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Week 9 Rankings

By Cody Smith

Raise your hand if you had Daniel Jones as the QB1 in Week 8 going into Monday Night Football.

Nobody…? That’s what I thought.

Jones exploded for 322 yards and four touchdowns. Jones has quietly thrown for at least one score in every game he has started this year and is the current QB26 after sitting behind Eli Manning for the first two weeks of the season.

Week 8 had a few other surprises.

Matt Schaub came off the bench to replace an injured Matt Ryan and posted top-10 numbers. Ryan Tannehill also wasn’t too far off from a top-10 with a solid performance for the Titans.

Tevin Coleman was RB2 this week in PPR scoring and looks like he should be a lock in all lineups going forward despite a crowded San Francisco backfield.

Some rookies also had big weeks as David Montgomery finally showed what he can do with a true lead back role. Carrying the call 37 times for 135 yards. MIles Sanders joined him in the top-10 with nearly 23 PPR fantasy points thanks to a 65-yard touchdown run that accounted for over half of his points on the day.

Mike Evans posted his second 100+ yard receiving game of the season, which also happened to be his second 190+ yard game of the season. Cooper Kupp had a career-high 220 receiving yards and Darius Slayton scored twice on his only two receptions of the game.

So who breaks out this week? I wish I knew. It would make ranking players a lot easier. But for an idea of who I think has a shot, check out the rankings below!

Injury Notes

Patrick Mahomes is still doubtful to play this week against Minnesota. He isn’t in the rankings below, but if he plays, he certainly needs to be plugged into lineups.

Joe Flacco may miss as much as 5-6 weeks with a neck injury This will likely downgrade Courtland Sutton, but may end up giving Phillip Lindsey and Royce Freeman a bump in production as either Brandon Allen or Drew Lock will step into the starting role.

James Connor suffered a shoulder injury late in Monday night’s contest. The Steelers are calling it an AC joint injury. Connor was seen in a sling after the game, so I would be surprised if he plays. He will be ranked below, but if Jaylen Samuels ends up with a start, he gets an obvious boost up the rankings.

It is not official, but it’s as official as it can possibly be that David Johnson will not play Thursday night. Chase Edmonds will also miss this game with a blown hammy. Kenyan Drake looks to be the one that will carry the load against a tough San Francisco run defense.

Keep an eye on Miles Sanders, who has a shoulder injury. If he plays, he will have a nice match-up with a soft Bear’s run defense.

Matt Breida has an ankle injury on a short week. He may be better left on the fantasy bench with the insane depth the 49ers have in the backfield, plus it looks like Tevin Coleman is the clear No. 1 guy on that team. Raheem Mostert is also questionable with a knee injury, giving Coleman an even heavier load with Jeff Wilson Jr. to spare him.

DeAndre Hopkins was limited at Wednesday’s practice with a thumb injury. Hopkins finished Sunday’s game having played 76 of 79 offensive snaps. It doesn’t seem like this will be anything to worry about.

D.J. Chark was limited Wednesday with a quad injury. The fact that Chark practiced at all Wednesday is a good sign for him to play this weekend.

Julian Edelman is still banged up with a chest/shoulder injury. He’s played through the chest injury most of the season, but the shoulder injury is new. It still doesn’t seem major as the veteran practiced Wednesday in a limited fashion rather than sitting out.

Keenan Allen was limited Wednesday after returning from a hammy injury last week. Allen should be a full go come Sunday, barring a setback in practice this week.

Adam Thielen was also limited Wednesday in an attempt to return from a hammy injury. I expect him to be cleared to play, but it's still up in the air as of Wednesday night.

Others too keep an eye on: Chris Thompson (toe), Benny Snell Jr. (knee), T.Y. Hilton (calf), Will Fuller V (hamstring - probably out), Odell Beckham Jr. (groin), Curtis Samuel (shoulder), Jarvis Landry (shoulder), Tyrell Williams (foot), Dede Westbrook (neck/shoulder), Marvuez Valdes-Scantling (ankle/knee) and Marquise Brown (ankle).

Teams on a bye this week include the Rams, Saints, Bengals and Falcons.


Quarterbacks I like

Derek Carr scored more fantasy points than he had completions on Sunday, completing 18 of 30 pass attempts but logging three passing touchdowns and no turnovers against the Texans. This week, Carr gets the Detroit pass defense that is currently ranked 27th in the league. I wouldn’t be afraid to stream Carr this week if your QB is on a bye.

My Rank: QB8

ESPN Rank: QB12

Jimmy Garoppolo faces the lowly Arizona defense this week who is somehow even worse against the pass than the Dolphins are. Arizona is bad against the pass, but top-10 against the run, so I'm expecting Garoppolo to have to open up the passing game a bit more, even with the run-first style the 49ers have played with this season.

My Rank: QB12

ESPN Rank: QB18

Sam Darnold enters the easy stretch of his schedule that should span the remainder of the season. Darnold has the first of two match-ups with the Dolphins this week who just allowed Mason Rudolph to throw for 250 yards and a pair of scores. Darnold has struggled a bit lately and has an injured non-throwing hand. I want to see something before trusting Darnold fully, but if you need him this week, he should finish in or near the top half of quarterbacks. The Dolphins have allowed multiple touchdown passes to every QB that has faced them thus far.

My Rank: QB15

ESPN Rank: QB19

Quarterbacks to avoid

Jacoby Brissett snapped back to reality this week against a tough Denver pass defense. He threw for 202 yards and no scores while also losing a fumble. The Pittsburgh pass rush is no joke, and it could be hard for Brissett to find his footing again this week against the Steelers’ 11th ranked pass defense.

My Rank: QB16

ESPN Rank: QB11

Philip Rivers faces a tough one this week in Green Bay. Rivers hasn’t quite had the season he had probably hoped this year as he is the 17th ranked quarterback in fantasy. Rivers threw for just 201 last week against Chicago. Green Bay has been hot and cold against the pass this year, allowing 267 yards and two scores to Matt Moore last week, but limiting Matt Stafford to 265 yards and no scores in week 6. If the Green Bay defense shows up, it could be a long day for Rivers.

My Rank: QB18

ESPN Rank: QB13

Daniel Jones was QB1 last week but is not cracking my top-20 this week. He faces the Cowboys, who have limited opponents to 247.5 passing yards per game and have only allowed two opponents to throw for multiple touchdown passes in a game. The Cowboys have also limited four fantasy quarterbacks to single-digit fantasy production in seven games this season. Definitely bench your Daniel Jones shares this week, maybe even in 2QB leagues.

My Rank: QB22

ESPN Rank: QB17

Week 9 Player Rankings

1. Russell Wilson vs. TB

2. Dak Prescott @NYG

3. Deshaun Watson @Jax

4. Matthew Stafford @Oak

5. Aaron Rodgers @LAC

6. Josh Allen vs. Wsh

7. Gardner Minshew II vs. Hou

8. Derek Carr vs. Det

9. Lamar Jackson vs. NE

10. Jameis Winston @Sea

11. Tom Brady @Bal

12. Jimmy Garoppolo @Ari

13. Carson Wentz vs. Chi

14. Kirk Cousins @KC

15. Sam Darnold @Mia

16. Jacoby Brissett @Pit

17. Kyler Murray vs. SF

18. Philip Rivers vs. GB

19. Mitchell Trubisky @Phi

20. Mason Rudolph vs. Ind

21. Kyle Allen vs. Ten

22. Daniel Jones vs. Dal

23. Baker Mayfield @Den

24. Ryan Tannehill @Car

25. Matt Moore vs. Min

26. Ryan Fitzpartick vs. NYJ

27. Brandon Allen vs. Cle

28. Case Keenum @Buf

Running Backs I Like

Josh Jacobs faces the worst run defense in the league this week, which is surprisingly the Detroit Lions. Detroit has only allowed three teams to rush for over 100 yards against them, but fantasy backs have found the end zone seven times on the ground this season. Jacobs has been getting a heavy workload, which should lead to some fantasy points. I expect RB1 numbers on Sunday.

My Rank: RB8

ESPN Rank: RB11

Jordan Howard has a nice little revenge game lined up against the Bears Sunday, and I’m all in for it. I predict that the Eagles will want to take it easy with Miles Sanders’ injury, opening the door for Howard to have a huge game. Chicago has been vulnerable on the ground lately, allowing over 100 rushing yards against the Saints and Raiders recently. Teams have also scored at least one rushing TD against the Bears in four straight contests. I’m pushing Howard hard this week. Get him into lineups as an RB2 and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. I’m expecting multiple touchdowns this week.

My Rank: RB18

ESPN Rank: RB22

Duke Johnson has been limited with his touches lately, only receiving 7-10 per game. However, he caught a season-high four passes last week and may be asked to do a bit more this week. The Houston defense is vulnerable without the pass rush of Jadeveon Clowney this season and will now be missing J.J. Watt. This could be a shootout across the pond this week, and Johnson is Houston’s best pass-catching back. He could be sneaky good in PPR.

My Rank: RB27

ESPN Rank: RB32

Running Backs to Avoid

Aaron Jones can’t possibly keep this up, right? He is the current RB3 in PPR scoring after some recent monster weeks have jolted him to the top. Jones isn’t very consistent, and I expect the 40-point fantasy games to start to slow down soon. You obviously have to play Jones if you have him, but I’d keep my fingers crossed.

My Rank: RB12

ESPN Rank: RB7

Matt Breida is a little banged up on a short week in the 49ers deep backfield. The team has plenty of options against a weak Cardinals team to allow Breida a limited workload in this one. I’m not touching him this week.

My Rank: RB30

ESPN Rank: RB25

Devin Singletary looks really good this season after going through training camp as the team’s No. 4 running back. A trade of Shady McCoy and the under performance of T.J. Yeldon vaulted him to No. 2 behind Frank Gore. Therein lies your problem. Singletary is stuck behind the ageless wonder and has only had seven touches per game since returning from his hamstring injury. As a matter of fact, he doesn’t have double-digit touches in a single game this season. Singletary has looked good in his limited role, but limited is the key word. Leave him on the bench until something happens to Gore.

My Rank: RB35

ESPN Rank: RB30

Week 9 Running back Rankings

1. Dalvin Cook @KC

2. Christian McCaffrey vs. Ten

3. Ezekiel Elliott @NYG

4. Saquon Barkley vs. Dal

5. Nick Chubb @Den

6. Leonard Fournette vs. Hou

7. Chris Carson vs. TB

8. Josh Jacobs vs. Det

9. Le’Veon Bell @Mia

10. James Connor vs. Ind

11. Tevin Coleman @Ari

12. Aaron Jones @LAC

13. Derrick Henry @Car

14. Phillip Lindsay vs. Cle

15. Marlon Mack @Pit

16. Austin Ekeler vs. GB

17. James White @Bal

18. Jordan Howard vs. Chi

19. Royce Freeman vs. Cle

20. David Montgomery @Phi

21. Melvin Gordon vs. GB

22. Mark Walton vs. NYJ

23. Mark Ingram II vs. NE

24. Sony Michel @Bal

25. Carlos Hyde @Jax

26. Kenyan Drake vs. SF

27. Duke Johnson @Jax

28. LeSean McCoy vs. Min

29. Adrian Peterson @Buf

30. Matt Breida @Ari

31. Frank Gore vs. Wsh

32. Jamaal Williams @LAC

33. Chris Thompson @Buf

34. Tarik Cohen @Phi

35. Devin Singletary vs. Wsh

36. Miles Sanders vs. Chi

37. Ronald Jones II @Sea

38. Peyton Barber @Sea

39. Ty Johnson @Oak

40. Rex Burkhead @Bal

41. Jaylen Samuels vs. Ind

42. Nyheim Hines @Pit

43. Alexander Mattison @KC

44. Tra Carson @Oak

45. Dare Ogunbowale @Sea

46. Zach Zenner vs. SF

47.DeAndre Washington vs. Det

48. Gus Edwards vs. NE

49. Dion Lewis @Car

50. J.D. McKissic @Oak

Wide Receivers I Like

Amari Cooper posted a line of 6-106-1 earlier this season against the Giants. This 30th ranked defense should not put up much of a fight this Monday night than the first time around.

My Rank: WR3

ESPN Rank: WR8

Dede Westbrook faces the worst pass defense in the Texans who have now lost their best pass rusher in J.J. Watt. Westbook was held to a goose egg last week, but this match-up sets up well for the young wide-out. Last time Westbrook faced a defense this soft, he went for 6-103 against the Bengals in week 7.

My Rank: WR19

ESPN Rank: WR25

John Brown continued his streak of 50-yard receiving games in blustery conditions in Buffalo Sunday, scoring 10.4 fantasy points in a 5-54 performance. The Washington defense is bad and the team seems to be tanking maybe? Brown will continue his 50-yard streak as long as weather conditions are suitable.

My Rank: WR16

ESPN Rank: WR23

Wide Receivers to Avoid

I’m nervous about Devante Adams in his first game back from a toe injury. The Packers have played well without him and with a 7-1 record, may not rush him all the way back in his first game. If you have Adams, you’re playing him, but i’m expecting low-end WR1 numbers at best. He’ll also be facing a top-10 pass defense in the Chargers.

My Rank: WR11

ESPN Rank: WR5

Julian Edelman has been on the injury report all season and has played through the pain. This week a shoulder injury has popped up to go along with his sore ribs. Edelman will more than likely play, but maybe the ball starts getting spread around a bit more with Sanu becoming more familiar with the playbook.

My Rank: WR14

ESPN Rank: WR7

Odell Beckham Jr. faces a tough task against Denver this week. The Broncos are actually the best team against the pass this season. Beckham will see a healthy dose of Chris Harris Jr. in this game, and I expect him to be limited. Beckham is at best a high-end flex this week.

My Rank: WR24

ESPN Rank: WR15

Week 9 Wide Receivers Rankings

1. DeAndre Hopkins vs. Oak

2. Tyler Lockett vs. TB

3. Amari Cooper @NYG

4. Chris Godwin @Sea

5. Mike Evans @Sea

6. Kenny Golladay @Oak

7. Keenan Allen vs. GB

8. D.J. Chark Jr. vs. Hou

9. Allen Robinson II @Phi

10. Adam Thielen @KC

11. Davante Adams @LAC

12. Tyreek Hill vs. Min

13. T.Y. Hilton @Pit

14. Julian Edelman @Bal

15. Marvin Jones Jr. @Oak

16. John Brown vs. Wsh

17. Courtland Sutton vs. Cle

18. Stefon Diggs @KC

19. Dede Westbrook vs. Hou

20. Juju Smith-Schuster vs. Ind

21. Tyrell Williams vs. Det

22. Michael Gallup @NYG

23. D.J. Moore vs. Ten

24. Odell Beckham Jr. @Den

25. DK Metcalf vs. TB

26. Alshon Jeffery vs. Chi

27. Terry McLaurin @Buf

28. Curtis Samuel vs. Ten

29. Emmanuel Sanders @Ari

30. Danny Amendola @Oak

31. Sterling Shepard vs. Dal

32. Christian Kirk vs. SF

33. Jarvis Landry @Den

34. DeVante Parker vs. NYJ

35. Larry Fitzgerald vs. SF

36. Mohamed Sanu @Bal

37. MIke Williams vs. GB

38. Phillip Dorsett II @Bal

39. Chris Conley vs. Hou

40. Diontae Johnson vs. Ind

41. Jamison Crowder @Mia

42. Robby Anderson @Mia

43. Corey Davis @Car

44. Sammy Watkins vs. Min

45. Cole Beasley vs. Wsh

46. Kenny Stills @Jax

47. Marquise Brown vs. NE

48. A.J. Brown @Car

49. Preston Williams vs. NYJ

50. Golden Tate vs. Dal

Tight Ends I Like

Last week, Darren Fells snuck into my Top 10, and with Austin Hooper, Gerald Everett and Jared Cook on bye, he certainly finds his way in again this week. Fells blew up last week for 6-58-2 and I’m pretty sure he is a legit TE1. Fells is the No. 1 tight end target for Deshaun Watson who is one of the league’s best play makers. Fells has caught 23 of 27 targets this year and has added five touchdowns on his way to being the current TE8. I think Fells has another productive day against the 16th ranked Jacksonville defense.

My Rank: TE9

ESPN Rank: TE16

Tight Ends To Avoid

Jason Witten doesn’t have a scary match-up against the Giants and has caught 3-5 passes in every game this season. Witten has a decent floor, but if he isn’t finding the end-zone - which he hasn’t since Week 2 - he isn’t worth a reliable start in your league. Witten caught three balls for 15 yards and a score in his last game against the Giants.

My Rank: TE18

ESPN Rank: TE10

Week 9 Tight end Rankings

1. George Kittle @Ari

2. Darren Waller vs. Det

3. Evan Engram vs. Dal

4. Travis Kelce vs.Min

5. Hunter Henry vs. GB

6. Zach Ertz vs. Chi

7. Mark Andrews vs. NE

8. Greg Olsen vs. Ten

9. Darren Fells @Jax

10. T.J. Hockenson @Oak

11. Dallas Goedert vs. Chi

12. Jack Doyle @Pit

13. Jimmy Graham @LAC

14. Chris Herndon @Mia

15. Jonnu Smith @Car

16. Cameron Brate @Sea

17. Vance McDonald vs. Ind

18. Eric Ebron @Pit

19. Jason Witten @NYG

20. Noah Fant vs.Cle

21. O.J. Howard @Sea

22. Jordan Akins @Jax

23. Foster Moreau vs. Det

24. Kyle Rudolph @KC

25. Dawson Knox vs. Wsh

Week 8 likes/dislikes

Quarterback likes

Kyler Murray: My Rank - QB4; ESPN Rank - QB8; Actual finish - QB26

Gardner Minshew II: My Rank - QB11; ESPN Rank - QB15; Actual finish - QB6

Carson Wentz: My Rank - QB10; ESPN Rank - QB17; Actual finish - QB19

Quarterback dislikes

Aaron Rodgers: My Rank - QB7; ESPN Rank - QB3; Actual finish - QB3

Jameis Winston: My Rank - QB15; ESPN Rank - QB11; Actual finish - QB10

Mason Rudolph: My Rank - QB24; ESPN Rank - QB14; Actual finish - QB16

Running Back likes

Joe Mixon: My Rank - RB19; ESPN Rank - RB26; Actual finish - RB13

LeSean McCoy: My Rank - RB21; ESPN Rank - RB27; Actual finish - RB33

Running Back dislikes

Derrick Henry: My Rank - RB18; ESPN Rank - RB12; Actual finish - RB39

Tevin Coleman: My Rank - RB25; ESPN Rank - RB14; Actual finish - RB2

Melvin Gordon: My Rank - RB30; ESPN Rank - RB24; Actual finish - RB24

Wide Receiver likes

Courtland Sutton: My Rank - WR7; ESPN Rank - WR19; Actual finish - WR42

Tyler Lockett: My Rank - WR3; ESPN Rank - WR9; Actual finish - WR21

John Brown: My Rank - WR14; ESPN Rank - WR20; Actual finish - WR39

Wide Receiver dislikes

Tyreek Hill: My Rank - WR19; ESPN Rank - WR6; Actual finish - WR23

Kenny Golladay: My Rank - WR17; ESPN Rank - WR7; Actual finish - WR3

Odell Beckham Jr.: My Rank - WR22; ESPN Rank - WR13; Actual finish - WR42

Tight End likes

Jimmy Graham: My Rank - TE2; ESPN Rank - TE6; Actual finish - TE22

Tight End dislikes

Greg Olsen: My Rank - TE14; ESPN Rank - TE9; Actual finish - TE30

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