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2009 Start/Bench List Week 9

It’s Week
9 and by now you know whether or not your fantasy team is a contender. With the
bye weeks just about done, this is the last chance to build your team depth
before the race to the playoffs. There will be plenty of offense to go around
this week in the Dallas/Philadelphia game and the entire AFC South will produce
both passing and rushing numbers that will boggle the mind.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players
that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of
needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the
shark tank assist you in your decisions.

2) Depth – every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than
others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make
such a move.


Bye Weeks:



New York Jets,


St. Louis,



Bye Weeks: Trent Edwards/Ryan Fitzpatrick, Brett Favre,
Mark Sanchez, JaMarcus Russell, Marc Bulger, Derek Anderson/Brady Quinn


Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Houston

Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay at Tampa Bay

Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Carolina

Tom Brady, New England vs. Miami

Matt Schaub, Houston at Indianapolis

Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Denver

Philip Rivers, San Diego at N.Y. Giants


Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Dallas: McNabb was very impressive last
week against the Giants completing 17 of 23 passes (74 percent) for 240 yards
and three touchdowns. With Brian Westbrook still ailing, look for McNabb to
continue to use Brent Celek and DeSean Jackson as the Eagles passing attack is
going to dominate the Cowboys this week.

Alex Smith,

San Francisco vs.

Tennessee: Looking for a
one-week replacement for Brett Favre? Look no further than Smith. He has played
back-to-back solid games against the likes of


This week, he gets to face the Titans, who have allowed the most passing yards
in the NFL this season averaging 282.4 per game. Look for Smith to continue to
build a rapport with Michael Crabtree and Vernon Davis as the 49ers offense
starts to turn some heads this week.


Matt Cassel,

Kansas City at

Jacksonville: Even though the Jaguars are ranked 26th in
the NFL in passing yards allowed, you still can’t count on

to be your starter this week. The offensive line is horrible for

Kansas City, and while I
like Jamaal Charles to have a decent week against the Jags, no other Chiefs
offensive player should be in your starting lineup, including Dwayne Bowe.

Matt Ryan,

Atlanta vs.

Washington: Matty Ice couldn’t get it done
against the aggressive Saints defense on Monday night as he threw three interceptions.
Things won’t get any easier this week against the Redskins, who allow the
second fewest passing yards per game in the NFL.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks:
Fred Jackson/Marshawn Lynch, Adrian Peterson/Chester Taylor, Thomas Jones/Shonn
Greene, Justin Fargas/Darren McFadden/Michael Bush, Steven Jackson, Jerome
Harrison/Jamal Lewis


Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville vs. Kansas City

Ray Rice, Baltimore at Cincinnati

Chris Johnson, Tennessee at San Francisco

DeAngelo Williams, Carolina at New Orleans

Cedric Benson, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore

Steve Slaton, Houston at Indianapolis

Michael Turner, Atlanta vs. Washington

Matt Forte, Chicago vs. Arizona

Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Tennessee


Brandon Jacobs, N.Y. Giants vs. San Diego: Even though Jacobs will lose
a goal line carry or two to Ahmad Bradshaw, he still makes a solid play this
week against a Chargers defense that allows an average of 132.1 rushing yards
per game. Look for Jacobs to surpass the 100-yard mark for the first time this
season as the Giants pound it down the Chargers throat all day.

Ryan Grant,

Green Bay at


Don’t fret Grant’s performance last week. Even though he only rushed for 30
yards on 10 carries, he’ll rebound against the Buccaneers, who allow an average
of 4.7 yards per carry on the ground. Grant has rushed for at least 90 yards in
three of the past five games and


Bay won’t be able to slow
him down this week.

Pierre Thomas,

New Orleans vs.

Carolina: Look at the
numbers Thomas is putting up in essentially a part-time role: 5.8 yards per
carry, five touchdowns, and he hasn’t carried the ball more than 19 times all
season. The Panthers have had difficulty stopping the run and while no one
seems to be able to slow down the Saints passing attack, the Panthers will be
more successful in defending the pass than the run this week.


Rashard Mendenhall,

Pittsburgh at

Denver: Since Mendenhall’s
breakout game against the Chargers in Week 4 when he ran for 165 yards, his
rushing yardage totals have been 77, 62 and 69. It’s not like he faced the
league’s best run defenses during this stretch either as he placed


Cleveland and

Minnesota This week,
Mendenhall does face a top run defense in the Broncos, who are ranked third in
the league in rushing yards allowed. Look for the Steelers running attack to
struggle as Ben Roethlisberger is needed to keep them in the game.

Knowshon Moreno,

Denver vs.

Pittsburgh: While Moreno
has been the starter over Correll Buckhalter, he has totaled only 83 yards
rushing in the last two games combined. He faces the Steelers this week, who
have allowed the fewest rushing yards all season. Both

Moreno and Buckhalter should be on your bench
this week in what looks to be a defensive battle from the very beginning.

Laurence Maroney, New England vs.

Maroney owners got a reality check in Week 7, as he rushed for only 43 yards on
13 carries after exploding for 123 yards in the snow the week before against
the Titans. Maroney will struggle finding holes against the Dolphins this week,
who have played much better against the run than the pass this year. Tom Brady
and his plethora of receivers will be much better plays than Maroney this week.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks:
Terrell Owens/Lee Evans/Josh Reed, Sidney Rice/Percy Harvin/Bernard Berrian,
Jerricho Cotchery/Braylon Edwards/David Clowney, Louis Murphy/Darrius
Heyward-Bey, Donnie Avery/Keenan Burton/Laurent Robinson/Danny Amendola,
Mohamed Mossaquoi/Josh Cribbs/Chansi Stuckey/Mike Furrey


Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis vs. Houston

Steve Smith, N.Y. Giants vs. San Diego

Andre Johnson, Houston at Indianapolis

Vincent Jackson, San Diego at N.Y. Giants

Randy Moss, New England vs. Miami

Chad Ochocinco, Cincinnati vs. Baltimore

Wes Welker, New England vs. Miami

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Chicago

Roddy White, Atlanta vs. Washington

Marques Colston, New Orleans vs. Carolina

Hines Ward, Pittsburgh at Denver


Nate Burleson, Seattle vs. Detroit: Burleson continues to be Matt
Hasselbeck’s top target as he caught six passes for 89 yards last week against
the Cowboys. Look for Burleson to post solid yardage against

Detroit and he’ll find the end zone against a
Lions defense that has already allowed 18 passing touchdowns on the season.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore at

Mason salvaged a poor performance against the Broncos last week with a touchdown
catch in the fourth quarter. The last time Mason faced the Bengals he was held
without a catch. You can bet Mason wants redemption and as the Bengals focus on
slowing down Ray Rice, there will be good old reliable Mason to clean up the
scraps. Look for Mason to continue his string of two straight games with a touhdown
as he adds 7-9 receptions along the way.

Mike Sims-Walker,

Jacksonville vs.

Kansas City: After
returning from a bye week, Sims-Walker caught only two passes for nine yards
against a below-average Titans defense. Look for him to get back on track this
week against the Chiefs, who have had more distractions than a circus this week
combined with a pass defense that has allowed an average of 252.1 yards per

DeSean Jackson,

Philadelphia vs.


is averaging an incredible 20.9 yards per reception this season with four of
his 24 catches having gone for a touchdown. Oh yeah, he also ran for a 67-yard touchdown
two weeks ago against the Redskins.

Jackson and
the Eagles will be flying high this week against

Dallas. All hands on deck.


Hakeem Nicks, N.Y. Giants vs.

: Nicks failed to capitalize on the absence of
Mario Manningham last week as he caught only four passes for 53 yards. He was
also kept out of the end zone for the first time in five weeks. With the Giants
likely to experience plenty of success on the ground this week and Manningham’s
pending return to action, the window to sneak Nicks into your lineup has
officially been closed.

Kevin Walter, Houston at

While it’s true that Owen Daniels is done for the season and Walter is the most
likely candidate to receive more action in the Texans passing game, he’ll
struggle along with the rest of the offense against the Colts this week. Matt
Schaub will continue to look Andre Johnson’s way first, and there won’t be much
more available this week as Steve Slaton (or Ryan Moats) gets a heavy dose of
carries to keep the Colts offense on the sidelines.

Santonio Holmes,

Pittsburgh at

Denver: With the Steelers
passing attack looking as strong as it has, I really expected Holmes to be the
center of attention. While he is still on pace for a 1,000-yard season, he hasn’t
made the leap to the studs list. The Broncos defense has been very stingy this
season, and Holmes won’t find much room in the secondary this week. Try and
snag Holmes now if you can though, as he’s got an easy schedule in the upcoming

Steve Smith,

Carolina at

New Orleans: Smith has had decent games in
back-to-back weeks catching six passes for 99 yards in Week 7 and three passes
for 56 yards and a score last week. Both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart
are in line for big games this week, which translates into very few
opportunities for Smith as the

passing attack has had fewer than 20 pass attempts in two of the last three

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks:
Derek Fine, Visanthe Shiancoe, Dustin Keller, Zach Miller, Daniel Fells/Randy
McMichael, Robert Royal/Steve Heiden


Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. Houston

Vernon Davis, San Francisco vs. Tennessee

Brent Celek, Philadelphia vs. Dallas

Antonio Gates, San Diego at N.Y. Giants

Heath Miller, Pittsburgh at Denver

Tony Gonzalez, Atlanta vs. Washington

Kellen Winslow, Tampa Bay vs. Green Bay

Jason Witten, Dallas at Philadelphia


Ben Watson, New England vs. Miami: In the past two games, the Dolphins
have allowed 12 catches for 181 yards and a touchdown to the opposing team’s
tight end. Watson has a touchdown catch in two of the past three games and he’ll
play a prominent role in short yardage situations for Tom Brady this week.

Kevin Boss, N.Y. Giants vs.

: Don’t look now, the Boss man is on a roll! Boss
had his best game of the season last week as he caught three passes for 70
yards and a touchdown. The Chargers have allowed the opposing tight end to
catch an average of five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown over the past four
weeks. The Giants won’t need to pass often this week, but when they do, Eli
Manning will use Boss effectively and often enough to make him a worthy


Anthony Fasano,

Miami at

New England: One side effect to the wildcat offense is
defenses stack the middle of the field which doesn’t bode well for a tight end
to find open areas in the passing game. Fasano was outscored by backup Joey
Haynos last week. ‘Nuff said.

Todd Heap, Baltimore at

Heap caught seven passes the last time he faced the Bengals, but it was for
only 41 yards. Heap also hasn’t had a touchdown catch since Week 2 as Ray Rice
and Willis McGahee have dominated the goal line activity. Don’t expect much to
change this week as Heap continues to be a third or fourth option in the Ravens
passing attack.

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