Week 9 is officially crunch time for fantasy football owners in 2014. Starting the right players can mean the difference between a win and a loss, and possibly even the difference between making the playoffs and watching the rest of your league battle it out for the money. Owners who made the call to start Ben Roethlisberger in Week 8 probably enjoyed the best week of their 2014 season. The same can be said for Russell Wilson owners in Week 7. Who will be a similar player in Week 9? Here is a look at three players with favorable fantasy matchups this week.
All statistics courtesy of Pro-Football-Reference.
Colin Kaepernick, quarterback, San Francisco 49ers
Kaepernick and the 49ers are coming off their 2014 bye week and have the added benefit of playing at home in Week 9 against the St. Louis Rams. The Rams don’t have a strong track record in games played in San Francisco and have been a friendly matchup for opposing quarterbacks all season. In their upset win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 7, the Rams allowed Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson to pass for 313 yards and two touchdowns and run for another 106 yards and a touchdown on the ground. The 49ers offense runs through Kaepernick and he should have plenty of opportunities to accumulate fantasy points in Week 9.
Rob Gronkowski, tight end, New England Patriots
Gronkowski is now near full health and is a mismatch against anybody the Patriots play, including the Patriots’ Week 9 opponent, the Denver Broncos. The Broncos allowed San Diego Chargers tight end to catch five passes for 54 yards and two touchdowns in Week 7, and to be blunt, Gronkowski is substantially better than Gates at this point in their careers.
Ben Roethlisberger, quarterback, Pittsburgh Steelers
Roethlisberger is coming off a career game against the Indianapolis Colts in Week 8 and plays against a Baltimore Ravens defense that ranks 22nd in the league against the pass in Week 9. The emergence of wide receiver Martavis Bryant opposite of All-Pro receiver Antonio Brown gives Roethlisberger an explosive target that he simply didn’t have in his arsenal prior to Week 7. In his past two games, Big Ben has thrown for 787 yards and eight touchdowns with no interceptions. This game is a must-win for the Steelers, so look for Roethlisberger to be on top of his game for the third week in a row.