NFL Week 9 Start Sit
Terrelle Pryor QB Oakland Raiders
If I wasn’t fully onboard the Terrelle Pryor bandwagon, I am after last week’s performance against Pittsburgh. The Steelers defense isn’t nearly the squad it has been in years past, but it is still one of the best in the league. Pryor made the Steelers look like they were running in tar on the first play from scrimmage, running 93 yards untouched to the endzone. The rest of his game was subpar at best, but it was still good enough for a 15 point game in most leagues. Now he has another home game against another team travelling cross country, the Eagles, who are really stopping anyone at this point.
Pick Pryor up and plug him in over Matt Ryan, Andrew Luck, and Ben Roethlisberger.
Ryan Mathews RB San Diego Chargers
Is it possible that Ryan Mathews is starting to reach the high potential that he has always seemed to have in fantasy football. Mathews has done little but disappoint his owners most of the time, but he has put up three double digit games in his last four outings. Of course, the one non-double digit game was a goose-egg in non-PPR or fractional point leagues, but as we have seen before, the remedy for a struggling offensive player is playing the Redskins. I expect Mathews and Woodhead to help Rivers carve up this Skins defense, on their way to 28-35 points.
Plug Mathews in this week over Stevan Ridley, Chris Johnson, and Trent Richardson.
DeAndre Hopkins WR Houston Texans
Remember in Week 2 when Hopkins caught the game winning touchdown against Tennessee and people were talking about Hopkins as the next Andre Johnson? I hardly remember it myself. Hopkins had a month of terrible performance, thanks in large part to Matt Schaub’s ineptitude. He had a resurgence of source last week with Case Keenum, and I expect more of the same coming off of a bye week in a must win game against the Colts. The season is on the line for the Texans, and I think the home crowd can will them to a victory, with Hopkins playing a good part of it.
Go with Hopkins over Marques Colston, Dwayne Bowe, and Stevie Johnson.
Tom Brady QB New England Patriots
Tom Brady has been below average at absolute best in his last four games. Dare I say, he has played poorly. In his last four games, Brady has thrown for an average of 202 yards a game, with just two touchdowns and four interceptions, one in each game. After the Steelers defense gave up that huge run to Pryor in the first quarter, they dominated the game from there, allowing just 14 points and picking Pryor off twice. The Steelers have allowed an average of 14 points over the last three weeks, and I would be shocked if the banged up Pats defense can get over 24 points this week. This looks like another average game for Brady in what has been by his standards an average to subpar season.
Bench Brady in favor of Jake Locker, Geno Smith, and the aforementioned Terrelle Pryor.
Darren Sproles RB New Orleans Saints
The stat line for Darren Sproles last week was scary, and not in the good way. Sproles did not log a single carry, and had four catches for….0 yards. Not the best game in the world. Sproles has become an afterthought as far as being a threat to carry the ball, and is simply in the games as a check down and screen option for Brees. This week, the Saints play a Jets defense that is far more effective against the run (3rd against run in fantasy football), than against the pass (20th), meaning that Brees will be looking downfield early and often. Will Sproles get a few short passes? Sure. Will he find the endzone? Possibly. Will he have a shot at more than 15 points? No. More likely to have 5-8 points, and in a non-PPR league, he is never a starter imo.
This week, I like CJ Spiller, Danny Woodhead, and Ben Tate over Sproles.
Vincent Jackson WR Tampa Bay Buccaneers
This is a tough one to write, you probably aren’t benching V-Jax here, but hear me out I love Jackson going forward, and Mike Glennon seems to have found his favorite target, an easy choice given his size and speed. But what are the chances that the Buccaneers find the endzone more than once this week at Seattle? With no Doug Martin, the Seahawks, who are full of pass rushers, will be blitzing the rookie all day long. Tack on the fact that Jackson is up against one of the few corners who can contain him, Richard Sherman, and I would be surprised if Jackson breaks double digits this week in what should be an awful offensive output by Tampa.
Some bench players I like more than Jackson are Denarius Moore, Golden Tate, and Kendall Wright.