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NFL Fantasy 2022 Start 'Em, Sit 'Em Week 9: Wide receivers

You have lineup questions. We have answers. At least we hope. Start 'Em & Sit 'Em has helped fantasy managers for years make those pressing lineup decisions. And you know what is a good decision? Starting Patrick Mahomes. But that's too obvious, so you won't see that here. Instead here are some of the most-pressing questions. And, if you can't find a player you are looking for, please check out latest NFL Fantasy lineup rankings right here.

Start 'Em

JuJu Smith-Schuster
Kansas City Chiefs KC · WR
Tennessee Titans
2022 · 5-2-0

After a slow start to the season for Smith-Schuster, he was able to bounce back with two straight games with over 100 yards and a touchdown. He topped 22 fantasy points in each of those games. Smith-Schuster is coming off of a bye, so it’s possible some fantasy managers remember the dark days of the first month of the season, but not the recent hot streak. Additionally, it is a great matchup for Smith-Schuster and the Chiefs receivers. They face the Titans, who have allowed 39.2 fantasy PPG to receivers, the sixth-most in the NFL. That’s after struggling against the position all of last season, as well. The Titans secondary is one you can pick on for fantasy purposes, and this week Smith-Schuster is in a great position to do so. 

Tyler Boyd
Cincinnati Bengals CIN · WR
Carolina Panthers
2022 · 2-6-0

The Bengals offense stalled out for much of the game against the Browns on Monday Night Football. Much of the blame goes on the offensive line, but it was certainly worrisome. Still, Boyd was able to salvage his night with a touchdown. He finished his first game without Ja’Marr Chase with five targets, three catches, 38 yards and the score. That was a week after he caught eight balls for 155 yards and a score. There is always the chance Boyd or any of the Bengals receivers could have a big blowup game in any week. But the floor has been elevated without Chase, meaning that you can take the shot on Boyd weekly, especially in favorable matchups, which he has this week against Carolina. The Panthers have allowed 36.1 fantasy PPG to wide receivers, the 11th-most in the NFL this season. However, they have especially struggled as of late, allowing 50.7 fantasy PPG to the position in the past two weeks, the second-most in the NFL in that span. Boyd is a strong start this week.  

Chris Olave
New Orleans Saints NO · WR
Baltimore Ravens
2022 · 5-3-0

Olave is coming off of a down game by his standards where he caught five balls for 52 yards, good for 10.2 fantasy points. It is his lowest fantasy output since Week 1, when he scored 9.1 fantasy points. That may sound like a bad thing, but it’s not. What this shows is that even in bad performances, Olave can be trusted to score you double-digit fantasy points. That is a very safe floor for a receiver, particularly a rookie. The safe floor is especially helpful when you add in that Olave brings such a high ceiling. We have seen him eclipse 15 fantasy points three times, topping out at 23.7 fantasy points in Week 3. But there is still untapped potential there for Mr. Air Yards. Olave right now is second in the NFL with 972 air yards; only Tyreek Hill has more (1,037) and no other receiver has eclipsed 805. His 15.4 air yards per target lead any receiver with at least 35 targets this season. The Saints are not afraid to air it out with Olave, meaning that he always has a chance to catch a long one and score fantasy points in chunks. The safe floor paired with that upside always has him in play -- especially in a favorable matchup like this one against the Ravens, who have allowed 39.7 fantasy PPG to receivers, the fourth-most in the NFL. They have also allowed 16 completions of 20-plus air yards, the most in the NFL. Fire up Olave this week.  

Sit 'Em

Allen Robinson
Los Angeles Rams LA · WR
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2022 · 3-5-0

Robinson saw a season-high seven targets and tied a season high with five receptions in Week 8. He also scored double-digit fantasy points for a second straight game. It still wasn’t enough to make him a top-36 WR in Week 7, but it is certainly improvement. It’s enough to justify picking Robinson up off the waiver wire this week and monitoring his usage moving forward. But it is not enough to just get him right back into your fantasy lineup. The Buccaneers have been middle of the pack against receivers this season, meaning it isn’t a particularly great matchup for Robinson and the Rams. Given the inconsistent usage, play of his quarterback and matchup, it’s enough to keep Robinson on your bench. If he has another good game, then we can feel better about starting him in fantasy. However, I will add that we can revisit this if Cooper Kupp sits next week.  

Robert Woods
Tennessee Titans TEN · WR
Kansas City Chiefs
2022 · 5-2-0

With six teams on bye, there will be many fantasy managers searching for streaming options off the waiver wire. Just a couple weeks ago, I was in that position and saw Woods was available. I quickly went to hit the add button, until I remembered that Woods has just been a name this year. He has not been a productive fantasy piece. Woods has now scored single-digit fantasy points in three straight and in five of his seven games. His season high is 13 fantasy points. Early on in the year, it was easy to say Woods was still working his way back to full strength. But at an elevated age, coming off of knee surgery and in an offense built around the run and that spreads the ball out when they do decide to throw, this is just who Woods is at this point. The Chiefs have struggled against WRs, which might make Woods seem even more appealing, but there is far too low of a floor and ceiling to trust. It’s been real, Bobby Trees, but this season it’s best to play other options in fantasy.  

Isaiah McKenzie
Buffalo Bills BUF · WR
New York Jets
2022 · 5-3-0

McKenzie had a lot of hype coming into the season and been a nice piece, but he has failed to become the weekly contributor who many thought he could become. He has scored a touchdown in four games this season, including just last week on national TV. Pair his score when so many of you were watching with the fact that he plays in one of the best offenses with one of the best QBs in the game and he may seem like a tempting option. Do not fall for it. He has topped double-digit fantasy points just twice. McKenzie saw just one target last week and has two games with more than five targets this season. He also was splitting time in the slot with Khalil Shakir, which limits his chances to score fantasy points. Plus, the Jets secondary has been very strong this season. It has allowed just 29.7 fantasy PPG to receivers, the eighth-fewest in the NFL. That drops to 24.9, the sixth-fewest in the NFL in the last month. Get away from McKenzie.  

Garrett Wilson
New York Jets NYJ · WR
Buffalo Bills
2022 · 6-1-0

After a red-hot start to the season, Wilson slowed down when Zach Wilson returned. He just posted his best game with the sophomore QB, catching six of seven targets for 115 yards. That, along with the fact that Wilson is a known name and was an early round pick, might make some think about going back to the well for more this week. I would advise against that. Wilson had scored fewer than seven fantasy points with less than 45 yards in the previous four games with Wilson under center. Plus, this is such a tough matchup for the Wilsons and the Jets. The Bills have allowed just 31.1 fantasy PPG to receivers, which is just outside the top 10. They are also in the bottom five in fantasy points allowed to QBs. There is so much that could go wrong for Zach Wilson, meaning by default a lot could go wrong for Garrett Wilson. Even with this many teams on bye, I would get away from the rookie this week.  

Follow Michael Florio on Twitter @MichaelFFlorio.

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