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(Restless reporters are talking over each other in a crowded press room)

Press Secretary: If everyone would just calm down for a moment, the detective will be in shortly to answer your questions.  Please keep the questions on topic as we’re on a very tight schedule…….

(The head detective enters the room)

Detective: I’d like to start off by saying the department is doing everything within our power to figure out what happened this past Sunday.  At this time we have no leads, and no idea what would cause this individual to target running backs specifically.  Yes, you in the back. (Points to reporter eagerly raising hand)

Reporter #1: Can you describe what you saw when you arrived at the scene?

Detective: It was unlike anything I’ve ever seen before.  Marshawn Lynch was in a mangled heap on the floor.  His body looked as though the spinal cord had been snapped in half.  The wound looked self-inflicted, which is what threw us off the most.  Ryan Mathews was huddled in the corner, shaking violently while cradling his pinky finger.  I’ve never seen so many running backs just lying there, it was everything I could do to keep my lunch down.

Reporter #2: I heard you may be investigating Mike Shanahan, is that true?

Detective: He was a suspect at first, but we’ve have since ruled him out after finding one of his close associates, Mr. Hightower, as a victim at the crime scene.  Losing a running back would severely limit his ability to tamper with otherwise sound lineup decisions so we have no reason to believe he’s done anything wrong.

Reporter #3: Do you have any possible motives?

Detective: We’re not entirely certain, but it seems that the suspect has a penchant for crushing the hopes of fake futbol fantasizing men everywhere.

Reporter #4: What is the city’s plan moving forward.

Detective: Well, we plan to hit the waiver wire hard.  The St. Runningback’s Day Massacre, as we’ve come to call it, affected us all in many different ways.  We recommend everyone try and resume their normal life as quickly as possible.  That’s all for tonight folks, god bless.

How Awesome I Am

If the above was any indicator, your weekend was probably about as good as mine, and most other fake futbollers.  I hit the jackpot with a few of my value picks, but came up (very) short on more than usual.  Marques Colston and DeMarco Murray I hit out of the ballpark, while Daniels, Tolbert, and Demaryius Thomas all provided decent bang for their buck.  Jackie Battle was also interesting, as his yards per carry were very good, but he failed to reach the endzone despite the lopsided score.  I’m still banking on him producing from here on out.  After that, the rest of the picks quickly fall off.  The detective is still investigating.

The Value

DeMarco Murray $6700: He ran amuck last week and I don’t really see any reason why he shouldn’t do it again against the (arguably) just as bad Philly run defense.  If the Cowboys can hop out to an early lead, look for them to ride the DeMarco train to victory.

Ryan Torain $6200: Well that’s one way to gain backfield clarity under Shanahan.  I don’t think Helu is built to be a feature back, and Torain is the known quantity.  All things considered I’m banking on him being featured early and often to take some pressure off the (now) Santata-less John Beck.  If the defense can hold Buffalo, expect the Redskins to try and win the time of possession battle in the trenches.

Michael Crabtree $5700: In the wake of Josh Morgan, Crabtree finally came through like we’ve been expecting him to do.  Heavily targeted, he racked up 9 catches for 77 yards, and most importantly, his teammates trust for perhaps the first time this season.  The matchup with Cleveland is no cakewalk on paper, but neither was Detroit.  Perhaps Crabtree will develop a knack for playing up against tougher competition.  That is, after all, why we touted him so highly out of college, right?

Jake Ballard $5400: Coming off the bye week, the Giants get……..another bye week.  Ballard has been a safety valve for Eli this season, and against a hapless Dolphins squad I’m expecting around 4 catches for 50 yards and a touchdown.  Not bad for a guy you had probably never heard of at the beginning of the month.

Visante Shiancoe $5100: The Ponder era has begun, and every young QB needs a tight end he can rely on while he’s learning the ropes.  Shiancoe is a proven talent whose numbers have been at the mercy of poor coaching and quarterbacking the past few seasons.  Last week was no fluke, and as the rapport between the two grows, the Vikings will only become more dangerous. If Shiancoe sits it might be worth taking a look at Kyle Rudolph as well.

Marques Colston  $7200: It’s safe to say Colston is fully healthy for the first time in a good while, and I’d challenge anyone who argues to watch his first touchdown catch from Sunday night.  I’m not saying that the Saints will put up 60+ again this week, but would you really bet against 40?  If they hit that total I would imagine at least one of those scores would go Colston’s way.  I believe New Orleans is making a statement to the rest of the league that they’re not to be taken lightly, and that bodes well for fantasy fanatics everywhere.

Christian Ponder  $6700: It’s a sad day when a once proud Donovan McNabb is outplayed by a rookie, but that’s what it’s come down to.  To be honest, it wasn’t even close.  Ponder brings a dimension to the Vikings that they’ve missed the past two seasons and with the potential for AP to go off on any given day, Ponder will always have some amount of open field to work with.  At his price tag and against a Carolina defense that couldn’t stop my grandmother from attending water aerobics, he’s a great way to stack your other positions.

John Beck $6600: Shanahan said he was “proud” of Beck’s performance Sunday which may be the first definitive statement I’ve heard from the man all season.  It may be strange that I’m endorsing the Redskins QB and RB this week but it’s simple.  If they get into a field position battle with the Bills, Beck will suffer, but if they get behind a few scores early, I could easily see 16-20 points.  Your guess as to which one it will be.

Delone Carter $5900: The lone bright spot for the Colts was Carter, who put some distance between himself and Donald Brown as the heir apparent to Joseph Addai.  Averaging a little less than 10 yards per carry he rewarded those of you that took a flier.  He matches up well with a poor Titan’s run defense.

Other Notables: Victor Cruz $5900, Antonio Brown $5400, Ryan Longwell $5100, Saints D $5100, Maurice Morris $5700, Torrey Smith $5400, Brandon Pettigrew $5800.

Here’s hoping you avoid the carnage this weekend!

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