It's the first bye week, and Baltimore, Detroit, Houston and Washington are off. That's good news for fantasy owners who picked the Ravens' Jamal Lewis and the Lions' Kevin Jones. Lewis last week had the nightmare fantasy -- and reality -- line of nine yards and no touchdowns on 10 carries. Jones over two games has 109 yards and no touchdowns. At least the decision is made for you as to whether to bench those early-season duds.
The dreadful starts for Lewis and Jones are indicative of a disturbing trend among many of the top running backs selected in fantasy drafts: They all stink.
The Bills' Willis McGahee was in the top half-dozen backs on most draft boards. He has 151 yards and no touchdowns this season. The Texans' Domanick Davis has 107 yards and no rushing touchdowns. The Jets' Curtis Martin, last season's rushing champion, has 129 yards and no touchdowns. Perhaps most disappointing has been Corey Dillon, who set a Patriots single-season rushing record last season with 1,635 yards and 12 touchdowns. Over his first two games this year, Dillon has 99 yards and two scores. His average per carry is 2.7 yards.
Even the most elite fantasy backs have been relatively stagnant. The Chargers' LaDainian Tomlinson has three touchdowns, but his 124 rushing yards in two games are far off his career yards-per-game average. The Chiefs' Priest Holmes is averaging 80 yards and one touchdown over his first two games. Last season, Holmes averaged close to 111 yards and 1.75 touchdowns per game.
Meantime, later picks such as Thomas Jones, Stephen Davis and Willie Parker are all the rage. Parker's exploits have been well documented; Jones has 170 yards and three touchdowns, meaning Cedric Benson won't be the starter anytime soon; and Davis is quietly reestablishing himself as a first-round fantasy back with 158 yards and four touchdowns, including three last week. Amazing to think the former Redskins workhorse has more touchdowns on his own than Lewis, Kevin Jones, McGahee, Martin, Dillon and current Redskins tailback Clinton Portis combined.
Martin sat out practice yesterday because of his ailing right knee. Coach Herman Edwards said he's uncertain whether Martin, who has not missed a game since 1998, will be able to play Sunday against the Jaguars. . . .
Out-of-work quarterbacks Jeff George and Shaun King auditioned for the Lions on Tuesday, although neither was immediately signed.
Tailback Quentin Griffin also was among the players who worked out for Lions officials Tuesday, but he re-signed with the Broncos later in the day.
Staff writer Mark Maske contributed to this report.