Salary cap advice: Spend freely on big names like Foster in Week 9
Salary cap leagues are often about bargains, but not with this Week 9 slate
Splurging on Arian Foster against the Bills is the smartest money to spend
Cam Newton has struggled, but should do well on the road at Washington
Most of the time, salary cap leagues center on bargain hunting. This week, however, is one of the few when it pays to throw down on the big-ticket names. Here is a position-by-position look at some of the best bargains entering Week 9, with prices based on current FanDuel 10-team leagues. If you're looking for a salary cap challenge, test your skills by going head-to-head with SI's Peter King in the Peter King Fantasy Challenge.
Quarterbacks: The most interesting matchup this week may be last year's meteoric rising rookie, Cam Newton, against this season's first-year sensation, Robert Griffin III. The Redskins' defensive woes make Newton, priced 10 percent cheaper than RGIII, someone to seriously consider. Matt Schaub is also a solid play on a tight budget against the aforementioned Bills, and the battle in Oakland between the Raiders and Buccaneers should be good news for those using either Carson Palmer or Josh Freeman as a value pick this week.
Running backs: The gold standard for any position this week (and most of this season) is Arian Foster, the leading non-quarterback scorer in virtually every fantasy football format. His matchup this week is especially enticing since the Bills are dead last against the run, giving up 176.9 rushing yards per contest. They're surrendering 32.4 points per game and are next-to-last behind the Saints in average yards from scrimmage allowed, yielding 438.6 per contest. For the more budget conscious, Marshawn Lynch ranks second in the league in rushing but is somehow only the 10th most costly running back option. He's facing a Vikings defense that allowed 100-yard games to LaRod Stephens-Howling and Doug Martin.
Wide receivers: The Cardinals have been victimized by big receiving games all season (see Hartline, Brian and Crabtree, Michael) so the only hard choice is which Packers receiver to target. Randall Cobb has been the star lately, but look to James Jones this week. He's still tied for the league lead in receiving touchdowns despite being held in check the past two games and will break through again while costing less than Cobb. Another great deal is DeSean Jackson, whose value has plummeted but whose explosiveness is still there. He's ready to blow up on the Saints. For the true bargain hunters, try Santana Moss against the Panthers, Davone Bess against the Colts or Ryan Broyles against the Jaguars.
Tight ends: Heath Miller continues to be a man on a mission this season, and with Chase Blackburn sidelined for the Giants, Miller should have a strong showing again. Another solid play is Jermaine Gresham against a Denver defense more prone to giving up fantasy points to tight ends than most teams in the league. A third solid yet thrifty option is Greg Olsen, who is as sure a thing as any amid the Panthers' offensive drama and against a leaky Washington D.
Kicker: So many choices, so little to spend. The Texans are going to score a lot, so Shayne Graham might be worth using on the strength of extra points alone. Steven Hauschka at home in Seattle against the Vikings is also a strong pick among the bottom-line booters.
Defense: The Cardinals were pitiful against the 49ers' defense, and the Packers' pass rush will force John Skelton into a lot of mistakes. A dome team on the road in what could be iffy weather in Wisconsin? Grab Green Bay if you can.