Must Start: The Top 15
1. Terrell Owens v. SD –
He now publicly regrets that he “took one for the team”
last February by risking life and limb to play in SB XXXIX. And
to think we considered him such a good teammate! Nobody will care
if he comes anywhere close to matching his career numbers against
San Diego (a staggering 116 yards and three touchdowns…PER
GAME!) Hope you remember to pack your Lance Allworth throwback,
T.O. You’ve got a reputation to protect.
2. Chad Johnson v. PIT –
Speaking of throwbacks, does anyone remember the prolific tag
team of James Lofton and John Jefferson in early eighties Titletown?
This guy’s like both of those guys rolled into one, a speed
merchant (a la Lofton) with J.J.’s Gumby-like body control
and pizzazz. Should be interesting to see how he fares against
Pittsburgh’s above-average D this weekend. I’m guessing
well, in case you hadn’t noticed.
3. Torry Holt v. NO –
Holt was finally held in check last Monday night, relatively speaking
(six catches for 70 yards and no TDs). Of course, that should
come as no surprise since he was facing the drastically improved
Colts defense. No such obstruction exists this week as the road-weary
Saints roll into town. Expect another 100-yard outing and a score,
even with Jamie Martin at the controls.
4. Santana Moss v. SF –
Just one score? Ha! Moss already has two multiple-TD days under
his belt through five games and stands a better than even chance
of notching another this weekend against San Fran’s putrid
secondary (343.6 yards/game and twelve TDs yielded). I can’t
believe he’s been this productive/consistent but at some
point, even the skeptics hafta down a little crow and hop on board
the bandwagon. Make room for me, guys!
5. Anquan Boldin v. TEN –
One-half of the NFL’s most productive tandem, Boldin is
coming off two consecutive 100-yard, one-TD performances and now
looks to make it three in the desert this Sunday. If you think
that sounds like a tall order, consider this: Tennessee has given
up a league-worst 13 touchdown passes so far. Make it at least
one more as Boldin finds the end zone this weekend.
6. Larry Fitzgerald v. TEN –
Actually, make it two more. The other half of Arizona’s
dynamic duo has been only nominally less productive than his running
mate of late, tallying the same number of scores but slightly
fewer yards in the last two tilts. No reason to think he can’t
get in on the fun this Sunday with the Titans coming to town.
In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and guarantee that fun. Mark
it down…and remember I’m 5-1 so far on the guarantees.
7. Plaxico Burress v. DEN –
He’s barely more valuable than his teammate at tight end,
Mr. Shockey, but that says more about the latter’s value
than it does about Plaxico’s. He’s still the vertical
threat every opponent must account for if they hope to limit the
Giants’ passing game. Give him the start against Denver’s
8. Any Indy receiver @ HOU –
Remember those “Choose Your Own Adventure” books?
We’ll call this “Choose Your Own Receiver.”
It’s tiresome trying to predict who Manning will favor on
a weekly basis but it almost always depends on who defenses choose
to take away. If you’re privy to that kinda information
(i.e. your name is Don Capers), you’re way ahead of the
game. If not, just pick one. You can’t go wrong this week.
9. Donald Driver @ MIN –
Favre’s another share-the-wealth triggerman, but at least
he has a definite favorite target. His name is Javon Walker and
he’s not playing this year. In his stead, Mr. Driver has
become the go-to guy. Expect 80-100 yards and a score in the shootout
at the Metrodump.
10. Terry Glenn @ SEA –
The Cowboys’ deep threat averages slightly over 20 yards
per reception, putting him behind only Randy Moss and Antwaan
Randle El amongst regulars in yards-per-reception. Kind of a weird
trio, huh? Glenn is the most surprising to me, mainly because
he hasn’t posted these kinda digits since last century.
He should have a nice game against the ‘Hawks’ decent
but now tragically short-handed secondary.
11. Rod Smith @ NYG –
Nothing Smith does surprises me but that’s only because
he never experienced a decline akin to Glenn’s. He’s
been going strong since 1997, the year he first entered the starting
lineup, and is now coming off a huge, 123-yard, 1-TD performance
in Week 6. Expect nice numbers against New York’s very questionable
secondary (316.2 yards/game).
12. Joe Jurevicius v. DAL –
His addition this offseason wasn’t met with much fanfare
but now you hafta wonder where Seattle would be without him. He’s
scored in both of his last two contests and is the primary reason
why teams can’t load up to thwart Shaun Alexander. Keep
starting him until the main targets return or he stops producing,
whichever comes first.
13. Jeremy Shockey v. DEN –
He isn’t the most dangerous tight end (that would be Antonio
Gates) but he’s certainly the most productive thus far.
He’s averaging 76 yards per game, better than several big
names at wide receiver, and has already scored thrice in five
games. Clearly, when healthy, he’s a guy most teams can’t
account for, especially with Plax Burress threatening the deep
thirds on every single play.
14. Jerry Porter v. BUF –
He hasn’t exactly been stinking the joint up but he certainly
hasn’t been living up to expectations, either. Most of that
can be attributed to the arrival of Randy Moss. Some of it, however,
is due to his propensity for starting slow. Now would be a good
time for him to pick up his game a bit. I expect him to do so
with Randy on the shelf.
15. Donté Stallworth @ STL –
If Porter’s looking for someone to emulate, perhaps it should
be Stallworth. Similarly enigmatic throughout his first three
years, he’s finally starting to show some signs of stepping
up to the plate now that Joe Horn is sidelined. Maybe he’s
better off as a #1 target? Some guys are and he’s certainly
the #1 option ‘til his running mate returns. Keep starting
Grab A Helmet:
Az-Zahir Hakim @ STL –
Horn’s injury makes Hakim the clear #2 for the Saints and
he’s responded very well in two games, going for 108 and
then 85 yards against the Packers and Falcons, respectively. He’s
not a long-term solution at the position but he’s good enough
to qualify as your flex option or third wideout in larger leagues.
Go find him. He might still be available on the waiver wire.
Doug Gabriel v. BUF –
Detecting a trend here? It’s Week 7, folks. The body count
is piling up and it’s time to see who, from the first wave
of replacements, can fill the void left by the injured superstars.
Gabriel looks like a promising prospect, especially since he plays
with a strong-armed QB in a vertical passing offense. The matchup
isn’t terrific (Buffalo’s #1 ranked pass defense)
but he’ll definitely have a size advantage over the smallish
Eric Moulds @ OAK – He
averaged 20 yards per contest through the first four games (otherwise
known as the short-lived J.P. Losman “era”), but has
now tallied 59 and 63 in successive weeks since Kelly Holcomb
took over. Oh, and he’s also racked up two six-pointers.
In other words, this is one QB change that has definitely paid
off for all involved. Find a place for him in your lineup.
Robert Ferguson @ MIN –
He’s not exactly a household name (unless you eat brats
for breakfast) but Ferguson could soon become one if he keeps
improving. He’s actually scored in more games than he hasn’t
thus far (three of five) and is starting to look like a solid
target for the Ol’ Gunslinger. Give him a look if you haven’t
Nate Burleson v. GB –
I’m no mind reader but I’m guessing you were expecting
more than six catches from him in the first six weeks of the season.
Granted, he’s been hurt, but he really wasn’t doing
all that much before he went down, either. He’s finally
back, according to the Vikes, and arrives just in time to face
his favorite opponent, the Pack. He’s worth one last look.
Grab Some Wood:
Keenan McCardell @ PHI –
Boy, that well dried up quick, huh? Since going for 80 yards and
two scores in the Week 3 win against the Giants, he’s managed
only 36 yards on four catches since. That’s three games
worth of stats, folks, and not a good sign for his owners. Keep
him seated until the Chargers are forced to diversify a little
more (read: forced to let someone other than L.T. touch it).
Tyrone Calico @ ARI –
Has anyone checked this guy for a pulse lately? I know he’s
not the #1 target in Tennessee but he may be forced into the pivotal
role this week with Drew Bennett out. Lord help the Titans if
he is. His numbers so far? Seven catches for 54 yards. Period.
Sure hope he’s planning for life after the NFL.
Tony Gonzalez @ MIA –
He’s the great, big elephant in the corner that nobody seems
to want to talk about. Barely three catches and 28 yards per game?
Only one game over 50 yards? No touchdowns??? I don’t know
what Coach Feelings has in store for the KC passing game the rest
of the season but if he wants it to improve, it had better include
Gonzo. Even a dunderhead like me can see that.
Laveranues Coles @ ATL –
There isn’t much hope for the Jets’ passing game,
unfortunately. Vinny’s skills have understandably eroded
and they don’t have a lot else going for them besides Coles.
Too bad for him ‘cuz a couple more weapons might actually
make him more valuable. Hope for Justin McCareins to improve if
you own the former Seminole.
Ashley Lelie @ NYG – If
he’s so good (you know who you are), why does he have roughly
the same amount of fantasy points as Devery Henderson, Shaun McDonald,
and Antonio Chatman? Don’t get me wrong. I like those guys.
Only thing is they aren’t the #2 receiver on a 5-1 team.
Stay away and PLEASE stop asking me about him.
Best of luck, folks!