Fantasy Matchups Week 9
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Cleveland Browns
Fantasy Relevance: 4 – The running back situation for the Buccaneers will be interesting this weekend. Doug Martin might not play; Charles Sims should play so it will be two or three running backs splitting work. I would not want to start any of these backs but with all of the teams on bye you might have to. I would start Rainey first, Sims, and Martin last. Sims might be available in your league, I would add him because he has potential and I think he will get an opportunity. If you own Vincent Jackson you are unhappy, here is something to make it worse over the last four games Vincent Jackson has been outscored by Louis Murphy and Mike Evans in standard scoring. Evans has only played three games while Murphy and Jackson have played four. I don’t think you should be starting Jackson, and there should be someone on waivers that is better. If you could trade Jackson for a handcuff of one of your running backs I would make that deal. Vincent Jackson should be matched up against Joe Haden, and Haden has been better lately. This makes Evans a much more appealing starter. This also helps Louis Murphy. Austin Seferian-Jenkins is not someone you should start unless you are really desperate. There should be better options out there.
Brain Hoyer is an okay fill in, but I would start guys like Flacco, Dalton, and RG III over him. Ben Tate is a good start this week and close to a running back one. Isaiah Crowell should not be started. Andrew Hawkins is an okay flex because of all the bye weeks. Jordon Cameron is out this week and for a while. Jim Dray is the other tightened and in no case should he be started. The Browns defense is a must start this week against a bad Tampa Bay offense.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Cincinnati Bengals
Fantasy Relevance: 5 – Denard Robinson is a solid option at running back this week. He should be okay at Cincinnati and a fine replacement for running backs on bye. Robinson could be an every week flex play. Allen Robinson is a good wide receiver three and flex this week. Cecil Shorts is lower than him, but fine if you are desperate. Clay Harbor is an average tight end to plug in your lineup.
Andy Dalton is a good option to play for quarterback as a bye week replacement. Giovani Bernard will NOT play. Jeremy Hill is a good replacement if you own him. Hill is still available in many leagues so add him if you can. A.J. Green should be back, and he is a must start. This hurts Sanu but I still think you start him this week as a low end wide receiver two. Jermaine Gresham should not be started unless you are very desperate. The Bengals defense is a top five one with a great matchup and a must start.
Arizona Cardinals at Dallas Cowboys
Fantasy Relevance: 6 – Carson Palmer is a good quarterback this week as a bye week replacement or a low end starter for the rest of the year. Andre Ellington is a top ten play this week and a must start. Larry Fitzgerald is a low end wide receiver two, I do not like him though and would start a guy like Pierre Garcon over him. I would try and trade Fitzgerald for another equal wide receiver or try a two for one deal and upgrade. Michael Floyd is a flex play this week, and I would not panic about his terrible game last week. I still like him a lot for the rest of the year. John Brown is only a starter if you are desperate. The Cardinals defense is borderline top ten and upgrades some if Romo doesn’t play.
Tony Romo might not play so have an alternative quarterback prepared. I would not consider Brandon Weeden at all for fantasy. DeMarco Murray is a top five running back and a must start. Even though the quarterback situation is unknown you still start Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams is a flex play. Jason Witten is a low tight end and I would start guys like Kelce and Donnell over Witten. I would not start the Cowboys defense in any scenario.
Philadelphia Eagles at Houston Texans
Fantasy Relevance: 6 – Nick Foles is a top ten start this week, and if you have him you are probably starting him. LeSean McCoy is a top ten start and I would try to avoid starting Darren Sproles if possible because of the injury. Jeremy Maclin is a top five player this week and a must start. I would only start Riley Cooper if I were really desperate. Zach Ertz is an okay start at tight end. The Eagles defense is a good start this week and a defense you might be able to add.
Arian Foster is a must start and could be the best running back this week. Andre Johnson and DeAndre Hopkins are solid starting options and should be played on most fantasy teams. The Texans defense is a top ten option this week and a good replacement if you have a defense on a bye.
New York Jets at Kansas City Chiefs
Fantasy Relevance: 4 – Michael Vick does not have any fantasy relevance at this point, so I would not start him. Chris Ivory is a running back two, and Chris Johnson should not be started unless you really need someone. I would still try and add someone like Charles Sims or Carlos Hyde. Percy Harvin and Eric Decker are low end flex plays and wide receiver threes. I don’t like Jace Amaro and would avoid starting him. The only Jet on offense I like is Chris Ivory. Avoid the Jets defense also.
Alex Smith is an okay starter if you have a quarterback on bye, but he had an injury and should play but that makes me more hesitant. Jamaal Charles is a must start, and Knile Davis is a risky flex play since we don’t know how much he will play. Dwayne Bowe is a low flex play and someone I would avoid. Travis Kelce is a solid tight end this week and should be steady. The Chiefs are a top five defense this week in a great matchup.
San Diego Chargers at Miami Dolphins
Fantasy Relevance: 6 – Philip Rivers is a top five starter this week although he has a tough matchup. Branden Oliver is a running back two and also has a tough matchup against Miami. Ryan Matthews is not expected to play so have an alternative for him. Keenan Allen is a very good wide receiver two with high upside. Malcolm Floyd and Eddie Royal are low wide receiver threes and low flex plays. Antonio Gates is a top five option at tight end this week and a must start. I would avoid the Chargers defense because of the uncertainty around this matchup and game.
Ryan Tannehill is a good bye week replacement for this week. Lamar Miller is a top ten running back and a must start this week. Mike Wallace is a top ten receiver and should be starting for you. I would keep Jarvis Landry on your bench and not start him this week. Charles Clay is an okay tight end if you are desperate, but I would take Jared Cook, Clay harbor, and Tim Wright over Charles Clay. The Dolphins defense is a sneaky sleeper and could be a top ten defense.
Washington Redskins at Minnesota Vikings.
Fantasy Relevance: 5 – RG III is back for Washington and a high upside quarterback. I would be hesitant to start him this week, but certainly add him if you need a quarterback as he has a lot of potential for the last part of the season. Alfred Morris is a running back one and you should start him this week. He has a good matchup and RG III should open up the offense somewhat with the read option ability. DeSean Jackson is a wide receiver one and Pierre Garcon is a wide receiver two and flex play. Both should start for you. Jordan Reed is a top ten tight end and you are probably starting him if you own him. The Washington defense is an okay matchup this week but there should be better options available.
Jerick McKinnon is a good running back this week and he should start for you. Cordarelle Patterson and Greg Jennings are flex plays and wide receiver threes. Kyle Rudolph is not playing this week but might in week eleven. If you have roster room try and add him now or next week. The Vikings defense has a good matchup this weekend so I would start them.
Why I would SELL Brandon Marshall and Julio Jones
When I say I would trade these players I do not mean for players like Vincent Jackson, Andre Johnson, or Steve Smith. If you can get players like Demaryius Thomas, Nelson, Bryant, Calvin Johnson, Brown, Hilton, or Maclin. The reason I would trade Julio Jones is because I just don’t see a lot of hope. Over the last five games he has been targeted 50, he has 30 receptions for 369 yards and 0 touchdowns. Roddy White has been targeted 45 times has 23 receptions for 305, and three touchdowns. It is good that he is getting targets, but it is concerning that he just isn’t doing much with them. There aren’t many reasons to believe that this offense improves and Roddy White is doing better. I do think he will get more touchdowns, but I think you could trade Julio Jones for a player like Calvin Johnson and a low end running back and I would absolutely do that deal. I would also trade Julio for any of the other names above including Maclin and Hilton. I am more concerned about Brandon Marshall; he has 40 targets for 20 receptions with 259 yards and one touchdown. Compared to Alshon Jeffrey in five games who has had 36 targets for 22 receptions with 340 yards and 3 touchdowns. With four less targets Jeffrey has two more receptions, 81 more yards and 2 more touchdowns. One difference about the Bears offense is the abundance of weapons. If Marshall is not producing Cutler can go to Forte, Bennett, and Jeffrey. With Matt Ryan his only other real option is Roddy White. An argument could be made that Alshon Jeffrey is now the number one receiver for the Bears. You should be able to go get a quality receiver and maybe a lottery ticket running back for Marshall. I would do it in a heartbeat. I would want more for Julio Jones, but if you could get a top tier guy do it!
St Louis Rams at San Francisco 49ers
Fantasy Relevance: 5 – Tre Mason is a risky flex play, Zac Stacy and Benny Cunnignham are even lower because of the uncertainty of this entire offense. I would try and avoid all of these players. Kenny Britt is a wide receiver four and I would avoid starting him. Jared Cook is an okay tight end and someone you could add for the bye week. He had a good game a few weeks ago against the 49ers. Avoid the Rams defense this week, there is not scenario I would start them.
Colin Kaepernick is a top five start this week. He has a great matchup and the entire offense had opportunity. Frank Gore also is a good starter but had a poor game against them two weeks ago. It is tough to predict what players on offense will go off besides Kaepernick, but I would start Gore. Anquan Boldin had a great game a few weeks ago against the rams and he should be a good flex play. Michael Crabtree is around the same area as Boldin. Stevie Johnson is a wide receiver four or a lottery ticket flex play. Vernon Davis is an okay tight end, he has a lot of upside this week but hasn’t great this year and has been injured. The 49ers defense is a top five play and should be able to do well this week against a bad offense.
Denver Broncos at New England Patriots
Fantasy Relevance: 8 – Peyton Manning is a must start and might be the highest scoring quarterback this week. Ronnie Hillman is a great running back one and should be able to run well against a struggling Patriots defense. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanual Sanders are must receivers. I think Sanders does not do as well as last week but still a must start. Wes Welker is a risky flex play but I like him especially in a matchup against his former team. Julius Thomas is a top tight end and a must start. I would avoid the Broncos defense because this game should be very high scoring.
Tom Brady is a must start quarterback. Shane Vereen is a running back two and Jonas Gray is a low end flex running back. It is tough to predict the Patriots passing game but I would start LaFell and Edelman and one of the two will do well, possible both. Grownkowski is a must start and will have a great game. I would also avoid the Patriots defense because of a bad matchup and injuries.
Oakland Raiders at Seattle Seahawks
Fantasy Relevance: 5 – Darren McFadden is a running back two or flex play. Andre Holmes and James Jones are low end flex plays with the Raiders offense struggling. Avoid the Raiders defense and try to not start any of the Raiders other besides Darren McFadden.
Russell Wilson is a great quarterback this week because of a nice matchup. This week Marshawn Lynch should be able to bounce back, if he doesn’t his owners should panic. Doug Baldwin is a wide receiver two and should have a good game. For now, Baldwin is the only fantasy relevant receiver for Seattle. The Seahawks defense should have a great game and is a top five play.
Baltimore Ravens at Pittsburgh Steelers
Fantasy Relevance: 7 – Joe Flacco is a good bye week replacement. Justin Forsett has a small injury but should play. He has a good matchup and should be close to the top ten. Lorenzo Taliaferro is a flex play at running back and is risky. He might get more work because of Taliaferro being injuried but who knows if Bernard Pierce will play a role. Steve Smith is a wide receiver one, and Torrey Smith is a risky flex play. Owen Daniels might play, but since this is a late game it makes it difficult to start him. I would avoid Owen Daniels and Crockett Gilmore as better and safer options should be available. The Ravens defense is an okay start, I think the Steelers offense take a step back from last week.
Ben Roethlisberger is a top ten start this week and a good bye week fill in. He should have a good game, but I think a lot of this game is running and defensive. I don’t see a lot of touchdowns being scored. Le’Veon Bell should play well and is a top five start this week. He has a tough matchup but I think he will still be solid. Antonio Brown should have a good game, and Martavius Bryant is a risky flex play. I would not start Marcus Wheaton. Heath Miller should play well, but don’t expect last week’s game where all of the Steelers over performed. The Steelers defense is an okay one that I think is a sleeper for this week.
Indianapolis Colts at New York Giants
Fantasy Relevance: 6 – Andrew Luck is a must start. Ahmad Bradshaw is also a must start and has a little more upside because he is facing his former team. T.Y Hilton is a top five receiver, it is unknown if Reggie Wayne plays but he practiced today. I would try and have another wide receiver because it is just too risky. I think if Wayne is out Nicks is the better option over Mocrief because he is also facing his former team. Dwayne Allen is a good tight end and one I would start because of a great matchup. I would avoid Coby Fleener because he is too risky. The Colts defense should be good against the Giants and possibly top ten. It would be tough to have confidence starting them after last week.
Eli Manning is a top ten starter this week and has a good matchup. Andre Williams is a flex play this week with Rashad Jennings out again. Ruben Randle and Odell Beckham are solid wide receivers this week who are number two guys. Larry Donnell is a top ten tight end who you should start. His fumbling from the game against the Cowboys is a little concerning but as long as it stops he should be fine. I would avoid the Giants defense in a matchup against the Colts offense.