START EM, SIT EM – WEEK 9
We reach the halfway point of the NFL season this week, with a number of number of huge games this coming weekend. And following last week’s full slate, this week sees four teams take their bye week. To help get you through, here are my start and sit suggestions for week nine!
Dak Prescott (@ PHI)
After a fairly slow start to the year the Cowboys quarterback produced his best performance of the year last week, throwing for over 300 yards for the first time this season, and scoring four touchdowns in the process. He faces division rivals Philadelphia this coming weekend, a team which has allowed a number of big fantasy performances to quarterbacks this year. The Eagles, in fact, have allowed the fifth-most points on average to quarterbacks this season, per FantasyData.
Derek Carr (vs CHI)
Carr had his best fantasy performance of the year last week with a 310-yard two touchdown game in the Saint’s win against the Colts. He has another promising matchup this coming week. This week he faces a Chicago Bears defence which has allowed the sixth-highest average points to quarterbacks so far this year. If you are looking for a streaming option, you could do worse than Carr this week.
Jordan Love (vs LAR)
After a hot start, the wheels are falling off this Jordan Love-led offense. A myriad of issues including troubles at offensive line and a plethora of drops by skill-position players have compounded the problem. After starting the opening two games with six touchdowns and no interceptions Love has since thrown eight interceptions over his last five games. In single quarterback leagues there are plenty of safer options available.
Geno Smith (@ BAL)
Smith fantasy production has been somewhat inconsistent throughout this year. The veteran had a decent fantasy outing last week against the Browns throwing for 254 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions. This week’s matchup is another difficult one on paper in the Ravens. Baltimore continue to trouble quarterbacks, allowing just six passing touchdowns in eight games and allowing the fewest fantasy points to the position per FantasyData.
Jerome Ford (vs ARI)
Ford has performed well for fantasy managers since Nick Chubb’s injury, with four double-digit PPR performances this year. Following an ankle injury in week 7 Ford saw his snap share decrease, seeing only ten touches – his fewest of the season. Another week on from the injury, we should expect his numbers to increase. This week presents a perfect opportunity to bounce back against a Cardinals team allowing the third-most points to running backs. And in a game where the Browns are eight point favourites, Ford should receive plenty of opportunities in a positive game script.
Darrell Henderson (@ GB)
Since Kyren Williams’ injury, Henderson has handled the lion’s share of running back work ahead of Royce Freeman, with an average of 17 touches per game. This has resulted two solid fantasy performances, with last week’s outing saved by work in the passing game. This week’s opponent present a good matchup against the Packers, who continue to struggle against the run. At the time of writing the quarterback situation remains up in the air. Either way, expect a sizeable dose of Henderson this Sunday.
Dameon Pierce (vs TB)
In a great matchup, Pierce was listed as a start last week in the hope of a bounce back game after an underwhelming start to the season. Unfortunately this resulted in just 4.6 points, rushing for 46 yards on his 12 attempts. With only one touchdown this season and usage in the passing game grinding to a halt, his fantasy appeal is eroding. With a matchup against a Buccaneers defence which has allowed the seventh-fewest fantasy points to running backs on average this season upcoming, Pierce is best served on your bench.
Emari Demercado (@ CLE)
Following James Conner’s injury, Demercado has become the primary ball carrier – seeing at least 17 touches in each of his last two weeks. This matchup, however, may be one to avoid. Demercado faces the Browns, who have allowed the tenth-fewest points to running backs on average so far this year. With Clayton Tune reportedly due to start on Sunday, the Cardinals are heavy underdogs – putting Demercado’s heavy usage at risk.
Josh Downs (vs CAR)
Rookie Josh Downs has had a strong series of games, scoring at least 13 PPR points in five of his lastsix outings. Downs had another solid performance on Sunday, recording seven receptions from his nine targets for 72 yards. Since entering the league Downs has seen impressive usage, with at least five targets in all but one game, and at least five receptions in each of his last four. He should be in flex consideration every week, including this Sunday’s matchup against a beatable Panthers team.
Rashee Rice (vs MIA)
The rookie suffered a slight dip in fantasy production last week, as the offense surprisingly faltered in the Chiefs’ loss to the Broncos. His 9.6 PPR points represented the first time since week four in which Rice had not reached double-digit PPR points. He has a great opportunity to bounce back this weekend in Germany against the Dolphins. The 51-point over/under suggests plenty of potential fantasy points, and given Rice’s usage – he presents a high-upside option to fantasy managers.
Josh Palmer (@ NYJ)
Palmer has provided some solid fantasy performances this season, hitting at least 60 yards in his four games prior to last week. His production fell in week 8 after suffering an injury, and finished with only 24 yards from his three receptions. We also started to see signs of life from rookie Quentin Johnston. This week he faces the toughest fantasy matchup for wide receivers in the New York Jets. With this matchup, I am looking elsewhere if possible.
Jaxon Smith-Njigba (@ BAL)
Jaxon Smith-Njigba has seen an uptick in fantasy production in the last two weeks after scoring a touchdown in each. His adot, however, should cause some concerns, falling to just 0.3, according to PFF, with the return of DK Metcalf to the lineup last week. This coming Sunday he faces a tough matchup in the Ravens. Baltimore has allowed the seventh-fewest points on average to wide receivers this year, per FantasyData. I would look to pivot if other options are available.
Trey McBride (@ CLE)
The second year tight end produced his best fantasy performance if his career last week with ten catches for 95 yards and a touchdown from 14 targets. McBride led the team in targets with an impressive 39% target share and with Zach Ertz on IR, is likely to remain heavily involved in the Cardinals passing attack. The departure of Josh Dobbs, and the likely introduction of Clayton Tune dampens his appeal a little, but given his likely usage, remains a good option.
Jake Ferguson (@ PHI)
Ferguson is another second-year tight end showing promise this season. Last week he reeled in all four of his targets for 47 yards and a touchdown against the Rams. His usage has been fairly steady, seeing at least four targets in five of his seven games, and seven targets in three games. This offense appears to be starting to click after a few issues early on, and Ferguson remains a solid choice at tight end again this week.
Luke Musgrave (vs LAR)
Musgrave had a promising start to his season, but mirroring the wider Packers offense, has struggled in recent weeks. The rookie has not reached 50 receiving yards since week 1, hitting under 40 in each of his last three games. Last week against the Vikings Musgrave recorded just two receptions from his three targets for nine yards. While this offense continues to flounder, it is a safer bet looking elsewhere at tight end.
Tyler Higbee (@ GB)
Higbee had a bounce back performance against the Cowboys, with 45 receiving yards from his five receptions and seven targets. In the three weeks prior he had failed to record more than two catches or more than 20 receiving yards in a game. With this level of inconsistency, and lingering question marks at quarterback with Matthew Stafford’s situation up in the air at the time of writing, it makes sense to seek other options.