Fantasy Football

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30324029 Sit - Washington RBs vs SF Sit+-+Washington+RBs+vs+SF Fantasy Football

Lose Tim Hightower, gain Tashard Choice. You can chalk it up to just another week in the Washington soap opera, “As Shanahan’s Brain Turns.” Choice injured his shoulder before he received his pink slip in Dallas, so we’ll have to wait and see how long it takes for him to join the fray. For right now, Torain and Helu are enough to cause blurred vision, stomach discomfort, headaches, gout, hang nails, gum decay, gang green and a list of other ailments from dealing with the Redskins running back by committee. The good news is nobody should start a running back against the Niners at this point. So, your brain gets a bye this week. - Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30325054 Start - Jake Ballard vs NE Start+-+Jake+Ballard+vs+NE Fantasy Football

Travis Beckum, we hardly knew you. Wait, did we know you? As he did with Kevin Boss, Eli Manning has worked the rookie tight end into the Giants passing attack. Over his last three games, Ballard has caught 12 passes for 209 yards with a touchdown on 16 targets. Last week, fellow tight end Heath Miller led the Steelers with 85 receiving yards. Hey, did you know the Patriots pass defense stinks? Signed, Andy Reid is 13-0 after a bye week. – Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30324033 Sit - Greg Little vs HOU Sit+-+Greg+Little+vs+HOU Fantasy Football

Well, the Greg Little fantasy experiment was fun while it lasted. Those two weeks really flew. If Peyton Hillis can get Cleveland’s ground game back up and running, only then would I suggest adding Little to your roster. This week in Houston (fifth-best pass defense) it would be better if you sought wide receiver fantasy assistance elsewhere. I have little doubt he’ll lead the team in targets (PPR league he holds some value), but to guarantee a positive fantasy experience would be unwise. – Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30318842 Start - Deion Branch vs NYG Start+-+Deion+Branch+vs+NYG Fantasy Football

Chad Ochocinco’s failure to make an impact within New England’s passing game has allowed Branch owners’ to squeeze a few more fantasy points out of the 32-year-old wide receiver. His weekly stats don’t run up and punch you in the face, but he has scored a TD in three out of the last four games. To further magnify his red zone efficiency, Tom Brady has targeted Branch 10 times inside the 20 – that’s tied for fourth in the NFL. Branch is a decent flex play in deeper leagues this week against the Giants. – Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30325058 Sit - A.J. Green vs TEN Sit+-+A.J.+Green+vs+TEN Fantasy Football

Fantasy owners have learned to trust Green’s athletic, pass-catching ability this season, but in Week 9, his mental toughness will be tested. If I had to guess, this will be Green’s first encounter with every wide receiver’s favorite {insert derogatory term here}, Cortland Finnegan. I suggested owners bench Reggie Wayne last week for the same reason. The Colts’ wide receiver finished with five receptions for 61 yards. The Bengals have been on fire, winners of four straight, but I think their offense hits a wall in Nashville. – Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30326431 Start - Jon Baldwin vs MIA Start+-+Jon+Baldwin+vs+MIA Fantasy Football

Matt Cassel was not shy about targeting the big rookie wide receiver against the Chargers. He threw the former Pitt Panther eight balls of which he caught five for 82 yards and a touchdown. If not for a locker room fight with teammate Thomas Jones and a subsequent wrist injury, owners would have a better sense of Baldwin’s fantasy value. Perhaps the cat is out of the bag and Cassel will target Steve Breaston as his second option Week 9, but when facing Miami’s pass defense (14 TDs/ 2 INTs) he can afford to spread the wealth. – Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30324032 Sit - Reggie Bush vs KC Sit+-+Reggie+Bush+vs+KC Fantasy Football

I shouldn’t have to warn owners about the pitfalls of believing in Bush as a fantasy commodity, but please pay attention to the following sentences. Thanks to Daniel Thomas’ nagging hamstring injury, Bush was awarded the majority of the carries last Sunday against the Giants. His 103 rushing yards (15 carries) were the most Bush had racked up in one game since, Week 16 of the 2006 season – his rookie year – when he ran for 126 yards and a touchdown. With the sample size we have at our disposal, I feel safe in thinking his chances of repeating the feat against the Chiefs are slim to none. - Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30325052 Start - Julio Jones vs IND Start+-+Julio+Jones+vs+IND Fantasy Football

Over their last three games, the Colts have allowed opposing quarterbacks to pass for 282 yards/gm, 10 touchdowns and no interceptions. If any team needed a jolt to their passing game, it would be the Atlanta Falcons. Jones returned to practice this week after missing two games with a hamstring injury. Owners may need to be reminded that prior to the Packers game, Jones averaged 85.5 receiving yards per game. If he suffers no hamstring setbacks, I bet he scores his first touchdown on Sunday. – Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30324031 Sit - Joe Flacco vs PIT Sit+-+Joe+Flacco+vs+PIT Fantasy Football

After throwing seven touchdowns and two interceptions through the first three weeks of the season, Flacco has thrown one touchdown and four interceptions (one a game) over the last four games. He’s hedged some of those fantasy losses by eclipsing 300 passing yards in two of those games. However, for those owners looking back to Week 1 when Flacco lit up the Steelers (224 pass yds., 3 TDs), I have one name for you: Dick LeBeau. Pittsburgh’s defensive coordinator knows how to make adjustments. His defense just held Tom Brady under 200 passing yards. An overwhelmed Flacco on the road will not enjoy a Week 1 repeat. - Ryan Fowler

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Fantasy Football 2186 43 Week 9 fantasy football start em sit em 30324025 Start - Carson Palmer vs DEN Start+-+Carson+Palmer+vs+DEN Fantasy Football

Christian Ponder has earned a Start ‘Em slot in this gallery, but Minnesota is off this week. So, I’m rolling the dice on Carson Palmer coming off Oakland’s much needed bye week. The Raiders were riding an emotional roller coaster with the death of Al Davis, the loss of Jason Campbell to injury, the signing of Palmer and immediate need to place him under center with about 72 hours of practice under his belt.


The Broncos’ pass defense (250 yards allowed per game) is ranked 19th in the league. They’ve allowed the second-most passing touchdowns (14) and picked off the second-fewest passes (3). Palmer has plenty of options in the passing game and Darren McFadden (foot) and/or Michael Bush to keep defenses honest. If he can’t get owners 20 fantasy points, I’ve whiffed on this pick. – Ryan Fowler

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