The Fantasy Footballers’ Starts of the Week for Week 9
This week, we are back on the bye-week pain, on top of the pain of the significant injuries that occurred last week. The list of players injured or not playing this week, especially quarterbacks, is exorbitant. If you are feeling lost and need a stream or a key start, you better be locked in with The Fantasy Footballers daily because they help you navigate these trying times. Andy, Mike, and Jason delivered their Starts of the Week on Thursday. To check out the full episode, see the video below.
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Andy’s Starts of the Week
QB – Dak Prescott @ PHI
Dak has been pretty good when playing the Eagles in his career. He has thrown for three touchdowns in his last three starts against the Eagles where he tallied 347 yards with three touchdowns, 295 and five, and 238 and three. This matchup looks like a game where both offenses will get into the end zone, and the Eagles’ defense has been very beatable this year. Philly ranks 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to QBs. The Cowboys have revitalized focus on the passing game, specifically CeeDee Lamb. Last week, Dak and Lamb looked unstoppable, and this should be another matchup where that duo will be red hot.
RB – Zack Moss @ CAR
He is not going away. At this point, he is not a particular underpants-needed player anymore. He has been good, and that doesn’t look like it is changing. He has been top-24 in all but one game this season. Only CMC, Etienne, and Kamara can match that accomplishment. He is actually leading all RBs not named Devon Achane in rushing yards per game at 84.1. The matchup against Carolina is a good one to plug him into your lineup. The Panthers are 31st in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to RBs so far. He is currently the RB7 on the year, and you should not fear him falling off the cliff this week.
WR – Tee Higgins vs. BUF
After the bye week, Higgins came back to life. He had six targets, leading to five catches for 69 yards against San Francisco. The Bengals, and mainly Joe Burrow, have turned it around on the season. Burrow is now completing 78% of his passes, and the team has won three games in a row. Higgins will have to be involved in the offense if the team wants to continue this success. This matchup is one of the week’s best games, and you have to start Higgins. Buffalo has been destroyed through the air the last few weeks, rankling 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to WRs. You have to get Higgins into your lineup for Sunday Night Football.
TE – Taysom Hill vs. CHI
Taysom keeps doing Taysom things. In the last three weeks, he has finished as the TE9, TE5, and TE1. His routes came down this last week, but Hill’s number gets called when the Saints are in the red zone. He has 15 red zone rushing attempts this year, tied with Raheem Mostert and Josh Jacobs for third-most in the NFL. The Saints are better when Taysom gets the ball; they are 17-1 in games where he has seven or more carries. If you can play a running back in your tight end position, you should do that, which Taysom offers you.
Jason’s Starts of the Week
QB – Derek Carr vs. CHI
Carr is a guy that you can stream pretty confidently this week. Over the last month, Carr and the Saints’ passing game have given you a high floor. He is averaging 278 passing yards per game over that span, which ranks fourth most in the NFL. Now he faces a Chicago defense allowing the second most passing yards in the NFL and the fifth most fantasy points to opposing QBs. Carr is a middle-tier quarterback that you can feel comfortable playing this week when many teams will need a quarterback.
RB – Kareem Hunt vs. ARI
Despite Jerome Ford miraculously returning from injury, Hunt still saw 15 opportunities. Hunt has been the RB10, RB11, and RB16 for the last three weeks. he has been continuously solid for your team. Hunt should still see plenty of work against Arizona, even in a committee approach. The Cardinals laid down in the middle of the road for the Gus Bus last week, as they rank 28th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points and the highest rate of rushing first downs in the NFL. This game could be a good one for Hunt.
WR – Rashee Rice vs. MIA
Jason has been preaching the Rashee Rice love all episode and isn’t backing down on his feelings. You might have Rice on your bench, but he should be a flex consideration for you this week. The over/under on this game is 50.5 points. Rice has been the WR23 over the last month. He is being worked into the offense more and more each week and was over 60% of the snaps last week. He is targeted on 26% of his routes and has four or more receptions in four straight weeks. This week could be a breakout game against Miami, who can score on almost any team in the NFL. Rice has also had a reception of 15-plus yards in seven of his eight games. There have been small flashes of his ability, but against Miami, who ranks 29th in schedule-adjusted fantasy points to WRs since Week 3, you should see Rice take another step forward as a fantasy asset. You don’t want to let the breakout happen on your bench.
TE – Dalton Kincaid @ CIN
This week will be a big one for Kincaid, and if Jason says that, you know it has to be likely. Last week, we saw the Bills abandon 12-personnel with Dawson Knox on IR. Because of this change, Kincaid shot up to 84% of the snaps, putting up five catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. He ran 39 routes, which ranked fourth among all TEs last week. So, Kincaid is now an actual part of the passing game. Now he faces a Bengals defense that ranks dead last in schedule-adjusted fantasy points allowed to the TE. The rookie breakout should be this week for Kincaid.
Mike’s Starts of the Week
QB – Mac Jones vs. WASH
Strap in your titanium underpants, but this week is tricky, and Mike wants you to have an option for this tough week. Mac has been playing better. Over the last three weeks, he has completed 74% of his passes. The real reason Mike feels you should start him is that Washington is getting worse. The Commanders have been bad already, allowing the third-highest yards per attempt allowed in the NFL, and now their two best pass rushers are gone. It will feel bad to do it, but if you are desperate, Jones should be able to give you a passable fantasy week.
RB – Chuba Hubbard vs. IND
The reasoning was sound, so it should work out this time, right? Last week, Chuba had 67% of the snaps, and Miles Sanders only had two touches. Indianapolis is the best matchup for RBs since Week 4 of the season. The Colts are using a fast pace of play, allowing opponents extra opportunities with the ball. Indy has also allowed 15 rushing touchdowns on the season, which is the most in the NFL. To further solidify this, Chuba is a good runner as he ranks first among all RBs in rushing success rate in the NFL.
WR – Nico Collins vs. TB
Last week was terrible, but he has been a red-light/green-light player all year. He is on a green light this week because he is at home facing the Buccaneers, who have been the third-best matchup for WRs over the last month. Collins is seeing seven targets per week with a 12.1 average depth of target. The amount and the type of targets he is getting is precious. He still ranks in the top five among all WRs in yards per route run. Stroud has shown a willingness to throw the ball down the field, and Nico has come up with some big plays because of that. This matchup should be a week where the Texans look to get the passing game going, and Nico should be a big part of that.
TE – Logan Thomas @ NE
He isn’t the most sexy play, but Thomas is sitting there as the TE7 on the season. He has seen a 17% target share over the last month. Thomas is seeing 4.1 receptions per game while running the fourth most routes per game among TEs. The Patriots are the fourth-best matchup for TEs in the last few weeks. Washington will have to throw the ball more with the trades they made, getting rid of pieces on the defensive side. That should benefit Thomas.