Chicago, Cleveland, L.A. Chargers, Minnesota, New England and Pittsburgh are off this week. You will need to find replacements for studs like Steelers WR Antonio Brown and Patriots QB Tom Brady.
Here is our Fantasy Football Sit/Start for Week 9 of the 2017 NFL season…and enjoy our
weird magnificent MS Paint masterpiece of Bills QB Tyrod Taylor.
I want to explain what I mean by “sit” and “start.” Of course you are going to start some of the guys i say to bench this week, because you probably used high draft picks or a lot of money in an auction for them. My ‘sit’ players are guys I am just not completely sold that they will have good weeks. If you have a guy that you are on the fence about, maybe this will help you pick between the players.
- QB Tyrod Taylor (Buffalo Bills) – Taylor may not have had a monster fantasy week this season, but the dude is consistent. He’s facing the New York Jets which is 22nd against fantasy quarterbacks this season. He completed 74% of his passes last week, but dink and dunked all game, so he only racked up 165 passing yards. He did manage to make up for it with a rushing touchdown. The Bills just added WR Kelvin Benjamin from a trade with the Panthers right at the trade deadline. Taylor would be a nice streaming option this week.
- WR Corey Davis (Tennessee Titans) – Rookie wide receiver Corey Davis has been banged up since early in Week 2. He is expected to start this weekend against the Baltimore Ravens. Titans WR Eric Decker is struggling and Davis will eat into his targets. Davis has the size and athleticism to become a freak fantasy player, especially now that TE Delanie Walker is expected to miss the game. The Ravens have a very good passing defense, but Davis could be the Titans best option for red zone targets due to his size.
- RB Alfred Morris (Dallas Cowboys) – Starting running back Ezekiel Elliott is expected to start his six-game suspension this week, so the Cowboys need to fill a huge hole in their offense. People have been going back and forth to which running back will get the most carries, Darren McFadden, Alfred Morris or Rod Smith. McFadden has been inactive all season with Morris having a small role in most games. Smith is flashy and has had success in a small dose, but my money is on Morris. He has seen the most reps on the team and the Cowboys have to be the most comfortable with him in the game. At the very least, Morris will get more touches than any game this season.
- QB Jacoby Brissett (Indianapolis Colts) – Brissett isn’t owned in many leagues, but he could start to put up solid fantasy numbers as the Colts slip deeper in the standings. They will constantly be playing from behind, so passing opportunities will be there for him. They play the Texans this Sunday and I expect them to be down for most of the game.
- RB Kenyan Drake (Miami Dolphins) – Due to the Dolphins trading starting RB Jay Ajayi to the Eagles for the fourth round pick, it opens up a lot of running back touches. Running backs Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams are the two backs expected to get more opportunities in the backfield. My prediction is that Williams will be the third-down back and Drake will take over the rest of the duties. Oakland has a soft run defense, so running backs should have success. This is my suggestion in deeper leagues or to just take a flyer on him on the waiver wire. If you’re in a pickle with running backs Le’Veon Bell, Duke Johnson, Melvin Gordon, Jordan Howard or Tarik Cohen on bye, he could be worth a start if you’re in a bind.
- Philadelphia Eagles Defense & Special Teams – The Eagles defense/special teams are coming off a big fantasy week against the Niners. They play the Broncos this week who are really struggling on offense. They are committing too many turnovers. I like the Eagles shot at forcing a few more of those this week.
- WR Sterling Shepard (New York Giants) – The Giants have been without any big play receivers for the last few weeks. Shepard is expected to play this week for the first time since Week 5. He will be the Giants #1 options against the Rams secondary. The Rams defense is pretty darn good, but Shepard is a great route runner and should be able to get open.
- RB Aaron Jones (Green Bay Packers) – Jones should be the #1 offensive weapon with QB Brett Hundley starting in place of the injured Aaron Rodgers. I did like a few impromptu plays Hundley made in his start two weeks ago, but they need to rely on the running game against the Lions.
- TE Tyler Higbee (Los Angeles Rams) – The New York Giants have allowed at least one tight end touchdown in every game this season. The Rams don’t have a stud tight end, but Higbee should get the most opportunities on Sunday. TE Gerald Everett could vulture a red zone touchdown away from Higbee, which could very well happen…but I’ll take the odds with Higbee taking part in over 60% of Rams plays
- TE Vernon Davis (Washington Redskins) – Starting tight end Jordan Reed injured his hamstring against the Cowboys and isn’t expected to play against the Seahawks. The Redskins don’t really have an impact wide receiver and QB Kirk Cousins has had to rely on his tight ends and running backs to move the ball through the air. Davis should reap all the rewards of Reed’s injury.
- RB Marlon Mack (Indianapolis Colts) DEEP LEAGUE ALERT – As I said before, I expect the Colts to be down for most of the game and they like to use Mack late in games to spell veteran RB Frank Gore. Mack has great hands and has turned a few short passes into long gains this season. Mack could be a really nice add in a deep league.
- RB Jay Ajayi (Philadelphia Eagles) – If you’re expecting Ajayi to take the starting job from LeGarrette Blount, you would be mistaken. Ajayi will be taking the role vacated by the injured Darren Sproles. I should also add running backs Wendell Smallwood and Corey Clement here since Ajayi’s addition will kill any hopes of playing time. Ajayi has been hampered by a few injuries this year and it may take more time to heal up and be a factor for the Eagles.
- TE Jonnu Smith (Tennessee Titans) – As I said before, TE Delanie Walker is expected to miss the game against the Ravens. Many people are advocating adding TE Jonnu Smith, but I think there are better options out there. Bengals TE Tyler Kroft would be a guy I’d take over Smith this week.
- RB Jonathan Stewart (Carolina Panthers) – Stewart managed to get in the end zone last week, but only rushed the ball eleven times for 34 yards. There isn’t anyone on the Panthers able to run the ball this year, but Carolina has at least figured out a way to use RB Christian McCaffrey as a short yardage threat in the passing game. RB Cameron Artis-Payne is currently threatening to take away snaps from Stewart. It’s time to dump him.
- Denver Broncos Defense & Special Teams – Denver is owned in nearly every league, but they’ve only been an average fantasy defense this season. They had another average fantasy game against the Chiefs on Monday and they will probably fare worse against the Eagles on Sunday. Philly has a balanced offense and they don’t turn the ball over very often.
- RB Ameer Abdullah (Detroit Lions) – The Lions running game has been pathetic this season. Abdullah hasn’t cracked the 100-yard mark this season and hasn’t had a good fantasy game since Week 4. It could just be the offensive play-calling modification since it’s not like they are turning to another running back to help. RB Theo Riddick has been an average running back as well. I thought the Lions would use him more on passing downs this season, but it just isn’t happening. I’d stay away from all Lions running backs at the moment.
- WR Terrelle Pryor (Washington Redskins) – Pryor is a really bad NFL wide receiver. It still boggles my mind that he was able to earn a pricey deal this past offseason. The Redskins really don’t have a playmaker at the position and I don’t understand why he is still owned in over 50% of fantasy leagues.
- QB Jameis Winston (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) – Winston re-aggravated his injured right shoulder against the Panthers. He had to get a shot to play in the fourth quarter. The Saints have an underrated passing defense and will be a difficult game for Winston, even if he was healthy. There’s also an outside chance that QB Ryan Fitzpatrick could start this game if his injury doesn’t get better.
- WR Doug Baldwin (Seattle Seahawks) – Baldwin lead the Seahawks in targets in their 41-38 win at home against the Texans. He was targeted ten times and caught six passes for 54 yards. He will be covered by elite cornerback Josh Norman this weekend. My opinion is that wide receiver Paul Richardson and tight end Jimmy Graham will receive more targets this week.
- RB Frank Gore (Indianapolis Colts) – How can I love RB Marlon Mack, but hate RB Frank Gore? Mack will be used in passing plays late in the game when the Colts are down. I don’t see Indy establishing the run in the game. Gore is a north/south runner and the Texans have some huge guys up front that will be trouble for Gore. Mack is much more elusive and has the ability to break a big play.
Bobby Roberts (otherwise known as Sweetbob) is the creator of ‘America’s White Boy’ and contributor at Project Shanks. His writing has been featured on ESPN’s ‘SportsNation’, Sports Illustrated’s Hot Clicks, Guyspeed, and various other sites. You can follow him on Twitter at @Sweetbob.