Episode VI: Return of the Running Back
Ladainian Tomlinson had the best performance of the weekend and a performance that proved why he is undoubtedly still the best fantasy running back to be had. The Chargers got him in the open field into the second level, and when that happens, its all over. His acceleration and agility is always what has made him a phenomenal talent, both were on display in abundance Sunday afternoon against the Oakland Raiders.
Larry Johnson finally decided to show up and run with a little purpose. Granted it was vs the Bengals defense, it was nice to see him tote the rock over 30 times and grind out a very good fantasy day. I have been down on Johnson all season, but if you traded for him at his lowest value, which was probably after last game, you might have gotten a bargain if you didn’t have to pay a whole lot.
A player who I was very high on going into this season,
Maurice Jones-Drew has now put together back-to-back games where he flashed his unbelievable explosiveness. Hopefully you fantasy owners out there stayed patient with him, if so, you will reap the benefits for the rest of the season.
David Garrard is the perfect quarterback for the Jags offense, he doesn’t turn the ball over and he knows he doesn’t have to try and win games. The running game of the Jags will put them in the playoffs this season, and that all starts with MJD.
Although this is not necessarily a return of sorts, week six marked the birth of an elite NFL running back.
Adrian Peterson will not only finish in the top 10 fantasy running backs this season, he will go in the top 6 picks in every fantasy football draft around the nation in 2008.
Chester Taylor still had more carries than AP Sunday, but the fact of the matter is AP could average close to six yards per carry for the season and his carries still need to be kept fairly low so that he stays healthy the entire season, something he could not do much in college. His burst on Sunday looked like that of the most explosive back in the league, and probably nobody has had such a combination of size, speed and burst since the days when
Fred Taylor was in his prime. Those are the only guys in the past 15 years who were over 230 pounds but still could juke you out of your shoes, outrun you and take it 80 yards to the house.
Two Minute Drill
The Washington Redskins secondary is the best in the NFL, period. Starting fantasy receivers and quarterbacks vs them is nothing but a bad idea.
Greg Jennings and
James Jones have all been viable starting fantasy options so far this season, they all combined for under 6 fantasy points on Sunday.
Ronnie Brown in 2007 is looking like the
Frank Gore of 2006. He plays on a very poor team, but still is putting up top 3 fantasy running back numbers because he can do it all and he is their entire offense. Ronnie Brown has had over 170 total yards in 3 of his last 4 games. Even when he plays some better defenses, I expect Brown to be fine because he is the focal point of the Dolphins attack; it will be
Cleo Lemon’s and
Chris Chambers’ numbers that fall off.
I guess all the excitement of the Arizona Cardinal offense turning into what it was in 2005 is just about over since
Kurt Warner couldn’t even stay healthy for one entire quarter.
Some forgotten Wide Receivers return to the playing field next week.
Marvin Harrison and
Hines Ward will all return from their injuries next week, as they all have had byes weeks to rest. I expect all of them to be about as valuable to fantasy teams for the rest of the season, as we expected they would be going into the season.
Probably the best run of the season was this past weekend. It netted close to no gain but told me a lot.
Marion Barber III almost getting hit for a safety and getting out of it was simply amazing. I counted, and 8 different New England players got their hands on him. When is Wade Phillips going to learn? Marion Barber is the better back!!
The Madden Curse finally got a hold of
Vince Young. His injury will nag him for the remainder of the year. It will affect his running ability more than anything, and that ability is about everything he has.
I hope everyone tunes in this weekend to watch the Kansas City Chiefs pound the Oakland Raiders. If
Priest Holmes returns, the Chiefs might win the bowl game, as in the Super Bowl. Holmes is my favorite athlete in the history of sports. Can you tell?