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Every Tuesday of the regular season, I will be updating my rest of season rankings for PPR leagues, in hopes of helping you with roster construction and trade negotiations. These are not Week 9 matchup rankings, which I will release before the Thursday game. The List is created with the rest of the season in mind.
- Michael Thomas jumps to the top of my wide receiver rankings, which was probably long overdue, and is the sixth-ranked player overall, only behind the elite running backs. Thomas managed to thrive without Drew Brees at quarterback, and in Brees’ first game back Thomas displayed the efficiency that few receivers in the league’s history can match – 11 catches on 11 targets. At this point not only is Thomas matchup-proof, but he also is apparently quarterback-proof. Thomas’ dynasty stock is higher than ever, as this recent performance makes life after Brees look much more hopeful.
- I’ve had Aaron Jones ranked as high as anyone and have ridden his rocky season without adjusting him much in my ranks. After Jones’ recent performance, seven catches for 159 yards and two touchdowns to go along with 67 yards rushing, I’ve jumped him 11 spots into elite territory. Jones could have had a third receiving touchdown, and the Packers are using him downfield in the passing game, an extremely encouraging sign. This Packers offense has taken on a bit of a Saints feel lately, with Jones playing the Alvin Kamara role and Jamaal Williams playing the Mark Ingram role. They’ve both been on the field at the same time, with Jones running motions and jet sweeps and being active in the passing game. Both running backs are good bets to score a touchdown each and every week.
- Cooper Kupp just eviscerated the Bengals in London, making me feel silly for bumping him down a couple of spots previously. With Brandin Cooks suffering a concussion, an injury that has haunted him in the past, Kupp will be leaned on heavily going forward, and is a top ten fantasy player rest of season.
- David Montgomery burst onto the scene with 135 yards rushing in Week 8, and finally paid off for owners patiently waiting on a breakout. His upside is a bit capped in a disappointing Bears offense, but head coach Matt Nagy would be foolish to not try to replicate this ground game week after week.
- Latavius Murray may have done enough to earn himself that Mark Ingram role we envisioned before the season started. When Kamara does return, I would expect the Saints to ease him in somewhat, and at 7-1 they may be able to set their sites on the playoffs sooner rather than later. Murray should see his role expanded, as the Saints simply don’t need to push Kamara much as it stands right now.
- A.J. Green is rising up the ranks, with a Week 10 return in sight. I am still somewhat hesitant to jump on board, as he will return to a poor situation in Cincinnati if he isn’t dealt before Tuesday’s trade deadline. Green has also given us very little reason to trust his health, as he didn’t even make it to the preseason this year before suffering a major injury. You’ve waited this long, so stay patient, but I would be surprised if we get seven full weeks of prime A.J. Green upon his return.
- With Kenyan Drake‘s trade to the Cardinals, he finds himself with a major short term opportunity in Arizona. David Johnson is likely to miss this week, and Chase Edmonds is set to miss several weeks with a hamstring injury. The Cardinals did not give up a high pick for Drake, who is set to be a free agent after the year, so there is no guarantee he will be a major part of the offense all year. Two coaching staffs in Miami have resisted giving him a massive workload, after all. I’m still assuming that Johnson will be back within a week or two, which caps Drake’s upside rest of season. More negative news on Johnson’s injury, however, and Drake would fly up the ranks in an offense that has produced excellent fantasy performances from two different running backs in 2019.
- James Conner was hurt late in the Monday night game, and his status is uncertain. I didn’t lower Conner yet, but I did move Jaylen Samuels up my ranks significantly. Samuels is the number one waiver add this week, as his receiving work gives him exciting upside. Benny Snell Jr. looks like “just a guy” but would be the between the tackles runner in the offense. And with Samuels just coming back from injury, Snell could be the healthiest option in Pittsburgh this upcoming week.
- Ty Johnson was a massive disappointment filling in for the injured Kerryon Johnson, though I was fairly low on him, to begin with. This Lions team struggled to run the ball even with Kerryon around, so I wasn’t expecting Ty to suddenly get the ground game back on track. Ty looks like part of a multi-running back committee, though remains the option with the most upside. Keep him stashed on the bench, as he could earn more work going forward, but I would be wary to trust him in my starting lineup until he shows something first.
- Christian Kirk and Tyrell Williams both returned from injury and picked up right where they left off, and both can be inserted back into starting lineups. I trust Kirk more than Williams due to his more consistent target volume, especially in PPR leagues, and now might be a good time to try to sell high on Williams (he won’t score a touchdown every week, right?). But I would still feel confident playing Williams, as he is a clear primary option of Derek Carr, who has been surprisingly solid this year.
- I love Jonnu Smith going forward for owners struggling at tight end, but the main question is what happens when Delanie Walker returns from injury? Start Smith in the meantime, but Walker is a veteran locker room presence, and I expect him to see usage when he returns. Hopefully this doesn’t devolve into an Eric Ebron/Jack Doyle type situation where they chop up the work too much to be fantasy assets.
Featured Image by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)