Below is our Week 9 Start & Bench Advice for the 2012 fantasy football season.
This start ‘em and sit ‘em advice is not typical, in fact, it’s both bold and unconventional.
Usually we provide weekly projections, but this week, just like last week, we’re going to spice things up and provide something a little different. Weekly Projections will return next week to the Start Bench Advice column.
Let’s get to it!
Who Should I Start? Who Should I Sit?
* Based on a standard non-PPR scoring format
Should I start Cam Newton (@WAS) or Josh Freeman (@OAK) or Ben Roethlisberger (@NYG) ?
All three passers have good match-ups in Week 9, and I realize Josh Freeman is coming off three-straight 3TD performances, but I’m not giving up on my boy Cam Newton. I said go get him last week and he still didn’t produce. I realize that as well. However, he faces the absolute-worst passing defense in the league in Week 9 (Washignton); The Redskins are 32nd against the pass, surrendering 314 passing yards and 2.3TDs per game. Toss in the rushing stats and this will be a big-time game for the rebound-seeking Newt. Again, Freeman faces the 20th-ranked Raiders, and has the most momentum out of all of these QBs… and Ben Roethlisberger faces the 26th-ranked Giants… Still, I start Cam here and I don’t look back. If I’m wrong, I’ll be fine with riding out the Cam Newton wave. It’s sitting him and watching him play the elite football that I know he can produce, that’s what would kill me on Monday morning. Even if you don’t believe in him fully any longer, the match-up is gold. Call me crazy, but I look at his mediocre Week 8 outing as one more chance at being able to buy-low heading into the second-half of the 2012 fantasy football season (especially in dynasty formats). Cam Newton Projections for Week 9: 300 passing yards, 2TDs, 1 INT, 45 rushing yards and 1TD.
Should I start Jonathan Stewart (@WAS) or C.J. Spiller (@HOU)?
C.J. Spiller has a bit tougher match-up, as he faces the 4th-ranked Houston rushing defense… Jonathan Stewart battles it out against the league’s 10th-ranked Redskins. Because of the receiving threat, this is a no-brainer for me. I go Spiller. I think Spiller has the best shot at 100 total yards and a score with these match-ups, and Spiller should pull in 3-5 receptions, which is huge in PPR formats. I like Stewart, he appears to be ready to start football games again, which could be huge for those J-Stew believers out there… but, I want to see him produce before I even CONSIDER benching a C.J. Spiller-type player just because Spiller has a very rough match-up. By the way, I would go try and get Spiller on the cheap (prior to this week) if at all possible. He still comes with some risk given his RBBC-like situation, but at his current value, which is nowhere near fantasy RB1-type value, Spiller has HUGE upside! C.J. Spiller Projections for Week 9: 75 rushing yards, 1TD, 4 receptions for 48 yards.
Should I start Randall Cobb (vs. AZ) or Titus Young (JAC) or Vincent Jackson (@OAK) ?
Randall Cobb is going up against the league’s 4th-best passing defense in the Cardinals, Titus Young the 23rd-ranked passing defense in the Jaguars, and Vincent Jackson faces the 20th-ranked passing defense in the Raiders. All three of these guys are capable of outscoring the other during any given week, but this isn’t close in the end… V-Jax gets the nod, as he has fantasy WR1/2 upside during any given week. Cobb is starting to look like a fantasy WR2, and so is Young, but V-Jax is still a tier above those guys if you ask me. Vincent Jackson Projections for Week 9: 5 receptions, 90 yards and 1TD.
Should I start Michael Turner (vs. DAL) or Alfred Morris (vs. CAR) or Chris Johnson (vs. CHI)?
This one isn’t even close. I think Chris Johnson has some hope of continuing his solid play, although, he faces the No. 1 rushing defense in the league in Week 9. As for Michael Turner, he is losing touches and looks slower than ever. Forget about Turner with these types of options sitting in front of you. Alfred Morris faces the 20th-ranked rushing defense through Week 8 – Morris should have a borderline fantasy RB1-type day in Week 9! Projections for Week 9: 110 rushing yards, 1TD, 4 receptions for 35 yards.
X’s Week 9 Start/Bench Thoughts
Carson Palmer has been quietly steady over the last three weeks after coming off a bye, averaging 286 passing yards and throwing a total of four touchdowns. This week he draws Tampa Bay at home, a team giving up over 300 yards per game through the air, which ranks 31st in the NFL. If you are a Brady owner looking for a one-week pickup, Palmer isn’t a bad option. I’ll go out on a limb and give Palmer 320 passing yards and three scores in week 9.
There is trouble brewing in Philadelphia, and we could see the Eagles decide to make a change at quarterback and bench Michael Vick. What does this have to do with a running back start you say? Just this: regardless of what the Eagles decide to do at QB, we are going to see a heavy dose of LeSean McCoy this week against the New Orleans Saints. And why not? They are giving up over 170 yards per game on the ground, and we saw a dominating performance from Willis McGahee on Sunday night in a Broncos rout against this squad. If McGahee can pile up 155 total yards and score, then McCoy should be able to double that with his talent; and I think he will. 300 total yards and pair of scores… book it.
Calvin Johnson has disappeared for fantasy owners over the last few weeks, and it looks to be at the expense of Titus Young. OK, that may be a little overstated, but the Lions have been looking for someone to play opposite Megatron and be effective at it for some time. Nate Burleson was that guy, but broke his leg last week during their game against the Bears and in came Titus Young to the rescue. Since then, Mr. Young has 15 catches, 181 yards and 2 touchdowns. Amazing what happens when Calvin is drawing the entire defense his way. Young will continue to benefit and it will be more of the same this week against the Jaguars as he’ll go over 100 yards receiving with another score.
Take a wild stab at who the most targeted tight end in the league is. Rob Gronkowski? Nope. Tony Gonzalez? Nope. Jimmy Graham? Nope. Try Jason Witten of the Cowboys, who has 70 total targets, including 22 last week in a loss to the Giants. Witten hasn’t had less than 6 catches in the last four games and two of those games saw him with double digit receptions. I figure he will make it two games in a row with double digit targets and catches and he’ll find his way into the end zone for a score. The Cowboys are in desperation mode and I smell an upset against the undefeated Falcons.
Trade target of the week
Over the summer, it was a little surprising to see how high Cam Newton was being ranked… top 3 for most, a few giving him the nod even higher. That translated to Newton being a first round pick in most leagues, second round at worst, and now here we sit at week 8 with Newton ranked outside the top 15 at the position. He is unquestionably one of the biggest disappointments of the 2012 season, and many of his owners are likely ready to sell low; which makes it a perfect opportunity to add Newton if the price is right and you don’t already own a stud QB. A good place to start is a second-tier QB like Josh Freeman or Carson Palmer, plus a solid WR3/RB3 type player. It really all depends on the other owner’s situation and if you have the depth to go after Newton in a trade. My point here is that this game is all about landing the right player at the right time. Newton has proven he can put up monster numbers on par with the best fantasy players in the game, so if he can recapture that magic again, he’ll carry your fantasy team deep into the playoffs… mabye even a title. You just have to figure out a way to get him on the cheap.
Week 9 Byes
Byes: Patriots, Jets, 49ers, Rams
Looking For Week 9-Only Rankings?
View these Weekly Line-Up Rankings here (week 9 only, and we have both PPR and Non-PPR).
Note: These rankings could be updated as early as Tuesday afternoons, but could be ready as late as Wednesday evenings at 6pm EST. These Weekly Rankings are maintained by Mile_High_Man.
Comment Below! Get Some Week 9 Advice!
NOTE: JRMRRT, Whos_Ur_Doggie, bddavidson and Mile_High_Man will be the contributors/moderators answering the comments below, as most all of my (Smitty) Week 9 thoughts can be found above in the projections listed… these fine folks will provide some much-needed and highly-recommended variation to all of your weekly line-up dilemmas.