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Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 9 quarterbacks

I will never sit Deshaun Watson again and Russell Wilson looks pretty good, too. But who else gets a start ‘em nod in Week 9?


Looking at the NFL fantasy quarterback leaderboard, the top six are the only ones I would start without thinking about it, and even the QB-6 put up a 7-point line this week. A little further down, Drew Brees and Kirk Cousins probably warrant must-start status. But Josh McCown is the QB-9 and Cam Newton at #7 is a coin flip each week. 

So, it’s probably a good thing you’re reading this article. Here are some thoughts about what other quarterbacks to start and sit in Week 9. 

Start this guy: Jared Goff, LAR at NYG

Jared Goff has averaged about 15 NFL fantasy points per game this season. If you take away his games against Seattle and Jacksonville, he averages 17.54 points, which would have been good enough for the QB-6 ranking in Week 8. 

Goff faces the New York Giants this week. While it is an early game across the country, the Giants are still not Seattle or Jacksonville. There are chemistry concerns between the defense and the head coach, and trade rumors about two key defensive players. Add to that the Giants’ suspect offense and their willingness to cede the field rather quickly, and you have the makings of a good day for Jared Goff. 

Sit this guy: Josh McCown, NYJ vs BUF

The New York Jets and Josh McCown have played a mostly conservative style of offense that plays neutral to opponents. The Jets’ passer put up more fantasy quarterback points than the opposing defense averaged coming into each of the last three games. 

But… this is the chance for the Buffalo Bills to show they are for real, especially their defense, on national television. I firmly expect McCown’s streak to end against a solid defensive secondary and good pass rush. Look for another streamer this week. 

Start this guy: Tyrod Taylor, BUF at NYJ

Tyrod Taylor didn’t light up the NFL fantasy points scoreboard last week, throwing for only 165 yards and staying put in the backfield except for a one-yard touchdown. But watching the game, I can see the Bills’ passing game coming together. Taylor forced throws to rookie Zay Jones to get him involved in the game. He hit veteran Andre Holmes with key passes and a touchdown. When he needed a third down conversion, Holmes or Jordan Matthews always seemed to get open. The rekindled threat of LeSean McCoy who almost ran for as many yards as Taylor threw for undoubtedly helps. 

Against the Jets, McCoy will again see quite a workload, but Taylor and the Bills will continue to take his touchdowns by throwing in the red zone. If Taylor is close, he will run one in. The formula added up to a QB-9 total last week. Taylor could be a top-5 this week. 

Sit this guy: Matt Ryan, ATL at CAR

As willing as I am to give Matt Ryan a flyer on last week’s sloppy game in the wind and rain, the fact is that he ranks as the QB-21 after eight weeks of play. The Atlanta offense is still trying to find an identity. It is definitely not last year’s offense as much as coach Dennis Quinn wants it to be. 

Week 9 sees the Falcons heading to Carolina to face the 6th-best NFL fantasy defense against quarterbacks. Mohamed Sanu woke up last week and might offer a second wide receiver threat after Julio Jones, but the overall offense has to get in sync. Otherwise, it will be a long day for the quarterback and everyone else in Carolina. 

Start this guy: Jay Cutler, MIA vs OAK

No, I’m serious. Stop laughing! You can start Jay Cutler Sunday against Oakland. He will have DeVante Parker back, a revitalized Kenny Stills, and his favorite target Jarvis Landry is still good for 12 targets. Cutler will also relax, basking in the sunshine of Miami while knowing Adam Gase will not pull him for Matt Moore after last Thursday’s disaster in Baltimore. 

Every time we count Miami out, Gase gets them to up their game. Cutler comes back in Week 9 with 300 yards and three touchdowns. No one cares about the two interceptions after the Dolphins win. 

Sit this guy: Marcus Mariota, TEN vs. BAL 

Tennessee Titans fans are happy to have rookie wide receiver Corey Davis back this week, and Taywan Taylor is looking better. But the Baltimore Ravens defense is also back. Granted, Tennessee in their stadium will present a bigger challenge than Miami with a backup quarterback in Baltimore, but the Ravens’ defense is bent on keeping the team in the playoff hunt as their offense tries to find the right combination of players. 

Look for Baltimore to build on their Thursday night festivities and make Mariota’s day miserable. 

Week 9 flash in the pan prediction

Jacoby Brissett and the Indianapolis Colts can’t keep up with Deshaun Watson and the Texans, but Brissett makes a valiant effort, notching three passing touchdowns and a fourth on the ground on his way to a 25-point NFL fantasy line.

About last week: my dear Watson…

Okay, I learned my lesson. Deshaun Watson is officially a weekly start ‘em and I will never sit him again, even against the Jaguars. Other than sitting the number 2 fantasy quarterback of the week, I hit on all five of my other choices. So, stop laughing at Cutler! 

If you have any NFL fantasy questions, send them to contact@realsport101.com and we’ll print them in Wednesday’s NFL Fantasy Mailbag!

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Pat Opperman

Pat recently retired from real life to watch sports and write. Look for references to games and events from ancient times as memories of an earlier Age of Sport tend to pop into his head.

Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 9 quarterbacks

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