Last night, Saints running back Mark Ingram carried the ball 30 times for 100 yards and two touchdowns and added a 10-yard reception.
Ingram became the first Saints back to reach 100 rushing yards in back-to-back games since 2006 and he now has four strong performances in five games. In those five games, he has 479 yards from scrimmage and six touchdowns.
With 23.0 fantasy points last night, it's virtually a lock that Ingram will get his fourth top-10 performance in five outings.
Given the injuries in the team's backfield, Ingram has seen a massive 56 touches in the past two games. While that level of volume will be reduced once their backfield is again at full strength, Ingram is turning into a weekly RB1.
Looking ahead to the rest of this week's games, here are some players to consider starting:
Kaepernick's best game this season, and his only one as a top-five fantasy quarterback, came in his first matchup against the Rams. While I don't expect the Rams to give up 343 yards and three touchdowns to Kaepernick again, they have allowed the fifth-most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks this year. Even though Kaep has just three runs in each of the past two games, he had averaged 8.8 rushes per game in his first five games, which can help boost his fantasy floor if see a few more runs.
In his four games this season, Palmer has averaged 284 yards and two touchdowns per game. In fact, he has thrown exactly two touchdowns in each game. Palmer has had a minimum of 16.12 fantasy points in those games and has averaged 19.01 per game this season. Only six quarterbacks have a higher per-game average than Palmer this year.
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In his three starts, Hillman has either rushed for 100-plus yards or scored two touchdowns in each game. Some fantasy owners may have been disappointed by the variety of ways Hillman did not score a touchdown last week, but he has finished as a top-15 running back in three consecutive weeks. The Patriots have allowed the fourth-most fantasy points to opposing running backs this season, which means Hillman has a great chance to make it four games in a row as a top-15 back.
Assuming that Giovani Bernard sits this week, Hill will dominate the touches out of the backfield in a matchup where the Bengals should play with the lead (and perhaps a sizable one). In addition, it appears that there is a decent chance that A.J. Green (toe) returns, which should hope open things up for the rushing attack. After averaging 5.08 yards per carry in his first three games, Hill has averaged just 2.63 YPC in his past three, but he should be able to find a groove with a consistent volume of carries this week.
Not only has Ivory finished as a top-10 performer in back-to-back weeks, he now ranks 10th among running backs in fantasy points scored on the year. One of the few bright spots for the Jets offense, Ivory has averaged 4.69 YPC this season and has scored three touchdowns in the past two games. Although the Chiefs are the only team in the league to not allow any rushing scores on the season, they have allowed 4.7 YPC this season — only five teams have allowed more.
What made Floyd's Week 8 goose egg even worse was the fact that he had an ideal matchup to exploit. It's been a disappointing season for Floyd, who ranks 48th among wide receivers in fantasy scoring this year. Even though he has three games this season with less than two fantasy points, Floyd has double-digit fantasy points in three of four games that Palmer has started (with last week being the exception). This week's matchup is less favorable than the one he had against the Eagles last week, but I expect Floyd to bounce back from last week's dud.
With the exception of Week 5's dud, Hawkins has had a minimum of nine targets in his other six games. In those six games, Baby Hawk has finished with at least five catches and 70 yards in five of them. Coming off back-to-back outings as a top-17 fantasy wide receiver, Hawkins is virtually guaranteed of double-digit targets as Jordan Cameron (concussion) is expected to miss this game. No team has allowed more fantasy points per game to opposing wide receivers than the Bucs.
Of the Jaguars receivers, Robinson would be first choice to start and the second-round rookie has been more consistent than I had expected. Since Week 2, ARob is averaging 8.6 targets per game and has three games with double-digit targets. With a minimum of 51 yards in six of his past seven games, Robinson is averaging 5.4 catches and 64.7 yards during that stretch with touchdowns in back-to-back games. As double-digit underdogs to the Bengals, garbage time could come early for the Jags.
Against the Chargers and Broncos, the Jets allowed a pair 100-yard rushers, but that was partly a function of their focus on slowing down Philip Rivers and Peyton Manning given their shaky pass defense. With Jamaal Charles and the ground game being Kansas City's bread and butter, the Jets defensive focus will be on slowing down Charles. In the past four weeks, Bowe has finished as a top-36 receiver three times with 64-plus yards in each of those three games and it wouldn't surprise me if Bowe had his best game of the season this week.
Coming off his best outing of the season (5/70/1), my biggest concern with Witten is that he is used more as a blocker than a receiver especially given Tony Romo's back and Arizona's propensity to blitz. That said, Witten has finished as a top-12 tight end in three of his past four games and the Cardinals struggle in slowing down tight ends.
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Here are some players to consider keeping on your fantasy bench(es):
QB - Tony Romo, Dallas Cowboys (vs. ARI)
At this point, it appears more likely than not that Romo will play with his back injury, but it's hard to have a ton of confidence given the injury. That is unfortunate considering it's a top-10 matchup. The Cardinals love to bring pressure and especially after seeing what Washington did on Monday night, Romo should expect to be hit early and often. Currently, Romo is my 13th-ranked quarterback for the week.
QB - Robert GriffinIII, Washington Redskins (at MIN)
Since his Week 2 injury, Griffin III will make his first start in Week 9 against the Vikings. RG3 wasn't great before his injury and he certainly has the upside for big production, but I'd rather take a wait-and-see approach after the long absence. In addition, the Vikes have limited opposing quarterbacks to the second-fewest fantasy points this season.
Of the Rams running backs, Mason is the one that I would feel most comfortable starting if I had to start one. Given the committee-like approach last week and the difficult matchup (SF allows sixth-fewest fantasy points to RBs), Mason is better used as a flex option this week as opposed to a reliable RB2.
RB - Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (at CLE)
Dealing with an ankle injury that had him in a walking boot earlier in the week, Martin should remain on your bench even if he plays despite the solid matchup. With the return of Charles Sims from short-term IR, it's unlikely that Martin exceeds his average of 13.4 touches per game. Of the 58 running backs with at least 50 touches this season, Martin ranks 56th in YFS per touch (3.28) and is averaging just 2.86 YPC this season.
RB - Chris Johnson, New York Jets (at KC)
Over his past five games, Johnson has single-digit touches in four of them. Although there are reports that he is expected to get more looks this week, Ivory is clearly the Jets running back to start. Since Week 2, Johnson is averaging just 3.7 YPC.
While he scored a touchdown against the Rams in Week 6, Crabtree has less than 50 receiving yards in four consecutive games. During that stretch, he has finished as the WR51, WR85, WR28 (vs. STL) and WR71, respectively.
Edelman has finished outside the top 30 fantasy wide receivers for six weeks in a row and has finished outside the top 50 in four of his past five games. Not only is Edelman coming off his worst performance (1/14 on just four targets), but Brandon LaFell appears to be gaining the trust of Tom Brady with three monster performances in the past five weeks. Even with Edelman projected for a line of 6/62/.2 against the Broncos, he curently sits as my WR38 for the week.
For his first game as a Jet, Harvin was involved in the offensive game plan quite a bit. Targeted nine times, Harvin finished with just four catches for 28 yards, but he added three rush attempts for 22 yards as well. Given the situation at quarterback, it's hard to trust Harvin and I'd keep him on my bench, but there is some upside for owners that do start him this week.
To be fair, Davis has battled injuries most of the year, but he has yet to finish with more than the four catches and 44 yards he had in Week 1. In addition, he has yet to score since Week 1. Over his past four games, he has averaged just 2.45 fantasy points per game and has finished as the TE30, on average, in those games. The Rams have allowed the 10th-fewest fantasy points to opposing tight ends and Davis is just outside my top-12 fantasy tight ends this week.
To see who I would start based on your team, please consult with my Week 9 rankings:
- Week 9 Fantasy Football Quarterback Rankings
- Week 9 Fantasy Football Running Back Rankings
- Week 9 Fantasy Football Wide Receiver Rankings
- Week 9 Fantasy Football Tight End Rankings