Week 9 Where to Put em

Thursday, Nov 3, 2011 at 12:00 pm ET

fantasy football rankings
Where to Put 'em is the Fantasy Football Nerd's look at the best and worst matchups for Week 9 of the 2011 NFL season. Decisions are based upon the FFN rankings and matchup analysis. Given the known conditions, these matchups are the ones to watch and/or avoid.

This list does not generally include the elite players that you are going to start regardless of matchup. You don't need us to tell you to start Aaron Rodgers, Andre Johnson, or Adrian Peterson. Where to Put 'em takes a look at other players on your team that we believe either have great matchups or should be avoided for multiple reasons. Factors like opposing defense, performance trending, and peer comparisons may influence our decisions.

Teams on Bye: Carolina, Detroit, Jacksonville, and Minnesota

Put 'em In The Game: Matt Cassel
Let's start Week 9 by going out on a limb with Matt Cassel. He's available in 40% of Fleaflicker leagues so chances are he's available if you need a QB. His match-up is fantastic as he faces the Dolphins who are giving up the 3rd most fantasy points and the fifth most passing yards (282 yds) to opposing signal callers. Cassel threw for 261 yards and a score on Monday night against San Diego's stout defense. The Dolphins are not the Chargers. Expect a healthy dose of Cassel-Bowe.
Put 'em In The Game: Eli Manning
This is Eli's last week on the Start list. He's having a fantastic year and should be considered a certified Stud. His match-up is sweet which is why we want to highlight him. The Patriots give up the 2nd most fantasy points to opposing QB's and Eli has so many weapons at his disposal. Assuming that Nicks is a "go", he joins Cruz, Manningham, and Ballard. Eli has been on a roll and that should continue on Sunday.
Put 'em In The Game: BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Having a short memory will help BenJarvus Green-Ellis owners this week. We're not too concerned with Kevin Faulk's return just yet. The match-up is too good to ignore for the Law Firm as he faces the Giants and their suspect rush defense. The men in blue are giving up 146 yards on the ground and the 3rd-most fantasy points to opposing RB's. When Brady isn't throwing, you can bet BJGE will be pounding away at that line.
Put 'em In The Game: Cedric Benson
Hopefully Cedric Benson rested during his one game suspension last week because he's going to be able to use that extra energy when he faces Tennessee's weak rush defense. The Titans are giving up 160 yards on the ground and the 5th-most fantasy points to opposing rushers. With a match-up like this, reaching the century mark should be well within his grasp.
Put 'em In The Game: LeGarrette Blount
LeGarrette Blount has practiced fully and appears to be ready to go against the Saints this week. Earnest Graham is out for the year so Blount should see a pretty heavy workload. New Orleans gives up 140 yards on the ground and the 7th most fantasy points to opposing RB's. A healthy Blount is a great play this week.
Put 'em In The Game: Julio Jones
Julio Jones is back this week and his match-up couldn't be any better to get him back in the fantasy groove. He faces the Colts who are giving up the most fantasy points to opposing WR's. Matt Ryan and Roddy White should have great days as well. With Jones back, expect to see a lot of yards being put up through the air.
Put 'em In The Game: Dwayne Bowe
We love Dwayne Bowe for the same reasons we love Matt Cassel above. The match-up is beautiful and the Cassel/Bowe connection is great in these situations. Bowe is the 6th-best performing fantasy WR this year and that should continue this week. The Dolphins are giving up the 5th-most fantasy points in PPR formats to opposing WR's.
Put 'em In The Game: Brandon Lloyd
Brandon Lloyd didn't have much time to learn the playbook or get acclimated with his new team last week. He didn't have starting QB Sam Bradford either. None of that seemed to matter when he turned in a respectable 6-53 and a score. He has a great match-up this week against Arizona's porous secondary which is coughing up the 2nd-most fantasy points to opposing WR's.
Put 'em In The Game: Jake Ballard
Jake Ballard is available in 2/3 of all Fleaflicker leagues and has been a great target in that Giants pass attack. Heath Miller took the Patriots to task last week and it's not unreasonable to think that Ballard can do the same.
Put 'em In The Game: Brent Celek
Brent Celek is coming off his best game of the year hauling in 7 receptions for 94 yards and a score. Chicago's defense is pretty solid but nobody gives up more fantasy points to opposing TE's than the Bears. If Vick stays in the pocket and targets Celek again, this match-up could turn into another awesome day for Celek owners.
Put 'em In The Game: David Akers
When picking a kicker, we look for consistency and an offense that can get the kicker into range. David Akers is that guy. He's currently the 6th most productive fantasy kicker according to Fleaflicker and his matchup this week against Washington is a nice one. The Redskins allow the 3rd-most FG's per game and the 6th-most fantasy points to opposing kickers. Kick away David...kick away.
Put 'em On The Bench: Joe Flacco
One might assume that because he lit them up in Week 1, Joe Flacco would be a great start this week in anticipation of repeating those numbers. We're not making those assumptions. The odds that Flacco can repeat that 3-TD performance (in Pittsburgh this time) are slim. Flacco has failed to live up to expectations over the past few games leaving his consistency in doubt. We're siding with doubt this week and would anticipate his production to be similar to that of the last month - poor.
Put 'em On The Bench: Matt Hasselbeck
Matt Hasselbeck started the year nicely but the times they are a changin'. He'll face the Bengals this week who give up the 5th-fewest points to opposing QB's. We would anticipate stats similar to Ryan Fitzpatrick who threw for 199 yards and no scores against them in Week 4. When Hasselbeck lost Britt for the season, he lost his biggest playmaker and much of his fantasy goodness.
Put 'em On The Bench: Rashard Mendenhall
Rashard Mendenhall has not been the fantasy RB that we expected when we spent a high draft pick on him this year. As Big Ben starts throwing more and Mendenhall starts losing touches to Mewelde Moore and Isaac Redman, his fantasy value comes into question. When you combine all of that with the fact that Baltimore yields the 2nd-fewest fantasy points to opposing RB's, how can you logically come to any conclusion that results in Mendenhall starting?
Put 'em On The Bench: Chris Johnson
We've had it. Chris Johnson is our leading candidate for 2011 Bust of the Year. Blame it on the offensive line or the holdout - it doesn't matter. The season is half over and CJ2K isn't even on pace to become CJ1K. Javon Ringer is getting more touches and the Bengals give up the 4th-fewest yards per game (114 yds) and the 9th-fewest fantasy points. Maybe he has a good game here or there, but nothing worth the first round pick that we wasted on him.
Put 'em On The Bench: Steve Johnson
This week's contestant on the hit game show called Revis Island is Steve Johnson. Johnson has been fantastic this year but Revis has been equally fantastic. The Jets allow the 3rd-fewest yards and the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to opposing WR's. Revis rarely allows elite WR's to see double digit fantasy points and Johnson should not be an exception.
Put 'em On The Bench: Plaxico Burress
C'mon admit it. Either you or someone you know dropped Plaxico because he wasn't performing only to try and grab him off the waiver after his 3-TD performance, right? We hate to burst your bubble, but he's not going to repeat that this week. Burress is the 46th best fantasy WR on the season and if you take away that 1 game, he'd barely break the top 100. One week does not make a trend and we're not buying into Burress.
Put 'em On The Bench: Heath Miller
Heath Miller has done very well the past two weeks, but those match-ups were against terrible pass defenses (Arizona and New England). He won't be walking into the same situation this week. Nobody allows fewer yards or fantasy points to opposing TE's than the Ravens. When Miller faced them in Week 1, he pulled in 3 receptions for 42 yards. We think that if he can hit those numbers this week, we'd call it a successful day.
Put 'em On The Bench: Dallas Clark
Dallas Clark is currently the 19th best fantasy TE in 2011. He has reached double digit fantasy production in PPR formats in only 3 games (only 1 game in standard scoring) this season. Without Manning, Clark is no longer an elite TE but you can still play him on the match-up. Based on the match-up with the Falcons, we'd sit him. Atlanta gives up the 4th-fewest fantasy points to opposing TE's. Too much risk with too little reward.
Put 'em On The Bench: Billy Cundiff
If Joe Flacco and company can't get down the field and into field goal range, Billy Cundiff can't get those points. If the Ravens have difficulty scoring (likely this week), Cundiff won't get those easy XP's. Billy Cundiff is the 3rd best fantasy kicker this year but he's facing the Steelers who give up the 3rd-fewest fantasy points to kickers. The match-up isn't pretty.

Join the Discussion

Lutefisk CommentedNov 4, 2011 11:00 am

Nerd, sounds like Hillis re-injured his hammy today. Think Ogbonnaya is worth a start against the Texans? Put it this way, would he be a better start than Starks or Mendenhall this week? With Bradshaw and McFadden probably sidelined I'm awfully thin... Thanks!

Lutefisk CommentedNov 4, 2011 11:00 am

By the way, I really like your new trade analysis tool. I've been wishing for something like that for a while. I don't trade often, but I use it whenever I'm about to waive someone to pick someone else up. I know it's not real accurate when used that way, but it does give me an idea of the long term effect of the move on my team. Thanks for adding it.


Len CommentedNov 5, 2011 11:00 am

I agree about the trade analyzer. One question though: what is a significant difference in points that would indicate a trade is inadvisable? There's always going to be a point difference. Since the point total is over the course of the remaining games, a few points a game does not seem to be that big. Have you any advice on this?

jswain34 CommentedNov 5, 2011 11:00 am

Ive got AP on a bye and mathews isnt looking like hes going to play this week. I need to make the decision: Ogbannaya or curtis brinkley. PPR league

Nerd CommentedNov 5, 2011 11:00 am

Hey Lute - Ogbonnaya is an unknown value and the Texans are tough on the run. If Hillis doesn't play (which is likely), I'd think that Mendenhall is the safer play but Ogbonnaya could have more upside. I'd say give it a shot.

@Len - Good question. I think it depends on the situation. If you're weak at one position and strong at another, the trade may only result in a small net gain according to the Analyzer, but your team may become stronger and more competitive.

@jswain34 - While not official yet, I don't think Mathews is going to go tomorrow. I'd give Chris Ogbonnaya a shot.

3eastbloggers CommentedNov 6, 2011 11:00 am

Yea i have to say that putting Matt Cassel in the Start Em category I agree he has a favorable match-up but i think there might be some better choices. How do you feel about Carson Palmer going forward. Seems to be a hot topic.

hey if anyone gets bored check out our new blog


We're just starting up and hoping to give some different looks at the fantasy community.

Cool Thanks,

Mike EDITOR, 3 East Bloggers

Nerd CommentedNov 6, 2011 11:00 am

Hey Mike - not sold on Palmer. He will most likely not find a spot on my bench.

I just checked out the site and enjoyed the Fantasy Mistakes column. Good stuff!

Good luck on the new blog!

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