Sunday Night Football Fantasy Picks: Start 'Em, Sit 'Em for Saints vs Buccaneers

The Saints' struggles in pass defense make Tom Brady a great start in Week 9.
The Saints' struggles in pass defense make Tom Brady a great start in Week 9. / Sarah Stier/Getty Images

A pivotal NFC South battle takes place on Sunday Night Football in Week 9 as the New Orleans Saints (5-2) go on the road to take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (6-2). The Saints won the first matchup between these two teams back in Week 1, but the Buccaneers are 4.5-point favorites in this one, according to FanDuel Sportsbook's Week 9 NFL betting odds.

If you need help with your fantasy football lineups, here's some start 'em, sit 'em advice for the Week 9 Saints-Buccaneers showdown.

Who Should I Start Fantasy Football

Start Jared Cook, TE, New Orleans Saints: Jared Cook has quietly become a reliable tight end in fantasy football recently as he has scored a touchdown in each of his past three games. With multiple wide receivers set to return in the Saints' offense (namely Michael Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders), it may seem like a week to shy away from Cook. However, the Buccaneers have given up 396 receiving yards to opposing tight ends so far this season (No. 20 in the NFL). Cook could be in for a productive game and may even keep his touchdown streak going as he seems to be one of quarterback Drew Brees' favorite targets in the red zone.

Start Tom Brady, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Although Tom Brady has only passed for over 300 yards twice this season, he has still been able to post QB1 numbers in fantasy football thanks to his 22 total touchdowns. He draws a decent matchup in Week 9 as he faces a Saints' defense that ranks No. 16 in the NFL in passing yards allowed per game (237.9) and has given up the second-most passing touchdowns in the league this season (19). With his offensive weapons almost completely healthy, Brady should have a much better game than he did facing the Saints back in Week 1. He remains a must-start quarterback in fantasy football.

Sit Latavius Murray, RB, New Orleans Saints: This is a nightmare matchup for the Saints' backfield and that means Latavius Murray goes into this game lacking the FLEX consideration he has almost every week. As a complementary back to starter Alvin Kamara, Murray has had four games with 11-plus carries. Going against a Buccaneers' defense that gives up just 70.4 rushing yards per game (No. 1 in the NFL), the Saints may look toward the passing game more often than usual. Kamara shines as a pass-catcher, hauling in 8 or more passes in each of the last three games, while Murray has just 10 catches on the season. It's best to keep Murray on the bench this week, as he's an extremely matchup-dependent RB and a date with the Buccaneers is as tough as it gets.

Sit Antonio Brown, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Fantasy football managers were quick to head to the waiver wire and pickup wide receiver Antonio Brown when it was announced he was signing with the Buccaneers a few weeks ago. Once touted as one of the best receivers in the game, it may take some time for Brown to adjust to head coach Bruce Arians' offense. He also enters a wide receiver group featuring big names like Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. All of this makes starting Brown this week way too risky, especially since Arians was unsure how many snaps he will even play. Unless you are in dire need of a wide receiver or FLEX start, Brown should remain a stash player on your bench until his role in this offense is more clearly defined.

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Larry Rupp is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Larry Rupp also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username phillyfan424. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.