Week 9 Start'em/Sit'em

Wednesday, Nov 3, 2021 at 8:59 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 9 of the 2021 NFL season. Analysis is aggregated from multiple sources including FN. Rankings are based upon PPR (point per reception) scoring. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

Please Note: This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Alvin Kamara, Travis Kelce, or Davante Adams. Instead, we take a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Start 'em Tua Tagovailoa (MIA, QB)
Don't let last week's 15 point performance sour you on Tua. That was against a tough Buffalo secondary. This week he'll face a Houston defense that ranks inside the Top 10 in most points allowed to QBs. He had a similar matchup the two weeks prior (ATL & JAC) where he put up 26.5 and 21.4 points respectively. Tua is a great start in Week 9.
UPDATE: Tua Tagovailoa has a small fracture in the middle finger of his throwing hand that has not recovered enough to allow him to start today's game.
8th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Derek Carr (LV, QB)
After putting up 40 points, 664 yards, and 4 touchdowns over his previous two games, look for Derek Carr to continue racking up fantasy points this week against a Giants secondary that has given up an average of two touchdown passes each game.
14th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Joe Burrow (CIN, QB)
Ranked just inside our Top 10 this week is Joe Burrow who is also a Top 10 QB on the season. This is a fantastic matchup when Cleveland makes the short trek to Cincy. The Browns are giving up the 7th-most fantasy points to QBs on the season including whoppers like 42 points to Justin Herbert in Week 5 and 33 points to Patrick Mahomes in the season opener.
7th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Cordarrelle Patterson (ATL, RB)
It's not easy to run on the Saints, but pass-catching backs have been able to do well against them this year (Saquon Barkley - 29 points, Antonio Gibson - 21 points). Patterson is definitely more involved in the passing game, and with Calvin Ridley out, there will be additional targets available. Patterson should be considered an RB2/fringe-RB1 this week in PPR.
4th Fewest Pts to RB
Start 'em Josh Jacobs (LV, RB)
Fresh off a bye week where he's had additional time to heal from a chest contusion, Josh Jacobs should easily slide back into RB2 status against a Giants defense giving up the eighth-most fantasy points this season. Prior to the bye week, Jacobs has posted four straight games of double-digit fantasy points. That should continue this week.
8th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Devontae Booker (NYG, RB)
You may not have another opportunity to start Devontae Booker this year, so get him into your lineup this week. As of this writing, Saquon Barkley is still dealing with both an ankle injury and being placed on the Covid list. Assuming he doesn't play, Booker could be a solid flex play this week against a Raiders defense that has given up the 12th most fantasy points.
12th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Marquise Brown (BAL, WR)
Ranked 18th this week on Fantasy Nerds is Hollywood Brown fresh off a bye week. While Brown has never been the most consistent player, he only has two games this year with less than 10 fantasy points. He's frequently targeted by Lamar Jackson every week and has six touchdowns on the season already. A matchup with the Vikings is fantastic as they are surrendering the 7th-most fantasy points to receivers this year.
7th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Brandin Cooks (HOU, WR)
Brandin Cooks remains the leading receiver for the Texans and their only legitimately reliable fantasy option. He's ranked 20th this week on Fantasy Nerds facing a Miami secondary that has given up the 2nd-most fantasy points to receivers this year. Keep him locked into your lineup.
2nd Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Cole Beasley (BUF, WR)
With back to back 21-point fantasy days, Cole Beasley remains a reliable target for Josh Allen. Defenses will continue to key in on Diggs and Sanders leaving Beasley frequently open underneath or across the middle. Jacksonville gives up the 6th-most fantasy points making Cole a nice flex option for Week 9.
6th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Mike Gesicki (MIA, TE)
Ranked 5th this week on Fantasy Nerds is a very productive Mike Gesicki. Although he struggled a bit against a tough Buffalo defense last week, we anticipate a nice bounce back game this week against a Texans team giving up the third most fantasy points. Zach Ertz put up 16 points against them in his first week as a Cardinal. Gesicki should produce similar numbers.
3rd Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Dallas Goedert (PHI, TE)
Since Ertz left, Dallas Goedert has averaged 12.6 points per game, but his ceiling could be higher. We really like him this week facing a Chargers defense that has been friendly to tight ends, surrendering the 4th-most points to them on the season.
4th Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Pittsburgh Steelers (PIT, DEF)
Nobody gives up more points to opposing defense/special teams than Chicago this year. If the Steelers can consistently apply pressure to Justin Fields, their defense could put up big numbers on Monday night.
Most pts to DEF
Start 'em Daniel Carlson (LV, K)
The Giants have allowed multiple double-digit fantasy days to kickers this year, and Daniel Carlson has four double-digit fantasy days on the season. He should be a safe bet for 8+ points this week.
10th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Matt Ryan (ATL, QB)
With no Calvin Ridley and a passing game that has largely been lackluster, Matt Ryan will face a Saints defense giving up the 5th-fewest fantasy points. Ryan has two games this year with less than eight fantasy points. The combo of poor play and a tough matchup makes Ryan barely startable even in Superflex formats.
5th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Justin Fields (CHI, QB)
Justin Fields had his first good game last week, but he barely saw any pressure. He's not a big passer (only game with 200+ yards), but when given time, he can get some points with his legs (103 yards rushing last week). Pittsburgh is likely to bring more pressure (5th-highest sack rate) so Fields is a Boom-or-Bust player that is more likely to go bust this week.
15th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Trevor Lawrence (JAC, QB)
There will be brighter days ahead for Trevor Lawrence, but this won't be one of them. Lawrence has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns this season. That's not a great stat when you consider that he'll face the league's toughest defense this week (nobody gives up fewer points to QBs than Buffalo). Sit Lawrence.
Feweset Pts to QB
Sit 'em Mike Davis (ATL, RB)
We have Cordarelle Patterson on our Start list this week, but Mike Davis doesn't warrant starting consideration. He continues to lose work to Patterson, and the combination of low volume and a brutal matchup against the Saints makes him difficult to start...even as a flex option.
4th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Adrian Peterson (TEN, RB)
With Derrick Henry out for the year, the Titans have signed veteran RB Adrian Peterson. The first thing to keep in mind is that we haven't seen what kind of shape Peterson is in. Next, we have no idea yet as to how the backfield workload will be split. Finally, a matchup with the Rams is not particularly great for his first game. There's simply too many unknowns to warrant starting consideration.
14th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Kenneth Gainwell (PHI, RB)
Kenneth Gainwell and the Eagles disappointed many fantasy owners last week. With Miles Sanders out, Gainwell was outperformed by both Boston Scott and Jordan Howard. Yes - Jordan Howard...who had 2 touchdowns. Gainwell rushed 13 times for a whopping 27 yards with no targets. You may have much better odds at the Blackjack table than trying to figure out which Eagles back is going to emerge this week.
4th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Kadarius Toney (NYG, WR)
While Kadarius Toney may be a dynamic player, he's also fragile and inconsistent. After putting up almost 30 points in Week 5, he's put up a total of just 14 points in the three games since. He's dealing with injuries of his own and will face a Raiders secondary that is giving up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points. If Keenan Allen and Mike Williams can be held to 12 points combined, the ceiling for Toney is going to be low.
3rd Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Odell Beckham (CLE, WR)
Regardless of what Lebron James says, Odell Beckham is no longer an elite talent. He's dealing with a shoulder issue, doesn't seem to have a rapport with Mayfield, and is lacking the professionalism expected from elite players. He was not only excused from practice this week, but HC Kevin Stefanski has told the team that Beckham is "essentially not on the team right now". The biggest obstacle to OBJ's success has been and always will be OBJ. Lebron James tweeted the hashtag #FreeOBJ, and we agree completely - free OBJ from your starting lineup.
UPDATE: The Browns intend to release Odell Beckham.
13th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Robby Anderson (CAR, WR)
The QB situation in Carolina is ugly and it meant poor fantasy days for both DJ Moore and Robby Anderson. Anderson has dropped or missed twice as many passes as he's actually caught this year. A matchup with the Patriots is not likely to jump start his fantasy season.
12th Most Pts to WR
Sit 'em Tyler Higbee (LAR, TE)
Looking at our TE rankings this week, we have to admit that it's tough to trust Tyler Higbee to finish as a Top 10 option. The Titans have been tough on tight ends this season giving up the 7th-fewest fantasy points to them. Combine that with the fact that Higbee hasn't put up double more than 10 points since the season opener, and Higbee becomes difficult to trust right now. Use him with caution.
7th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Pat Freiermuth (PIT, TE)
The potential for Pat Freiermuth is there, but with Eric Ebron likely back this week, Freiermuth will be splitting routes and targets once again. That would be fine if the matchup were favorable, but the Bears give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points. There's just not enough points to go around this week.
2nd Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Denver Broncos (DEN, DEF)
Dak Prescott is expected back this week and that's not good news for the Broncos. The Cowboys have left opposing DSTs in the dust giving up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to them on the season.
4th Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Robbie Gould (SF, K)
Whether Robbie Gould returns this week or the kicking duties for the Niners rests with Joey Slye, we wouldn't start either of them. The Cardinals give up the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to kickers on the year. There are much better streaming options on the waiver wire this week.
2nd Fewest Pts to K

Join the Discussion

If asking a sit/start question, be sure to provide your scoring format and contribute to answering questions from other FN members as well.

OldGeezer CommentedNov 3, 2021 9:23 pm

Have Brady on bye this week and Bridgewater as my backup. Should I keep Bridgewater or do you think T Hill or Siemian would be a better play. If so any thoughts as to if Hill or Siemian will get the start.

Nerd CommentedNov 3, 2021 9:35 pm

I think you'll be fine with Bridgewater this week. Good luck!

drcharlie CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:56 pm


The Grinch CommentedNov 4, 2021 10:07 am

I'm starting T.Hill & D,Adams & Waddle need one more for Flex
between R.Woods -J.Agnew-J.Meyers- R.Gage- R.Batman
not sure on R.Woods foot injury
any Help

Nerd CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:55 pm

If Woods plays, you gotta start him. After him, I like Bateman, Gage, and Agnew.
Good luck!

drcharlie CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:57 pm

What he said

RogueRaider CommentedNov 4, 2021 11:56 am

I'd go with Woods if he's a full go, then Bateman. Meyers is tough, he gets my sympathy vote for not getting a touchdown, maybe this week...

flipdunk CommentedNov 4, 2021 1:43 pm

devontae booker or jerry jeudy in FLEX spot? PPR league........any ideas???

Nerd CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:56 pm

Jerry Jeudy. Good luck!

drcharlie CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:57 pm

Jeudy. Saquon could be back

drcharlie CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:58 pm

Jeremy McNichols or Josh Jacobs? Full PPR

Nerd CommentedNov 4, 2021 7:59 pm

Jacobs. Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 5, 2021 9:54 am

Full point PPR, start either EMitchell, ZMoss or CEdmonds? I am leaning Moss based on receptions… but will Singletary take too much away from him in a likely blowout?

Nerd CommentedNov 5, 2021 12:46 pm

It's close, but I would start Mitchell.

yuh CommentedNov 6, 2021 8:51 pm

1/2 pt ppr.
Thinking of going with Goedert at Flex instead of Toney.

Nerd CommentedNov 6, 2021 10:11 pm

I think you could go either way on that one. It's that close for me. Goedert sounds right...
Good luck!

drbobcof CommentedNov 6, 2021 9:50 pm

Connors or Brian Edwards in Flex?

Nerd CommentedNov 6, 2021 10:12 pm

I'd start James Conner there.
Good luck!

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 7, 2021 12:27 pm

Full point PPR, start Thielen, Cooks or BEdwards? Thanks!

Nerd CommentedNov 7, 2021 12:29 pm

I'd start them in the same order that you listed them

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 7, 2021 12:29 pm

I’m another league, std, BEdwards or ESamders? Thanks again!

Nerd CommentedNov 7, 2021 12:30 pm


jamisdiablo CommentedNov 7, 2021 12:36 pm


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