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September 30, 2008

Fantasy Football Week 9 WR Rankings


1. Andre Johnson (HOU) – If he could just find the end zone, Johnson’s fantasy numbers would be off the charts because he is racking up receptions and yardage totals at a record pace. Johnson has had no fewer than 9 receptions and 131 receiving yards in his last 4 games with 41 total receptions for 593 yards and 2 TD’s during that stretch. He is an obvious must start in week 9 against a mediocre Vikings secondary.

2. Larry Fitzgerald (ARI) – He is the consummate fantasy WR ranking in the top 5 in every statistical category imaginable at his position. Fitzgerald should be money once again in week 9 against a shaky 26th ranked Rams pass defense. The Cardinals should be bombs away in this match up with Fitzgerald as the biggest beneficiary. As a side note, the return of Anquan Boldin has shown no ill effects on Fitzgerald’s fantasy production. In fact, the numbers show that Fitzgerald is actually more productive when Boldin is also in the line up.

3. Brandon Marshall (DEN) – He hasn’t managed to maintain the break neck pace in which he began the season, but Marshall has still been one of fantasy football’s more productive wide outs. He should excel again in week 9 with a very favorable match up against Miami. The Dolphins pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL ranking 25th. In addition, they have given up the second most pass plays of over 20 yards in the NFL with 25 and the third most pass plays of over 40 yards with 6. This match up definitely plays into Marshall’s strength which is making the big play. Start him! Check injury report: groin

4. Lee Evans (BUF) – He is tearing it up lately and has yet another favorable match up against the Jets 23rd ranked pass defense in week 9. Evans has made a rich tradition out of torching the Jets secondary. He had 11 receptions for 210 yards and a TD against them in 2 games last season and 10 receptions for 198 yards and a score in 2 combined games against them in ’06. Even his worst game against the Jets over the last 2 seasons was solid with 6 catches for 72 yards. He is hot and this match up bodes extremely well. Get him in your fantasy line up.

5. Roddy White (ATL) – At this point we are starting to think that there isn’t a secondary on earth that can keep up with this guy. He continues to embarrass every CB he faces on a weekly basis. That said, he might have his biggest test of the season in week 9 against shut down corner Nnamdi Asomugha, but we have little doubt that White will come out on top. Besides, the Raiders pass defense as a whole is pretty bad and the Falcons will move him around to create better match ups. He is a must start with 25 receptions for 357 yards and 4 TD’s in his last 3 games.

6. Anquan Boldin (ARI) – When a guy can miss two games before the halfway point in the season and still lead the NFL in receiving TD’s, you know he is good. Boldin is a must start against a poor St. Louis secondary. He should see plenty of red zone targets as Kurt Warner’s go to receiver inside the 20’s.

7. Bernard Berrian (MIN) – “Old Butterfingers” as we affectionately refer to him has been on fire since Gus Frerotte took over the QB duties for the Vikings. In his last 3 games, Berrian is averaging 107 yards per game and a TD. We see no reason why Berrian should not continue his hot streak in week 9 against a middle of the road Houston pass defense. He is finally proving why he commands the big bucks and he is actually starting to hang onto the ball. If he keeps it up, we will be forced to give his nick name to Braylon Edwards who is probably more deserving of it right now.

8. Reggie Wayne (IND) – In spite of his recent shortcomings, Wayne remains a must start fantasy option when healthy. Unfortunately, his health could be an issue heading into week 9 as Wayne is battling a knee injury. If he is able to play, we expect him to rebound nicely this week. He was double and triple teamed against the Packers and we knew last week could be trouble for him matching up against Cortland Finnegan, but New England doesn’t have the personnel in the secondary this year to keep up with him. Monitor his status heading into Sunday and if he looks good to go, get him on your roster. Check injury report: knee

9. Randy Moss (NE) – While it is promising to see Moss looking more like Moss in recent weeks, you also need to take into account the quality of the pass defenses he faced in those games. Denver, St. Louis, and San Francisco aren’t exactly the cream of the crop in pass defense. It will be much tougher for him in week 9 against a Colts pass defense that ranks 2nd in the NFL and has only allowed 2 passing TD’s all season. Despite the poor match up, Moss is still the best WR on the planet and we like the developing chemistry between himself and QB Matt Cassel. We also like the fact that Moss torched the Colts for 145 yards and a TD last season. Check injury report: foot

10. Greg Jennings (GB) – He is as talented as they come and more than likely your flagship WR for fantasy, but in all honesty his week 9 match up is a bit scary. Jennings will probably be matched up against Titans shut down CB Cortland Finnegan for most of the game and that is not exactly promising news. Finnegan has already shut down or limited the likes of Reggie Wayne, Andre Johnson, and T.J. Housmandzadeh just to name a few. Check their numbers against the Titans if you don’t believe us, but Finnegan is the real deal. That said, we never count Jennings out in any match up and he is impossible to bench, but don’t be surprised if he doesn’t have his usual big game in week 9.

11. Laveranues Coles (NYJ) – He isn’t going to get you 3 TD’s every week, but Coles is always a candidate to find the end zone, and even when he doesn’t, he still manages solid numbers week in and week out. He will face a pretty good Buffalo pass defense in week 9, so a huge game isn’t likely, but it’s always possible with QB Brett Favre targeting him often. Check injury report: thigh

12. Santana Moss (WAS) – He is officially back on track with 215 receiving yards and 2 TD’s in his last 2 games, but the resurgence could be short lived against the NFL’s top ranked pass defense in week 9. Moss will have his work cut out for him against Pittsburgh, and he is a bit risky with this match up, but he should be up for the challenge on the big Monday night stage. You can’t bench a guy with hot hands against anyone. Keep him active. Check injury report: hamstring

13. Calvin Johnson (DET) – He was all but absent the last time he faced the Bears back in week 5, but things have changed a lot since week 5. For one, Roy Williams is out of the equation this time around having moved on to Dallas. Secondly, the Lions passing attack has improved every week with Dan Orlovsky. And finally, Johnson has at least 57 receiving yards and a TD in every game since week 5. Plus, the Chicago pass defense has progressively gotten worse in recent weeks and they currently rank just 29th in the NFL. At the very least, Johnson should have solid numbers in round 2 of this match up.

14. Donnie Avery (STL) – The speedy rookie has been on fire with 291 receiving yards and 2 TD’s over the last 3 weeks. Avery should prove to be valuable once again with a favorable week 9 match up against Arizona. The Cardinals rank 21st in pass defense and have allowed a league worst 14 passing TD’s this season.

15. Dwayne Bowe (KC) – He might just have something going with 3rd string QB Tyler Thigpen. In the 2 games in which Thigpen has started, Bowe has accumulated 10 receptions for 145 yards and a TD. Hopefully, this will be a continuing trend, but it won’t be easy against Tampa Bay’s 7th ranked pass defense in week 9. That said, the Bucs secondary is susceptible to giving up big plays in the passing game having allowed 10 TD’s through the air and 18 pass plays over 20 yards.

16. Jerricho Cotchery (NYJ) – He doesn’t have the best of match ups against a fairly solid Bills pass defense, but you have to like his chances coming off of a 9 catch 102 yards performance in week 8. In addition, Cotchery was solid in both games against Buffalo last season. He should be targeted early and often in this match up. Check injury report: shoulder

17. DeSean Jackson (PHI) – He has more competition than ever for Donovan McNabb’s attention, but Jackson’s big play ability makes him almost impossible to bench, especially with a promising week 9 match up in wait. Jackson should put up impressive numbers against a lousy Seattle secondary. The Seahawks rank 30th in pass defense and have allowed 11 passing TD’s on the season. Check injury report: shoulder

18. Plaxico Burress (NYG) – While he is certainly capable of dominating a beat up Dallas secondary in week 9, you probably shouldn’t count on it. Dallas coach Wade Phillips has already stated that he plans to blanket Burress with double coverage throughout the game. This is nothing new for Burress, but he has struggled in recent weeks against the double team. After getting hammered by Burress for 144 yards and 3 TD’s in a week 1 match up last season, the Cowboys were able to confine him to a modest 4 catches for 24 yards in their second meeting by using the double team strategy. This one could go either way, but based on Burress’ shaky play of late, don’t bet on a huge performance.

19. Braylon Edwards (CLE) – He still isn’t putting up ’07 type numbers, but he is slowly but surely returning to form. Edwards will have a tough week 9 match up against Baltimore’s 3rd ranked pass defense, but he had 182 receiving yards and a TD in 2 games against them last season. Edwards only managed 3 catches for 27 yards against the Ravens in a match up earlier this season, but he has seen much improvement since that time.

20. Hines Ward (PIT) – While he was pretty much non existent in week 8, you can’t expect him to stay quiet for long. It won’t be easy against a respectable Washington pass defense, but Ward should rebound nicely in this match up. He is a red zone favorite for Ben Roethlisberger and the return of Santonio Holmes this week should take some of the pressure off of him. We like Ward’s chances in week 9. As a side note, Ward’s 5 TD receptions tie him for second in the NFL.

21. Wes Welker (NE) – He doesn’t have the best of match ups against the Colts 2nd ranked pass defense, but that could actually play in his favor. Due to the Colts pressure off the ends and stingy play defending the deep ball, QB Matt Cassel will probably have to lean heavily on the short passing game. That means that Welker can likely expect a lot of targets in this match up. At the very least, you can expect another solid effort as he is about as consistent as they come. He had 5 catches for 38 yards and a TD against Indianapolis last season.

22. Steve Breaston (ARI) – He may be third fiddle with Anquan Boldin back, but there is obviously more than enough to go around in the pass heavy Arizona offense. He is given no indication of slowing down and a promising match up against St. Louis’ 26th ranked pass defense bodes well.

23. T.J. Houshmandzadeh (CIN) – While he is far from the fantasy monster he was with Carson Palmer under center, Houshmandzadeh remains a solid fantasy option in PPR leagues. He is 2nd in the NFL with 54 receptions and produces decent yardage totals on a consistent basis. That said, it is only a matter of time before he gets into the end zone even with Ryan Fitzpatrick at QB. There are no guarantees that it will happen in week 9, but the chances are better than average against a Jacksonville pass defense that has already allowed 12 TD’s through the air in 7 games this season.

24. Matt Jones (JAX) – It appears as though Jones will be on the field again Sunday as the NFL has yet to address his suspension appeal. This is once again good news for the Jaguars and fantasy owners alike as Jones is really starting to heat up. In his last 2 games, he has 15 receptions for 186 yards and a TD. You can expect him to be the go to guy again in week 9 with the Jacksonville receiving corps depleted by injuries. He will face a Bengals pass defense that has allowed a whopping 13 passing TD’s so far this season.

25. Eddie Royal (DEN) – He is obviously a hit or miss fantasy prospect based on his numbers to date. That said, we like his chances with a favorable week 9 match up against Miami. The Dolphins currently rank just 25th in the NFL against the pass and they have allowed the second most pass plays over 20 yards in the NFL.

26. Terrell Owens (DAL) – Owens was a monster in both games in which he faced the Giants last season, but that was last season, and he had Tony Romo throwing him the football. That will not be the case this time around with Brad Johnson under center for the Cowboys in week 9. While Owens is an elite caliber WR and he obviously knows how to get around the Giants secondary, he is a long shot to do any major damage so long as Brad Johnson is throwing him the football.

27. Santonio Holmes (PIT) – He will return in week 9 after serving a one game team issued suspension. While Holmes has yet to put up monster numbers, he has shown respectable, yet modest, progress in recent weeks. He is always a big play threat and should be able to put up solid numbers against a decent Redskins secondary. As a side note, Holmes typically plays well in Monday night games, and that should be the case again in week 9, so long as he can lay off the weed.

28. Kevin Walter (HOU) – The problem with Walter in fantasy is that he either goes big or goes bust, and you can never really be sure when that is going to happen. For that reason, he is never a safe option, but with his big game potential it is hard to sit him at this point. At the very least it is promising to know that Walter has a favorable week 9 match up against a mediocre Vikings secondary. If you are low on WR options, he is definitely worth the risk. If not, you are probably better served playing it safe. Check injury report: knee

29. Antonio Bryant (TB) – In spite of Joey Galloway’s return, Bryant should continue to see plenty of targets. He is fairly inconsistent in his fantasy production, but obviously capable of putting up quality numbers any week. He should be solid against a middle of the road Chiefs secondary in week 9, but the Bucs will likely lean heavy towards the run with this match up if they are smart.

30. Devin Hester (CHI) – While the Bears receiving corps is pretty crowded these days, it is pretty clear that at least one Bear WR will have a big week 9, and Hester is the most likely candidate. Detroit has arguably the worst secondary in all of football giving up 259 passing yards per game. They have also allowed 12 TD’s through the air in 7 games with only 1 interception to their credit. Hester is risky being just one of many capable WR’s in the Bears arsenal, but he is the most dangerous. If healthy, Hester could be a difference maker in week 9.

31. Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson (CIN) – He is only managing to put up modest fantasy numbers most weeks, but he does sprinkle in the occasional TD. While you shouldn’t expect monster numbers, week 9 is favorable for a TD. Johnson will face a Jaguar pass defense that has allowed 12 passing TD’s in just 7 games.

32. Greg Camarillo (MIA) – He is Chad Pennington’s favorite target and it doesn’t get much better than a week 9 match up against Denver. The Broncos pass defense is one of the worst in the NFL and they didn’t get any better losing their best CB Champ Bailey to injury. Camarillo could put up impressive numbers with this match up.

33. Torry Holt (STL) – While his numbers are pretty bad on the road, Holt has been fairly productive at home. He has a favorable week 9 match up against a Cardinals pass defense that has allowed 14 passing TD’s through the air in 7 games. Holt could also benefit from the emergence of fellow Rams WR Donnie Avery who is on fire. Opposing secondaries are going to have to start paying more attention to Avery, which should alleviate some of the pressure on Holt.

34. Amani Toomer (NYG) – He should benefit greatly from the Cowboys plan to double team Plaxico Burress in week 9. Toomer is a decent fantasy option against a beat up Dallas secondary.

35. Derrick Mason (BAL) – He is coming off of a miserable week 8 performance, but Mason almost always bounces back. He has a pretty good track record overall against Cleveland and should put up much better numbers against them than he did back in week 3. QB Joe Flacco has come a long way since then.

36. Donald Driver (GB) – He is always dangerous, but his steady decline in both targets and production scare us a bit, especially in a tough week 9 match up against the Titans on the road.

37. Marvin Harrison (IND) – While it is difficult to rely on him at this point, you never know when he might break out with a big game. Harrison has a history of torching the Patriots and he could be especially useful if Reggie Wayne is out because of a knee injury. As you already know, Harrison is very risky, but a week 9 start could pay off.

38. Kevin Curtis (PHI) – He wasn’t especially productive in his 2008 debut in week 8, but then again, he wasn’t expected to be. He has a much better shot at solid fantasy production in week 9. Curtis will face a very bad Seattle pass defense.

39. Joey Galloway (TB) – He will try and prove that he still has something to offer fantasy owners with a pretty good week 9 match up against a middle of the road Kansas City pass defense. He can be dangerous, but you might want to give him one more week to be on the safe side.

40. Ted Ginn (MIA) –He came up big in week 8 and he has an even better week 9 match up against Denver. He is capable of duplicating or bettering his week 8 totals with this match up, but Ginn has never been able to sustain much success. He has had big games here and there in the past, usually followed up by bad ones. He is a high risk – high reward fantasy prospect for week 9.

41. Roy Williams (DAL) – He managed to score his first TD as a Cowboy in week 8, but he still has a ways to go to get back to fantasy prominence with his new team. Williams should be a real threat when Romo returns, but until then, he is not a safe bet.

42. Rashied Davis (CHI) – He should make for a solid bye week fill in. The Bears have a crowded receiving corps, but Davis is the healthiest of them all, and he has an excellent match up against Detroit. Davis had 6 catches for 97 yards against the Lions in week 5.

43. Reggie Brown (PHI) – He is the forgotten man in fantasy football, but Brown is expected to return in week 9, and a promising match up against a shaky Seattle secondary awaits him. Brown should make for a decent start given the match up, but targets will be hard to come by with DeSean Jackson, Brian Westbrook, and Kevin Curtis all active. Check injury report: groin

44. Nate Washington (PIT) – He has a TD in 3 consecutive games with no less than 57 receiving yards during that stretch, but his fantasy value is limited with the week 9 return of Santonio Holmes.

45. Anthony Gonzalez (IND) – He could be of real value if Reggie Wayne is forced to miss week 9 with a knee injury.

46. Bobby Wade (MIN) – He isn’t going to make your week, but he should be of help if you are low on WR options for week 9.

47. Justin Gage (TEN) – He should be much better than he was in week 8. Gage could prove useful as a bye week fill in.

48. Brandon Stokley (DEN) – He is expected to play and he is a sufficient bye week fill in against a shaky Dolphins secondary. Check injury report: concussion

49. Donte’ Stallworth (CLE) – He finally made a legitimate contribution by finding the end zone in week 8, but Stallworth is going to have to do more to make believers out of us. Check injury report: quad

50. Mark Bradley (KC) – While he is a long shot for week 9, he was impressive last week against the Jets scoring a TD. Bradley could be a decent sleeper pick, but still very risky.

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