NFL

Fantasy Football Week 9 starts, sits: Can you trust Mohamed Sanu vs. Ravens?

Fantasy Football Week 9 starts, sits: Can you trust Mohamed Sanu vs. Ravens?

Time flies when you're having fun.

The NFL season will be past its halfway point when Week 9 wraps up, and most fantasy football owners already are past the halfway mark in leagues where playoffs start in Week 14 or 15.

That means we're hitting the home stretch, where every roster decision you make becomes more important as you fight for a playoff spot.

Since we're all in this together, here are our five players to start and five players to avoid as you set your Week 9 lineup.

START

Derek Carr, QB, Oakland Raiders: Carr threw three touchdown passes last week and gets a Detroit Lions defense that's gotten killed through the air in two consecutive weeks (660 passing yards, eight touchdowns). He's actually unowned in more than 50 percent of leagues, so he's a great streaming option this week.

James White, RB, New England Patriots: As our Phil Perry pointed out Thursday, the Ravens have struggled against running backs in the passing game. New England's wide receiver corps still isn't at full strength, so White is a safe high-floor play, especially in PPR leagues.

Jordan Howard, RB, Philadelphia Eagles: Who's ready for a Jordan Howard revenge game? The Chicago Bears have allowed seven touchdowns to running backs over their last four games, and the goal line is where Howard makes his bread and butter.

Tyrell Williams, WR, Raiders: Williams has a touchdown reception in every game he's played in this season. Even if he doesn't keep that streak alive, Carr's No. 1 wide receiver should be good for a few big plays against Detroit's secondary.

DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: Wake up early and plug Chark into your lineup for Jacksonville's London matchup with a Houston Texans defense allowing the second-most fantasy points to opposing wideouts. Chark's stock rises higher if Dede Westbrook can't play.

SIT

Philip Rivers, QB, Los Angeles Chargers: Even in their upset of the Bears, the Chargers' offense wasn't exactly inspiring. The Green Bay Packers have been stingy against opposing QBs this season, so Rivers is more of a QB2 this week.

David Montgomery, RB, Chicago Bears: Montgomery broke out against the Chargers last weekend, but the Bears have been wary of giving their rookie a heavy workload. Expect Montgomery's usage to decrease after his 31 touches in Week 8.

Phillip Lindsay, RB, Denver Broncos: The matchup is good on paper versus a vulnerable Cleveland Browns defense, but Royce Freeman has been Denver's preferred goal line back of late, which limits Lindsay's ceiling to more of an RB3.

Jarvis Landry, WR, Cleveland Browns: Landry hasn't really produced this season outside one breakout game, and we don't see that changing against a stout Denver Broncos secondary allowing the second-fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

Mohamed Sanu, WR, New England Patriots: Sanu should be more involved with a full week of practice under his belt ... but we don't trust him as a starting wideout just yet, especially on the road versus a Ravens defense that's better than any the Patriots have seen in a while.

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Fantasy football Week 14 waiver wire: Texans defense a great streamer for playoffs

Fantasy football Week 14 waiver wire: Texans defense a great streamer for playoffs

No more fun and games, folks. It's winning time.

The fantasy football playoffs start this week in many leagues, and with them come raised stakes and raised expectations.

The good news for fantasy owners with holes in their lineups is that there are several quality players available in more than 50 percent of leagues who could be plugged in as legitimate starters for Week 14.

Let's get right into it with our top fantasy football waiver wire adds at each position for Week 14.

QUARTERBACK

Ryan Tannehill, Tennessee Titans (owned in 39 percent of Yahoo! leagues): That Tannehill is available in over 60 percent of leagues is a testament to the depth of this position. The veteran QB has accounted for multiple touchdowns in six consecutive weeks and faces a reeling Oakland Raiders defense that's allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this season. Tannehill is the top streaming option this week.

Other quarterbacks to target: Ryan Fitzpatrick (MIA), Jacoby Brissett (IND), Daniel Jones (NYG)

RUNNING BACK

Benny Snell, Pittsburgh Steelers (20 percent owned): Snell established himself as Pittsburgh's lead back over Jaylen Samuels last Sunday, logging 16 carries to Samuels' seven and scoring his first career touchdown. If James Conner can't go this weekend -- he's played just once in the last five weeks -- Snell is a solid RB2 against a porous Arizona Cardinals defense.

Other running backs to target: Raheem Mostert (SF), Alexander Mattison (MIN), Darwin Thompson (KC)

WIDE RECEIVER

Russell Gage, Atlanta Falcons (11 percent owned): Gage benefited from Julio Jones' absence in Week 13 to the tune of five catches for 52 yards and a TD. But he still led Atlanta with eight catches in Week 12 with Jones on the field. Even if Jones returns in Week 14, he might be on a pitch count, opening the door for Gage to contribute for a third straight week. 

Other wide receivers to target: Anthony Miller (CHI), John Ross III (CIN), Zach Pascal (IND)

TIGHT END

Mike Gesicki, Miami Dolphins (33 percent owned): The Dolphins' offense has suddenly come alive, and Gesicki is benefiting: He's scored TDs in back-to-back weeks and been targeted 14 times by Ryan Fitzpatrick in that span. The New York Jets are stingy against tight ends (fifth-fewest fantasy points allowed), but Gesicki is your best waiver wire bet this week.

Other tight ends to target: Gerald Everett (LAR), Darren Fells (HOU)

DEFENSE

Houston Texans (27 percent owned): Yeah, Drew Lock won his NFL debut Sunday. But the Denver Broncos are much worse on the road (1-5) than at home (3-3), and the Texans are coming off an inspiring defensive effort against the New England Patriots. Expect another strong effort out of Houston in Week 14.

Other defenses to target: Jacksonville (vs. LAC), Green Bay (vs. WAS)

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.

Fantasy football Week 13 starts, sits: Is Sony Michel back on track?

Fantasy football Week 13 starts, sits: Is Sony Michel back on track?

Some people spend their Black Friday shopping. But you have more important matters to attend to.

Week 13 of the fantasy football season is here, and in most leagues, this is the final week of the regular season before playoffs begin.

The stakes are higher than ever, which means every roster decision you make should be done with care and research.

You've come to the right place for the "research" component. Here are five players to start and five players to sit for Week 13 of NFL action.

START

Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia Eagles: Wentz is enduring a brutal fantasy stretch, but a date with the Dolphins' defense should be just what the doctor ordered. Miami has allowed six passing touchdowns over its last two games.

Sony Michel, RB, New England Patriots: Michel clearly benefited from the return of left tackle Isaiah Wynn, averaging 4.3 yards per carry on 20 rushes against the Dallas Cowboys. The Houston Texans have given up rushing touchdowns in back-to-back weeks, so Michel can be slotted in as an RB2 this week.

Jonathan Williams, RB, Indianapolis Colts: No Marlon Mack and T.Y. Hilton for Indy should mean another high-volume game for Williams, who has topped 100 rushing yards in two straight weeks. The Tennessee Titans' 13th-ranked run defense doesn't scare us, either.

DJ Chark, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars: When in doubt, start a wideout who's playing the Buccaneers: Tampa Bay is allowing a whopping 26.6 receptions and 309 receiving yards to opponents this season. Chark is a high-floor WR2 this week.

DeVante Parker, WR, Miami Dolphins: The only Dolphins player with any fantasy relevance, Parker has had three straight weeks of solid production with 10-plus targets in each of those games. He gets a strong matchup against the Philadelphia Eagles' shaky secondary and should be started with confidence.

SIT

Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy G has put up strong fantasy stats recently, but we can't trust him on the road versus a Baltimore Ravens defense that's held three straight quarterbacks to fewer than 10 fantasy points in standard-scoring leagues.

Kenyan Drake, RB, Arizona Cardinals: Arizona's most productive rusher over the last two weeks has been Kyler Murray. The Los Angeles Rams are reeling but still have a talented front seven. Drake is a shaky RB2/3 at best.

Chris Carson, RB, Seattle Seahawks: This is more a warning that Carson comes with some risk. The Seahawks' bell-cow fumbled twice last week while Rashaad Penny thrived, so if he coughs up the ball early in this one, he cd be standing next to Pete Carroll for a good portion of the game.

Tyrell Williams, WR, Oakland Raiders: Williams always has been touchdown-dependent, and the touchdowns have stopped coming. The veteran wideout hasn't caught more than four passes since Week 2 and is the definition of a boom-or-bust play.

Deebo Samuel, WR, San Francisco 49ers: Samuel has compiled three consecutive games of strong production, but he's battling a shoulder injury and caught just two passes last week, one of which he converted to a touchdown. Considering the tough matchup in Baltimore, we're steering clear.

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.