NFL Week 9 Fantasy Football Rankings - The Blueprint

Nov 2nd 2023

Hayden Winks

Every site has a fantasy football rankings column. None of them will be as charted up on a Thursday afternoon as this one. I'll go position-by-position with the charts, matchup notes, film, and injury nuggets that I view as worth your time. I also have my recap column where I have quick notes on the top 200 players' usage and film, in addition to their expected half PPR points based on their usage. Here is the data:

Week 9 QB Rankings

1. Patrick Mahomes - Chiefs vs. MIA (26.5 points, -2.5 spread)

23.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

2. Josh Allen - Bills @ CIN (23.0, +2.5)

Allen's shoulder injury is limiting him in practice, but the AC joint is something that can be played through (sometimes with pain injection). What's more interesting is the Bills history with the Bengals. Stud DC Lou Anarumo forced Buffalo into an outlier 46% neutral pass rate in the Bills' home playoff loss, and Allen said it was simulated pressures and funky zone defense that limited him to 264-0-1 on 25-of-42 (59%) passing. That type of defense would be less effective if the Bills continue on with last week's empty spread, RPO heavy offense. Last week was one of the highest neutral pass rates in the Allen era, and it looked really clean. 21.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

3. Jalen Hurts - Eagles vs. DAL (24.5, -3.0)

Hurts is playing through a relatively minor knee injury, but the results have been rock solid. He's still the QB2 despite having a new play caller, and the Cowboys offense looks like they can throw on this downgraded Eagles secondary. Meanwhile, the Dallas defensive passing success rate allowed has dropped from 33% to 43% without Trevon Diggs on the field per SIS, mostly because offenses are testing out more deeper throws. Hurts' 13 big time throws on deep passes is 4th in the NFL. Hopefully he can convert some of them here. Worst case, we have the Tush Push. He's had 155-2-0 with 27 rushing yards (60% neutral pass) and 326-2-2 with 34 rushing yards (86% neutral pass) in his two recent games against Dallas. 21.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

4. Lamar Jackson - Ravens vs. SEA (24.5, -5.5)

The Seahawks defense has allowed 5.3 yards per dropback with 1st-round rookie CB Devon Witherspoon on the field and 4.8 yards per dropback with star S Jamal Adams on the field. Seattle's defense has been on fire recently, but it's also been against P.J. Walker, Josh Dobbs, an injured Joe Burrow, and Daniel Jones. Safe to say Lamar is multiple tiers better. 20.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

5. Joe Burrow - Bengals vs. BUF (25.5, -2.5)

As a reminder, this month the Bills have placed DT DaQuan Jones, LB Matt Milano, and CB1 Tre'Davious White on injured reserve. They're not the elite defense they could've been, and Burrow is coming off his best game of the year. By far. He looked way healthier (even scrambling) and has his skill group fully healthy. The Bengals are back to having the 2nd-highest team total of the week in a potential shootout with the fast-paced Bills. Burrow had 242-2-0 passing against Buffalo in last year's road playoff win. 18.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

6. Tua Tagovailoa - Dolphins vs. KC (24.0, +2.5)

LT Terron Armstead (knee) is expected to return. 17.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

7. Justin Herbert - Chargers @ NYJ (22.25, -3.0)

16.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

8. Dak Prescott - Cowboys @ PHI (21.5, +3.0)

LT Tyron Smith (neck) was a DNP on Wednesday after missing last week, but Dak managed that game beautifully, even making a TD throw on the run. He'll be asked to dice up this Eagles secondary, as opposing offenses to Philly have passed the ball at the 3rd-highest rate in neutral situations. It was nice to see CeeDee Lamb playing more outside, as it gives them more juice on the perimeter. A moderate 21.5-point team total keeps Dak as a low-end QB1 in a potential shootout. 17.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

9. Deshaun Watson - Browns vs. ARI (25.0, -11.5)

He went limited-limited-full in practice this week and is expected to play. When he left Week 7 early, Watson was DNP-limited-full while being listed as questionable. Things look better this time around against an awful Cardinals defense. The betting markets have exploded with the injury information, slinging the Browns' team total up to 25.0 points (tied for 5th). In his three healthy games, Watson has 21.1 , 20.6 , and 11.6 fantasy points.

10. Derek Carr - Saints vs. CHI (24.5, -7.5)

It's unclear how much new EDGE Montez Sweat will play, and the Bears are banged up on defense with S Jaquan Brisker (concussion) and LB Tremaine Edmunds (knee) not practicing Wednesday. The Saints offense has been scoring points and are 2nd in plays per game, so it's not overly surprising to see their team total at 24.5 points (tied for 3rd) at home. However, Carr has missed throws to Chris Olave all year and gets dinged by Taysom's package in the red zone, so he remains on the QB1-2 border only. In fact, Carr is 11th in passing yards yet 21st in passing TDs. 16.25 fantasy points in Pick'em.

11. Sam Howell - Commanders @ NE (18.5, +3.5)

LG Saahdiq Charles was placed on injured reserve, but the bigger news was the Commanders' tank at the trade deadline. This defense will get ran through for the rest of the year, so as long as Howell avoids too many turnovers and sacks, then this will be a fun fantasy offense. Howell is in good shape for a fine enough game with the Patriots sitting 30th in sack rate and 27th in passing EPA allowed due to a plethora of key injuries. Meanwhile, the Commanders are 3rd in neutral pass rate this month while abandoning the run. 16.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

12. C.J. Stroud - Texans vs. TB (21.5, -2.5)

The Texans interior is a mess. 2nd-round rookie C Juice Scruggs (IR) hasn't played a single snap. Backup C Scott Quessenberry (IR) was ruled out before the season, too. And now 3rd-string C Jarrett Patterson was just placed on IR this week. Meanwhile, 2022 1st round LG Kenyon Green (IR) hasn't played this year and backup G Kendrick Green (IR) hasn't played since Week 4. They've moved RT Tytus Howard to LG to get RT George Fant in the lineup... All that makes Stroud's rookie season even more impressive (and a signal why Dameon Pierce is a massive bust). 16.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

13. Bryce Young - Panthers vs. IND (21.25, +2.5)

This Colts defense is allowing a league-high 69 plays per game, leading to a No. 21 ranking against fantasy QBs, and they could be without 2nd-round rookie CB JuJu Brents (quad) this week. Young made some great throws last week with new play caller OC Thomas Brown mixing some things up, including a higher-than-normal pass rate. That said, the Panthers did score 15 points at home against the Texans and still couldn't run the ball effectively. 15.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

14. Gardner Minshew - Colts @ CAR (23.75, -2.5)

The Panthers placed S Jeremy Chinn and EDGE Yetur Gross-Matos on injured reserve two weeks ago, and have been underperforming their talent on defense the entire year. Minshew has fantasy outings of 28.1, 15.8, 13.1, and 12.6 (17.1 average) this year despite a laughable turnover rate against the Browns, Saints, Ravens, and Jaguars. All those defenses are top-6 in EPA allowed. Carolina is 29th. 15.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

15. Geno Smith - Seahawks @ BAL (18.5, +5.5)

15.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

16. Baker Mayfield - Bucs @ HOU (18.5, +2.5)

15.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

17. Jordan Love - Packers vs. LAR (21.5, -3.0)

230.5 total yards in Pick'em.

18. Kenny Pickett - Steelers vs. TEN (19.75, -3.0)

The usual pass-funnel Titans are without star S Kevin Byard (trade), backup S Mike Brown (ankle), and CB Roger McCreary (hamstring). There should be advantageous looks for this emerging WR duo if Pickett can stay protected against the No. 8 sack rate defense. 15.15 fantasy points in Pick'em.

19. Daniel Jones - Giants @ LV (17.5, +2.5)

He's expected to play, but Darren Waller ("other hamstring") is out and both RT Evan Neal and LT Andrew Thomas were limited on Wednesday. The good news is the Raiders are sleep walking after playing 81 snaps on Monday Night Football and firing a chunk of their staff the following day. Jones will need to run around and hit on deep balls like he did last year to overcome this lackluster skill group and hell tier OL. We've at least seen it before, but the odds are stacked against him. 14.15 fantasy points in Pick'em.

20. Mac Jones - Patriots vs. WAS (22.0, -3.5)

Back at home against a defense without EDGE Montez Sweat (CHI), EDGE Chase Young (SF), and LB Cody Barton (IR) and with a secondary that's 30th in passing EPA allowed. Jones has a chance here with an above-average 22.0-point team total, but this is arguably the worst starting WR trio (Pop Douglas, Jalen Reagor, and the ghost of JuJu) of any team this season. This is a true bad vs. bad matchup, with Jones and OC Bill O'Brien having the advantage on Jack Del Rio. You could do worse in superflex leagues. 13.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

21. Taylor Heinicke - Falcons vs. MIN (21.25, -4.5)

Drake London (groin) is out. 15.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

22. Matthew Stafford - Rams @ GB (18.5, +3.0)

The Packers have S Darnell Savage and CB Eric Stokes on injured reserve, then traded CB Rasul Douglas at the trade deadline. Before all that, Green Bay was 25th in both passing and rushing EPA allowed, despite getting a monster season from EDGE Rashan Gary. If Stafford (sprained right thumb) can't play as expected, it'll be Brett Rypien in Lambeau.

23. Zach Wilson - Jets vs. LAC (19.25, +3.0)

OG Alijah Vera-Tucker (IR) was injured a month ago, but now they've added C Connor McGovern and backup OG Wes Schweitzer to injured reserve this week. Meanwhile, 2nd-round C Joe Tippmann is highly questionable for Week 9, and if LT Duane Brown returns then Mekhi Becton will move to RT. There's a lot to sort out for the Jets up front just one week after Zach Wilson had one of his worst games.

24. Will Levis - Titans @ PIT (17.0, +3.0)

RT Chris Hubbard (concussion) is out, which is tough timing with EDGE T.J. Watt and DT Cam Heyward back together. Levis made some rare downfield throws thanks to his ultra-aggressive playing style, but he also was 31st in success rate (29%) last week. If those pump fake deep balls aren't landing, then things can really bottom out on a short week with backup OL in Pittsburgh. DeAndre Hopkins (toe) is expected to play through his injury. Only Tyson Bagent, Jaren Hall, and Clayton Tune offenses project for fewer points than Levis' offense this week. 14.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

25. Aidan O'Connell - Raiders vs. NYG (20.0, -2.5)

13.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

26. Tyson Bagent - Bears @ NO (17.0, +7.5)

27. Jaren Hall - Vikings @ ATL (16.25, +4.5)

12.35 fantasy points in Pick'em.

28. Clayton Tune - Cardinals @ CLE (15.0, +8.0)

LG Elijah Wilkerson is on injured reserve.

Week 9 RB Rankings

I can't recommend looking at the RB charts I have here more.

  1. Saquon Barkley - 40-touch games are rare, and the Raiders have allowed at least 15.5 half PPR points in 3-straight games to Rhamondre Stevenson (15.5), D'Onta Foreman (31.5), and Jahmyr Gibbs (27.4). Vegas, who is on a short week with East-to-West travel was on the field for 81 plays last Monday. Hopefully Daniel Jones and LT Andrew Thomas are actually back this week. 16.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  2. Josh Jacobs - He has a 22% target share on 51 Aidan O'Connell dropbacks this season as check-down relief. Jacobs ran well on Monday Night Football, finally living up to his RB5 usage this month. O'Connell could bottom out. Jacobs could eventually lose touches to rookie-contract backup Zamir White. But Jacobs is more likely to be a Raider focal point with a completely new coaching staff and inexperienced QB this week. It helps that the Giants (8th-worst against fantasy RBs) just traded star DT Leonard Williams and placed EDGE Azeez Ojulari on IR. 15.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  3. Alvin Kamara - NO is 3rd in implied points. AK is 1st in usage. 15.15 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  4. Austin Ekeler - He's had 17.2 expected half PPR points in his 4 healthiest games. A lower team total (22.25) against the Jets works against Ekeler, but New York is 4th in RB receptions allowed this season.

  5. Jonathan Taylor - He had an injury going into halftime, so his 2nd-half touches were limited last week. Assuming that was minor, Taylor was up to 65% snaps in Week 8 while splitting the goal line role with Zack Moss. Taylor is the RB14 on RB12 since being unleashed over the last 3 games. Indy is 7th in projected points this week against a Panthers defense that's last in rushing EPA allowed. 12.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  6. Raheem Mostert - The Chiefs are a good defense and often game script RBs out of the picture, but they are allowing 4.6 YPC to RBs on the 2nd-most EPA per carry and just placed LB Nick Bolton on IR. Mostert is averaging 16.3 half PPR on 12.9 expected half PPR in the 3 games without De'Von Achane, while handling 5-of-6 inside the 5-yard line opportunities. 10.15 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  7. Breece Hall - The Chargers are only allowing 3.6 YPC this year, while their pass defense has taken a big hit. Hall could be with a 3rd-string C here, too. That said, he's a proven big play waiting to happen on RB11 usage this month. 11.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  8. Joe Mixon - The Bengals are 2nd in projected points this week, and Mixon is the RB3 overall in usage this month. Mixon of course has been really inefficient (for years), but he has access to ceilings others don't. It was encouraging that the Bengals ran some under center snaps, which likely allows Mixon to be more effective in short-yardage situations. The very injured Bills are allowing 4.8 YPC to RBs. 12.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  9. Isiah Pacheco - He's coming off a season-low 7.9 expected half PPR points in a rare decisive loss, but the Chiefs aren't often in that game script. They're 2.5-point home favorites against the Dolphins, who are middle of the pack in all rushing metrics. 12.65 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  10. Bijan Robinson - The Vikings are 7th-best against fantasy RBs because they show pressure pre-snap. Offenses often get spooked and check into WR screens for example. All of that works against Bijan, who is the RB21 in usage this month even removing his headache game. Robinson isn't converting his short-yardage carries at the same rate as Tyler Allgeier, which is why he's not seeing many inside the 5-yard line opportunities. Bijan's touchdown was from 7 yards out last week. He'll need big plays to pay off as an RB1. No Drake London (groin) helps. 11.25 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  11. D'Andre Swift - He's at 16.1 expected half PPR points since being the 1a to Kenny Gainwell, who fumbled his lone goal line rep last week. Hopefully that goes to Swift this week because he'll need high-value touches against the Cowboys' 3.6 YPC defense. 11.85 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  12. Tony Pollard - The biggest culprit is the oddest stretch of games I can remember (and that could course correct), but there are some underlying problems for Pollard. He doesn't look as fast (with only 1 top-20 weekly finish in NextGenStats MPH metric) on tape, and he's being utilized differently under a new play caller. Pollard has a career-high 64% of runs using a gap scheme, resulting in the shortest time behind the line of scrimmage of his career. There is less creativity in his style and usage right now, leading to the fewest broken tackles of his career. Pollard is the RB18 on RB7 usage this season. Things aren't going to be easy against the Eagles in Philly. 13.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  13. Derrick Henry - He's the RB13 on RB21 usage this year, but Henry is at the mercy of his offense. Will Levis won multiple impressive deep balls last week, though was 31st in success rate (29%) which explains the Titans' 17.0-point team total in Pittsburgh on Thursday Night Football. The Steelers (4.4 YPC allowed) could be returning DT Cam Heyward off IR this week. The good news is Henry played 63% snaps out of last week's bye. They opted not to trade him and seem rejuvenated by Levis' debut, meaning Tyjae Spears remains in a sidekick role only. 12.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  14. Kenneth Walker - He was listed on the injury report (calf) last week, leading to fewer snaps than normal. Zach Charbonnet is trusted by the Seahawks coaching staff and is a strong Post Bye Rookie Bump candidate as Walker's complement on passing situations. Walker's season-low 6.1 expected half PPR points last week is a scary development, but he also looked really good still. The Seahawks (18.5 implied points) run into another tough matchup in Baltimore here. 9.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  15. Rhamondre Stevenson - He's had 15.3, 13.2, and 12.1 expected half PPR points since the offense adapted their offense to Mac's strengths. Last week, Stevenson handled 12.1 of the 15.0 expected half PPR points to the Patriots RBs, so his share is widening from Ezekiel Elliott and there could be even more targets to this duo with "Pop Douglas" and "Jalen Reagor" as the top "WRs". With the Commanders in full tank mode without EDGEs Young and Sweaty, New England is the proud owners of a 22.0-point team total (11th highest). The ball is going to Mondre. Buy. 11.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  16. Aaron Jones - He only played 51% snaps, lost both goal line opportunities to AJ Dillon, and was limited to just 11.6 expected half PPR points after calling himself healthy before last game. Until there are full practices, this is a low-floor situation. Jones can at least hang his hat on an average team total (21.5 points) at home against the feisty Rams (5th-best against fantasy RBs). He's the RB24 in usage this month. 10.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  17. Gus Edwards - The Bus loves positive game scripts. In fact, he's averaging 14.8 expected half PPR points during this 3-game win streak. Edwards is in a tougher spot against the Seahawks, who just traded for stud DT Leonard Williams, but the Ravens remain 6-point favorites on a solid 24.5-point team total. He's the RB16 in usage this month. 8.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  18. Kareem Hunt - The leader in short-yardage success rate, Hunt has established himself as the preferred goal line back ahead of Jerome Ford who is last in that same metric. Hunt has goal line opportunities waiting with the Browns ranking 5th in implied points against a Cardinals defense that is one of four units to allow 12 TDs to opposing RBs. He's eclipsed 10.0 expected half PPR points in all 3 games out of the bye. Hopefully Cleveland removes Pierre Strong from the rotation.

  19. Jerome Ford - Was he healthy? Not really. But Ford did play a lot when it mattered most for the Browns last week. He's capable of ripping off big plays, but he's lost the short-yardage role to Hunt based on their performance's and he's been limited to 9.0 expected half PPR points in their 5 games together. Still, Cleveland is projected for the 5th-most points this week.

  20. Rachaad White - Even with change-of-pace Chase Edmonds back, White has had 13.4 and 11.5 expected half PPR points in his two recent games on 13 combined targets. The Bucs (6th in neutral pass rate this month) are dumping the ball off to him after completely giving up on the ground game. Rightfully so. Banking on garbage time check downs is risky with a point spread of just 2.5. 12.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  21. Chuba Hubbard - Did it work? No. But Hubbard came out of the bye as the starter, goal line back, and game finisher, while Miles Sanders counted dollar bills on the sideline. The Panthers have a broken OL and this is a fickle, floor-less situation. Still, Hubbard's season-high 15.4 expected half PPR points aren't to be ignored during bye week hell, especially against a defense allowing a very nice 69 plays per game (most in the NFL). Carolina's 21.0-point team total is no longer embarrassing. 8.65 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  22. Devin Singletary - Dameon Pierce (ankle) is out. He was the RB28 in usage this past month while splitting time with Singletary, who will inherit the goal line role as Mike Boone and Dare Ogunbowale are change-of-pace guys only. Singletary and Pierce have combined for 18.4 expected half PPR points per game, though they've been under performers all year long with a brutal iOL. 65.5 total yards in Pick'em.

  23. Zack Moss - He's had 12.9, 10.0, and 10.2 expected half PPR points with Jonathan Taylor involved, and remains a factor at the goal line. They split the inside the 5-yard line opportunities last week, even with Moss downgrading to 35% snaps. Let's monitor Taylor's practice reps this week after battling a lower-leg issue in the 2nd half last week. The Colts' 7th-highest team total of the week could lead to both paying off again. 54.5 total yards in Pick'em.

  24. James Cook - The Bills offense looked different last week, with more empty sets, RPOs, and quick game. None of that helps the RBs in fantasy, and now Cook has to deal with Buffalo Lenny as soon as this week. Buffalo is back to bottom-5 RB usage and full-blown committee work. A lagging 23.0-point team total in Cincy doesn't help things for Cook, who suddenly finds himself as the RB33 in usage this month. He's only ranked ahead of that here with hopes of a big play or a couple check-down passes in potential negative game script. 10.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  25. Brian Robinson - We've entered the "TD Prayer Range" of rankings. The Commanders have rightfully abandoned the run (3rd in neutral pass rate this month) and have mixed in Robinson's backups from time to time. Robinson needs positive game scripts and goal line carries to hit home, and Washington is literally tanking. He hasn't hit 10.0 expected half PPR points since Week 4. Perhaps he waltzes into the end zone against the Patriots. 8.05 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  26. Najee Harris - In theory, the Titans are a run funnel, but Tennessee has also been so embarrassing on offense at times that opposing offenses have run more on them this season. Harris will need all the volume he can get to get home with a lowly 19.5-point team total. He's the RB32 in usage this month with under 10.5 expected half PPR points in all but one game this season. 8.75 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  27. Alexander Mattison - A drive-by-drive rotation is underway in Minnesota with Cam Akers, and neither are good enough to overcome split workloads with a backup QB. The Vikings have a 16.0-point team total in Atlanta. At least the Falcons are without DT Grady Jarrett but that is the lone positive (and not that important). 8.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  28. Darrell Henderson - He's the better pass catching option, but losing the goal-line carry to Royce Freeman last week was a tough pill to swallow. This offense without Matthew Stafford could be really iffy. Henderson is the better bet to PPR scam against a Green Bay defense that's 7th-worst against fantasy RBs (again).

  29. Jaylen Warren - He's the RB34 on RB38 usage this month. 8.35 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  30. Keaontay Ingram - The Cardinals have a 15.0-point team total against the Browns No. 1 EPA allowed defense. Demercado had 11.6 and 9.7 expected half PPR points in his two starts as a potential garbage time eater, but he's out (toe). Ingram was replaced by Demercado because he's not very good (career 2.4 YPC). It'll be Tony Jones behind him.

  31. Royce Freeman - See RB30 Darrell Henderson.

  32. AJ Dillon - See RB18 Aaron Jones.

  33. D'Onta Foreman - This turned into a drive-by-drive 3-way committee before you could blink with Roschon Johnson back. Foreman's odds of finding positive game scripts are lowered as 8.0-point road dogs to the Saints. 7.05 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  34. Roschon Johnson - See RB33 D'Onta Foreman.

  35. Cam Akers - See RB27 Alexander Mattison.

  36. Zach Charbonnet - See RB14 Kenneth Walker.

  37. Devin Singletary - See RB25 Dameon Pierce.

  38. Tyler Allgeier - See RB10 Bijan Robinson.

  39. Justice Hill - See RB15 Gus Edwards.

  40. Ezekiel Elliott - See RB16 Rhamondre Stevenson. 6.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  41. Jeff Wilson - See RB5 Raheem Mostert.

  42. Tyjae Spears - See RB14 Derrick Henry.

  43. Miles Sanders - See RB17 Chuba Hubbard.

  44. Leonard Fournette - See RB21 James Cook.

  45. Kenneth Gainwell - See RB10 D'Andre Swift.

  46. Jamaal Williams - See RB1 Alvin Kamara.

  47. Joshua Kelley - See RB3 Austin Ekeler.

  48. Antonio Gibson - See RB24 Brian Robinson.

  49. Jerick McKinnon - See RB11 Isiah Pacheco.

  50. Latavius Murray - See RB21 James Cook.

Week 9 WR Rankings

  1. Tyreek Hill - Revenge game. 91.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  2. Ja'Marr Chase - The Bills had to trade for a veteran CB at the deadline because they don't like their secondary without Tre'Davious White. More importantly, Burrow had his best game by far last week, even scrambling around a bit. Chase is the WR1 on WR1 usage this month. 87.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  3. Stefon Diggs - Even more targets could be headed his way if the Bills' quick-hitting offense continues. It helps that the Bengals look real nice on offense again. I smell a shootout. 88.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  4. A.J. Brown - The Eagles pass the ball against the Cowboys historically, and the Cowboys have allowed more downfield passes without CB1 Trevon Diggs this season. I'm not that nervous about the matchup. 82.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  5. CeeDee Lamb - More outside reps (40%) is encouraging, as the offense splits him out wide when scheming up in-breaking routes. That led to a season-best game last week. This week, Lamb catches the No. 32 fantasy WR and No. 3 neutral pass rate defense. Hello! 73.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  6. Davante Adams - The vibes are high without Josh McDaniels, but this is also a great matchup. Adams has a 25% target share with Aidan O'Connell and a 43% target share against Cover 0 and Cover 1, which the aggressive Giants use often. The secondary is full of rookies and now don't have DT Leonard Williams to create pressure. 73.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  7. Keenan Allen - Waiting for Josh Palmer (out) and Gerald Everett (in) injuries, but this is a matchup with CB Sauce Gardner and the Jets' No. 1 ranked defense against fantasy WRs. A lower-than-normal 22.25-point team total works against Keenan, too. He's the WR9 in usage this month. 78.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  8. Adam Thielen - 35% targets with a new play caller out of the bye. This week, Thielen gets a defense allowing the most plays allowed, potentially without 2nd-round rookie CB JuJu Brents. 69.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  9. Jaylen Waddle - He's up to WR11 usage this month with 6 screens. That's not a coincidence with the ground game regressing. 66.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  10. Amari Cooper - In his 3 healthy starts with Deshaun Watson, Cooper has 12.9 half PPR points on 11.0 expected half PPR points on a 24% target share. The Cardinals' No. 21 fantasy WR and No. 28 passing EPA defense have been lit up by stud WRs, too. Ja'Marr Chase (44.7 half PPR), Cooper Kupp (24.3), Brandon Aiyuk (17.8), and Jake Bobo (14.1) have had great weeks. This week, the Browns have the 5th-highest team total with a 3rd-round rookie WR joining into starting lineup with the Donovan Peoples-Jones trade. 56.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  11. Chris Olave - He's the most obvious positive regression candidate, after being missed downfield multiple times. The Saints' 24.5-point team total while hosting the Bears makes this a strong week to cash in on the #math. He's the WR10 in usage this month. 64.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  12. Terry McLaurin - The Commanders are 3rd in neutral pass rate, helping McLaurin climb to WR14 in usage this month. This assumes Curtis Samuel is out, which has forced more targets to McLaurin and Dotson. New England is just 20th against fantasy WRs and 27th in passing EPA allowed. 61.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  13. Michael Pittman - He's averaging 12.2 expected half PPR points in Minshew's 4 starts, which equates to WR14 usage. Those have been against 4 of the top-6 EPA defenses. Carolina is not that. 59.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  14. Diontae Johnson - He's the WR8 in usage this month after soaking up 33% targets and 20.1 expected half PPR points. The Titans' pass funnel defense is without multiple starters. Tennessee is 28th against fantasy WRs, mostly with star S Kevin Byard. 10.55 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  15. Nico Collins - He's had 13.2 half PPR on 9.4 expected half PPR this year, but things have been dry recently. If Dameon Pierce (DNPx2) misses, there's no excuse to run as much as the Texans have recently. A Bucs pass funnel (24th vs. fantasy WRs) is the perfect time to sling the rock around. 59.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  16. DK Metcalf - It doesn't feel like it, but Metcalf is the WR2 overall in usage this month with 15.4 and 20.1 expected half PPR points in his two recent games. The Ravens just have allowed the 4th-fewest WR points, and Metcalf hasn't hit home as often in 2023. 58.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  17. Garrett Wilson - He's the WR25 on WR7 usage this month, with a chance to hit on his role against the No. 30 fantasy WR defense. The Chargers CB room without J.C. Jackson is a total mess. 64.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  18. Cooper Kupp - This assumes Matthew Stafford is out, but the Packers placed 2 CBs on injured reserve and traded another at the deadline. This defense is trash. As for QB Brett Ryien, he's averaging 6.4 YPA with 3 TDs to 5 INTs on 111 dropbacks as a starter. His 43% success rate is higher than most backups. On tape, he looked functional to me while just not having the athletic or size traits the NFL typically wants.

  19. Mike Evans - The WR21 on WR27 usage this month. 52.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  20. Chris Godwin - He's the WR20 on WR18 usage this month, while finally cashing in on his very obvious positive TD regression. 56.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  21. George Pickens - He's the WR23 in usage this month. See WR14 Diontae Johnson. 9.45 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  22. Tee Higgins - The Bills are starting backup CBs, and Higgins' 11.2 expected half PPR points in his 4 healthiest games equate to WR20 usage. Burrow looked all the way back last week. I'm buying the dip now. 49.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  23. Gabe Davis - He had a season-high 15.7 expected half PPR points last week while benefiting from RPO passes in the flats. If that continues, Davis is no longer a boom-bust receiver. 42.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  24. DJ Moore - He's had 7.0, 12.5, and 5.5 expected half PPR points with Tyson Bagent, which equates to WR41 usage. Some of that downgrade was random positive game script, however. Moore gets CB Marshon Lattimore and the 12th-best fantasy WR defense on the road. 60.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  25. Zay Flowers - He's the WR38 on WR22 usage this month, while being a positive regression candidate with TDs (assuming he's not too small to be a factor in the red zone). The Seahawks are also allowing 5.3 yards per dropback with 1st-round rookie CB Devon Witherspoon. 55.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  26. Jahan Dotson - Curtis Samuel (toe) is out. 45.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  27. DeAndre Hopkins - He's expected to play through a toe injury after limited-limited-DNP practices, and his matchup is neutral. The Steelers secondary has been better with 2nd-round CB Joey Porter starting and Pat Pete moving to slot CB, but they're without star S Minkah Fitzpatrick (hamstring) this week. Pittsburgh's defensive line adds Cam Heyward while the Titans lose their starting RT Chris Hubbard. In general, the Titans' team total is 4th-lowest on the week, and we can't expect long TDs to carry over. Defenses should adjust to Levis' playing style. Hopkins' expected half PPR points based on his usage last week was at 9.7. That's a fair projection here. 9.95 fantasy points in Pick'em.

  28. Puka Nacua (Questionable) - He's down to 12.0 expected half PPR points with Kupp this year, and this assumes Matthew Stafford is out. Nacua has been limited in practice all week with a knee injury. See WR15 Cooper Kupp.

  29. Jordan Addison - Jaren Hall's arm talent is a concern, but he's at least mobile and operated the preseason playbook with some success. There were a lot of bootlegs on his tape, so stud play caller Kevin O'Connell has at least something to work with. Expect Addison to be given some schemed up receptions even if his scoring and downfield opportunities take a big hit. He was the WR7 on WR12 usage this month without Justin Jefferson. What could have been ... 44.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  30. Michael Thomas - 53.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  31. DeVonta Smith - The Cowboys' man coverage defense leans towards A.J. Brown, and Dallas is 2nd against fantasy WRs this year. Smith's long TD last week was on a coverage bust, so it's not the major positive signal we're hoping for. He's the WR42 in usage this month. 47.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  32. Rashee Rice - He ran a route on just 58% of routes last week but continues to be the Chiefs' best bet as a real receiver. Rice will see some Jalen Ramsey if his role increases, but in FLEX land, Rice still has better TD odds than most. He's the WR32 on WR49 usage this month. 44.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  33. Tyler Lockett - The WR28 in usage this month, including some games with Metcalf sidelined. This matchup is tough against Baltimore, and he's been a DNP-limited participant while managing his hamstring. 49.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  34. Jakobi Meyers - His 14% target rate with Aidan O'Connell is on a small sample (51 attempts), but it does fit in with an inexperienced QB honing in his star WR and checking down to his RB more than a veteran QB would. 51.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  35. Josh Downs (Questionable) - He was limited with a knee injury late in the week. 50.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  36. Demario Douglas

  37. Christian Watson - 42.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  38. Marquise Brown - He's the WR37 on WR13 usage this month, with a QB downgrade this week while traveling into CB1 Denzel Ward land. That said, likely no Michael Wilson this week.

  39. Elijah Moore - He has a 24% target share with Deshaun Watson this year. Moore is a positive regression candidate, especially with the Donovan Peoples-Jones trade lessening target competition.

  40. Tyler Boyd - 38.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  41. Khalil Shakir - He had a season-high 6.8 expected half PPR points as the primary slot WR in a heavy 3-WR offense without Dawson Knox. Shakir can catch plenty of underneath targets if the Bengals jump out to a big lead. 31.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  42. Brandin Cooks - 37.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  43. Tank Dell - 43.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  44. Quentin Johnston - Josh Palmer (knee) is out, so QJ is the new No. 2 with Jalen Guyton expected to slide into snaps, too. Johnston isn't ready for Sauce Gardner, but Herbert passes need to go somewhere. The Chargers offered QJ a few underneath looks last week.

  45. Jonathan Mingo

  46. Rashid Shaheed - 30.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  47. Romeo Doubs - 40.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  48. K.J. Osborn

  49. Darius Slayton - 33.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  50. Jaxon Smith-Njigba - 30.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  51. Jalin Hyatt

  52. Michael Gallup

  53. Jayden Reed - 33.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  54. DJ Chark (Questionable) - He's expected to play.

  55. Wan'Dale Robinson - 29.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  56. Allen Lazard - 33.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  57. Odell Beckham

  58. Marquez Valdes-Scantling

  59. Treylon Burks - 24.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  60. Darnell Mooney - 27.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

Week 9 TE Rankings

  1. Travis Kelce - The only metric that is down for Kelce in 2023 is his broken tackle rate, but that hasn't stopped him from a career-high 2.7 yards per route run. That's a function of a never-ending brutal WR group. Kelce is averaging a 7.7 receptions per game.

  2. Mark Andrews - Receptions per game: 6.3 -> 4.9 -> 4.6 over the last 3 years. That's fine enough with Baltimore ranking 4th in projected points this week. 49.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  3. Dalton Kincaid - He had a season-high 12.4 expected half PRP points on 84% routes without Dawson Knox (IR) last week. Kincaid benefits from the Bills' increased spread, RPO, and quick game concepts, too. The Bengals happen to have allowed the most fantasy points to TEs this year, too. In fact, George Kittle had 19.4 half PPR points last week. 37.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  4. Kyle Pitts - He's the TE12 in usage this month with a couple things working in his favor. Heinicke is more likely to throw things up to his studs (see: 2022 Washington) than Ridder was, and Drake London (groin) is out. Atlanta has an average 21.0-point team total against the Vikings' mediocre defense. 42.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  5. Taysom Hill - He's the TE8 on TE6 usage this month, even with Kamara and Juwan back. Hill is worth the risk with the Saints projected for the 3rd-most points this week. I've accepted it.

  6. David Njoku - He's had 14.7 and 12.3 expected half PPR points in the last two contests, and it's possible Deshaun Watson returns. The Browns' 25.0-point team total is worth chasing, too. 36.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  7. Dallas Goedert - In an era of TD-or-bust options only, Goedert has had between 6.9 and 8.8 expected half PPR points in 6-of-7 games. This offense has the 4th-highest team total of the week. 42.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  8. Jake Ferguson - He's averaging 8.1 expected half PPR points this season and finally scored on a beautiful seam ball from Dak last week. Ferg Daddy is a capable check down option if the Eagles' run defense proves too strong to keep a balanced approach. Logan Thomas (13.4 half PPR), T.J. Hockenson (22.1), and Hunter Henry (14.1) have popped up against Philly this season. 33.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  9. Dalton Schultz - He's the TE9 on TE8 usage this month. 39.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  10. T.J. Hockenson - Only the Cardinals have a lower team total this week, but at least Hockenson benefits from Kevin O'Connell's very pass-heavy ideology. 44.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  11. Gerald Everett - He's playing, while Josh Palmer is out. The Jets are 1st against fantasy WRs and 26th against fantasy TEs, for a reason. Their CBs are way better. This is a great spot for Everett, who will be splitting his time with Donald Parham.

  12. Trey McBride - He had the most expected half PPR points of any TE in any week this season last game, notably without Zach Ertz (IR). McBride flashed some athleticism on tape and should sit in zone during garbage time. I'm claiming him as my PPR scam for the next few games. He'd be ranked even higher if this wasn't in Cleveland (1st vs. TEs) with Clayton Tune at QB.

  13. Logan Thomas - He's averaging 7 targets in Commanders' losses, and they're in negative game script often, especially after trading both of their alpha edge rushers. Thomas is the TE10 on TE13 usage this month. New England is best up the middle on defense right now. 31.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  14. Jonnu Smith - He busted but had 67% routes last week, which is more than enough with Drake London (groin) missing.

  15. Hunter Henry - The Patriots are 11th in implied points with a starting WR trio of Pop Douglas, Jalen Reagor, and the ghost of JuJu. Henry can easily bounce back after scoring TDs in the first two weeks of the year. Hopefully Henry gets in full practices again.

  16. Luke Musgrave - The rookie can't overcome bad QB play, and he's only averaging 5.4 expected half PPR points with Christian Watson. Musgrave at least has theoretical big play ability. 28.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  17. Michael Mayer - I think ownership and an interim head coach will force Mayer on the field after benching Jimmy G. Mayer has some legit receiving skills if he can see some targets. The Aidan O'Connell targets will be low value, however.

  18. Cole Kmet - Expected half PPR points: With Justin Fields (8.6), without (5.8). Only the Browns have allowed fewer receptions per game to TEs than the Saints have. 30.5 receiving yards in Pick'em.

  19. Mike Gesicki - He's the TE27 in usage this month, but without any quality WRs right now, Gesicki could see more looks moving forward.

  20. Kylen Granson

  21. Tyler Conklin

  22. Cade Otton

  23. Irv Smith

  24. Donald Parham

  25. Juwan Johnson

  26. Chigoziem Okonkwo

Week 9 Fantasy Defenses For Sickos

The fantasy football defenses of Week 9 are the Browns (vs. ARI), Steelers (vs. TEN), Saints (vs. CHI), Raiders (@ NYG), Patriots (vs. WAS), Chargers (@ NYJ), and Falcons (vs. MIN).

Week 9 K Rankings

Jk. I'm not a virgin.

Underdog Fantasy "Battle Royale" DFS

To me, this is the most beatable DFS game out there, as drafters too often go off the default rankings. Simply add one or two players who are commonly undrafted to get a unique DFS team. And of course, stack. I truly believe my readers/followers would enjoy the game theory (and the edge) of this contest.