As the calendar turns to November, the football gets more and more intense, yet the week-by-week slate continues to get worse. Somehow Week 9's slate is worse than Week 8's. But you have to take what you can get, so time to analyze Week 9, which hopefully will be made better by the clocks turning back one hour.
Byes: SF, JAX, DEN, ARZ, NYG, DET
Who to Start:
QB Tony Romo (DAL) vs. MIN: Somehow these losses will end up being his fault, even though he's played some of his best football ever. The Vikings defense didn't get a stop last week against the Packers, and Romo has been throwing the ball across the yard despite the losing 3 out of 5. The Vikings can't stop anyone, so Romo should have a big day.
RB Eddie Lacy (GB) vs. CHI MON: Have the Packers finally found that consistent running game? Seems like it. The Bears rush defense has been struggling mightily of late, so Lacy could be a major benefactor of this.
WR Keenan Allen (SD) vs. WSH: Allen was on a serious tear before the Chargers bye week, and the Redskins secondary shouldn't provide much resistance if current form is any indicator. Since this one could end up being a shootout, Allen is a good start.
WR Steve Smith (CAR) vs. ATL: The Falcons secondary has been exposed as having little depth this season due to departures and injuries, and it has shown recently. In the biggest game for the Panthers maybe in 5 years, Steve Smith will need to perform, and he probably will.
TE Jordan Reed (WSH) vs. SD: He's not really a sleeper anymore based on the amount of targets he's now getting. The Chargers defense isn't amazing, so Reed could be a nice spot starter for a week if you need him.
DEF Kansas City vs. BUF: Due to the fact that we have absolutely no clue who is going to start for the Bills at QB, the Chiefs defense should be a must start this week. But their form has dipped, especially last week. That won't matter.
Who to Sit:
QB Tom Brady (NE) vs. PIT: It hurts me to do this, but Brady is now a possible fantasy bench warmer since his numbers have hit the tank this season. The Steelers pass defense has been very good this year despite the record, and that combo doesn't bode well for Brady, who may or may not be injured.
RB Trent Richardson (IND) vs. HOU: I guess the spoiler of "he's not really all that good" was a bit too much for some to handle. He certainly hasn't lived up to the billing of his trade, and the Texans rush defense has been solid all season. This is not a great matchup.
WR Marques Colston (NO) vs. NYJ: He's been nearly invisible on the stat sheet for the last couple of weeks, and going into this game against the Jets who are for some reason better in odd numbered weeks than even ones, this could continue. The Jets defense is also pretty good, for the record.
WR Steve Johnson (BUF) vs. KC: The Chiefs are good at defending the pass, but the real reason why he's here is the QB situation is too much of an unknown to put him in your starting lineup despite the bye weeks.
TE Jared Cook (STL) vs. TEN: He did very well in Week 1, and quite poorly in every other week. Kellen Clemmens hasn't look good at all since he had to take over for Sam Bradford, so the risk in starting him is just too great.
DEF Chicago vs. GB: The injuries have ravaged this unit, and despite the injuries on the other side of the ledger, the Bears defense is a bit of a worry this week at Lambeau, on the grounds of 45 points last time out in Washington.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Terrelle Pryor (OAK) vs. PHI: That run last week against the Steelers was scintillating, and the Eagles defense is quite an entertaining matchup for him now. He could well lead the Raiders to a big win, and .500 this weekend.
WR Denarius Moore (OAK) vs. PHI: On the same wavelength, Moore might be in for a huge game against an Eagles defense that has been shredded against the pass recently, despite them playing a little better away from home.
DEF Indianapolis vs. HOU: Case Keenum isn't the worlds best QB, so the Colts D could end up having a nice day at the office.
QB Matt Ryan (ATL) vs. CAR: It's not that the recent struggles for the Falcons are solely on Ryan, but he's certainly not helped them get out of this ditch. The Panthers defense has been incredibly good the last 3 weeks when they've dominated the Vikings, Rams, and Bucs, and with the Falcons offense struggling too, Ryan could be in for a bad day.
Good Luck in Week 9!