Fantasy Football Week 9: 20 Start Em Or Sit Em Locks To Win Your Matchup
Fantasy Football Week 9 should have plenty of surprising performances in store.
With injuries continuing to mount around the league, reserves are being thrust into bigger roles and responding with impressive production.
Look for the usual production from NFL superstars this week, with Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers and Andre Johnson seemingly ready to put up huge numbers against very favorable matchups.
But there should also be plenty of diamonds in the rough this week.
Here's a look at 10 start 'em, sit 'em candidates in Fantasy Football week 9.
No. 10 Sit 'Em: Bernard Berrian
Somehow, Berrian is still owned in about 15 percent of CBS leagues.
With Randy Moss gone, Sidney Rice still out and Percy Harvin questionable with his latest injury, Berrian could be a tempting play in Week 9 against the Cardinals.
While it might be tempting to turn to Berrian, at this point Hank Baskett has about as much value as the high-priced bust.
If you still have B Twice, don't even think about taking him off the bench until he produces.
No. 10 Start 'Em: Brandon Pettigrew
Pettigrew's fantasy stock continues to be on the rise.
Although he caught just two passes in the win against the Redskins, he found the end zone and got five targets in the game.
With the Jets' strength on defense being at the cornerback position, Pettigrew will once again be a strong play this week.
As long as Calvin Johnson keeps catching touchdowns and commanding attention from opposing defenses, Pettigrew should keep getting plenty of love from fantasy owners.
No. 9 Sit 'Em: Kevin Walter
Despite his lack of productivity, it's still difficult for fantasy owners to give up on Kevin Walter.
It might be a good time to say goodbye and send him to waivers.
Walter has done almost nothing since his 11-catch, 144-yard effort against the Redskins in Week 2.
He got five targets in Monday's loss to the Colts, but failed to actually catch a pass.
Until he produces, don't even think about putting him into your lineup.
No. 9: Start 'Em: LeGarrette Blount
Blount doesn't have a particularly great matchup this week with the Bucs going against the Falcons, but he should at least get plenty of touches.
If his performance against Arizona was any indication of what is to come, Blount should be a reliable fantasy option down the stretch this season.
Don't be surprised if he scores a touchdown in Week 9, even if his yardage total is minimal.
No. 8 Sit 'Em: Darrius Heyward-Bey
Darrius Heyward-Bey had considerable success in Week 8, but don't get too excited just yet.
For one thing, his beautiful catch-and-run for a touchdown came against arguably the NFL's least-talented and most unsuccessful secondary.
With Kansas City coming to town this week, Heyward-Bey isn't a particularly good option.
It's all about consistency, and right now he simply hasn't demonstrated he can contribute on a weekly basis.
No. 8 Start 'Em: Patrick Crayton
At this point, Tony Martin could probably come out of retirement and record about 100 yards for the Chargers Sunday against the Texans.
Houston's secondary is that bad.
With Malcom Floyd banged up, Crayton should be in line for a huge game Sunday as either the No. 2 or No. 3 option Philip Rivers in the aerial attack.
No. 7 Sit 'Em: Carson Palmer
If you're still plugging Carson Palmer into the lineup, your fantasy team probably doesn't have a great record on the season.
Palmer's problem isn't yards or touchdowns—it's turning the ball over.
With the Steelers coming to town in Week 9, don't be surprised to see at least 250 yards from Palmer—and at least three more turnovers.
No. 7 Start 'Em: Mario Mannignham
Mario Manningham is the third wheel in the Giants' potent passing attack.
That's not a bad thing, especially considering the Week 9 matchup against the vulnerable Seahawk secondary.
With Steve Smith and Hakeem Nicks commanding most of the attention, look for Super Mario to have a big game Sunday.
No. 6 Sit 'Em: Aaron Hernandez
Hernandez has assumed a bigger role since Randy Moss was moved, but his production has been somewhat inconsistent.
More importantly for fantasy owners, he hasn't found the end zone.
Hernandez has caught 29 passes during his rookie season and is still looking for his first career touchdown reception.
After getting just three targets in Week 8 against the Vikings, Hernandez could be in for another quiet week against the Browns.
No. 6 Start 'Em: Johnny Knox
Johnny Knox has speed to burn and is clearly Jay Cutler's favorite option in the passing game.
Too bad he can't help out on the offensive line.
Knox has been somewhat inconsistent this season, but he should have a good chance to shine in Week 9 with Chicago heading to Buffalo following the bye.
Don't be afraid to use Knox as your flex option or even as a WR2 this week.
No. 5 Sit 'Em: Marshawn Lynch
It's about time to for fantasy owners to give up on Lynch.
The Seahawks are trying to develop a 1-2 punch with Lynch and Justin Forsett, but neither player has flourished on a consistent basis.
Since Forsett has more big-play ability and can be a decent asset in PPR leagues, Lynch belongs on the bench in Week 9 as he goes against the Giants' defense.
No. 5 Start 'Em: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Danny Woodhead is a nice story, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis is clearly the best back in the Pats' backfield.
Coming off a 100-yard game against the Vikings, BGE looks like a good play against the Browns this week as an RB2 option.
New England's offense has become much more run-oriented in the last two games.
Expect that to continue Sunday in Cleveland.
No. 4 Sit 'Em: Brent Celek
Celek hasn't produced as well as expected this season, and the return of Michael Vick might not help his numbers improve.
With Vick prone to pushing the ball downfield to his receivers, Celek's targets could decline in the weeks ahead.
If DeSean Jackson is able to play against the Colts Sunday, don't count on the Eagles' big tight end to tally many catches.
No. 4 Start 'Em: Davone Bess
Bess has earned a new contract by working his way into the starting lineup for the Dolphins this season.
He could be in for another productive effort in Week 9 when Miami heads to Baltimore.
The Ravens have struggled in the secondary at times this season and most of the focus will be on stopping Brandon Marshall.
Look for Bess to find success in the slot and possibly find the end zone.
No. 3 Sit 'Em: Jahvid Best
The dynamic rookie has slowed down a bit in recent weeks, and Kevin Smith has started to dust off the rust and contribute.
With the Jets on the schedule in Week 9 don't expect a great deal of production from Best.
Despite injuries up front, New York has been solid against the run this season.
Best still has decent value in PPR leagues, but don't expect him to run for success in Week 9.
No. 3 Start 'Em: James Jones
Coming out of San Jose State, James Jones drew comparisons to Sterling Sharpe for his size, hands and ability to run after the catch.
Thanks in large part to injuries, Jones really hasn't had a chance to show what he could do.
With Donald Driver out for Week 9, Jones will assume an even bigger role in the offense.
Jones has only tallied 14 receptions on the season, but look for him to breakout Sunday night against the Cowboys' woeful secondary.
He makes an ideal flex option in your fantasy lineups this week.
No. 2 Sit 'Em: Beanie Wells
Wells has gotten plenty of touches in the last three games and scored touchdowns in the last two.
Finally healthy, he is being snatched up by fantasy owners in both CBS and ESPN leagues.
Although it's nice to see him produce, don't count on him to be consistent or stay healthy for the Cardinals.
The Vikings' defensive line has looked surprisingly vulnerable against the run this season, but don't expect that to continue Sunday.
It would be a good idea to leave Beanie on the bench this week.
No. 2 Start 'Em: Peyton Hillis
Admit it, if you have Peyton Hillis, you are at least considering leaving him on the bench this week as he goes up against the improved Patriots' defense.
Don't do it.
Coming off a bye week, Hillis should be fresh and ready to reverse his downward trend over the last three games.
If he gets 20-25 touches, you should expect him to go over 100 yards against the Pats and possibly find the end zone for the seventh time this season.
Hillis looks like a solid RB2 start in Week 9.
No. 1 Sit 'Em: Felix Jones
It's always tempting to play Jones, mainly because of his ability to break big-plays whenever he touches the ball.
The only problem with that philosophy is Jason Garrett's aversion to actually getting him the ball.
Making matters worse, Jones is banged up this week and probably won't see as much work as usual.
Since the Packers' defense has played well in the last two games, don't look for Jones to have much of an impact in Week 9.
No. 1 Start 'Em: Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson is very quietly putting together one of the best seasons in the NFL.
With six touchdowns in his last five games, Johnson is starting to emerge as a valid WR1 option for fantasy owners.
Surprisingly, he is still available in nearly 50 percent of ESPN leagues compared to only eight percent of CBS leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick is likely to cool off a bit against the Bears this week, but he should give Johnson plenty of targets.
Get Johnson in your lineup and keep him there until he comes back to earth.