Bilicki's NFL Fantasy, Week 9

Chris Johnson ranks 29th in fantasy points among running backs and is on pace for a staggeringly...

Chris Johnson ranks 29th in fantasy points among running backs and is on pace for a staggeringly low rushing total of 690 yards. (J. Meric/Getty Images/AFP)

DAN BILICKI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:20 PM ET

TORONTO - Chris Johnson.

If you read that name and just groaned you either used your first-round fantasy pick on him this year, traded for him hoping he'd improve by now or you're a Titans fan.

It has seriously gotten this bad for the back formerly known as CJ2K: In last week’s game against the winless Colts, the game’s leading rusher was Curtis Painter. Sure, the Indy QB wasn’t exactly a slouch, gaining 79 yards, but Johnson was terrible again and yanked in the fourth quarter. For the record, Johnson ran 14 times for a pathetic 34 yards. Javon Ringer, his replacement, had 60 yards on 14 carries.

This season, Johnson ranks 29th in fantasy points among backs and is on pace for a staggeringly low rushing total of 690 yards.

Another idea of how bad Johnson has been this season is that you could actually debate the following question: Who’s the bigger first-round fantasy bust? Jamaal Charles, who was lost for the season in Week 2, or Johnson, who is averaging 2.8 yards per carry?

The sad part is Johnson may genuinely be worse because you would have dropped Charles for someone more productive than the Titans’ big-money man by now instead of foolishly going with Johnson week in, week out.

— Times are a bit concerning if you own a Giants running back. It has been revealed that starter Ahmad Bradshaw has a broken foot, but it’s possible he could play through the injury. You have to wonder how effective a guy whose job it is to run for a living can be with a busted wheel, though. Then there’s the bulldozer Brandon Jacobs, who did himself no favours by saying he’ll be leaving the team after this season and also that he wants more touches. Well, on Sunday, he had four carries for 10 yards. If you’re in a deep league, you look at Danny Ware as a guy to hang onto in case Bradshaw sits and Jacobs gets benched.

— Up until about 4 p.m. last Friday, the belief was that Andre Johnson would make his return to the Texans’ receiving corps for the coming game against Jacksonville. Now, the Texans have confirmed the all-world wide out will be sitting again. That’s the beauty (rather, pain) of hamstring injuries: You never know when they’ll act up. At least this early announcement lets everyone prepare for his absence and there’s no need to sit on the edge of your seat, waiting for gameday updates.

— The C.J. Spiller-as-a-receiver strategy isn’t paying off for his fantasy owners. He has been lining up wide in the past two weeks to both help get him the ball and get the Bills through some injury issues, but the numbers just aren’t there. Last week, the former first-round pick had two catches for nine yards and, on the season, has just 64 receiving yards on 13 catches. To make matters worse, he hasn’t had a rush attempt in the past two games.

— The running back situation in Cleveland is getting pretty grim. Peyton Hillis hasn’t lived up to his billing after last year’s breakout performance and re-injured his wonky hamstring in practice Thursday. Last week, Montario Hardesty lasted only two plays into the game before suffering a torn calf muscle that will keep him out at least two weeks. So, if you’re desperate for a RB this week, pick up Chris Ogbonnaya. He has been playing as a third-down back the past few weeks so it’s not as if he’s being thrown in the deep end here.

— The bye week couldn’t have come at a better time for Tampa Bay. If they had to play last week, their starting running back would likely have been Kregg Lumpkin or a free agent like, God forbid, Tiki Barber. But after the extra week of rest, LeGarrette Blount is back practising and should be 100% against the Saints on Sunday.

STAT CORNER

Just in case you still thought the Steelers were a run-first team this season, counting sacks and scrambles, 62% of Pittsburgh play calls have been passes.

WHEN YPC DOESN'T MATTER

Ray Rice scored TDs of 1, 1 and 3 yards on Sunday, significantly lowering his yardage total and YPC, but boosting your fantasy points.

VERSUS

PHILIP RIVERS, QB, SD vs. GB

* He’s averaging the most yards per game of his career at 297.7 per contest.

* Playing on short rest after the fumbling debacle in their overtime loss to Kansas City.

* The Packers have given up the fourth most passing yards in the league, but also have the second most interceptions.

* Former teammate LaDainian Tomlinson said it best: “He looks distracted.”

JOSH FREEMAN, QB, TB at NO

* Coming off a bye week and a four-interception performance against the Bears in London, England.

* Just three games ago, put up 20 points when Saints visited Tampa Bay.

* Should have LeGarrette Blount back to 100%, taking pressure off the passing game.

* The Saints have given up the sixth most passing TDs in the league and only have four INTs this season.

Verdict: Both QBs have suffered a fall from grace this season, but for this week we think Rivers has the most bounce-back ability.

SIT/START

* Start Eli Manning, QB, NYG at NE – The Steelers provided the blue print last week on how to beat the Patriots: Pass the ball. A lot.

* Sit Ryan Fitzpatrick, QB, BUF vs. NYJ – In four career games against the Jets, he has a 47% completion percentage and as many turnovers as scores.

* Start Mike Tolbert, RB, SD vs. GB — He might be the only Chargers back that’s healthy this week.

* Sit Ryan Torain, RB, WAS vs. SF – He was absolutely terrible last week in the feature role and now faces the toughest run defence around.

* Sit Chris Johnson, RB, TEN vs. CIN — Not only is he playing terribly, he’s playing against a great defence.

* Sit Chris Ogbonnaya, RB, CLE at HOU – Just because he’ll have a big role, doesn’t mean he’ll put up big numbers.

* Start Victor Cruz, WR, NYG at NE – With Hakeem Nicks’ status uncertain, he’ll be a big beneficiary facing the Pats’ woeful defence.

* Sit Jabar Gaffney, WR, WAS vs. SF – The Skins looked sloppy all around against Buffalo, how bad will they be against a good defence?

* Sit Stevie Johnson, WR, BUF vs. NYJ – Gets a date with Darrelle Revis, who is playing up to even his own lofty standards.

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