Start 'Em or Sit 'Em - Week 9 (2018)

By Stephen Kurucz, November 1, 2018
Nick Chubb Cleveland Browns

Starts
Alex Smith, QB (Washington Redskins)

Last week Alex Smith posted his worst fantasy score of the year (12.4 fantasy points) and has gone back-to-back games throwing exactly 178 yards and 1 touchdown. While owners may be completely off him due to a few bad performances as of late, Smith presents a great streaming option as he should excel against the weak defense of the Falcons who are giving up 24.9 fantasy points to the position on average, the second-most in the league.

Nick Chubb, RB (Cleveland Browns)

Rookie Nick Chubb has a fantastic opportunity to perform this week after somewhat disappointing last week after obtaining the lead role at running back. Chubb faces the Chiefs who are allowing the most fantasy points currently to running backs (32.9) and have given up four 140-yard games to opposing running backs this season. If the Cleveland offense gets rolling early and can keep the game competitive against the high-scoring Chiefs offense, look for Chubb to have that breakout game fantasy owners have been waiting for.

Courtland Sutton, WR (Denver Broncos)

With Demaryius Thomas being shipped off to Houston, it’s officially Courtland Sutton time as he slides into the offense as the WR2 for the Broncos. Sutton has shown bursts of greatness in his rookie season and now has the opportunity to really breakout moving forward, including this week against the Texans, a game that the Broncos could be playing catch up in.

O.J. Howard, TE (Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

If you’re deciding between starting O.J. Howard, and another tight end on your roster, choose Howard 100 times out of 100. The Buccaneers play the Panthers who, week after week, keep getting dominated by opposing team’s tight end, allowing an average line of 9-110-1 over the past three games. When a defense runs cold against a certain position, play them! Howard should return top-5 TE value this week.

Brandon McManus, K (Denver Broncos)

Every kicker has scored at least 9 fantasy points against the Texans this season except for Josh Lambo, but we’ll blame that on Blake Bortles, just like everything else. With all kidding aside, this week Brandon McManus is an excellent play and should be a shoo-in for double-digit fantasy points if the offense can find it’s bearings in this one. As an added bonus, Denver is playing at home so the Mile-High air will certainly help for those 50+ yard field goal attempts.

Chicago Bears, DST

After two lackluster performances against the Patriots and Jets, the Chicago Bears have the number one matchup this week against Nathan Peterman and the Buffalo Bills. In case you didn’t already know, Buffalo is giving up a whopping 14.5 fantasy points to opposing defenses which is by far the most in the league. Chicago has multiple pick-six potential this week and should generate a ton of pressure on the inexperienced QB.


Sits

Case Keenum, QB (Denver Broncos)

Case Keenum has been a terrible streaming option for the last two weeks against the Cardinals and Chiefs, scoring only 8.8 and 15.4 fantasy points respectively. I believe that trend of poor quarterback play will continue against the Texans this week who have been strong against mediocre quarterbacks as of late, not allowing more than 11.7 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks over the past 4 weeks. Yes, that was against the likes of Prescott, Peterman, Bortles, and Osweiler, but the only QBs who have scored over 20 fantasy points have been Brady and Luck so far.

Jamaal Williams, RB (Green Bay Packers)

While Jamaal Williams is an Aaron Jones injury away from securing the backfield with Ty Montgomery leaving town, he’s a definite sit this week against the Patriots. Last week Williams surprised owners (most of which probably sat him) by scoring a touchdown on one of his four touches. While the temptation is there to start Williams in case of his goal-line work, Williams isn’t worthy of even a flex-start at this point, as he’s averaging 6.4 carries a game and 25.4 yards rushing since Aaron Jones has returned from suspension.

Corey Davis, WR (Tennessee Titans)

One of the fantasy busts of the season has been wide receiver Corey Davis who has not found that “next step” or been able to gel with quarterback Marcus Mariota. Over his past three games, Davis has only scored an average of 5.4 fantasy points in full-PPR scoring which is downright terrible. While owners will hope they see a 31.1 fantasy point performance as they did in Week 4, owners shouldn’t hold their breath as they have a tough matchup against the Cowboys in Week 9 who are allowing the least amount of fantasy points to the opposing team's’ wide receivers.

Ben Watson, TE (New Orleans Saints)

After his 6-41-1 stat line against the Ravens in Week 7, Ben Watson posted a huge goose egg last week against the Vikings. This week I wouldn’t expect a bounceback to fantasy as the Saints play the Rams – While many assume that the Rams D can be exploited through the seams with the tight end due to their great cornerback play, the defense is fairly decent against the position. In Weeks 1 and 7 they did allow 31.0 and 20.8 fantasy points respectively to tight ends, however, they have only allowed one touchdown all season to the position and have held opposing tight end’s under double-digit fantasy points in five out of eight games this season.

Matt Bryant / Giorgio Tavecchio, K (Atlanta Falcons)

Surprisingly enough, the only team who has not allowed a kicker to hit 10 fantasy points this season is the Washington Redskins. This week Atlanta comes to town which means there is a chance their kicker disappoints, whether it’s Matt Bryant (currently nursing an injury) or Giorgio Tavecchio. If Bryant does get the start, there is always a chance of re-injury which could turn the tide in your matchup this week.

Los Angeles Chargers, DST

After scoring double-digit fantasy points against the Raiders and Browns in Weeks 7 and 8 respectively, the Los Angeles Chargers defense disappointed against the Titans last week with scoring only 3 fantasy points. This week they play the Seahawks and will be given the task of containing Russell Wilson who, historically, has been fantastic in the second half of his seasons. Last week the Lions defense had their worst performance of the season against the Seahawks and scored -2 fantasy points.

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