Week 9 marks the halfway point of the NFL regular season (and past the halfway point of the fantasy football regular season), so we have some strong matchup numbers to help inform our start ’em, sit ’em decisions. Must-start fantasy studs like Joe Burrow (vs. Browns) and Jalen Hurts (vs. Chargers) have emerged, while some guys have fallen to mere matchup-based sleepers. Of course, there are still your classic matchup-based streamers that we expected to be just that in the preseason. We’re here to sort it all out with the help of our Week 9 fantasy QB rankings.
Derek Carr (@ Eagles) and Lamar Jackson (vs. Vikings) are back in action after byes, but we sacrifice Tom Brady. Taylor Heinicke, Jared Goff, and Geno Smith are off the table, too, though only owners in two-QB/superflex leagues will likely notice they’re missing. Even more important in two-QB/superflex (and possibly single-QB) leagues is the potential return of Tyrod Taylor (hamstring) off the IR. He has a highly favorable matchup against Miami, putting him squarely in the streamer conversation.
Tua Tagovailoa (vs. Texans), Carson Wentz (vs. Jets), Teddy Bridgewater (@ Cowboys), and Taysom Hill (vs. Falcons), assuming he’s cleared from the concussion protocol, join Taylor as the top streaming options. Tagovailoa and Wentz have shown they can get it done when the matchup is right. The only problem for Wentz could be the lack of a competitive game against the Jets, but considering they’ve pulled off big upsets against Tennessee and Cincinnati this year, we’re not counting them out against Indy. Bridgewater has been up and down, and Hill hasn’t played much recently — and hasn’t played much QB at all this year. However, we know the type of high-floor, dual-threat upside he has when he’s under center, and against the Falcons, he’s in good position for nice overall numbers.
On the flip side, Matt Ryan (@ Saints), Ryan Tannehill (@ Rams), and Sam Darnold (vs. Patriots) have all produced in some weeks, but the defenses in New Orleans, Los Angeles, and New England tend to shut down fringe starters. Tannehill has the exact opposite situation of a guy like Wentz, though. If this Titans-Rams game is a back-and-forth shootout, he surely could succeed. We just see better options on the board.
Hurts and Jackson figure to have tough matchups, as Los Angeles and Minnesota are top-10 defensive units against QBs. They take a slight bump in the rankings, but we know their activity on the ground means their floor and ceiling remain high.
Losing Brady definitely hurts his owners, but there are plenty of pivots that can help you get through the week. Quarterback remains deep, so find your one-week streamer, hope for a few touchdowns, and ride Brady the rest of the way after Week 9.
Note: We’ll be updating these QB rankings throughout the week, so check back for the latest player movement and analysis.
Fantasy QB Rankings Week 9: Who to start at quarterback
Rankings are based on standard, four-point passing TD formats.
|1||Josh Allen, BUF @ JAX|
|2||Matthew Stafford, LAR vs. TEN|
|3||Kyler Murray, ARI @ SF|
|4||Joe Burrow, CIN vs CLE|
|5||Dak Prescott, DAL vs. DEN|
|6||Patrick Mahomes, KC vs. GB|
|7||Lamar Jackson, BAL vs. MIN|
|8||Jalen Hurts, PHI vs. LAC. Despite a 38-points thumping of the Lions, Hurts produced his lowest fantasy output (11.2 fantasy points) of the season as he amounted just 103 passing yards. However, we still saw a great example of his rushing floor. His 71 rushing yards prevented one of the most disastrous fantasy performances in recent memory. He was a QB1 in every other week this year, so don’t overthink this. Los Angeles has presented challenges for some QBs, but again, his rushing acumen continues to make him a must-start.|
|9||Justin Herbert, LAC @ PHI. Herbert ran into the Patriots and passed for just 223 yards and threw two interceptions. However, he still did throw two touchdowns, and this is the place where the must-starts end. Like Hurts, don’t overthink this.|
|10||Tua Tagovailoa, MIA vs. HOU. Tagovailoa has feasted when the matchup is favorable against Atlanta (28.5 fantasy points) and Jacksonville (22.4), so we can expect much of the same against Houston. The Dolphins are unable to consistently pound the rock, and Tagovailoa has been forced to 39-plus passes in each of the past three weeks. Miami isn’t a good enough team to assume this game will be a blowout, so there is plenty of opportunity for Tua here. He finished as the No. 1 overall player in fantasy in Week 7, so that is his upside this week.|
|11||Taysom Hill, NO vs. ATL. Jameis Winston is out for the year, so Hill should take over the No. 1 QB role assuming he clears concussion protocol. In four starts last year, he scored at least 18.5 fantasy points in every contest. We know he leaves a lot to be desired as a passer, but think of him as a lesser Jalen Hurts — his rushing floor and upside put him in the range of a QB1. Atlanta gave up the third-most fantasy points to QBs heading into Week 8, so Hill is very attractive this week. It’s worth noting he should draw starting consideration regardless of matchup, though.|
|12||Kirk Cousins, MIN @ BAL. Cousins struggled against Dallas in Week 8, but we know he’s hot and cold. Baltimore has given up a to of fantasy points to Carson Wentz, Derek Carr, Patrick Mahomes, and Joe Burrow. When Minnesota’s passing game is rolling, it rivals those passing attacks. We assume Baltimore will score with ease coming off of a bye, so expect Captain Kirk to attempt a flurry of passes to keep up.|
|13||Teddy Bridgewater, DEN @ DAL. Dallas has a play-making secondary, but they still give up plenty of yards and touchdowns. Sam Darnold, Tom Brady, Jalen Hurts, and Justin Herbert all passed for 300-plus yards against the Cowboys, and assuming Dak Prescott (calf) is back, Bridgewater will have to attempt a ton of passes to keep up. Whether it’s purely volume or garbage-time driven, Bridgewater should get his fair share of fantasy points, especially as Jerry Jeudy rounds back into form.|
|14||Daniel Jones, NYG vs. LV. Las Vegas is statistically a solid team against QBs, but playing against Justin Fields and Ben Roethlisberger really skewed their stats. Justin Herbert, Jacoby Brissett, Teddy Bridgewater, and Jalen Hurts all scored 20-plus fantasy points against the Raiders. Daniel Jones’ weapons seem finally be getting healthy (fingers crossed), so we like his chances in this game. He’s another guy who should have to pass a lot facing a solid offense.|
|15||Matt Ryan, ATL @ NO. New Orleans is also strong statistically against fantasy QBs, but they’ve played the likes of Geno Smith, Sam Darnold, Mac Jones, and Taylor Heinicke. That said, Daniel Jones passed for 400 yards and Tom Brady passed for 375 yards against them. The Saints front seven is stout, but their secondary leaves a lot to be desired. We’ll see how Kyle Pitts, Russell Gage, Cordarrelle Patterson, and Tajae Sharpe step up in the absence of Calvin Ridley (personal), but this match doesn’t scare us away from Ryan.|
|16||Ryan Tannehill, TEN @ LAR. Tannehill threw three touchdowns against Indianapolis en route to a QB1 finish. However, the Rams gave up the 10th-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks, and much of the success against them has been in garbage time. With Derrick Henry (foot) expected to be out for an extended period of time, you have to think Tennessee will see less loaded box and their play-action game will suffer as a result. Even if Henry was healthy, this would be a concerning matchup. Add the fact that he’s out, and there is a strong enough case to sit Tannehill on the bench. All that said, he could begin to attempt a whole lot more passes, so this could be a blessing in disguise, at least in fantasy moving forward.|
|17||Carson Wentz, IND vs. NYJ|
|18||Jordan Love, GB @ KC|
|19||Tyrod Taylor, HOU @ MIA|
|20||Derek Carr, LV @ NYG|
|21||Sam Darnold, CAR vs. NE|
|22||Baker Mayfield, CLE @ CIN|
|23||Ben Roethlisberger, PIT vs. CHI|
|24||Mac Jones, NE @ CAR|
|25||Jimmy Garoppolo, SF vs. ARI|
|26||Justin Fields, CHI @ PIT|
|27||Mike White, NYJ @ IND|
|28||Trevor Lawrence, JAX vs. BUF|