2011 ranks: Patriots options slowly sinking

Welcome to November and the Week 9 edition of the "rest-of-season" fantasy football rankings. This is usually the month that makes or breaks fantasy teams. Perhaps you're still in contention in your league at 4-4 and can't tell whether you're playoff material. In November, you'll likely find out. In November you'll also run out of time to make trades. Hopefully these rankings -- which are still one man's opinion, mind you -- can help you in your decision-making.

Once again, note that these are not the Week 9-specific rankings; those will be posted Wednesday and updated Friday. Enjoy, and best of luck!

Quick click by position, for easy reference:

Top 40 Quarterbacks | Top 60 Running Backs | Top 60 Wide Receivers

Top 30 Tight Ends | Top 32 Defense/Special Teams | Top 100 Overall

Top 40 Quarterbacks

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&#8226 I'm beginning to hear whispers of discontent from Tom Brady's fantasy owners. The last time he reached 20 fantasy points in a game was in Week 3. Now, I'm not particularly concerned about Brady nor do I think you should trade him for Chad Ochocinco, but his 15 fantasy points in Pittsburgh continued a trend. Not that I expected 50 touchdown passes, but after throwing 11 in the first three weeks, he has seven in four games. I still want Brady for the fantasy playoffs (Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and Buffalo Bills the final three weeks), but I can't deny Cam Newton his rightful place at No. 2. He has earned it -- he's actually fantasy's top scorer this season! -- and he has outscored Brady by 37 points this season.

&#8226 As for Brady's Week 8 foe, Ben Roethlisberger might actually be better off with longtime target Hines Ward on the sidelines. I really like Antonio Brown, the team leader in targets, and Emmanuel Sanders clearly has skills. Roethlisberger has reached 20 fantasy points three of four weeks. I don't like the matchups in his next two games (Baltimore Ravens and Cincinnati Bengals), but after that it's relatively smooth sailing. I moved Big Ben past the slumping Philip Rivers, who leaves the top 10 and takes his league-leading interception total with him. Look, I know what Rivers did in 2010 and in years past. But it's Week 9, more than halfway through the 2011 season, and Rivers isn't a top-10 quarterback. He's currently 16th among quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, with fewer points than such passers as Colt McCoy and Matt Hasselbeck.

&#8226 Tim Tebow was awful Sunday. Just downright awful. A few more games like that -- or maybe even before then -- and the Broncos might actually hand the reins back over to Kyle Orton or even give Brady Quinn a shot. Tebow did produce 12 fantasy points, more than Drew Brees and Tony Romo, but something has changed: Now I'm not so sure Broncos coach John Fox sticks with him if Tebow doesn't improve. Using "fantasy statistics" as a measurable to persuade Fox to stick with Tebow probably wouldn't work.

&#8226 By the way, St. Louis Rams wide receiver Brandon Lloyd is really good, and he's getting targeted a ton. The pending return of quarterback Sam Bradford now interests me more than I thought it would. I moved him up a few spots based on the upside. With many bye weeks over, I'd take a shot on a "home run threat" at quarterback.

Top 60 Running Backs

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