Week 9 Start'em Sit'em Decisions

Quarterbacks

Must Plays: Aaron Rodgers, Cam Newton, Tony Romo, Andrew Luck, Robert Griffin III

Start'em 

Philip Rivers (SD) @ WAS--Fresh off a bye-week, Rivers and the Chargers will make a trip cross country to take on the Washington Redskins, who have allowed the fifth most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks. This game is going to be high scoring, with  sub-par defenses on both sides, so Rivers should be is for a huge game through the air. 

Terrelle Pryor (OAK) vs. PHI--Using both his arm and legs Pryor has become a solid fantasy option when the matchup is right. This week the Philadelphia Eagles will be coming to town, allowing double-digit fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks in all but one game this season. So if you are a Matthew Stafford or Peyton Manning owner, Pryor is a sold plug-in while you suffer from the bye-week blues. 

Sit'em 

Tom Brady (NE) vs. PIT--Once a member of the "must-play" list, Brady has fallen far from grace after a mediocre start to the 2013 season. Brady will be matched up against a Steelers defense that has allowed the fourth fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, with only five passing touchdowns scored on them all season. Stay away if you can. 

Joe Flacco (BAL) @ CLE--For the second time this season the Ravens will be taking on the Browns on Sunday, and the first time around was a game to forget for Flacco. In Week 2, Flacco finished with only 211 yards and a touchdown, totaling 12 fantasy points, and I don't see that changing much this week. With his top target locked down by Joe Haden, Flacco is in store for a long, frustrating day.

Running Backs

Must Plays: Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, Marshawn Lynch, Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy, Arian Foster, Alfred Morris

Start'em

Eddie Lacy (GB) vs. CHI--The Green Bay Packers have been on a role as of late, and a lot of that success have to be credited to their running back. Lacy has been on a tear the last few weeks, having rushed for at least 82 yards in four straight games. This week he is matched up against a Bears defense that has allowed 24 or more fantasy points to opposing running backs in standard leagues four straight weeks. Fantasy owners should expect another great performance from Lacy this week. 

Darren McFadden (OAK) vs. PHI--Although the Eagles have been solid against the run this season, the versatility of McFadden makes him a solid play, when healthy, almost every week. Against players similar to McFadden, the Eagles have struggled, allowing 39 receptions to opposing running backs while allowing a rushing touchdown in five of eight games. So despite not being a great matchup, there is enough here to make him a solid play this week. 

Ryan Mathews (SD) @ WAS--Mathews will be looking to extend his 100-yard rushing streak to three straight games Sunday when the Chargers travel cross country to take on the Redskins. Having allowed the most fantasy points per game to opposing running backs, the Redskins defense has been a group to exploit all season long, so things will be looking good for Mathews once again this week. Did I mention, the Redskins have allowed six rushing touchdowns over the last three games? How could I forget that!

Sit'em

Steven Jackson (ATL) @ CAR--After failing to get the ball rolling against the Cardinals in Week 9, Jackson will now have to face off against a Panthers defense that has allowed only one 100-yard rusher this season. Missing both Julio Jones and Roddy White means the Falcons will need to rely more on Jackson and the running game, but this week's matchup is not favorable in the least. Avoid if you can.

Trent Richardson (IND) @ HOU--A trade to a contender usually means an increase in fantasy production. That is not the case for Richardson. Since joining the Colts, Richardson has scored double-digit fantasy points one time in five games, making him a major disappointment thus far. This week's matchup is slightly favorable, but until he proves he picks up his production it would be wise to keep him benched. 

Fred Jackson (BUF) vs. KC--Not only has the Chiefs defense been a nightmare for opposing quarterbacks, but for running backs as well. Through eight games the Chiefs have allowed double-digit fantasy points three times to opposing running backs, while allowing only one 100-yard rusher. Jackson has been a big surprise so far in 2013, but in this particular matchup, he is likely going to struggle.  

Wide Receivers

Must Plays: A.J. Green, Dez Bryant, Brandon Marshall, DeSean Jackson, Vincent Jackson, Jordy Nelson

Start'em 

Keenan Allen (SD) @ WAS--The Chargers offense has taken major strides forward in 2013, and players like Allen have played major roles in the transformation. This week Allen is matched up against the Redskins, who have allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, with only one game of less than 16 fantasy points allowed in standard leagues. With a lot of top options on bye-weeks, Allen may end up being the top scorer at his position this week. 

Steve Smith (CAR) vs. ATL--Although Smith's season is nothing to brag about, his Week 9 matchup is something fantasy owners could look forward to. The Falcons have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers, with four touchdowns allowed over their last two games. Expect Smith to add to that total this week at least once. 

Josh Gordon (CLE) vs. BAL--The Browns may be on their third quarterback of the year, but that doesn't mean Gordon can't continue to be a rising star in fantasy football. Gordon has been one of the most consistent fantasy scorers since his return in Week 3, and should be able to exploit a somewhat vulnerable Ravens secondary. So get him into starting lineups if possible and you won't be disappointed. 

Sit'em

Torrey Smith (BAL) @ CLE--Some fantasy writers wold consider Smith a must-play at this point in the season; not me. This week Smith is matched up against Joe Haden, who has been a nightmare to opposing team's No. 1 wide receivers all season. I know it is hard to remove a player of his caliber from starting lineups, but this week it would be wise. 

Marques Colston (NO) @ NYJ--Where did you go? You have scored three fantasy points over the last three weeks combined while hitting double-digits only once the entire season. Please come back soon. We need you!

Stevie Johnson (BUF) vs. KC--Although the Chiefs defense has allowed a receiving touchdown to opposing wide receivers in all but two games this season, Johnson's lack of consistency is not worth gambling on. Having scored double-digit fantasy points once in four games, he is long shot to be fantasy relevant once again this week.  

Tight Ends

Must Plays: Jordan Cameron, Rob Gronkowski, Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates, Jordan Reed

Start'em

Martellus Bennett (CHI) @ GB--Bennett has failed to score more than nine fantasy points over his last five games, but this week's matchup may be the most favorable he has had since Week 2. The Packers defense is allowing the third-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, having allowed doubled-digit fantasy scorers in three of their last four games. This is the type of matchup that should get Bennett back on track for the stretch run. 

Jason Witten (DAL) vs. MIN--To say Witten is under-performing may be an understatement, as the Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams continue to emerge as the team's tope receiving options. With that said Witten's fantasy value has taken a significant hit over the last few weeks. However, that should change this week against the Vikings, who can't stop opposing tight ends outside of their friendly home confides. 

Sit'em

Scott Chandler (BUF) vs. KC--I feel like I am beating a dead horse when discussing just how bad of a matchup the Bills have going up against the Chiefs, but hopefully by now everyone understands. The Chiefs have allowed the fewest fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends, having yet to allow double-digit fantasy points. Chandler was a nice story last week, but that will quickly be forgotten after this terrible matchup. 

Heath Miller (PIT) @ NE--The Patriots defense has taken their lumps through eight games, having lost many key players along the way, but against the tight end, they continue to get the job done. If you take away a two touchdown performance from Tony Gonzalez back in Week 4, the Patriots have allowed sox fantasy points or less in seven games. Miller is not Gonzalez, so don't think he will reverse the trend. 

Defense/Special Teams

Must Plays:  Cleveland Browns, Cincinnati Bengals, Kansas City Chiefs, Seattle Seahawks

Start'em

New Orleans Saints Defense/Special Teams @ NYJ--Not only is the Saints offense one of the best groups in the league, but it is their defense that has continued to shine through the first half of the season. This week they are matched up against the Jets, who have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing defenses, including five games of double-digit scoring. 

Sit'em 

Chicago Bears Defense/Special Teams @ GB--The Bears have many issues on the defensive side of the ball, and the Packers are going to take advantage of their situation in this key divisional matchup. Not only can opposing teams run on the Bears, but they have allowed a great deal of production through the air as well. They will return to being a top defense eventually, but this week is a matchup to avoid. 

Be sure to join our team of experts live in Rotoinfo.com's new chat room before setting your lineup every Sunday as we answer all your last minute start/sit decisions. Live from 10 a.m. to kickoff Sunday morning.

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Matthew Beck is a Fantasy Sports Columnist for Rotoinfo.com. If you have any questions or comments feel free to e-mail him at matthewbeck@rotoinfo.com.  Also follow him on Twitter @MatthewRBeck for up-to-date Q&A and fantasy information.  And, to make setting your Fantasy Football lineup easy, be sure to utilize RotoInfo.com’s new NFL Lineup Grids.




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About Matthew Beck

Accomplished chef, journalist and dedicated fantasy sports player. When Matt's not in the kitchen, he's preparing the recipe for fantasy sports success. He is...The Fantasy Chef. 

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