Byes: HOU, SEA, DET, ARZ, KC, BAL
Who to Start:
QB Philip Rivers (SD) vs. CHI MON: His team is 2-5, just lost its best receiver in Keenan Allen, but Rivers is still a fantasy must play this week despite all of that. The Bears defense has struggled to contain any QB this season, so despite an insanely short deck, Rivers' performance will likely stay the same. (Other starts: Jay Cutler, Ben Roethlisberger, Eli Manning)
RB Chris Ivory (NYJ) vs. JAX: Not only is the matchup favorable on paper, the Jets QB situation makes Ivory almost a must start anyway. If Geno Smith is playing, do you really think the Jets will trust him to make the same decisions against a defense that just forced four turnovers against E.J Manuel and Buffalo? (Other starts: Jeremy Hill, DeAngelo Williams, Jeremy Langford)
WR Amari Cooper (OAK) vs. PIT I said "sit him" last week (whoops) against Darrelle Revis and the Jets, but this week against Pittsburgh's porous pass defense, he's squarely in the other side of the column. We're almost reaching a point where Cooper should be starting despite the matchup, which this week isn't an issue.
WR Emmanuel Sanders (DEN) vs. IND: The Colts defense has been Swiss cheese practically all season, and you know Peyton Manning will be extra motivated to play against the Colts in Indianapolis again, Last week was his best performance of the season against a far better Packers defense, so all of his receivers stand to benefit on Sunday. (Other starts: Julian Edelman, Stevie Johnson, Malcolm Floyd)
TE Heath Miller (PIT) vs. OAK: The Raiders have been impressive in so many ways this season, although one area in which they haven't been is against Tight Ends. Miller had a huge game last week against the Bengals, and with some good Tight Ends on the shelf due to bye weeks this week, Miller is a great option. (Other starts: Jordan Reed, Ben Watson, Greg Olsen)
DEF Cincinnati vs. CLE THU: Johnny Manziel is back under center for the Browns, whose offense is being drained week after week. Their last two performances against St. Louis and Arizona haven't elicited any confidence, and the Bengals defense is rolling right now. (Also a must start but I deemed it too obvious: Atlanta against Blaine Gabbert).
Who to Sit:
QB Andrew Luck (IND) vs. DEN: Bye weeks stink. Changing offensive coordinators mid-week before a major game also stinks. Rib and shoulder injuries aren't fun too. But looking like you have regressed beyond salvation is the worst. Oh, and the Broncos defense held Aaron Rodgers under 100 yards passing last Sunday night. I'd dumpster dive in the waiver wire before starting Luck on Sunday. (Other sits: Ryan Tannehill, Blake Bortles, Sam Bradford)
RB Darren McFadden (DAL) vs. PHI: The Cowboy backfield is his now that Joseph Randle has been handed his pink slip. The Eagles have been poor in more than a few facets of their game, but their rush defense has not been one of them. This is a tricky matchup despite McFadden's increased role. (Other sits: T.J Yeldon, Latavius Murray and Rashad Jennings)
WR Randall Cobb (GB) vs. CAR: Josh. Norman. Is. Amazing.
WR Allen Robinson (JAX) vs. NYJ: Allen and Allen (attorneys at law) have been fantasy superstars this season for the Jaguars and their newly found passing game. Even though the Jets were torched a bit by Derek Carr and the Raiders last Sunday, it's hard to trust any opposing wideouts against the Jets defense, especially going up against Darrelle Revis. (Other sits: T.Y Hilton, Mike Wallace, Travis Benjamin).
TE Jordan Cameron (MIA) vs. BUF: The matchup isn't awful, but Cameron hasn't consistently produced this season, especially in the first meeting with the Bills when he put up less than two points. It's hard to start him even with the bye week options that are lost. (Other sits: Julius Thomas, Kyle Rudolph, Vernon Davis).
DEF Carolina vs. GB: Bend but don't break is the motto for the Panthers, but it's hard to imagine the Packers offense having the same sort of performance they did against Denver last Sunday even against the Panthers stout defense. (Other sits: Green Bay, Indianapolis, Dallas)
Three Super Sleepers:
QB Derek Carr (OAK) vs. PIT: Is it time to take Carr seriously not just on the field but in fantasy too? He has been outstanding outside of only a few moments this season, and the Steelers defense is nowhere near what it was or has been. Old Raiders-Steelers matchups were slugfests, but this one could be a shootout, which favors Carr.
RB Ronnie Hillman and C.J Anderson (DEN) vs. IND: Either one of them are sleepers in their own right because it's hard to predict which one will get the bulk of the carries, but both go up against the same putrid Colts rush defense, which means either could have a massive day.
WR Dez Bryant (DAL) vs. PHI: Normally, he's a must start because he's Dez Bryant. But with Matt Cassel, questions are asked. Despite that, this week he could be back to his old self against the Eagles secondary which has been torched by practically everyone this season.
WR Jordan Matthews (PHI) vs. DAL: Raise your hand if you expected him to have a monster season /slowly raises hand in hopes no one can see him. His drops have been a problem, let alone everything else that has gone wrong for the Eagles this season. The Cowboys defense has been stout-ish (even putting the first Eagles game aside), so Matthews is a risky play.
Good Luck in Week 9!