2023 Fantasy Football Week 9 Start-Sit

by Mark Strausberg
2023 Fantasy Football Start-Sit

The 2023 Fantasy Football Week 9 Start-Sit will be my last start/sit article for a while as Mr. Sosic returns next week. And while this has been fun, I'm kind of glad it's over.

Because I'm tired. Trying to write a football article or two every week on top of being the content editor for basketball and hockey for F6P is absolutely exhausting.

But I'll make a deal with you. I promise not to complain about how tired I am if you promise to read our football content but also our quality basketball and hockey content. Deal? Great, I knew we could find common ground.

Speaking of ground, some of my picks last week need to be buried in the ground. Others were spot on. Let's keep it simple and say I went .500 and move on, shall we?

Let's see if perhaps I can be a little more consistent and hopefully improve with my 2023 Fantasy Football Week 9 Start-Sit recommendations.

2023 Fantasy Football Week 9 Start-Sit

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Quarterbacks

Start - Jordan Love, Green Bay Packers

I would not be surprised if you are looking at me askew right now. And I don't blame you. What Love did this past week, completing less than 59% of his passes for a meager 229 yards, against Minnesota was definitely short of inspiring. The 180 passing yards performance against Denver the previous week is not going to make Aaron Rodgers a distant memory. And the three-interception game against the Raiders might be Love's worst professional game ever.

But what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. And Love is still comfortably the Packers starter. And I think Love gets back to the similar numbers he posted the first four weeks of the season when he had eight passing touchdowns plus a couple of rushing TDs to boot. One thing I promise you that Love learned from Rodgers was not to let the bad games keep you down. And call it a gut call if you wish, but I we see a bounceback this weekend.

It doesn't hurt that Love might finally have all of his offensive weapons at his disposal this weekend. Or that he will be taking on the Rams who got shellacked by Dak Prescott last week and are on the road again in Lambeau. Or perhaps even more important is that the Rams are allowing the 12th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season.

Despite typically being ranked outside of the top dozen quarterbacks this week, I suspect Love will finish inside that mark this weekend.

Potential "Hail Mary" QBs to Start: Aidan O'Connell (LVR), Mac Jones (NEP)   

Sit - Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks

And one of the folks often ranked ahead of Love is Geno Smith. Not in my rankings this week!

Smith has been a little shaky lately with more interceptions (five) than touchdown passes (four) over the last three weeks. And anytime Seattle flies east for a 1 p.m. game, it's hard to back them or their quarterback. But even if he had a moderate match-up, I'd still be okay with starting Smith. Unfortunately, a match-up with the Ravens is hardly a moderate match-up.

For one, after missing last week's game, All-Pro Marlon Humphrey is expected to return to the Ravens. And that's a defense that is allowing the fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks this season. Even if they don't add to their eight-interception total, they should add to their league-leading 31 sacks. If Seattle's suspect OL can even limit the amout of sacks of Smith, expect him to be hit, hurried, and generally harassed often.

I'm not writing Smith off for the season, but I am for this week.

Other QBs to Potentially Avoid: Tyson Bagent, Sam Howell

Running Backs

Start - Darrell Henderson, Los Angeles Rams

With Royce Freeman on the field for 53% of the Rams snaps last week, Darrel Henderson owners are very nervous. The fact that he saw his rushing totals from the previous week snapped nearly in half is not comforting either. But stop worrying Henderson owners.

First off, there's a reason the Rams turned to Henderson before they turned to Freeman. Last week's game flow forced the Rams away from feeding Henderson. Yet despite a game flow that did not favor Henderson, it was actually quite encouraging to see him catch three passes for 54 yards.

Even if he can't duplicate his pass-catching success, I think he will still have far more success against Green Bay than he did with Dallas. Dallas is top ten in preventing fantasy points to running backs this season. Green Bay on the other hand is in the bottom ten. Henderson won't finish as a RB1, but bank on him giving you RB2 production at worst.

Potential "Hail Mary" RBs to Start: Pierre Strong (CLE) and Chuba Hubbard 

Sit - D'Onta Foreman, Chicago Bears

Hope you have enjoyed the run D'Onta Foreman owners because it's about to come to a screeching halt. Well, that is if you don't consider last week's nine carries for 34 yards already that screeching halt.

The backfield is a mess for fantasy purposes and Foreman's fellow RBs are getting healthier. Foreman's demise as the lead back is imminent to say the least. Even if he can somehow see the majority of touches this week, I don't expect him to do a lot with them against New Orleans. The Saints are tied for the sixth-fewest rushing touchdowns allowed, which is part of the reason they are allowing the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to running backs this season.

Other RBs to Potentially Avoid: Najee Harris (PIT) and Rachaad White (TB)    

Wide Receivers

Start - Nico Collins, Houston Texans

As a Collins owner, perhaps I'm a little too close to give you an unbiased rationale for why you should start Collins. But the fact is Collins leads all Houston WRs in snaps, targets, catches, yards, and touchdowns. Tampa Bay plays Houston this weekend. The Bucs have allowed the ninth most fantasy points to WRs this season.

What you do with those facts is up to you, but you can likely see why I recommend starting Collins this week.

Start - Demario Douglas, New England Patriots

So a fellow fantasy compadre and I were discussing whether or not he should trade Demario Douglas. He had the aforementioned Collins which made Douglas expendable. But just because I recommended trading Douglas in a dynasty league, that does not mean I don't like him this week. Because he's often ranked outside the top 40 and he definitely has WR3 potential this week.

For starters, he will be taking on the Commanders, who are giving up the second-most fantasy points per game to WRs this season. And that was before they traded away some of their best pass rushers earlier this week. Mac Jones has a way to go to match some of his fellow 'Bama quarterbacks' NFL success, but I think he and the Patriots WR corps could absolutely feast this weekend.

And Douglas might be the best Patriots WR right now.  Kendrick Bourne is likely to miss the rest of the season which means Douglas should see even more action. Do not sit him this week unless you are looking forward to wanting to kick yourself.

Potential "Hail Mary" WRs to Start: Rashid Shaheed (NO) and Tyler Boyd (CIN)

Sit - Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers

There are just way too many reasons to sit Palmer this week. Let's start with the easy and obvious one--his injury status.

The good news is he doesn't play until Monday night so that does give him an extra day to heal. And he was able to finish the game versus the Bears, but he did come out due to a "tweaked" knee. Yes, that's another way to say a minor injury. It's not the "sorry, you'll be out for a while" kind of injury but screams more of the "nagging" short-term kind of injury. You know, the kind that limits how sharp your cuts are, just how quickly you accelerate, how high you jump etc. You understand.

The second is that while Palmer was highly unlikely to overtake Keenan Allen as the Chargers' WR1, Quentin Johnson is becoming the weapon many thought he would be. QJ caught five of six targets and should only continue to see his target load increase.

If those two reasons weren't concerning enough, the Chargers are facing the Jets on Monday Night. No team has allowed fewer fantasy points to WRs this season. No matter who leads the Chargers aerial attack on Monday, it's not going to be impressive.

Sit - Marquise Brown, Arizona Cardinals

If you are getting a sense of deja vu, don't worry, it's not a glitch in the matrix. That's because I featured Brown in this exact space last week and as I predicted, he had a pretty quiet game. Unlike Palmer, Brown is healthy. Yet Hollywood has his own set of concerns this week.

For one, Kyler Murray is not expected back this week and Arizona just traded Joshua Dobbs to the Vikes earlier this week. So Brown will have to get used to having a new starting quarterback and not exactly a seasoned one at that. Secondly, even if a more seasoned veteran was starting in Arizona, the Cards opponent this weekend is Cleveland. The Browns have allowed the third-fewest fantasy points to opposing WRs. This is an easy pass again this week.

Other Highly Owned WRs to Potentially Avoid: Gabe Davis (BUF), Terry McClaurin (WAS), Brandin Cooks (DAL)

Tight Ends

Start - Luke Musgrave, Green Bay Packers

In the section above about Jordan Love, I mentioned how the Rams are not exactly holding down opposing quarterbacks. Fortunately for Musgrave, they're even worse against TEs. They are allowing 14.11 fantasy points to opposing TEs per game this season. That's the seventh worst in the league.

With Evan Engram, Kittle, and LaPorta all out this week, there's a good chance that Musgrave will need to be started this week. Whoever starts him will likely be pretty content with the results.

Potential "Hail Mary" TEs to Start: Hunter Henry (NE) and Cade Otton (TB) 

Sit - Jonnu Smith, Atlanta Falcons

Whenever there's a quarterback switch, it's hard to predict sometimes what the ripple effect will be. But I got pretty strong feeling the Jonnu Smith ride will continue to breakdown. I said it last week and I'll say it again: Smith is not going to see anything close to his 2020 numbers. Kyle Pitts is the TE1 in this offense. Smith is outside the top-25 in route share for TEs, making him a Hail Mary choice at best. Fade.

Other TEs to Potentially Avoid: Gerald Everett (LAC), Tyler Higbee (LAR)


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