The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 9

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Have I mentioned those bye weeks are annoying for fantasy football? If I haven’t yet, let me do so now. Six teams on bye in the same week is incredibly frustrating! Add in all the injuries and the chaos of the trade deadline, and you have a week just made for flushing down the toilet. Unlike those scrubs in your league who will just take the L this week and move on, you are ready to strap on your big boy pants, jump into the murky waters, and find the gold that will show up this week. The good news is you have come to the right place. Thursday, the Fantasy Footballers brought you their stupendous Starts of the Week. For the full episode, see below. 

Of course, if you need a quick reminder of what each baller said, you can find a breakdown of each selection below. If you want even more information going into the week, you should head over to and become a member of the #footclan. 

Andy’s Starts of the Week

QB- Aaron Rodgers vs. DET

It is get right time for Aaron Rodgers. He could get Lazard back and, of course, has Aaron Jones in the passing game. The Lions’ defense allows the most points per game, total yards per game, and net yards per pass attempt. It is like playing a practice squad team. The Lions also allow the highest yards per attempt in the NFL. We know how Rodgers likes to go deep, so this should be a week he has plenty of success. 

RB- Raheem Mostert vs. CHI

Andy is going to try this again. It wasn’t that Mostert was bad, he just didn’t get the targets or into the end zone. That won’t give you a big fantasy week. The Lions matchup was a good one, but this one is too. The Bears are allowing the second-most rushing yards per game. Jeff Wilson is just arriving, so it’s doubtful he will usurp the lead role in his first week. So, run it back with your running back, Raheem Mostert

WR- Terry McLaurin vs. MIN

The Commanders, believe it or not, have won three games in a row. The connection between McLaurin and Heinicke is no joke. McLaurin has had a 26% target share in games with Heinicke as the quarterback. Jahan Dotson is not practicing, and Curtis Samuel is not a traditional WR. So McLaurin is the main pass-catching option. The Minnesota secondary is very vulnerable, ranking 28th against wide receivers. They are allowing the second-highest yards per attempt in the NFL and the highest rate of 15-plus yard receptions. McLaurin is a deep ball specialist, and we know Heinicke is willing to give him a shot. McLaurin is too good not to succeed in those situations. 

TE- Zach Ertz vs. SEA

Seattle is the worst against the tight end. Even if you look at the recent weeks when they have been better defensively, they are still awful against the tight ends. Kyler looks for Ertz in the RedZone, where he leads the league with ten targets. Outside of Deandre Hopkins, Ertz is the most trusted target for the Cardinals. The injury of Hollywood Brown held off the fantasy retirement of Zach Ertz. You can play him in this home game and feel good doing so. 

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Jason’s Starts of the Week

QB- Tua Tagovailoa vs. CHI

Regarding fantasy points per game, Tua has been excellent, ranking seventh behind Kyler Murray. The last two weeks saw him as the QB11 and the QB1. He is heating up and could soon be on fire. Head coach Mike McDaniel is letting Tua force-feed his top two targets, two of the faster men in the NFL. Since Week 4, Chicago is 24th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. Last week Dak and the Cowboys shredded this defense, and Jason thinks Miami will do the same. Don’t let the fact that the Bears show up as a negative defense to play sway you. Those stats are misleading, and they just traded their best defensive player. So, get Tua in your lineup. 

RB- Miles Sanders vs. HOU

Sanders is not a running back that Jason wants to go with because he is facing him. The matchup is excellent. The Texans’ defense is dead last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the running back. He has had over seventy yards in the last couple of games. The game script is perfect for him since the Eagles should be up early and look to run out the clock. Also, this year Jason’s opponents have gone hog wild against him, so let that give you even more belief as you play Sanders in Thursday Night Football. 

WR- Josh Palmer vs. ATL

It would have been good to stash Palmer before the bye or be able to pick him up this week. This week should have been a good week to start Josh Palmer. Palmer saw 12 targets in week six. Since week two, he has been seeing seven targets a game. Now Mike Williams is out, and Keenan Allen is questionable until proven otherwise. Palmer is all that is left. The Falcons rank dead last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to wide receivers and they project to be without their best cornerback for the game. So, Palmer should be able to get it done in Atlanta. 

TE- Robert Tonyan vs. DET

Tonyan has been a touchdown-or-bust guy for his career. However, this year the receptions have been flowing. Bobby T has the 5th most TE receptions despite being eased in to start the year. Tonyan has had a 21% target share over the last three weeks but only one touchdown on the year. If the belief is that Aaron Rodgers is going to throw three touchdowns this week, Robert Tonyan is probably catching one of those. The Lions’ defense is terrible, as stated earlier. They are also 30th in schedule-adjusted points allowed to the tight end position. On a tough week with all the teams on bye, Tonyan could be an excellent swing option for your tight end position. 

Mike’s Starts of the Week

QB- Justin Fields vs. MIA

He has been the QB2 over the last month. Yes, some people didn’t play four games last month, but Fields has still been good. He has been a top-five quarterback on the road against New England and Dallas. Two outstanding defensive teams. He has improved as the season has gone along. He has the rushing baseline, where he averages 9.5 rush attempts per game and 53 yards on the ground, but he has also been improving as a passer. Miami ties the Lions for the highest completion percentage allowed in the NFL. If he is on your roster, he may be worth playing over players like Geno Smith, Tom Brady, or Derek Carr. It seems weird, but the Ballers have him ranked as a top-10 guy this week, so be confident. 

RB- Aaron Jones vs. DET

Jones has been getting back on track the last two weeks. He was the RB4 with 18 opportunities and RB11 with 25 opportunities. The Packers have realized that Jones is the best player on their team. Now they get the Lions, who are 31st in schedule-adjusted points allowed to the running back position. Last year Aaron Jones had a massive game where he scored four touchdowns against Detroit. This week you can reliably play Aaron Jones

WR- Christian Kirk vs. LV

It has been a wild year for Christian Kirk. he felt like the steal of the draft, and then the Jaguars have fallen apart. Kirk leads the team in targets per route run and receptions. This week the matchup says everything. The Raiders are 28th in schedule-adjusted points allowed to the wide receiver position. Look back at the bad games, and you will see why. The Broncos, the Colts, and the Eagles are all good defenses that Kirk struggled against. The Raiders are not on the caliber of those teams, so get Kirk in your lineup this week. 

TE- Gerald Everett vs. ATL

We already know Mike Williams is out, and Keenan Allen is MIA. Meanwhile, Everett has been constant this year for the Chargers. Everett ranks fourth among tight ends in RedZone targets. He is also fifth in slot snaps, meaning he runs a lot of routes. The snap percentage has gone down the last few weeks, but Everett still saw nine targets last week. There is a chance that his snap percentage goes way up, and he could be a target machine this weekend. The Falcons allow the fourth most points per game and the most passing yards per game. He will be necessary this week and in the future. 

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Mike Loomis says:

Jason, you were right about Sanders. I’m glad he’s on my team. Mike, I hope you are right about Fields. I just picked him up this week. I have Carr, but I’m losing patience. I also have Kirk, but w/ Adams, Higgins, & Olave, he has become my 4th WR. A shout out to all you guys. I love your site!

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