The fantasy football season is quickly speeding toward the playoffs as Week 9 is underway. Six teams are on bye this week, which provides significant challenge for fantasy owners on the heels of Week 8's injury madness. In the Rotoworld Week 9 Live Blog, we will be analyzing the performances of the backup players now pushed into starting roles, as well as other key fantasy situations such as backfield splits, target totals, and performance trends.
* That marks the end of the Rotoworld Week 9 Live Blog. Enjoy the rest of the games tonight, and I will see you next Sunday! *
(6:56 PM): Peyton Manning just connected with Owen Daniels for a touchdown, as the Denver tight end is now up to 102 yards and the score on six grabs. Manning has turned things around since a slow start and is at 281 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. Demaryius Thomas was heavily involved in the screen game on Denver's last drive.
(6:50 PM): Broncos RB update: Six carries each for C.J. Anderson and Ronnie Hillman today, with Anderson outproducing Hillman so far today.
(6:45 PM): Ahmad Bradshaw just scored on a short touchdown pass from Andrew Luck. Bradshaw hasn't been as involved in the Indianapolis passing game since re-signing with the team as many expected but perhaps the OC change in Indy will benefit Bradshaw a bit.
(6:37 PM): New Denver tight end Vernon Davis has been targeted only once today and has zero catches while fellow tight end Owen Daniels has caught four of seven targets for 74 yards. Davis should get more work in coming weeks as he gets familiar with the system in Denver.
(6:30 PM): Blaine Gabbert is back in the game for the 49ers as they lead the Falcons 17-13. Colin Kaepernick was 0/1 while filling in for Gabbert.
(6:29 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * Blaine Gabbert is being evaluated for a possible concussion, so Colin Kaepernick is back in for San Francisco.
(6:22 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Pittsburgh QB Ben Roethlisberger has a foot sprain and will out "a few weeks." Landry Jones will step back in at quarterback for the Steelers, but this is a tough break for Roethlisberger and the Pittsburgh receivers.
(6:18 PM): Shaun Draughn ist still leading the 49ers backfield, with 13 carries for 55 yards and three receptions for 26 yards, for 81 total yards. Not a bad effort from Draughn so far this week as he fills in for Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush. It doesn't appear that fantasy owners should concern themselves with Kendall Gaskins at this point.
(6:11 PM): The Denver Broncos are creeping back against Indianapolis, scoring two touchdowns on a punt return and a deep Manning pass to Emmanuel Sanders. Sanders has dominated Manning's passing attempts today, being targeted 11 times on his way to 90 yards and a score on six catches. Just two looks for Demaryius Thomas, who has one catch for 12 yards.
(6:03 PM): Mike Evans has been targeted 11 times so far today and has six catches for 119 yards as the Bucs play without Vincent Jackson and Austin Seferian-Jenkins. Adam Humphries has four catches for 48 yards as Tampa Bay's second most productive receiving option on the afternoon.
(5:57 PM): T.Y. Hilton was a dicey bet to play this week with a foot injury, but is active and has four catches for 75 yards to lead the Colts at halftime. Coby Fleener was targeted a team-high five times in the first half and caught three balls for 13 yards.
(5:48 PM): DeSean Jackson returned to the field today for Washington, and caught three of six targets for 15 yards. The Redskins were dismantled by New England, and Kirk Cousins completed just 22 of 40 passes on the day. Interestingly, Jamison Crowder was targeted eight times on the day with Jackson back. Crowder caught six passes for 50 yards.
(5:42 PM): Shane Vereen has done damage in the passing game, but the rushing attempts for the New York Giants have been split fairly evenly between Orleans Darkwa (3), Andre Williams (5), Rashad Jennings (3), and Vereen (4).
(5:33 PM): And just like that, Matt Ryan hooks up with Julio Jones on a long gain and then Devonta Freeman for a score as Atlanta cuts into San Francisco's lead.
(5:29 PM): Blaine Gabbert is now up to 115 yards and two touchdown passes on the day as San Francisco leads Atlanta 17-6. Not much offensive success for Atlanta today and running back Devonta Freeman is at one yard on six carries.
(5:22 PM): Shaun Draughn is leading the 49ers backfield with 49 yards on nine carries. Pierre Thomas has four carries, while Kendall Gaskins has run the ball just once. Draughn also has three catches for 26 yards.
(5:14 PM): Not much going on for the Denver offense so far today, but C.J. Anderson has 11 yards on two carries while Ronnie Hillman has two yards on four carries. The Bronvos are down 17-0, so the majority of work these backs receive today may be through the passing game.
(5:06 PM): Week 9 Target Leaders:
Antonio Brown (23): 17 rec, 284 yds
Jarvis Landry (13): 11 rec, 69 yds
Amari Cooper (13): 7 rec, 88 yds, TD
Michael Crabtree (12): 7 rec, 108 yds, 2 TD
Randall Cobb (12): 4 rec, 99 yds, TD
Allen Robinson (11): 6 rec, 121 yds
Davante Adams (11): 7 rec, 93 yds
(4:58 PM): Eli Manning with two early touchdown passes as the Giants lead the Bucs. Odell Beckham has registered 39 yards on three catches, with Rueben Randle and Shane Vereen catching the touchdown passes.
(4:52 PM): Ronnie Hillman with four carries early for Denver. No touches for C.J. Anderson yet this afternoon.
(4:49 PM): Blaine Gabbert just hit Garrett Celek for a short touchdown as the 49ers lead the Flacons 7-3. Gabbert is 5/7 for 57 yards and the score so far today as he replaces Colin Kaepernick.
(4:45 PM): Antonio Brown is having a day for the ages, as he is at 284 receiving yards on 17 catches. Brown has been targeted 23 times on the day, but his future prospects may be tied to the MRI Ben Roethlisberger receives on his injured foot.
(4:41 PM): Frank Gore just scored for Indianapolis as the Colts are up 7-0 early on the Denver Broncos. Andrew Luck is 2/4 for 33 yards so far in this difficult matchup.
(4:38 PM): Lots of great fantasy quarterback performances today, including 301 yards and four touchdowns for Oakland's Derek Carr. Carr has targeted his top two receivers all afternoon, with Michael Crabtree (12) and Amari Cooper (13) both racking up double-digit targets as the Oakland/Pittsburgh game nears completion.
(4:33 PM): We will keep an eye on the Giants backfield today, but Andre Williams and Shane Vereen have been the only backs to recieve work so far today. No sign of Rashad Jennings or Orleans Darkwa yet.
(4:25 PM): With Carlos Hyde and Reggie Bush out for the 49ers, Shaun Draughn received the first two San Francisco carries today. We will keep an eye on this backfield to see how it shakes out this afternoon.
(4:21 PM): Marcus Mariota just led the Tennessee Titans to a road win at New Orleans, as he threw his fourth touchdown pass of the day in overtime to beat the Saints. Mariota was 28/39 for 371 yards and four touchdowns on the day. Delanie Walker was Mariota's top receiver with seven catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. Dorial Green-Beckham was targeted 10 times today and caught five passes for 77 yards in an ecouraging performance.
(4:17 PM): The late games are firing up, and San Francisco quarterback Blaine Gabbert has completed his first two passes for seven yard in his first start of the season for the 49ers. The Atlanta Falcons are up 3-0 and should have a field day against the San Francisco offense.
(4:14 PM): Miami rookie Jay Ajayi handled five carries for 41 yards today as he rotated in behind Lamar Miller. Miller is still the leader of this backfield but Ajayi is worth watching over the next few weeks to see if he chips away at any of Miller's workload.
(4:11 PM): Lots of missed field goals as the early games are beginning to wrap up, but Graham Gano is fantasy's leading kicker up to this point. Gano has three field goals on the day to go with four extra points.
(4:08 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * Ben Roethlisberger appeared to suffer a knee or ankle injury and is out of the game in Pittsburgh. More details to come, but the Steelers are having some awful injury luck.
(4:05 PM): Aaron Rodgers is quietly up to 286 yards and three scores as the Packers have moved the ball in garbage time. James Starks scored the last touchdown for Green Bay as he continues to outplay Eddie Lacy.
(4:00 PM): Cam Newton is having a monster day with three passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown to go with 285 passing yards. Carolina will remain undefeated as they are stomping Green Bay 37-14.
(3:56 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * Latavius Murray is out for the game with a concussion. Marcel Reece and Taiwan Jones will likely mix in if Murray misses games going forward.
(3:50 PM): No huge yardage numbers for Todd Gurley today, but he does have 75 total yards and a touchdown for St. Louis. Nick Foles is having a Nick Foles type of day with 145 yards on 14/25 passing, so Gurley will be carrying the Rams offense like usual.
(3:39 PM): After LeSean McCoy departed with an injury, Karlos Williams scored his second touchdown of the day for Buffalo and is now up to 82 yards and two scores on the day. Williams will be in line for lots of work if McCoy misses time and will be a Week 10 waiver priority.
(3:36 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * Teddy Bridgewater is down after receiving a big hit to the head as he attempted a slide, and LeSean McCoy appears to have a shoulder injury in Buffalo.
(3:32 PM): Green Bay backfield update: James Starks is at 33 yards on seven carries while Eddie Lacy has just 10 yards on five carries. Lacy has done no work in the receiving game today and his fantasy value is in a free fall.
(3:29 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * Latavius Murray is heading into the Oakland locker room with an apparent head injury.
(3:26 PM): Drew Brees is now up to 335 yards and three touchdowns on the day, with one rushing score as well. Brandin Cooks is Brees' leading receiver at 69 yards and one touchdown on three catches.
(3:17 PM): The big day for Sammy Watkins continues as he is up to 148 yards and a score on six catches. The Buffalo offense looks a ton better with Tyrod Taylor and Watkins healthy.
(3:14 PM): Chris Ivory hasn't found much success on the ground today but does have two touchdowns, giving him six on the season. Ivory is at 15 yards on 15 carries.
(3:10 PM): LeGarrette Blount is up to 109 yards and a touchdown today on 19 carries and will be receiving a huge workload moving forward with Dion Lewis out.
(3:04 PM): Late game note: T.Y. Hilton is active. Tough matchup, however.
(3:00 PM): * INJURY UPDATE * Dion Lewis is down on the field in New England. Lewis walked off under his own power, but it appeared to be a knee or lower leg injury.
(2:59 PM): After intermin coach Mike Mularkey called him a "workhorse" back this week, Antonio Andrews has handled 11 carries on the day for 67 yards. Dexter McCluster has five carries but Andrews is handling the vast majority of the work for Tennessee.
(2:56 PM): Lamar Miller just scored for the second time today and is up to 21 yards on nine carries with the pair of touchdowns. Miller now has 5 touchdowns in his last four games.
(2:50 PM): Randall Cobb just found the end zone for Green Bay on a 53-yard score. Cobb has two catches on five targets for 71 yards today in his best performance since Week 3.
(2:39 PM): As the early games reach halftime, here are the Sunday target leaders up to this point:
Lamar Miller (5): 5 rec, 49 yds
Dexter McCluster (4): 2 rec, 28 yds
Dion Lewis (4): 3 rec, 25 yds
Todd Gurley (4): 3 rec, 20 yds
Antonio Brown (14): 10 rec, 180 yds
Allen Robinson (8): 3 rec, 37 yds
Jarvis Landry (7): 5 rec, 33 yds
Julian Edelman (6): 4 rec, 31 yds, TD
Eric Decker (6): 5 rec, 66 yds, TD
Heath Miller (4): 2 rec, 27 yds
Delanie Walker (4): 4 rec, 86 yds, 2 TD
Greg Olsen (4): 2 rec, 30 yds, TD
Julius Thomas (4): 1 rec, 2 yds
(2:30 PM): DeAngelo Williams is up to 45 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 14 carries and has one catch for 33 yards as Pittsburgh battles Oakland. Williams will be a great option down the strech while attached to this offense.
(2:25 PM): After struggling on offense last week at Denver, the Green Bay Packers are looking sluggish once again, trailing Carolina 27-7. Aaron Rodgers is 5/11 for 38 yards and a touchdown and Eddie Lacy is at three yards on four carries. This offensive unit is in rough shape.
(2:20 PM): With Le'Veon Bell out, Antonio Brown will be the moving the chains for the Pittsburgh offense and Brown is doing some serious work today with 152 yards on eight catches in the first half. Brown has been targeted twelve times today.
(2:17 PM): Sammy Watkins is off to a fast start today with 104 yards on five catches. Watkins' ankle appears to be just fine.
(2:12 PM): Mark Ingram is dominating the Saints running back work with Khiry Robinson out. Ingram has nine carries for 26 yards and no other Saints player has more than one attempt. Ingram should see big volume down the stretch.
(2:09 PM): Derek Carr is really turning in a solid season. Carr has two touchdown passes today and is sitting at 9 touchdowns to zero interceptions since Week 5.
(2:05 PM): Alfred Morris has three carries and Matt Jones has one so far as Washington trails New England 17-0. Both of these backs will likely be negatively impacted by game flow in this matchup with Washington in line to pass a ton in the second half. Chris Thompson should get a chance to catch some passes.
(2:00 PM): Drew Brees added to his fantasy stat line with a short touchdown plunge and is on his way to another monster day. Cam Newton's day is also starting off well, with a touchdown run and touchdown pass credited to the Carolina QB so far today.
(1:52 PM): DeAngelo Williams is now the starting running back in Pittsburgh with Le'Veon Bell out, and Williams has 60 total yards and a score so far today.
(1:46 PM): Cam Newton is up to 34 rushing yards and a touchdown today as he leads all Carolina rushers.
(1:43 PM): Delanie Walker just hauled in a touchdown pass from Marcus Mariota, as the New Orleans Saints appear to be in the middle of another high-scoring game after Week 8's shootout with the Giants. Walker caught this score on a tip and rumbled 59-yards for the score.
(1:36 PM): Drew Brees continues his dominance with a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks. Brees is 8/10 for 150 yards and two touchdowns in the first quarter.
(1:31 PM): LeGarrette Blount just scored for New England. Both Blount and Dion Lewis have five touches in this game, but Blount will likely dominate the touches if New England continues to pull away from Washington.
(1:29 PM): Adrian Peterson just found the end zone for the first time since Week 4 as he scored on a short touchdown run. Peterson has 20 yards on five carries.
(1:25 PM): Tennessee's first drive resulted in three points despite Marcus Mariota going 0/4. Antonio Andrews led the Titans backfield with four carries for 13 yards.
(1:23 PM): Eric Decker just caught his sixth touchdown of the season and now has a TD catch in six of the seven games he has played in this season.
(1:18 PM): LeSean McCoy just ripped off a long touchdown run to get his day off to a nice start. McCoy's workloads had been increasing prior to Buffalo's bye and McCoy looks to be fresh after a week off.
(1:14 PM): Scoring is picking up in these early games, with Julian Edelman and Michal Crabtree both catching touchdowns. New England is off to a quick start as large favorites over Washington and Oakland is up early over Pittsburgh in what should be a high-scoring game.
(1:11 PM): Drew Brees picked up right where he left off last week, throwing an early touchdown pass. Brees was a perfect 4/4 for 75 yards and the score on the drive.
(1:08 PM): The Carolina Panthers are on the scoreboard with an early field goal. Cam Newton racked up 33 rushing yards on the opening drive.