Welcome to Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers for Week 9 of the NFL season. This week’s edition features the return of Antonio Brown to the gridiron, but should it also feature the return of Antonio Brown in our fantasy lineups? Let’s take a look.
* Reminder: Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em is intended to present you with the non-obvious choices for your fantasy lineup. We dig deep into player matchups, scoring trends, and other factors to best help you with your fantasy decisions. Superstars such as Michael Thomas will not be found in this column. If you’re looking for players of their caliber check out our weekly fantasy football wide receiver rankings.
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WR: Start ‘Em
Start of the Week: Stefon Diggs at SEA
Don’t let the fact that he’s been held out of the end zone in four of his last five games discourage you. Through eight weeks of play, no one has been targeted more than Diggs (78). Not to mention the Seahawks allow 28 more targets to the WR group than any team in the NFL, as well as the most receiving yards. *Cole Beasley is a viable low-end WR2/Flex play, while John Brown has a good chance to emerge out of his slump.
Steelers WRs at DAL
The Dallas Cowboys allow the seventh-most fantasy points to wideouts this year, while their 14 TDs surrendered to the position rank second-most in the NFL. Aside from a fluke performance or two by Chase Claypool and JuJu Smith-Schuster, and injuries forcing Diontae Johnson not to finish games, all three Steelers WRs have, for the most part, been able to coexist and produce. That shouldn’t change this week.
Marvin Jones at MIN
Kenny Golladay is almost certain to miss this week’s matchup, pushing Jones to the forefront of Detroit’s receiving arsenal. Matthew Stafford has topped 335 passing yards in back-to-back weeks. In return, Jones has had his two best performances of the season (13.0 pts., 18.9 pts.). Minnesota has allowed six 93-plus yard receivers this season, as well as three two-plus TD performances from the position over their last three games.
Sleeper: Jacobi Meyers at NYJ
While how much weight this actually holds in New England’s current offensive system is up for debate, Meyers has become the Patriots’ top-receiving target over the past two weeks, amassing 16 targets (10 targets in Week 8) over that span. His ceiling is far from sky-high, but a matchup against the Jets intrigues. Of the 12 WRs to receive six-plus targets against the Jets, nine have recorded 78-plus yards and/or at least one receiving TD.
Worth a Flyer: Antonio Brown vs. NO
If you’re looking for a projection of Brown’s usage in Week 9, a look back at his lone game in New England a year ago is likely a good place to start. The wideout logged just 34% of the Patriots’ offensive snaps, yet still received eight targets on the day. Don’t expect him to constantly run with starters against New Orleans. However, when he’s out there, chances are he’ll be an early read for QB Tom Brady. It also doesn’t hurt that the Saints allow the sixth-most points to the position. AB is a worthy WR3/Flex flyer, albeit a risky one, just prepare yourself for a potential dud.
One Last Try: Amari Cooper vs. PIT
Amari Cooper wrecked many fantasy lineups a week ago, for all the wrong reasons. Cooper’s 1.50 point performance marks his second sub-5.0-point outing over his last four games. However, good news could be around the corner. Yes, Andy Dalton will not play again this week, while the team is reportedly seriously considering starting Cooper Rush at quarterback. With that said, over the Steelers’ last two games they have allowed two 100-yard-plus performances to opposing WRs, as well as four TDs to the position. The Cowboys must alter their offensive gameplan, while likely means featuring Cooper more.
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WR: Sit ‘Em
Sit of the Week: Darius Slayton at WAS
If you watched the Giants game this past Monday night, you constantly saw Slayton running past Buccaneers cornerbacks. Unfortunately, Daniel Jones did not see the same thing. The QB failed to look Slayton’s ways on numerous occasions, and when he did, was typically inaccurate. Sterling Shepard has clearly superseded Slayton as the most reliable receiving option in New York. Not to mention Washington allows the fewest fantasy points to WRs in the NFL this season.
Curtis Samuel at KC
Over the past four months, the Panthers staff has finally found a way to incorporate Samuel into their offense alongside D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson. Unfortunately, the imminent return of Christian McCaffrey may once again throw a wrench in Samuel’s usage. With Samuel primed to cede carries to CMC and Mike Davis, and targets already tough to come by as the third option at the position, Samuel’s ceiling appears to be caving against a Chiefs team that allows the fifth-fewest receptions to the position this season.
Buyers Beware: Corey Davis vs. CHI
While maybe not the clear-cut No. 1 target they originally drafted him to be, Davis is starting to live up to his first-round draft status. The wideout has eclipsed 100 receiving yards twice this season and has yet to score below double-digit fantasy points. With that said, he’s averaged just 46.6 ypg in games he hasn’t hit the century mark. The Bears allow the third-fewest points to WRs this year, including just two receiving TDs to the position, fewest in the NFL.
- Brandon Aiyuk vs. GB
- UPDATE: OUT-Reserve/COVID-19
Over the past two weeks, Aiyuk is fantasy’s WR8, averaging a hefty 20.3 ppg. However, with a depleted roster around him, including a backup quarterback throwing him the football and a George Kittle-less receiving corps to pull coverage away from him, Aiyuk may be in for a dip in production. The Packers allow the seventh-fewest points to WRs this year and are just one of three teams yet to surrender a grand total of 1,000-plus receiving yards to the position.
- *Check out our other Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Ems to further optimize your lineups
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