That is just a partial list of fantasy starters who are on the pine due to bye or injury this week. To say we have our hands full getting you the right picks is an understatement.
As always, lets start with how we did last week.
It wasn’t our best week, but we still got you some winners. If you are in a PPR and you started Philip Rivers (29 points), Rishard Matthews (13 points) and Delanie Walker (12 points) as I suggested you should have done just fine. Anytime you can get to that double digit mark with a flex or a tight end, things should be looking good.
Chris Johnson made me look foolish. It wasn’t because he continued to tear it up on the ground — as he rushed for 100+ yards yet again — it was because he fumbled twice. That takes a 10 point game down to a six point game in some formats. The Lions defense — they are just an abysmal team. I would avoid starting any of them except Megatron from here on out.
Sitting Russell Wilson and Alfred Blue were wise as Blue looked lost in the Texans first place offense. Wilson… he failed to reach 20 points again, and in this era of NFL, quarterbacks can’t be posting that low a score and still be considered a starter.
Saucy T was off his mark this week as he was right in telling you to start Darren McFadden — who now is a must start moving forward with Joseph Randle released — but benching Latavius Murray and starting Charles Sims backfired. After three consecutive weeks in which he got one combined start/sit wrong, it was bound to happen.
J.D. and Teddy Ballgame nailed their Charcandrick West start, while J.D. was so right about sitting John Brown, that the Cardinals did as well. The Wifeyiac went all in on Stefon Diggs and came out a winner.
All in all, it was a good week by the experts, but you are used to great weeks. Like this one.
WEEK 9 STARTS AND SITS
(Note to the reader: These picks are made by a collection of experts (I have put the name of each expert ahead of their respective picks). I don’t necessarily agree with all of theirs, and they certainly don’t agree with all of mine. After being in the leadoff spot last week, I return to the last expert this week. Keep in mind as you read, that these are not always consensus picks, and should you find as the season goes on that you feel more comfortable with one of our experts starts, by all means, make he or she your go-to expert.)
Starts of the Week: Last week I told you to sit Peyton. Yes the Broncos won but Peyton did not have a strong fantasy game (15 points and once again more Ints than TDs). This week I go to the other side of the family. Did you see Eli’s game last week? Start QB Eli Manning this week. He is going against my Bucs. Yes the Bucs are improved from last year but their defense is still prone to giving up tons of points. Eli may not have another six TD game but three and 300 is not out of the question.
RB Doug Martin. Talk about a guy having a decent fantasy season that nobody is talking about. The Muscle Hamster is quietly putting together a decent RB2 season. He currently has over 600 yards rushing and three TDs. Putting that in perspective he has 3 times the production of CJ Anderson. I am sure the two were drafted rounds apart, I know he was in my leagues. Martin is facing the Giants who have proved to us that Defense means nothing to the G-Men these days.
Sits of the Week: I just don’t see RB Adrian Peterson having any type of day against this Rams front four. The matchup is too good for St.Louis, they are going to force Teddy Ballgame (Bridgewater, not my colleague at Wayniac Nation) to beat them by shutting down Peterson. Look somewhere else this week.
RB Duke Johnson seems like a good bye week replacement especially with Johnny Football starting. The Bengals are going to love seeing Johnny having to throw the ball so Johnson is going to have nowhere to run forcing the former Heisman winner to beat them. I don’t see either happening and Duke is going to be sadder than the Blue Devils were after his alma-mater ripped out their hearts last Saturday night (still figuring out that call stands).
Starts of the Week: I really like RB Ronnie Hillman at Indy, he’ll have a big game against the Colts 28th ranked rushing defense that has allowed five rushing TDs in the last three weeks! WR Brandon LaFell should have his coming out party against the Redskins at home. All of the Patriots will probably have a good chance to shine.
Sits of the Week: It’s time to sit WR TY Hilton.
The Colts offense has been struggling and they have a super tough matchup against a Denver defense that shut down Aaron Rodgers. I mean shut down. I would also sit RB Eddie Lacy, I think he will have a real hard time getting going in Carolina.
Start of the Week: RB Jonathan Stewart – Green Bay has trouble with the run and the Panthers should control the time possession. Stewart should get plenty of touches, but his value is limited with Cam’s goal line greediness. With so many new starters at RB, go with Stewart and his guaranteed carries.
Sit of the Week: QB Andrew Luck– The first place 3-5 Colts host the “No Fly Zone” Broncos D. I projected Luck as the #1 overall pick this year, but this Colts offense is not clicking this season. I’d sit the entire Colts offense this week. Wayniac, I’ll still entertain trade offers for Luck, however…
Starts of the Week: QB Jay Cutler – Jay Cutler has been a good fantasy QB this season, but he’s also finally been a good real life QB. It’s still early in the season, but Cutler has the best TD-INT ratio of his career right now with 8 TDs and 4 INTs, and since Alshon Jeffery has returned to health, Cutler has been finding him often and with great success. Jeremy Langford was a hot waiver wire pickup, but John Fox has never liked leaning on rookies, and I expect him to devise a game plan that allows his veteran QB to do the heavy lifting. Against a 2-6 Chargers team piling up injuries on both sides of the ball, I expect a top 8 day from Cutler.
TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins – With another big bye week in Week 9, you may be left scrambling for a TE to replace Travis Kelce or Jimmy Graham. Maybe you’re worried about Antonio Gates health in a Monday night game that would leave you without a TE. Maybe you’re worried what happens to Gary Barnidge with Johnny Football under center (you should be). No matter which of these situations you may be in, Austin Sefarian-Jenkins is the answer to your problems. It looks like he’ll be ready to go this week against a Giants team that had just a little trouble covering tight ends in week 8 (Ben Watson 9/147/1 TD). Jameis Winston has cut down on his mistakes the last few weeks, and should thrive after getting back his security blanket. Sefarian-Jenkins will have a legitimate chance to outperform what looked like his week 1 breakout (5/110/2 TDs).
Sits of the Week: Andrew Luck, T.Y. Hilton, Andre Johnson, Donte Moncrief – I’m with J.D., and I’m going to lump all of these guys together because they are all a mess. Pep Hamilton was the scapegoat but not the problem. Their problem has been terrible offensive line play, and this week their problem will be The Monsters of Mile High (calling them the Orange Crush again just seems lazy). The Denver defense just held Aaron Rodgers and the Packers to under 80 yards in the passing game. With a relentless pass rush and two shutdown corners, Andrew Luck and company will be in for a long day, and left with a lot to figure out during their Week 10 bye.
QB Matt Ryan – It pains me to say this, but Matt Ryan hasn’t looked right all season long. The O Line is finally playing well in front of him after two or three MISERABLE years, yet he is on pace for his fewest TD passes since his rookie season. A game against the 49ers may be just what he needs to get right, but that may happen in just the first half. This game shouldn’t be competitive, and if it is it will be because of mistakes and turnovers committed by Ryan and the Falcons offense. Matt Ryan could be on the sidelines wearing a baseball cap by the middle of the third quarter, or at the very least he’ll be turning around and handing it to Tevin Coleman or Terron Ward. Going forward this game could be just what Matt Ryan owners need to feel confident in his ability going forward, but for this week it may look a lot like a week 3 preseason game.
Starts of the Week:
QB: I’m hesitant here. I love Saucy T’s Cutler play, and it is hard to go wrong starting Eli after his breakout performance as Dunton said. After a mediocre 262-1-3 return to the lineup, I could see a lot of people benching Ben Roesthlisberger this week against a very formidable Raiders defense. DeAngelo Williams looks like he is 25 again, but with Antonio Brown and Martavis Bryant (he was held out of practice because he is sick — he is fine for Sunday) at his disposal, the Steelers are going to become a pass happy team. See what Big Ben does for you this week, you may be rewarded.
RB: I love Teddy Ballgame’s play of Hillman and I hope J.D. is spot in in his J-Stew pick. I’m going with another guy you may be thinking about benching after a few down weeks. Chris Ivory should be a solid play this week. Fitzpatrick is back under center, but his finger is still banged up. Expect Ivory to get the rock to try and wear down a better than advertised Jags defense (14th overall) and rack up points late in the game.
WR: If you read my post yesterday about five players that could save your fantasy season, you know I am high on Stevie Johnson. Rivers is going to light up the skies against a Bears defense that is near the bottom in receiving defense (No. 30) because they are near the top in TDs allowed to WRs (16). Johnson could easily become Allen’s replacement and Rivers go-to guy.
TE: HEEEEEEEEEEEEEATH! Remember how bad that Raiders defense is against TEs? Remember how much Big Ben looooooves his security blanket? Heath Miller was back on track last week with with a 10-103-1 performance and you can bet your britches he will have another solid performance this week.
Def: There are only 26 teams playing this week, so that means in most formats 12 of them are starting. It’s a no-brainer that you need to start the Broncos, Packers and Jets. The Patriots will be a nice play against the turnover prone Redskins. They struggle against RBs, but luckily for them, the Redskins have none.
Sits of the Week:
QB: I mean there is no glaring, more obvious choice than going with J.D. and Saucy T and benching Andrew Luck. Rodgers just threw for 77 yards against this defense. Aaron Rodgers, people. You can’t start Luck. I’d also sit Blake Bortles against that Jets defense.
RB: Speaking of which, you know who has the No. 3 defense in football? You know who has the No. 1 RUSHING defense in football? Sit T.J. Yeldon this week, but I also agree with Teddy Ballgame that Lacy should be benched as well.
WR: As my experts have already mentioned, you have to sit Hilton. He is no longer a reliable option (and truthfully, I never thought he was). But don’t be fooled by Brandin Cooks breakout performance last week. This Titans defense is good, especially against opponents top receivers.
TE: Next to D-Will and Jeremy Langford, Vernon Davis lit up the waiver wire this week. It is a great pick-up to stash, but he isn’t ready to take over in Mile High just yet. Be patient, he will pay off.
Def: The Panthers are playing a Packers team that was just humiliated on national TV. Now, I’m not saying the Packers are going to obliterate them, and I think that this Panthers team is one that finds ways to win ugly games. But I don’t see them completely shutting down Aaron Rodgers and going off for huge points. If I’m wrong, and they do, we need to start considering them contenders.