Fantasy Football: Willis McGahee Leads 'Start-or-Sit' Scenarios for Week 9

Jay ClemonsFantasy Sports Lead WriterNovember 1, 2012

Fantasy Football: Willis McGahee Leads 'Start-or-Sit' Scenarios for Week 9

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    The following countdown details start-or-sit scenarios for Week 9, factoring in competitions at quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end, along with two flex-slot battles.

    For the most part, the rushing and receiving conundrums were broken down with standard-scoring leagues in mind.

    But as routinely stated on The Fantasy Blog, it's hard to make rational decisions about wideouts and tight ends without factoring in receiving targets.

    Enjoy the show!

Start: QB Michael Vick, Philadelphia Eagles

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    2012 Stats: 1,823 Yards Passing, 10 Total TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: at New Orleans 


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. In standard-scoring leagues, Michael Vick currently stands as the 11th-ranked fantasy quarterback.

    2. Through seven games, Vick has crossed the QB-elite threshold of 275 total yards and/or three touchdowns four times.

    3. In his last four games indoors (dating back to 2010), Vick accounted for 260 total yards and/or multiple touchdowns three times.

    4. The Saints currently have the NFL's worst defense, surrendering 476 yards (306 passing) per game.

Sit: QB Joe Flacco, Baltimore Ravens

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    2012 Stats: 1,837 Yards Passing, 10 Total TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: at Cleveland 


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. For the season, Joe Flacco has middling road averages of 187 yards passing and 0.66 touchdowns per game.

    2. Of the top 20 preseason quarterbacks, Flacco likely has the wildest production home/away splits of the bunch.

    3. In his previous four games at Cleveland, Flacco has averages of 170 total yards and 1.5 touchdowns.

Start: RB Jonathan Dwyer, Pittsburgh Steelers

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    2012 Stats: 331 Total Yards (299 Rushing) 

    Week 9 Opponent: at New York Giants 


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Jonathan Dwyer rushed for 100-plus yards in consecutive games (Weeks 7/8).

    2. In a vacuum, Dwyer has the talent to be a top-20 fantasy rusher.

    3. The Giants have allowed 143 or more collective rushing yards three times this season.

    4. This endorsement comes with a caveat: With ailing Rashard Mendenhall and Isaac Redman getting healthier, this weekend could be Dwyer's last as a go-to rusher. And that's no guarantee.

Sit: RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis, Cincinnati Bengals

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    2012 Stats: 487 Total Yards (431 Rushing), 2 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: vs. Denver 


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In his last four games, BenJarvus Green-Ellis has middling averages of 63 total yards and zero scores.

    2. For Weeks 1-4, Green-Ellis averaged 22 touches per game. For Weeks 5-7, that number plunged to 15 touches per game.

    3. Through seven games, the Broncos have already held the opposition to less than 100 rushing yards five times.

Start: WR Steve Smith, Carolina Panthers

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    2012 Stats: 35 Catches, 589 Yards 

    Week 9 Opponent: at Washington 


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Last week against the Bears, Steve Smith established or tied personal bests for the season, notching seven catches, 16 targets and 118 yards.

    2. In his last two games, Smith has 14 catches, 25 targets and 301 yards.

    3. For the season, Smith has three outings of double-digit targets and triple-digit yardage.

    4. The Redskins are allowing an NFL-worst 314.3 passing yards per game.

Sit: WR Torrey Smith, Baltimore Ravens

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    2012 Stats: 25 Catches, 435 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: at Cleveland 


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In his last three games, Torrey Smith has a deflating total of nine catches, 103 yards and one touchdown. This marks a significant dip from the previous three weeks—15 catches, 264 yards, three TDs.

    2. Smith is one of fantasy's most heralded 24-and-under receivers, but his road success—or lack thereof—coincides with that of QB Joe Flacco.

Start: TE Dwayne Allen, Indianapolis Colts

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    2012 Stats: 17 Catches, 174 Yards, 2 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: vs. Miami 


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Dwayne Allen caught four balls for 56 yards last week—his best seasonal output with receiving yards.

    2. Through six games, Allen has collected five or more targets three times.

    3. The Dolphins currently rank 27th against the pass, allowing 282 yards per game.

    4. Indy's Coby Fleener will miss the Miami game to injury, paving the way for Allen to tally 75 yards and eight-plus targets Sunday.

Sit: TE Jermichael Finley, Green Bay Packers

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    2012 Stats: 28 Catches, 265 Yards, 1 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: vs. Arizona 


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In the season opener, Jermichael Finley collected seven catches and 11 targets against the 49ers. In the following seven games, Finley hasn't come close to replicating the Week 1 output.

    2. Finley, a top-six tight end during the preseason, has three or less receptions in his last four games. As a consequence of that, he didn't tally 32 or more receiving yards from Weeks 5-8.

    3. Finley has been dealing with a lingering shoulder injury. Connecting the dots, it may have something to do with his noticeable decline in production.

Flex Start: RB Willis McGahee, Denver Broncos

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    2012 Stats: 720 Total Yards (566 Rushing), 4 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: at Cincinnati 


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. Last week, Willis McGahee notched seasonal highs in carries (23) and rushing yards (122). For good measure, he scored a touchdown against the Saints.

    2. Of his last six games, he has tallied 96 total yards and/or one touchdown five times.

    3. McGahee's fantasy success coincides with QB Peyton Manning's unprecedented streak of four games with 300 yards passing and three TD passes.

    4. Against the Bengals last year, McGahee racked up 106 total yards and one touchdown.

Flex Sit: WR Steve Johnson, Buffalo Bills

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    2012 Stats: 32 Catches, 387 Yards, 4 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: at Houston 


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. In the Bills' three blowout losses this season, Steve Johnson has pedestrian averages of four catches, 39 yards and 0.33 touchdowns. Houston is a good candidate to rout Buffalo on Sunday.

    2. The Texans, the NFL's No. 5 pass defense, have already allowed less than 200 yards passing in four games.

Flex Start: WR Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers

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    2012 Stats: 29 Catches, 461 Yards, 1 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: vs. Kansas City 


    Fantasy Reasons To Start

    1. In his last nine games against the Chiefs dating back to 2008, Malcom Floyd has registered 85 yards and/or one touchdown six times.

    2. Floyd has gone six games without a touchdown—his longest scoring drought in three years. My positive spin from that? Floyd is way overdue for a breakout performance.

    3. Through seven games, the Chiefs defense has surrendered 26 or more points five times.

    4. Floyd, a top-30 receiver during the preseason, is simply too good to be this mediocre for the entire year.

Flex Sit: TE Martellus Bennett, New York Giants

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    2012 Stats: 29 Catches, 334 Yards, 3 TD 

    Week 9 Opponent: vs. Pittsburgh 


    Fantasy Reasons To Bench

    1. Martellus Bennett hasn't scored a touchdown in five straight games.

    2. During the scoring drought, Bennett has had three games of three or less catches and four outings of 30 or less receiving yards.

    3. The Steelers have allowed only 274 yards passing in the last two game—an average of 137 yards.