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The Shot Caller's Report - QBs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 2
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs/TEs


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning v. HOU—During Sunday night’s telecast, Madden called quarterback the most difficult position to play in the NFL. Wow. Not hard to see why Capt. Obvious demands such a huge compensation package, huh? Regardless, Peyton certainly continues to make it look easy and with no run support to speak of, he might even come close to revisiting his ’04 totals.

2. Carson Palmer v. CLE—An unusually listless Chiefs O, inclement weather, and some garden-variety rust likely conspired to prevent Palmer from posting the big numbers I’d projected for Week 1. Nevertheless, he looked pretty sharp in spurts (especially running the no-huddle stuff) and led his team to the convincing victory in a historically hostile stadium. Expect better numbers and his first few TD strikes this Sunday v. the Browns.

3. Kurt Warner @ SEA—If you mined the wickedly talented Arizona offense on draft day, give yourself a nice, big pat on the back. They’re gonna score oodles of points this season. Warner could end up being the plumb of the bunch provided he stays healthy. I mean, how can you NOT throw for 250+ and a couple scores tossing it around to Boldin and Fitzgerald each week? Have Leinart handy, though.

4. Matt Hasselbeck v. ARI—If Seattle had a weakness heading into the season, it was a suspect receiving corps. Enter Deion Branch. Most teams are loath to part with first-round draft picks but the ‘Hawks know what Branch can do for them. Though they’ll hafta wait a week to reap the rewards, so do Hasselbeck’s owners. Get him in there against an Arizona D that made Smith and Bryant look like Montana and Rice in Week 1.

5. Donovan McNabb v. NYG—He and Donte Stallworth appear to have more chemistry in two weeks than he and you-know-who had in two years. Still think Philly’s sunk without a premier #1 receiver? That makes one of us.

6. Jake Delhomme @ MIN—Carolina, on the other hand, may indeed be sunk without its premier wideout if Week 1 returns are any indication. Delhomme looked out of sorts from whistle to gun last Sunday and can only hope that Mr. Smith is able to go in Minny. If he is, keep Jake here. If not, drop him down a notch or 10.

7. Mark Bulger @ SF—Too bad I wasn’t facing him instead of Jeff Wilkins this past weekend, huh? Six field goals? Mike Martz must be turning over in his…wait, he’s just in Detroit. Give Bulger a go against a San Fran D that yielded close to 300 passing yards in Week 1.

8. Eli Manning @ PHI—Hope you enjoyed the Manning Bowl ‘cuz they’re about as frequent as presidential elections and World Cups. Of course, there’s always the outside chance Archie’s boys could square off in the Super Bowl someday. On second thought, maybe Eli & Co. should worry about winning the NFC East first. A win in Philly would certainly help their cause.

9. Drew Brees @ GB—Brees must have been cursing his fortune this past offseason after getting shipped from talent-embarrassed San Diego to talent-starved New Orleans. Then Houston did the unthinkable and passed on Reggie Bush in the draft. Call it an instant talent infusion for the Saints. Brees is part of that infusion, as well, and should start really ratcheting up the expectations this Sunday at Lambeau.

10. Tom Brady @ NYJ—No Deion Branch? No problem, says he (and me). Despite completing just FOUR passes to his ragtag group of receivers, Mr. Super Bowl MVP still managed to toss two TD strikes in the opening day victory over Buffalo. Don’t be surprised if he and the Pats hardly miss that other Super Bowl MVP, especially against the league’s lesser weights (yeah, the 1-0 Jets still qualify).

Grab A Helmet:

Michael Vick v. TB—He’s started hot before so we’ll reserve final judgment ‘til later in the season. Nevertheless, Vick looked like a man in control of his offense against Carolina’s formidable front last Sunday. Though he completed fewer than 50% of his passes, he tossed a couple of TDs and, as usual, wreaked havoc with his legs. Give him the start but don’t expect much better against a Tampa squad that was embarrassed in Week 1.

Daunte Culpepper v. BUF—Looking like a shadow of his former self, Culpepper was predictably out of sorts in his first start back from a devastating knee injury. The question now becomes: will he ever recapture the magic of ’04? He’s got some talent around him but minus his mobility, it’s hard to imagine opposing defenses making things easy for him. Give him another look against the Bills, a team he’s owned in years past (266 yds. and three scores per game).

Drew Bledsoe v. WAS—They’re already whispering “Romo” in Big D, not a good sign for the guy many thought would lead the ‘Boys to Super Bowl glory. For the record, I wasn’t one of those “many.” He’s still surrounded by a lot of studs, though, so let’s not get too excited about one lousy performance. Besides, do you really see Dallas starting the season 0-2?

Alex Smith v. STL—He finally cracks the Top 15 but his stay could be short-lived if he reverts to form against a vastly improved Rams D. Coming off a solid Week 1 performance (288 yards and a score), he’s at least in the discussion. That’s a start, right?

Steve McNair v. OAK—Hard to tell how good the Raiders’ pass D is since the Bolts attempted just 11 throws on Monday night. Then again, we may not know a whole lot more after Week 2. Expect a lot of Jamal Lewis/Mike Anderson and just enough Air McNair as the Ravens start 2-0 against the atrocious Raiders. Mark it down, folks.

Grab A Clipboard:

Aaron Brooks @ BAL—How bad is Oakland? I’m not even sure “atrocious” does them justice. At one point, the ever insightful Coach Vermeil remarked that Brooks is “very hard to sack.” San Diego then promptly dumped him 46 times. Man, I really need someone to hook me up with one of these color analyst gigs. I’ve got a pulse and a mouth so I’m clearly qualified.

Brett Favre v. NO—Brooks’ old mentor didn’t look a whole lot better against Chicago last Sunday but at least he was trying. In fact, that’s the problem with Favre these days. He’s ALWAYS trying. Trying to make plays. Trying to win games. Trying to be Brett Favre. As you can see, I’m trying, too…trying to spin this in a way that won’t force me to say bad things about my main man. I’ll stop now.

Jon Kitna @ CHI—Tell me who this sounds like: “We are going to be fine. I think a lot of guys learned a lot of things about each other.” Careful, Jon. The last guy who talked like that after crummy losses ended up getting run out of town on a rail.

Damon Huard @ DEN—I rave about Trent Green’s durability last week and, sure enough, he gets his clock thoroughly cleaned while rolling out of the pocket. Heck, I should have a curse named after me. Don’t go pouncing on Huard until he does something (anything) to deserve it.

David Carr @ IND—The Texans have invested an awful lot of time and money in this guy but it’s hard to know when they’ll see a return on that investment. He still gets sacked way too often (five times in Week 1) and doesn’t have much to rely upon in the running game. Think Reggie Bush would have made things a little easier for him? Forget the yapper. Apparently, you only need a pulse to qualify as an NFL GM.

Running Backs