College Football Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 9

College Football Start vs. Sit: Players to Start, Players to Bench for Week 9

This article is part of our Start vs. Sit series.

We've already arrived at Week 9 of the college football season, which also happens to be the last weekend of October. If you don't want your Halloween weekend to be spooky from a fantasy perspective, you may want to take a look at this list of players to start, and to sit, for your lineups. Also, you're already here. Why not just read it?

AAC

START

Stacy Sneed, RB, Houston vs. South Florida

This is a big swing based on the redshirt freshman Sneed getting his first real action last week. Versus Navy, he got 20 carries and took them for 100 yards. Will that earn him a shot to be the lead back after Brandon Campbell only had four carries in that Navy game? Well, South Florida is 128th in both points allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per attempt, so Sneed is worth a shot in case last week was a true coming-out party.

SIT

Ryan O'Keefe, WR, UCF vs. Cincinnati

O'Keefe lost Dillon Gabriel as his quarterback, but he's still having a good season with 32 catches for 392 yards and four touchdowns. Cincinnati lost a couple of key defensive backs to the NFL, but its still pass defense remains elite. The Bearcats are fourth in passing yards allowed per attempt.

ACC

START

Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh at North Carolina

I was surprised to see where Abanikanda sits in the Week 9 rankings for Rotowire. He's been as prolific as any back in

We've already arrived at Week 9 of the college football season, which also happens to be the last weekend of October. If you don't want your Halloween weekend to be spooky from a fantasy perspective, you may want to take a look at this list of players to start, and to sit, for your lineups. Also, you're already here. Why not just read it?

AAC

START

Stacy Sneed, RB, Houston vs. South Florida

This is a big swing based on the redshirt freshman Sneed getting his first real action last week. Versus Navy, he got 20 carries and took them for 100 yards. Will that earn him a shot to be the lead back after Brandon Campbell only had four carries in that Navy game? Well, South Florida is 128th in both points allowed per game and rushing yards allowed per attempt, so Sneed is worth a shot in case last week was a true coming-out party.

SIT

Ryan O'Keefe, WR, UCF vs. Cincinnati

O'Keefe lost Dillon Gabriel as his quarterback, but he's still having a good season with 32 catches for 392 yards and four touchdowns. Cincinnati lost a couple of key defensive backs to the NFL, but its still pass defense remains elite. The Bearcats are fourth in passing yards allowed per attempt.

ACC

START

Israel Abanikanda, RB, Pittsburgh at North Carolina

I was surprised to see where Abanikanda sits in the Week 9 rankings for Rotowire. He's been as prolific as any back in college football, racking up 959 yards and 13 touchdowns. Yes, 10 of those touchdowns came against Rhode Island and Virginia Tech, but in five of his seven games he's been over 100 yards rushing. North Carolina is a recipe for excitement with its high-powered offense and porous defense. The Tar Heels have allowed 33.8 points per game and 5.0 yards per carry.

SIT

Josh Downs, WR, North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh

The Tar Heels do indeed have a potent offense, but the Panthers have actually been stout against the pass. Pitt ranks 12th in passing yards allowed per attempt. Now, it also ranks 56th in points allowed per game, but it seems like Downs might not be up to his usual standards in this one, so you might want to look elsewhere for your lineup.

Big 12

START

Quentin Johnston, WR, TCU at West Virginia

Johnston started the season slowly, but now he's revving on all cylinders. Over his last three games, he has 26 catches for 460 yards and three touchdowns. West Virginia is looking like the worst team in a competitive Big 12, especially defensively. The Mountaineers are in the bottom 10 in points allowed per game and passing yards allowed per attempt.

SIT

Eric Gray, RB, Oklahoma at Iowa State

Iowa State is the inverse of West Virginia. The Cyclones have a strong defense but questions on offense. Iowa State has allowed a mere 3.2 yards per carry, 10th in the FBS. The Cyclones may struggle to get their offense going, but they should keep Gray in check.

Big Ten

START

Ronnie Bell, WR, Michigan vs. Michigan State

This could be the week for Bell. Sure, he only has one receiving touchdown, but he also has 35 catches for 429 yards. Michigan State is having a tough season, and even last year it was terrible against the pass. The Spartans still struggle on that front, ranking 111th in passing yards allowed per attempt.

SIT

Anthony Grant, RB, Nebraska vs. Illinois

Grant has been a rare bright spot for the Cornhuskers, but five of his six touchdowns came in the first three games of the season. He's slowed down, and now he has to face one of the top defenses in the FBS. Illinois is first in points allowed per game, so don't expect Grant to get back to his touchdown ways in this one.

Conference USA

START

Luke McCaffrey, WR, Rice vs. Charlotte

McCaffrey went from Nebraska quarterback to Rice quarterback to Rice wide receiver. This seems to be what's finally working for him, as Ed's son has 43 catches for 555 yards and five touchdowns. Charlotte just fired its head coach, in part because it has the worst defense in the FBS. The 49ers are last in points allowed per game and passing yards allowed per attempt.

SIT

Lajohntay Wester, WR, FAU vs. UAB

Even though N'Kosi Perry has had a rough season, Wester was doing just fine. However, the last couple of weeks Perry has been particularly bad, and Wester in turn has nine catches, but for 94 yards total. The Blazers are the class of the conference defensively, and it ranks six in passing yards allowed per attempt.

MAC

START

Brett Gabbert, QB, Miami (OH) at Akron

There are all of two MAC games this week, but fortunately, Akron is out there doing a solid for us fantasy players with their terrible defense. The Zips are allowing over 40 points per game and nearly 10 yards per passing attempt. Gabbert was expected to miss the whole reason, but then surprisingly returned last week against Western Michigan. This is a great game to help him rev back up.

SIT

Shocky Jacques-Louis, WR, Akron vs. Miami (OH)

Jacques-Louis transferred from Pitt, and the MAC has proven easier for him. However, Miami might actually be the top defense in the conference now. They are 49th in points allowed per contest and 39th in passing yards per attempt. Hey, in the MAC that practically makes you the Georgia Bulldogs.

Mountain West

START

Titus Swen, RB, Wyoming at Hawaii

Were you sweating the last couple of games for Swen? Well, if you were, then you probably are such a diehard college football fan that you already know he had 160 yards and three touchdowns against Utah State last week. The Cowboys really rely on Swen, who has 143 carries through eight games. Quantity is what matters for fantasy! Also, Hawaii has allowed 6.2 yards per carry.

SIT

Avery Morrow, RB, Colorado State at Boise State

Morrow has become the Swen of the Rams, a team that desperately needed a weapon for their offense. Over the last three weeks he has 77 carries for 431 yards and three touchdowns. However, the last two games were against Utah State and Hawaii. Boise State is fighting for the Mountain West basically entirely on the strength of its defense. The Broncos are 18th in points allowed per game and 11th in rushing yards allowed per attempt.

Pac-12

START

Mario Williams, WR, USC at Arizona

Now, I'd hammer the Bruins against Stanford, but I don't need to tell you to go with Dorian Thompson-Robinson or Zach Charbonnet (who are maybe being asked to do too much for that offense, but I digress). What about the number-two receiver for the other LA team, though? Williams could be the top target, as Jordan Addison is banged up, but even if he isn't, the Wildcats 37.7 points per game and are 108th in passing yards allowed per attempt. Plus, the former Sooner has been no slouch, as Williams has 26 catches for 493 yards and four touchdowns.

SIT

Mar'Keise Irving, RB, Oregon at Cal

The Pac-12 isn't great defensively this year, and Oregon State and Washington are off this week. Cal, though, is 30th in rushing yards allowed per attempt. Irving is on the road visiting the Golden Bears, so perhaps he'll be kept in check. He does only have two rushing touchdowns as well.

SEC

START

Tank Bigsby, RB, Auburn vs. Arkansas

Vanderbilt is off this week, but did you know Arkansas has been pretty bad defensively this year? The Razorbacks are down in the triple digits in points allowed per game, rushing yards allowed per carry, and passing yards allowed per attempt. Yeah, Auburn feels like a mess and Bryan Harsin will probably be fired, but Bigsby has averaged 5.3 yards per carry and has six rushing touchdowns.

SIT

Chris Rodriguez, RB, Kentucky at Tennessee

The top run defense in the SEC is, of course…Tennessee? Georgia is absolutely clamping down on points and the passing game and is still decidedly above average against the run, but the Volunteers have actually put up better numbers against the ground attack. Tennessee is seventh in rushing yards allowed per game, and Rodriguez will get his first real challenge this season in Knoxville.

Sun Belt

START

Jalen Wayne, WR, South Alabama at Arkansas State

Somebody needed to replace Jalen Tolbert, and it turns out the Jaguars only needed to swap out the last name on top of their depth chart. Wayne has 40 catches for 559 yards and five touchdowns through seven games. Last year, Arkansas State was the worst run defense in the FBS, but this year it has decided to keep things fresh. It ranks 128th in passing yards allowed per attempt.

SIT

CJ Beasley, RB, Coastal Carolina at Marshall

Beasley has rushed for 537 yards and four touchdowns, but he did a lot of his work while Reese White was out with injury. White is back, and Beasley only had 11 touches last week. Even if his touches double, I don't like him on the road against the Thundering Herd. Marshall is ninth in rushing yards allowed per attempt and 24th in points allowed per game.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chris Morgan
Chris Morgan is a writer of sports, pop culture, and humor articles, a book author, a podcaster, and a fan of all Detroit sports teams.
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