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Week 8 Fallout: Victor Cruz emerging

Week 8 was a rarity in the NFL -- there were relatively few significant injuries. That allows us to focus on guys actually playing well on the field, like Giants WR Victor Cruz.

With the Giants' running game inept, Eli Manning has become the focal point. That means three-wide formations as the base, featuring Hakeem Nicks and Mario Manningham outside with Victor Cruz in the slot. It's a role Cruz is beginning to excel in. He gets off the snap with power, cuts quickly to get open and can do big things after the catch.

And with Nicks leaving late due to a hamstring injury, it's possible Cruz will be starting outside next week. He'd be a target monster without Nicks, making him a realistic QB2 candidate. The kid can play.

WHAT ELSE WE LEARNED/SAW SUNDAY

* Ahmad Bradshaw came up lame with a foot issue. It's a major concern considering his history of stress fractures.

* Blaine Gabbert is not ready. He's going to kill Maurice Jones-Drew eventually and there's no Jags pass-catcher I'd want to own.

* Beanie Wells admitted he's going to have to gut it out through his knee issue all season long. Yikes. Not much we can do other than ride him out until the wheels come off.

* Welcome back, Chris Ivory. He got six carries as the Saints insist on going with three backs at all costs.

* No, I can't explain Lance Moore's sudden usage. His snaps and targets will be wildly inconsistent week-to-week as the Saints spread the ball around.

* Jonathan Stewart is the Panthers' preferred option in the passing game and at the goal line. He tweaked an ankle today though, so his chance to separate may have gone by the wayside.

* Tim Tebow is not good at real football and there's a good chance he gets benched soon. But he did have 13.1 fantasy points today despite the anemic effort. It is what it is.

* Bernard Scott is better than Cedric Benson. By a lot. Look for Scott and Benson to split touches about 60-40 going forward.

* We talked plenty about the ability of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders. This is how the Steelers will win now -- by throwing to their explosive, young wideouts. Hines Ward needs his snaps reduced severely.

* Chris Johnson was essentially benched in favor of Javon Ringer. There's no way to sugarcoat it -- Ringer is the better player right now. Look for the Titans to simply go with the hot hand going forward.

 
 
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