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Cole Frederick's fantasy football picks for Week 9

Best Matchups

Quarterback — Eli Manning, Giants (at Patriots) — Manning is quietly having an MVP-caliber season as he has led the Giants to a 5-2 record. The Patriots’ defense has been atrocious, particularly in the secondary, so Manning should have another big day through the air.

Running Back — Frank Gore, 49ers (at Redskins) — Gore started out slowly this season for San Francisco, but 49ers head coach Jim Harbaugh has been committed to the run lately, and Gore has been the workhorse. Gore has four straight 100-yard rushing games and San Francisco will likely turn to him again this week in Washington.

Wide Receiver — Dwayne Bowe, Chiefs (vs. Dolphins) — Four weeks ago, I wouldn’t have even thought about starting a Chiefs player. However, Kansas City has played well recently and Bowe has been Matt Cassel’s favorite target. Look for a frequent Cassel-to-Bowe connection this week against a porous Miami secondary.

Tight End — Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (vs. Giants) — Tom Brady has two reliable young tight ends in Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez, and while both have been effective, Gronkowski has been more efficient due to frequent Hernandez injuries. The Giants secondary has been injury-ridden all season and Brady will exploit any weaknesses in a defense.

Team Defense/Special Teams — 49ers (at Redskins) — San Francisco has been great defensively all season, and Washington has been horrible offensively. Look for Ole Miss alum Patrick Willis and the 49ers to shut down John Beck and the downward-spiraling Redskins.

Other Good Matchups

QB — Andy Dalton, Bengals (at Titans), Matt Cassel, Chiefs (vs. Dolphins)

RB — Steven Jackson, Rams (at Cardinals), Matt Forte, Bears (at Eagles)

WR — Brandon Lloyd, Rams (at Cardinals), A.J. Green, Bengals (at Titans)

TE — Jimmy Graham, Saints (vs. Bucs), Heath Miller, Steelers (vs. Ravens)

Team D/ST — Bengals (at Titans), Steelers (vs. Ravens)

Worst Matchups

Quarterback — Matt Hasselbeck, Titans (vs. Bengals) — Hasselbeck has been surprisingly efficient thus far this season, but this week he faces one of the best defenses in the league as the Titans play host to the Cincinnati Bengals. Tennessee is also without leading receiver Kenny Britt for the season, and the running game has been ineffective so look for Hasselbeck to struggle Sunday.

Running Back — Chris Johnson, Titans (vs. Bengals) — Speaking of the Titans’ ineffective running game, what happened to Chris Johnson? Two years ago he led the league with over 2,000 yards rushing and now he has had only one 100-yard rushing game this season, as well as just one rushing touchdown. If Johnson could only muster 34 yards versus the Colts, don’t expect him to turn things around against the Bengals’ defense.

Wide Receiver — Brandon Marshall, Dolphins (at Chiefs) — Marshall is one of the best receivers in the league, but he will only be as effective as his quarterback (just ask Larry Fitzgerald). A good quarterback can take a receiver a long way, but a bad QB can ruin a season. As long as Matt Moore or Sage Rosenfels is throwing the ball for Miami, Marshall will not be nearly as effective as in the past.

Tight End — Fred Davis, Redskins (vs. 49ers) — Logic indicates that Davis would be a good choice this week because tight end Chris Cooley, receiver Santana Moss and running back Tim Hightower are all out with injuries. However, with John Beck at quarterback and the 49ers coming into town, look for Davis to not take advantage of those injuries.

Team Defense/Special Teams — Patriots (vs. Giants) — Big Ben and the Steelers found holes throughout the Patriots’ defense last Sunday, as Roethlisberger threw for over 350 yards in Pittsburgh’s win. Eli Manning and the Giants are red-hot offensively, so look for New England to not fare any better this week.

Other Bad Matchups

QB — Ryan Fitzpatrick, Bills (vs. Jets), Tony Romo, Cowboys (vs. Seahawks)

RB — Reggie Bush, Dolphins (at Chiefs), Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers (vs. Ravens)

WR — Dez Bryant, Cowboys (vs. Seahawks), Reggie Wayne, Colts (vs. Falcons)

TE — Jason Witten, Cowboys (vs. Seahawks)

Team D/ST — Bears (at Eagles), Cardinals (vs. Rams)