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Slant Pattern: WR Start/Sit – Week 9

TRUE or FALSE: Tee Higgins is still a weekly starter. Check out this week’s Slant Pattern where @THEtristancook breaks down your WR start/sit decisions!

Hello and welcome back, Nerds! The Dynasty Nerds writers are here to provide you with weekly starts and sits. I will be doing the WR starts and sits for the 2023 season! We, as a group, will be making our recommendations based on weekly consensus PPR rankings from FantasyPros. Here is our squad and the position groups they will be covering to help you each week. Follow, DM, and Tweet us.

We look forward to hearing from you!

QB: Mike Hicks (@dropthemikeff) – Changing the Call

RB: Jake Oliver (@DarthDbacks) – The Cutback

WR: Tristan Cook (@THEtristancook) – Slant Pattern

TE: Steven Pintado (@CoachStevenP) – 12 Formation

FLEX: Evan Brown (@FFEVanlution) – Flex on ‘Em

IDP: Jon Glosser (@Glosser13) – IDP Start/Sit

One thing to keep in mind when making your start/sit decisions, it will ALWAYS depend on who your other options are. The players listed below are WRs that I expect to finish above/below their respective rankings. But it doesn’t mean you need to take them out of (or put them into) your lineup unless your alternatives are worth it.

NOTE: Rankings are based on a 12-team PPR league. So, saying WR2 means top 24, or TE1 means top 12, etc., and are pulled from Fantasy Pros consensus expert rankings.

RECAP

Before we get into the recap of last week’s picks, let’s go over how I determine the success and failure of my picks:

  1. Regardless of whether I have a player listed as a start or sit, if they get injured during the game where it significantly impacts their fantasy output, it is ruled a no decision based upon injury.
  2. If a player finishes within a handful of spots of their ranking, either above or below, it is considered a push. 
  3. My goal is always to get all my picks correct. 

However, I consider above 50% a moderately successful week. Let’s get to it.

Week 8 was a much better week for my picks. Of my six selections, four were ‘hits,’ 1 was a ‘push,’ and 1 was a ‘miss.’ I had Terry McLaurin, DeVonta Smith, Diontae Johnson, and Drake London on my ‘start’ list. Of those 4, McLaurin, Smith, and Johnson all finished well above their respective rankings and were ‘hits.’ Unfortunately, Drake London was injured during the game against Tennessee and was, therefore, a ‘push.’ He was having a solid day before the injury.

For my ‘sits,’ I had Zay Flowers and Garrett Wilson. Flowers was ranked as a high-end WR2 but finished as WR68. My worst call of the week was having Garrett Wilson as a ‘sit’. He was ranked at WR20 and finished at WR17—time to get to this week’s picks.

START

Amari Cooper, Browns – WR 27

Week 8 Stats | WR 26 | FPts: 14.9 | Tgts: 11 | Rec: 6 | Yds: 89 | TDs: 0

LANDOVER, MD – JANUARY 01: Cleveland Browns wide receiver Amari Cooper (2) hauls in a pass then rushes up field eluding Washington Commanders safety Darrick Forrest (22) en route to scoring a touchdown during the Cleveland Browns game versus the Washington Commanders on January 01, 2023, at FedEx Field in Landover, MD. (Photo by Lee Coleman/Icon Sportswire)

My first ‘start’ for Week 8 is Amari Cooper. He is coming off a solid game last week against Seattle. Cooper has been a bit inconsistent this season. He has four games where he finished inside the top 30 receivers, but in his other 3, he finished no better than 57th. However, the one thing that has been consistent is his target share. Cooper is the 19th-most targeted wide receiver in the NFL and the 14th-most over the last three games.

Now, Cooper is expected to have Deshaun Watson back at quarterback and face off against a Cardinals defense that is a slightly worse-than-average pass defense. I expect to see Watson feed his favorite target early and often. I am starting Cooper with confidence in Week 8.

Tee Higgins, Bengals – WR 22

Week 8 Stats | WR 37 | FPts: 11.9 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 5 | Yds: 69 | TDs: 0

Tee Higgins is my other ‘start’ this week. Other than a strong Week 2 performance, Higgins has had a rather quiet 2023. In the three games prior to last week, Higgins only tallied 60 yards receiving on 6 catches without reaching the end zone. His 5-catch, 69-yard game last week nearly bested both of those categories.

I usually wouldn’t recommend starting a player who has underperformed for most of the season. However, we have seen the Bengals look much more capable on offense of late, and in the upset victory over the 49ers last week, we saw Higgins be more involved. The total for this game is set at 50.5 points, which is the highest of the week. So, I expect this game to be high-scoring and think Higgins will be heavily involved.

SIT

DJ Moore, Bears – WR 26

Week 8 Stats | WR 51 | FPts: 9.5 | Tgts: 6 | Rec: 4 | Yds: 55 | TDs: 0

My first ‘sit’ for Week 8 is DJ Moore. There are two main factors in this call. First and foremost, Justin Fields is not expected to play for Chicago. We all saw how this passing offense struggled last week with Tyson Bagent under center, and that was against the Chargers, the worst passing defense in yards per game in the NFL. 

This week, DJ Moore and the Bears travel to face the New Orleans Saints and their 7th-best passing defense. Moreover, DJ Moore is likely going to be lined up against Marshon Lattimore, who is one of the best corners in the NFL. I am looking elsewhere if I have DJ Moore on my roster.

Tank Dell, Texans – WR 29

Week 8 Stats | WR 74 | FPts: 6.1 | Tgts: 4 | Rec: 3 | Yds: 16 | TDs: 0 

Moving on, my next ‘sit’ is Tank Dell. After his blistering start to his rookie season, Dell has cooled off dramatically. Over his last three games, Dell has 7 catches for 89 yards on only 11 targets. That kind of workload is one that I am always going to try to avoid. Dell certainly has the skills to make this call look bad on one long catch. But I would rather take my chances on that not happening. The Texans play Tampa this week, who have a below-average pass defense, so if you’re desperate and need a longshot, you could do worse than Dell. However, I will be avoiding him in my lineups.

Jordan Addison, Vikings – WR 30

Week 8 Stats | WR 13 | FPts: 21.4 | Tgts: 8 | Rec: 7 | Yds: 82 | TDs: 1

MINNEAPOLIS, MN – SEPTEMBER 10: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Jordan Addison (3) catches a 39-yard pass for a touchdown during the second quarter of an NFL game between the Minnesota Vikings and Tampa Bay Buccaneers on September 10, 2023, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Nick Wosika/Icon Sportswire)

My final ‘sit’ for the week is Jordan Addison. The reasoning here is very similar to why I am avoiding DJ Moore. The Minnesota Vikings lost Kirk Cousins for the season last week with an Achilles injury. I believe better days are ahead for Addison and this passing attack once Josh Dobbs takes over this offense. But, this week, it appears that the Vikings will be calling on Jaren Hall to start on the road against the Falcons. He didn’t have to do much in relief last week, but this Atlanta team poses a different threat.

Atlanta has a much better pass defense than rush defense. They allow the 8th-fewest passing yards per game, so I expect to see Minnesota try to attack on the ground. This game also has the lowest total of the week at 37.5 points, so I don’t expect to see much offensive firepower. If you’ve been counting on Addison in the absence of Justin Jefferson, you might want to look elsewhere for a while.

That’s it for Week 9. Feel free to reach out to me on Twitter (@THEtristancook) if you have any specific questions about who I would start. 

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