Fantasy Football: Week 9 start/sit

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson passes during warmups before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson passes during warmups before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Seattle. (AP Photo/Stephen Brashear)

Last week’s starts of Tyrod Taylor and James White were both hits, but Bennie Fowler couldn’t perform even with increased opportunities. Taylor came through for the second straight week, finishing at quarterback No. 8 in fantasy scoring. White caught five passes for 85 yards to finish in the top 20 of “running backs” in half-point per reception (half-PPR) scoring. Fowler dropped a critical pass in the end zone and ended up with just two catches on six targets.

Alex Smith, Tarik Cohen and Kenny Stills were all better off on your bench. Smith, QB1 on the season, finished as QB14 after throwing for 202 yards. Cohen was atrocious, gaining eight total yards but stealing a goal line touchdown to have a semi-decent fantasy line. Stills turned out to be a decent waiver start, catching five passes for 65 yards and finishing at WR25 in half-PPR.

Here comes Week 9.

Start: QB Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans

This one is easy for anyone who owns Watson. He has a chance to break fantasy records this week against a terrible Colts defense. Watson is averaging an insane 31.3 points over the past four weeks and the Colts are allowing the fifth-most fantasy points to quarterbacks, including 18 points to Andy Dalton last week. The rookie is a lock for every lineup this week. Expect a crazy stat line if he stays aggressive in garbage time.

Sit: QB Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Winston is banged up, but keep him on your bench if he plays as expected. The Bucs take on the Saints, who have been surprisingly stellar defensively this season. Since Week 3, the Saints have given up an average of 10.2 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, which would rank third in the league in season averages. A few rough weeks to start the season leaves New Orleans in the middle of the pack over the entire year, but leave the injured Winston on the bench against a red-hot defense.

Start: RB Alfred Morris, Dallas Cowboys

Without Ezekiel Elliot, the Cowboys running game is very much in question. Morris and Darren McFadden will be the beneficiaries, but who scores more fantasy points remains to be seen. I like Morris, and so does Jerry Jones, who said Morris will get more carries than his backfield counterparts. The Chiefs have given up 25-plus fantasy points to running backs each of the last three weeks, so Morris has a high ceiling and should be in your lineup.

Sit: RB Kenyan Drake, Miami Dolphins

With the trade of Jay Ajayi to the Eagles, Drake and Damien Williams are expected to carry the load in the Dolphins’ backfield. However, Ajayi only averaged 8.3 fantasy points per game while he had the starting role to himself. Williams is expected to take most of the passing down work with Drake likely getting more carries, but it will be some sort of timeshare in Miami. Keep Drake on your bench for this messy situation until it plays itself out.

Start: WR Will Fuller V, Houston Texans

I’ve been a big skeptic of Fuller all season and I don’t buy into his production remaining as high as it has been. But I fully expect Fuller, who has caught seven touchdowns in four games, to do more of the same on Sunday. As I mentioned above, the Colts’ defense is bad and the Texans passing attack is good. This is a dream matchup for Fuller and, as long as the Colts keep the game relatively close, Fuller is a near guarantee to find the end zone.

Sit: WR Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo Bills

If you missed it, Benjamin was traded to the Bills this week. He joined the team Tuesday and is expected to suit up for Thursday’s game against the Jets. Tyrod Taylor probably loves the addition of Benjamin to the roster, but there’s no rapport between the two, making Benjamin tough to trust in your fantasy lineup. Keep him on your bench before firing him up next week when he knows the offense.


Josh Buser is a staff writer for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at joshua.buser@uconn.edu.