Week eight in fantasy football was quite possibly the week from hell. We saw many a star player get hurt, and many are now done for the season. Keenan Allen, Le’Veon Bell and Steve Smith are the big names to be lost for the year, while Matt Forte is out for a few weeks.

It was bad. Hey, even Reggie Bush and Ryan Fitzpatrick got hurt.

Needless to say, if you lost due to injury, you weren’t alone. Heck, I had a daily fantasy football squad that had Keenan AND Bell on it. Right?

As bad as week eight was, that can’t possibly happen again, so we need to march into week nine with confidence. Whether you’re swinging a big trade, hitting up the waiver wire or just deciding which of your bench guys will help you out of your latest jam, there’s always reason for optimism. Perhaps my week nine fantasy football rankings can help you in your weekly process.

Let’s discuss a few things at each position and then feel free to go through my week 9 rankings at your own discretion:

Quarterback

Marcus Mariota could return this week (knee) with a new philosophy and the worst defense in the league against quarterbacks (Saints) awaiting him…The Buccaneers are one of three teams that give up over 20 fantasy points to the quarterback position, making Eli Manning one of the better plays of week 9…New York’s bad numbers on defense lately are misleading, as Derek Carr put up 4 TDs against them last week but they had only allowed 3 other scores through the air in the previous three weeks…No one has intercepted more passes than the New York Giants, who face Jameis Winston…The Green Bay Packers lead the league in rushing yards allowed to quarterbacks and they face Cam Newton in week 9.

Running Back

Matt Forte is out this week, giving Jeremy Langford a big role against the Chargers, who have allowed more fantasy points to RBs this year than anyone else…Green Bay is the worst defense against RBs over the past two weeks and they only played one game. They’re still giving up 19+ points to RBs anyways, making Jonathan Stewart a fun play…Jacksonville is the second worst defense in the league against RBs over the past four weeks, making Chris Ivory an elite play…Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard are at home against the Browns, who remain the second worst unit against RBs this year…Oakland has given up the second most receptions to running backs, further showing DeAngelo Williams is in for a nice day as the new feature back in Pittsburgh.

Wide Receiver

Julio Jones looked rather healthy in an eruption last week and gets the Niners this week, who are ranked 30th against WRs…Odell Beckham Jr. gets a Buccaneers pass D that is ranked one spot better…Keenan Allen is out and Stevie Johnson and Malcom Floyd are locked in starters for a lethal San Diego passing game that gets a Bears defense that is getting torched in 2015…Mike Evans should be fun this week, as he gets a Giants pass defense that allowed Drew Brees to put up 511 yards and 7 TDs last week…The Oakland Raiders have been pretty suspect against the pass all year and now they’re on the road against Big Ben…Cleveland is down Joe Haden and Donte Whitner and has been slipping against the pass, making A.J. Green more attractive than usual this week.

Tight End

No Keenan Allen and a banged up Ladarius Green makes Antonio Gates a target monster on Monday Night Football…The Raiders are league worst in points allowed to tight ends. Hello, Heath Miller, who just caught 10 balls last week…Jordan Reed is facing a Patriots defense that is OK against the tight end position, but he still gets targets all day and Kirk Cousins simply knows how to get the ball to his tight ends…Charles Clay faces his former team (Dolphins this week) and hung a nice 5-82-1 line on them earlier this year…Vernon Davis’ role in Denver is not cemented, but he’s the best TE they have suddenly…Coby Fleener already has been producing for Indy and now Rob Chudzinski is taking over the offense (his offenses traditionally feature the TE).

About The Author Kevin Roberts

Breaking Football's lead fantasy football expert. Top 40 finisher in FantasyPros accuracy challenge in 2012 and 2013. Your huckleberry.