NFL fantasy football: Week 9 matchups

On paper, there aren't a lot of Week 9 matchups that jump off the page. But this is the kind of week where fantasy playoff spots are earned. There are points to be mined ... and we're here to help you get it done. To the matchups we go!

Analysis:Jamaal Charles is the only Chiefs offensive player that you can consistently start with no reservations. But this week, you might be able to lean on Dexter McCluster as a flex option or give Alex Smith a look if your normal QB is on a bye. The Bills are a tough bunch to recommend this week, but Fred Jackson's 2013 numbers make him a hard player to sit. C.J. Spiller reportedly is ready go to this week, but after what he's done to fantasy owners this season, do you trust him against Kansas City? I didn't think so.

Analysis:Harry Douglas has played very well in the absence of Julio Jones and Roddy White, but that run could end against a tough Panthers defense. It's even harder to start Matt Ryan or either of the Falcons RBs this week. Look for Cam Newton to continue his quality scoring ways although the return of Jonathan Stewart muddles things in the backfield. Mike Tolbert remains a sneaky play because of his ability to score for short yardage. This could also be the week to give Graham Gano a look if you stream kickers.

Analysis: It's hard to truly trust your fantasy lineup to Christian Ponder, but this week's matchup is about as favorable as he'll see all season. Of course you're starting Adrian Peterson, but it might be worth giving Cordarrelle Patterson a look this week as well. Just about any Cowboys you have on your roster are worth starting this week -- that includes DeMarco Murray, if he's able to go on Sunday.

Analysis: The Jets secondary has looked particularly vulnerable in recent weeks, which bodes well for Drew Brees and his band of wideouts. Even if Gang Green puts Antonio Cromartie on Jimmy Graham, you're starting the TE anyway. However, it's worth being cautious about Pierre Thomas and the slumping Darren Sproles this week. Geno Smith has been good in odd-numbered weeks and at home, but you can find better options this week. In fact, you can say the same about nearly every Saints offensive player in this matchup.

Analysis: The Rams run defense has been shoddy all season, but temper your Chris Johnson expectations -- especially with Shonn Greene back in the mix. If there's a Titans WR to trust, it's Kendall Wright. Jake Locker could also be a sleeper bye week start. If Zac Stacy can play, he's worth a start. Beyond that, the Rams offense has been far to inconsistent to recommend anyone for fantasy owners.

Analysis: If there's a game that smacks of fantasy points galore, this is it. After a week off, Philip Rivers should get back to his high-scoring ways. It's also a good matchup for Danny Woodhead and the Chargers pass-catchers. San Diego's defense has been very forgiving to quarterbacks. That makes Robert Griffin III a nice option. However, temper your expectations if you're starting Alfred Morris this week. Pierre Garcon has frustrated fantasy owners, but if you stuck with him, you could be rewarded this week.

Analysis: On the surface, this game seems rife with fantasy scoring, but it might not be as bountiful as it seems. Nick Foles and the Eagles are going against a resurgent Raiders defense. LeSean McCoy remains a must-start, but the QB matchup isn't quite a favorable. DeSean Jackson deserves a look as a WR2 this week. Consider Terrelle Pryor if your QB is on a bye and Denarius Moore has nice potential. Darren McFadden, however, is a risky start in this one. If you're streaming defenses, Oakland could be a nice option.

Analysis: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are like a drowning man and the Seahawks aren't about to throw them a lifeline. There's very little reason to start any Bucs this weekend. The only one worth considering is Vincent Jackson, but the Legion of Boom excels at shutting down big receivers. On the other side, this has the makings of a Beast Mode special -- especially with Seattle's WR corps in flux. Russell Wilson doesn't have the best matchup, but he's worth starting if you're short at QB this weekend.

Analysis:Joe Flacco's fantasy mediocrity will continue and Joe Haden could make life tough for Torrey Smith. If the Ravens remember who they are, this could be a big day for Ray Rice. He deserves to be in your lineup. At this point, Josh Gordon warrants a spot in your lineup every week and has the potential to produce quality numbers in Week 9. Same goes for Jordan Cameron. If you're looking for a plug-and-play kicker, Billy Cundiff might surprise a few people this weekend.

Analysis:Le'Veon Bell has performed well this season and could have another nice week against a so-so Patriots defensive front. Look for New England to lock down on Antonio Brown, which could open things up for Emmanuel Sanders. Tom Brady is a matchup-based quarterback ... and this isn't a good matchup. Leave him on the bench unless you have no other choice. However, things look good for Stevan Ridley to succeed this week. Consider New England's defense if you are missing your normal starting unit.

Analysis: The matchup doesn't look good, but it's hard to recommend sitting Andrew Luck this week. Think of Donald Brown as a sleeper flex play this week with Trent Richardson continuing to fall out of favor. Looking for a WR sleeper, think LaVon Brazill over Darrius Heyward-Bey this week. The Colts defense has surprised people, but Case Keenum isn't Matt Schaub. The youngster could cause more problems for Indy than fantasy owners expect. Avoid a banged-up Arian Foster and be wary of Ben Tate.

Analysis: If Jay Cutler were starting you'd like the matchup. But Josh McCown is a different story. Temper your expectations for Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery this week. Matt Forte is worth a start, but could face a stacked defensive front. Eddie Lacy should continue his solid rookie campaign and Jordy Nelson should once again provide big fantasy production as a low-end WR1.

Marcas Grant is a fantasy editor for NFL.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarcasG

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