Start 'Em Sit 'Em Week 9: Last-Minute Advice That Will Guide You to Victory
The 2012 fantasy football campaign has entered it's ninth week, which means that fantasy owners far and wide are hunkering down for the stretch run, whether it's tightening up the ship in preparation for a postseason run or frantically trying to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Whether you're 8-0 and sitting pretty or 2-6 and forced into the role of spoiler, every fantasy team wants to lock up a win this week. To assist you in doing so, here's a look at some last minute advice that should leave you feeling fine in Week 9.
Start: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers (at WAS)
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The eyes of America will be on Sunday's matchup between the Carolina Panthers and Washington Redskins on Sunday, as with the exception of 2004, a Washington victory in their last home game before a presidential election has meant that the incumbent party would remain in the White House.
Politics aside, the eyes of fantasy owners should be on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton, as while Newton has struggled in his sophomore season in the NFL the stage is set for a solid outing Sunday against a Redskins defense giving up the most fantasy points to opposing signal-callers this year.
Sit: Matt Ryan, QB, Atlanta Falcons (vs. DAL)
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This is one of those fantasy plays that falls under the "much easier said than done" category, as it's pretty hard to actually follow through with benching Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan given that Ryan ranks fifth at his position in fantasy points per game so far this year.
However, fantasy owners with another viable option under center may want to seriously consider it, as the fifth-year pro faces a Dallas Cowboys defense on Sunday night that held Eli Manning of the New York Giants to less than 200 passing yards last week and allows the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks.
Start: Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins (vs. CAR)
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One of the biggest surprises in fantasy football at the running back position in 2012 has been the excellent play of rookie ball carrier Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins, who has ridden more than 700 rushing yards and a 4.7 yards-per-carry average to a Top 10 ranking at his position.
The youngster from Florida Atlantic was fairly quiet in last week's loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, gaining fewer than 60 yards on the ground, but Morris should rebound this week against a Carolina Panthers squad that has been a Top Five fantasy matchup for opposing running backs this year.
Sit: Chris Johnson, RB, Tennessee Titans (vs. CHI)
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After a horrific start to the 2012 season Tennessee Titans running back Chris Johnson has played more like the tailback fantasy owners thought they were getting with their first-round pick of late, gaining more than 100 total yards in four of his past five games.
The fifth-year pro may be hard pressed to keep that momentum going this week, however, as the Titans host a Chicago Bears team that ranks first against the run in the NFL and has given up the second-fewest fantasy points to running backs this season.
Start: Denarius Moore, WR, Oakland Raiders (vs. TB)
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After beginning the 2012 season battling injuries, Oakland Raiders wide receiver Denarius Moore has settled back in as quarterback Carson Palmer's favorite target for the silver and black, racking up 14 catches for 236 yards and three touchdowns over the past three games.
The second-year pro should keep that momentum going this week when the Raiders square off with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, as only two teams in the National Football League have allowed more fantasy points per game to wideouts so far this year than Tampa.
Sit: Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions (at JAX)
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There's a school of thought in fantasy football that you "always start your studs," but for teams that are up against a wall and can't afford a loss, sometimes you have to think outside the box and make decisions that a few weeks ago seemed like lunacy.
Such is the case with Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Yes, the 27-year-old is an immensely talented player who was a Top 10 pick in most fantasy drafts, but with only six catches for 80 yards over his past two games and after missing practice all week, "Megatron" is a mega-risky fantasy play this week.
Start: Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers (at NYG)
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It's been a fantastic start to the 2012 season for Pittsburgh Steelers tight end Heath Miller, who has already reeled in more touchdown passes in less than half a season this year than he had in 2010 and 2011 combined.
Miller has a very nice matchup this week against a New York Giants team that was just torched by Jason Witten of the Dallas Cowboys.
The Steelers and Giants square off in the shadow of the devastation wrought by Hurricane Sandy. If you can, please donate to help the victims of that tragedy. Here's how you can help.
Sit: Jermichael Finley, TE, Green Bay Packers (vs. AZ)
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Many fantasy owners hoped going into this season that Green Bay Packers tight end Jermichael Finely could realize his vast athletic potential, put his history of drops behind him and finally emerge as an elite fantasy option at his position.
However, if anything, the fifth-year pro has regressed this season and after making only six catches for 67 yards over the past three games. Finley needs to be glued to fantasy benches against an Arizona Cardinals club that has been stingy to tight ends this year.