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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A WEEKLY REVIEW OF CRENNEL'S COACHING

Now my job: Texans feast on Lions

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Thanksgiving is full of tradition. There's the typical family gathering, large meal, and of course, football. Sometimes, new traditions are added and old ones are retired. I think the Texans did both in their impressive 41-25 win over the Lions in Detroit. Old traditions were carried on (Lions losing on Thanksgiving), some were put to rest (Texans not being able to get turnovers), and new ones were started (multiple passing touchdowns by Deshaun Watson in six straight games).

The fact that this defense got three turnovers in the game was unbelievable! They got all three in the first quarter within the span of eight plays. JJ Watt's pick-six was insane. He went for a batted ball, ended up catching it, and ran it in. They forced Jonathan Williams to fumble on the Lions' very next play from scrimmage and recovered it. On the Lions' next possession, the Texans recovered yet another fumble after the challenge was reversed. Great call by the coaching staff to challenge and win. The defense looked good. Tyrell Adams stood out because he was in on those two fumbles, made 17 total tackles with 14 of them being solo tackles. They also brought pressure that seemed to make Matthew Stafford very inaccurate and resulted in four sacks. I give defensive coordinator Anthony Weaver credit for knowing he needs to blitz to get pressure, but the run defense has to improve.

The offense kept the tempo up in this game as well. The spread and hurry-up were used to keep the Lions already staggered defense off balance. Knowing the Lions were without a couple defensive backs, I thought it would be the perfect marriage of their defense and the Texans' offense. A buddy asked before the game about the line (Texans -3.5) and the over/under (52.5). I told him bet the Texans and the over because neither team can play defense and both have good quarterbacks. Offensive coordinator Tim Kelly put together another good game plan and Watson executed it flawlessly. One route combo I saw later on in the game I particularly enjoyed. Two receivers were tight to the left side. Cooks ran a hook/curl and settled in the middle of the zone while Fuller ran a vertical route. Duke Johnson ran a swing route to that same side. It left Cooks wide open as the attention went to Johnson in the flat, Fuller deep, and the action to the other play side. Route combos are important because it gives the quarterback different reads as he goes through his progressions and lets him pick apart the defense based on what he sees. Combine that with Watson's play and the way Kelly has changed his play calling now that he's liberated from he who shall not be named, we're seeing a beautiful thing.

As good as things were, there's still room for improvement. The defense gives up way too many easy yards, both run and pass. They can't get pressure bringing only four and will often give up big plays if the blitz is picked up. Plus the run defense is still an issue as evidenced by the Lions' first possession of the second half. The Lions ran the ball 10 plays straight for a total of 58 yards on that drive. Utterly ridiculous! Watson was good (17/25 318 yards and four touchdowns), but he missed two more touchdowns with passes slightly off, and continues to hold onto the ball too long at times. The difference between these two issues I've presented here is the fact that Watson has so played well, his "issues" are minor and very correctable, while the defense is terrible and there's no easy fix in sight. But let Romeo Crennel and Anthony Weaver tell it, they're getting the most out of these guys and they're playing disciplined.

The thought that this team may actually creep into the playoff picture may take shape better after next week if they can beat the Colts. I doubt it, but it is getting interesting. Let's see what else happens around them because they need help getting there.

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