Fantasy Football Week 9: Start 'Em and Sit 'Em
The 2010 Fantasy Football season is turning down the home-stretch. By this point you know if your team is a competitor, a bottom feeder or a middling team on a quest for a precious playoff spot.
Regardless of where you stand on that spectrum, you want to win. Those at the top want to stay at the top. Those in the middle want to get at the top. And those at the bottom want to mess with those at the top and screw over those who are fighting for a playoff spot.
So read on for some advice on who to start and sit at every position in Week 9.
Philip Rivers: Rivers heads to Houston to take on the Texans, who have the 32nd ranked pass defense in the NFL. The fantasy stalwart should score plenty of points.
Aaron Rodgers: Last week the Dallas Cowboys allowed David Garrard to score five touchdowns against them. Not that Rodgers should score five touchdowns, but he should score several against a down and out Cowboys team at Lambeau a week after being stifled by the New York Jets.
Carson Palmer: The Steelers pass defense has been vulnerable this season, allowing the 25th most yards per game this year. The over-matched Bengals are going to have to attack the Steelers some way. It will most likely be through the air.
Matthew Stafford: Even though he would appear to be hot after throwing four touchdowns in Week 8, this week Stafford plays a Jets defense that is finally at full strength after holding Aaron Rodgers to a season worst 170 yards and zero touchdowns with a completion percentage of 44 percent.
Matt Ryan: The Falcons will most likely attack the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' 30th ranked rush defense with Michael Turner and not lean on Matt Ryan too much.
Matt Schaub: The third Matt to sit this week, the Texans play the San Diego Chargers and their first ranked passing defense.
Adrian Peterson: OK, so you should start Adrian Peterson no matter what. But this week you should really start Adrian Peterson. Seriously, try and petition to get to start him twice. He will tear apart 29th ranked rush defense. All Day will do whatever he wants...all day.
LaDainian Tomlinson: The Jets will get back to their ground and pound ways this week after forgetting their identity briefly against the Green Bay Packers when they threw the ball 38 times and only gave Tomlinson and Shonn Greene 22 combined carries. Tomlinson's tirade will come at the expense of the Detroit Lions 27th ranked run defense.
Michael Turner: As mentioned previously, the Falcons will most likely attack the Buccaneers on the ground. This will bode well for Turner, who should easily get over 20 carries.
Cedric Benson: The Steelers may be vulnerable against the pass, but they are stout against the run. It is important to note that defensive lineman Aaron Smith is out, so there may just be more room for Benson to run free. But it's better to be safe than sorry when it comes to running backs playing against the Steelers.
Darren McFadden: The Kansas City Chiefs boast the NFL's seventh ranked run defense. They will also be keying in on McFadden, the Raiders most dangerous weapon. If any Oakland running back is going to have success in a game that should be a grind-it-out defensive struggle, it may be Michael Bush.
Ahmad Bradshaw: Playing on the road in Seattle is never an easy task. The Seahawks also have a stout run defense (ranked 10th in the league). Avoid Bradshaw, as the Giants will most likely attack the Seahawks 29th ranked pass defense.
Terrell Owens: Notice the theme? Owens is clearly the Bengals No. 1 wideout and he should get passes thrown his way against a Steelers defense susceptible to being beat in the passing game.
Anquan Boldin: The Ravens will exploit the Miami Dolphins lack of depth in the defensive backfield by creating mismatches with Boldin and then hitting him in the passing game often.
Hakeem Nicks: Eli Manning might struggle with the 12th Man in Seattle, but he still has to throw the ball to somebody. That somebody will be Hakeem Nicks, who should shred the Seahawks 29th ranked pass defense.
Calvin Johnson: Here' a bit of a prediction: Revis Island is back. Or at the very least, the Jets defense is back. As previously mentioned, Matthew Stafford should struggle. Therefore, Calvin Johnson should struggle too.
Dwayne Bowe: The Oakland Raiders might not have the best pass defense, but this game will likely be a battle of running games and defenses. Even if Nmandi Asomugha is out, the Chiefs will not be throwing much.
Marvin Austin: Austin is going against a Green Bay defense that just shutout the Jets. And he still has Jon Kitna throwing the ball to him. After a big game in Week 8, he is going to have a letdown in Week 9.
Greg Olsen: Olsen has been a bit of a forgotten man in Mike Martz' offense. However, the Buffalo Bills have routinely allowed tight ends to shred them, so Olsen might be in for a rare strong performance.
Dustin Keller: The Jets were throwing to Santonio Holmes and Jerricho Cotchery a lot against the Packers, and they dropped a lot of balls. Mark Sanchez will look to target Keller against the Lions this week to rebuild that chemistry with his favorite target.
Todd Heap: The Dolphins are another team that routinely get burned by tight ends, so Todd Heap should be a good start this Sunday.
Jacob Tamme: Before everybody gets too excited about Dallas Clark's replacement, realize that Monday night was his first start ever. Tamme was a special teamer until Week 8 and is in for a let down against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Tony Gonzalez: We've already covered the Falcons offensive plans this weekend. If Matt Ryan does throw the ball, it will be to Roddy White, as it usually is. Tony Gonzalez should be benched and he is slowly becoming less and less of a must-start tight end.
Zach Miller: Yet another casualty of the potential ground and pound slug-fest between the Raiders and Chiefs is Oakland's tight end.
Dan Carpenter: Is any kicker hotter than Dan Carpenter right now? In his last two weeks, Carpenter has kicked ten field goals! You have to ride the hot hand until it's not hot anymore.
Nick Folk: The Jets should move the ball with regularity against the Detroit Lions and Folk will get plenty of chances to attain for his 37-yard miss against the Packers.
Ryan Longwell: Longwell will piggy-back Adrian Peterson to some field goals and extra points this weekend against a poor Arizona Cardinals defense.
Jason Hanson: Hanson will not fair as well as the opposing team's kicker this weekend. The Lions will struggle to move the ball against the New York Jets and Hanson will suffer for it.
David Buehler: Kicking in Lambeau can't be easy. And Buehler will not get many opportunities with Jon Kitna at quarterback.
Jay Feely: The Vikings have a lot of pent-up frustration. They will probably take it out on the Cardinals this weekend in Minnesota where they will move the chains and eat up the clock with Adrian Peterson and shutdown the quarterback-less Cardinals offense. That does not bode well for Feely.
Minnesota: Jared Allen, the Vikings' All-Pro defensive end, has been struggling to get sacks this season. This weekend against the Cardinals, who give up an average of three sacks a game, he should get going along with all of Minnesota's defense. They could also feast on poor passes from Derek Anderson.
New Orleans: New Orleans should beat the Panthers around the field in Carolina. Panthers quarterbacks have combined for 13 interceptions this season.
Kansas City: The game against the Oakland Raiders should be a grueling, low scoring affair. The Chiefs will force a few turnovers and get a sack or two while keeping the Raiders off the scoreboard.
San Diego: San Diego is going to give up points this week, either because they get burned by the Houston Texans high-powered offense or because the Texans are throwing the ball all over the field because their defense put them in a huge hole against the Chargers' potent offense.
Chicago: The Bears are heading to Buffalo not playing their best football. Meanwhile, the Bills have taken two teams with a combined 10-4 record to overtime in back-to-back weeks. The Bears mediocre pass defense could get burned by a surprisingly good Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Tampa Bay: The Buccaneers have a tough game in Atlanta this week against the Falcons. While they should play tough, they probably won't be able to keep up with the Falcons and could get burned by Michael Turner.