Fantasy Football Matchups

Week 9 Fantasy Football Matchups

Author: Chris Dale


Injures, injuries, injuries.  Lots of game time decisions for you this week.  Aren’t those just your favorite???  Here is your weekly breakdown of the fantasy football matchups for week 9.

Note: (?) indicates injury


sea_logo-50x50dal_logo-50x50Seattle at Dallas


The frustration in Seattle continues to grow.  Tavaris Jackson was visibly ticked off after almost every series last week.  In spite of that, he did throw for over 300 yards, completing 21 of 40 pass attempts, along with one completion to the Bengals.  Both Sidney Rice and Ben Obomanu went over 100 yards, and waiver favorite Doug Baldwin had 73 yards.  Rice is the WR to own, getting by far the most targets and receptions.  Baldwin and Obomanu could be bye-week fillers for your team this week, because the Seahawks will have to throw early and often against the Cowboys.  Marshawn Lynch eked out a decent fantasy day with a goal-line score, but 16 carries for 24 yards is just sad.  And even though Dallas gave up 185 yards to LeSean McCoy last week, Dallas still has an elite rushing defense, and Lynch is nowhere near as talented as McCoy.  It pains me that I just had to put McCoy and Lynch in the same sentence.  Sorry Shady, I promise to not disrespect you like that ever again!


After his record-setting day in St. Louis, you knew that DeMarco Murray was going to be somewhat disappointing next week.  Truth be told, it was really the coaches fault.  Murray ran for 74 yards on just eight carries.  Had he been given the ball more, 100 yards and score seems easily achievable.  This week he faces a strong Seahawks rush defense, his toughest matchup by far in his short time as a starter.  Another sub-100 yard game should be in store.  Tony Romo, Miles Austin, and Dez Bryant on the other hand, should be incredibly excited for their matchups.  The difference between the Eagles and Seahawks corners is night and day.  I would not be surprised in the least if both went for over 75 yards and a TD.  Jason Witten and Laurent Robinson should also get in on the action.  However, I don’t advise picking up Robinson.  He is a good talent, but his numbers last week (103 yards, TD) were a result of Austin and Bryant being completely shut down, which will not happen again until the Cowboys play Philly again week 16.


Winner: Dallas




***** n/a

**** n/a

*** Sidney Rice

** Tavaris Jackson

* Marshawn Lynch, Ben Obomanu, Doug Baldwin




***** Miles Austin, Dez Bryant

**** Tony Romo, Jason Witten

*** n/a

** DeMarco Murray

* Laurent Robinson



atl_logo-50x50ind_logo-50x50Atlanta at Indianapolis


The Colts are giving up the 2nd most points to RBs, the 3rd most points to WRs, and the 5th most points to QBs.  Needless to say, if you own Falcons, start them this week.  Roddy White is allegedly fully recovered after the bye week.  Julio Jones missed practice Wednesday, but is planning on playing Sunday, so keep an eye on his status.


Joseph Addai returns this week, which just means that instead of the carries being split between just Delone Carter and Donald Brown, they will be split between all three.  Stay away from the Colts backfield at all costs.  Curtis Painter remains the starter for now, but has not been impressive, with zero TDs and three INTs over the past two weeks.  Atlanta is giving up the 8th most points to QBs, but I really hope you can find a better option for your team.  Pierre Garcon continues to be his favorite target, and is the only Colt that I would consider starting.


Winner: Atlanta




***** Michael Turner

**** Matt Ryan, Roddy White

*** Julio Jones (?), Tony Gonzalez

** n/a

* n/a




***** n/a

**** n/a

*** Pierre Garcon

** Curtis Painter

* Joseph Addai, Dallas Clark, Reggie Wayne



nyj_logo-50x50buf_logo-50x50NY Jets at Buffalo


I usually don’t look at records when picking winner.  I prefer to use statistics and compare the strengths and weaknesses of each team and see where those line up for a favorable matchup.  However, the Jets are 0-3 on the road, and the Bills are 4-0 at home.  Buffalo is one of the few places left where home field has a BIG impact (Seattle also comes to mind), and that fact cannot be overlooked.  This game should be all about the RBs.  Last year, in week 4, LT and Shonn Greene combined for 250 yards and 2 TDs against the Bills.  Joe McKnight topped 150 yards against them in week 17.  The Bills defense has been getting better, but still isn’t great.  Santonio Holmes will probably get his usual 70ish yards, and hopefully throw a score in there somewhere.  I expect that Plaxico Burress will let down all the owners who picked him up after his triple-TD week 7.  He only had 4 catches for 25 yards, so take away the scores, and it’s a very weak stat line.  Mark Sanchez should look for Dustin Keller often to exploit a Bills defense that has allowed more than 70 yards to opposing TEs four out of the past five weeks.


For the Bills, it all comes down to Fred Jackson.  If he plays like he has been playing all season, the Bills will win this.  With Stevie Johnson wasting away on Revis Island, Ryan Fitzpatrick will get Fred Jackson even more involved in the passing game. C.J. Spiller should get quite a few backfield passes as well.  I don’t think Scott Chandler will have 2 TDs again this week, but 75 yards and a TD seems quite likely given that the Bills receivers will have a tough time getting open.


Winner: Buffalo




***** n/a

**** Shonn Greene, Dustin Keller

*** Ladainian Tomlinson, Santonio Holmes

** Mark Sanchez, Plaxico Burress

* n/a




***** Fred Jackson

**** n/a

*** Scott Chandler

** Ryan Fitzpatrick, C.J. Spiller, Stevie Johnson

* David Nelson



cle_logo-50x50hou_logo-50x50Cleveland at Houston


If you are the unfortunate owner of any Browns, now is not the week to start them.  Peyton Hillis is not likely to play this week and Montario Hardesty is out with a calf injury.  Chris Ogbonnaya would get the start if Hillis can’t go, but don’t go pick him up.  Colt McCoy has more pass attempts than any other QB in the NFL, but somehow none of his receivers produce at a high level.  Benjamin Watson leads the team in yards, but Houston is very good at defending against TEs.  Joshua Cribbs and Greg Little get lots of targets, so could be flex plays in a PPR league, but I hope you can do better.


Andre Johnson’s return is still up in the air, so keep tabs on that.  Cleveland has been one of the best teams at defending against WRs, but that shouldn’t affect the Texans much.  The passing game goes through their TEs (Owen Daniels and Joel Dreessen) and Arian Foster.  Daniels gets most of the yards, and I would be surprised to him to approach 100 yards in this contest.  Dreessen shares the lead in receiving TDs on the team with Daniels (3 each).  DO NOT play Jacoby Jones or Kevin Walter this week.


Winner: Houston




***** n/a

**** Peyton Hillis (?)

*** n/a

** Chris Obgonnaya

* Joshua Cribbs, Greg Little, Benjamin Watson




***** Arian Foster

**** Owen Daniels

*** Matt Schaub

** Joel Dreessen

* Ben Tate



sf_logo-50x50was_logo-50x50San Francisco at Washington


Vernon Davis has been uncharacteristically unproductive of late, with just 35 yards over the past two games.  Michael Crabtree, on the other hand, has been very productive, with 14 catches for 131 yards and a TD over that same time period.  Braylon Edwards may return this week and eat into his targets, so I don’t think you want to pick up Crabs (pun most definitely intended).  Frank Gore has been on fire, with over 125 yards and a TD in each of his last four games, and I would be surprised if he continued the streak this week.  Alex Smith has been doing a good job cutting down on turnovers, but still just doesn’t produce enough yards to be a fantasy option.


Fred Davis is the only bright light in this offense, and he may not even play this week (although it would be fun to see how many times the announcers say the wrong first name whenever a TE is involved in the play).  Normally there is a weekly argument over who Mike Shanahan will favor in the backfield.  This week that’s not necessary, because the 49ers don’t favor ANY RBs.  Bench Ryan Torain and Roy Helu this week.  Jabar Gaffney might come through for a decent stat line, simply because Washington won’t be able to run, and they don’t have anyone else to throw to.


Winner: San Francisco




***** Frank Gore

**** n/a

*** Vernon Davis

** Michael Crabtree, Braylon Edwards

* Alex Smith




***** n/a

**** Fred Davis (?)

*** n/a

** Jabar Gaffney

* Ryan Torain, John Beck, Roy Helu



tb_logo-50x50no_logo-50x50Tampa Bay at New Orleans


Both of these teams have lost two out of their last three.  Tampa Bay’s last win was against New Orleans, but this time the Saints will be at home.  The Saints also will be pretty fired up, looking to bounce back after handing the Rams their first win of the season.  LeGarrette Blount should be back this week, for a tasty matchup with a Saints defense that has allowed 130 yards per game to RBs over their last five games.  In the passing game, no one has really produced consistently.  Mike Williams has been one of the biggest busts this year, with just over 300 yards and 1 TD over seven games.  Kellen legarrette-blountWinslow has also been a disappointment, with 282 yards and only 1 TD.  Preston Parker, Arrelious Benn, and Dezmon Briscoe have all contributed, but none consistently enough to be considered in standard leagues.  Josh Freeman is always a threat to run one in from the goal line, but were it not for his rushing potential, he would not be worth owning.  His yards per game are up from last year (246 from 215), but he has thrown just 7 TDs over 7 games, along with 10 interceptions.  Last season, he had just 6 interceptions for the entire year, along with 25 TDs.


I fully expect Drew Brees to get back on track this week.  Last week was a fluke, a result of the Saints underestimating the Rams because of how easily they had beaten the Colts in the previous week.  Marques Colston and Jimmy Graham are must-starts every week, along with Darren Sproles in PPR leagues.  Brees spreads the love too much for Lance Moore, Devery Henderson, or Robert Meachem to produce decent numbers each week.  Mark Ingram should be returning this week, so it will be interesting to see if Chris Ivory gets any more carries.  Regardless, there are too many mouths to feed in this rushing game, so don’t play any of them (other than Sproles) unless you are desperate


Winner: New Orleans




***** LeGarrette Blount (?)

**** n/a

*** Josh Freeman

** Mike Williams, Kellen Winslow

* Preston Parker, Arrelious Benn




***** Drew Brees, Jimmy Graham

**** Marques Colston, Darren Sproles

*** n/a

** Mark Ingram, Lance Moore

* Pierre Thomas, Robert Meachem, Devery Henderson



mia_logo-50x50kc_logo-50x50Miami at Kansas City


Don’t let Reggie Bush’s 100 yard performance fool you.  Both he and the Dolphins still stink.  Based on how well the Chiefs have been playing defense, its tough to justify starting Brandon Marshall when Brandon Flowers will be draped all over him.  Daniel Thomas should be returning this week to split carries with Reggie Bush, making neither of them of much value.


Jackie Battle has asserted himself as the leading back, and rewarded owners with a TD this week.  Coach Todd Haley will continue to use gadget plays for Dexter McCluster, and Thomas Jones will get a few carries, but Battle should be safely secured in the catbird seat.  Jonathan Baldwin scored the first TD of his career, and led all Chiefs receivers.  Dwayne Bowe received more targets, and is still the clear leading receiver.  Bowe should benefit from Baldwin’s success, and see less double teams.  Steve Breaston can put up yards in bunches, but hasn’t been reliable from a fantasy standpoint.


Winner: Kansas City




***** n/a

**** n/a

*** Brandon Marshall, Daniel Thomas

** Reggie Bush

* Matt Moore, Anthony Fasano, Davone Bess




***** Dwayne Bowe

**** Jackie Battle

*** Matt Cassell

** Jonathan Baldwin, Dexter McCluster

* Thomas Jones, Steve Breaston



den_logo-50x50oak_logo-50x50Denver at Oakland


Looks like Tim Tebow gets one more week to prove he can be a legitimate starter.  Eric Decker and Demaryius Thomas will be Tebow’s top targets, for whatever that’s worth.  Willis McGahee is michael-bush1recovering at record pace from his hand injury, and may get the start this week.  Tough luck for people who picked up Knowshon Moreno hoping that McGahee would be out for longer.


Darren McFadden is doubtful for this week, so Michael Bush gets to take advantage of this easy matchup.  We will also get to see what Carson Palmer can do now that he’s had the bye week to learn the playbook a bit better.  The Raiders signed T.J. Houshmandzadeh to play the slot.  T.J. is a long-time friend of Palmer’s, so he could be in for a big week if Palmer looks his way often as a security blanket.  Denver is also giving up a ton of points to QBs, so this is a good game for Palmer to ease his way into the thick of things.  Darrius Heyward-Bey has been a surprise this season so far.  It will be interesting to see if he can keep it up with a new QB.  Denarius Moore burst onto the scene early this season, but has faded just as quickly.  The addition of Houshmandzadeh makes Moore even less valuable.


Winner: Oakland




***** n/a

**** n/a

*** Willis McGahee (?), Tim Tebow, Eric Decker

** Knowshon Moreno, Demaryius Thomas

* n/a




***** Michael Bush

**** n/a

*** Darrius Heyward-Bey, Carson Palmer

** T.J. Houshmandzadeh

* n/a



cin_logo-50x50ten_logo-50x50Cincinnati at Tennessee


Cedric Benson returns this week for a favorable matchup.  Bernard Scott did a decent job in his absence, but if you picked him up, go ahead and drop him.  Scott has no value now, at least not until Benson gets arrested again.  Andy Dalton and A.J. Green will be facing one of the toughest pass defenses they have seen, so this could be a week where we are reminded that these two are, in fact, rookies.  I’ve just got this feeling in my gut that Tennessee’s defense is going to win the game for the Titans by forcing Dalton into multiple interceptions.  Jerome Simpson hit pay dirt last week, but didn’t amass many yards.  Jermaine Gresham could return this week, and would be a good start if he plays, so monitor his status.  Green and Gresham are the only Bengals involved in the passing game that I would consider for this week.


Well, Chris Johnson is officially benchable.  After failing to produce even against the lowly Colts, he will now be splitting carries with Javon Ringer.  Neither RB is a good play this week, as the Bengals defense has been sturdy all year.  Nate Washington had a productive fantasy day, but don’t expect another rushing TD anytime soon.  Jared Cook keeps flashing potential, and then not delivering anything substantial in terms of fantasy points.  Matt Hasselbeck has cooled off considerably after his hot start, but I think he should have a multi-TD effort this week.


Winner: Tennessee




***** n/a

**** Cedric Benson, A.J. Green

*** Jermaine Gresham

** Andy Dalton

* Jerome Simpson




***** n/a

**** n/a

*** Nate Washington, Javon Ringer

** Chris Johnson, Matt Hasselbeck

* Jared Cook



nyg_logo-50x50ne_logo-50x50NY Giants at New England


Ahmad Bradshaw has a fractured bone in his foot.  There have been conflicting reports as to whether or not he will play, but I would have a backup plan.  Brandon Jacobs will in all likelihood get the start, and will get a chance to show why he has been asking for more carries.  All of the options in the Giants passing game get a green light against this horrendous NE defense.  Hakeem Nicks is day-to-day with a hamstring injury, so monitor his status closely.  If he can’t go, both Victor Cruz and Mario Manningham could put up WR1 numbers.


Wes Welker sat out of practice, and the reason has not yet been confirmed.  There are reports of a neck injury, but some people are saying it was just a day off to recuperate mid-way through the season.  Tom Brady will need to get rid of the ball quickly to avoid the Giants pass rush, so both Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez should be heavily involved.  The Giants run defense has been pretty generous to RBs, but BenJarvus Green-Ellis has been hit-or-miss this season, so start with caution.  The addition of Kevin Faulk also complicates the NE backfield, since Danny Woodhead and Steven Ridley also get carries from time to time.


Winner: New England




***** Eli Manning, Hakeem Nicks (?), Mario Manningham, Victor Cruz

**** n/a

*** Ahmad Bradshaw (?)

** Brandon Jacobs

* Jake Ballard




***** Tom Brady, Wes Welker (?), Rob Gronkowski

**** n/a

*** Aaron Hernandez

** BenJarvus Green-Ellis (?), Kevin Faulk (?), Deion Branch

* Steven Ridley, Danny Woodhead



stl_logo-50x50ari_logo-50x50St. Louis at Arizona


The Rams busted out of the ranks of the winless with an emphatic victory over the Saints.  I believe this was mostly due to the fact that the Saints thought this game would be a cakewalk like their previous game against the Colts.  Sam Bradford is very unlikely to play, so A.J. Feeley should get the start.  The only ram I trust is Stephen Jackson, because he is basically the entire offense.  To be fair, Brandon Lloyd has made an immediate impact, and should continue to produce solid yardage.


The Cardinals will also be without their starting QB, as Kevin Kolb was last seen in a walking boot on account of turf toe.  John Skelton will get the start.  Hard to say what impact this will have on Larry Fitzgerald’s numbers, since Kolb has not played very well, so Skelton is probably neither an upgrade nor a downgrade.  This is the easiest matchup Fitzy has seen in a while, so let’s hope Skelton looks his way often.  Beanie Wells, if he’s healthy, could be in line for a monster game.  LaRod Stephens-Howling will be the one to give Wells a breather, but I wouldn’t invest in LSH unless you get points for return yards in your league.  Early Doucet has caught a TD in each of the past two games, and led the team in receiving yards in the game against Minnesota before the bye.  He could be worth a shot this week if you need a plug for Calvin Johnson or Steve Smith.


Winner: St. Louis




***** Stephen Jackson

**** n/a

*** Brandon Lloyd

** n/a

* A.J. Feeley




***** Beanie Wells (?), Larry Fitzgerald

**** n/a

*** n/a

** Early Doucet

* LaRod Stephens-Howling



gb_logo-50x50sd_logo-50x50Green Bay at San Diego


Expect the Packers to pick up where they left off against a reeling Chargers team.  San Diego has been good against the pass, but that hardly matters against the Packers.  Aaron Rodgers will find the open man.  Greg Jennings will get his stats.  The man is a black hole; any ball that comes close gets sucked in.  I would expect Jermichael Finley to reach the endzone this week, as Rodgers will exploit the Chargers weaknesses and not play into their hands by attacking their corners all day.  Jordy Nelson could be in for a quiet day.  In the backfield, James Starks is the back to own.  This isn’t a great matchup, but the Chargers have allowed a lot of points to RBs in the past 4 games, so maybe they are softening up.


Philip Rivers is going to have nightmares about that snap for a long time.  In what should be a shootout, I would not be surprised at all to see Rivers go over 350 yards again, with multiple TDs and INTs.  Both Vincent Jackson and Malcolm Floyd are banged up.  Jackson is more likely to play, but both should be monitored right up until kickoff.  Antonio Gates managed 74 yards despite being double-teamed the entire game against the Chiefs.  He also had a TD called back for an extremely dubious offensive pass interference call.  I would expect better results this week, as Green Bay gives up a lot of points to TEs.  Ryan Mathews is doubtful, which means that Mike Tolbert, fresh off his own injury, will get the start.  Aside from Adrian Peterson’s monster day, no RB has had success against this Packers defense.  Mike Tolbert could punch in a goal-line score, but other than that, expect most of his production to come from catching passes out of the backfield.


Winner: Green Bay




***** Aaron Rodgers, Greg Jennings

**** Jermichael Finley

*** Jordy Nelson

** James Starks

* James Jones




***** Antonio Gates

**** Philip Rivers, Vincent Jackson (?)

*** Malcolm Floyd (?)

** Mike Tolbert (?)

* n/a



bal_logo-50x50pit_logo-50x50Baltimore at Pittsburgh


Baltimore beat Pittsburgh in their last meeting, thanks to 7 turnovers by the Steelers.  Since then, Pittsburgh has fixed some of its problems with the O-line, and Big Ben is playing great.  Since throwing ben-roethlisberger13 INTs against Baltimore, Big Ben has not had a multiple-INT game.  The offense is clicking, even with perennial chain-mover Hines Ward.  Mike Wallace, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown, and Heath Miller are all on the same page with Roethlisberger.  Baltimore has a great all around defense, but if Big Ben continues to play at the level he has recently, he should be able to find enough holes in it to lead his team to victory.  Rashard Mendenhall, on the other hand, has had trouble finding any holes.  I would bench him against Baltimore if you have any other decent options.


Ray Rice always find a way to get it done against the Steelers, and should do it again this week, especially with key injuries to the Steelers linebacker corps.  The Steelers pass defense has allowed the fewest plays over 20 yards, so Anquan Boldin will struggle to break 100 yards receiving.  Torrey Smith is pretty much useless this week, as he lives and dies with the long pass.  Joe Flacco will probably look to Ed Dickson more often this week, as Dickson will probably be more open than any of the Ravens WRs.


Winner: Pittsburgh




***** Ray Rice

**** n/a

*** Anquan Boldin, Ed Dickson

** Joe Flacco

* Torrey Smith




***** n/a

**** Ben Roethlisberger, Mike Wallace

*** Heath Miller

** Rashard Mendenhall, Emmanuel Sanders, Antonio Brown

* n/a



chi_logo-50x50phi_logo-50x50Chicago at Philadelphia


Matt Forte is complaining that the Bears overuse him, and it’s probably true.  Look for the Bears to rely on him even more this week as they try to exploit a weak Philly run defense.  I don’t trust Jay Cutler or any of the Bears receiving corps this week.  Stay away!


Well, this is the week that the Eagles can convince us that they are for real.  They are on a two game winning streak, and absolutely crushed the Cowboys last week.  LeSean McCoy turns more plays that should be losses into gains than anyone I’ve ever seen.  He did sit out Thursday’s practice with stomach flu, but all signs point to him being ready for the game on Monday.  Chicago is giving up a lot of points to QBs, so roll with Mike Vick as usual.  The Bears defense is designed to take away big plays, so Jeremy Maclin should see more action than DeSean Jackson, but both are definitely worth starting.  Also, Chicago is giving up the most points to TEs, and Brent Celek is coming off a big game.  Celek is definitely worth a start.


Winner: Philadelphia




***** Matt Forte

**** n/a

*** n/a

** n/a

* n/a




***** LeSean McCoy, Michael Vick, Jeremy Maclin

**** DeSean Jackson

*** Brent Celek

** n/a

* Jason Avant


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