Welcome to the Fantasy Football Rankings for Week 9. Please feel free to contact us with any specific line-up questions or general thoughts on the rankings.
-TB’s defense may not be too bad, but against a rested and determined Atlanta team (Falcons players did not like Raheem Morris’ claim that TB is the best team in the NFC), I think TB could struggle.
-Though Vick may be a bit more cautious when running with the ball, I do think Freeney and Mathis will pinch him out of the pocket just enough to make Vick more dangerous.
-I know Stafford has the Jets this weekend, but the Jets’ pass D is surprisingly mediocre (ranked #18 in yards allowed per game). One thing people may find out this year is that Revis is not as good as advertised. He’ll be very good, but I think he’ll struggle with some really good #1 WRs like Calvin Johnson. Not sure anyone else presently holds that opinion – but this game will be a good indication of just how good Revis is now that he’s 100%.
-Favre and the Vikes are in turmoil, to say the least, but they are quite fortunate to have the AZ Cardinals come to town this weekend. AZ looks very iffy this year and my guess is that Favre and his WRs get on track this week – and so does AP.
-Ryan Fitzpatrick and the suddenly high-powered Buff passing game should continue to roll at home this weekend. New target Steve Johnson seems like the real deal.
-Oak will probably put a bunch of guys in the box to stop KC’s rush – so at some point, KC will have to throw. Cassel and Campbell could end up in a shootout, relatively speaking.
-I like Colt McCoy. I saw him in action during the preseason against the Packers and I was impressed by how he handled himself. He is the future for Cleveland – a future, by the way, that seems to be getting brighter.
-AP will be especially angry this week and he’ll run like it. One collision that would be very ugly would be an angry AP running into an angry Adrian Wilson (for the Cards). AP should be very good this week.
-Certainly the improved Chiefs D will be focusing on stopping McFadden and Bush – putting the game in Jason Campbell’s hands. (Just as Oak will be keyed on stopping the run and making Cassel beat them.) But I still think this is McFadden’s break-out year and he’ll be very good Sunday.
-Hillis is pretty high here but I think he may get a couple TDs and some serious action as McCoy’s safety option when none of McCoy’s WRs are open. NE’s D is improving, but they are young and I expect Cleve to play far better in this game than folks are anticipating.
-I realize SD has the #1 defense (and #1 offense), but for some reason, I think Arian Foster will be really active. He is a very good back. Keeping the ball out of Phillips Rivers’ hands would be advisable in this game and giving it to Foster a lot would keep it away from Rivers.
-Great story developing in TB with Blount. Blount could be scary good. This guy has an impressive combination of size and agility. Obviously after punching that dude in the face last year in college, he also has the requisite nastiness to get those extra needed yards.
-Lots of folks have Ahmad Bradshaw ranked quite high. I think he’s a very good RB but I think he’ll have his work cut out for him this week. Playing Seattle in Seattle is like playing NE in NE…very difficult to win there. (Of course playing Seattle away from Seattle is like playing a high school team). The NYG could have a far more difficult time moving the ball offensively than most think.
-On the flip side – I think Marshawn Lynch could have his first extra-productive game this weekend. Pete Carroll no doubt wants him to get into the swing of things and though the NYG’s D is tough – this might just be the game.
-Very interesting RB situation for SD. Mathews, Tolbert and Sproles all contribute in their own ways. Tolbert is the guy who gets the most fantasy attention with all his TDs. He’s also a decent runner. Mathews is their future, but he has ongoing issues with blitz pick-up (was benched for this a couple weeks ago). Sproles can break off a long one at any moment off a pass or a run. All 3 could be busy this week in what should be a shoot-out in Houston.
Steve Smith (CAR)
-I expect Boldin to be good this week – even though Miami has a decent D and I think he’ll probably draw Vontae Davis – a very underrated corner. Boldin was just a very good acquisition by Balt’s front office – very smart.
-Brandon Marshall has been a fairly disappointing fantasy player for many this year and facing Balt – you’d think the disappointment might continue. But I think he may end up getting on a roll in this one. Henne will be looking to him often because Balt will likely stuff the Miami run game – and Henne will need to do something with the ball.
-I drafted Mike Williams this year and he’s spent a lot of time on my bench. He’s finally going to get the start this week, so I hope it’s not a jinx, but the guy just plain produces. And importantly, if this game goes as I suspect it will (Atlanta will pull away for a sizable victory), TB will be heaving it a bunch in the second half.
-Steve Johnson is another guy who just keeps producing – he has a nose for the end zone. I expect the Chicago/Buff game to open up offensively after a sluggish, defensive first half. Fitzpatrick loves throwing it to Johnson – he’ll get his opportunities.
-Hines Ward in prime time – he’ll get his targets and produce – he likes prime time.
-Steve Breaston is back for AZ and he’s the guy I’m guessing Whisenhunt will game plan around somewhat for this week. Even though Fitzgerald could get into the action some (mostly because he’ll be pumped to return home), he will likely draw Antoine Winfield – who remains a top-notch CB.
-Wes Welker could be ranked higher. Each week it seems NE has a different featured guy. Welker hasn’t been featured now for a few weeks (in part because Randy Moss’ departure may be affecting Welker’s ability to get open underneath), but Welker is still way too good to be as quiet as he’s been. Look for Welker to be the guy Sunday.
-Steve Smith and Matt Moore get along well and I’m thinking sooner or later, Smith is going to have a big game again. Maybe this week against what will probably be a fairly tired NO Saints team.
-The overall match-ups this week for TEs just don’t seem that good. Tony Gonzalez and Visanthe Shiancoe are the only guys I’m fairly confident will have some nice stats.
-I would have put Gates toward the top, but he may not play this weekend. If he plays, I’d put him about #6 because I think his injuries may limit him a fair amount.
-Pettigrew and Keller could both be busy.
-Benjamin Watson will be excited to face his former team.
-Kellen Winslow will benefit from TB having to catch-up and pass a bunch.
-Todd Heap is one of those guy who might have 1 catch for 5 yards or 5 catches for 90 yards and a TD. Tough to predict – but I do think as the season goes on and the pressure rises, Flacco will look to Heap more and more as a safe otpion.
-Dan Carpenter has been out of control lately. Doesn’t look like a kicker – looks like the kind of guy who says “…and I says to her I says”. But he’s very good.
-Matt Bryant and Atlanta should put up points this week.
-Mare and Janikowski both should be busy as I’d expect both the Giants D and KC’s D to tighten in the red zone.
-Phil Dawson will be an important part of the game Sunday.
-Ryan Longwell has been alarmingly inactive this year – but I expect the Vikes to win big over AZ and for Longwell to finally get involved.
-With Ed Reed back and everyone rested, I expect Balt to totally shut down the Miami run game – so it’s possible Miami may put up some passing yards, but it’s more likely this game remains a lower scoring, tight game where both defenses probably do OK.
-The Packers could give up yardage Sunday night, but I expect them to create several turnovers – perhaps a pick-six.
-I’ve been fairly successful picking the DSTs for Detroit and Oak the last few weeks. They are showing up and looking good. Detroit could very well put in a monster performance this Sunday if the Jets’ vanilla offense sputters again.
-What? Putting the Giants D behind the Seahawks D? Yep – because it’s in Seattle. This is just a whole different game as an away game/time difference game for the NYG. I expect this to be closer than most do and Seattle’s D to create some turnovers.
-Putting the Falcons at #10 is risky. LeGarrette Blount could run through them and the confident Josh Freeman could take advantage of a depleted Atlanta secondary. But because of the importance of this divisional game, I expect Atlanta’s D will show up and cause some chaos.