Week 9 in the NFL signals the midway point of the season, and as such, there are some tricky decisions to make with many of the league's stars on bye weeks.
The Denver Broncos, Detroit Lions and San Francisco 49ers are all off this weekend, meaning there are more than a few fantasy starters who need to be benched in favor of players who will actually be, you know, playing.
With that in mind, here's a look at the top 10 players at every position heading into Week 9.
|Week 9 Fantasy Rankings: Quarterbacks|
|1||Tony Romo||Dallas Cowboys||Minnesota Vikings||27|
|2||Drew Brees||New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||26|
|3||Philip Rivers||San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||25|
|4||Cam Newton||Carolina Panthers||Atlanta Falcons||23|
|5||Andy Dalton||Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins||22|
|6||Aaron Rodgers||Green Bay Packers||Chicago Bears||20|
|7||Russell Wilson||Seattle Seahawks||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||19|
|8||Robert Griffin III||Washington Redskins||San Diego Chargers||19|
|9||Andrew Luck||Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||17|
|10||Jake Locker||Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||16|
After getting slowed down by the underrated defense of the Lions last weekend, you can be sure Tony Romo will be raring to go against the Minnesota Vikings in Week 9. The Vikings feature the fourth-worst defense against fantasy quarterbacks this season, allowing 19.1 points per game.
Drew Brees is another quarterback due for a monster game. The New York Jets allowed 325 yards and five touchdowns to Andy Dalton last weekend, and I think we can all agree Brees has a leg up on Dalton in the grand scheme of things.
Speaking of Dalton, he's passed for at least 325 yards and three touchdowns in each of his last three starts, shredding the Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots and Jets in consecutive weeks. He's going to do just fine against the Miami Dolphins this Sunday.
|Week 9 Fantasy Rankings: Running Backs|
|1||Jamaal Charles||Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||20|
|2||Adrian Peterson||Minnesota Vikings||Dallas Cowboys||18|
|3||Marshawn Lynch||Seattle Seahawks||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||17|
|4||Matt Forte||Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||16|
|5||Eddie Lacy||Green Bay Packers||Chicago Bears||16|
|6||Darren McFadden||Oakland Raiders||Philadelphia Eagles||15|
|7||Stevan Ridley||New England Patriots||Pittsburgh Steelers||15|
|8||Chris Johnson||Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||15|
|9||LeSean McCoy||Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||14|
|10||Ray Rice||Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||13|
You can't go wrong starting Jamaal Charles, who has notched double-digit fantasy points in all eight of his starts. The Bills have been stout against opposing running backs this season, but Charles is a can't-miss star right now.
Marshawn Lynch should have a bounce-back game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home after getting completely shut down by the St. Louis Rams on Monday Night Football. He's been a beast at home, and the Bucs don't stand a chance of winning this lopsided affair.
Eddie Lacy is another player who's been on a roll lately. He has a highly favorable matchup against the Chicago Bears defense, which ranks as the sixth-worst in the league against opposing running backs.
|Week 9 Fantasy Rankings: Wide Receivers|
|1||Dez Bryant||Dallas Cowboys||Minnesota Vikings||26|
|2||A.J. Green||Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins||24|
|3||Jordy Nelson||Green Bay Packers||Chicago Bears||22|
|4||Brandon Marshall||Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||20|
|5||Josh Gordon||Cleveland Browns||Baltimore Ravens||18|
|6||DeSean Jackson||Philadelphia Eagles||Oakland Raiders||15|
|7||Torrey Smith||Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||15|
|8||Dwayne Bowe||Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||14|
|9||Andre Johnson||Houston Texans||Indianapolis Colts||14|
|10||Denarius Moore||Oakland Raiders||Philadelphia Eagles||14|
While Calvin Johnson takes a week off, Dez Bryant will thrive against the pitiful secondary of the Vikings. He scored two touchdowns last weekend and eclipsed 100 yards receiving the week before, and you know he'll be targeted heavily by Romo after only seeing six balls come his way against Detroit.
Of course, A.J. Green is always a top option as well. With Dalton playing as well as he is, Green should have a field day against the Dolphins, who are susceptible to getting burned through the air.
A sleeper pick this weekend for a big game is Dwayne Bowe, who has been quiet for the past four games. He plays against Buffalo in Week 9, which has allowed more points to opposing receivers than any team in the league.
|Week 9 Fantasy Rankings: Tight Ends|
|1||Jimmy Graham||New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||20|
|2||Rob Gronkowski||New England Patriots||Pittsburgh Steelers||18|
|3||Antonio Gates||San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||16|
|4||Jordan Cameron||Cleveland Browns||Baltimore Ravens||14|
|5||Jordan Reed||Washington Redskins||San Diego Chargers||13|
|6||Jason Witten||Dallas Cowboys||Minnesota Vikings||12|
|7||Tony Gonzalez||Atlanta Falcons||Carolina Panthers||11|
|8||Greg Olsen||Carolina Panthers||Atlanta Falcons||11|
|9||Charles Clay||Miami Dolphins||Cincinnati Bengals||11|
|10||Martellus Bennett||Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||10|
Antonio Gates has a highly favorable matchup against the Washington Redskins, and he'll be extra fresh after the San Diego Chargers' bye in Week 8. In that same game, rookie Jordan Reed should have another big game going up against San Diego's porous secondary.
Chicago's Martellus Bennett could have a huge game going against the Green Bay Packers' depleted linebacking corps, but it remains to be seen whether or not backup quarterback Josh McCown will be able to move the ball consistently through the air.
|Week 9 Fantasy Rankings: Defense|
|1||Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||20|
|2||Seattle Seahawks||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||18|
|3||Tennessee Titans||St. Louis Rams||16|
|4||Carolina Panthers||Atlanta Falcons||16|
|5||Cincinnati Bengals||Miami Dolphins||15|
|6||New England Patriots||Pittsburgh Steelers||14|
|7||Dallas Cowboys||Minnesota Vikings||12|
|8||New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||11|
|9||Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||10|
|10||Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||10|
After an off week last Sunday, the Kansas City Chiefs should be back up to their old tricks on defense against Thad Lewis and the Bills. Lewis has been incredible filling in for EJ Manuel, but he hasn't seen a swarming hoard of pass-rushers like the one Kansas City features up front.
The Seattle Seahawks' defensive secondary could—no joke—haul in five interceptions this Sunday at home against rookie quarterback Mike Glennon. He has a strong arm and loves to force the ball to Vincent Jackson, which is bad news going up against the "Legion of Boom" secondary with the 12th man roaring behind it.
|Week 9 Fantasy Rankings: Kickers|
|1||Steven Hauschka||Seattle Seahawks||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||15|
|2||Stephen Gostkowski||New England Patriots||Pittsburgh Steelers||14|
|3||Mason Crosby||Green Bay Packers||Chicago Bears||13|
|4||Nick Novak||San Diego Chargers||Washington Redskins||13|
|5||Justin Tucker||Baltimore Ravens||Cleveland Browns||12|
|6||Robbie Gould||Chicago Bears||Green Bay Packers||12|
|7||Garrett Hartley||New Orleans Saints||New York Jets||11|
|8||Adam Vinatieri||Indianapolis Colts||Houston Texans||11|
|9||Dan Bailey||Dallas Cowboys||Minnesota Vikings||10|
|10||Ryan Succop||Kansas City Chiefs||Buffalo Bills||10|
Peyton Manning, Knowshon Moreno and Denver's incredible receiving corps will all be sorely missed by fantasy owners this week, but there's another consistent producer from the Broncos who'll be missed as well.
Matt Prater has been a weekly inclusion on this list, but with him out for the weekend, the nod for the top fantasy kicker goes to Steven Hauschka of the Seahawks, who will be a busy fellow when the Buccaneers stop in for a visit in Week 9.
Follow me on Twitter @JesseReed78.
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