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Depth is the key word for Fantasy owners this week. If you have depth on your roster, chances are you're in good shape.

We already knew Week 9 was going to be difficult with Detroit, Kansas City, Arizona, Seattle, Baltimore and Houston on bye. That takes away several stud players like Carson Palmer, Marshawn Lynch, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, DeAndre Hopkins and Travis Kelce, among others.

On top of that, we have some tough matchups for several stars, like the Colts facing the Broncos and the Packers at Carolina. And injuries are also mounting for several Fantasy owners after we got dealt a crushing blow last week when Le'Veon Bell (knee), Matt Forte (knee) and Keenan Allen (kidney) got hurt, with Bell and Allen out for the rest of the season.

But all is not lost.

The replacements for Bell (DeAngelo Williams), Forte (Jeremy Langford) and Allen (Steve Johnson) have the chance to start for you this week. And we could be seeing some early-season disappointments turn things around, including Peyton Manning, Jeremy Hill and Dez Bryant.

We hope this is the start of a playoff push for many of your teams. And if you're still hanging around in your league at 4-4, 3-5 or even 2-6 this could be a crucial week where you have to win.

Be aggressive with trade offers and definitely play the waiver wire this week. You might have missed on Williams as the handcuff for Bell, but Langford, Johnson, Benjamin Watson, Derek Carr and many more could be available as free agents, so pick them up and start them this week.

Your roster might look entirely different in Week 9 than it did in Week 1. In some cases, that could be a good thing, but make sure you're prepared with an optimal lineup at this crucial point in the season.

Start of the Week: Jeremy Hill, RB, Bengals

Jeremy Hill
NE • RB • 33
vs CLE
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION13.2
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I don't typically like using players on Thursday night for the Start of the Week because the short week lends itself to unexpected things happening from time to time. But every now and then you have to make an exception, and Fantasy owners should trust in Hill this week against Cleveland.

He's been one of the bigger busts this season after being drafted in the first two rounds based on CBS Sports Average Draft Position, and he's had just three games with double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league and has yet to top 70 total yards in any game. He's also been outplayed by Giovani Bernard.

But for the past two games we've seen the Bengals commit to Hill with at least 15 carries in each outing, which is encouraging. He just hasn't delivered a big performance, but this should be his best game of the season.

The Browns have allowed a running back to score or total 100 yards in all eight games this year and 11 games in a row going back to last year, including when Hill had 25 carries for 148 yards and two touchdowns in Week 15 at home. Bernard also had 15 carries for 79 yards and three catches for 24 yards in that same game, and he's worth using as at least a flex option this week.

We hope this is the start of a strong finish for Hill. Last year, he had 27 Fantasy points in Week 9 against Jacksonville, and he closed the season with double digits in Fantasy points in six of his final nine games. Let's see if history can repeat itself starting against the Browns on Thursday night.

I'm starting Hill over: Adrian Peterson (vs. STL), Eddie Lacy (at CAR), DeMarco Murray (at DAL), Lamar Miller (at BUF) and Frank Gore (vs. DEN)

Quarterback

Start 'Em

Eli Manning
NYG • QB • 10
at TB
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION21.8
Manning wasn't as good as his counterpart last week when Drew Brees scored 58 Fantasy points in their head-to-head meeting in New Orleans, but he wasn't far off. Manning ended a two-game slump with 50 Fantasy points in a standard league behind 350 passing yards and six touchdowns. It was just the second time this season in four road games that he scored at least 20 Fantasy points, but we expect him to do well on the road again this week. Tampa Bay is terrible against opposing quarterbacks, as Blake Bortles, Kirk Cousins and Matt Ryan each had at least 300 passing yards and two touchdowns against the Buccaneers in the past three weeks. Manning last faced Tampa Bay in 2012 and passed for 510 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions, so let's hope history repeats itself this week, minus the turnovers.
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Ben Roethlisberger
PIT • QB • 7
vs OAK
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION20.9
Roethlisberger did not have the return from his knee injury that he was hoping for in Week 8 against the Bengals when he passed for 262 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. The hope is now he's shaken off the rust from being out since Week 3, and he should rebound in this home matchup with the Raiders, who are traveling from the West Coast for a 1 p.m. ET start. The only quarterback who has failed to pass for multiple touchdowns against the Raiders this season was Peyton Manning in Week 5, and last week Geno Smith came on in relief of Ryan Fitzpatrick (thumb) and passed for 265 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. We expect Roethlisberger to rebound in a big way in this matchup.
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Jay Cutler
MIA • QB •
at SD
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION19.2
Cutler has been more than serviceable as a Fantasy quarterback this season, and he heads into this game with four games in a row scoring exactly 21 Fantasy points. He only has two passing touchdowns in his past two outings, but he's finding ways to contribute, including a rushing touchdown in Week 8 against Minnesota. Cutler might be asked to do more heavy lifting with the offense this week since Forte is out, and he has a favorable matchup against the Chargers, who have allowed multiple touchdowns to four of their past five opposing quarterbacks and six of eight on the season. San Diego has allowed 15 total touchdowns to quarterbacks with just four interceptions, and I expect Cutler to be a Top 10 quarterback in this matchup.
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Derek Carr
LV • QB • 4
at PIT
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION17.5
There are a couple of things working against Carr that you just might have to overlook. He has a long road trip with an early start at Pittsburgh. And the Steelers have actually done a solid job of late against opposing quarterbacks, with Philip Rivers in Week 5 the only one to score multiple touchdowns in the past six games, including matchups with Carson Palmer and Andy Dalton. But Carr has played great the past two games and really for the majority of the season. He's averaging 33 Fantasy points in a standard league the past two games against San Diego and the Jets, with seven touchdowns and no interceptions over that span. And he's scored at least 24 Fantasy points in four of his past six games overall, including two on the road. His receivers have been great in Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree, and this game could turn into a shootout.
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Peyton Manning
DEN • QB • 18
at IND
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION19.4
Is Manning back? Not yet, even after he looked better in Week 8 against the Packers. His arm appeared a little stronger, and he connected on 21-of-29 passes for a season-high 340 yards. Now, he didn't throw a touchdown and still had another interception (11 for the season), but this week could be one of his better outings against his former team. The Colts have allowed five of their past six opposing quarterbacks to score at least 20 Fantasy points, and Manning's two best games have come on the road at Kansas City and at Detroit. I'm buying into Manning being a safe start this week, and you should also in the majority of leagues.
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Sleepers

Tyrod Taylor (vs. MIA): He had 30 Fantasy points at MIA in Week 3.
Jameis Winston (vs. NYG): He's scored 20-plus points in consecutive games.
Marcus Mariota (at NO): NO allows the most Fantasy points to quarterbacks.

Sit 'Em

Ryan Tannehill
TEN • QB • 17
at BUF
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION15.2
Tannehill is coming off a miserable game in Week 8 at New England with eight Fantasy points. Maybe it was facing a good opponent or playing on the short week Thursday night. Or maybe Tannehill is who he is, which is just a mediocre Fantasy quarterback. Things have clearly been up and down for Tannehill this season, but he's only managed two games with more than 19 Fantasy points. And in Week 3 against Buffalo he had 19 Fantasy points with 297 passing yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions. In three career games at Buffalo, Tannehill has combined for just 24 Fantasy points. This is not a week to trust him in the majority of leagues.
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Sam Bradford
ARI • QB • 9
at DAL
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION19.8
I hope Bradford comes off the bye playing well, but we need to see it first before considering him as a starting option in the majority of leagues. He has five games this season with 15 Fantasy points or less in a standard league, and he was terrible against Dallas at home in Week 2 with 224 passing yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. The Cowboys have allowed three quarterbacks to score multiple touchdowns this season in Matt Ryan, Brees and Tom Brady, and Bradford isn't close to being in that category. Eli Manning and Russell Wilson combined for 21 Fantasy points the past two weeks against Dallas, and Bradford will likely struggle in this matchup.
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Blake Bortles
GB • QB • 9
at NYJ
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION:13.6
The Jets have been bad against opposing quarterbacks of late with Brady and Carr lighting them up for an average 35 Fantasy points the past two games. It was a complete turnaround from where the Jets were to open the season when they held every opposing quarterback to 15 Fantasy points or less, including matchups with Andrew Luck, Bradford and Tannehill. Bortles has been great this season with at least 19 Fantasy points in five of seven starts and 20-plus points in four of those outings. One of his worst games was Week 8 against the Bills in London when he passed for 182 yards, two touchdowns and one interception for 17 Fantasy points. I would expect a similar performance this week against the Jets, who should be motivated to stop their recent defensive woes at home.
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Teddy Bridgewater
DEN • QB • 5
vs STL
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION16.3
Bridgewater continues to disappoint as a Fantasy quarterback this season, and it's hard to trust him even in two-quarterback leagues this week. He only has two games with 20-plus Fantasy points this year, and both were against the Lions. He also has passed for multiple touchdowns just once in Week 7 at Detroit. We hope he continues to find Stefon Diggs, which will be tough in this matchup, but Bridgewater should struggle against the Rams. St. Louis hasn't allowed a quarterback to score more than 18 Fantasy points this season, including matchups with Wilson, Carson Palmer and Aaron Rodgers. We doubt Bridgewater becomes the first quarterback to top 20 Fantasy points against this defense, so keep him reserved in the majority of leagues.
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Andrew Luck
QB •
vs DEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION18.5
Now is the time to buy low on Luck because he should struggle with this matchup against the Broncos and then has a bye in Week 10. But after the bye Luck has a great schedule and should produce at a high level to close the season. He has a new offensive coordinator for this matchup after Pep Hamilton was replaced by Rob Chudzinski, and hopefully that helps. But expecting a big performance against the Broncos, even at home, is a tall order. No quarterback has scored more than 16 Fantasy points against Denver this season, and Rodgers was just limited to 77 passing yards and no touchdowns. Luck will be better than that, at least we hope, but he's going to face a heavy pass rush against an exceptional secondary. I'm even benching Luck in a two-quarterback league for Winston, but I know the best of Luck is still to come, starting in Week 11.

Cam Newton
CAR • QB • 1
vs GB
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION20.3
It's tough to bench Newton because even when he's bad he still finds a way to be productive, and last week against the Colts was a perfect example. In the rain, Newton passed for 248 yards, two touchdowns and one interception and had 10 carries for 41 yards and a fumble. He finished with 21 Fantasy points, and it's the fourth time in his past six games where's scored at least that many points. Four quarterbacks have also run for at least 30 rushing yards against the Packers this season with Cutler, Wilson, Alex Smith and Colin Kaepernick, and Wilson and Smith each scored at least 20 Fantasy points, while Cutler and Kaepernick combined for 25 points. Last year, Newton had 205 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception and 41 rushing yards at Green Bay for 16 Fantasy points. I'm expecting him to finish with fewer than 20 Fantasy points this week, and he's just a low-end starting option at best in the majority of leagues.
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Running back

Start 'Em

Ronnie Hillman
DAL • RB • 34
at IND
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION10.7
It was great to see C.J. Anderson run well in Week 8 against Green Bay with 14 carries for 101 yards and a touchdown, but Hillman had the better Fantasy outing and should continue to be the No. 1 option in this backfield. And he has a great opportunity this week against the Colts. Hillman had 19 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns against the Packers and has now scored double digits in Fantasy points in three of his past four games. He's a must-start option this week, and Anderson can be considered at least a flex since the Colts have allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in each of the past three games. Peyton Manning could get some shots to carry the offense this week in his return to Indianapolis, but Hillman will also get enough chances for a big day.
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Dion Lewis
NYG • RB • 33
vs WAS
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION13.8
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LeGarrette Blount
DET • RB • 29
vs WAS
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION13.1
This could be a Blount game as much as a Lewis game, and they both have the chance to help Fantasy owners this week. The Redskins opened the season doing well against opposing running backs, but for the past three games they've allowed at least 16 Fantasy points in a standard league to Devonta Freeman, Chris Ivory and Doug Martin. The script here should be Lewis helping the Patriots build a lead, and he's scored double digits in Fantasy points in five of six games this season, with Blount closing out the game. Blount has four games this season with at least 13 carries, and he's scored at least seven Fantasy points in a standard league in each of those outings, including two games with at least 22 Fantasy points. The last time both running backs scored double digits in Fantasy points in the same game was Week 3 against Jacksonville, and we could see a repeat performance this week.
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Darren McFadden
DAL • RB • 20
vs PHI
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION9.9
The matchup is awful for McFadden this week, but I don't care and neither should you. His usage has been great, and he should find a way to at least repeat his performance from last week, which was 10 Fantasy points in an equally tough matchup against Seattle. The Eagles have allowed just two running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points, which were Jonathan Stewart and Mike Tolbert in the same game in Week 7. Tolbert also is the only running back to score against the Eagles. But McFadden has at least 26 touches in his past two games against the Giants and Seahawks, and the Cowboys are committed to him leading this offense with Matt Cassel still starting for the injured Tony Romo (collarbone). And if the Cowboys are chasing points you can still expect plenty of involvement for McFadden, who has at least six catches for 49 yards in two of his past three games. I expect McFadden to be a Top 15 running back this week.
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DeAngelo Williams
PIT • RB • 34
vs OAK
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION10.8
This is another running back with a tough matchup, but I'm still expecting him to play well as the new starter for the Steelers in place of Bell. Oakland has allowed just four running backs to score double digits in Fantasy points this season with only five touchdowns allowed, but Pittsburgh's offense has been great for running backs this year. Between Williams and Bell, the Steelers have had a running back score double digits in Fantasy points in seven of eight games, with Williams doing that three times, including Week 8 against Cincinnati after Bell got hurt. Williams has also done well catching the ball with four catches in two games, so he should pick up for Bell in that regard also. Williams, like McFadden, has the chance to be a Top 15 running back in Week 9.
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LeSean McCoy
TB • RB • 25
vs MIA
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION10.8
McCoy has been considered a disappointment this season, which is fair. He's struggled with hamstring problems and has yet to run for 100 yards in any of the five games he played. But he also hasn't had fewer than eight Fantasy points in a game this season, and his workload was up prior to the bye in Week 7 with 35 carries and four catches in two games against Cincinnati and Jacksonville. Now, he does have to contend with Karlos Williams coming back from a concussion, but this is a good matchup for both running backs to have success. In fact, McCoy had eight Fantasy points against the Dolphins in Week 3, and Williams had 17 points. Miami has allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in four of the past five games, and McCoy should have the chance for quality production in this matchup at home.
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Sleepers

Jeremy Langford (at SD): SD is a great matchup for Langford's first start.
Antonio Andrews (at NO): Eight RBs have scored vs. NO this year.
Duke Johnson (at CIN): Five RBs have at least four catches vs. CIN
Darren Sproles (at DAL): Sproles is always a potential play when indoors.
Shane Vereen (at TB): He's the only NYG running back to trust this week.

Sit 'Em

T.J. Yeldon
BUF • RB • 22
at NYJ
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.6
Yeldon has quietly been a solid Fantasy option in his past three games with double digits in Fantasy points against the Colts, Buccaneers and Bills. His groin injury should be fine coming off a bye, and the Jets were beat up last week against the Raiders with Latavius Murray running 20 times for 113 yards. But the Jets haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 3, and Murray and Ryan Mathews are the lone running backs to gain more than 57 yards on the ground. Yeldon also has just one rushing touchdown this season, and I'm expecting minimal production from him in this matchup. I would only consider him as a flex option in most formats.
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Alfred Morris
NYG • RB • 41
at NE
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION6.7
This sets up as just an awful game for Morris given the expected game flow with the Patriots building a big lead and the Redskins chasing points. In that scenario, Morris likely won't have much playing time based on his inability to help in the passing game. The best chance Morris has to be useful is Washington trying to establish the run early in the game, and maybe Morris can score for the first time this season. But the Patriots have allowed just three rushing touchdowns on the season, and Chris Ivory in Week 7 is the lone running back to score double digits in Fantasy points against New England in the past five games. Matt Jones is the only trustworthy running back for the Redskins this week, and he's just a No. 3 option at best in the majority of leagues.
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Melvin Gordon
DEN • RB • 25
vs CHI
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.4
I've gone back and forth on Gordon this week because at some point he's going to have a breakthrough game. But until that happens he remains too difficult to trust, even with Branden Oliver (ankle) now out for the season. Gordon had 23 touches (18 carries and five catches) in Week 8 at Baltimore, but he finished with just 61 total yards. He has yet to score a touchdown this season, and Danny Woodhead remains the better Fantasy option in this backfield (consider him a No. 2 Fantasy running back this week). The Bears also haven't allowed a rushing touchdown since Week 2, and only Thomas Rawls and Peterson have scored double digits in Fantasy points over that span. I'd buy low on Gordon if you can because there should be plenty of great moments ahead, but don't plan on starting him yet behind this struggling offensive line in a tough matchup.
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C.J. Spiller
KC • RB •
vs TEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION9.2
I hope the Saints start to use Spiller more now that Khiry Robinson (broken leg) is out for the season, but he needs to prove himself first before Fantasy owners can trust him as a starting option. Mark Ingram should be great this week against the Titans, who have allowed a running back to score double digits in Fantasy points in four of the past six games. No running back has more than 33 receiving yards against Tennessee or a touchdown out of the backfield, and Spiller has yet to gain more than 21 yards on the ground. The Saints could easily blow out the Titans here at home, and Spiller caught a touchdown last week in the bonanza with the Giants. But I'm not ready to trust Spiller in most formats until I see consistent production from him following a disappointing start to the season thus far.
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Rashad Jennings
NYG • RB • 23
at TB
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION7.3
You might see Tampa Bay on the docket and think that's a good matchup for Jennings. You might also see Orleans Darkwa (back) banged up and expect that to help Jennings get more work. The latter could happen, but don't assume this Buccaneers defense to be a slouch against the run because it's not, especially of late. Tampa Bay hasn't allowed a running back to run for a touchdown since Week 3, including matchups with Stewart, Yeldon and Freeman. In fact, the Buccaneers held Freeman to 21 carries for 88 yards in Week 8, which is the only game this season where he had at least 20 carries and fewer than 100 yards. Jennings is somehow started in 44 percent of leagues on CBS Sports, but he has one game with double digits in Fantasy points since Week 1. We'll see what happens with Darkwa this week, but Vereen is the only Giants running back worth using in this matchup.
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Frank Gore
NYJ • RB • 21
vs DEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.2
Gore got plenty of work against the Panthers in Week 8 with 22 carries for 70 yards and three catches for 22 yards. That's a good sign since it was the most touches he had in any game this season. But he's now gone three games in a row without scoring double digits in Fantasy points, and he only has one touchdown in his past five games. This is a tough matchup at home against the Broncos, who have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing running backs, including Eddie Lacy in Week 8, but only Jamaal Charles in Week 2 and Peterson in Week 4 have run for more than 45 yards against this defense. Ahmad Bradshaw has also taken on more work for the Colts in the past three games, and Gore could have one of his worst outings of the season this week.
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Wide receiver

Start 'Em

Amari Cooper
DAL • WR • 19
at PIT
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.4
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Michael Crabtree
ARI • WR • 15
at PIT
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION6.6
It might be tough to expect both receivers to play well this week, although we saw that happen in Week 7 at San Diego with Cooper scoring 19 Fantasy points and Crabtree scoring 12 and in Week 2 against Baltimore when Crabtree had 17 points and Cooper had 16. The Raiders have actually had two receivers score double digits in Fantasy points four times this season with Seth Roberts and Andre Holmes helping Cooper and Crabtree in two other games. Both receivers have been target hogs with at least six in all but one game for Cooper and six in every game for Crabtree. The Steelers have allowed a receiver to score double digits in Fantasy points in each of the past three games, and Arizona in Week 6 had three receivers score at least nine Fantasy points against Pittsburgh. Cooper has the higher ceiling this week, but Crabtree is also worth using as a Top 20 Fantasy option.
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Brandin Cooks
HOU • WR • 13
vs TEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION9.6
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Willie Snead
WR •
vs TEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.5
The Titans just allowed two touchdowns to a pair of receivers in Week 8 against Houston when DeAndre Hopkins and Nate Washington found the end zone. And a pair of receivers also scored against Tennessee in Week 3 with Donte Moncrief and Phillip Dorsett. Cooks and Snead were awesome last week against the Giants with each scoring at least 19 Fantasy points, and it's the second time this season both scored at least 14 Fantasy points in the same game when they did it against Philadelphia in Week 5. Cooks should have the chance for a better game this week since No. 1 receivers have done well against the Titans with Hopkins and Julio Jones each posting a stat line of at least eight catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in the past two games. But Cooks and Snead have the chance to be Top 20 receivers this week based on how well Brees should do in this matchup.

Dez Bryant
BAL • WR • 88
vs PHI
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.3
Bryant turned 27 on Wednesday, and hopefully he'll be ready to give himself a birthday present Sunday against the Eagles. He's had plenty of presents against Philadelphia in the past. In his past five games against the Eagles, Bryant has 32 catches for 494 yards and six touchdowns. And Philadelphia has allowed the opposing No. 1 receiver to score double digits in Fantasy points in six of seven games this year, including Terrance Williams in Week 2 when Bryant was out with his foot injury. He struggled in his return last week against the Seahawks with a tough matchup against Richard Sherman. And Cassel clearly limits Bryant's upside. But now that the rust is gone from the five-game layoff, and the matchup is much better, we should see Bryant post a quality stat line. Get him back in your lineups this week.
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Eric Decker
NE • WR • 81
vs JAC
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION9.2
All Decker does is produce, and he was once again a solid contributor in Week 7 at Oakland with six catches for 60 yards and a touchdown on seven targets. He's now scored at least nine Fantasy points in every game this season, and he should post a solid stat line again this week against the Jaguars. Brandon Marshall (ankle) should play this week, and both receivers are worth starting against Jacksonville. The Jaguars have allowed seven touchdowns to opposing receivers and eight to score at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league. Decker's streak of at least nine Fantasy points should be extended to seven games in this matchup.
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Martavis Bryant
LV • WR • 12
vs OAK
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.9
Bryant flopped in his first game with Roethlisberger in Week 8 against the Bengals with four catches for 49 yards despite nine targets. He should rebound this week against the Raiders at home. Oakland has allowed just three touchdowns to opposing receivers and only six to score double digits in Fantasy points. But last week Marshall and Decker both had at least 10 Fantasy points in a standard league, and Bryant and Antonio Brown should follow suit this week at home. We expect a big offensive performance from the Steelers this week, and Bryant should find the end zone again after failing to score against the Bengals.
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Sleepers

Brandon LaFell (vs. WAS): Everyone for NE could score this week.
Steve Johnson (vs. CHI): He has the chance to thrive with Allen out.
Allen Hurns (at NYJ): He should be the No. 1 receiver for JAC this week.
Robert Woods (vs. MIA): He's a good play if Sammy Watkins is out.
Marquess Wilson (at SD): His role will increase if Eddie Royal is out.

Sit 'Em

T.Y. Hilton
IND • WR • 13
vs DEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION7.9
Hilton was shut down last week at Carolina by standout cornerback Josh Norman, and he was held to one catch for 15 yards on seven targets. He's been great at home of late with three touchdowns in his past two games against New England and New Orleans, but this is another tough matchup against the Broncos. Denver has two cornerbacks of Norman's stature in Chris Harris and Aqib Talib, and that duo held the Packers receivers of Randall Cobb, Davante Adams and James Jones to eight catches for 37 yards and no touchdowns. Hilton also is dealing with a foot injury, and he should be considered just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best in Week 9.
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James Jones
LAC • WR • 89
at CAR
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION7.3
We'll see where Norman ends up, but he doesn't typically cover slot receivers, which is good news for Cobb. That could mean bad news for Jones, who got locked down by the Broncos last week with one catch for 2 yards on two targets. It's the first time this season Jones failed to score or get at least 98 receiving yards. The other concern for Jones is the return of Adams, who will steal targets as well, although this is a matchup to avoid for him also. The Packers receivers could have another tough week against Carolina on the road, but they return home in Week 10 against Detroit. If there's ever a chance to buy low on Cobb, Jones or even Adams now is the time to do it.
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Tavon Austin
JAC • WR • 16
at MIN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION7.3
Austin was great last week against the 49ers with four catches for 98 yards and a touchdown and three carries for 21 yards and a touchdown, but I'm not buying him as a starter in standard leagues just yet. He's only scored double digits in Fantasy points in a standard league twice this season, and seven targets in a game remains his season high. He's also had his best games catching the ball indoors at Arizona in Week 4 and at home vs. San Francisco last week. In his past nine games outdoors going back to last season he's averaged four Fantasy points a game, and he had three Fantasy points against the Vikings at home last year. Austin is a good option in leagues that reward points for special teams, but he's too difficult to trust in most standard formats.
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Marvin Jones
JAC • WR • 11
vs CLE
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION7.4
The boom or bust play of Jones was on full display in Week 8 at Pittsburgh when he was held to two catches for 12 yards on five targets. This came after his previous performance of nine catches for 95 yards and a touchdown on 12 targets at Buffalo in Week 6. We'll see which Jones shows up this week, but there's a good chance A.J. Green and Tyler Eifert dominate targets and production in this matchup. Jones also doesn't have a good history against the Browns with three catches for 30 yards in three career games. He's just a No. 3 Fantasy receiver at best Thursday night.
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DeSean Jackson
LV • WR • 1
at NE
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION4.5
Jackson is expected to return from the hamstring injury that sidelined him since Week 1, and he's looking for his first catch of the season. There's a good chance he'll get that this week against the Patriots, but I'd be hesitant to start him following the long layoff. It's not a horrible matchup since New England has allowed eight touchdowns to opposing receivers and six have scored double digits in Fantasy points. But I want to see Jackson on the field and playing well with Kirk Cousins before starting him. I'd only use him as a No. 3 receiver in three-receiver leagues this week in his first game back from the hamstring injury.
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Allen Robinson
CHI • WR • 12
at NYJ
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.6
Robinson has been great this season and went into the bye in Week 8 with three games in a row with double digits in Fantasy points against Tampa Bay, Houston and Buffalo. He has four games with at least 14 Fantasy points this season, but he should struggle this week against Darrelle Revis. The Jets have been stellar against opposing No. 1 receivers this year. Travis Benjamin scored a touchdown against the Jets in Week 1, and Pierre Garcon scored on Revis in Week 6, but Hilton, Jordan Matthews, Jarvis Landry, Julian Edelman and Cooper each had five Fantasy points or less against this secondary. Hurns and even Julius Thomas should benefit with Revis expected to shadow Robinson, and he could have one of his worst games of the season this week.
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Tight end

Start 'Em

Antonio Gates
LAC • TE • 85
vs CHI
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION8.9
Gates was a surprise starter in Week 8 at Baltimore after being out in Week 7 with a knee injury, and he managed to catch four passes for 56 yards in a tough matchup with the Ravens. He has another tough matchup this week against the Bears, who have allowed just two touchdowns to opposing tight ends and only Jimmy Graham to score double digits in Fantasy points. But Allen is out, and Ladarius Green (ankle) is banged up, so Rivers could lean on Gates more this week. Going back to last year, every time Gates has at least six targets he's finished with at least eight Fantasy points in 10 of 11 outings. We expect him to get at least six targets this week.
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Benjamin Watson
NE • TE • 84
vs TEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION5.6
Watson has been exceptional over the past four weeks, and we hope he doesn't slow down now. He's scored in three games over that span, and the one game where he didn't score he was tackled at the 1-yard line twice at Indianapolis in Week 7. In the two games where Brees gave Watson double digits in targets, both at home, he responded with at least nine catches for 127 yards and a touchdown. Watson faces a Titans defense that has allowed four touchdowns to opposing tight ends, with three scoring at least nine Fantasy points in a standard league with Austin Seferian-Jenkins, Dion Sims and Jordan Cameron. Based on Watson's recent level of play, especially at home, he's worth starting in all leagues.
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Jordan Reed
SF • TE • 81
at NE
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION6.8
We'll find out how the Redskins receivers do with the expected return of Jackson, but Reed should continue to produce at a high level. And with the Redskins expected to be chasing points this week at New England we should see Reed get a healthy amount of targets. He's scored at least eight Fantasy points in a standard league in the four games he's been able to finish this season, and he hasn't had fewer than six targets in any outing. The Patriots have allowed three tight ends to score at least seven Fantasy points this season with Heath Miller, Charles Clay and Clay Harbor, but Reed should create some matchup problems for this defense. He's worth starting in all leagues based on his upside.
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Sleepers

Jacob Tamme (at SF): If Leonard Hankerson sits then Tamme will thrive.
Heath Miller (vs. OAK): He has done well when Roethlisberger is healthy.
Charles Clay (vs. MIA): He had 14 Fantasy points vs. MIA in Week 3.

Sit 'Em

Jordan Cameron
MIA • TE • 84
at BUF
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION3.2
Cameron has been a disappointment this season and has yet to score double digits in Fantasy points this year. He has one touchdown on the season, and he's had 35 yards or less in each of his past five games. The start of that stretch was Week 3 against Buffalo when he had three catches for 16 yards despite seven targets. And Buffalo has been tough against opposing tight ends not named Rob Gronkowski, who had 17 Fantasy points against the Bills in Week 2. Dwayne Allen and Tyler Eifert both scored against Buffalo, but the Bills held Cameron, Larry Donnell, Delanie Walker and Julius Thomas to a combined seven Fantasy points. This is an easy week to bench Cameron.
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Coby Fleener
NO • TE • 82
vs DEN
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION5
One tight end has hurt the Broncos this season, and that was Gary Barnidge in Week 6 when he scored two touchdowns. Otherwise no tight end has had more than 61 yards against Denver, including matchups with Kelce and Eric Ebron. Fleener was great in Week 8 at Carolina with seven catches for 43 yards and a touchdown, but that was just his second touchdown of the season. And prior to Week 8 he combined for six Fantasy points in his previous three games. Denver's defense should suffocate this Colts offense, and Fleener is an easy guy to bench this week.
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Kyle Rudolph
NYG • TE • 80
vs STL
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION4.3
Rudolph is touchdown dependent, but even when he scores his Fantasy production is limited. He's scored three times this season but has yet to reach double digits in Fantasy points in any game. In fact, the last two times he's scored in Week 6 against Kansas City and Week 7 at Detroit he's had just 13 Fantasy points combined. The Rams haven't been as tough on tight ends this season as previous years with Graham and Barnidge both scoring double digits in Fantasy points, and losing Alec Ogletree (ankle) has hurt. But Rudolph isn't worth trusting at this point in the year.
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Jason Witten
LV • TE • 82
vs PHI
Projections
WEEK 9 PROJECTION6
Witten played well at Philadelphia in Week 2 with seven catches for 56 yards, and he's done well for PPR owners most of the season with at least six catches in four games and at least 56 yards in five games. But he hasn't scored since Week 1, and the Eagles have been solid against tight ends most of the season with just one touchdown allowed to Watson in Week 5. Greg Olsen was held to six Fantasy points in Philadelphia's last game in Week 7, and that would be Witten's ceiling this week. He's still a decent option in PPR leagues and could repeat his Week 2 performance, but owners in standard leagues can definitely bench Witten this week.
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Defense/Special teams

Start 'Em

Bills (vs. MIA): The best game the Bills DST played this season was in Week 3 at Miami when they had a season-high three interceptions to go with a touchdown, two sacks and just 14 points allowed. They could have a repeat performance at home this week. Tannehill was sacked a season-high five times in Week 8 at New England, and the Dolphins have allowed nine sacks in the past two games. Tannehill also has at least two interceptions in four of his past five games, and the Dolphins have only scored more than 20 points twice - in the two games against weak opponents in Tennessee and Houston. Buffalo is rested coming off a bye, and the Bills should be able to force Miami into a few mistakes this week.

Sleepers

Bengals (vs. CLE): CIN had two picks, three sacks vs. Manziel last year.
Falcons (at SF): Blaine Gabbert is good for a couple of mistakes this week.
Eagles (at DAL): The Eagles have six interceptions in their past three games.

Sit 'Em

Dolphins (at BUF): The Dolphins DST looked like they had turned the corner heading into Week 8 at New England with their performance the previous two weeks when they dominated Tennessee and Houston. Sure, you expected the Patriots to put up a big number on this defense, but the Dolphins completely fell apart, including losing standout pass rusher Cameron Wake (Achilles) for the season. The Bills get Taylor and Karlos Williams back for this game, which makes their offense more formidable, and the Dolphins DST had no sacks or turnovers against the Bills in Week 3 with 41 points allowed. This not a unit to trust in the majority of leagues.

Kicker

Start 'Em

Connor Barth (vs. NYG): If there's one thing the Buccaneers do well it's give their kickers a chance to make field goals, and Barth has been the beneficiary since joining the team in Week 5. Tampa Bay is second in field goal attempts for the season with 21, trailing only Baltimore (22) on the year. In three games with the Buccaneers, Barth has three field goals in every game, with at least two extra points in each game over that span. Tampa Bay's offense has played well of late, and the Buccaneers should move the ball against the Giants. New York has allowed three kickers to make multiple field goals in the past four games, and last week Kai Forbath made seven extra points. Barth should stay hot in this matchup at home.

Sleepers

Josh Lambo (vs. CHI): He's made 11 field goals in his past five games.
Nick Folk (vs. JAC): Four kickers have at least three field goals vs. JAC.
Chris Boswell (vs. OAK): Every kicker has multiple field goals vs. OAK.

Sit 'Em

Greg Zuerlein (at MIN): Zuerlein has not been good on the road this season, and the Vikings have limited opposing kickers at home. It seems logical to sit Zuerlein this week. In three road games at Washington, Arizona and Green Bay, Zuerlein is 3-of-7 on field goals with just five extra points. The Vikings have faced Matt Prater, Lambo and Cairo Santos at home, and that trio has combined for 2-of-2 on field goals with just four extra points. That might not mean much, but Lambo has made two field goals in every other game this season except for playing the Vikings. And Zuerlein has not scored double digits in Fantasy points since Week 1.

Full Disclosure from Week 8

It's a good thing Philip Rivers delivered as the Start of the Week because I was all over the place at quarterback in Week 8. Including sleepers, Eli Manning, Cam Newton, Brian Hoyer and Jay Cutler were good starts, and I was right to sit Peyton Manning, Russell Wilson and Ryan Tannehill. But Matthew Stafford, Andy Dalton and Ben Roethlisberger were bad as start suggestions, and Derek Carr and Jameis Winston played well even though I listed them as sits.

My other good suggestions were Charcandrick West and Jonathan Stewart as start running backs, Malcom Floyd, Stefon Diggs, Eric Decker and Nate Washington as start receivers and Benjamin Watson was the No. 1 tight end. I also had good sit suggestions in Amari Cooper, James Jones, Travis Benjamin and Eric Ebron, among others.

The calls I missed on were Giovani Bernard, Danny Woodhead, Martavis Bryant and Martellus Bennett as starts, and I said to sit Latavius Murray, Darren McFadden, Willie Snead and Gary Barnidge, who all played well.
Full Disclosure from Week 8
Starts of the Week
Player Sportsline projected Pts. Actual Fantasy Pts. Start % Pos. rank
Philip Rivers, QB, Chargers 18.7 30 76 7
Recommended starts who made us look good
Eli Manning, QB, Giants 20.4 50 55 6
Benjamin Watson, TE, Saints 4.3 20 27 1
Charcandrick West, RB, Chiefs 9.6 17 67 3
Recommended sits who made us look good
Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks 22.9 15 63 18
Amari Cooper, WR, Raiders 10.8 4 72 43
James Jones, WR, Packers 7.9 0 48 84
Recommended starts who made us look bad
Matthew Stafford, QB, Lions 19.3 10 56 23
Giovani Bernard, RB, Bengals 9.8 3 70 42
Martellus Bennett, TE, Bears 7.0 3 75 20
Recommended sits who made us look bad
Derek Carr, QB, Raiders 17.4 37 10 4
Willie Snead, WR, Saints 7.7 19 25 7
C.J. Anderson, RB, Broncos 6.9 16 34 5