Fantasy Football Quarterback Start/Sit Rankings (Week 9)

*Any additional updates that are necessary will be posted no later than Saturday in the final Week 9 (2009) rankings.

1. Tom Brady (NE) – With 688 passing yards and 9 TD passes in his last 2 games, it is safe to say that Brady has completely returned to top flight form. He should continue his dominance in week 9 against a very inexperienced Miami secondary that features two rookie starters at CB and another rookie corner in nickel situations. With the extra week to prepare, you can count on Brady to pick apart the Dolphin secondary in week 9.

2. Peyton Manning (IND) – He may have started a new streak of 300 yard passing games in week 8, but he also ended a season long TD streak, failing to find the end zone even once in a close battle with San Francisco. Manning should get back on track in that regard in week 9 against a suspect Houston secondary. The Texans rank mid pack in the NFL in terms of pass defense, but they have yet to face a passing attack quite as potent as the Colts all season and they should be no match for Manning and company. Manning has no less than 2 TD passes in his last 3 games against Houston while averaging 293 passing yards per game in those match ups.

3. Aaron Rodgers (GB) – He seems to get better by the week and he should be exceptional in week 9 against Tampa Bay. While the Bucs rank a respectable 15th in the NFL in pass defense, that ranking is not indicative of how bad this secondary really is. Tampa has given up 16 TDs through the air in just 7 games and the Chiefs are the only team in the league that has given up more pass plays of 40 yards or longer. Rodgers should also benefit from the Packers revamped offensive line this week that will feature the return of OTs Chad Clifton and Mark Tauscher from injury. Both players are excellent in pass protection and should provide Rodgers with plenty of time in the pocket for the first time all season. While it is worth noting that Rodgers is suffering from a slight ankle sprain on one foot and a sprained toe on the other, he is not expected to be significantly limited by the injuries. The only fantasy risk is that Coach Mike McCarthy could decide to sit him earlier than usual to prevent further wear and tear, but that is not a certainty and will only happen if they jump out to a big lead. Regardless, Rodgers can do plenty of damage against this defense in just 2 or 3 quarters. He is a must start. Check injury report: foot (probable)

4. Drew Brees (NO) – He could be challenged a bit in week 9 by the Panthers top ranked pass defense, but Brees should easily come out on top in this match up, especially playing at home. The last time he faced Carolina in the Super Dome, Brees threw for 386 yards and 4 TDs. While you probably can’t expect him to match those totals against a much improved Panthers secondary in week 9, Brees should be great and we wouldn’t bet against a big game.

5. Donovan McNabb (PHI) – He was very impressive in week 8 en route to a 240 yard, 3 TD performance against the Giants 3rd ranked pass defense. In fact, it’s safe to say that he hasn’t looked better all season. In week 9, McNabb will face another familiar division rival, the Dallas Cowboys. If McNabb can perform at the same level he did in week 8 and we believe he can, he should easily carve up a suspect Dallas secondary. The Cowboys rank just 22nd in the NFL in pass defense and have been very generous to opposing QBs throughout the season. Consider McNabb a solid QB1 for his Sunday night match up at home.

6. Phillip Rivers (SD) – He has been hit or miss throughout much of the season, but we like his chances for a quality performance in week 9 against the Giants. While the Giants currently rank an impressive 3rd in the NFL in pass defense, they have not exactly been at their best of late giving up 8 TDs through the air in their last 3 games, including 3 TDs just last week to Donovan McNabb. Rivers is coming off of his worst fantasy performance of the season in week 8 against Oakland, but that is not exactly a bad thing as he has a tendency to back up poor performances with solid efforts the following week. Rivers should prove worthy as a QB1 in week 9.

7. Tony Romo (DAL) – He could be in for a stiff challenge in week 9 on the road in Philadelphia, but you still have to like his chances from a fantasy football perspective. Especially when you consider that the Cowboys passing game has been hitting on all cylinders the last few weeks with the emergence of WR Miles Austin. In his last 3 games since Austin has joined the Cowboys starting line up, Romo has thrown for 918 yards, 8 TDs and no interceptions (not too shabby). There is some risk given Romo’s inexplicable roller coaster of a track record against the Eagles over the years, but odds are that this will be one of his better games against them. It should be a shootout.

8. Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) – He should be one of the better fantasy options at the QB position in week 9 with an extremely favorable match up against the Lions. Detroit ranks just 27th in the NFL against the pass and only the Titans give up more fantasy points to opposing QBs than Detroit. The Seahawks are shaky up front in pass protection, but that should not be a major issue and it would not be surprising to see Hasselbeck’s name atop fantasy leader boards at week’s end. Consider him QB1 material with the promising match up at home in week 9. Check injury report: rib (probable)

9. Matt Schaub (HOU) – He is not coming off of one of his better games and a week 9 match up against Indianapolis on the road could prove difficult, especially without star TE Owen Daniels. That said, this match up did get a bit easier as the week has progressed. The Colts announced that they will be without three key members of their secondary in week 9. CBs Kelvin Hayden and Marlin Jackson have knee injuries and star safety Bob Sanders is gone for the season with a torn biceps tendon. This does help Schaub’s fantasy value for this match up and he is a solid QB1 option, but while the Indy secondary is now somewhat inexperienced due to the injuries; they are still fairly stout and this may not be a cakewalk.

10. Jay Cutler (CHI) – He has been a tremendous disappointment in each of his last 2 games and you would not be in the wrong for going in a different direction this week, but we are optimistic that Cutler will get things going again in week 9 against a soft Cardinals pass defense. This is actually an interesting match up because like Cutler, the Arizona secondary loves to gamble and they each get burned on occasion because of it. Cutler will probably throw an interception and maybe even 2, but he should make up for it with a nice yardage total and a couple of trips to the end zone.

11. Kurt Warner (ARI) - @ CHI
12. Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) - @ DEN
13. David Garrard (JAC) – vs. KC
14. Joe Flacco (BAL) - @ CIN
15. Carson Palmer (CIN) – vs. BAL
16. Alex Smith (SF) – vs. TEN
17. Matt Cassel (KC) - @ JAC
18. Matt Ryan (ATL) – vs. WAS
19. Kyle Orton (DEN) – vs. PIT
20. Eli Manning (NYG) – vs. SD
21. Jason Campbell (WAS) - @ ATL
22. Vince Young (TEN) - @ SF
23. Matt Stafford (DET) - @ SEA – Check injury report: knee (probable)
24. Chad Henne (MIA) - @ NE
25. Jake Delhomme (CAR) - @ NO – Check injury report: chest (probable)
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