Fantasy Football Week 9: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em

D'Onta Foreman
D'Onta Foreman / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

Welcome to our weekly start 'em, sit 'em fantasy football column. Here are five players who you may think about starting or sitting this week in pursuit of that goal. We'll do the heavy lifting for you and explain why you should change your mind. Or stay the course. And if your roster is bad enough that you just need guys who will be on the field, our weekly waiver wire column pairs well with the below reading. (All stats via ESPN PPR leagues)

D'Onta Foreman, RB, Carolina Panthers

Foreman is very firmly the RB1 in Carolina and seems to be living proof that addition by subtraction can produce tangible results in sports. Without Matt Rhule, the entire team seems reenergized and P.J. Walker has moved the offense down the field effectively in two straight weeks. Foreman put up a 31-point day against Atlanta and is poised for similar production against a Bengals team that can struggle against the run. The veteran RB is owned in 67 percent of ESPN leagues but only started in 38 percent, so if you have any doubt, it's time to dispel it. START 'EM

Jamaal Williams, RB, Detroit Lions

It appears Williams is still going to get his touches, even with D'Andre Swift's return. Williams vultured a few TDs from his running mate and received 10 carries for 53 yards, good for 21 fantasy points. He should get a similar number of opportunities again against the Packers this week. But Williams has gone from a consistent contributor to a guy overly reliant on touchdowns and Green Bay's run defense has been pretty good this year. Start only in case of emergency. SIT 'EM

Isaiah Likely, TE, Baltimore Ravens

Likely will appear on lists like this all over the Internet this week and for good reason. The rookie was a preseason darling and showcased a clear connection with Lamar Jackson. Once the games started to matter, Likely faded as he struggled to separate from Jackson's favorite target, Mark Andrews. He also couldn't stretch the field like the team's receiving group. Well, Andrews got hurt last week and so did Rashod Bateman, meaning competition for targets just got a lot thinner. Likely had six catches for 77 yards and a TD against Tampa Bay and should produce similar numbers against New Orleans. START 'EM

Terry McLaurin, WR, Washington Commanders

It would be understandable if you stayed away from McLaurin this year, what with the Carson Wentz of it all in Washington. But Taylor Heinicke is under center now and will be for a few weeks yet, and one of the things he can definitely do is get McLaurin the ball. Scary Terry put up 113 yards on six catches and received eight targets against Indianapolis. His production doesn't seem set to go down against a Vikings team that let DeAndre Hopkins carve them up on Sunday. McLaurin is officially back as a viable fantasy option with big upside given Heinicke's ability to extend plays and heave the ball up to his best wideout. START 'EM

Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Miami Dolphins

Tagovailoa had a big day against Detroit with his second fantasy outing of more than 20 points on the year, and was one of the best QB performers of the week. He seems to be fully recovered from his concussion and the sky always feels like the limit when he can hit Tyreek Hill or Jaylen Waddle in stride. But those watching closely know Tagovailoa has been frustrating in terms of fantasy output this season, with more sub-15 point outings than 20-plus point performances. This week's matchup against the Bears looks good on paper but until Tagovailoa can prove he can relied upon for point production it feels risky to go with him. SIT 'EM