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


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning v. SD – If the Colts attain perfection this season, they will definitely have earned it. After a dominant victory on the road against a game Jacksonville squad, they draw the equally spirited (and much more talented) Chargers this Sunday. I’m betting they won’t want to run the risk of facing San Diego again and a win here would almost guarantee that. Expect Peyton to go wire-to-wire as Indy secures “W” number fourteen.

2. Carson Palmer @ DET – The most valuable fantasy signal-caller this season (arguably) was completely derailed in Week 14, horrible timing for those who rode his golden arm into the fantasy playoffs. Call it dumb luck as gale-force winds and an almost prevent-like Browns D conspired to hold him down. He’ll have no problem bouncing back at the climate-controlled Ford Field this Sunday, especially if the Lions “fans” decide to switch allegiances again in protest.

3. Kurt Warner @ HOU – Warner was only so-so against the ‘Skins last week, tallying a nice 255 yards but throwing for only one score and an accompanying pick. He should easily top those numbers this weekend against a Texans squad that simply isn’t talented enough to win ballgames right now. Keep starting him and expect something in the neighborhood of 275 yards and two TD strikes.

4. Drew Brees @ IND – He posted career highs in completions and attempts last Sunday and also had a hand in all three of San Diego’s scores (one rushing). Unfortunately, the Bolts did the unthinkable and lost the ballgame, making this week’s matchup with undefeated Indy a must-win. Good luck with that, guys. Hard to believe this team isn’t going to make the playoffs but that shouldn’t discourage you from starting all the studs, Brees included.

5. Matt Hasselbeck @ TEN – I told you to be cautious with him last week, reasoning that he might not get enough work to be overly productive. Guess I’m batting .500, eh? He certainly had a reduced workload (yanked in the fourth) but managed to toss four touchdowns before the early exit, in addition to 226 yards. Give him the start against a Titans squad that has yielded 26 passing TDs this season, tied with San Fran for worst in the league.

6. Eli Manning v. KC – It was another up-and-down day for Kid Bro in Week 14. Though he managed to top the 300-yard mark and score twice (once with his legs), he also turned the ball over three times. Lucky for him, the turnovers didn’t prove costly. They certainly would this weekend with KC’s high-octane attack coming to town. If he avoids them, the Giants win. If he doesn’t, they don’t. That simple, folks.

7. Trent Green @ NYG – Why would giving the Chiefs extra opportunities be a poor idea these days? They’ve averaged better than 32 points per game since laying an egg in Buffalo five weeks ago and seem to be hitting on all cylinders. Coming off a league-best 340 yards in Week 14, Green should have another strong showing against New York’s eminently bendable, though not necessarily breakable, secondary. Stick with him.

8. Tom Brady v. TB – He’s listed as questionable as of press time but will probably play, especially with a playoff clinch hanging in the balance. Though uncharacteristically mistake-prone of late (six turnovers in his last three), he’s still leading the league in passing yardage by a significant margin. If he’s able to solve the tough Tampa D, he could post solid totals.

9. David Garrard v. SF – It doesn’t appear the Jags will get Byron Leftwich back anytime soon and that means Garrard is the guy. Trust me when I say that’s not necessarily a bad thing. He’s still raw as a passer but has a cannon for an arm and is a tank when he breaks containment. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least to see him throw for 200+ yards and a couple scores against Frisco’s crummy secondary. Failing that, he could also run one in. Give him a look if you don’t have better options.

10. Jake Delhomme @ NO – My NFC fave looked like anything but last weekend, getting smoked by a more determined and more disciplined Tampa crew, in Charlotte no less. If the Panthers have any hope of living up to expectations, they’d better right the ship this weekend in Baton Rouge. I think they do as Delhomme throws for 200+ and two scores.

Grab A Helmet:

Jake Plummer @ BUF – After a blistering start, the other Jake has cooled off of late, failing to throw more than one TD in a game since late October. Not that it’s affected Denver’s fortunes much, as they’ve only lost once in that same span. Don’t expect huge numbers the rest of the way but don’t expect disaster, either. He isn’t asked to carry the team (and doesn’t try to anymore) and that means he should perform admirably through the final three weeks.

Drew Bledsoe @ WAS – Bledsoe’s been all over the map this season, topping the 300-yard mark three times but also dipping below 200 yards several times. The one constant? Touchdowns. He’s thrown at least a score in every contest but one this campaign (Week 11 against Detroit) and has thrown multiple TDs five times. That bodes well for this weekend’s showdown with the hated ‘Skins in DC. Start him.

Chris Simms @ NE – I’m still not crazy about the guy but I’ll give him credit for knowing his role in the conservative Tampa Bay scheme: don’t turn the ball over. After a rocky start, he’s played virtually error-free ball the past month, giving the Bucs a legit chance at playing this January. This week, he draws a New England D giving up nearly 250 yards per game through the air. If you’re looking for a sneaky starter in Week 15, he might be your guy.

Gus Frerotte v. NYJ – Then again, it might be him. Replaced by Sage Rosenfels in the Week13 comeback vs. Buffalo, he returned in Week 14 to lead his boys to the improbable win over San Diego. It’s doubtful Frerotte will still be under center next season but we’ll worry about that bridge when we get to it. For now, he’s a better-than-average play against the woeful Jets at home.

Ben Roethlisberger @ MIN – Hard as it is to believe, the Vikes may actually have a better chance of making the playoffs than Pittsburgh right now. The Steelers can change all that with a victory. If Big Ben is able to play through his injuries and keep it away from an opportunistic Minny secondary, they just might get it. I suspect he will, though it will go down to the wire.

Grab A Clipboard:

Ryan Fitzpatrick v. PHI – He was a popular pickup a few weeks back but those who resisted the temptation knew better than to extrapolate from a big-time performance against the league’s worst squad. Since that stirring come-from-behinder, the Harvard grad has managed to throw six picks and no touchdowns, making him even less valuable than…

Alex Smith @ JAX – …the guy who hasn’t found the end zone once this season. He doesn’t have much help but no touchdowns? Not even in garbage time? There are inauspicious debuts and then there’s what Smith has done in San Fran. The silver lining, of course, is that the Niners still have a shot of securing the first pick in next April’s draft, as well.

Kyle Orton v. ATL – Despite Orton’s play, the Bears were considered a lock to make the playoffs a few weeks back. Now? I’d say they’re about a 50-50 shot. You can only rely on your defense for so long. Eventually, you need to get something going on O. 138 yards/game and a touchdown pass every other week from your QB isn’t gonna cut it. That goes for you, too. Find someone else.

Todd Bouman v. CAR – The Aaron Brooks experiment appears to be over in New Orleans (call me prophetic) and that means Bouman gets a chance to show his stuff the rest of the year. He’s certainly capable but with only four career starts under his belt, is no better than the rooks from a fantasy perspective. Sit him down against Carolina’s ferocious pass rush.

Running Backs