This post is from 2009!
Click for the 2010 Week 9 Start em Sit em picks.
Crunch time is upon us.
As enter Week 9 of the fantasy football season, some of us are breathing easy with playoff spots all but assured, some of us are struggling with each decision in our quest to improve playoff positioning, and others are desperately trying to make a late season surge just to have a chance.
And then there are others who are out of it and just playing out the string, although I doubt too many of those owners are bothering to scour start ’em, sit ’em posts in preparation for this week.
For the majority of us still scratching and clawing for every point and every win, here is your weekly start ’em, start ’em breakdown…and then the endless string of Q&A in the comment section.
Here’s a quick teaser: who would you rather start in Week 9 between Matt Schaub and David Garrard? The answer might not be as clear as you may think.
Before we get to the Week 9 start ’ems and sit ’ems, here is a little love for one of our favorite content sponsors, Sadler’s Smokehouse:
Sadler’s premium meats are perfect for tailgating on Saturday, for grilling out at home on Sunday, or for when you are hosting a group of friends, or even just the family, on Monday night.
With a variety of delicious choices (beef, pork, ribs, turkey, brisket, and more) and availability at grocery stores throughout the U.S., Sadler’s meats are the tasty, convenient choice when you want to watch the big game and eat well while you’re doing it.
Support MSF by visiting the Sadler’s Smokehouse website: Sadler’s Smokehouse
And now, a quick retrospective on our hits and misses from Week 8:
- Start ’em hits: Matt Forte, Miles Austin, Chicago Bears D
- Start ’em misses: Kyle Orton, Greg Olsen
- Sit ’em hits: Eli Manning, Kevin Walter, Philadelphia Eagles D
- Sit ’em misses: Jonthan Stewart, Brent Celek
Not a dominant performance by any means (especially the miss on Jonathan Stewart…damnit!) but solid enough. As usual, my most accurate and useful advice comes in the Q&A throughout the week, so be sure to use the comment section for your questions.
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Lineup Advice
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Quarterbacks
Start ’em: David Garrard, Jacksonville (vs Kansas City)
Note: You should know, in the interest of full disclosure, that I own David Garrard in the league I’ve been in for eight years with my buddies. It’s a 2-QB league, I’m 4-4, and I desperately need a win in Week 9.
Hence, I am desperate for a good, even just a decent, week from Garrard. Can he produce? Well, he does have the following legitimate, objective things going for him:
- Kansas City is 29th in the NFL against the pass, giving up 252.1 yards per game. They have allowed 13 passing TDs and gotten only three INTs.
- Garrard has thrown five TDs and three INTs in his three home games this season. He has not thrown a TD on the road all year!
- Garrard’s three highest yardage games have come at home.
So, theoretically, this should be about as good a matchup as Garrard could have. But Week 6 (home against St. Louis) was supposed to be a great matchup too, and that didn’t turn out so well from a TD standpoint.
Understand that I am listing David Garrard here very tentatively. He will start for me because I have no other options; but, by way of comparison, I would not start Garrard over my #1 QB Philip Rivers. Nor would I even consider it.
I am, however, holding out hope that Garrard can have a top-10 week. It’s certainly possible. But just know what you’re getting yourself into if you decide to follow my advice on this one.
David Garrard Week 9 fantasy projection: 295 yards passing, 2 TDs, 0 INT, 30 yards rushing
Other start ’em QBs for Week 9:
- Tony Romo is on fire right now and I think you have to start him, even at Philadelphia. For the record, I’d start McNabb too.
- Philip Rivers is facing a Giants’ D that is giving up big numbers to every QB is plays now.
- Matt Hasselbeck has struggled the last two weeks, but a home game against Detroit should get he and the Seattle offense back on track.
Sit ’em: Matt Schaub, Houston (at Indianapolis)
Update 11/7: I have revised my Matt Schaub Week 9 analysis based on more informed thinking and new information. I’d take into account what I’ve written below, make sure you read the revised recommendation and projection as well.
How do you sit a guy averaging 2 TD passes a game? Well, when you are faced with these daunting facts you have to at least consider it:
- The Colts have given up the fewest passing TDs in the NFL (three) and are 7th in yardage (180.1 yards per game).
- Schaub is without his security blanket, Owen Daniels, and finished last week with zero TDs and two INTs after Daniels missed most of the game. (Granted, much of this was because the Texans took advantage of the Bills’ poor run defense, but still, losing Daniels hurts.)
- Schaub has only played one game against Indy in his career and he threw one TD against two INTs.
Okay, so here’s the million dollar question: would I start Disgusting David Garrard over Marvelous Matt Schaub? Could I really pull the trigger on such a move, just based on matchups?
If I was in a must-win situation, with my entire season riding on the decision, yes…I think I would. In a situation that requires a higher potential reward, regardless of the risk, I think Garrard’s potential at home against KC is greater than Schaub’s at Indy. Remember, the Colts are only 17th against the run and big plays against Indy often come on the ground. I expect the Texans to ride Steve Slaton and Ryan Moats, however they decide to split the carries.
Matt Schaub Week 9 fantasy projection: 235 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT
So I’d do it…but I’d be nervous as hell all week and all Sunday morning and all through the early games. I would love to hear dissenting opinions on this one in the comment section. In fact, I’m slapping a poll up here to see if anyone actually agrees with me on this one:
Who would you start in Week 9: David Garrard or Matt Schaub?
- David Garrard at home versus Kansas City (46%, 239 Votes)
- Matt Schaub at Indianapolis (54%, 284 Votes)
Total Voters: 523
Other sit ’em QBs for Week 9:
- Eli Manning stays here until he has a good game. I’m just not buying a turnaround right now.
- Vince Young should not fool you into thinking he’s starting material with one decent game at home against Jacksonville’s terrible D. He faces SF’s tough D that shut Peyton Manning out last week.
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Running Backs
Start ’em: Jamaal Charles, Kansas City (at Jacksonville)
Four of the six worst run defenses in the NFL are on byes this week (Rams, Raiders, Browns, Bills). Guess which defense, formerly known for its run-stopping prowess, is fourth worst among teams taking the field in Week 9…
If you couldn’t guess based on who I chose as this week’s start ’em running back, it’s the Jaguars. Here is your statistical basis for starting Jamaal Charles, who is filling in as the starter now that Larry Johnson has been suspended:
- Jacksonville gives up 128.3 rushing yards per game (25th overall).
- In 90 career carries, Jamaal Charles has a 5.3 yard per carry average.
- In addition to his high per carry average, Charles averages almost one reception for every two carries. Thus, if you’re in a PPR league, Charles could have extra value.
It’s always risky starting a player who has never carried a full load before, but did you see what Chris Johnson did to Jacksonville last week? I’m not saying Charles is anywhere near as good as CJ, but he’s a similar type back who could really cause the Jags problems if he can get in space.
I expect Jamaal Charles to get a legitimate shot to be the feature back this week. Based on the matchup, I expect him to succeed.
Jamaal Charles Week 9 fantasy projection: 85 yards rushing, 1 TD, 5 receptions, 40 yards receiving
Other start ’em RBs for Week 9:
- Clinton Portis and his old legs are coming off a bye week and face the Falcons’ questionable run D that is coming off a short week.
- Brandon Jacobs is coming around and will become more important to the Giants with Eli hurting and Ahmad Bradshaw hobbled. Keep him in your lineup.
- Julius Jones is at home and facing Detroit. This is the rare occasion where I will recommend starting him.
Sit ’em: Knowshon Moreno, Denver (vs Pittsburgh)
I am a big fan of Knowshon Moreno’s, but not this week. The Steelers are #1 in the NFL against the run, have given up only two rushing TDs all year, and Moreno’s carries have gone from 21 to 18 to 10 over the last three weeks. He’s also not adding much in the passing game.
Moreno is a possible flex play only because he’s an RB and could score, but I’d really like to avoid using him if it were me.
Knowshon Moreno Week 9 fantasy projection: 35 yards rushing, 0 TDs
Other sit ’em RBs for Week 9:
- I know I completely missed on this one the last time Baltimore played Cincinnati, but you might want to at least consider sitting Cedric Benson against Baltimore. The Ravens have given up only four rushing TDs all year and looked refreshed last week after their bye against Denver.
- Steve Slaton, sadly, looks like a sit right now until we learn more about how the carries will be split between he and Ryan Moats. Damnit Slaton.
- As much as it pains me to say this about my preseason sleeper, I think you have to sit Felix Jones right now because he’s just not getting enough touches. He’s a possible flex play as a bye week fill-in, but that’s about it.
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Wide Receivers
Start ’em: Vincent Jackson, San Diego (at New York Giants)
I hope that more than a few of you look at this one and roll your eyes, thinking, “Well duh! Who would sit Vincent Jackson?” I agree with you. But week after week Vincent Jackson ends up being a name that people ask me about.
Folks, listen closely: START HIM!
Not only did San Diego recently cut Chris Chambers — in large part because Jackson has become such a clear go-to WR for Philip Rivers that young guys like Malcolm Floyd have been able to develop around him — but Jackson has caught a TD in three consecutive games. He’s also had over 100 yards in two straight games.
And guess what…his matchup is solid in Week 9. The Chargers face the Giants, who are still 3rd in the NFL in yards passing allowed per game (165), but who have given up a whopping 12 passing TDs.
Don’t be scared because of the reputation of the Giants’ D. Play Vincent Jackson, and do so every week. He is an outstanding young player currently in the midst of one of the hottest stretches in his career. Plus, he has a solid, consistent QB. You can’t go wrong.
Vincent Jackson Week 9 fantasy projection: 6 rec, 115 yards, 1 TD
Other start ’em WRs for Week 9:
- I know he struggled in Week 9, but I think you have to give Mike Sims-Walker another shot. I know I will be…and this is in the same league I have David Garrard. (Oh Lord, please help me!)
- Nate Burleson is like a poor man’s Vincent Jackson; and by that I mean that too many people ask me whether or not they should start him on a weekly basis. Yes, usually you should, and especially this week with the Seahawks at home against Detroit.
- Jeremy Maclin is the rare rookie that I will recommend as a start. The Cowboys are 22nd in the league against the pass (237.1 yards per game) and have given up 12 TDs. I like Maclin to produce well in a Sunday night shootout in Philly.
Sit ’em: Hakeem Nicks, New York Giants (vs San Diego)
As stated above while discussing Maclin, I don’t usually recommend rookies to start. Hakeem Nicks is a rookie who actually been pretty consistent, but I’m not a big fan this weekend. His QB is injured, he’s facing the #7 pass defense in the league, and he’s averaging less than four catches per game.
Nicks has a bright future, and is already proving to be a pretty solid red zone target, but I am very wary of Giants WRs right now until they get their offense back on track.
Hakeem Nicks Week 9 fantasy projection: 3 rec, 49 yards, 0 TDs
Other sit ’em WRs for Week 9:
- Michael Crabtree has had two solid starts in a row, but I still don’t trust him or his offense to produce TDs from the WR position. Tennessee’s secondary has been bad this year, but they are getting healthier and played better last weekend.
- Ted Ginn Jr. is still a guy you don’t want to start. Relying on return TDs is never a good idea, and right now that is the only place where Ginn is providing value.
- Antonio Bryant is a very talented receiver, but has only four catches in his last two games, mainly because of the inexperience at the QB position. Green Bay is solid against the pass. I’d try to avoid Bryant.
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Tight Ends
Start ’em: Brent Celek, Philadelphia (vs Dallas)
And I’m back on the bandwagon again!
Yes, you would be correct to say that my analysis of Brent Celek on a weekly basis has been quite schizophrenic. That’s because Celek’s production has been schizophrenic. He was great when Kevin Kolb was playing QB, but Donovan McNabb seemed to forget that Celek was on the team.
Not last week.
Celek had a solid day, catching four passes for 61 yards and a TD. I am tentatively excited that Donovan McNabb will continue to look Celek’s way, and I think the Sunday nighter between Philly and Dallas could end up being an up-and-down-the-field type game. If so, look for Celek to take advantage and find his way into the end zone again.
Brent Celek Week 9 fantasy projection: 5 catches, 65 yards, 1 TD
Other start ’em TEs for Week 9:
- Tony Scheffler seems like a good start to me because I think Kyle Orton will have to find his security blanket often; plus, there won’t be much room to run for the Broncos.
- Mr. Inconsistent Mercedes Lewis could be a sneaky-good play against Kansas City’s porous pass defense this week…but only if you’re really in a jam.
Sit ’em: Greg Olsen, Chicago (vs Arizona)
Honestly, no TE really jumped out at me as a clear sit candidate. I put Greg Olsen here because he’s failed to catch a touchdown in three straight games and the Chicago passing offense seems a bit out of sync right now. If Olsen is your only TE, go ahead and start him. But I personally would not mind being able to sit him until Jay Cutler breaks out of his funk.
Greg Olsen Week 9 fantasy projection: 4 rec, 39 yards
Week 9 Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em Defense / Special Teams
Start ’em: Seattle D/ST (vs Detroit)
Seattle’s defense is what it is: a middle of the road unit that isn’t really great at anything. But their Week 9 matchup also is what it is: a terrible offense from Detroit that may, once again, be without its only real weapon, WR Calvin Johnson.
Seattle is currently tied for 7th in the NFL sacks and has played pretty well at home against subpar competition, including shutouts against St. Louis and Jacksonville. This is a good week to roll the dice on the Seahawks, who would sneak their way into the top 5 overall this week because of their matchup.
Seattle D/ST Week 9 fantasy projection: 13 pts or less, 3 sacks, 3 TOs
Other start ’em D/ST units for Week 9:
- Atlanta’s D isn’t great, but they are playing Washington next week.
- San Francisco’s D is a solid start against Vince Young and Tennessee.
Sit ’em: New York Giants D/ST (vs San Diego)
Another week, and another sit ’em recommendation for the Giants defense. They are really struggling right now, and San Diego has the firepower to make them struggle again. San Diego, in fact, has not scored less than 23 points this year.
New York Giants D/ST Week 9 fantasy projection: 24 pts or more, 3 sacks, 1 TO
Other sit ’em D/ST units for Week 9:
- I am not a huge fan of either Philly or Dallas for this week. I just have a feeling that their game Sunday night is going to be a shootout.
- I’d be wary of the Bears’ D. Arizona can score lots of points and has to be smarting after that surprising loss to Carolina.
And now…I leave it to you. Hopefully the advice above helped, and I certainly hope to be able to help out during the week answering your questions.
Some seasons will be salvaged this week, while others may fade into oblivion. Which side will you be on?
Good luck everyone!
* – David Garrard photo credit: DavidGarrard.info
* – Matt Schaub photo credit: ColtsAllDay.com