Friday, October 26, 2007

Fantasy Football Rush: Week 8

By Michael Rushton
The Phanatic Magazine

What happened to the running back?

For the past several years, the position dominated fantasy football. If you didn't have two solid, starting backs, a fantasy championship was a hard thing to secure. Sure, it could be done, but without the comfort of knowing that at least one of your RBs was sure to find the end zone, you were sweating until Tuesday morning.

Enter 2007. According to ESPN's fantasy player rankings, the top three point-getters are Tom Brady, Tony Romo and Randy Moss. In fact, nine of their top 12 players are either quarterbacks or wide receivers. Six of those are QBs.

The backs that do crack the top 12: the now-injured Ronnie Brown, LaDainian Tomlinson and Adrian Peterson occupy spots four, five and six respectively.

Are we now heading into the age of the quarterback, as teams begin to use a two-back system and exploit weak cover schemes. Only time will tell, but as of now, the gun-slingers rule.

Now, on to our Week 8 outlook.

Good Starts

QB - Jon Kitna, Lions: He gets a Bears defense that is a shell of its former self. Injury, and I guess age, are starting to catch up to that unit, though Kevin Jones and Tatum Bell won't get much room to run, meaning Kitna will exploit the Bears wounded secondary.

QB - Donovan McNabb, Eagles: Plays the Vikings this weekend, a club that excels at stopping the run. Instead, as The Phanatic's John McMullen predicts, Minnesota's secondary will make McNabb look like the McNabb of old.

QB - Vinny Testaverde, Panthers: Why is he a good start? Because Indy should build such a big lead that Carolina will have no choice but to air it out. Testaverde will start slow and then should accumulate some big garbage numbers.

RB - LenDale White/Chris Henry, Titans: Oakland is horrible against the run, and with Vince Young coming back from a quad injury, Tennessee will try to control the game on the ground. White went over 100 yards for the first time in his career last week, and Henry scored his first career TD replacing a still-injured Chris Brown.

RB - Adrian Peterson, Vikings: We all know the Eagles can't stop the run, and Minnesota should know that by now as well. Look for Peterson, and probably Chester Taylor, rack up yards versus the Birds.

RB - Jason Wright, Browns: Jamal Lewis is still hurt and Wright is facing a winless Ram club that will be without Leonard Little.

WR - Roy Williams, Lions: Williams hasn't been involved heavily in the passing game for the past few weeks, and Detroit will need to change that against the Bears.

WR - Kevin Curtis, Eagles: See McNabb above

WR - Lee Evans, Bills: Is starting to put up numbers after a slow start to the season.

TE - Greg Olsen, Bears: Has been lining up outside of the line and is becoming a go-to target for Brian Griese.

Bad Starts

QB - Vince Young, Titans: Is coming off a quad injury that will limit his ability to make big plays.

QB - Brett Favre, Packers: Champ Bailey is back for Denver, spelling interception city for Favre.

RB - Frank Gore, 49ers: Gore is on injury watch, as he suffered a minor ankle injury last week. That might cause San Francisco to use him a little less this Sunday.

RB - LaMont Jordan, Raiders: Faces one of the best run defenses in Tennessee this weekend.

WR - Devery Henderson, Saints: Has had trouble holding onto the ball this year, and faces a 49ers secondary that has two Pro Bowl corners in Walt Harris and Nate Clements.

WR - Any of Jacksonville's wide outs: Quinn Gray will be at QB. The Jaguars will run the ball. Nuff said.

Email Michael Rushton at with all fantasy questions.

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