Written by Mikey Ostrowski


Season-Long record: 73-39 (65%) on Start Ems, 71-41 (63%) on Sit Ems

Teams on week 9 BYE: Cardinals, Bengals, Colts, Jaguars, Giants, Eagles



Start of the Week: Cam Newton (CAR)

“Cam Newton should be benched in you fantasy lineups against the Ravens’ #1 defense…” HAHA. Get outta here haters, MY QB is a freaking beast! All biases aside, Cam is an absolute MUST start this week against Tampa Bay. Their defense is practically non-existent, and Cam should have himself a DAY.

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Start: Jared Goff (LAR)

Jared Goff? The QB of the best team in the NFL right now? In a matchup against the Saints? The same Saints that have been struggling on defense all season? Pft, sign me up.


Start: Alex Smith (WAS)

Smith has a matchup against Atlanta, a team that has been ultimately strong offensively but pretty weak on the defensive side of the ball. I would expect Atlanta to outplay Washington a bit, forcing Smith to get heavily involved in this one. In a week where a handful of viable fantasy quarterbacks are on a BYE, Smith could provide as a nice filler.


Start: Baker Mayfield (CLE)

Cleveland is going to get crushed by Kansas City. Like, demolished. The good news, however, is that Baker Mayfield and Co. will be playing catch up right from the get-go meaning he’ll be in a prime spot to produce. I think he’ll post a respectable 20+ point game.


Sit of the Week: Matthew Stafford (DET)

I’m only listing him here because I’m not sure how he’ll adjust to not having Golden Tate on the field. I think he still posts respectable numbers, but not enough to win you a game this week. Thinking about 16 points, which is bad enough to be the sit of the week.

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Sit: Case Keenum (DEN)

Denver does battle against Houston, who ironically enough now owns the rights to Demaryius Thomas. Houston’s defense has played okay, but this is a game that I’m not starting Keenum… I mean let’s be honest, who here was actually going to start him? Keep him benched or drop him… either one will do.


Sit: Philip Rivers (LAC)

I genuinely didn’t want to put Rivers as a sit, but with the amount of BYEs my hands were sort of tied. I didn’t want to put a player on here that nobody uses, that would be cheating, so here’s Rivers. Only listed as a sit because he’s going to get less than 20.


Sit: Ben Roethlisberger (PIT)

Ben is in a tough division matchup against a Ravens team that has been amazing on defense (besides when they played against my Panthers of course) and could struggle in this one. The game itself will be very exciting, but I have a feeling that Ben’s fantasy numbers could prove to be lackluster.


Running Backs:

Start of the Week: Sony Michel (NE)

If he starts this week in real life then he’s a must start in fantasy. The Patriots struggled mightily to get rushing yards without him in the lineup against the Bills so I have a feeling that they’ll look to reestablish their running game early on in this one. He’s always a threat to find pay dirt and is a safe bet for at least 18 carries. Don’t fear the injury; if he’s healthy enough to play, he’s going to produce.

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Start: Latavius Murray (MIN)

Detroit’s run defense is not the best and Murray has actually been a pretty viable option with Dalvin Cook sidelined for the past several weeks. I’d keep him rolling in this one, as he should be able to put up some solid RB2 numbers and help your squad get a W this week.


Start: Jalen Richard (OAK)

Richard has had a safe floor in PPR, and has become even safer now that Marshawn Lynch is out. Richard is not your typical start. He’s not going to boom. He’s not going to be the difference maker in your matchup. However, what he will do (or won’t do) is; he won’t disappoint. He’s a pretty safe bet for double-digit points, and in a week where tons of RBs are absent due to injury or BYE, could be a solid and reliable player for you in week 9.


Start: Chris Carson (SEA)

The Chargers’ running defense has been about average, but Carson has been anything but. He’s looked great over the last several weeks and has put up multiple big games. I’d keep him going in those lineups in this one, especially in this BYE-riddled week.


Sit of the Week: Jordan Howard (CHI)

I’ve been saying it for weeks: Tarik Cohen is now the main guy. Plus, Buffalo’s run defense hasn’t been the friendliest, which means Howard is going to find tough sledding in this one. I’d bench him this week as he seems to be trending towards every-week touchdown dependency.

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Sit: Nick Chubb (CLE)

Chubb is going to be a great running back but has a matchup against the Chiefs this week. Like I said before, his team will be down big time early in the game, meaning that the running back to start in this one is going to be Duke Johnson. I’d avoid both of them, but here’s my bold prediction: Duke Johnson will outscore Nick Chubb in week 9.


Sit: Alex Collins (BAL)

I’m not a fan of Collins… you probably know this by now. He’s sort of touchdown dependent and should see extreme touchdown dependency against the Steelers. I can’t imagine him having a productive yardage total, so you can bench this guy.


Sit: Dion Lewis (TEN)

Tennessee sucks, but then again, so does Dallas. However, if you’re thinking of starting Lewis, think again. I think that Derrick Henry comes out of the BYE with a bigger role and could cut into Lewis’ workload. Not only that, but Lewis hasn’t been ultimately productive almost this entire season. In a week where you need a filler RB, look elsewhere.

Wide Receivers:

Start of the Week: Robert Woods (LAR)

While Cooper Kupp has been out, Woods has been Jared Goff’s clear-cut, go-to guy and I would expect that trend to continue as the Rams face off against the Saints. Much like I said in Goff’s paragraph, Woods faces a terrible secondary and should be able to exploit them multiple times in this one.

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Start: Kenny Golladay (DET)

Heeeeeeeeeeeeere’s…… Kenny? Kenny Golladay benefits immensely from Tate’s departure to Philly and I think that benefit will begin immediately. The second-year receiver may very well be Detroit’s #1 receiver now and should see his target share return to what they were over the first five weeks of the season. He’s got a tough matchup this week but I think he’s still in line for a solid day.


Start: Jarvis Landry (CLE)

Failing to pass 14 points in four of his last five games, Landry has been looking like an upside WR3 more than anything. However, I think this week ends up being a big one for him, as he’ll have to bring his “A” game if the Browns want to have even the slimmest of chances at beating the Chiefs. Look for him to lead his team in targets in a game where he should get plenty of opportunity.


Start: DJ Moore (CAR)

Moore looked phenomenal against the Ravens last week, putting up 90 yards on five catches and gets an incredibly easy matchup against the Buccaneers in week 9. Not only do I love him as a waiver-wire pickup this week but I love him as a start… So what are you waiting for?


Sit of the Week: Allen Robinson (CHI)

Buffalo’s defense has looked sort of good recently and Robinson could find himself on the wrong end of it. Not to mention that the Bears should win this game with ease, so Robinson’s number may not be called on all the much. I’m just not digging him from a fantasy perspective anymore.

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Sit: Doug Baldwin (SEA)

Listed as a start last week, Baldwin disappointed all of us. He disappointed me so much that I traded him away. Maybe this is a spiteful post or maybe it’s not. Either way, I’m sitting Baldwin, as it seems he’s no longer the focal point of that offense. He’s just an average Joe from a fantasy perspective.


Sit: Demaryius Thomas (HOU)

Slow your roll guys… I’m excited that he has Deshaun Watson throwing to him now too, but even if he plays this week I’m not expecting much. He only has five days to learn the system AND is playing against his old team. I definitely like his ROS value, but he’s tough to trust in his first game in the new uniform.


Sit: Sammy Watkins (KC)

Watkins went OFF last week but should settle down this week. The Chiefs get an easy matchup against Cleveland, meaning Watkins might not see heavy involvement. He’s tough to sit after an amazing performance, but it’s what I would do. Whether you wanna listen or not is all on you.


Tight Ends:

Start of the Week: George Kittle (SF)

Just a warning, this whole tight end thread is going to be hella short because… well, so many are on BYEs and let’s be real, these are all going to be obvious. So, Kittle, he’s a top-three start this week. Let’s move on.

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Start: David Njoku (CLE)

Njoku pissed me off last week, but I can’t imagine he puts up an egg in two consecutive weeks. He also is against the Chiefs which means he could be in line for a busy day. Give him a chance to redeem himself.


Start: Jordan Reed (WAS)

He’s got some of the highest volume out of all tight ends. His yards suck but the usage is there, and if you’re in a PPR league, he’s a safe start this week.


Start: Greg Olsen (CAR)

He’s baaaaack! He looked great last week and reminded us all the he’s Cam Newton’s go-to guy that isn’t named Christian McCaffrey. Fire him up this week and enjoy.


Sit of the Week: Charles Clay (BUF)

Are people actually starting him? No clue, but he’s gotta be sat. Buffalo is horrendous.

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Sit: Cameron Brate (TB)

Brate is the only sit on this list that might be an intriguing play… but I am still sitting him. He’s taken a clear backseat to fellow tight end O.J. Howard and should be nothing but a secondary look on offense going forward.


Sit: Hayden Hurst (BAL)

He looked decent last week but I just can’t see a “streak” being formed. You could do better than Hurst in week 9.


Sit: Antonio Gates (LAC)

I said it before and I’ll say it again: His career might as well be over. He’s just a guy that walks on to the field and provides a distraction for defenses. You gotta respect his name, but that doesn’t mean you have to roster him in fantasy.



Be sure to check out the latest episode of the Loaded Box Podcast as the guys preview Week 9 in the NFL with their daily fantasy sports stacks, bargains and advice for the week!

Mikey Ostrowski is a blogger for the Loaded Box Podcast.  Check out his article archive and find more from the Loaded Box on Twitter & Facebook