Welcome to the Week 9 starts and sits. It’s been a rough week for yours truly and all New Yorkers, but I’m now up in Boston with friends — fully loaded with bandwidth and a large coffee. Let’s get into Week 9, shall we? For those of you looking for full rankings, we will be adding them at Rotobahn.com  throughout the day as we play catchup in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. We also will be hosting our weekly Sunday chat right here, so check back Sunday at 11 a.m. if you have any pressing lineup questions.
Cam Newton , Panthers at Redskins
Yes, Newton was a lock starter going into the season, but we’ve received enough e-mails about him to put him here. Newton should step up in this game against Robert Griffin III. The bigger issue is the Washington defense, which is prone to lapses in coverage. Newton is a good play here and he has some upside, too. He’s a good play in any league.
Stick with Freeman this week in a plus matchup at Oakland. His receivers are making plays and now he has ground support with a surging Doug Martin .
Joe Flacco , Ravens at Browns
There’s some risk due to how poorly he’s played lately, but we wouldn’t be afraid of using him here. The Ravens have had two weeks to prepare for this game and they are well coached. They should be ready. Flacco is a viable start in 12-team leagues.
Ryan Fitzpatrick , Bills at Texans
Fitz is a very risky play on the road against a quality opponent. Just look at what he did in Weeks 5 and 6 if you require proof. The Bills most likely will be chasing in the game, so there’s some hope, but we’d strongly consider other options in all leagues.
Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins at Colts
Two big things here: Tannehill is not a lock to play, so even if you are going to roll with him, you need a Plan B. The more important thing is the in-game risk. There’s a solid chance that he could start but not finish, and that’s what worries us most. He’s got an easily aggravated injury. The matchup is a very good one, but we’d look for more secure options in Week 9.
Jonathan Stewart , Panthers at Redskins
Don’t get a weak stomach over last week’s poor output. The Bears will limit RB stats in most weeks. Stewart should fare better vs. Washington and he is a viable RB2 alternative in Week 9 for any league size.
Chris Johnson , Titans vs. Bears
Temper expectations? Absolutely. Pull him out of your lineup? Only if you have a really strong option in reserve. I have a league in which my backs are Ryan Mathews , Doug Martin and Johnson. I am sitting him in that league. That being said, in 12-team formats with the bye weeks in full swing, most folks are unlikely to have such a solid reserve option. Johnson is a viable play if you need him. He’s just more of a flex than an RB1 or RB2. He is always capable of a big play.
Pierre Thomas , Saints vs. Eagles
Thomas should be New Orleans’ most valuable tailback in the wake of Darren Sproles ‘ injury that will sideline him for up to eight weeks. Thomas is a strong play as an RB2 in any league size.
He’s very risky here, and he has not found the end zone in a month. We expect Denver to force Cincy into passing mode, and that should limit BJGE’s fantasy point potential. Play him if you need him, but we’d consider other options if you have them.
Donald Brown , Colts vs. Dolphins
What can Brown do for you? A lot more in Week 10 than Week 9. He’s a very average talent, splitting time and in a poor matchup. We’d strongly consider other options if you have them. If you must play Brown, we’d expect flex-level results or worse.
Yes, he’s been a light option over the last three weeks. Be patient. The breakout game is coming and I have a feeling it’s coming very soon. The Steelers cornerbacks are physical, but Nicks can deal with them and win the battle. He’s a solid option this week. Don’t pull him based on Weeks 6-8.
Titus Young, Lions at Jaguars
Maybe this one is a pure no-brainer, but we want to make sure you are buying into him fully. Young could be the No. 1 option in Detroit this week with a banged-up Calvin Johnson  and with Nate Burleson wearing civilian clothes for the remainder of the 2012 season. It’s also heartening that QB Matt Stafford has his mojo back. Start Titus in all leagues.
Ryan Broyles, Lions at Jaguars
We’re sticking with our guy here. Broyles has already found the zone a few times since his injury-related promotion. We think he’ll come up strong against the somewhat discombobulated Jaguars.
Cecil Shorts, Jaguars vs. Lions
The guy makes plays, and if you need a player this week Shorts could help you. He’s a sneaky flex option in 12-team leagues and we think he’ll get free a few times against the Lions.
Nate Washington , Titans vs. Bears
Based on the routes we’ve seen him running, we have worries about Washington matching up with the Bears’ cover-2. Unless you have bye problems, we’d look to sit Nate this week.
Jerome Simpson , Vikings at Seattle
We always look to avoid the Seahawks  when they play at home, and Simpson still is working his way back from a back injury. This is a week to sit him if you can afford to do so. We’d play a guy like Cecil Shorts over Simpson if we had the choice.
Jermaine Gresham , Bengals vs. Broncos
He laid an egg in Week 7, but we like him this week against the Broncos, who will do very good work on the outside options, which should make using Gresham a priority. He’s a TE1 in our rankings.
Kyle Rudolph, Vikings at Seahawks
Yes, he has been a major letdown the last two weeks and we don’t blame you if you sit him this week. However, if you need him, we’d encourage you to use him as opposed to going the free agent route. Seattle is very physical, but so is Rudolph. The Vikings will make him a bigger part of the offense going forward and his snap totals are still sky high. Rudolph’s problems have been all about his QB, Christian Ponder  … and Ponder should be healthier this week than he’s been in the past. We expect Minnesota to pound Adrian Peterson  to set up play-action this week and that should mean more production for Rudolph. In my opinion, this guy is a good player to trade for right now.
Dennis Pitta, Ravens at Browns
Are you looking for a deep option? Pitta could be a good choice in Week 9. Baltimore has been game-planning for Cleveland ever since the Week 7 loss at the hands of the Texans. With Joe Haden locking down an outside option on every play, we expect good things from Pitta and Ray Rice  in the passing game. The big TE is a solid reach play.
Brandon Pettigrew, Lions at Jaguars
He could do very well, but he is no lock to play and his knee is limiting him right now. Also, tight ends have had trouble scoring points against the Jaguars in 2012. We’d leave him on the bench this week if you have other good choices.
Jacob Tamme, Broncos at Bengals
He can always make a big play, but we are concerned about the emergence of Virgil Green and Joel Dreessen. The idea that Tamme would be next in line for targets after Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker  is a fading theory. He’s just one of many at this point. We’d sit him in Week 9.