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Jospeh's Articles

The Shot Caller's Report - QBs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs/TEs

I don't often thank the folks who make this column worth writing but with Thanksgiving upon us, now seems like as good a time as any. Thanks, folks! It's been a real blast shooting the football bull with you this past season and a half. As always, if you have specific questions about players not mentioned below, feel free to e-mail me. I'll definitely be able to respond by game time. 'Til then, your Week 12 recommendations:


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning @ DET - It isn't often Peyton plays the role of best supporting actor but that was the case last Sunday in Chicago. While Edge ran over, around, and through the Bears' overmatched front, his QB completed just 17 passes for 211 yards and a pick. Oh, and four more touchdowns. That's a touch almost every four completions. Hope you're not facing him in the upcoming playoffs.

2. Donovan McNabb @ NYG - Or him. Don's numbers were eerily similar to Peyton's (18 completions, 222 yards, and four scores) and proof that you always want an elite signal-caller playing the league's easiest schedule. Believe it or not, the G-men are one of the tougher teams he'll face the rest of the way. Not that you'd think twice about starting him.

3. Michael Vick vs. NO - By comparison, Vick's passing numbers (115 yards and two TDs) were relatively mundane last Sunday. Of course, he also carried the ball 15 times (!) for 104 yards (!!!). He draws the league's worst defense this week and if that doesn't get you stoked, this might: he faces them again in Week 16 (aka, Championship Week for most of you). If you're wondering why I drafted him, now you know.

4. Daunte Culpepper vs. JAX - He hasn't been the same since Randy went down but it appears he'll have his main man back this Sunday against the Jags. Even in a limited capacity, Moss makes the Vikes an infinitely more dangerous group. Expect Daunte to celebrate his return with 250+ yards and at least two scoring strikes.

5. Brett Favre vs. STL - Down to one healthy back against the Texans (a fullback, at that), Favre did what Favre's been doing for the better part of 13+ seasons: he put the Pack on his back and carried them to victory. Though he only managed one touchdown pass (and two picks), he also threw for 383 yards (a season high). Look for another huge game (50+ passes and 300 yards) if he doesn't get Batman back next Monday night.

6. Trent Green vs. SD - Like Favre, Green threw for a boatload of yards last week (381). Unlike Favre, he was unable to propel the Chefs to victory. Sounds about right considering the Pack played Houston and KC, the defending world champs. Now out of the playoff hunt, Green could make for a pretty potent spoiler in the weeks to come, starting this week against the surprising Bolts.

7. Jake Plummer vs. OAK - Speaking of the playoff hunt, why isn't anybody talking about Denver? Save for the Pats, no team is better equipped for a postseason run than the Broncos. They possess a top 10 defense, a shutdown corner, a chain-moving tailback, and (lo and behold) a quarterback with playoff experience, albeit limited. I've lobbed a lot of criticism his way, but Plummer is starting to look like the kind of QB that can take his team a long way in the second season. Ya' heard it here first.

8. Drew Brees @ KC - If he takes HIS team deep into the playoffs, it will be the biggest surprise of the 2004 season. Period. Left for dead after a 1-2 start, Brees has elevated his game and turned the Chargers into legitimate contenders. This week, he draws the down-in-the-dumps Chefs and their 29th-ranked defense. Start him.

9. Tom Brady vs. BAL - The aforementioned upstarts aside, he's still the gold standard for playoff-savvy field generals. Though he gets a stern test this Sunday against the ever-opportunistic Ravens D, it would be unwise to bet against him, as usual. Expect a modest day (200 yards and a score or two) and another victory.

10. Marc Bulger @ GB - On paper, it looks like a pretty sweet matchup for Bulger and his ultra-talented receiving corps. Then again, if games were played on paper, he'd be a top three start every week. The fact he isn't tells us a lot about what kind of QB he is (average) and, by association, what kind of team the Rams are this season (again, average). Start him but don't be surprised if he fails to impress.

Grab A Helmet:

Jake Delhomme vs. TB - Only Matt Hasselbeck has a lower completion percentage amongst regular starters. Luckily for Delhomme's owners, he's thrown for more yardage and more TDs than the Seattle signal-caller. That might not be saying much this year, but it means he's a pretty decent play for the time being…even against Tampa.

Brian Griese @ CAR - By contrast, Tampa's guy is completing almost 70% of his passes, good for second in the league (behind Culpepper) and more than seven percentage points higher than his career average. I guess it's safe to say he's found a home?…finally? He draws the stingy Panthers this week (only six passing TDs yielded thus far) and whoever gets the best of the matchup, him or Delhomme, will emerge victorious.

Joey Harrington vs. IND - He's officially been put on notice and needs a big game to maintain his hold on the job in Detroit. Fortunately, he and the Lions usually come up big on Thanksgiving. Though it won't be enough to earn them a victory, Joey should bounce back with a solid game against the improving, but still questionable, Indy secondary. Start him if you don't have a better option.

Aaron Brooks @ ATL - In typical Brooks fashion, he threw for a ton of yards (377), a score, and three interceptions last week against the Broncos. Oh, and he lost…again. Though his coach can't, you probably CAN live with the turnovers and the losses. How long he remains the man in New Orleans will depend a lot on who succeeds Haslett so start him (if you must) while you still can.

Steve McNair @ HOU - It wasn't pretty (209 yards, one TD, and two picks) but it WAS effective. His Top 10 days are probably behind him but he might still be an effective starter the rest of the way, especially if Chris Brown continues to hurt (told you so). Get him in there against a very bad Texans secondary.

Grab A Clipboard:

Craig Krenzel @ DAL - He's completing barely 46% of his passes and has now thrown five interceptions in four career starts. All of which would be fine if he were lighting up opposing secondaries to the tune of two or three scores a game. Needless to say, he isn't…and won't. Stay away even though the matchup looks pretty favorable.

Drew Henson vs. CHI - You like inexperienced quarterbacks? Pull up a chair. Henson and Krenzel will bring a grand total of four career starts to the table this Thanksgiving Day. Since I just told you how many Krenzel has made, I'm guessing you've already figured out this will be Henson's first. My advice? Eat lots of turkey during the Lions game and then snore through this one. Heck, you might not even NEED the turkey to fall asleep.

Eli Manning vs. PHI - Manning now has one more career start than Henson under his belt and though it wasn't a total disaster (nice comeback!), it wasn't exactly Roethlisberg-ian, either. He was victimized by several dropped passes, sure, but he also made some rookie-like mistakes that resulted in costly turnovers. You can expect more of the same this weekend against a hell-bent-on-pressure Philly squad.

Quincy Carter @ ARI - The Jets are using a run-first, run-second approach in the wake of Chad Pennington's injury and that means Carter's value (from a fantasy perspective, at least) is virtually nil. Don't forget that better quarterbacks than him have failed to put up good numbers in the desert this season. Not that he was putting up good numbers anyway. Steer clear.

Patrick Ramsey @ PIT - Ramsey completed 21 of 34 passes for 162 yards and a pick against the Eagles last Sunday…and looked like a HUGE improvement over Mark Brunell. What's that tell you about Washington's quarterback situation? Unless you're Joe Gibbs, you should have stopped thinking about Washington's quarterback situation long ago. No.

Running Backs