This column is coming out later than usual because I've been absolutely mesmerized by Game 7 of the World Series. Can you blame me?
Byes: GB, TEN, DET, ATL. CHI, BUF
Who to Start:
QB Colin Kaepernick (SF) vs. STL: Fresh off a bye week, Kaepernick should be licking his chops at facing the Rams, a team he has usually tortured during his career and a team whose defense has been uncharacteristically vulnerable for most of the season.
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (IND) vs. NYG MON: I love revenge, don't you? Bradshaw could be in for some against his former team whose run defense has been next to abysmal all season. The Colts could use some balance in their offense after the way their defense got shredded in Pittsburgh last week.
WR Jeremy Maclin (PHI) vs. HOU: He had a huge week against Arizona a week ago, and he could be in for another big day against the Texans on Sunday. Their secondary is quite vulnerable, and Maclin has improved to becoming one of the most consistent wideouts in football.
WR Kelvin Benjamin (CAR) vs. NO THU: He's been the most consistent receiver for the Panthers all season, and he should continue that form going up against the Saints who have been absolutely torched through the air on the road this season.
TE Antonio Gates (SD) vs. MIA: His connection with Philip Rivers is making his fantasy owners think it may be 2007 all over again. He's been on fire recently, and the Dolphins defense isn't the stoutest against Tight Ends.
DEF Cincinnati vs. JAX: The Jaguars offense is still young and growing, which means they turn the ball over a lot. And Blake Bortles has thrown 4 pick-sixes this season, and taken a good number of sacks. The Bengals defense is finally looking like itself again, and it should continue on Sunday.
Who to Sit:
QB Joe Flacco (BAL) vs. PIT: He's been pretty consistent this season, but one nut he's never been able to crack in his career is the Pittsburgh Steelers. He's never had all that much success against them in his career, and while the Steelers defense is shaky, they always show up for Raven games.
RB Zac Stacy (STL) vs. SF: The concern is two-fold here. One is the running back by committee that the Rams are currently using right now, and the second is that the 49ers are the best team in football at stopping the run.
WR Vincent Jackson (TB) vs. CLE: He may have been one of the biggest fantasy busts at wide receiver this season. His season will get no better against the Browns who have been so stout against opposing wideouts, especially at home.
WR Julian Edelman (NE) vs. DEN: He's seen only 13 combined targets over the Patriots last two games, and as other receivers get the bulk of the targets, Edelman should be firmly hitched to your bench even in a bye week situation.
TE Charles Clay (MIA) vs. SD: Against a team that usually is torched by tight ends, Clay got only 1 receiving yard. The Chargers are one of the best defensive units against Tight Ends, so Clay is a risky play on Sunday.
DEF Dallas vs. ARZ: They showed a few signs of the old Cowboys defense last Monday night didn't they? The Cardinals offense doesn't make a lot of noise, but they are very consistent in scoring points, so the Cowboys may not be the best option on Sunday.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Andy Dalton (CIN) vs. JAX: His stats have not been amazing this season, but this week he gets a bit of a break against a Jaguars secondary that has been absolutely decimated by injuries recently. Maybe he'll get A.J Green back as well.
RB Ben Tate (CLE) vs. TB: Tate hasn't been seeing all of the carries, especially the goal line ones, but this matchup against the Bucs is a favorable one.
WR Andre Holmes (OAK) vs. SEA: Garbage time points alert? You'd figure Seattle will get up big early, which means garbage time fantasy points are well in play. He is a quiet little bye week option.
QB Eli Manning (NYG) vs. IND MON: I know the Colts got absolutely torched last weekend in Pittsburgh, but that's not how their defense is usually. This is the same unit that shutout the Bengals the week before, remember. I have a feeling the real Colts defense will show up big on Monday Night.
Good Luck in Week 9!