Week 9 Fantasy Tips from the Playbook War Room

Fantasy Tips, Inside the Game, Playbook War Room


1.  Peyton Manning
2.  Drew Brees
3.  Aaron Rodgers:  Even with Jordy Nelson potentially out, Rodgers is still a no-brainer fantasy start. The Cardinals blitz scheme could disrupt the Rodgers in the pocket, but his ability to get the ball out of his hands quickly should allow him to succeed.
4.  Ben Roethlisberger
5.  Robert Griffin III
6.  Matt Ryan
7.  Matthew Stafford:  The Jaguars are the worst pass-rushing defense in the NFL, generating a league worst 7 sacks this season. Stafford, at times, does not look comfortable going through his progressions with pressure in his face. However, the lack of a pass rush should really benefit Stafford’s the entire game this week.
8.  Eli Manning
9.  Matt Schaub:  This ranking depends a lot on how well the Texans run the ball this week. If they have their way in the trenches, the Texans simply could run the ball too much for Schaub to have a big numbered game. However, we feel like the Texans will utilize the run enough to open up the play-action pass and put Schaub in very comfortable passing situations.
10.  Michael Vick:  Until the Saints prove they can stop anyone; we encourage you to start whichever QB is playing against them.
11.  Carson Palmer:  The Bucs fail to rush the passer (T-28th), give up a huge amount of yards in the air (31st in the league), and are susceptible to big plays down the field (T-30th against 20+ pass plays). All of these should really help Palmer and the Oakland passing attack have a big day.
12.  Joe Flacco
13.  Josh Freeman
14.  Jay Cutler
15.  Andrew Luck

Running Backs

1.  Arian Foster
2.  LeSean McCoy
3.  Alfred Morris:  The Panthers LBs are extremely aggressive in the run game. They attack the line of scrimmage and move well laterally to minimize teams’ ability to get around the edge. However, against the Redskins versatile rushing attack, this aggressiveness will allow Morris have a lot of cutback lanes.
4.  Matt Forte
5.  Ray Rice
6.  Adrian Peterson:  Even against a stout run-defense, we still like AP this week. His combination of physicality and elusiveness will allow him to slice through one of the leagues bigger defensive lines. We anticipate this game as a tough, hard-nosed football game, which means Peterson is going to get a full workload.
7.  Marshawn Lynch
8.  Trent Richardson
9.  Willis McGahee:  The Broncos are going to be able to exploit the Bengals poor LB corps this weekend. Going up against a lighter box, McGahee’s patience is going to put a lot of pressure on the Bengals LBs to stay disciplined. We have yet to see them do this on tape and think McGahee reaps the benefits.
10.  Doug Martin
11.  Darren McFadden
12.  Reggie Bush
13.  C.J. Spiller
14.  Ahmad Bradshaw
15.  LaRod Stephens-Howling:  Stephens-Howling’s ranking more reflects his individual talent and big play potential, than the Cardinals run blocking. The Packers pass rush could be very disruptive which could put LSH in position to do enough damage in the passing game to have a productive day.
16.  Michael Turner
17.  Fred Jackson:  Even though Jackson is basically splitting carries, he is still a good flex start this week. If the game against Tennessee was any sort of blueprint for the future, which we feel it is, the Bills are going to keep both players fresh and involved within their offense. Jackson’s vision on the ground and hands out of the backfield should be a handful for the Texans this week.
18.  Rashad Jennings
19.  BenJarvus Green-Ellis
20.  Felix Jones
21.  Chris Johnson:  The number of touches he is going to receive will make him respectable, however the guys at Playbook think the Chris Johnson from weeks 2, 3 and 5 shows up this week. The Bears front 7 continues to impress us with their discipline and physicality. Johnson is going to get hit early and often and we think his numbers suffer.
22.  Michael Bush
23.  Mikel Leshoure
24.  Alex Green
25.  Pierre Thomas:  Thomas could be in line for some more touches, especially in the passing game, now that Darren Sproles is out for the game. He is a definite borderline starter this week.

Wide Receivers

1.  Demaryius Thomas:  Thomas has continued to impress us the more we watch him on tape. He has soft hands, great agility for his size, and a physicality that makes him difficult to tackle whenever he touches the football. These traits make Thomas a good play regardless of the matchup.
2.  Reggie Wayne
3.  Brandon Marshall
4.  Percy Harvin
5.  Calvin Johnson:  Calvin continues to worry us. Teams have been devoting so much attention to him that a lot of his matchup is based on how many times the Lions can exploit the stints the Jaguars fail to double him. We think Stafford has enough success throwing the ball that Calvin should have success. Calvin has not practiced much this week. With that being said, he is too important to this franchise for them to clear him to play if he should not be out there.
6.  Victor Cruz
7.  Roddy White:  This is the type of matchup that Roddy White excels at. His “completeness” as a WR should be on full display this week. Going up against such physical and athletic corners, White’s route running and understanding of the offense will allow him and Matt Ryan to connect often.
8.  Andre Johnson
9.  A.J. Green
10.  Steve Smith:  We have been tough on Smith the past few weeks. However, what we saw last week against a tough Chicago team, makes us feel confident in him this week. The Redskins are the worst defense against the pass, enough said.
11.  Vincent Jackson
12.  Mike Wallace
13.  Jordy Nelson:  Jordy has yet to practice this week, so it is essential to stay diligent on his injury updates throughout the weekend. We feel confident that if he is declared ready to play, you can start him.
14.  Eric Decker
15.  Marques Colston
16.  Julio Jones
17.  Denarius Moore:  Big play WRs always pose some sort of a risk to fantasy owners, but Moore is developing a greater chemistry with Carson Palmer as the weeks progress. The Bucs susceptibility to big plays falls right into Moore’s wheelhouse.
18.  Larry Fitzgerald
19.  Hakeem Nicks
20.  Dez Bryant
21.  Antonio Brown
22.  Josh Gordon:  We learned last week that Gordon’s success goes hand in hand with how Brandon Weeden throws the ball. With that being said, the Ravens are going to have to use Safety help to improve their run defense. That is going to provide Gordon with much more space to maneuver down the field.
23.  Lance Moore:  Moore and Brees have a great connection on the field. The two of them are on the same page with coverage breakdowns, which is why Moore has generated a first down on 84% of his catches. However, as Graham continues to get healthy, Moore’s targets are going to prevent him from being ranked higher.
24.  Jeremy Maclin
25.  Randall Cobb

Tight Ends

1.  Jimmy Graham
2.  Tony Gonzalez
3.  Owen Daniels:  Even though he might not get a high number of targets, Daniels is extremely effective when he does get the ball. The running game allows him to maneuver throughout the middle of the field. The Bills LBs have struggled to find TEs on play-action fakes, which is going to make Daniels very effective this week.
4.  Heath Miller:  As long as Big Ben continues to throw the ball well, which we are confident he will keep doing, Miller will remain ranked this high. With how bad the Giants defended Jason Witten last week, we can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t play Miller this week.
5.  Jason Witten
6.  Brandon Pettigrew
7.  Brent Celek:  The more we watch the Eagles struggle on offense, the more we hope they start to utilize Celek. Going up against a struggling Saints defense we would hope Celek once again becomes a target of Mike Vick. However, since there is such a risk we wouldn’t be upset if you started one of the players ranked slightly below.
8.  Martellus Bennett
9.  Kyle Rudolph
10.  Jared Cook
11. Brandon Myers
12.  Scott Chandler
13.  Greg Olsen:  This matchup with the Redskins makes Olsen a borderline starter. The Redskin LBs have struggled to cover TEs all season. Play-action fakes really disrupt this unit, and going up against such an unorthodox rushing attack, their eyes are going to have to be in the backfield.
14.  Jermaine Gresham
15.  Jermichael Finley


1.  Houston Texans
2.  Chicago Bears
3.  Seattle Seahawks
4.  Green Bay Packers:  The Packers attacking style of defense should really disrupt the Cardinals. Arizona’s tackles are some of the worst in the game and should have than hands full against the Packers edge rushers. Expect a lot of sacks and a few turnovers.
5.  Atlanta Falcons
6.  Denver Broncos
7.  Detroit Lions:  The Lions front 7 is extremely aggressive attacking the line of scrimmage which should help slow down the rushing attack of the Jaguars. This should help their DL push the pocket, making Blaine Gabbert uncomfortable all game.
8.  Miami Dolphins:  If your league subtracts total yards from the defensive scoring, we would hesitate with this unit. The Colts are at home and Andrew Luck has the ability to throw for a lot of yards through the air. However, if they do not, this front 4 has a good chance of winning the battle in the trenches and causing a turnover or two from Luck.
9.  Baltimore Ravens
10.  Minnesota Vikings

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