Halfway through an NFL season of brutal injuries, some intriguing trades and more than a few surprises and your fantasy team probably doesn't look all that much like what it did when you drafted it in the summer. That's not surprising, but it does offer questions about the rest of this season, and time is running out to make meaningful changes to your roster and make the decisions that will push your team over the top. So what happens now as the calendar turns to November?
Byes: PIT, MIN, CHI, CLE, NE, LAC
Start of the Week: Lamar Miller (HOU) vs. IND
Seattle's rushing defense is good enough to stop just about everybody in the league from being successful, but the same can't be said for the Colts defense. Miller, who has feasted on the Colts in his career, likely will do the same against a defense that gave up a big game to Joe Mixon last week.
Who to Start:
QB Drew Brees (NO) vs. TB: His fantasy numbers haven't exactly lit up your screens like you'd expect Drew Brees to do in the last couple of games, but against the Bucs defense which is nowhere near where anyone expected it to be, that could change, and probably will change.
RB Aaron Jones (GB) vs. DET MON: In the ever changing environment of Green Bay's offense without Aaron Rodgers, another Aaron, Aaron Jones, impressed against the Saints two weeks ago. The Lions aren't exactly a stout rush defense, so the fear of him splitting touches with Ty Montgomery isn't exactly too worrisome.
WR Dez Bryant (DAL) vs. KC: He couldn't get out of Josh Norman's shadow last week, which was salso somewhat weather induced, but this week he should get out of that shadow against the Chiefs. The Cowboys may need to rely on the arm of Dak Prescott without Ezekiel Elliot, and Bryant should feature prominently against a weak Chiefs secondary.
WR Devin Funchess (CAR) vs. ATL: Cam Newton will have throw to someone after Kelvin Benjamin was dealt to Buffalo, and Funchess seems to be that target. Atlanta's secondary has been really underwhelming this season, and if you need a bye week option, Funchess could be a really good one. He may even be on the waiver wire in some leagues.
TE Jack Doyle (IND) at HOU: He's a really good fantasy matchup, what can I say? In a position where there is little depth, starting Doyle is almost a must, especially in six team bye weeks. Houston's defense is weak and was torched by Jimmy Graham last week, so Doyle could have another positive game.
DEF LA Rams at NYG: The Rams have one of the better fantasy defenses and real defenses, so even travelling cross-country, they're a must start against the Giants who can't put any together on offense with or without most of their receivers.
Sit of the Week: RB Marshawn Lynch (OAK) at MIA
Here's another player who I said certainly wasn't worth it in fantasy, and he's been really poor in his last few games, missing almost the entire game against KC included. Miami's defense has been fairly stout against the run, Thursday against the Ravens excluded, so Lynch is someone to avoid this week.
Who to Sit:
QB Marcus Mariota (TEN) vs. BAL: Though he should be more healed from his hamstring injury than he was against Indianapolis or Cleveland, this matchup against the Ravens defense is not favorable at all. They've been stout against opposing QB's all season, which means healthy or not, Mariota is a big risk this weekend.
RB Alex Collints (BAL) at TEN: He had a great outing last Thursday against Miami, but starting him doesn't make a ton of sense against the Titans. They're stout at home defensively, and the Ravens backfield is heavily rotated, and keep in mind, Danny Woodhead could be returning soon.
WR T.Y Hilton (IND) at HOU: He's posted basically all of his fantasy points in home games against the 49ers and Browns, who, if I remember correctly, have a combined zero wins. Even though the Texans defense is not very good, it's hard to trust Hilton until he consistently proves that he can get back to old form again.
WR Pierre Garcon (SF) vs. ARZ: It was a rough day for him against the Eagles, and things may not get much better against the Cardinals and Patrick Peterson. And there's no Jimmy G throwing to him, at least not yet.
TE Martellus Bennett (GB) vs. DET MON: He says this will be his last NFL season, and unfortunately for people who put fantasy stock in him, he's playing like it. It's been a rough season for him, with or without Aaron Rodgers, and that doesn't bode well even against the Lions.
DEF Denver at PHI: The Broncos defense is still dominant and dynamic, however with the pressure their offense puts them under, it makes for long days at the office, and that probably continues against the reloaded Eagles offense.
3 Super Sleepers:
QB Jared Goff (LAR) at NYG: The Giants defense, especially in the secondary, is nothing to sneeze at. But at some point with the lack of offense they have, they'll break down, and that will allow Goff to find some success. He's not the best option this week, but he does have a good chance to succeed.
RB Kenyan Drake (MIA) vs. OAK: Who will get the ball in the backfield with Jay Ajayi now in Philadelphia? That seems to be Drake, and while he might be best as a flex play this week, he has a promising matchup against Oakland to potentially exploit. He could be a decent stash and grab, since the Dolphins will need someone to run the ball.
WR Will Fuller (HOU) vs. IND: Not exactly a volume receiver, but he does put up huge numbers each and every week it seems, and that's hard to ignore and avoid. The Colts really can't do much right now in terms of defense, so Fuller, who has exploded onto the scene when DeShaun Watson took over, is another decent play this week.
QB Derek Carr (OAK) at MIA: He put up bigger stat lines than you would have thought in the last couple of games, but it hasn't really changed his fantasy viability, which is to say there isn't much. He's not really a good matchup play even in a week when there are six byes.
Good luck in Week 9!