Carolina Panthers

Fantasy football rankings: No. 1 is easy among QBs. Here are all the rest.

In Thursday’s game, Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) gets a new target in Kelvin Benjamin and a New York Jets team that allowed a league-high 17 passing touchdowns this year.
In Thursday’s game, Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) gets a new target in Kelvin Benjamin and a New York Jets team that allowed a league-high 17 passing touchdowns this year. AP

Quarterback

1 DeShaun Watson, Houston vs. Indianapolis … Watson easily earns the No. 1 quarterback ranking. Last week he became the first player in NFL history with 400 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and 50-plus rushing yards in a game. And this week, he goes up against a Colts’ defense allowing the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks.

2 Drew Brees, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

3 Russell Wilson, Seattle vs. Washington

4 Dak Prescott, Dallas vs. Kansas City … Start Prescott with confidence as Dallas likely will turn more to the pass with Ezekiel Elliott suspended, plus Kansas City allows 262 yards passing per game.

5 Alex Smith, Kansas City at Dallas

6 Carson Wentz, Philadelphia vs. Denver

7 Cam Newton, Carolina vs. Atlanta

8 Matthew Stafford, Detroit at Green Bay

9 Derek Carr, Oakland at Miami

10 Kirk Cousins, Washington at Seattle

11 Tyrod Taylor, Buffalo at NY Jets … We’ll see if Kelvin Benjamin can pop right into the offense, but the Jets have allowed a league-high 17 passing touchdowns this year.

12 Jared Goff, LA Rams at NY Giants … Goff has some sleeper potential this week against a Giants’ defense that has allowed 325 yards per game over its past four and that will be without suspended star defensive back Janoris Jenkins.

13 Matt Ryan, Atlanta at Carolina

14 Brett Hundley, Green Bay vs. Detroit

15 Josh McCown, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

16 Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay at New Orleans … Winston (shoulder) will need to be monitored and he gets dinged some in this week’s rankings due to the lingering injury.

17 Jacoby Brissett, Indianapolis at Houston

18 Marcus Mariota, Tennessee vs. Baltimore

19 Eli Manning, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

20 Jay Cutler, Miami vs. Oakland … Cutler (ribs) will need to be monitored but he is expected to return this week.

21 Drew Stanton, Arizona at San Francisco … With Carson Palmer (broken arm) shelved, Arizona turns to Drew Stanton, which reduces all the Cardinals a fair bit in the rankings.

22 C.J. Beathard, San Francisco vs. Arizona … San Francisco traded for Jimmy Garoppolo but Beathard is the Week 9 starter.

23 Brock Osweiler, Denver at Philadelphia … Osweiler will draw the Week 9 start for the Broncos.

24 Blake Bortles, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati … Cincinnati allows just 183 yards passing per game, second-fewest.

25 Andy Dalton, Cincinnati at Jacksonville … Jacksonville has had an extra week to prepare for this one and they allow a very stingy 162 passing yards per game (the fewest in the NFL) with just four passing touchdowns allowed (also the fewest).

26 Joe Flacco, Baltimore at Tennessee … Flacco (concussion) will need to be monitored.

Running Back

1 Leonard Fournette, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati … Fournette (ankle) will need to be monitored but he should be good to go.

2 Kareem Hunt, Kansas City at Dallas

3 Mark Ingram, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

4 Todd Gurley, LA Rams at NY Giants

5 LeSean McCoy, Buffalo at NY Jets

6 Lamar Miller, Houston vs. Indianapolis … Indianapolis has allowed a league-high 10 touchdowns this year.

7 Alvin Kamara, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay … Kamara is a big play waiting to happen and is due for busting a long score – 24 percent of his rushing attempts have gained 10 or more yards, the highest rate of any running back with at least 20 rushing attempts.

8 Christian McCaffrey, Carolina vs. Atlanta … McCaffrey is as safe as it gets for reception targets – he’s the only running back to have at least four receptions in every game.

9 Aaron Jones, Green Bay vs. Detroit

10 Chris Thompson, Washington at Seattle

11 Devonta Freeman, Atlanta at Carolina

12 Alex Collins, Baltimore at Tennessee … Collins has yet to score, though he’s off a massive 143-yard game and he leads the NFL in rushing yards per carry average at 6.0 (minimum 50 attempts).

13 Doug Martin, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

14 Carlos Hyde, San Francisco vs. Arizona

15 Adrian Peterson, Arizona at San Francisco … You have to worry about the Arizona offense some with Carson Palmer out, but San Francisco does allow the most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

16 DeMarco Murray, Tennessee vs. Baltimore … Baltimore has allowed 1,062 rushing yards, second-most, this season.

17 Alfred Morris, Dallas vs. Kansas City … Morris looks to be set as the Cowboys’ Week 9 starter after the suspension handed down to Ezekiel Elliott.

18 Tevin Coleman, Atlanta at Carolina

19 Marlon Mack, Indianapolis at Houston

20 Matt Forte, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

21 Ameer Abdullah, Detroit at Green Bay

22 Orleans Darkwa, NY Giants vs. LA Rams … The Rams allow the second-most fantasy points to opposing running backs.

23 C.J. Anderson, Denver at Philadelphia

24 Frank Gore, Indianapolis at Houston

25 Joe Mixon, Cincinnati at Jacksonville

26 Derrick Henry, Tennessee vs. Baltimore

27 Javorius Allen, Baltimore at Tennessee

28 Jalen Richard, Oakland at Miami

29 Marshawn Lynch, Oakland at Miami

30 Jay Ajayi, Philadelphia vs. Denver … Jay Ajayi on the Eagles sounds way more attractive than Jay Ajayi on the Dolphins. However, perhaps he needs a little time to get up to speed and the Broncos have yet to allow a rushing touchdown this season.

31 Damien Williams, Miami vs. Oakland … Opportunity is step one (and a major one) – Williams and Kenyan Drake will each have expanded roles with Jay Ajayi traded to the Eagles.

32 DeAndre Washington, Oakland at Miami

33 Theo Riddick, Detroit at Green Bay

34 Jonathan Stewart, Carolina vs. Atlanta

35 Robert Kelley, Washington at Seattle

36 Kenyan Drake, Miami vs. Oakland

37 LeGarrette Blount, Philadelphia vs. Denver

38 Wayne Gallman, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

39 Ty Montgomery, Green Bay vs. Detroit

40 Darren McFadden, Dallas vs. Kansas City … McFadden will join Alfred Morris to share the Cowboys’ running back duties with Ezekiel Elliott suspended.

41 Devontae Booker, Denver at Philadelphia … Booker might be slowly taking over as the Broncos’ second main running back and certainly looks likely to maintain his workload. (Booker had 54 total yards last week with three receptions.)

42 Bilal Powell, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

43 D’onta Foreman, Houston vs. Indianapolis

44 Shane Vereen, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

45 Matt Breida, San Francisco vs. Arizona

46 Jamaal Charles, Denver at Philadelphia

47 T.J. Yeldon, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

48 Corey Clement, Philadelphia vs. Denver

49 Giovani Bernard, Cincinnati at Jacksonville

50 Chris Ivory, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

Wide Receiver

1 DeAndre Hopkins, Houston vs. Indianapolis

2 Michael Thomas, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay … Thomas is due for a score and Tampa Bay allows the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers.

3 Dez Bryant, Dallas vs. Kansas City … Kansas City allows the second-most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers, and Bryant could be even busier this week with Ezekiel Elliott suspended.

4 Mike Evans, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

5 Tyreek Hill, Kansas City at Dallas

6 Doug Baldwin, Seattle vs. Washington

7 Will Fuller, Houston vs. Indianapolis … Talking about making some plays – Fuller now has collected seven touchdowns on just 13 catches.

8 Julio Jones, Atlanta at Carolina

9 Michael Crabtree, Oakland at Miami

10 Amari Cooper, Oakland at Miami

11 Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at San Francisco

12 Devin Funchess, Carolina vs. Atlanta … Funchess moves into the Panthers No. 1 wide receiver role with Kelvin Benjamin traded to the Bills.

13 Jarvis Landry, Miami vs. Oakland

14 A.J. Green, Cincinnati at Jacksonville … Green can’t drop too much in the rankings but Jacksonville allows the fewest fantasy points to opposing wide receivers and just one touchdown to a wide receiver all season.

15 Golden Tate, Detroit at Green Bay

16 Jamison Crowder, Washington at Seattle

17 Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs. Detroit

18 Marvin Jones, Detroit at Green Bay

19 Tyler Lockett, Seattle vs. Washington

20 Paul Richardson, Seattle vs. Washington

21 Robby Anderson, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

22 Demaryius Thomas, Denver at Philadelphia

23 T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis at Houston

24 Sterling Shepard, NY Giants vs. LA Rams … Shepard (ankle) will need to be monitored but he is expected to return this week.

25 Ted Ginn Jr., New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

26 Sammy Watkins, LA Rams at NY Giants … This is a good spot for Sammy Watkins to have a strong game against a Giants’ defense that has allowed 325 yards per game over its past four and has suspended star defensive back Janoris Jenkins.

27 Cooper Kupp, LA Rams at NY Giants … Kupp is a Week 9 sleeper candidate against a Giants’ defense that has been very leaky against the pass.

28 Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta at Carolina

29 Davante Adams, Green Bay vs. Detroit

30 Randall Cobb, Green Bay vs. Detroit

31 DeSean Jackson, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

32 Jeremy Maclin, Baltimore at Tennessee

33 Kenny Stills, Miami vs. Oakland

34 Pierre Garcon, San Francisco vs. Arizona

35 Rishard Matthews, Tennessee vs. Baltimore

36 Jermaine Kearse, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

37 Emmanuel Sanders, Denver at Philadelphia

38 Kelvin Benjamin, Buffalo at NY Jets … Not to bust on Cam Newton but he tends to somehow overthrow even a 6-foot-6 receiver in Kelvin Benjamin at times. A change of scenery could do Benjamin good, though it’s a short week, so don’t expect Benjamin to have a full role Thursday.

39 Josh Doctson, Washington at Seattle

40 DeVante Parker, Miami vs. Oakland … Parker (ankle) will need to be monitored.

41 Robert Woods, LA Rams at NY Giants

42 Alshon Jeffery, Philadelphia vs. Denver

43 Demarcus Robinson, Kansas City at Dallas

44 Nelson Agholor, Philadelphia vs. Denver

45 Marqise Lee, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

46 Cole Beasley, Dallas vs. Kansas City … Beasley (concussion) will need to be monitored.

47 Ryan Grant, Washington at Seattle

48 Curtis Samuel, Carolina vs. Atlanta … Samuel will likely be on the field much more after the Kelvin Benjamin trade.

49 John Brown, LA Rams at San Francisco

50 Adam Humphries, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

51 Eric Decker, Tennessee vs. Baltimore

52 Corey Davis, Tennessee vs. Baltimore … Davis (hamstring) will need to be monitored but it looks like he might return this week (and could potentially instantly become the Titans’ top wideout).

53 Terrance Williams, Dallas vs. Kansas City

54 Willie Snead, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

55 Bennie Fowler, Denver at Philadelphia

56 Brandon Coleman, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

57 Russell Shepard, Carolina vs. Atlanta … Shepard looks to be moving into the Panthers’ starting lineup with Kelvin Benjamin traded to the Bills.

58 TJ Jones, Detroit at Green Bay

59 Allen Hurns, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

60 Jaron Brown, Arizona at San Francisco

61 Andre Holmes, Buffalo at NY Jets

62 Jordan Matthews, Buffalo at NY Jets

63 Brandon LaFell, Cincinnati at Jacksonville

64 Albert Wilson, Kansas City at Dallas

65 Marquise Goodwin, San Francisco vs. Arizona

66 J.J. Nelson, Arizona at San Francisco

67 Tavon Austin, LA Rams at NY Giants

68 Roger Lewis, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

69 Trent Taylor, San Francisco vs. Arizona

70 Dede Westbrook, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati … Off injured reserve, Westbrook is trending to make his NFL debut this week and had a strong preseason.

71 Taylor Gabriel, Atlanta at Carolina

72 Kenny Golladay, Detroit at Green Bay

73 Mike Wallace, Baltimore at Tennessee

74 Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis at Houston

75 Zay Jones, Buffalo at NY Jets

Tight End

1 Zach Ertz, Philadelphia vs. Denver … Ertz is as consistently elite as they come – he averages 16.5 fantasy points per week and has had double-digit fantasy points in every single game this season.

2 Travis Kelce, Kansas City at Dallas

3 Jimmy Graham, Seattle vs. Washington

4 Jack Doyle, Indianapolis at Houston … Doyle comes into this one off a career-best 12-catch game and moves up to being the third-best tight end on the season year-to-date.

5 Evan Engram, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

6 Austin Seferian-Jenkins, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

7 Vernon Davis, Washington at Seattle … Davis should have the starter’s role all to himself with Jordan Reed (hamstring) likely out multiple weeks.

8 Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Kansas City

9 Jared Cook, Oakland at Miami

10 Tyler Kroft, Cincinnati at Jacksonville

11 Jonnu Smith, Tennessee vs. Baltimore … Smith should have an expanded role with Delanie Walker (sprained ankle) either limited or potentially out.

12 Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay at New Orleans … New Orleans has allowed the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

13 Austin Hooper, Atlanta at Carolina

14 Tyler Higbee, LA Rams at NY Giants … Higbee could be a sneaky start this week against a Giants’ defense that has allowed a tight end to score in every game this season.

15 AJ Derby, Denver at Philadelphia

16 Ben Watson, Baltimore at Tennessee

17 Ed Dickson, Carolina vs. Atlanta

18 Martellus Bennett, Green Bay vs. Detroit

19 Nick O’Leary, Buffalo at NY Jets

20 Ryan Griffin, Houston vs. Indianapolis

21 George Kittle, San Francisco vs. Arizona

22 O.J. Howard, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

23 Marcedes Lewis, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

24 Darren Fells, Detroit at Green Bay

25 Jermaine Gresham, Arizona at San Francisco

26 Eric Ebron, Detroit at Green Bay

27 Julius Thomas, Miami vs. Oakland

28 Demetrius Harris, Kansas City at Dallas

29 Delanie Walker, Tennessee vs. Baltimore … Walker (sprained ankle) will need to be monitored.

30 Coby Fleener, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

Kicker

1 Harrison Butker, Kansas City at Dallas

2 Justin Tucker, Baltimore at Tennessee

3 Ka’imi Fairbairn, Houston vs. Indianapolis

4 Ryan Succop, Tennessee vs. Baltimore

5 Greg Zuerlein, LA Rams at NY Giants

6 Blair Walsh, Seattle vs. Washington

7 Jake Elliott, Philadelphia vs. Denver

8 Wil Lutz, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

9 Matt Prater, Detroit at Green Bay

10 Stephen Hauschka, Buffalo at NY Jets

11 Matt Bryant, Atlanta at Carolina

12 Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis at Houston

13 Graham Gano, Carolina vs. Atlanta

14 Mike Nugent, Dallas vs. Kansas City

15 Josh Lambo, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

16 Phil Dawson, Arizona at San Francisco

17 Mason Crosby, Green Bay vs. Detroit

18 Chandler Catanzaro, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

19 Brandon McManus, Denver at Philadelphia

20 Aldrick Rosas, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

21 Nick Rose, Washington at Seattle

22 Patrick Murray, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

23 Giorgio Tavecchio, Oakland at Miami

24 Cody Parkey, Miami vs. Oakland

25 Robbie Gould, San Francisco vs. Arizona

26 Randy Bullock, Cincinnati at Jacksonville

Defense

1 Jacksonville DT, Jacksonville vs. Cincinnati

2 Philadelphia DT, Philadelphia vs. Denver

3 Buffalo DT, Buffalo at NY Jets

4 Houston DT, Houston vs. Indianapolis

5 LA Rams DT, LA Rams at NY Giants

6 Detroit DT, Detroit at Green Bay

7 Baltimore DT, Baltimore at Tennessee

8 New Orleans DT, New Orleans vs. Tampa Bay

9 Seattle DT, Seattle vs. Washington

10 Atlanta DT, Atlanta at Carolina

11 Tennessee DT, Tennessee vs. Baltimore

12 Arizona DT, Arizona at San Francisco

13 Green Bay DT, Green Bay vs. Detroit

14 Oakland DT, Oakland at Miami

15 Denver DT, Denver at Philadelphia

16 San Francisco DT, San Francisco vs. Arizona

17 Kansas City DT, Kansas City at Dallas

18 Carolina DT, Carolina vs. Atlanta

19 NY Giants DT, NY Giants vs. LA Rams

20 Cincinnati DT, Cincinnati at Jacksonville

21 NY Jets DT, NY Jets vs. Buffalo

22 Miami DT, Miami vs. Oakland

23 Dallas DT, Dallas vs. Kansas City

24 Tampa Bay DT, Tampa Bay at New Orleans

25 Washington DT, Washington at Seattle

26 Indianapolis DT, Indianapolis at Houston

Alan Satterlee is in his fourth year of writing about fantasy football for The Charlotte Observer. Find him on Twitter at @Speedkills_DFW.

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