Saturday, November 6, 2021

Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Start'em, Sit'em

The decision on which player to start, or sit, largely comes down to the options on your roster (and/or possibly the players available on your league's waiver wire).

As an example, Joe Burrow is listed below as a "start" for Week 9. And I'd certainly be comfortable going into Week 9 with him as my starting quarterback.

Then again, Burrow may be a "sit" for your team.

In other words, if you roster both Patrick Mahomes and Burrow, you should start Mahomes and, in turn, bench Burrow.

For a more direct answer on whether we would start Player X over Player Y, check our Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings. Instead of making those direct comparisons, the goal here is to highlight players that we like, or dislike, for the week.

Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Start'em

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. CLE)

One of the reasons I was higher than most on Burrow in the preseason was the expectation that Burrow would throw it often. While the volume hasn't materialized, Burrow has been extremely efficient.

Currently 22nd in the NFL in pass attempts (246), Burrow ranks sixth in passing yards (2,215), fourth in Y/A (9.0) and third in passing touchdowns (20). Burrow's 8.1 TD% is more than double his 3.2 TD% as a rookie. Reunited with Ja'Marr Chase, the duo has picked up where they left off during their historic run as LSU Tigers.

This week's cross-state matchup against the Cleveland Browns isn't ideal, but Burrow will look to extend his streak of impressive performances. The second-year quarterback has finished as fantasy's QB8, QB2 and QB10 over the past three weeks, respectively. In fact, he has thrown three touchdowns in three consecutive games and multiple touchdowns in every game this season.

Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins (vs. HOU)

No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season than the Buffalo Bills, so it was no surprise that Tagovailoa did not finish Week 8 as a top-12 fantasy quarterback. A rushing touchdown and two-point conversion led to a QB14 weekly finish.

Before last week, however, Tagovailoa had finished as the QB10 (Week 6) and QB1 (Week 7) in back-to-back favorable matchups against the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons, respectively. In those two games, the second-year quarterback threw for 620 yards and six touchdowns.

As bad as the one-win Dolphins have been, they are favored this week against the Houston Texans, one of the few teams ranked lower than the Dolphins in our consensus Week 9 NFL Power Rankings. The Texans have allowed the seventh-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Topping our waiver-wire QB rankings for Week 9, Tagovailoa is a plug-and-play option for those looking for a bye-week replacement for Tom Brady or COVID-list replacement for Aaron Rodgers.

Daniel Jones, New York Giants (vs. LV)

Jones has been solid, not great, over the past couple of weeks. Facing the Carolina Panthers and Kansas City Chiefs in Weeks 7 and 8, respectively, Jones has finished outside the top 12 (but inside the top 15) fantasy quarterbacks each week. While Jones is not an elite passer, he's an underrated dual-threat option. The former Duke Blue Devil ranks fifth among quarterbacks in rush attempts (46) and rushing yards (241).

Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders (at NYG)

Outside of a couple of disappointing performances in Weeks 4 and 5, Carr has scored a minimum of 20 fantasy points in his other five games this season. In those five games, Carr has thrown for a minimum of 323 passing yards and two touchdowns. Even though Carr has already had his bye, he is one of 10 quarterbacks to throw for either 300-plus yards and/or multiple touchdowns in at least six games this season.

Week 9 Fantasy Football QB Sit'em

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (at LAR)

The injury to Derrick Henry likely means that the Titans become more of a pass-oriented offense until he's able to return. Even so, a matchup against the Los Angeles Rams isn't necessarily the most fantasy-friendly for opposing quarterbacks.

Heading into Week 9, Tannehill has only one 300-yard game (Week 2) and only two games with multiple passing scores (although one of those was last week). On a positive note, Tannehill has a rushing score in two of his past three games and a total of three rushing scores this season.

Longer term, Tannehill may have more high-volume passing games with Henry sidelined and that has led me to bump him up a couple of spots in my rest-of-season fantasy rankings. This week, however, he's more of an upside QB2.

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons (at NO)

Like Tannehill and the Titans, Ryan and the Falcons have lost their top offensive playmaker. With Calvin Ridley stepping away, it's a more direct blow to Ryan's fantasy outlook.

Before last week, Ryan had thrown for multiple scores in five consecutive games, a stretch during which he had three 300-yard outings. Last week, however, Ryan completed 20-of-27 for a season-low 146 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

Given a difficult matchup against the New Orleans Saints, who have allowed the fifth-fewest fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, Ryan is not a viable streamer this week.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. CHI)

Roethlisberger has been mediocre, at best. On a positive note, he has 40-plus pass attempts in four of seven games and an average of 38.4 pass attempts per game. The bad news is that he doesn't do much with the volume.

Big Ben has only one 300-yard game (Week 3) and only one game with multiple passing touchdowns (Week 5). In addition, he has yet to finish any higher than the weekly QB18 and/or score more than 16.02 fantasy points in a game.

At best, he's a low-end QB2 for those in 2-QB or Super Flex leagues.

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