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Fantasy Football: Start or Sit Matthew Stafford in Week 9?

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Coming into the season, I was one of the biggest proponents of Matthew Stafford around, and I put my money where my mouth is in fantasy football drafts. Stafford has been a great budget quarterback if you snagged him. He was available in the last round of your draft or completely undrafted off waivers, and he is the #9 quarterback by points per game this year (#8 if you discount that Ben Roethlisberger has been gone for ages).

Unfortunately for me, and those who followed my advice, we will be looking for different options this week in one of the worst weeks for streaming. If you have any other options, Stafford is a definite sit this week as he takes on the Vikings defense.

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Stafford is averaging 19.85 fantasy points per game, and excepting his games at Chicago and at Houston, he has been within the QB1 range every single week. Unfortunately for Stafford owners, however, he has been trending downward in recent weeks. After posting his biggest game against the Rams three games, ago, he has seen a steady decline in fantasy points over his last few weeks (28.2 versus Los Angeles, 17.84 versus Washington and 13.6 at Houston). This has pretty much been tied to the decline of Marvin Jones as a #1 option as well as the mess that injuries have caused at tight end and running back for him.

Theo Riddick and Eric Ebron are fully back now, so his skid should come to an end soon, but getting his targets back may not be enough as he takes on a stout Vikings defense. This has pretty much been tied to the decline of Marvin Jones as a #1 option as well as the mess that injuries have caused at tight end and running back for him.

The Vikings currently give up the fourth-fewest fantasy points per game to quarterbacks and aren’t doing it with a bunch of cushy matchups. They’ve stifled quality quarterbacks this season, yielding only eight touchdowns to the position in seven weeks, which is an incredible stat to behold. It is also a stat that is likely to continue given their defensive prowess and offensive ineptitude have been awful

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Minnesota has been awful in almost all aspects of offense and is built around slowing down the game and grinding out the clock. A slow and low simmer on the game pace leads to fewer opportunities for the opposition. They’ve stifled other quarterbacks not out of opportunity, but out of design.

Unfortunately for those who have followed in my path, Matthew Stafford is not a good start this week. He’s been on a downward slide for a few weeks due to some kinks in the offense. While the kinks should be sorted out this week, it should not matter. The Vikings are built around limiting the offensive production of the other team, and the Lions, and Stafford will befall the same fate of those who came before them.

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Robert D. Cobb
Founder, Publisher and CEO of INSCMagazine. Works have appeared and featured in places such as Forbes, Huffington Post, ESPN and NBC Sports to name a few. Follow me on Twitter at @RobCobb_INSC, email me at [email protected]