Fantasy Football: Top 10 Start ‘Em Picks for Week 9

Oct 30, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates his overtime touchdown catch against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 29-23. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 30, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates his overtime touchdown catch against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 29-23. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
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Score the greatest fantasy football lineup by starting the top 10 players heading into Week 9.

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 30, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates his overtime touchdown catch against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 29-23. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 9 of fantasy football. It has been a bumpy road, to say the least! Last week’s game offered fantasy owners some great results. Let’s do a little recap. Alshon Jeffery had his first touchdown since Week 1; just when all hope was gone, he’s surprised us all. Derek Carr set an Oakland Raiders franchise record and threw for over 510 yards.

Related Story: Fantasy Football: Top 10 Sleepers heading into Week 9

Jamaal Charles is still not healthy despite his return; he has been placed on injured reserve. Backup Spencer Ware left the game with a concussion, and Charcandrick West is in line start.

DeSean Jackson left the game with an injury and Jamison Crowder took advantage of the situation earning 20 or more fantasy football points. We also saw the return of Dez Bryant, who made earning 20 points look easy.

This we week, we have six teams on a bye: Arizona Cardinals, Chicago Bears, Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans, New England Patriots, and the Washington Redskins. This week alone could break your entire season. Valuable fantasy football quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, and Andy Dalton are all going to need to be replaced.

Top running back David Johnson as well as LeGarrette Blount and Lamar Miller are off. Rob Gronkowski won’t do you any good this week, and The Texans D/ST won’t be able to earn you double-digit fantasy football points. There’s only about a month before the fantasy playoffs begin. How you fill your weekly lineup is going to be more important from here on out.

With so many high scoring fantasy players on a bye, you need to start the most valuable players to earn the most points; settling for three points from one player because you have Brady isn’t going to work this week. This week’s games will offer better outcomes than others. So let’s get to it! Here are the top 10 fantasy football start ’em picks for Week 9.

Next: 10. This tight end has an ideal matchup

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 30, 2016; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys tight end Jason Witten (82) celebrates his overtime touchdown catch against the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium. The Cowboys beat the Eagles 29-23. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

10. Jason Witten, TE – Dallas Cowboys

I always say tight ends are a freebie in fantasy football. There aren’t enough elite players to be valuable, but if you get a good one you’re in luck. Jason Witten isn’t among the elite but, given the right matchup, he can explode.

Witten has only earned more than 10 points in two of his seven games this season. However, he has posted at least five in all of his outings. Last week, Witten completed 2-of-3 passes for 16 yards. Just when fantasy owners thought it was over, Witten scored a game-winning touchdown.

With Dez Bryant’s Week 8 return, Witten saw a decrease in targets. But with last week’s touchdown and his Week 9 matchup, his fantasy value increases this week. This week the Dallas Cowboys take on the Cleveland Browns. The Browns rank last in the NFL against the position. They offered tight ends over 580 yards and six touchdowns this season.

With six bye week teams, Witten is on this week’s TE1 radar. Expect another touchdown and double-digit points this week.

Next: 9. This running back is taking off

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 30, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; New York Jets running back Bilal Powell (29) runs the ball during the second half against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium. The Jets won 31-28. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

9. Bilal Powell, RB – New York Jets

Matt Forte is an obvious RB1 starting running back. But this week, I decided to add Bilal Powell to the lineup with so many valuable running backs off.

Powell is definitely not a weekly starter. When given the opportunities, he has earned 10 or more points per game like we saw four times this season. One of his best games came in Week 8 against the Cleveland Browns.

Powell rushed six times for 76 yards. He also added three yards on one pass completion. It was the 35-yard touchdown that sent fantasy football owners into double-digit points.

Although Forte is the New York Jets main workhorse, Powell is expected to have another great week. The Jets come face-to-face with division rivals the Miami Dolphins.

The Dolphins defense ranks 30th in the league against the run. They have offered opposing running backs about 135 yards per game. It’s not rocket science. Powell is a great RB2 or Flex option this week.

Next: 8. His opponents surrendered 18 touchdowns

8. Dak Prescott, QB – Dallas Cowboys

Dak Prescott has gotten the job done for the Cowboys. He’s just not getting the job done for fantasy football owners; it’s not his fault. It’s hard for a quarterback to earn fantasy points when their team focuses on a ground game. Especially when you have someone like Ezekiel Elliott on your team.

But, given the right matchup, Prescott has earned 20 or more points a few times this season. Last week, he earned almost 30 points in some leagues. He completed 19-of-39 passes for a little over 285 yards. He had two touchdowns and added 38 rushing yards on seven carries.

Prescott has really developed over the weeks and is becoming a higher valued fantasy football quarterback. This is especially true for his Week 9 matchup against the Cleveland Browns. The Browns have given away over 2,300 passing yards this season. In their last eight games, they allowed opponents to score 19 touchdowns.

In their last eight games, they allowed opponents to score 19 touchdowns. Look for Prescott to have over 250 yards and two touchdowns. He is a must start in this week’s lineup.

Next: 7. The Lions have given his position eight touchdowns

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 31, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) makes a catch against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

7. Kyle Rudolph, TE – Minnesota Vikings

In the first four weeks of the season, Kyle Rudolph looked to be a fantasy football contender. For example, in Week 3, he completed 7-of-10 targets for 70 yards and a touchdown. He earned almost 20 points in most leagues.

Since Week 4, owners have struggled to get any production from Rudolph. He hasn’t scored a touchdown or topped 31 yards since Week 4.

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Last week, Rudolph completed 5-of-6 for 31 yards. He earned a little under eight fantasy football points. This week’s matchup looks like it could be a comeback week for Rudolph. He prepares to take on the Detroit Lions in his Week 9 matchup.

The Lions have offered the position eight touchdowns this season. There have only been two tight ends to not score against the team. Rudolph has an ideal matchup this week. Consider him a TE1 position on your fantasy football roster.

Next: 6. Watch out for this Chief

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fantasy football

Oct 30, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill (10) runs past Indianapolis Colts long snapper Matt Overton (45) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

6. Tyreek Hill, WR – Kansas City Chiefs

I felt the need to mention Tyreek Hill on this week’s start ‘em list. He’s only owned in about 10 percent of fantasy football leagues, and I would never suggest owning him. However, with six teams on a bye, he’s worth taking a look at in a WR2/3 or Flex option heading into Week 9.

Hill isn’t the Kansas City Chiefs first or even second option at receiving footballs. But after Alex Smith left last week’s game with a concussion, Hill exploded. He earned at least 20 points in leagues last week. He completed 5-of-6 targets for a little under 100 yards and a touchdown; it was his third touchdown in his last four games.

He looked to have a great connection with Nick Foles. With Foles expected to start this week, Hill’s fantasy football value increases. Although this week he has a tough matchup against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Hill could repeat last week’s performance with Foles at center. Consider Hill a WR2 or Flex pick for Week 9.

Next: 5. This player will explode if he suits up

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fantasy football

Oct 2, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; San Francisco 49ers running back Carlos Hyde (28) runs the ball during the second quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at Levi

5. Carlos Hyde, RB – San Francisco 49ers

Carlos Hyde was ruled out of Week 7 with a shoulder injury. After a Week 8 bye, he returned to practice but played in a no-contact jersey.

At this point, his game day status remains questionable. However, should he suit up it’s worth noting he will have an incredible game.

This week the San Francisco 49ers take on the New Orleans Saints. The Saints rank last in the league in production allowed to the position.

The Saints have surrendered over 1,000 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns to backs in their last seven games. Track Hyde for the rest of the week. If he plays, he’s a must start. Should Hyde miss this week’s game look for any 49er’s running back to have a great week against the Saints.

Next: 4. This quarterback gets better by the week

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 27, 2016; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans quarterback Marcus Mariota (8) completes a pass in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Nissan Stadium. The Titans won 36-22. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

4. Marcus Mariota, QB – Tennessee Titans

Marcus Mariota has consistently improved every week this season. During his first four games, he took fantasy football owners on a roller coaster.

He had about 15 points in the first two weeks and then spiraled down to five in Week 3. Then in Week 4 he earned just about 10 fantasy football points and hasn’t looked back since. In his last four games, Mariota has earned over 20 fantasy points three times; he also has thrown 11 touchdowns in his last four games.

In last week’s matchup, he completed 18-of-22 passes for 270 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 11 yards on three carries. This week the Tennessee Titans take on the San Diego Chargers who rank 24th among pass defenses. Mariota should keep the momentum going in Week 9.

We can expect him to have about 240 yards and touchdown; he wouldn’t be Mariota if he didn’t add about 25 rushing yards. This week’s matchups puts Mariota in a QB1 position this week.

Next: 3. This receiver faces the 20th ranked secondary in the league

fantasy football
fantasy football

Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers wide receiver Tyrell Williams (16) catches a touchdown pass during the second half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. The Broncos won 27-20. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

3. Tyrell Williams, WR – San Diego Chargers

Tyrell Williams has been a decent fantasy football WR2/3 this season. Aside from his last week’s worst season performance, he at least earned five points per game. Williams topped 20 points three times this season.

And then last week, fantasy owners watched in despair as Williams blew it; he only completed 1-of-6 targets for four yards. But, it was kind of expected from a Broncos matchup; they’re the best pass defense in the league.

Williams gets a break this week and should bounce back against the Tennessee Titans. The Titans secondary ranks 20th in the league and gives opponents about 260 passing yards per game.

Also keep in mind Travis Benjamin is dealing with a knee injury, and should he be held out of this week’s game Williams will see an increase in targets. Williams is also listed questionable this however, he is expected to play. Williams enters Week 9 an RB2 or Flex option. Take advantage of his matchup and start him.

Next: 2. This tight end was last week's sleeper pick

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 30, 2016; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) gets upended as he is tackled by Indianapolis Colts cornerback Darius Butler (20) at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

2. Travis Kelce, TE – Kansas City Chiefs

Coming into the season, Travis Kelce was one of the most sought out tight ends; aside from the big names like Gronkowski and Greg Olsen. Unfortunately, Kelce has been more a dud than a stud this season.

Week 1 looked good for Kelce owners. He had a little over 70 yards and started the season with double-digit points. Then in Week 3, he exploded against the Jets. He had almost 90 yards and a touchdown earning over 20 fantasy football points.

That was the last time he earned double-digits until last week. Hopefully, you read my Week 8 sleepers and started Kelce in your league because he earned about 25 points in most leagues.

Kelce had his best season game in Week 8. He completed 7-of-10 targets for a little over 100 yards and a touchdown. Don’t expect him to top 100 yards this week. However, you can expect him to be targeted in the red zone, despite his matchup.

This week he takes on the Jacksonville Jaguars who haven’t been kind to tight ends. In their last seven games, only one tight has scored a touchdown against the team. Oddly enough, Kelce also had his best game when Alex Smith wasn’t at center. He seemed to have a great connection with Nick Foles.

With Foles at starting quarterback this week, Kelce could be the second tight end to score against the Jaguars. It’s worth starting Kelce in this week’s matchup.

Next: 1. This running back will make up for last week's bust

fantasy football
fantasy football

Oct 23, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram (22) carries the ball as Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Frank Zombo (51) defends during the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

1. Mark Ingram, RB – New Orleans Saints

When the New Orleans Saints hit the road to face the San Francisco 49ers, it’s a dream matchup. They are one of the worst teams when defending against the run and will more than likely give up some major yardage to running back Mark Ingram.

Expect to see the Saints do most of their damage on the ground against the 49ers straight to victory. While some fantasy owners might think it’s best to start running back Tim Hightower this week, it’s best to actually stick with Ingram.

Despite having issues securing the football, owners would be wise to use Ingram as an RB2 this week. He would also make sense as a FLEX option but make no mistake about it, he’s worth starting as one of your primary running backs.

Must Read: Jets vs Dolphins: Top 5 questions with LTJ and Christa Levitas

Overall, the 49ers won’t have any answers for Ingram when all is said and done. Start him this week and whatever you do, don’t miss out on this huge matchup!

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