With Chris Johnson,
more means more.
The Tennessee Titans are quickly discovering that allowing Chris Johnson to run
wild more often may be best for not only the team, but for Johnson himself. According
Nashville City Paper, Johnson carried the ball an average of 16
times per game during the Titans’ 0-6 start. In the team’s last two wins
though Johnson has carried the ball 24 and 25 times but has still
maintained his league high 6.7 yards per carry; the highest average through the
first nine weeks since the 1970 merger.
The best part is that
Johnson prepared for an increased role during the offseason and almost expected
to carry the ball 20+ times per game.
“I talked to [running
backs] coach [Earnest] Byner in the offseason and that was the whole thing of
me not being in
and working out and stuff,” Johnson said. “I told them that some of the goals I
wanted to accomplish and how many times I wanted the ball, and I let them know
I was down there in
working hard, and they saw by the way I worked in the offseason, that made me
able to carry the ball 25 times.”
With the exception of his
two touchdowns this past Sunday, the other times Johnson has found the endzone
have been from 52 or more yards out; an exciting part of his Johnson’s game
that his teammates are starting to respect.
“Chris is a special
talent we know that if he touch the ball and gets on the outside he can go all
the way every time,” center Kevin Mawae said.
Johnson currently leads
the NFL in rushing yards with 959, and has a shot at reaching the 2,000-yard
plateau by season’s end. This week the Titans host a Bills defense that is
allowing 173.6 rushing yards per game, so expect another big game from the
current top fantasy runner. And if he can stay healthy it would not be surprising
to see him reach that 2,000-yard milestone, especially with a weak slate of
defenses on tap for the Titans in the second half of the season.
How do you stop Mr.
With 27 receptions, 612 yards and seven touchdowns, Cowboys wide receiver Miles
Austin has made a star-like statement thus far this season; a statement that is
starting to garner attention from opposing defenses. And, according to the
Worth Star-Telegram, the Cowboys’ Week 10 opponent, the Green Bay Packers,
know all about
and will pay close attention to the breakout star, literally.
“I think anybody who
makes big plays, you have to pay attention to him,” Packers coach Mike McCarthy
said on a conference call Wednesday. “Obviously, he’s a hot player with ability.
We started it for him last year, and he’s definitely someone that we’ll pay
But with so many weapons
what will the Packers choose to do to try and slow one of the hottest offenses
in the NFL?
“We have so many weapons,”
Cowboys receiver Roy Williams said. “What do you do? Do you try to
take away Miles? Do you try to take away
Do you try to take away [Jason]
Do you stack the box and try and take away the run game?”
The Packers defense is
allowing 282.9 total yards per game, but the Cowboys offense is averaging 404.5
total yards per game. Most notably, though, is that the Packers defense is
allowing just 97.1 rushing yards per game, and the Cowboys runners are
averaging under four yards per carry in the past four games. And with the
Packers’ weak blitz attacks the Cowboys may choose to air it out quite a bit if
the weather conditions are fit for passing.
Quinn to start again.
Just how bad of shape are the Cleveland Browns in? How about terrible,
detestable, and abominable?
Most of all, they’ve been
allowing a quarterback, who clearly lost every last ounce of his quarterback
skills in his first start back, to run the offense in to the ground, because of
the $10.9 million in future escalators built in to Brady Quinn’s contract.
Now that Quinn is in the clear to most likely not take 70 percent of his team’s
snaps, he’ll be back behind center once again. This time, though, according to
he won’t be concerned with keeping the head job, but with rallying this awful
Browns team in the second half of the season.
“Why should there be a concern?” Quinn said. “I’ve been through it before. I
understand the adversity that comes with that. I think we’re all accountable as
a team. Then again, the season is only halfway over. We have to do our
best to get things moving.”
It’s not going to be an
easy first game back for the
boy. Not only will the Browns be hosting the ever intense Ravens defense, but
Quinn and his mates will be in the spotlight on Monday night. The good news is
that the Ravens are dealing with a few injuries on defense and are allowing
225.8 passing yards per game this season. The bad news is that the Browns
offense is averaging just 121.5 passing yards per game, has scored just three
touchdowns via air, and scored just three points in their last meeting against
the Ravens in Week 3.
Stay away from Quinn
until he proves he can produce on a consistent basis. The only player in
the Browns passing attack that fantasy owners should be concerned with at this
point is wide receiver Mohamed Massaquoi, who should be closely monitored this
Monday night with Quinn back in the starting role.
Portis doubtful, Betts
Almost every fantasy publication this week has Ladell Betts as a hot waiver
wire pickup, and for good reason. According to the
Washington Post, Redskins
starting running back Clinton Portis’ head condition is more serious than
expected, and quarterback Jason Campbell believes that sitting out could be the
best choice for his usually steady back.
“You’re talking about a
serious injury. It’s something dealing with the head,”
that way, you’re just not talking about short-term, you’re talking about
long-term. It’s very important that they [take precautions] and he takes
precautions because this is something that deals further than just football.”
This week the Redskins
are matched up against a Broncos defense that is allowing 97 yards per game on
the ground, but allowed Steelers running back Rashard Mendenhall to gallop for
150+ yards in their Monday night loss in Week 9. But more importantly is the
fact that Portis’ head injury is indeed serious, so picking up Betts is a must,
especially for those who own No. 26.
Owens’ hip a bother?
Former star receiver Terrell Owens has had a forgettable slumping start to his
2009 season; his first as a Buffalo Bill. Well, that slumping start may
continue as the Bills begin their second half run against in
News, Owens did not practice on Thursday because of a strained hip, as he
was deemed by coach Dick Jauron as too sore to participate.
“He’s still struggling,’’
Jauron said. “He didn’t come out to watch practice. Bud [Carpenter, the Bills’
head trainer] is working hard with him. They’ve got him doing different things.
I believe that it’s better, but it’s not good enough to be on the field.’’
Surprisingly Owens (23
receptions, 281 yards, 1 touchdown) has been outplayed by teammate Lee Evans
(23 receptions, 331 yards, 3 touchdowns), and he couldn’t have picked a worse
week to have a injury like this with a Titans pass defense that is allowing
278.3 yards per game on tap this Sunday. Keep a close eye on the aging receiver’s
status and consider starting him if he can go.
On the injury front….
LB Curtis Lofton – Probable
WR Roddy White – Questionable
RB DeAngelo Williams – Questionable
RB Jonathan Stewart – Questionable
WR Muhsin Muhammad – Questionable
WR Antonio Bryant – Doubtful
DE Stylez G White – Doubtful
LB Ernie Sims – Out
LB Larry Foote – Questionable
CB Antoine Winfield – Out
WR Lance Moore – Out
S Darren Sharper – Questionable
LB Keith Ellison – Out
WR Terrell Owens – Questionable
WR Justin Gage – Out
DE Jevon Kearse – Questionable
LB Gerald Hayes – Doubtful
WR Anquan Boldin – Probable
LB Aaron Kampman – Out
LB Brady Poppinga – Out
TE Jermichael Finley – Out
WR Kevin Curtis – Out
LB Shawne Merriman – Questionable
RB Fred Taylor – Out
WR Julian Edelman – Questionable
RB Sammy Morris – Questionable
K Adam Vinatieri – Out
CB Kelvin Hayden – Out
WR Anthony Gonzalez – Out
Speaking Out: Truly
the no fun, green league?
While some fans everywhere last week found themselves upside down falling off
recliners and folding chairs in deep laughter as they watched Chad Ochocinco
try to bribe an official during a review with a George Washington bill, NFL
officials could be found shaking their heads in their luxury wine-filled
suites, while aging white-haired diehards were simultaneously shooting their
dentures at their 19” tin foiled bunny-eared television sets.
And then what would
happen next is almost just as funny, appalling, and disgusting, but at the same
time, like watching No. 85’s antics, not surprising.
the Bengals starlet was fined $20,000, and was issued a letter from NFL’s
executive vice president of football operations Ray Anderson that read:
“The very appearance of impropriety is not acceptable. Your conduct was
unprofessional and unbecoming an NFL player.”
What did coach
“You don’t fool with the
integrity of the game in the NFL,” Marvin Lewis said, according to the team’s
Web site. “You don’t cross that line, and he crossed that line. I told him
that, and obviously the league felt that.
“We’re not the WWE. It’s
a serious game for serious people. You can’t do that, and he realizes he made a
very big error in judgment. He’s sorry for it. Hopefully some good will come
out of it. I’m sure the league at some point can’t have a copycat deal. So I think
they made a pretty firm statement there will be no copycats.”
The first 11 words of
that second paragraph hit me hard. I mean, I know what coach Lewis meant
by what he said, but at the same time I was under the impression that like the
WWE, the NFL is a form of entertainment.
Clearly that mustn’t be
true. What does seem to be true though, is that like the WWE, the NFL’s leader
undoubtedly has every player, coach and executive’s nuts (cheerleaders,
reporters and woman suits not included) so twisted that every action, every
flinch, and every word that is said that they don’t like is chastised, wrong
On the flipside, referees
never get punished like they should, integrity-killing rules are added at a
more rapid pace than the Browns reach the endzone, and most of all, the NFL
always make the public feel as though they’re doing the right thing, even
though in the end the players and their foolish antics are the prime reason why
they’re business is so much like the WWE; rich and hungry for more green.
I leave you with this; a
summary of this apparent Ocho “stinko” saga seen in the lyrics of
The Sound of Madness.
Another lose cannon
Slipped down, couldn’t get much lower.
Quicksand’s got no sense of humor, (The NFL)
I’m still laughing like hell. (Me)
And I’ll continue to
laugh, even when I find myself with dentures, a rickety old rocking chair, and
a low-class sense of humor.
Thanks for reading!
Eric Huber is a staff
writer for Fantasysharks.com. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.