The classic, all-helpful Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em series has reached Woodward Sports! This will be a weekly series by yours truly, and I hope for it to be your main source for fantasy football advice throughout the season. Have any questions? I have the answers! Welcome to Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 9.
Justin Fields (CHI) vs. Miami Dolphins
Fields has been fantastic in his last two games. His trajectory only goes up from here. Fields has rushed for 60+ yards and a touchdown in his last two contests, giving him a solid weekly floor in terms of fantasy. The Bears are finally letting Fields loose. He’ll be going up against a Dolphins defense that has allowed 7.3 yards per pass attempt, in addition to the seventh-most fantasy PPG to QBs in the NFL (19.7). They’ve also let up 166 rushing yards to Lamar Jackson and Josh Allen in previous matchups. Expect Fields to use his legs often, and he is starting to become a fantasy QB managers can trust. Keep starting Fields until he has a dud week.
Kirk Cousins (MIN) @ Washington Commanders
Cousins and the Vikings are currently on their way to an NFC North title. With T.J. Hockenson in the fold after a trade with the Detroit Lions, Cousins has yet another weapon to throw to. They face the Commanders this week, and while they seem to have an intimidating defense, they are penetrable. Washington has allowed 14 touchdown passes against this season compared to just two interceptions. Cousins is coming into this game on a little streak of his own, having multiple touchdowns in three straight games. This will likely have to be a game where the Vikings win through the air. Go ahead and start Cousins in what is in overall a good matchup.
Jamaal Williams (DET) vs. Green Bay Packers
Williams has had himself a good year, currently sporting four two-touchdown games. He is great at the goal line, in addition to the tendency to break off some long runs. Uncertainty is arising with D’Andre Swift’s injuries, making Williams the fantasy relevant RB in Detroit. Williams faces a Packers defense this week that has allowed 4.9 yards per carry and eight touchdowns. They are very vulnerable on the ground. Williams is a great start this week (assuming Swift is out again) as the Lions look to end their losing streak against a struggling Packers team.
Deon Jackson (IND) @ New England Patriots
It is looking like Jonathan Taylor will miss this week’s contest due to an ankle injury. Because of this, Deon Jackson is a smash start. He took charge of the backfield earlier in the season with JT out, rushing for 42 yards and a touchdown on 12 attempts in addition to 10 RECEPTIONS for 79 yards. That is pretty absurd. If he keeps up that success in the receiving game, he’ll be a savior for PPR teams. Even though the Patriots defense has only allowed one touchdown to RBs this season, Jackson will get plenty of opportunities. The mere volume is good enough to confidently start Jackson this week. He is also the biggest wild card in this Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em.
Joshua Palmer (LAC) @ Atlanta Falcons
With Mike Williams on IR and Keenan Allen expected to miss another game, Palmer will be the WR to roster this week. He should see plenty of action against a porous Falcons defense that has allowed the most passing yards per game in the league. Palmer just cleared concussion protocol, putting him on track to play Sunday. Fantasy managers should not be concerned. He has a very high ceiling this week and should be started in all formats.
Chris Olave (NO) vs. Baltimore Ravens
Olave’s upside has been growing and growing each week of the season. With the news that Michael Thomas will miss the rest of the season due to toe surgery, Olave will continue to get more targets. He has had 50+ yards in each of his last six games. This week, the Saints will play against the Ravens who have allowed the fifth-most fantasy PPG to WRs this season. All Saints weapons are in a good spot this weekend, but Olave can use this game to fully catapult himself as the Saints WR1. Managers can feel good about starting him as a high-upside WR2.
Zach Ertz (ARI) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Ertz’s production has not been diminished that much with the return of DeAndre Hopkins. Last week, he caught four balls for 34 yards and a touchdown. This week, he faces a Seahawks defense that has allowed the 10th-most fantasy PPG to tight ends in the NFL (15.1). The Cardinals lost to the Seahawks earlier this year, and they will look to bounce back, especially through the passing game. Ertz has been a more than serviceable fantasy TE this season. Continue to start him this week as their offense gets more into a groove.
T.J. Hockenson (MIN) @ Washington Commanders
Even though it’s a short week for Hockenson in his Vikings tenure, Kevin O’Connell will be sure to scheme up some looks for him. With Irv Smith likely out for the season, Hockenson slots right in as an upgrade at the position. He will be the third option behind Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen, but he can still have success in that offense. Fantasy managers who started Hockenson before the trade can leave him in the lineup after.
Defense/Kicker Streamers of the Week
In addition to the skill player Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems, here are my top streaming options for Defense/ST and Kicker:
Cincinnati Bengals vs. Carolina Panthers
Nick Folk (NE) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Matthew Stafford (LAR) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Stafford has been one of the biggest fantasy disappointments this season. While he put up his second-best fantasy performance of the season last week, his rushing touchdown was a big reason why. The Rams as a whole look tired and subpar. They will face a solid Bucs defense that has allowed the 15th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs. Furthermore, WR Cooper Kupp injured his ankle at the end of last week’s contest. If Kupp were to miss any time, it would be even worse for Stafford. Stafford is a very risky start this week, so be weary if you have to put in the lineup. Otherwise, this is a week to pivot to safer QB options.
P.J. Walker (CAR) @ Cincinnati Bengals
Walker looked impressive in their shocking OT loss against the Falcons. He threw for 317 yards and a touchdown, with the lone touchdown coming on a 62-yard Hail Mary to D.J. Moore late in the fourth quarter. Carolina’s offense will not score 34 points in a game often, so Walker should not be trusted. Walker plays against a Bengals defense this week that has allowed the sixth-fewest PPG to QBs this season. Walker is merely a low end streamer that can even be dropped at this point.
Darrell Henderson Jr. (LAR) @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Henderson had a prime opportunity to take over the backfield after the fallout between Cam Akers and the Rams. However, he has not done that. If anything, the Rams backfield is even more of a committee now. Malcolm Brown and Ronnie Rivers have been getting some touches. Rookie Kyren Williams is also close to returning, and he will get some work as well. Overall, Henderson just has not proved he is worth rostering let along starting in fantasy lineups. The Bucs defense has allowed the eighth-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs this season. Even if Hendo was the clear-cut started, he should still be left on the bench this week.
Antonio Gibson (WAS) vs. Minnesota Vikings
A lot of fantasy managers and Gibson owners still do not buy into the Brian Robinson Jr. hype. Actually, Gibson out-touched Robinson last week. The split between these two, however, is not very appealing. Gibson has scored a touchdown in each of his last two games, which has seemingly salvaged his fantasy output. He gets a matchup with the Vikings this week, a team that has allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy PPG to RBs (19.4). At best, Gibson is a low end FLEX play, but he can be benched altogether.
Garrett Wilson (NYJ) vs. Buffalo Bills
Wilson got the first 100-receiving yard game of his career last week against the Patriots. However, he may not be so fortunate against a stingy Bills defense. Wilson may not have to face CB Tre’Davious White, but the Bills defense can certainly make Zach Wilson uncomfortable. The Bills defense has allowed 147 passing yards per game to WRs this season, but if Wilson were to have any production, it may be in garbage time. This matchup will heavily depend on the game script, and I just do not trust the Jets offense to have much success against the Bills. Lean in favor of other options instead of Wilson this week.
Rondale Moore (ARI) vs. Seattle Seahawks
Moore scored his first touchdown of the season last week against the Vikings in an overall great fantasy performance. The Cardinals are still working him in as a secondary option to DeAndre Hopkins. However, Moore faces a Seahawks defense that has allowed the third-fewest fantasy PPG to WRs this season. These two teams already squared off earlier this season, with the Cardinals only being able to score nine points in a loss. I think Moore will be an afterthought in this game behind Hopkins and the multifaced rushing attack. Not the greatest spot to start Moore this week.
Hunter Henry (NE) vs. Indianapolis Colts
Henry just is not the red zone security blanket he was last season. He only has two receptions combined from his last two games. He has topped 25 yards in a game just twice. The Colts are a middle of the pack team in terms of TE passing yards per game (51). However, it is hard to justify starting a TE that has not produced much this season. He is a low end streamer and will need a rare touchdown to pay off.
Brock Wright/James Mitchell (DET) vs. Green Bay Packers
With the Lions shipping T.J. Hockenson off to Minnesota, Wright and Mitchell become the new TE tandem. Wright, the veteran, has proven to be a decent option. Mitchell, the rookie, will be interesting to evaluate as he gets more looks in the offense. Both should be rostered in case one emerges, but neither are startable this week. This is a week where managers can wait and see how the split looks between the two. However, either Wright or Mitchell could become nice streaming options in the coming weeks.
Stay tuned for next week’s Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em!
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