Punch Drunk Wonderland

Week 9 Start ‘Em/Sit ‘Em

Raiders QB, Terrelle PryorHere’s a look at a few players to start and sit at each position going into Week 9. Who has the ideal matchups and who has the not-so-much ones?  We’re in the fantasy league homestretch, so it’s time to scrutinize those matchups. Good luck this week!


START ‘EM:  Tony Romo (Cowboys vs.Vikings)

Romo has been a hot fantasy QB in 2013, and he has a great matchup going into Week 9. The Cowboys will be facing a Vikings defense that is giving up the 4th most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks, and in the last four weeks they’ve surrendered the second most points. Romo is a great play this week.

START ‘EM: Terrelle Pryor (Raiders vs. Eagles)

Pryor has been an interesting fantasy option in 2013. While he’s often struggled, he’s shown that he can break huge plays with his feet.  Fantasy owners certainly like the 93 yard run for a touchdown at the beginning of last week’s game. They didn’t, however, like the 10 of 19 for 88 yards and 2 interceptions in the passing game. He’s a volatile play to say the least. All of that said, we’ve seen time and time again that QBs that can pile on rushing numbers are good for fantasy production regardless of how the actual football game plays out. Pryor and the Raiders will be facing an Eagles defense that is giving up 18.0 points per game to opposing QBs. Pryor remains a decent fantasy option and he can be a nightmare for defenses.  He could have another big fantasy week in Week 9.

SIT ‘EM: Tom Brady (Patriots vs. Steelers)

I’m not saying he’s on a decline, but Brady is certainly struggling to be “Tom Terrific” with the current cast of characters in New England this year. In many ways he’s the opposite of Terrelle Pryor. Winning actual football games doesn’t mean much to fantasy owners. We need numbers that translate. Over the last four weeks 28 quarterbacks have outscored Brady in terms of fantasy production. No joke. So, maybe it’s time to reconsidering him as an every week start. The matchup isn’t good in Week 9 as he’ll be facing a Steelers defense that is giving up the 4th fewest fantasy points to opposing QBs.

Running Backs

START ‘EM: DeMarco Murray (Cowboys vs. Vikings)

Murray should be returning to the field this week for Dallas, and just in time for a good matchup with the Vikings. Minnesota is giving up an average of 21.9 fantasy points per game to opposing running backs. That’s second most in the league. Murray should come back with a bang in Week 9.

START ‘EM: Trent Richardson (Colts at Texans)

There was a great deal of fanfare surrounding Richardson before the season started, and the fanfare started again when the surprise trade happened sending him to Indianapolis. Unfortunately, that fanfare hasn’t translated into much production fantasy-wise. Analysis by PFF’s Sam Monson shows that he’s been making the plays (2nd most forced missed tackles in the league behind Marshawn Lynch), but his line hasn’t been giving him any help. Look for that to change coming off the bye. Richardson and the Colts will be facing a Texans defense that’s giving up an average of 15.4 points to running backs.  All eyes will be on what the Colts receivers do in the absence of Reggie Wayne, but keep an eye out for an emergence of Richardson.

SIT ‘EM: Lamar Miller (Dolphins vs. Bengals)

Miller has been a frustration in 2013. Many notable “experts” were high on him coming into the season, and his production and carries have been slowly decreasing as the season has gone on. By Week 7 it looked like a true time share was happening between him and Daniel Thomas, with Thomas looking like the better option at times. That said, he had his best performance in weeks in Week 8. I’m not buying into him at this point, and the Dolphins face a tough Cincinnati defense in Week 9. The Bengals are giving up the 6th fewest fantasy points to RBs this season, and they have been particularly stingy in recent weeks.

Wide Receivers

START ‘EM: Keenan Allen (Chargers at Redskins)

Is he the real deal or another San Diego flash in the pan at receiver? Allen has seen 25 targets in his last 3 games before the bye and with those 25 targets he’s had 18 receptions for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns. That’s good production. Assuming he’s still the go to receiver for the Philip Rivers, he has an excellent matchup in Week 9. Allen will be facing a Redskins defense that is giving up the 3rd most fantasy points to wide receivers.

START ‘EM: Denarius Moore (Raiders vs. Eagles)

Moore has an excellent matchup going into Week 9 as Oakland will be facing an Eagles defense that is giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. He has scored double digit fantasy points in all but two games he’s played in so far this season, and this could be another solid week.

SIT ‘EM: Torrey Smith (Ravens at Browns)

Smith has a rough matchup going into Week 9 against the Browns. He’s going to have cornerback Joe Haden on him all day, and that could spell trouble for his production. Haden has been shutting down the receivers he’s been covering for most of the season. Tread lightly with your expectations of Smith in Week 9.

Tight Ends

START ‘EM: Martellus Bennett (Bears at Packers)

Despite missing his primary quarterback, Marty B. has a nice matchup going into Week 9. The Bears will be facing a Green Bay defense that is giving up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing tight ends. He should be a good start this week.

SIT ‘EM: Heath Miller (Steelers at Patriots)

The Steelers offense has struggled all season, and Miller hasn’t been putting up the kind of consistent numbers we’ve come to expect from him. Going into Week 9 he isn’t likely to bounce back as he’ll be facing a New England defense that is giving up the 2nd fewest fantasy points to tight ends. Steer clear of the Pittsburgh TE.

Defense/Special Teams

START ‘EM: Cowboys D/ST vs. Vikings

The Cowboys defensive unit has been deceptive in terms of fantasy this season. They’ve given up a ridiculous amount of points (facing the likes of Peyton Manning and Calvin Johnson can do that to you this season), but they have also forced the most takeaways in the league. They’ll be facing a Vikings team that is among the league’s worst in terms of giveaway/takeaway differential. This could be a good week for the Cowboys D/ST.

START ‘EM: Colts D/ST at Texans

I know you find it hard to believe, but the Colts have been a very nice fantasy defense in 2013. They’re currently the 9th ranked D/ST in terms of fantasy points scored this season. The Texans have given up the 3rd most points to opposing defenses, and they are working with a rookie QB. It’s a nice matchup for the Indianapolis D/ST.

SIT ‘EM: Texans D/ST vs Colts

The Houston defense is suffering through numerous injuries at this point in the season. Add that to the fact that their defense is in the bottom part of the league in terms of fantasy production and have forced the fewest takeaways in the league, and you have a bad scenario for the Texans against a tough Colts offense.


K. Smelser About K. Smelser
Kelly Smelser is Owner/Senior Writer for Punch Drunk Wonderland and PDFantasy Sports. Architect of the PDW fantasy football world and general spinster of NFL and Fantasy Football news and analysis. Long walks on the beach, sunsets, and other such niceties are also fine...