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FF Brainwave Report 9/21

Photo By: Kirby Lee / US PRESSWIRE

Darren McFadden’s Struggles In Zone Blocking Scheme

Much has been made locally from fans about abandoning the zone blocking scheme after two games. What people fail to realize is that the Raiders have played some good run defenses in the Dolphins and Chargers. Sure, one could point to the success Houston had against Miami week one (zone blocking offense), but it’s not a fair comparison.

Oakland has run this scheme for two weeks, and the Texans have been at it for years. Furthermore, remember the Texans are a better overall team, and played at home. Oakland was traveling to the East coast, and I think they had a problem dealing with the humidity, especially wearing those black jerseys.

All that doesn’t mean much to fantasy owners with McFadden, after a disappointing week, but he will be fine as the season moves along. The Raiders will play Pittsburgh this week, but they’ve actually play this team tough over the years.

Expect McFadden to get back on track with 75 yards on the ground and a score. Big days will be coming.

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Chris Johnson Continues To Shift Blame

On one hand I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out with Johnson’s performance through two weeks, and on the other hand I feel sorry for the fan base and his fantasy owners. While I will admit, I moved Johnson back into the top ten running backs in August, I pointed out numerous times that you would be going out on a leap of faith if you took him.

Just my opinion but I think his situation is a classic example of what happens when you fail to look at yourself with an honest, critical eye. Do you think a guy like Ray Lewis would come out and say he’s done nothing wrong and his teammates need to pick it up?

No, of course not, and when your one of the highest-paid players on the team, you’re viewed at a leader, whether you want it or not. Owning Johnson in a few leagues last year (not on my teams this year) I realized by mid-season that for whatever reason the Titans had weak leadership from the coaching staff.

Clearly this guy needed to be benched but I don’t think the message was ever really sent, except for rumors of Johnson being released just before he went off for a few solid games down the stretch.

Anyway, this guy can turn it around and I do believe he’s conditioned much better this year than last. Still, until he starts to lower his pads and take on some contact, we should have no confidence in putting him in the lineup.

Is there blame to be dished out to the rest of the team? Absolutely, but it’s easy to see this guy isn’t putting forth the effort we saw from him in his early years, and he clearly isn’t ready to admit that to himself, based on his continued avoidance of contact.

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Ravens Respect Stevan Ridley’s Game

Ridley has continued to carry his hard running ways from the preseason into the regular season. The Ravens defense has struggled more than usual with Terrell Suggs injured and Jarrett Johnson gone to San Diego.

Don’t expect big numbers from Ridley this week, but he shouldn’t have a problem giving us the same production we’ve seen from LeSean McCoy and BenJarvus Green-Ellis in the past two weeks.

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Fred Jackson Working Out

It appears Jackson is back on the field and running and cutting on his knee. Don’t know the speed he’s playing at but it doesn’t appear to be close to full speed as he’s no threat to play this week.

Let’s hold out hope we will see him on the field in a few weeks, and it’s a good sign he’s working out.

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Steven Jackson Misses Practice Again

Well the Rams weren’t covering up for a benching after all, and that’s probably what we should have expected as I can’t see Jeff Fisher sitting his top offensive weapon (and leaders on the team) for one bad play.

Jackson has missed all three practices this week, so consider him a game-time decision. For those of you hoping to start Daryl Richardson this week, you could get your wish. Keep an eye on this situation as the Rams play an early game in Chicago.

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Marques Colston Banged Up

If you have a productive backup receiver on your bench, it’s time to start them over Colston. Unfortunate because he has a good matchup against the Chiefs, but I don’t like the fact that he’s failed to put in a full practice.

Like Steven Jackson, Colston is a veteran so if he gets the green light on Sunday after warmups, you might want to roll the dice on him. Again, it depends on your depth.

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