Jerome Harrison (152 total yards) and Rashard Mendenhall (191 tot, 2 TDs) went all ninja on Sunday. They each got their first real chance to shine and didn’t disappoint.
You won’t be able to pick either of them up off waivers – you should check anyway – but should you trade for them? Willie Parker is looking forward to being back next week and Harrison is, unfortunately, a Brown.
In dynasty leagues, go after both of them. In redrafts, I wouldn’t overpay for either unless you’re starting running backs are Darren McFadden and LenDale White.
There were lots of other playmakers and duds on Sunday:
Matt Forte – Had 121 yards and a TD on just 12 carries. But it came against the Lions, who also made Garrett Wolfe look good (4.4 per carry, TD). I’m not saying Forte’s back yet, but he is showing signs of life.
Braylon Edwards – THE DONUT! Five targets and zero catches. So much for Derek Anderson’s reinstatement coinciding with a revert to Browns offense circa 2007. Anderson, however, did have a favorite target on Sunday, Mohamad Massaquoi. More on that in tomorrow’s waiver wire-focused update.
TJ Houshmandzadeh – Had eight catches for 103 yards and Seneca Wallace targeted him 11 times. If this is a sign of things to come, I’ll be glad I didn’t trade Houshmandzadeh for Mario Manningham.
Steve Smith – The good Steve Smith, y’know, the one for the Giants. He had 11 caches 134 yards and 2 TDs. That’s, like, Panthers Steve Smith numbers, with more catches for you PPR fans. He leads the NFL in receptions.
David Garrard – Threw for 323 and 3 TDs and targeted Mike Sims-Walker 11 times, twice as much as any other receiver. Thank you Mr. Garrard. Thank you.
Steve Slaton – Two TDs, but only 21-65 rushing and 2-24 passing. In comparison, his less-heralded, much-traveled teammate Ryan Moats had a better YPC with 56 yards on just 15 carries against the shoddy Raiders defense.
Ray Rice – Finally stole the fantasy spotlight from Willis McGahee in the Ravens backfield with an 11-carry, 103-yard rushing performance. He also added 5 catches for 49 yards.
Darren Sharper – For you IDPers out there, Sharper had two picks, including one he returned for a TD. He also made 8 tackles (5 solo) and deflected two passes.
Ronnie Brown – The Wildcat works, and Brown runs it well – 20-115, 2 TDs. Chad Henne will get wins watching Brown hand the ball off.
Brandon Marshall – While Tony Romo couldn’t get it through his thick skull that he should stop throwing at (to?) Champ Bailey, the Broncos’ Kyle Orton found Marshall 4 times for 91 yards and a TD. This combo will never lead to Brandon Marshall numbers circa 2008, but Marshall should be a decent play for the rest of the season.
San Francisco defense – Scored three TDs. If you started the 49ers D, your opponent hates you today. I mean, really hates you. Probably cussed you out for 10 minutes straight, paused for a few beats then cussed you out one last time for effect. Patrick Willis was the most helpful IDP play, he had 8 tackles (5 solo), 2.5 sacks, a pass deflection and returned an interception 23 yards for a TD.
Ben Roethlisberger – Threw for 333 and 2 TDs. He’s third in the NFL in passing yards with 1,193 after four games, more than Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Tony Romo.