Week 7 Fantasy Football Awards
DeMarco Murray almost matched Felix Jones' season output in one game
Shonn Greene has averaged 90 yards rushing over his last three games
Chris Johnson was booed in Tennessee after posting 18-yard performance
Air raids by Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers and Ben Roethlisberger still was not the top headline for Week 7, which, instead, was all about the running backs -- both good and bad. While a plague of game-ending injuries befell many of them, those who made it out alive such as DeMarco Murray, Arian Foster, Adrian Peterson and Matt Forte were all must-see TV.
1. The Not Felix Jones Award: With 253 yards, DeMarco Murray in one game nearly matched Jones' entire five-week body of work by two yards. Even if you remove his 91-yard run on his first carry of the game from the books, 161 yards is still nearly 50 yards better than Felix's best game of the season. Murray was a chic sleeper in August but was buried on the depth chart. Here's the bad news, he won't be playing the Rams' defense every week. But run, don't walk to the waiver wire to get him, unless of course the Jones owner in your league already had the handcuff.
2. Best All-Purpose Yardage Monster: Arian Foster's five catches for 119 yards and a touchdown was just as good or better than any other Texans receiver this year not named Andre. His 234 yards were an all-purpose force of nature. It wasn't so long ago his stock slipped to the middle and sometimes even the end of draft first rounds everywhere thanks to a nagging injury and one-year wonder fears. Adding to the hysteria was his missing of the first game and Ben Tate's emergence. Since then, Foster's dominance is further reason why no trade should ever be made after the first two weeks.
3. The DNF Award: It was a bad day for running backs leaving games early. Beanie Wells, Darren McFadden, Earnest Graham, Tim Hightower, LaDainian Tomlinson, Willis McGahee, Ryan Mathews and Joseph Addai. Marshawn Lynch beat everyone else to the punch by going out injured in pre-game after warm-ups injuring his back stretching. And if that wasn't enough, even the Saints had a spot of trouble with Mark Ingram's injured heel.
4. The All He Does Is Catch Touchdowns Award: Plaxico Burress. No player in years has done more with four catches and 25 yards than Burress yesterday. The Jets passing game has been nothing short of a mess with the average leading pass catcher posting 71 yards a game. Heck, just ask any Santonio Holmes owner and you'll hear a sad tale of regret and bitterness regarding the N.Y. aerial attack. Compared to the Doug Baldwins and Devin Hesters on the waiver wire, Burress isn't a bad pickup, just don't expect much more from him than an occasional spot-start.
5. Best Curtis Martin Impression: Shonn Greene. Staying with the Jets, how useful would his performance against the Chargers have been in like, September 2010? Don't look now, but the king of inconsistency now has three straight games averaging 90 yards rushing. One touchdown in that span is still a concern, but move him up to low-end RB2 status with room to get better.
6. The Mike Shanahan Hates Us All Award: The Redskins coach used Hightower liberally yesterday, thus leaving anyone starting Ryan Torain to go up in flames. No stranger to running back roulette by the mad genius, those of us who trusted in the Redskins running department this week felt like a certain Peanuts character trying to kick a football. And with Hightower getting hurt, it just muddies the water even further. At this point, owners with Roy Helu stashed on their benches in dynasty leagues should even be worrying.
7. The didn't you used to be Chris Johnson Award: In the fastest descent since Larry Johnson department, Chris Johnson keeps hitting new lows, led by his 18 yards Sunday. Titans fans booed him lustily as his long run was just three. In his last five games, he's averaging 48 yards rushing and looks positively mortal. On a day in which the Titans finished with 148 total yards of offense, Johnson was hardly the main culprit. Whatever's wrong, CJ2K owners have permission to not just hit the panic button, but rip the knob off. A healthy Kenny Britt wouldn't fix this offense, but Johnson would never be this bad if the passing game had at least one threat.
8. The Poor Man's Cam Newton: Tim Tebow. Spare me the "just a winner routine," Tebow will make a nice bye week fill-in starter thanks to something more tangible -- his running ability. Expect him to look a little like Newton by being the default goal-line back, in addition to adding some nice rushing yardage. Not having Brandon Lloyd definitely handicaps him, but Tebow makes the floundering Broncos watchable and has fantasy upside to boot. Eric Decker's stock will take a hit, as he and Orton seemed to have been building some chemistry and who didn't do much in Tebow's first start. Instead, keep an eye on Demaryius Thomas as a waiver-wire pickup. His touchdown catch among only 27 yards wasn't much, but he was targeted 10 times by Tebow, more than double the amount of any other Broncos receiver.
9. The Gravity Kills Award: To the Detroit Lions and Matthew Stafford, who, after their second straight loss, look on their way back to reality with a thud. Stafford has completed just over 50 percent of his passes the last two weeks and now may be injured with either an ankle or knee issue. On top of that, no Jahvid Best means no running game to speak of. At least last season Calvin Johnson showed that not even backup QB Shaun Hill could stop him, meaning that whatever happens to everyone else, he'll still be fine.
10. The Walking Dead Award: Anyone switching between the AMC show and NBC found zombies staggering on both channels. The final score of the Saints and Colts wasn't as bad as it looked, it was worse. Only two more scheduled national television "appearances" for the Colts left -- Week 13 against the Patriots on Sunday Night Football and Week 16 hosting the Texans. Chad Ochocinco and Jacoby Jones might even be startable for those. Anybody want to start an e-mail petition for replacement games? A Facebook page? Anything?
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