Last week was very exciting. I saw my main team put up an astounding 141 Fantasy points, in a standard league, and still almost lost! My opponent was a mere nine points short of me; thus showing what a big Fantasy week it was. Hopefully, we can repeat that Fantasy success this week.
I hate bye weeks. That really sums up Week 9, as there are 6 teams on bye-weeks, and all of them have Fantasy relevant players on them. Not only do we have to rely on waiver-wire and bench players in our starting lineups, but also bye-weeks mean fewer games for us to watch on Sunday.
Sadly, we’re coming down the Fantasy stretch leading to the playoffs, and every matchup is crucial at this point. With all these injuries, and bye-weeks, that makes line-up decisions much more tough. I’ll do my best to help, by giving my advice. Let’s get started.
Week 9 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em
Start Of The Week: Ben Tate vs. Tampa Bay
Projected Fantasy Points: 15
Since he returned from injury, Tate has been productive, putting up double-digit Fantasy points twice, and scoring 3 times; including last week against Oakland. Although, he has struggled over the last two weeks, Tate has faced some tough matchups; however, that is not the case this week. Tate faces off against the Buccaneers Sunday, who have allowed an average of 21 Fantasy PPG to opposing running backs, ranking 31st in the NFL. All these factors, including his hefty weekly workload, make Tate my start of the week.
Bust Alert Of The Week: Andre Ellington at Dallas
Projected Fantasy Points: 7
I think it’s time to admit that Ellington isn’t the player that I thought he would be before the season, as he is getting the touches but not producing. Ellington has gotten over 90 yards in a game once, and that was all the way back in Week 2. Also, a big part of what I expected out of Ellington was for him to catch some passes out of the backfield, and that hasn’t happened. Ellington takes on Dallas Sunday, which is a very tough matchup. Dallas ranks 8th in the NFL against opposing Fantasy running backs, which isn’t good news for Ellington. I am not technically saying Ellington is a sit, but I would prefer other options.
Quarterbacks Start ‘Em: Russell Wilson vs. Oakland
Projected Fantasy Points: 23
Wilson is coming off a disappointing performance, in which he had a solid 14 Fantasy points, but was expected to have more. Things should change Sunday, as he faces off against the Raiders, which have allowed 19 Fantasy PPG to opposing quarterbacks, ranking 18th in the NFL. A fun fact I came across on twitter was that the Raiders have allowed a player to score over 40 Fantasy points in each of their last two Week 9s (Doug Martin, Nick Foles). I’m not sure Wilson will score 40+ Fantasy points, but he should be productive; and he should also be in your Fantasy lineup.
Quarterbacks Sit ‘Em: Michael Vick at Kansas City
Projected Fantasy Points: 13
I know that with all these bye-weeks, people are thinking that Michael Vick, who has been productive in Fantasy when healthy, could be a good replacement. However, those people are wrong. Vick has had a good history, but not only is he older, but he’s in a different offense. Last year, Vick was with the high-powered Chip Kelly offense, and this year he is with the boring, low scoring Jets’ offense, that continues to struggle. Plus, the Chiefs have allowed the 6th fewest Fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Especially in a tough road game, I’m not thinking about starting Vick this week.
Running Backs Start ‘Em: Bobby Rainey at Cleveland
Projected Fantasy Points: 11
Doug Martin is not only being out-played by Rainey, but Martin is injured, and not expected to play this week. That leaves the starting job to Rainey, who thrived in that role last year. In the only other time Rainey received over 11 carries, in Week 2, Rainey had over 140 yards and a TD, plus he was a factor in the passing game. There has been a lot of hype surrounding rookie Charles Sims, but he’s not expected to play. Also, Rainey gets Cleveland, which comes in allowing the 24th most Fantasy points to opposing running backs this season. If you’re in need of a running back to start, I suggest Rainey as a good option.
Running Backs Start ‘Em: Ronnie Hillman at New England
Projected Fantasy Points: 13
Hillman has been Fantasy gold, since taking over the starting job from the injured Montee Ball. Hillman has had double-digit Fantasy points in every game he’s started, and has been averaging well over 4 YPC in every game he’s started, including two games with over 5 YPC. Hillman takes on the Patriots this week, which have allowed an average of 21.5 Fantasy PPG to opposing running backs this season, ranking 3rd to last in the league. Keep rolling with Hillman, and reap the rewards.
Running Backs Sit ‘Em: Branden Oliver at Miami
Projected Fantasy Points: 7
Oh, the excitement. Oliver started out on such a hot-streak, but it seems like he’s come back down to earth. Oliver had just 5 Fantasy points last week, and 7 the week before. To add, Oliver is started to look more like a 3rd down passing back, and that should make it a lot easier for San Diego to turn to Ryan Mathews as the primary back, once he is healthy. That could be this Sunday; Mathews is listed as questionable and has been limited in practice. Either way, it’s a tough matchup against the Dolphins, which has allowed 3.7 YPC to opposing running backs this season. Even if Mathews doesn’t play, I’d looked for better options than Oliver on Sunday.
Wide Receivers Start ‘Em: DeSean Jackson vs. Minnesota
Projected Fantasy Points: 14
Jackson continues to be a consistent Fantasy stud, as he has at least 111 receiving yards in 3 out his last 4 games. I was not a fan of him last week, because Colt McCoy was at QB, but Jackson proved that it doesn’t matter, catching 6 balls for 136 yards. He should continue his success this week, against a vulnerable Vikings’ pass defense, which has allowed an average of 20.2 Fantasy PPG to opposing receivers this season. Word is that Robert Griffin III may return this week; however, it doesn’t matter whether it’s McCoy or RG3, Jackson should be in your lineup.
Wide Receivers Start ‘Em: Brandon LaFell vs. Denver
Projected Fantasy Points: 12
LaFell is another guy that is establishing himself as a very productive Fantasy receiver. LaFell caught 11 balls for 124 yards and a TD Sunday, and has become a favorite target for Tom Brady. LaFell enters a juicy matchup this week, facing off against Denver, which allowed Kennan Allen to thrive last week. New England should also being throwing the ball a lot in this game, which should benefit LaFell. LaFell is certainly worth a start this week.
Wide Receivers Sit ‘Em: Vincent Jackson at Cleveland
Projected Fantasy Points: 6
It’s hard to trust Jackson, as it looks like Mike Evans has outplayed him. Jackson caught just 1 ball last week for 13 yards, and that was in a descent matchup with the Vikings. This week is not the case, as Jackson faces up with the Browns, which will likely draw him a one on one matchup with star cornerback Joe Haden. Haden could follow Jackson around the whole game, and that could be trouble for V-Jax. I do not trust him this week; nor should you.
Tight Ends Start ‘Em: Larry Donnell vs. Indianapolis
Projected Fantasy Points: 8
After struggling for a while, Donnell saw Fantasy re-emergence in Week 7, catching 9 balls for 90 yards. Assuming he continues to get the looks, Donnell faces the Colts on Monday, which have allowed the 26th most fantasy points to opposing tight ends this season. In a season where tight ends have not come at a luxury, Donnell shapes up as a good play in Week 9.
Tight Ends Sit ‘Em: Nobody Of Significance
I was looking for a tight end to sit, but I simple couldn’t find one. As I said before, the tight end position has been very thin in Fantasy this season, and in a week with 6 teams on bye-weeks; I don’t think there is any relevant tight ends you could afford to sit this week.
Defense/Special Teams Start ‘Em: Chiefs vs. N.Y. Jets
Projected Fantasy Points: 15
The Chiefs’ defense put a monster performance together last week, and they could be in for another good one on Sunday. They face off against the Jets, and there should be plenty of turnovers from Michael Vick. He turned the ball over a ton last week, which led to a monster game from the Bills’ D. Also, with speedy Knile Davis returning kicks, we could see a kickoff return for a TD from KC on Sunday. The Chiefs’ defense is a great Fantasy option this week.
Defense/Special Teams Sit ‘Em: Patriots vs. Denver
Projected Fantasy Points: 3
There is not much explaining that goes into this one. The Patriots play the Broncos, which have the best offense in the league, and are given to put up at least around 30 points on the board. Don’t sacrifice a loss by playing a defense which ceiling is 3 points this week. There are better options out there.
I hope everybody enjoyed this Week 9 Start ‘Em Sit ‘Em, and I’ll be back next week! Follow me on Twitter: @Nadelman99 for Fantasy talk, advice, or any questions you may have. Feedback on my articles is always appreciated.