Set Fantasy Football Lineups: Heroes to Zeroes, Week 9


Take Two.

Welcome to the second edition of our ‘Hero to Zero’ column. Let’s hope we avoid the sophomore slump. Seven NFL teams have Week 9 byes, including the Patriots and FTS’ QB 1, Tom Brady. You know what they say, next man up. FTS will figure out its own lineup later. For now, we focus on our readers’ fantasy football lineups. Bench these players at all costs, if you care about your record. This week, we compare our picks against SBNation. Good luck owners.


Matt Ryan (Falcons) at Carolina

Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation’s Jason Marcum notes, “[Ryan] is coming off a solid two-score, 254-yard performance in a road win over the Jets, but don’t expect the same to happen in Carolina, who is allowing the fifth-fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks this season. Keep Ryan benched for Week 9.”

We really don’t know how to explain the Falcons struggles so far. They have playmakers galore, Jones, Sanu, Coleman, and Freeman, a state-of-the-art new stadium, a solid defense, and have avoided significant injuries. Our best guess must be Atlanta hasn’t fully recovered from losing in the SuperBowl. Until the Falcons snap out of their funk, Ryan is at best your QB 2.

Our Pick:

Brock Osweiler (Broncos) at the Eagles

After a three-INT performance against the Chiefs in Week 8, the Broncos finally benched QB Trevor Siemian. GM John Elway finally gets to see if the promise that Brock Osweiler showed as Peyton Manning’s backup was real. For Osweiler, this start may be his last chance in the NFL. In Houston, he signed a big money free agent contract only to be traded to the Cleveland Browns one year later. Osweiler played so poorly for the Browns, he was cut. Ouch.

The Eagles come in 7-1, riding the success of QB Carson Wentz. Philadelphia acquired RB Jay Ajayi from the Dolphins in a trade this week and have a solid defense that swarms to the ball. This is not the week that Osweiler will show if any talent remains in his tall body.

Running Backs

Jay Ajayi (Eagles, Home) vs. the Denver Broncos

The Jay Ajayi trade is risky. Sure, the former Dolphins’ RB has shown flashes of brilliance, but he’s inconsistent. Who’s more at fault, the Dolphins or Ajayi? As an Eagle, we will find out if Ajayi is legit, but not in his first game. SB Nation and FTS agree…the Broncos defense is allowing the fewest fantasy points to running backs this season. “Keep Ajayi on the bench until he gets his footing under him in Philadelphia, says Marcum.”

Our Pick:

Joe Mixon (Bengals) at the Jacksonville Jaguars

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Mixon has surpassed both Jeremy Hill and Giovanni Bernard as the primary back for the Bengals. The former Sooner has averaged more than 17 touches per game under offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Mixon could be your RB 2 or 3 in a PPR league, but bench him in a standard scoring league. The leadership of Tom Coughlin, Doug Marrone, and Defensive Coordinator Todd Wash have crafted a #1 defense, whose mantra is to stop the run first. Mixon’s touches will also be limited picking up blitzing pass rushers instead of catching passes out of the backfield. We predict less than 10 fantasy points.

Wide Receivers

Larry Fitzgerald (Cardinals) at the San Francisco 49ers

Agreed… Marcum writes, “Backup Drew Stanton is a major downgrade, and Fitzgerald already has his work cut out for him against a 49ers secondary allowing the 11th-fewest fantasy points to receivers over the last three weeks. Bench Fitzgerald for this matchup.”

Tyreek Hill (Chiefs) at the Dallas Cowboys

FTS also recommends benching Tyreek Hill. The NFL is a copycat league and in Week 8, the Broncos showed the league how to blanket the elusive Hill. We expect a heavy dosage of Kareem Hunt (FTS’ RB 2) and red zone targets for DWTS wannabe TE Travis Kelce.

To recap, we recommend you bench Brock Osweiler (Broncos), Joe Mixon (Bengals), and Tyreek Hill (Chiefs).