We’re onto Week 9 after a very average week for me in Start/Sit and game predictions. Staying above .500 is the goal moving forward, but games will likely get easier to pick while Start/Sit becomes more difficult.

Click here for this week’s NFL power rankings.

For this week’s entertainment, I picked my midseason All-NFL team:


QB Tom Brady, New England Patriots
RB Todd Gurley, St. Louis Rams
RB Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
WR DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
WR Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
TE Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
LT Tyron Smith, Dallas Cowboys
LG Richie Incognito, Buffalo Bills
C Ryan Kalil, Carolina Panthers
RG Marshal Yanda, Baltimore Ravens
RT Sebastian Vollmer, New England Patriots


DE J.J. Watt, Houston Texans
DT Aaron Donald, St. Louis Rams
DE Chandler Jones, New England Patriots
LB Thomas Davis, Carolina Panthers
LB Clay Matthews, Green Bay Packers
LB D’Qwell Jackson, Indianapolis Colts
LB Khalil Mack, Oakland Raiders
CB Josh Norman, Carolina Panthers
S Tyrann Mathieu, Arizona Cardinals
S Devin McCourty, New England Patriots
CB Aqib Talib, Denver Broncos

Special Teams

K Stephen Gostkowski, New England Patriots
P Pat McAfee, Indianapolis Colts
KR Dwayne Harris, New York Giants
PR Darren Sproles, Philadelphia Eagles
ST Justin Bethel, Arizona Cardinals

Reflection on Week 8

Per usual, I will be evaluating my picks from the previous week utilizing completions (good advice), interceptions (wrong advice), and incompletions (irrelevant advice).

Week 1: 16-15-5
Week 2: 11-16-9
Week 3: 13-14-9
Week 4: 19-13-4
Week 5: 19-10-7
Week 6: 17-13-6
Week 7: 18-13-5
Week 8: 14-14-8

Total: 127-108-53

Completions Interceptions Incompletions
Philip Rivers (START) Derek Carr (SIT) Ryan Fitzpatrick (START) – INJURED
Andy Dalton (BUST) Jameis Winston (SIT) Peyton Manning (SLEEPER)
Alfred Blue (SIT) Justin Forsett (START) Jarvis Landry (START)
Giovani Bernard (BUST) Chris Johnson (START) Steve Smith, Sr. (START) – INJURED
Davante Adams (SIT) Dexter McCluster (SLEEPER) Ted Ginn, Jr. (SLEEPER)
Donte Moncrief (BUST) Latavius Murray (SIT) Anquan Boldin (SIT) – INJURED
Jordan Cameron (SIT) Tyler Eifert (START) Larry Donnell (SLEEPER) – INJURED
Dwayne Allen (SIT) Jason Witten (START) Vikings D/ST (START)
Nick Folk (START) Gary Barnidge (BUST)
Cairo Santos (START) Dan Bailey (SIT)
Justin Tucker (SLEEPER) Mike Nugent (BUST)
Andrew Franks (SIT) Falcons D/ST (START)
Texans D/ST (SLEEPER) Bengals D/ST (SIT)
Giants D/ST (SIT) Broncos D/ST (BUST)

Week 9 Start/Sit

Note: All fantasy point references come from ESPN Standard leagues.

Click here for this week’s fantasy football rankings.



Peyton Manning, Denver Broncos (@ Indianapolis Colts)

Manning finally looked comfortable last week against the Packers, throwing for over 300 yards. The touchdowns have not come yet, but Manning should be able to throw a few and be productive against a team coming off a short week with an already weak pass rush. The Colts have given up at least 15 points to opposing quarterbacks in all but one game.

Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo Bills (vs. Miami Dolphins)

Taylor, who hasn’t played for a few weeks, is as healthy as he’s been all season, according to Bills coach Rex Ryan. He will also be getting several weapons back in Sammy Watkins, LeSean McCoy (didn’t have him for a stretch), and Karlos Williams. Not to mention, last time out against Miami, Taylor had 24 points.

Sleeper: Jay Cutler, Chicago Bears (@ San Diego Chargers)

Cutler has looked sharp since returning to injury, and he’ll face off against a Chargers’ pass defense that has struggled as of late. In Alshon Jeffery, despite the loss of Matt Forte for a few weeks, Cutler finally has one of the NFL’s top offensive weapons back, and that should continue Monday night in San Diego.


Teddy Bridgewater, Minnesota Vikings (vs. St. Louis Rams)

The Rams have given up the second least fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks. Bridgewater ranks near the bottom in starting quarterbacks in fantasy points to begin with, so I wouldn’t roll the dice on him this week.

Sam Bradford, Philadelphia Eagles (@ Dallas Cowboys)

In Week 2 at home against the Cowboys, Bradford only had six fantasy points, throwing two interceptions in a loss. The Cowboys played great defense last week against the Seahawks, and I think Bradford struggles again Sunday night.

Bust Alert: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ New York Jets)

The Jets have been scorched by Tom Brady and Derek Carr in back-to-back weeks, but I think they get it together at home against the Jaguars. Bortles was below average against the Bills in London, and the Jaguars will struggle to get the offense going this week.

Running Backs


Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati Bengals (vs. Cleveland Browns)

The Browns have been terrorized by opposing running backs, ranking second last in fantasy run defense. Justin Forsett, Ronnie Hillman, Todd Gurley, and Chris Johnson have all run for over 100 yards in the past four weeks against Cleveland. Look for both Hill (touchdowns) and Bernard (all-purpose yards) to run over the Browns Thursday night.

Ronnie Hillman, Denver Broncos (@ Indianapolis Colts)

It’s no secret the Colts struggle against the run; just ask LeGarrette Blount. Hillman, who has taken on the starters’ role in recent weeks, should be able to build off his two-touchdown performance last week against the sixth-worst run fantasy defense against running backs.

Sleeper: Jeremy Langford, Chicago Bears (@ San Diego Chargers)

Hardly a sleeper, but Langford will replace the injured Matt Forte Monday night against the worst fantasy run defense in the NFL. Langford should get at least 20 carries, and I would expect him to find the end zone.


Frank Gore, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Denver Broncos)

Gore hasn’t had a big week in a while, and it probably won’t come against the Broncos’ stout run defense. The Colts will likely have to throw the ball a lot on Sunday afternoon, and that will impact Gore just as much as the team he’s up against.

Alfred Morris and Matt Jones, Washington Redskins (@ New England Patriots)

The Redskins are going to have to throw the ball a lot against the Patriots, and the backfield situation is very unclear. Jones got the majority of the snaps before the bye week, but head coach Jay Gruden has affirmed that Morris is still the starter. Throw in Chris Thompson coming back from injury, and you should stay away from this backfield until we figure out who is actually getting the carries. Oh, and the Patriots haven’t surrendered an 100+ yard rusher since Week 2.

Bust Alert: T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ New York Jets)

The Jets may have gotten beat badly by the Raiders (including running back Latavius Murray) last week, but they should rebound this week at home. Yeldon has looked good, however, so he may be worth rolling the dice. This is just a warning that he may not deliver you his projected amount.

Wide Receivers


Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers (@ Carolina Panthers)

Cobb has not done anything in recent weeks, but I think this is the week Aaron Rodgers finally gets him going. Panthers outstanding cornerback Josh Norman will not line up int he slot against Cobb, so you won’t have that worry about. Cobb will likely face Bene Benwikere instead, who’s the Panthers slot corner. We may also see Cobb in the backfield to give the Panthers strong defense some different looks.

Mike Evans, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. New York Giants)

The Giants’ corners are banged up and they come off a week in which they gave up 57 points to the Saints’ wide receivers. Evans should see more targets this week, even if Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins return for the Bucs.

Sleeper: Malcom Floyd, San Diego Chargers (vs. Chicago Bears)

Keenan Allen is out for the season, and you know that Philip Rivers is going to look at his familiar faces: Floyd and Antonio Gates. Floyd comes off a two-touchdown week, facing the weak Bears defense, which is the sixth worst team against opposing wide receivers.


Allen Hurns, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ New York Jets)

Hurns has scored a touchdown in five straight games, but I think his streak ends this week against the tough Jets defense. Allen Robinson is still the #1 option for the Jaguars and will draw Darrelle Revis, but I’m not sure Hurns will be the direct beneficiary; it will probably be Julius Thomas.

James Jones, Green Bay Packers (@ Carolina Panthers)

I talked above about Randall Cobb and Josh Norman, and I think Jones is the guy Norman covers along with Davante Adams. Jones was very quiet last week against Denver, and he’s basically a touchdown boom-or-bust player at this point. The Panthers do not give up a lot of big plays, so I wouldn’t start Jones this week.

Bust Alert: T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Denver Broncos)

Chris Harris, Jr. will draw Hilton on Sunday, and Hilton has struggled in matchups against the league’s top corners. Josh Norman shut down Hilton last week, and Hilton hasn’t been overly consistent. I’m benching Hilton this week in favor of Brandon Marshall, Mike Evans, and Martavis Bryant.

Tight Ends 


Julius Thomas, Jacksonville Jaguars (@ New York Jets)

As I talked about in the blurb about Allen Hurns, I see Blake Bortles finding Thomas a lot this week. Even though the Jets have strong numbers against tight ends, Thomas is an outlier.

Charles Clay, Buffalo Bills (vs. Miami Dolphins)

Clay is a favorite target of returning quarterback Tyrod Taylor, and he’ll have some extra motivation against his former team.

Sleeper: Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (vs. New York Giants)

If ASJ can play, he should play well against the second worst fantasy defense against tight ends.


Jordan Cameron, Miami Dolphins (@ Buffalo Bills)

Cameron has been a complete bust at tight end, and he barely did anything Week 2 against the solid Bills defense.

Richard Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (@ Carolina Panthers)

The other Rodgers may be losing some snaps to Justin Perillo against the excellent Panthers linebacking core and company.

Bust Alert: Vernon Davis, Denver Broncos (@ Indianapolis Colts)

Davis will come into a much better situation in Denver, but don’t expect him to be quite up to speed yet in a tough offensive scheme.



Dan Bailey, Dallas Cowboys (vs. Philadelphia Eagles)

Bailey showed again this past week why he’s one of the league’s best kickers, as the Cowboys continued to show the inability to finish off drives.

Robbie Gould, Chicago Bears (@ San Diego Chargers)

Gould has been very consistent this season, and he should continue in a high-scoring affair.

Sleeper: Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh Steelers (vs. Oakland Raiders)

Boswell is perfect on the season on his field goals, and the Steelers should score some points this week.


Phil Dawson, San Francisco 49ers (vs. Atlanta Falcons)

I don’t see Blaine Gabbert leading the 49ers to many points.

Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis Colts (vs. Denver Broncos)

If you haven’t heard, the Broncos don’t give up a lot of points.

Bust Alert: Kai Forbath, New Orleans Saints (vs. Tennessee Titans)

The Titans have surprisingly given up the least amount of points to opposing kickers.

Defenses/Special Teams


New York Jets D/ST vs. Jacksonville Jaguars

Turnovers are coming your way, Jacksonville.

Buffalo Bills D/ST vs. Miami Dolphins

This will be a physical game that should result in sacks and turnovers for the Bills defense.

Sleeper: Atlanta Falcons D/ST @ San Francisco 49ers

Again, Blaine Gabbert…


Carolina Panthers D/ST vs. Green Bay Packers

Watch out, Panthers. Aaron Rodgers will be coming in motivated this week to beat this undefeated team.

Cleveland Browns D/ST @ Cincinnati Bengals

Andy Dalton and company should dominate this game.

Bust Alert: New York Giants D/ST @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers

I like the Bucs at home this week, which means I don’t like the average Giants defense without key secondary members.

Week 9 Thoughts and Predictions

Week 1: 10-6
Week 2: 7-9
Week 3: 10-6
Week 4: 8-7
Week 5: 7-7
Week 6: 10-4
Week 7: 9-5
Week 8: 8-6

Overall: 69-50

Week 9 Thoughts

  • The result of Packers vs. Panthers will have a significant impact on the NFC playoff picture. Remember this game.
  • DeAngelo Williams may be a step down from Le’Veon Bell, but what a signing by the Steelers this offseason.
  • The Todd Gurley vs. Adrian Peterson debate needs to stop, but Gurley is the real deal.
  • The Patriots are a special team this season, and the matchup looming with the Broncos at the end of the month is going to be some kind of battle.
  • Will Drew Brees throw 8 touchdowns this week?
  • Chicken parm, you taste so good.

Week 9 Score Predictions

Cleveland Browns 17, Cincinnati Bengals 31 (Bengals -11.5)
Green Bay Packers 24, Carolina Panthers 21 (Packers -2.5)
Washington Redskins 16, New England Patriots 41 (Patriots -15)
Tennessee Titans 10, New Orleans Saints 21 (Saints -9.5)
Miami Dolphins 21, Buffalo Bills 27 (Bills -3.0)
St. Louis Rams 20, Minnesota Vikings 16 (EVEN)
Jacksonville Jaguars 21, New York Jets 24 (Jets -7.5)
Oakland Raiders 24, Pittsburgh Steelers 29 (Steelers -4.5)
New York Giants 20, Tampa Bay Buccaneers 23 (Buccaneers +2.5)
Atlanta Falcons 31, San Francisco 49ers 13 (Falcons -7.5)
Denver Broncos 24, Indianapolis Colts 17 (Broncos -5)
Philadelphia Eagles 17, Dallas Cowboys 18 (Cowboys +2.5)
Chicago Bears 27, San Diego Chargers 30 (Chargers -4)

Sources: Yahoo! Fantasy, ESPN Fantasy, Rotowire

Image: Cobb