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This week is really going to cramp our style with six teams on byes. Those taking the week off include Arizona, Baltimore, Detroit, Houston, Kansas City, and Seattle.

This is when you pat yourself on the back for adding that depth in round 12 of your Fantasy Football draft and through the waiver wire. Or, on the flip side of the coin, this is when you remind yourself that you have a three beer limit during next year’s draft.

The good news is that we are well over half way through the bye weeks now. After this very inconvenient week, just two weeks remain to limp through.

With the bye weeks and all those injuries last week, you will need to cobble together the best lineup possible for this week to keep on the road towards your Fantasy Football league trophy. Hopefully, the Week 9 Start or Sit column can help get you there.

For the Daily Fantasy Football player, this column can help you create your lineup at FanPicks so you can bring home some scratch. Best of luck this week in all things Fantasy Football as you mow down the competition!

Week 9 Start or Sit, Powered by FanPicks


Start ‘Em

Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

I had Ryan here last week as well hoping he would get his first 300 YD/3 TD day of 2015. Well, he went for 397/2, not bad. This week Ryan gets the 49ers, a team that is already calling it in and is going through the motions for a paycheck. They are allowing the 23rd most Fantasy points to QBs on the year, so Ryan has another chance to get that 300/3 game I’ve been hoping for.

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh Steelers vs. Oakland Raiders

Big Ben gets a great opportunity to shake the rust off against a poor Raiders secondary that has allowed at least two passing TDs to everyone not named Peyton Manning this season. The Steelers QB looked off while throwing three picks last weekend, but this should be the week he and Antonio Brown pick up where they left off before his injury. Go ahead and put him back in your lineup going forward.

Sit ‘Em

Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos

It doesn’t get any better this week for the Colts signal caller. He faces Denver and the league’s toughest Fantasy defense against QBs. We saw bad Luck for most of the game last week but good Luck showed up while the Colts attempted to rally against Carolina. In the end, it was bad Luck that threw a late interception to seal the team’s defeat. It’s tough to trust the young QB as he goes through a rough patch and struggles through injury this season. However, after this week it might just be time to throw a “buy low” offer at Lucks’ frustrated owner. His schedule loosens up significantly after the team’s bye week.

Honorable Mention

It’s a ballsy move, but Marcus Mariota has an excellent matchup if he plays against the Saints and their 32nd ranked defense vs. Fantasy QBs. With new coach Mike Mularkey changing things up, a healthy Mariota could be running more and throwing against a very vulnerable defense. While season long owners might find this too risky, Mariota is an intriguing daily tournament option. Philip Rivers gets another primo matchup against the Bears this week. Peyton Manning has looked better recently and has thrown for over 250 yards in each of his last three games. Still, he has just seven TDs on the season, matching Drew Brees’ production for last week. Not that you need me to tell you, but don’t start Teddy Bridgewater against the Rams and their second ranked defense against Fantasy QBs.


Running Back

Start ‘Em

Chris Ivory, New York Jets vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jets are dealing with a QB situation that could get ugly. Ryan Fitzpatrick is supposedly going to give it a whirl with torn ligaments in his non-throwing hand, but could give way to Geno Smith if Fitzmagic fizzles. What this means is that they should minimize potential damage by focusing on the run game against a Jaguars defense that is ranked 28th in Fantasy points allowed to running backs. This is a plus matchup for Ivory after a few weeks of difficult matchups and negative game flow. Fire him up as a legit RB1 in Week 9.

Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants

The Giants run defense has fallen off a ledge over the last month and has dropped all the way down to 26th in points allowed to RBs. This includes four straight games with over 100 yards rushing allowed. In steps the Muscle Hamster. Yes, he deserves the nickname since he’s averaging over 100 all-purpose yards a game and has notched four scores so far. Martin looks like he has turned a corner in the NFL and is enjoying the best football he has ever played since joining the pros. If Tampa can keep up with the Giants, expect Martin to be good for another 20-carry game for 110 yards and a score.

Sit ‘Em

T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars at New York Jets

While I like what Yeldon has been putting on tape the last few weeks, he gets a stout defense in the Jets this week. They are allowing an NFL best 78 yards per game on the ground and should be avoided when possible. Yeldon should have good weeks coming, but this is not one of them.

Honorable Mention

Devonta Freeman goes against the hapless 49ers run defense this week (mike drop here)…  Jeremy Langford has a nice matchup if he steps in for Matt Forte. San Diego is allowing over 124 yards per game on the ground and has let in seven rushing TDs. Mark Ingram has snuck all the way up to the No. 2 overall running back spot this year but gets a tough Titans run D this week.

Wide Receiver

Start ‘Em

Rishard Matthews, Miami Dolphins at Buffalo Bills

Matthews has put himself firmly into the WR2 discussion this season. He lit up the Bills in their first matchup for 113 yards and two scores. While that might be a little lofty to expect in the re-match, the Buffalo defense has not been as dominant as many thought it would be and Matthews should be in line for another decent share of targets.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. New York Giants

Evans was in and out of last week’s game but still managed 48 yards in Atlanta. Disappointing considering the matchup, but he is still a target hog, even more so with Vincent Jackson on the shelf. The Giants secondary is very suspect and allowed Drew Brees to have a career day with seven passing TDs last week. As long as he can keep those hamstrings loose, Evans should be good for double digit targets and a big day.

Sit ‘Em

T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts vs. Denver Broncos

Last week Hilton managed one catch for 15 yards while being blanketed by Josh Norman. Denver’s pass defense is better than Carolina’s so I don’t have much faith in any of the Colts receivers this week. It’s tough to bench a player like Hilton, but if you have depth at receiver, consider your options.

Honorable Mention

Odell Beckham Jr. gets to play against a Tampa team allowing over 41 points per week to the receiver position on the year. Get excited. Jordan Matthews hasn’t been able to produce in good matchups so far. This week the Eagles get a Dallas team that has found a pass rush with Greg Hardy and is now allowing the fourth fewest Fantasy points to receivers on the season. Look elsewhere if possible. After shutting down the Colts, Carolina faces a stiffer challenge at home against Green Bay. Still, lower your expectations for Packers’ receivers, particularly Randall Cobb if the Panthers put him on Norman Island.


Tight End

Start ‘Em

Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints

Everything seems to be lining up for Walker this week. He should get Marcus Mariota back from injury, faces the 28th ranked team for Fantasy points allowed to tight ends, and should see an uptick in targets with Kendall Wright nursing an MCL issue. Expect Walker to function as the No. 1 target for the Titans this week.

Sit ‘Em

Jason Witten, Dallas Cowboys vs. Philadelphia Eagles

No one is looking forward to the return of Tony Romo more than Witten. He’s been reduced to a hit or miss prospect from week to week since Romo’s injury. The Eagles are allowing the fifth fewest Fantasy points to tight ends this year, so this is not an ideal situation. Stash Witten for now and go with option B this week, if possible.



Start ‘Em

Atlanta Falcons at San Francisco 49ers

Things just get worse and worse for the Niners this year. They are now reduced to putting up Blaine Gabbert against the Falcons. Without a single NFL caliber talent left on offense, this team is one to target for Fantasy defenses. Gabbert should hand the ball over to the Falcons a few times while the team overall should have trouble moving the ball. Atlanta is the streaming option of the week on defense.

Sit ‘Em

Carolina Panthers vs. Green Bay Packers

Aaron Rodgers got shut out against the Broncos elite defense last week. Don’t count on him letting that happen again, even against a very competent Panthers squad. The cardinal rule of Fantasy defenses holds true here. Don’t start a good defense against a good offense if you can help it. Go for an average defense that happens to be playing a bad offense instead.

Best of luck with your Fantasy Football teams this week! Hopefully our Week 9 Start or Sit column helps guide you to victory. Make sure to check out our plethora of other Fantasy Football articles below.

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