‘The Queen’s Journal’ vs ‘Western Gazette’: Fantasy Football series—Week Nine

The Journal’s picks for start ’em sit ’em picks for Week Nine

This is the third week of an ongoing ‘start ‘em, sit ‘em’ fantasy football competition between The Journal and Western Gazette’s sports sections
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Regretfully, last week’s win went to The Gazette again, putting The Journal down by 2-0 margin. A surprisingly lack-lustre performance by our running-back starter Clyde Edwards-Helaire and a strong bench performance by Mike Evans put us out of reach of Western’s strong performance.

The Journal’s fantasy writers are chalking this up to what our Managing Editor calls early season blues. With this in mind, adjustments have been made that should earn a tick in the win column this week.

Starters ($91)

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks are set to take on Josh Allen and the Buffalo Bills this weekend. This game has all the hallmarks of a shootout. Look for Josh Allen’s arm to pick apart a porous Seattle defence, forcing Pete Carroll to yet again let Wilson “cook.” Wilson has been performing, throwing less than three touchdowns just once in a season where he’s leading the MVP race. Wilson is a must-start, especially in another game where he will have to make up for his team’s defensive woes.

Dalvin Cook and the Vikings are playing host to the Detroit Lions this week and are looking to build off their momentum after an upset victory against the Packers. It was Cook’s first game back from injury, putting in a dominant performance to the tune of four touchdowns and 226 all-purpose yards. Look for Cook to build on that success against a poor Lions defence that gives up the second-most fantasy points to running backs this season.

Going back to that Seattle vs. Buffalo matchup, Stefon Diggs looks to be in line for a big day. The star receiver has eight or more targets in his past four games and will look to feast on a Seattle secondary that has given up the most fantasy points to receivers this season. This game should be a shootout, so there’s a good chance Diggs finds the end zone at least once on Sunday.

Noah Fant and the Denver Broncos are set to play the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday. The Falcons are home to one of the worst defences in the NFL. This defence is a whole other level of bad, so you should feel comfortable starting just about anybody against them—especially Fant, who’s one of Denver quarterback Drew Lock’s favourite targets. Look for Fant to be open a lot as Atlanta gives up the most fantasy points to tight ends.

How bad is the Atlanta defence? Tight End Robert Tonyan scored 28 fantasy points against the Falcons—yes, nobody else knows who that is either. Start Fant this week.

For the Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Cowboys matchup, this should be a blowout. The Steelers are the only undefeated team left in the league, and with the Cowboys fielding one of the most disappointing teams in recent memory, this game will get ugly fast. Cooper Rush or Garrett Gilbert will have their shot to start on the carousel that is the Dallas Cowboys quarterback role. Whoever gets the nod will have their hands full with the Steelers top-flight defence. In a game that will be almost impossible to watch, take solace in knowing that if you start the Steelers defence, you’ll have at least one thing to celebrate.

Bench ($90)

This week, Daniel Jones and the New York Giants take on the Washington Football Team after losing to Tampa Bay on a failed two-point conversion last weekend. Jones has never once had a quarterback rating above 95 this season and had a single touchdown in his last game against Washington while posting his lowest yardage this season.

Amari Cooper and the Dallas Cowboys take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this week after a lopsided loss to the Eagles in Week Eight. Cooper posted only five yards in that game, easily a season-low. However, since Week Five, Cooper has yet to break 100 yards in a single game and hasn’t had a touchdown in six of the past eight games this season.

Ezekiel Elliot and the Dallas Cowboys take on the Pittsburgh Steelers this week after three straight losses. Elliot has not rushed for one hundred yards in a single game this season and has gained his second-lowest yards per carry last week against the Eagles. Elliot also hasn’t had a touchdown in three straight games.

Mike Gesicki and the Miami Dolphins take on the Arizona Cardinals this week as both teams come off a three-game win streak. Gesicki hasn’t scored a touchdown since Week Three against the Jaguars. He also hasn’t broken 100 yards in a single game since Week Two, only gaining eight yards in a win against the Rams last week.

The Vikings take on the Detroit Lions this week after a win over the Green Bay Packers. However, the Vikings’ defence still remains one of the worst in the league, ranked 28 overall with a pass defence ranked 25. Meanwhile, Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford threw three touchdowns in Week Seven and piled up over 300 yards for only the second time this season.

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