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Fantasy Football sits and starts for NFL Week 9

A look at the biggest start and sit decisions for your fantasy football team in Week 9.

NFL: Los Angeles Rams at San Francisco 49ers Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

There are plenty of teams on a bye this week in the NFL, which may have you scrambling to find replacements for your starters in fantasy football.

Don’t worry, the prospects aren’t that bad. Just trust in the guys your guys for one week, and if you lose you can blame it on the NFL scheduling six teams on a bye for the same week.

NFL Week 9 bye weeks: Bengals, Cardinals, Giants, Colts, Jaguars and Eagles

Must start

  • Isaiah Crowell (Jets RB): Outside of the clear cut starters in fantasy at running back this week is thin as far as starting running backs in the NFL having good matchups. Crowell’s place as a must start really says everything you need to know about that. Still, he has become the main running back with Bilal Powell out for the rest of the season, and the Raiders have allowed the third most points to opposing running backs this season, according to Fantasy Pros.
  • Brandin Cooks (Rams WR): With the amount of teams on a bye this week it is hard to ignore Cooks’ matchup against the Saints. New Orleans’ defense has given up 35.9 points per game to opposing receivers this season, and this is Cooks’ chance at a revenge game against the team that drafted him.

Favorable matchups

  • Nick Chubb (Brown RB): The Browns switched coaches this week, so we will see how the backfield shakes out against the Chiefs. Up until this point Chubb has been favored over Duke Johnson Jr, since they traded away Carlos Hyde, and he will be set to go against the second easiest matchup with Kansas City who allows 25.9 points per game to opposing running backs.
  • D.J. Moore (Panthers WR): I’m usually not a fan of riding the hot hand after a career game, but Moore had 129 yards on seven touches against the Ravens last week while playing 71 percent of the snaps. He will have a much easier time against the Buccaneers defense who have allowed the third most fantasy points to opposing receivers.

Good but not great

  • Latavius Murray (Vikings RB): First off there has been news that Dalvin Cook has returned to practice on a limited basis this week. There have also been reports that Cook isn’t supposed to play until after the team’s bye week in Week 10. Murray owners will have to watch Cook’s status very closely. Murray is set to play the Lions who give up 24.2 points per game to opposing running backs.
  • Josh Doctson (Washington WR): You could just as easily start Paul Richardson against the Falcons secondary that is still trying to figure out how to slow down receivers. Still, Doctson has been more consistent with at least three catches in his last three games. I would say neither is more than a flex option this week, but desperate times call for desperate measures.

Temper expectations

  • James Conner (Steelers RB): No, Le’Veon Bell hasn’t ended his holdout, yet. But the last time the Steelers played the Ravens Conner ended up with only 44 total yards on 12 touches. The Ravens’ defense has been the stingiest defense against opposing running backs, so it may be a good idea to look elsewhere if you can.
  • JuJu Smith-Schuster (Steelers WR): Smith-Schuster had one of his down games against the Ravens the last time the two teams met in Pittsburgh. This week in Baltimore could be another one of those games. Considering all the teams that are on a bye this week though, he should still be a low end flex option in PPR leagues.

Quarterback stream

  • Alex Smith (Washington QB): Smith has the best matchup of a quarterback who is likely available to be picked up. He is facing the Falcons this week who allow 24.8 points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
  • Joe Flacco (Ravens QB): Flacco hasn’t been very good this season, but he had two touchdowns and over 300 yards the last time he faced the Steelers.

Defense Stream

  • Dolphins against the Jets: Prospects aren’t great on the waiver wire this week. Plenty of bad teams are off or playing defenses that may be started week in and week out by someone in your league. Sam Darnold has been prone to turn the ball over in his rookie season, and the Dolphins have one of the tougher secondaries in the NFL.
  • Panthers defense against the Bucs: I don’t care if Ryan Fitzpatrick or Jameis Winston starts, neither have been good quarterbacks for most of this season. The Panthers defense is very good, and they should end up with a handful of turnovers this week.