We somehow are crossing the midseason threshold already. The season continues to fly by, and that can only mean one thing. Your fantasy playoffs are on the horizon.
There's still plenty of time to make the right adjustments to fuel your team into the postseason, but with injuries continuing to pile up and bye weeks still getting in the way, you're likely looking for help anywhere you can find it.
Let's go ahead and take a look at a few players who might be able to help you this week, and a couple names you need to keep on your bench in Week 9.
Matt Schaub, quarterback - If there was ever a time to start Schaub, here it is. Don't let the pass two games from the Bills secondary fool you. They' held John Skelton/Kevin Kolb and Matt Hasselbeck to a touchdown each before their bye. Before that, though, Buffalo gave up a ridiculously bad 12 passing touchdowns in five weeks. Arian Foster is sure to have the run game going full steam, so Schaub should be able to find plenty of holes in the secondary. He handled Baltimore pretty well in Week 7.
Jonathan Stewart, running back - DeAngelo Williams will be sticking around, but the Panthers are still giving the majority of the workload to Stewart. Washington just allowed a 100-yard game to Jonathan Dwyer, so there's no reason why this Jonathan shouldn't be able to match that success. Stewart also makes more of an impact in the passing game, make him a dangerous threat to find the end zone at some point. Hopefully you picked him up while you had the chance.
Denarius Moore, wide receiver - Moore has found the end zone in four of his last five games. He's clearly the No. 1 target for Carson Palmer (which he's admitted), and the matchup this week is a fortunate one. Tampa Bay's porous secondary gave up 522 yards and three touchdowns to opposing receivers in the past two games. If you don't start Moore, you'll be sorry come Monday when you look back on his stats from Week 9.
Jermaine Gresham, tight end - By no means is he a must-start every week. Gresham's numbers are consistent, but his matchup this week invites him to post an impressive stat line. The Broncos have given up six touchdowns to opposing tight ends this year, including three in the past two games. Even Antonio Gates managed to put on a show facing the Broncos. If you're in need of help at tight end, give Gresham a look this week.
Lions defense/special teams - Detroit actually ranks ninth overall in yards allowed per game. The Lions D/ST isn't typically a recommended play, but when they're facing the Jaguars you reconsider everything. Jacksonville ranks dead last in the league in scoring, somehow managing to put up just 14.7 points on the scoreboard each week. You have to appreciate the matchup here.
Matt Hasselbeck, quarterback - The Bears defense gave up one passing touchdown in the past three games. Hasselbeck has just one touchdown in each of his past four outings. He doesn't score big for your fantasy team on a regular basis, so why would you put him in your lineup against a defense that allows the fewest points to quarterbacks? Look elsewhere this in Week 9, and maybe every week.
Alex Green, running back - Mike McCarthy can talk about Green all he wants. It doesn't change the fact he's averaging a mere 2.9 yards per carry at this point. While the Cardinals have been susceptible to giving up big numbers on the ground lately, they still managed to keep the 49ers under 100 total rushing yards. Green won't be much to worry about for fantasy owners until he proves he can actually make an impact in the Green Bay offense.
Leonard Hankerson, wide receiver - So much for stepping up while Pierre Garcon is out. Hankerson scored once in Week 2, and that's the most he's done all season. Analysts will continue to talk about his future in the NFL, how one day he'll make a name for himself. While it's nice to support the young wideout, he's not doing you any favors in your lineup. Hold off on him until he actually shows any sign of consistency.
Jermichael Finley, tight end - Two Packers on the sit list? Well, it's hard not to put Finley here. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1. He hasn't caught more than two passes since Week 5. He hasn't gone over 50 yards receiving since Week 4. Should I keep going? Arizona has yielded two touchdowns to opposing tight ends all season long, so any chances of a breakout week for Finley look slim in Week 9.
Eagles defense/special teams - Firing Juan Castillo didn't seem to do the trick last week. The Eagles gave up 30 points to the Falcons in Week 8, and it the road doesn't get any easier as they take on Drew Brees in the Superdome this time around. Brees and the gang seem to always bring their A-game at home. Considering the current state of Philly's defense, you'd be wise to look elsewhere until we see some drastic changes.