Each week during the NFL season FST brings you our Fantasy Football Start’em column, which takes a look at favorable matchups 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 starting lineup for Week 9. If you have any start’em sit’em questions feel free to post them in our Fantasy Football Forum.


Philip Rivers SD VS. WAS

Philip will be firing from all angles in our nation’s capital this Sunday. The Rivers-boat gambler should have his way against the Redskins generous secondary and allow for at least a 300 yard and multiple TD day. This could be a shootout and Rivers has all the talent to connect with his rag tag crew of receivers. This is as good a time as any to play this NC State Wolfpack product so deploy him without hesitation.

Russell Wilson SEA VS. TB

Russell Wilson has been as up and down as the Seattle ferris wheel overlooking the Puget Sound. He’s just not been as consistent as owners envisioned coming off a phenomenal rookie season. The season Russell looked like a rock star against an overmatched Jacksonville team at home while throwing 3 TDs and having one of his best statistical performances this season. I foresee Tampa Bay as a similar team to the Jaguars. I see many red zone visits and while Tampa has Revis locking down one side of the field I figure the tight end and other end of the field will be nice options for Wilson to have a big day.

Wide Receivers

T.Y. Hilton IND VS. HOU

Coming off their bye-week, Hilton steps in as the #1 receiver in Indy’s offense, minus Reggie Wayne. The Houston defense isn’t a push-over but the turnover at QB should give Indy good field position most of the day. Andrew Luck has found a nice chemistry already this season with Hilton and with fewer alternatives in the passing game he’ll focus on getting the ball downfield to him more often now.

Jordy Nelson GB VS. CHI

Jordy continues to amaze this season. Last year he was set back by injuries and was an inconsistent fantasy option. However, this year he’s Rodgers #1 target and has really been a focal point of the offense. With Cobb out and Jennings in Minnesota it’s been Nelson who has the most tenure at that position for Green Bay. He should be a must-start from here on out. The Chicago secondary has its holes, just ask RGIII and Washington about those open spaces.

Running Backs

Ray Rice BAL VS. CLE

Eventually Ray Rice will get it going for the Ravens….right? Coming off a bye-week and at 3-4 the Ravens are out for blood this week as they travel to Cleveland to take on a feisty Browns team. I would venture that the Ravens resort to their true identity of running the football between the tackles and playing grind-it-out football to get back to .500 and contend for the AFC North. Rice has been brutal to owners, much like Trent Richardson, but I would have faith that the turn around is coming soon, especially after a week of rest.

Zac Stacy STL VS. TEN

Stacy had his coming out party on Monday Night Football against the Seattle Seahawks. While the matchup looked unfavorable, Stacy looked like a man driven even though they were starting QB Kellen Clemons and the Hawks were geared up to stop the run. The Rams offensive line was solid enough to open up holes and I expect more of the same against the Titans this week. In the 4th quarter Stacy went down with a low-ankle sprain (less severe than high-ankle), there is reason to believe he’ll play and be effective this weekend, but keep checking the reports especially as Thursday and Friday practices are monitored.

Tight Ends

Antonio Gates SD VS. WAS

The “Gates” are now open in Washington, DC. The flood gates that are the Redskins undermanned defense will be generous to Antonio and corps this weekend. I don’t expect the lightening bolt Chargers to have much difficulty moving the ball and we all know how great a red zone target Antonio is down by the goal line. Gates goes off for 2 TDs, book it!

Greg Olsen CAR VS. ATL

Stat line of the week, Olsen grabs 1 catch for a TD against Tampa Bay last Thursday. This weekend, they play another cellar dweller in the Falcons. Coming off their abysmal performance against Arizona, the Panthers look like they could feast on Matt Ryan’s squad and result in many red zone looks for Olsen and company. While Olsen hasn’t amazed this season I expect another solid effort for an improving Panthers team.


Carolina Panthers CAR VS. ATL

One of my favorite defenses in all of fantasy football is Carolina. They have a solid core of linebackers and they seem to contain teams to short gains and avoid the long bombs in the passing game. Atlanta turned it over 4 times last week and Matt Ryan is down to Tony Gonzalez and Harry Douglas as his primary options. This has fantasy success written all over it. Don’t over-think it this week, if you have Carolina you play Carolina.