Week 9 fantasy football rankings: D-Hop across the pond

Week 9 fantasy football rankings: D-Hop across the pond
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These are my very early ranks, so keep in mind I post these on Thursday. Make sure you check the injury report on Sunday for players that have missed practice. If it doesn't look like a player will play this week, I typically won't rank him. Keep in mind, these are PPR rankings, and don't forget to set your lineup for Thursday Night Football.

If you have any questions, feel free to hit me up on Twitter. Be sure to check out my show MoneyLine with Jerry Bo on ESPN 97.5FM. We're on every Sunday morning from 10-noon, and we'll talk a lot of fantasy football and NFL gambling getting you ready for kickoff every Sunday.

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QB

1 Aaron Rodgers

2 Russell Wilson

3 Matthew Stafford

4 Deshaun Watson

5 Dak Prescott

6 Patrick Mahomes

7 Lamar Jackson

8 Derek Carr

9 Kirk Cousins

10 Josh Allen

11 Gardner Minshew

12 Jimmy Garoppolo

13 Tom Brady

14 Carson Wentz

15 Philip Rivers

RB

1 Dalvin Cook

2 Christian McCaffrey

3 Ezekiel Elliott

4 Saquon Barkley

5 Leonard Fournette

6 Aaron Jones

7 Tevin Coleman

8 Le'Veon Bell

9 Josh Jacobs

10 Nick Chubb

11 James White

12Chris Carson

13 Melvin Gordon

14 Derrick Henry

15 Mark Ingram

16 Mark Walton

17 Austin Ekeler

18 Phillip Lindsay

19 Marlon Mack

20 Jamaal Williams

21 Royce Freeman

22 Adrian Peterson

23 Tarik Cohen

24 Jaylen Samuels

25 Jordan Howard

26 Devin Singletary

27 Miles Sanders

28 Kenyan Drake

29 David Montgomery

30 Carlos Hyde

WR

1 DeAndre Hopkins

2 Amari Cooper

3 Mike Evans

4 Chris Godwin

5 D.J. Chark

6 Tyler Lockett

7 Julian Edelman

8 Stefon Diggs

9 Tyreek Hill

10 Adam Thielen

11 Kenny Golladay

12 Allen Robinson

13 Davante Adams

14 John Brown

15 Michael Gallup

16 T.Y. Hilton

17 Odell Beckham Jr

18 JuJu Smith-Schuster

19 Keenan Allen

20 Tyrell Williams

21 Golden Tate

22 Robby Anderson

23 D.K. Metcalf

24 Alshon Jeffery

25 D.J. Moore

26 Marvin Jones

27 Emmanuel Sanders

28 Danny Amendola

29 Christian Kirk

30 Jarvis Landry

31 Chris Conley

32 Terry McLaurin

33 Courtland Sutton

34 Devante Parker

35 Mike Williams

36 Curtis Samuel

TE

1 George Kittle

2 Travis Kelce

3 Hunter Henry

4 Darren Waller

5 Evan Engram

6 Mark Andrews

7 Zach Ertz

8 Jonnu Smith

9 Darren Fells

10 Jimmy Graham

11 Dallas Goedert

12 Greg Olsen

13 Jason Witten

14 Ryan Griffin

15 T.J. Hockenson

DEF

1 Bills

2 Patriots

3 49ers

4 Seahawks

5 Eagles

6 Cowboys

7 Vikings

8 Browns

9 Jets

10 Packers

11 Bears

12 Panthers

13 Titans

14 Colts

15 Jaguars

KICKER

1 Justin Tucker

2 Robbie Gould

3 Matt Prater

4 Mason Crosby

5 Harrison Butker

6 Jason Myers

7 Brett Maher

8 Joey Slye

9 Adam Vinatieri

10 Nick Folk

11 Josh Lambo

12 Steven Hauschka

13 Ka'imi Fairbairn

14 Dan Bailey

15 Chris Boswell

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Allen had high praise for Diggs. Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images.

Impersonal as it might seem to have their dynamic on-field relationship end with an exchange of phone texts, Bills quarterback Josh Allen made it clear on Thursday how much receiver Stefon Diggs meant to him during their four seasons together in Buffalo.

Allen made no mention of Diggs’ mercurial temperament or the occasional sideline flare-ups by expressing only praise in his first opportunity to discuss his now-former teammate being traded to the Houston Texans earlier this month.

“Just thanking him for everything that he did for me, and (I’ll) always have a spot in my heart for him. I’ll always love that guy like a brother. And I wish him nothing but the best,” Allen said, in disclosing what he texted to Diggs. “My lasting memory of Stef will be the receiver that helped me become the quarterback that I am today.”

Brought together in March 2020, when Buffalo gave up a first-round draft pick to acquire Diggs in a trade with Minnesota, the duo went on to re-write many of Buffalo's single-season passing and scoring records, and lead the team to four straight AFC East titles.

Diggs, now 30, also brought an inescapable sense of drama with him in raising questions about his commitment to the Bills and whether his tight relationship with Allen had soured.

A day before being traded, Diggs posted a message, “You sure?” on the social media platform X in response to someone suggesting he wasn’t essential to Allen’s success.

Whatever hard feelings, if any, lingered as Buffalo opened its voluntary workout sessions this week were not apparent from Allen or coach Sean McDermott, who also addressed reporters for the first time since Diggs was traded.

“Stef’s a great player, really enjoyed our time together. Won a lot of games and he was a huge factor in winning those games. We’ll miss him,” McDermott said. “You never replace a player like Stef Diggs, and we wish him well.”

Allen turned his focus to the future and a Bills team that spent much of the offseason retooling an aging and expensive roster.

Aside from trading Diggs, salary cap restrictions led to Buffalo cutting respected center Mitch Morse, the breakup of a veteran secondary that had been together since 2017, and the team unable to afford re-signing No. 2 receiver Gabe Davis.

“I don’t think it’s a wrong thing or a bad thing to get younger,” said Allen, entering his seventh NFL season. “I think it’s an opportunity for myself to grow as a leader. And to bring along some of these young guys and new guys that we’ve brought in to our team. And that’s an opportunity, frankly, that I’m very excited about."

Despite the departures, the Bills offense is not exactly lacking even though general manager Brandon Beane is expected to target selecting a receiver with his first pick — currently 28th overall — in the draft next week.

Receiver Khalil Shakir enters his third year and tight end Dalton Kincaid enter his second following promising seasons. Buffalo also added veteran experience in signing free agent receiver Curtis Samuel and Mack Hollins.

While Beane acknowledged the Bills lack a true No. 1 receiver, he noted there’s less urgency to fill that spot now than in 2020 because of how much the offense has developed under Allen.

“Now that Josh has ascended to the player he is, is that a requirement? I don’t think so,” Beane said.

Diggs’ role also began diminishing in the second half of last season, which coincided with Joe Brady replacing Ken Dorsey as offensive coordinator. Brady placed an emphasis on adding balance to a pass-heavy attack and getting more receivers involved, which led to an uptick in production for Shakir and Kincaid.

While Diggs’ numbers dropped, Buffalo’s win total increased.

With the Bills at 6-6, Diggs ranked third in the NFL with 83 catches, seventh with 969 yards and tied for third with eight TDs receiving. Buffalo then closed the season with five straight wins in which Diggs combined for 24 catches for 214 yards and no scores.

”(Diggs) meant a lot. You look at the statistics, they don’t lie,” Allen said, in referring to Diggs topping 100 catches and 1,000 yards in each of his four seasons in Buffalo. “I don’t get paid to make changes on the team. I get paid to be the best quarterback that I can be and try to lead the guys on this team.”

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