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Fantasy Football Rankings: Wide receivers for Week 9

Ranking the best wide receivers by matchup and opportunity for Week 9 of the 2018 NFL Season.

Detroit Lions v Miami Dolphins Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Early in the week, the NFL Trade Deadline came and went. Over the last few years, teams have been more willing to pull off trades, and this year was no exception. This year’s deadline brought a little bit of a shakeup to our beloved position of divas.

The Denver Broncos shipped Demaryius Thomas to the Houston Texans, who had just lost explosive Will Fuller for the year to an ACL tear. The Detroit Lions moved Golden Tate to the reigning Super Bowl Champion Philadelphia Eagles, who have gotten nothing out of Nelson Agholor and needed another weapon for QB Carson Wentz.

The moves themselves don’t have a ton of fantasy implications for the players involved. Thomas should see a slight bump in production as he takes over as the No. 2 option in a somewhat-better offense with a much-better quarterback, but he has struggled with drops. Tate will likely not see as much volume as he did in Detroit, but he also goes to a better offense with a more in-rhythm quarterback.

As for their previous teams, the fantasy implications are actually important. Rookie Courtland Sutton will now step into Thomas’ role and be able to show off the talent he has flashed several times throughout this year. In Detroit, sophomore stud Kenny Golladay and perennially underrated Marvin Jones Jr. will both see an uptick in volume with Tate’s massive 27% target share now completely unaccounted for.

We’ll see how these situations begin to unfold in Week 9.

WR Rankings - Week 9

Rank Player Team Opponent Notes
Rank Player Team Opponent Notes
1 Adam Thielen MIN DET Was held scoreless in 2 games vs. DET last year, but combined for 13 catches and 148 yards. This is a different Thielen, though.
2 DeAndre Hopkins HOU @DEN Hopkins' splits without Fuller are mind-boggling. Despite tough matchups and not getting double digit targets, he has scored 4 TDs in the last 3 weeks.
3 Michael Thomas NO LAR His target totals and EZ looks have heavily diminished, but a home date against Marcus Peters - who continues to get roasted - is what we crave.
4 Antonio Brown PIT @BAL Went 5/62/1 in their first meeting last year and BAL just got eviscerated by D.J. Moore. CB Jimmy Smith has been horrendous since coming back.
5 Davante Adams GB @NE The worry is that NE has given up just 3 TDs (all to one guy) since W3. The bright side is Adams has 405 yards on 24 catches over the last 3 games.
6 Mike Evans TB @CAR Aside from a 2-game "lull", Evans has racked up 653 yards and 4 TDs on 36 catches. His stats in full Fitzpatrick starts: 23/367/3.
7 Cooper Kupp LAR @NO Will make his return this week and should light up NO's slot CB P.J. Williams, who PFF has graded as the 2nd-worst CB in the NFL.
8 Emmanuel Sanders DEN HOU DT is gone, which means even more looks for Sanders, who was the WR8 with him. HOU has been decimated in the secondary.
9 Stefon Diggs MIN DET Diggs went 5/98 and 5/66 in 2 games vs. DET last year and Slay hasn't been his dominant self in 2018.
10 Julian Edelman NE GB Has been Brady's #1 option (at WR/TE) in the passing game and should find success against a middling GB secondary that just lost its starting safety.
11 Julio Jones ATL @WAS Until he starts scoring TDs, he'll be a back-end WR1. Josh Norman has run hot and cold this year, but will likely shadow Julio.
12 Keenan Allen LAC @SEA He's been a purely floor player with just 1 TD on the year, but following an on-field outburst in London and coming out of the bye, they might feed him.
13 JuJu Smith-Schuster PIT @BAL Matchup is obviously a concern, but he got 4/47/1 on the road against BAL last year and he leads all WRs in RZ targets with 17.
14 Robert Woods LAR @NO While Lattimore likely shadows Cooks, Woods will consistently go against Ken Crawley, who is the 8th-worst CB by PFF's standards.
15 Sammy Watkins KC @CLE I won't pretend to know when Watkins' big games and duds will come, but he's set-up for another good game as Hill is nursing a groin injury.
16 John Brown BAL PIT 3/116/1 against PIT in W4 and has drawn 14 targets over the last 2 weeks. All he needs is one deep connection and he's already found it vs. PIT.
17 Brandin Cooks LAR @NO In a likely shootout against his old team and moved around enough to avoid Lattimore every now and then, Cooks should produce WR2 numbers.
18 Jarvis Landry CLE KC His 15 RZ targets and 94 overall targets rank 2nd among all WRs. It hasn't been efficient, but he'll get volume and will have plenty of garbage time.
19 Kenny Golladay DET @MIN The trading away of Golden Tate frees up a ton of volume that Golladay will inherit a lot of, particularly in the slot where he's done damage in the past.
20 DeSean Jackson TB @CAR D-Jax has surprisingly been one of the most consistent WRs in fantasy this year and now gets back Fitzpatrick, who he had 3 100-yard games with.
21 Devin Funchess CAR TB TB has given up 13 TDs to WRs and Funchess is the Panthers' best weapon through the air in the RZ.
22 Danny Amendola MIA NYJ NYJ is most attackable in the MOF, where Amendola makes a living and has had 3 straight usable weeks with Brock at QB.
23 Tyreek Hill KC @CLE Took a backseat to Watkins last week and now has to deal with a groin injury, which is never good for a WR that relies on speed.
24 Courtland Sutton DEN HOU Immediately slots into DT's old role. Had already been getting plenty of RZ looks. Now can stabilize that ceiling with a floor against banged up HOU.
25 D.J. Moore CAR TB Fresh off of a breakout game, Moore now gets the 2nd-most forgiving defense to WRs. TB can't tackle and Moore forces a bunch of missed tackles.
26 Marvin Jones Jr. DET @MIN Like Golladay, Jones should benefit from Tate's departure, but this is a rough opening matchup against a more-healthy Xavier Rhodes.
27 Demaryius Thomas HOU @DEN Coutee is questionable for this week, which could fling DT into a prominent role regardless of whether he plays or not. Also, #RevengeGame!
28 Doug Baldwin SEA LAC Theoretically has the best WR outlook in the slot, as Tajae Sharpe went for 7/101 against them on the interior in London.
29 Chris Godwin TB @CAR Godwin's stats in full Fitzpatrick starts: 3/41/1, 5/56/1, 5/74/1. Fitz also found him for a 2-point conversion in relief last week.
30 Corey Davis TEN @DAL With help from CB Byron Jones, DAL has shut down nearly all WR1s all year long. But coming out of the bye and TEN's #1 option, CD is enticing.
31 Tre'Quan Smith NO LAR Has lapped Meredith as NO's WR2 and has a chance to explode against a LAR defense that has given up the 5th-most TDs to WRs.
32 Josh Gordon NE GB Has looked slow since joining NE and looks to be the #3 or #4 option in the passing game. Will likely see a lot of standout rookie CB Jaire Alexander.
33 Tyler Lockett SEA LAC His TD rate is reaching absurd levels. He has scored a TD in all but one game despite not topping 7 targets. LAC's boundary CBs are very good.
34 Amari Cooper DAL TEN TEN's biggest problem on defense has been surrendering big plays down the field, an area in which Cooper usually excels.
35 DeVante Parker MIA NYJ Parker SHOULD get more chances, but Gase's handling of him hasn't been transparent. With Stills possibly back, who knows what will happen.
36 Keke Coutee HOU @DEN Isn't a lock to play and will likely be deployed in the slot, where DEN's slot CB Chris Harris shuts everything down.
37 Randall Cobb GB @NE Got outsnapped by MVS/Allison last week. Still picked up 5 targets and will be relied upon in this one to move the chains and keep Brady off the field.
38 Allen Robinson CHI @BUF Had a week to nurse his injury, but Tre White and an underrated secondary awaits.
39 Michael Crabtree BAL PIT He was absolutely brutal in their first meeting, dropping 2 passes and catching just 3 of 8 targets. Joe Haden has been very solid.
40 Calvin Ridley ATL @WAS That spur of TDs early in the season was an aberration (as we figured). WAS' 2nd and slot CBs are exploitable.
41 Cole Beasley DAL TEN TEN's slot CB Logan Ryan has been their most consistent secondary guy, but Beasley is good for at least 5/50.
42 Tyrell Williams LAC @SEA He is fantastic in his role as a deep threat, but he's yet to top 5 targets in any game this season. The quintessential boom-or-bust WR.
43 Tajae Sharpe TEN @DAL Don't expect another blowup performance like his 7/101 in London, but he should see a good amount of volume as TEN's #2 and away from B. Jones.
44 Jordy Nelson OAK @SF OAK is going with a full-on WR-by-committee and it's going to be brutal to predict who has big weeks. I'll bet on Nelson against a bad SF secondary.
45 Taylor Gabriel CHI @BUF Robinson will likely be back and Anthony Miller is emerging, but Gabriel will continue in his deep threat/big play role.
46 Marquise Goodwin SF OAK Pure dart throw that you hope gets open deep and the QB (Nick Mullens?) can actually reach him in stride.
47 Zay Jones BUF CHI CHI has been surprisingly forgiving to WRs, giving up the 8th-most fantasy points to the position. Peterman is about to happen, though, so be wary.
48 Willie Snead BAL PIT Accumulated his classic 6/56 in their first meeting. Except the same.
49 Mohamed Sanu ATL @WAS WAS doesn't pull away from games, so ATL won't have to throw too much in this one, which hurts Sanu.
50 Marquez Valdes Scantling GB @NE It appears MVS and Allison are going to cannibalize each other, as they both have similar skill sets and win down the field. MVS is more explosive.