Must Start: The Top 15
1. Randy Moss vs. CHI - What
did I tell you about those goal-line touchdown grabs? He simply
can't be handled one-on-one when the ball's in the air. Now, if
he could just accumulate some yardage between the twenties. That
should happen against a Bears team devastated by injuries in the
secondary (Jerry Azumah, Mike Brown, and now Charles Tillman).
2. Torry Holt vs. NO - The Shot
Caller guarantee lives again! I promised he'd find the end zone
last Sunday and he did, making a nice adjustment on an underthrown
Bulger pass. I've already promised you touchdowns from Jamal and
Q. Griff so I should probably steer clear of another bold prediction.
Aw, what the hey: he'll score against New Orleans, too.
3. Joe Horn @ STL - He and his
buddy, Stallworth, gave us a taste of what we've been expecting
for over two years now, combining for 17 grabs and over 200 yards
on Sunday. If the youngster can continue putting up those kinda
numbers, Horn could actually improve his totals. I'm thinking
track meet in St. Louis so no reason to expect a falloff this
4. Terrell Owens @ DET - Recorded
history tells a different story but I know what I saw on Monday
night: three measly catches and a HUGE drop on a perfectly thrown
McNabb bomb. You saw it, too. I like his chances of scoring again
in Detroit but that doesn't mean I like him. If you're staking
your fantasy fortunes on T.O., you're definitely taking a risk.
5. Marvin Harrison vs. GB -
Should we start calling HIM the #2 receiver instead of Reggie
Wayne? It's only been two games, but
. Though Wayne did more
with his grabs in Week 2, Marvin actually caught more balls (ten).
In other words, rest assured. He's still the main man, if not
a top three receiver anymore.
6. Derrick Mason vs. JAX - Only
a miraculous pick by Nick Harper prevented him from 130-odd receiving
yards and a score. He still managed the century mark and could
duplicate that number against Jacksonville this Sunday. The Jags
might be tough against the run but can be had through the air
thanks to very little pressure from their front four (one total
and they've already played Buffalo).
7. Chad Johnson vs. BAL - He
looked frustrated by his lack of opportunities Sunday night but
it's hard to complete passes (especially deep ones) when you're
running for your life. Mr. Palmer will likely be doing some more
of that this weekend if the Ravens' D has anything to say about
it. It usually does. For once, you should probably temper your
expectations for "Eighty-Five."
8. Andre Johnson @ KC - He should
have more than seven receptions through two games. However, he
finally hit a home run (his specialty) against the Lions last
week. KC's pass defense is high risk/high reward (five TDs and
four picks) so another longball isn't out of the question. Keep
in mind the Chefs will be mobilizing all available forces to stop
9. Hines Ward @ MIA - For an
over-the-middle possession guy, he sure is doing a pretty good
impression of a game breaker through two weeks. He leads the league
in receiving yards and is still the straw that stirs Pittsburgh's
offensive drink. Nevertheless, he'll be relying on a green rook
to get him the ball from now on. That means we've gotta nudge
him down the list a bit until we find out whether Big Ben can
handle the gig.
10. Darrell Jackson vs. SF -
He's getting the receptions and the yards but hasn't found the
end zone as yet. That's not an unusual thing for a wideout as
the first two weeks of the season have no doubt demonstrated.
Give him time. He'll get to the promised land eventually, perhaps
even this week.
11. Isaac Bruce vs. NO - Pick
your poison, D coordinators. The Reverend has totaled 214 yards
on 17 catches. His partner in crime, Mr. Holt, has managed 217
yards on 16 carries. Oh, and they've both scored a touch. Treat
him as a #2 but expect #1 numbers from him. He was one of the
best bargains in your draft, most likely.
12. Reggie Wayne vs. GB - He
caught 27 passes his first year, 49 his second, and 68 last year.
Does that mean we can expect 90 or so this season? No. Does that
mean we can expect him to establish himself as a Bruce-like #2
guy? Sure looks like it so far. Gotta love this matchup against
the blah Green Bay corners.
13. Donte' Stallworth @ STL
- Was last week a tease or is he starting to turn the corner?
Only time will tell but if the shootout in St. Louie materializes
(it will), he should post solid numbers again. I like him as a
#2 receiver and love him as a #3 guy.
14. Rod Smith vs. SD - He's
giving us almost 80 yards a game and if he could find the end
zone occasionally, he might even turn out to be one of the top
value guys this year. Don't hold your breath. He hasn't hit double-digit
TDs since 2001. Oh, well. You always start guys against San Diego.
He's no exception.
15. Jimmy Smith @ TEN - I've
already told you I don't like his QB this week but even QBs who
have off weeks complete SOME passes, right? Smith always manages
to put up numbers and he hasn't had a star QB in Jacksonville
You get my drift.
Grab A Helmet:
Roy Williams vs. PHI - If you're
looking for this year's Anquan Boldin (and then some), look no
further. He delayed his NFL debut until (gasp!) after his senior
year of college but the wait has proven to be well worth it. You
simply won't see a prettier grab this season than his sideline
stretch job against the Texans for a score. The pass was virtually
uncatchable and he made it look easy. I don't like Detroit's chances
of putting up big numbers in the passing game but what numbers
they do put up, he will be responsible for.
Any Dallas receiver @ WAS -
The trio of Glenn, Johnson, and Bryant has put up startlingly
similar numbers so far. They each have 11 receptions and only
12 yards separate them yardage-wise. Conventional wisdom says
you should stay away from the balanced attacks (Packers, anyone?)
but when all three rank in the top ten (!), all bets are off.
You're OK going with any of them on Monday night
Marcus Robinson vs. CHI - Did
you not see the note about Chicago's decimated secondary? We're
talking about three-quarters of a pretty good secondary being
lost in the span of just a few weeks. The Bears are not a team
who can overcome that type of depletion. Expect Moss and his sidekick
to wreak havoc.
Alge Crumpler vs. ARI - As predicted,
he has become a favorite of Mr. Vick's. There aren't many guys
his size who look nimble and he doesn't quite pull it off, either.
Nevertheless, he's got great hands and can move that 260-plus
north-south with the best of them. I start him every week and
thank my lucky stars I've got a legit tight end. I know everyone
can't say that.
Koren Robinson vs. SF - Funny
how I haven't heard much from the KoRo krowd this year. This is
his first mention and if he wants to get on my good side, he'll
justify the recommendation with a solid day and a score. Playing
the Niners certainly gives him that chance so plug him in at #2
or #3...and cross your fingers.
Grab Some Wood:
Brandon Lloyd @ SEA - He was
considered a semi-sleeper at the start of the year after showing
some promise last season and in training camp. Guess someone forgot
to wake him up, eh? He's caught just five balls for a whopping
36 yards against two so-so defenses and was overshadowed completely
by Curtis Conway this past Sunday. Did anyone even realize Curtis
Conway was still in the league? 'Nuf said.
Any Packers receiver @ IND -
You know this pains me but I just can't figure out which guy Favre
likes best. At times, he favors the more experienced Donald Driver.
At others, he looks for the best route-runner of the bunch, Robt.
Ferguson. Of course, when he looks deep, it's usually in the direction
of Javon Walker. If you can make sense out of it, you're a better
Packer backer than me.
Any Ravens receiver @ CIN -
I know this is starting to sound redundant but you simply don't
want one of these guys (can you even name one besides Kevin Johnson?)
lining up for your fantasy squad. Kyle Boller may be a decent
QB some day but he is so far away from that day, you can probably
just forget about this group for the rest of '04.
David Terrell @ MIN - He ends
up here out of spite (see above). How does a guy who leads the
league in receiving yards after one week not even get a LOOK in
Week 2? Chicago's offensive scheme is certainly goofy and goofiness
usually corresponds to unpredictability. Avoid him until we get
a better handle on what 'Da Bears are gonna do on a regular basis.
Plaxico Burress @ MIA - He went
from one grab for 13 yards in Week 1 to two catches for 30 yards
in Week 2. Could three catches for 50 yards be far behind? Oh,
joy. He should stick to basketball. Wait. I'm thinking of Darius
Miles. Never mind.
Best of luck, folks!
Best of luck, folks!!