[dropcap]T[/dropcap]o sit or not to sit. That age-old question has been asked for centuries, whether it’s going to the bathroom, visiting a friend’s house, or setting your fantasy lineup. This weekly column tries to help you decide who to sit each week by naming some players you should start. Naming the obvious starts is usually frowned upon and is to be avoided to a certain extent, although sometimes it becomes necessary. So, without further ado, the following cleat-wearing men are a few players I would advise starting in Week 9.
Teams with a bye week in Week 9 include: Denver, Detroit, San Francisco, New York Giants, Arizona and Jacksonville.
Note: scoring is PPR-based via FFToday.
Philip Rivers @ Washington
He’s been one of the top fantasy quarterbacks in 2013 and should continue that trend against Washington. The Redskins allow 25.3 fantasy points per game (FPPG) to quarterbacks, fourth worst in the league. With weapons like Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Vincent Brown and Danny Woodhead, Rivers should have plenty of success on Sunday. With guys like Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Colin Kaepernick on their bye weeks, Philip Rivers is a Top 5 quarterback play.
Cam Newton vs. Atlanta
Superman has returned. Despite a sluggish start, Cam Newton is now a Top 10 quarterback even with just seven games played. So far in 2013, the Falcons are one of the 10 worst fantasy pass defenses. Newton remains a Top 10 fantasy quarterback in Week 9 as Atlanta surrenders 23.7 FPPG to quarterbacks. Start the dual-threat, third-year quarterback comfortably on Sunday.
Terrelle Pryor vs. Philadelphia
Speaking of dual-threat quarterbacks, Terrelle Pryor could be another Top 10 quarterback option in Week 9. Coming off a record-breaking 93 yard touchdown run against the Steelers last week, Pryor now faces a Philadelphia defense letting quarterbacks score an average of 24 FPPG. This rich man’s Vince Young should run and throw all over the Eagles on Sunday by the bay.
DeMarco Murray vs. Minnesota
Expected to return from injury, DeMarco Murray has a tasty match-up this week against the Vikings. In fact, Murray has the best match-up of any running back in Week 9. Against running backs, Minnesota allows a league-worst 31.6 FPPG. This is the type of game where one (me) might expect the Cowboys to pull ahead and run the ball late, ideally giving Murray owners some nice garbage time numbers.
Chris Johnson @ St. Louis
While he has agreeably been a disappointment thus far in the 2013 fantasy season, Chris Johnson does have a favorable schedule coming up and it starts this week against the Rams. “But Zach, Marshawn Lynch did next to nothing against the Rams, you jamook!” True, but that was a blip on the 2013 fantasy radar for both Lynch and the Rams’ rush defense. Through the first eight weeks of the season St. Louis is allowing 24.6 FPPG to the running back position. The 868 rushing yards St. Louis has given up are third most in the NFL. Their seven rushing touchdowns allowed are tied for fourth worst in the league. I don’t know if I’ve said this yet this year, but Chris Johnson is a Top 10 PPR running back this week.
Zac Stacy vs. Tennessee
Obviously this is assuming Stacy will be good to go on Sunday, which he should be after avoiding a high ankle sprain on Monday night against the Seahawks. Stacy may quickly be turning into one of the NFL’s best young running backs right before our eyes. Through five games, Stacy is averaging more FPPG than C.J. Spiller, Lamar Miller, Maurice Jones-Drew, Trent Richardson, Ryan Mathews and Bilal Powell, to name a few. Coming off a 136-yard performance against Seattle, Stacy faces a Titans defense giving up 25.9 FPPG to running backs. Again, assuming he’s healthy, start Zac Stacy in your lineups this week.
Terrance Williams vs. Minnesota
Terrance Williams is turning into the 2013 version of 2011 Laurent Robinson. He has seemingly come out of nowhere to become not only a viable No. 2 receiver for the Cowboys, but a viable No. 2 receiver for fantasy squads as well. He’s scored a touchdown in a ridiculous four straight games.
This week the Terrance Williams traveling circus goes back home to play the Vikings, who allow 26.7 FPPG to wide receivers. With all the big-name wide receivers on bye this week, Williams could produce Top 10-15 positional numbers.
Denarius Moore vs. Philadelphia
One of the bright, budding receivers in the NFL is Denarius Moore. Although, he didn’t really show much last week. Nevertheless, Moore has done very well with Terrelle Pryor at quarterback and should continue that success against the Eagles in Week 9. The 32.1 FPPG Philadelphia gives up to wide receivers is second most to the Bills.
What should also excite Moore owners is that he has scored in four of the seven games the Raiders have played in 2013. I have Moore ranked as a Top 15 wide receiver this week.
Kendall Wright @ St. Louis
Kendall Wright was one of my favorite sleepers heading into the 2013 season and has satisfied thus far. He leads the Titans in targets (58) and catches (40) and is just six yards behind Nate Washington in receiving yards (433).
Meanwhile, the St. Louis Rams’ defense has allowed 11 receiving touchdowns through eight games in 2013, adding to their 24.8 FPPG to wide receivers. Don’t be surprised to see Wright put up Top 20 WR numbers in PPR leagues this week.
Martellus Bennett @ Green Bay
All Martellus Bennett does is score touchdowns, even when he catches one pass in a game, which is what he did two weeks ago. I expect a lot more from Bennett against Green Bay as the Packers are the fifth worst fantasy defense against tight ends this season, allowing 11.4 FPPG to the position.
Kyle Rudolph @ Dallas
While Kyle Rudolph has been relatively quiet in 2013, he’s still the Vikings’ safety blanket and their safest receiving option, no matter who the quarterback is. Helping Rudolph’s cause is the fact that the Cowboys have allowed 10.1 FPPG to tight ends, fifth worst in the NFL.
Saints @ N.Y. Jets
The New Orleans Saints have had one of the biggest defensive turnarounds in football this season. While they still don’t force a lot of turnovers, the Jets do turn the ball over a lot. New York is third in the NFL in interceptions (13) and has allowed four defensive touchdowns. The Saints are a sneaky start this week in the Meadowlands.
Titans @ St. Louis
Tennessee is seventh in fantasy defense in 2013. We saw how rushed Kellen Clemens looked on Monday night against the Seahawks. Zac Stacy is the only Ram I’d start against the Titans this week. The rest of the Rams’ offense should give the Titans a nice Week 9 outing.
Click here to see all the Week 9 rankings and premium content from Gridiron Experts.