- Jamaal Charles
(12-88, 4-38) increased his league-leading YPC average, but fantasy owners are steaming after two long plays were stopped inside the 5-yard line. Thomas Jones
(15-71, 2 TD) came on to vulture TDs on both plays. This backfield resembles Tennessee's from Chris Johnson
's rookie year where CJ2K was the engine that made the offense go only to be stalled at the goal-line.
- Tim Hightower
(12-62, 3-24) started the game, but Beanie Wells
(8-39) received the first carry after two completions. The two backs split carries the rest of the way, occasionally playing together. Wells trucked LB Derrick Johnson
on one play, showing explosion that was missing just a few weeks ago. Expect his role to grow now that he's as healthy as he's been all season.
- Neither LaDainian Tomlinson
(12-36, 7-71) nor Shonn Greene
(15-42) was able to take advantage of a prime matchup against a soft Texans run defense. Tomlinson continues to be the more valuable fantasy asset of the two as he racks up receptions and yards in the passing game. It remains to be seen if one back separates from the other inside the 5-yard line.
- This message came across my TweetDeck in the first half of Sunday's game: "Is Donald Brown
terrible or am I missing something? No burst, questionable decisions, can't block. What does he do well?" No surprise, that sentiment. Brown (17-68, 3-40) must have transformed in the second half, though, as our game-charter noted that last year's first-rounder flashed excellent hands and finally broke tackles for the first time all season. Javarris James
(3-3, 4-24) remains valueless unless he receives goal-line looks. Joseph Addai
(shoulder) returned to practice last week and could eat into Brown's workload in a big game against the Chargers.
- The always-nicked Felix Jones
(11-51, 3-35) was forced from the game for hip X-rays, but he returned and played through the apparently minor injury. The glacially slow Marion Barber
(13-36, 1-15) must have looked on in wonder on Jon Kitna
's 29-yard bootleg TD. Tashard Choice
(2-7, 2-14) picked up a few touches with Jones in the X-ray room.
- I'm not buying talk of Fred Taylor
working his way into a significant role once he finally returns from a toe injury. BenJarvus Green-Ellis
(21-96, 1-4, 1 TD) and Danny Woodhead
(7-69, 4-21, 1 TD) are simply playing too well in their respective roles as clock-killing hammer and play-making change-up artist. Woodhead, in particular, is a tackle-slipping machine. I still can't figure out how he kept his balance on this 36-yard TD run
- The coaching staff was worried about rushing Clinton Portis
(5-32, 1-14) back too quickly from his torn groin, yet they did it anyway. Portis was impressive early before tearing scar tissue in his groin after one quarter. Mike Shanahan considers Portis a "long shot" to play in Week 12, and you would think he'd now be leery of rushing Ryan Torain
(hamstring) back as well. Expect Keiland Williams
(23-68, 6-27) to carry a heavy load again next week versus the Vikings.
- Even with the fantasy dream matchups home to the Bills and Lions in Weeks 15 and 16, the future is looking grim for Ronnie Brown
(3-10, 3-19) and Ricky Williams
(3-1). The offensive line is an injury-ravaged mess, Tyler Thigpen
can't operate unless he's in the shotgun, and Brandon Marshall
's (hamstring) status is up in the air.
- For the second straight week, our game-charter noted that Marshawn Lynch
(7-36, 4-19) looked overweight. Justin Forsett
(8-10, 5-33) finally saw more carries than the starter, but he didn't have the holes to capitalize. Expect a near 50-50 division of labor going forward.
- Jahvid Best
's (3-2, 4-15) twin turf toes are getting progressively worse, and he's now considered a "long shot" to play in Week 12. This information would have been handy -- and very welcome to fantasy owners-- at about 11:30 a.m. Sunday morning. Maurice Morris
(10-31, 4-40), a solid if unspectacular veteran, will take over as the Lions' lead back. Big back Jerome Felton
(4-14) will complement Morris as a short-yardage option.
Falling Out: Chargers (MNF), Panthers (Mike Goodson
), Buccaneers (LeGarrette Blount
Already Graduated: Bears (Matt Forte
), Eagles (LeSean McCoy
), Giants (Ahmad Bradshaw
), Browns (Peyton Hillis
), Redskins (Ryan Torain
), Packers (Brandon Jackson
), Raiders (Darren McFadden
), Bills (Fred Jackson