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Fantasy Football: Week 9 Start, Sit, and Sleepers

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Who should you roll out on Week 9 to secure your fantasy football victory?

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

If you’re like me, you’re smack dab in the middle of your fantasy football league’s playoff race. Even if you’re on the outside looking in, these are the weeks you can use to develop your strategies and figure out what went wrong so you come back next year a smarter and wiser player.

Either way, daily fantasy football is available to all who seek it, so don’t go away just yet folks! We’ve got plenty of advice coming up, and plenty of opportunities to do better than we did last week.

Before I even dive into all of the Week 8 stats, I already know two of our quarterbacks turned our thoughts upside down. Here’s how it all went down.

QUARTERBACKS (0/3): Goose egg. Nada. Not one of our projections panned out. I blame global warming. Winston got benched in real life, so you can figure out how his fantasy day went. Carr absolutely torched the Colts defense - although I stand by my Oakland Raiders analogy gif - and Keenum just couldn’t up his fantasy football game against the Chiefs’ porous defense. We’ll do better this week folks, because we can’t do any worse.

RUNNING BACKS (3/3): If you came looking only for quarterback advice, and didn’t take a gander at the running back advice - well - you may not be reading this today. But if you looked at more than the QB, you should be happy to see how fierce the comeback was here.

James Conner as our start and Marlon Mack as our sleeper turned in RB1 and RB3 performances respectively. Our sit of the week, LeSean McCoy, continued to have his talents wasted on the land of the wing, as he totaled just sixteen points on his way to a RB18 finish.

RECEIVERS (2/3): Alshon Jeffery as our sleeper just didn’t pan out despite facing a Jacksonville Jaguars defense who had been victimized regularly as of late. His team won, but he came out a fantasy football loser. Brandin Cooks delivered on our sit projection, despite doing better than our sleeper. And Travis Kelce turned in a TE1 performance to save the group a bit.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS (0/3): Started poorly, ending with a whimper. Chicago’s defense didn’t do bad finishing as the 13th best defense in the fantasy football weekend, but DST12 or better is required to land a win in the starter category, so we take the loss on that. Indianapolis’ defense was torched in Week 8 (see, Derek Carr) and our sleeper projection took a beating right along with them. Finally, our sit of the week was Cincinnati against the Buccaneers, and well, they scored 22-points on the back of four Jameis Winston interceptions including one pick-six.

We’ll do better this weekend, right? Let’s find out.

QUARTERBACKS

NFL: Green Bay Packers at Los Angeles Rams Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

START: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (@ New England Patriots)

A battle between Aaron Rodgers and Tom Brady is always must-see tv if you ask me. This weekend’s match-up will be no different. Sunday Night Football should see plenty of action when two of the best to ever do it take center stage.

SIT: Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens (vs Pittsburgh Steelers)

Flacco’s final descent into retirement, benching, or journeyman quarterback has begun. Facing the Steelers is going to show a little more of why the Ravens drafted a young and electric quarterback this past off-season.

SLEEPER: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@ Carolina Panthers)

The last time we saw Fitzpatrick, he was being benched for Jameis Winston after one half of really bad Bucs football in Chicago. Before that, he threw three interceptions in the first half against the Steelers only to combine forces with a suddenly effective defense and nearly come all the way back on Tony Dungy Night.

Before that, we had the emergence of Fitzmagic in Tampa Bay and the Bucs were the talk of NFL Town.

What will we see this weekend? Well, that’s why they call them sleepers.

RUNNING BACKS

NFL: Denver Broncos at Kansas City Chiefs Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

START: Kareem Hunt, Kansas City Chiefs (@ Cleveland Browns)

The Browns have a better defense than credited, and if their offense ever found a way to stay on the field, everyone might actually get to see it.

Alas, the 2018 Browns don’t look much different than the 2017 version, and Kareem Hunt will get plenty of opportunity to make things happen.

SIT: LeSean McCoy, Buffalo Bills (vs Chicago Bears)

We’re not picking on McCoy, just stating facts. With a name like his, he’s always going to pop into someone’s mind as a guy they may hover their finger over as a starting option. Don’t do it. Especially against the Bears defense.

SLEEPER: James Conner, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Baltimore Ravens)

You might be surprised to see Conner listed as a sleeper, but going against the Ravens defense you may need to take pause before inserting him in your lineup. I say, go for it. Conner is one of my favorite players this year, and he’s earned the trust of his team. He’s going to come into this one a little more excited than some others, as the Steelers try to assert their dominance over their AFC North rivals.

WIDE RECEIVERS

NFL: New Orleans Saints at Minnesota Vikings Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

START: Adam Thielen, Minnesota Vikings (vs Detroit Lions)

Can Thielen continue his 100+ yards per game average against the Lions? I say he’s got a pretty good shot at it.

SIT: Robert Woods, Los Angeles Rams, (@ New Orleans Saints)

The Rams have some decent options, but I see a game where they lean heavily on Todd Gurley, and the Saints force Goff to spread the ball to beat them. Woods will still produce, just not at WR1 numbers for your fantasy football lineup.

SLEEPER: Emmanuel Sanders, Denver Broncos (vs Houston Texans)

Demaryius Thomas’ trade to Houston will trigger an uptick in opportunity for one Courtland Sutton, but it’s also going to trigger a higher focus on Sanders from quarterback Case Keenum.

In PPR leagues, this is an automatic upgrade, but his numbers should climb a bit in all formats for the first few weeks.

TIGHT ENDS

NFL: Cleveland Browns at Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jonathan Dyer-USA TODAY Sports

START: David Njoku, Cleveland Browns (vs Kansas City Chiefs)

Outside of Jarvis Landry, Njoku provides Baker Mayfield his biggest opportunity for consistent success in the passing game.

Look for him to get plenty of targets this weekend, and he should stack up nicely amongst NFL tight ends in Week 9.

SIT: Vance McDonald, Pittsburgh Steelers (@ Baltimore Ravens)

The Ravens are going to pose a significant battle for the Steelers, and while McDonald certainly has talent, he’s not become one of the weekly regulars quite yet. Ben Roethlisberger and Mike Tomlin are going to lean on household names a bit more than usual in this one, making McDonald a guy I just can’t roll with, with much confidence.

SLEEPER: Trey Burton, Chicago Bears (@ Buffalo Bills)

The Bills haven’t seen their stadium filled with snow just yet, and Burton should get plenty of attention from quarterback Mitch Trubisky given the strength of the Buffalo defense resides mainly in their secondary.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

NFL: Chicago Bears at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

START: Chicago Bears (@ Buffalo Bills)

Whichever defense is facing the Bills always has a shot at rising up the fantasy football scoreboards, but when it’s one of the best defensive units in the league, you really want to take advantage.

SIT: Cleveland Browns (vs Kansas City Chiefs)

Like I said, the Browns have a better defense than most realize. It’s going to get harder to convince people after watching them face the Chiefs this weekend.

SLEEPER: New York Jets (@ Miami Dolphins)

The Jets defense is opportunistic, and the Dolphins offense provides opportunities. This unit should be good for a couple turnovers in this match-up, and it’ll help them stick right around starting D/ST numbers for Week 9.

Poll

Which Week 9 sleeper is the best fantasy football play?

This poll is closed

  • 10%
    Jets D/ST (@ Miami Dolphins)
    (12 votes)
  • 5%
    Trey Burton (@ Buffalo Bills)
    (6 votes)
  • 19%
    Emmanuel Sanders (vs Houston Texans)
    (21 votes)
  • 22%
    James Conner (@ Baltimore Ravens)
    (25 votes)
  • 41%
    Ryan Fitzpatrick (@ Carolina Panthers)
    (46 votes)
110 votes total Vote Now