The Carolina Panthers host the Atlanta Falcons in a Week 9 contest that is not nearly as exciting as most thought it would be two months ago. The Panthers are playing well, sitting at 4-3 and two games back of the New Orleans Saints. However, the Falcons are 2-5 and don't seem anywhere close to righting the ship. Injuries have hurt them, impacting numerous fantasy teams. Here is start/sit advice for this Week 9 matchup.
The Falcons offense is built almost entirely around their passing game, at this point. They have dealt with numerous injuries, losing Julio Jones for the season. Roddy White is dealing with a high ankle sprain that left him entirely ineffective early in the season. He is a game-time decision, but avoid him if you can. With those two out, Harry Douglas has taken over as the play-making wide receiver.
The Falcons run game is an absolute mess. Jackson gets the edge over Rodgers in terms of touches, but neither if a particularly good start against a quality Panthers defense. If you are dealing with bye week issues, Jackson would be the start, but if you can find other options, stay away from Jackson.
The Panthers are in a position to put up some serious points at home against the Falcons. Considering Atlanta has struggled all season against the pass, Cam Newton, Steve Smith and Greg Olsen are in line for huge days. Brandon LaFell and Ted Ginn are potentially worth fliers if you are dealing with bye week issues, but otherwise, they are simply too speculative to rely on.
The Panthers have a strong rushing attack, but for fantasy purposes, it is about to turn into a quagmire. Jonathan Stewart has officially been activated from the PUP list, but for this first week, DeAngelo Williams and Mike Tolbert are the primary ball-handlers.
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