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.


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.


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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