Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 9 Fantasy
Welcome everyone to Week 9 of the 2021 Fantasy Football schedule. This week when putting together your winning lineups, in addition to navigating your injuries, you will have to do without Fantasy Assets from the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Seattle Seahawks, Washington Football Team, and the Detroit Lions.
I am here to do what I can to help you find viable starters with my start/sit recommendations for the Sunday match-ups. The goal is to aid you in setting the best roster possible and to assist you with your tough decisions each week. Often the recommendations here will be weekly flex plays.
Each and every week this season, I will give you my “Start of the Week” along with two “Start” recommendations and two “Sit” recommendations at each skilled player position. So without further ado, let’s take the first step towards your Week 9 victory.
1. Start of the Week
Mark Ingram – New Orleans Saints
Entering Week 9, its time to have some fun with the Start of the Week. This week I am going out on a limb and naming Saints RB Mark Ingram. Last week in his first start back with the team that drafted him, he had 8 total touches and 52 yards. He finished the week as RB43 with 7.2 PPR points.
Call me crazy, but I liked what I saw in those eight touches. Ingram ran hard and played full of emotion. His return to New Orleans and a team that matters clearly invigorated the 31 year-old running back.
The Saints are starting either Taysom Hill, or Trevor Siemian this week against Atlanta and we are likely to see a combination of them both. This leads to heavy run attack against the 8th worst fantasy run defense in the league. Last week was a dress rehearsal for Ingram, in Week 9 its showtime. He isn’t the top-12 RB he once was but this week he will be.
Tua Tagovailoa – Miami Dolphins
I fully understand that most Miami Dolphins fans are not overly thrilled with Tua Tagovailoa. I am not sure I agree necessarily with them but I understand where they are coming from. The good news in Fantasy Football, is your QB doesn’t necessarily need to be good in real life, (even if I think Tua will be).
This week is all about matchup. Tua as expected disappointed last week versus Buffalo, in a tough matchup. I fully expect him to rebound in Week 9. The Deshaun Watson rumors are gone and Tua is the man for the foreseeable future. I know that and more importantly he knows that.
He faces a Texans defense this week that is 6th in Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, giving up on average 21.3 points per game . We’ve seen Tagovailoa have success in favorable matchups recently against Jacksonville and Atlanta. In Week 6 he posted 22.36 point and followed it up a week later with 28.54 points in Week 7 versus Atlanta. I have Tua Tagovailoa ranked 10th this week, start him with confidence.
Joe Burrow – Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow is on a roll. He enters the week as the QB8 with an average of 20.74 points per week. Since Week 4, he is the QB3 and his worst outing was 20.34 points back in Week 5. Burrow appears to be 100% after his season ending knee injury in 2020, and he’s playing like a QB selected first overall.
In two games against Cleveland last year, Burrow passed for 722 yards, six touchdowns and one interception, along with 53 rushing yards, one touchdown and two fumbles. in 2021, he has Ja’Marr Chase in addition to the weapons from a year ago. The Browns rank 8th in fantasy points allowed to opposing QBs, yielding 21 points per game. I have Burrow ranked 11th this week, and he has top-five upside.
Matt Ryan – Atlanta Falcons
Matt Ryan has struggled without Julio Jones in the lineup in years past, and in two games this season without his new No.1 WR Calvin Ridley, he has done exactly that. This past week against Carolina, Ryan was straight up terrible posting his second sub 10 point game of the season, (8.14 points).
This week Ryan and the Falcons are without their start WR once again when they visit New Orleans to face the Saints. Ryan doesn’t matchup well against the Saints at the best of time and without Ridley and the Saints double teaming TE Kyle Pitts all day, I am anticipating that he struggles once again. The Saints are the fourth stingiest defense to opposing QBs allowing 17 points per week on average. I would be stunned if Ryan hits that total and I have him ranked 20th this week as a result.
Ryan Tannehill – Tennessee Titans
I like Ryan Tannehill a lot and I roster him in several of my leagues. That said I am going to do everything I can to leave him on my bench this week.
Tannehill and the Titans face the Los Angeles Rams this week in LA without Derrick Henry. Add to this that the Rams just added an exceptional pass rusher in Von Miller via trade from the Broncos, and also roster Aaron Donald. With Henry out the offense should run through Tannehill, and most weeks I will like that. Week 9 is not one of those weeks. I expect Julio Jones to struggle in his return from injury and for the Rams to sell out to bring pressure and take AJ Brown away. I have Tannehill ranked 16th this week so outside 2QB and Super-Flex leagues I will be sitting him.
3. Running Backs
Myles Gaskin – Miami Dolphins
It seems like every time Myles Gaskin has appeared in this article this season I have him in the wrong category. Simply put when I have suggested he is a start he has been disappointing and when he’s a suggested sit he has been startable.
This week I am going back to the well once again. Gaskin will benefit in a favorable matchup this week against Houston. Since Malcolm Brown went on IR, Gaskin has been the Dolphins lead back. The last two weeks Gaskin had 19 touches against Atlanta and 15 touches against the Bills.
Gaskin has four games this season with at least 15 total touches, and he’s scored at least 17 PPR points in two of those outings. The Texans have struggled against opposing running backs all season, setting up a situation that enables Gaskin to excel.
Devontae Booker – New York Giants
Saquon Barkley is likely out again in Week 9 due to Covid and perhaps his lingering ankle injury. This catapults Devontae Booker into near must-start territory. Booker has played well recently in Barkley’s absence, against the Panthers and Chiefs with at least 14 PPR points in each outing. In the past two weeks he is the RB11 with a total of 32.10 PPR points.
Booker has done well on the ground and thru the air. With the state of the Giants WR room, its his passing catching ability that I like here the most. Las Vegas is 11th against the RB this season giving up on average 26.1 points per game. As an added bonus, this is a revenge game for Devontae who played for the Raiders a season ago. I have him ranked 19th this week.
Mike Davis – Atlanta Falcons
I mentioned above that I am not expecting much from Matt Ryan this week, and that is a trend that flows thru the entire offence. Mike Davis rebounded last week with 11 PPR points against Carolina which was his 7th 10+ points game on the season.
I don’t want to trust any back versus the Saints and Mike Davis is no different. New Orleans is No. 4 in Fantasy points allowed to running backs, and Davis will continue to share work with Cordarrelle Patterson, who is currently the better Fantasy option in this backfield, especially with the expected game script. I have Davis ranked 31st this week and would be comfortable playing him in a flex role only.
Melvin Gordon – Denver Broncos
The Javonte Williams era in Denver is coming. This week could be the week that starts the transition. Melvin Gordon scored twice last week and his late game fumble nearly cost the Broncos a win over Washington, a win that they desperately needed.
If the Broncos give Javonte Williams more work, but Gordon could let you down if he doesn’t score. He’s been at 13 total touches or less in five games in a row, and Williams isn’t going away any time soon. I’m have Gordon ranked 24th this week so he is at beast a back end RB2/flex play this week. In a perfect world I’m looking elsewhere for my RB help in Week 9. fine with Gordon as a flex in all leagues, but he’s not a must-start running back. And Dallas has been tough on running backs all season and is No. 7 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to the position this year.
4. Wide Receiver
Marquise Brown – Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens were on bye last week, and in one less game than most, Marquise Brown enters Week 9 as the WR10. His 18.60 PPR points per game are good for WR6 for all WRs with a minimum of 7 games played.
Lamar Jackson has improved as a downfield passer this season and Brown has been the prime beneficiary. In Week 9 the Ravens host the Minnesota Vikings and their welcoming defense. The Vikings are 8th worst against the opponents WR this season, allowing a whopping 40.3 points to the opponents WRs. Stat with Brown with confidence this week and if you roster Rashod Bateman fire him up as well. I have Brown ranked 9th this week, and he enters this pone with top-5 upside.
Jaylen Waddle – Miami Dolphins
I admittingly have a soft spot for Jaylen Waddle. Waddle was my 3rd ranked rookie WR entering the season, and I remain quite high on the young WR.
Waddle led the Dolphins with 12 targets a week ago, and continues to be the favorite target of his QB Tua Tagovailoa. This week the Dolphins face the Texans, and you all know how I feel about Tua. Houston is 13th against the opposing WRs this season giving up on average 36.9 points per game. The Rams moved the ball at will against Houston a week ago, and although I don’t see the Dolphins in the same category as LA, I do expect them to move the ball. I’m anticipating both teams to throwing, in this one and starting Waddle who I have ranked 19th seems logical.
DeVonta Smith – Philadelphia Eagles
Devonta Smith hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week 1, and he’s scored five PPR points or less in two of his past three games. Add to those ugly stats is the even uglier matchup in Week 9 against the Los Angeles Chargers.
The Chargers are the best fantasy defense this season against the opponents WR. They are giving up on average 26.1 PPR points a game to the position. The only receivers to score against the Chargers this season are Mecole Hardman, Hunter Renfrow and Rashard Higgins in Week 5. All of these WRs are their teams secondary options and Smith is by war the Eagles WR1 despite recent struggles. Time will come to start Smith as the Eagles possess one of the easiest schedules rest of season. This week however Smith is at best a flex play that I have ranked 30th.
Marvin Jones – Jacksonville Jaguars
Marvin Jones struggled in Week 8 at Seattle with five catches for 35 yards on seven targets, and he’s now scored eight PPR points or less in three of his past four games.
I wouldn’t expect much from him this week either against the Buffalo Bills, who are No. 2 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing receivers, (27.3/game). The only way I see Jones being fantasy relevant is if he scores, and the Bills have given up two touchdowns to WRs all season, making that unlikely. I have Jones ranked 39th, one spot ahead of teammate Laviska Shenault.
5. Tight End
Albert Okwuegbunam – Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos match-up with the Dallas Cowboys this week, and this is a matchup that believe benefits Broncos TE Noah Fant. With Fant on Covid-IR almost certainly missing this one, I pivot to Albert Okwuegbunam.
Last week sharing the field with Fant, Albert O, saw three targets that he turned into 3 catches for 34 yards. If Fant remains on Covid-IR, Okwuegbunam is worth using as a streamer. As the main TE in the Denver offense, he has a chance to deliver a top-12 fantasy week. The Cowboys, who have allowed a tight end to score at least 10 PPR points in each of the past two games, and on the season they average 12.5 points/game to the position. 12.5 PPR points might not seem like a lot but at TE, 12.5 a week would land you at TE4 thru eight weeks.
Tyler Conklin – Minnesota Vikings
The early season targets that Minnesota Vikings WR K.J. Osborn was seeing, seem to have shifted to TE Tyler Conklin recently. In the Vikings last 4 contests, Conklin has averaged 5.25 targets, 3.5 catches, and 43 yards.
Conklin has scored 10 PPR points in consecutive games, and he has the best matchup of the week. The Baltimore Ravens are allowing the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends this year, (19.5). Baltimore has allowed a tight end to score in five of seven games this year, with six total touchdowns allowed to the position. Conklin is worth trusting as a streamer in all leagues this week, and I have him ranked 12th.
Dan Arnold – Jacksonville Jaguars
I have been banging the drum all season for Dan Arnold. I liked the potential with QB Sam Darnold, and I still like the potential now in Jacksonville with QB Trevor Lawrence. This week however I am avoiding him.
Arnold and the Jags face the Buffalo Bills this week. The Bills have allowed just two touchdowns to tight ends all season. Arnold at least eight targets and 10 PPR points in two of his past three games, but has yet to score a touchdown in 2021. That streak is likely to continue in Week 9.
Hunter Henry – New England Patriots
Just when you think you have figured out the New England Patriots TE, Hunter Henry was a dud in his revenge game versus the Chargers last week.
Henry had scored in four straight but finished with just one catch for 33 yards on three targets, last week. Hunter is extremely TD dependent and that works when he scores, and clearly doesn’t when he does not. This week, Henry matches up with the Carolina Panthers. Their defense that has only allowed three touchdowns to tight ends all season. Henry is a low-end starter at best in all leagues, and I am going to avoid him if possible.
Thank you for reading Start or Sit These Players on Sunday to Win Week 9 Fantasy
For all your start/sit questions be sure to reach out to me on Twitter @RotoHeatSully.
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