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Shuffle Up: Staying grounded with Alfred Morris; navigating the tricky tight end board

Scott Pianowski
Roto Arcade

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Alfred Morris finds a lane (USAT)

You should know the drill by now. We're trying to rank these players on rest-of-season value. These are not Week 9 ranks, nor are they intended to be a scoreboard of Weeks 1-8. The first two months stand as an audition, nothing past that.

The running backs and tight ends get the wash this week. We'll look at quarterback and wide receivers in Week 10.

Please remember the golden rule: a player doesn't gain (or lose) bonus value simply because he's on your roster. Try to stay reasonable here.

$32 Jamaal Charles
$30 Matt Forte
$29 Adrian Peterson
$29 Marshawn Lynch
$27 LeSean McCoy
$25 Knowshon Moreno
$24 Reggie Bush
$24 Frank Gore
$23 Eddie Lacy
$23 Alfred Morris
$20 Ray Rice

You don't get a lot of receptions with Morris, but there's a wonderful floor here: 5.2 yards a carry, and 15-16-16-19-17 carries the last five weeks. Those numbers will go up if Washington starts winning a few games; the next three on the schedule look attainable. I'm not going to sweat the Roy Helu hat trick in Week 7; that was more about timing than anything else, not a flaw in Morris's game . . . I know a lot of fake footballers want to move on from Rice, and I can see your angle (crummy efficiency numbers, terrible offensive line). But with Rice healed up off a bye week and the Ravens wanting to get back to basics on offense, I'm not ready for a major shift. And keep in mind Rice has 69 touches over the last three weeks; volume backs certainly do not grow on trees.

$19 Arian Foster
$18 Stevan Ridley
$18 Le'Veon Bell
$17 Ryan Mathews
$16 Darren McFadden
$14 Andre Ellington
$14 Zac Stacy
$14 DeMarco Murray
$14 Giovani Bernard
$13 Fred Jackson
$12 Maurice Jones-Drew
$11 Danny Woodhead
$11 Darren Sproles
$11 Lamar Miller
$11 Trent Richardson
$11 C.J. Spiller
$10 Chris Johnson
$10 Pierre Thomas

When Chris Johnson was a young pup, he had enough speed and raw ability to outrun his mistakes. That's not the case in 2013. I can't think of any other feature back in the league who reads blocking so poorly . . . I'm very impressed with the Stacy tape, but I'm worried about the touchdown potential - the Rams are so easy to defend in the red area, and Stacy isn't going to hit a lot of home runs on his own . . . Just once I want to see Richardson look like someone who went third overall in his draft class. Where are the splash plays? Where are the big yardage games? I'm glad he's not my problem.

$9 DeAngelo Williams
$8 BenJarvus Green-Ellis
$7 Steven Jackson
$7 Mike James
$7 Shane Vereen
$6 Ben Tate
$6 Bilal Powell
$5 Chris Ivory
$5 Jacquizz Rodgers
$5 Donald Brown
The Patriots will welcome Vereen as soon as they can get him, but the backfield gridlock isn't going away. Stay reasonable with your expectations of the injured . . . Ivory's Week 7 performance will probably go down as one of the biggest flukes of the year . . . I wouldn't drop Rodgers yet; let's see if Jackson is actually capable of handling a featured role, and capable of making yards on his own (a key skill to have behind this awful run-blocking unit).

$4 Roy Helu
$4 Shonn Greene
$4 Andre Brown
$4 Montee Ball
$3 Joique Bell
$3 Peyton Hillis
$2 Rashard Mendenhall
$2 Joseph Randle
$2 Willis McGahee
$2 James Starks
$2 Brandon Bolden
$2 Mike Tolbert
$2 Doug Martin
$2 Jonathan Stewart
$1 Kendall Hunter
$1 Daniel Thomas
$1 Bernard Pierce
$1 Daryl Richardson
$1 Robert Turbin
$1 Fozzy Whittaker
$1 Brandon Jacobs
$1 Tashard Choice
$1 Christine Michael
$1 Knile Davis
$0 Chris Ogbonnaya
$0 LeGarrette Blount
$0 Johnathan Franklin
$0 Jason Snelling
$0 Bryce Brown
$0 Khiry Robinson
$0 Michael Bush

And here are your tight ends.

$23 Vernon Davis
$22 Jimmy Graham
$22 Rob Gronkowski
$21 Julius Thomas
$20 Jordan Cameron
$18 Antonio Gates
$18 Tony Gonzalez
$18 Jordan Reed

If I were 100 percent sure on Graham's health, he's the No. 1 tight end - obviously. But don't let last week's two-score game obscure you from two important facts: Graham's foot is significantly bothering him, and the Saints used him for limited snaps. Davis isn't fed the ball like Graham is (or Gronkowski, for that matter), but his seven touchdowns spend nicely and I like the second-half schedule for the Niners . . . If you could get Reed-plus for one of the other blue chip tight ends, that's a deal I'd explore immediately. I could not be more impressed with Washington's emerging tight end.

$16 Greg Olsen
$15 Jason Witten
$13 Kyle Rudolph
$12 Martellus Bennett
$12 Heath Miller
$11 Charles Clay
$10 Coby Fleener
$9 Timothy Wright
$8 Tyler Eifert
$5 Jared Cook

I'm not going to flip out over Witten's quiet stretch - the receptions should return shortly - but remember he hasn't been a major touchdown factor for several years . . . Wright and Mike Glennon already have a nifty rapport going together, probably a result of all the second-team reps they ran earlier in the year . . . Brian Schottenheimer, you're killing us softly. So much for the Cook breakout year.

$4 Jeff Cumberland
$4 Jermaine Gresham
$4 Scott Chandler
$4 Delanie Walker
$3 Brandon Myers
$3 Brandon Pettigrew
$3 Garrett Graham
$2 Owen Daniels
$2 Rob Housler
$1 Jermichael Finley
$1 Zach Miller
$1 Dallas Clark
$1 Brent Celek
$1 Lance Kendricks
$1 Joseph Fauria
$1 Marcedes Lewis
$1 Anthony Fasano
$1 Ben Watson
$1 Joel Dreessen
$0 Mychal Rivera

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