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The Shot Caller's Report - QBs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups
10/15/04
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs/TEs

The Shot Caller needs some love, folks. No, not that kinda love. We're talking milk-and-cookies, grab-me-a-blanky, read-me-a-bedtime-story love. If you happened to be watching Monday Night's debacle (and who wasn't?), you know what the problem is. Of course, being fantasy ballers, you probably know what the solution is, too: a fantasy championship.

There's nothing that salves like a championship trophy and if my boys can't bring it home for me, I'll just hafta do it myself. To that end, let's get serious. We're heading into the heart of the season and there are plenty of fantasy points to be scored. Where are you gonna find 'em? Read onů

Quarterbacks

Must Start: The Top 10

1. Daunte Culpepper @ NO - Projections tend to be a tad unrealistic this early in the season but try these on for size: 52 touchdowns and FOUR (!!!) interceptions. Amazingly, that's what Daunte's on pace to accomplish. Though he won't reach those record-shattering numbers, it sure will be fun watching him try, especially if you own him. The fun continues this week against a 29th-ranked New Orleans crew.

2. Donovan McNabb vs. CAR - He may have kicked the hillbilly heroin addiction but it's high time ol' Rush came clean and admitted he was wrong (dead wrong) about Don. If this is overrated, I want a piece of the action. Sunday, McNabb and his 9-to-1 TD-to-INT ratio draw a Panthers D reeling from its most recent loss, All-Pro DT Kris Jenkins.

3. Chad Pennington vs. SF - Deceiving numbers alert! The Niners are yielding a respectable 224 passing yards per game (15th in the league) but have allowed opposing QBs to accumulate a 105.3 rating against them (ten TDs against two picks). Only the Pack has been worse and that doesn't bode well for this weekend's matchup against Mr. Efficiency himself, Pennington.

4. Tom Brady vs. SEA - How bad is Miami? Brady didn't throw for a single yard in the second half last Sunday and the Pats still won convincingly. He won't be able to pull that stunt this week against an explosive Seattle bunch. Of course, if he throws for two or more touchdown passes-like he's done in every game so far, last week included-we might not care how many yards he racks up.

5. Aaron Brooks vs. MIN - His ghastly numbers against the Bucs (106 yards and a pick) were made slightly more digestible by a pair of touchdown strikes. He's gonna need a few more yards than that if he hopes to hang with Culpepper and Co. this week. He'll get them (along with a couple more scores) in a game likely to feature very little defense.

6. David Carr @ TEN - If you subscribe to the "crappy defense means more offense" theory, Carr is a Top 10 guy the rest of the way. His 9.17 yards per attempt leads the league and he's starting to find the spectacular Andre Johnson with increasing regularity. The Texans could fall behind again this Sunday so he looks to be a great start.

7. Tim Rattay @ NYJ - Speaking of falling behind. Sans their best defender, Julian Peterson, the Niners figure to be trailing in almost every game the rest of the season. That means scads of attempts and oodles of yards for this guy. He excels in the spread offense, Coach Erickson's preferred mode of ball movement, so pick him up if he's still a free agent.

8. Matt Hasselbeck @ NE - As promised, he emerged from the bye week six guns a' blazin'. Unfortunately, he forgot to bring along his defense. The opponent gets tougher this week but Hasselbeck's the type of QB who plays up to his competition. Keep him in your lineup as the matchup with Brady may bring out his best.

9. Steve McNair vs. HOU - In a wacky scheduling mix-up, McNair squared off against the Green Knights of nearby St. Norbert College instead of Green Bay's once-mighty Packers. Not that he noticed much of a difference. This week, he plays a real live football team, complete with a defense and everything. Well, sort of.

10. Brett Favre @ DET - Of course I'm being too hard on Brett's Pack but that's what happens when you give up 48 points on national TV to a previously 1-3 team. Predictably, the Ol' Gunslinger pressed a bit when his team got behind early and turned it over numerous times. On the other hand, he did manage to throw for over 300 yards and a couple scores. If the defense doesn't improve (in a hurry), he'll be forced to duplicate the feat on a weekly basis. That's good news from a fantasy perspective…and bad news for me.

Grab A Helmet:

Michael Vick vs. SD - Forget the crap about a steep learning curve for the West Coast offense. He couldn't run ANY offense with the kind of protection he's been getting of late. Only the statue-like Drew Bledsoe has been sacked more times than Vick (17) and the beatings are starting to result in turnovers. The ship will be righted (and probably this weekend) but until Coach Mora gives him more latitude to escape pressure, he doesn't belong in the Top 10.

Drew Brees @ ATL - In order to right the aforementioned ship, Vick will hafta beat one of the hottest QBs in the league. That's right. I used the word "hot" to describe the chronically tepid Drew Brees. He's lost and regained his starting position more times than you can shake a stick at but so long as he's feeling it, why not give him a go? Besides, if the rumors are to be believed, he could already be auditioning for another team.

Joey Harrington vs. GB - He narrowly avoided another devastating blow when Roy Williams' ankle injury was deemed minor. Though the former Longhorn is still listed as questionable for this week's tilt with the Pack, he's supposed to play. That's good news 'cuz matchups don't get much juicier than the Pack right now. Get Joey back in your lineup.

Byron Leftwich vs. KC - Jacksonville's D is starting to take on water and that has resulted in better numbers for Leftwich (over 300 yards in each of the two losses). The defense gets another stern test this Sunday. If the Jags fall behind early (a possibility), they'll put Leftwich in the shotgun and air it out, something he's quite familiar with from his days at Marshall.

Marc Bulger vs. TB - He finally busted out for a multiple-TD game, none bigger than the 52-yard, game-winning strike to Shaun McDonald in overtime. Unfortunately, he also threw three REALLY bad picks that put the Rams behind the eight ball in the first place. Provided you can live with the turnovers, he's a good start every week in Martz's pass-crazy attack.

Ben Roethlisberger @ DAL - I told you he'd be great some day but even I'm surprised by the rate of his progression. He's reading defenses well, standing tall in the pocket, and getting outta Dodge (and chucking on the run) when he has to. It's this last quality that makes him so dangerous. How many 6'5" 240-pounders do you know (besides Culpepper) who can elude the pass rush and throw darts? Start him against a decimated Cowboys secondary.

Grab A Clipboard:

Jake Delhomme @ PHI - The 38 Million Dollar Man is struggling to keep Carolina afloat with no weapons at his disposal. Already down Steve Smith and Stephen Davis last week, he lost Deshaun Foster in the second quarter and couldn't get anything going. He draws a well-rested and revenge-hungry Philly D that's putting a lot of pressure on opposing QBs. Steer clear.

Drew Bledsoe vs. MIA - If it weren't for J.P. Losman's injury, he might be holding a clipboard (or a remote) by now. The numbers aren't dreadful (five TDs and three picks) but the Bills are scoring under 13 points a game. They'll be lucky to score that many against a Miami group leading the league in pass defense.

Any Miami QB @ BUF - If Ricky were still around, the Fish could just snap him the ball directly and avoid having to play one of these three stooges (Fiedler, Feeley, or Rosenfels) altogether. Then again, they could always insert Mr. Versatile, Wes Welker. Just brainstorming here.

Mark Brunell @ CHI - Coach Gibbs might go hoarse defending him but he's not pulling the wool over anyone's eyes. Brunell has been awful. If he doesn't improve against the vulnerable Bears, it's gonna get ugly in D.C….Daniel Snyder ugly.

Kerry Collins vs. DEN - Perhaps the Giants knew what they were doing when they sent him packing this off-season. Despite running an offense tailor-made for his strengths, he's thrown just two touchdowns and a staggering seven interceptions in two-and-a-half games. Of course, he's always preferred the opponents to his own guys (141 career INTs against 134 TDs).

Running Backs