Best, worst Week 9 matchups

Look to start Terrelle Pryor, Eddie Lacy; avoid Matt Ryan, Matt Forte

Updated: October 30, 2013, 1:27 PM ET
By Scott Kacsmar | Football Outsiders

Terrelle Pryor Brian Bahr/Getty ImagesTerrelle Pryor looks like a good play this week against the Eagles.

The Denver Broncos, fantasy football's biggest cash cow, lead a group of six teams on a bye in Week 9, creating some tough decisions. Everyone knows what Peyton Manning has been doing, but Detroit's Matthew Stafford is third in fantasy points. He too is on a bye, which means the No. 1 fantasy (and real life) receiver, Calvin Johnson, is also off.

The bye also claims some of this year's top running backs: Knowshon Moreno (No. 2), Frank Gore (No. 6) and Reggie Bush (No. 7). Vernon Davis (No. 3) and Julius Thomas (No. 4) have been two of the best tight ends in a rough year for the position.

Speaking of rough years, the Jacksonville Jaguars (0-8) appear headed for all-time awful status, scoring the fewest points (86) and allowing the most (264). They too are on a bye, so the "start every skill player facing Jacksonville" strategy is also out of use this week.

By now, we have a good sense of which players are the best at their positions, but just as important, we can make educated judgments about the strength of teams using Football Outsiders' advanced efficiency metrics.

Still looking to make a big trade to turn your season around? You'll want to consult this table that highlights the easiest and toughest remaining schedules (Weeks 9-16) based on pass defense DVOA and run defense DVOA:


To read more about the best and worst Week 9 fantasy matchups, you must be an ESPN Insider.

Scott Kacsmar

Football Outsiders
Scott Kacsmar is an Assistant Editor at Football Outsiders.