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

The Shot Caller spent most of the week chasing around a prematurely ambulatory Baby Shot Caller. That means he's tired, grumpy, and desperately in need of a Packers victory this Sunday…not to mention a nice, long nap. Assume it's OK if we skip the chitchat and get right to the recommendations? As always, I appreciate your understanding. Here's the Week 4 rundown:


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning @ JAX - He bested his Week 2 numbers with 256 yards and three scoring strikes…and then proceeded to go out and play three more quarters!!! Ugh. Needless to say, the mood was a tad subdued in the Shot Caller household on Sunday. You shouldn't expect similar numbers in Jacksonville (better scheme, healthier secondary) but the lack of a consistent pass rush will hurt the Jags' chances of slowing down the Colts' explosive attack.

2. Donovan McNabb @ CHI - It was only Detroit but he certainly looked like an early favorite for MVP, didn't he? He's maintaining his poise in the pocket, making great decisions, and throwing the ball on the money (69.8% so far), something he's struggled with in the past. The cupcake schedule continues in Chicago this week where the role of icing will be played by a severely short-handed Bears secondary. Bon appetit!

3. Michael Vick @ CAR - The Cards decided to go unorthodox against Vick, using a five-man line and assigning a "spy" to the fleet-footed one all game long. It worked. Although he ran for 68 yards, he managed only 115 yards through the air and turned it over a whopping three times. In this "monkey see, monkey do" league, you can expect others to mimic the plan…and Michael to adjust accordingly.

4. Chad Pennington @ MIA - You'd need an advanced degree to figure out the NFL's QB rating formula but for my money, he's the most efficient signal-caller in the league (actually 2nd behind Culpepper). He's completing 75% of his passes, doesn't throw picks, and rarely gets sacked. In other words, he's all reward and very little risk. Make sure there isn't (yet) another hurricane in the forecast for South Florida and then start him.

5. Marc Bulger @ SF - He's completing a ton of passes (69.3%) for a ton of yards (915) but only has three touchdowns. In Mike Martz's way-too-pass-happy attack, that's not good enough. Expect him to make up for lost time and go bonkers against a Niners team that hasn't been this bad since the pre-Walsh days.

6. Tom Brady @ Buffalo - He's had a week off to prepare for a trip to Buffalo and a meeting with the tough Bills defense. Other than Manning, I can't think of another quarterback I'd least wanna face coming off two weeks of rest and preparation. Unless New England gets up big early (a distinct possibility), he should be good for 200+ and a couple TDs.

7. Aaron Brooks @ ARI - I promised the showdown in St. Louie would be a track meet and it was. Brooks did his part (316 yards and a TD toss) and, more importantly, avoided the turnovers he's been prone to in the past. This week, he gets a Cardinals squad that totally shut down Mr. Vick and the Falcons in Week 2. I don't know about you but it sure smells like the kind of game New Orleans historically coughs up. Just something to kick around when you're setting your lineup.

8. Brett Favre vs. NYG - Guess the Ol' Gunslinger still has something left, huh? He got drawn into a high noon duel with Peyton and responded by throwing for 358 yards and four touchdowns. Vintage Favre. You won't get that out of him this week (and maybe never again) but the G-men field just the 22nd-ranked defense despite having faced Brunell/Ramsey and Jeff Garcia. Draw your own conclusions.

9. Kurt Warner @ GB - His protégé took his job and inherited all his weapons but after three weeks, the cagey vet is the one sitting at 2-1. He has some pretty solid weapons to work with himself and he'll likely be licking his chops after watching game film of the Pack this week. If McKenzie and Carroll sit again, move him up a few spots.

10. David Carr vs. OAK - He wasn't spectacular against KC but, as usual, made the most of the passes he did complete. He's now behind only Culpepper in yards per attempt (9.23). Oakland is much improved but still ranks in the middle of the pack against the pass despite having faced three below-average passing attacks (Pittsburgh, Buffalo, and Tampa).

Grab A Helmet:

Kerry Collins @ HOU - Collins seems to be a perfect fit for Norv Turner's vertical passing attack and he did nothing on Sunday night to dispute that notion. He draws a Houston team in his first start that's allowing opposing QBs to complete 70% of their passes, bad enough for a league-worst 116.5 rating. That's a pretty tasty matchup for a historically inaccurate quarterback. Give him a go if you're short-handed.

Byron Leftwich vs. IND - When it comes to the '04 Jags, there are believers and non-believers. Count me among the latter. Nevertheless, we all saw how atrocious the Colts are on defense and it's hard not to think Leftwich will emerge from a season-long slump. He's not gonna go Favre on Indy but he could throw for two bills and a couple touchdowns. He'll have to or Jacksonville's unblemished record will most certainly be blemished after Week 4.

Jake Delhomme vs. ATL - Like the Eagles, the Falcons are giving up a ton of yards through the air (269.7/game). Of course, like the Eagles, they're also 3-0. What's the common denominator? Pressure. The two squads share the league lead for sacks (14). Provided DeShaun Foster can take some of the heat off (he should) and Delhomme doesn't perform his whirling dervish routine again (he better not), the Ragin' Cajun will post some good numbers.

Steve McNair or Billy Volek @ SD - It's time to be officially worried about Air McNair, I fear. He's battered and bruised and hasn't looked all that sharp even when he's been healthy. If he sits this week, you could do a lot worse than prized backup, Volek, facing the Bolts. If he plays…I DID mention he's facing San Diego, right? Go ahead and start either guy depending on who gets the nod.

Grab A Clipboard:

Kyle Boller vs. KC - If you think I'm taking him off this list because he accounted for two touchdowns last week (stop the presses!), you're crazy. Even a blind squirrel finds paydirt every once in a while. Don't forget he threw for just 126 yards and fumbled the ball twice, once without even being touched. He's a train wreck you should only be watching from a distance.

Jay Fiedler vs. NYJ - Speaking of train wrecks! I honestly thought A.J. Feeley would be an upgrade over Fiedler this year. Turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong. He's a turnover machine and doesn't have anyone in the backfield to take the pressure off. Fiedler will probably protect the ball better but faces many of the same obstacles (bad line, CFL-caliber running backs) and has many of the same deficiencies. Avoid him.

Carson Palmer @ PIT - The folks in Cincy should probably give him a break since he's faced arguably the two toughest defenses in the league the past two weeks. Still, he hasn't put the Bengals in the end zone since Week 1. That's gotta concern you heading into Week 4 since the Steel Curtain is beginning to look a little bit like…well…the Steel Curtain.

Jonathan Quinn vs. PHI - I watch a LOT of football but I can honestly say I've never seen him play. Not even in preseason. It's probably unfair to assess his chances sight unseen but I'm going to anyway. He faces an extremely sophisticated Philly blitz package and is (rumored to be) fairly immobile. That's a recipe for disaster in the NFL. Best of luck if you take a flyer on him.

Drew Brees vs. TEN - The good news: he ran one in for six last week and was also the second leading receiver with 38 yards. The bad news: he was the SECOND LEADING RECEIVER!!! Phillip Rivers is nipping at his heels and I have a strong suspicion this will be his last or second-to-last start as a Charger. Could be wrong but do you really wanna rely on a guy who has such a tenuous hold on his job?

Running Backs