We've hit the midway point of the NFL season as we head into Week 9. There's only eight weeks left, and the Fantasy playoffs start in Week 14 in most leagues. It's almost over. And it's gone by fast.

We've had some stars shine in the first half of the season, including Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Michael Thomas, Cooper Kupp, Austin Hooper, Darren Waller, Deshaun Watson and Russell Wilson. And, of course, the Patriots DST, among many others.

On the other hand, we're hopeful the second half brings better things for guys like Jared Goff, Baker Mayfield, Le'Veon Bell, Joe Mixon, Odell Beckham, Robert Woods, Zach Ertz and O.J. Howard. There are plenty of other players you can mention as well.

It should be a fun finish, and hopefully your Fantasy teams are doing well. I'm looking forward to a great Week 9, including some awesome matchups with CHI-PHI, MIN-KCnd NE-BAL. Other games will be great for Fantasy purposes, including NYJ-MIA, and hopefully this is the game the Jets main players show up, as well as Mark Walton delivering as a surprise starter.

The middle of the NFL season can be a grind. But this is also when the fun begins, as well as the push toward the Fantasy playoffs. Good luck.

Editor's Note: Projections are provided by SportsLine.com. Projected points are for PPR leagues.

Start of the Week

Gardner Minshew
PHI • QB • 10
Week 9 Projection17.0 Fantasy points
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This might be Gardner Minshew's last start of the season, and if it is, I'm expecting him to go out with a big performance against the Texans in London. He should be considered a top-five Fantasy quarterback going into Week 9.

The Jaguars have a bye in Week 10, and Nick Foles (collarbone) could return as the starter for Jacksonville in Week 11, however CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports Sunday Minshew could hang on to the starting job even when Foles is healthy enough to return.

Minshew should make that decision harder if he plays as I expect against Houston this week. The Texans, who just lost standout pass rusher J.J. Watt (pectoral), have been bad against opposing quarterbacks all season, especially of late.

Four quarterbacks in a row have scored at least 24 Fantasy points against Houston, and the Texans allow 293.4 passing yards for the season, with 19 total touchdowns and just three interceptions to opposing passers. Minshew only had 17 Fantasy points at Houston in Week 2 in his first NFL start, but he's a different quarterback since then.

He's scored at least 20 Fantasy points in five of his past six games, with his lone hiccup a tough outing against New Orleans in Week 6. He just scored a season-high 29 Fantasy points against the Jets in Week 8, and he should light up this defense.

It would be great if the Jaguars stuck with Minshew as their quarterback for the rest of the season because he's been a quality Fantasy starter. But even if this is his final start in 2019, he should deliver a big performance against the Texans in London.

I'm starting Minshew over: Lamar Jackson (vs. NE), Tom Brady (at BAL), Jacoby Brissett (at PIT), Carson Wentz (vs. CHI), Philip Rivers (vs. GB)h was Frank Gore in Week 9. Michel has at least 17 carries in four of his past five games.

Quarterbacks

Start 'Em
21.8 projected points
Matthew Stafford Detroit Lions QB
Stafford was great as the Start of the Week in Week 8 against the Giants when he scored 29 Fantasy points, and he's now scored at least 28 points in three of his past four games. The run game is suspect for the Lions with Kerryon Johnson (knee) out, and this should be another quality matchup for Stafford. Oakland allows the most Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and three of the past four quarterbacks against the Raiders have scored at least 27 Fantasy points.
19.8 projected points
Josh Allen Buffalo Bills QB
Allen continues to improve as a Fantasy quarterback, and he's scored at least 20 Fantasy points three games in a row. This game will be a good test for Allen because Washington has held its past three opposing quarterbacks to fewer than 11 Fantasy points in each outing, including matchups with the Dolphins, 49ers and Vikings. But in four of the first five games this season, Washington allowed the opposing quarterback to score at least 25 Fantasy points, and hopefully that's what happens with Allen this week.
18.8 projected points
Jameis Winston Tampa Bay Buccaneers QB
The Winston roller coaster was back on in Week 8 at Tennessee when he had 23 Fantasy points, but he had to overcome two interceptions and two fumbles to get there. He now has seven interceptions in his past two games, which is far from ideal, but I still expect him to have a productive Fantasy outing again this week against the Seahawks. Seattle has allowed three quarterbacks in a row to score at least 20 Fantasy points, including Baker Mayfield, Lamar Jackson and Matt Schaub, which bodes well for Winston in this matchup on the road. He's worth trusting as a low-end starter in all leagues.
18.2 projected points
Carson Wentz Philadelphia Eagles QB
Wentz has not been a good Fantasy quarterback of late, scoring more than 15 Fantasy points just once in his past four outings. But his past three games have been on the road, and I expect a bounce-back performance here, even against the Bears. Wentz is averaging 22.7 Fantasy points in three home games this season, and Nick Foles scored 18 Fantasy points against the Bears in the NFL playoffs last season when Wentz was out. He should rebound from his recent poor stretch of games against Chicago, and I like him as a top-10 quarterback this week.
19.8 projected points
Derek Carr Oakland Raiders QB
This is actually a good week to trust Carr. He has a great matchup against Detroit at home, and the Lions have been terrible against opposing quarterbacks of late, allowing three passers in a row to score at least 22 Fantasy points. Carr just had just best Fantasy outing of the season in Week 8 at Houston with 29 Fantasy points, and he does have multiple touchdowns in four of his past five games. I'm counting on Carr as a low-end starting option in all leagues.

Sleepers

  • Sam Darnold (at MIA): Darnold was actually a winner at the NFL trade deadline, simply because the Jets didn't trade Le'Veon Bell or Robby Anderson. That should help Darnold be a quality streaming option this week. Every opposing quarterback against the Dolphins has scored at least two touchdowns, and the worst performance against Miami this season was Case Keenum's 19 Fantasy points in Week 6. As long as Darnold is healthy with his injured thumb, he's worth using as a streamer this week.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. NYJ): Fitzpatrick should be considered a streamer in deeper leagues this week against the Jets. It's obviously risky to trust any member of the Dolphins, but Fitzpatrick does have multiple touchdowns in his past two games against Buffalo and Pittsburgh. Now, he also has three interceptions over that span, but this is a favorable matchup against the Jets at home, especially after New York just traded Leonard Williams to the Giants. I have no problem using Fitzpatrick as a starter in a two-quarterback or Superflex league this week.
  • Jimmy Garoppolo (at ARI): Garoppolo has not been a good Fantasy quarterback this season with only one game with more than 20 Fantasy points, which was Week 2 at Cincinnati. But if there was ever a week to trust him it's here against the Cardinals, who are No. 31 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks. Only two quarterbacks have failed to score at least 22 Fantasy points against Arizona, and the Cardinals allow 27.3 Fantasy points per game to the position.  
Sit 'Em
15.6 projected points
Daniel Jones New York Giants QB
Jones took advantage of a great matchup last week against the Lions, scoring 35 Fantasy points, but I expect him to regress in Week 9 against the Cowboys. Aside from the surprise performance from Sam Darnold in Week 6, this Dallas defense has been dominant against most passing attacks, holding Aaron Rodgers and Carson Wentz to fewer than 10 Fantasy points in each outing. And Jones, prior to his big outing against the Lions, had scored 14 Fantasy points or less in each of his previous four games.
15.0 projected points
Kyler Murray Arizona Cardinals QB
Murray is coming off back-to-back duds as a Fantasy quarterback against the Giants in Week 7 and the Saints in Week 8, combining for just 15 Fantasy points in those two outings. It's hard to expect a rebound performance against the 49ers this week. San Francisco has allowed the second-fewest Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year, and the 49ers just held Jared Goff, Case Keenum and Kyle Allen to a combined four Fantasy points in the past three games. That's insane, and Murray should struggle for the third week in a row.
15.0 projected points
Baker Mayfield Cleveland Browns QB
I'd love to see Mayfield finish the season strong and deliver on what I hoped would be a quality Fantasy campaign in 2019. But it's hard to expect that given the seven-game sample size we had to start the season, which includes one game with 20 Fantasy points. He's averaging 12.3 Fantasy points per game, and this is another tough matchup at the Broncos. Denver is No. 3 in Fantasy points allowed to opposing quarterbacks, and only Gardner Minshew in Week 4 scored 20 points against the Broncos this year.
12.0 projected points
Ryan Tannehill Tennessee Titans QB
Tannehill has been a solid Fantasy quarterback for the past two games against the Chargers and Buccaneers, scoring at least 22 Fantasy points in both outings. But this will be his toughest matchup at Carolina, and I would only use him in two-quarterback or Superflex leagues. The Panthers have allowed just two quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points, which were Murray in Week 3 and Minshew in Week 5. Carolina also has six interceptions in the past two games against Jameis Winston and Jimmy Garoppolo. We'll see how Tannehill does in his first start on the road, but I'd be leery to trust him given the matchup with the Panthers.
12.4 projected points
Mason Rudolph Pittsburgh Steelers QB
Rudolph played as I expected in Week 8 against Miami, and he was serviceable with 20 Fantasy points. That was an easy matchup against the Dolphins, and this will be tougher in Week 9 against the Colts. Indianapolis has not allowed a quarterback to score more than 19 Fantasy points since Week 2, including matchups with Patrick Mahomes in Week 5 and Deshaun Watson in Week 7. The Colts should be able to contain Rudolph, and he's only an option in two-quarterback and Superflex leagues.
16.2 projected points
Jacoby Brissett Indianapolis Colts QB
Brissett isn't a must-sit quarterback, but I don't see him having a big outing this week at Pittsburgh. He's only averaging 16.7 Fantasy points per game in three games away from Indianapolis, and the Steelers haven't allowed a quarterback to score more than 18 Fantasy points since Week 2, including matchups against Jimmy Garoppolo, Lamar Jackson and Philip Rivers. Brissett is only worth starting in two-quarterback and Superflex leagues.

Bust Alert

Tom Brady
TB • QB • 12
CMP%64.7
YDs2251
TD13
INT4
YD/Att7.28
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Brady's been a solid Fantasy quarterback this year, but he does have two duds on the road this season, including a four-point outing at Buffalo in Week 4 and a 13-point outing at the Jets in Week 7. He doesn't have a good track record at Baltimore, averaging just 17.3 Fantasy points per game in three trips there in the regular season in his career. This season, the Ravens have allowed one quarterback to score more than 17 Fantasy points, which was Patrick Mahomes in Week 3 in Kansas City with 32 points. Now, you can argue that Baltimore hasn't faced a lot of top-tier quarterbacks, but the Ravens did just limit Russell Wilson to 15 Fantasy points in their last game in Week 15. I have Brady ranked as just a low-end starter this week.

Running backs

Start 'Em
14.1 projected points
Melvin Gordon Los Angeles Chargers RB
Gordon has not been good since coming back from his holdout in Week 5. Even though he's scored in each of the past two games against Tennessee and Chicago, he's still failed to top 12 PPR points in any game, while averaging 8.5 PPR points per game. But I'm confident in him this week against the Packers. Hopefully, the move to fire offensive coordinator Ken Whisenhunt and have coach Anthony Lynn be more involved in the play calling is to help get Gordon going — Lynn said part if the reasoning was a lack of rush attempts since Gordon's return. It also helps that Gordon is facing a Packers defense that has allowed a running back to score or gain at least 100 total yards in seven games in a row. In PPR, Austin Ekeler is also worth starting, but Ekeler is just a flex in non-PPR leagues.
8.1 projected points
headshot-image
Jordan Howard Philadelphia Eagles RB
The revenge game narrative works well here for Howard, along with several other factors aligning at the right time. The former Bears running back gets to face a Chicago defense that has allowed a running back to score a touchdown in four games in a row, including two big outings against Josh Jacobs and Latavius Murray over that span. Howard is coming off a season-best 23 carries against Buffalo in Week 8, where he had 96 yards and a touchdown, as well as one catch for 15 yards. He now has four games this season with at least 13 carries, and he's scored at least 12 PPR points in three of them. Miles Sanders (shoulder) is also banged up, although he's expected to play, but Howard could see an uptick in touches. I expect him to be highly motivated facing the team that traded him this offseason, and I would start Howard with confidence this week.
10.9 projected points
Mark Ingram Baltimore Ravens RB
It might be the way to attack this Patriots defense is to run at them, and we saw that highlighted by Nick Chubb last week when he had 20 carries for 131 yards. Unfortunately, Chubb fumbled twice, but Le'Veon Bell also had 15 carries for 70 yards against New England in Week 7, as well as Frank Gore gaining 109 yards on 17 carries against the Patriots in Week 4. You know the Ravens are going to try to run in this game, and Ingram has scored at least 12 PPR points in three of his past five games. He should have fresh legs coming off a bye, and I expect him to be the first running back to score against the Patriots this year. He's worth using as a No. 2 running back in all leagues this week.
8.3 projected points
Jamaal Williams Green Bay Packers RB
I would prefer to use Williams more as a flex option since he's been at 10 total touches or less in each of the past two games, but it's hard to ignore his production, especially in a good matchup this week at the Chargers. He's scored at least 12 PPR points in three games in a row against Detroit, and he's been involved in the passing game with 11 catches on 13 targets over that span. Aaron Jones is clearly the star of this backfield, but Williams should have the chance to do well against a Chargers defense that has allowed five touchdowns to running backs in the past four games. Also, six running backs have at least 65 total yards against the Chargers over that span.
10.0 projected points
Mark Walton Miami Dolphins RB
Walton has the chance to be a quality No. 2 running back this week in all leagues with this matchup against the Jets at home. In the first game without Kenyan Drake in Week 8 at Pittsburgh, Walton had 14 total touches, including six targets and three receptions. He's yet to score a touchdown in his two-year career, so expecting him to score could be a problem, along with Kalen Ballage likely working at the goal line. Still, we've seen this Jets run defense allow a running back to score or gain at least 98 total yards in every game this year, and they just traded Leonard Williams to the Giants. Walton has the chance for a career game this week.

Sleepers

  • Jaylen Samuels (vs. IND): James Conner's status will either make Samuels a sleeper option as a flex or a must-start running back against the Colts. Conner is dealing with a shoulder injury suffered in Week 8 against the Dolphins, and Benny Snell (knee) is also banged up. If Samuels is the starter against the Colts, he could be a top-10 Fantasy running back in all leagues. The Steelers have had a running back score a touchdown in four games in a row, with six total touchdowns scored from the position over that span.
  • Adrian Peterson (at BUF): In three games with Bill Callahan as the interim head coach, Peterson has at least 81 rushing yards in each outing, as well as two games with at least 11 PPR points. He should have fresh legs since he last played Thursday night in Week 8 at Minnesota, and Buffalo has allowed a running back to score in four games in a row, with six total touchdowns scored from the position over that span.
  • Frank Gore (vs. WAS): Gore has been quiet in each of the past three games, but I expect him to be at least a flex option this week against Washington. The Redskins have allowed a running back to score in two of their past three games, and Buffalo should be playing with a lead in this matchup, allowing Gore the chance for additional volume. Devin Singletary is worth using as a flex this week as well, especially in PPR.
  • Tarik Cohen (at PHI): I mentioned this last week when I recommended Singletary as a sleeper that the Eagles struggle with pass-catching running backs, and Singletary had four catches for 30 yards and a touchdown on six targets. Five running backs have already caught at least four passes against the Eagles this season, and I Cohen has been better for Fantasy when the Bears have been chasing points, which I expect to happen here. Cohen has scored at least 10 PPR points in three of Chicago's four losses this season.
Sit 'Em
6.5 projected points
Kenyan Drake Arizona Cardinals RB
The Cardinals are expected to be without David Johnson (ankle) and Chase Edmonds (hamstring) this week, but that doesn't mean Drake is getting a heavy workload in his first game with the team after being traded to Arizona from Miami on Monday. Coach Kliff Kingsbury said Drake will get a manageable workload in his debut, and this is a tough matchup against the 49ers. Christian McCaffery in Week 8 is the lone running back to score against San Francisco this year, and I consider Drake a flex option at best this week.
9.0 projected points
LeSean McCoy Kansas City Chiefs RB
It continues to be a struggle for McCoy every time Damien Williams is on the field. In two games without Williams, McCoy averaged 19.0 PPR points per game. But in six games with Williams, McCoy is averaging just 6.7 PPR points per game. He hasn't scored a touchdown in the past four games, and he lost a fumble in Week 8 against Green Bay. I would try to avoid McCoy and Williams this week against the Vikings, and Minnesota hasn't allowed a rushing touchdown to a running back since Week 2. I hope the Chiefs don't punish McCoy for his fumble against the Packers, but I would only consider him a flex option at best this week.
8.2 projected points
Sony Michel New England Patriots RB
It's going to continue to be touchdown or bust for Michel all season until he proves otherwise, and Week 8 against Cleveland was a good indication of a bust when he had 21 carries for 74 yards and no scores or catches. This is a good run defense for the Ravens when defensive tackle Brandon Williams is healthy – no running back has more than 65 rushing yards in the games he's been on the field – and don't be surprised if James White and even Rex Burkhead have bigger roles this week. For what it's worth, in the five games this season where Burkhead has played, Michel is averaging just 6.6 PPR points per game compared to 18.7 PPR points when Burkhead is out.
8.2 projected points
Carlos Hyde Houston Texans RB
Like Michel, Hyde is proving to be touchdown or bust, and those kinds of running backs are frustrating in PPR. He's scored in three games this season, and in two of them, he has at least 12 PPR points. But in the five games where he's failed to score a touchdown, Hyde is averaging just 7.6 PPR points per game. He's only caught a pass in three games this year, and the Jaguars have only allowed a running back to score in three games this season. Hyde already faced Jacksonville in Week 2 and had 20 carries for 90 yards, but I expect him to be worse this week in London, especially if offensive tackle Laremy Tunsil (shoulder) is hurt. Hyde is a flex option at best, with his value higher in non-PPR leagues.

Bust Alert

David Montgomery
CHI • RB • 32
YTD Stats
Att98
Yds366
TD3
FL1
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I said last week that Montgomery would have the best game of his rookie season, and he did with career highs in carries (27), yards (135) and catches (four). He scored a touchdown and added 12 receiving yards on five targets, but that was a great setup for him against the Chargers, who have struggled against the run. I'm expecting regression for Montgomery this week against the Eagles, who are tough against the run. Ezekiel Elliott in Week 7 is the lone running back with more than 63 rushing yards against Philadelphia, including matchups with Devonta Freeman, Kerryon Johnson, Aaron Jones, Le'Veon Bell and Dalvin Cook. Montgomery could find the end zone, but I don't expect this game to be pretty for him. Hopefully, you started him with confidence in Week 8 as suggested, but this is a week you might want to avoid him on the road against the Eagles.

Wide receivers

Start 'Em
13.6 projected points
Tyrell Williams Oakland Raiders WR
Williams has scored in every game he has played this season, which is remarkable, and hopefully it continues this week. He came back from a two-game absence in Week 8 at Houston and finished with three catches for 91 yards and a touchdown on six targets. This week, he's facing a Lions defense that could be getting standout cornerback Darius Slay (hamstring) back, but I would still consider Williams a quality No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues. Derek Carr should continue to look for Williams, and hopefully his touchdown streak will extend to six after this game.
14.7 projected points
Michael Gallup Dallas Cowboys WR
Gallup struggled in his past two games against the Jets and Eagles, combining for 14 PPR points over that span. But he was great against the Giants in Week 1 when he had seven catches for 158 yards on seven targets, and hopefully we get a repeat performance this week. The Giants allow the third-most Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and three Detroit receivers just scored at least 11 PPR points against this secondary in Week 8. Gallup and Amari Cooper should be awesome in Week 9.
12.9 projected points
John Brown Buffalo Bills WR
I had high expectations for Brown last week against the Eagles, but he was a letdown with just five catches for 54 yards on eight targets. The good news is he's now been over 50 receiving yards in every game this season, but he only has two touchdowns on the year. Still, this is a good week to trust him against Washington, and at least one receiver has scored at least 11 PPR points against this secondary in seven of eight games this year. Brown is a high-end No. 2 Fantasy receiver in all leagues this week.
10.8 projected points
Robby Anderson New York Jets WR
The Dolphins are without top cornerback Xavien Howard (knee), which should make a bad secondary even worse. Let's just hope Sam Darnold and Anderson can take advantage of it, and I also like Jamison Crowder as a sleeper. Anderson has scored a touchdown in three of his past five games against the Dolphins, and Miami comes into this game tied with Houston for the most touchdowns allowed to receivers this year at 13. Anderson and Crowder have the chance to go off this week.
12.2 projected points
D.K. Metcalf Seattle Seahawks WR
I liked Metcalf as a sleeper last week against the Falcons, and he delivered the first two touchdown game of his career. Now, he only had three catches for 13 yards on five targets to go with it, but he's now seen 14 targets in the past two games since tight end Will Dissly (Achilles) went down. I like the setup for Metcalf as a No. 2 Fantasy receiver this week against Tampa Bay, and the Buccaneers have allowed eight touchdowns to receivers in their past five games. Metcalf and Tyler Lockett should be excellent Fantasy options in Week 9.

Sleepers

  • DeVante Parker (vs. NYJ): Parker has scored at least 11 PPR points in four games in a row, and he's scored a touchdown in three of those outings. He continues to be the No. 1 receiver for the Dolphins, and he has a favorable matchup this week against the Jets, who just allowed three touchdowns to the Jaguars receivers in Week 8. Parker is a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week, while Preston Williams can also be considered a sleeper in deeper leagues.
  • Danny Amendola (at OAK): Amendola has stepped up the past two games with 16 catches for 200 yards on 19 targets, and his production has coincided with Detroit losing Kerryon Johnson (knee) and struggling to run the ball. We'll see if this continues for Amendola, who also played well in Week 1 at Arizona (seven catches for 104 yards and a touchdown on 13 targets) before disappearing for the next four games. But he's worth buying into as a No. 3 receiver in PPR, especially for Week 9 at Oakland, since the Raiders are No. 27 in Fantasy points allowed to receivers.
  • Chris Conley (vs. HOU): Conley should be considered the No. 2 receiver for the Jaguars this week with Dede Westbrook (shoulder) likely out, and he's played well of late. In his past two games against Cincinnati and the Jets, Conley has seven catches for 186 yards and a touchdown on 14 targets. He gets a great matchup against Houston in London in Week 9, and the Texans allow the most Fantasy points to opposing receivers for the season. Conley should be considered a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week.
  • Diontae Johnson (vs. IND): Johnson just had his best Fantasy game of the season in Week 8 against Miami with five catches for 84 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. He's now scored a touchdown in the last three full games he's played with Mason Rudolph, and hopefully that connection this week against the Colts, who have allowed eight receivers to either score or gain at least 70 receiving yards in their past five games 
  • Emmanuel Sanders (at ARI): Sanders scored in his first game with the 49ers last week against Carolina, finishing with four catches for 25 yards on five targets. I'm hopeful he'll get more targets moving forward, including this week against the Cardinals on Thursday. Hopefully, Sanders won't see too much of Patrick Peterson on the other side of the field, but I like Sanders as a high-end No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week. Arizona has allowed six receivers to either score or gain at least 80 receiving yards in the past four games.
Sit 'Em
8.5 projected points
Marquise Brown Baltimore Ravens WR
Brown is expected to return after being out for the past two games with an ankle injury, but he gets a tough matchup with the Patriots. New England allows the fewest Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Golden Tate in Week 6 is the only receiver to score against this secondary, including matchups with JuJu Smith-Schuster, Terry McLaurin and Odell Beckham. Brown scored in Week 5 against Pittsburgh, but he's been at 11 PPR points or less in each of his past three games. He's barely a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week in most leagues.
7.3 projected points
Corey Davis Tennessee Titans WR
I had high expectations for Davis in Week 8 against Tampa Bay, but he was a total letdown with two catches for 9 yards on six targets. He's now scored six PPR points or fewer in three of his past four games, and it's tough to trust him against this Carolina secondary on the road. A.J. Brown is also someone to avoid this week, and hopefully we see the Titans receivers start to produce at a high level on a consistent basis. For this week, however, keep Davis and Brown reserved in most formats.
11.4 projected points
Terry McLaurin Washington Redskins WR
We'll find out if Case Keenum (concussion) can play for Washington this week, and if he does that would help McLaurin. But even with Keenum out there, I would still shy away from McLaurin in most leagues. This is a great secondary for the Bills, and McLaurin has been held to eight PPR points or fewer in three of his past four games. Only two receivers have scored against Buffalo this year.
10.8 projected points
Sammy Watkins Kansas City Chiefs WR
Watkins returned from a two-game absence with a hamstring injury in Week 8 against Green Bay, and he finished with five catches for 45 yards on eight targets. We'll see if Patrick Mahomes (knee) can play this week, but even with Mahomes, it will be tough to trust Watkins in most leagues. Since his 46 PPR points in Week 1 at Jacksonville, Watkins has combined for 36 PPR points in his past five games. I'd trust Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce with Matt Moore under center, but I would avoid Watkins this week, even against the Vikings at home.
10.0 projected points
Larry Fitzgerald Arizona Cardinals WR
Fitzgerald has been a disappearing act lately after getting off to a hot start this season. He started the year with either a touchdown or 100 receiving yards in each of his first three games. Since then, he's averaging just 7.2 PPR points per game in his past five outings, and he has just seven targets in his past two games against the Giants and Saints. The 49ers allow the fourth-fewest Fantasy points to opposing receivers, and Fitzgerald is barely a No. 3 Fantasy receiver this week based on the matchup, as well as his recent lack of production. I like Christian Kirk slightly better than Fitzgerald, although it could be tough for him as well.

Bust Alert

Odell Beckham
CLE • WR • 13
TAR61
REC34
REC YDs488
REC TD1
FL1
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We had Beckham in this spot last week with his matchup against the Patriots, and he struggled, catching five passes for 52 yards on seven targets. I'm putting him back here again with another difficult matchup against the Broncos and likely cornerback Chris Harris. So far, Harris has helped shut down the following receivers: Allen Robinson (four catches for 41 yards on seven targets), Davante Adams (four catches for 56 yards on four targets), D.J. Chark (four catches for 44 yards on eight targets), Keenan Allen (four catches for 18 yards on six targets) and T.Y. Hilton (two catches for 54 yards on six targets). All of those receivers were held to single digits in PPR, which is hard to do. Beckham still has one touchdown on the season and only one game with more than 56 receiving yards since Week 2. He's just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in most leagues this week.

Tight ends

Start 'Em
4.3 projected points
Jonnu Smith Tennessee Titans TE
It sounds like Delanie Walker (ankle) will be out again for the Titans, which is good news for Smith again this week against the Panthers. In two games with Walker hurt, Smith has nine catches for 142 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. He had 19 PPR points against Tampa Bay in Week 8 when we recommended him as a streamer, and he should play well again in Week 9 at Carolina. Just make sure Walker is out again so Smith can be a primary target for Ryan Tannehill.
8.9 projected points
Darren Fells Houston Texans TE
Fells has been great of late for the Texans, and he's worth starting once again in Week 9 against the Jaguars. He's scored at least 12 PPR points in three of his past four games, and he was impressive in Week 8 against Oakland. In the first game without Will Fuller (hamstring), Fells had six catches for 58 yards and two touchdowns on six targets. He now has at least six targets in two of his past three games, and it's clear Deshaun Watson will continue to lean on him.
8.6 projected points
Jason Witten Dallas Cowboys TE
The matchup is tough on paper for Witten against the Giants, but he has a great track record against this team and should be considered a top 10 Fantasy tight end this week. Witten has scored in each of his past three meetings with the Giants, including Week 1 when he had three catches for 15 yards and a touchdown on four targets. The Giants haven't allowed a tight end to score since that game, but I'll take my chances with Witten this week as a starting option in all leagues.

Sleepers

  • Dallas Goedert (vs. CHI): Goedert continues to outplay Zach Ertz, and he's worth buying into as a low-end starter in deeper leagues. In his past three games, Goedert has 12 catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 17 targets, and he's scored at least nine PPR points in each outing. By comparison, Ertz has eight catches for 112 yards and no touchdowns on 19 targets over that same span. I'm still starting Ertz over Goedert based on upside, but Goedert is worth using this week against the Bears in deeper leagues.
  • T.J. Hockenson (at OAK): Hockenson hasn't scored in his past three games, but he's worth taking a chance on this week against the Raiders, who are second in the NFL with six touchdowns allowed to tight ends this year. In the past two weeks, Jimmy Graham and Fells have combined for three touchdowns against the Raiders. Hockenson is a low-end starter in all leagues this week.
  • Cameron Brate (at SEA): Brate was a disappointment last week at Tennessee with O.J. Howard (hamstring) out, scoring just six PPR points. But I would stick with him again this week, especially since it appears like Howard will be out again.Brate still had six targets against the Titans, and he has a good matchup this week against the Seahawks, who allow the fourth-most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends.
Sit 'Em
6.1 projected points
Vance McDonald Pittsburgh Steelers TE
I don't think McDonald is going to be a consistent Fantasy tight end at any point this season, and he's not worth trusting this week. He's combined for just 13 PPR points in his past four games, and he only has one game this season where he's found the end zone, which was Week 2 against Seattle. The Colts haven't allowed a tight end to score in their past three games, including matchups with Travis Kelce and Fells.
5.6 projected points
Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings TE
We saw one good game from Rudolph so far this season, and it came in Week 7 at Detroit after Adam Thielen left with a hamstring injury. He had 16 PPR points against the Lions, but he's scored a combined 18 PPR points in his other seven outings this year. Thielen is back this week, and the only pass catchers to trust for the Vikings against the Chiefs are Thielen and Stefon Diggs.
5.5 projected points
Noah Fant Denver Broncos TE
I'm encouraged by Fant after his performance in Week 8 against the Colts. He had five catches for 26 yards on eight targets in the first game for Denver since trading Emmanuel Sanders to San Francisco. But I'm not ready to start Fant in most leagues, especially with Brandon Allen replacing the injured Joe Flacco (neck). Hopefully, Fant continues to see an uptick in targets, but he's not worth starting in most leagues in Week 9.

Bust Alert

Eric Ebron
PIT • TE • 85
Week 9 projection7.6 Fantasy points
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Which Ebron is going to show up this week? The one who had four catches for 70 yards and a touchdown on five targets against Houston in Week 7? Or the one who had three catches for 26 yards on four targets against Denver in Week 8? He's averaging just 4.3 PPR points in three road games this year, and the Steelers have been hit or miss against tight ends this season. They struggled with Will Dissly in Week 2 (22 PPR points) and Hunter Henry in Week 6 (30 PPR points), but they also limited George Kittle (11 PPR points) and Mark Andrews (nine PPR points). Based on Ebron's track record on the road and inconsistent play, I would consider him just a low-end starter at best this week.

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Cowboys (at NYG) — 12.2 projected points

Opposing DSTs facing the Giants have scored at least 13 Fantasy points in four games in a row. Over that span, the Giants have given up 16 sacks, four fumbles and three DST touchdowns. The Cowboys DST is coming off a dominant game in Week 7 against Philadelphia with three sacks, one interception, three fumble recoveries and allowing just 10 points. Hopefully, that kind of production happens again this week against the Giants.

Sleepers

  • Eagles (vs. CHI): The Bears have allowed 10 sacks, three interceptions and three fumbles in their past three games, and I expect the Eagles to be fired up back at home after three games in a row on the road. The last time we saw the Eagles DST at home was in Week 5 against the Jets when the unit had 10 sacks, two interceptions, one fumble and two touchdowns.
  • Browns (at DEN): We'll see how Brandon Allen does starting in place of the injured Joe Flacco (neck), but it could be good for the Browns DST this week. It helps that the Broncos have allowed 12 sacks in the past two games and have scored fewer than 20 points in three games in a row.
  • Seahawks (vs. TB): I expect the Buccaneers to score points against the Seahawks, but that doesn't mean you should avoid the Seahawks DST. We've seen Tampa Bay give up turnovers and sacks, and in the past two games, the Buccaneers have allowed seven interceptions, 10 sacks and four fumbles. It also helps that the Seahawks are playing at home this week.

Sit 'Em

Texans (at JAC) – 6.8 projected points

Losing J.J. Watt (pectoral) was a tough break for a Texans defense that has already struggled this season. In the past three games, the Texans DST has scored fewer than 10 Fantasy points against Kansas City, Indianapolis and Oakland. Over that span, the Texans have just two sacks, one interception, two fumbles and have allowed an average of 26.0 points per game. The Jaguars offense is playing well in their past two games against the Bengals and Jets, averaging 28.0 points over that span, and Gardner Minshew has just two interceptions on the season.

Kicker

Start 'Em

Joey Slye
HOU • K • 4
Week 17 projection7.3 Fantasy points
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In three home games this season, Slye has two with at least 12 Fantasy points. He has four games this season where he's hit that mark, and the Titans have allowed the past three opposing kickers to score at least eight Fantasy points. I like Slye as a top-10 kicker this week in all leagues.

Sleepers

  • Brett Maher (at NYG): Maher was great in his past two games against the Jets and Eagles with six field goals, including three from 50-plus yards, as well as five extra points. And two of the past four kickers against the Giants have scored at least nine Fantasy points.
  • Jason Myers (vs. TB): Myers is coming off two strong games against Baltimore and Atlanta with five field goals, including one from 54 yards, as well as four extra points. He's scored at least 10 Fantasy points in both outings, and he should stay hot this week. Tampa Bay allows the most Fantasy points to opposing kickers this year.
  • Nick Folk (at BAL): It's not a bad idea to gamble on the new kicker for the Patriots as Folk is replacing Mike Nugent, who was released this week. It's been a tough season for New England's kickers with Stephen Gostkowski (hip) being placed on injured reserve, as well as Nugent struggling, but maybe Folk is the answer. He should get plenty of scoring chances, even in a tough matchup against the Ravens on the road.

Sit 'Em

Butker has scored more than seven Fantasy points just once in his past four games, and he's struggled at home this season, averaging just 7.5 Fantasy points per game in four outings at Arrowhead Stadium. The Vikings are No. 5 in fewest Fantasy points allowed to kickers, and Eddy Pineiro in Week 4 is the lone kicker against Minnesota with double digits in Fantasy points when he scored 10. Only three kickers have made multiple field goals against the Vikings this year, and the Chiefs offense isn't nearly as explosive with Patrick Mahomes (knee) hurt.