Fantasy football: Six must-start QBs for Week 9

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Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields is an elite fantasy football option for Week 9. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI | License Photo

MIAMI, Nov. 3 (UPI) — Justin Fields and Aaron Rodgers are among my six must-start quarterbacks for Week 9 of the 2022 fantasy football season.

Each of my must-start passers ranks inside the Top 14 in my Top 20 weekly rankings, meaning they should be started in leagues with at least 14 teams. My full Top 20 weekly rankings are listed below.

Kirk Cousins is another high-end QB1 play this week. My list of six must-start quarterbacks also features some streaming options or injury fill-ins.

Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Fields, Tua Tagovailoa and Justin Herbert make up the Top 5 of my weekly rankings. Rodgers, Cousins, Josh Allen, Jalen Hurts and Joe Burrow also are inside my Top 10.

Dak Prescott, Jacoby Brissett, Russell Wilson, Daniel Jones, Jimmy Garoppolo and Kenny Pickett should be benched or dropped due to Week 9 byes for the Dallas Cowboys, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, New York Giants, San Francisco 49ers and Pittsburgh Steelers.

Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields was a fantastic fantasy football play last week and should provide similar production in Week 9. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

Justin Fields

Fields was my favorite waiver wire target and is my No. 3 quarterback for Week 9. The Chicago Bears quarterback started the season slow, but was one of the best fantasy football options over the last several weeks due to his ability as a runner and passer.

Fields totaled at least two scores in each of his last two games. He threw for 151 yards and two scores and ran for 60 yards and another touchdown in Week 8. This week, the Bears will battle the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins allowed the fourth-most passing yards to quarterbacks through eight weeks. They also allowed the fifth-most rushing yards and seventh-most fantasy points per game to the position.

I expect Fields to run for another 50 yards in this matchup. He also should find success though the air and total more than 200 passing yards. He could be the top quarter for the week if he totals three scores. Fields is a terrific bye-week streamer, but could be used on a regular basis if he stays consistent.

Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) is an elite fantasy football play. File Photo by Hugo Philpott/UPI

Aaron Rodgers

Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, ranks outside the Top 20 quarterbacks in fantasy points per game. He also failed to throw for more than 255 yards in any of his eight starts this season.

The good news is that the Green Bay Packers star found the end zone at least twice in six of his last seven games. That trend should continue in Week 8 against the Detroit Lions. The Lions just allowed Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to throw for 382 yards and three scores. They also allowed the seventh-most fantasy points per game and fourth-most passing yards to the position through eight weeks.

Rodgers is a near lock for another two scores. I also expect him to total his highest yardage total so far this season. He is my No. 6 option.

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins continues to provide fantasy football QB1 production. File Photo by Mark Black/UPI

Kirk Cousins

Cousins a Top 12 fantasy football quarterback this season, in terms of points per game. Cousins totaled 232 passing yards and accounted for three scores in Week 8. Look for the Minnesota Vikings veteran to total at least 250 passing yards this week against the Washington Commanders.

The Commanders also tied for allowing the fourth-most passing scores to quarterbacks through eight weeks. Cousins is my No. 7 quarterback for Week 9. He is a weekly starter in almost any fantasy league format.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith is a Top 14 fantasy football play for Week 9. File Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI

Geno Smith

Smith is my No. 11 option for Week 9. The Seattle Seahawks veteran is the No. 9 fantasy football quarterback so far this season.

Smith accounted for at least two touchdowns in six of eight starts this season. He accounted for three scores in two of those games. This week, the Seahawks will face the Arizona Cardinals.

The Cardinals allow the sixth-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks. They also tied the Kansas City Chiefs for allowing the second-most (17) total scores to the position through eight weeks.

Look for Smith to find the end zone twice again in Week 9. He also should log at least 200 passing yards and near 50 rushing yards.

Atlanta Falcons quarterback Marcus Mariota is a low-end fantasy football QB1 for Week 9. File Photo by Steve Nesius/UPI

Marcus Mariota

Mariota is another fringe QB1 for Week 9. The Atlanta Falcons veteran is the No. 14 fantasy football quarterback so far this season. His 35 rushing yards per game also ranks eighth among quarterbacks.

Mariota threw for a season-high 253 yards and three scores in Week 8 against the Carolina Panthers. He also ran for 43 yards in that matchup.

This week, the Falcons will face the Los Angeles Chargers. The Chargers didn’t allow a lot of yards to quarterbacks through eight weeks, but did surrendered 13 passing scores. Look for Mariota to find the end zone twice. My No. 14 option for Week 9 could reach Top 10 territory if he eclipses 250 total yards.

P.J. Walker

Walker also was among my Week 9 waiver wire targets. The Carolina Panthers quarterback threw two passing scores in Week 7 and totaled 317 passing yards, a score and 20 rushing yards in Week 8.

I expect Walker to provide similar production this week, when the Panthers battle the Cincinnati Bengals. The Bengals are tied for allowing the third-fewest passing scores to quarterbacks, but just allowed 278 passing yards and two total scores to Cleveland Browns quarterback Jacoby Brissett.

Walker is a bit of a risky play, but I think his high ceiling is worth a streaming start if your normal starter is on bye. Look for at least 200 total yards and two scores from the Panthers quarterback. He is my No. 16 option.

Week 9 fantasy football quarterback rankings

1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens at NO

2. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs vs. TEN

3. Justin Fields, Chicago Bears vs. MIA

4. Tua Tagovailoa, Miami Dolphins at CHI

5. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers at ATL

6. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers at DET

7. Kirk Cousins, Minnesota Vikings at WAS

8. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills at NYJ

9. Jalen Hurts, Philadelphia Eagles at HOU

10. Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals vs. CAR

11. Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks at ARI

12. Kyler Murray, Arizona Cardinals vs. SEA

13. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. LAR

14. Marcus Mariota, Atlanta Falcons vs. LAC

15. Andy Dalton, New Orleans Saints vs. BAL

16. P.J. Walker, Carolina Panthers at CIN

17. Trevor Lawrence, Jacksonville Jaguars vs. LV

18. Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles Rams at TB

19. Derek Carr, Las Vegas Raiders at JAX

20. Malik Willis, Tennessee Titans at KC

The San Francisco 49ers’ Christian McCaffrey hauls in a nine-yard touchdown pass in the third quarter at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., on Sunday. The 49ers defeated the Rams 31-14. McCaffrey became the first player since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2005 to throw for, run for and catch a touchdown in the same game. Photo by Jon SooHoo/UPI | License Photo

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