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The Shot Caller's Report - QBs
Your Weekly Guide To Fantasy Lineups: Week 3
Positions: QBs | RBs | WRs/TEs


Must Start: The Top 10

1. Peyton Manning v. JAX—The Texans supposedly drafted Mario Williams to put more heat on Peyton. Somebody get those boys a drawing board! Big Bro exploded for 400 yards and three scores in the Week 2 lambasting at RCA and now looks forward to a showdown with Jacksonville for early AFC South supremacy. He’s averaging better than 260+ and two scores per tilt v. the Jags so you know what to do.

2. Donovan McNabb @ SF—McNabb is one of two triggermen to post 300+ yards in each of the first two weeks. Can you name the other? (Hint: his surname isn’t Manning.) Only problem is that the Eagles are not 2-0, as they should be. I suspect the Birds will be involved in a lot of high-scoring games this year as they simply don’t have the ball-control attack to salt away Ws. That bodes well for Don’s fantasy value.

3. Carson Palmer @ PIT—Palmer’s fantasy value has never been in question and he showed us why against Cleveland, throwing for 352 yards and a couple scores. The scary part is that he hasn’t yet had a full complement of receivers to work with. Once the Bengals get TJ (not to mention CJ) back, good luck stopping them. That goes for you too, Pittsburgh.

4. Kurt Warner v. STL—The Cardinals can match the Bengals skill player for skill player but it isn’t gonna matter much if they don’t do something about an atrocious front five. In fact, I’d be surprised if the too-patient Warner survives the first half of the season the way things are going (eight sacks so far). Get him handcuffed to Matt Leinart sooner rather than later. You’ll thank me.

5. Matt Hasselbeck v. NYG—Seattle proved how wide the gap still is between them and upstart Arizona last Sunday, winning convincingly at Qwest Field, 21-10. Unfortunately, the defense was mostly responsible for the victory. Eventually, the offense will join the party and I’ve got a sneaking suspicion it might be this week against a 27th-ranked G-unit.

6. Michael Vick @ NO—The Dirty Birds have been partying all OVER the NFC South thus far, racking up 252 and 302 rushing yards, respectively, against Carolina and Tampa. Seriously, when’s the last time a team not representing a service academy racked up 5 ½ bills on the ground in consecutive weeks? Doesn’t hurt that their quarterback was the fourth best running back (!!!) in Week 2, right behind the third-best, Warrick Dunn. Time for an “I told you so,” I reckon.

7. Marc Bulger @ ARI—Why didn’t anyone tell me I was calling him “Mark” again this year? I cautioned you before Week 1 not to expect arcade-like numbers from Bulger anymore and 1/8 of the way through, I seem to have been spot on (400-some yards and one measly touch). Call it “I told you so” Part Two. Give him a look against Arizona’s dubious D but don’t expect miracles.

8. Eli Manning @ SEA—A miracle is what happened at Autzen Stadium last Saturday. Well, that or a gross miscarriage of justice. (Go Ducks!) Not to be outdone, Kid Bro staged a pretty miraculous comeback of his own against Philly on Sunday, leading the G-Men back from a 24-7 deficit and an almost certain 0-2 start. Call it the perfect fantasy script: 1) spot opponent huge lead, 2) throw for a bazillion yards in the comeback attempt, 3) force an extra stanza with a timely eleventh hour drive, and 4) throw the game-winning TD.

9. Tom Brady v. DEN—Almost overnight, the Pats have become a two-headed, five-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust monster, relying on the complementary talents of Corey Dillon and Laurence Maroney to beat opponents into submission. One of these days, though, they’ll be forced to lean on ol’ reliable, Mr. Brady. Don’t know why but I think this Sunday might be one of those days. Expect him to atone for last year’s playoff flameout.

10. Drew Brees v. ATL—Who’d have thought the Saints-Packers pillow fight would yield so many fantasy studs in Week 2? Not me, apparently. Brees shook off the ghost of Aaron Brooks (two fumbles and a pick in the first quarter!) to toss for 353 yards and a couple scores in New Orleans’ stirring victory. Now he takes his 2-0 squad home to the Crescent City for an NFC South showdown against Hotlanta on Monday night. Here’s hoping the final score isn’t…

Grab A Helmet:

Ben Roethlisberger v. CIN—…9-0. A little help here? I jabbed these forks in my eyes during the 4th quarter of Monday night’s coma-thon and…almost got ‘em. Whew! There we go. Anyway, as I was saying….

Byron Leftwich @ IND—…I didn’t know football could be such a soporific. I mean, I like bone-crushing hits and even the occasional defensive struggle, but would it have killed these guys to score A TOUCHDOWN? Still, gotta hand it to Big Swifty. He looked as good as a guy can look throwing for zero TDs and a pick. Give him the nod against Indy this Sunday. His career rating v. the Colts is a stellar 100.7.

Chad Pennington @ BUF—Mr. Trivia Answer (see D. McNabb) has defied the naysayers to post two 300-yard days in his first two starts back from a devastating shoulder injury. You can count me among those naysayers, incidentally. Though I’m still not convinced he can continue to excel, ya’ gotta like the returns so far. In other words, ride the hot hand.

Daunte Culpepper v. TEN—That, or you could opt for the ice-cold hand of Mr. Culpepper in hopes that it soon becomes hot. There’s coming back from an injury by storm (Pennington) and then there’s what Daunte has done: one TD, three picks, countless poorly thrown balls, and (most importantly) no Ws. You get one more week, big boy. After that…

Alex Smith v. PHI—…it’ll be time to start focusing on the next wave of difference-makers at the position. Hard as it is to believe after last season (one TD v. eleven INTs), Smith is fast becoming one of those guys. He won’t tally too many multiple TD days yet but he’s no longer turning it over and is averaging close to 260 yards a contest. Expect more of the same against Philly this Sunday.

Rex Grossman @ MIN—OK, OK. I’ve been too hard on the guy. Not sure two games (against Green Bay and Detroit, no less) is enough to convince me he’s turned the corner, though. Kyle Boller was reportedly turning the corner late last year and look where he is. Give him the start against the Vikes but don’t be at all surprised if he fails to impress.

Grab A Clipboard:

Chris Simms v. CAR—Talk about failing to impress. The Bucs and Raiders have COMBINED to score nine points through the first two weeks. Didn’t these two franchises play in a Super Bowl recently? Maybe the league should contract Oaktown and let Chucky pick over his old squad’s leftovers. That should be good enough to get the Bucs to 4-12, yes? OK, maybe not.

Kerry Collins @ MIA—4-12 seems like a stretch at this point for Jeff Fisher’s Tennessee train wreck. Reading between the lines of Wednesday’s war of words, it appears the Titans hated Billy Volek more than they liked Kerry Collins. Volek’s recent trade also tells me the Vince Young era starts sooner rather than later. Bottom line: they have no illusions about winning in Nashville anytime soon. Neither should you if you’re employing either of these guys.

Charlie Frye v. BAL—Romeo Crennel’s already defending his young field general, trying to shift blame to his receivers and just plain dumb luck. Sorry, Romeo. The Shot Caller’s not buying it. Give Frye the boot if you’ve been playing him, especially against a Ravens D that has recaptured its cheeks-clenching ferociousness.

David Carr v. WAS—For a change, some good news out of Houston: Carr has thrown four TDs and no INTs in his first two tilts. Now, the bad news: he’s still getting dumped at an alarming rate (nine sacks to date) and has accumulated most of those TDs in garbage time. Nothing wrong with garbage time, mind you, but one has to play long enough to reach it. If he keeps getting creamed, he just may not one of these days. Be leery.

Mark Brunell @ HOU—Notice anything peculiar about this list? Try adding up the collective victories of these six signal-callers. Simply put, bad QB play = bad team. It’s an incontrovertible football fact, folks.

Aaron Brooks v. Nobody—Bad QB play + torn pectoral muscle = better team? Brooks (mercifully) will be out for a while. That means he can’t utterly destroy your championship hopes. Then again, if anyone were capable of losing a few fumbles and tossing a few picks in street clothes, he’s it. After all, he lost two fumbles before completing a single pass last Sunday! Let’s never speak of Aaron Brooks again. Deal?

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