Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em Week 9

Derek Dimino, Staff Writer

  Start’em Sit’em
Quarterback Dak Prescott – Dak Prescott, fresh out of Mississippi State, took over the starting QB role after veteran Tony Romo went down with an injury in the preseason. Prescott, along with rookie running back Ezekiel Elliot, have propelled the Cowboys to the top of their division, hurdling injuries and stiff competition along the way. Going up against one of the best defenses in the league, Prescott threw for 287 yards, two touchdowns and an interception, while rushing another seven times for 38 yards and a touchdown. Although Prescott’s completion percentage was well below acceptable, and he did turn the ball over twice, he’ll have an extremely easy matchup against the Cleveland Browns in week nine. Dak Prescott will be asked to do less, but fantasy owners will get more.


Eli Manning – Eli Manning has had about as inconsistent a season as you can have as a clear-cut starting quarterback in the NFL. The inconsistency doesn’t stop there. The Giants performances have been borderline treasonous, from a struggling offensive line to a horrendous rushing attack, from a melodramatic star receiver to a feather weight defensive front that has let offensive lines push them around like toddlers, it’s amazing the Giants are have managed to stay at .500. So far this season, Eli has thrown an impressive 1,984 passing yards and eight touchdowns, sadly over shadowed by his eight turnovers (six interceptions and two fumbles lost). He had a turnover in every game so far this season, except for week nine, where he failed to find the end zone as well. Though he has played against some of the toughest defenses in the league, he’s not through the gauntlet yet. In week nine, Manning goes up against his division rival the Philadelphia Eagles, where they’ll look to gain better footing of the second place slot in the strong NFC East.


Running-Back Jay Ajayi – Coming off a two-game 200-plus yard rushing streak, interrupted by a bye week, Ajayi seems destined to have another big week against the Jets in week nine. While we shouldn’t expect another 200-yard rushing clinic against the Jets, their battered linebacking core and recovering defensive line should allow for pretty impressive production from Ajayi. Dolphins Head Coach Adam Gase has already alluded to the fact that his touches will need to decrease in order to keep his running style effective and his body healthy. Unfortunately for the Dolphins, with Arian Foster’s retirement they are left with very little depth in the backfield. It is likely for Ajayi’s touches to hover right above 20 a game going forward. He should be a locked-in starter, easily able to produce 75 yards and a touchdown against their division rivals in week nine.


Any Green Bay RB – With Wide-Receiver Ty Montgomery hopeful to return to his role as the lead back in week nine, and the inability to put a WR in the fantasy RB slot, there will be no reason to start anyone out of the Green Bay backfield. With Eddie Lacy out for the season and James Starks likely to be out for at least another week, Green Bay has leaned heavily on Quarterback Aaron Rodgers, receivers Ty Montgomery and Randall Cobb, and Fullback Aaron Ripkowski to carry the running game. While Ty Montgomery still isn’t 100 percent to come back for week nine due to his Sickle Cell Trait, all possible RB replacements have been extremely ineffective. Just Monday, Knile Davis was dropped, after a week eight performance where he and Don Jackson combined for 14 yards on seven carries, with Ty Montgomery sidelined. Stay away from GB’s backfield.


Wide-Receiver Quincy Enunwa – For those of you who bought into Quincy Enunwa early enough to grab him off waivers, you’ve probably enjoyed some fantasy success with him to credit. Since Eric Decker went down in week three, the opportunity for Enunwa to consistently get WR2 numbers became apparent. Since week three, he has averaged over seven targets a game, which he has gained about 60 yards a game from and an additional two touchdowns. Although in the last six weeks he has barely hauled in half of his intended targets, once he starts meshing with Fitzpatrick he will put up astronomical numbers. In week eight against Cleveland, he was targeted a whopping 11 times, but was only able to haul in four of them. The four that were caught, he was able to turn into 93 yards and a score. Quincy Enunwa should be a lower WR2 starter in week nine with high WR2 potential.


Tyreek Hill – At first glance, you might think Tyreek Hill is a guy that could make a good flex player and contribute towards a win, all because his numbers are consistently above average with a pair of weeks with WR2 worth production. Unfortunately, this illusion of consistency is merely that. In four of seven of the Chiefs’ games this year, Hill was targeted two or less times. He has made up most of his fantasy value from special teams as a returner, running the ball minimally, and four sporadic touchdown catches. Last week, he had the biggest game of the season catching five of six targets for 98 yards and a touchdown, none of which happened until starting Quarterback Alex Smith was injured and Nick Foles took over. Although Hill seems to have some chemistry with Foles, regardless if Foles gets the start, Tyreek Hill will be a WR4 with WR3 upside at best.


Tight-End Eric Ebron – After three weeks of being sidelined due to an injury, Eric Ebron looked like he was back to early season form against the imposing Houston defense in week eight. Ebron accounted for about 25 percent of Quarterback Matthew Stafford’s completions, catching seven-of-ten targets for 79 yards. Even through Ebron’s exit in week four and return in week eight, he increased his role as one of Stafford’s favorite targets. Where Marvin Jones Jr. and Golden Tate’s numbers have varied from matchup to matchup, Ebron’s production has remained relatively constant. In the first four games before he went down, Eric contributed 18 catches for 210 yards and a touchdown. Eric Ebron will certainly be a hot check-down option for Stafford against the crème of the crop Minnesota Defense in week nine.


Cameron Brate – While he has been staying somewhat fantasy relevant due to the overall poor play from the tight end position throughout the league, Cameron Brate is anything but a starter in week nine against the mushy Atlanta Falcons defense. Brate has seen more than five targets in only two of his seven games. With Jacquizz Rodgers most likely out for week nine, Tampa Bay will likely turn to a running back by committee rushing attack while using receivers Mike Evans and Adam Humphries as crutches.



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