Fantasy Football Week 9 Start Em’/Sit Em’
Image: John Gress/Getty Images
By: Dustin Dietz
QB – Jay Cutler vs. Tennessee Titans
I’d say Jay Cutler is the most polarizing figure in the NFL, but the truth is Cutler is actually disliked by the majority of fans, players, coaches, and especially the media. Despite displaying perpetual poor body language on the field, Cutler is now 2nd all-time in the illustrious history of the Chicago Bears in touchdown passes. The Bears traded for Cutler’s former teammate and go to option in Denver, Brandon Marshall, last off season. Cutler was then expected to produce the type of numbers worthy of top 12 fantasy QB status. Instead, Cutler has been extremely ordinary. This week, Cutler faces a Tennessee defense which is 31st in the league in points allowed, and in the bottom five in passing yards and touchdown passes allowed. If one is in a bye week bind at QB such as yours truly, Cutler is an excellent one week option.
RB – Trent Richardson vs. Baltimore Ravens
I normally like to list fantasy options which are not so obvious, but I could not resist with T-Rich this week against the putrid Baltimore run defense. The Ravens have allowed 207 yards rushing per game in their last three games, and Richardson scored 15 fantasy points the last time the two teams played back in Week 4. Expect the rookie from Alabama to have a huge game.
WR – Jeremy Maclin vs. New Orleans Saints
Maclin has been a fantasy disappointment for the majority of the season as he has averaged 55 yards receiving per game so far. However, his luck should change this week as he will be opposed by the horrendous New Orleans defense. The Saints have the worst defense in the NFL by a wide margin, and are in the bottom five in all major defensive categories. Peyton Manning shredded their secondary last week, and I expect a struggling Michael Vick to do the same with deep bombs to Maclin this week.
TE – Heath Miller vs. New York Giants
Miller has been the surprise tight end so far this season as he has already caught 6 touchdown passes in the Steelers first 7 games, including one last week. The Giants defense has allowed the 26th most yards passing in the league, and just let Jason Witten catch a Dallas Cowboys franchise record 18 passes last week. Miller is a great option for depressed owners missing Rob Gronkowski this week.
K – Shayne Graham vs. Buffalo Bills
Graham was not even supposed to be the Texans kicker this year after the club drafted for Texas A&M Aggie Randy Bullock in the 5th round of the 2012 NFL Draft. When Bullock was placed on injured reserve after tearing a groin in the preseason, the Texans signed Graham and the former Bengal has had a Pro Bowl like season as he is 13/14 in field goal attempts and a perfect 25/25 in extra points. Buffalo has allowed the most points in football, and the Texans have scored the second most.
Defense/Special Teams – Detroit Lions
The Lions defense is ranked overall in the top 10 in the NFL, and has 17 sacks in 7 games. Jacksonville has allowed 20 sacks in 7 games and is last in the league in points scored. Jacksonville QB Blaine Gabbert might become well acquainted with Ndamukong Suh and Detroit’s defensive line.
QB – Eli Manning vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers defense is ranked 2nd in the NFL, and has allowed the fewest passing yards. Eli Manning has only passed for over 300 yards three times this season, and it was against three weak pass defenses. The Giants might win this game, but they will not score many points or move the ball much if they do.
RB – Adrian Peterson vs. Seattle Seahawks
I know, I realize asking owners to bench Adrian Peterson is complete lunacy. However, Seattle is stifling against the run and has only allowed 100 yards rushing as a team once in 8 games, and that was at San Francisco on a short week. Owners probably cannot afford to sit Peterson, but you better not expect much production against the Seahawks in Seattle.
WR – Hakeem Nicks vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Nicks has frustrated fantasy owners the entire season as he has had one excellent game through eight weeks. If one throws out the 199 yard outburst Nicks had in Week 2 against Tampa Bay, he has averaged 45 yards receiving per game and scored no touchdowns. I do not see much changing much this week as Nicks opposes a stingy Pittsburgh defense.
TE – Dennis Pitta vs. Cleveland Browns
If one owns Pitta and has not dropped him yet, feel free to drop as soon as possible. Pitta has not caught a touchdown or had more than 33 yards receiving since Week 3. The last time Baltimore played Cleveland Pitta was used primarily as a blocker and did not catch one single pass. There are far better options at tight end this week.
K – Blair Walsh vs. Seattle Seahawks
Seattle only allows 14 points per game at home. If you are a Stephen Gostkowski owner, steer clear of using Walsh this week.
Defense/Special Teams – Dallas Cowboys
Eagles coach Andy Reid had previously been unbeaten when playing teams after a bye week (13-0) before playing the Falcons last Sunday. Reid is normally an astute, strategic genius when given time to prepare for an opponent, but the Falcons made the Eagles look foolish last week by defeating Philly 30-17 at The Link. Atlanta has an outstanding offense capable of moving the ball at will, and Matt Ryan appears to have taken the next step in becoming an elite NFL quarterback. The Falcons have scored the 5th most points in the NFL, and they have had a bye week already. The Dallas offense will need to score a lot of points to win Sunday night.
Follow Dustin Dietz on Twitter @DustinDietz18