Rookie Quarterbacks ruled the roost with Joe
Flacco and Matt
Ryan playing like seasoned veterans. Fill-in running backs returned
to the pine and the stud running backs like Steven
Jackson and Joseph
Addai returned from injuries only to burn the owners who woke
up happy to see them in their line-ups again. But emerging from
the ashes like the Phoenix (yes this analogy was intended), is Arizona’s
rookie running back Tim
Hightower, who has displaced the likes of Emmitt Smith and Edgerrin
James. Hightower appears to have secured his place in Arizona Cardinal
lore as its once and future king of the ground game. Move over Bubba
Smith. There is a new and non-fictional Hightower in town.
Cardinals 34 - Rams 13
Fantasy Superman: Kurt Warner, Tim Hightower, Anquan Boldin
Fantasy Performers: Larry Fitzgerald, Torry Holt, Marc Bulger
Fantasy Hens: Edgerrin James, Steve Breaston, Steven Jackson,
On Sunday the Cardinals released that Tim Hightower would get
the start in place of Edgerrin James, but little did many expect
that the Edge would get no carries on the day. Ken Wisenhunt’s
decision paid off big dividends for everyone except fantasy owners
who were counting on James this season, and especially this week.
Tim Hightower made a case for his being the Cardinal running back
of the future, as well as the present, averaging five yards a
carry on 22 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown. The passing
game was business as usual with Kurt Warner throwing for 342 yards
and two touchdowns, one to Anquan Boldin, along with his 85 yards.
The other went to Jerheme Urban for a 56-yard touchdown. Larry
Fitzgerald reeled in six for 81 yards and Steve Breaston finally
felt the pinch of the numerous go-to guys, catching only two for
Steven Jackson would have done fantasy owners well, if he did
not issue his proclamation that he would be back this week, as
he carried the ball only seven times for 17 yards and did not
return in the second half. Antonio Pittman failed to pick up the
slack, rushing for only 12 yards on 10 carries. Marc Bulger’s
numbers (186 yards, two touchdowns and three turnovers) were slightly
inflated by an 80-yard touchdown to that standout form the University
of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Derek Stanley, whose career stats in
six games over two years is one rush for five yards. Sadly, Torry
Holt came only 18 yards shy of matching his season high stats,
with six catches for 58 yards and a touchdown. Donnie Avery finally
let down with only three catches for 26 yards.
Titans 19 - Packers 16
Fantasy Superman: Chris
Fantasy Performers: LenDale White, Aaron Rodgers, Ryan Grant,
Fantasy Hens: None
The rookie touched the ball 30 times and when the dust settled
Chris Johnson had 89 yards on the ground, 72 yards in the air
and a touchdown to show for it all. But for a 54-yard run, LenDale
White was relatively kept in check with a total of 77 yards on
8 carries. The passing game was error free and helped the Titans
pull down their eighth win of the season, but Kerry Collins 180
yards was unaccompanied by any scores and his leading wide receiver
was Justin McCareins who went three for 42 yards.
The Packers’ offensive numbers dominated the Titans, but
the score at the end of the game did not reflect as such. Aaron
Rodgers threw for 314 yards, but he turned over the ball twice,
one by fumble and by interception. His two leading receivers were
Donald Driver who caught seven balls for 136 yards and a touchdown.
Greg Jennings only caught three balls, but gained 79 yards off
those limited receptions. Ryan Grant had his fourth consecutive
week of 80-plus yards, with 20 carries for 86 yards, but that
Vikings 28 - Texans 21
Fantasy Superman: Adrian
Fantasy Performers: Gus Frerotte, Visanthe Shiancoe, Steve Slaton,
Fantasy Hens: Matt Schaub, Kevin Walter
The Viking stars shone Sunday. Adrian Peterson ran for 139 yards
and a touchdown. Bernard Berrian caught only two passes, but eclipsed
the century mark with a 55-yard catch and a 49-yard touchdown
catch. Gus Frerotte had a nice 182-yard game with three touchdown
throws to his one interception. Visanthe Shiancoe and Sidney Rice
each had only one catch, but they put it in the end zone, Shiancoe
on a 25-yard toss and Rice on an eight-yard catch.
The Texans scored three times, but had no stellar fantasy performances
from its starts. Matt Schaub was sent hobbling out of the game
near the end of the half with only 139 yards and two turnovers.
His replacement, Sage Rosenfels was undoubtedly not started in
any fantasy line-ups, but he performed well enough to be picked
up off waivers if Schaub’s knee injury lingers. Rosenfels
threw for 224 yards, two touchdowns and one pick. Andre Johnson
nabbed one of the scores on a late fourth quarter 14-yard pass
and ended the day with only four catches for 62 yards. Steve Slaton
also had decent numbers, but nothing special, rushing for 62 yards
and catching eight for 56 yards, but he failed to score. Owen
Daniels had a big day with 11 catches for 133 yards. After his
two touchdown performance against the Bengals last week, Kevin
Walters cracked fantasy line-ups to catch four balls for only
Buccaneers 30 - Chiefs 27
Fantasy Superman: Antonio Bryant
Fantasy Performers: Jeff Garcia, Jamaal Charles, Kolby Smith,
Tony Gonzalez, Dwayne Bowe
Fantasy Hens: Joey Galloway, Earnest Graham
Antonio Bryant rebounded from his down week against his former
team and ate up the Chiefs’ secondary for eight receptions,
115 yards and a touchdown. Jeff Garcia threw the ball often and
connected on 31 passes for 339 yards, but only netted one touchdown
to one interception. Earnest Graham’s 91 total yards were
negated in many leagues by his two fumbles. The rest of the receiving
corps was mediocre, with three players getting between four to
six catches - Michael Clayton (four for 57 yards); Ike Hilliard
(six for 55 yards); and John Gilmore (four for 40 yards). The
rest of the Buccaneers offense was
Kolby Smith was having a good game, gaining 46 yards and a touchdown
on 10 carries. However, Smith went down and out for the season
and Jamaal Charles replaced him with 106 yards on 18 carries.
Have we seen the end of Larry Johnson in K.C.? Tony Gonzalez caught
seven for 62 yards, but failed to score. Meanwhile, Dwayne Bowe
book ended the receivers with an early first quarter touchdown
of seven yards and a fourth quarter catch of 22 yards, but nothing
else the rest of the day. Mark Bradley probably put up the best
stats for the Chiefs with four catches of 65 yards and a touchdown
pass to Tyler Thigpen of 37 yards. Oh wait, I forgot about Tyler
Thigpen, whose 37 yard touchdown reception was supported by 22
yards on the ground , 164 yards and a touchdown in the air.
Ravens 37 - Browns 27
Fantasy Superman: Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Derrick Mason
Fantasy Performers: Mark
Fantasy Hens: Jamal Lewis
The Ravens put up a fantasy smorgasbord. Starting off with Joe
Flacco, who had for the third consecutive week did not turn over
the ball. Instead, he threw for 248 yards and a touchdown. The
absence of Willis McGahee was unfelt as Ray Rice gained 176 combined
yards and Le’Ron McClain gained 34 yards and a touchdown.
Derrick Mason caught nine balls for 136 yards and a touchdown.
In the absence of Demetrius Williams, Mark Clayton put up quite
respectable numbers with four catches for 87 yards and a score.
The Browns’ passing game performed well, with Derek Anderson
throwing for 219 yards, two touchdowns and only one interception.
Braylon Edwards caught four for 86 yards and a touchdown and Kellen
Winslow caught five for 64 yards. A down day should have been
expected for Jamal Lewis against the stout Raven run defense and
he performed as expected with only 49 yards rushing and 13 yards
receiving, all-in-all not horrible numbers against the Ravens.
Bengals 21 - Jaguars 19
Fantasy Superman: Cedric Benson, Chad Johnson
Fantasy Performers: T.J.
Fantasy Hens: Fred Taylor, Reggie Williams
Congratulations to T.J. Houshmandzadeh, who won’t have
to put on his walking shoes and tread the San Diego Freeway to
walk to work, after the Bengals came through on his promise and
won a game. Chad Johnson may not have torched the field with one
of his big yardage performances, but his two touchdowns were good
enough to mask a meager five for 37-yard performance. Housh was
still the go-to target with seven catches for 65 yards. Ryan Fitzpatrick’s
feet make him a decent fill-in at quarterback. Fitzpatrick ran
for 52 yards, and passed for 162 yards, two touchdowns and an
interception. Just when you thought it was safe to throw Cedric
Benson back into the water, he comes up with 104 yards and a touchdown.
The Jaguars are not wowing fantasy managers. Maurice Jones-Drew’s
inconsistency resulted in a quite mediocre performance of just
33 yards on the ground, 29 yards receiving and one touchdown.
But for a week three performance, Fred Taylor has downright proven
to be a wholly unreliable fantasy player with just 12 yards on
the day. The Bengals defense kept the passing game in check with
throwing for 229 yards and one pick. Matt Jones continues to be
the top Jaguar receiver with a seven catch, 69 yard performance.
Reggie Williams and Marcedes
Lewis could not even muster up 40 yards on the day.
Bears 27 - Lions 23
Fantasy Superman: Calvin Johnson
Fantasy Performers: Kyle
Fantasy Hens: Rudi Johnson, Devin Hester
“Oh my God, the quarterback is toast.” Just when
Kyle Orton was becoming a household name and he was on slate to
have a big game against the league’s 31st best pass defense,
Orton leaves the game with only 108 yards. But for a five yard
touchdown run, Orton’s day would have been a waste. Matt
Forte put up the big numbers expected with 126 yards rushing,
but failed to score. Devin Hester did not have the big day expected
of him, running for 11 yards and hauling in four receptions for
42 yards. Rashied Davis put up the best numbers with five catches
for 64 yards and a touchdown.
Dan Orlovsky was not intimidated by the Bear defense, throwing
the ball 47 times for 28 connections, 292 yards, two touchdowns
and two interceptions. His favorite targets were Calvin Johnson
and Shaun McDonald, Johnson catching eight for 94 yards and a
touchdown and McDonald going 6 for 65 yards and a touchdown. Tight
Gaines hauled in six catches for 64 yards. Rookie running
back only had 53 combined yards, but he scored on a short punch
Jets 26 - Bills 17
Fantasy Superman: Thomas Jones
Fantasy Performers: Trent Edwards, Jerricho Cotchery
Fantasy Hens: Brett
This did not turn out to be a big fantasy game by any stretch
of the imagination. Brett Favre broke 200 by one yard and threw
one pick. None of the receivers hit pay dirt with only Jerricho
Cotchery and Laveranues Coles gaining any yards by a wide out,
Cotchery with six for 62 and Coles 3 for 40. The running backs
performed well. Thomas Jones had 107 combined yards and a touchdown
and Leon Washington had 55 combined yards.
Marshawn Lynch left the game with “flu-like” symptoms, but came
back later and ended the day with a paltry 16 rushing yards and
52 receiving yards. Lee Evans came back down to earth with only
four grabs for 41 yards. The tight ends were the Bills fantasy
leaders with Derek
Fine’s four receptions for 43 yards and a touchdown and Robert
Royal’s five catches for 70 yards. Trent Edwards’ 289 yards
and touchdown pass were marred by his three turnovers.
Dolphins 26 - Broncos 17
Fantasy Superman: Greg Camarillo
Fantasy Performers: Ronnie Brown, Eddie Royal, Peyton Hillis,
Fantasy Hens: Ted
Ginn, Jr., Anthony
Pittman and the Broncos’ run game
Greg Camarillo had another promising week with ones across the
board, going 11 for 111 yards. Ronnie Brown ha a nice day, but
not what could have been expected against a weak Bronco run defense.
Brown scored once, rushed for 59 yards and had three receptions
for 30 yards. Ted Ginn, Jr. returned to being a non-factor with
only three catches for 38 yards. Ricky
Williams was not much better with his 39 combined yards.
It wasn’t long ago that Mike Shanahan was the guru of turning
no names into household names in the run game. Michael Pittman’s
four yards was the only non-prime number in the rushing game,
which combined for 14 yards between Jay Cutler and three running
backs (Pittman was nominally heard from in the passing game with
21 yards). Where fantasy does not meet reality, Cutler had a decent
fantasy day with 307 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions.
The only running back with any numbers was an unknown fullback
Peyton Hillis who had seven receptions for 116 yards and a touchdown.
Eddie Royal went seven for 69 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Marshall
came blazing out of suspension with a touchdown a week, but has
not been heard from since September when he scored his last touchdown.
Sunday, Marshall had his second twenty something game of the month
with two catches for 27 yards.
Giants 35 - Cowboys 14
Fantasy Superman: Brandon Jacobs
Fantasy Performers: Eli
Fantasy Hens: Plaxico Burress, Marion Barber, Brad Johnson
The running game looked unstoppable with Brandon Jacobs leading
the way with 117 yards and one touchdown on just 17 carries. Derrick
Ward followed closely with a combined 89 yards and a touchdown.
Eli Manning met with little resistance in the passing game, throwing
for three touchdowns and only one interception. However, he only
threw for 147 yards. Manning distributed the wealth evenly, hooking
up with five different players for anywhere from 26 to 34 yards
and while Steve Smith, Kevin Boss and Amani Toomer enjoyed the
forbidden fruit of the goal line, Plaxico Burress was not so fortunate
and garnered only 34 yards on three catches.
Without Tony Romo, the Cowboys passing game is dying a slow and
painful death. Brad Johnson was relieved after a 72-yard, two
interception performance. Brooks Bollinger came in to throw for
less, but one of his passes did connect with Terrell Owens for
an eight yard touchdown. Owens closed out Sunday with his fourth
consecutive 30-yard day with five catches for 36 yards. Marion
Barber ran for 54 yards and lost 12 yards in the passing game.
Eagles 26 - Seahawks 7
Fantasy Superman: Donovan McNabb
Fantasy Performers: Brian
Fantasy Hens: DeSean Jackson, Maurice Morris, Julius Jones
Philadelphia fans had a good week. They endured the rain soaked
World Series for their first championship in over two decades
and then their football team traveled west for the mainland’s
rainiest city. L.J. Smith’s concussion turned out to be quite
a boon for second year tight end Brent Celek, who hauled in almost
as many receptions, six, as he has had in his entire career. Celek
ended the day with 131 yards. Donovan McNabb hooked up with two
other players for six catches each, Kevin Curtis for 83 yards
and Brian Westbrook for 35 yards, to go with his 61 rushing yards
and no scores. Reggie Brown took his sole reception for 22 yards
and a touchdown, while rookie DeSean Jackson only went 20 yards
on two catches. McNabb ended the day with 349 yards, two touchdowns
and one interception.
Fantasy teams forced to run out Seahawks may be wishing that
the team join its basketball team and move out of town. Other
than a Seneca Wallace to Koren Robinson hook-up for a 90-yard
touchdown, the top fantasy scorers on the team were Maurice Morris
and Julius Jones, each of whom barely rushed for over 40 yards.
Robinson ended up with a second catch and had 105 yards and Wallace
had 12 more completions for a total of 169 yards (which includes
the 90-yard touchdown).
Falcons 24 - Raiders 0
Fantasy Superman: Michael Turner, Michael Jenkins
Fantasy Performers: Jerious Norwood, Matt Ryan
Fantasy Hens: Roddy
Michael Turner feasts on the bottom teams and then may be a good
thing over the next two weeks with the Saints and the Broncos
on the calendar. Turner’s 139 yards was only darkened by
his lack of touchdowns. As goes Turner, so goes Jerious Norwood
who ran for 63 yards rushing, 20 yards receiving and one touchdown.
Matt Ryan threw for 220 yards and two touchdowns and fumbled once.
Michael Jenkins maximized his productivity scoring on both his
catches, totaling 64 yards. Roddy White went five for 54 yards,
but did not score.
The Raiders offensive output was laughable. Any fantasy team
relying on a Raider for fantasy points was sorely disappointed.
The top performer was Justin Fargas with just 23 yards on the
ground. Jamarcus Russell ran for 43 yards, but he threw for less
with just 31 yards and two turnovers.
Colts 18 - Patriots 15
Fantasy Superman: Peyton Manning, Anthony Gonzalez
Fantasy Performers: Reggie Wayne, Dallas Clark, Marvin Harrison,
Kevin Faulk, BenJarvus Green-Ellis
Fantasy Hens: Joseph Addai, Dominic Rhodes, Wes Welker (except
in ppr) Randy Moss
Peyton Manning connected on 21 of 29 for 254 yards and two touchdowns,
without turning the ball over. Each of the receivers managed to
put up decent numbers, but only one scored and that was Anthony
Gonzalez, not once, but twice on four catches for 55 yards. Reggie
Wayne dispelled concerns over his knee with five catches for 65
yards and a two-point conversion. Dallas Clark and Marvin Harrison
also had four catches each, Clark for 63 yards and Harrison for
50 yards. Like managers with Steven Jackson on their team, managers
with Joseph Addai probably wished he did not come back this week.
Addai ran for less than two yards per carry on 17 for 32 yards
and caught two passes for just 10 yards. Those managers who were
riding the success of Dominic Rhodes over the last couple of weeks
just hit rock bottom with Rhodes going back just five touches
for a total of 22 yards, 15 on the ground and seven in the air.
Poor Randy Moss. Six for 65 yards is not bad for many receivers,
but when coupled with a garbage fumble on the last desperation
play of the game, Moss had a weak day (except in points per reception
leagues). So did Wes Welker, who caught his average of seven passes,
but could only muster 37 yards on all of those receptions. The
running game fared well with Kevin Faulk gaining a combined 98
yards and BenJarvus Green-Ellis a combined 65 yards and a touchdown.
Matt Cassell threw for 204 yards and one interception.