Confidence Plays | Fantasy Football Week 9

Start Em Sit Em Week 9

Last week’s story was a trifecta of three-touchdown games from the studly Alvin Kamara, A.J. Brown, and Christian McCaffrey. Hopefully, you either had them or avoided playing them. Unfortunately, I was able to pull off a trade in one of my leagues for Kamara right before his explosion. Serendipitous timing to say the least.

As you may know, this article focuses on the fringe players because you don’t need my help telling you to start Christian McCaffrey. I am happy to say that with back-to-back weeks of seven players right and five players wrong, your boy is back above 500. My overall record for those of you keeping score is 43-37 this season. Let’s try and keep the momentum going!

As I will do every week for this article, I am using the FantasyPros Expert Consensus Rankings to bring you, players, in ranges where the start/sit conundrums exist. Your RB2, WR3, and FLEX positions. Here are the ranges in which I will try to live when writing this column each week:

QB ECR: 10-20 | RB ECR: 20-40 | WR ECR: 20-40 | TE ECR: 10-20

With that, I will bring you my confidence plays and fades for this week. Again, my goal here is to give you plays and fades beyond just your obvious studs & duds. Good luck!

Week 9 Fantasy Football Start Em, Sit Em

PLAY

QB Trevor Lawrence ECR QB#14, vs LV

Lawrence could be hard to trust coming off a poor performance where he failed to score even 10 fantasy points in six-point touchdown leagues, but I think he sets up nicely this week. The Raiders are the #1 defense in points allowed to quarterbacks, allowing 23.4 points per game. That incredibly high yield is due to the fact that they have let every single opposing signal caller they have faced to score at least two touchdowns against them in 2022. So TLaw is poised for a big day on Sunday. 

RB James Conner ECR RB#32, vs SEA or RB Eno Benjamin ECR RB#28, vs SEA 

As I prepare this article, it is unclear if James Conner or Eno Benjamin will get the start here. Whoever it is, I am comfortable with either of them outperforming their projection against the Seattle Seahawks’ run-funnel defense. Although they boast a very stout secondary, Seattle ranks in the top 5 in receptions, receiving yards, and points allowed to fantasy running backs this season. Look for the Cardinals’ backs to get it going against the Hawks this week. 

RB Antonio Gibson ECR RB#24, vs MIN

If you read this article and then stare at your players in your app, you might wonder why I am suggesting a committee running back against the Vikings defense that is a bottom-10 unit in points allowed to the RB position with just 18 points per game surrendered. It is because of the role Gibson has been playing in this Commander’s committee. Over the last three weeks and since Brian Robinson returned to the lineup, he has had 15 targets, 13 catches, and has scored two receiving touchdowns. Although the Vikings have been solid against backs, they have been susceptible through the air via the RB position. Minnesota allows about 40 receiving yards on average to their RB opponents, which is 7th most in the NFL. I think Gibson’s new role will serve you well this week in your lineups. 

WR Josh Palmer ECR WR#35 at ATL

As of this writing, Keenan Allen has not yet practiced as the Chargers return from their bye week. He also mentioned his hamstring got worse over the week of rest. With Mike Williams and Keenan Allen out, Palmer is set to be a focal point of the LA passing attack, and the last time we saw Palmer was on Monday Night Football against the Broncos. In that game, with Mike Williams playing, he saw 12 targets. This week Palmer faces a Falcons defense that has allowed the most receiving yards to fantasy wide receivers on the season. 

WR Adam Thielen ECR WR#26 at WAS

Adam Thielen has found himself as a solid WR3 with WR2 upside in most formats this season. He has not seen fewer than seven targets since Week 1. This week the Vikings get the Commanders, who are a top-5 unit in points surrendered to wideouts this season, and that was before they just traded away their best cornerback to the Steelers at the trade deadline. I am a fan of Thielen’s outlook this week. 

TE Evan Engram ECR TE#12 vs LV

Engram has had a really strong month in fantasy, averaging just about seven targets and five catches per game and clearing 40 yards in all four contests. He even scored a touchdown last week as well. Engram’s production over the previous four weeks makes him the TE4 over that span. Now he gets a date with the third easiest defense against fantasy tight ends: the Las Vegas Raiders.

For a few more players you can throw in your DFS lineups, check out Austin’s DFS Academy!

FADE

QB Tom Brady ECR QB#12, vs LAR

When people ask what’s wrong with Brady, I am not sure they realize just how bad it has been. TB12 has failed to throw more than a single touchdown in all but one game this season and is, therefore, the QB19 in fantasy points per game. As a result, I am fading Brady this week, even after 10-days of rest. Despite their offensive struggles, he faces a Rams defense that has allowed the 8th fewest points per game to quarterbacks in fantasy land. You can do better than Brady this week. 

RB Isiah Pacheco ECR RB#36, vs TEN

This Chiefs backfield has been one of the more frustrating conundrums in fantasy football this year. The last time we saw the rookie Pacheco, he was named the “starter,” and what did that get him? Only eight touches. Compared to C.E.H.’s six and McKinnon’s three, that is nothing to write home about. In fact, through seven full games, the Chiefs have only had one running back see over 15 touches in a game this year. So all of that, coupled with the fact that the Titans allow the fourth fewest points to enemy backs, I am out on all KC RBs this week. 

RB Darrell Henderson ECR RB#31, at TB

Pick a name with the Rams backfield: Akers, Henderson, Rivers, Williams, and on and on it goes! I trust no one in the LA backfield until they shore up their offensive line, and I am not sure that is happening any time soon. Even if I did trust any of them, the matchup is terrible in Week 9. Tampa Bay allows just about 16 points per game to backs this season which is the sixth lowest through eight weeks.

WR Rondale Moore ECR WR#31 vs SEA

The aforementioned Seattle Seahawks are a run-funnel defense, remember, but just how good is their defense against WRs? They have held enemy wideouts to just 21.6 ppg, which is the third-fewest among defenses in the 2022 season. So I think we are likely chasing Moore’s points by putting him in our lineups this week, and that is not something I would suggest. 

WR Garrett Wilson ECR WR#33 vs BUF

I loved Garrett Wilson coming out of college. I loved his production on the Jets with Joe Flacco at quarterback and loved to see him get some chemistry working with Zach Wilson last week, catching six balls on seven targets for 115 yards. However, I hate this matchup with a capital h. The Buffalo Bills have an elite secondary so far this season, when healthy and rank in the bottom 10 in points allowed to wideouts. They will also likely get their stud cornerback, Tre’Davious White, back this week. So I would avoid Wilson if you can. 

TE Isaiah Likely ECR TE#16 at NO

This may seem like a wild take, and to be fair, it may backfire horribly. I am aware that the Ravens just lost Bateman for the season, and the smart play for the Ravens is to hold Mark Andrews out this week as well. Last Thursday, when both Bateman and Andrews left the game early, Likely had a strong performance, turning six receptions on seven targets into 77 yards and a TD. So why on earth would I be recommending you fade him this week? This Saints defense has been no joke against tight ends, ranking #2 in the entire NFL in points allowed. They are giving up just around five points per game to the position. Only the Jets and Bills join them in not allowing a single touchdown to the position so far this year. I am confident with the other weapons on the sideline. New Orleans will likely have a plan for Isaiah Likely.

Good luck this week. If you need some advice replacing some of Travy’s Fades, we have Ryan’s Streams of the Week to help you get that Week 9 win!