Hits and Misses – Week 7: Calling all Titans running backs

So it looks like the FFGeekBlog cover curse lives on as Matt Cassel and the Patriots receivers managed to fall flat on their face last weekend against the Chargers. I’m not sure what it is that causes every player I mention in the headline to go out of their way to play terribly, but we’re switching it up a bit in hopes that it doesn’t continue. You’ll notice that the post has been renamed Hits/Misses, instead of Studs/Duds (maybe it was the use of the word “stud” or something), so we’ll continue using this new name and hope that my luck can change.

Anyways, along with the Patriots offense hitting a brick wall last weekend, the revival of the Brownies offense didn’t help my cause. However, I was saved by some big time performances by Thomas Jones (3 TD…not too shabby), Clinton Portis, and the failure of the Panthers running game leading me to a 11-7-3 (hits-misses-pushes) record. This week the Patriots tried to trick me into putting them on the list again as they take on a terrible Broncos defense at home, but as the saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, I’m an idiot.” Even as a Patriots fan, there’s no way I can honestly put Cassel on here and expect him to put up stats I’d want anywhere near my fantasy roster. I have a really good feeling though that all my picks this week will be correct, so let’s jump right in, starting with those Tennessee Titans running backs…

Hits

  • Chris Johnson (RB) / LenDale White (RB) Titans: Over the course of just five games, the Kansas City Chiefs are allowing an incredible 182 yards per game on the ground, which is even more crazy considering two of the teams they played have little to no running game (Patriots, Broncos). Worried that your running back might not find the end zone? Fear not…they’ve also allowed eight rushing touchdowns already. Chris Johnson and LenDale White are sure bets to go huge as the Titans and the NFL’s only remaining undefeated record head to Arrowhead this weekend.
  • Matt Schaub (QB) / Andre Johnson (WR) / Kevin Walter (WR), Texans: While I went with the Titans ground game as my feature pick this week, there are a few fantasy sites out there who are picking these guys as the best play of the week (at least Matt Schaub). I can’t really argue with them either, as the Texans welcome the Detroit Lions and their terrible pass defense (allowing 250 yards per game and a stellar touchdown to interception ratio of 9-1.) After a few poor performances in weeks three and four, Andre Johnson is back and has been tearing it up the past two weeks…expect that number to be three after this weekend.
  • Brett Favre (QB) / Laveranues Coles (WR) / Jericho Cotchery (WR), Jets: The Raiders have not been that great against the pass this year, allowing eight touchdowns so far through the air. This weekend they take on Favre and the revamped Jets passing game…which will not end well for them.
  • Terrell Owens (WR), Cowboys: Although the Rams may have played something that resembled defense last week, this Sunday they’ll play host to the Dallas Cowboys and it will not be pretty. Even if Brad Johnson is behind center, expect big things from T.O., who has been relatively quiet this season and is primed for his first 100+ yard game of the year.
  • Marion Barber (RB), Cowboys: Umm…the Rams are allowing 169 yards per game on the ground with a spectacular 4.9 yards per carry average and nine touchdowns allowed. With backup Felix Jones injured and the quarterback position up in the air, expect the team to lean hevily on Marion the Barbarian.
  • Dominic Rhodes (RB), Colts: Rhodes got pretty lucky with the matchup on his first start of the year (with Addai riding the pine for the next few weeks.) The Green Bay Packers defense is allowing over 5.1 yards per carry and over 150 yards per game via the run. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Rhodes go for 130 and a score or something to that nature.
  • Others: Ryan Grant (vs IND), Bernard Berrian (@ CHI), Steve Slaton (vs DET), Lee Evans (vs SD)

Misses

  • Julius Jones, RB, Seahawks: The Tampa Bay Buccanneers haven’t allowed a rushing touchdown yet this season and something tells me that Julius Jones isn’t going to be the first one to break the trend (Quarterback Seneca Wallace, who getting the start this weekend, is probably more likely to do it.)
  • Oakland running backs: While the Jets pass defense leaves something to be desired, the rush defense has been solid so far this season, allowing just 69 yards per game on the ground and 2.9 yards per carry. It’s going to be tough for any of the Raiders running backs (Fargas, McFadden, Bush) to get the numbers to make them a good fantasy play this weekend.
  • Ronnie Brown (RB) / Ricky Williams (RB), Dolphins: The Ravens are the top defense in the NFL (even after getting beaten down by the Colts last weekend) and that does not bode well for the running backs of the Miami Dolphins. The Ravens give up just 66 yards per game on the ground and have only allowed one rushing touchdown all season, so it’s pretty unlikely that Brown or Williams will put up any type of numbers you want on your fantasy roster this week.
  • Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB) / Ocho Sucko (WR), Bengals: Without Carson Palmer, the Bengals are truely a terrible team. While you shouldn’t be starting either of these guys anyways, the fact that the Steelers are allowing just 165 yards per game through the air and have given up just four touchdowns (versus six interceptions) should make it even less inviting.
  • Dwayne Bowe (WR), Chiefs: The Titans defense has been dominant against the pass this season, allowing just one touchdown, while intercepting opposing quarterbacks 10 times! Do you think anyone associated with the Kansas City Chiefs passing game is going to have a good day against that? Bowe has been the lone bright spot on this offense (except that one big game from Larry Johnson), but this week I have a feeling he won’t be lighting up the fantasy scoreboard.
  • Baltimore running backs: While not quite as dominant as the Ravens, the Dolphins run defense hasn’t dissappointed this year, allowing just 89 yards per game. Due to the fact that the Ravens use three running backs, the odds of one of them putting up great fantasy numbers is pretty minimal.
  • Others: Jamal Lewis (@ WAS), Chris Perry (vs PIT), Ben Roethlisberger (@ CIN), Chad Pennington (vs BAL)