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Fantasy football start/sit advice guide: Best and worst picks for NFL Week 9

Helping you pick your lineups.

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Disclaimer: Starts and Sits are relative to where a player is ranked on the aggregate. In other words, a “Start” is someone I like more than most, and a “Sit” is the opposite. So if I say to start Ted Ginn and sit A.J. Green, that doesn't mean I'd start Ginn over Green, it just means I think Ginn will exceed his expectations while Green will underperform his. Cool? Cool. Let's get it. -Seltz

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***For more fantasy football advice, check out BGN Radio’s This Week In Fantasy podcast!***



Carson Wentz (vs. DEN) – Before I get to homerin' out about Wentz aka my true love – I need to address something important. I didn't want to talk about it, but I feel like I don't have a choice. It has to be done. Ok, here goes: My start/sits were amazing last week. I mean, I effing killed it. Not to pat myself on the back or anything, but I'm totally patting myself on the back. Start Watson in Seattle (get well soon, Deshaun!), sit Brees at home against the Bears, and a bunch of other home run calls. I felt it wouldn't be right, nay, it wouldn't be just for me to move forward with this column without giving myself my proper due. And yes, that was absolutely the douchiest sentence I've ever written. I'm clearly a lame, pathetic loser who's clinging to the fact that I made good (educated?) guesses a week ago. I apologize for everything you've read up until this point. Let's all move forward together with a clean slate, mmmkay? Oh, you're all gone already. Welp, I guess I'll just homer out about Carson Wentz. It seems like a lot of people fear the vaunted Broncos pass defense, but it's been decidedly less vaunted this year than in years past (#13 pass defense according to Football Outsiders). You know who you should fear? Denver's run defense, that's who (#1 according to Football Outsiders). Regardless, the Eagles are going to score points, and they're going to do it through the air. Don't be scared. Let Carson Wentz into your fantasy lineups, and into your hearts.

Jacoby Brissett (@ HOU) – Sorry, that got a little weird. New clean slate? Speaking of clean slates (see what I did there), Jacoby Brissett's fresh start in Indy has turned into a season-long gig. RIP the hope that Andrew Luck would eventually have fantasy value in 2017. See ya next year Andrew...maybe. For his part, Brissett has done a solid job considering his lack of experience, lack of time to learn the system, and lack of anything even closely resembling a competent NFL head coach. In fact, Brissett is the #14 scoring fantasy quarterback this season, which is higher than I would've expected. However, he's only the consensus #16 QB heading into the weekend, despite a matchup with a Texans defense that has allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. So I guess what I'm trying to say is, Bris-set your lineup with Jacboy in it. Dammit. Moving on.


Cam Newton (vs. ATL) – There are six teams on bye, well, five teams and the Browns on bye – so it's slim pickings in terms of sits this week. In many cases, if you own these guys you probably have to play them. If you don't, congrats. Either way, don't play them in DFS formats for sure. Alright, onto Cam – he's has had a rough go of it this season, mostly because he's an asshat, but also because he's had more bad weeks than good and just had his top receiver traded away for draft picks. In spite of all that, he's still the consensus #7 QB this week, which is crazy to me. Cam is coming off back-to-back atrocious performances (#24 QB and #15 QB) and faces an Atlanta defense that has been sneakily mediocre against the pass. And yes, “sneakily mediocre” is my new favorite phrase.

Derek Carr (@ MIA) – Speaking of sneakily mediocre, Derek Carr (consensus #8 QB) has been sneakily bad. Outside of the fluky 1,746 different final plays Thursday nighter against the Chiefs, Carr has thrown 4 touchdowns and 6 interceptions in his last four games, and has been particularly bad on the road – 191.3 passing YPG, 3 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in his last three road games. Granted, the Dolphins are clearly a train wreck of a team that just gave up a 40-spot to the Ravens (lol btw). Counterpoint, Miami's been...wait for's coming...SNEAKILY MEDIOCRE defending the pass. More succinctly put, don't take the Carr out for a spin this weekend. Nailed it.





Christian McCaffery (vs. ATL) – Now is about the time each week where I plead (with myself) for some brevity. Here's last week's plea:“Now is the point where I rip myself for being long-winded and promise to do a better job – Andy Reid style. Fair warning, I'm rarely successful in my attempts at brevity, but I swear I'll try. “

Even though I'm already behind the eight ball here, I'll again do my best. To that point, McCaffery hasn't impressed me. He doesn't look nearly as elusive or explosive as I expected. But it's impossible to deny the sheer volume of work he's getting – not only is he Carolina's most targeted receiver, but his 8.3 targets per game are the most of any running back in the league...easily. Like, easily. More importantly, with the trade of Kelvin Benjamin, he'll have even more opportunities to touch the ball, and faces an Atlanta offense that has been terrible – TERRIBLE – at defending running backs in the passing game. As the consensus #16 RB heading into the weekend, McCaffery is undervalued based on his incredibly high floor alone. So take that, rankings people. Dammit, I forgot about the whole brevity thing. What can I say, I'm a work in progress.

Alex Collins (@ TEN) – Is Collins...good? He certainly looks good. Dude runs with fire. Not to mention, he's coming off a potential breakout game (143 total yards) and is averaging an eye-popping 6.0 YPC. So to answer the question, I have no idea if he's good. But he's having success and should get the bulk of the workload against a middle of the pack Titans rush defense. As the consensus #17 RB, Collins is under-ranked – more importantly, it's an affront to everything Alex Collins is and stands for, it's utter disrespect. Use it as fuel, Alex. Use it as fuel. Side note, if anyone knows Alex Collins, can you please relay my message to him? I know he tries to read this every week, but he's a busy guy and doesn't always get to it. Just wanna cover my bases.


Jay Ajayi (vs. DEN) – I know. I know. It's exciting to have Ajayi here and it'd be fun to start him in fantasy. I'm here to be the debbie downer and stop you from doing that. Ajayi has had four days to learn the system and is facing the best run defense in the league. Keep Ajayi in the holster until Dallas week – then let him loose on those loser Cowboys. Sorry not sorry.

C.J. Anderson (@ PHI) – Same game alert! No one allows less rushing yards per game than the Eagles. You can't run on them. Don't even try it. Plus, Devontae Booker and Jamaal Charles are breathing down C.J.'s neck and the offensive line is awful. Also, C.J. may not be good. Is that enough?



Michael Thomas and Ted Ginn (vs. TB) – Whoa! The duel start. Often bandied about but rarely, if ever, seen. Rejoice, you guys, it's a special day. Here's the reason(s) for the occasion: The Bucs are terrible. They're allowing the third-most fantasy points to wide receivers. They have the second-worst pass defense in the league according to Football Outsiders. The Saints are at home. It feels like a Drew Brees week. Did I mention the Bucs are dreadful?

Jarvis Landry (vs. Oakland) – This one will be short and sweet. The Raiders have Football Outsiders' worst pass defense. Landry is averaging 11.4 targets per game and prior to last week's stinker in Baltimore, he had scored a touchdown in three straight games. Like I said, short and sweet.


AJ Green (@ JAX) – Let's keep this brevity train rolling. The Jags have the best pass defense in the league. They have the best cornerback duo in the a mile. Yeah, I said it. You're obviously starting Green in seasonal leagues, but I'd steer clear in DFS and other daily formats.




Jack Doyle (@ HOU) – It's Jack Doyle's world, we're all just living in it. Doyle's been targeted 32 times over the last three weeks,he's coming off a 12-catch, 121-yard performance (plus a touchdown), and he's facing a Houston defense that's allowed the sixth most fantasy points to tight ends. Boom. Brevity.

Vernon Davis (@ SEA) – Davis has been productive with Jordan Reed in the lineup, imagine how much more productive he'll be with Reed out of it! Breeeeeeeeeeevity.


Tyler Kroft (@ JAX) – Kroft continues to get love from the fantasy community, yet he continues to produce lackluster results. Having said that, I don't really hate him this week, I just had to find a sit somewhere and he's a guy I think is being slightly overvalued. That's it. Chill out, Tyler Kroft fans. Don't @ me.

Austin Hooper (@ CAR) – Hooper is super meh. Atlanta's entire offense is meh. I think both things continue to be true against a good Panthers defense. Hooper...meh.





Houston Texans (vs. IND) – I've recommended Brissett and Doyle, so may as well go all in. Houston is the consensus #3 defense, which is insane. They're just not that good. So, yeah. All in.



Some guy who's playing in a dome or who's on a team with a good offense.


Any guy who doesn't qualify the above set standard for “Start.”

***For more fantasy football advice, check out BGN Radio’s This Week In Fantasy podcast!***

The newest and best app to play weekly Fantasy Football is DRAFT! Sign up now with the promo code BGNR and play a real money game for FREE! You win 80% more on Draft than regular salary cap sites! Don't like it? No problem, they guarantee your money back up to $100 if you don't.

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