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Fantasy football start/sit advice, Week 9: Chargers vs. Dolphins

Both teams have winning records, but Miami's on a recent upswing, while San Diego's fortunes have gone the other direction.

After a great start to the season, the San Diego Chargers have really struggled, losing two straight to fall to 5-3. The Miami Dolphins, meanwhile, were scuffling along at 2-3 before back-to-back wins got them to a winning record. Sunday, one team will try to keep its hot streak going, while the other will look to get back on the right track.

Both teams enter the game largely healthy from a fantasy perspective. The Dolphins had no fantasy-relevant players listed on the injury report, and while the Chargers will again be without running back Ryan Mathews, position-mate Donald Brown is expected to return from a concussion.

The Dolphins will host Sunday's game at 1 p.m. ET. With two winning teams, there are plenty of fantasy names to consider:

CHARGERS

Start 'em: His numbers have dipped a little of late, but Philip Rivers is still firmly in the top 10 among quarterbacks. ... Even as his job gets more crowded, Branden Oliver still looks like the team's top running back, and he's a mid-level RB2. ... Week 8 appeared to signify the return to prominence of Keenan Allen. At least, maybe it did. He's a fine WR2. ... Antonio Gates has had a big season so far, and he's firmly in starting territory.

Start 'em?: He might not come with huge upside, but Malcom Floyd only has one game this season of fewer than five fantasy points. He's a fine desperation play. ... Nick Novak only has two double-digit fantasy days this season, and none since Week 4. ... After a strong start to the season, the Chargers' defense has a combined negative-4 fantasy points the last three weeks. That early upside is still there, though.

Sit 'em: Yes, Donald Brown is back from injury, but he's been supplanted by Oliver. He's not likely to be very productive. ... We all knew Eddie Royal's hot stretch wouldn't last, right? Two fantasy points in back-to-back games.

DOLPHINS

Start 'em: In seven games this season, Lamar Miller has fewer than nine fantasy points only once. He's a must-start. ... Mike Wallace had his worst game of the season in Week 8, but overall he's still a strong WR2. ... The Dolphins' defense has been great this season. Facing the San Diego offense is a downside, but you'll still probably want to use Miami.

Start 'em?: We've seen good kicking numbers out of Caleb Sturgis this season. He's right in the startable territory.

Sit 'em: If he couldn't put up big numbers against Jacksonville, what confidence could you have starting Ryan Tannehill against San Diego? ... After one good game, Charles Clay went right back to not producing last week.

SUMMARY

Start in every league: Philip Rivers, Branden Oliver, Keenan Allen, Antonio Gates, Lamar Miller, Mike Wallace, Miami defense

Start if you're desperate: Malcom Floyd, Nick Novak, San Diego defense, Caleb Sturgis

Bench: Donald Brown, Eddie Royal, Ryan Tannehill, Charles Clay