First Response: Adding insult to injury
Plenty of big-time running backs were nicked up in Week 10, meaning Larry Johnson may need to be on Fantasy radars again. Our Jamey Eisenberg runs through everything he saw on Sunday in his First Response.
Larry Johnson might find a job after all with all the star running backs who got hurt in Week 10. It was like doomsday for a Fantasy owner.
It started with Cedric Benson (hip), Michael Turner (ankle) and Ronnie Brown (ankle) in the early games, and then Julius Jones (broken rib) and Brian Westbrook (concussion) went down in the afternoon. None were able to finish the game, and all the injuries should be considered serious heading into Week 11.
Here are the updates heading into Monday:
Benson, who had seven carries for 22 yards at Pittsburgh before getting hurt, probably has the best chance of playing next week at Oakland. He told the Bengals official team web site that the injury wasn't to his hip joint but rather just a hip flexor strain.
If Benson is out, you'll want to add rookie Bernard Scott, who is only owned in 5 percent of leagues on CBSSports.com. Scott would be considered a sleeper against the Raiders if Benson can't play.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Turner's right ankle sprain could be serious, and he will have an MRI on Monday. The key will be if it's a low or high ankle sprain.
At least Turner rewarded Fantasy owners before getting hurt with nine carries for 111 yards at Carolina. If Turner can't play in Week 11 at the Giants, then it appears like Jason Snelling would get the start with Jerious Norwood (hip) still out. Snelling, who is owned in 5 percent of leagues, had 93 total yards and a touchdown after Turner left the game.
In Miami, Brown will undergo an MRI on Monday to determine the severity of his right ankle sprain. He was on crutches after the game, but he managed to run 12 times for 82 yards and a touchdown before getting hurt against Tampa Bay.
Brown might be out in Week 11 since the Dolphins play Thursday at Carolina, which would make Ricky Williams a great Fantasy option. Williams had 20 carries for 102 yards against Tampa Bay, and the Panthers struggle in run defense.
Fantasy owners might be hoping Jones doesn't play in Week 11 at Minnesota after watching Justin Forsett play well at Arizona once Jones went out. Forsett, who is only owned in 21 percent of leagues, had 17 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown and caught five passes for 26 yards.
The Seattle Times reports Jones suffered a broken rib and will remain in Arizona overnight. It sounds like he could miss the game against the Vikings, and keep in mind Matt Hasselbeck and Donovan McNabb both missed two games with rib injuries this year.
Westbrook, who returned against San Diego after missing two games with a concussion, might be sidelined indefinitely with his second concussion in less than a month. The Eagles will likely be extremely cautious with Westbrook to not risk further damage.
"We'll just see how Brian does here," coach Andy Reid said after the game about Westbrook, who had 54 total yards before getting hurt. "I know that's a concern for everybody. We'll evaluate him and see how things go this next week."
You know the drill with Westbrook, who will likely be out in Week 11 at Chicago. LeSean McCoy will get the start, and he has played well in the three games Westbrook has already missed this season.
As for Johnson, keep an eye to see where he lands after he was released by Kansas City last week. He would only be worth using in any Fantasy league if he signs with a team and is given a prominent role, but now he has the chance with a couple of teams based on what happened Sunday.
Injuries are never fun, especially when they happen to star players.
Let's take a look around at the rest of the Week 10 action.
Start of the Week review: Ricky Williams failed to score a touchdown, but he still had a solid game against Tampa Bay. Williams finished with 102 rushing yards on 20 carries, and he also caught two passes for 5 yards. Williams now has six games with double digits in Fantasy points, which is amazing considering this was his first game this year with 20 carries. And his Fantasy value could skyrocket if Ronnie Brown (ankle) is out for an extended period of time.
Sit of the Week review: Mike Sims-Walker had a nice game at the Jets, which was a surprise given the Jaguars had not had a passing touchdown on the road this year, and Sims-Walker was facing a shutdown cornerback in Darrelle Revis. Sims-Walker finished with three catches for 49 yards and a touchdown, which was 10 Fantasy points in standard formats and made Sims-Walker a starter in the majority of leagues. Hopefully the Jaguars can continue to play this well on the road for the rest of the season.
Insane stat line of the day: Chris Johnson continues to have a stellar season, but each week is almost better than the next. This week, Johnson had 26 carries for 132 yards and two touchdowns and nine catches for 100 yards against Buffalo. In leagues where receptions count, Johnson was worth 44 Fantasy points. He shows no signs of slowing down, and he has another great matchup in Week 11 at Houston. In case you forgot, the last time he played the Texans in Week 2 he had 16 carries for 197 yards and two touchdowns and caught nine passes for 87 yards and a touchdown.
Out-of-nowhere stat line of the day: We had Sidney Rice as a start this week against Detroit, but we never expected this. Rice had seven catches for 201 yards. He was 10 yards away from breaking Minnesota's single-game record for receiving yards, which was set by Sammy White in 1976, also against the Lions. Rice hasn't scored a touchdown in his past five games, but he does have at least 135 receiving yards in three of his past four outings. Brett Favre has done wonders for this third-year breakout wide receiver.
Guy we were way right about: We knew the Chargers pass defense was overrated based on their opponents, and Donovan McNabb took advantage with a solid game. McNabb was 35 of 55 passing for 450 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. The interception was on a desperation throw into the end zone at the end of the game, but McNabb had 28 Fantasy points in a standard league. We just need McNabb to be more consistent and play at a high level week in and week out.
Guy we were way wrong about: LaDainian Tomlinson came into Sunday's game with three touchdowns, all against Oakland. But he had his best game in what seems like two years against the Eagles with 24 carries for 96 yards and two touchdowns. Hopefully he can build off it in Week 11 at Denver. Tomlinson had 100 total yards against the Broncos in Week 6, and Denver's run defense has fallen apart the past three weeks against Baltimore, Pittsburgh and Washington. Maybe Tomlinson is ready to finish the season on a strong note based on his play against Philadelphia.
Overachieving defense of the week: The Packers had allowed 38 points in each of their past two games against Minnesota and Tampa Bay, and they were facing a Cowboys offense that was averaging more than 30 points in their past four games. But Green Bay shut down Dallas in a 17-7 victory. The Packers had two fumble recoveries, an interception and five sacks and might have saved the season for Green Bay with this performance.
Underachieving defense of the week: It's hard to say the Vikings defense played bad Sunday against the Lions in a 27-10 victory, but Minnesota failed to take advantage of Detroit's inept offense. Sure, the Vikings recovered a fumble and had three sacks, but Matthew Stafford had no interceptions. Last week at Seattle, Stafford had five interceptions. We expected more from the Vikings DST this week, which might be unrealistic, but it was the Lions after all.
Names to add to your scout team ...
Jason Avant, wide receiver, Philadelphia (eight catches for 156
yards at San Diego)
Donnie Avery, wide receiver, St. Louis (four catches, 67 yards and two touchdowns against New Orleans)
Justin Forsett, running back, Seattle (17 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown and five catches for 26 yards at Arizona)
Brandon Gibson, wide receiver, St. Louis (seven catches for 93 yards against New Orleans)
Robert Meachem, wide receiver, New Orleans (one catch, 27 yards and a touchdown at St. Louis)
Bernard Scott, running back, Cincinnati (13 carries for 33 yards and one catch for 21 yards at Pittsburgh)
Jason Snelling, running back, Atlanta (18 carries for 61 yards and a touchdown and three catches for 32 yards at Carolina)
Injury alerts ...
Brian Westbrook, concussion, considered doubtful for Week 11 at
Julius Jones, broken rib, considered doubtful for Week 11 at Minnesota
Ronnie Brown, ankle, considered doubtful for Week 11 at Carolina
Michael Turner, ankle, considered questionable for Week 11 at N.Y. Giants
Cedric Benson, hip, considered questionable for Week 11 at Oakland
Kyle Orton, ankle, considered questionable for Week 11 against San Diego
Keenan Burton, leg, considered questionable for Week 11 against Arizona
The last word: Maurice Jones-Drew did his best (or worst, depending on who you ask) Brian Westbrook impersonation Sunday at the Jets. Jones-Drew had a clear path to the end zone late in the fourth quarter but stopped at the 1 and took a knee to keep the clock going and set up the game-winning field goal.
At least Jones-Drew was kind enough to apologize.
"Sorry to my Fantasy owners," said Jones-Drew, who finished with 24 carries for 123 yards and a touchdown and two catches for 22 yards. "I apologize. I had myself today. It was a tough call, but whatever it takes to get the victory, that's what counts."
We need more running backs to start thinking like wide receivers. Be selfish. Worry about your own stats. Forget this team stuff.
Jones-Drew had an outstanding game, but hopefully none of his Fantasy owners lost by the six points he failed to score by taking a knee. Those owners are going to be upset Monday morning, and this move could cost someone a playoff spot.
What stood out to you this week? How did your Fantasy teams do? Drop us a line and tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put Attn: Week 10 in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state and we'll respond to as many as e-mails we can.
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