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Week 9 Rankings

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

Updated 11/5 at 12:00 PM ET. Removed Zach Ertz, Martellus Bennett and Leonard Fournette (yikes). Moved T.J. Yeldon and Chris Ivory up. Added Trey Burton. Moved Ryan Grant up. Removed Randy Bullock. Ticked Carson Wentz down.   

Coming off the second biggest game of his career, DeAndre Hopkins is all the way up to WR2 status on the season. Forever an “if he only he had a quarterback” receiver, Hopkins finally has a quarterback, and the results have been predictably dominant. That Hopkins’ 8/224/1 explosion came in Seattle speaks to the increasing dynamism of Deshaun Watson and the Texans’ offense.

If Hopkins did that to the Legion of Boom, what might he have in store for the Colts? Chuck Pagano’s “defense” is getting blasted for the league’s most yards per attempt (an unseemly 8.9), second most weekly passing yards (290) and fifth most receiver fantasy points. Hopkins has probably already had his game of the year, but no one has a better Week 9 setup, and few have a better going forward outlook.     

Week 9 Quarterbacks

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Russell Wilson vs. WAS -
2 Dak Prescott vs. KC -
3 Drew Brees vs. TB -
4 Alex Smith at DAL -
5 Cam Newton vs. ATL -
6 Matthew Stafford at GB -
7 Carson Wentz vs. DEN -
8 Tyrod Taylor at NYJ -
9 Jameis Winston at NO -
10 Derek Carr at MIA -
11 Matt Ryan at CAR -
12 Marcus Mariota vs. BAL -
13 Kirk Cousins at SEA -
14 Josh McCown vs. BUF -
15 Jared Goff at NYG -
16 Jacoby Brissett at HOU -
17 Brett Hundley vs. DET -
18 Jay Cutler vs. OAK -
19 Joe Flacco at TEN -
20 Andy Dalton at JAC -
21 Blake Bortles vs. CIN -
22 Brock Osweiler at PHI -
23 Eli Manning vs. LAR -
24 Tom Savage vs. IND -
25 Drew Stanton at SF -
26 C.J. Beathard vs. ARZ -

QB Notes: Russell Wilson is posting a weekly 31.3 since the Seahawks’ offense got out of neutral in Week 3. The Redskins are an attackable home matchup. … It took a monsoon to slow down Dak Prescott. Last week’s rain-soaked rout of the Redskins should be stricken from the record. Prescott has a pristine Week 9 home matchup in the shootout-prone Chiefs. … Drew Brees is just the QB10 by average fantasy points, but is up to fourth in weekly yardage (279). His 4.4 touchdown percentage should keep regressing closer to his 5.3 career mean. Allowing the third most weekly passing yards, the Bucs are a cakewalk home matchup. … Alex Smith is the QB4 by average points. In Week 9. The days are strange. The Cowboys aren’t going to be the straw to break the hot start’s back in a game with an over/under of 51.

The Broncos won’t be rolling out the red carpet for Carson Wentz, but are no longer a top-five pass defense by yards, touchdowns or fantasy points surrendered. Wentz is averaging three touchdowns per game at home. With six teams on bye, the QB3 by average points remains worthy of a high-end QB1 ranking. ... Cam Newton’s season of peaks and valleys is currently mired in a three-game slump. You could easily argue this is Newton’s new normal. Now the Panthers have traded away his No. 1 receiver. Either way, Newton is the QB8 by average points, and averaging 10/55 as a rusher during his recent three-game skid. That’s why he’s remained the QB12 over the past three weeks even as his “real life” play has sputtered. The Falcons are not a stay-away matchup. … Coming off the most Matthew Stafford game imaginable — 423 yards, zero touchdowns — the Sidearmed Samurai is headed on the road to Green Bay. Stafford roughed up for the Pack for 732 yards and five touchdowns across their two 2016 matchups. If there’s a concern, it’s that the Brett Hundley-led Cheeseheads won’t keep the game close enough for Stafford to rack up volume.

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The problem with every golden Tyrod Taylor spot? He doesn’t have any weapons. That finally sort of changed this week with the Bills’ stunning acquisition of Kelvin Benjamin. Now, if you’re hardcore enough of a fantasy player to be reading rankings columns, you know Benjamin won’t be any sort of a magic bullet. He will be an asset, not just because he’s a No. 1 receiver providing a 6-foot-5 target in the red zone, but because he’ll take pressure off Jordan Matthews and Zay Jones. Matthews can spend closer to 100 percent of his time in the slot (it’s currently 60.8, per PFF) while Jones can avoid immediate jams off the line of scrimmage as he transitions from “X” to “Z” receiver. For Week 9, Taylor has yet another exploitable matchup in a Jets defense that’s allowed the league’s most passing touchdowns (17). … The QB18 by average points, Derek Carr is a disappointing 22nd in yards per attempt (6.89). He’s sandwiched between Case Keenum and Matthew Stafford. Even extreme volume the past three games — 44 average attempts — has produced “just” QB7 numbers. For Week 9, he’ll be looking to take advantage of a Dolphins defense getting smacked for a 103.1 QB rating against.

We did it, fam. Matt Ryan finally had his first multi-touchdown start since September, “ripping” the Jets for two scores. Like Drew Brees, Ryan’s crater-low 3.9 touchdown percentage will hopefully regress closer to his 4.7 career average. … Marcus Mariota has been one of this year’s most inscrutable quarterbacks. He’s thrown for shockingly-few touchdowns (four), though he’s goosed his numbers with three scores on the ground. Of course, zero of those have come since his Week 4 hamstring injury. Coming off the Titans’ bye, Mariota should be at something close to full health against the Ravens’ stingy pass defense. … Even after getting dismantled by Deshaun Watson last week, the Seahawks have allowed just nine passing touchdowns in seven games. With his offensive line banged up and his receiver corps unsettled, Kirk Cousins will be a fringe QB1 on the road. … Coming off his first two-touchdown effort in five weeks, Jacoby Brissett has a nice matchup in a Texans defense that just isn’t the same after injury took a sledgehammer to its starting 11. Allowing the third most quarterback fantasy points, the Texans are also coughing up over six yards per carry to signal callers. Brissett is streamable with six QBs on bye.  

Jameis Winston was hysterically bad in Week 8. It was supposedly related to his shoulder injury, though Winston was struggling long before tweaking his AC joint. Even with four 300-yard games in seven appearances, Winston hasn’t shown enough to be trusted as a weekly QB1. … Josh McCown has managed at least two scores in four straight starts. Although they don’t break against the pass, the Bills do plenty of bending. … The QB19 by average points, Jared Goff has just two total touchdowns over his past three starts. He gets the streamer benefit of the doubt for Week 9 because he’s coming off bye against a Giants team in disarray. No. 1 CB Janoris Jenkins will be serving a team-imposed suspension. The G-Men’s formerly imposing defense is allowing the seventh most quarterback fantasy points. … Brett Hundley was unspeakably bad in his first career start. Thankfully, it came at the right time, as the Packers had their bye week to try to construct a more Hundley-centric game plan. Even after his Week 7 face plant, Hundley’s dual-threat ability keeps him on the streamer radar. … 19-26 is a sorry state of affairs. None of Andy Dalton, Jay Cutler, Joe Flacco, Blake Bortles, Brock Osweiler, Eli Manning, Drew Stanton or C.J. Beathard have a discernible ceiling.

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Week 9 Running Backs

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Ezekiel Elliott vs. KC -
2 Kareem Hunt at DAL -
3 Todd Gurley at NYG -
4 LeSean McCoy at NYJ -
5 Mark Ingram vs. TB -
6 Doug Martin at NO -
7 Devonta Freeman at CAR -
8 Adrian Peterson at SF -
9 Lamar Miller vs. IND -
10 Aaron Jones vs. DET -
11 Alvin Kamara vs. TB -
12 DeMarco Murray vs. BAL -
13 Carlos Hyde vs. ARZ -
14 Chris Thompson at SEA -
15 Alex Collins at TEN -
16 Joe Mixon at JAC -
17 Ameer Abdullah at GB -
18 Tevin Coleman at CAR -
19 Christian McCaffrey vs. ATL -
20 C.J. Anderson at PHI -
21 Bilal Powell vs. BUF -
22 Marshawn Lynch at MIA -
23 Buck Allen at TEN -
24 T.J. Yeldon vs. CIN -
25 Kenyan Drake vs. OAK -
26 Frank Gore at HOU -
27 Orleans Darkwa vs. LAR -
28 Jonathan Stewart vs. ATL -
29 Matt Forte vs. BUF -
30 Chris Ivory vs. CIN -
31 Derrick Henry vs. BAL -
32 Marlon Mack at HOU -
33 LeGarrette Blount vs. DEN -
34 Jay Ajayi vs. DEN -
35 Eddie Lacy vs. WAS -
36 Damien Williams vs. OAK -
37 Rob Kelley at SEA -
38 Ty Montgomery vs. DET -
39 Jalen Richard at MIA -
40 Wayne Gallman vs. LAR -
41 D'Onta Foreman vs. IND -
42 Matt Breida vs. ARZ -
43 Theo Riddick at GB -
44 Giovani Bernard at JAC -
45 Jamaal Charles at PHI -
46 Andre Ellington at SF -
47 Thomas Rawls vs. WAS -
48 Devontae Booker at PHI -
49 J.D. McKissic vs. WAS -
50 Shane Vereen vs. LAR -
51 Mike Tolbert at NYJ -
52 Dwayne Washington at GB -

RB Notes: Week 8 was good news/bad news for Kareem Hunt, who was held below 100 yards from scrimmage for the first time as an NFLer, but notched his second most carries (22). That he was shut down by the Broncos’ elite run defense is not a total surprise. The Cowboys (4.49 YPC) are more forgiving. … Todd Gurley has just two touchdowns over his past four games after scoring seven in his first three. Even with that expected regression, he’s remained the RB6 by average points since his scoring binge ended. He’s here to stay under coach Sean McVay. … LeSean McCoy has 295 yards from scrimmage over his past two games after averaging 94 in Weeks 1-5. Allowing 128 rushing yards per game and the eighth most running back fantasy points, the Jets will not be slowing Shady down. … Leonard Fournette piled up 310 yards rushing in Weeks 5 and 6 before injuring his ankle. With two weeks to heal up, he’s practicing in full for Week 9. The Bengals don’t pop as a matchup, but matchups have not mattered for Jacksonville’s dynamic rookie.

Admonished for and humbled by his two Week 8 fumbles, Mark Ingram will try to bounce back against the Bucs’ hollowed-out defense. Ingram is averaging a mammoth 27 touches in three games since Adrian Peterson’s departure, finding the end zone each week. … Lamar Miller has finished as an RB1 just twice all season. He’s the RB6 because six teams are on bye, he’s averaging 20 touches and the Colts are hemorrhaging the third most running back fantasy points. … Like Miller, Doug Martin is seeing consistently big workloads, averaging over 20 touches the past two weeks. With Jameis Winston struggling and ailing (shoulder), Martin could be the Bucs’ main means of moving the ball against a Saints defense coughing up nearly five yards per carry. … Devonta Freeman has been held scoreless over his past three games, a timeframe in which he’s averaged an inexcusably-low 11 carries. Now he’s battling a stinger. One of the league’s best backs, Freeman is a weekly threat to go off, but considering his setup against a Panthers defense allowing the third fewest running back fantasy points, his blow-up odds will be lower than usual.

Aaron Jones played 44-of-55 snaps in the Packers’ first game without Aaron Rodgers. He managed to turn in a 17/131/1 rushing line even as Brett Hundley presented zero passing threat. Hundley’s play is a concern, though the Packers had the bye week to adjust their scheme. The Lions are not a foreboding matchup. Even with Jones’ early-down takeover, Ty Montgomery should see more than the five touches he received against the Saints. The Pack need to lean on their backfield in Rodgers’ absence. … Adrian Peterson’s Cardinals career has been one sensational game and one awful one. Week 9 should be somewhere in the middle. Although Drew Stanton threatens to torpedo the entire offense, a rested Peterson is set up for success coming off the Cardinals’ bye. Peterson should be the focal point of the attack, and no team is allowing more fantasy points to enemy runners than the 49ers. ... Even with Mark Ingram’s Week 8 butterfingers, Alvin Kamara’s role shouldn’t change. The Saints have had a perfect thing going with their post-Adrian Peterson equilibrium.

The Titans’ backfield has proven to be a bit of a forecasting nightmare, but coach Mike Mularkey’s commitment to a limping DeMarco Murray has remained clear. With the bye week to rest his balky hamstring, Murray should be as healthy as he’s been since Week 1. … The Cardinals’ run defense has remained solid, but with Carson Palmer swapped out for Drew Stanton, game flow should remain in Carlos Hyde’s favor. … The Redskins’ No. 1 receiver, Chris Thompson is averaging seven weekly carries. … Leading the league with 5.97 yards per carry, Alex Collins has just about vanquished Buck Allen. Collins was simply sensational in Week 8. … Joe Mixon has yet another plus matchup in a Jaguars D permitting the league’s most weekly rushing yards (139). … With Ezekiel Elliott appearing well and truly suspended this time, Alfred Morris, Darren McFadden and perhaps Rod Smith will finally form their long-expected committee. Active over McFadden all season, Morris will be the first man up, but the Cowboys have given every indication this will be a “hot hand” situation. Getting the first crack is important, which is why Morris is ranked highest. But the order could be completely different in Week 10. Allowing 4.85 yards per carry and 131 yards per game, the Chiefs are a soft opponent.

The Eagles have claimed LeGarrette Blount remains the starter following Jay Ajayi’s acquisition. Perhaps that’s what the game book will say, but Ajayi wasn’t aggressively pursued to be a waterboy. Most concerning for his Eagles debut is a matchup with the Broncos’ elite run defense. … The Panthers have said one of the reasons they traded Kelvin Benjamin was to spread out the field on offense. If true, it means Christian McCaffrey — who has been a shocking failure at creating his own space — might have some manufactured for him. McCaffrey has stayed in the RB2 mix in all formats thanks to his poor man’s Chris Thompson usage/production. … Similar to the Cowboys, the Dolphins’ post-Jay Ajayi backfield will be a committee where both Kenyan Drake and Damien Williams will get the opportunity to establish the hot hand. A more dynamic player who was previously serving as the No. 2, Drake is the preferred own and Week 9 play. The question mark for Drake is his durability. … Bilal Powell and Matt Forte are mostly drawing straws. … With the trade deadline having come and gone — hence the need to showcase Frank Gore having come and gone — Marlon Mack could soon overtake his veteran backfield mate for good.          

Week 9 Receivers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Michael Thomas vs. TB -
2 Mike Evans at NO -
3 Julio Jones at CAR -
4 Dez Bryant vs. KC -
5 A.J. Green at JAC -
6 Michael Crabtree at MIA -
7 Doug Baldwin vs. WAS -
8 DeAndre Hopkins vs. IND -
9 Tyreek Hill at DAL -
10 Amari Cooper at MIA -
11 Golden Tate at GB Questionable (shoulder)
12 Larry Fitzgerald at SF -
13 Devin Funchess vs. ATL -
14 T.Y. Hilton at HOU -
15 DeVante Parker vs. OAK Questionable (ankle)
16 Demaryius Thomas at PHI -
17 Jordy Nelson vs. DET -
18 Marvin Jones at GB -
19 Jarvis Landry vs. OAK -
20 Alshon Jeffery vs. DEN -
21 Ted Ginn vs. TB -
22 Robby Anderson vs. BUF Questionable (ankle)
23 Sterling Shepard vs. LAR -
24 Emmanuel Sanders at PHI -
25 DeSean Jackson at NO -
26 Rishard Matthews vs. BAL -
27 Mohamed Sanu at CAR -
28 Will Fuller vs. IND -
29 Paul Richardson vs. WAS -
30 Tyler Lockett vs. WAS -
31 Nelson Agholor vs. DEN -
32 Davante Adams vs. DET -
33 Marqise Lee vs. CIN -
34 Jeremy Maclin at TEN -
35 Robert Woods at NYG -
36 Allen Hurns vs. CIN -
37 Cooper Kupp at NYG -
38 Kenny Stills vs. OAK -
39 Sammy Watkins at NYG -
40 Jermaine Kearse vs. BUF -
41 Mike Wallace at TEN -
42 Marquise Goodwin vs. ARZ -
43 Josh Doctson at SEA -
44 John Brown at SF -
45 Ryan Grant at SEA -
46 Randall Cobb vs. DET -
47 Jordan Matthews at NYJ -
48 Corey Davis vs. BAL -
49 Brandon Coleman vs. TB -
50 T.J. Jones at GB -
51 Brandon LaFell at JAC -
52 Eric Decker vs. BAL -
53 Zay Jones at NYJ Questionable (knee)
54 Trent Taylor vs. ARZ -
55 Adam Humphries at NO Questionable (ribs)
56 Roger Lewis vs. LAR -
57 Curtis Samuel vs. ATL -
58 Aldrick Robinson vs. ARZ -
59 Donte Moncrief at HOU -
60 Demarcus Robinson at DAL -
61 Bennie Fowler at PHI -
62 Taylor Gabriel at CAR -
63 Terrelle Pryor at SEA Questionable (ankle)

WR Notes: Mike Evans is the WR8 by average points even though he’s yet to have a 100-yard game. It’s well known that the Saints’ defense has finally improved, but as Lord Reebs points out in his Worksheet, they’ve still allowed three 90-yard receiver performances over the past three weeks alone. Evans is overdue for a blow-up. … Also overdue for a blow-up is Michael Thomas, who has cleared 75 yards in five of his past six games. The Bucs’ bombed out cornerback corps is begging to be ripped. … Julio Jones’ 56 targets are tied for 21st. He’s the WR19 by average points. Things are long past the breaking point. The Panthers, meanwhile, are not a dam-breaking matchup (nevermind the fact that they surrendered a 300-yard game to Jones last season). Owners simply have to keep trusting in Jones’ elite WR1 ability. … A Chiefs defense allowing the most receiver fantasy points set about retooling its secondary in Week 8, benching both Terrance Mitchell and Phillip Gaines. Neither played a snap against the Broncos. Perhaps in time the moves will pay dividends, but with Marcus Peters remaining stationary, nothing about Dez Bryant’s Week 9 matchup in daunting.

The Jaguars are predictably No. 32 in receiver fantasy points allowed, but did allow useful days to DeAndre Hopkins (7/55/1 with Tom Savage starting) and Antonio Brown (10/157). A.J. Green is in that class. He should be fired up with confidence in season-long leagues. … After scoring nine and eight touchdowns his first two years as a Raider, respectively, Michael Crabtree is on pace for 14. ... Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson both blew up for 6/100 days against the Texans, but Doug Baldwin still led the Seahawks in targets (10). Baldwin’s rate stats are right where they were for last year’s WR10 finish. … Everyone knows Will Fuller’s touchdown rate will regress. Less talked about is his room to grow in every other category. He turned his Week 8 season highs in catches (five) and targets (eight) into a career-high in yards (125). The Colts are a mouthwatering matchup. … Tyreek Hill is a “good with the bad” player. The numbers will be there in season-long. In DFS, he’s obviously a weekly tournament play — his upside is monstrous no matter the opponent — but he doesn’t always offer floor. With the over/under set at 51 in Dallas, he should in Week 9.                            

Amari Cooper has so far been the more harrowing version of Tyreek Hill. The Week 9 matchup is right in an already-shaky Dolphins secondary that just lost its free safety, Nate Allen, to injured reserve. … Playing through a shoulder injury, Golden Tate looked no worse for the wear against the Steelers, going 7/86. The Lions will be aerial-minded in Green Bay. … Already averaging 8.3 targets since Greg Olsen’s injury, how much can Devin Funchess’ target share actually increase in Kelvin Benjamin’s absence? Perhaps Funchess gets pushed closer to 10 looks per game, but the biggest impact should be on his red zone usage. Both Funchess and Benjamin have a modest six targets inside the 20. With Benjamin off to Buffalo, Funchess is the only show in town, upping both his floor and ceiling. … Larry Fitzgerald is going to badly miss Carson Palmer, but as Pro Football Focus’ Scott Barrett points out, if nothing else, Drew Stanton should lock onto his No. 1 receiver. They won’t be high quality, but the targets will keep coming. … Jordy Nelson’s first game without Aaron Rodgers was a 1/13 disaster. Not encouraging. Nevertheless, Nelson deserves more benefit of the doubt than one game.

DeVante Parker (ankle) is finally ready to return following his three-game absence. Despite the Dolphins’ up and downs, Parker has averaged 6/77 in his three healthy appearances. With the Dolphins in crisis mode, Parker should immediately retake the alpha role in the receiver corps. … Chuck Pagano has proclaimed T.Y. Hilton’s squeaky wheel needs some grease. The Texans’ injury-ruined defense lathered it onto Tyler Lockett and Paul Richardson in Week 8. … Demaryius Thomas managed an extremely disappointing 7/75/0 across Emmanuel Sanders (ankle) two absences. Now Sanders is expected to return for Sunday’s game in Philadelphia. Brock Osweiler will be under center. Although all feels lost for the Broncos, it’s worth remembering neither Thomas nor Sanders went off the deep end when Osweiler made starts in 2015. Having surrendered the second most receiver receptions (106), the Eagles are also an attackable matchup. … At least in the short term, Kelvin Benjamin’s trade is a net negative. He had a hard enough time getting on the same page with Cam Newton. It will take time to build up chemistry with Tyrod Taylor. It is reasonable to expect the Bills to manufacture targets for a player they aggressively pursued, however, while Taylor is a (slightly) more accurate passer than Newton. At the very least, Benjamin should maintain WR3 status.

WR30 by average points Alshon Jeffery has a stay-away matchup in the Broncos. The same can be said for boom/bust WR3 Nelson Agholor, who is probably headed for another quiet game. The fact that Agholor can have a nice fantasy day on only 1-2 catches keeps him in the top 36. … Robby Anderson’s 16.1 yards per catch is ninth in the NFL. … Returning from a three-week absence, Sterling Shepard (ankle) is now the Giants’ No. 1 receiver. Although he should spend more time on the outside than usual, slot man Shepard could see Jarvis Landry-type target totals for the wideout-desperate G-Men. … Patrick Peterson and the death throes of C.J. Beathard don’t mix for Pierre Garcon. … Corey Davis’ (hamstring) healthy return could eventually affect Rishard Matthews. Week 9 is unlikely to be the eventually. … Mohamed Sanu has averaged 5/60 in his five healthy appearances. He’s not going away. … Robert Woods leads the Rams in nearly every receiving category. I’ve decided the rankings should reflect as much. … Jamison Crowder’s unexpected breakout came with a hamstring injury. Even if he gets cleared, it’s hard to envision a happy ending in Seattle.             

Week 9 Tight Ends

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Travis Kelce at DAL -
2 Evan Engram vs. LAR -
3 Jimmy Graham vs. WAS -
4 Cameron Brate at NO -
5 Jack Doyle at HOU -
6 Austin Seferian-Jenkins vs. BUF -
7 Jason Witten vs. KC -
8 Jared Cook at MIA -
9 Vernon Davis at SEA -
10 Delanie Walker vs. BAL -
11 Tyler Kroft at JAC -
12 Trey Burton vs. DEN -
13 Ed Dickson vs. ATL Questionable (ankle)
14 Ben Watson at TEN Questionable (knee)
15 Austin Hooper at CAR -
16 Tyler Higbee at NYG -
17 Nick O'Leary at NYJ -
18 AJ Derby at PHI -
19 George Kittle vs. ARZ -
20 Ryan Griffin vs. IND -
21 O.J. Howard at NO -
22 Julius Thomas vs. OAK -
23 Eric Ebron at GB -
24 Jonnu Smith vs. BAL -
25 Marcedes Lewis vs. CIN -
26 Darren Fells at GB -
27 Coby Fleener vs. TB -
28 Lance Kendricks vs. DET -

TE Notes: In eight games, Zach Ertz’s lowest finish is TE9. That’s rare consistency. For Week 9, he gets a Broncos defense silver plattering the second most tight end fantasy points. … Travis Kelce’s 533 yards actually lead the position after his 133-yard outburst against the Broncos. Kelce’s nine 100-yard efforts since the beginning of last season are five more than any other tight end. … Evan Engram has 11 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns in two games since Odell Beckham’s injury. Even with Sterling Shepard (ankle) returning, Engram is the Giants’ de facto No. 1 receiver. … Jimmy Graham has four touchdowns over his past three games. Having allowed the most yards up the seam (568, in only seven games, no less), the Redskins are a plum matchup for Week 9. … Cameron Brate has cleared 60 yards in each of his past five games, making him the TE5 by average points during that timespan.

Jack Doyle’s 32 targets over the past three weeks are six more than the No. 2, Rob Gronkowski. He’s emerged as the primary safety valve for an under siege Jacoby Brissett. Allowing the sixth most tight end fantasy points, the Texans are a delightful matchup. … Austin Seferian-Jenkins is averaging five catches per week, but his 6.5 yards per grab is by far the lowest for any qualified pass catcher (excluding running backs). Even with three touchdowns, ASJ has been empty calories. Allowing 11.5 yards per tight end reception, the Bills are a plus matchup. … How will Corey Davis’ return affect Delanie Walker? It’s an arbitrary sample size, but Walker is averaging just 37 yards since Week 3. … Derek Carr’s clear-cut No. 3 target, Jared Cook has drawn at least five targets in 7-of-8 games. He’s averaging six. … Jason Witten is coming off a quiet Week 8, but has a golden goose matchup in a Chiefs D that’s served up the second most tight end yardage (546).

 

Jordan Reed (Jordan Reed) is out for Week 9. Vernon Davis caught a season-high five passes in Reed’s Week 3 absence, corralling his lone touchdown of 2017 in the process. Davis’ six 20-yard receptions are third amongst tight ends even though he’s just 26th in total tight end receptions. … Tyler Kroft hasn’t displayed much upside, but is averaging 4/41 since Tyler Eifert went down. He also has three touchdowns. He’s a fine plug-and-play option as a TE2. … With Kelvin Benjamin gone to Buffalo, Ed Dickson’s TE2 case has been burnished. He’s drawn at least five targets each of the past four weeks. … Ryan Griffin has been a fantasy disappointment, but has the right Week 9 matchup in the Colts’ barely-there defense. … Tyler Higbee is on the streaming radar against a Giants allowing 2.8 more weekly points to tight ends than any other defense. … AJ Derby is averaging five targets over his past four games. A complicating factor for Week 9 is Brock Osweiler’s presence under center.

Week 9 Kickers

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Harrison Butker at DAL -
2 Wil Lutz vs. TB -
3 Jake Elliott vs. DEN -
4 Mike Nugent vs. KC -
5 Matt Prater at GB -
6 Greg Zuerlein at NYG -
7 Ryan Succop vs. BAL -
8 Justin Tucker at TEN -
9 Blair Walsh vs. WAS -
10 Matt Bryant at CAR -
11 Graham Gano vs. ATL -
12 Giorgio Tavecchio at MIA -
13 Stephen Hauschka at NYJ -
14 Nick Rose at SEA -
15 Adam Vinatieri at HOU -
16 Cody Parkey vs. OAK -
17 Chandler Catanzaro vs. BUF -
18 Patrick Murray at NO -
19 Ka'imi Fairbairn vs. IND -
20 Mason Crosby vs. DET -
21 Marshall Koehn at JAC -
22 Robbie Gould vs. ARZ -
23 Josh Lambo vs. CIN -
24 Phil Dawson at SF -
25 Brandon McManus at PHI -
26 Aldrick Rosas vs. LAR -

 

Week 9 Defense/Special Teams

Rank Player Name Opponent Notes
1 Jaguars Def/Spec Team vs. CIN -
2 Eagles Def/Spec Team vs. DEN -
3 Rams Def/Spec Team at NYG -
4 Bengals Def/Spec Team at JAC -
5 Texans Def/Spec Team vs. IND -
6 Bills Def/Spec Team at NYJ -
7 Saints Def/Spec Team vs. TB -
8 Cardinals Def/Spec Team at SF -
9 Titans Def/Spec Team vs. BAL -
10 Fortyniners Def/Spec Team vs. ARZ -
11 Seahawks Def/Spec Team vs. WAS -
12 Lions Def/Spec Team at GB -
13 Panthers Def/Spec Team vs. ATL -
14 Giants Def/Spec Team vs. LAR -
15 Raiders Def/Spec Team at MIA -
16 Falcons Def/Spec Team at CAR -
17 Broncos Def/Spec Team at PHI -
18 Ravens Def/Spec Team at TEN -
19 Colts Def/Spec Team at HOU -
20 Jets Def/Spec Team vs. BUF -
21 Dolphins Def/Spec Team vs. OAK -
22 Packers Def/Spec Team vs. DET -
23 Chiefs Def/Spec Team at DAL -
24 Cowboys Def/Spec Team vs. KC -
25 Redskins Def/Spec Team at SEA -
26 Buccaneers Def/Spec Team at NO -

     

Patrick Daugherty
Patrick Daugherty is a football and baseball writer for Rotoworld.com. He can be found on Twitter .