If Jacobs does not deliver a 15-point fantasy line against San Diego on Sunday, we're willing to waive all Roto Arcade Insider™ fees for November. That is how confident we are.
In a week where the NFL's most user-friendly run defenses all have byes (Buffalo, Cleveland, Oakland, St. Louis), the Chargers are the team to pick on. They've given up 132.1 rushing yards per game. San Diego allows more fantasy points to opposing running backs than any other team active in Week 9. And right now, Ahmad Bradshaw(notes) is running on a peg leg. Jacobs is an outstanding play. Start him with full confidence.
He's near the top of the early ranks, prepared to serve…
This week, that commenter who routinely complains that we've disrespected Matt Schaub(notes) may finally have a case. Schaub is third in the NFL in passing yards per game (292.8) and he's tied for first in total touchdowns (16), yet he's only tenth in the preliminary ranks. (Nothing is final 'til Friday). His circumstances are challenging in Week 9. The Colts have given up only three passing TDs all year, and Schaub will be without Owen Daniels(notes) (ACL) for the remainder of the year. Steve Slaton's(notes) post-benching role remains a mystery, too. ... Tony Romo(notes) returns to the crime scene in Philadelphia. He's facing a defense that's second in the league in sacks (23.0) and third in interceptions (14). The Eagles have held six of their seven opponents to 17 points or less. ... Matt Cassel(notes) is coming off a bye and facing a Jacksonville defense that doesn't rush the passer (league-worst 5.0 sacks) and doesn't typically generate turnovers (five INTs). ... The case to add Alex Smith this week is easily made. The Titans have allowed more passing yards than any team in the league (282.4 per game), more touchdown passes (19) and the highest completion percentage (71.2). ... If you're playing for the top pick in next year's draft, go ahead and roll with Josh Freeman(notes).
Ryan Grant(notes) rarely ranks as a strong play, but he'll get a Tampa Bay defense that's given up 162.4 rushing yards per game and 4.7 per carry. ... Yeah, that's an optimistic rank for Jamaal Charles(notes), particularly when you consider the fact that Kansas City has yet to score a rushing touchdown this year. But with Larry Johnson(notes) taking his annual mid-season break, Charles is in line for a full workload against a defense that just allowed 305 rushing yards to the one-dimensional Titans. Kolby Smith(notes) figures to make a cameo, but that's it. ... If the practice reports on Donald Brown(notes) (shoulder) remain relatively positive, he'll force his way into the ranks and Joseph Addai(notes) will obviously take a small hit. ... Kevin Smith(notes) (shoulder) did not practice on Wednesday, but he's expected to participate on Thursday. His head coach just called him "our workhorse running back," so don't fret about Maurice Morris(notes). ... Running behind a miserable offensive line, Matt Forte(notes) managed only 3.5 yards per carry against the Browns. His longest carry went for 12 yards. If you're not shopping him furiously right now, then you're not trying. ... It's no easy task to rank the various pieces of the Houston backfield this week. We know that Steve Slaton isn't going to disappear entirely, but Gary Kubiak won't get into specifics about workload distribution in advance of the Colts game. Indy's defense allows 4.5 yards per rush, so there's an opportunity for someone to post useful fantasy totals. ... Regarding Ricky Williams(notes): The argument for ranking him No. 31 this week is really the same as last week's argument, when we ranked him No. 26 among the RBs (and he finished 32nd). He's just not getting the ball enough to justify regular placement in the top 15; his carries have been in the single digits each of the past two weeks. As long as that continues, it's tough to rank him as more than flex option.
Wide Receivers and Tight Ends
Anquan Boldin(notes) (ankle) was excluded from the early ranks, because it seems foolish and unnecessary for the Cards to risk a re-re-re-aggravation of his ankle injury in Week 9. Ken Whisenhunt's cryptic statements offer little hope to Boldin owners. ... Roy Williams would like you to know that he is still the No. 1 receiver in Dallas. Because apparently "No. 1 receiver" is more of a ceremonial title with the Cowboys. ... The news on Calvin Johnson(notes) (knee) isn't great just yet, but it's slightly better than last week. Megatron was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday. ... Last call on the widely available Malcom Floyd(notes). Get him. Hurry. ... New York's Kevin Boss(notes) and Washington's Fred Davis(notes) are the preferred replacements for Owen Daniels for fantasy purposes this week. Boss gets to face the Chargers, a team that's historically generous to tight ends; Davis is an excellent receiver, and his quarterback is the unrivaled master of the checkdown. ... Jason Witten(notes) is ranked well beyond his year-to-date usefulness for matchup reasons. The Eagles haven't defended tight ends all year. Check the lines they've allowed to Boss, Davis, Zach Miller and Kellen Winslow(notes) over the past four weeks.
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