Fantasy Football Start 'Em or Sit 'Em: Week 9 Edition 1
Ron Chenoy, USATSI

Many fantasy football leagues will see their playoff landscapes taking shape as we examine who starts and who sits in Week 9.

The home stretch is now upon us in the fantasy football season. Injuries have piled up and opened doors for several players, while some stars have returned to action. Regardless, it’s time to own your league as we enter November.

Looking at last week’s column, you were wise if you stuck with Jacquizz Rodgers for another week and trusted the Panthers’ defense to bounce back. C.J. Fiedorowicz proved his previous production was no fluke and Davante Adams was a dream come true in PPR leagues. Week nine is here, and so is our breakdown of who starts and who sits.

Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) runs past Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Oakland Raiders defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) runs past Oakland Raiders defensive end Khalil Mack (52) during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Oakland Raiders defeated the Tampa Bay Buccaneers 30-24 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Start ‘Em

Jameis Winston, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The second year pro was solid yet unspectacular in an overtime loss to Oakland last week, but carries upside heading into week nine. Winston and the Bucs will face off against Atlanta and their woeful secondary which has allowed over 285 passing yards per game.

Winston also threw for 281 yards and four scores against Atlanta in week one, as he should be in line for another productive week.

Sit ‘Em

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Buffalo Bills

Outside of a disastrous first week, Taylor has been a viable fantasy play in every week since the Bills’ road opener in Baltimore. He’s turned the ball over just three times this season and provided additional points with his scrambling ability. However, his good fortune is likely on the downswing next week.

Taylor and the Bills will travel to Seattle to face one of the best defenses in the league. If you need a bye week filler at quarterback, you may want to look elsewhere.

Start ‘Em

Charcandrick West, RB, Kansas City Chiefs

This is a situation you’ll have to monitor throughout the week. Jamaal Charles has not made a successful return from offseason knee surgery and his status for next week remains cloudy while Spencer Ware left Sunday’s contest with a concussion. West is currently slated to get the bulk of the carries if the other two can’t go.

If West is the lone back heading into Sunday, he should fare well against a Jaguars defense allowing the fifth most rushing yards per game (124.7).

Sit ‘Em

Chris Ivory, RB, Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jaguars offense is nearly in complete disarray, while their defense has vastly underperformed. The result is a running game that has been almost nonexistent. Ivory has received double digit carries just twice this season and has failed to gain more than 48 yards on the ground.

Having scored just one touchdown on the season, Ivory isn’t much of an option until he and the rest of the Jaguar offense can prove otherwise.

Start ‘Em

Devonte Booker, RB, Denver Broncos

C.J. Anderson‘s injuries have opened the door for the Utah product to assume the lion’s share of work moving forward. Touchdowns in each of his past two games are an encouraging sign opposing Oakland’s rush defense which allows the fourth most yards per game in the NFL.

Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz (80) is defended by Los Angeles Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) on a 25-yard reception during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 23, 2016; London, United Kingdom; New York Giants receiver Victor Cruz (80) is defended by Los Angeles Rams strong safety T.J. McDonald (25) on a 25-yard reception during game 16 of the NFL International Series at Twickenham Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Sit ‘Em

Victor Cruz, WR, New York Giants

In standard formats, Cruz has produced double-digit fantasy points just once. Couple that with one lone touchdown that came in week one, and you have a disappointing season for the former pro bowler. It appears that Cruz isn’t the same player after knee surgery and also seems to be the third option in the passing game.

A huge divisional matchup with the Eagles in week nine will give Cruz a chance to prove doubters wrong, but it won’t come easy against the NFL’s fifth-best passing defense.

Start ‘Em

Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts

Dwayne Allen‘s injuries have allowed Doyle to become the primary tight end. In a fairly thin position, Doyle serves as decent option for those who need help at the tight end spot in week nine. While Donte Moncrief‘s return could take away some of his targets, he still remains a solid play against a mediocre Green Bay defense.

Sit ‘Em

Anquan Boldin, WR, Detroit Lions

The veteran wide out struggled against one of the league’s top defenses last week (Houston) and could very well do so against Minnesota next week. Boldin, who hasn’t eclipsed the 60 yard mark this season, will have his work cut out for him on the road against the Vikings’ stingy defense.

Start ‘Em

Philadelphia Eagles Defense

Jim Schwartz’s defense had their fair share of difficulties against Dallas in week eight, but have a much better matchup in line next game. The Eagles will travel to the Meadowlands to face a Giants offense that has been inconsistent for much of 2016.

The Giants have not established a running game and have relied upon quick passes to create offense. The Eagles’ aggressive pass rush could cause numerous issues for the G-men on Sunday afternoon.

Sit ‘Em

Tennessee Titans Defense

The Titans have allowed over 20 points in three consecutive weeks, two of which came against bottom feeders Cleveland and Jacksonville. They’ll travel to San Diego in week nine to square off with the Chargers’ pass-happy offense. Owned in about 50% of leagues on ESPN.com, you’re better off employing a different defense next week.

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