We had another great week of games in Week 8, which included some close games and one big upset with the Denver Broncos beating the Kansas City Chiefs. That was probably the worst game Patrick Mahomes has played in his career, and it was his lowest fantasy point total in a game since his rookie season. We had a couple more quarterbacks get injured in Week 8, with Kirk Cousins tearing his Achilles, Kenny Pickett hurting his ribs, and Matthew Stafford hurting his right thumb. The only one as of now that is season-ending is the Cousins injury, but we will have to monitor the other two as their game statuses are up in the air right now. That leaves the quarterback position overall in the NFL at the weakest point I have seen in quite some time.
The season can be a grind at times, from doing waiver claims to looking at rankings and then finally deciding who to start. It can seem difficult, but that is where the staff at DrRoto.com comes in to help you. We have everything you need to make the tough decisions here in one place. I will be writing this start/sit article each week to help you make the tough lineup decisions. You can also join our members-only Discord channel and ask us personalized questions anytime you want on there.
Keep in mind before I get into my starts and sits this week that certain players should always be in your starting lineup. Please don’t try to get cute and sit the likes of Justin Jefferson, Christian McCaffrey or Patrick Mahomes. They are in your lineup regardless of matchups. The decisions I am here to help you with are for the players drafted in the middle to late rounds of your draft or added from waivers who you aren’t sure whether to trust.
Week 9 Quarterback Starts
Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
This call worked out last week, and I like the matchup this week against a bad Eagles secondary. The main reason I believe this is a good matchup for Prescott is that Sam Howell and the Washington Commanders had a nice game against the Eagles’ defense last week. The Eagles’ defense is ranked 15th in total yards allowed and 27th in passing yards allowed so far on the season. I believe this will another be a big week for Prescott.
Derek Carr, New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears
Derek Carr gets a great match-up against a bad Chicago Bears defense this week. I realize it has been a roller coaster ride with Carr this year, but I think this is the week he has a great game. Carr is ranked as the QB21 on the season. He has completed 64.5% of his passes for 1,910 passing yards, eight touchdowns, and four interceptions. He should be able to move the ball against a Bears defense that ranks 26th in total yards allowed and 31st in passing yards allowed so far this season. I am expecting a big game from Carr this week.
Week 9 Quarterback Sits
Sam Howell, Washington Commanders at New England Patriots
Sam Howell was on my start list last week because of his matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles’ 31st-ranked pass defense, but this week, he faces the New England Patriots’ defense, which has a way of shutting down first-year starting quarterbacks. The Patriots’ defense is ranked 22nd in passing yards allowed and 17th in total yards allowed on the season. I expect Howell to struggle this week in New England.
Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks at Baltimore Ravens
Geno Smith gets a very tough matchup this week against the Baltimore Ravens’ defense. Smith played a lot better last week, but overall, he has been struggling this season. He has completed 67.6% of his passes for 1,645 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and six interceptions. He also has added 49 rushing yards as well. That ranks him as the QB23 on the season. Smith gets to face a tough Ravens defense that comes in ranked sixth in passing yards allowed and third in total yards allowed so far this season. I would sit Smith this week if you have a better option.
Week 9 Running Back Starts
Breece Hall, New York Jets vs. Los Angeles Chargers
Breece Hall is starting to look like he did at the beginning of last season. He looks fast and is breaking more tackles than he did earlier in the season. He is currently ranked as the RB15 in PPR scoring with 443 rushing yards, 19 receptions on 27 targets for 189 receiving yards, and three total touchdowns. He gets an excellent matchup this week against the L.A. Chargers defense. The Chargers defense is 27th in total yards allowed on the season. I expect the Jets to want to run the football a lot in this game to keep Zach Wilson from making too many bad decisions, so I am expecting a big game from Hall this week.
Joe Mixon, Cincinnati Bengals vs. Buffalo Bills
Joe Mixon is slowly starting to get rolling in the Bengals’ backfield. He is currently ranked as the RB20 in PPR scoring on the season, but is coming off a big game against the 49ers. I have him as a start this week because he gets to face the Buffalo Bills’ run defense this week. The Bills’ defense is ranked 25th in rushing yards allowed and 20th in total yards allowed on the season. I am not expecting a huge week from Mixon, but a 100-yard week with a touchdown is certainly in play.
Week 9 Running Back Sits
Aaron Jones, Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams
It was quite a struggle last week for Aaron Jones and the Green Bay offense last week against the Minnesota Vikings. The offense managed to score just ten points on the day, and Jones had just 29 rushing yards. He added four receptions on five targets but for only 17 receiving yards. This week, he gets a middle-of-the-road matchup against the L.A. Rams defense, but the main reason I put him on the sit list is that he has struggled every week since Week 1 (along with missing time due to injury), and I do not think that will change this week. I expect the Packers’ offense to struggle and for Jones to be under 100 total yards again this week.
Dameon Pierce, Houston Texans vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Dameon Pierce has been struggling so far this season. He is not the same player he was last year when he was one of the top rookie running backs for most of the season. Pierce is currently the RB36 in PPR, scoring with 327 rushing yards and nine receptions on 12 targets for 84 yards and one touchdown. Pierce will face a tough Tampa Bay Buccaneers defense in Week 9. The Bucs’ defense ranks 14th in total yards allowed and ninth in rushing yards allowed, so expect Pierce to struggle in this game.
Week 9 Wide Receiver Starts
Amari Cooper, Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals
Amari Cooper seems to be quarterback-proof this season, as it does not matter which quarterback is throwing him the football. He will still produce solid fantasy numbers. He is currently ranked as the WR42 in PPR scoring with 478 receiving yards, 30 receptions on 58 targets, and a touchdown. I am looking for him to have an even bigger game this week against a poor Arizona Cardinals secondary. The Cardinals’ defense is 24th in passing yards allowed and 29th in total yards allowed on the season. I expect Cooper to see a lot of targets this week, and it is possible that he could go over 100 receiving yards in Week 9.
Zay Flowers, Baltimore Ravens vs. Seattle Seahawks
Zay Flowers is a player who does not have a great matchup this week, but I like the way the Ravens’ offense has been performing over the last three weeks. Also, the way to beat the Seattle Seahawks’ defense is out of the slot receiver position, and that is where Flowers runs most of his routes. Flowers ranks as the WR32 in PPR scoring with 461 receiving yards, 44 receptions on 61 targets, and a touchdown. The Seahawks defense is ranked 14th in passing yards allowed on the season. I believe Flowers could have six receptions for 100 yards and a touchdown this week.
Week 9 Wide Receiver Sits
Christian Watson, Green Bay Packers vs. Los Angeles Rams
As mentioned with Aaron Jones, the Packers’ offense has been struggling. They managed to score just ten points last week, and Watson had just 33 receiving yards and three receptions on eight targets. This week, he gets a middle-of-the-road matchup against the L.A. Rams’ defense, but the main reason I put him on the sit list is that, just like Jones, he has struggled every week this season and I do not think that will change this week. I expect the Packers’ offense to struggle and for Watson to be under 100 total yards again this week.
Jordan Addison, Minnesota Vikings at Atlanta Falcons
Jordan Addison has a tough matchup this week against the Atlanta Falcons’ defense, plus he will have a rookie quarterback in Jaren Hall throwing him the football this week and possibly moving forward. The Vikings did trade for Joshua Dobbs this week as well, but it looks like the rookie Hall will start at least this week, which does not bode well for Addison and the rest of the Vikings’ receivers. Addison is having a nice rookie season as the WR11 in PPR scoring on the season with 36 receptions on 52 targets for 482 receiving yards and seven touchdowns. But the Falcons’ defense is ranked ninth in passing yards allowed and 10th in total yards allowed on the season, and I would expect them to shut down Hall. I would put Addison on my bench this week if you have a better starting option at wide receiver.
Week 9 Tight End Starts
Jake Ferguson, Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles
Jake Ferguson has a great matchup this week against a bad Eagles secondary. I expect the Cowboys to try to throw the football early and often against the Eagles’ defense, which is ranked 27th in passing yards allowed and 15th in total yards allowed on the season. The way to beat the Eagles’ defense is by throwing to the tight end over the middle of the field, so I expect Ferguson to have a big game this week.
Taysom Hill, New Orleans Saints vs. Chicago Bears
Taysom Hill has been playing all over the field so far this season, but he is listed as a tight end for fantasy football purposes. Hill has been playing a little quarterback, running back, and receiver this season. Hill has a great matchup this week against a Bears defense that is ranked 26th in passing yards allowed and 31st in total yards allowed so far this season. I believe Hill will be a top-ten tight end in PPR scoring leagues this week.
Week 9 Tight End Sits
David Njoku, Cleveland Browns vs. Arizona Cardinals
David Njoku has a good matchup this week, but I do not like the situation in Cleveland with P.J. Walker being the starting quarterback while Deshaun Watson is out with his shoulder injury. Njoku’s usage in the passing game has also been very up and down this season, although he ranks as the TE15 in PPR scoring. I would sit Njoku this week if you can find a better option.
Trey McBride, Arizona Cardinals at Cleveland Browns
I really like Trey McBride’s talent, and he can be a playmaker now that Zach Ertz is on injured reserve. Unfortunately, the matchup against the Cleveland Browns’ number-one overall defense does not allow for McBride to be a viable option at tight end this week. McBride ranks as the TE18 with 25 receptions on 35 targets for 265 yards and one touchdown. So even though McBride had a big game last week, I would sit him against this tough Browns defense if I can find a better option this week.
Week 9 Defense Starts
Atlanta Falcons Defense vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Atlanta Falcons have been solid on defense so far this season. They are ranked 10th in total yards allowed on the season. This week, they get to face the Minnesota Vikings with rookie quarterback Jaren Hall getting his first start of the season. I would pick up and start the Falcons’ defense in every league I can this week.
Cleveland Browns Defense vs. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals’ offense has been very up and down all season. I am not sure who will be playing quarterback for them this week, but both Clayton Tune and Kyler Murray have a knack for turning the ball over and allowing sacks. If it is Murray starting at quarterback, this will be a little less of a must-start spot for the Browns, but I think the Cardinals are going to wait one more week and we will see Tune get his first start of the season. The Browns’ defense ranks first overall on the season, so I would expect a few sacks and turnovers from them this week.
Week 9 Defense Sits
Kansas City Chiefs Defense vs. Miami Dolphins
The Chiefs’ defense has been good so far this year, but they have Tua Tagovailoa and the Miami Dolphins first-ranked offense to deal with this week. I believe this game will be a shootout in Germany, as both teams can score at any time. I would like to find another defense to start this week as I would not trust any defense against this Dolphins offense right now.
Seattle Seahawks Defense at Baltimore Ravens
I know the Seattle Seahawks were a popular streaming defense last week, and they have been a startable fantasy defense at times this season. However, this week, the Seahawks get a tough matchup against Lamar Jackson and the Ravens’ offense in Baltimore. The Ravens are a top 10 offense in the NFL this season, so I would sit the Seahawks’ defense if you have a choice this week.
Good luck in Week 9 everyone!