Fantasy Week Eight RB Start/Sit: Greene With Envy

Fantasy Knuckleheads@_knuckleheadsCorrespondent IOctober 27, 2009

NASHVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 11:  Chris Johnson #28 of the Tennessee Titans runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Indianapolis Colts at LP Field on October 11, 2009 in Nashville, Tennessee. The Colts defeated the Titans 31-9.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

The Jets Go Old School with Young Pupil

Going Greene will have new meaning this week as Mr. Washington takes a holiday. Sounds like a '50s 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 Washington left Sunday’s game on a cart, backup rookie running back Shonn Greene pounded the Raiders, making Thomas Jones look readily dispensable.

Greene had 19 carries for 144 yards and two touchdowns. That’s just over 7.5 yards per carry. Jones also had a respectable 121 yards and a score on 26 carries (4.6 YPC). In all, the Jets look like they should be fine in the running department.

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 had over 300 yards rushing. With rookie QB Mark Sanchez still trying to settle in, the run game will be the largest part of their offense.

That makes Greene a nice RB3 or flex player in most leagues. He could potentially put up RB2 numbers. He’s worth the waiver slot to get him. If you’re in a dynasty or keeper league, 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 Chiefs' Larry Johnson didn’t put up 100 yards and a score against the Chargers' lame-duck rush-defense, his fantasy season would be over.

He did nothing against the Chargers, 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 backup Jamaal Charles in weeks nine and on.

Another RB who could have some upcoming low-end value 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 be a surprise from the flex spot.

On Sunday against the Cowboys, Snelling had seven rushes for 68 yards, leading the team. He also had a reception for 10 yards and a tackle on special teams. Turner, who managed to fall into the endzone once, needed 18 rushes to get 50 yards. Only 2.8 YPC.

Interesting tidbit this week: Adrian Peterson may lead all RBs in scoring, but the much maligned 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.
Smith won't get tripped up by the Rams in week 8

Smith won't get tripped up by the Rams in week 8

A Few More Fantasy Studs Who Should Rumble to the EndZone in Week 8

Steve Slaton, HOU vs. BUFNo 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. DETJAC560875 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 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. SEABarber and Felix Jones face a nice match-up against the 19th rated rush defense.
Ronnie Brown, MIA vs. NYJIn 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. HOULynch scored his first TD this week against the Panthers. 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. JAXJOH127799 The Jaguars have only given up three TDs to running backs, but in their week 4 meeting Johnson had 94 total yards and 5.2 YPC. The Titans will be pushing hard for their first win this week and CJ will be leading the pack.
Thomas Jones, NYJ vs. MIAIn Week 5 vs. the Dolphins, Jones didn’t have much yardage, but found the endzone twice. How many 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. INDThe Colts haven’t given up many TDs to running backs, but they have been giving up yards. Frank Gore is a yardage machine and he’s the 10th ranked fantasy RB in points per game, despite a poor Week 7. I like him to have a 100 yard game and a score, especially with a re-energized 49ers team.

Downtown Ronnie Brown should soar against the Jets

Week Eight-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 the week not to play him. Don’t expect a Ray Rice-like performance against the Vikings run-D. In their Week Four matchup, Grant managed 51 yards on 11 attempts. That’s not the kind of numbers you hope for from your RB slots.

Other RB Fugazi’s Facing Tough Matchups in Week 8

LaDainian Tomlinson, SDC vs. OAK

We saw how bad the Raiders are against the run this week. If L.T. is ever going to restake his claim as a top RB, he’s got to make it happen against the Raiders.

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. DALThis is perhaps a no-brainer sit. Jones has done very little since week one, and until he shows any sign of life, he’s a permanent sit.
Knowshon Moreno, DEN vs. BALMoreno is facing a tough match-up and Correll Buckhalter is stealing too many of his carries to make him anything more than a flex-play. Against San Diego, 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, 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 six 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

Baltimore Ravens 2009 Football Headshots 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.

Tim Hightower, ARI vs. CARHightower has been decent this season, but as we saw this week, Beanie Wells will get most of the rushes and Hightower the passes. Against the Panthers there are not likely to be many RB pass opportunities.
Pierre Thomas, NOS vs. ATLThomas has been taking a backseat to Mike Bell. Until he proves he can be the main guy, he will continue to split those carries with Bell and Bush.
Willis McGahee, BAL vs. DENIf anyone produces against the Broncos' defense it should be Ray Rice. Willis has been invisible for several weeks now.
Justin Fargas, OAK, vs. SDCThis 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?

Don’t forget to stay up to date with our Dominator Service . Be the first to know about guys like Shonn Greene and Rashard Mendenhall when they break out.

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 Four. 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 two of his seven games so far and has three games with 70 yards or less, including 69 yards in Week Seven against the Steelers. He’s always a threat to score, but his yardage is likely to be well under 100 this week.


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