If you thought making decisions before this week was hard, buddy you ain’t seen nothing yet. The Byepocalypse is upon us and it’s forcing people to do all kinds of crazy things this weeks. I’m doubling down on Browns in one league, starting Nick Chubb AND Baker Mayfield because Andrew Luck is on a bye. I BELIEVE IN FREDDIE THE CHEF KITCHENS!
Weeks like this one are exactly what this article is for: to alleviate the pain of making these tough starting decisions. Here are five players that I am SUPER high on this week and if they’re on your team, they need to be in your starting lineup. (Or at least taken with some consideration. You might just have a loaded roster and need none of my advice. Which is fair. No judgement.)
I made an effort to pick players that you might be debating on since a “must start” article is kinda dumb if it’s filled with RB1s and WR1s. To make things fun, I’ve including a ranking with each player where I think they’ll finish this weekend in PPR scoring.
Last week’s picks: 0-5
Season picks: 2-8
Sweet Brady last week was terrible (though I juuuuust missed on Lindsay and almost had Cook as well). This week I’m feeling it.
WR John Brown vs Pittsburgh Steelers
Week 9 rank: WR12
I’ve learned over this year that you just can’t not start John Brown. He’s become a permanent fixture of fantasy football and should never leave your starting lineup (unless you’re one of those loaded teams I mentioned earlier). This is particularly true this week as Brown faces a porous Steelers’ secondary—giving up the fourth most fantasy points to wideouts—at home, where Brown has scored at least 13 PPR points in each game he’s played in Baltimore.
WR Devin Funchess vs Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Week 9 rank: WR15
I think my confidence in Funchess might be just a little too high and his WR15 rank might comeback to bite me but screw it, what’s the point of playing if you don’t take risks? Funchess has rather quietly been having a pretty solid fantasy season, scoring 18 plus PPR points in two out of the last three weeks. Meanwhile, the Bucs have not been having a solid fantasy season, giving up an average of 31 points per game to opposing wide receivers (3rd worse) and 13 touchdowns (1st). Even with D.J. Moore’s emergence, Funchess is still the number one guy in Carolina and he’ll score himself at least one touchdown this week.
RB Nick Chubb vs Kansas City Chiefs
Week 9 rank: RB16
I mentioned that I’m doubling down on Browns so I figured I’d just help myself a little bit by putting good vibes out into the world. I’m a big believer of “if you say it’ll happen, it kinda maybe possibly could slightly happen”. Words to live by. With all the turmoil in Cleveland, something tells me the Browns’ game plan this week will be a heavy dose of run as Kitchens works to implement his offense (whatever that’ll be). That bodes well for Chubb as the Chiefs have given up the second most fantasy points to running backs this season. I’m in.
RB Dion Lewis vs Dallas Cowboys
Week 9 rank: RB20
This is for you, Clark. Lewis is coming off his best game this season in Week 7 where he scored 21.5 PPR points. Hopefully Lewis has kept the juices flowing through the bye week and comes into Monday night (yes, this is the Monday night game *eye roll*) red hot. The Cowboys have struggled to stop opposing backs the last two weeks and have particular difficulty shutting down pass catching backs. Four—Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley, Alfred Blue and Kapri Bibbs—have scored at least 10 PPR points on just their receptions alone against Dallas. Keep the train running Dion.
TE O.J. Howard vs Carolina Panthers
Week 9 rank: TE7
I explained this very simply on the podcast this week: Howard has been a top 10 tight end in last full five games he played and the Panthers are allowing most fantasy points to tight ends this season. Need I say more? If you have Howard, given the shitshow the tight end position has been this season, you don’t need my persuading to tell you to start him. However, I’m just here to say that you can be very confident and proud of your play this week. Also, if you’ve been finding yourself with disappointing tight end play and Howard is available in your league (very unlikely but maybe possibly) you should add him right away.
Who’s most likely to live up to my rank?
This poll is closed
John Brown WR12
Devin Funchess WR15
Nick Chubb RB16
Dion Lewis RB20
O.J. Howard TE7