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Michael Turner cannot be started with any confidence. He’s still decent enough, and he plays on a high-powered offense, but it seems that the coaching staff has lost faith in his ability to pick up yards and run with power. He carried the ball just 11 times on Sunday, and he was only able to manage 33 yards. I know that people thought the end was near for Turner, but I’m not sure folks thought the dropoff was this close, or this steep. It’s clear that this is now Matt Ryan’s team, especially with the arsenal of weapons at his disposal, and it looks like Turner will be taking a backseat. Make plans accordingly.
Josh Gordon might be for real. Gordon is still a very young, very raw talent at receiver. He’s still learning how to play the position at an NFL level, but he’s showing some promise, and Brandon Weeden is looking for him. His three catches on Sunday included a 71-yard touchdown. He’s a boom-or-bust guy, with 12 catches for 274 yards and three scores. Fantasy owners would be dependent on big plays for real production, but you can do a lot worse at your WR3 or flex with the injuries and bye weeks.
Shonn Greene might not be dead … yet. Well, that was interesting. Every time I’m ready to completely write-off Greene, he has a game like this. After several weeks of splitting carries with Bilal Powell, Green exploded on Sunday for 32 carries for 161 yards and three touchdowns. I’m still not sure what to make of Greene, since I’ve seen him play terribly more often than not. The Indianapolis defense is suspect, so I guess I need to see more. If you own Greene, it’s possible you are even more frustrated, thinking that he’ll most likely get shutdown big time in his next game at New England.
Josh Freeman showed glimpses of his 2010 form. I didn’t think Freeman would be all that good this year. With Greg Schiano bringing a run, run, run-some-more offensive scheme, I figured he had a poor fantasy outlook. To be fair, in the four games prior to Sunday, Freeman had posted less than 200 yards, one touchdown, and an interception per game – not terrible, but not good either. Against a Kansas City team that looks lost right now, the Buccaneers found their offensive stride, as Freeman put up a 328-yard, three-touchdown, one-interception performance. I still need to see more, but Freeman has taken the first step towards regaining the trust of fantasy owners.
Despite Michael Vick’s issues, he’s still worth the start. If you watched or listened to any show dealing with the NFL, you probably heard about how bad Vick has been. As a Philadelphia Eagles' fan, I can assure you that he has, in fact, been bad. Very bad. He makes poor decisions. He doesn’t protect the football. He takes terrible sacks. But even when playing poorly, as he did on Sunday against Detroit, he is still ridiculously productive. He threw for 311 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Add to that the nine rushes for 59 yards, and you’ve got a huge day for your quarterback. It’s not going to be pretty, but if he’s on your team, you’re most likely already invested. Start him, and go to a movie. The numbers at the end of the day will be good. Just don’t watch.
DeMarco Murray is a roller coaster ride. It seems like every time I’m frustrated by him, he does something incredible. And vice versa. Murray finally got going in the first half of Dallas’ Week 6 matchup with Baltimore. He ran 13 times for 90 yards in the first half, as the Cowboys showed an offensive balance that had been lacking this season. However, in a sad turn of events, he sprained his foot towards the end of the first half. Murray now finds himself doubtful for a Week 7 tilt with Carolina, which would have been a juicy matchup. Instead, it will most likely be Felix Jones getting the start. I know. Gross.
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