Writing the Start ‘Em and Sit ‘Em is usually pretty easy, if I’m being honest.  You never want to say to start DeMarco Murray and bench Geno Smith, because that’s too obvious.  Even still, there are enough options based on matchups that make for a pretty easy article.  Not this week, though.  No, it’s the return of Bye-Mageddon, Bye-Nado or whatever clever name you want to give it.  There are six, yes six, teams on bye this week.  The Bears, Titans, Packers, Lions, Falcons and Bills are off, and all of the aforementioned teams except the Titans are loaded with fantasy relevant players.

With so many viable options on bye, it’s hard to suggest that you bench anyone.  But alas, the show must go on.


Start ‘Em

With so many quarterbacks on bye, there’s a decent chance that you are scrambling for one.  If by some chance he’s available, grab Eli Manning, as he’s this week’s start of the week.  Yes, he was horrible against the Eagles, but that game not withstanding, he has at least 19 points in five of his past six games.

Manning has been a stud coming off of the bye week in the past, as he has 12 touchdowns and just two interceptions in such games over the past five years.  Rashad Jennings is unlikely to play, and Andre Williams has done nothing in his starts that make you think he’s going to be relevant against the Colts.  Indianapolis could be without their top cornerback (Vontae Davis), so expect Eli to be throwing early and often in a potential shootout with the Colts.

Other QBs to start: Colin Kaepernick, Carson Palmer (yes, again!), Ryan Tannehill, Alex Smith, Ben Roethlisberger

Chris Ivory, Jets: It’s always hard to recommend a Jet, but man, has Ivory been outstanding this year.  According to CBS, he has at least nine fantasy points in every game that he has at least 10 carries.  The matchup isn’t great against Kansas City, who have held running backs in check this year by not allowing one rushing touchdown, but Ivory will be good for a score and a few receptions with Michael Vick under center.  Feel free to start Ivory with confidence this week, and if you’re in running back trouble, he’s a good trade target.

Other RBs to start: Bobby Rainey, Alfred Morris, Jerick McKinnon (yes, again), Justin Forsett, Ahmad Bradshaw, Shane Vereen, Ronnie Hillman

Brandon LaFell, Patriots: I don’t care about the weather.  I really don’t.  I expect the Broncos and Patriots game to be a high-scoring affair.  I have a sneaky feeling that Shane Vereen and Julian Edelman will shine this weekend, but don’t leave LaFell out of your lineup this weekend either.  LaFell has quietly been a dominant fantasy wide receiver over the past month, as he’s steadily put up around 15 or more fantasy points in standard leagues.  He’s a great option this weekend in both standard and ppr formats.

Other WRs to start: Rueben Randle, DeAndre Hopkins, Andre Johnson, Jeremy Maclin, Doug Baldwin, John Brown, Mike Evans, Eric Decker.

Travis Kelce, Chiefs: If you play in a DFS league and Travis Kelce isn’t in your lineup this week, you’re doing it wrong.  Kelce hasn’t lived up to the out-of-nowhere hype much this year, and his fantasy season has depended on yards after catch more than anything, since he’s on the field in two-tight end sets most of the time.  The matchup for Kelce is a slam dunk, as the Jets have allowed nine touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year.

Other TEs to start: Larry Donnell, Jace Amaro, Dwayne Allen, Jermaine Gresham


Sit ‘Em

Philip Rivers, Chargers: Look, you’re playing Rivers.  It’s unlikely that you have a better option for Week 9.  But if you do, don’t hesitate to bench him or at least keep expectations in check.  The Dolphins have made Tom Brady and Jay Cutler look like Ryan Leaf this year, and they held Aaron Rodgers in check until the fourth quarter.  Be careful running Rivers out there this week.

Other QBs to sit: Michael Vick, Robert Griffin III, Peyton Manning (just seeing if you’re paying attention), Nick Foles, Tony Romo

Jonas Gray, Patriots: Gray was one of the hotter names on the waiver wire this week, and he looks to be the new Stevan Ridley of the Patriots’ offense.  However, the Patriots are becoming easier to predict.  If it’s a game that they will be up by a comfortable amount, expect them to run Gray.  If they are in a heated contest or playing from behind, it’s a Shane Vereen game.  This has all the makings to be a Vereen game, with Gray’s only potential value coming in the form of a goaline carry.

Other RBs to sit: Ben Tate, Giovani Bernard, Branden Oliver, Doug Martin, Charles Sims, Darren McFadden, Tre Mason

Vincent Jackson, Buccaneers : V-Jax looks like he just doesn’t care anymore, and can you blame him?  The Tampa offense is atrocious.  I have a man crush on Mike Glennon like it’s nobody’s business, but it’s a horrible situation.  Add to it that Jackson should see plenty of Joe Haden this weekend, and even though Haden is one of the more overrated players in the game, his presence will take away from the volume for Jackson.  Look for Mike Evans to have a big game against Justin Gilbert or Buster Skrine, as everyone has a big game against Gilbert and Skrine.

Other Wrs to sit: Torrey Smith, Steve Smith, Wes Welker, Percy Harvin, Andre Holmes, James Jones, Terrance Williams.

Zach Ertz, Eagles: I’m done. As a Philadelphia Eagles fan, I’m more than fed up with Ertz.  He’s had great matchups, and he hasn’t been able to do anything with them (see last week).  Nick Foles had over 60 attempts, and Ertz was unable to capitalize.  With Brent Celek, Jordan Matthews and Darren Sproles all involved in the offense, I can’t trust Ertz ever, which means of course he will score this weekend.  Play the odds and leave him on your bench and probably even better, your waiver wire.

Other TEs to sit: Vernon Davis, Jared Cook, Heath Miller, Jordan Reed, Tim Wright, Coby Fleener.



  1. guidedbyvoices says:

    Waterloo….whats up….

    10tm keeper h2h ppr….I have L Bell,Ellington,D Robinson,Sproles and Knile Davis
    plus Megatron,Jeffery,OB jr,Lefell and Jimmy Graham.

    I was just offered Foster for M egatron,so….

  2. Peter says:

    Why sit Davis & Williams?

    • @Peter: assuming you mean Terrance and Vernon. Good matchup but DEZ is only one I sort of trust with Weeden. Williams way too boom or bust for me to trust. Vernon has a bad matchup. Rams very tough against tight ends. Hard week to bench either, but would look elsewhere if possible.

  3. guidedbyvoices says:

    Btw….im also an Eagles fan….I hear you on Ertz,but im putting a good chunk of that blame on Foles and Chip….mostly Foles.Ithink Chips offense would look so much better with aMariota-ish type qb.

    • @guidedbyvoices: read my mind. Not a fan at all of Foles. Also a huge Ducks fan. Would love to see Super Mario there

  4. david says:

    Weather weather weather…..

    Do I start Lafell or Edelman? Since rain and wind is in the forecast…. Would Edelman regain some of those lost targets this week? Short passes to Edelman right?Am I putting too much emphasis on weather factors rather than going with the Lafell surge this week? Talib has been good this year…
    I just wanted to read your thoughts on this. Thanks!

    • david says:


      By the way…. This is a ppr league.

    • @david: i don’t pay attention until about 10 minutes before kickoff. If the wind is bad, go Edelman. If not, Lafell. Think both will be good this week.

  5. FilthyRich says:

    Just gott offered Marsshall and Asiata for my Beckham, Oliver and Jeremy Hill. My roster:
    QB – Luck, A Smith,
    RB – J Charles, Oliver, Hill, R Mathews, C Sims, Blue
    WR – Antonio Brown, V Jacskon, Wayne, Beckham
    TE – Ertz, Kelce

    Would you take the trade? Mathews will be back soon, Hill is really just a handcuff.

    • @FilthyRich: if you can get someone other than Asiata, I can see it. I think Hill and Oliver will have 60/40 splits going forward, respectively.

  6. Wilsonian says:

    Need one WR and one flex, who gets the nod:


    0.5 PPR – 3 pt bonus at 85 yards rec/100 yards rush – 6 pt bonus at 135 yards rec/150 yards rush

  7. Jake says:

    Big start / sit decisions this week

    W/ Gio bernard out as my RB1, im putting ahmad Bradshaw at RB1
    But at RB2 do I put jeremy hill over ben Tate or branden oliver?

    Who to put at flex; either one of the RBs listed above that Im not starting at RB2(also have tre Mason & jonas gray)
    , I could also put in Martavis bryant, donte moncrief , or Zach Ertz too potential candidates for flex.

    I like moncriefs upside + I think nicks is toast, but would you drop moncrief for Davonte adams? Someone dropped him because he has a bye but I could swoop in & add him

    • @Jake: i play Hill at rb2 and Tate at flex. Moncrief loses value with Wayne healthy. I pickup adams for him if you can.

  8. Tom says:

    non ppr do you start hill over bradshaw this week?


    • @Tom: wouldnt have an issue with it, but I would still go Ahmad

  9. Silky says:

    Tough decision… Bradshaw or Hillman as my Flex? 12team Yahoo PPR league

  10. Bryan says:

    Better week 10 defense stash?

    Ravens vs Titans
    Cowboys @ Jacksonville

    I’m leaning Ravens at home against Mettenberger

  11. Allan says:

    Bye week fill in Smith, Rothlisberger, Tannehill, or Hoyer? Also in my standard league my flex options are Wayne, Charles Simms, or Ertz?

  12. rainking99 says:

    I need to bench 1 of these 4 (standard scoring league)
    L. Miller vs SD
    R. Hillman @ NE
    J. McKinnon vs WAS
    C. Ivory @ KC

    I need to bench 1 of these 3:
    R. Randle vs IND
    K. Allen @ MIA
    D. Baldwin vs OAK

    Thanks so much for any advice!

  13. Phil says:

    Foles or Rivers?

  14. Tom says:

    One more non ppr kelece or donell

    • @Tom: love both. I Have Kelce one spot higher this week.

  15. Jimmy says:

    2 QB superflex league, Eli, Ben or Foles. Which one sits?

  16. Bae says:

    Flex Start: Charles Sims, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin Thanks!

  17. Jason Morgan says:

    Book of Eli title already used on here this year…

  18. Dom B says:

    Flex Start: Charles Sims, Odell Beckham Jr., Michael Crabtree, Percy Harvin

  19. Dom B says:

    My roster should I trade TY Hilton and Kelvin for Antonio brown and he rejects that Kelvin and Crabtree for brown

    QB – Aaron Rodgers – Packers
    RB – LeSean McCoy – Eagles
    RB – Andre Ellington – Cardinals
    WR – Kelvin Benjamin – Panthers
    WR – T.Y. Hilton – Colts
    WR – Michael Crabtree – 49ers
    TE – Larry Donnell – Giants
    PK – Steven Hauschka – Seahawks
    DEF – Baltimore Ravens – Ravens

    QB – Ben Roethlisberger – Steelers
    RB – Fred Jackson – Bills
    RB – Charles Sims – Buccaneers
    WR – Odell Beckham – Giants
    WR – Percy Harvin – Jets
    TE – Delanie Walker – Titans

    • @Dom B: I wouldn’t. As good as Brown is, HIlton and Kelvin combined make your lineup better

  20. AnniesBoobs says:

    Michael, I’m in a bye-week crunch and need to pick up a QB. Its a 10-team league (QB, 2 RB, 3WR, TE, K, D) with 6 bench spots. Do I drop J. Bell, R. Mathews or J. Gordon? I really don’t want to drop any of them.

    The other option is to play short and drop either my K or DEF to pick up a QB — I am 6-2 and in 1st so I can probably afford that gamble.

    What would you do?

    • @AnniesBoobs: It depends on your roster makeup and your matchup. If you’re the clear favorite, drop a K. I have no issues with that at all. If not, drop Mathews. I’m not high on him going forward.

      • AnniesBoobs says:

        @Michael Waterloo: Thanks, Michael. Here is some more info on my roster.

        QB – Cutler (bye)
        WR – Julio (bye), Alshon (bye), Gordon (out), Wallace, Randle, D. Robinson (starting at WR this week only)
        RB – Ellington, Ingram (started this week), Bradshaw, J. Bell (bye), Mathews (out)
        TE – Gronk; K – Baily; D – Cincinnati

        I could drop Cutler for Ben, Palmer or Tannenhill – but I still like Cutler ROS and he’s been a stud every week but last. If I drop him, someone will pick him up.

        I think my RB depth isn’t strong enough to let go of Bell or Mathews, but I agree Mathews would be the one to go.

        Dropping my K to pick up a QB leaves me a 5 point favorite (121 – 117). Also, 4 teams make the playoffs. I am 6-2, 2 teams are 5-3 and 3 teams are 4-4.

        Probably more info than you asked for. What do you think?

  21. Dom B says:

    How do you become a razz wroter

  22. PooPoo Platter says:

    Need one for my flex in a PPR out of Moncrief, John Brown, or Dwayne Bowe? I already have Kelce so I was thinking of starting all the possible pass catchers against the Jets terrible secondary thats why I’m considering Bowe with the other 2. What you think?


    • @PooPoo Platter: I’m going Brown, actually. Believe it or not, out of Smith’s 9 TD passes this year, 0 have gone to WRs. It could change this week, but I expect Kelce and Charles to score through the air for the Chiefs. Moncrief is the best talent, but loses value with Wayne back. Brown’s TDs are fluky, but the targets are there each week. Roll with him.

  23. BraunWeasleys says:

    Offered Josh Gordon and Kelvin Benjamin for my
    Demariyus Thomas and martavis bryant

    I’m 6-2 in a 16 team league and pretty much have the W this week so I should be in playoffs. Which 2 wr’s would you rather have down the stretch? Im a big believer in Gordon

    • @BraunWeasleys: he’s a wild card to me. Benjamin has great matchups going forwArd, but I’ll take Thomas side

  24. BR808 says:

    I was offered A.J. Green – Golden Tate – M. Ingram for Jordy – Julius Thomas – Kapernick

    My startes as of now are

    Luck / Kap
    Ivory / A williams
    Crabtree / Torrey Smith
    Julius / Allen

  25. landon says:

    Would you drop gostowski and go another way this week?….tight game and im scared to give away anything

  26. Dom B says:

    Do you think I will win I have Big Ben, TY Hilton, Odell Beckham, Larry Donnell, Steven Hauska, And ravens d and I’m losing by 40 pts but he has Emanuel Sanders, Joe Flacco and Amad Bradshaw

  27. Dom B says:

    So the score is me with 45.5 pts while he has 86.9 pts. I have Big Ben, the ravens D, Odell Beckham Jr., Larry Donnell, TY Hilton while he has Joe Flacco and Amad Bradshaw. Do you think I will pull it off? Or lose?

  28. Jimmy says:

    Man, you had some kind of week. I tip my cap to you! Anxiously await Week 10 recommendations.

    • @Jimmy: Haha thanks, Jimmy. Very happy that I hit on so many. I wish I could take back my Ivory recommendation, though!

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