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NFL Fantasy Football Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: Quarterbacks

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'em

Tom Brady
Tampa Bay Buccaneers · QB
New Orleans Saints
2020 · 5-2-0

Antonio Brown is expected to play for the Buccaneers this week (check the intro if you need to read more about this). And it’s weird to think about. The idea of Brady, Rob Gronkowski and AB playing on the same team isn’t strange. But the fact that it’s with the Buccaneers gives it a Madden Ultimate Team feeling. Brady made his Buccaneers debut in Week 1 against the Saints (how is this season series already going to be over?). And Brady was pretty good as he threw for 239 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He even scored a rushing touchdown, which to me was kind of a statement to all of the doubters out there. Brady did have two interceptions the first time around, but has played much cleaner since that time. I know he wasn’t amazing against the Giants. But I mean, would you have wanted to be out there either? That’s what I thought.

Justin Herbert
Los Angeles Chargers · QB
Las Vegas Raiders
2020 · 4-3-0

Herbert deserves better. I don’t want him to be this quarterback who piles up impressive stats but then has to suffer as his team blows another late lead. And I know you could say Joey Bosa being out, or maybe the pass-interference to Brandon Facyson was not justified that late in the game (it kind of was, though). But this was the fourth time the Chargers blew a double-digit lead this season alone. Maybe what I’m trying to say is if the Chargers are up 24-3 or more, maybe let Herbert continue to fling the ball because you can’t trust your team to keep a lead. Just maybe. This is a good enough matchup for Herbert. The Raiders allow just over 20 fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. They have allowed just 11 touchdowns but have only recorded three interceptions. I hope the Chargers just throw the ball on every down. Maybe take a nod from the Joe Burrow playbook and just continue to fling it. 

Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills · QB
Seattle Seahawks
2020 · 6-1-0

Allen was amazing during the first month of the season. You might even argue he was the best quarterback in fantasy during the past month. But the last few weeks have been brutal. Allen went from scoring 25-plus points in the first four weeks to not topping 17 points in the next four weeks. But we’re loving the matchup this week. The Seahawks were better last week against the 49ers, so that’s encouraging. And Jamal Adams will return at some point. But Nick Mullens was still a top-15 fantasy quarterback in relief of Jimmy Garoppolo. Maybe it was garbage time or whatnot. This is still a disturbing trend. The Bills offense is also starting to look more complete with guys getting healthy and a running game to support Allen. The only thing that concerns is running back Zack Moss is stealing goal line looks from Allen. And yes, I know exactly what I just wrote. 

Lamar Jackson
Baltimore Ravens · QB
Indianapolis Colts
2020 · 5-2-0

I’m not some “start your studs” snob, and I’m not afraid to make a bold pick when I need to. Do I look like some dude who goes to high-end wine club, and not seedy beach bars? I used to hang out at Cassidy’s in Newport Beach back in the day, for crying out loud. You know, before kids and a pandemic. But here’s my thing with Lamar. This matchup against the Colts is tough. They have allowed the fewest points to quarterbacks this season (13.2). But let’s look at the last couple of games. Stafford went for 336 and three touchdowns against them last week. Burrow had 313 passing against them in Week 6. Even Baker Mayfield wasn’t bad against them. So I look at the floor Lamar gives you running the football. And I’m taking the chance. Now, if you have, say, have Justin Herbert on your bench. Fine. I make that move to the Chargers QB. But I’m going with Lamar in a breakout game this week against the Colts. Especially in a Baltimore revenge game! (Baltimore, let me know if this is still a thing.)

Cam Newton
New England Patriots · QB
New York Jets
2020 · 0-8-0

Cam Newton is our quarterback, that’s the way it’s been all year.” Words from Bill Belichick after a heart-breaking loss to the Bills on Sunday. Cam had the team on the cusp of an upset, but a fumble cost New England the game. And as somebody who doesn’t care if the Patriots win or lose, but really needs some additional fantasy points, that one really stung for us more. (You have six Super Bowls Patriots fans, you’re fine.) Until that fumble, Cam was going to top 20 points for the first time since Week 2. He has scored at least 18 points in two of his last three games. He might not be able to match Patrick Mahomes’ five touchdowns from Sunday. But I’m loving this matchup.

Sit 'em

Ben Roethlisberger
Pittsburgh Steelers · QB
Dallas Cowboys
2020 · 2-6-0

Shoutout to the Steelers for being undefeated at 7-0, and it’s all cool and whatnot. But you’d think we’d at least be able to use their starting quarterback. But we certainly can’t. Roethlisberger is good, and efficient. But nothing special. Like getting sushi at your local grocery store. It’s fine. But it’s not like sitting at a bar and buying an Asahi for chef. Roethlisberger has less than 16 fantasy points in his last three games. And you might be all, “but Rank, it’s the Cowboys.” Yeah, the Cowboys held Carson Wentz to less than 10 fantasy points last week. And that might be more on Wentz than anything else. But I expect this to be a great opportunity for the Steelers ground attack. And spoiler alert, I’m going to have James Conner on my list of start running backs. Hey, at least you didn’t get the Mandalorian spoiled for you on Twitter Friday night. (But I called that at the end of last season anyway.)

Drew Lock
Denver Broncos · QB
Atlanta Falcons
2020 · 2-6-0

Lock said the offense was starting to click in the second half in that second-half rally against the Chargers. But it was a second-half rally against the Chargers. That’s like being excited about knocking out Glass Joe in the old Mike Tyson’s Punch Out. But I don’t want to be too harsh on Lock. He was impressive with three second-half touchdowns. But they were his first scoring strikes since Week 1. And the Falcons have played much better in recent weeks, holding off Matthew Stafford and Teddy Bridgewater from having huge games. It’s a roll of the dice for sure. But if you need to stream a quarterback because you’ve rolled with Joe Burrow, Carson Wentz or Jared Goff, Lock is a good option. But I have him listed here because if I put him in the Start ‘Em ledger, I’d get some kid on Twitter who was asking if he should start Lock over Mahomes and I can’t have that.

Drew Brees
New Orleans Saints · QB

Brees had historically played poorly in Tampa Bay. And then he had three touchdown passes at Tampa last year. Which kind ruined all of that. But he was still held to 228 passing yards in that game. The Bucs defense doesn’t get enough love for how well it has played this season. The Bucs defense is kind of like the Adam Clayton of the NFL. You’re in one of the most recognizable bands in the entire world. But people only want to talk about Bono and The Edge. Never about Adam Clayton. And I think that’s kind of a shame because I think Adam Clayton is kind of awesome. And the Bucs defense is awesome. So I have Brees as a QB2 this week.

Ryan Tannehill
Tennessee Titans · QB
Chicago Bears
2020 · 5-3-0

The Bears defense has been great this year and they don’t allow a lot of passing touchdowns, though Brees had a pair of passing scores last week. But it’s how the Bears play defense. Tannehill could nestle into that range where Brees was last week with about 280 and a pair of touchdowns. And he’s so consistent, so don’t just bench him for Nick Foles or something. But I like the Titans to run the ball a lot this week. In fact, Derrick Henry could be in line for a huge stat line in this contest and it might limit Tannehill this week. Again, check the rankings before you make any of your final decisions.

Teddy Bridgewater
Carolina Panthers · QB
Kansas City Chiefs
2020 · 7-1-0

Teddy missed some time against the Falcons on Thursday night and was held to 176 passing yards. Against the Falcons. But Teddy missed some easy throws and reads (D.J. Moore was open a bunch). Mostly because the Falcons were getting some pressure up front. The Panthers are having some trouble on the offensive line, so make sure you’re keeping an eye on that. Or don’t worry about it, I’ll keep an eye on it for you. But the Chiefs defense is underrated and I’m going to look at some other streamers this week (Lock would actually be one). 

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