As we get to the second half of the season, it's worth taking stock of where the quarterback position stands, compared to the preseason. Some of the top options at the position this week are no surprise: Dak Prescott, Russell Wilson, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, and Lamar Jackson were all viewed as, if not necessarily must-start options, players you could rely on. And it's no surprise they are in the top 10 across the board.
And then there's Matthew Stafford, Josh Allen, Tom Brady, and Kirk Cousins, guys you weren't necessarily even drafting, but who have played well enough to force their way into the starting conversation in Week 9. And then there's Gardner Minshew, who came out of nowhere to become one of the best storylines in the NFL — and a must-start option in his own right in Week 9.
With Matt Ryan, Jared Goff, and Drew Brees on bye, you might need some help filling out your lineup, and that's what Start 'Em & Sit 'Em is here to help with. See which surprising options are worth getting into your lineup, and who you might want to avoid, and then go check out Heath Cummings' for projections, matchups, and everything else you need.
|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.|
- 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.
|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.|
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.
So who should you sit and start this week? And which surprising quarterback could lead you to victory? Visit SportsLine now to get Week 9 rankings for every position, plus see which QB is going to come out of nowhere to crack the top 10, all from the model that out-performed experts big time last season.