Week 9 Start Them-Sit Them
By Steve Schwarz, Fantasy Sports Editor
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We have put together our weekly "Start Them-Sit Them" list so you will know what to do with your fantasy lineup. Obviously, if Adrian Peterson, Reggie Wayne and Drew Brees aren't walking with crutches, or on a bye, you are going to start them.
This list targets the borderline players whom fantasy owners aren't sure whether to play or sit.
There are four teams on a bye this week - New England, New York Jets, San Francisco, St. Louis. Make sure your lineup doesn't include any players from these teams.
Denver at Cincinnati
Start - Peyton Manning, Willis McGahee, Demaryius Thomas, Eric Decker, Matt Prater
Start - Andy Dalton, BenJarvus Green-Ellis, A.J. Green
Comments - Other than a bad first quarter against the Atlanta Falcons, Manning has been as good as any quarterback in the league. He's stopped throwing to his tight ends and is featuring his two wideouts along with McGahee out of the backfield. Andrew Hawkins is the best receiver on the Cincinnati Bengals not named Green, but his early season production has disappeared (138 yards and zero touchdowns over the past four weeks).
Baltimore at Cleveland
Start - Ray Rice, Torrey Smith, Anquan Boldin, Justin Tucker
Start - Brandon Weeden, Trent Richardson, Josh Gordon, Phil Dawson
Comments - Joe Flacco's road numbers this season have been ugly, throwing at just a 50 percent completion rate with two touchdowns passes against four interceptions. Expect the Baltimore Ravens to go to Rice early and often. The Ravens will still have to throw it because their defense has been depleted by injury and has averaged yielding 450 yards and 36 points over the past two weeks. Weeden was bad last week, but that could be attributed to the weather. In his previous six games the Cleveland Browns' rookie quarterback averaged 277.5 ypg and 1.5 touchdowns.
Arizona at Green Bay
Start - John Skelton, Larry Fitzgerald, Andre Roberts
Start - Aaron Rodgers, James Jones, Randall Cobb, Mason Crosby, Packers' defense
Comments - The Green Bay Packers have won three straight games by averaging 32 ppg while the Arizona Cardinals have totaled just 33 points in their last three contests. The Cardinals will have to put up plenty of points to stay in the game. Skelton has thrown for 552 yards over the past two weeks and will have to fire 40-45 passes this week which may be bad for the team's chances of winning, but is good for fantasy owners of Fitzgerald and Roberts. Avoid the Packers' running backs until Cedric Benson returns. The most difficult decision for Green Bay management, and fantasy owners, is whether Jordy Nelson (hamstring) should play. A speed receiver with leg problems is not a good option and even if he suits up he figures to be more decoy than receiver. Sit Nelson.
Buffalo at Houston
Start - Fred Jackson, C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson
Start - Arian Foster, Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Shayne Graham, Texans' defense
Comments - The Houston Texans' defense is ranked third against the run, but the Buffalo Bills' best players are in their backfield. Jackson and Spiller should still put of fantasy-worthy numbers because both can catch the ball as well as run with it. The Bills are the worst team in the NFL against the run (176.9 ypg) and face the league's best running back in Foster. Even Foster's backup, Justin Forsett, might have low end value this week.
Miami at Indianapolis
Start - Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Dan Carpenter
Start - Andrew Luck, Reggie Wayne, Adam Vinatieri
Comments - Miami Dolphins rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill is dealing with a knee injury and is about 50-50 to finish the game. The Dolphins will feature Bush and Thomas against the Indianapolis Colts' run defense which is yielding 137.4 ypg. The Miami run defense is No. 2 in the league and precludes starting Donald Brown or Vick Ballard. Colts wideout Donnie Avery is getting the looks (8.5 targets-per-game), but hasn't produced double-digit fantasy points since Week 2.
Detroit at Jacksonville
Start - Matthew Stafford, Mikel Leshoure, Calvin Johnson, Titus Young, Brandon Pettigrew, Jason Hanson, Lions' defense
Start - Rashad Jennings, Cecil Shorts
Comments - Stafford finally produced a total which fantasy owners have been expecting all season and could continue the rampage against the Jacksonville Jaguars' 23rd-ranked pass defense (251.3 ypg). Stafford featured wideouts Johnson and Young last weekend along with his tight ends Pettigrew and Tony Scheffler disappointing many fantasy owners who jumped on the Ryan Broyles bandwagon. Shorts is currently the best Jaguars' receiver despite the presence of first-round selection Justin Blackmon and free agent signee Laurent Robinson.
Chicago at Tennessee
Start - Jay Cutler, Matt Forte, Brandon Marshall, Robbie Gould, Bears' defense
Start - Chris Johnson, Kenny Britt, Kendall Wright
Comments - Until Alshon Jeffery returns from injury, Marshall is the only Chicago Bears' fantasy worthy receiver. The Bears are No. 1 against the run and No. 19 against the pass, but neither is an exciting prospect to challenge. The Tennessee Titans won't have time to go to their deep threat, Nate Washington, so Kenny Britt and Kendall Wright are on the list, but not Washington or tight end Jared Cook who also likes the deep ball.
Carolina at Washington
Start - Cam Newton, Jonathan Stewart, Steve Smith, Greg Olsen
Start - Robert Griffin III, Alfred Morris, Santana Moss, Josh Morgan, Kai Forbath
Comments - The Washington Redskins yield a league-worst 314.2 ypg through the air. Start Smith and Olsen along with Brandon LaFell if he gets clearance to return from his concussion. The Redskins fell behind the Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend which forced them to the air and for the first time in six games Morris failed to produce double-digit fantasy points. Moss was Washington's No. 1 receiving target and he responded with a touchdown.
Tampa Bay at Oakland
Start - Josh Freeman, Doug Martin, Vincent Jackson, Mike Williams, Connor Barth
Start - Carson Palmer, Darren McFadden, Denarius Moore, Sebastian Janikowski
Comments - Freeman has played extremely well over the past three games (1,010 yards, 9 TD, 1 INT). Martin finally had the breakout game fantasy owners were wishing for, but will have a tougher time against a much-improved Oakland Raiders' run defense. The Raiders may be under .500, but Palmer is throwing almost 280 ypg. he figures to improve on the average against a Tampa Bay Buccaneers' defense yielding 309.6 ypg through the air.
Minnesota at Seattle
Start - Adrian Peterson, Percy Harvin, Blair Walsh, Vikings' defense
Start - Marshawn Lynch, Sidney Rice, Steven Hauschka, Seahawks' defense
Comments - Superman's alter ego isn't Clark Kent, it's Peterson. How else can you explain his performance this season coming off major knee surgery and now an ankle sprain. He's rushed for 276 yards and two scores over the past two games, but figures to struggle to reach the 100-yard bonus against the Seattle Seahawks' tough run defense. Harvin is away from the team dealing with a family matter and there is a "slim" chance that he misses the game. Check back on Sunday morning to make sure he's active. The Seahawks are 4-4 under rookie quarterback Russell Wilson's leadership, but he's only put up fantasy worthy numbers in two of the eight games.
Pittsburgh at New York Giants
Start - Ben Roethlisberger, Jonathan Dwyer, Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown, Shaun Suisham
Start - Eli Manning, Ahmad Bradshaw, Victor Cruz, Hakeem Nicks, Martellus Bennett, Lawrence Tynes
Comments - Off consecutive 100-yard games, Dwyer is a must start even if Isaac Redman or Rashard Mendenhall return. Bradshaw's foot is getting better and he should be more explosive this weekend than last when he rushed for just 78 yards on 22 carries and looked sluggish. The Steelers are No. 1 against the pass (182.6 ypg) so don't expect a huge game from Manning, but the Giants' star quarterback has proven that he can throw against anybody so there is no reason for you to avoid this matchup. Note: Dwyer has been downgraded after missing Friday's practice.
Dallas at Atlanta
Start - Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, Jason Witten, Dan Bailey
Start - Matt Ryan, Roddy White, Julio Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Matt Bryant
Comments - Running back DeMarco Murray probably won't play, injury-prone Felix Jones (knee, shoulder) hasn't produced and No. 3 back Phillip Tanner won't get enough work - avoid them all. Michael Turner played in just 36-of-75 plays during Sunday's win over the Eagles and hasn't produced fantasy worthy numbers lately. Let him sit this week as the game turns into an aerial war.
Philadelphia at New Orleans
Start - Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, DeSean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin, Alex Henery
Start - Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Lance Moore. Jimmy Graham, Garrett Hartley
Comments - Embattled Vick gets just the medicine he needs to turn around the Philadelphia Eagles "sick" offense. The New Orleans Saints' defense has allowed a league-worst 474.7 ypg over the first seven games. Give Vick and his running mates one last try before sending them packing. There is nothing wrong with the Saints' offense which is producing 388.6 ypg and 27.1 ppg. Darren Sproles has been a huge disappointment to fantasy owners after such a great 2011-12 season. Sit Sproles. Playing on one good ankle Graham still posted five receptions for 63 yards and a score last weekend. He'll be seven days healthier and his fantasy value should climb.
11/02 13:25:47 ET