Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em: Week 9

Trying to decide who you should start or sit this week?  Let’s take a look at a few potential decisions owners have and try to sort through them:

Start – Carson Palmer – Cincinnati Bengals – vs. Pittsburgh

The Steelers have one of the better defenses in the league, despite the fact that they’ve allowed the eighth most passing yards per game (243.1 yards).  However, they’ve allowed just six touchdowns and 10 interceptions.  They also have 20 sacks.  Clearly, it’s an extremely tough matchup for Palmer.

However, Palmer has been given plenty of opportunities to produce.  In his seven starts this season his lowest number of attempts has been 35.  He has five games of at least two touchdowns and nine touchdowns in his last four.  He has three games of at least 345 yards (including 412 against Atlanta in Week 7).

His rapport with Terrell Owens has been tremendous, with Owens scoring five touchdowns in the last four games.  Not to mention, he also has Chad Ochocino, Jermaine Gresham and Jordan Shipley to throw the ball to.  No matter what the matchup right now, you have to like his chances of producing.

Other quarterbacks to start:

  • Joe Flacco – Baltimore Ravens – vs. Miami
  • Michael Vick – Philadelphia Eagles – vs. Indianapolis (assuming he starts)

Sit – Mark Sanchez – New York Jets – at Detroit
Fantasy owners wanted to believe that Sanchez had turned the corner earlier in the season.  After a slow start to his season he threw eight touchdown passes over three weeks.  It looked like Sanchez and the Jets passing attack was something we could depend on.

Alas, that’s just not the case.  This is a team built on ball control, defense and running the ball.  That just doesn’t lend itself to big days from its quarterback.  In his last three games Sanchez has thrown two touchdowns vs. four interceptions.  He’s had only three games of at least 200 yards and never more then 256.

He’ll have some good games mixed in, but depending on him would be a major mistake.

Other quarterbacks to sit:

  • Matt Cassell – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  • Brett Favre – Minnesota Vikings – vs. Arizona (if he’s even playing)

Running Backs
Start – Brandon Jackson – Green Bay Packers – vs. Dallas

The Dallas Cowboys are currently falling apart at the seams.  While you would’ve thought that the loss of Tony Romo would hurt them offensively, their defense has been awful of late as well.  After giving up 41 points to the New York Giants in Week 7, they were torched by the Jacksonville Jaguars for 35 points in Week 8.  Really?

The running defense is in the bottom ten in the league, allowing 121.9 rushing yards per game.  Two weeks ago Ahmad Bradshaw had 126 yards rushing (with Brandon Jacobs adding 75).  Last week Maurice Jones-Drew had 135 yards rushing.

Jackson hasn’t been tremendous lately, rushing for under 60 yards in each of his last three games, but the matchup certainly dictates him as being a viable option.

Start – Felix Jones – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay
Jones is coming off a poor game, with just 22 yards on eight carries.  They were also playing from behind and allowed Jon Kitna to throw the ball 49 times.  Chances are that’s not going to happen again.

The Green Bay Packers are allowing 123.6 rushing yards per game.  The Cowboys are likely going to try and grind the game out, in an effort to play ball control.  Marion Barber, who has been sharing carries with Jones, could easily be eased out of the offense, in an effort to find out exactly what they have in Jones.

At 1-6 the Cowboys have basically played themselves out of contention in the NFC East.  Now is their chance to give their young players a chance to develop.  We all know Jones is better then last week’s performance and I’d expect a big-time rebound.

Other running backs to start:

  • Thomas Jones – Kansas City Chiefs – at Oakland
  • BenJarvus Green-Ellis – New England Patriots – at Cleveland

Sit – Ryan Mathews – San Diego Chargers – at Houston
Whatever the reason, Mathews has not even come close to living up to the preseason expectations.  The most rushing yards he’s delivered in a game were 78 back in Week 1, the only time he’s had more then 15 carries in a game.

Mike Tolbert has stepped up and certainly has cut into his carries.  Also, the Texans are an awful defense against the pass, meaning it makes sense for the Chargers to put the ball in the hands of Philip Rivers.  Mathews is just too big of a risk to trust.

Sit – Marshawn Lynch/Justin Forsett – Seattle Seahawks – vs. New York Giants
Neither impressed in Week 8 and at this point you really don’t know who is going to work as the lead back.  You would think it’s going to be Lynch, but he’s coming off a game where he had just seven yards on nine carries.  Meanwhile they get a Giants defense that is among the best in the league, allowing just 85.4 rushing yards per game.  Clearly, this is a situation to avoid.

Other running backs to sit:

  • Brandon Jacobs – New York Giants – at Seattle

Two Wide Receiver Formats
Start – Steve Smith – New York Giants – at Seattle

While he’s the Giants second receiver, that doesn’t mean he’s not going to get ample opportunities.  He has at least six receptions and 70 yards in each of his last three games and gets a Seahawks defense that is allowing 267.7 passing yards per game.  Granted, Hakeem Nicks is likely the better option, but there should continue to be more then enough balls to go around.

Another wide receiver to start:

  • Mike Williams – Tampa Bay Buccaneers – at Atlanta

Sit – Santanio Holmes – New York Jets – at Detroit
Good matchup or not, do you trust anyone involved in the Jets passing game right now?  They are just so unpredictable and while Holmes figures to be the top receiver, there’s really no guarantee.  Plus, with their running game, it’s anyone’s guess how many opportunities he actually gets.

Another wide receiver to sit:

  • Dez Bryant – Dallas Cowboys – at Green Bay

Three wide receiver formats
Start – Steve Breaston – Arizona Cardinals – at Minnesota

Now that he’s 100% healthy, he showed that he is going to be a focal point in the Cardinals offense.  While the quarterbacks may not be able to connect with Larry Fitzgerald deep often enough, Breaston had eight receptions for 147 yards in his first game since Week 3.  You have to like his potential to deliver once again.

Another wide receiver to start:

  • Steve Johnson – Buffalo Bills – vs. Chicago

Sit – Lance Moore/Robert Meachem – New Orleans Saints – at Carolina
It’s not to say that they aren’t potentially viable options, but can anyone predict which is going to be the go to guy, especially with Marques Colston seemingly getting things going?  They are just too risky to trust at this point in time.

Another wide receiver to sit:

  • Kevin Walter – Houston Texans – vs. San Diego

What are your thoughts on these decisions?  Who would you start?  Who would you sit?

Make sure to check out our Week 9 Rankings:

Start 'Em or Sit 'Em Debate: Beanie Wells
Fantasy Football Week 8: Sunday Morning Start ‘Em or Sit ‘Em Thoughts


  1. Geno says:

    I just grabbed Tamme last week and was going to start him but wanted to wait and see and know that i saw i am starting him all the way for the rest of the season. I also have Tony G. and Z. Miller to boot and i can start 2 TE’s.
    Im thinking with Miller’s status and the great TE’s that i have i should start Tamme and Tony G. this week, what do you think?

    THank you

  2. Geno says:

    Either that or Tamme and Miller? In my league Tamme got 18 points and Miller had 1 only because of the PPR league that i am in. Also while im asking, my wr’s are Boldin, Harvin, Branch, J.Jones(GB), M.Williams(SEA) and my RB’s are Hillis, Lynch, Jacobs. I know that i am def starting Boldin for WR’s and Hillis for the RB’s. Who do you think should fill the rest. Might as well ask about the QB, Palmer or Flacco. My league sets up like this:

    RB Hillis
    WR Boldin

    What do you think?


  3. Gary says:

    PPR league…Mendenhall, T. Jones and Woodhead as RB’s and H. Ward, Nicks and Austin are my WR’s. Need to pick two RB’s, two WR’s and one flex…..who do you suggest?

  4. mogli says:

    drop torain or drop reggie. i like reggie but i need to drop one or the other so i can pick up felix jones. let me mkkno plz asap

  5. admin says:

    Geno, here’s how I would do it:

    QB – Palmer, but it’s really close
    RB – Hillis
    RB – Jacobs
    RB/WR – This spot is a tough call, because neither of the options excite me. I’d probably lean towards Lynch, but it’s definitely him or Branch
    WR – Boldin
    WR – Harvin
    WR/TE – Tamme (only if Miller is still hurting later in the week)
    TE – Gonzalez

    Gary – For the WR I’d go Austin & Nicks. For the RB I’d go Mendenhall & Jones with Woodhead as the FLEX

    mogli – I’d drop Reggie

  6. Josh says:

    This week who should I start I have been thinking this one out. I need 3 WR’s 2RB’s a flex WR/RB and a TE.

    WR’s are Marshall, Breastson, Bowe, Bess, Floyd, and Vincent Jackson
    TE’s Gates and Heap
    RBs are turner, hills, and blount

    I was wondering the status of Antonio Gates is he going to play this week or should I start heap to be on the safe side.

    and what should i do with the rest of these guys i know a couple of them are out with injuries or cant play this week is tough week i play the other good team in the league please help…..

  7. admin says:

    Josh, here’s how I’d go:

    WR – Bowe
    WR – Breaston
    WR – Bess
    RB – Turner
    RB – Hillis
    TE – Gates
    FLEX – Blount

    Unfortunately, there just isn’t much flexibility there unless there are any good pickups on the waiver wire. With the matchup he has, Gates is certainly worth the gamble. He’s performed like the top TE in the league this season and it should continue.

  8. Geno says:

    admin on November 4th, 2010 at 9:40 pm
    Geno, here’s how I would do it:
    QB – Palmer, but it’s really close
    RB – Hillis
    RB – Jacobs
    RB/WR – This spot is a tough call, because neither of the options excite me. I’d probably lean towards Lynch, but it’s definitely him or Branch
    WR – Boldin
    WR – Harvin
    WR/TE – Tamme (only if Miller is still hurting later in the week)
    TE – Gonzalez

    I appreaciate the line up and it looks aside from one question. What if Harvin cant play? Here are the rest of my players:

    I am in a PPR league. Also while im asking, my wr’s are Boldin, Harvin, Branch, J.Jones(GB), M.Williams(SEA) and my RB’s are Hillis, Lynch, Jacobs.

    Thank you

  9. Eric says:

    RBs this week are Foster, Green-Ellis, Blount, and F. Jones; must pick two (Foster is the no-brainer.
    WRs are Colston, Austin, Collie, Ward, and M. Williams (TB). Must pick three.
    TEs are Miller squared; Zack and Heath. Pick one.

    Thank you,


  10. admin says:

    Geno, if Harvin can’t play I’d put Branch in, with Lynch taking the FLEX spot.

    Eric – For the TE, it’s Zach if he’s healthy.

    At the RB, it’s Foster & Green-Ellis

    At WR I’d go Austin, Colston & Ward, with Collie just a notch behind since it looks like he will play as the slot receiver this week.

  11. David says:

    Need to start three recievers and my choices are – Breaston, Steve Smith NYG, Jennings, or Maclin.

    Also need to start two running backs – Ray Rice, Turner, Brandan Jackson, or Mendenhall

  12. Jason says:

    What about Seyi Ajirotutu for San Diego? With their WR corp depleted, he could be a nice pickup. Also for Green Bay, what about Jordy Nelson? James Jones is on everyone’s radar, but he’s dropped a lot of balls lately, and Nelson seems be getting some looks.

  13. Rusty says:

    Steve Johnson
    Austin Collie
    Jeremy Maclin
    Dez Bryant
    Chad Ochocinco

    which 3 to start?


  14. Geno says:

    Who would you start J. Jones (GB) or Seyi Ajirotutu (SD) this week?

    Thank you

  15. admin says:

    David – Jennings, Maclin & Smith for the WR. For the RB, I’d probably go Turner & Rice.

    Jason – I understand the problems with Jones, but I still like him over the other two at this point as he has shown the most.

    Rusty – Maclin is the lock. The others are extremely, extremely close. I’d lean towards Johnson and then it’s a toss-up with Collie & Bryant. Right now I think I’d play Bryan, as coming back from injury Collie is no sure thing as the third WR.

    Geno – I’d probably go Jones, but it’s a toss-up.

  16. Geno says:

    Should i trade Tony G. and M.Williams (sea) for A.Collie and M.Williams (TB). What do you think? I have Z.Miller and J.tamme for TE’s and there is no question i would be upgrading the Mike’s. Im just wondering if it would be a smart move to get Collie right after the injury.

    thank you

  17. Cara says:

    Still iffy about my WR’s. Hearing that Andre Johnson might be a risky play? Playing Wayne and still deciding btwn Welker, Colston or picking up Crayton. Suggestions? I have to play 3.
    You also mentioned playing McFadden over Forte would you also play McCoy over Forte? My opponent this week has some of the best matchups possible so I need to maximize every point!!

  18. admin says:

    Geno, you certainly have the TE depth to make the deal if you need an improvement at WR. I wouldn’t worry about Collie too much. He should be fine pretty quickly.

    Cara, unfortunately you are going to have to follow the news with Johnson up until game time. If he’s playing, it’s tough to keep him on your bench. I’d still go Welker & Colston over Crayton, but if I remember correctly you are very frustrated with Welker. Who would you drop to get Crayton?

    As for the RB, I’d definitely go McCoy & McFadden.

  19. Fokai says:

    I am having trouble in deciding who will be my 2 starting Running Backs. Here are my choices…
    1)Peyton Hillis (CLE)
    2)Ben-Jarvus Green-Ellis (NE)
    3)Jahvid Best (DET)
    4)Brandon Jacobs (NYG)

    I will appreciate it if you or anyone can help me choose. Thanks.

  20. Jake says:

    Austin Collie or Patrick Crayton?

  21. admin says:

    Fokai – I’d go with Hillis & Green-Ellis. As much as I’d want to play Best, it’s an extremely tough matchup and hard to see him excelling this week.

    Jake – It’s a tough call, but with the matchup I’d much rather play Crayton, who is once again operating as the Chargers WR1. Collie could have a big game, but he’s unpredictable in his first game back in the lineup (as well as operating as the WR3).

  22. Lofty says:

    Fitzpatrick or Freeman? I’m inclined to roll with Freeman.


  23. admin says:

    It’s really close, so I’d say go with your gut. I’d probably lean towards Fitzpatrick, but there’s nothing wrong with going with Freeman if that’s what you feel lis right.

  24. jeff says:

    Schaub or Stafford?

    Schaub has me P.O’d with his lack of production. Both may be tough matchups.

    I’m thinking to roll the dice on Stafford because I don’t trust Schaub.

  25. Kindra says:

    who would you start out of this line up….
    QB’s: schaub and big ben
    RB’s: green-ellis, charles, hillis need 2
    WR’s: white, wayne, ward need 2
    TE’s: Tamme or Hernandez
    K’s: carpenter or gould

    I play out of the espn fantasy league

    Thank you

  26. admin says:

    Jeff – I understand being frustrated, but Schaub has the better opportunity to produce this week. Stafford vs. the Jets just doesn’t seem like a very appealing matchup. It’s annoying, but I’d still roll the dice with him.

    Kindra – Here’s how I’d do it:

    QB – Roethlisberger
    RB – Charles & Hillis (though, Green-Ellis is extremely close to Hillis, so go with your gut. Charles is the must play)
    WR – White & Wayne
    TE – Tamme
    K – Carpenter, though this is close

  27. Josh says:

    i just traded brandon marshall for johnny knox and benjarvis green-ellis was it a good trade?

  28. Ben says:

    Who should I start?
    (PPR League, no pts against TO’s) (1 qb, 2 rb, 2 wr, 1 te,1 d/st, 1k)
    QB- Brees/Vick
    RB- Gore/Forte/Jackson (obviously)
    WR- Fitzgerald/Boldin/Collie
    TE- Dustin Keller/Todd Heap
    D/ST- Bears/Lions
    K- Dan Carpenter/Matt Bryant

    QB- Brees
    RB- Forte/Jackson
    WR Boldin/Collie ((prooven consistent qbs
    TE- Dustin Keller
    D/ST – Bears
    K – Dan Carpenter

  29. Ben says:

    Brandon Jackson fyi

  30. admin says:

    Josh – I would prefer Marshall over the other two, unless you are desperate for a RB. Marshall has the potential to be a WR1 for you every single week, while the other two are not must start guys depending on your other options.

    Ben – Here’s how I would do it:

    QB – Brees (but it’s really close)
    RB – Forte/Jackson
    WR – Fitzgerald/Boldin (Garcon is no lock and Fitzgerald is finally coming off a big game. Kinda hard to bench him now)
    TE – Keller
    D – Bears
    K – Carpenter

  31. Geno says:

    Lynch, Branch, M. Williams Jacobs in 2 spots. Cant start 2 RB’s though.

    Who do you think?

    Thank you

  32. Geno says:

    Lynch, Branch, M. Williams Jacobs in 2 spots. Cant start 2 RB’s though.
    Who do you think?
    Thank you

    In wanted to add Harvin as well, but with the problems he has with his ankle and not only that the unhappiness that he has expressed about the head coach. So i could start him if he plays.

    thanks again

  33. Tony says:

    As usual, I think all of my matchups are about the same, and I usually end up having someone on my bench that will burn me!!! Last week was Sims-Walker..and I lost by 4!! Anyway, this is what I have:

    QB- Rodgers
    RB- Charles
    REC- Nicks
    REC- Garcon
    UT- Matthews

    Bench – Best, Stevie Johnson, Braylon Edwards, and of course a few bye week players

    Your column says to sit Matthews, but I know you usually like RB’s over REC…so do I keep this lineup? or start Johnson or Edwards over Matthews?

  34. John says:

    I have a flex issue and am trying to decide between Jahvid Best vs the Jets or Jonathan Stewart vs the Saints. Who would you go with?

  35. Ben says:

    Sucks about boldin having a terrible game.. he’s the reason I’m going to end up losing big.

    Thanks though guy Fitz did have a big-enough game and Anderson prooved he can be decent

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