Week 9 - Players to Start and Sit

Wednesday, Nov 1, 2023 at 9:02 pm ET

This is the Fantasy Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 9 of the 2023 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 Justin Jefferson, Patrick Mahomes, or Christian McCaffrey. 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 Derek Carr (NO, QB)
This is such a tasty matchup for fantasy. The Bears rank inside the Top 5 in most fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. The list of QBs who put up at least 20 fantasy points include Jordan Love, Russell Wilson, and Sam Howell. Carr is in a great position to post similar numbers.
3rd Most Pts to QB
Start 'em C.J. Stroud (HOU, QB)
C.J. Stroud has been kept to under 15 points the past three games, but we're expecting a nice bounce back here at home against the Bucs. Stroud showed us what he can do with his legs as he scampered in for a touchdown last week - the only thing that saved his fantasy day. Tampa Bay is giving up the 5th-most passing yards per game and ranks just outside the Top 10 in points allowed to the position. He's a fringe QB1 worthy of a streaming option this week.
13th Most Pts to QB
Start 'em Gus Edwards (BAL, RB)
Gus the Bus is fresh off two straight games of at least 21 fantasy points. He found the endzone three times last week against a soft Arizona defense. The matchup will be more difficult this week, but there's enough volume and opportunity here to keep him in the RB2/Flex discussion.
15th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Chuba Hubbard (CAR, RB)
Miles Sanders, who? It's becoming much more clear that this backfield belongs to Chuba Hubbard, and this is a matchup worth considering. Indy gives up the fifth-most fantasy points to RBs on the season including a whopping 67 points to Travis Etienne, Jerome Ford, and Alvin Kamara over the past three weeks. Hubbard won't be in that league, but he's absolutely worth a high-end flex option this week.
5th Most Pts to RB
Start 'em Jordan Addison (MIN, WR)
This is a tough one as the Vikings will be without Kirk Cousins under center, but Minnesota will find a way to get the ball into Jordan Addison's hands. They have to. The matchup isn't great and Jaren Hall is likely to get rattled a bit in this one, but Addison should still remain on the WR3/Flex radar instead of the WR2 spot that he's been in the past several weeks.
13th Fewest Pts to WR
Start 'em Nico Collins (HOU, WR)
Admittedly, we missed the mark last week on Nico Collins, but we're going to the well once more in Week 9. The Texans present a nice matchup here as they have been very generous to receivers on the season. They're currently giving up the fifth most yards through the air to receivers, so if you need a bye week filler in the WR3/Flex spot, Collins is your boom or bust guy. Let's hope for a boom in this one.
9th Most Pts to WR
Start 'em Dalton Kincaid (BUF, TE)
Without Dawson Knox, it was all Dalton Kincaid last week to the tune of 5-65-1. That follows an 8-75-0 the week prior. Josh Allen has targeted him 15 times since Knox went on I.R. This is a great matchup as the Bengals give up the second-most fantasy points to the position. Start Kincaid with confidence.
2nd Most Pts to TE
Start 'em Trey McBride (ARI, TE)
On paper, this is a horrible matchup, but last week's matchup against the Ravens was equally horrible and Trey McBride turned in a 10-95-1 performance. With Zach Ertz sidelined, there should be plenty of targets for McBride to continue putting up points for fantasy owners.
Feweset Pts to TE
Start 'em New Orleans Saints (NO, DEF)
It will be rookie Tyson Bagent under center for the Bears again this week which means that the Chicago offense is likely to struggle to get momentum. The Saints will bring plenty of pressure and should be able to produce some turnovers in this one.
8th Most Pts to DEF
Start 'em Blake Grupe (NO, K)
Blake Grupe is the best kicker than most people are not familiar with. He's consistently putting up an average of 8.8 fantasy points each week and has multiple double digit games this season. Cameron Dicker just put up 14 points against Chicago last week. We're expecting double digits out of Grupe.
9th Most Pts to K
Sit 'em Geno Smith (SEA, QB)
Last week's performance left a lot to be desired for Geno Smith. Not only did he throw two picks, but he also fumbled the ball. Smith has had more games with interceptions than without including five picks in his last three games. Now he'll face a Ravens secondary that has been brutal against QBs. In fact, nobody has given up fewer fantasy points than Baltimore.
Feweset Pts to QB
Sit 'em Daniel Jones (NYG, QB)
We're anticipating Daniel Jones to return to action this week, but that doesn't mean that we should rush to plug him into our lineups. The offensive line issues persist and Jones has just one game all year with double digits. He has spent more time running for his life than he has moving the chains. The Raiders defense ranks in the middle of the pack, but Jones' production history doesn't warrant a starting spot...even during a bye week.
15th Fewest Pts to QB
Sit 'em Miles Sanders (CAR, RB)
Miles Sanders has just two games with double digits this season. He's quickly losing work to Chuba Hubbard and is also quickly becoming a fantasy afterthought. He carried the ball just twice last week for no yards and a big doughnut for fantasy owners. Even in a bye week, Sanders no longer registers as even a flex option. Either bench him or look for a better long-term replacement.
5th Most Pts to RB
Sit 'em Dameon Pierce (HOU, RB)
Good news first: Dameon Pierce is consistent. Bad news: he consistently provides an average of just 8 points per game. Sharing backfield duties with Devin Singletary dilutes both players' fantasy value. Pierce has just one trip to the endzone all season, and it's difficult to expect him to reach there against the Bucs who have given up the 6th-fewest fantasy points and rank inside the Top 10 in fewest RB touchdowns all year.
6th Fewest Pts to RB
Sit 'em Jaxon Smith-Njigba (SEA, WR)
With two straight games with a score, Jaxon Smith-Njigba has rewarded fantasy owners with double digits. Those are the first double digits of the season, and we're not expecting that to become three games as the Ravens come into this one locking down receivers all year. Looking at how the WR3's have performed against Baltimore, don't be surprised to see JSN come away with single digits yet again.
9th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Romeo Doubs (GB, WR)
Coming into this week's rankings at #46 is Packers dynamic speedster Romeo Doubs. Doubs has the potential to put up decent stat lines (five of his seven games have resulted in double digits), but the Rams have largely kept receivers in check. Doubs is also struggling with his efficiency catching just 38% of his targets over the last three games. Unless you're in a deep league, there are better options than Romeo Doubs this week.
11th Fewest Pts to WR
Sit 'em Michael Mayer (LV, TE)
Michael Mayer has so much potential and should be playing a bigger role on this offense. Unfortunately, the Raiders are a mess. They fired their coach Josh McDaniels and GM Dave Ziegler this week, barely used Davante Adams, and seem to be struggling for answers. Mayer hasn't put up more than 3 points in the last two weeks, and we're not expecting a sudden bounce back anytime soon.
4th Fewest Pts to TE
Sit 'em Darren Waller (NYG, TE)
As of this writing, Darren Waller remains questionable as he deals with a hamstring issue. You would think that a revenge game against his former team might be a great story line, but the Giants have not performed well in the passing game. They'll likely have Daniel Jones back, but that's not much consolation. Waller has just one trip to the endzone all year, and given his recent remarks on his hamstring, it may be some time before we get to see him in the endzone again.
UPDATE: Darren Waller has been ruled out for Week 9.
14th Most Pts to TE
Sit 'em Cincinnati Bengals (CIN, DEF)
It's tough to predict which Bengals defense will show up, but even if the stellar version is on the field, a matchup with the Bills isn't likely to turn the tide for them. Buffalo gives up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to opposing D/ST on the season.
3rd Fewest Pts to DEF
Sit 'em Matt Gay (IND, K)
Matt Gay is doing well in the first year of his 4-year, $22.5 million contract. He has three double-digit games on the season, but a matchup against Carolina will likely be a speed bump in an otherwise solid season. The Panthers have only allowed one kicker to reach double digits this year and that was Jason Myers back in Week 3. You can safely stream another option for Week 9.
10th 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.

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 3, 2023 11:06 am

Dropped waller for mcbride, that’s how bad the giants and he have been. No thx.

Nerd CommentedNov 4, 2023 11:58 am

Back in August, we would have said that you're crazy...yet here we are! Fantasy football can be a fickle beast.

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 3, 2023 3:22 pm

who do you like more on DEF this week? Cleveland or Las Vegas? Leaning Vegas... but it's very close no? also, start mclaurin over RRice or take a chance he and mahomes light it up in Germany?? thanks!

TOBIAS CommentedNov 4, 2023 11:55 am


Nerd CommentedNov 4, 2023 11:56 am

I'm leaning Cleveland over Vegas.

No Curtis Samuel so leaning Scary Terry. Of course, that's when Rice will finally go off...

Good luck!

Ed Chan CommentedNov 4, 2023 2:00 pm

Agree with Nerd, I would go with Scary Terry. Rice will get his looks, but Terry will get more. I think. And Cleveland!

mrock CommentedNov 5, 2023 11:54 am

Cleveland Rocks. Rice

toedoc CommentedNov 3, 2023 7:16 pm

start Hubbard or Henderson?

Nerd CommentedNov 4, 2023 11:57 am

Hubbard though I really do like Henderson's matchup.

Ed Chan CommentedNov 4, 2023 1:59 pm

With CMC on a break this week, I have Hubbard and Moss starting, and Henderson and Brian Robinson sitting. Saints' Thomas is currently flexing, but tempted to replace him with Henderson?

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 5, 2023 6:46 am


mrock CommentedNov 5, 2023 11:54 am


Dub1DMan CommentedNov 4, 2023 2:17 pm

Due to McCaffrey's bye week, I only have Zeke Elliott, D'onte Foreman and Kareem Hunt. I can grab Keaontay Ingram from waivers, but need help deciding which two to play.

Ed Chan CommentedNov 4, 2023 11:43 pm

I'd probably gravitate toward Hunt, he's had 4 TDs in 3 games and probably the likeliest redzone threat of the 4 options.

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 5, 2023 6:47 am

foreman, hunt

Kay Hudd CommentedNov 4, 2023 3:17 pm

Start Pollard for Dallas or Stevensen for NE?

jamisdiablo CommentedNov 5, 2023 6:47 am


mrock CommentedNov 5, 2023 11:55 am


Dub1DMan CommentedNov 5, 2023 8:20 am

Is Tutu worth a play with Stafford having a sore thumb and Puca's sore knee, or am I better off with Demario Douglas, or maybe Jackson Smith-Njigba?

mrock CommentedNov 5, 2023 11:56 am

Rypien will probably be ok but Puka and Kupp will still get the bulk. I would play JSN

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