Starts of the Week: Week 9

The age o'l question, "Whom shall I Start? & Whom shall I Sit?" Start Patrick Mahomes? Seems too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions this week. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out the latest rankings right here.


Start of the Week:

Taysom Hill (NO) If he gets the starting role, and it’s a big if, Taysom Hill becomes a weekly starter for many people, on the edge of QB1 consideration. He still slides in behind last week’s list of locked-in starters, but 2020 showed that the combination of his rushing floor and touchdown upside make him a valuable starting option potentially on par with Jalen Hurts in style and quality. Having said that, he’s a big risk. His health is a total unknown, and he’s not guaranteed the role with Trevor Siemian playing solidly and Sean Payton seeming inclined to move towards a more traditional quarterback situation. But IF he gets announced as the starter, you can lock him in for the near future ahead of all streaming options.

Stream of the Week:

Tua Tagovailoa (MIA) With the Deshaun Watson rumors mercifully dying, Tua SZN is taking off in Miami. He’s been strong for fantasy the last few weeks since returning from injury and gets a Houston defense susceptible to aggressive QB play. With DeVante Parker back and a lack of true running game, Tua has solid Week 9 upside.

Running Backs

Start of the Week:

Josh Jacobs (LV) With the Raiders sadly (for the victim and their family especially) down their best receiver and field-stretcher, Las Vegas could easily lean on their run game a lot more, and that means a lot of Josh Jacobs. While Kenyan Drake has been effective on limited carries, Jacobs is the lead guy, with Peyton Barber not even active on game days. He’s a little TD-or-bust, but his TD upside is so high he’s certainly worth starting each week.

Co-start of the Week:

Michael Carter (NYJ) Nailed it last week! Let's double down again with Carter this week, and with Mike White proving to be the check-down king and Michael Carter emerging as the clear Jets starter, you can pencil the rookie running back in as a starter weekly, despite a really tough matchup against the Colts.

Fade of the Week:

Jeremy McNichols & Adrian Peterson (TEN) The big names on the waiver wire this week are a strong avoid for me. The matchup is fine, but we just have no idea how this split will look. I’d anticipate Peterson to take a little over half of the rushing downs, including the goal line looks, with McNichols the 3rd down guy, mixing in on some change of pace looks. Somebody else, maybe D’Onta Foreman, will also be involved just enough to be pesky. I also wouldn’t expect the same rushing volume as we’ve become accustomed to in Tennessee. If you can, give it a week and come back next week to see where we’re at. They’re still viable holds until then, by the way.

Wide Receivers

Start of the Week:

Jaylen Waddle (MIA) He had a bad week 8, but I’m still starting Jaylen Waddle. The yardage and touchdowns aren’t quite there yet, but with Tua Tagovailoa finding his groove and no run game to speak of, the rookie is going to keep getting a dozen targets a game, and especially this week against Houston, that could prove very productive.

Stream of the Week:

Chase Claypool (PIT) He’s been abysmal for weeks, but the Bears have proven generous to opposing receivers, so I’m risking going to the Claypool well again this week.

Fade of the Week:

DeVonta Smith (PHI) Until Nick Sirianni can work out how to use his most dangerous receiving weapon, he’s best left on benches.

Tight Ends

Start of the Week:

Darren Waller (LV) This should go without saying, but when he returns from injury, he should be an immediate start unless he's expected to be severely limited. I’d expect Waller to return this week, though, keep tabs on the injury reports.

Fade of the Week:

Hunter Henry (NE) I’ve been wary of Henry for weeks, with Jonnu Smith chipping into his role. He’s now getting to the point where I’m too nervous to start him over the safer, high-volume options available. In non-PPR, he still has enough TD upside to make him startable, but his lack of receptions (five total in the last three weeks) is deadly in PPR. He’s the definition of TD-or-bust, and I’m not risking it.

Week 9 Stashes

'Pick up & bench, if you have an available roster spot'

Justin Fields (QB - CHI) After half a season of mediocrity, the Bears rookie finally looked like a guy you should be willing to start in fantasy. I wouldn’t be popping him into lineups quite yet but if you have deep benches, he’s a viable stash.

Backup Running Backs

Welcome back to the Backup Variety Hour that’s really lacking variety. Once again, a lead runner has gone down. Wouldn’t it be nice if next time you have the starter already? I’d suggest the following in this order (note: I’m not including the obvious Top 30 guys or the popular waiver names like Peterson, McNichols and Carlos Hyde): Tony Pollard, Alexander Mattison, AJ Dillon, Jamaal Williams, Mark Ingram, Sony Michel, Ronald Jones, Samaje Perine, Salvon Ahmed.

Players to Sell High On

Joe Mixon (RB - CIN) The Bengals lead runner is getting by on touchdowns and some lucky receptions. With Samaje Perine randomly sniping receiving work and the brutal Cleveland run defense up next, it’s time to sell early on Joe Mixon.

Chris Godwin (WR - TB) With Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski on the horizon, it’s time to sell Chris Godwin before he gets more competition for targets. That may not need to be this week, but it needs to happen sometime.