Fantasy Football: Who to Start in N.F.L. Week 9

Here are players to strongly consider starting in Week 9.


Drew Brees (NO vs. Buccaneers) — Week 8 was the first game that Brees failed to throw for at least one touchdown this season, and his 17.1 fantasy points per game average is not top-5 QB material (it’s good for 10th best). But a matchup with the Buccaneers should bring out a nice, vintage Brees performance for his patient fantasy owners. Tampa Bay allows the seventh most F.P.P.G. (18.9) to the quarterback position, with four of the seven opposing quarterbacks topping 22 fantasy points.

Dak Prescott (DAL vs. Chiefs) — Before Week 8, Prescott had been cruising in terms of fantasy production, averaging 26.3 F.P.P.G. over the previous four weeks, and never falling below 15 points on the season. But the Redskins held him to 143 passing yards and no touchdowns, by far his poorest performance of 2017. He should bounce back in a big way against the once-stingy Chiefs defense, which is the fifth worst passing defense in the N.F.L. Three different quarterbacks have absolutely shredded the Chiefs secondary this season, including Deshaun Watson’s 35.5 fantasy points in Week 5 and Derek Carr’s 30.2 points in Week 7.

Also Consider: Jacoby Brissett (IND at Texans)

Running Back

Lamar Miller (HOU vs. Colts) — Overshadowed by the meteoric rise of Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson, Miller quietly has the 11th most fantasy points among backs in seven games played. The truth is, Watson’s play has increased the fantasy value of all of Houston’s offensive players. Miller’s recent usage seems to indicate that he’s reestablished himself as the team’s clear top back ahead of D’Onta Foreman, and he has one of the easiest schedules for a fantasy running back the rest of the season. The Colts have allowed a league-high 8 rushing touchdowns (10 total to the position) and the third most F.P.P.G. to the opposing backs (22.5).

Adrian Peterson (ARI at 49ers) — After a stunning debut with the Cardinals in Week 6, Peterson looked like the “Big Easy” edition in Week 7. Fresh off a bye week, look for him to get back on track against the 49ers, who defend the run as if they only have five players on the entire defense. Nine different backs have scored at least 10 fantasy points against them in eight games, and on the season San Francisco has yielded the most fantasy points total to the position.

Also Consider: Orleans Darkwa (NYG vs. Rams)

Wide Receiver

Dez Bryant (DAL vs. Chiefs) — It hasn’t been a stellar fantasy season for Bryant thus far, but it’s been far from a disaster. His four receiving touchdowns are tied for ninth best among receivers and he’s still being heavily targeted by Prescott with 64 targets (11th, N.F.L.). He’s been dealing with a knee injury but is on track to be practicing in full by the end of the week. This could be the week he finally breaks through with a big performance against the Chiefs, who have given up the most fantasy points to receivers so far this season. While the Chiefs do have one stellar cornerback in Marcus Peters, projects that Kenneth Acker will be Bryant’s primary defender this week (though don’t be surprised to see Peters moved around some to help cover Bryant).

Will Fuller (HOU vs. Colts) — With an incredible seven touchdowns over the past four games, it’s time to start paying attention to Fuller, if you haven’t been already. His seven touchdowns have come on just 13 receptions, which is a ratio that seems unlikely to maintain, but he should continue to be a big play threat, as he’s averaging 21.6 yards per target. The Colts allows a league-high 16.0 yards per reception, and the fifth most F.P.P.G to the position.

Also Consider: Marquise Goodwin (SF vs. Cardinals); T.Y. Hilton (IND at Texans)

Tight End

Jack Doyle (IND at Texans) — Doyle has 25 receptions and two touchdowns over the past three games and has emerged as Brissett’s top receiving option in the Colts offense. The young quarterback should continue to lean on Doyle this week against the Texans, who are one of the weaker defenders of the tight end position, allowing the sixth most F.P.P.G.

Defense/Special Teams

Jaguars vs. Bengals; Rams at Giants


Harrison Butker (KC at Cowboys); Blair Walsh (SEA vs. Redskins)

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