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NFL fantasy football starts and sits for Week 9

Who you should have in your lineup, and who you should avoid this week in fantasy football.

Detroit Lions v Cincinnati Bengals Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Bengals may be on their bye, but fantasy players don’t get bye weeks.

Of course, many of you have probably been riding the Bengals’ offense the past couple of weeks since they’ve had some great matchups, and now you’ll have to fill those spots in your lineup. Here are the players you should be starting this week, and the ones that you are better off keeping in the bench.

Running backs


Clyde Edwards-Helaire, Chiefs: Normally I wouldn’t include a player like Edwards-Helaire in this, but after not really producing last week and Le’Veon Bell looming over his production, it seems fair to think that some fantasy players may be hesitant to start the rookie even in a great matchup against the Panthers. Bell only played 17 snaps last week against the Jets, and they may be inching closer to being a 50/50 share, but this week there will be plenty of chances for Edwards-Helaire to have a fantasy worthy game, even if Bell dips into his volume.

Justin Jackson, Chargers: Last week, it seemed like the Chargers finally realized that Jackson was the more productive out of their two young running backs. He broke out of the time share that was killing both players’ fantasy value. Now Jackson gets a chance against a Raiders team that allows 23 fantasy points per game against opposing running backs, according to Fantasy Pros.


Jonathan Taylor. Colts: Taylor was sitting as a very comfortable RB3 or flex option prior to the Colts’ Week 7 bye. His role diminished considerably in Week 8. He took a backseat to Jordan Wilkins and Nyheim Hines (who scored twice on the day despite being out snapped by the rookie). This week the Colts will go up against a Ravens defense that has done quite well against the run this season. When you mix the limited opportunities with a terrible matchup it is safe to say Taylor can stay on the bench until he is leading the backfield again.

Devin Singletary, Bills: Singletary has struggled getting into the end zone this season. That has way more to do with a lack of opportunities in the red zone. The Bills seem content to allow Josh Allen and Zach Moss to command most of the rushing duties at that end of the field. Singletary had been balancing out that hindrance to his fantasy value by being involved in the passing game, but he has only gone over two catches three times this season, and he hasn’t done it in the past four weeks. Now he faces a Seahawks defense that is far easier to beat in the air than on the ground, and that leaves little hope for a successful fantasy day.

Wide receivers


Stefon Diggs, Bills: The Seahawks give up the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers. Diggs has been targeted 45 times in the past four weeks, which makes him the obvious favorite to benefit from this matchup. the Diggs and Allen connection has been a bit down the past few weeks, but if Allen is willing to give Diggs close to double digit targets he will have a huge day this week.

Marvin Jones Jr., Lions: Sometimes in fantasy it is all about opportunities. Jones’ fantasy value dropped off almost completely when Kenny Golladay returned from injury earlier this season. Now that Golladay is out again, he returns to relevance. Some may view Matthew Stafford being out due to COVID as a killer to his fantasy value, but Jones is a very friendly receiver to quarterbacks with his ability to go up and get the ball at its highest point, and Chase Daniel has showed moments of magic. It helps that he will be going against one of the softest passing defenses in the league when they face the Vikings. (There is also a chance that Stafford is activated on Sunday after not practicing all week as his quarantining is due to close contact with someone who tested positive outside the building).


Amari Cooper, Cowboys: The entire Cowboys offense may as well be a sit at this point. They are on their third string quarterback, and the Steelers’ pass rush has been wreaking havoc recently. It is hard to anticipate that whoever Dallas trots out at quarterback that they’ll have enough time to take advantage of the Steelers’ secondary.

Corey Davis, Titans: This has more to do with the matchup than anything. The Bears allow the third fewest fantasy points per week to opposing wide receivers, and last week A.J. Brown was held relatively in check, which gave Davis a time to shine. It is hard to anticipate that Ryan Tannehill and this offense will allow Brown to be kept down like that again. Davis still remains a nice option when the matchup allows it.

Tight ends to play

Noah Fant, Broncos: The Falcons tight end defense has been the worst in fantasy football. Fant had nine targets last week as he has slowly looked more like himself as he has been recovering from an ankle injury. He played 65 snaps. Hopefully that leads him to having a relevant game against a terrible defense.

Jordan Akins, Texans: Akins returned to practice this week after missing the past few games. He should walk right back into his role as the pass catching tight end after Darren Fells went without a target in Week 7 before the bye. What really makes Akins an ideal play is him going up against a Jaguars defense that allows 12.3 fantasy points per games to tight ends, and the Texans having a bye week to prepare for this game.

Quarterback stream

Drew Lock, Broncos: Lock tossed three touchdowns last week, and it was his first time throwing a touchdown since Week 1. Obviously, Lock hasn’t been a great start most of the year, but he does have the Falcons this week, who allow the second most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. He is also owned in less than 20 percent of Yahoo Sports fantasy leagues, so he should be available if you need a quarterback this week.

Kirk Cousins, Vikings: There aren’t many quarterbacks owned in less than half of leagues that has ideal matchups this week. Cousins is barely rostered in more than 30 percent of leagues at the moment and he will be facing a Lions defense that allows just over 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. The thing that has really held back Cousins’ value is the team riding Dalvin Cook’s hot streak. Maybe he hits a few big play action plays? Your next best option that is plentiful on the waiver wire is Daniels starting for the Lions against the Vikings. (Daniels also may not start if Stafford is activated on Sunday after continuing to test negative the rest of the week).

Defensive stream

Washington defense against Giants

Texans defense against Jaguars

Jets defense against Patriots

Packers defense against 49ers