Fantasy football: Who to start — and sit — in Week 9

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.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 9 rankings.

START THESE GUYS

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.

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) passes under pressure from Pittsburgh Steelers nose tackle Javon Hargrave (79) during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

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.

Adrian Peterson of the Arizona Cardinals runs the ball during the NFL match between the Arizona Cardinals and the Los Angeles Rams at Twickenham Stadium on October 22, 2017 in London, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)

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.

Atlanta Falcons’ Deion Jones (45) tackles New York Jets’ Jermaine Kearse (10) during the first half of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

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.

SIT THESE GUYS

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.

Running back C.J. Anderson #22 of the Denver Broncos is tackled by cornerback Kenneth Acker #25 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the game at Arrowhead Stadium on October 30, 2017 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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.

Contact Cat Vasquez at 512-445-3677. Email cvasquez@statesman.com. Twitter @AAS_Cat.

Fantasy football’s winners and losers on Halloween

Halloween was a big day in the NFL with lots of fantasy football implications. You had last minute trades that went through, and one that didn’t. And you had a big suspension upheld. Kelvin Benjamin was sent to Buffalo, Jay Ajayi is now a member of the Eagles and Jimmy Garoppolo is now a 49er. Here’s a look at Tuesday’s winners and losers.

RELATED: Fantasy football Week 9 rankings.

Winners

Tyrod Taylor, QB, Bills: The quarterback has been a solid streaming option all season and now he may end up catapulting into QB1 status with the addition of Kelvin Benjamin as a receiving option. The Bills needed help at the wideout position and they got it.

Tyrod Taylor #5 of the Buffalo Bills attempts to hand the ball off during the fourth quarter of an NFL game against the Oakland Raiders on October 29, 2017 at New Era Field in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

Jay Ajayi, RB, Eagles: Being traded to the Eagles is probably the best thing that could have happened to the running back. He goes from a struggling offense to one that’s clicking, with a very good offensive line. I think he’ll have to be eased into the role as the lead back, with a tough matchup against the Broncos this week. But the sky is the limit for the newest Eagle.

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks: He gets Duane Brown from the Texans to help protect him. Wilson has been on fire recently and the added protection will just make him better.

Devin Funchess, WR, Panthers: Funchess will be the new No. 1 wideout in Carolina. Whether or not he makes the most of it is a question, but the opportunity is good.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Devin Funchess (17) is stopped by Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Vernon Hargreaves during the second quarter of an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 29, 2017, in Tampa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan Ebenhack)

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers: He’ll finally get his shot to start in the NFL. He won’t be a QB1, but he enters the conversation as a streaming option after this week of acclimation.

Pierre Garcon, WR, 49ers: Garcon is talented enough to give you decent production, but playing with Brian Hoyer and C.J. Beathard hasn’t been good. Garoppolo joining the team gives Garcon hope to be a consistent WR2.

Losers

Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Cowboys: It’s starting to look like Elliott will have to serve out his six-game suspension after all as his appeal opportunities are running out. He’s definitely out this week, and it looks like the suspension will stick this time.

LeGarrette Blount, RB, Eagles: It’s obvious that Blount’s value takes a serious hit with the addition of Ajayi. He can still be a goal line option, but Ajayi can serve that role as well.

LeGarrette Blount #29 of the Philadelphia Eagles is tackled by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth quarter during their game at Lincoln Financial Field on October 29, 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images)

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers: He loses his best passing target and he was already having a hot and cold season. He’s down to Funchess as his best target at the wideout position.

Browns: They thought they got a quarterback with a future in A.J. McCarron from the Bengals. Turned out they were late filing the paper work and weren’t granted the trade. Ouch. Some might argue that they were better off not having the trade go through since they were giving up high draft picks. Given their history, I’m now expecting McCarron to become a hall of famer, however.

Wendell Smallwood, RB, Eagles: He might be relegated to an irrelevant role with the addition of Ajayi. Any backfield that has three viable options is not ideal. When two of them have resumes like Blount and Ajayi, it’s even worse for backs like Smallwood.

Push

Kelvin Benjamin, WR, Panthers: It’s somewhat a lateral move for Benjamin. He remains the top receiver with the team he’s with, but Taylor isn’t leaps and bounds better than Cam Newton.

Fantasy football Week 14 preview

Whether you have one week left in the regular season or you’re starting the first round of playoffs this weekend, Week 14 is a very big one. For all intents and purposes, it’s playoff time, fantasy owners.

Here are the guys you should start or sit to stay alive for your league championship:

Start

Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals — Even without A.J. Green and Gio Bernard, Dalton had a great game against the Eagles last week. He faces the Browns this week, so he should have a solid outing. The last time he faced them he had 308 yards and two touchdowns.

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)
Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Frank Victores)

Jameis Winston, QB, Buccaneers — Things look good for Winston as he gets to face the Saints twice in the next three weeks. New Orleans has surrendered 19 touchdowns through the air and gives up 277 yards per game.

Cam Newton, QB, Panthers — Just in case you were scared off due to his performance last week, you have to factor in that he was at Seattle. This week he will take on the Chargers at home.

Matt Forte, RB, Jets — He wasn’t as bad as he seemed last week against the Colts. He totaled 79 yards against a bad defense. This week he should find the end zone as he takes on the worst team in points allowed to running backs, 49ers.

Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals — Hill’s the main man in Cincinnati and should roll against the Browns. He had 168 yards and a touchdown the last time he faced Cleveland.

Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)
Cincinnati Bengals running back Jeremy Hill (32) runs the ball in the second half of an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/Gary Landers)

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins — Despite the Cardinals doing well against most running backs, Ajayi is a high-volume player and the Dophins should be able to keep the game close unlike last week.

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks — Facing Green Bay has turned into a nice treat for fantasy football players. Baldwin’s had two tough games in a row, but he has two nice matchups in the next two weeks.

New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)
New England Patriots wide receiver Julian Edelman (11) runs with the ball during the second half of an NFL football game against the Los Angeles Rams, Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016, in Foxborough, Mass. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Julian Edelman, WR, Patriots — The Ravens have given up 21 touchdown passes, which is in the bottom half of the league. Edelman has had at least seven targets in eight straight games and is coming off his first 100-yard outing.

Broncos receivers — If Trevor Siemian is good to go, I think both Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are good starts against the Titans. Tennessee is 31st in points allowed to wideouts.

Cameron Brate, TE, Buccaneers — He has four touchdowns in his last six games and could find the end zone against the Saints.

Bengals defense — They face the Browns and a rusty Robert Griffin III.

Sit

Joe Flacco, QB, Ravens — Don’t go chasing last week’s production. New England will be a much tougher matchup than the Dolphins were last week.

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s had a fantasy season to remember, but you can’t start him against the Broncos in the first week of your playoffs.

Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — His yards-per-carry average hasn’t been good since taking over for the injured C.J. Anderson. The Broncos signed Justin Forsett, who knows the offense well. Be wary of Booker this week against the Titans, who rank sixth in points allowed to running backs.

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) is stopped by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense including Myles Jack (44), Dante Fowler (56) and Paul Posluszny, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)
Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) is stopped by the Jacksonville Jaguars defense including Myles Jack (44), Dante Fowler (56) and Paul Posluszny, right, during the second half of an NFL football game in Jacksonville, Fla., Sunday, Dec. 4, 2016. (AP Photo/Gary McCullough)

Rashad Jennings, RB, Giants — The Cowboys have only given up five rushing touchdowns all year and are second best in rushing yards allowed per game. They’re fourth best in points allowed to running backs.

Ravens running backs — Neither Terrance West nor Kenneth Dixon should fare well against the Patriots. They’ll likely trail the host team for most of the game, forcing them to abandon the run.

Davante Adams, WR, Packers — He’s only been good every other week over the last month and he faces the Seahawks defense. Expect Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to make the most hay.

Steve Smith, WR, Ravens — He’s been targeted at least five times in each of his last five games, but his production has been on and off. The Patriots are sixth best in points allowed to receivers.

Dolphins receivers — DeVante Parker is ailing and Jarvis Landry has had just two solid games in the last five weeks. The Cardinals are 10th-best in limiting wideouts’ fantasy points.