NFL Fantasy Football Week 9 Must Start Players
Week 9 of the NFL season is here and it’s make or break time for some fantasy football teams who are trying to stay in the playoff race. Starting the right guys could be the difference in your team making the playoffs in a couple of weeks, or missing out. Let’s look at some players you must start this week, that will lead your team to victory.
Matthew Stafford, QB, Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford has a juicy matchup on Sunday against the Oakland Raiders and this is a guy who must be started because he is going to have a big week. The Lions don’t have a trustworthy running game with Kerryon Johnson out which means it’s going to be Stafford throwing the ball even more. In the Lions last game, Stafford threw for 342 yards, three touchdowns, and one interception. The Raiders pass defense has been terrible giving up 288 yards per game which is 31st in the league. It’s going to be a long afternoon for the Raiders defense because Stafford is going to be throwing the ball over the field. It also helps that this should be a high scoring game, which means Stafford should have even more points. Don’t be surprised if the Lions offense scores 31 or more points this game, and not many of those will be coming on the ground.
Gardner Minshew, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars
Who isn’t enjoying Minshew Mania?! At this point, Gardner Minshew is more than just a fun story for a couple of weeks, he has proven that he belongs in this league as the starting quarterback. In the Jaguars last game against the New York Jets, Minshew threw for 279 yards and three touchdowns. He has done a good job of not turning the ball over, and that is going to be key against the Houston Texans. The Texans don’t have JJ Watt is a big loss for the defensive line, and it should allow Minshew some extra time in the pocket to throw the ball. Minshew should be in line for a big game, and who knows, maybe it will be enough to keep the job long term, even when Nick Foles comes back.
Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
Most believed that once Melvin Gordon came back into the Los Angeles Chargers lineup that Austin Ekeler would lose his fantasy value, but that hasn’t been the case, and he gets a juicy matchup with a Green Bay Packers who have struggled to cover backs out of the backfield. If you are in a non-ppr league this isn’t a must-start but it wouldn’t be shocking to see Ekeler get 8-10 receptions out of the backfield. He is usually good for a touchdown too so in a PPR league he could be one of the highest-scoring running backs on the slate. Don’t let Gordon being back and the two guys splitting the carries scare you, Ekeler is a great option, and probably should still be started over Gordon.
Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles
There is something about a good revenge game narrative that brings out the best in players and that should be the case with Jordan Howard. The Bears basically gave him up for nothing and even against a stout run defense, he should have plenty of chances to have success. The Bills were also known for having a good defense and all Howard did was rush for 96 yards and a touchdown. Howard should be in line for a big game, and he needs to be started in your lineup.
Michael Gallup, WR, Dallas Cowboys
What do the New York Giants really struggle against on defense? Giving up big pass plays. What does Michael Gallup love to do? Catch long passes for touchdowns. Gallup hasn’t had as big of games since coming back from injury, so some are down on him, but he should be in line for a really big game in this one. Earlier this season, Gallup caught seven passes for 113 yards and a touchdown. This feels like a game where he should get five or six catches for 150 yards and a touchdown or two.
DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins
If you have three elite receivers on your team, then Parker is not a must-start this week, but if you don’t and you are looking for an option that not many might be looking at, DeVante Parker is your guy. It’s been clear since Ryan Fitzpatrick took over that Parker is his favorite target, and if the Dolphins find the end zone, it should be Parker that hauls in that pass. In two of the last three games, Parker caught a touchdown and in the game he didn’t he still racked up 11.9 fantasy points. This might not be a must-start in all leagues, but he is a very good option and even though some might not trust that he can continue the pace, I have faith that he can continue what he has started the last couple of weeks.
Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle, TE, Indianapolis Colts
Not often would you say both tight ends from the same team are in great places for a breakout game, but both Eric Ebron and Jack Doyle are must starts. The best way to attack the Steelers is in the middle of the field away from the cornerbacks and that means both tight ends should get a lot of looks. If you had to pick one or the other, I would lean Ebron but both of these guys should get similar looks, and it might come down to if one guy scores a touchdown, and the other one doesn’t.
Buffalo Bills defense
Some might be off the Bills defense after what they let the Eagles do to them, but now they get a juicy matchup against a Washington Redskins offense that doesn’t score many points, and love to turnover the ball. This probably isn’t a team that you can get on the waiver wire, but if you have them on your roster, this is a very good spot to start them.