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Week 9 fantasy football start ’em or sit ’em for IDP leagues

Oct 25, 2020; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt (99) reacts after making a tackle of Green Bay Packers running back Jamaal Williams (30) during the fourth quarter at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The back half of the 2020 fantasy football season is upon us. Every decision we make from here on out will be crucial to our success going forward. This is the most important time to separate ourselves and become true playoff contenders.

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We’ve done the research to help you decide who the less obvious starts and sits in Week 9 might be for your IDP fantasy leagues in the hopes that we can help you bring home that championship by the end of the season.

DEFENSIVE LINE

START — J.J. Watt, DE, Houston Texans (vs. JAX)

It has been somewhat of a disappointing season for J.J. Watt fantasy managers. He has just three sacks through the first seven games this season and is also in the midst of the lowest pass-rushing grade of his career (64.3) — outside of the 2016 season in which he played only three games due to injury.

This is not the J.J. Watt that we’ve come to expect as NFL fans, and especially as IDP fantasy players, but I’m here to tell you there is compelling evidence that Watt should be a solid play in Week 9.

Watt and the Texans get their second matchup of the season against Jacksonville on Sunday — and for Watt specifically, a matchup with right tackle Jawaan Taylor. Taylor enters this week with a 51.5 pass-blocking grade, which ranks 100th amongst all NFL tackles. Taylor has also allowed 29 total pressures on the season, which is the second-most among tackles in 2020.

Taylor's worst game this season by pressures allowed came back in Week 6 against these very Texans. Five of those pressures were surrendered to J.J. Watt himself, who finished the game with a season-high nine on the day. While Watt didn’t notch a sack in Week 6, those nine pressures are great indicators that he knows how to win against Taylor, which should be helped by the fact that Jacksonville will be rolling out a backup quarterback this week, making this matchup all the more enticing.

SIT — Chase Winovich, DE, New England Patriots (vs. NYJ)

Things were looking good for a potential Chase Winovich breakout campaign at the start of this season when he was playing 66% of the Patriots' defensive snaps through four games. During that time, Winovich racked up 15 pressures and got in on a sack in three straight games to close out September with a 78.6 pass-rush grade (sixth-best among all edge rushers).

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