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Week 9 Rankings

by Patrick Daugherty
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Updated 11/6 at 12:05 PM ET. Removed Randall Cobb and Carlos Hyde. Moved Steve Smith Sr. up. Moved DuJuan Harris up. Ticked Ty Montgomery up at running back and receiver. 

The No. 1 quarterback spot this week comes down to Aaron Rodgers, Matt Ryan and Drew Brees. All three have great matchups, but just one of them is at home. That’s Rodgers, who despite highly inconsistent play on the “real life” field has once again settled in as a top-five fantasy quarterback. Rodgers has seven scores over his past two starts, and his 26.1 weekly points check in behind only Tom Brady, Brees and Ryan.


Being at home isn’t Rodgers’ only Week 9 advantage amongst the big three. His juicy matchup is also the juiciest. The Colts are allowing the second most weekly passing yards (288), and seemed poised to be missing No. 1 cornerback Vontae Davis (concussion). Indy has almost zero pass rush, and a league-low two interceptions. Rodgers’ 2016 has often befuddled, but his recent play, Week 9 matchup and historical dominance in Wisconsin make him the odds-on favorite to finish No. 1 this week.


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Week 9 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Aaron Rodgers vs. IND -
2 Matt Ryan at TB -
3 Drew Brees at SF -
4 Andrew Luck at GB -
5 Cam Newton at LAR -
6 Dak Prescott at CLE -
7 Philip Rivers vs. TEN -
8 Marcus Mariota at SD -
9 Ben Roethlisberger at BAL Questionable (knee)
10 Jameis Winston vs. ATL Questionable (knee)
11 Russell Wilson vs. BUF Questionable (knee)
12 Matthew Stafford at MIN -
13 Eli Manning vs. PHI -
14 Derek Carr vs. DEN -
15 Ryan Tannehill vs. NYJ -
16 Case Keenum vs. CAR -
17 Blake Bortles at KC -
18 Cody Kessler vs. DAL -
19 Tyrod Taylor at SEA -
20 Sam Bradford vs. DET -
21 Nick Foles vs. JAC -
22 Colin Kaepernick vs. NO -
23 Joe Flacco vs. PIT -
24 Ryan Fitzpatrick at MIA -
25 Trevor Siemian at OAK -
26 Carson Wentz at NYG -


QB Notes: The league leader in yards (2,636) and touchdowns (19), Ryan is headed on the road on a short week, but will be facing a Bucs defense that allowed 513 yards to Derek Carr four days ago. You could rank Ryan No. 1 without complaint. … Drew Brees’ home/away splits remain a thing, but his most recent trip outside the Superdome yielded his most road yards (367) since Week 15, 2014. That big day came against the Chiefs, who have a much better team than San Francisco. The 49ers are arguably the league’s most talent-less defense. Chip Kelly’s unit is most vulnerable on the ground, but Brees’ air space will lack an enemy presence. … It was a bad Week 8 for Andrew Luck, but the main takeaway was the healthy return of Donte Moncrief. Green Bay’s pass defense is a less imposing unit than Kansas City’s, and shootout conditions seem likely at Lambeau Field. The QB5 by average points, Luck has posted at least two touchdowns in each of his past five starts.    


Cam Newton had a scoreless Week 8, but didn’t have to do much as the Panthers throttled Arizona. Newton attempted only 27 passes, though his 43 rushing yards were his most since Week 1. His 7.85 yards per attempt were his second most of 2016. Banged up and not playing anywhere close to its reputation, the Rams defense is an average matchup. … This is more aggressive than I’d like to rank Dak Prescott, but the QB8 by average points over the past five weeks has an attackable foe in the Browns. Prescott has four rushing touchdowns over his past six games, and 10 total scores over his past four starts. The healthy return of Dez Bryant is the cherry on top of a matchup against a Browns defense surrendering the fourth most quarterback fantasy points. … Philip Rivers is merely the QB16 by average points, but is eighth in yards per game (286) and eighth in touchdowns (15). He’s playing well, particularly at home. The Titans are a middle-of-the-road matchup.  

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The QB6 over the past three weeks, Marcus Mariota has 11 touchdowns over his past four starts, a number that would be higher had the Jags not folded up in the first half last week. The Chargers will be the best defense Mariota has faced in over a month, but are hardly a shutdown unit. Addicted to shootouts, the Bolts should get Mariota his numbers even if they play well. … Poised to play through his latest injury, Ben Roethlisberger is headed to Baltimore, a place he’s had little success over his past three starts (2:3 TD:INT ratio). Roethlisberger has also struggled on the road this season, posting a 76.9 QB rating. So why is he ranked so high? The short answer is, have you seen the guys behind him? With six teams on bye, tough decisions must be made. Despite his injury, opponent and road struggles, Ben’s supporting cast makes him worth betting on. … The Falcons are a dream matchup for Jameis Winston, but so were the Raiders. Winston could complete only 16 passes in Week 8 even with the benefit of an overtime period. Winston has no one to throw to behind Mike Evans. Averaging 212 yards over his past four starts, Winston’s upside is not as high as you think.


By now, you’ve no doubt seen the stat: Russell Wilson has zero touchdowns over his past three starts. Zero. He’s tied for 29th in passing scores (five). So why keep the (low-end) QB1 faith? Wilson has remained efficient, completing 65.7 percent of his passes during his touchdown drought, and could shed another brace (knee) this week. The Bills are not a stay-away matchup, especially at home. … This is too high for Matthew Stafford against an elite defense, but licking their wounds on a short week, the Vikings had trouble handling Jay Cutler in Week 8. Stafford gets the nod over Derek Carr, who is facing the best defense in football, and Eli Manning, who has thrown for one or zero touchdowns in 5-of-7 starts. … Seriously: Eli has one or zero touchdowns in 71 percent of his appearances. The Giants’ offense has been bad. Manning is only this high because six teams are on bye. … Carr, meanwhile, is coming off the start of his life, but against a defense allowing the fewest passing yards and quarterback fantasy points. It’s hard to bet against Carr’s weapons, but his Week 9 ceiling is low.       


We’ve reached the fallout zone of the quarterback ranks. Ryan Tannehill could easily attempt fewer than 30 passes, but that’s all he’ll need for a top-18 day against the Jets’ pathetic pass defense. … Averaging 287 yards over his past four starts, Case Keenum is a legit QB2 against a Panthers defense allowing the third most quarterback fantasy points and third most weekly passing yards (287). … As long as the Cowboys don’t keep the ball all afternoon — admittedly a possibility — one of Cody Kessler or Josh McCown will get volume in an offense with a deceptive amount of playmakers. … Blake Bortles’ entire fantasy case rests on garbage time. There’s a good chance he’ll get a lot of it on the road in Kansas City. … Opposing Bortles will be Nick Foles, who seems most at home with Andy Reid. Foles is not good enough to get Alex Smith benched, but has enough weapons for an acceptable QB2 day. … Sam Bradford is a popular Week 9 streamer against the Lions’ truly awful defense, but Bradford hasn’t looked too hot himself lately. You need to do better. … Colin Kaepernick: No.


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Week 9 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Ezekiel Elliott at CLE -
2 Le'Veon Bell at BAL -
3 DeMarco Murray at SD Questionable (toe)
4 Devonta Freeman at TB -
5 Melvin Gordon vs. TEN -
6 Jay Ajayi vs. NYJ -
7 Devontae Booker at OAK Questionable (shoulder)
8 Matt Forte at MIA Questionable (knee)
9 Charcandrick West vs. JAC -
10 Jonathan Stewart at LAR -
11 Todd Gurley vs. CAR -
12 Christine Michael vs. BUF -
13 Frank Gore at GB -
14 Ty Montgomery vs. IND -
15 LeSean McCoy at SEA Questionable (hamstring)
16 Theo Riddick at MIN Questionable (ankle)
17 Terrance West vs. PIT -
18 Tim Hightower at SF -
19 Isaiah Crowell vs. DAL -
20 Latavius Murray vs. DEN -
21 Darren Sproles at NYG -
22 DuJuan Harris vs. NO -
23 Antone Smith vs. ATL I.L. (knee surgery)
24 Jerick McKinnon vs. DET Questionable (ankle)
25 Rashad Jennings vs. PHI -
26 Mark Ingram at SF -
27 Matt Asiata vs. DET -
28 Peyton Barber vs. ATL -
29 Duke Johnson vs. DAL -
30 Derrick Henry at SD -
31 C.J. Prosise vs. BUF -
32 Bilal Powell at MIA -
33 Chris Ivory at KC -
34 Mike Gillislee at SEA -
35 DeAndre Washington vs. DEN -
36 Terron Ward at TB -
37 T.J. Yeldon at KC -
38 Kenneth Dixon vs. PIT -
39 Paul Perkins vs. PHI -
40 Ryan Mathews at NYG -
41 Jalen Richard vs. DEN -
42 Aaron Ripkowski vs. IND -
43 DeAngelo Williams at BAL Questionable (knee)
44 Alfred Morris at CLE -
45 Shaun Draughn vs. NO -
46 Bobby Rainey vs. PHI -
47 Knile Davis vs. JAC -
48 Don Jackson vs. IND -
49 Fozzy Whittaker at LAR -
50 Damien Williams vs. NYJ Questionable (illness)
51 Mike Davis vs. NO -
52 Zach Zenner at MIN -
53 Jonathan Williams at SEA -
54 Kapri Bibbs at OAK -


RB Notes: The Browns are allowing 144 rushing yards per game. Ezekiel Elliott is averaging 114. Look out. … Matchup-proof Le'Veon Bell is averaging 147 yards from scrimmage. … DeMarco Murray (toe) picked up his first nick of the season in Week 8, but will be good to go against a Chargers defense allowing the sixth most running back fantasy points. The Bolts have permitted a stunning/league-worst 66 receptions to rival RBs. Murray’s 28 grabs are seventh amongst runners. … Despite working to eliminate enemy ground games, the Bucs are coughing up the 11th most weekly rushing yards (115). Locked into another monster workload with Tevin Coleman (hamstring) sidelined, Devonta Freeman is a clear top-five play. … Speaking of clear top-five plays, Spencer Ware (concussion) will be one if he can get cleared. If not, Charcandrick West will slide in as a top-12 option, likely between Jonathan Stewart and Todd Gurley, and potentially even higher. … Coming off his best game of the season, Melvin Gordon has a tough matchup in the Titans — 83 weekly rushing yards, only three ground scores against — but his bonkers volume keeps him locked and loaded as an upper-echelon RB1.


The Jets are allowing the fewest rushing yards per game (74) and second fewest yards per carry (3.30). I simply can’t bet against Jay Ajayi, the owner of this season’s only 200-yard rushing performances. With 418 ground yards over his past two games, Ajayi is well rested coming off the Dolphins’ bye. He’s the centerpiece of Miami’s offense, one any defense will have major trouble stopping. … Devontae Booker had a modest day in his first start, averaging 2.84 yards per carry and losing a fumble. Nevertheless, he finished as the RB12, thanks in large part to his 24 touches. Booker’s workload will remain voluminous against Oakland, a defense surrendering the ninth most running back fantasy points. … After a month of middling usage, Matt Forte’s touches went back through the stratosphere the past two weeks. Forte got the ball 61 combined times against the Ravens and Browns, and there’s no reason to think the Jets will change it up against the Dolphins. Miami’s run defense stiffened significantly before its Week 8 bye, holding both Le'Veon Bell and LeSean McCoy in check, but Forte has the volume fantasy owners are looking for.


Jonathan Stewart has averaged 22 carries for 90 yards in two games since returning from his hamstring injury, piling up four touchdowns. Every number — 22/90/2 — should be within reach against the Rams. … Christine Michael’s touchdowns have kept him in the RB1 mix, but he’s averaging just 54 rushing yards over his past four games. Michael hasn’t established a ceiling to go along with his floor. … Todd Gurley has cleared 60 yards in just 5-of-7 starts, and is averaging 3.00 yards per carry. He has half the touchdowns of Carlos Hyde. Fading rookie memories are the only thing keeping Gurley even this high. … Hyde is playing through a shoulder injury, but will be in line for at least 15 touches against a Saints defense that’s silver plattered a league-worst 12 rushing touchdowns. OC Curtis Modkins said DuJuan Harris has earned more opportunities, but Hyde will remain the workhorse with goal-line looks. … Terrance West was awful his last time out, and the Ravens seem poised to get Kenneth Dixon more involved coming off the bye. West averaged 98 yards rushing in three games before running into the Jets’ run buzzsaw, however, and has earned a little benefit of the doubt. The Steelers are quietly permitting 4.66 yards per carry, sixth worst.


The Vikings are a tough matchup for Theo Riddick, but the pass catcher monopolized the Week 8 touches in Detroit’s backfield. The Vikings have allowed 380 receiving yards to rival runners, ninth most. … We don’t have much to go on with Ty Montgomery’s (illness) status. He’s day to day, and genuinely questionable. What we do know is, Montgomery will be in for another monster workload if he can suit up against the Colts. The Packers didn’t have a running game in Montgomery’s Week 8 absence, handing out 13 ineffective carries to Aaron Ripkowski, Don Jackson and Knile Davis. Davis has since been waived. Neither Ripkowski nor Jackson will be viable RB3s if Montgomery sits. … Sean Payton has claimed Mark Ingram will maintain a “key” role following is Week 8 benching, but actions speak louder than words. Tim Hightower got a ridiculous 26 carries against the Seahawks, a number Ingram has seen two times in his six-year career. Hightower will be lead dog against the 49ers’ NFL-worst run defense, putting him on the RB2 map. Ingram can’t be trusted as more than a volatile FLEX option, even in a dream matchup.


Although LeSean McCoy has yet to be formally ruled out, Mike Gillislee seems likely for another start in Seattle. The Seahawks are a stay-away matchup, but RB2 volume will be there. … Latavius Murray has rather unambiguously re-taken control of the Raiders’ backfield. He’s a low-upside, decent-floor RB2. DeAndre Washington has out-snapped Jalen Richard by a comfortable margin in recent weeks, and is the preferred backup. … It would be stunning if Darren Sproles didn’t lead the Eagles’ backfield. Ryan Mathews has botched yet another opportunity. … Antone Smith is expected to lead the Bucs’ Thursday night committee, but Peyton Barber should see enough early-down work for fantasy players to get return on RB3 investment. … Jerick McKinnon expects to return against the Lions. Matt Asiata did nothing to pull away during McKinnon’s Week 8 absence. Betting on McKinnon’s talent seems more prudent than hoping for Asiata goal-line dives. … Paul Perkins could lead the Giants’ backfield before the year is through, but Rashad Jennings is a safe bet to lead in Week 9 touches.    


Week 9 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Julio Jones at TB -
2 Antonio Brown at BAL Questionable (-)
3 Mike Evans vs. ATL Questionable (concussion)
4 Odell Beckham vs. PHI -
5 Dez Bryant at CLE Questionable (knee)
6 Jordy Nelson vs. IND Questionable (hand)
7 T.Y. Hilton at GB -
8 Jarvis Landry vs. NYJ -
9 Brandon Marshall at MIA -
10 Amari Cooper vs. DEN Questionable (back)
11 Brandin Cooks at SF -
12 Davante Adams vs. IND -
13 Ty Montgomery vs. IND -
14 Demaryius Thomas at OAK Questionable (hip)
15 Emmanuel Sanders at OAK -
16 Donte Moncrief at GB -
17 Kelvin Benjamin at LAR Questionable (knee)
18 Doug Baldwin vs. BUF -
19 Allen Robinson at KC -
20 Terrelle Pryor vs. DAL -
21 Mike Wallace vs. PIT -
22 Michael Crabtree vs. DEN -
23 Stefon Diggs vs. DET Questionable (groin)
24 Tyrell Williams vs. TEN Questionable (knee)
25 Michael Thomas at SF -
26 Marvin Jones at MIN -
27 Willie Snead at SF Questionable (-)
28 Kenny Britt vs. CAR Questionable (shoulder)
29 Quincy Enunwa at MIA -
30 Jordan Matthews at NYG -
31 Jeremy Maclin vs. JAC -
32 Golden Tate at MIN -
33 DeVante Parker vs. NYJ Questionable (hamstring)
34 Corey Coleman vs. DAL -
35 Allen Hurns at KC -
36 Tavon Austin vs. CAR -
37 Mohamed Sanu at TB -
38 Sammie Coates at BAL -
39 Cole Beasley at CLE -
40 Sterling Shepard vs. PHI -
41 Brian Quick vs. CAR -
42 Kenny Stills vs. NYJ -
43 Kendall Wright at SD -
44 Travis Benjamin vs. TEN Questionable (knee)
45 Marqise Lee at KC -
46 Rishard Matthews at SD -
47 Steve Smith Sr. vs. PIT Questionable (ankle)
48 Dontrelle Inman vs. TEN -
49 Cordarrelle Patterson vs. DET -
50 Tyreek Hill vs. JAC -
51 Ted Ginn at LAR -
52 Seth Roberts vs. DEN -
53 Robert Woods at SEA Questionable (foot)
54 Torrey Smith vs. NO -
55 Victor Cruz vs. PHI -
56 Tyler Lockett vs. BUF -
57 Terrance Williams at CLE -
58 Adam Thielen vs. DET -
59 Jermaine Kearse vs. BUF -
60 Adam Humphries vs. ATL -
61 Eli Rogers at BAL -
62 Dorial Green-Beckham at NYG -
63 Jeremy Kerley vs. NO -
64 Robby Anderson at MIA -
65 Breshad Perriman vs. PIT -
66 Phillip Dorsett at GB Questionable (hamstring)
67 Jeff Janis vs. IND -
68 Anquan Boldin at MIN -
69 Justin Hunter at SEA -


WR Notes: Julio Jones’ bruised knee isn’t a concern against a Bucs defense that allowed 100-yard games to both Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree last Sunday. … The Ravens are allowing just 220 weekly passing yards, but have somehow permitted 13 receiver touchdowns. Getting his quarterback back, Antonio Brown is ready to put Landry Jones behind him. … No team has given up more receiver receptions than Atlanta (122). The Bucs’ only viable target, Mike Evans is going to eat. … Odell Beckham may be at just “85 percent,” but should be ready to rock coming off the Giants’ bye week. … Dez Bryant went 4/113/1 in a moderately difficult matchup with the Eagles. Now he has a cake one in a Browns defense allowing the fourth most receiver fantasy points. … T.Y. Hilton (hamstring) is looking truly questionable to suit up against the Packers. Even if he does play, Hilton could be on a snap count. It’s a situation for both myself and fantasy owners to monitor. Hilton could be a descender in the ranks.  


How to assess the Packers’ receiver corps this week? It’s all about Randall Cobb’s (hamstring) health. Cobb seems poised to return, but could remain at less than 100 percent. Coming off his best game since Week 3, Jordy Nelson is a firm WR1 against a Colts defense likely to be missing Vontae Davis. Davante Adams, meanwhile, is impossible to leave out of the top 18 after drawing a monstrous 30 targets the past two weeks. Part of the Packers’ “running game” has become short passes to Adams and Cobb, putting both on the WR2 radar. … Brandon Marshall seems excited to face Byron Maxwell. "I don't know him, but I don't like him,” Marshall said Wednesday. He went on to say Maxwell “holds every play,” and that his acquisition was a “great trade for the Eagles.” Giddy up. … Averaging 6.6 grabs, Jarvis Landry has a mouthwatering matchup in a Jets secondary permitting the second most receiver points. Only the Falcons and Bears have surrendered more wideout receptions.  


The Raiders contained Mike Evans in Week 8, but remain one of the league’s softest across-the-board pass defenses. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are both great floor/ceiling combo plays. … Third in receiving yardage (787), Amari Cooper has done a remarkable amount of his work after the catch, gaining 287 yards. Only Golden Tate has racked up more YAC. Cooper has surpassed 125 yards in 3-of-4 games. The Broncos are a forbidding matchup, but Cooper’s upside has become too monumental to rank him outside of the top 15. … Always more floor than ceiling, Michael Crabtree gets a bigger Broncos penalty than his sophomore teammate. … Kelvin Benjamin hasn’t established a consistent floor or ceiling, but has cleared 70 yards in three straight games. He’s always a decent bet to score a touchdown. … Donte Moncrief played 59-of-66 snaps in his Week 8 return, and could be an every-down player against the Packers with T.Y. Hilton ailing. Moncrief has the fantasy trifecta of volume, big-play ability and red zone looks when he’s healthy.


Doug Baldwin’s ceiling has collapsed with Russell Wilson struggling, but he’s maintained a 4/50 floor. Especially at home, Baldwin is a weekly threat to go bonkers. … Allen Robinson will remain a high-risk WR2 as long as Blake Bortles is throwing Honeybaked hams. … Terrelle Pryor has drawn 13 targets twice in his past three games, but is a little harder to forecast with Corey Coleman (broken hand) finally returning from a six-week absence. Despite the canceling out fears, both players are worth betting on against an already-thin Cowboys defense that lost SS Barry Church (broken arm) CB Morris Claiborne (groin) in Week 8. Pryor is a WR2 with WR1 upside, Coleman a WR3 with WR2 upside. … With Steve Smith Sr. (ankle) expected to miss another game, Mike Wallace could be the week’s sneakiest WR2. Wallace is averaging 10 targets over his past four games, posting 25 catches for 324 yards in the process. His yardage has increased each of the past three weeks. The Steelers’ porous pass defense also doubles as a “revenge game.”    


With Travis Benjamin (PCL) likely to sit, Tyrell Williams could be in for a 10-12 target afternoon against the Titans. Slot man Dontrelle Inman is on the WR5 radar in standard leagues. … Stefon Diggs had his first decent game in six weeks Monday, but that’s not enough to rank him as a top-20 option. … Losing a little more upside with each passing week, Marvin Jones is a hard-sell WR2 against Xavier Rhodes. … Boasting the same 5-6 catch floor, Michael Thomas offers touchdown potential, Willie Snead yardage upside. They’re every-week WR3s in New Orleans’ typically-explosive offense. … Jordan Matthews hits his ceiling too rarely for his 3/30 floor to make him WR2 viable. … Quietly 16th in yards (535), Kenny Britt is facing a Panthers defense allowing the most receiver fantasy points. … It’s hard to say how Nick Foles affects Jeremy Maclin’s fantasy outlook. Maclin is the WR47 by average points. … Golden Tate’s ceiling takes a big hit whenever Theo Riddick is active. … DeVante Parker has mouthwatering upside against the Jets’ burnable defense, but plenty of downside in a suddenly run-first offense.      


Week 9 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Greg Olsen at LAR -
2 Jimmy Graham vs. BUF Questionable (knee)
3 Kyle Rudolph vs. DET -
4 Travis Kelce vs. JAC -
5 Antonio Gates vs. TEN -
6 Gary Barnidge vs. DAL -
7 Dennis Pitta vs. PIT -
8 Delanie Walker at SD Questionable (groin)
9 Eric Ebron at MIN Questionable (ankle)
10 Julius Thomas at KC -
11 Cameron Brate vs. ATL -
12 Jason Witten at CLE Questionable (chest)
13 Lance Kendricks vs. CAR -
14 Jack Doyle at GB -
15 Coby Fleener at SF -
16 Austin Hooper at TB -
17 Charles Clay at SEA Questionable (knee)
18 Zach Ertz at NYG -
19 Virgil Green at OAK -
20 Dwayne Allen at GB Questionable (ankle)
21 Vance McDonald vs. NO -
22 Jesse James at BAL -
23 Erik Swoope at GB -
24 Clive Walford vs. DEN Questionable (knee)
25 Richard Rodgers vs. IND -
26 Larry Donnell vs. PHI -
27 Josh Hill at SF Sidelined (ankle)


TE Notes: Greg Olsen averaged 8.6 fantasy points in 2014, and 9.5 in 2015. He’s taken the next logical step in 2016, getting all the way to 10.6. With Rob Gronkowski on bye, Olsen is the only option at No. 1. … Jimmy Graham’s Week 8 revenge was not served cold, but looks like an outlier amongst his recent performances. Graham had reeled off four straight 5/50 performances before going quietly into the night against his former team, managing at least eight targets every time out. He should bounce back at home against the Bills. … Things get weird pretty quickly after Olsen and Graham. Even following Wednesday’s surprising resignation of Vikings OC Norval Turner, we’ll go Kyle Rudolph at No. 3. He’s averaging eight weekly targets, and the Lions have gotten absolutely destroyed by rival seam stretchers, surrendering eight touchdowns in eight games. … Delanie Walker is averaging nearly three fewer weekly targets than he managed in 2015, but is fifth in tight end yardage (405). He’s cleared 66 in 3-of-4 games.


Coming off season highs in catches (seven), yards (101) and targets (10), Travis Kelce gets top five benefit of the doubt in a tough week. … This is where things go off the rails. Do we really want to rank Jack Doyle and Cameron Brate in the top eight? I don’t, so I’m going Eric Ebron and Dennis Pitta. Ebron returned from injury to post season highs in catches (seven), yards (79) and targets (10) last week, and gets a Vikings defense more vulnerable to tight ends than other positions. Pitta, meanwhile, remains No. 3 in tight end targets (57) despite having already gone on bye. Steve Smith Sr. seems likely to miss another game, and Pitta has averaged 10 looks during his absence. … People keep wishing Antonio Gates out of the picture, but it simply isn’t happening. He has 19 targets over his past two games, and remains Philip Rivers’ go-to chain mover. He has a TE1 floor against a Titans defense allowing the eighth most fantasy points to TEs.


For his part, Hunter Henry is still getting red zone targets, but has 30 yards over his past two games. He’s boom or bust with Gates in the picture. … Julius Thomas has disappointed, yet he’s still performing as the rich man’s Cameron Brate. With equal TD odds, Thomas’ target and yardage edge puts him “over the top.” … Jack Doyle’s already limited upside has taken a big hit with Donte Moncrief’s return. Andrew Luck has been desperate for legitimate targets. Doyle isn’t one of them. … With seven targets in three of his past four games, Lance Kendricks has earned TE2 treatment against a Panthers defense allowing the second most fantasy points to enemy tight ends. … Coby Fleener’s snap percentage is collapsing. With his downside lower than ever, his supposed upside is losing its luster, even for great matchups like this weekend’s in San Francisco. … Coming off a five-catch game and averaging 17.7 yards per grab, Austin Hooper is a solid dart throw against the Bucs’ leaky pass defense with Jacob Tamme sidelined.


Week 9 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Adam Vinatieri at GB -
2 Justin Tucker vs. PIT -
3 Matt Bryant at TB -
4 Josh Lambo vs. TEN -
5 Brandon McManus at OAK -
6 Dan Bailey at CLE Questionable (back)
7 Mason Crosby vs. IND -
8 Cairo Santos vs. JAC -
9 Wil Lutz at SF -
10 Chris Boswell at BAL -
11 Caleb Sturgis at NYG -
12 Sebastian Janikowski vs. DEN -
13 Steven Hauschka vs. BUF -
14 Graham Gano at LAR -
15 Ryan Succop at SD -
16 Blair Walsh vs. DET -
17 Robbie Gould vs. PHI -
18 Andrew Franks vs. NYJ -
19 Matt Prater at MIN -
20 Roberto Aguayo vs. ATL -
21 Greg Zuerlein vs. CAR -
22 Dan Carpenter at SEA -
23 Phil Dawson vs. NO -
24 Nick Folk at MIA -
25 Jason Myers at KC -
26 Cody Parkey vs. DAL -


Week 9 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Chiefs Def/Spec Team vs. JAC -
2 Seahawks Def/Spec Team vs. BUF -
3 Panthers Def/Spec Team at LAR -
4 Broncos Def/Spec Team at OAK -
5 Vikings Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
6 Cowboys Def/Spec Team at CLE -
7 Bills Def/Spec Team at SEA -
8 Giants Def/Spec Team vs. PHI -
9 Dolphins Def/Spec Team vs. NYJ -
10 Eagles Def/Spec Team at NYG -
11 Steelers Def/Spec Team at BAL -
12 Chargers Def/Spec Team vs. TEN -
13 Rams Def/Spec Team vs. CAR -
14 Packers Def/Spec Team vs. IND -
15 Jets Def/Spec Team at MIA -
16 Raiders Def/Spec Team vs. DEN -
17 Ravens Def/Spec Team vs. PIT -
18 Lions Def/Spec Team at MIN -
19 Falcons Def/Spec Team at TB -
20 Titans Def/Spec Team at SD -
21 Saints Def/Spec Team at SF -
22 Jaguars Def/Spec Team at KC -
23 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. ATL -
24 Colts Def/Spec Team at GB -
25 Browns Def/Spec Team vs. DAL -
26 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team vs. NO -
Patrick Daugherty
Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .