Thursday, November 5, 2009


Start em


Matt Hasselbeck: Coming off a strong Week 8 performance, Hasselbeck and the “Hawks welcome the Lions to Seattle this Sunday. Matt was quite efficient last week, as he threw 2 touchdowns for 249 yards and no interceptions. The “Twelfth Man” will only make life easier for the banged-up, but ready-to-go Hasselbeck. After folding to then-winless St. Louis at home last week, the 1-6 Lions can’t be thrilled with having to trek up to the state of Washington in Week 9. Look for Hasselbeck to cross the 300 yard threshold and add a trio of TD passes.

Alex Smith: The former number one overall pick pilots his third game as “new” starting QB of the Niners, in Week 9 in San Francisco. Smith has regained the starting gig, and should post his best statistical performance to date. Tennessee brings the NFL’s worst passing defense to town, along with their incredibly disappointing 1-6 record. This week will likely be Michael Crabtree’s coming out party, with a 100 plus yard day in store for the tardy rookie. Smith will tally over 200 yards passing and a pair of TD’s, one to the talented Texas Tech alum. Welcome to the NFL Mr. Crabtree….just 196 more TD’s to catch Jerry Rice.


Pierre Thomas: Thomas was able to get back on track last Monday Night, in a win against division rival Atlanta. The Carolina Panthers, another NFC South foe, come calling this week, hoping to be the team to hand the red-hot Saints their first defeat of the season. Pierre will be facing the NFL’s 24th ranked rushing defense in Carolina, so another strong performance is likely. The Panthers are tops in the league against the passing game, so the Saints will no doubt throw a healthy dose of Pierre Thomas at Carolina all day. Thomas will record his best rushing day of the season, and second 100 plus rushing effort of the year.

Ryan Grant: After a very disappointing defeat at the hands of Brett Favre and the Vikings, Grant and his Packers fly down to Tampa, hoping to rebound against the still-winless Bucs. Ryan’s totals have been decent this year, but he has yet to deliver that breakout game. The schedulers may have handed the Packers and Grant just what they need in Week 9….an opportunity to put Favre’s return behind them, and a tasty 30th ranked run defense to feast on all afternoon.


Mike Sims-Walker: Following a week where Walker recorded just two receptions, a bounce-back against the dreadful Chiefs seems obvious. MSW has been a bit of an enigma this season, but I am banking on the athletic young Jag to take advantage of a Kansas City team that has yielded an average of 252 yards passing per game. Jump back on the Sims-Walker train in Week 9.

Hakeem Nicks: Nicks had a hiccup in Week 8 in Philadelphia, but he and the Giants will be desperate to snap a three-game losing streak when they host the Chargers in Week 9. Hakeem is healthy, and beginning to flaunt his big-play ability. The up-and-down Chargers are looking at a cross-country trip against a hungry bunch, so Eli should have the San Diego defense on its heels all day. Nicks will get back into the endzone this week, as the Giants return to their winning ways.


Greg Olsen: Olsen and the Bears took care of Cleveland last week, and now move on to another home contest, this time against the inconsistent Cardinals. A trip to Chicago in November should be a tough task for Warner and the Cards. Olsen is still seeking that elusive 100 yard day, and could earn it on Sunday in Chicago. Cutler spreads it out amongst his stable of young WR’s, but there should be enough left for Olsen to gain 80-100 yards on 6-8 catches.

Fred Davis: The season-ending injury to Chris Cooley opened the door for second year USC product Fred Davis. The Skins are indeed a horrible team; however, they will likely be playing from behind all day, forcing Jason Campbell to go to the air often. Campbell and Davis connected for eight catches two weeks ago against Philadelphia, before heading into the Wee 8 bye. The Falcons have the ability to light up the scoreboard on offense, but when it comes to defending the passing attack, “The Birds” fall short. Davis is a sneaky option against the team that is next-to-last in the NFL in passing defense.

Sit em


Kyle Orton: For the second straight week, I recommend benching Kyle Orton. As expected, Orton was a non-factor in Baltimore last week, and shouldn’t be much more effective in Week 9 at home versus the Steelers. The Broncos may have been exposed a bit last week against the Ravens, which will give the Steel Curtain even more swagger than they normally bring. The Broncos running game is not a reliable as it once was, resulting in added pressure at the QB position. Kyle may surpass 200 yards this week, with a single TD pass, but no more than that.

Kurt Warner: A meeting in chilly Chicago in Week 9 does not bode well for Kurt Warner. The greybeard has some gas left in the tank, but will be hard pressed to work his magic this time. Chicago bounced back against Cleveland last week, and likely will not have to deal with Anquan Boldin, who should miss this one. Larry Fitzgerald will be smothered, making it difficult for Warner to get going. It looks like back-to-back clunkers for the two-time former NFL MVP and Super Bowl Champion.


Cedric Benson: The resurgent Benson and his Bengal mates return from a Week 8 bye, for a divisional tilt against the Baltimore Ravens. Benson has been stellar for Cincinnati this season, most recently in a grudge match with the team that drafted him in the first round, the Chicago Bears. As well as Cedric has played, he is going up against a stoked Raven D that is coming off a huge win against the previously undefeated Broncos. There aren’t many NFL backs that I would recommend starting against Baltimore. CB isn’t one of them.

Marion Barber: MBIII’s fantasy value has taken a huge hit this season. The combination of early-season injuries, and a shared workload with Felix Jones and Tashard Choice, has crushed Barber’s status as a fantasy stud. Marion did get into the endzone against Seattle last week, but he still only managed 53 yards on the ground and a lone reception for two yards. In a Monday night matchup with the Eagles in Philadelphia, Barber is not going to get much room to run. Dallas RB’s are not strong plays this week.


Brandon Marshall: Nobody doubts the ability of Brandon Marshall. He has proven that he has the skills to be an elite NFL receiver and fantasy beast. His off-the-field problems are well-documented, and so far in 2009, his on-the-filed performance has left much to be desired. A guy like Marshall is tough to sit, but the reeling Broncos travel to the Steel City in Week 9. If weather doesn’t play a factor, Polamalu and the Steelers D certainly will.

Dwayne Bowe: No matter how talented a receiver may be, if the players around him aren’t competent, his value will be limited. Such is the case with Dwayne Bowe, who finds himself in an ugly situation in Kansas City. The Chiefs are playing a miserable Jaguar team in Week 9, but the Larry Johnson-Chiefs will struggle to put points on the board against anyone. Free agent acquisition Matt Cassel has struggled mightily of late, which makes Bowe a risky play this week and weeks ahead.


Todd Heap: The former All-Pro has vanished. After scoring a TD in each of the first two weeks of the season, Heap has failed to find the endzone again, and surpassed 50 yards receiving just once since Week 2. The Ravens remain a defensive minded team. Unless he gets on a roll, and has a favorable matchup, Todd Heap will not be a viable fantasy starter this season.

Kellen Winslow: KW Jr. has delivered a couple of outstanding performances this season. The other five weeks’ lines have been mediocre at best. Do we really expect any consistency from the 2009-10 Bucs offense? The win may come for Tampa Bay (not this week against the Packers), but Winslow or any other Buc player should not be relied on as fantasy assets.

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