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Fantasy Football, Week 7: Start Michael Turner Against Bengals

Last week, Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez was my start of the game against the Philadelphia Eagles. While his yardage total - only 19 yards - left a lot to be desired, his two touchdowns likely won a lot of fantasy games. This week, I pen a letter of recommendation for Falcons running back, Michael Turner.

To hear most people tell it, Turner is having a down year and concerns over the Falcons running game are mounting. I disagree with those assertions and I brought my friends (statistics) to back me up in this fantasy fight. Before we enter the octagon, let's compare the 2010 version of No. 33 with the 2009 version.

Rushing Statistics Through Six Games
Year
Carries
Yards
YPC
Long Run
TDs
Fantasy Points
2010
108
466
4.3
55
1
53
2009
100
363
3.5
33
6
72
Percentage +/-
+ 8%
+ 28%
+ 23%
+ 67%
- 83%
- 27%

 

In every statistical category, except touchdowns, Turner is outperforming last year's production. More carries, more yards, a higher average per carry and even a longer run.

 

 

The reason he's been disappointing to fantasy owners is he hasn't been finding the end zone with the regularity we are used to, scoring only once in six games.

Here's the secret that most fantasy experts, if they're honest, will tell you: touchdowns are difficult to predict. Carries, yards, receptions - those are all about opportunities. Touchdowns are the white whale of the fantasy world. If a player is getting the carries, the touchdowns will come and when they do, it's usually in bunches.

For Turner, his season really started rolling in the seventh game when he delivered 20 carries for 151 yards and one touchdown. Turner plays the Bengals this week in...the seventh game. The Bengals have been tough against this run this year allowing only one 100-yard rusher this season (Peyton Hillis, 102 yards) but Turner will continue to see his touches and eventually the touchdowns will follow. I say it begins this week.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.