Welcome to your Week 9 TNF Fantasy Start/Sit!
Welcome to your Week 9 Thursday Night Football preview! I hope everyone enjoyed a victorious week of fantasy goodness. We’re back at it again this week, kicking the slate of games off with a Thursday Night matchup between two Divisional teams that are heading in opposite directions.
The 49ers are reigning atop the NFC, still undefeated at 7-0 through 8 weeks. They travel to the desert to take on their division rivals, the 3-4-1 Cardinals (last place in the NFC West)
As always, I’ll provide my master key for how I break down each fantasy-relevant player:
Start: These are players who have an enticing matchup, and could prove a massive asset to your fantasy team due to a vulnerability by an opposing defense or a breakout performance.
Sit: Players in this category have a poor matchup and could be rendered completely useless by game script or a digression in opportunities.
Flex Start: Players in a flex position are also usually controlled by a game script, but this opportunity benefits them (such as a WR2 receiving less attention than the WR1, thus increasing odds for a good performance).
Sleeper: For players that fly under the radar, the sleepers are potential breakouts for this particular matchup. Players that are not considered as big of a threat but have an increase in things such as targets or snap counts are ideal for this category. They could surprise you for the week with a big game.
San Francisco 49ers @ Arizona Cardinals
Must Start: 49ers Defense, George Kittle (TE)
No ifs, and, or buts about it. The 49ers’ defense is legit. But if you paid attention to my previous start/sit articles, you’d already know that. They give up the least offensive yards per game (224.43 tot yds), the least passing yards a game (128.71), the second-fewest points per game (11), and they have the second-fewest rushing (2) and receiving (5) touchdowns.
Nick Bosa‘s in the running for Defensive Rookie of the Year, and by in the running, I mean he’s running away with it. Start this Defense every week, especially against their tight ends (2nd-best).
Do you know who’s the worst team in the NFL against Tight Ends? That’s right.
Arizona is giving up on average Twenty points per game to the tight end position. So far they’ve seen the likes of Austin Hooper (25.7 points given up), Greg Olsen (25.5), Mark Andrews (25.2), and Will Dissly (18.3). Oh yeah and Rhett Ellison (11.3). And T.J. Hockenson way back in Week 1 with his only good game of the year (25.1).
I mean, I could go on about it and dive into more details but I believe you have it down. Next.
Jimmy G has his game-manager status this year. We’ve seen him go bomb-out for touchdowns and 300 yards game (think the end of 2017), but this offense doesn’t call for it. This week may be a little different though. The Cards are a little tougher on the run (7th-fewest ppg to RBs), and while I believe Coleman will still have a good game, I’m believing in the powers of Shanahan’s Offense.
Arizona currently ranks 1st in points allowed to wide receivers and quarterbacks, making QB1 and WR1 numbers for Jimmy and Manny this week look highly likely. I love them both.
I still think Coleman will have a good game, but I downgrading him slightly (along with Breida). The Cards are great against the run (as opposed to their pass defense), but Coleman and Breida are both pass-catching backs, so there should still be a number of chances to make an early impact.
Deebo is firmly the No. 2 wideout on the team behind Sanders, and he made good on it last week (3 rec for 19 yds, 2 rush for 29 yds and 1 TD). I’m looking at him to have a part to play in a game with as many chances as there are weapons.
Mostert left last’s week game against Carolina with a head injury, and though he may be active, I don’t see a ton of chances for the RB3 against a solid run defense. Pettis and Goodwin are too unreliable for fantasy. Pettis has been outright disappointing and Goodwin is a field stretcher; too bad this offense doesn’t normally throw deep. Bench ’em all.
Flex Start: Christian Kirk (WR)
First off let me start by saying if your only option for a Flex is Kirk, I’m sorry. This is not the matchup for Arizona Cardinals receivers, backs, or QBs. Fitzgerald was left in the dust last week. Christian Kirk enjoyed a great game back (8 rec for 79 yds, 1 rush for 19 yds).
I’m setting the ceiling veeeeeeerrryyy low this week for Kirk, and the floor…the floor’s on the basement (along with the rest of the Cardinals players). He’s a risky WR3 for your deeper leagues.
I just wanted to see how many names I could list that you shouldn’t start this week. I already went over the prowess of the 49ers defense, their front-seven, their secondary, and their undefeated record. This is a bad matchup for just about every player, and I don’t expect David Johnson to be out there, maybe for the rest of the year. We’ll see.
Zach Hargis is a writer for Dynasty Football Digest. He enjoys playing the drums, doing voice impressions, and quoting The Office. If any of those things interest you, he welcomes you to follow him on Twitter @ZachFFDrummer and to check out his personal interests on Instagram @zakktastic.