Going Greene is going to take on new meaning this week as Mr. Washington takes a holiday. Sounds like an old 50's film with Jimmy Stewart, doesn't it? The Jets' Leon Washington broke his fibula and is likely to miss the remainder of the season. After leaving Sunday's game on a cart, rookie running back Shonn Greene took his snaps and simply pounded the Raiders, and made old man Thomas Jones look readily dispensable. Greene tallied 19 carries for 144 yards and 2 touchdowns. That's just over 7.5 yards per carry. Jones had a respectable 121 yards and a score on 26 carries for a 4.6 YPC average. In all, the Jets look like they should be fine in the running department. However, their special teams just took a hit.
So how much weight should you put into Sunday's numbers for Greene? Well, he was facing the Raiders lackluster rush defense. However, this is the second week in a row Jets RBs have laid up over 300 yards rushing. With rookie QB Mark Sanchez still trying to settle in, the run game will be the largest part of the offense moving forward. That makes Greene a nice RB3 or flex player in most leagues. He could even put up RB2 numbers. He's worth the waiver slot to get him. If you're in a dynasty or keeper league, well he should already be on someone's roster.
While Greene was the most explosive RB name to surface this week, he is not the only one worth noting. I said last week if the Chief's Larry Johnson didn't put up 100 yards and a score against the Charger's lame-duck rush defense, his fantasy season would be over. He did nothing against the Chargers, and then added to his uselessness by calling out his new coach via Twitter. The team is on bye next week, but expect to see more of back-up Jamaal Charles in weeks nine and on.
Another RB who could have some low end value the next few weeks is the Falcons' Jason Snelling. With Jerious Norwood injured and Michael Turner running like he has a ball and chain strapped to his ankle, Snelling could surprise a few people from the flex spot. On Sunday against the Cowboys, Snelling had 7 rushes for 68 yards to lead the team. His YPC was nearly 10. He also had a reception for 10 yards and a nice tackle on special teams. Turner who managed to fall into the endzone once needed 18 rushes to get 50 yards, at a 2.8 YPC average.
Interesting tidbit this week: Adrian Peterson may lead all RBs in scoring but the much maligned (even by me), Cedric Benson leads the league in yardage with 720. The only RB with more than 100 yards per game.
Going into week 8 we have the Steelers, Chiefs, Bengals, Patriots, Redskins and Buccaneers on bye. That means Laurence Maroney, Cedric Benson, Larry Johnson, Clinton Portis, Cadillac Williams and Rashard Mendenhall are all tuning up on their Playstations this week.
Week 8 - RB Start of the Week - Kevin Smith, DET
|Smith gets to face the woeful St. Louis Rams this week. The Rams have surrendered 11 TDs and over 1050 total yards to running backs so far. Smith is rested and should be able to make the best of it this week. Play him if ya got him.|
A Few More Fantasy Studs Who Should Rumble to the EndZone in Week 8
|Steve Slaton, HOU vs. BUF||No team has been worse vs. the run than the Bills. They've given up a whopping 1,319 yards and 10 TDs. Slaton is finally coming alive, and if Andre Johnson is out, the Texans will rely on him even more.|
|Steven Jackson, STL vs. DET||Jackson is 3rd in the league in yardage so far. Yet he has no TDs. That should change this week. I'm guessing he'll hit pay dirt twice against the Lions rush defense.|
|Maurice-Jones Drew, JAX vs. TEN||In their first meeting in week 4, MJD scored once, but was a non-factor in the rushing game. Expect that to change this time around. As QB David Garrard continues to improve the Jags pass he game (he threw 3 TDs against the Titans last time) Drew should find more holes in that stout Titans run defense.|
|Marion Barber, DAL vs. SEA||Barber and Felix Jones face a nice match-up against the 19th rated rush defense.|
|Ronnie Brown, MIA vs. NYJ||In Week 5 Brown had two TDs vs. the Dolphins and he and Ricky Williams rushed for 152 yards. Look for the Dolphins to continue to pound the ball to open the passing game.|
|Marshawn Lynch, BUF vs. HOU||Lynch scored his first TD this week against the Panthers and I like his chances this week against a Texans defense that have given up 10 TDs to runnning backs so far|
|Chris Johnson, TEN vs. JAX||The Jaguars have only given up three TDs to running backs so far but in their week 4 meeting Johnson had 94 total yards and a 5.2 YPC average. The Titans will be pushing hard for their first win this week and CJ will be leading the pack.|
|Thomas Jones, NYJ vs. MIA||In Week 5, Jones didn't have much yardage, but he found the endzone twice vs. the Dolphins. How many of the touches, yards and scores go to rookie Shonn Greene are hard to calculate, but both make decent plays in Week 8.|
|Frank Gore, SFO vs. IND||The Colts haven't given up many TDs to running backs yet, but they have been giving up quite a few yards. Frank Gore is a yardage machine, and he's the 10th ranked fantasy RB in points per game, despite doing nothing in Week 7. I like him to have a 100 yard game and a score, especially with a re-energized 49ers team.|
Week 8 - RB Sit of the Week -Ryan Grant, GBP
|Let's face it, you may not be able to sit Grant, but if you can, this is not the week to play him. Don't expect a Ray Rice like performance against the Vikings run stop. In their week 4 match-up, Grant managed 51 yards on 11 attempts. That's not the kind of numbers you hope for from your RB slots.|
Other RB Fugazzi's Facing Tough Match-ups in Week 8
|LaDainian Tomlinson, SDC vs. OAK||We saw how bad the Raiders are against the run this week, and if L.T. is ever going to re-stake his claim as a top RB, he's got to make it happen against the Raiders whom he got hurt against in week 1. That said, I just don't think he'll do it. If he couldn't get into the endzone vs. the Chiefs...|
|Julius Jones, SEA vs. DAL||This is perhaps a no-brainer sit. Jones has done very little since week one, and until he does something against anyone else, he's a permanent sit.|
|Knowshon Moreno, DEN vs. BAL||Moreno is facing a tough match-up and Correll Buckhalter is stealing enough of his carries right now to make him anything more than a flex-play. Against SD before the bye, he managed very little fantasy production. The Ravens are far better against the run than the Chargers.|
|Michael Turner, ATL vs. NOS||Prior to Sunday's meltdown against the Dolphins rush, the Saints were a top 5 run stopper. Right now Turner's struggling to do anything vs. anyone not named the 49ers. In four of his 6 games he has 65 yards or less, and in his last two he's run for 30 yards and 50 yards at less than 2.6 YPC. His only saving grace was getting a cheap TD in each game.|
|Ray Rice, BAL vs. DEN||This was a tough call. I recommended sitting him against the vaunted Vikings run defense and he made me look foolish. This week he faces the brick wall run defense of the Broncos. The numbers say to sit him, but he keeps proving the numbers wrong. Rice could be the guy to leave the horse's head in coach McDaniel's bed, but I'm following my gut here and believing the Bronco's D will have more luck keeping Rice in check this week.|
|Tim Hightower, ARI vs. CAR||Hightower has been decent this season, but as we saw this week Beanie Well's will get most of the touches and Hightower the passes. Against the Panther there are not likely to be many RB pass opportunities.|
|Pierre Thomas, NOS vs. ATL||Thomas has been taking a backseat to Mike Bell, and until he proves he can be the main guy, he will continue to split those carries with Bell and Bush.|
|Willis McGahee, BAL vs. DEN||If anyone produces against the Bronco's defense it should be Ray Rice. Willis has been invisible for several weeks now.|
|Justin Fargas, OAK, vs. SDC||This is a decent match-up on paper for Fargas who will continue to get most of the team's carries, but I still don't expect a barnstormer of a game from him.|
The coin flip kids. These guys could go either way this week:
|DeAngelo Williams, CAR vs. ARI - He could have a decent week, but it's too close to call against a Cardinals defense that kept the Giants' RBs on a short leash.|
|Joseph Addai, IND vs. SFO - Addai has not been an explosive back this season, and if Donald Brown is out due to injury, it makes the 49ers job that much easier.|
|Brian Westbrook, PHI vs. NYG - The Giants are fairly decent at stopping the run, but Westbrook is so prolific it is difficult to gauge how he'll perform.|
|Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw, NYG vs. PHI - I like one of these guys to have a good day. The question is, which one?|
|Matt Forte, CHI vs. CLE - The Browns stats say he should have a huge day. His own stats say he won't. Could this be the week he finally shows up?|
|Jamal Lewis, CLE vs. CHI - The Browns need a big game and the Bears are the team likely to give him one, but will his legs carry him to the promised land?|
Risk/Reward Play of the week -- Adrian Peterson, MIN
|No one has allowed fewer fantasy points per week to running backs than the Packers. They have only given up 1 TD to RBs so far, but that was to Purple Jesus in Week 4. However, A.P. only had 55 yards in that game at a very low 2.2 YPC. He has only gone over 100 yards in 2 of his 7 games so far and has 3 games with 70 yards or less, including 69 yards in Week 7 against the Steelers. He's always a threat to score, but his yardage is likely to be well under 100 this week.|