Want a formula for a record-breaking performance? Pit two teams with nothing to lose, and who are awful at tackling, against each other.
Understand the Chinstrap Ninjas are not questioning Josh Cribbs’ and Jerome Harrison’s skills. They’re very good. However, they were provided a great opportunity this week against the lowly Chiefs – who also took advantage of the Browns lackluster defense.
The Browns defense is ownable simply because Cribbs could break any return. Harrison will be one of those running backs we’ll all be monitoring during drafts next year and who we’ll all be keeping in dynasty leagues. No player pops out that kind of performance and gets thrown back. He’s available in 90% of ESPN leagues. If you can still add players in your league – I’m in three that only allow playoff teams to make free agent claims – go get him.
I’m going to explore Harrison in a more in-depth post later, but for now, you probably want some player notes, so let’s get to it:
Jerome Harrison – A ridiculous 34 carries for 286 yards and three TDs makes me wonder what Eric Mangini was thinking giving Chris Jennings all of those carries the last couple of weeks.
Josh Cribbs – Didn’t do much in his wildcat role this week, but the Browns will take his 100-yard and 103-yard kick return TDs over some minor wildcat contributions any week.
Brady Quinn – Placed on IR with a foot injury. Derek Anderson will finish the season at QB for Cleveland. That’s not good.
Jamaal Charles – Because the Browns can’t tackle either – unless they’re playing the Steelers, apparently – Charles amassed 154 yards on 25 carries and a TD. Charles, like Harrison, will be among the most sought after RBs in redrafts next year.
Matt Cassel – It’s hard to tell what kind of player Cassel is. He was great with all those New England weapons, and has spent a lot of this season picking himself up off the turf. Against the Browns he was 22-for-40 for 331 yards and two TDs. I say he’ll be one of the most underrated QBs in 2010.
Chris Chambers – Despite getting only half as many targets as the disappointing Dwayne Bowe – 4 catches for 56 yards – the well-traveled Chambers racked up 114 yards and a TD on 5 receptions. Chambers and Bowe give the Chiefs a legit 1-2 punch they haven’t had for years.
Ryan Moats – Arian Foster was the darling of some sleeper lists last week, but Moats was the most impressive back in Houston. Moats only finished with 46 yards on 13 carries, but anyone playing the Foster sleeper card got a disappointing one catch and 20 total yards.
Braylon Edwards – What does the future hold for the former member of fantasy football’s elite? On Sunday, he made 5 catches for 105 yards and scored a TD. He was targeted seven times and had a 65-yard reception.
JaMarcus Russell – Raiders win… With Russell at QB. Check your prophecies, world don’t end in 2012, let’s move that up a couple years. Actually, don’t get too excited. With that TD, he was just 5-for-11 for 47 yards.
Michael Bush – Rushed for 133 yards and a TD on 18 carries. Along with Darren McFadden’s 74 yards on 12 carries, the Raiders amassed 241 total rushing yards against a top-3 Broncos rushing defense. You are a crazy one NFL. Neither of the Raiders most talented backs – those being Bush (available in 85% of ESPN leagues) and McFadden (available in 49%) – should be on the waiver/free agent list going into your dynasty/keeper offseason. They play Cleveland this week.
David Thomas – Replacing the turf-toed Jeremy Shockey, the Saints tight end was targeted 10 times and came down with eight of them for 77 yards. Turf toe is not an easy injury to play with. If Shockey can’t go, Thomas could be a fantasy championship game surprise.
Maurice Morris – Owned in only 2.7% of ESPN leagues, Morris could be a nice pickup for championship teams. He amassed 160 total yards, including five catches, and scored a TD. Morris put up numbers like a healthy Kevin Smith.
J.P. Foschi – Foschi, not Chad Ochocinco, Laveraneus Coles or Kelley Washington, led the Bengals in catches (7), yards (82) and targets (9). Will Carson Palmer continue to throw to the tight end? Probably not, but anything’s possible.
Leonard Weaver – While LeSean McCoy had a better yards per carry average and scored a touchdown, Weaver still got the bulk of the action, adding two catches to 17 carries for 70 total yards.
Josh Morgan – Alex Smith targeted Morgan, a preseason sleeper, eight times. He caught seven for 61 yards and a score. Don’t jump back on that bandwagon yet.
John Carlson – Another preseason sleeper that really disappointed this year. Matt Hasselbeck targeted him eight times. Carlson caught seven for 86 yards and scored a TD.
Jay Cutler – To call Cutler an embattled QB is an understatement, but he continues to reach new lows. His QB rating Sunday: 7.9. He completed 10 of his 27 attempts for 94 yards and was picked off three times.
Caleb Hanie – Filled in for Cutler and got picked off in only five attempts, but his 8.3 QB rating was still better than Cutler’s.
Matt Moore – A Carolina QB figured out that Steve Smith is actually really good. Moore was 21-for-33 for 299 yards and 3 TDs. That’s good enough for a 123.3 QB rating. Take that Caleb Hanie.
Steve Smith – Targeted 14 times by Moore, Smith caught 9 for 157 yards and a TD. If Moore was QB all season, Steve Smith would still be the Steve Smith.
Giants receivers – New York had five receivers – Hakeem Nicks, Kevin Boss, Steve Smith, Derek Hagen and Mario Manningham – score eight or more points in PPR leagues this week. For what it’s worth, in 2010 look for Nicks to be the home run-hitting No. 1 and Steve Smith to be the possession No 2.
Ahmad Bradshaw – He’s been very quiet of late, but Bradshaw impressed with 61 yards rushing on just nine carries. He scored 2 TDs and had three catches for 29 yards. Remember how good he was when the Giants were good earlier in the season? Maybe there’s a correlation there.
Who did we miss? What players are you targeting? Let us know in the comments.