Fantasy WR Start ’em Sit ’em Week 9: Joshua Palmer To Soar, Gabe Davis To Floor

Bye weeks are in full force for another month or so. What does our WR start/sit Week 9 report look like? Are there any matchups to exploit?

We are at the midway point of the 2022 fantasy football season. With bye weeks upon us and injuries piling up, decisions are only getting increasingly difficult. Let’s take a look at our WR start/sit Week 9 plays, which include JuJu Smith-Schuster and Joshua Palmer. Be sure to also check out our full Week 9 wide receiver rankings.

Week 9 Fantasy Football WR Start ’ems

JuJu Smith-Schuster, Kansas City Chiefs (vs. TEN)

We continue to attack the Titans’ pass defense each week. This time, it’s JuJu Smith-Schuster getting the call.

While Smith-Schuster’s 19% target share isn’t the greatest, this is an incredibly efficient Chiefs offense. In his last two games, Smith-Schuster has scored 25.4 and 22.3 PPR fantasy points, respectively. Interestingly enough, he’s seen exactly eight targets in five of his seven games played this season. That’s plenty of volume when Patrick Mahomes is throwing you the ball.

MORE: Fantasy QB Streamers and Rankings Week 9

Now, for his opponent. The Titans allow the sixth-most fantasy points to wide receivers and have allowed nine touchdowns to WRs on the season. Tennessee has faced one elite offense this season — the Bills back in Week 1. In that game, Stefon Diggs caught 12 passes for 148 yards and three touchdowns.

Now, I’m not saying JuJu is about to go full Diggs. But merely pointing out that the Titans are unlikely to stop the Chiefs from moving the ball. That increases the odds of Smith-Schuster breaking off a big play or scoring a touchdown. Start him this week.

Joshua Palmer, Los Angeles Chargers (at ATL)

As of this writing, we don’t yet know for sure if Keenan Allen will play. Regardless, we know Mike Williams isn’t playing. That elevates Joshua Palmer to the WR2 role, at worst.

We’ve seen Palmer run a starter’s level number of routes six times throughout his career. In those games, he’s scored 17.6, 15.3, 14.5, 13.0, 15.9, and 14.7 fantasy points. Essentially, Palmer in the WR2 role (whether it’s Allen or Williams missing) = WR2-level productivity. Based on this alone, Palmer is worth starting.

Fortunately, Palmer also has the luxury of a fantastic matchup. The Falcons have been the easiest matchup for wide receivers this season. No team allows more fantasy points per game to the position. They also lead the league in receiving yards allowed to wide receivers at 215 per game. What about receptions? Yep, they’re the worst in that category, too, at 16 per game.

Coming out of the bye, the Chargers will be extra motivated to bounce back from their blowout home loss to the Seahawks. Palmer should be heavily involved, and I anticipate being all over his highers on Underdog Fantasy. Start him.

Week 9 Fantasy Football WR Sit ’ems

Gabe Davis, Buffalo Bills (at NYJ)

I must preface this by saying it was exceedingly difficult to find players to recommend as sits this week. It’s a very challenging week for fantasy, as managers will likely be forced into suboptimal lineup decisions. Nevertheless, we persist.

Gabe Davis is not the prince that was promised. While he’s certainly had (and will have) a better career than his fourth-round draft capital would suggest, he’s not this every-week WR2 many thought they were getting.

Davis is averaging 13.6 ppg. Technically, he’s inside the top 24. However, he’s been the ultimate boom/bust wide receiver. Davis has posted games of 18.8, 32.1, and 16.4 fantasy points. He’s also posted games of 6.7, 2.3, and 5.5 fantasy points, meaning he’s more of a volatile WR3.

MORE: Fantasy Impact on Nyheim Hines and Zack Moss Trade

Accordingly, my interest in Davis depends on the matchup. This week, it’s not a great one. The Jets have been surprisingly stingy against wide receivers, allowing the seventh-fewest fantasy points to the position. They’ve also limited opposing passers to just 5.8 yards per attempt, the fourth-lowest rate in the league.

Davis makes his money on splash plays. His shortest touchdown reception is 26 yards, and he’s also averaging 26.1 yards per reception. Of his 16 receptions, just seven of them were under 18 yards.

Josh Allen is the best quarterback in football. He can make anything work, even against the strongest of defenses. But the Jets don’t surrender splash plays very often, and Davis is firmly behind Stefon Diggs. Allen just doesn’t look for him often. Starting Davis is hoping for a splash play. That’s a gamble I’d like to avoid this week.

While I don’t think most fantasy managers can afford to sit Davis, this is more of a caution to temper expectations in Week 9.

Darnell Mooney, Chicago Bears (vs. MIA)

I’ve been liking Darnell Mooney more and more lately. Unfortunately, this is a tough spot in Week 9 against the Dolphins.

For starters, the volume still isn’t there. Mooney’s 28.4% target share is 11th in the NFL, but the problem remains that it’s out of a small overall pie. Justin Fields has attempted more than 23 passes in a game just once all season. His 20 pass attempts per game is the lowest in the NFL.

The Dolphins allow the 13th-most fantasy points to running backs, as they’re a bit of a run-funnel defense. And it’s not as if the Bears need any added incentive to run the ball more. Mooney will also likely see a lot of Xavien Howard, which might compel Fields to look away from him more this week than usual.

Mooney has yet to catch a touchdown on the season, and I don’t think it’s coming this week. Fade Mooney if you can.

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