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Week 9 fantasy football rankings: Ball will be in the air in Atlanta-Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston faces and Atlanta defense that is accommodating to opposing passing games this season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston faces and Atlanta defense that is accommodating to opposing passing games this season. Getty Images

Week 9 fantasy football rankings, position-by-position:

Quarterbacks

1. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis ... Indianapolis allows 287.8 passing yards per game, second-most in the NFL.

2. Andrew Luck, Indianapolis at Green Bay

3. Matt Ryan, Atlanta at Tampa Bay ... Ryan should be excited after seeing Derek Carr rip apart the Bucs defense for 500-plus yards last week. Ryan leads the league in passes over 20 yards.

4. Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta ... No team allows more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than Atlanta, which includes a 281-yard, four-touchdown game for Winston against Atlanta in Week 1.

5. Philip Rivers, San Diego vs. Tennessee ... Tennessee has allowed the third-most fantasy points per game to quarterbacks over their past three games, including Cody Kessler’s 336-yard game.

6. Drew Brees, New Orleans at San Francisco ... No team allows more points per game (31.3) than the 49ers.

7. Cam Newton, Carolina at Los Angeles ... Newton comes into Week 9 as just QB16 after being the consensus No. 1 fantasy quarterback in the draft.

8. Dak Prescott, Dallas at Cleveland ... Cleveland has been fantasy-friendly to opposing quarterbacks, allowing the third-most fantasy points to them per game.

9. Ryan Tannehill, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets

10. Marcus Mariota, Tennessee at San Diego ... Mariota has multiple touchdowns in six games, tied with Matt Ryan for the NFL lead.

11. Russell Wilson, Seattle vs. Buffalo ... Wilson hasn’t thrown a touchdown pass in three consecutive games.

12. Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh at Baltimore ... Roethlisberger (knee) may return this week in a huge divisional matchup, but he has been held in check at Baltimore throughout his career with just seven passing TDs in eight games there.

13. Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia

14. Joe Flacco, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

15. Blake Bortles, Jacksonville at Kansas City ... Bortles had perhaps the worst 337-yard, three-touchdown game known to man last week.

16. Trevor Siemian, Denver at Oakland

17. Sam Bradford, Minnesota vs. Detroit

18. Nick Foles, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville ... Foles will get the start with Alex Smith (concussion) out.

19. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

20. Colin Kaepernick, San Francisco vs. New Orleans

Running backs

1. Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas at Cleveland ... Cleveland allows the second-most rushing yards per game (143.8) and Dallas is the first team to rush for at least 175 rushing yards in five consecutive games since 1986.

2. Devonta Freeman, Atlanta at Tampa Bay ... Huge upside, because this will be another Freeman-heavy game with Tevin Coleman (hamstring) out.

3. LeVeon Bell, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

4. DeMarco Murray, Tennessee at San Diego ... Murray (toe) will need to be monitored but should be good to go. Still, expect Derrick Henry to be mixed in more liberally this week and perhaps going forward, because Murray is on pace for 320 carries.

5. Devontae Booker, Denver at Oakland ... Booker (shoulder) will need to be monitored, sounds sore but good to go.

6. Spencer Ware, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville ... Ware (concussion) will need to be monitored.

7. Jay Ajayi, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets ... Strength vs. strength – Ajayi comes off historic back-to-back games of 200-plus yards rushing, but the Jets rank No. 1 against the run at 74 yards per game allowed.

8. Matt Forte, N.Y. Jets at Miami

9. Melvin Gordon, San Diego vs. Tennessee ... Tennessee has been No. 1 over its past three games, allowing just 56.3 yards rushing per game.

10. Todd Gurley, Los Angeles vs. Carolina ... Carolina allows the third-fewest rushing yards per game (80.1) and a league-low 3.3 yards per carry, although the volume will be there for Gurley, who averages 22.1 touches per game (seventh-most).

11. Carlos Hyde, San Francisco vs. New Orleans ... Hyde (shoulder) will need to be monitored, and if he plays he might not get a full workload.

12. Jonathan Stewart, Carolina at Los Angeles ... Stewart has returned in fine form, with 170 yards and four TDs in his past two games.

13. Christine Michael, Seattle vs. Buffalo

14. Tim Hightower, New Orleans at San Francisco ... Hightower should be busy after delivering last week following Mark Ingram’s in-game benching, and this week he gets a 49ers defense that allows the most rushing yards per game at 185.1 per game (and 244.7 over its past three games).

15. LeSean McCoy, Buffalo at Seattle ... This ranking assumes McCoy (hamstring) is ready to return this week.

16. Duke Johnson Jr., Cleveland vs. Dallas

17. Derrick Henry, Tennessee at San Diego ... With DeMarco Murray dinged and Henry’s talent look for the rookie to get more of a share of the workload.

18. Isaiah Crowell, Cleveland vs. Dallas ... Crowell was second in the NFL after four weeks in rushing yards, but in the four games since he is 34th-best among running backs at just 32.5 rushing yards per game while Dallas has allowed just three rushing TDs all season.

19. Matt Asiata, Minnesota vs. Detroit

20. Theo Riddick, Detroit at Minnesota

21. Frank Gore, Indianapolis at Green Bay

22. Terrance West, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh ... Pittsburgh allows the 3rd-most fantasy points to running backs per week, but will it be West or rookie Kenneth Dixon.

23. Mark Ingram, New Orleans at San Francisco ... Ingram was benched after another fumble, and there’s no reason to think the Saints won’t play Tim Hightower more after he popped for 100 yards last week. Against the 32nd-ranked 49ers’ run defense, though, both Hightower and Ingram have value.

24. Darren Sproles, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants ... There has been talk that Sproles will take over as the Eagles’ lead back, but regardless he should be heavily involved.

25. Charcandrick West, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville ... With Jamaal Charles on injured reserve, West will be more involved and could start if Spencer Ware (concussion) is unable to go. Jacksonville is the only team to allow a rushing touchdown in every game this season.

26. Latavius Murray, Oakland vs. Denver

27. C.J. Prosise, Seattle vs. Buffalo ... Prosise comes in off a four-catch game with 102 total yards from scrimmage.

28. Rashad Jennings, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia

29. Mike Gillislee, Buffalo at Seattle

30. Jerick McKinnon, Minnesota vs. Detroit ... McKinnon (ankle) is expected to return this week.

Wide receivers

1. Mike Evans, Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta

2. Julio Jones, Atlanta at Tampa Bay ... Jones averages 8.2 receptions, 120.2 yards and 0.8 TDs in his past five games against Tampa.

3. Odell Beckham Jr., N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia ... Beckham is averaging 143 receiving yards in his past three home games.

4. Donte Moncrief, Indianapolis at Green Bay

5. Jarvis Landry, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets ... Landry is a good bet for a big week against the Jets, who allow the most fantasy points to opposing wide receivers. Landry accounts for 33 percent of the Dolphins’ receptions (the highest rate in the league).

6. Davante Adams, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis ... With 25 receptions in two weeks, Adams vaults to WR17 on the season (on pace for 91 receptions, 969 yards and 11 TDs).

7. Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

8. Dez Bryant, Dallas at Cleveland ... It’s a crazy stat, but Bryant has scored a touchdown in 14 straight games against AFC opponents, which is the longest streak for a touchdown in inter-conference play since the 1970 AFL/NFL merger.

9. Ty Montgomery, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis ... Montgomery missed last week because of his sickle cell trait, and his status for Week 9 remains TBD. He has high upside if he plays, and we’re guessing he does.

10. Brandin Cooks, New Orleans at San Francisco

11. Jordy Nelson, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis

12. Brandon Marshall, N.Y. Jets at Miami ... Marshall is on pace for just four touchdowns this season, but he could get one here returning to face his former team. It is a different Jets offense now, but Marshall had 16 receptions, 259 yards and 2 touchdowns in two games against Miami last year.

13. Emmanuel Sanders, Denver at Oakland

14. Terrelle Pryor, Cleveland vs. Dallas ... NFL-QB-turned-receiver Pryor is on pace to crack 1,000 yards, racking up another 100-yard day in Week 8, on 13 targets.

15. Kelvin Benjamin, Carolina at Los Angeles

16. Mike Wallace, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh ... Wallace gets some juice in this week’s rankings in a revenge matchup against his former team, the Steelers.

17. Demaryius Thomas, Denver at Oakland

18. Michael Thomas, New Orleans at San Francisco

19. Cole Beasley, Dallas at Cleveland

20. Doug Baldwin, Seattle vs. Buffalo

21. Stefon Diggs, Minnesota vs. Detroit

22. Tyrell Williams, San Diego vs. Tennessee ... With Travis Benjamin perhaps out (sprained PCL) plus Hunter Henry questionable, Williams should be a good candidate for heavy volume.

23. Amari Cooper, Oakland vs. Denver

24. Michael Crabtree, Oakland vs. Denver

25. Willie Snead, New Orleans at San Francisco

26. Jordan Matthews, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

27. Randall Cobb, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis ... Cobb (hamstring) will need to be monitored but doesn’t sound 100 percent.

28. Kenny Stills, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets ... The Jets have been hammered on long pass plays, so Stills and/or DeVante Parker could definitely hit.

29. Jeremy Maclin, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville

30. Tavon Austin, Los Angeles vs. Carolina

31. Mohamed Sanu, Atlanta at Tampa Bay

32. Quincy Enunwa, N.Y. Jets at Miami

33. Allen Robinson, Jacksonville at Kansas City

34. T.Y. Hilton, Indianapolis at Green Bay ... Hilton (hamstring) was knocked out of last week’s game and will need to be monitored but early reports aren’t overly promising.

35. DeVante Parker, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets ... The Jets have been hammered on long pass plays, so Parker and/or Kenny Stills could definitely hit.

36. Kendall Wright, Tennessee at San Diego

37. Kenny Britt, Los Angeles vs. Carolina

38. Golden Tate, Detroit at Minnesota

39. Tyreek Hill, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville ... Fresh off his first 100-yard game, the good times could continue this week with Nick Foles at quarterback. Foles is likely to take more deep shots than Alex Smith.

40. Allen Hurns, Jacksonville at Kansas City

Tight ends

1. Greg Olsen, Carolina at Los Angeles

2. Travis Kelce, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville

3. Kyle Rudolph, Minnesota vs. Detroit ... No team allows more fantasy points per game to tight ends than Detroit.

4. Delanie Walker, Tennessee at San Diego

5. Jimmy Graham, Seattle vs. Buffalo

6. Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Tennessee

7. Jack Doyle, Indianapolis at Green Bay

8. Austin Hooper, Atlanta at Tampa Bay ... Hooper is an intriguing Week 9 streamer against a weak Tampa Bay pass defense. He’ll get the start with Jacob Tamme (shoulder) out.

9. Gary Barnidge, Cleveland vs. Dallas ... Perhaps this is the week Barnidge finally scores, as Dallas allows the sixth-most fantasy points per game to opposing tight ends.

10. Jason Witten, Dallas at Cleveland

11. Hunter Henry, San Diego vs. Tennessee

12. Coby Fleener, New Orleans at San Francisco ... The question is, will the Saints go back to him more or continue to liberally add in backup Josh Hill?

13. Dennis Pitta, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

14. Eric Ebron, Detroit at Minnesota

15. Cameron Brate, Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta

16. Virgil Green, Denver at Oakland

17. Zach Ertz, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

18. Lance Kendricks, Los Angeles vs. Carolina ... Kendricks could be a cheap sleeper at home against Carolina, which allows the third-most fantasy points to opposing tight ends.

19. Julius Thomas, Jacksonville at Kansas City

20. Jesse James, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

Kickers

1. Mason Crosby, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis

2. Cairo Santos, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville

3. Justin Tucker, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

4. Dan Bailey, Dallas at Cleveland

5. Will Lutz, New Orleans at San Francisco

6. Steven Hauschka, Seattle vs. Buffalo

7. Matt Bryant, Atlanta at Tampa Bay

8. Josh Lambo, San Diego vs. Tennessee

9. Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis at Green Bay

10. Blair Walsh, Minnesota vs. Detroit

11. Brandon McManus, Denver at Oakland

12. Graham Gano, Carolina at Los Angeles

13. Caleb Sturgis, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

14. Robbie Gould, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia

15. Ryan Succop, Tennessee at San Diego

16. Greg Zuerlein, Los Angeles vs. Carolina

17. Phil Dawson, San Francisco vs. New Orleans

18. Andrew Franks, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets

19. Chris Boswell, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

20. Nick Folk, N.Y. Jets at Miami

Defenses

1. Kansas City DT, Kansas City vs. Jacksonville

2. Minnesota DT, Minnesota vs. Detroit

3. Seattle DT, Seattle vs. Buffalo

4. Carolina DT, Carolina at Los Angeles

5. Denver DT, Denver at Oakland

6. Miami DT, Miami vs. N.Y. Jets

7. San Diego DT, San Diego vs. Tennessee

8. Dallas DT, Dallas at Cleveland

9. Philadelphia DT, Philadelphia at N.Y. Giants

10. Baltimore DT, Baltimore vs. Pittsburgh

11. Green Bay DT, Green Bay vs. Indianapolis

12. Detroit DT, Detroit at Minnesota

13. Oakland DT, Oakland vs. Denver

14. New Orleans DT, New Orleans at San Francisco

15. New York Giants DT, N.Y. Giants vs. Philadelphia

16. Tennessee DT, Tennessee at San Diego

17. New York Jets DT, N.Y. Jets at Miami

18. Los Angeles DT, Los Angeles vs. Carolina

19. Pittsburgh DT, Pittsburgh at Baltimore

20. Buffalo DT, Buffalo at Seattle

Alan Satterlee is a co-owner and senior writer for DynastyFootballWarehouse.com, a comprehensive fantasy football strategy site.

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