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

It's championship week for most of you and if you're still reading this column, I have just one question for you: why? You obviously know what the heck you're doing. Trust your gut and bring home that trophy. Of course, if you still need a pep talk or someone to bounce ideas off of, I'm always here. I'll answer all e-mail inquiries by game time Friday afternoon. Sound good? 'Til then, here are your Week 16 recommendations. Happy holidays, folks!


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning vs. SD - The gap may be closing but at the end of the day, there's no one you'd rather have in a must-win fantasy match than Peyton. Though he's "only" thrown six TDs in his last three games, he's still a lock for better than 250 yards and rarely turns the ball over. Bottom line? He's the best option you have.

2. Daunte Culpepper vs. GB - A botched extra point by the Lions has Culpepper and Co. thinking division title again. Though that may not be a good thing (the loser gets the NFC West champ), it's still better to be playing at home come playoff time. Expect Daunte and the Vikes to seal the deal this Friday against a Pack secondary that simply doesn't match up against Minny's talented receivers.

3. Billy Volek vs. DEN - He's AVERAGING almost 400 yards and over three TD tosses per game since taking over for the injured McNair, news that should have reached you even if you've been holed up in a cave this past month. The opposing defenses have been weak (Indy, KC, and Oakland) but Denver's once-formidable eleven hasn't exactly been setting the world on fire of late, either. Expect 45+ attempts, 300+ yards, and at LEAST two scores this Sunday.

4. Trent Green vs. OAK - You want efficiency? Despite throwing the ball just 19 times last week, Green completed 16 passes for 224 yards and three scores. Oh, by the way? That's the third consecutive game in which he's tallied three touchdown passes. The run started in Oakland four weeks ago and continues against those selfsame Raiders at Arrowhead this weekend. The over/under is a ridiculous 59 points, but if I were a betting man…

5. Kerry Collins @ KC - …I'd go with the over. In fact, only a slew of turnovers will prevent this game from ending up in the seventies. Green faces the woefully short-handed Raiders secondary but Collins draws the just-plain-woeful Chefs bunch ((286 yards/game). Coming off a 371-yard, five-TD effort, I like his chances of posting large numbers again this Saturday, albeit in a losing effort.

6. Drew Bledsoe @ SF - I was pretty hard on him earlier this season but five wins and a potential playoff berth later, he's still kicking. Though the numbers don't lie (just 19 touchdowns in 14 games), he's definitely performed better against the league's weaker sisters. San Fran is the weakest of the weak. An added bonus? He'll likely be without the services of Travis Henry and Willis McGahee this Sunday, meaning he'll need to air it out more than usual.

7. Jake Plummer @ TEN - I finally warm up to the guy, I finally jump on his bandwagon, I finally start giving him some top 10 love, and THIS is how he repays me? By throwing for one touchdown and eight interceptions in his last three tilts? I SHOULD banish him to fantasy oblivion but I've got a sneaking suspicion he'll rebound this week against a putrid Tennessee secondary. He'd better or the once-promising Broncos will be watching from home come January.

8. Drew Brees @ IND - When's the last time a starting QB (for the winning team, no less!) threw six passes in a game? Under the circumstances, Brees was quite productive (85 yards and a score). Nevertheless, he'll need more production than that if he hopes to keep pace with Peyton and the Colts this Sunday. Expect him to wing it more like 25-30 times to the tune of 225 yards and two scores.

9. Byron Leftwich vs. HOU - Like Brees, Leftwich was hampered by the elements (bitter cold) in Week 16. Then again, like Brees, he also managed to post pretty decent numbers (121 yards and two scores). The Jags return to balmy Jacksonville this weekend to face a Texans team that still leads the league in TD passes yielded (31). Expect Mr. Leftwich to be much more prolific as a result.

10. Donovan McNabb @ STL - Does the injury to T.O. make THAT much of a difference? In a word, yes. I don't care who you are. If your top three receivers are Todd Pinkston, Freddie Mitchell, and Greg Lewis, you're gonna struggle. Only Brian Westbrook's ability in the passing game keeps Don in the top 10. Hope you had a backup plan.

Grab A Helmet:

Jake Delhomme @ TB - Jake and the Cats were done in by the superhuman Mr. Vick last week (best play of the year, by far), but-thanks to a Tampa loss-are still firmly in control of their own destiny. He won't throw for 340 yards against the Bucs' stout secondary but 200+ and a couple scores is certainly doable. In fact, he's already done it (213 yards and two TDs in a Week 12 win).

Matt Schaub @ NO - He won't put up Vick-like numbers in the running game (duh) but could potentially put up better numbers through the air. He's patient, accurate, and best of all, doesn't make a lot of mistakes, especially for a rook. Facing New Orleans' generous secondary, he could surprise with some solid numbers (200+ and a couple scores) this Sunday.

Aaron Brooks vs. ATL - I highly doubt you've made it this far with Brooks under center but if you have, he might just lead you to the promised land. He's coming off one of his better games of the year (169 yards, two scores, and no picks) and seems to have more options in the passing game now that Donte Stallworth has (finally) emerged. Give him another look.

Brett Favre @ MIN - His thumb is hurting again and, coming off a very short week, that has to concern the Pack's brain trust. Nevertheless, it could get wild in the Metrodump and he'll likely need another vintage day to salvage an NFC North crown. Expect a bunch of yards, a couple scores, and (alas) some damaging turnovers on Christmas Eve.

Joey Harrington vs. CHI - There's no WAY you made it this far with Joey at the helm but if you're short-handed, he's not the worst option. He's coming off his best game of the year (361 yards and two TDs) and seems to have rediscovered Roy Williams, easily his best target. If he avoids the turnovers, he could be in for a pretty productive day.

Grab A Clipboard:

Chad Hutchinson @ DET - After a solid first outing, Hutchinson has reverted to form the past two weeks, demonstrating why he should not be a starter in this league (or any other, for that matter). He has the measureables (good size, strong arm) but doesn't make good decisions and isn't very accurate. Making matters worse, he doesn't have a legitimate receiver to throw the ball to. No.

Kyle Boller @ PIT - He managed only 98 yards (and no touchdowns) in the first matchup with Pittsburgh and though that was a long time ago (Week 2), not much has changed since then. Pittsburgh is still awesome and Boller is still…well…not. The Ravens will need points from their defense if they harbor any hope of knocking off the AFC's top dog.

Ben Roethlisberger vs. BAL - The wins keep piling up for the Steelers' young signal-caller but the numbers keep getting shakier and shakier. Though he threw for over 300 yards last week, he also turned it over twice. All of which tells me he's not immune to rookie mistakes. All things being equal, you don't wanna rely on rookie QBs-even good ones-come crunch time. It's crunch time.

Ken Dorsey vs. BUF - He's thrown five touchdowns since taking over for Tim Rattay but has also thrown four picks. Translation? He's a risky play. Besides, if you've made it this far, you don't need to worry about guys like Ken Dorsey. So, stop worrying…and sit him down.

Luke McCown @ MIA - There's an outside chance Kelly Holcomb will play this weekend but if he doesn't, the Browns are stuck with McCown. You're not the Browns. You're a championship contender looking for big points from the QB position. Keep looking.

Running Backs