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What we learned in Week 8

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - We learned that even a winless team has talent and can beat a Super Bowl contender, right New Orleans? meanwhile, Miami and Indianapolis continue their drive towards Andrew Luck.

Arizona at Baltimore

In his first season, rookie Patrick Peterson is a better kick returner than cornerback. That will change in a year or so.

Beanie Wells not only was active, but got into the scoring column.

In the first half the Ravens offense was less visible than Casper the ghost. How do you score just three points against the Cardinals secondary? In the second half Joe Flacco rediscovered Anquan Boldin.

Ray Rice scored three times from in close. That's what Rice owners hoped for when Willis McGahee left from Denver.

In a tale of two halves, Joe Flacco brought the team back with his arm for the come from behind 30-27 victory. Flacco didn't throw any touchdowns to the disappointment of his owners, but he did throw 51 times for 336 yards.

Minnesota at Carolina

Cam Newton is a top-five fantasy quarterback and getting better. he threw three touchdown passes today without an interception. His deep throws should open up the running game later in the year for DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart as teams begin to fear Newton's arm strength as well as his feet.

Greg Olsen (4-73-1) is a must-start at tight end.

Unusual stat of the week - At half-time, Adrian Peterson led the team in receiving with 61 yards and a touchdown catch and Percy Harvin led in rushing with a touchdown run. Peterson never did get his 100 yards rushing but still combined for 162 yards from scrimmage and two scores.

Jacksonville at Houston

The Jaguars are still having trouble finding their offense.

Another good day from Arian Foster (33-112-1). He's finally paying dividends for the top-three selection on Draft Day.

Miami at New York Giants

The Dolphins, who average about 15 ppg, posted 14 in the first 20 minutes behind the running and throwing of Matt Moore. He's still not a viable fantasy quarterback.

Nineteen touches for Reggie Bush and 120 combined yards is the good news. Still no touchdowns since Week 1 is the bad.

With almost no pass rush to worry about, Manning threw for 186 yards in the first half and 349 and two scores for the game. More importantly, no interceptions.

When Ahmad Bradshaw was forced to the locker room for x-rays, Jacobs showed little and can't be counted on for any fantasy value in the future.

New Orleans at St. Louis

Are we sure these teams didn't trade uniforms?

At half-time, A.J. Feeley had more passing yards and touchdown passes than Drew Brees. No wonder the Saints couldn't score in the first half. Brees' only touchdown came at garbage time, an eight-yard pass to Lance Moore.

Jimmy Graham is human after all. he caught just four balls for 39 yards and no touchdowns.

This is the Steven Jackson that we remember from 2006 - running hard, catching the ball and scoring touchdowns. He finished with 191 yards from scrimmage and two scores.

Indianapolis at Tennessee

Tennessee led at half-time by 20-0 and still Chris Johnson couldn't break out of his slump. In fact, Javon Ringer out-rushed him in the game 60 yards to 34 yards. There is something they are not telling us and if I'm a C.J. owner I'm looking to move him.

Another solid outing from Matt Hasselbeck, not spectacular, but he didn't kill you as a "bye-week" quarterback.

Not much to get excited about on the Colts side of the ball. Painter was Indianapolis' leading rusher ahead of Delone Carter and Donald Brown.

Washington at Buffalo (in Toronto)

The only difference between John Beck at quarterback and Rex Grossman is number of turnovers. Neither has any fantasy value.

Fred Jackson was once again involved in both the running game (120 yards) and passing game (74 yards receiving). He's been a top-three fantasy back all season and no reason to think he won't continue to perform at this level.

Scott Chandler is quietly putting together a very nice season. His second touchdown catch of the day, in game No.7, tied the Bills tight end record for touchdowns in a SEASON. However, in the tight-end rich NFL, he's only a bye- week starter.

The Bills defense, who had four sacks in their first six games, had nine on Sunday and a shutout.

Detroit at Denver

Matthew Stafford sure looked healthy to me - going 21-for-30 for 267 yards and three scores.

Calvin Johnson is the best receiver in the league and the best fantasy receiver...period. On Sunday he had his fourth consecutive 100+ yard games and his seventh game with at least one touchdown this season.

On the other hand, Tim Tebow was healthy, but looked lost, going 4-for-13 for 37 yards in the first half. He finished 18-for-39 for 172 yards. You can't take last week's five minutes of brilliance away from him, but balance it with 115 minutes of poor play.

The Lions defense, with two scores, matched only by the Bengals on Sunday.

New England at Pittsburgh

When was the last time Tom Brady was held to less than 80 passing yards in a first half? He came back to post respectable fantasy numbers with a pair of touchdowns passes and 198 yards.

Two straight mediocre games from Welker. Have defenses finally figured out how to cover him?

By contrast, Ben Roethlisberger was 23-for-32 for 231 yards and two scores...at half-time. He finished with a season-high 365 yards.

A show of hands...How many saw Heath Miller as the Steelers' No.1 target before the day started? Those who did, please send me investment advice.

Cleveland at San Francisco

Frank Gore continues a torrid pace since returning from injury. His 134-yard, one-touchdown performance was his fourth consecutive 20+ point game.

The 49ers defense stifled the run as expected and last week's running star for Cleveland, Montario Hardesty was held in check (two carries, six yards).

Cincinnati at Seattle

Andy Dalton-to-A.J. Green is quickly becoming a lethal combination. They connected for the fifth time this season.

Tarvaris Jackson threw for 300+ yards, but without a touchdown.

Ben Obomanu got the start and rewarded his coaches with a 100-yard receiving day. It's unlikely many fantasy owners started him, but he'll be a popular pickup this coming week.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.


Fantasy Leaders - QB
Week 9
 
PlayerCompAttYdsTD
1Drew Brees24342971
2Cam Newton10281510
more

Fantasy Leaders - RB
Week 9
 
PlayerAttYdsTD
1Mark Ingram301002
2Jonathan Stewart8460
3DeAngelo Williams8200
4Edwin Baker120
5Travaris Cadet210
more

Fantasy Leaders - WR
Week 9
 
PlayerRecYdsTD
1Kenny Stills5720
2Jerricho Cotchery2590
3Brandin Cooks3380
4Marques Colston3360
5Robert Meachem1250
more

Fantasy Leaders - TE
Week 9
 
PlayerRecYdsTD
1Jimmy Graham7831
2Greg Olsen3300
3Brandon Williams160
4Benjamin Watson140
5Josh Hill000
more