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NFL Week 9 Start/Sits

Drew Lannin

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We’ve had some of our first fantasy relevant trades since last week.  Emmanuel Sanders made his presence known early, while Sanu disappointed anyone who trusted him.  In a bit of a surprise move, the Cardinals traded for Kenyan Drake.  It’s yet to be known how severe the injuries of David Johnson and Chase Edmonds are, but we have to assume at least one of them is out for a prolonged time.  As an aside, I would definitely stay away from whatever patchwork backfield the Cardinals put together against the 49ers on Thursday night.

I’m likely stating the obvious here, but if you’re lucky enough to have the Patriots D, keep rolling them out.  I realize it seems like a no-brainer, but I’ve seen plenty of people who stashed a lesser D with a great matchup such as Jets vs Dolphins and are trying to decide between the two.  I would rather trust the Patriots D to continue their dominance, than rely on lesser teams even if their matchup is incredible.

Byes this week: Bengals, Falcons, Rams, Saints

QUARTERBACK

Start of the Week:  Matthew Stafford at Raiders:  Move over Matty Ice, Fratt Stafford is here to chug beer and throw touchdowns and he’s all out of beer.  I’m old enough to remember when everyone was sure Lions OC Darrell Bevell would only run the ball and Stafford wouldn’t be fantasy relevant.  Contrary to that popular pre-season belief, the Lions have passed on 58.59% of plays which ranks 18th in the league.  With this being the case and Stafford playing his best since the Megatron days, Stafford is coming in as the 10th ranked QB on the season.  While he did struggle against some better defenses this year, he beat up on lesser ones he’s faced.  Look for him to continue his hot streak vs the lowly pass D of the Raiders.

Starts

Sam Darnold at Dolphins: I’m about as spooked starting Darnold as he is playing against the Pats.  The ghosts of Darnold’s past haunt us anytime we commit to starting him.  A lot must fall into place for fantasy players to consider starting him.  This happens to be one of those weeks as Darnold plays against the Dolphins.  It’s possible you stashed Darnold ahead of his upcoming soft schedule the same way people did with the Jets D.  If that’s the case, it’s possible you have a decision to make between two QBs.  I would start Darnold over:

Dak Prescott at Giants: Dak is back in week 9, coming off a bye, against a secondary that makes everyone they face look good.  Furthermore, Daniel Jones has shown he can at the very least be competent enough to make a game out of this.  What’s not to love here?  

Sits

Carson Wentz at Chicago:  It seems it’s been an eternity since Wentz was an MVP candidate and part of a Superbowl roster behind Foles, while injured.  Now, Wentz is struggling and Foles is the one who is injured.  Despite questionable play at times, Wentz isn’t entirely to blame for the Eagles, woes.  Despite having one of the deepest rosters in the league, the Eagles have suffered enough injuries to field their own injured all-star team.  Wentz’s schedule has been brutal as well, with this current stretch being especially tough.  Things should open up for him down the road, but for now he’s too hard to trust against a stingy Bears pass D in Chicago.

Kyler Murray at 49ers:  Kyler has lived up to the hype he was getting from the fantast community early in the pre-season.  The caveat though, is he has only performed very well against lesser defenses, while struggling against better units.  Of course, this is to be expected from a rookie QB.  He’s on quite the cold streak lately, failing to even reach double digits the past two weeks.  Unfortunately, he likely won’t turn things around this week against one of the best defenses in the league.  Facing the 49ers is bad enough, but facing them on a short week, with no semblance of a run game available spells trouble for Kyler.

Sleeper

Gardner Minshew: Minshew mania has been a great time for everyone other than the Jags’ opponents.  Despite not playing in the first game until after Foles’ injury, Minshew comes into this game as the 12th ranked QB in the league.  Something we all definitely saw coming.  Minshew gets a great matchup vs a Texans defense missing most of their starting secondary and Watt.

RUNNING BACK

Start of the Week: Dalvin Cook/Alexander Mattison at Chiefs:  Honestly, I might as well just rename this section the “RBs vs Chiefs this week.” I can’t emphasize enough just how bad the Chiefs are vs the run.  Normally, I avoid having top-tier players such as Cook in my recommends as it’s obvious to start him every week and nobody needs to be told that.  More of the point of this, is that Mattison could easily be a high end bye week fill in this week.  The Vikings love running the ball and use both running backs plenty, so they each have immense upside against a run D more porous than a sponge.

Starts

Tevin Coleman vs Cardinals: The 49ers offense feels as though it’s 75% made up of running backs with a bit of Kittle sprinkled in.  Kyle Shanahan is undoubtedly a genius at designing running plays.  Somewhere, an old coach sheds a tear at how established the run is in San Francisco.  Amazingly, despite the seemingly endless supply of RBs on this team, Coleman is the only one coming into this game healthy.  Well, as healthy as an NFL RB can be 9 weeks into the season on short rest.  Arizona was absolutely gashed by Latavius Murray last week, so expect Coleman to have similar results.

Derrick Henry at Panthers: Fun fact: Derrick Henry’s last 7 touchdowns as of week 7 were in order: 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, 1, and (you guessed it) 1 yard.  I wasn’t a believer in Henry at all coming into this season.  He almost never catches passes and last year he was awful until the very end of the season.  He’s proved me wrong this year and while his incredible streak of short touchdowns is ripe for regression, he gets more than enough work to produce and gets a better matchup than last week.

Sits

David Montgomery vs Eagles:  Matt Nagy told us he isn’t stupid 2 weeks ago, then made sure to tell everyone how right he was once again after more questionable calls this past week.  One of the more egregious mistakes to me, is the way he uses Montgomery.  Granted, film will show you that Montgomery is far from perfect, but given the right opportunities, he should be able to prosper like he did last week.  Unfortunately, this Bears offense other than Allen Robinson is just completely unpredictable and massively underperforming under the guidance of a supposed offensively minded coach.  The Eagles D is incredible against the run, while being one of the worst vs the pass, so this doesn’t look to be a repeat of last week’s explosion for Montgomery.

Mark Ingram vs Patriots: The most compelling matchup of the week is the Baltimore offense vs the Patriots D.  While the Ravens are undoubtedly the best offense the Patriots have faced by far this year, I won’t believe any offense will do much of anything against them until I see it.  Maybe Lamar Jackson can make something happen against the Patriots, but I’m not counting on Ingram to be the one to get much done.   Especially when this game is in Foxboro.

Sleeper

Mark Walton vs Jets:  I’ll be honest, I’m pretty scared recommending anyone from the Dolphins.  Mark is definitely the first and maybe the last Dolphins player that will appear in a start/sleeper section from me, but their schedule is incredibly easy coming up, so who knows.  The Jets are only slightly better than the Dolphins, just traded one of their best run stopping Dlineman, and Kenyan Drake’s departure frees up more touched for Walton.  He’s not exactly exciting, but you could do worse for a bye week fill in.

WIDE RECEIVER

Start of the Week: Allen Robinson at Eagles:    As mentioned above, Allen Robinson is pretty much the only useful player on the Bears offense.  The Eagles’ secondary is basically non-existent and Robinson is playing as well as almost any other receiver in the league.  If only he could have a real QB for once in his football career.  

Starts

Michael Gallup at Giants: Gallup has been a bit quiet since his fast start to the season, but he gets a prime chance to get things right again.  Coming off a bye, against a division rival on primetime, look for Gallup to be a high-end WR2 in this game.

DJ Chark vs Texans: Well, if we’re gonna start Minshew, we might as well be starting his top receiver as well.  The hottest thing since Baby Shark, DJ Chark is likely to be the waiver add of the year.  He’s on pace for 78 catches, 1,320 yards, and 12 TD.  Only 6 players have ever done this in their second year.  This list is: Calvin Johnson, Allen Robinson, A.J. Green, Odell Beckham, Larry Fitzgerald, and Randy Moss.  You may have heard of them.

Sits

Courtland Sutton vs Browns: Speaking of surprises this season, Courtland Sutton has been another player whose value far surpassed where he was taken.  Unfortunately, Flacco hurt his kneck and Drew Lock is still on IR.  Enter Brandon Allen.  Allen has been in the league for three years, been through waivers three times, claimed off of waivers twice, and started in an NFL game zero times.  This all adds up to too much uncertainty to be able to trust Sutton this week.

D.J. Moore vs Ten: Contrary to Chark and Sutton producing far above what it cost to get them, Moore has hardly lived up to the massive hype around him before the season.   While he has had some decent games, it’s been a tough time for him with an injured Can, decent backup in Allen, and CMC rightfully handling the ball constantly.  Moore has shown the ability to be efficient with the touches left over for him, but Allen is likely to struggle vs a tough Titans D, which means Moore is less in this case.

Sleeper

Michael Gallup at Giants: Gallup cooled down after a hot start to the season.  Part of it though, was a knee injury that sidelined him for a few weeks.  He’s since been back and while he hasn’t been as great since, the bye week should help him back to form.  In a primetime game vs a division rival, look for Gallup to be a WR2 with upside.

TIGHT END

Start

Greg Olsen vs Titans:  Olsen started the season looking better than ever.  Unfortunately, he fell back down to earth in the last 4 games.  While the Titans are a tough defense overall, they are weak against opposing tight ends.  Look for Olsen to get back on track this week.

Sit

Mark Andrews vs Patriots: Andrews has been a bright spot in an otherwise bleak position this season.  Especially because he was taken very late in drafts.  As one of Lamar’s favorite targets, he has produced well this year.  Unfortunately, he gets one of the worst matchups this week, along with Marquise Brown likely coming back to contend for targets.

D/St  

Starts

Panthers vs Titans

49ers vs Cardinals

Browns at Broncos

Bills vs Washington

Jets at Dolphins

Sits

Jaguars vs Houston

Steelers vs Colts

Vikings at Chiefs

Titans at Panthers

Texans at Jags

Drew Lannin is a nutritionist with a Bachelor's in Dietetics from Lincoln, Nebraska. He grew up watching Nebraska football and the Chiefs. He is currently finishing pre-reqs for a Masters in Genetic Counseling. He first started playing fantasy football after recommending Randy Moss to his dad during his rookie year. This lead to him being added as the co-commissioner to his dad's league, which started in 1984. He has been an avid fantasy player ever since, consuming as much data and articles as possible.

Fantasy

Waiver Wire: NFL Week 13

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Fantasy football teams are starting to take shape. Hitting the waiver wire is a critical task in filling the holes or adding significant depth, especially as we enter bye-weeks and an increasing list of injuries. My goal is to find you the best player available for the lowest owned percentage. Therefore, you will see some of the more prominent names under others to consider.

Quarterbacks:

Ryan Fitzpatrick-MIA (ESPN-13.4%) (Yahoo-20%)

It’s not clear how long Fitzpatrick will be the starting quarterback, as Tua Tagovailoa will return. Still, when Fitz is on the field, he is magical. On Sunday, Fitzy passed for 257 yards and two touchdowns and going over 19 Fantasy Points in five of the past six contests. He and the Dolphins will face the Bengals and should be an automatic start.

Others to Consider: Kirk Cousins (MIN), Taysom Hill (NO), Derek Carr (LAS), Philip Rivers (IND), Baker Mayfield(CLE).

 

Running Backs:

Devontae Booker-LAS (ESPN-5.3%) (Yahoo-9%)

Over the last four weeks, Booker has 34 attempts for 171 yards and three touchdowns. That equates to 5.02 yards per carry. Now with Jacobs in limbo with an ankle injury, he could have the entire backfield to himself. Booker is a good receiver and has 14 receptions this season in limited action. He should be snared by all Jacobs’ owners, especially with the injury history that comes with him. The Raiders play the Jets next week.

Brian Hill-ATL (ESPN-31.4%) (Yahoo-46%)

Hill has been a better running back than Todd Gurley; he just doesn’t have the name, dollar signs, or recognition to go with it. Against, the Raiders Hill rushed for 55 yards on 13 carries in the absence of Gurley, who could be out next week. The flip-side is Hill split carries with Ito Smith, and it was Smith with the better fantasy production and the touchdown. The Falcons face the Saints next week.

Cam Akers (ESPN-28.0%) (Yahoo-29%)

It is good to see Akers back in to fold of fantasy relevancy. He has looked solid, and in Week 12, he rushed for 83 yards on nine carries and plunged into the end zone. Looking over all the Rams running backs, it’s hard to trust any as all three could be dominant on any given Sunday. Akers has an impressive look, and coaches will want to know what they have moving forward with the rookie. The Rams face the Cardinals next week.

Others to Consider:  Latavius Murray (NO), DeAndre Washington (MIA), Matt Breida (MIA), Frank Gore (NYJ), Gus Edwards (BAL), Ito Smith (ATL), Benny Snell (PIT), Tony Pollard (DAL), Royce Freeman (DEN).

 

Wide Receivers:

Allen Lazard-GB (ESPN-27.8%) (Yahoo-39%)

Lazard is healthy now, and so are his stats. On Sunday, he caught four-of-six targets for 23 yards and a touchdown. He is the clear number two receiver behind Davante Adams, which should deliver plenty of fantasy points in all contests. On the schedule, the Packers face Philadelphia, Detroit, Carolina, and Tennessee. Treat Lazard as a number three wide receiver as long as he is healthy.

Breshad Perriman-NYJ (ESPN-14.4%) (Yahoo-12%)

Perriman is finally healthy and now has recorded three straight weeks of double-digit fantasy points while getting into the end zone three times during that time. Perriman is a vertical receiver, and it narrows his volume scope for PPR leagues. He is averaging 20 yards per catch, and when he hits the big one, he will make up plenty of points—a nice flex option. The Jets face the Raiders and Seahawks next.

Jakobi Meyers-NE (ESPN-46.4%) (Yahoo-52%)

Cam Newton completed only nine passes on Sunday, but five of them went to Meyers. His five receptions went for 52 yards. Meyers now has at least 10 fantasy points in five of six contests and is Newton’s primary target. He won’t get many chances to score as the Patriots offense is dismal, and Newton robs players at the goal line.

Others to Consider: TY Hilton (IND), Hunter Renfrow (LAS), Olabisi Johnson (MIN), Gabriel Davis (BUF), Demarcus Robinson (KC), Keelan Cole (JAX), Denzel Mims (NYJ), Corey Davis (TEN), Sterling Shepard (NYG).

 

Tight Ends:

Trey Burton-IND (ESPN-6.0%) (Yahoo-19%)

Burton has been the clear number one tight end for the Colts since returning from injury. The stronghold on Burton is volume. Not only do the Colts spread the ball around like soft butter, but they also have two other tight ends that are solid in Jack Doyle and Mo Alie-Cox. On Sunday, Burton caught three balls for 42 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Indianapolis has the Texans, Raiders, and Texans again.

Others to Consider: Logan Thomas (WAS), Jordan Reed (SF), Jimmy Graham (CHI), Dalton Schultz (DAL).

 

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Waiver Wire: NFL Week 12

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Fantasy football teams are starting to take shape. Hitting the waiver wire is a critical task in filling the holes or adding significant depth, especially as we enter bye-weeks and an increasing list of injuries. My goal is to find you the best player available for the lowest owned percentage. Therefore, you will see some of the more prominent names under others to consider.

Quarterbacks:

Tua Tagovailoa-MIA (ESPN-36.8%) (Yahoo-45%)

We are looking at streaming options for quarterbacks at this point in the season, so ignore Tagovailoa being benched. This week he has the New York Jets, and high school athletes could perform well against this defense. Tagovailoa hasn’t had the most impressive start. It isn’t easy when comparing him to rookies Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert as they have been top-notch. However, Tagovailoa has thrown six touchdowns and zero interceptions since taking over the starting role.

Others to Consider: Taysom Hill (NO), Jameis Winston (NO), Alex Smith (WAS), Derek Carr (LAS), Baker Mayfield(CLE).

 

Running Backs:

Salvon Ahmed-MIA  (ESPN-42.0%) (Yahoo-45%)

Myles Gaskin isn’t too far off from returning. However, Ahmed was still reliable on Sunday with his 12 carries for 43-yards while adding five receptions against a quality defense in the Denver Broncos. He is an athlete that has a strong floor due to his catching ability and makes an excellent flex option in all leagues.

Gus Edwards-BAL (ESPN-7.3%) (Yahoo-45%)

Both JK Dobbins and Mark Ingram tested positive for Covid-19 and will be out against the Steelers this Thursday. Looks for Edwards to lead the team in carries and be an active participant in the passing game. Justice Hill will have a share, but not enough to keep the volume away from Edwards. Grab him in all leagues.

James White-NE (ESPN-36.8%) (Yahoo-45%)

White caught six passes for 64 yards and added 19 yards on the ground, making him an RB15 in PPR leagues. White is only valuable in those formats, but he hasn’t been as consistent as he was in the last few seasons. With Rex Burkhead being injured, the volume should open up for him as the Patriots passing down back. New England will play the Cardinals, Chargers, and Rams next.

Others to Consider: Justice Hill (BAL), Frank Gore (NYJ), Benny Snell (PIT), Samaje Perine (CIN), JK Dobbins (BAL), Carlos Hyde (SEA). Wayne Gallman (NYG).

Wide Receivers:

Michael Pittman-IND (ESPN-24.4%) (Yahoo-45%)

Since coming off his injury, Pittman is getting more attention each week. In Week 9, he saw seven targets, which resulted in a 4-56 stat line. In Week 10, he also added seven receptions for 101 yards. On Sunday against the Packers, Pittman caught three balls for 66 yards and scored a touchdown. Now, he will face soft defenses in Houston (twice), Las Vegas, and Tennessee.

Tim Patrick-Den (ESPN-14.0%) (Yahoo-45%)

Patrick continues to be useful as the downfield threat for Drew Lock. Patrick caught five of his eight targets for 119 yards against the Dolphins. The biggest play came when he caught a 61-yard pass at the end of the game. He has surpassed 100-yards three times this season and continues to be involved in the offense. The Broncos will face the Saints next week.

Nelson Agholor-LAS (ESPN-24.4%) (Yahoo-45%)

Agholor had a big game against the Chiefs. He caught six of nine targets for 88-yards and a touchdown. This was a nice bounce-back week as he only brought in one ball against Denver in Week 10. Agholor led the team in targets and has more snaps than any receiver on the team this season. He hasn’t been the most consistent but has six touchdowns to go along with 24 receptions and 443 yards this year. The Raiders face Atlanta next week.

Others to Consider: Cole Beasley (BUF), Allen Lazard (GB), Damiere Byrd (NE), Willie Snead (NO), Curtis Samuel(CAR), Sterling Shepard (NYG).

Tight Ends:

Jordan Reed-SF (ESPN-24.4%) (Yahoo-45%)

The 49ers were off last week, but Reed caught five of his six targets for 62 yards against the Saints in Week 10 and the top target for Nick Mullens. George Kittle may be out for the rest of the season, and San Francisco enjoys throwing to their tight end. Upcoming for Reed and the 49ers are Rams, Bills, and Washington.

Others to Consider: Logan Thomas (WAS), Jordan Aikens(HOU), Dalton Schultz (DAL).

 

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Waiver Wire: NFL Week 11

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Fantasy football teams are starting to take shape. Hitting the waiver wire is a critical task in filling the holes or adding significant depth, especially as we enter bye-weeks and an increasing list of injuries. My goal is to find you the best player available for the lowest owned percentage. Therefore, you will see some of the more prominent names under others to consider.

Quarterbacks:

Tua TagovailoaMIA (ESPN-32.6%) (Yahoo-45%)

Three games in, and Tagovailoa is performing well. He has five touchdown passes and zero interceptions. Tagovailoa has not thrown for over 300-yards and hasn’t done much with his legs (34 yards), as many had suspected. He is developing but not as quickly as Justin Herbert or Joe Burrow. With that said, he makes a reliable streaming option each week. He has Broncos, Jets, Bengals on deck.

Others to Consider: Alex Smith (WAS), Jameis Winston (NO), Daniel Jones (NYG), Derek Carr (OAK).

Running Backs:

Nyheim Hines-IND (ESPN-41.8%) (Yahoo-41%)

Hines looked spectacular against Tennessee and better all-around than rookie Jonathan Taylor. Hines has shown to be more explosive and can add to the passing game much more than Taylor. In fact, Hines leads the entire team in receptions and touchdowns through the air. He also has gotten red zone looks. The down arrow is on Taylor while the up arrow belongs to Hines. Next up, Packers, Titans, Texans.

Salvon Ahmed-MIA (ESPN-0.4%) (Yahoo-7%)

The Dolphins can’t seem to land on a running back. Jordan Howard was the starter to enter the season, but he was recently released. Then Myles Gaskin was successful but got hurt. Matt Breida has been there, but he isn’t much more than a passing-down back and scenario situation runner, and he is also could be out next week. Ahmed rushed for 85-yards on 21 carries and hit pay dirt. Not too shabby for someone who has spent their rookie season on two different teams and the practice squad. He has Broncos, Jets, Bengals on deck.

Devontae Booker-LAS (ESPN-1.4%) (Yahoo-3%)

Booker took apart the Broncos on Sunday as he rushed for 81-yards and two touchdowns while Jacobs chipped in for his 112 and two scores. Booker’s touchdowns came late in the game, but he has been impressive over the last few weeks. In Week 5, he put up 62 yards, then rushed for 68-yards and a score in Week 9. Jacobs is still the “man,” but Booker makes a case to be a top tier hand-cuff. Next up, the Raiders face the Chiefs, Falcons, and Jets.

Others to Consider: Kalen Ballage (LAC), Wayne Gallman(NYG), Damien Harris (NE).

Wide Receivers:

Jakobi Meyers-NE (ESPN-22.3%) (Yahoo-48%)

Meyers has been the receiver that N’Keal Harry has not. On Sunday, Meyers threw a touchdown pass to Rex Burkhead and went strong for the last three contests. He put up five receptions for 59 yards in horrid weather and seems to be the go-to receiver for Cam Newton. Julian Edelman will return shortly, but he looks like he needs to retire. Meyers should be added in all leagues. The Patriots have Texans, Cardinals, and Chargers next up.

Keelan Cole-JAC (ESPN-13.8%) (Yahoo-23%)

A typical boom or bust candidate, Cole caught a touchdown and was second in targets behind Chris Conley against the Packers on Sunday. Before that, he combined for 18 yards in two games. However, three weeks ago, against the Lions, Cole went HAM and caught six balls for 143 yards. He isn’t a superstar but should get a continuous volume of targets as the Jaguars are always behind in games.

Cole Beasley-BUF (ESPN-46.7%) (Yahoo-50%)

Beasley makes the list of those that should not be on this list. Beasley has been solid all-season for the Bills outside of Josh Allen’s down games. On Sunday, he caught 11 of 13 targets for 109 yards and a touchdown against the Cardinals. It’s shocking to see him available in 50% of leagues and is a must-own in PPR. The Bills face the Chargers, 49ers, Steelers next.

Others to Consider: Jalen Reagor (PHI), Allen Lazard (GB), Josh Reynolds (LAR), Michael Pittman (IND), Marquez Valdes-Scantling (GB), Breshad Perriman (NYJ), Michael Gallup (DAL), Jakeem Grant (MIA), Cam Sims (WAS).

Tight Ends:

Logan Thomas-WAS (ESPN-19.6%) (Yahoo-35%)

Outside of Travis Kelce, the tight end position has been a mess for fantasy owners. The only other player that could be trusted is George Kittle, but he can’t seem to stay healthy. Also interesting is someone like Thomas is still highly available. Maybe, it’s because he plays for the WFT (WTF). Thomas now has double-digit scoring in five games with four receptions.

Others to Consider: Tyler Higbee (LAR), Jordan Reed (SF), Trey Burton (IND), Jordan Akins (HOU), Adam Trautman(NO).

 

 

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