Week Nine Automatic/Don't Do It

By Ted Cahill

The World Series conclusion Wednesday was a bittersweet occurrence for me.

I was happy to see CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez win their first titles, but it means that baseball is gone for a few months. Football will attempt to fill its void, and probably do a poor job of it as usual.

College basketball and LeBron will help some, but I’ll still be waiting for the first time I get to see that green diamond again.

I’m sure that’s what Darren McFadden and Joe Thomas are thinking too.

But on to players that are actually fantasy relevant in Week Nine of the NFL season.


Tim Hightower, Cardinals at Chicago
This isn’t the Bears’ defense of a few years ago. Instead its one that running backs can actually take advantage of. Hightower is getting the red zone touches instead of rookie Beanie Wells and taking advantage of them. That should continue this week.

Carson Palmer, Bengals vs. Baltimore
Coming off a bye, I expect the Bengals to be fully prepared for the Ravens. Palmer was hot headed into the week off and should be good to go again this week. In the team’s previous meeting this year, Palmer threw for 271 yards and a touchdown, a pretty good day.

Reggie Bush, Saints vs. Carolina
The Panthers have struggled to defend the run so far this year, while being stingy against the pass. That’s no problem for the Saints, who will rely heavily on Pierre Thomas. But Bush has scored in three straight games, and shouldn’t be counted out of this one either.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Seahawks vs. Lions
Houshmandzadeh has only caught eight passes for 58 yards in the past two games, as Nate Burleson has passed him in Matt Hasselbeck’s eyes. That shouldn’t be a problem this week against the anemic Lions.


Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. Washington
Atlanta is likely to ride Michael Turner to victory this week. This isn’t to say that Ryan won’t have an alright day, but this isn’t a week that the Falcons will need him to be great. I’m not really sold on this matchup either; the Redskins allow only 165 passing yards a game.

LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers at New York
Don’t fool yourself on this one. Yes, Tomlinson has been pretty good the past few weeks and the Giants aren’t very good against the run. However, Tomlinson has only 3.3 yards per carry in the last three weeks, including meetings with Kansas City and Oakland.

Alex Smith, 49ers vs. Tennessee
No. two in the “Don’t fool yourself” department. Smith has played adequately in the last two games. The matchup looks good, but the matchup looks good for Frank Gore too. The 49ers will probably look to Gore to carry them through the Titans.

Torry Holt, Jaguars vs. Kansas City
No. three “Don’t fool yourself.” Yes the Chiefs give up 252 passing yards per game. But not to the Jaguars. Maurice Jones-Drew will rack up the big yards this week and David Garrard will throw the ball, but not enough for Holt to be in your fantasy lineup.