Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable match-ups and how they might impact lineup decisions for your fantasy football roster. Let’s take a look at some players that you’ll want in your lineup for Week 9. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.

Running Backs

Trent Richardson CLE VS. BAL

I think we can collectively agree that Richardson has bounced back from his rib injury and is capable of handling the load going forward. He’s a throw-back running back, from the days of Jim Brown who can handle however many touches they are willing to give him in this pass happy league of the NFL these days. After his 122 yard with a TD performance last week it’s a ravaged Ravens run Defense up next. He found the end zone against them in Week 4 and fully expect the same result and should find the century mark in yardage if the Browns can stay in the game. I think the Ravens are going to have their hands full with Richardson back, even coming off the bye-week this is a trap game for Harbaugh and Co. so watch for a steady diet of Richardson on Sunday. Even if Suggs is back in the lineup for the Ravens at DE.

Reggie Bush MIA VS. IND

This is not 2008 and Bush is not running for re-election on the GOP ticket. If it was 2008, this Reggie Bush would have been in convoluted time share in a Running Back by committee in New Orleans as a member of the Saints and trying to find his niche on special teams. Reggie has grown up quite a bit since his slash and juke days at USC and from the Saints. He’s a more versatile power running back who can plow between the tackles, bounce the play outside and scramble after the catch on designed screen plays. Indianapolis has allowed the 7th most fantasy points to running backs this season and inside the Lucas Oil dome expect the Bush to unleash the fury on Colts defenders. I like him in this matchup, if Tannehill can’t go even more of a reason to rely more heavily on the short screens and focus on pounding the ball on the ground. It’s Reggie, not Jeb Bush who is talk of the town in Florida these days. Start him with ease.


Josh Freeman TB VS. OAK

Freeman has grown into his own over the last several weeks. Coming off an extremely impressive performance last Thursday in the Metrodome against a formidable Vikings Defense, expect big things from this Buccaneers QB. The addition of Vincent Jackson has opening up the offense and Mike Williams has been unstoppable out of the slot. It doesn’t hurt either that Doug Martin is playing out of his mind so defenses cannot play prevent or nickel and dime packages. I see Oakland getting shredded per usual, as they are ranked towards the bottom third in defense to opposing QBs. He deserves big time consideration and enough to believe that there is a resurgence currently with his career. Freeman is my “Bullet Proof Tiger” pick for 250 passing yards and 2 TDs this weekend. Book it at 20 plus fantasy points minimum.

Cam Newton CAR VS. WAS

Cam Newton let me introduce you to your superior rookie clone, RGIII. While RGIII has been taking the NFL by storm with his electrifying play this season, Mr. Newton has been a mere shadow of his former Rookie of the Year self from last season. We can talk all day about his lack of leadership, clock management and accuracy but let’s forget about that for this game. It’s the Redskins and they rank near dead last in defense against the opposing QB in fantasy points. Not to mention, they allow the 4th most fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks and an astounding league-high 18 passing TDs thus far in the 2012 campaign. Newton will most likely have the Redskins Rule followers intrigued with his play. The story goes that if the Skins win their last home game before the election, the party that won the previous election wins the next election. However, if the Redskins lose, the challenging party’s candidate wins. So basically, if you are voting for a nominee whose name fits on your hand during a baseball game and rhymes with S&^* you’ll be pulling for Newton to have a big day. Play the motivation card in this matchup, it will certainly be there and Cam does have a flare for the dramatic.

Wide Receivers

Reggie Wayne IND VS. MIA

Reggie Wayne is his name and tearing up the NFL and taking aim at the Dolphins is his game. Reggie is up to his old tricks of torching opposing defenses this season behind rookie QB Andrew Luck’s accurate and precise throws. With an NFL leading 757 receiving yards already this season, he has already seen 46 targets in his last 3 home games. Expect this trend to continue and the 27th ranked Miami pass defense to have its hands full containing #87 in blue and white.

Denarius Moore OAK VS. TB

Give me some Moore, Denarius Moore in the Hizouse for the Raiders that is. Oaktown is back within striking distance of division leader Denver and Palmer to Moore has been the consistent pattern for success in moving the offense. With DMC attempting to find the century mark and break down barriers that keep him from being elite, it’s Moore’s killer speed and elusiveness that are making him a must start in all leagues. Against Tampa Bay he looks like the real deal, as Percy Harvin and Marques Colston can attest over the last couple weeks to the Bucs weakness in the secondary. Moore = More points on Sunday. Start him with confidence.

Tight Ends

Jimmy Graham NO VS. PHI

With Graham’s ankle almost fully healed it appears he’s about a sure a thing as it comes to fantasy elite at Tight End. Monday Night in prime time action he’ll look to send the Eagles sliding towards the bottom of the NFC East and help the Saints fight for relevancy in the NFC South. If the Eagles know how to do one thing, it’s to avoid the opposing teams TE to go off, as they rank 4th stingiest in fantasy to TEs. I expect that statistic to change after Graham walks all over them and he’s my “Panty-Dropping” pick to click on Monday night with one TD and over 70 yards receiving.

Owen Daniels HOU VS. BUF

Owen Daniels has been one of the steadier tight ends in the NFL this season. The matchup is clearly favorable against an overmatched Bills squad that has underperformed all year along. As the mid-point this season is passed expect Daniels to continue overachieving and Texans to continue rolling opponents. This should create more value in Daniels and pose a seriously issue for Buffalo to stop in future weeks. Play your offensive studs against Buffalo, it’s a recipe for making fantasy dolla dolla bills.


San Diego Chargers SD VS. KC

The San Diego Super Chargers are my pick to click this week. Pick up these guys to play if they are still available and definitely start with confidence. As evidenced by the Raiders and the week before with Brady Quinn, it appears the Chiefs offense has forgotten about Jamal Charles. Dwayne Bowe has been an absolute non-factor so the keys to success are already sown for the Chargers. San Diego held a Browns offense to 7 points last week, even though they could muster a couple field goals. Start the Chargers this week and watch them bolt and strike down the Chiefs on Thursday night.