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Week 9 Rankings Analysis: Nick Mariano vs. Industry Consensus

Editor's Note: Nick is currently ranked #22 overall on the experts accuracy results. In Week 6 he was ranked #7 overall, and in Week 5 he was ranked #3 overall. His rankings have been among the most accurate in the fantasy football industry. Pretty impressive stuff.

Well, in Week 8 quarterbacks didn’t go so well with Dak Prescott popping off and Carson Wentz flopping. But the WRs were notably spot on with Kelvin Benjamin only catching two balls (for 73 yards, at least), and Mohamed Sanu turning a great game. Tyreek Hill also really solidified himself as a tantalizing waiver pickup with yet another TD. The process felt sound all around here, but perhaps I need to put more stock in Dallas’ home-field and time-of-possession advantage moving forward. Onto my Week 9 rankings analysis, as I tell you who I like more or less than other industry folks.

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Week 9 Quarterbacks - Rankings Analysis

The first thing I notice is that Ryan Tannehill is too deep into QB2 territory at #19, as a matchup with a Jets defense that just laid out the red carpet for the return of Josh McCown in Week 8. Tannehill may not be the most consistent fellow, but now that Jay Ajayi can take some pressure off of the passing game and effectively set up a little playaction, Tanny has a decent chance at low-end QB1 numbers.

On the other end of the spectrum, I’m not trusting Blake Bortles to be able to roll 4-5-6 in garbage time again in Week 9 against Kansas City. Not only are the Chiefs seventh best in pass DVOA, but heading into Arrowhead Stadium has consistently been cited as one of the toughest road venues in the league. Plus, do you really want to rely on a guy who just called in a coach to help him regain his mechanics? Look elsewhere.


Week 9 Running Backs - Rankings Analysis

I’ll give the Rams this, they’re finally using Todd Gurley appropriately in the passing game instead of allowing Benny Cunningham to significantly eat into the 22-year-old stud’s usage. Unfortunately, Gurley (#12 vs. #8 consensus) is still stuck on a Rams offense that is struggling to establish an identity that now gets to square up with a reinvigorated Panthers front seven. David Johnson needed 84 yards on seven catches last week to make any sort of value against them. No bueno.

Another RB to be bearish on is Latavius Murray (#21 vs. #15 consensus), as he showed last week just how things can go when this committee faces a strong run defense. Tampa Bay’s overall numbers were down thanks to injuries, but at full strength they made life difficult for Oakland on the ground. Now Murray and company get to face a Denver defense that is better than Tampa, and I’d rather not pray that Murray gets a cheap goal-line plunge off of a pass interference call or something.


Week 9 Wide Receivers - Rankings Analysis

So we need to talk about New Orleans and their pass catchers, because Michael Thomas (#12 vs. #17 consensus) deserves some serious love compared to the flashier, more highly-touted Brandin Cooks (#13 against a #9 consensus). While Cooks has scored in each of his last three games, he still only has a 17-157-1 line in NO’s three road contests thus far. Meanwhile, Thomas has an 18-230-1 line and overall has seen only one less target than Cooks on the season, and his 76.4% catch rate blows away Cooks’ 64.3%. I like the rookie more here, but both are solid plays.

We propped up Mohamed Sanu last week and he delivered with a 9-84-1 line, and we’re going to go back to the well here (#33 vs. #40 consensus) for his TNF matchup against a horrible Tampa Bay secondary. The Bucs may look to bracket Julio Jones (I doubt they’ll be successful, but DC and former Falcons HC Mike Smith may try) and force Matt Ryan to look elsewhere. That leaves Sanu and another name to be discussed as potential blowup candidates with Devonta Freeman running against the aforementioned bolstered run defense.

Cleveland’s Corey Coleman (#35 vs. #44 consensus) should also climb up as he’s now medically cleared to practice and should step in as the Browns’ #2 WR against a Cowboys secondary that is now without Morris Claiborne and Barry Church. While Dallas will be alright, especially with their ability to control the time of possession, Coleman deserves a slot in the top-36 here as a low-end WR3 type.


Week 9 Tight Ends - Rankings Analysis

Might as well follow that train of thought, as Austin Hooper (#12 vs. #17 consensus) should have a good chance at posting TE1 numbers with Jacob Tamme out. Hooper has shown himself to be a reliable option, as he’s caught all 11 of his targets in his rookie season thus far. The caveat is that the Bucs have actually rated out as fifth best against the TE per DVOA, but they’ve also faced some very weak TEs this season. Greg Olsen shredded them for a 9-181-0 line in Week 5, and Tamme even had a 6-51-0 line in Week 1, so please believe they’re beatable.

Trending downwards is Mr. Coby Fleener (#13 vs. #7 consensus), who seems to has lost whatever momentum he had going for him back in the early weeks of the season to the tune of a horrid 34% snap count in Week 8 (58% in Week 7). Maybe HC Sean Payton was just in the message-sending mood after he benched Mark Ingram, but this looks like a trend. Don’t rely on him for TE1 numbers here, as he has quickly become an extremely TD-dependent option in the Big Easy.

For what it’s worth, I also expect Ladarius Green’s ranking to rise as the week wears on and (hopefully) his positive practice reports start to come in. He should supplant Jesse James in short order, though expectations shouldn’t be set too high in his first week back.


I’d rather talk more about the skill positions than include kicker or defense, as they are far less interesting to me. Feel free to send me a vitriolic message should you want them back, I’ll listen I swear.


Check out all of RotoBaller's fantasy football rankings. Staff rankings are updated regularly for all positions and include standard formats, PPR scoring, tiered rankings and dynasty leagues.

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