I’ve rebranded the classic fantasy football start sit column into “Roasts & Ghosts”. A roast is a player who is not only a clear start, but is in for a monster game. A ghost meanwhile is a player who could just be a typical sit (not worth even starting), but also might be a star player who gives you less than you were expecting.
I have a roast and a ghost for each position to help you set your best lineups for Week 9. Let’s get it!
Roast: Joe Burrow vs Cleveland Browns
Burrow has been on an absolute tear over the last three weeks. He’s thrown for three touchdowns in every game and is the QB2 in fantasy during that span. THE QB2! Only Matthew Stafford has been a better fantasy QB since Week 5. The good times are almost certainly going to continue to roll this week as the Bengals face the Browns. Cleveland is allowing the 3rd most passing touchdowns to QBs this season. They’ve been playing some of their worst football recently, giving up 11 touchdowns (1st in the league) to QBs over the last four weeks. Burrow and this Bengals’ passing game is set to cook Sunday.
Ghost: Jalen Hurts vs Los Angeles Chargers
Last week against the Lions marked the first time this season Hurts failed to score a touchdown and it resulted in his worst fantasy game of the year. Up until that point, Hurts was one of the most consistent fantasy QBs thanks to his immense rushing floor. Against the Lions however, that rush floor was slashed thanks to Boston Scott and Jordan Howard. Unfortunately, the same might be true this week against the Chargers.
Los Angeles ranked 31st in NEFF run defense rating and has been trounced by backs all season long. This might open the door for another Scott/Howard special, capping Hurts’ ceiling. It also doesn’t help that passing the ball, only the Bills are allowing fewer PPG to QBs this year. I have Hurts in my home league and I’m seriously considering streaming Taysom Hill vs the Falcons over him this week.
Roast: Myles Gaskin vs Houston Texans
I went back-and-forth between picking Gaskin or Ezekiel Elliott as my roast this week, ultimately going with the player more people might be nervous of starting. (Still consider this me picked Zeke too so when he goes off vs the Broncos I get double credit.) While it’s been a roller coaster season for Gaskin managers, the Dolphins running back has now seen at least 15 touches in back-to-back games. That workload against a Texans defense ranked dead last in run defense NEFF rating should be enough to help Gaskin finish a RB1 this week.
Ghost: Chase Edmonds vs San Francisco 49ers
While currently a top-20 running back in .5PPR, Edmonds’ production has not been too consistent. He has the 2nd-lowest NECC rating among top-20 backs at 39.4%. Only Antonio Gibson is lower (44.5%). That volatility doesn’t instill a lot of confidence, especially when facing a tough matchup. The 49ers have been the best defense at limiting RB PPG the last four weeks, giving up just 16.2 to the position as a whole. I’d fade both Edmonds and James Conner this week, but Conner has that solid red zone work that raises his floor. Edmonds shouldn’t be anything more than a low flex option for you this week.
Roast: Marquise Brown vs Minnesota Vikings
With the Ravens on their bye last week, it might be easy to forget just how good Brown has been this season. Let me quickly remind you. Brown is the WR7 in .5PPR, averaging 15.9 PPG. He’s also been exceptionally consistent and efficient with this touches. His 8.5% NECC rating puts him top-5 among WRs who’ve played at least seven games. Against a Vikings’ defense giving up the 6th-most WR PPG and who will now be missing their star pass-rusher Danielle Hunter, Brown has elite WR1 potential this week.
Side note: there is a LOT of roast wide recover potential this week. Cooper Kupp is facing the Titans, Brandin Cooks gets the Dolphins, the Bills’ entire passing game get the Jaguars, and Diontae Johnson goes up against the Bears Monday night. All those guys I’ve ranked as WR1 this week.
Ghost: Mike Williams vs Philadelphia Eagles
I brought up Williams as a player to fade on this week’s starts & sits show and I’ll double-down on that take here. After a roaring first three weeks—in which he saw a 25.9% target share—Williams has seen over five targets just once since Week 3. I don’t think the Eagles are going to be a get-right game for him either. Philly has consistently been one of the best defenses limiting opposing WR PPG. They are allowing the 3rd-fewest points, 3rd-fewest catches, and 4th-fewest yards to the position this season. For the first time since Week 1, I have Keenan Allen ranked ahead of Williams this week.
Roast: Evan Engram vs Las Vegas Raiders
I don’t know if the Giants’ wide receiver room was built on a cursed graveyard or something but their receivers just can not stay healthy. With their receivers dropping like flies, Engram has emerged as Daniel Jones’ go-to target over the last two weeks. He had 6 catches for 44 yards against the Panthers in Week 7 and caught a touchdown against the Chiefs last week. The Raiders on the season have given up the 6th-most targets and points per game to TEs. Engram could finish as a top-5 option pretty easily this week.
Ghost: Mark Andrews vs Vikings
With Marquise Brown mentioned above as my roast of the week, you may think it’s fire up all the Ravens pass catchers vs the Vikings. You’d be wrong. While the Vikings struggle with wide receivers, they do not struggle against tight ends. Minnesota is allowing the 2nd-fewest receptions and are one of four teams to have not allowed a touchdown to the position this season. I could see Andrews finishing with a stat-line of 4-45-0, which is a far cry from what fantasy managers expect of him.