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

Sorry so late, folks. Busy week. Please e-mail me with questions/concerns/etc. if you have them. I can answer all inquiries by game time.

Your Week 13 recommendations…


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning vs. TEN - This is getting plain ridiculous. He's throwing a touchdown pass almost every nine attempts and if that's not an NFL record, it oughta be. As it stands, he'll own almost every single-season record there is by year's end. This Sunday, he draws a Tennessee pass defense currently ranked in the top third of the league…emphasis on "currently."

2. Donovan McNabb vs. GB - Everyone will be talking about "4th and 26" this week but they'll likely forget the most salient point of that fateful play: somebody had to complete the pass. That somebody happens to be on pace for his most prolific season yet…by far. He'll like what he sees in the defensive backfield this week, a Packer secondary that still gives up boatloads of yards and plenty of TDs (257.3/game and 23, respectively).

3. Michael Vick @ TB - The only question now is who's gonna stop him in Madden 2005? After accounting for only two scores in his first five games, the fleet-footed one has cut loose for 11 (nine passing, two running) in his last six. The competition gets tougher this week but no defense is capable of totally containing him. Start him as usual.

4. Daunte Culpepper @ CHI - He got his main man back last week and promptly found him with a dart to the back of the end zone for the winning points against the Jags. Though it was a fabulous catch, it was a better throw. Simply put, Culpepper's confidence grows exponentially when Randy's on the field. Expect them to hook up for another TD (or two) against the lowly Bears this Sunday.

5. Brett Favre @ PHI - If you think "4th and 26" is still in his head, you're right. If you think it will negatively affect his performance, you're not. They just don't come any mentally tougher than the Ol' Gunslinger and I have a sneaking suspicion he'll lay last January's demons to rest in Philly this weekend. Go ahead, Philly fans. Lay it on me.

6. Jake Plummer @ SD - I know, I know. I tell everyone the Broncos are underrated and then they go out and lay an egg on national TV. Though he didn't have a great game (14 of 23 for 245 yards and a score), he DID engineer the potential game-winning drive in the final minutes. You didn't expect him to kick the field goal too, did you?

7. Jake Delhomme @ NO - After a rotten stretch from Weeks 2 through 6, the other Jake has rebounded nicely to throw for at least two touchdowns in his last five contests. Amazingly, he's also put the Panthers in position to earn a playoff berth. Don't laugh. Carolina still gets the Saints twice, the first time this Sunday in the Big Easy. If you thought he looked good against Tampa, wait'll he gets a shot at the abominable New Orleans defense (275.3 passing yards yielded/game).

8. Drew Brees vs. DEN - On paper, the game vs. Denver shapes up to be a defensive struggle. Don't buy it. These are two high-powered offenses squaring off for the AFC West lead. I'm expecting plenty of offense (it's still the AFC West) and definitely more punch from Brees than he manufactured in the first meeting (a mere 121 passing yards and 13 points). Keep him in there.

9. Marc Bulger vs. SF - How does a guy throw for 448 yards (!) and two scores and lead his team to just 17 points? If there's a record for things like that (most yards/fewest points), he probably broke it. Bottom line? He doesn't make the big play when his team needs it. Luckily for you, fantasy games can still be won with between-the-twenties mileage. Start him against the league's worst squad.

10. Tom Brady @ CLE - Of course, if you watched the Browns' turnstile impersonation last week, you might actually question who's the worst team in the league at this point. Quite frankly, I've NEVER seen an NFL defense lay down like that. They'd better get up in a hurry with the defending world champs coming to town. Expect a more concerted effort but the same result...and solid fantasy numbers from Mr. Brady.

Grab A Helmet:

Brian Griese vs. ATL - Speaking of solid fantasy numbers, this guy's been putting them up rather regularly of late. He didn't get the win last week but DID throw for almost 350 yards and two scores. If the Bucs aren't able to get anything going on the ground (questionable, at best), he'll likely take to the airways again this Sunday. That might be a good thing since Atlanta can be had through the air (253 yards/game).

Aaron Brooks vs. CAR - Like a lot of NFL quarterbacks, he's only as good as the people around him. In case you haven't noticed, the people around him aren't very good. He'll continue to post decent fantasy numbers (I think) but if you're counting on him to lead you to the promised land, forget about it. He's not a top-notch signal-caller and, barring a change of scenery, will likely never be one.

Steve McNair @ IND - He, on the other hand, IS a top-notch quarterback. Check that. Was. Though McNair is probably bluffing about retiring after the season, there's no question he's on the decline. The prudent thing to do at this point would be to start him only when the matchup is good. Though the Titans will get blasted this weekend, the matchup is definitely good, at least from a fantasy perspective. Start him.

Matt Hasselbeck vs. DAL - Can it get any worse for the preseason darlings, Hasselbeck and the 'Hawks? Actually, yes. But not this week. Though he's having an awful year, the BC product still possesses top 10 ability and will be amped to showcase it on the Monday night stage. I'm going against the grain here and telling you to expect about 200 yards and two scores.

Kerry Collins vs. KC - I can't believe I'm doing this, but…here goes. He finally demonstrated the deft deep-ball passing touch he's shown in the past (339 yards and four touchdowns against Denver) and should have more than a few opportunities to do so again this week, especially with Ty Wheatley on the shelf. The Chiefs flat-out suck against the pass (not to mention the run) and don't generate the kind of pass rush that can fluster the eminently fluster-able Collins. Expect a nice game and maybe even a huge one in Oaktown Sunday.

Grab A Clipboard:

Chad Hutchinson vs. MIN - There's nothing deft about Chicago's latest QB imposter. After a stint in NFL Europe, he competed against such luminaries as Drew Henson and Tony Romo in Dallas' training camp this past summer…and promptly got axed before the season started. I'm guessing you're not as desperate as Lovie's Bears are.

John Navarre @ DET - I've always been a big Denny Green fan but I gotta wonder at this point: has he COMPLETELY lost his mind? The switch to Shaun King was goofy enough (coming on the heels of a two-game win streak) but now he's decided to cast his lot with a seventh-round draft choice who, by most accounts, should have been left undrafted. Here's hoping you didn't draft him either…or pick him up off the waiver wire, for that matter.

Eli Manning @ WAS - The good news? Gimme a sec. I'm thinking. Oh, yeah. He completed a couple of nice long balls to Jamaar Taylor (two of his six [!] completions). If you're wondering who Jamaar Taylor is, join the club. That would be the club of fantasy GMs who AREN'T relying on greenhorns like Eli to run their fantasy teams.

Patrick Ramsey vs. NYG - No squad (not Miami, not Chicago, not Arizona) has scored fewer points than the 'Skins this year. Think that's what Daniel Snyder had in mind when he shelled out the big dough for Clinton Portis and Mark Brunell this past offseason? Me neither. You simply don't want Washington's quarterback running your show, no matter who he is.

Drew Bledsoe @ MIA - If you caught the score on the ticker last week (38-9), you couldn't have been faulted for thinking Bledsoe had a big day. Naturally, he didn't (one TD against three picks). Though his team will probably win this week (McGahee fever…catch it!), it won't be because of him. Don't forget his opponent, the Fish, currently field the #1 pass defense in the league (167.7 yards/game).

Running Backs