Players I think have favourable/unfavourable match ups heading into week nine.
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(OAK) QB Terrelle Pryor vs. (PHI) – Pryor was kind of disappointing last week with 15 fantasy points in the first half then ending the game with the same 15 fantasy points. This week however should be a different story has he is facing the lowly Eagles defence as opposed to the Steelers. Pryor could have a great week, rushing for 50+ yards and a touchdown while adding another touchdown or two in the air.
(TEN) QB Jake Locker vs. (STL) – Before Tennessee’s week eight bye, Titans quarterback Jake Locker put up his best fantasy game of the season with 326 yards and a pair of touchdowns against the surging ‘49ers. This week Locker gets to the struggling Rams. While it is fresh in all of our heads the effort the Rams defence put up against the Seahawks on Monday night, they are coming off the short week and likely won’t be able to get to Locker as effectively.
(TEN) RB Chris Johnson vs. (STL) – Another Titan against the Rams. This begins what all Chris Johnson owners hope is his 2013 resurgence. After a terrible schedule through most of the first half of the season that left Johnson with no touchdowns and no 100-yard games. This week should however start a much better stretch of games than he had to start the season. Johnson will also be a Start ‘Em guy in week ten when he plays the Jaguars (who he also faces in week 16).
(DAL) RB DeMarco Murray vs. (MIN) – Murray was rumoured to be able to play last weekend against Detroit but ended up resting for one more week as he recovers from injury. This week Murray will be back with the Cowboys and has a great match up against the Vikings rush defence. The Vikings have allowed 8 touchdowns to running backs on the ground so far this season and have also allowed two to running backs via passes.
(SD) RB Danny Woodhead vs. (WAS) – Against the Washington defence, both San Diego Chargers running backs are worthy of a start. Ryan Mathews has looked great the last two weeks and should be able to produce another good game on the ground, while Danny Woodhead (4 touchdowns on the season with over 500 combined yards) has the potential for a quality game himself using his usual 7-9 carries and 5+ catches. I am expecting a 60-80 yards game with a touchdown in the air.
(CAR) WR Steve Smith vs. (ATL) – Smith only has 132 total yards in his last three games, but fortunately he has caught touchdown passes in two of those outings. This week Smith will be taking on the visiting Falcons, a team allowing the fifth most points to wide receivers so far in 2013. I have Smith on one fantasy team and have had him on the bench more often than not, I will be starting him this week though and hoping that he grabs another touchdown and goes for 70 or more yards for the first time this season.
(OAK) WR Denarius Moore vs. (PHI) – The Eagles defence has been atrocious against opposing wide receivers so far this season. They have allowed 1749 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns to opposing wide receivers (only the Bills have been worse, 1746, 15 touchdowns). Moore himself has been effective with Pryor, though he only gone for more than 80 yards three times this season, he has caught a touchdown every time he does and has four total through seven games.
(MIN) TE Kyle Rudolph vs. (DAL) – It hasn’t been the best year for Rudolph, who has just 278 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the season. He could make that three this weekend though when the Vikings visit the Cowboys. Minnesota is likely to lose this game and play from behind for most of the time, meaning more pass attempts for Christian Ponder who is getting the start in week nine.
(NE) QB Tom Brady vs. (PIT) – Sit Brady!? Brady has just nine touchdowns on the season, has only three games where he has thrown multiple touchdowns and two games in his last four weeks without even one touchdown thrown. Brady did get Gronkowski back last week, which should help him convert in the red zone, but I don’t trust him this week against the Steelers. I think he maxes out with 200-250 yards and one touchdown pass.
(ATL) QB Matt Ryan vs. (CAR) – Ryan had a rough game last week throwing four interceptions against a tough Arizona defence playing at home. This week Ryan visits the division rival Panthers and their group of defenders. Only the Seahawks have been better against opposing quarterbacks in 2013, allowing only 6 passing touchdowns while grabbing nine interceptions.
(TB) RB Mike James vs. (SEA) – In his two starts this season since Doug Martin has gone out, James has ran for 84 yards on 24 carries. While those are not the best totals, he has had to face the Falcons and Panther defenses. Well, things don’t get any easier this week as the Buccaneers visit the Seahawks. Seattle hasn’t been a shutdown defence against the run, but they are still one of the best overall defences and I think will be playing with a lead, meaning the Bucs are playing from behind and forced to throw the ball more. James best chance of a good game is as a pass catcher.
(BUF) RB Fred Jackson vs. (KC) – While I am not ruling out a short score for Jackson, the Chiefs are going to make it tough on him. Jackson has not run for more than 53 yards in his last four games, but has rushed for four touchdowns somehow. I would not be surprised if he was held without that touchdown this week. Even if he does score a touchdown he only gets about 10-12 fantasy points.
(NE) WR Danny Amendola vs. (PIT) – I only own Amendola in one league as I was very untrusting of his health but still thought he could be amazing if healthy. Unfortunately he has not been healthy and has played in just four games for 19 catches, 174 yards and no touchdowns. Amendola will be in the lineup this weekend against the Steelers, a notoriously defensive and hard-hitting team. I don’t like Amendola’s odds of playing the whole game let alone having a good one.
(NO) WR Marques Colston vs. (NYJ) – Man, this has been a really disappointing season for Colston, a guy I own in two leagues and have long been a fan of. But numbers rarely lie and Colston has just 6 catches for 44 yards and no scores in his last three games and has not scored since week one! I am keeping Colston on my bench until Brees and the Saints show that they are going to commit to getting him involved more.
(BAL) WR Torrey Smith vs. (CLE) – Smith and the Ravens have already played the Browns this season with Smith catching seven passes for 85 yards. It was teammate Marlon Brown who ended up catching the touchdown in the game. This is because of Joe Haden. Haden has kept the likes of AJ Green and Calvin Johnson out of the end zone as well this season. Torrey could have a decent game and get you 6-9 points, but I think he sees a lot of Joe Haden and is kept with a score in this one.