Fantasy football Week 9 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to identifying whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers — He has at least one touchdown pass in all but one game this season and faces the 21st-ranked team in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Dak Prescott, QB, Cowboys — The rookie should fare well against a bad Browns defense. He’s been running a bit more of late, and that only adds to his value.

Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)
Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs the ball for a touchdown against the Philadelphia Eagles in the first half of an NFL football game in Arlington, Texas. (AP Photo/Michael Ainsworth, File)

Marcus Mariota, QB, Titans — He’s arguably on the hottest streak for a quarterback in fantasy. He’s thrown 10 touchdown passes against just one interception in his past four games. His running ability will help him against Joey Bosa and the Chargers’ pass rush.

Sam Bradford, QB, Vikings — This should be a streaming option only. If you’ve got Tom Brady, Carson Palmer, Andy Dalton or Kirk Cousins, you could do worse than Bradford as a bye week replacement. He gets to face the Lions, who are 30th in points allowed to quarterbacks.

Devontae Booker, RB, Broncos — He’s coming off of two straight weeks with at least 18 touches and faces an Oakland team that has trouble limiting running backs in fantasy scoring.

Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) runs against San Diego Chargers free safety Dwight Lowery (20)during an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)
Denver Broncos running back Devontae Booker (23) runs against San Diego Chargers free safety Dwight Lowery (20)during an NFL football game between the Denver Broncos and the San Diego Chargers, Sunday, Oct. 30, 2016, in Denver. (AP Photo/Jack Dempsey)

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks — He should be assured his touches facing the Bills this week. They’re just middle of the road in points allowed to running backs.

Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs — Spencer Ware is unable to go, so that means West should start for your team against the Jaguars.

Charcandrick West #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Charcandrick West #35 of the Kansas City Chiefs runs with the ball during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Jay Ajayi, RB, Dolphins — You don’t want to sit a guy who’s gained more than 400 yards in his past two games.

Packers receivers — Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Randall Cobb all could end up with solid scores after facing the Colts. Other than Aaron Rodgers, there isn’t much of a running game to speak of, and this could be a shootout.

Colts receivers — T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief should both perform well. Again, this game could see a lot of points.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins — He’s got a very satisfactory floor, but he could outperform usual expectations facing a Jets defense that is no longer good against the pass.

Jarvis Landry #14 of the Miami Dolphins completes a two point conversion as Robert Blanton #26 of the Buffalo Bills looks at the Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Jarvis Landry #14 of the Miami Dolphins completes a two point conversion as Robert Blanton #26 of the Buffalo Bills looks at the Hard Rock Stadium on October 23, 2016 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints — Speaking of a high floor, in every game so far Thomas has caught at least four passes and totaled at least 58 yards. Expect no less in a 49ers-Saints matchup that should be a high-scoring affair.

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns — The Cowboys have been playing well on defense but will be missing half their starting defensive backfield.

Sits

Eli Manning, QB, Giants — He’s facing an Eagles defense that’s seventh in points allowed to quarterbacks. Manning’s had only two good games all season.

Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions — The Vikings are fourth-best in limiting quarterbacks’ fantasy points, and Stafford has to face them twice in his next three games.

Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions is sacked by Antonio Smith #94 of the Houston Texans in the second quarter during game between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)
Matthew Stafford #9 of the Detroit Lions is sacked by Antonio Smith #94 of the Houston Texans in the second quarter during game between the Houston Texans and the Detroit Lions at NRG Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Thomas B. Shea/Getty Images)

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — No matter how many times he says it, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson simply isn’t giving Mathews the touches required to be successful.

Duke Johnson, RB, Browns — Johnson faces the Cowboys, who have surprised with how well they defend. They’re not world beaters by any stretch, but they are ranked third in limiting running backs in fantasy scoring.

Frank Gore, RB, Colts — Facing the defense that’s best in points allowed to running backs makes Gore a tough start this week. I’d look for an option with upside.

Cole Beasley, WR, Cowboys — He made a clutch catch last weekend, but Dez Bryant is getting so many targets.

Cole Beasley #11 of the Dallas Cowboys avoids the tackle of Jalen Mills #31 of the Philadelphia Eagles during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Cole Beasley #11 of the Dallas Cowboys avoids the tackle of Jalen Mills #31 of the Philadelphia Eagles during a game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Philadelphia Eagles at AT&T Stadium on October 30, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

Marvin Jones, WR, Lions — It was an exciting start to the season, but playing as the No. 1 target is tougher than being a complementary receiver. The Vikings are second-best at limiting wideouts in scoring.

Broncos defense/special teams — They have a lot of banged-up players, including starting cornerback Aqib Talib, and the Raiders have a potent passing attack. There are better options out there.

Fantasy football Week 6 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your upcoming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Carson Palmer, QB, Cardinals — This game will be telling. If he produces against a poor Jets pass defense, then he can be trusted after enduring a concussion and a couple of poor outings. If not, this top-tier QB could slip down a tier.

Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a pass during the second half of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 17-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Quarterback Carson Palmer #3 of the Arizona Cardinals makes a pass during the second half of the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Glendale, Arizona. The Rams defeated the Cardinals 17-13. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks — It appears as if he’d be a must-start every week, but he started the season terribly. He righted the ship in Week 4 and has had a bye week to prepare for a bad Falcons defense.

Blake Bortles, QB, Jaguars — He’s had two weeks to prepare for a Bears defense that is ranked in the middle of the road against quarterbacks.

Lamar Miller, RB, Texans — Don’t hold his poor performance against the Vikings against him. They’re shutting everyone down. He should bounce back against the Colts, who are 29th in points allowed to running backs.

Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Houston Texans running back Lamar Miller (26) runs the ball against the Minnesota Vikings during an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016, in Minneapolis. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks — Michael is even proving to be effective in the passing game as he caught a TD pass in his last game. His matchup is great, and it should be apparent in his point total.

Jonathan Stewart, RB, Panthers — He’ll be back in the lineup for the Panthers and gets to face the team ranked last in points allowed to running backs, the Saints.

Ryan Mathews, RB, Eagles — Despite getting just 16 touches last week, Mathews produced a touchdown, and he has a great matchup against Washington. If he’s productive in the passing game, he could have a big week.

Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) rushes against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)
Philadelphia Eagles running back Ryan Mathews (24) rushes against the Detroit Lions during an NFL football game at Ford Field in Detroit, Sunday, Oct. 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Rick Osentoski)

Doug Baldwin, WR, Seahawks — He’s been alternating between good and bad weeks, and he’s due for another big week.

Will Fuller, WR, Texans — You were right to sit him last week against the Vikings as he was shut out. This week’s matchup is much more favorable. The Colts are 19th in points allowed to wideouts.

Jimmy Graham, TE, Seahawks — This could be a record for the number of players suggested as starts from one team, but when the Falcons are 31st in points allowed to tight ends, it’s justified.

Sits

Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons — Didn’t like him starting last week, and I suggest he not start again as he faces the Seahawks in Seattle. They’re the best at limiting quarterbacks’ fantasy points.

Colin Kaepernick, QB, 49ers — You might be interested to see what he’ll be able to do after not starting for quite a while, but that’s no reason to start him until you see some positive signs.

Terrance West, RB, Ravens — He has a tough matchup against the Giants. They allow 96 yards rushing per game and have surrendered just three rushing touchdowns. Expect low-end flex numbers if you have to start him.

Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals — With his pass-catching ability, Giovani Bernard has a better chance to contribute since the Pats are stout against running backs.

Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals is injured after a hit during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Jeremy Hill #32 of the Cincinnati Bengals is injured after a hit during the third quarter against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 9, 2016 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

Arian Foster, RB, Dolphins — Even if he’s 100 percent, I’d sit him until he has a really good game as a Dolphin. That backfield is ridiculously crowded right now.

Jeremy Kerley, WR, 49ers — With the quarterback change, I’d wait until we see how that affects the suddenly relevant receiver.

Victor Cruz, WR, Giants — Sterling Shepard is getting targeted heavily, and Cruz was held without a catch last week. No need to start someone who appears to be the third-best option on a struggling offense.

Fantasy football Week 4 preview

Fantasy owners already know who their must-start players are, but everyone has a few decisions to make when it comes to setting a lineup. We’re here to help with those tough decisions.

Each week this space will be dedicated to whom you should start or sit for your coming fantasy matchups.

Starts

Kirk Cousins, QB, Redskins — The Browns have given up at least 270 yards passing, 80 yards rushing and 25 points in every game this season. Cousins has had two good games in a row and should keep it rolling Sunday.

Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers — He failed to throw a touchdown pass last weekend, but he gets to face the Saints’ woeful defense. In fact, Rivers should be good to go for two straight weeks since he faces the Raiders in Week 5.

San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) throws during the first half of an NFL football game against the Indianapolis Colts, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Theo Riddick and/or Dwayne Washington, RB, Lions — They’ll face a Bears defense that gave up 140 yards to Ezekiel Elliott and three rushing touchdowns to three other Cowboys on Sunday night. There’s running room enough for both Lions to be productive.

Mark Ingram, RB, Saints — Owners breathed a sigh of relief last weekend when he finally found the end zone. He faces the Chargers’ defense, which is 26th-worst in points allowed to running backs.

Christine Michael, RB, Seahawks — Though he faces a tough matchup in the Jets, he’s the main man right now, with Thomas Rawls out because of an injury. Volume of carries alone could make him worth the start.

Seattle Seahawks' Christine Michael carries against the San Francisco 49ers in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)
Seattle Seahawks’ Christine Michael carries against the San Francisco 49ers in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer)

Spencer Ware, RB, Chiefs — You’ll have to keep an eye on this one before kickoff. Jamaal Charles is listed as questionable, but ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweeted that Charles was expected to make his debut Sunday night. If he’s out or limited, Ware gets to face a Steelers defense that is 28th in points allowed to running backs.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Colts — He’s likely to continue to play well against a Jaguars defense that has given up six touchdown passes and ranks 21st in points allowed to wideouts.

Travis Benjamin, WR, Chargers — He and Rivers should connect well against the Saints, who are 24th in points allowed to wide receivers.

Terrelle Pryor, WR, Browns — He’s been doing it all for Cleveland, and he should continue to make an impact against the Redskins, who struggle against wideouts.

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) runs the ball during an NFL football gamea, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Cleveland Browns wide receiver Terrelle Pryor (11) runs the ball during an NFL football gamea, Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

Zach Miller, TE, Bears — He had good numbers in a losing effort last week, and he gets to face the Lions, who are last in points allowed to tight ends.

Sits

Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, Jets — The Jets’ play-caller was spectacularly bad last week against the Chiefs, throwing six picks. Facing the Seahawks is not going to help him get back into a groove.

Eli Manning, QB, Giants — He faces a Vikings defense that has five interceptions, 15 sacks and five forced fumbles this season. Minnesota’s great against the run, and if the Giants’ offense is one-dimensional, then Manning will suffer for it.

New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) and Washington Redskins' Chris Baker (92) react after Manning threw an interception during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)
New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) and Washington Redskins’ Chris Baker (92) react after Manning threw an interception during the second half of an NFL football game Sunday, Sept. 25, 2016, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Latavius Murray, RB, Raiders — Unfortunately he’s not the workhorse owners were thinking he’d be, as some carries go to Jalen Richard or DeAndre Washington. Will he score a TD for a fourth straight week? Probably not.

Quincy Enunwa, WR, Jets — With Eric Decker out, he’s the No. 2 wideout on the team, but he faces a tough Seahawks pass defense.

DeAngelo Williams, RB, Steelers — Don’t be asleep at the wheel. Le’Veon Bell is back, so put Williams on your bench.

Tajae Sharpe, WR, Titans — He let me down last week in a good matchup, despite getting plenty of targets, so he’ll have to earn my trust again. He probably won’t do that this week against the Texans.