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Week 9 Start 'Em and Sit 'Em

Senior Fantasy Writer
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Disclaimer ... Before you start reading, understand that we are not in the business of stating the obvious and wasting your time (or ours), so you won't be reading here why you need to start Aaron Rodgers, Adrian Peterson, Calvin Johnson or any other top-tier players. We're here to help you evaluate players you might be on the fence about.

Beanie Wells showed us a lot in Week 8 at Baltimore. He proved that he could play through pain. He also was able to shine despite a tough matchup.

I'm starting Wells over ...
Ray Rice, BAL at PIT
Chris Johnson, TEN vs. CIN
DeMarco Murray, DAL vs. SEA
Darren Sproles, NO vs. TB
Rashard Mendenhall, PIT vs. BAL

Wells was a question mark to play against the Ravens with a bad knee, but he stepped up and had 22 carries for 83 yards and a touchdown. It wasn't his best statistical outing, but it might be his finest performance of the season.

Wells said the knee will bother him all year, but as long as he's out there he should remain in your starting lineup in all leagues. And that includes this week in a fantastic matchup against the Rams.

St. Louis has been terrible in run defense all season. The Rams have allowed a running back to score or reach double digits in Fantasy points in all but one game this year, which was Week 6 against Green Bay. Even in last week's upset victory against New Orleans, Pierre Thomas still managed to find the end zone.

Wells, who was started in 21 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com last week, has a good history against the Rams with double digits in Fantasy points in two of three meetings. The two times he got at least 14 carries he finished with more than 80 total yards and a touchdown. In fact, every time this season that Wells has at least 14 carries he's finished with double digits in Fantasy points.

The Cardinals should continue to lean on Wells this week, and Fantasy owners should as well. As long as he's active he should remain in your starting lineup.

Full Disclosure from Week 8
Start of the Week
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
DeMarco Murray, RB, DAL 12 7 91 No. 18
Recommended starts that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Eli Manning, QB, NYG 22 25 71 No. 4
Ben Roethlisberger, QB, PIT 21 24 83 No. 5
Matt Schaub, QB, HOU 19 19 77 No. 7
Nate Washington, WR, TEN 7 15 63 No. 5
Antonio Brown, WR, PIT 5 12 53 No. 9
Brandon Lloyd, WR, STL 7 11 79 No. 15
Pierre Thomas, RB, NO 10 9 77 No. 13
Deion Branch, WR, NE 6 9 54 No. 20
Fred Davis, TE, WAS 10 9 74 No. 4
Recommended starts that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Joe Flacco, QB, BAL 17 10 45 No. 20
Ryan Torain, RB, WAS 9 1 73 No. 39
Demaryius Thomas, WR, DEN 6 1 22 No. 64
BenJarvus Green-Ellis, RB, NE 10 0 67 No. 49
Recommended sits that made us look good
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Reggie Wayne, WR, IND 4 6 66 No. 32
David Nelson, WR, BUF 3 4 28 No. 45
DeAngelo Williams, RB, CAR 5 3 40 No. 31
Nate Burleson, WR, DET 3 2 17 No. 58
Brandon Jacobs, RB, NYG 7 1 35 No. 42
Recommended sits that made us look bad
Player Fantasy Points (projected) Fantasy Points (actual) Start percentage Rank at position
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF 18 18 44 No. 8
Greg Olsen, TE, CAR 7 13 49 No. 3
Maurice Morris, RB, DET 8 11 39 No. 11
Michael Crabtree, WR, SF 3 11 3 No. 13
Percy Harvin, WR, MIN 3 10 28 No. 17
Sidney Rice, WR, SEA 5 10 49 No. 19
Heath Miller, TE, PIT 4 8 33 No. 7

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Week 9 sleeper QBs
Andy Dalton, CIN at TEN
Carson Palmer, OAK vs. DEN
Sam Bradford, STL at ARI

Eli Manning (at NE): Manning is headed toward a difficult stretch of games to close the season, but he continues to play well and should be started in all leagues. He has at least 22 Fantasy points in four of his past five games and is coming off a tremendous outing against Miami with 349 passing yards and two touchdowns. The Patriots have allowed every quarterback they have faced to throw multiple touchdowns or pass for 300 yards, and Manning should keep that streak alive even if Hakeem Nicks (hamstring) is out or limited. (Started in 71 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Matt Ryan (at IND): Ryan has struggled this season with just one game with more than 20 Fantasy points, but he has played well coming off the bye in his career and should have success against the Colts. Ryan has at least 19 Fantasy points in two of three games after a bye, and he will get Julio Jones (hamstring) back after being out the past two games. The Colts have also allowed at least four touchdown passes in two of their past four games, and Ryan should find success in this matchup. (Started in 59 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Matt Cassel (vs. MIA): Cassel has an amazing matchup this week against the Dolphins. Miami has allowed every opposing quarterback to pass for multiple touchdowns or throw for 300 yards, and Cassel should keep that streak alive at home. He got a new toy in Week 8 with the emergence of rookie receiver Jon Baldwin, and his receiving corps is rounding into shape with Dwayne Bowe and Steve Breaston. Cassel has been consistently inconsistent this year, but this is a week to trust him if you have Cam Newton or Matthew Stafford on a bye. (Started in 23 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Tim Tebow (at OAK): There is tremendous risk involved in starting Tebow in any leagues because if he struggles early he could be benched. But the matchup suggests Tebow should do well this week, and he's familiar with the Raiders. Tebow played at Oakland last year and had 138 passing yards and a touchdown and 78 rushing yards and a touchdown, and the Raiders have allowed five quarterbacks to reach at least 19 Fantasy points this season. We'll find out how Tebow does with his job on the line, and hopefully he can take advantage of this matchup like most of Oakland's opponents have already this year. (Started in 38 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Mark Sanchez (at BUF): Sanchez might be one of the most underrated Fantasy options this season. You would never expect that he has only one game with fewer than 17 Fantasy points, which was at Baltimore, and four outings with at least 20 points on the year. He should have another solid game this week against the Bills, who have allowed four quarterbacks to reach at least 20 Fantasy points in their past six games. Sanchez had 18 Fantasy points at Buffalo last year, and he should be able to post similar stats in this matchup coming off a bye week. (Started in 29 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Sit 'Em

Ryan Fitzpatrick (vs. NYJ): Fitzpatrick played well in Week 7 against Washington with 18 Fantasy points, but he should struggle to reach that total against the Jets this week. The Jets have not allowed multiple touchdowns to any opposing quarterback since Week 1, which includes matchups against Tom Brady, Philip Rivers and Joe Flacco. Fitzpatrick did have 24 Fantasy points against the Jets at home last season, but that included seven carries for 74 yards. He only has 44 rushing yards on the season this year, and he should not be considered a starting Fantasy option this week. (Started in 44 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Joe Flacco (at PIT): Flacco's outing in Week 1 against the Steelers was one of the biggest surprises of the season when he had 224 passing yards and three touchdowns. He had one more quality game in Week 3 at St. Louis with 33 Fantasy points, but since then he has combined for just 35 Fantasy points in his previous four games. The Steelers have allowed multiple passing touchdowns in their past two games against Kevin Kolb and Brady, but Flacco is averaging just 205 passing yards with four touchdowns, two interceptions and two fumbles in his past three regular season games at Pittsburgh. Flacco does benefit with James Harrison (orbital bone) and LaMarr Woodley (hamstring) banged up, but he's not playing well enough now to trust on the road in a tough matchup. (Started in 45 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Matt Hasselbeck (vs. CIN): Hasselbeck was robbed of six Fantasy points in Week 8 against Indianapolis when the first touchdown Nate Washington scored was ruled a backward pass. He finished with 14 Fantasy points against the Colts and now has just 20 Fantasy points in his past two games combined. This is also a tough matchup for him since the Bengals have done a solid job in pass defense this season. They have not allowed multiple touchdowns to an opposing quarterback in their past five games, and no quarterback has reached 20 Fantasy points against them this year. (Started in 32 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Jay Cutler (at PHI): The times to trust Cutler is usually when he's playing at home because he's struggled on the road this year. In three games at New Orleans, Detroit and Tampa Bay in London he has averaged just 13 Fantasy points with 15 points the high against the Lions. The Eagles also might have turned the corner with their pass defense the past three games against Buffalo, Washington and Dallas with only two passing touchdowns allowed and six interceptions over that span. Cutler did have 34 Fantasy points against the Eagles last year, but that was at home. This should be a much different outcome. (Started in 41 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Colt McCoy (at HOU): Not only is this a tough matchup for McCoy since the Texans have only allowed one quarterback to reach 20 Fantasy points, including matchups with Ben Roethlisberger, Flacco and Hasselbeck, but McCoy has struggled of late with just 21 Fantasy points combined in his past two games. We expect McCoy to play well in Week 10 against St. Louis, but we would ignore him in Week 9 based on his recent play and a tough opponent. (Started in 18 percent of leauges in Week 8)

Bust alert: Josh Freeman (at NO): Freeman played great against the Saints in Week 6 with 24 Fantasy points, and he has 558 passing yards and four touchdowns in his past two games against New Orleans. But I'm expecting a letdown for Freeman this week. The Saints just got embarrassed by the winless Rams in Week 8, and they should rebound at home. In their two previous losses this year against Green Bay in Week 1 and Tampa Bay in Week 6 they have shut down their next opponent, holding Chicago to 13 points in Week 2 and Indianapolis to seven points in Week 7. Freeman also has struggled on the road this year with an average of 10 Fantasy points in three games when you factor in Week 7 against Chicago in London. If Tampa Bay wins this game it will likely be because of LeGarrette Blount and not because of a standout performance from Freeman. (Started in 47 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Running back

Start 'Em

Week 9 sleeper RBs
Willis McGahee, DEN at OAK
Chris Ogbonnaya, CLE at HOU
Reggie Bush, MIA at KC
Brandon Jacobs, NYG at NE
Marion Barber, CHI at PHI

Michael Bush (vs. DEN): Bush is expected to start for the injured Darren McFadden (foot), and he should perform well. He started three games for McFadden in 2010 and had two games with double digits in Fantasy points. The Broncos have only allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year, but one was McFadden in Week 1 when he had 22 carries for 150 yards. Bush also showed he can be a capable replacement for McFadden in Week 7 against Kansas City when he first got hurt, and Bush finished with 17 carries for 99 yards and two catches for 12 yards. (Started in 23 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Jackie Battle (vs. MIA): Battle played well last week against the Chargers, and he should have a repeat performance this week. It was good to see him get the majority of carries in Week 8, and he now has at least 16 carries in his past three outings as Kansas City appears to have found its new featured rusher. The Dolphins have only allowed three running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points, and Ben Tate is the only running back to gain more than 100 rushing yards. But Battle should be used as a No. 2 Fantasy running back in this matchup at home. (Started in 66 percent of leagues in Week 8)
LeGarrette Blount (at NO): Blount will return this week after missing the past two games with a knee injury, and he should play well. The Saints have struggled with opposing running backs this season and just got torched by Steven Jackson for 25 carries for 159 yards and two touchdowns and four catches for 32 yards. Blount won't play at that level, but New Orleans has now allowed six running backs to reach double digits in Fantasy points. One of those running backs was Earnest Graham in Week 6 when Blount was out, and he had 17 carries for 109 yards and two catches for 22 yards. Blount is more talented than Graham and should have a solid performance. (Started in 81 percent of leagues in Week 5)
Pierre Thomas (vs. TB): Thomas will likely see increased playing time again with Mark Ingram (heel) either out or limited. He didn't have a great game against St. Louis in Week 8, but he did finish with nine Fantasy points since he scored a touchdown. He now has at least nine Fantasy points in three of his past four games, and he has double digits in Fantasy points in two of his past three meetings with the Bucs. Tampa Bay also has allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs and four have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Darren Sproles should obviously remain a must-start Fantasy running back, but Thomas should also be used as a No. 2 Fantasy option this week. (Started in 77 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Mike Tolbert (vs. GB): Tolbert will return in Week 9 against Green Bay after sitting out in Week 8 at Kansas City with an injured hamstring. He might get the majority of touches against the Packers with Ryan Mathews (groin) and Curtis Brinkley (concussion) banged up. This isn't the best matchup since Green Bay has been solid in run defense, but the Packers have allowed a running back to reach double digits in Fantasy points in each of their past four games with Willis McGahee, Michael Turner, Jackson and Adrian Peterson. Tolbert has three games with double digits in Fantasy points this year, and he should be successful if Mathews and Brinkley are out as expected. (Started in 50 percent of leagues in Week 7)

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Sit 'Em

Chris Johnson (vs. CIN): We can still hope that Johnson is going to break out of his funk, but there's no guarantee when that will actually happen. He failed to run well in a good matchup in Week 8 against Indianapolis, and the Bengals present a tougher test. Cincinnati has allowed six touchdowns to opposing running backs but only four have reached double digits in Fantasy points. Johnson is now going to share time with Javon Ringer, and if Ringer gets hot then Johnson could remain on the sideline. He only has one touchdown and two games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's just too inconsistent to trust. (Started in 97 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Ryan Torain (vs. SF): Torain, despite getting the chance for increased touches the past three games, has been brutal in his performance. He has three combined Fantasy points against Philadelphia, Carolina and Buffalo, which were all favorable matchups. This week he faces the 49ers, who have allowed the fewest Fantasy points to opposing running backs. Only one running back has scored against San Francisco, which came on a shovel pass by LeSean McCoy, and that includes matchups with Marshawn Lynch, Felix Jones, Cedric Benson, Blount and Jahvid Best. The Redskins have struggled with their offensive line of late, and this might be Torain's last chance as the starter with Tashard Choice now in the mix. (Started in 73 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Marshawn Lynch (at DAL): Losing linebacker Sean Lee (dislocated elbow) will hurt Dallas' defense, but the Cowboys have done a good job of stopping the run even with a poor performance in Week 8 against McCoy. Dallas has only allowed three running backs to score rushing touchdowns and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Lynch has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points and has averaged only seven points in three games on the road. He also has just one touchdown in his past five road games, and the Cowboys should be angry after being embarrassed by the Eagles last week. (Started in 41 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Delone Carter (vs. ATL): Based on a recent trend, this should be Carter's week to score. He has alternated touchdowns with Donald Brown each of the past four games, and Brown scored in Week 8 at Tennessee while Carter was held to nine carries for 46 yards. But all four of those games came with Joseph Addai (hamstring) hurt or limited. He was considered the emergency back against the Titans, but he could return to a more prominent role this week. That would make it a three-headed backfield, and Carter could again see limited carries. The Falcons have also allowed just two touchdowns to opposing running backs in their past five games. (Started in 48 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Ryan Grant (at SD): This isn't so much about sitting Grant as it is to start James Starks as a low-end No. 2 running back or flex option. He should run well against the Chargers, who have either allowed a touchdown or 100 rushing yards in their past four games with four reaching double digits in Fantasy points. Starks is coming off a solid outing at Minnesota with 99 total yards in Week 7, and he continues to outshine Grant, who has just 105 total yards in his past three games. Grant is not worth owning in most standard leagues barring an injury to Starks since he has no games with double digits in Fantasy points on the season. (Started in 22 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Bust alert: Rashard Mendenhall (vs. BAL): As we said with Mendenhall in Week 1 at Baltimore when we had him in this spot, it's tough to bench him in the majority of leagues. But Mendenhall had just two Fantasy points against the Ravens, who remain an elite run defense. Baltimore has allowed just two running backs to score this year and two to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Mendenhall does have three touchdowns in his past two home games against the Ravens in the regular season, but Mendenhall has just one game with double digits in Fantasy points in his past five outings, including good matchups against Indianapolis and Arizona. It's probably worth the risk to start Mendenhall based on his potential, but if you have another running back with a better matchup you might consider keeping Mendenhall on the bench. (Started in 92 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Wide receiver

Start 'Em

Week 9 sleeper WRs
Jon Baldwin, KC vs. MIA
Eric Decker, DEN at OAK
Michael Crabtree, SF at WAS
Darrius Heyward-Bey, OAK vs. DEN
Doug Baldwin, SEA at DAL

Victor Cruz (at NE): All the Giants receivers are worth starting this week, including Hakeem Nicks even if he's not at 100 percent. Cruz and Mario Manningham have an opportunity to succeed here just like they did in Week 8 against Miami when both had double digits in Fantasy points, and their value would rise if Nicks is out. Cruz has at least 98 receiving yards in four of his past five games with at least 15 Fantasy points in three of those outings. The Patriots have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight have reached double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 61 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Deion Branch (vs. NYG): As we said in this spot last week, Branch does a good job when Aaron Hernandez is healthy. It's likely because Branch gets single coverage, but he has at least six Fantasy points in the five games Hernandez has played and six combined in the two games Hernandez missed with a knee injury. Branch had four catches for 36 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 at Pittsburgh, and he had seven targets in the game. The Giants have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and six to reach double digits in Fantasy points this year. (Started in 54 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Antonio Brown (vs. BAL): Brown is starting to look like the next standout receiver for the Steelers, and he has double digits in Fantasy points in his past two games. He had seven catches for 102 yards in Week 7 at Arizona and nine catches for 67 yards and a touchdown in Week 8 against the Patriots. If Hines Ward (ankle) returns this week that will have more of an impact on Emmanuel Sanders then Brown. He has 24 targets in his past two games, and the Ravens are susceptible to big plays. Baltimore has allowed five touchdowns to opposing receivers and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 53 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Brandon Lloyd (at ARI): This is likely the last time you will see Lloyd in this section based on his start percentage, but he's worth highlighting since he has played well with A.J. Feeley starting in place of the injured Sam Bradford (ankle). There's a chance Bradford could return this week, which would help Lloyd's value, but he still had 12 catches for 127 yards and a touchdown the past two games with Feeley. He also has 25 targets over that span, and the Cardinals have allowed six touchdowns to opposing receivers and seven to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 79 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Julio Jones (at IND): Jones is expected to return after missing the past two games with a hamstring injury, and we recommend starting him right away based on the matchup. The Colts have allowed 11 touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Prior to getting hurt in Week 5 against Green Bay, Jones had posted back to back games with at least six catches for 115 yards with 17 catches for 242 yards combined over that span. He is still looking for his first NFL touchdown, but the Falcons are poised for a strong second half, including Jones. Look for him to come off the injured list and rebound with a solid outing. (Started in 88 percent of leagues in Week 5)

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Sit 'Em

Nate Washington (vs. CIN): Washington had an outstanding game against the Colts in Week 8 with 15 Fantasy points, but he could struggle in this matchup with the Bengals, who have allowed just two receivers to score touchdowns and four to reach double digits in Fantasy points. Washington had gone three games without a touchdown prior to last week, and he only has two games this season where he has scored. He also has just one touchdown in his past five meetings with Cincinnati, although all of those matchups came during his tenure with the Steelers. (Started in 63 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Reggie Wayne (vs. ATL): Wayne is on the cusp of a big game, and hopefully it happens soon before Fantasy owners give up all hope. He might even score this week since the Falcons have allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. But Wayne has struggled too much with Curtis Painter to trust him as anything more than a No. 3 Fantasy receiver in standard leagues. Wayne has just one touchdown on the season and one game with double digits in Fantasy points, which was Week 1 at Houston. Since then his best game was Week 5 against Kansas City with four catches for 77 yards. (Started in 66 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Plaxico Burress (at BUF): Burress is more likely to let you down this week then come close to his performance in Week 7 when he had four catches for 25 yards and three touchdowns. He's a tremendous red-zone threat, but if he doesn't score then his Fantasy value is minimal. He has five games this season with four Fantasy points or less, and he has one touchdown in three road games. He also hasn't had more than four catches in a game this year, and the Bills have allowed just four receivers to score against them this season. (Started in 32 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Greg Little (at HOU): Little has become a big letdown with his performance the past two games with just nine catches for 59 yards combined against Seattle and San Francisco. He is still looking for his first touchdown of the season, and the Texans have only allowed one receiver to score against them in the past three games. Little continues to get a lot of work with 30 targets over the past three games, but he's not producing at a high enough level to consider him a starting Fantasy option in the majority of leagues. (Started in 29 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Demaryius Thomas (at OAK): Thomas is going to have some positive moments like he did in Week 7 at Miami when he had three catches for 27 yards and a touchdown on 10 targets. Unfortunately, he's also going to have some down moments like he did in Week 8 against Detroit with one catch for 10 yards on three targets. Part of the problem is Thomas is inexperienced in just his second year, and his career has already been marred by several injuries. The other part of the problem is Tebow, who is the picture of inconsistency at quarterback. Thomas is just too risky to trust now even in a favorable matchup at the Raiders, who have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and five to reach double digits in Fantasy points. (Started in 22 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Bust alert: Steve Johnson (vs. NYJ): Johnson played well against the Jets last year in two meetings with three catches for 31 yards and a touchdown in one outing and five catches for 72 yards in the other. But those stats are misleading since Darrelle Revis sat out both games. This year, Revis has the New York secondary once again playing at a high level. The Jets have allowed only one receiver to score through the air since Week 1, and Revis should be able to match up with Johnson in single coverage. Johnson does have four touchdowns on the season but only one since Week 3, and he also has failed to reach double digits in Fantasy points in his past four games. (Started in 90 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Tight end

Start 'Em

Week 9 sleeper TEs
Jake Ballard, NYG at NE
Joel Dreessen, HOU vs. CLE
Ed Dickson, BAL at PIT

Fred Davis (vs. SF): Davis continues to be one of the lone bright spots for the Redskins, and he keeps getting better each week. In his past three games he has 20 catches for 269 yards and a touchdown. He doesn't have the best matchup against the 49ers, but San Francisco has allowed two touchdowns to opposing tight ends and three to reach double digits in Fantasy points. He is dealing with an ankle injury, but he should play and give you another week of quality production. (Started in 74 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Dustin Keller (at BUF): It might be a mistake to buy into Keller since this is another year where he got off to a hot start before slowing down. He had 16 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns in his first three games but has only 10 catches for 123 yards in his past four outings. But I like what the Jets did with Keller in his last game against San Diego in Week 7 because he had eight targets, and I expect that to happen again this week against the Bills. Buffalo has allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends and four to reach at least eight Fantasy points. Keller scored twice at Buffalo last season and should be considered a starting option this week. (Started in 56 percent of leagues in Week 7)
Brent Celek (vs. CHI): Celek is coming around at the right time with a great matchup against the Bears. He has 11 catches for 136 yards and two touchdowns in his past two games, and he has 18 targets over that span. We hope he stays this involved against Chicago since the Bears have allowed the most Fantasy points to opposing tight ends. Six have scored touchdowns and six have reached at least seven Fantasy points. Michael Vick said prior to the season that he wanted to get Celek more involved, and now it's finally coming to fruition. (Started in 22 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Sit 'Em

Scott Chandler (vs. NYJ): Chandler was at it again last week against Washington with two catches for 35 yards and two touchdowns. This was his second two-touchdown game of the season, and he has six touchdowns on the year. But don't go all in expecting Chandler to score double digits in Fantasy points against the Jets. Even with his six touchdowns he still has just two games with double digits in Fantasy points, and he's topped 16 receiving yards just twice this year. The Jets also have allowed just one tight end to score a touchdown, which was Antonio Gates in Week 7, and only two have more than five Fantasy points, which are Gates and Jason Witten in Week 1. Chandler, despite his touchdowns, isn't on the same level as Gates and Witten and is not worth starting in this matchup. (Started in 10 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Dallas Clark (vs. ATL): The Falcons are turning out to be one of the best teams at defending tight ends, and they have an impressive resume so far. Atlanta has limited Celek (four Fantasy points), Kellen Winslow (two points), Jermichael Finley (six points), Greg Olsen (four points) and Brandon Pettigrew (three points), and Matt Spaeth is the only tight end to score against the Falcons this year in Week 1. No tight end has reached double digits in Fantasy points, and Clark has yet to reach double digits this season. The loss of Peyton Manning has ruined Clark, and I would consider dropping him for someone better if you need a bye-week replacement. (Started in 46 percent of leagues in Week 8)
Jared Cook (vs. CIN): At some point the Titans are going to start using Cook more, but he heads into Week 9 with only two games with more than four targets. He has played well of late with two games with at least eight Fantasy points in his past four outings, but he's capable of doing so much more. The Bengals have allowed three touchdowns to opposing tight ends and four to reach at least nine Fantasy points, but until Cook shows some consistent production he remains a risky starting option in even deep formats. (Started in 23 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Bust alert: Heath Miller (vs. BAL): I've been wrong on Miller recently by saying he was a sit candidate, but he has at least eight Fantasy points in his past three games. The Steelers haven't needed him in protection as much with their offensive line playing better, but this should be a tough matchup. The Ravens have yet to allow a tight end to score a touchdown, and Miller has the best performance against Baltimore this season with three catches for 42 yards in Week 1. Miller has just 10 catches for 120 yards in his past five games against Baltimore in the regular season, which is an average of two catches for 24 yards a game. (Started in 33 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Week 9 sleeper DSTs
Raiders vs. DEN
Texans vs. CLE
Falcons at IND

Chiefs (vs. MIA): The Chiefs DST deserves plenty of credit for their performance the past two games against the Raiders and Chargers. They shut out Oakland in Week 7 with six interceptions and two defensive touchdowns and then had two more interceptions against San Diego in Week 8. Kansas City has 48 Fantasy points in a standard league the past two games with a favorable matchup this week against Miami. Dolphins quarterback Matt Moore has a turnover in all three of his starts, and he has been sacked 13 times over that span. The Chiefs don't have much of a pass rush with just nine sacks on the season, but they are forcing turnovers and have a quality matchup this week. (Started in 15 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Sit 'Em

Giants (at NE): The Giants DST did a nice job in Week 8 against the Dolphins with 15 Fantasy points in a standard league, and they are once again wreaking havoc against opposing offensive lines with 26 sacks. The Giants also have at least one interception in five games in a row with eight over that span, but this will be a difficult matchup against the Patriots. While Brady has been more turnover prone this season, New England typically does well in limiting mistakes, especially at home. And the Giants DST has had two of its worst games on the road this season with just six Fantasy points at Washington in Week 1 and 10 Fantasy points at Arizona in Week 5. (Started in 89 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Kicker

Start 'Em

Week 9 sleeper Ks
Josh Brown, STL at ARI
Ryan Succop, KC vs. MIA
Adam Vinatieri, IND vs. ATL

Matt Bryant (at IND): Bryant is coming off his best game of the season in Week 7 at Detroit with three field goals and two extra points, and he has another favorable matchup this week against the Colts. Indianapolis has allowed six kickers to make multiple field goals this season, and they have allowed six field goals in the past three games against Mike Nugent, John Kasay and Rob Bironas. Bryant is worth using as your starting kicker for the rest of the season with the Falcons playing eight of their final nine games indoors or on turf. (Started in 78 percent of leagues in Week 7)

Sit 'Em

Billy Cundiff (at PIT): Cundiff had a solid game against the Steelers in Week 1 with two field goals and three extra points, but he likely won't be as productive in the rematch. Cundiff had the best performance against Pittsburgh this year, and the Steelers have only allowed multiple field goals at home once with Josh Scobee in Week 6. Cundiff also doesn't have the best history kicking at Heinz Field. In his past three regular season games at Pittsburgh, Cundiff is just 3 of 4 on field goals with six extra points. (Started in 75 percent of leagues in Week 8)

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter @CBSFantasyFB . You can also follow Jamey at @JameyEisenberg and on Facebook .

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Player News
Kenny Britt looking for fresh start in Week 1 vs. Vikings
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:34 am ET) Rams wide receiver Kenny Britt ended an up-and-down career in Tennesse by catching only 11 passes for 96 yards last season. Reunited with former Tennessee head coach Jeff Fisher, the embattled receiver will look to begin his tenure with his new team on the right foot in Week 1 against the Vikings.

Britt has flashed big-play ability in the preseason, catching a 36-yard pass from starter Sam Bradford in Week 3 before the quarterback succumbed to a season-ending injury. He then tacked on a 32-yard completion from backup Shaun Hill on the team's second drive. If Britt can find chemistry with his new starting quarterback quickly, he has the opportunity to emerge from a muddled Rams receiving corps and become the team's No. 1 option in the passing game.

Will it happen? The Vikings were one of the worst teams in the league at defending the pass last year, ranking 30th in pass-defense DVOA, according to Football Outsiders. The results, however, look much better in the early-going this season. In the team's third preseason game, the defense held Kansas City starter Alex Smith to 140 yards on 14-of-24 passing with no touchdowns and two interceptions.

If that same defense comes to play Sunday, Hill may have nothing but trouble trying to move the chains consistently. But if the upgraded offensive line can keep the Vikings at bay, the Hill-to-Britt connection has the potential to surprise. Consider Britt a quality free-agent add in advance of Sunday's game on the chance that he and Hill show something.


Zac Stacy could struggle vs. Vikings
by R.J. White | CBSSports.com
(1:20 am ET) Rams running back Zac Stacy lost his starting quarterback for the season during preseason competition. This is nothing new for the second-year back, as he had to play the second half of 2013 without Sam Bradford as well.

Though Stacy ripped off four 100-yard games after Bradford's injury, he mixed in several ugly lines as well, managing only 62 yards on 26 carries against the Colts, just 25 yards on 14 carries against the Cardinals and only 15 yards on 15 carries as the Seahawks exacted their revenge in Week 17.

Stacy's Week 1 matchup this season is a Vikings team that played well against the run last season. The Vikings finished seventh in the league in rate stuffing the running back at or behind the line of scrimmage. The defense surrendered just shy of 3.9 yards per carry, which is right at Stacy's per-carry rate from last season.

The Rams will likely try to remain committed to the running game with a second stringer at quarterback, but the Vikings have the personnel to sniff out a conservative gameplan and more or less shut down the running game. CBSSports.com Fantasy experts are split on Stacy's stock this week, with Jamey Eisenberg slotting him eighth at the position and Davie Richard ranking him 20th.


Wes Welker expected to be suspended for Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker will be suspended for Week 1, according to the Denver Post.

Mike Klis initially reported that there was a chance Welker's suspension wouldn't kick in until after Week 1, but issued an update later. While the NFL has yet to officially announce the suspension, the Broncos have been informed of the move. The team is expected to send out a press release confirming the information Tuesday.


Report: Wes Welker may play Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Update: Welker will be suspended for Week 1, according to the Denver Post. The team is expected to send out a press release shortly.

Broncos wide receiver Wes Welker may play Week 1 against the Colts, according to the Denver Post

Welker is expected to be suspended for four games after reportedly testing positive for amphetamines. The league, however, has not officially announced the suspension. Suspensions are typically announced by Tuesday, according to Pro Football Talk. Since the NFL has yet to announce the move, it's thought Welker could be available for Week 1, but would serve his suspension once the NFL announced the move. 

There are a lot of uncertainties regarding the situation at this time. The club expects Welker to be available, provided he passes concussion protocal, but it remains to be seen how the NFL will handle this suspension. 


Randall Cobb to be tested Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers wide receiver Randall Cobb should be in for a tough test Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Cobb caught just three passes during the preseason, picking up 34 yards and a score. His lack of work shouldn’t be a huge concern, as the Packers offense doesn’t need any fine-tuning. The main thing here is that Cobb is 100 percent healthy after playing in just six games last season due to a leg injury.

His Week 1 production could be dampened by a strong Seahawks DST. Seattle was exceptional against the pass last season, holding opposing wide receivers to just 14.79 Fantasy points per game. That figure was the second-lowest rate in the league. On top of that, Cobb may have to deal with Richard Sherman, who is considered one of the best cornerbacks in the league. Sherman may spend the majority of the game stopping Jordy Nelson, but he could find his way over to Cobb on a few occasions.

Cobb’s versatility makes him a strong candidate to be moved around the Packers’ offense. If Green Bay can create some nice matchups, and Sherman is preoccupied with Nelson, Cobb could be in for a better game than people might expect. 

Despite that, expectations should be tempered. Seattle’s DST was strong last season, and while Green Bay boasts a strong offense, things should be muted Week 1. Cobb is a fine start, considering his upside, but he carries more risk this week due to the matchup.


Jordy Nelson in for a tough test Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers wide receiver Jordy Nelson should be in for a difficult test Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Nelson had a quiet preseason, catching just two passes for 19 yards. One of those catches wound up being a touchdown. Despite the lack of action during the preseason, Nelson’s upside with a healthy Aaron Rodgers is well-known among Fantasy owners. That said, he’s going to have to work for everything he gets against Seattle.

The Seahawks rated as the best defense in the league last year. They were strong in every facet of the game. Seattle held opposing wide receivers to just 14.79 Fantasy points per game, the second-lowest figure in the league. To make things even more difficult for Nelson, he’ll likely be covered by Richard Sherman. Sherman, by many counts, is arguably the best corner in the game. 

Still, it’s tough to pass up Nelson’s upside with a healthy Rodgers. The Packers boast an overabundance of weapons, and it’s possible moving Nelson around before the play could put him in a more favorable matchup. Even if Sherman covers him the entire game, Nelson is a good enough receiver to make some noise. While he doesn’t have a great matchup, Week 1 is not the time to take a player as good as Nelson out of your Fantasy lineup. 


Eddie Lacy to have his hands full Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers running back Eddie Lacy will have his hands full Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Lacy is coming off a tremendous rookie season, in which he rushed for nearly 1,200 yards and scored 11 touchdowns. He didn’t get a ton of use during the preseason, but seemed to be in midseason form. Lacy rushed for 61 yards on 11 carries, good for a 5.5 average over two preseason games. He also managed to run in a touchdown.

Though he looked strong in the preseason, Lacy should have a tough time against the Seahawks Week 1. Seattle allowed just 12.32 Fantasy points per game to opposing running backs last season. That was the second-lowest rate in the league. While the Seahawks lost three defensive linemen during the offseason, the club is thought to still have the top-rated Fantasy defense.

In many circles, Lacy was considered a strong Fantasy pick after the elite four running backs were off the board. With that in mind, it’s unlikely he’ll be benched in many leagues Week 1. There are better matchups out there, but Lacy is a tough player to sit. Given Green Bay’s offensive capabilities, he’s still a decent start even against the best Fantasy defenses. 


Aaron Rodgers taking on a tough task Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has his work cut out for him Week 1 against the Seahawks.

Rodgers entered the season as one of the top Fantasy options at quarterback, but will take on the best defense in the league. Last season, Seattle held Fantasy quarterbacks to just 10.89 points per game. That was the lowest rate in the league. The Seahawks DST ranked tops in the league in limiting points and yards last year. On top of that, the team forced the most turnovers.

While Seattle lost three members of the defensive line during the offseason, the club is still expected to have one of NFL’s best defenses. If Seattle struggles to get to Rodgers, that could open things up for the Packers offense.

Given the cost to acquire Rodgers, in a snake or auction draft, he’s probably going to start for most Fantasy teams despite his tough Week 1 matchup. While there are better quarterback options for this week, Rodgers still has a strong potential for dominance. He’s healthy and still has a bevy of weapons at his disposal. It might not be Rodgers best game of the season, but he’s shown that he can put up numbers against even the best defensive clubs.


Percy Harvin looking to start the year on the right foot
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Seahawks wide receiver Percy Harvin is looking at a strong matchup Week 1 against the Packers.

A quiet preseason was a good preseason for Harvin. After missing nearly all of last season due to a hip injury, Harvin was able to play in all but the final game of the preseason. He missed the fourth game due to a personal issue, and not because of an injury. Harvin caught seven balls for 92 yards in August.

The Packers didn’t boast a strong pass defense last season. The team allowed opposing wide receivers to average 22.94 Fantasy points per game. That wasn’t one of the worst rates in the league, but it was below-average. The team attempted to address this during the offseason, taking Ha Ha Clinton-Dix in the first round. Despite that, there’s no guarantee the team will perform better in the defensive backfield.

Despite the fact that Harvin is a five-year veteran, there are questions about how he’ll be used with the Seahawks. While Harvin was able to play during the club’s playoff run, it was unclear whether he was actually fully healthy last year. Harvin has shown the ability to be a game-changing wide receiver, so it’s assumed the Seahawks will find ways to get arguably their best playmaker the ball. The club has been been incredibly run-heavy over the past few seasons, but a healthy Harvin could make them more balanced. 


Marshawn Lynch ready to roll Week 1
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(9/2/2014) Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is looking to get off to a good start Week 1 against the Packers.

Lynch had an abbreviated preseason, carrying the ball just three times for 16 yards. That’s probably not a bad thing considering his high workload over the past couple years. Lynch also had a brief holdout during the offseason, but reported to camp in shape, and should be ready to roll.

The Packers weren’t particularly strong against the run last season, giving up 19.18 Fantasy points per week to running backs. That was the eighth worst figure in the league. While the team tried to shore up things defensively during the offseason, the loss of B.J. Raji should make it easier for teams to gash the Packers up the middle. 

With that in mind, Lynch should be a strong start. The Seahawks modus operandi the past couple years has been the run game, and that probably won’t change now. There are concerns about Lynch’s workload and lack of preseason reps, but his pedigree and matchup make this a strong start Week 1. 


 
 
 
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