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Here’s my Week 9 running back rankings. Keep in mind that the Broncos, Jaguars, Niners, Rams, Redskins, and Titans are on bye.

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1. Adrian Peterson vs. Arizona
2. Arian Foster @ San Diego
3. LeSean McCoy vs. Indianapolis
4. Darren McFadden vs. Kansas City
5. Michael Turner vs. Tampa Bay
6. Jamaal Charles vs. Oakland
7. Matt Forte @ Buffalo
8. Rashard Mendenhall @ Cincinnati
9. Ray Rice vs. Miami
10. LaDainian Tomlinson @ Detroit
11. Ahmad Bradshaw @ Seattle
12. Thomas Jones @ Oakland
13. LeGarrette Blount vs. Atlanta
14. BenJarvus Green-Ellis @ Cleveland
15. Jahvid Best vs. New York Jets
16. Cedric Benson vs. Pittsburgh
17. Beanie Wells vs. Minnesota
18. Fred Jackson vs. Chicago
19. Peyton Hillis vs. New England
20. Ryan Mathews vs. Houston
21. Felix Jones vs. Green Bay
22. Marshawn Lynch vs. New York Giants
23. Shonn Greene vs. Detroit
24. Brandon Jacobs @ Seattle
25. Ronnie Brown @ Baltimore
26. Brandon Jackson vs. Dallas
27. Tim Hightower @ Minnesota
28. Danny Woodhead @ Cleveland
29. Ricky Williams @ Baltimore
30. Mike Tolbert vs. Houston

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Inside the numbers:

  • It doesn’t matter who he’s playing or how bad the rest of the offense looks, Adrian Peterson is a man possessed. I don’t think there is any doubt who the best RB in football is.
  • Matt Forte has not been stellar on the ground, but he should do damage against Buffalo’s league worst run defense (188.7 rushing yards allowed per game). Throw in his work in the receiving game, and you’re looking at a top ten play this week.
  • The Raiders are a little better at run defense this year, but both Jamaal Charles and Thomas Jones are good plays this week.
  • Minnesota is a far cry from the run stopper they’ve been in recent years. I have no problem using Beanie Wells as a RB2.
  • Shonn Greene should get more work against Detroit, making him a low end RB2 or a solid flex play.

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Here are my Week 9 fantasy football quarterback rankings. Remember the Broncos, Jaguars, Niners, Rams, Redskins, and Titans are on bye.
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1. Philip Rivers @ Houston
2. Aaron Rodgers vs. Dallas
3. Tom Brady @ Cleveland
4. Drew Brees @ Carolina
5. Peyton Manning @ Philadelphia
6.  Eli Manning @ Seattle
7. Matt Schaub vs. San Diego
8. Ben Roethlisberger @ Cincinnati
9. Michael Vick vs. Indianapolis
10. Matt Ryan vs. Tampa Bay
11. Matt Cassel @ Oakland
12. Jay Cutler @ Buffalo
13. Josh Freeman @ Atlanta
14. Brett Favre vs. Arizona
15. Joe Flacco vs. Miami
16. Mark Sanchez @ Detroit
17. Carson Palmer vs. Pittsburgh
18. Jon Kitna @ Green Bay
19. Matthew Stafford vs. New York Jets
20. Ryan Fitzpatrick vs. Chicago
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Inside the numbers:

  • I thought Dallas’ defense would respond to Romo’s injury. It didn’t happen. It’s Aaron Rodgers’ turn to destroy them this week.
  • Seattle is 29th against the pass allowing 267.7 yards per game. Look for Eli to shred them.
  • I’m expecting Michael Vick to play this week coming out of the bye. I’m not sure if his mobility will be limited, so I’m being a little conservative based upon how he’s performed to date.
  • Atlanta is allowing 260.3 passing yards per game and a 69.2 completion percentage. Josh Freeman is a borderline QB1 this week.
  • I expect Brett Favre to overcome his latest newest injury.
  • Matthew Stafford was brilliant last week, but the Jets will present a much stiffer test.

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Here’s my Week 8 IDP rankings.

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1. Jerod Mayo (NE) vs. MIN:  45 tackles in past three games.
2. Stephen Tulloch (TEN) @ SD:  58 tackles in past five games.
3. Chad Greenway (MIN) vs. NE:  34 tackles in past three games.
4. Brian Cushing (HOU) @ INDY:  17 tackles in past two games.
5. LaRon Landry (WAS) @ DET:  Averaging 9.7 tackles per game this year.
6. Lawrence Timmons (PIT) @ NOL  Averaging 10.3 tackles per game this year.
7. London Fletcher (WAS) @ DET:  Averaging 9.7 tackles per game this year.
8. A.J. Hawk (GB) @ NYJ:  45 tackles in past four games.
9. Patrick Willis (SF) vs. DEN:  Recorded second double-digit tackle game of season.
10. James Anderson (CAR) @ STL:  Averaging ten tackles per game.
11. D.J. Williams (DEN) @ SF:  Averaging nine tackles per game.
12. Jon Beason (CAR) @ STL
13. DeMarcus Ware (DAL) vs. JAX:  Has 27 tackles and eight sacks on the year.
14. Paul Posluszny (BUF) @ KC:  Averaging 9.5 tackles per game this year.
15. James Harrison (PIT) @ NO:  44 tackles and five sacks on the year.

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    Here’s my Week 8 team defense rankings.

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    1. Dallas  vs. Jacksonville
    2. Kansas City vs. Buffalo
    3. Tampa Bay @ Arizona
    4. Washington @ Detroit
    5. New York Jets vs. Green Bay
    6. Pittsburgh @ New Orleans
    7. Denver @ San Francisco
    8. St. Louis vs. Carolina
    9. San Francisco vs. Denver
    10. Seattle @ Oakland
    11. Cincinnati vs. Miami
    12. New England vs. Minnesota
    13. Tennessee @ San Diego
    14. Carolina @ St. Louis
    15. Miami @ Cincinnati

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    Inside the numbers:

    • Jacksonville is one of two teams, along with Chicago, that has allowed at least 15 sacks with at least 11 INTs.
    • Arizona has allowed 21 sacks and has only managed 237.8 yards per game.
    • Carolina is dead last with 12.5 points per game. Every else has at least 16.1 ppg.
    • Tennessee is tied for the league with 25 sacks. They are facing the Chargers, who have lost 12 fumbles.

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    Here’s my Week 8 kicker rankings. Keep in mind that the Bears, Browns, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, and Ravens are on bye.

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    1. Mike Nugent vs. MIA:  Has 14 FGs. Dolphins have allowed 10.
    2. Sebastian Janikowski vs. SEA:  Leads league with 15 FGs. Seahawks have allowed 9.
    3. Rob Bironas @ SD:  Has 14 FGs, Chargers have allowed 12.
    4. Connor Barth @ ARI:  Barth has 10 FGs, Cardinals have allowed 16.
    5. Matt Prater@ SF:  Prater has 11 FGs, Niners have allowed 16.
    6. Nick Folk vs. GB:  Has 13 FGs. Green Bay has allowed 15 FGs.
    7. Josh Scobee @ DAL:  Has 13 FGs. Cowboys have allowed 11 FGs.
    8. Kris Brown vs. TENN:  2 FGs filling in for Kaeding. Titans have allowed 18 FGs.
    9. Dan Carpenter @ CIN:  Has 13 FGs, 7 from 40+ yards.
    10. Josh Brown vs. CAR:  Has 12 FGs. Panthers have allowed 13.
    11. Jason Hanson vs. WAS:  Has 11 FGs. Skins have allowed 12.
    12. Jeff Reed @ NO:  Has 11 FGs. Saints had 9 FGs.
    13. Neil Rackers @ IND:  Has 9 FGs. Colts have allowed 9 FGs.
    14. Mason Crosby @ NYJ:  Has 9 FGs, 5 from 40+ yards.
    15. John Kasay @ STL:  Rams have allowed 16 FGs.

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    Here’s my Week 8 tight end rankings.  Keep in mind that the Bears, Browns, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, and Ravens are on bye.

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    1. Antonio Gates vs. Tennessee
    2. Zach Miller vs. Seattle
    3. Vernon Davis vs. Denver
    4. Chris Cooley @ Detroit
    5. Jason Witten vs. Jacksonville
    6. Dustin Keller vs. Green Bay
    7. Kellen Winslow @ Arizona
    8. Aaron Hernandez vs. Minnesota
    9. Marcedes Lewis  @ Dallas
    10. Owen Daniels @ Indianapolis
    11. John Carlson @ Oakland
    12. Jermaine Gresham vs. Miami
    13. Brandon Pettigrew vs. Washington
    14. Heath Miller @ New Orleans
    15. Visanthe Shiancoe @ New England
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    Inside the numbers:

    • Antonio Gates played through his toe injury and scored yet another TD, bringing his total to eight on the year. I don’t know how you can place him anywhere other than #1 at this point.
    • Zach Miller has four TDs in his past five games.
    • Vernon Davis has scored in four straight games.
    • Jason Witten was active when Romo went down. Look for Jon Kitna to rely heavily on the talented TE.
    • Owen Daniels finally looked healthy, catching five passes for 79 yards against the Chiefs.
    • Shiancoe should have had a TD last week if it weren’t for poor officiating, but I’m not ready to label him TE1 just yet.

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    Here’s my Week 8 wide receiver rankings. Keep in mind that the Bears, Browns, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, and Ravens are on bye.

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    1. Reggie Wayne vs. Houston
    2. Andre Johnson @ Indianapolis
    3. Randy Moss @ New England
    4. Brandon Marshall @ Cincinnati
    5. Dwayne Bowe vs. Buffalo
    6. Greg Jennings @ New York Jets
    7. Calvin Johnson vs. Washington
    8. Terrell Owens vs. Miami
    9. Larry Fitzgerald vs. Tampa Bay
    10. Kenny Britt @ San Diego
    11. Wes Welker vs. Minnesota
    12. Miles Austin vs. Jacksonville
    13. Pierre Garcon vs. Houston
    14. Percy Harvin @ New England
    15. Mike Wallace @ New Orleans
    16. Chad Ochocinco vs. Miami
    17. Dez Bryant vs. Jacksonville
    18. Mike Williams (SEA) @ Oakland
    19. Marques Colston vs. Pittsburgh
    20. Hines Ward @ New Orleans
    21. Lance Moore vs. Pittsburgh
    22. Michael Crabtree vs. Denver
    23. Brandon Lloyd @ San Francisco
    24. Santana Moss @ Detroit
    25. Deion Branch vs. Minnesota
    26. Mike Williams (TB) @ Arizona
    27. Roy Williams vs. Jacksonville
    28. Steve Johnson @ Kansas City
    29. Davone Bess @ Cincinnati
    30. Steve Smith (CAR) @ St. Louis
    31. Braylon Edwards vs. Green Bay
    32. Blair White vs. Houston
    33. Mike Sims-Walker @ Dallas
    34. Lee Evans @ Kansas City
    35. Santonio Holmes vs. Green Bay
    36. Patrick Crayton vs. Tennessee
    37. Steve Breaston vs. Tampa Bay
    38. Kevin Walter @ Indianapolis
    39. Donald Driver @ New York Jets
    40. Jabar Gaffney @ San Francisco
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    Inside the numbers:

    • With Dallas Clark and Austin Collie out look for Pierre Garcon, Blair White, and possibly Anthony Gonzalez to step up for the Colts.
    • Randy Moss will be extra motivated to take on the Patriots.
    • Kenny Britt has scored in five straight games, including three last week against the Eagles.
    • Dwayne Bowe has four TDs in the past two weeks. He’s a great play against the Bills, who have allowed 14 passing TDs already.
    • The Cowboys will be without Romo, but with a week of practice, Jon Kitna should be fine. I like the prospects of Miles Austin, Dez Bryant, and Roy Williams against a Jaguar pass defense that has allowed a league high 16 TDs on the year.
    • Denver has allowed 11 passing TDs, which makes the likelihood that Michael Crabtree scores fairly high.
    • Malcom Floyd is expected to be out again. Patrick Crayton has 199 yards in the past two weeks, making him a decent WR3 against Tennessee.

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    Here’s my Week 8 running back rankings. Keep in mind that the Bears, Browns, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, and Ravens are on bye.

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    1. Frank Gore vs. Denver
    2. Arian Foster @ Indianapolis
    3. Adrian Peterson @ New England
    4. Darren McFadden vs. Seattle
    5. Chris Johnson @ San Diego
    6. Ryan Torain @ Detroit
    7. Steven Jackson vs. Carolina
    8. Rashard Mendenhall @ New Orleans
    9. Thomas Jones vs. Buffalo
    10. LaDainian Tomlinson vs. Green Bay
    11. Jamaal Charles vs. Buffalo
    12. Jahvid Best vs. Washington
    13. Maurice Jones-Drew @ Dallas
    14. Cedric Benson vs. Miami
    15. Felix Jones vs. Jacksonville
    16. Jonathan Stewart @ St. Louis
    17. Beanie Wells vs. Tampa Bay
    18. Marshawn Lynch @ Oakland
    19. Knowshon Moreno @ San Francisco
    20. Fred Jackson @ Kansas City
    21. Ryan Mathews vs. Tennessee
    22. Shonn Greene vs. Green Bay
    23. LeGarrette Blount @ Arizona
    24. Mike Hart vs. Houston
    25. Ronnie Brown @ Cincinnati
    26. Brandon Jackson @ New York Jets
    27. Christopher Ivory vs. Pittsburgh
    28. Tim Hightower vs. Tampa Bay
    29. Mike Tolbert vs. Tennessee
    30. Ricky Williams @ Cincinnati

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    Inside the numbers:

    • Frank Gore should have a big day against a Broncos defense allowing 156.3 yards per game on the ground with a league high 12 rushing TDs allowed.
    • Arian Foster destroyed the Colts for 231 yards and three TDs in Week 1. While I’d be shocked if he matched that performance, he’s still a great play against an Indy run defense allowing 137.3 yards per game.
    • Buffalo has allowed a league high 174.5 rushing yards per game, along with 8 rushing TDs. There is a great chance both Thomas Jones and Jamaal Charles have big weeks once again.
    • The Packers are giving up 124.3 yards per game at a 4.7 yards per carry clip. Both RBs in the Jets #2 rushing offense (LT, Shonn Greene) should be solid plays this week.
    • Steven Jackson will likely be a game time decision, but knowing his pain threshold, he’ll be able to fight through it despite the broken finger.
    • Beanie Wells should build off his solid game (54 yards, TD) against a Tampa defense allowing 157.7 rushing yards per game.
    • I’m not confident Donald Brown is ready so I think the Colts use Mike Hart, but mostly rely on Peyton’s arm.

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    Here are my Week 8 fantasy football quarterback rankings. Remember the Bears, Browns, Eagles, Falcons, Giants, and Ravens are on bye.
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    1. Peyton Manning vs. Houston
    2. Ben Roethlisberger @ New Orleans
    3. Tom Brady vs. Minnesota
    4. Matt Schaub @ Indianapolis
    5. Philip Rivers vs. Tennessee
    6. Aaron Rodgers @ New York Jets
    7. Drew Brees vs. Pittsburgh
    8. Kyle Orton @ San Francisco
    9. Donovan McNabb @ Detroit
    10. Carson Palmer vs. Miami
    11. Matt Cassel vs. Buffalo
    12. Sam Bradford vs. Carolina
    13. Josh Freeman @ Arizona
    14. Ryan Fitzpatrick @ Kansas City
    15. Mark Sanchez vs. Green Bay
    16. Jon Kitna vs. Jacksonville
    17. Jason Campbell vs. Seattle
    18. Matt Hasselbeck @ Oakland
    19. Matthew Stafford vs. Washington
    20. David Garrard @ Dallas
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    Inside the numbers:

    • Injuries almost certainly will keep both the modern (Tony Romo – out 6-8 weeks) and classic (Favre) gunslingers out of action. I’m more optimistic about Jon Kitna than Tarvaris Jackson.
    • Peyton Manning threw for 426  yards and three TDs against Houston in Week 1. He has 40 career TDs to just 8 INTs in 17 games against them. Even without his weapons, Manning finds a way to get it done.
    • Drew Brees is not the same player this year, and Reggie Bush’s absence probably has a lot to do with it. Things don’t get better this week against the Steelers, who have allowed just four passing TDs this year.
    • Matt Cassel has 5 TDs in the Chiefs’ past two games. He has a 3-1 TD-INT ratio, which helps offset his meager passing yards per game average (174). He faces Buffalo, who has allowed 14 passing TDs.
    • Ryan Fitzpatrick has seven TDs in his past two games and 11 in his past four.
    • Matthew Stafford is expected to return for the Lions. I’d only start him if you’re desperate or in a 2-QB league.

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    During the bye weeks you often have to roll out less than ideal lineups, especially when your players are nicked up. That’s the nature of the beast. Sometimes you need a fantasy gem to be successful. Here are some of the under the radar players that could possibly pull out a win for you.
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    Josh Freeman, QB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
    Freeman continued his trend of playing decent against good teams last week when he threw for 219 yards and a TD (without an INT) against the Saints. He added two rushing yards. I think this week, however, he’s more the first two weeks, when he played inferior teams (Cleveland & Carolina) and averaged 180 passing yards, 2 TDs, and 38.5 rushing yards, when he takes on St. Louis. The Rams are ranked 20th with 227 passing yards allowed per game.
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    Matt Cassel, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
    Cassel had a nice game last week when he completed 69 percent of his passes (20 for 29) for 201 yards and 3 TDs. He takes on Jacksonville, that is tied for last with 14 passing TDs allowed. They are also ranked 28th with 264 passing yards allowed per game.
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    Danny Woodhead, RB, New England Patriots
    Woodhead is a Bill Belichick guy. He’s small, but versatile. He had 11 carries for 63 yards last week to go along with 52 yards on five catches. Brady will get Woodhead the ball in space against the Chargers and let him his thing.
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    Steve Breaston, WR, Arizona Cardinals
    Breaston is expected to return this week, and his timing couldn’t be much better. The Cards are taking on Seattle, who ranks 30th with 291 passing yards allowed per game.
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    Heath Miller, TE, Pittsburgh Steelers
    The Dolphins will be aggressive trying to get after Big Ben, who has a great knack for buying time and extending plays. When he does that, Miller should be able to find the open seam and have a solid day.
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    Washington Redskins Defense
    The Skins face the Bears, who have been allowing sacks at an extremely high rate (19 in their past three games). Between their poor offensive line play and Cutler’s occasional bad judgement, Washington could be one of the better defenses this weekend.
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