NFL Week 9 Start 'Em Sit 'Em: 6 Players to Start During the Bye Week
Week 9 of the fantasy football season is a bye week that sees guys like Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson and Cam Newton off, and that means owners everywhere are looking for players to replace their stars.
If you're one of those owners who needs some help when deciding who to pick up, you've come to the right spot. What players are going to keep your team afloat during the bye week? Read on to find out.
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LeGarrette Blount has only three touchdowns on the season, but he has one of the most favorable matchups of any running back in the NFL.
The New Orleans Saints have, arguably, the worst rushing defense in the league and were gashed by Steven Jackson for 159 yards and two TDs last week. If Blount can't get on track during this game, then all of his owners should be very worried for his future.
One thing to keep in mind is that the Saints could jump out in front of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and force Josh Freeman to throw more than the Bucs want him to. If that happens, Blount might lose out on quite a few carries, but expect him to get enough touches to get double-digit fantasy points.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis barely got any carries last week because the New England Patriots were playing from behind for most of their game. Add to that the fact that the Law Firm was also nursing a toe injury, and you had the perfect storm for a terrible showing from Green-Ellis.
That said, the Patriots get the New York Giants and their terrible rush defense this week.
Green-Ellis should make a return to double-digit points this week. The Giants made Reggie Bush look like a Pro-Bowl player last week, and the Law Firm should enjoy similar results.
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ESPN.com says that Darren McFadden was still in a walking boot during Thursday's practice and that means Michael Bush will probably be seeing the bulk of the carries against the Denver Broncos this weekend.
Bush isn't the runner McFadden is, but he's proven he can produce yards if given the ball. Last week against the Kansas City Chiefs, he had 99 yards on 17 carries, and I'm expecting more of the same this week.
Bush's numbers could go up even further if Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow continues to play as terribly as he did last week. If the Raiders can get a lead early, then they will give the ball to Bush more often to try and milk the clock.
Either way, look for Bush to get over 90 yards and at least one touchdown.
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Jake Ballard gets a very favorable match up against the New England Patriots pass defense, which is the 27th worst at covering tight ends.
Ballard may have only two touchdowns on the year, but expect to see him in the end zone at least once.
His value only goes up if wide receiver Hakeem Nicks stays sidelined with injury, because that equals more targets for the tight end. Expect to see Eli Manning exploit the Patriots' weaknesses and get the ball to Ballard early and often for at least one touchdown.
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Sidney Rice has been a bit of a disappointment this season, but he has been able to top double-digit points in every game that Tarvaris Jackson has finished.
Plus, the Dallas Cowboys are without top corner Mike Jenkins and the Seattle Seahawks will most likely be playing from behind. All these things add up to a solid day at the office for Rice.
Look for the Cowboys to get ahead early and force the Seahawks to throw the ball a lot. That gives Rice and Jackson a good chance to hook up for at least 75 yards and a score.
In deeper leagues, you might also look at giving Jackson a start if you're desperate. He's not going to be a star, but he could give you enough to pick up a victory this weekend.
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Matt Cassel is having a bad year, and generally I would tell you to stay away. However, he has proved that he can put up good stats against bad teams this year, and the Miami Dolphins definitely qualify as a bad team.
The Dolphins have the 27th-worst pass defense in the league, and the Kansas City Chiefs will look to exploit that. Look for Cassel to have a good game that could reach the same level of production as his four-touchdown performance against the Indianapolis Colts a few weeks ago.
His stats aren't going to be Cam Newton-like, but he'll get you through this weekend with a solid performance against a bad Dolphins team.