7-on-7: There is no Ricky, there is only Zuul

Andy Behrens
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Ricky Williams(notes) is clearly possessed. Probably by an ancient Hittite demigod. Williams nearly reached his age (32) in fantasy points on Thursday night in a three-touchdown performance against the Panthers. He carried 22 times for 119 yards and added two receptions for 19.

It was a dominant performance from Williams, highlighted by a 46-yard fourth quarter TD run. Video here via NFL.com. After a slight miscalculation by Carolina linebacker Jon Beason(notes), Williams legitimately outran a pair of NFL corners on his way to the goal line for his third score

Ricky is not to be benched for the foreseeable future, not with Ronnie Brown(notes) on IR. Williams was No. 6 in the Yahoo! composite running back rankings this week, and he'll likely be higher in Week 12. (And by "higher" we mean, you know, in the ranks). Miami travels to Buffalo next Sunday to face the NFL's worst run defense.

Lex Hilliard(notes) looked strong as well. He picked up 31 total yards on six touches and lost a 13-yard gain due to a penalty. If you're handcuffing Ricky – or simply looking for a desperation flex option in a giant league – Hilliard is your guy. Pat White(notes) was only a rumor on Thursday.

Let's get to the pre-practice Friday notes…

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Reggie Bush(notes) has missed two days of practice due to swelling in his left knee (again), "leaving his status for Sunday's game at Tampa Bay in doubt." Uh-oh. Tampa is a great matchup for any back. Pierre Thomas(notes) is clearly a strong start, and there's a case to be made for Mike Bell(notes), too. [New Orleans Times-Picayune]

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Multiple sources consider Cedric Benson(notes) "unlikely" to play against Oakland in Week 11. According to NFL Network's Jason La Canfora, Larry Johnson(notes) "has received an ample workload in practice." LJ is obviously familiar with the Raiders, having rushed for 938 yards and 11 touchdowns against them over the course of his seven-year career. Bernard Scott(notes) won't have the Cincinnati rushing workload all to himself. [NFL.com, Cincinnati Enquirer]

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Jerious Norwood(notes) returned to practice for Atlanta on Thursday, so he becomes a running back of interest while Michael Turner(notes) (ankle) is out. Here's Jerious:

“It felt real good running today and being able to run and cut again,” Norwood said. “I’m just glad to be back on the field. We’ll have to wait until (Friday) and see what the soreness feels like or whatever it may be.”

Norwood is much more interesting in the Week 12 home matchup with Tampa Bay. The Bucs currently have the NFC's worst run defense, allowing 4.9 yards per carry and 167.3 rushing yards per game. [AtlantaFalcons.com]

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As always, there's good Cossel to be found over at FantasyGuru.com. His coaching tape notes are an interesting read. And he'll force you to reexamine everything you thought you knew about punctuation. [Fantasy Guru]

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Jerry Jones demands more Felix, citing the "special qualities" of his pet running back: "'We need to get him in situations outside, or where he has a little space, and we'll see some of that,' Jones said. 'It's not a frustrating thing. It's a tactical thing.'" MDS approves of this message. [Dallas Morning News]

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The Hazean offers a special Browns/Lions edition of Desperation Plug-and-Plays, so you won't want to miss that. From what I've seen, the industry seems to be in total agreement on Detroit's defense this week. Start 'em as needed. Cleveland hasn't scored an offensive touchdown in an NFL game since Sipe-to-Newsome in '79. [The Hazean]

OK, this one's not football, but it's a great read. Please check out KC Johnson's remembrance of Ben Wilson. An important story, well told. [Chicago Tribune]

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