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

Comfortable sofa? Check. Sunday Ticket package? Check. Lightning-fast internet connection? Check. Tall, cool glass of High Life? Check. As my aviating colleagues might say, "approach checklist complete." The NFL season is upon us and the atmosphere in the Shot Caller household is positively electric. In fact, the only thing that could possibly kill this buzz is the piercing shriek of our nine-month old rook, Baby Shot Caller. Sigh. That's the problem with rookies. They just don't understand the MAGNITUDE of the game. Coming, honey!


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Daunte Culpepper vs. DAL - He was the highest-rated passer in the NFC last year despite having precisely ONE legitimate NFL receiver to throw the ball to. Of course, that one receiver is a pretty good one. Good thing, too, 'cause Marcus Robinson hasn't panned out as the #2 guy. Expect healthy numbers against a banged-up Dallas secondary in Week 1.

2. Peyton Manning @ NE - Peyton returns to the House of Horrors (Gillette Stadium) looking to redeem himself for a horrible performance in last year's playoffs. Whether he does that or not (he's 2-8 lifetime against the Pats), I like his chances of putting up some pretty good numbers. There isn't a better prepared QB in the league and you can bet your bottom dollar he's done a little preparing for this one.

3. Michael Vick @ SF - The Fulton County faithful are up in arms over Mr. Vick's less-than-stellar performance thus far. Apparently, they're unaware those were PRESEASON GAMES! Come on, people. You really think it MATTERS whether he grasps the intricacies of Coach Mora's hybrid West Coast offense? I snaked him in the middle of the third round this week and couldn't believe my luck.

4. Marc Bulger vs. ARI - The job is his so it's time he started acting like it. If the one-to-one TD-to-INT ratio persists this season, we'll be seriously disappointed. Don't expect that to happen as he still has some of the best toys to play with (Holt, Bruce, Faulk) and even some new ones (Jackson and Sh. McDonald) added to the mix. Anything less than 28 TDs must be considered subpar.

5. Steve McNair @ MIA - The losses of Justin McCareins (trade) and Ty Calico (injury) are gonna make things tougher on this old warrior but only a little bit. Precious few QBs can carry a team almost single-handedly but he's one. Luckily, if Chris Brown emerges this year as a viable back (something Eddie George hasn't been for two years), he won't have to.

6. Matt Hasselbeck @ NO - If preseason predictions mattered AT ALL, the 'Hawks would already be booking travel arrangements for Jacksonville. A lot of the hype surrounds Mr. Hasselbeck and his enigmatic corps of receivers. Can they take the mantle from St. Louis as the most dangerous aerial attack in the league? No question. Will they? I wouldn't bet the farm on it.

7. Brett Favre @ CAR - I've run out of superlatives for this guy and you folks are probably tired of hearing them, anyway. Suffice it to say, the tank is not dry despite a relatively mediocre preseason. If Walker and Ferguson emerge as it appears they will, the Pack won't need to rely on Ahman Green and a stellar O-line as much as they did last year. Not that they couldn't if they had to. Keep in mind Carolina's only apparent weakness on defense is in the secondary.

8. Chad Pennington vs. CIN - One man's loss is another man's #2 wideout. McNair lost his vertical threat, the aforementioned McCareins, and now Pennington appears to have all the pieces in place for a brilliant season. Cincy's defense is no great shakes and with so many new faces, they might need a few games to get in a groove. I smell "high-scoring affair" in the Meadowlands.

9. Donovan McNabb vs. NYG - Shouldn't the addition of T.O. move McNabb up the list a bit? That's one school of thought. The other is this: the Eagles still don't have a decent #2 receiver and T.O. gets hit with constant double-coverage. Constant double-coverage means fewer balls thrown his direction. Fewer balls thrown his direction means…get my drift?

10. Trent Green @ DEN - At least Philly's only missing a decent #2 receiver. K.C. is gonna be hard-pressed to find a decent #1 receiver. Johnnie Morton won't start this week and Marc Boerigter is out for the year. Still, with Priest Holmes and a stellar offensive line controlling the clock, it might not matter who Green is throwing the ball to. He put up solid numbers last year (4,000+ yards and 24 TDs) with virtually the same cast.

Grab A Helmet:

Tom Brady vs. IND - He's the poster child for why fantasy football isn't real football. If I were a GM, I'd want him on my team. As a fantasy GM, there are definitely better options. Still, his 3600+ yards and 23 touchdowns last year tell us he's not the worst option. Don't expect the addition of Corey Dillon to impact those numbers much, either. New England will still control games with a short passing attack and a suffocating D.

Jake Delhomme vs. GB - The Carolina brass gave him a boatload of money in the off-season but I think the jury's still out. He threw only three more TDs than picks last season. Nevertheless, he's facing a Mike McKenzie-less Pack secondary and might even have the good fortune of victimizing not one but TWO rookie corners on Monday night (Ahmad Carroll and Joey Thomas). Anybody have an Advil?

David Carr vs. SD - He's the sexy choice for next big superstar and, according to my wife, just plain sexy. Whether he busts out this year will depend largely on how well the #2/#3 receivers perform. Andre Johnson is gonna be a star but only if some of the heat can be diverted to the other side of the field.

Joey Harrington @ CHI - He's MY choice for next big superstar and not just because he's a former Duck. OK, that's part of the reason but I digress. Simply put, Joey has more weapons to work with than Carr. Chas. Rogers demonstrated in just a handful of games last year that he's gonna be a force and Roy Williams is a lead pipe lock to make some noise as a rook. No better way to get this offense rolling than facing the banged-up Bears in Week 1.

Carson Palmer @ NYJ - Detecting a trend yet? The league is experiencing an infusion of young talent at the QB position. How well these guys perform depends on a lot of things, mostly what kind of talent they have to work with. They don't come much more talented than Chad Johnson so you've gotta like Palmer's chances of putting up good numbers. After all, he struggled at SC until a guy by the name of Mike Williams came along.

Grab A Clipboard:

Rex Grossman vs. DET - How are the Bears going to score points this year? They just traded away their only legit receiver and they're using a journeyman and an underachiever to tote the rock. Oh, and they're going with the 32nd ranked starting QB in the league (my opinion). If you're relying on Grossman, you're either a BIG Gators fan or in need of some fantasy assistance. Can't help you with the Gators part but I can certainly offer the assistance: DON'T start this guy!

Jay Fiedler vs. TEN - He won the least exciting QB derby in history and will get the nod over former Duck, A.J. Feeley. If that's not reason enough for me to dislike him, try this on for size: he's thrown 61 career TDs against 58 career picks. Not the kind of numbers you're looking for from a fantasy signal-caller…or any signal-caller, for that matter.

Brad Johnson @ WAS - All of a sudden, his best target appears to be Michael Clayton, a rook from LSU. That's a far cry from the days of Keyshawn and Keenan. If you believe Joey Galloway/Tim Brown can still be productive and that Bill Schroeder can actually BE productive, by all means go with Bull. If not, I'll be over in the not-a-fan section.

Mark Brunell vs. TB - Speaking of QBs in their declining years, Brunell gets a chance to prove there's some tread left on that tire for a revamped team in D.C. His preseason was pretty shaky, though, and I'm not enthralled with the 'Skins' receivers outside of Laveranues Coles. Not to mention, Coach Gibbs recently intimated he'll be using Clinton Portis like the Fish used to use Ricky Williams (think pack mule). In other words, Brunell might not get much of an opportunity to put up big numbers.

Jeff Garcia vs. BAL - This is a tough one because I really do think Garcia is chronically underrated. Unfortunately, I don't think Butch Davis knows what he's doing and that type of thinking tends to infect the entire team, starting with the field general. Garcia will throw some and run some and hand off some (to whom, we're not sure) but I just don't see him being in the top 15 by year's end. He also draws a tough matchup in Week 1 against the best defense in football.

Running Backs