Goal Line Stand

Week 9 Rankings

Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Updated 11/8 at 12:00 PM ET. Removed T.Y. Hilton and Austin Seferian-Jenkins.  


Time doesn’t necessarily heal all wounds. Some, it can only numb. Lost dogs. Ex-lovers. Patriots running backs.


But all scars become new life if you’re willing to let them. A new dog, a new love. Dion Lewis. Everyone knows Bill Belichick’s running back usage is game plan specific. What they may have forgotten is that if a back is good enough, they’re always in the game plan. That’s Lewis, a 25-year-old fifth-year journeyman who was let go by the Eagles, Browns and Colts before arriving in New England.


Lewis is merely second on the Pats in rushing, but he’s third in receiving. Averaging 4.9 yards per carry, he’s managing 10.9 yards per catch, and has four touchdowns on only 77 total touches. Lewis is catching five weekly passes, and producing 95 yards from scrimmage every Sunday. He’s everything fantasy owners wanted Shane Vereen to be, and everything pass-catching backs rarely are for standard-league purposes.


A truly gifted open-field runner, Lewis makes cuts and jukes few backs are capable of. As Chris Wesseling recently pointed out, Lewis is literally breaking Pro Football Focus’ elusive rating, posting a number that would be 66 points higher than last year’s No. 1, Marshawn Lynch. The RB10 by average fantasy points, Lewis vaults to the RB4 if you throw out his Week 6 performance where he was slowed by an abdominal injury. Lewis hasn’t posted fewer than 12.0 points in any of his healthy starts.


Lewis is remaking the mold when it comes to pass-catching backs in standard leagues. A true running back/receiver hybrid, Lewis doesn’t need more than 10-12 weekly touches to make an elite impact, and typically, he’ll get more. Forget what you know about Bill Belichick’s past running back usage and the Danny Woodheads of fantasy. Dion Lewis is an RB1, and he’s here to stay.   


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Week 9 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Tom Brady vs. WAS -
2 Philip Rivers vs. CHI -
3 Drew Brees vs. TEN -
4 Andy Dalton vs. CLE -
5 Ben Roethlisberger vs. OAK -
6 Cam Newton vs. GB -
7 Eli Manning at TB -
8 Aaron Rodgers at CAR -
9 Derek Carr at PIT Probable (hand)
10 Peyton Manning at IND Probable (shoulder)
11 Matt Ryan at SF -
12 Jay Cutler at SD -
13 Tyrod Taylor vs. MIA Probable (knee)
14 Ryan Tannehill at BUF -
15 Andrew Luck vs. DEN Probable (ankle)
16 Jameis Winston vs. NYG -
17 Marcus Mariota at NO Probable (knee)
18 Blake Bortles at NYJ -
19 Sam Bradford at DAL -
20 Kirk Cousins at NE -
21 Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. JAC Probable (thumb)
22 Teddy Bridgewater vs. STL -
23 Johnny Manziel at CIN -
24 Nick Foles at MIN -
25 Matt Cassel vs. PHI Probable (knee)
26 Blaine Gabbert vs. ATL -


QB Notes: Tom Brady is averaging 4.4 more fantasy points than any other quarterback. He’s cleaned up even in supposedly tough(er) matchups against the Jets and Dolphins the past two weeks, finishing as the QB2 and QB4, respectively. … Philip Rivers is tied with Brady for the league lead in yards per game (344), but has lost No. 1 receiver Keenan Allen to a kidney injury, while Antonio Gates (knee) remains banged up. Rivers has a golden Week 9 matchup in a Bears defense allowing a touchdown pass every 13.3 throws, but he’ll be hard pressed to match games 1-8 in games 9-16. … Coming off the best start by any quarterback this season, Drew Brees gets the Titans’ on-paper stingy pass defense. Perrish Cox’s (hamstring) return is a nice boost for Tennessee, but Brees has scarcely been slowed since returning from his shoulder injury in Week 4. … The last time Andy Dalton faced the Browns on Thursday Night Football, he had one of the worst starts in NFL history, completing 10-of-33 passes for 86 yards, zero scores and three picks. With the Browns missing Joe Haden and SS Donte Whitner, things will be different this time around. Cleveland has been unimposing against the pass, allowing the 10th most fantasy points to quarterbacks.    


The QB7, Cam Newton has been buttering his fantasy bread with his legs. For Week 9, he gets a Packers defense allowing the most ground yards to enemy signal callers. The Pack have permitted 201 yards on 31 quarterback carries (6.48). Newton has four rushing touchdowns in seven games. … Ben Roethlisberger was mighty rusty in his Week 8 return, but gets a Raiders defense allowing the second most weekly passing yards (302). Losing Le'Veon Bell hurts, but Big Ben will be in the top five more weeks than not. … Fresh off dropping the Saints to No. 32 in passing touchdowns allowed (20), Eli Manning now gets the No. 31 Bucs (17). Consistency isn’t Manning’s calling card, but you won’t be chasing last week’s points if you start him in DFS. … Coming off easily the worst start of his career, Aaron Rodgers will be doing battle with one of the only pass defenses that can compare to Denver’s, and on the road. Rodgers should never be benched in season-long formats, but he’ll be reduced to “contrarian” status in daily.


Still searching for his first three-score game, Matt Ryan might find it in San Francisco. One of this season’s biggest fantasy disappointments, Ryan enters Week 9 as the QB16. … As hot as any player in football, Derek Carr checks in as the QB15 after tossing seven combined touchdowns in Weeks 7 and 8. Carr is averaging 21.8 weekly points, a number that would jump to 24.8 if you throw out his outlier Week 1 (3.9 points). That would make him the QB7. Only six teams are allowing more passing yards than Pittsburgh. … Coming off the Broncos’ bye last Sunday, Peyton Manning had easily his best start, rolling up 340 yards on 29 attempts (11.72 YPA). He had six completions of 20-plus yards. One start is one start, but only four teams are allowing more passing yards (280) than Manning’s Week 9 opponent, the reeling Colts. I’ll give Manning the benefit of the doubt in a #RevengeGame. … A metronome since returning from his hamstring injury, Jay Cutler has posted point totals of 22.1, 22.1, 22.9 and 21.7. His ceiling isn’t crazy high, but the floor has been buffed and polished. Cutler’s arm will also take on increased importance in the absence of Matt Forte.


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No. 13 is admittedly conservative for Tyrod Taylor against a Dolphins team he dismantled in Week 4, but I’m not sure how he’ll fare in his return from a three-week layoff after spraining his MCL. Making just his sixth career start, will Taylor trust his legs? And even without Cameron Wake (Achilles’), this isn’t the same soft defense Taylor faced six weeks ago. Taylor’s floor is as low as his ceiling is high. … This is crazy low for Ryan Tannehill, but it’s a surprisingly deep week at quarterback, and coming off the Bills’ bye, Rex Ryan has had 14 days to game plan. There’s a lot that could go wrong for Tannehill in Buffalo. … Speaking of crazy low, Andrew Luck at No. 15. Even with all the struggles, Luck is the QB6, but he simply can’t be trusted against a defense that might go down as the league’s best since the 2000 Ravens. Luck is completing a Tebow-esque 54.9 percent of his passes, and managing only 6.34 yards per attempt. Luck has scary-low downside against a defense that’s allowed a microscopic five passing touchdowns in seven games.   


Returning from a two-game absence, Marcus Mariota gets a Saints defense that’s silver plattered 20 passing scores in eight games. It’s a great matchup, but can a player with just five total touchdowns over his past four starts take advantage of it? … Jameis Winston is playing much-improved football over his past three games, but has only five touchdowns to show for it. The Giants are allowing the most passing yards in the league after getting tattooed by Drew Brees, but also lead the league in interceptions (13). Winston is more of a floor than ceiling play. … Blake Bortles returns from Jacksonville’s bye as the QB9, but must deal with a Jets defense smarting from its Week 8 embarrassment in Oakland. Todd Bowles’ unit figures to be much crisper at home. … Sam Bradford’s receivers have committed a league-worst 25 drops, but that doesn’t explain him having more interceptions (10) than touchdowns (nine). Bradford provides weekly volume, but that’s about it. … Ryan Fitzpatrick is going to play through his sprained non-throwing thumb, but even against the Jaguars’ middle-of-the-road defense, offers considerable downside at less than 100 percent. … Johnny Manziel could provide some big plays on Thursday Night Football, but is more likely to get shut down. He’s a punt play in DFS tournaments.   


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Week 9 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Devonta Freeman at SF -
2 Todd Gurley at MIN -
3 Mark Ingram vs. TEN -
4 Adrian Peterson vs. STL Probable (hip)
5 Doug Martin vs. NYG -
6 Dion Lewis vs. WAS Probable (abdomen)
7 Jonathan Stewart vs. GB -
8 DeAngelo Williams vs. OAK -
9 Chris Ivory vs. JAC Probable (hamstring)
10 Lamar Miller at BUF -
11 LeSean McCoy vs. MIA Probable (hamstring)
12 Jeremy Hill vs. CLE -
13 Darren McFadden vs. PHI -
14 DeMarco Murray at DAL -
15 Latavius Murray at PIT Probable (shoulder)
16 LeGarrette Blount vs. WAS -
17 Jeremy Langford at SD -
18 Eddie Lacy at CAR -
19 Danny Woodhead vs. CHI -
20 Ronnie Hillman at IND Questionable (thigh)
21 Giovani Bernard vs. CLE -
22 T.J. Yeldon at NYJ -
23 Frank Gore vs. DEN -
24 Duke Johnson at CIN -
25 Antonio Andrews at NO -
26 C.J. Anderson at IND -
27 Melvin Gordon vs. CHI Probable (ankle)
28 Charles Sims vs. NYG -
29 Ryan Mathews at DAL Questionable (groin)
30 Rashad Jennings at TB -
31 Shane Vereen at TB -
32 C.J. Spiller vs. TEN -
33 Chris Thompson at NE Probable (back)
34 James Starks at CAR -
35 Matt Jones at NE -
36 Dexter McCluster at NO -
37 Pierre Thomas vs. ATL -
38 Isaiah Crowell at CIN -
39 Orleans Darkwa at TB Probable (back)
40 Christine Michael vs. PHI -
41 Alfred Morris at NE -
42 Ahmad Bradshaw vs. DEN -
43 Darren Sproles at DAL -
44 Karlos Williams vs. MIA Probable (concussion)
45 Kendall Gaskins vs. ATL -
46 Tevin Coleman at SF -
47 Mike Tolbert vs. GB -
48 Robert Turbin at CIN -
49 Jonas Gray at BUF -
50 Zac Stacy vs. JAC -
51 Andre Williams at TB -


RB Notes: Even if you throw out Todd Gurley’s six-carry, nine-yard debut, Devonta Freeman edges him in weekly fantasy points (20.8 to 20.2). Freeman as the RB1 is a reality our brains aren’t yet equipped to handle, but he’s earned it in every possible way, leading the league in both touchdowns and yards from scrimmage. For Week 9, he gets a 49ers defense allowing the fourth most fantasy points to running backs. Gurley has been the more impressive pure runner, but at least for now, Freeman has him on overall fantasy value. … Adrian Peterson shook off his two-game funk in Week 8, taking the rock 20 times for 103 yards. The Rams are an imposing matchup, but aren’t quite as impenetrable on the ground as they are through the air. Peterson hasn’t been held below 16 carries since Week 1, and is averaging 20 weekly totes and 4.5 yards per carry. … Running wild over the Saints’ past two games — 30 carries for 223 yards (7.43 YPC) — Mark Ingram has extra touch security following Khiry Robinson’s season-ending leg injury. He has a juicy matchup in a Titans defense that’s much more vulnerable on the ground than through the air.


Turning voluminous workloads (21 touches per game) into major production (107 weekly yards from scrimmage), Doug Martin checks in as the RB7. Even with Charles Sims siphoning off 10.3 weekly touches, Martin has been matchup proof. His Week 9 opponent, the Giants, are allowing the eighth most fantasy points to rival backs. … Finally in gear, Jonathan Stewart is the RB7 over the past three weeks. All three of his touchdowns have come in that timespan, as well as all three of his 20-carry performances. The Packers enter Week 9 coughing up 4.7 rushing yards, and a ground score per game. … Bottled up for 58 yards on 32 carries (1.81 YPC) over his past two games, Chris Ivory has a tough Week 9 matchup in a Jags defense allowing just 3.5 yards per carry. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s thumb injury could also invite Gus Bradley’s defense to bear down on the box more than usual. Ivory’s massive workloads keep him in the top 10, but he’s cooled a great deal from his Weeks 4-6 hot streak. … With Carlos Hyde (foot) likely to miss another game, some combination of Pierre Thomas, Kendall Gaskins and Shaun Draughn will handle the rock for San Francisco. Thomas is the only committee member with any semblance of RB3 value.  


DeAngelo Williams isn’t Le'Veon Bell, but he is an every-down back, one who has averaged 4.9 yards per carry in spot duty this season. In terms of handcuff fill-ins, he’s a best-case scenario. D-Will has a tough Week 9 matchup in a Raiders defense allowing the second fewest rushing yards in the league, but his floor is bolstered by potential catches. Only the Falcons have allowed more running back receptions than Oakland. … Lamar Miller has had two elite games under new head coach Dan Campbell, and scored four times in three contests. Even after last week’s clunker, he’s an every-week RB1 until further notice. … LeSean McCoy is as healthy as he’ll ever be after the Bills’ Week 8 bye, but is still averaging just 3.9 yards per carry. Shady has yet to clear 100 yards on the ground, and has only two touchdowns in five games. He won’t be running wild on Campbell’s defense. … The Eagles are Darren McFadden’s second straight brutal matchup, but he’s averaging 29 touches since taking over as the Cowboys’ lead back. That’s been RB2 volume for as long as there’s been fantasy football.


Fresh off out-touching Giovani Bernard 16-3, Jeremy Hill gets the Browns’ No. 32 run defense on a short week. Hill is just the RB27, but his own offensive coordinator has said “the arrow is pointing up.” Hill has been a disappointment who could turn into a lifesaver in the second half of the season. … As for Bernard, the Browns’ run defense isn’t much better through the air, permitting 40 running back receptions for 444 yards. Bernard remains a locked-in RB2. … Ryan Mathews has out-run DeMarco Murray all season, but there’s been zero indication coach Chip Kelly is planning to make a change. With Mathews nursing a groin injury, Murray remains a volume-based RB2. Hopefully his second #RevengeGame against the Cowboys goes better than the first (13 carries for two yards). … The Jets have the league’s best run defense. Latavius Murray stung them for 113 yards on 20 carries (5.65 YPC) in Week 8. Pittsburgh is another tough matchup, but Murray is an every-week RB2. … With the Redskins’ run defense in utter collapse, LeGarrette Blount could have his first 100-yard game. … Losing touches to Ahmad Bradshaw, Frank Gore is a last-gasp RB2 against the Broncos’ elite defense.  


All signs point toward Jeremy Langford serving as a workhorse in Matt Forte’s (knee) absence. His Week 9 matchup could hardly be better in the Chargers’ No. 31 run defense. Not even Cleveland is allowing as many yards per carry as San Diego’s 5.01. … The way to beat Carolina is on the ground. Not in a committee with James Starks, Eddie Lacy is headed for all sorts of volume this weekend. … With Keenan Allen (kidney) done for the season, Danny Woodhead’s pass-catching upside remains as high as ever. … Ronnie Hillman scored two touchdowns in Week 8, but got out-run by C.J. Anderson, who says he’s healthy after a string of early-season issues. Hillman still appears to have the depth chart edge, but this is a genuine committee. Hillman is an RB2, CJA a FLEX. … Latavius Murray ran all over the Jets, but T.J. Yeldon and his 4.01 YPC are unlikely to. … The Browns have finally admitted what everyone else already knew: Duke Johnson needs more touches. With six teams on bye, Duke is an RB2. … Ken Whisenhunt may be gone, but the Titans still think Antonio Andrews is a “workhorse.” God save the queen. … With Orleans Darkwa slowed by a back issue, Rashad Jennings is a low-end FLEX. … Matt Jones/Alfred Morris has become a question without an answer, especially with Chris Thompson (back) appearing ready to return.


Week 9 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Julio Jones at SF -
2 Odell Beckham at TB Probable (hamstring)
3 Antonio Brown vs. OAK -
4 A.J. Green vs. CLE -
5 Demaryius Thomas at IND Questionable (neck)
6 Alshon Jeffery at SD -
7 Julian Edelman vs. WAS Probable (knee)
8 Mike Evans vs. NYG -
9 Brandon Marshall vs. JAC Questionable (ankle)
10 Emmanuel Sanders at IND Probable (shoulder)
11 Martavis Bryant vs. OAK Probable (illness)
12 Amari Cooper at PIT -
13 Dez Bryant vs. PHI Probable (foot)
14 Stefon Diggs vs. STL Probable (hamstring)
15 Allen Robinson at NYJ Probable (leg)
16 Jarvis Landry at BUF -
17 Eric Decker vs. JAC Probable (knee)
18 Brandin Cooks vs. TEN -
19 Randall Cobb at CAR -
20 Michael Crabtree at PIT Probable (ankle)
21 Rishard Matthews at BUF -
22 Willie Snead vs. TEN Probable (knee)
23 Travis Benjamin at CIN -
24 Allen Hurns at NYJ Probable (ankle)
25 Tavon Austin at MIN Questionable (hamstring)
26 Stevie Johnson vs. CHI -
27 Jordan Matthews at DAL -
28 Donte Moncrief vs. DEN -
29 DeSean Jackson at NE Questionable (hamstring)
30 Rueben Randle at TB Questionable (hamstring)
31 Sammy Watkins vs. MIA Questionable (ankle)
32 Malcom Floyd vs. CHI -
33 Marvin Jones vs. CLE -
34 Brandon LaFell vs. WAS -
35 Ted Ginn vs. GB -
36 James Jones at CAR Probable (hamstring)
37 Pierre Garcon at NE -
38 Robert Woods vs. MIA -
39 Marquess Wilson at SD -
40 Andre Johnson vs. DEN -
41 Mike Wallace vs. STL Probable (knee)
42 Marques Colston vs. TEN Probable (shoulder)
43 Harry Douglas at NO Probable (ribs)
44 Torrey Smith vs. ATL Probable (knee)
45 Davante Adams at CAR Probable (ankle)
46 Dwayne Harris at TB Probable (knee)
47 Dorial Green-Beckham at NO -
48 Jamison Crowder at NE -
49 Terrance Williams vs. PHI -
50 Kenny Stills at BUF Questionable (back)
51 Dontrelle Inman vs. CHI -
52 Justin Hunter at NO -
53 Roddy White at SF -
54 Danny Amendola vs. WAS -
55 Mohamed Sanu vs. CLE -
56 Nelson Agholor at DAL Questionable (ankle)
57 Chris Hogan vs. MIA Probable (-)
58 Corey Brown vs. GB -
59 Quinton Patton vs. ATL -
60 Donteea Dye vs. NYG -
61 Kenny Britt at MIN Probable (knee)
62 Markus Wheaton vs. OAK Probable (ankle)


WR Notes: Julio Jones (892) not only leads the league in receiving, he’s second to only Devonta Freeman in yards from scrimmage. The 49ers, who are allowing the fifth most passing yards in the league, have zero chance at slowing him down. … Odell Beckham and Antonio Brown have dream matchups in the Bucs and Raiders, respectively, but I’ll give the nod to Beckham. Beckham finally exploded in Week 8, but Brown’s connection with Ben Roethlisberger appeared off in Big Ben’s first game back. Not that you can go wrong in DFS. The Raiders are allowing the second most passing yards in the league, while the Bucs have been rocked for a 17:4 TD:INT against. … With nemesis Joe Haden sidelined with a concussion, A.J. Green will be running free against a Browns pass defense that’s taken a major step backwards this season. … Fourth in targets even with the Broncos’ bye already mixed in, Demaryius Thomas is coming off an 8/168 performance where he tallied four 20-plus yard receptions. With only one score through seven games, Thomas is overdue for some positive regression in the touchdown department.


There’s an asterisk because it’s been just three games, but Alshon Jeffery finds himself third in average fantasy points amongst wide receivers. Jeffery has drawn at least 11 targets every time he’s played, and averaged 8/114 in the process. The Chargers are a middling matchup. … Julian Edelman hasn’t cleared eight catches since September, but has four scores over his past four games. The pint-sized No. 1 receiver is on pace for new career highs across the board (119/1,335/14). … No team is allowing more passing yards than the Giants. There will be cushions for Mike Evans to exploit. … Brandon Marshall is battling ankle and toe injuries, but is expected to play after drawing 18 targets in last Sunday’s loss to the Raiders. Marshall has cleared 100 yards in 5-of-7 games, and is already 95 percent of the way to his 2014 yardage total. … Only seven teams have allowed more receptions to wide receivers than the Colts. Emmanuel Sanders is going to be open a lot in Indy. … Amari Cooper has been held below 50 yards in three of his past four games, but gets a Steelers team that’s allowed 118 catches to wideouts. Only Kansas City has surrendered more. Cooper is overdue for a huge game.


From Rich Hribar’s invaluable Worksheet: Martavis Bryant has drawn at least eight targets in every game he’s played this season after having zero such efforts in 2014. The Steelers need Bryant more than ever after losing Le'Veon Bell. The Raiders are a plum matchup. … Dez Bryant caught just two passes for 12 yards in his Week 8 return, but played 50-of-61 snaps, and avoided setbacks. Matt Cassel limits Bryant’s ceiling, but he remains capable of winning weeks with only 4-5 catches. … Stefon Diggs is the WR7 by average points. His white-hot start faces the ultimate test in the Rams’ ferocious defense, but he’s the Vikings’ No. 2 option behind Adrian Peterson. Even having sat four games, Diggs is on pace for 75/1,257/6. … Allen Robinson is headed to Darrelle Revis Island, but is the WR8 on the season. Drawing over 10 targets per game and turning them into nearly a score per game, Robinson has earned WR2 treatment even in tough matchups. … Averaging six catches for 67 yards, Jarvis Landry has one of the safest floors in all of fantasy football.


Brandin Cooks has quietly picked up his play in recent weeks, finishing as the WR17 by total points over New Orleans’ past three games. On pace for 82/1,064/6, there is WR2 hope, after all. … Always banged up, Eric Decker is dealing with a minor knee injury, but expected to be fine for Sunday’s game against the Jaguars. Decker has five touchdowns in six games, and is averaging 66 yards. … The WR31, Randall Cobb has been held to 16 catches for 132 scoreless yards over his past four games. Things won’t get any easier against Josh Norman and the Panthers on the road. … Coming off a 1/15 effort against the Panthers, T.Y. Hilton has a sprained foot. Things are going to get worse before they get better. … Leading the Raiders in targets, Michael Crabtree is a legit WR2 in a week where six teams are on bye. … The WR23, Rishard Matthews is locked into a starting job for Dan Campbell. The career backup is on pace for 75/1,143/9. … He’s coming off two slow games, but only 13 pass catchers have more yards than Travis Benjamin. Don’t be surprised if he makes a few big plays with Johnny Manziel on Thursday.     

 

Fact: Only 18 receivers are averaging more fantasy points than Tavon Austin. Unlike Brandin Cooks or Randall Cobb before him, Austin has remained a consistent weapon as a runner as well as pass catcher. Austin has at least 20 rushing yards in four straight games. … Allen Hurns may never get the fantasy community’s respect, but for Week 9 he gets Antonio Cromartie. Cro has been amongst the league’s worst cornerbacks this season. … Stevie Johnson and Malcom Floyd will pick up the pieces in Keenan Allen’s wake. Johnson is the floor play, Floyd, ceiling. Dontrelle Inman isn’t a bad punt for DFS desperados. … Donte Moncrief could rise depending on T.Y. Hilton’s status, but has been held below 40 yards in 3-of-4 games. Breaking out against the Broncos will be tough to do. … Returning from a seven-week layoff, DeSean Jackson may be rusty, but he has a WR2’s ceiling any time he takes the field. … Marvin Jones is the safer Ted Ginn play. … Already out-snapping and out-targeting Danny Amendola, it might not be long before Brandon LaFell is an every-week WR3 again. … Marquess Wilson is worth a look in DFS leagues with Eddie Royal (knee) sidelined. … One of the Titans’ post-Whiz adjustments will be getting Dorial Green-Beckham more targets, but it’s still a “believe it when you see it” proposition.  


Week 9 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Rob Gronkowski vs. WAS -
2 Greg Olsen vs. GB -
3 Gary Barnidge at CIN -
4 Antonio Gates vs. CHI Probable (knee)
5 Tyler Eifert vs. CLE -
6 Martellus Bennett at SD -
7 Jordan Reed at NE -
8 Delanie Walker at NO -
9 Ben Watson vs. TEN -
10 Charles Clay vs. MIA Questionable (calf)
11 Heath Miller vs. OAK -
12 Jason Witten vs. PHI -
13 Vernon Davis at IND -
14 Jacob Tamme at SF -
15 Zach Ertz at DAL -
16 Julius Thomas at NYJ Probable (abdomen)
17 Jordan Cameron at BUF Questionable (hamstring)
18 Coby Fleener vs. DEN -
19 Larry Donnell at TB Sidelined (neck)
20 Kyle Rudolph vs. STL -
21 Richard Rodgers at CAR -
22 Garrett Celek vs. ATL Questionable (concussion)
23 Ladarius Green vs. CHI Doubtful (ankle)
24 Jared Cook at MIN -
25 Dwayne Allen vs. DEN Probable (ankle)
26 Clive Walford at PIT -
27 Josh Hill vs. TEN -
28 Scott Chandler vs. WAS -
29 Owen Daniels at IND -
30 Mychal Rivera at PIT -


TE Notes: Averaging 16.2 yards per catch, the incomparable Rob Gronkowski is on pace for new career highs in catches (91) and yards (1,477). … Speaking of career highs, Greg Olsen might set them in yards (1,184), touchdowns (nine) and yards per catch (15.7). For Week 9, he gets a Packers defense that’s allowed the fifth most receptions to tight ends (45). … Gary Barnidge has done the vast majority of his damage with Josh McCown under center, but someone on pace for 80/1,134/12 can’t be downgraded simply because Johnny Manziel is at quarterback. If nothing else, Johnny Football has proven he can hit big plays, and big plays have been Barnidge’s speciality. … Continuing to boom and bust, Tyler Eifert has been held to four catches for fewer than 40 yards in back-to-back games. His upside keeps him in the top five, but his downside is considerable against a Browns defense allowing the fifth fewest catches to tight ends.


Antonio Gates (knee) didn’t look anywhere close to 100 percent in last Sunday’s loss to the Ravens, but with Keenan Allen (kidney) done for the season, he’s more important than ever to the Chargers’ passing attack. … Martellus Bennett has displayed surprisingly little upside this season, but in a similar vein to Gates, his importance increases in the absence of Eddie Royal (knee). …  Everyone knows the problem with Jordan Reed: Staying on the field. When he’s been there, he’s been dominant, turning an average of 9.4 targets into the sixth most weekly fantasy points at tight (10.6). Only Gronk is averaging more yards per route run than Reed. The Patriots are not an overly imposing matchup. … The No. 8 tight end by average points, Ben Watson is No. 1 in total points over the past three weeks. He’s proving indispensable to Drew Brees, and has an excellent Week 9 matchup in the Titans’ bottom-four tight end defense.


Only five teams are allowing more fantasy points to tight ends than New Orleans. Delanie Walker is locked in as a top-10 option with Marcus Mariota returning. … The Steelers re-established Heath Miller in Week 8, and now he gets the Raiders’ league-worst tight end defense. … The Broncos are desperate for more production from their tight ends, and should get it from Vernon Davis. Davis remains the league’s fastest tight end, and has always had a nose for the end zone. He’ll fit in well with Peyton Manning. … Jacob Tamme will remain a nice little lifehack if Leonard Hankerson (hamstring) misses another week. … New Colts OC Rob Chudzinski has a reputation for feeding his tight ends, but Coby Fleener remains a mere low-end TE2 against the Broncos’ truly-fearsome defense. … With Vernon Davis gone to Denver, Garrett Celek is a sneaky TE2 play who will probably see at least five targets against the Falcons’ bottom-five tight end defense.   


Week 9 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Stephen Gostkowski vs. WAS -
2 Adam Vinatieri vs. DEN -
3 Brandon McManus at IND -
4 Nick Folk vs. JAC -
5 Josh Brown at TB -
6 Mason Crosby at CAR -
7 Matt Bryant at SF -
8 Josh Lambo vs. CHI -
9 Caleb Sturgis at DAL -
10 Dan Bailey vs. PHI -
11 Phil Dawson vs. ATL -
12 Chris Boswell vs. OAK -
13 Andrew Franks at BUF -
14 Dan Carpenter vs. MIA -
15 Graham Gano vs. GB -
16 Kai Forbath vs. TEN -
17 Mike Nugent vs. CLE -
18 Robbie Gould at SD -
19 Blair Walsh vs. STL -
20 Sebastian Janikowski at PIT -
21 Greg Zuerlein at MIN -
22 Connor Barth vs. NYG -
23 Jason Myers at NYJ -
24 Travis Coons at CIN -
25 Ryan Succop at NO -
26 Dustin Hopkins at NE -


Week 9 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Falcons Def/Spec Team at SF -
2 Rams Def/Spec Team at MIN -
3 Jets Def/Spec Team vs. JAC -
4 Broncos Def/Spec Team at IND -
5 Vikings Def/Spec Team vs. STL -
6 Bengals Def/Spec Team vs. CLE -
7 Patriots Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
8 Panthers Def/Spec Team vs. GB -
9 Packers Def/Spec Team at CAR -
10 Eagles Def/Spec Team at DAL -
11 Dolphins Def/Spec Team at BUF -
12 Steelers Def/Spec Team vs. OAK -
13 Giants Def/Spec Team at TB -
14 Saints Def/Spec Team vs. TEN -
15 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team vs. NYG -
16 Browns Def/Spec Team at CIN -
17 Cowboys Def/Spec Team vs. PHI -
18 Bills Def/Spec Team vs. MIA -
19 Jaguars Def/Spec Team at NYJ -
20 Chargers Def/Spec Team vs. CHI -
21 Colts Def/Spec Team vs. DEN -
22 Bears Def/Spec Team at SD -
23 Raiders Def/Spec Team at PIT -
24 Titans Def/Spec Team at NO -
25 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team vs. ATL -
26 Redskins Def/Spec Team at NE -



Source URL: https://www.nbcsports.com/edge/article/goal-line-stand/week-9-rankings-0