Keoni's Week 9 Starts and Sits
Last week was a big week for the big time players in the league. There were multiple players with multiple touchdowns and one even tied an NFL record that hasn’t been accomplished since 2005. That probably meant you either had big performances that stomped the competition or you may have been blown away by the competition. I also took a gamble because it was such a big week and if some of them didn’t work out as planned, I am sorry. However, at the end of the day my goal is to help you win leagues even if we get a little reckless at times. That being said, let’s get into the starts and sits of the week that will hopefully allow you to say “how do you like ‘dem apples” to your opponent.
Starts of the Week
Taylor Heinicke: WAS Commanders vs MIN Vikings
It’s that wonderful time of year again where the family gathers close and all grabs themselves a nice cold Heinicke. Given this week has some big names on bye, you might be finding yourself looking to the waiver wire to stream a QB. Heinicke is a very good option for that this week seeing as he faces the Vikings which rank 24th vs opposing quarterbacks. They have allowed a touchdown in every game except week 1 and have 3 games allowing more than 300 yards. In their last 2 games alone, they have given up an average of 372 yards to QBs and 2.5 touchdowns.
Heinicke also has chemistry and confidence in Terry McLaurin having targeted him 8 times in each of his 2 games since coming in for Wentz. If he can get the mojo flowing throughout the game, he can have a decent game and get around that nice 20 point mark.
Tyler Allgeier: ATL Falcons vs LAC Chargers
I talked about Tyler Allgeier earlier this week when discussing waiver wire guys. He is rostered in about just over half of leagues, and he faces a vulnerable Chargers run defense that has been acting like swiss cheese, just holes everywhere. They are second to last in run defense, and the Falcons like to run the ball a lot. Allgeier has averaged 15.25 carries per game over the last 4 games and is out touching huntley. For the volume and matchup alone, Allgeier is a must start.*
*The one caveat to this is if Cordarrelle Patterson is active for the game. In that case maybe look to someone else, because the touches might not be there.
Josh Palmer: LAC Chargers vs ATL Falcons
Mike Williams is out and he has been the WR1 for Justin Herbert while Keenan Allen has been out. Allen might play in this game but it also seems as if the injury to his hamstring was reaggravated over the bye week. There is a very likely chance he doesn’t play, leaving Palmer as the de facto WR1 on this team. We saw what that looked like last week when they faced the Broncos and he caught 9 of 12 targets. That’s a workload I like to see from a guy I’m looking to flex this week who can put up WR2 numbers.
On top of that, they face the Falcons, who have allowed the most fantasy points, receptions, and yards to receivers this year. They are ranked dead last vs the position and have allowed 40 or more fantasy points to receivers in 6 out of 8 games including 1 game of over 70 fantasy points to the position. They are just bad and there is a chance Palmer gets a touchdown seeing as Atlanta has given up 12 through 8 games. If Allen doesn’t play, Palmer should be locked into your flex spot this week.
Evan Engram: JAX Jaguars vs LV Raiders
This might be a little wild of a pick, but when it comes to the tight end position, it’s all about matchups and luck. The Jaguars face the Raiders this week after coming off an embarrassing loss but they are ranked 29th vs the tight end this season. They have allowed nearly 4 more fantasy points per game to the position vs the rest of the league and have had tight ends score over 13 fantasy points in 5 of their 7 games so far. The 2 that were under that were vs Denver (before Greg Dulcich) and Houston, neither really known for their tight end play at the time they faced the Raiders.
Engram is on a streak of decent to good games having had at least 6 targets the past 4 weeks and coming off a game where caught his first touchdown of the season. He is as viable as any tight end you will be streaming and has a great matchup to boot. I’m following JJ’s lead and saying Engram is a start this week.
Sits of the Week
Tom Brady: TB Buccaneers vs LAR Rams
I apologize to the football gods for even putting this down, but Tom Brady is not playing like the Brady of old. When his receivers aren’t dropping wide open passes, he is missing them short. While Father Time may still not have caught up to him, Brady has lost a little pep in his step this season which could be partly due to lack of arm strength or because of personal issues not allowing him to be in the right mindset needed to play effectively in the NFL. It is likely a bit of both, but regardless, he is not putting up goof fantasy numbers and they face a Rams defense that is probably looking to hit someone in the mouth after last week’s embarrassment vs the 49ers.
The Rams are the 9th best defense vs QBs and have allowed only 1 fantasy performance over 18 points to the quarterback position and that was in week 1 against Josh Allen, one of the top MVP candidates of the year. They have also had a few games where they did not allow a touchdown to the quarterback which may well happen again. Unless the Bucs pull a complete 180, I think Brady is going to continue his woeful fantasy ways.
Clyde Edwards-Helaire: KC Chiefs vs the TEN Titans
He is facing the 8th best defense in the league vs running backs in the Titans, who have not allowed 100 rushing yards in a game since week 1. They also haven't allowed a touchdown to the running back since week 1 which feels like forever ago. Clyde is a big name guy who can put up big performances, but as of late, he has finished as the RB 46, 46, and 34. It's been a precipitous fall for him from earlier in the season, and he has had 12 or fewer touches in 6 of the 7 games they’ve played. He also has not had a reception in the past 2 games. Avoid him in this matchup.
Michael Pittman Jr.: IND Colts vs NE Patriots
I’m going to follow Ryan on this one as much as it pains me to go against the Colts, but they are playing terribly this year. Bill Belichick and the Patriots are very good against rookie/young quarterbacks and Sam Ehlinger is basically a rookie even though he was drafted last year. The Patriots also have a tendency to take away a team’s best player which is Pittman since Jonathan Taylor has been hurt. If Taylor doesn’t play or is hampered in any way, the Patriots defense which is ranked 10th vs receivers will eliminate Pittman from relevance in this game despite being a consistent target for his quarterbacks. I hate to do it, but all logic says to sit him this week.
T.J. Hockenson: DET Lions vs WAS Commanders
I really like this guy and think this was a good move for him. The Minnesota offense can be pretty dynamic, and he will likely start with Irv Smith injured. However, it takes some time to adjust to an offense, and like Chase Claypool going to the Bears, I’m not sure it is going to click immediately. I think he’ll do well moving forward, but this will likely be a learning/decoy game for Hockenson.
They are also facing the #1 defense vs the tight end in the Washington Commanders, who have allowed only 1 touchdown to a tight end and that was vs the 8-0 eagles. They have also had no game with more than 5 receptions for the tight end and have allowed an average of 15.4 yards to tight ends over the last 5 games. Wait and see on Hockenson, and don’t expect much from this game.
This is another brutal week of byes, so hopefully these picks can get you through to the next week with a win and a nice helping of apples to dump all over your opponent. Good luck and stay dreamin’!