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JL’s Week 3 Observation Deck

Running Back Situations

Of course the most over-talked about aspect of football, in reality, is always the quarterback controversy. The most crucial though, in fantasy, is the situation and roles running backs have each and every week. It can vary very quickly, and often can be the difference in a fantasy win or loss.

To my surprise, Ronnie Brown showed signs of his explosive power that he displayed the first seven games of 2007. He looked decisive making cuts and the Dolphins looked to gave established an identity on offense. If you remember, this exact thing happened just one year ago with Ronnie Brown. Week 3 was his coming out party. Expect Brown to get his 20 touches per game now. Chad Pennington is efficient enough to keep

Miami in games, which should lead to the Dolphins not abandoning the run too much. Ricky Williams is getting better as well, which limits Brown’s upside, but it just could mean the Dolphins offense as a whole is better. More red zone opportunities combined with fresh, healthy, explosive legs, should make Brown a Top 15 runner from this point forward.

In

Houston, there is no more running back competition. The Tennessee Titans, a dominant team up front, could not even contain Steve Slaton. Slaton displayed the incredible burst which made him a star in college, where he even astonished defenders with his power. Ahman Green goes down on first contact, Slaton does not. The coaches will make Slaton a focal point of the offense, especially during the struggles of Matt Schaub. The Texans, in fact, have always had fantasy value at the running back position. Do not be surprised at all if Slaton puts together three or four more 100-yard days.

In

Baltimore, however, I believe the competition is just getting started. Willis McGahee will not lose his job, if healthy, but he will lose plenty of carries. It is obvious La’Ron McLain is more than just a fullback. He is the Ravens equivalent of a closer. Ray Rice definitely deserves to be in the mix as well and will continue to get his touches. I don’t see any of them truly separating themselves to be every week consistent fantasy starters.

Quick Hits

There are plenty of buy-low receiver candidates out there. Braylon Edwards will benefit from a quarterback change here very soon. Bobby Engram returns in a couple weeks and should pick up where he left off with rather ease. Andre Johnson has not produced anything spectacular but still has plenty of upside. Lee Evans continues to face stiff competition, but things get much easier in the near future. Even a Santonio Holmes, who only has 155 total yards without reaching the end zone, could very easily produce big time numbers in remaining weeks. You might even be able to wait a couple more weeks to pull the trigger on Holmes, as the Steelers play the Bengals twice, the Browns, Chargers and Colts are from Week 7 on.

 All of those teams have shown very suspect secondary play.

If you have Drew Brees, Reggie Bush and company, why run a dive with Pierre Thomas on the two most crucial plays of the football game? Fourth and goal from the 1 right before halftime to tie the game, and 3rd and 1 with a minute left to create an easier field goal. It is rare that I dislike Sean Payton’s play calling, but in this case I did.


Fred Taylor had an incredible pure power and vision run Sunday vs. the Colts. Just when you think this man has slowed down, think again. You better believe he is making his case for the Hall of Fame folks.

The Eagles defense is a Top 3 unit this season. I have never seen Ben Roethlisberger harassed the way he was Sunday. For being such a great escape artist, Big Ben was knocked down over 15 times. The Eagles might not have too many quarterbacks finish the game vs. them this year.

Speaking of maneuvering the pocket. J.T. O’ Sullivan is no joke. He is actually very savvy and instinctive when it comes to playing the position. I think Mike Martz already knows he has a better player in J.T. then he had in Jon Kitna.

First the first time in a while, I saw flashes, minor bright little spots I should say, of the Bengals offense of old. The Bengals knew they were in a must win and the offensive line gave Carson Palmer more time to throw. I cannot stress enough that protecting Palmer, letting him step into throws and read defenses is the entire key the Bengals team, not just their offense.

The city of

Denver can kiss all of John Elway’s single season passing records goodbye; there is a new sheriff in town and his name is Jay Cutler.

For all of you who thought the Patriots would be even close to fine, think again. I hope this makes AP writer’s realize that the MVP award should ALWAYS go to a quarterback.

Nobody throws the football down the middle of the field better then Drew Brees. I repeat, nobody.

Lastly, on a local note, the 2007 Miami Dolphins would blow out the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs … by two touchdowns minimum.

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