Say what you will about Derek Anderson, but he does one thing: He helps take pressure off of his running backs.
Anderson will start in place of Brady Quinn (injured reserve) for the Browns' final two games of the 2009 season against the Raiders and Jaguars, both at home. His reputation as a gunslinger makes him far more of a threat than Quinn.
Well, maybe the word isn't "threat." Let's put it this way -- opponents still want Anderson to throw the ball because he will make mistakes with it (nine interceptions in five starts), but they're also aware that he has the stronger arm over Quinn.
Running backs (excluding Josh Cribbs) have averaged 3.54 yards per carry when Anderson was under center -- take away Harrison's mammoth effort last week and backs averaged 3.32 yards per carry when Quinn played. OK, fine, not much difference over the course of 150 carries or so. But in five starts under Anderson, the Browns have had two 100-yard rushers (Jerome Harrison in Week 4 vs. the Bengals, Jamal Lewis in Week 5 at Buffalo). The only other time a back went for over 100 yards was last week when Harrison scalded the Chiefs for 286.
The bottom line? Harrison should still be just fine with Anderson on the field with him. And the better news is that the Raiders' run defense is as bad as they come. Harrison is a No. 1 Fantasy running back this week with only some mild risk.