The Buffalo Bills take on the N.Y. Jets to kick off Week 9 of NFL action on Thursday. If the Bills come away with a win they’ll be tied for the best record in the AFC at 6-2.
Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor must have confused Halloween for Christmas when he learned his team traded for Kelvin Benjamin. The addition of the big target is an immediate upgrade at the position. The new Bill probably won’t play Thursday, but I still like Taylor to start. Of course you’ll start LeSean McCoy as well. On the other side of the ball, Matt Forte is an OK flex play. Here’s a look at who else you should start and sit in Week 9.
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Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions: He didn’t throw a touchdown pass against the Steelers in Week 8, but he amassed 423 passing yards. Don’t worry about him too much. He’ll get the ball in the end zone against the Packers this weekend.
Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins: Before last week’s tough weather conditions, Cousins had four straight great fantasy games. He’s facing Seattle on the road this week, but you saw what a rookie did to them on Sunday. Now they could be without Earl Thomas who is nursing a hamstring.
Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints: He was already being productive before Adrian Peterson was sent to Arizona, but he could be really special now. If Mark Ingram continues to have fumbling issues, it could get even better for Kamara. As of now, I think both Saints running backs are solid starts against the Buccaneers.
Adrian Peterson, RB, Cardinals: After Peterson had a huge first game with the Cardinals, everyone was on board with him being effective. Then he had a tough go against the Rams in London. Since then Arizona has had a week off and they are set to face the 49ers. Peterson should do well against a defense that struggles at limiting running backs.
Joe Mixon, RB, Bengals: He’s had two games in a row of success catching passes out of the backfield. This week he should do damage on the ground against the Jaguars who aren’t good at stopping the run.
Paul Richardson, WR, Seahawks: He has three touchdowns in his last two games and I’m thinking he can keep up the production against the Redskins. Josh Norman is likely to stick with Doug Baldwin, leaving Richardson with softer coverage.
Ted Ginn, WR, Saints: The Bucs are the worst team at limiting wide receivers in fantasy scoring. Ginn is on a decent roll as of late, catching 13 passes for 275 yards and a touchdown in the last three games.
Jermaine Kearse, WR, Jets: He doesn’t have the easiest matchup as he faces the Bills. They’ve only allowed six touchdown receptions, but they’ve given up the fourth most receiving yards. Kearse looks like a good flex play this week.
Jack Doyle, TE, Colts: As bad as the Colts are, Doyle has been a bright spot for fantasy. He has 25 catches, 215 yards and two touchdowns in his last three games. The Texans are in the bottom third at limiting tight ends.
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Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers: I’m seeing some people looking to him as a good start this week as he faces the Saints. There are a lot of concerns, however. First, he’s got an AC joint injury he’s dealing with in his throwing shoulder and second, the Saints defense is playing better of late.
Eli Manning, QB, Giants: The Giants were on a bye in Week 8 so it’s probably a good idea to remind you here that Manning isn’t very good this season. He’s without his top two receivers, though he gets Sterling Shepard back. The Rams are a tough draw, however.
Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals: He’s had a tough season so far and he’s got to face one of the best defensive backfields this week. The Jaguars are outstanding at limiting quarterbacks’ fantasy points.
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos: Anderson’s been disappointing this season and he has a really tough matchup against the Eagles. It doesn’t help that his quarterback situation seems to be up in the air.
Miami running backs: Don’t get enticed by new opportunity for Damien Williams and Kenyon Drake. Neither could beat out Jay Ajayi, and he wasn’t doing well behind the Dolphins line either. This will most likely be a running-back-by-committee situation as well.
Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles: Speaking of Ajayi, wait a week before inserting him into your starting lineup. He’s new in town and he has to face the Broncos right away. LeGarrette Blount is still a factor as well. Ajayi is possibly a decent flex play, but temper your expectations if you have to start him.
Kenny Stills, WR, Dolphins: He was a decent start last week, but this week is a different story. DeVante Parker is likely to return for Miami, putting Stills further down the pecking order.
Mohamed Sanu, WR, Falcons: Sanu is coming off a good game, but he’s got a tougher matchup this week as he faces the Panthers. They’re in the top 10 of defenses at limiting wide receiver fantasy points.
Randall Cobb, WR, Packers: I’m thinking he’ll be the odd man out this week. Not that the other two main targets in Green Bay will have much better days. It’s a tough hand the Packers have been dealt with Brett Hundley starting at quarterback.
UPDATE: Previously a must-start player, Deshaun Watson tore his ACL in practice on Thursday and it’s a sad end to a promising start for the rookie. Here’s what was written before we learned of his injury: This is probably the last time he’ll be in this section. Not because he won’t be worthy of a start, but because he’s an auto-start from now until the end of the year. If he can do what he did to the Seahawks, he can do it against anyone. This week it’s going to be the Colts.