Struggling to set the perfect fantasy lineup? Let us be your guide. Each week the NFL Fantasy staff will provide you with game-by-game, player-by-player matchup breakdowns in this column to help you set a winning lineup. Think of this as the one-stop shop to crushing your opponent in fantasy football.
Now, onto the best and worst Week 9 fantasy matchups.
Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Matthew Stafford, QB -- SIT: The Vikings allow the second-fewest fantasy points per game to opposing quarterbacks, so this is far from an ideal matchup for Stafford. He's also struggled mightily on the road this year. Minnesota's defense has not been as tough the last two games, but you're still probably better off taking a flier on someone like Nick Foles.
Stefon Diggs, WR -- START: Diggs is averaging just 45.3 receiving yards per game since Week 3 so it was refreshing to see him absorb 13 targets and score his second touchdown against the Bears last week. There's a good chance he'll be extremely involved against a Lions defense that is abysmal against the pass this year.
Matt Asiata, RB -- LOW-END FLEX: Asiata had a difficult time getting anything going last week, even as a feature back with Jerick McKinnon out. As a team, the Vikings are averaging just 71.9 rushing yards per game, a franchise worst. Of course, there's always the possibility that the plodder plunges into the end zone, which gives him flex appeal.
Philadelphia Eagles at New York Giants: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Ryan Mathews, RB -- FLEX: Head coach Doug Pederson says Mathews will be the team's lead running back. That doesn't guarantee a lot of carries. But if it means goal-line touches, we can get on board.
Darren Sproles, RB -- SIT: Sproles' saving fantasy grace was that he was leading the team in snaps and touches. That's all changed now and Sproles isn't getting enough touchdown looks to make him worth a start.
Eli Manning, QB -- SIT: Eli has produced just one 20-point fantasy game this season. That's how you end up outside the top 20 fantasy quarterbacks. This week doesn't look to be much different.
Odell Beckham, Jr., WR -- START: Yes, the matchup on paper isn't a great one. But why would you leave a dynamic talent who dominates his team's target share on your bench? That just doesn't make sense.
Sterling Shepard, WR -- SIT: After a fast start to the season, Shepard has faded into oblivion. You can't abide another three-point game, which is what's potentially on tap this week.
Victor Cruz, WR -- SIT: For as underwhelming as Shepard has been lately, Cruz has been even more lackluster. This is not the fantasy matchup you're looking for.
New York Jets at Miami Dolphins: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS
Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB -- SIT: This is a quality matchup for Fitzpatrick but as he's failed to take advantage of previous good matchups, it's hard to consider trusting him here.
Matt Forte, RB -- FLEX: We'd all feel a lot better if Todd Bowles would promise us that Forte gets 25 or more touches per game. That's worked well the last two weeks. It might be necessary this week.
Bilal Powell, RB -- SIT: Powell was super efficient with his touches last week, but that level of production is hard to count on from a player averaging fewer than seven touches per game.
Brandon Marshall, WR -- START: Despite the revolving door of uninspiring quarterbacks, Marshall has still seen nearly 10 targets per game and is still a top 25 receiver. That's good against Miami's shaky secondary.
Ryan Tannehill, QB -- START: If you're streaming quarterbacks, you could do worse than one facing a defense that gives up a lot of big plays through the air. Tannehill could have legs this week.
Jarvis Landry, WR -- START: Landry has been Miami's most consistent fantasy option this season. He should find a way to get over on Gang Green's vulnerable secondary.
Dolphins D/ST -- START: Miami offers a nice streaming option against an offense that is prone to giving the ball away and allowing sacks.
Jacksonville Jaguars at Kansas City Chiefs: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS
Jaguars RBs -- SIT: The new offensive coordinator was supposedly hired to help re-focus the team on the ground attack. It's unclear why the team wants to focus on a unit running for just 3.8 yards per carry. Thus, we should not be focused on them either.
Allen Hurns, WR -- SIT: You're banking on garbage time and him making a big play on his own out of the slot if you start him. Feel free to decide whether that's worth it for you.
Jeremy Maclin, WR -- START: This is a week to chase the upper end of Maclin's volatility. Foles averaged 15.5 air yards on his attempted passes while Alex Smith registered just 8.0 last week. If Foles is gunning downfield, that brings more playmaking opportunities for Maclin into the equation. Just keep an eye on his status as he has missed practice with a groin injury.
Travis Kelce, TE -- START: Coming with one of the best ceilings and floors at the tight end position, Kelce is a player you start every week.
Dallas Cowboys at Cleveland Browns: 1:00 p.m. ET on FOX
Ezekiel Elliott, RB -- START: He's a top two or three running back in fantasy, and should completely shred this undermanned Cleveland defense.
Cole Beasley, WR -- FLEX: Beasley is probably worth a shot as a flex play this week given the matchup. The ceiling is not what it was when Bryant was out, but his floor is appealing with six teams on bye this week.
Josh McCown/Cody Kessler, QB -- SIT: If we get another week of McCown it will be tempting to play him given his aggressive style of play. Yet, Dallas slows the game down so much, he probably won't offer much of a ceiling.
Isaiah Crowell, RB -- FLEX: As always, the Cowboys gave up a solid yards per carry average to Darren Sproles last week, but we know their slow style of play limits the opportunities opposing running backs get against them. Crowell is still a strong bet for a red zone carry or two, and worth a play. Duke Johnson is playable here, but only in PPR formats and gets a boost if it is McCown, not Kessler under center.
Corey Coleman, WR -- FLEX: Coleman is reportedly a "full-go" for Week 9, and his upside might just be worth chasing on this bye-ravaged week.
Gary Barnidge, TE -- START: It looks like Barnidge was on his way to a big game, but came up just short on a few near misses. He still saw seven targets last week and offers a secure floor as a streamer.
Pittsburgh Steelers at Baltimore Ravens: 1:00 p.m. ET on CBS
Antonio Brown, WR -- START: Brown is a must-start fantasy wideout either way, but Roethlisberger's potential return is obviously a boon to his fantasy outlook.
Le'Veon Bell, RB -- START: Bell, who has yet to find the end zone, has racked up 100-plus scrimmage yards in each of his four games this season. Despite his touchdown drought, he's still managed to work his way into the top 30 among fantasy backs for the season, and he missed three games.
Sammie Coates, WR -- FLEX:Coates is Pittsburgh's speedy deep threat, but he had been dealing with finger and hand injuries before the bye. It's worth monitoring the injury report to see how healthy he's been able to get during the bye week as he's a threat for a home run play, especially with Big Ben potentially back.
Terrance West, RB -- START: In his last four games, West has averaged 4.8 yards per carry with 3 touchdowns. He's a solid RB2 against a Steelers defense that was gashed for over 200 rush yards by Jay Ajayi and 127 rush yards by LeGarrette Blount in the two games before their bye. If you're concerned about his injury, West isn't listed on the Ravens injury report at all ahead of Week 9.
Breshad Perriman, WR -- SIT: Perriman isn't getting the volume needed to be a fantasy asset just yet. Leave him on the waiver wire for now.
Steve Smith, WR -- SIT: Smith hasn't practiced yet ahead of Week 9, and is listed on the injury report with an ankle ailment. Find other options.
Dennis Pitta, TE - START: Pitta leads the Ravens in receptions and is an ideal play at tight end in PPR formats. Unfortunately, he has yet to find the end zone this year, so if you're using him out of desperation, keep in mind that he'll need to manufacture fantasy points from receptions and yardage totals.
New Orleans Saints at San Francisco 49ers: 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX
Jeremy Kerley, WR -- SIT: Kerley is by far the team leader in targets. But that means just eight targets per game -- a number that's inflated by double-digit target totals in Week 1 and 5. Avoid this.
Torrey Smith, WR -- SIT: Smith has only topped 75 receiving yards once this season. The reason he keeps appearing in this column is ... well, we don't really know. Maybe it's to remind you to sit him. We'll go with that.
Carolina Panthers at Los Angeles Rams: 4:05 p.m. ET on FOX
Jonathan Stewart, RB -- START: Stewart has eight carries inside the 10-yard line over the last two weeks and knocked in four touchdowns. With the team less enthusiastic about slamming Cam Newton into the goal line after early season injuries, Stewart is a prime bet for a touchdown each and every week.
Greg Olsen, TE -- START: Probably the top tight end play on the board this week with all the byes, Olsen looks like he's in a solid position for another great game. He's known to have those.
Todd Gurley, RB -- FLEX: You can't really turn your nose up at Gurley and his volume with so many teams on bye and injuries racking the running back position. However, at this point in the season you know what the deal is here with Gurley. The Panthers held David Johnson to 24 rushing yards on 10 carries last week.
Indianapolis Colts at Green Bay Packers: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Aaron Rodgers, QB -- START: Rodgers has turned around his play after a subpar start to the season. He has seven touchdowns, no interceptions and is averaging 286 passing yards per game over the last two weeks. He's one of the week's top QB plays.
Packers WRs -- START/FLEX: Facing one of the league's worst pass defenses, the trio of Jordy Nelson, Davante Adams and Ty Montgomery are all worth starting. Randall Cobb (hamstring) sounds like he'll be OUT. No team features wide receivers more than Green Bay (ranks first in percentage of touches, scrimmage yards, touchdowns and receiving yards by WRs), while the Colts secondary is 31st in passing yards allowed (287.8) and has a league-low two interceptions on the year.
Tennessee Titans at San Diego Chargers: 4:25 p.m. ET on CBS
Marcus Mariota, QB -- START: With so many signal-callers on byes, Mariota can be streamed hoping his hot streak (10 touchdowns, one interception) continues against the depleted San Diego secondary.
Delanie Walker, TE -- START: Even though he missed one game due to injury, Walker is still second on the team in target share with 16.9 percent. He's a strong TE1 play every week.
Philip Rivers, QB -- START: Rivers has hit a bit of a fantasy skid, averaging just 12.81 fantasy points per game in his last three contests, though that includes two matchups against Denver. He's a solid bounce-back candidate this week at home against a Tennessee defense that ranks 20th in the league against the pass.
Melvin Gordon, RB -- START: It's impossible to sit Gordon due to his touchdown upside and volume of touches, even against a tough Titan run defense.
Chargers WRs -- START: This recommendation comes with one caveat: SIT Travis Benjamin. The speedster is dealing with a sprained PCL, the same injury that basically shut down Tyler Lockett's productivity. Tyrell Williams, if he suits up (knee), and Dontrelle Inman are solid starts this week, though, with Benjamin less than 100 percent.
Denver Broncos at Oakland Raiders: 8:30 p.m. ET on NBC
Trevor Siemian, QB -- START (2QB): Siemian makes for an interesting DFS or 2QB league play against a bad Oakland secondary. Otherwise, there are better options in more standard leagues.
Amari Cooper, WR -- START: While Cooper takes 63 percent of his snaps from the left side of the field (wide and in the slot), meaning he'll likely face Chris Harris plenty, he's still a fine fantasy start. His depressed numbers against this group last year came in part because of his foot injury. Fully healthy and with a year of experience, Cooper will have his chances to make plays.
Michael Crabtree, WR -- START:Aqib Talib spends most of his time on the defensive left side of the field, which means if he plays he'll likely tango with Crabtree a bunch. However, Talib missed Week 8 with a back injury and could be out again in Week 9. That benefits Cooper greatly, as Bradley Roby, while good, isn't as physical as Talib and might have a harder time slowing down Crabtree.
Buffalo Bills at Seattle Seahawks: 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN
Tyrod Taylor, QB -- SIT: Taylor proved remarkably consistent in fantasy aside from a five-point Week 1 disaster, but trusting him on the road in Seattle is about as risky as it gets in fantasy.
LeSean McCoy, RB -- START: It won't feel great, but if McCoy plays on Monday night he should be started in fantasy, too. He practiced on a limited basis on Thursday (a great sign), and the team will need him to play a big role if it hopes to win in Seattle.
Mike Gillislee, RB -- FLEX: With McCoy on track to play on Monday, Gillislee's value takes a big hit. However, he should see some run as the team likely tries to protect McCoy's hamstring a bit, giving him low-end flex appeal.
Russell Wilson, QB -- SIT: Wilson hasn't thrown a touchdown since Week 4 and is battling three separate injuries (knee, ankle, pectoral). He's borderline drop worthy at this point.
Christine Michael, RB -- START: While The Awakening could be coming to an end soon, CWoke is a fine start this week. The Bills allow just shy of four yards per carry and have let in nine touchdowns on the ground to opposing backs. With Wilson being so banged up, the team will likely defer to Michael in scoring chances.
C.J. Prosise, RB -- FLEX: He's a bit of a risky play after much of his production in Week 8 came on one trick play, but the coaching staff said they wasn't to give their talented rookie an increased role. He's a solid flex in PPR formats during the bye-week apocalypse.
Jimmy Graham, TE -- START: Even though he disappointed in his "revenge" game last week, Graham remains second on the team in targets and is a weekly must-start among tight ends.
Seahawks D/ST -- START: Facing a banged up offense at home, the "Legion of Boom" is in a fantastic spot for fantasy production.
Atlanta Falcons at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 8:25 p.m. on NFL Network (Thursday)
Matt Ryan, QB -- START: Matty Ice leads the NFL in passing yards (2,636) and passing touchdowns (19) and remains the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy. You don't need a fantasy analyst to tell you to start him every week, but a matchup against a soft Bucs secondary gives him extreme upside.
Julio Jones, WR -- START: Julio has 100-plus receiving yards in four of his last seven games, and is a good bet to reach that mark again against a Bucs secondary that allows 274.7 passing yards per game this season. Lock him into your WR1 slot.
Terron Ward, RB -- SIT: Ward got some run behind Freeman last week and averaged 7.7 yards per carry on his six rush attempts. There's no real upside here though, so he's not worth starting except in desperation.
Mohamed Sanu, WR -- FLEX: Sanu posted nine catches for 84 yards and a game-winning score last week against Green Bay. He's been inconsistent as a fantasy producer but he should be able to get behind the Bucs' bad secondary enough to provide flex value in deeper formats.
Mike Evans, WR -- START: Evans' six touchdown receptions this year ties him for the most in the NFL and he ranks second in the league with 86 targets, putting him on pace for about 196 for the year. You cannot leave a wideout with that many opportunities on the bench, ever.
Antone Smith, RB -- FLEX: Smith will likely split the workload with rookie Peyton Barber since Rodgers is out. It's worth noting that Smith played under Dirk Koetter in Atlanta. It's tough to decipher which back will see more volume, but both are viable flex plays against a Falcons defense allowing 28.9 points per game.
Peyton Barber, RB -- FLEX: Barber, a rookie, will likely be the early-down banger against Atlanta while the speedy Smith works in as a change-of-pace back. Maybe not, though. This could also be a hot-hand situation. Flip a coin. Good luck.