Fantasy Football Today - fantasy football rankings, cheatsheets, and information
A Fantasy Football Community!

Create An Account  |  Advertise  |  Contact      

Staff Writer
Email Craig

Craig's Articles

Fantasy Game Recaps: Week 7
Back-Ges? We Don’t Need No Stinking Back-Ges!

Week Seven had fantasy owners gripping their throats with running backs injured and out, injured and playing, out on bye or suspended. I saw teams with Brian Westbrook, Joseph Addai, Willie Parker, and Larry Johnson on their bench, forced to run out the likes of Mewelde Moore, Dominic Rhodes and LenDale White. In one league, I observed an owner forced to run out Moore, Rhodes and White, along with Greg Camarillo, utter a hope that Peyton Manning save his hide this week. Little could he have expected that it was these running backs who were going to save Manning’s hide.

Steelers 38 - Bengals 10

Fantasy Superman: Mewelde Moore
Fantasy Performers: Ben Roethlisberger , Hines Ward, Santonio Holmes, Nate Washington, T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Fantasy Hens: Cedric Benson, Heath Miller

Let me first apologize for stating last week “Don’t go rushing out to grab Mewelde Moore.” However, in all fairness, I did not know that Willie Parker would have more trouble avoiding holes than tacklers. Mike Tomlin has asked the Steelers’ groundskeeper to start digging out large divots all over the Steeler practice field in hopes to keep Willie Parker sidelined after Mewelde Moore ran for 120 yards, caught five balls for 14 yards and scored three touchdowns. The Steeler offense experienced little resistance from the Bengal defense, as Ben Roethlisberger connected on 17 of 28 passes for 216 yards and two touchdowns. Hines Ward and Nate Washington each had a touchdown, Ward on 60 receiving yards and Washington on 57 receiving yards (one being a 50-yard touchdown). Santonio Holmes also fared well with five catches for 89 yards. Only Heath Miller failed to get into the action with just two catches for 13 yards. The Steeler defense racked up seven sacks and one turnover.

Most of Cincinnati’s offense came on a second quarter 92-yard touchdown drive, which saw Chad Johnson got four of his eight receptions, his touchdown and 25 of his 52 yards; Chris Henry made all three of his receptions for 44 yards; T.J. Houshmandzadeh hauled in two of his eight receptions for 17 of his 58 yards; and Cedric Benson ran for 13 of his 52 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick threw for 86 yards and 1 touchdown on this drive, which was better than his numbers for the rest of the game (78 yards and zero touchdowns).

Titans 34 - Chiefs 10

Fantasy Superman: Chris Johnson, LenDale White
Fantasy Performers: Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe
Fantasy Hens: Jamaal Charles, Kolby Smith

How bad does a defense have to be to give up over 330 yards rushing to a team whose top two wide receivers are out and quarterback is Kerry Collins? Playing 11 in the box would seem like a hell of an idea. Its not like this game was played on the road - the Chiefs were at home to one of the best home field advantages provided by Arrowhead Stadium. However, the Chiefs simply had no answer to Thunder or Lightning, who racked up half their yards on two impressive lengthy touchdown runs in the fourth quarter. Chris Johnson’s 66-yard touchdown run with just about four minutes left in what was already a 27-3 blowout win had fantasy opponents banging their heads, asking why Quinton Ganther wasn’t in one series earlier. The 66-yarder topped off 168 yard, one touchdown performance. Johnson was overshadowed by the lumbering LenDale White, who came in for the red zone carries. Even LenDale improved greatly on his 69 yards and two touchdowns with his 80-yard carry for a third touchdown of the day. Since LenDale White has never even completed a 40-yard dash, something other than just fatigue and beer is brewing in Missouri. Oh yeah, Bo Scaife led all receiving with three catches for 48 yards.

Tony Gonzalez had one more yard catching (97) than Damon Huard, the top Chief quarterback had throwing. Dwayne Bowe had 10 more yards (86) than the second best quarterback Tyler Thigpen. Yet the best tosser on the day was Brodie Croyle who connected on ninety percent (9/10) of his passes for 63 yards. With Larry Johnson out, the Chiefs leading rusher was their third quarterback Thigpen, who ran for 21 yards and a touchdown. Kolby Smith’s and Jamaal Charles’ combined 37 yards rushing made team self imposed suspensions a passe idea.

Packers 34 - Colts 14

Fantasy Superman: Packers Defense , Dominic Rhodes
Fantasy Performers: Ryan Grant, Anthony Gonzalez, Dallas Clark
Fantasy Hens: Greg Jennings, Donald Driver, Peyton Manning, Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison

I’m not even remotely sure what to make of this game. So, I am out meeting with a client and the score comes up on news radio as I am driving home. I’m saying to myself, “okay, Jennings obviously went off again and Ii should have played Rodgers…oh well.” However, when I looked at the box score, everything in this game is upside down.

Aaron Rodgers was hardly noteworthy with his 186 yards and one touchdown. Greg Jennings is mortal? Well sort of since he gained more yards then any other receiver in the Green Bay offense, but he did so on only 37 yards. Donald Driver followed right behind him with just 35 yards. On the other hand, Ryan Grant finally broke 100 yards as well as the plane of the end zone. The best Packer of the day was its defense which scored twice on two turnovers and held the might Colts to only 14 points.

Joseph Addai has failed to do much this year and so expecting more from Dominic Rhodes seemed suspect. However, Rhodes turned out to be the fantasy performer of the game with 73 rushing yards, 41 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Reggie Wayne and Marvin Harrison each caught only two balls, Wayne for 24 yards and Harrison for 11 yards. Their combined total was less than either Dallas Clark’s eight for 81 yards, or Anthony Gonzalez’ five for 72 yards. The almighty Peyton Manning threw for only 21 of 42, for 229 yards, two picks and no touchdowns

Rams 34 - Cowboys 14

Fantasy Superman: Steven Jackson
Fantasy Performers: Donnie Avery, Marion Barber, III
Fantasy Hens: Torry Holt, Terrell Owens, Roy Williams, Jason Witten (except in ppr)

Everyone is talking about the NFC East being the strongest division. But, only two weeks ago, the Rams were fighting Detroit for title as the weakest team in the NFC. Two weeks later, the NFC East is not looking so tough and the Rams are. Steven Jackson did not take well to being passed up by the Cowboys in the NFL draft and laid down the second trifecta of the day by a running back, carrying the ball for 160 yards and catching two more for 16 yards, with a total of three touchdowns. To the extent Donnie Avery is on waivers in any league, that should end this week as he appears to be Marc Bulger’s number one wide receiver with five catches for 65 yards and a touchdown. Torry Holt had another down day with only three catches for 51 yards. Four turnovers, three sacks and giving up only 14 points made the Ram defense highly respectable, but even without Tony Romo at the helm, who would have had the courage to run out the Rams defense against Dallas?

Brad Johnson is no Tony Romo, connecting on only fifty percent of his passes, one for a touchdown and three for interceptions. Terrell Owens also rounded out the underperforming early wide receiver draft picks with only two catches for 31 yards. Marion Barber was the lone fantasy star on the Lone Star team, running for 100 yards and one touchdown (a fumble reduced his production in leagues deducting for turnovers). Yes, tight end Martellus Bennett had two catches of 33 and 34 yards, one for a touchdown, but the only Dallas tight end playing in most fantasy leagues was Jason Witten, whose total of 44 yards on six receptions was a let down for Witten owners. For those fooled by any Roy Williams hype, his zero catches for an equal amount of yards, were woefully less than Patrick Crayton (30 yards), Miles Austin (43 yards), Marion Barber (13 yards) and even fullback Deon Anderson (6 yards).

Giants 29 - 49ers 17

Fantasy Superman: Brandon Jacobs
Fantasy Performers: Josh Morgan
Fantasy Hens: Frank Gore

This is an odd fantasy game, because the winning team put up nice numbers, but other than Brandon Jacobs, no player stunk or turned any fantasy heads. Even Brandon Jacobs, who ran for two touchdowns, only ran the ball for 69 yards. With all of the fantasy injuries to running backs coming into the week, I actually observed Derrick Ward get the start in two-thirds of my leagues (after his 100 yard performance against the Browns on Monday night). As a fill-in, Ward had three receptions for 50 yards and ran for another 19 yards. Eli Manning and Plaxico Burress had little chemistry as well. But, Burress made alright on his three receptions for 24 yards by crossing the goal line once. Manning only threw for 161 yards, but he did not turnover the ball and he threw the aforementioned touchdown to Burress. Teams forced to play Amani Toomer or Steve Smith could not have expected much and got exactly what they expected with both receivers limited to 30+ yards.

Frank Gore barely ran for half his jersey number, gaining only 11 yards on 11 carries. However, three catches for 50 yards may have salvaged some points for fantasy owners. Josh Morgan finally became the legitimate target he was touted to be in the preseason with five catches for 86 yards and a touchdown. Most teams were running out Isaac Bruce instead, who disappointed with only three catches for 47 yards. J.T. O’Sullivan’s fantasy numbers were derailed by three turnovers. However, in leagues that do not count negative points for turnovers, he threw for 256 yards, ran for 27 yards and threw for a touchdown. In leagues that do count negative for turnovers, count your blessing that three of his fumbles were recovered by the 49ers or you might be looking at six turnovers.

Ravens 27 - Dolphins 13

Fantasy Superman: Willis McGahee
Fantasy Performers: Joe Flacco, Derrick Mason, Chad Pennington, Greg Camarillo, David Martin
Fantasy Hens: Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Anthony Fasano

Willis McGahee may be frustrating his fantasy team owners, with his constantly being pulled out of games this season, putting up double digit fantasy points only in week three - and barely. Today, teams who stuck with McGahee were rewarded with a total of 152 yards, one touchdown and one turnover. Although I did not observe Derrick Mason on any active rosters in my leagues, those who utilized his services were also rewarded with six catches for 87 yards and a touchdown. Rookie Joe Flacco threw for 232 yards and a touchdown, without a turnover.

For those forced to run out Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams due to bye weeks or injuries, many did so reluctantly against the stout Raven run defense and we got what we expected but did not hope for. Brown ran for 27 yards and Williams for 16 yards. Greg Camarillo had another solid performance catching six for 74 yards. David Martin out caught Anthony Fasano with four catches for 71 yards to Fasano’s two for 25 yards. Chad Pennington quietly put up 295 yards in the air and 25 yards on the ground, with a touchdown and a turnover.

Bears 48 - Vikings 41

Fantasy Superman: Kyle Orton, Bears Defense, Adrian Peterson
Fantasy Performers: Matt Forte, Marty Booker, Greg Olsen, Gus Frerotte, Bernard Berrian, Chester Taylor
Fantasy Hens: Devin Hester

Two touchdowns, five turnovers and two sacks clearly made the Bear defense the most productive player in the Bear offense on Sunday. One would think that a 48-point day would make the Bear position players a commodity in this Bear market. Instead, Devin Hester who looked to be on the rise and was finally finding his place on fantasy starting rosters had only two receptions of 22 yards in a high octane game. Matt Forte had a “nice” game rushing for 56 yards, catching for 17 yards and scoring a touchdown, but not what one would have expected from the Bears most powerful weapon in such a high scoring game. Players that weren’t active on most rosters performed the best with Marty Booker going three for 79 yards and a touchdown and Greg Olsen putting up virtually identical numbers of six catches for 74 yards and one touchdown. I hesitate to say that Kyle Orton performed at stud level, but looking at it from the standpoint that he was a free agent only three weeks ago, 283 yards and two touchdowns without a turnover was a very good performance.

Adrian Peterson and the Viking offense had no difficulty running against a tough Bear defense. Peterson rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Chester Taylor had 82 yards rushing and receiving and also reached the end zone once. Gus Frerotte looked like Dr. Jekyll with 298 yards and two touchdowns and Mr. Hyde with four interceptions. Bernard Berrian had yet another strong performance, hauling in six receptions for 81 yards and a touchdown. Over the last month, Berrian has been one of the most consistent wide receivers, having averaged 100 yards per game on 5.5 catches for a total of three touchdowns in a four game stretch. The utterly inconsistent Visanthe Shiancoe had a solid four catch, 68-yard, one touchdown performance. I have some reservations about the Viking defense who had five defenders in the secondary and were unable to track down the old and slow Marty Booker on a 51-yard touchdown catch.

Panthers 30 - Saints 7

Fantasy Superman: Steve Smith (WR, WR, CB)
Fantasy Performers: Jake Delhomme, DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, Devery Henderson, Jeremy Shockey
Fantasy Hens: Drew Brees, Marques Colston, Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, Muhsin Muhammad

Jake Delhomme is back to his old tricks, hooking up primarily with one wide receiver. Of only 195 yards passing and two touchdowns, Delhomme hooked up with Steve Smith for 122 yards and one of those touchdowns. The other touchdown was on a four-yard toss to DeAngelo Williams, who was otherwise limited to 66 yards. Jonathan Stewart had nearly identical numbers to Williams with 68 yards on the ground, one reception for three yards and a touchdown (on the ground). Muhsin Muhammad was the only player other than Smith to have more than one catch, clutching three for 43 yards.

Just when you though it was safe to go back in the water, the Saints weapons were silenced. Reggie Bush had only one reception of five yards and 55 yards on the ground before injuring his knee. None of the remaining deep corps of running backs picked up the slack. Deuce McAllister looked good on his nine carries for 47 yards, but a five yard per carry average does not amount to fantasy points if the ball is not in your hands enough. The return of Marques Colston fell flatter than his game one performance and Colston put up a big fat goose egg. That is now 21 yards on the year for Mr. Colston. Only Devery Henderson and his sick 30-yard per catch average remained consistent with three catches for 80 yards. The strength of the offense lay in the tight ends, with Billy Miller nabbing four for 56 yards and Jeremy Shockey grabbing five for 50.

Bills 23 - Chargers 14

Fantasy Superman: Lee Evans (ppr)
Fantasy Performers: Marshawn Lynch, Trent Edwards, Vincent Jackson, Malcolm Floyd
Fantasy Hens: LaDainian Tomlinson, Antonio Gates

This game did not produce too much in the way of blistering performances, but all of the Bills fantasy performances should have helped out fantasy managers Sunday. Lee Evans caught eight passes for 89 yards and one touchdown. Trent Edwards threw for 261 yards and a touchdown. Marshawn Lynch produced a touchdown on 70 yards rushing and 22 yards receiving. Even Ryan Lindell got into the action with three field goals and two point after touchdowns.

Philip Rivers and the Chargers were on their way to a decent day when Rivers threw an interception in the end zone, intended for Antonio Gates. Instead of having his fifth game of three touchdowns, Rivers had a three turnover game on 22 of 29 passing for 208 yards and two touchdowns. Four catches for 55 yards and no scores is not what owners drafting Antonio Gates in early rounds expect. Owners who selected LaDanian Tomlinson with the first pick of the draft and failed to get value for him earlier are now stuck with LT2 or getting far too little trade value. Whether it his line or his toe or his age, LT2 is averaging slightly above 3.5 yards per carry and has had three straight performance without a touchdown or breaking significantly into double digit fantasy points. On Sunday, LT2 attained only 41 yards on the ground and 26 yards receiving, only having marginal value in a ppr league with six receptions. The only bright spots for the Chargers were the performances put up by the starting wide receivers in Chris Chambers absence. Vincent Jackson had a 31-yard run and caught four balls for 42 yards and a touchdown. Malcolm Floyd also caught four passes for 65 yards and a touchdown.

Texans 28 - Lions 21

Fantasy Superman: Andre Johnson, Owen Daniels, Calvin Johnson
Fantasy Performers: Matt Schaub, Steve Slaton, Ahman Green, Kevin Smith, Dan Orlovsky, Mike Furrey
Fantasy Hens: Rudi Johnson

The Texans are just another team (outside of the Vikings) to get fat on playing the Lions. In what should be deemed the Baby Powder Bowl, the first half of Johnson & Johnson, went off with his third consecutive monster catch game with 11 catches for 140 yards, but no touchdowns. Equally impressive in the receiving game was tight end Owen Daniels who went satanic with 6-66 and two touchdowns. Steve Slayton and Ahman Green sliced through the Lions’ porous defense each averaging nearly 4.6 yards per carry, Slayton rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown and Green, 62 yards and a touchdown. Matt Schaub had anoth good day with 267 yards and two touchdowns.

Talk about making the most out of nothing, the other half of Johnson & Johnson grabbed only two catches, but one was for a 96-yard touchdown and the other for 58 yards. Mike Furrey appears to be the heir apparent to the number two position with six catches for 89 yards. Rookie Kevin Smith started off the third quarter with a 26-yard touchdown scamper which helped his overall numbers of 61 yards on 10 carries, but the Lions look to be playing from behind the rest of the season and if you can get value for him after today, maybe that’s not such a bad idea. Johnson’s two catches made Dan Orlovsky look okay with 265 yards and a touchdown. After six carries for eight yards, there should be almost no circumstance in which a fantasy team should run out Rudi Johnson.

Redskins 14 - Browns 11

Fantasy Superman: Clinton Portis
Fantasy Performers: Santana Moss, Jamal Lewis
Fantasy Hens: Chris Cooley, Braylon Edwards, Kellen Winslow

It may be too early to be discussing this, but Clinton Portis’ 175 yard and one touchdown performance put him over the 810-yard mark for the season and after seven games, that has him on pace for 2,080 yards. Meanwhile, the confusion that is Santana Moss came back from two dismal performances with a four catch, 75 yard, one touchdown performance. Chris Cooley was relatively hushed, also catching four balls but for only 32 yards. Jason Campbell’s 164 yards passing and touchdown may have helped the Redskins pull down their fifth victory, but it could not have been very helpful to fantasy managers.

The Browns returned to let down form and the Braylon Edwards express rapidly hit the breaks with only four catches for 58 yards. Kellen Winslow’s return to the field had him once again clutch two balls for 17 yards. Derek Anderson’s numbers were similar to Campbell’s with one touchdown on 136 yards. Jamal Lewis ran for 80 yards on 19 carries, and as such he ended the day as the most effective Browns fantasy player.

Raiders 16 - Jets 13

Fantasy Superman: Thomas Jones
Fantasy Performers: Javon Walker, Justin Fargas, Darren McFadden
Fantasy Hens: Brett Favre, Jerricho Cotchery

Thomas Jones returned with a second strong performance in as many weeks. Although he did not have any scores this week, Jones ran for 159 yards on over 6.5 yards per carry. The passing game for the Jets turned out to be their Achilles’ Heel. Brett Favre threw for only 197 yards and no touchdowns. He also had two interceptions and had the ball knocked out of his hands on several occasions, without a turnover. Jerricho Cotchery was held to only one catch for no yards, while the leading receiver was Laveranues Coles, with only four catches for 51 yards.

Al Davis starter reaping the rewards of a 55 million dollar salary payout, when Javon Walker out produced his combined year to date numbers with five catches for 75 yards and a touchdown. The two running backs each had 80 yard days with Justin Fargas rushing for 74 yards and receiving for seven, and Darren McFadden doing it the opposite way with 50 yards receiving and 39 yards on the ground. Tight end Zah Miller showed some consistency with a 57 yard performance. JaMarcus Russell looked better than Brett Favre, throwing for 203 yards and one touchdown.

Buccaneers 20 - Seahawks 10

Fantasy Superman: Antonio Bryant
Fantasy Performers: Earnest Graham, Jeff Garcia
Fantasy Hens: Any and all Seattle Seahawks

Oddly, it was not until this last recap that I recognized a great disparity between this week and last week. Last week I wrote about one 300-yard passing performance after another. However, it was not until the Sunday Night game that this week’s first 300-yard performance was delivered by Jeff Garcia. Garcia threw for 310 yards and a touchdown, without a turnover. Garcia spread the ball evenly with the exception of his go-to receiver Antonio Bryant who had six receptions for 115 yards and a touchdown. Earnest Graham returned to carrying the ball with 52 rushing yards, 13 receiving yards and a touchdown. Warrick Dunn returned to what we most expect of him with 37 rushing yards and 21 receiving yards.

I cannot believe I am going to say this, but Meredith Grey is the best looking thing coming out of Seattle. With 12 completions of 73 yards by Seneca Wallace and seven different players catching those balls, singling out any one performance would be futile. It should suffice that the best receiver, who will remain nameless, had 23 yards. Another oddity in this game is that with such a horrific air attack, one would again think that the running game was adversely effected. However, Maurice Morris and Julius Jones each averaged six or more yards per carry. A deceptive stat at best as each had a lengthy run, Morris for 45 yards and Jones for 21 yards. They ended the night with 56 yards (Morris) and 42 yards (Jones).

Week 8 Waiver Wire Players

WR: Donnie Avery, Josh Morgan
RB: Mewelde Moore, Aaron Stecker, Pierre Thomas