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BJ Rudell’s NFL Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em Week 9: Beware of Boston Scott and Jerry Jeudy

Time for Week 9's collection of start 'em and sit 'em. A warning: Boston Scott is not the safe RB fantasy football managers think he is.

Ready for another edition of fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em? So am I. Now, I’m not interested in the obvious calls. So, let’s dig a little deeper for Week 9 and find some undervalued players to start and some overvalued players to sit.

NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 9: Quarterbacks

While the focus in the majority of fantasy leagues falls on skill positions, quarterbacks, in most cases, consistently bring the highest weekly total. Who’s my favorite bargain must-start, and which usual starter belongs on the bench?

Start ‘Em | Tyrod Taylor, Houston Texans

Few quarterbacks have had worse injury luck in the last 15-20 years than Tyrod Taylor. His career took off in 2015 when he began a three-year stint as the Bills’ starter. During that time, he compiled a pretty impressive 65 touchdowns compared to just 20 turnovers.

Landing the starting job in Cleveland in 2018, poor play and an injury opened the door for Baker Mayfield to take over. Then, as the Chargers’ starter in 2020, the team doctor accidentally punctured Taylor’s lung, allowing Justin Herbert to step in and earn the franchise QB role.

As the new Houston starter this year, Taylor was sidelined in Week 2. His replacement, rookie Davis Mills, has been sub-par — though in fairness, this offense is sub-par. Now that Taylor is returning, maybe we will finally revisit his former glory.

He showed glimpses early this season against Jacksonville and Cleveland. Playing a Miami defense that is highly susceptible to the dreaded “points scored against,” Taylor is an immediate must-stream QB, despite his expert-consensus QB24 ranking.

Sit ‘Em | Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders

It is hard to conceive of the challenges this franchise has faced in the past few weeks. And yet, they sit atop the highly competitive AFC West at 5-2. Derek Carr has scored the 15th-most QB fantasy points per game but faces a Giants team that just held Kansas City in check (relatively speaking). And New York’s pass defense (95.5 opposing QB rating) has been good enough to keep some middling QBs in check.

The question is whether Carr and his teammates are mentally and emotionally recovered from this week’s tragedy. That’s not to say they aren’t consummate professionals. But over the years, we have watched players elevate their games in the face of adversity, as well as be overtaken by the moment. As the expert-consensus QB11 this week, Carr appears to be a near must-start. I would steer clear, as the risks outweigh the rewards.

NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 9: Running Backs

There are always bargain RBs to start and overvalued RBs to avoid. Here’s my favorite from each category in Week 9.

Start ‘Em | AJ Dillon, Green Bay Packers

No Aaron Rodgers? No problem. Jordan Love’s first NFL start? No problem. Facing the Chiefs? Again, no problem. Here’s the thing about AJ Dillon, who’s the expert-consensus RB33 this week. Last week, he and Aaron Jones combined for 38 touches in a shocking 24-21 win over the previously undefeated Cardinals. Green Bay’s strategy was clear from the start. With Davante Adams and Allen Lazard sidelined, the Packers controlled the clock and moved the chains with their terrific backfield duo.

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The result: they controlled the clock for more than 37 minutes, keeping the vaunted Arizona offense off the field. I expect them to employ a similar strategy against Kansas City. Whether or not Love is ready to lead this team, they don’t need him to throw 30 times to win. Dillon is a great bet for 12+ touches. And against the Chiefs’ beatable defense, that should make him a bargain.

Sit ‘Em | Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles

Don’t chase points! Along with teammate Jordan Howard, Boston Scott was one of Week 8’s biggest surprises. The two combined for 4 touchdowns en route to a crushing victory over the hapless Lions. My colleague, Tommy Garrett, has named the apparent third wheel in this RB corps, Kenneth Gainwell, as his “sit ’em running back for the week.” I’m going with Scott, the expert-consensus RB23.

As bad as the opposing Chargers are against the run, they’re going to be able to keep pace with the Eagles. Last week’s game script allowed Philadelphia to remain run-focused. This week, I’m expecting Jalen Hurts to far exceed his 14 pass attempts against Detroit. Even if Scott earns another 12 touches, he will be a TD-dependent RB3/4. That’s too risky for me.

NFL Start’ Em, Sit ‘Em for Week 9: Wide Receivers

The WR position is the deepest in fantasy football, with numerous quality starting options to choose from every week. Here are my favorite contrarian start ’em and sit ’em recommendations for Week 9.

Start ‘Em | Brandon Aiyuk, San Francisco 49ers

Do not give up on Brandon Aiyuk. I repeat: do not give up on … you know what I’m going to say. Deebo Samuel has been lights out. Elijah Mitchell has frequently dominated. But I don’t see the 49ers keeping up against Arizona with a two-dimensional offense.

After a mostly muted season, Aiyuk stepped up last weekend with a 4-45 receiving line on 7 targets. Nothing special, right? Agreed. But keep an eye on those targets. Besides Samuel, his only other real competition in this receiving corps is journeyman Mohamed Sanu.

A 2020 second-round draft pick, Aiyuk has the potential to be a future star in this league, and San Francisco needs him. Despite his abysmal expert-consensus WR58 ranking, this is a time to buy low and start him if you don’t have a WR3 ready to go.

Sit ‘Em | Jerry Jeudy, Denver Broncos

If Jerry Jeudy hadn’t scored in his first game back from an injury last week, he wouldn’t be the consensus WR27 in Week 9. He’d probably be in the 30s. Targets and receptions are somewhat predictable, but touchdowns are not.

It’s not that Jeudy isn’t talented. It’s that he’s playing in a middling pass offense surrounded by Courtland Sutton, Tim Patrick, Noah Fant, and an impressive two-headed backfield. The team they’re facing — the Cowboys — are yielding a mere 87.8 QB rating to opposing quarterbacks. Jeudy probably would have to be the team’s No. 1 option to be a solid WR2/3 streamer this week. I view him as a back-end WR3 at best.

BJ Rudell is the Fantasy Football Director for Pro Football Network. You can read all of BJ’s work here, listen to him on PFN’s Fantasy Football podcast, and check out his contributions in PFN’s free fantasy newsletter. Give him a follow on Twitter: @BJRudell.

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