Week 9: 10 things to watch

Updated: November 2, 2006, 12:40 PM ET
By Tristan H. Cockcroft | ESPN.com
Each week, I provide my list of 10 things I'm watching on game day, so you'll be prepared for some of the week's biggest developments in advance of them happening.

The Titans' running back picture. Coming off back-to-back 100-yard rushing efforts and a bye week's rest, Travis Henry looked like one of the most exciting fantasy options entering his Week 8 matchup against the Texans. But despite the favorable matchup, Henry disappointed, much like he did in 2004 in Buffalo and in 2005 in his first season in Tennessee, rushing only 15 times for 29 yards. Meanwhile, backup LenDale White managed more yards (35) on less than half the carries (7), once again putting this position into a bit of question in the long haul. White is much more likely the future of this team, as Henry has an unrealistic $8.3-million roster bonus due in the offseason, and with the team not really headed anywhere this season, it won't be long before White gets a longer look. None of the Titans' matchups the next few weeks are favorable ones for a running back, so don't count on either to make much of an impact for you in the short term, but how the position shakes out the next couple of weeks could prove important later in the season. Tennessee gets the Colts in Week 13 and Texans again in Week 14, and if White can emerge as the clear starter of these two before then, there's a good chance he'd become an interesting flex play.

Tiki's terrible two. That's two as in the two-yard line, the point at which, according to a report in the New York Post, Giants running back Tiki Barber gets pulled from the game in favor of Brandon Jacobs. That's right, folks, if you've been worried about the Jacobs factor having stolen all of Barber's prime touchdown chances, well, there's the official word: Jacobs is your goal-line back. Of course, that's not entirely robbing Barber of all his fantasy value; he does lead the league in rushing yards (715), and is seventh among running backs in fantasy points (89). The concern, though, is that Barber could really stand to break off the occasional long run or two that lands him in the end zone, and a matchup with the Texans should provide him one of his best chances all season. If he can't do it, it won't mark him as a poor fantasy choice, but it won't be a good sign for him in touchdown-heavy scoring formats, not with games against the Bears and Jaguars coming up after that.

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