Wally Spurlin
Start/Bench - Week 9

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We have reached Week 9 and a second consecutive week that has six teams on a bye. That many players being unavailable for a given week can make things very interesting when deciding on roster and lineup decisions.

Without further ado …

QUARTERBACKS

STUDS

Aaron Rodgers
Drew Brees
Peyton Manning * bye week *
Matthew Stafford * bye week *
Cam Newton
Matt Ryan
Tony Romo
Robert Griffin III
Philip Rivers

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow

Michael Vick: The Chip Kelly offense seems stuck in neutral whether it’s been Vick or Nick Foles running the ship. This latest hamstring issue will sideline Vick for a few weeks as well as hamper him upon his return. Health and availability issues make him too risky to be considered a must start once he does return.

START

Andrew Luck, IDIANAPOLIS at Houston: Luck posted four touchdowns with no interceptions in two games against the Texans last season but averaged only 193 passing yards. Three weeks ago, St. Louis quarterback Sam Bradford threw touchdowns to guys named (Brian) Quick, (Lance) Kendricks and (Cory) Harkey against Houston. Luck will be just fine hooking up with (T.Y.) Hilton, (Darrius) Heyward-Bey and (Coby) Fleener.

Andy Dalton, CINCINNATI at Miami: Is Dalton hot? Over his last three games he has completed 66 percent of his passes while averaging 344 yards per game with 11 touchdowns and two interceptions. One more week like the previous three and Dalton will be moving on up.

Terrelle Pryor, OAKLAND vs. Philadelphia: The Eagles are a top-10 team in allowing fantasy points to the quarterback position. Pryor will continue to post excellent rushing numbers (166 yards in his last two games) and can actually exploit a Philadelphia secondary that’s allowing more than 300 yards per game through the air.

Alex Smith, KANSAS CITY at Buffalo: Smith’s two passing touchdowns last Sunday were his first since Week 4. Look for him to put up at least two more this week against a Buffalo defense that has allowed 20 this season. Start ‘The Game Manager’ with confidence as the Chiefs roll over the Bills.

Jake Locker, TENNESSEE at St. Louis: Locker is a dual threat that has the receiving weapons to hurt teams through the air as well as the athleticism to pull the ball down and churn out yards. The inclusion of running back Chris Johnson as a receiving threat (11 catches, 155 yards, 2 TD the last three games) really boosts Locker’s value. St. Louis will bring just enough pressure to force Locker to run the ball a bit more this week and that is good for his fantasy owners.

BENCH

Mike Glennon, TAMPA BAY at Seattle: Glennon has been decent in his first four starts averaging 249 yards passing per game with six touchdowns and three interceptions. ‘The Legion of Boom’ will take away his receiving options and rookie running back Mike James will find the going rough in the ground game. A trip to Seattle is a daunting task for a veteran quarterback, but the rookie Glennon is in for a very long day.

Tom Brady, NEW ENGLAND vs. Pittsburgh: Blasphemy! The fall is complete. Since throwing for 319 yards and two touchdowns back in Week 4, Brady has averaged 202 passing yards per game and thrown two touchdowns and four interceptions in the last four games. Is he due for a breakout game? Maybe. Does he have an undisclosed hand injury? Possibly. Is he facing a Steelers defense that has allowed only five passing touchdowns in seven games? Definitely. Sit him.

Case Keenum, HOUSTON vs. Indianapolis: The Colts were able to get to Denver quarterback Peyton Manning four times in Week 7 and will be swarming the Texans offense. With an uncertain running game due to injuries to Arian Foster (he says he’ll be fine but we shall see) and Ben Tate , the Texans will struggle to move the ball. Avoid the rookie quarterback this week.

Ryan Tannehill, MIAMI vs. Cincinnati: Tannehill shoots himself in the foot with too many turnovers. He’s thrown nine interceptions and lost five fumbles while tossing 11 touchdowns. The Bengals defensive line is deep and poised to add to the 32 times that Tannehill has been sacked. Coming off of a week where he was picked off twice, Tannehill will be running for his life on Thursday night leading to some errant throws.



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