Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) -
It appears as if the Carolina Panthers were the Kryptonite to Drew Brees' "Superman" act.
For six weeks, Brees has performed feats of strength, carrying the New Orleans' offense on his back, with guys named "Joe" as his receivers. Brees lost All-Pro Marques Colston and it didn't slow the passing game down. Out went tight end Jeremy Shockey...no problem. Over the first month and a half, Brees had thrown for a league-leading 1,993 yards (332 ypg) and 12 touchdowns.
But on Sunday afternoon, Carolina had the defense to stop him. Of course it didn't help that Brees' most potent weapon, running back Reggie Bush who led all non-quarterbacks in fantasy scoring, left the game with a knee injury.
Despite getting Colston and Shockey back on the field, the loss of Bush and Carolina's pass rush kept Brees off balance. At halftime he had just 69 yards through the air. A far cry from his average first half through Week 6 of 181 yards passing.
Brees finished the day with 231 yards passing, no TDs and one interception, but many of the yards came after the game, a 30-7 loss, had been determined.
While Brees struggled, running backs led the Week 7 fantasy charts.
Clinton Portis (175 yards, one TD) continues to be one of the best bargains in fantasy football. As a late first-round pick (ADP 10), there were likely seven runners picked in front of him. He will finish the week, third in fantasy points among running backs, behind only Bush and Marion Barber III.
Chris Johnson led a two-pronged Tennessee running game against a weak Kansas City rushing defense. The Chiefs came into the game yielding a league-worst 182.2 ypg and didn't help their average, giving up 332 yards to the Titans. Leading the way was rookie Chris Johnson with 168 yards and one score. But LenDale White was right there too, scoring three times and racking up 149 yards on the ground.
Steven Jackson also had a great fantasy afternoon, the best of the season for the Rams' running back. He totaled 176 yards (160 on the ground) and three touchdowns as his Rams upset an NFC East team for the second straight week. It was his best week since the final week of 2006 when he combined for 166 and four TDs against the Vikings. He looked like the running back people expected as a first-round pick. Welcome back Steven.
Also posting a good fantasy afternoon was consensus fantasy No.1 running back Adrian Peterson. He found his way into the end zone (twice) for the first time since Week 4 and totaled 130 yards from scrimmage (121 on the ground) in a wild 48-41 loss to the Chicago Bears.
Ryan Grant earned two "firsts" today. He finally found the end zone - seven weeks into the season and he ran for 105 yards - his first 100-yard game of the season.
Other running backs who cracked the 100-yard mark were: Thomas Jones (159), Mewelde Moore (120 yards) in a substitute role for Willie Parker, Willis McGahee (105) and Barber III (100).
By contrast, no early game quarterback threw for 300 yards. The closest was Gus Frerotte, who finished 28-for-40 for 298 yards, two TDs, but threw four interceptions. And despite a shootout in Houston between the Lions and Texans, there were no 300-yards throwers in the four o'clock games either.
Fantasy duds at quarterback included: Derek Anderson (14-for-38 for 137 yards, one TD), Eli Manning (16-for-31 for 161 yards, one TD) and Jason Campbell (14- for-23 for 163 yards, one TD).
Only three receivers caught more than 100 yards worth of passes - Calvin Johnson led the way although he had just two catches. He caught a 58-yarder at garbage time just before the half and went 96 yards for a score early in the fourth quarter. The other two receivers over the "Century Mark" were Andre Johnson (141) and Steve Smith (122).