Starts & Sits – Week 9

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By Joey DeFeo (@jdefeo91), Frank Scandurro (@Frank_Scandurro), and Brian Mackowick (@BMaaaaac)

Week 8 Results

Before we get into week 9, let’s take a look at how last weeks picks turned out. As can be expected, we had a couple of big misses, but overall our recommendations performed well. Of our eight ‘Start’ recommendations, five finished within the top-12 of their respective positions. On the ‘Sit’ side, only two of the seven recommended players finished in the top-12 of their respective positions. The results, based on PPR scoring, are as follows:

QB Starts: Cam Newton (QB2); Baker Mayfield (QB19)

RB Starts: James White (RB7); Phillip Lindsay (RB12)

WR Starts: Larry Fitzgerald (WR6); Alshon Jeffrey (WR56)

TE Starts: O.J. Howard (TE5); Trey Burton (TE28)


QB Sits: Matthew Stafford (QB15); Aaron Rodgers (QB17 – Great call by Joey here!)

RB Sits: Kenyan Drake (RB8); Doug Martin (RB32)

WR Sits: Julian Edelman (WR12); Doug Baldwin (WR73)

TE Sits: Kyle Rudolph (TE18)

Joey had some great calls for week 8 with Cam finishing as the QB2, and Larry Fitz finishing as the WR6. On top of those, he recommended you sit Aaron Rodgers who ended up finishing as just QB17. For myself, while admittedly White and Lindsay might have been perceived as easy calls, I’m happy to see they both finished as RB1s based on 12-team leagues. I did, however, completely whiff on Kenyan Drake and Trey Burton.

This week, another member of the @F3pod staff is joining us to help with the column, Frank Scandurro. On to the week 9 Starts and Sits!


Quarterbacks – by Brian Mackowick


Ryan Fitzpatrick – FitzMagic is back! Do I even need to write anything here to convince you he’s not only start-worthy, but in the QB1 conversation? As a starter in weeks 1 through 3, FitzMagic finished as the QB1 (!!), QB6, and QB8. In those three games, he threw for a combined 1,133/11/4 line. Including last week’s relief performance, Ryan Fitzpatrick has scored 120 fantasy points this season. Even having missed half of week 4, having a bye in week 5, and not playing weeks 6 and 7, Fitzpatrick’s 120 fantasy points are still more than guys like Eli Manning, Dak Prescott, Alex Smith and Case Keenum have on the season. At home this week against a middle-of-the-road Panthers pass defense, get Fitzpatrick into your lineups as a back-end QB1 option.

Dak Prescott – Going out on a limb a bit here. Sitting at just QB23 on the season, Dak has finished as QB2 and QB8 in his last two starts. His relative lack of passing-game scoring has been propped up by his rushing stats; he posted a combined 17/115/2 on the ground over weeks 6 and 7 (Dallas was on bye in week 8). The Titans defense ranks 8th against the pass and 14th against the run thus far this season, so this won’t be an easy matchup. However, the addition of Amari Cooper on the outside should open up the field a bit for Dak as a passer, and the defensive attention required to defend against Zeke at the LOS should allow Prescott to continue running successfully. Dak is a fringe QB1 play for me this week at home against the Titans.



Matthew Stafford – Last week we listed Stafford as a sit and he finished the week as QB15. Over the course of the season, Stafford, who was routinely taken in the top-10 at his position in fantasy drafts this year, has finished inside the top-12 just once in week 2. From week 3 to week 8, Stafford’s positional finishes have been the following: QB14, QB14, QB18, BYE, QB15, QB15. I certainly expect this trend to continue in a road-divisional matchup against the Vikings, especially considering Stafford just lost one of his top weapons in Golden Tate via trade. The Vikings have given up the 12th-most yards, but the 12th-fewest TDs to opposing passers this season. Again, having just lost a primary weapon of his, I don’t anticipate Stafford breaking back into the QB1 tier this week.

Mitchell Trubisky – As a Bears fan, it pains me to paint any kind of negative picture of my beloved team. But alas, here we are. Trubisky ranks 7th at his position on the season, but this week might not be as fruitful as some of his recent outings. The Bears head to Buffalo this week to face a Bills team that just held Tom Brady to zero passing TDs for the first time since week 13 of last season when he faced … the Bills. Since week 2, the Bills have allowed an average of just 215 passing yards and 1.1 passing TDs to opposing quarterbacks. That stretch of games included matchups with Aaron Rodgers, Deshaun Watson and Tom Brady who were held to a combined 2 passing TDs. I love Trubisky to a fault as a Bears fan, but from a fantasy perspective I think he belongs on the bench this week.


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Running Backs – by Joey DeFeo


Adrian Peterson – Chris Thompson is now dealing with an injury to his other rib and dealing with the pain is relegating him to very limited usage. Adrian Peterson is reaping the benefits as he has found the fountain of youth as well as the perfect situation. The Redskins seem to have realized the winning formula which is great defense and a stellar run game. Alex Smith is capable of making the throws that need to be made but Washington wants to use Peterson as a bell cow back as long as it’s working. Against an injury-riddled Falcons defense, the Redskins will look to run Peterson down their throat and keep the ball out of Matt Ryan’s hands. AP is a rock-solid RB1 this week with a safe floor.

Latavius Murray – Murray has used every bit of the opportunity that Dalvin Cook has presented to him. He has run with authority to show everyone that he is not an afterthought. During the first half against the Saints, he ran the ball extremely well and it looked like the Vikings were going to continue to utilize that ground game until the wheels fell off and turnovers flipped the game script. The Saints got up and the Vikings had to abandon the game plan and try to air the ball out to muster a comeback. If the game had not gotten away from them, Murray would have had a much better day. Although he didn’t tear up the stat sheet, he did manage to score making it three games in a row with a touchdown. With Dalvin Cook still nursing a hamstring injury it gives Murray a juicy matchup against a porous Detroit Lions run defense. The Seahawks demolished the Lions run defense for 176 yards on the ground, so the Vikings should find plenty of room to run wild.



Chris Thompson – As previously stated, Chris Thompson is now dealing with a rib injury on the other side of his abdomen. As a pass catching specialist who is normally a safe PPR floor play, he has been cast aside as Adrian Peterson has found the fountain of youth. With the Redskins finding the winning formula, which doesn’t exactly involve Chris Thompson as of late, it may be the best option to leave him on the bench until he is fully healed.

Tevin Coleman/Ito Smith – The Falcons have been trying to find the same balance with Tevin Coleman and Ito Smith that they had with Coleman and Devonta Freeman. Smith has looked good when given the opportunity, but the game plan seems to dictate his usage and at times he disappears. Coleman also looks good at times, but he seems better utilized in a secondary timeshare with Freeman instead of a lead back role. He has been flex-worthy to this point since Freeman has dealt with injuries, but coming off their bye the Falcons get the Redskins. Washington held Ezekiel Elliot to six PPR points! Holding an elite back to those kinds of numbers is almost unheard of so this will be an extremely tough matchup for Coleman and Smith to find any room. You may want to look at other options for a flex play this week if you were planning on starting either Coleman or Smith.


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Wide Receivers – by Frank Scandurro


Jarvis Landry – Cleveland will host the high-powered Chiefs this weekend. I know Jarvis hasn’t surpassed 100 yards in his last 5 games, but the Browns are expected to be behind early and for most of the game. As a result, I expect the Browns, with new head coach Greg Williams, to have Baker throw it 40+ times. I am projecting Jarvis to have 9 catches, 132 yards and 1 touchdown. The volume will be there, and we all know Juice can create magic if he touches the ball enough.

Josh Gordon – New England welcomes Green Bay this week coming off a disappointing offensive outing for much of the Patriots against Buffalo this past Monday night. A game that is expected to be high scoring with an over/under of 57, I think this is the week all the Josh Gordon “truthers” get to celebrate. The Packers secondary is improving, but not yet where they need to be. This week the Patriots will finish their drives against a Packers team coming off a tough loss. I am projecting Gordon to have 5 catches for 103 yards and 1 touchdown.



Sammy Watkins – What a week Sammy Biscuits produced in week 8, with a stat line of 8 for 107 and 2 touchdowns. Watkins will come back down to earth this week in a game where I think it could be a blowout for the road team Chiefs. The Chiefs and Mahomes love to spread the ball around and with that comes roller-coaster type weeks for their offensive weapons outside the big 3 in Kelce, Hill and Hunt. I am projecting Watkins to have 3 grabs for 42 yards and 0 touchdowns.

Geronimo Allison – Ohhh Geronimo! Even though it hurts for me to put him in this spot, and for reasons I mentioned earlier about its being a shootout, I can’t bring myself to like Allison this week. Green Bay has a ton of mouths to feed. The only one who has a high floor is Davante Adams. But with the likes of Graham, Cobb, Jones, MVS, and ESB all playing well, it’s hard for me to see Allison having a great game this week. I am projecting Allison to have 2 grabs for 19 yards and 0 touchdowns.


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Tight Ends – by Joey DeFeo


Greg Olsen – It’s been a wait and see approach with Olsen as he came back from re-injuring his foot much faster than anticipated. After scoring in back-to-back weeks and starting to play close to 100% of the Panthers offensive snaps, it seems like he is entering the every-week-starter conversation again. It doesn’t hurt that the Panthers offense seems to be firing on all cylinders this season so don’t be afraid to fire Olsen up going forward as you would have in previous seasons.

O.J. Howard – Howard has flown under the radar a bit as you don’t hear his name as often as some of the other tight ends. He is currently the TE6 in PPR leagues and has had a pretty safe floor all season when you consider some of the other tight ends around the league. With limited options at the position you can’t question numbers like the ones Howard has been putting up. Continue to start him as he is a reliable option at a position that has proven to be not so reliable.



Trey Burton – Burton has been hot and cold all season which is pretty much in line with the entire tight end position. He had a stretch of good games right before putting up a dud this past week against the Jets. It doesn’t get any easier this week against a Buffalo Bills team that has a formidable defense with a very athletic young linebacker in Edmunds. The Bills defense held Gronk to a measly 7.3 PPR points and although he is clearly not healthy there is something to be said about keeping him in check. Burton always has the upside, but his floor this week is in the basement.


Be sure to check for our week 10 Start/Sit column to see the week 9 results! Follow us on Twitter @jdefeo91, @Frank_Scandurro and @BMaaaaac, follow our podcast @F3Pod, and look out for more articles in the future on!

Brian Mackowick