2020 Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 9

2020 Fantasy Football Starts, Sits, Sleepers: Week 9

by November 7, 2020 0 comments

The best part about fantasy football is winning. The second best part is the draft. However, the draft has come and gone, and fantasy owners struggle with who to start, who to sit, and who to target as a sleeper each week. Thankfully, three of our writers (Mike Fanelli, Mason Thompson, and MJ Hurley) offer up their takes on who fantasy owners should start, sit, and play as a sleeper this week. Be sure to follow all of them on Twitter and reach out with any fantasy football questions you may have. Without further ado, let’s get started.



Matt Ryan vs Denver Broncos

Despite only throwing one touchdown pass over the last two weeks, Ryan has scored 17.5 or more fantasy points in three straight games. For the season, Ryan is averaging just under 19 fantasy points per game. Furthermore, aside from that three-game slump, Ryan has scored 17.5 or more in each of his other five games this season. Meanwhile, the Broncos are giving up an average of 20.5 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. Furthermore, they have given up at least 18 fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in every game this season. Start Ryan with confidence this week. – Mike

Ben Roethlisberger at Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys are a disaster right now, and that’s an understatement. Their secondary can’t stop anyone, and the Steelers have a bevy of receivers to spread out the defense. Roethlisberger hasn’t done as well as expected with his receiving core, but this week will be an exception. Start your Steelers this week. – Mason

Russell Wilson vs Buffalo Bills

The Bills have only allowed 24.9 points per game this season, which for the 2020 NFL has been a fairly good defense. However, the Bills have allowed 42 points to the Titans and have struggled against top tier teams. Even more than in the first eight weeks this season, the Seahawks will live and die by the right arm of Wilson with both Chris Carson and Carlos Hyde out tomorrow. – MJ


Ryan Tannehill vs Chicago Bears

During the Titans’ two-game losing streak, Tannehill has been solid, averaging 17.3 fantasy points per game. However, he didn’t throw for over 235 yards in either game and had a total of 25 rushing yards during that span. The Bears are giving up the second-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, giving up only 13.3 per game. Furthermore, they have held opposing quarterbacks under 11.5 fantasy points in half of their games this season. – Mike

Daniel Jones at Washington Football Team

Jones has thrown or fumbled so many games away this year. While this looks like a great spot, Washington has been solid against quarterbacks as they rank 19th in the league. Jones has scored 20 points in only one game this year. In the previous matchup against Washington in Week 6, Jones scored less than 14 points. There are far better options this week. – Mason

Lamar Jackson vs Indianapolis Colts

Against the stout Steelers defense, Jackson looked bad. He threw two interceptions, took four sacks, and was unable to truly make a difference with his arm or legs. The Colts are the number one ranked defense in the NFL, and Jackson will have fits with the speed of the Indianapolis defense. When Jackson is on, he is a difference-maker in fantasy, but when facing an elite defense, Jackson should stay on your bench. – MJ


Kirk Cousins vs Detroit Lions

Yes, no one liked the idea of starting Cousins, but he has been productive for fantasy owners this season. Cousins has scored 19.4 or more fantasy points in almost half of his games. Furthermore, over his last five games, Cousins is averaging two passing touchdowns per game. Meanwhile, the Lions are giving up an average of two passing touchdowns and 19.8 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. If you need a bye week filler, Cousins should be your target on the waiver wire. – Mike

Drew Lock at Atlanta Falcons

Lock had a great game against the Chargers last week, where he led Denver to a comeback win. This week, he’s in another great spot to succeed against the Falcons, who allow the second-most points to the quarterback position. With Joe Burrow, Carson Wentz, Baker Mayfield, and Jared Goff on bye this week, Lock is a great streaming option. – Mason

Justin Herbert vs Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders have given up at least 30 points in four of their last five games and struggled against the pass. Outside of Herbert’s tendency to throw at least one interception per game, the young quarterback has transformed the Chargers’ offense into a dynamic passing attack. As one of the top emerging quarterbacks in fantasy, Herbert should always be in consideration to start. – MJ

Running Backs


Clyde Edwards-Helaire vs Carolina Panthers

Over the last two weeks, the CEH has a total of 14 carries for 67 yards. Some may be worried about his workload with Le’Veon Bell and Darrell Williams joining him in the backfield. However, despite limited touches over the last two weeks, CEH has only one game this season, scoring fewer than 11 fantasy points. Meanwhile, the matchup this week should guarantee CEH a 15 or more fantasy point game. The Panthers have given up the third-most fantasy points per game to running backs, giving up 30.3 per game. Furthermore, they have given up 33 or more fantasy points to running backs in half of their games this season. – Mike

James Robinson vs Houston Texans

The undrafted rookie is the RB5 on the year. Robinson has four RB1 weeks this year and will likely find himself around that mark once again this week. He had his worst game of the year against Houston in Week 5, where Jacksonville found themselves behind early. Well, this is a new game, and Jacksonville has a new quarterback under center. Robinson has found himself more active in the passing game and will be even more active with the change at quarterback. Start the undrafted rookie, and don’t look back. – Mason

David Montgomery vs Tennessee Titans

Montgomery has been increasing in touches the last few weeks and now faces a Titans defense that has allowed 128 yards per game in 2020. With the Bears looking to keep the ball out of Derrick Henry’s and Tannehill’s hands, there should be an increased emphasis on the running game Sunday. Look for Matt Nagy to call some more runs and activate Montgomery in the passing game to get Nick Foles comfortable against Tennessee. – MJ


Todd Gurley vs Denver Broncos

Despite a good matchup last week, Gurley averaged only 2.6 yards per carry, and if not for a touchdown, he would have scored a season-low 4.6 fantasy points. Even with the touchdown, Gurley scored under 11 fantasy points for the second time in three weeks. Things don’t get better for him this week as the Broncos are giving up an average of 21.1 fantasy points per game to running backs. Before last week, the Broncos have held running backs to 21 or fewer fantasy points in every game this season. Expect the Falcons to have their way passing the ball, further limiting Gurley’s upside this week. – Mike

Baltimore Ravens Running Backs at Indianapolis Colts

With Mark Ingram out last week, Gus Edwards and J.K. Dobbins led the way for the rushing attack against Pittsburgh. Edwards scored the touchdown, but they will likely struggle this week. The Colts defense has been great this year in all aspects and will limit Baltimore’s backfield this week. Dobbins will find himself playing more snaps this week but won’t find much running room. – Mason

Devin Singletary vs Seattle Seahawks

Coming into the 2020 season, Singletary was heralded as the top running back in Buffalo. However, the Bills have neglected the running game, and Zack Moss has taken over as the goal line back. Singletary only has one touchdown this season and has not surpassed 100 yards rushing in any game. The Seahawks struggled, specifically against the pass, and the Bills will take advantage of that. – MJ


Damien Harris at New York Jets

The Patriots have no proven weapons in the passing game and a quarterback struggling to throw the ball. All this means the Patriots will run the ball down the Jets throat on Monday night. The Jets have given up an average of 26.6 fantasy points per game to running backs this season. Furthermore, they have given up two or more rushing touchdowns in almost half of their games. Meanwhile, in three of four games this season, Harris has double-digit carries and over 55 rushing yards. In those three games, he is averaging 11.4 fantasy points per game. He is owned in just over 50 percent of ESPN leagues, and if you need a bye week filler, he should be your top target. – Mike

Tony Pollard vs Pittsburgh Steelers

Pollard has looked better than Ezekiel Elliott at times this year. With Elliot dealing with an injury heading into this week’s game against Pittsburgh, Pollard could be in for a heavier workload. Pollard has been producing more lately, and with the Cowboys turning to Cooper Rush or Garrett Gilbert, the checkdowns will be critical against a great Pittsburgh pass-rush. – Mason

Jonathan Taylor vs Baltimore Ravens

For some reason, the Colts have not been using Taylor the way fantasy owners expected. With the emphasis on the running game in Baltimore, fantasy owners’ best bet this week is for the Colts to also prioritize the running game and get Taylor going. Either way. Taylor is averaging 10 points per game and will produce, especially in PPR leagues. – MJ

Wide Receivers


Chase Claypool at Dallas Cowboys

Aside from his poor performance against the Titans in Week 7, Claypool has played well for fantasy owners since the Steelers’ bye. He has scored at least 13 fantasy points in three of those four games, averaging 18.7 fantasy points per game during that span. Meanwhile, the Cowboys are giving up almost 41 fantasy points per game to wide receivers this season. Furthermore, they have given up two or more touchdowns to wide receivers in five of their last seven games. – Mike

JuJu Smith-Schuster at Dallas Cowboys

As mentioned already, Dallas isn’t a good team right now and is a complete disaster. Smith-Schuster has been a disappointment this year following two great games in Weeks 1 and 3. He hasn’t put up many points. Well, Dallas is horrendous defensively, and all Steelers players need to be in your lineup this week. – Mason

Will Fuller vs Jacksonville Jaguars

After spending all week worrying about a possible trade, Fuller now turns to the Jaguars. Fuller has a touchdown catch each of the last five weeks and is emerging as the clear number one receiver for Deshaun Watson. Jacksonville has allowed 31 points per game and is without their starting quarterback, Gardner Minshew. The Texans will have plenty of short field opportunities to feed Fuller. – MJ


A.J. Brown vs Chicago Bears

Since returning from injury, Brown has averaged 20.9 fantasy points and a touchdown per game. He has at least seven targets in every game this season. However, he faces the Bears this week and will see plenty of Kyle Fuller. The Bears are giving up the third-fewest fantasy points per game to wide receivers, giving up 28.3 per game. Furthermore, they have given up only two touchdowns to wide receivers this season. If you start Brown this week, temper your expectations. – Mike

Allen Robinson at Tennessee Titans

After a hot start with Foles under center, Robinson has tailed off target-wise, only getting 11 the last two weeks combined. He has 10 catches and a touchdown. The Bears will somehow manage to stay in this game, but Robinson won’t have a big performance. – Mason

Adam Thielen vs Detroit Lions

Thielen has struggled the last two weeks with the emergence of Justin Jefferson. Unfortunately, Thielen has only produced around 15 points over the last two weeks, and there is little reason to think that will change against the Lions. Detroit has done well defensively, kept games close, and limited teams star wide receivers. Thielen will continue to get the majority of the attention, and targets will go to Jefferson moving forward. – MJ


Cole Beasley vs Seattle Seahawks

Even with the addition of Stefon Diggs, Beasley has scored 11 or more fantasy points in 75 percent of his games this season. Furthermore, Beasley is averaging 6.4 targets per game and has Josh Allen‘s trust when Diggs isn’t an option. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have given up the most fantasy points per game to wide receivers, giving up 57.7 per game. Furthermore, they have given 11 touchdowns to wide receivers this season. Both Beasley and John Brown are good flex options this week, while Diggs is a must-start. – Mike

Jerry Jeudy at Atlanta Falcons

To pair with Lock as a sleeper this week, also add in Jeudy for the stack. He had 10 targets a week ago against the Chargers and has averaged a little over six the last three weeks. Atlanta’s secondary isn’t great, and the young duo of Lock and Jeudy will look to take advantage. – Mason

Darius Slayton vs Washington Football Team

Given the struggles of the Giants’ offense, Slayton has emerged as a consistent and viable fantasy option. The young, speedy slot receiver has become the favorite target of Daniel Jones. With the solid pass rush that Washington has been boasting, the quick routes that Slayton runs will become even more important this weekend. With the lack of a top corner in Washington, Slayton is in line for a good afternoon. – MJ

Tight Ends


Rob Gronkowski vs New Orleans Saints

Yes, the Buccaneers will have Antonio Brown for Sunday night’s game. However, he should be on a snap count. Meanwhile, over his last three games, Gronk is averaging almost seven targets per game and has a touchdown in each contest. He has scored at least 14 fantasy points in each of those games. Meanwhile, the Saints have given up an average of 16.9 fantasy points per game to tight ends and have given up six touchdowns to the position this season. When these two teams faced off in Week 1, the Buccaneers’ tight ends scored 16.7 fantasy points. Expect a similar outcome on Sunday night. – Mike

Mike Gesicki at Arizona Cardinals

Gesicki has been disappointing the last two weeks but has a chance to get back on track this week. Arizona is middle-of-the-pack against tight ends, and this will be the first game where Gesicki has a chance to build chemistry with Tua Tagovailoa in a normal game-script. – Mason

Hayden Hurst vs Denver Broncos

The Broncos have allowed 379 yards per game, 255 through the air, and struggled against teams who utilize their tight ends well. With consistent injury issues between Calvin Ridley and Julio Jones, Hurst has become a reliable target over the middle for Ryan. The Falcons will continue to air the ball out, and Hurst will continue to get consistent targets. – MJ


Mark Andrews at Indianapolis Colts

If you have Andrews, you almost certainly can’t sit him. However, you should temper your expectations for him tomorrow. Andrews has scored under 6.5 fantasy points in more than half his game this season and has a total of 10.3 fantasy points over his last two games. Meanwhile, the Colts have given up the fewest fantasy points per game to tight ends, giving up only 6.7 per game. Furthermore, they have given up zero touchdowns to the position and held them under nine fantasy points in five of seven games this season. – Mike

Jared Cook at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This might be hard to do with how the tight end landscape is currently. Cook has gotten more involved in the last three weeks and even had one of his best games of the year in Week 1 against Tampa Bay. Since Week 1, the Buccaneers have been great against opposing tight ends. Michael Thomas will likely be back this week, which will cause Cook’s target share to drop. – Mason

Jimmy Graham vs Tennessee Titans

Graham has been getting lots of targets in the last three games, 21 total, but has only converted that into 12 catches for 78 yards and no touchdowns. With the emergence of Darnell Mooney and the emphasis on feeding Montgomery in the red zone, Graham has lost some of his fantasy value. – MJ


Logan Thomas vs New York Giants

Over the last two weeks, Thomas has become a preferred weapon of Kyle Allen‘s. During that span, Thomas has caught seven of eight targets for 102 yards, two touchdowns, and 19.2 fantasy points. Other than Terry McLaurin, Washington has no proven pass catches, and Thomas might be stepping into the number two role. Meanwhile, the Giants have given up 12.7 or more fantasy points to opposing tight ends in five of their last season games. Furthermore, when Thomas faced the Giants two weeks three weeks ago, he scored 13.2 fantasy points. – Mike

Tyler Kroft vs Seattle Seahawks

Kroft hasn’t been able to make the most of his opportunity with Dawson Knox on the Covid list. He has a chance to keep his playing time up with a great matchup against Seattle. While the Seahawks have been good against tight ends, their defense hasn’t been great as a whole. – Mason

Irv Smith Jr. vs Detroit Lions

With the Lions focused on shutting down Thielen, that will open up more targets for Smith. When Smith sees five more targets, he has scored 10 or more fantasy points in every game. With the Lions struggles in the red zone, Smith could be a good sleeper in deeper fantasy leagues. – MJ

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Mike Fanelli is the Editor in Chief and fantasy football expert for Prime Time Sports Talk since 2018. He is a featured writer for FantasyPros. Follow him on Twitter @Mike_NFL2 and reach out anytime with any fantasy football questions.

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