafford is likely to struggle, especially if Xavier Rhodes takes out Marvin Jones or Kenny Golladay. Also weighing against Stafford is the fact the Lions are running the fewest plays per game, which limits the ceiling of the entire offense. Look elsewhere for your starting QB this week. Projection: 271 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs.

Matt Ryan vs. WAS – Matt Ryan is not the same QB on the road and he is even worse outdoors, averaging only 12 fantasy points in each of the two games he played outside. Unfortunately for him, the Redskins are an entirely different beast at home. They are allowing under 20 fantasy points per game to opposing QBs, and they traded for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix to improve the holes in their secondary. The running game is also going to struggle this week and that will make it difficult for Matt Ryan to get going.

Mitch Trubisky vs. BUF – Contrary to the complete disaster that is the Bills offense, their defense is top-ten in the NFL. They are allowing the seventh fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs, and they just held Tom Brady to zero TDs. Trubisky gives you a decent floor due to his rushing, but the Bills have been excellent against running QBs, holding all the QBs they have faced thus far to under 100 rushing yards combined. This is going to be a slow, low scoring game and Trubisky’s streak of 27 plus fantasy points is going to come to an end. Projection: 228 yards, 1 TD and 26 rush yards.

Running Backs:

Tevin Coleman vs. WAS – Coleman has been a tremendous disappointment this year. He was given the RB1 role in the wake of Devonta Freeman’s season-ending injury, but he is averaging a career-low 3.8 yards per carry. This week, he faces the Redskins who are second in the league at yards allowed to RBs, and have recently held Saquon Barkley, Ezekiel Elliott and Christian McCaffery to a combined 2.5 yards per carry and under 40 rush yards each. This is going to be a brutal performance for Coleman and he should be on your bench in order to give your squad the best chance to win this week. Projection: 37 yards and 4 receptions for 28 yards.

Alex Collins vs. PIT – Change the record. Collins is a colossal bust this season and as such fantasy owners need to distance themselves from him as soon as possible. The RB landscape for the Ravens just became even more muddied with the addition of Ty Montgomery, and Kenneth Dixon could be activated from the Injured Reserve sometime in the next few weeks. If all of that wasn’t enough, this week they take on the Steelers, who are much more vulnerable to the pass then they are the run. Look for this to be a heavy passing day for Joe Flacco and another letdown performance from Collins. Projection: 51 yards and 2 receptions for 12 yards.

Derrick Henry vs. DAL – Henry is disappointing fantasy owners left and right this season. He is slow off the snap and if he does not have a gaping hole to run through, he is typically tackled behind the line of scrimmage. Last game was his best performance of the year, as he scored his first TD and he still finished with under 15 PPR points. He has not surpassed 60 rushing yards in any game this season, and quite frankly he is a drop candidate for me. This week the Titans face the Cowboys who are much more vulnerable to pass-catching RBs so look for Dion Lewis to be the play in this one. Projection: 41 yards.

Jordan Howard vs. BUF – This week, Howard faces the Bills, who have been stout against the run in six out of their eight games. This is going to be a low-scoring slugfest and there are not going to be many open lanes for Howard to run through. Howard has been a huge bust this season and he is not going to break out of it this week. As hard as it is to consistently bench your third round pick, you simply can’t start Howard given his production this season. Projection: 54 yards and 2 receptions for 16 yards.

LeSean McCoy vs. CHI – This one is easy. You can’t start any player on a team that is led by Nathan Peterman going against a defense led by Khalil Mack. If you do, only disaster will ensue. Projection: 57 yards and 4 receptions for 26 yards.

Wide Receivers:

Allen Robinson vs. BUF – Robinson has been a huge let down since his Week Two performance where he garnered 14 targets and seemed like he was going to be a fringe WR1 this season. This week he faces the stellar rookie cornerback Tre’Davious White who has made opposing WR1s seemingly irrelevant. Hopefully, Robinson can right the ship for the end of season push for his fantasy owners, but it is not going to start this week. Further, if Robinson is out again this week, then Taylor Gabriel will get the White treatment and he can be benched instead. Projection: 2 receptions for 19 yards.

Corey Davis vs. DAL – Davis is a tremendous talent, but his QB is not playing at an elite level. And more importantly, he is seeing some of the toughest cornerback matchups each week. This week he faces the Cowboys and Byron Jones, who is Pro Football Focus’s number one cornerback on the season so far. The way to beat Dallas is by attacking their safeties and linebackers so Davis will have another letdown performance this week. Projection: 4 receptions for 49 yards.

Mohamed Sanu vs. WAS – Sanu has been a bright spot this season, averaging over 12 PPR points per game over his last four games. However, this week he faces the Redskins, who have been extremely tough against opposing slot WRs, and Sanu runs most of his routes from the slot. If any WR has success against the Redskins, it will likely be Calvin Ridley so err on the side of caution and sit Sanu this week. Projection: 4 receptions for 51 yards.

Doug Baldwin vs. LAC – Since Baldwin injured his knee in the pre-season and then again at the beginning of the year, he has not been the same player that we have been accustomed to. Baldwin has only scored double-digit fantasy points in one game this season, and this week he faces the Chargers, who have only allowed two TDs to opposing slot WRs this season. It is looking more and more likely that this is going to be a lost season for Baldwin in terms of fantasy value. Projection: 3 receptions for 42 yards.

Tight Ends:

Trey Burton vs. BUF – It is extremely difficult to recommend sitting any tight end at this point, especially one who sees steady targets each week, but the Bills are allowing under 4 receptions per game to opposing TEs, and they just held Rob Gronkowski to under 50 yards. If I can avoid it, I’m fading Burton this week. Projection: 3 receptions for 31 yards.

Jordan Thomas vs. DEN – Thomas surprised the fantasy community last week when he scored two TDs in the absence of Ryan Griffin. However, Griffin is back this week and will regain the TE1 duties for the Texans. Thomas was a very popular waiver wire pick up this week, but he is nothing more than a one week wonder. If you picked him up, he can be dropped. At the very least he should not be started in any lineups. Projection: 0 receptions.

Cameron Brate vs. CAR – See O.J. Howard. Fitzpatrick simply does not target Brate. He is droppable in all formats. Projection. 0 receptions.

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