Fantasy Island, Trade Deadline edition: Week 9 starts and sits

Keep Miles Sanders in your lineups this week against the Texans. (Alexander Jonesi/Wikimedia Commons)


This was one of the most interesting trade deadlines ever in the NFL, with plenty of action on a day that has traditionally left us wanting. But aside from the blockbuster deal of Christian McCaffrey to the 49ers a couple weeks ago, the fantasy implications will likely be minimal in all but the deepest leagues.

T.J. Hockenson, Chase Claypool, Nyheim Hines, James Robinson, Robbie Anderson and Chase Edmonds all get marginal bumps in fantasy value with their new teams and situations. Jeff Wilson, Jr., and Kadarius Toney have been rescued from fantasy irrelevancy by going to Miami and Kansas City, respectively. Aside from Hockenson, give them all a week to get acclimated before thinking about putting any of them in your lineups. And it’ll be next year before we find out how Calvin Ridley will look in Jacksonville.

But only McCaffrey, who went from one of the league’s worst offenses in Carolina to one rich in talent in San Francisco, has the potential to make a real difference in championships won this year – as shown with his three-touchdown explosion last week against the Rams. Aside from that deal, the biggest trade deadline news may have been what didn’t happen — Kareem Hunt didn’t go to the Rams or Eagles. Cam Akers didn’t go anywhere. Brandin Cooks didn’t go to the Packers. And neither did anyone else.

And alas, McCaffrey and the 49ers are off this week, as are Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Denver, Dallas and the New York Giants.

On another big bye week, here are this week’s starts and sits:



Tua Tagovailoa, Dolphins: As long as he and the receiver tandem of Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle stay healthy, he’s entered the Circle of Trust. He led all quarterbacks in passing yardage last week and there’s no reason to fade him at Chicago.  


Derek Carr, Raiders: Jacksonville doesn’t seem like a tough matchup, but after watching Carr slog through a miserable 101-yard, scoreless performance at New Orleans last week, we’re going to need a prove-it week before we can trust him on the road again.   



Miles Sanders, Eagles: If you have him on your team, you breathed a big sigh of relief when the Eagles weren’t among the teams trading for a running back this week (as had been rumored). Now you can go straight back to the well. He got you 78 yards and a score last week – and would’ve had more if the game hadn’t been so out of hand the Eagles pulled their starters. On Thursday night, they get a porous Texans run defense that should yield little resistance.  

Travis Etienne, Jaguars: Our biggest miss last week was advising you to sit Etienne against the stout Denver defense. After watching him shred that defense for 156 yards and a score, we will now encourage you to start him every week, regardless of matchup.


Gus Edwards, Ravens: He tweaked a hamstring last week and is questionable for Monday night’s matchup with the Saints. If he suits up, he’ll likely lead Baltimore’s backfield again, but do you really want any part of a physically compromised back against a Saints defense that shut down the Raiders and Josh Jacobs last week? Probably not.

Leonard Fournette, Bucs: He hasn’t had more than 10 carries or 25 yards in the last two weeks, and Rachaad White has been siphoning off snaps. There’s no reason to see this situation improving against Aaron Donald and the Rams.



Gabe Davis, Bills: It’s difficult to pinpoint when Davis’ eruptions will occur, but when they do the points come in bunches. Jets corner Sauce Gardner is having a stellar rookie season and seems likely to try to lock up with Stephon Diggs, so this seems as good a spot as any.

Josh Palmer, Chargers: Mike Williams is out for multiple weeks. Keenan Allen has a setback and isn’t ready to return. LA faces a depleted Falcons defense that is without top corner AJ Terrell. Palmer’s the next man up and is set up for success.


Brandin Cooks, Texans: He’s got a difficult matchup with the Eagles and he’s been out of practice since tweeting a cryptic message after not being dealt at the trade deadline. He may not even play, and you don’t want him in your lineup if he does.

Garrett Wilson, Jets: He worked his way back onto our radars with another 100-yard game last week, but it’s difficult to imagine a repeat performance against the tough Bills defense.



Evan Engram, Jaguars: He’s topped 40 yards in the last four games and 50 in three of the last four. He finally found the end zone last week as well, and this week’s opponent, the Raiders, yield the third-most points to the position. Not a bad flyer to try.  


With George Kittle, Pat Freiermuth, Dalton Schultz on byes in an already paper-thin position, once again start whoever you can find that’s getting targets.

Categories: Fantasy Football

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