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Browns Fantasy Football: Start / Sit Advice in Week 9 vs. Tampa Bay

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We take a look at which members of the Cleveland Browns should you start or sit heading into your Week 9 fantasy football match-ups as the Browns take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

(Key: Start / Sit / Enticing)

  • QB Brian Hoyer - Prior to taming Teddy Bridgewater last week, here are the fantasy point totals that the Buccaneers' defense gave up to the previous four quarterbacks they faced: Matt Ryan (23.64), Ben Roethlisberger (22.36), Drew Brees (19.74), and Joe Flacco (32.24). This past week, the Buccaneers traded starting safety Mark Barron. Hoyer is missing his top tight end, but could get around the 20-point mark, a respectable value for a bye week replacement.

  • RB Ben Tate - Tate has another favorable matchup this week, with the Buccaneers being the 23rd ranked run defense in the NFL. Teams have generally used multiple backs against the Buccaneers, and with Cleveland's recent run-game struggles, it's hard to project a big day for him.

  • RB Terrance West & RB Isaiah Crowell - Fans who took a chance on Crowell last week saw him get one carry. Not good for fantasy purposes.

  • WR Andrew Hawkins - The Buccaneers give up more fantasy points to wide receivers than any team in the NFL. Over the past two weeks, Hawkins has had his best two fantasy performances of the season with 12.0 and 14.8 fantasy points. During those two games, he has 12 catches (18 targets) for 200 yards and 1 touchdown. With Cameron out, Hawkins becomes even more valuable to the receiving game.

  • WR Miles Austin, Travis Benjamin, Taylor Gabriel - If you are desperate, one of these guys might be worth a start because of Tampa Bay's defensive issues. Which one is anyone's guess, though, and that's why I have them marked as a "sit" again.

  • TE Jim Dray, Gary Barnidge - I expect both tight ends to get some more targets with Jordan Cameron out, but Brian Hoyer has not shown favoritism to one or the other. There should be better options on the waiver wire.

  • K Billy Cundiff - Cleveland's offensive struggles have been a good thing for Cundiff, and he even hit a 52-yarder last week. If the Browns score a bunch of touchdowns against the Buccaneers, he'll still get a fair amount of points in the fantasy department. Plus, the wind is expected to die down for Sunday's kickoff. It's a win-win situation lately for starting Cundiff.

  • DEF/ST Cleveland - This is a must start. The Browns' defense has been playing better the past three weeks, particularly in the turnover department. Tampa Bay's offensive line is terrible, and Oniel Cousins will start at left tackle this week. That alone should allow the Browns to get several sacks.


Editor's Note: FanDuel is hosting a $500,000 one-week fantasy football league this weekend. It's $10 to join and first place wins $40,000. League starts Sunday 1 PM ET and ends on Monday night. Here's the link.