Every team in the NFL has played half of its schedule, so let’s
take a look at the winners of the fantasy football season’s
LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego:
If you own Tomlinson, you’ve had an ear-to-ear smile on
your face all season. Most of the preseason debates over the No.
1 overall pick were between Kansas City’s Larry Johnson
and Seattle’s Shaun Alexander. Tomlinson, however, has outperformed
Johnson and Alexander and has regained his title as fantasy king.
Tomlinson’s recent huge games have put him in a class by
himself. In the last four weeks, he has scored four touchdowns
once, three twice and two (one was a passing TD) once. Those huge
TD days single handedly can lift his fantasy owners to victories.
Tomlinson’s 14 first-half touchdowns put him on pace to
tie Alexander’s single-season touchdown record of 28 scores.
Runner Up: Donovan McNabb, QB,
Nominees: Larry Johnson, RB,
Kansas City; Peyton Manning, QB, Indianapolis.
Marques Colston, WR, New Orleans:
You didn’t have Colston on your preseason draft cheat sheet?
Don’t worry. Nobody did. The seventh-round, fourth-to-last
pick of the 2006 NFL draft out of Hofstra has gone from an undrafted
fantasy receiver to an every-week must start. His 700 receiving
yards and scoring consistency (a touchdown in six of eight games
and seven total) have made him the top fantasy receiver this season
and one of the biggest surprises in many years.
Runner Up: Rex Grossman, QB,
Nominees: Jon Kitna, QB, Detroit;
Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville; Bernard Berrian, WR, Chicago;
Owen Daniels, TE, Houston.
LaMont Jordan, RB, Oakland:
The Raider was taken as high as a top-five running back in preseason
fantasy drafts. He hasn’t even been worth starting while
running behind Oakland’s pathetic offensive line. He barely
ranks among the top-40 running backs in most scoring systems,
with just 447 total yards and one touchdown. To put salt in his
owners’ wounds, Jordan has a microscopic eight receptions
after leading all running backs last season with 70 catches.
Runner Up: Daunte Culpepper,
Nominees: Drew Bledsoe, QB,
Dallas; Carnell Williams, RB, Tampa Bay; Randy Moss, WR, Oakland;
Chad Johnson, WR, Cincinnati.
David Garrard, QB, Jacksonville:
It looks like Garrard will remain the Jaguars’ starting
quarterback the rest of the season as Byron Leftwich struggles
through an ankle injury. Pick him up if he’s available in
your league, but temper your expectations. Garrard threw three
touchdown passes last week, but that was the first time he’s
done that in 10 career games that he’s seen significant
action. He’s averaged just 184 yards with nine touchdowns
in those games. Garrard’s running abilities (six career
rushing TDs), however, makes him worth the gamble of picking him
Brad Johnson, QB, Minnesota:
Owners who took a flyer on Johnson last week with a favorable
matchup against the horrendous San Francisco pass defense got
burned. He threw for just 136 yards with no touchdowns and one
interception against the 49ers. Johnson has just four TDs, eight
interceptions and has thrown for less than 200 yards the last
three weeks in the Vikings’ struggling offense. It’s
time to drop the aging quarterback and look elsewhere.
Off The Bench
Warrick Dunn, RB, Atlanta: The
veteran could gain 100 yards with his shoes tied together when
the Falcons host the pathetic Cleveland run defense. The Browns
have allowed 150-plus yard rushing games five times this season.
Dunn has 404 rushing yards in four home games and has picked up
a touchdown in the last two at the Georgia Dome.
Roy Williams, WR, Detroit: The
Lion receiver will extend his consecutive games with a touchdown
to four. He faces San Francisco -- which has allowed 15 passing
touchdowns (tied for second most in the league) -- at home. With
games coming up against Arizona and Miami, Williams’ streak
could reach at least six games.
If you’re likely to make your league’s playoffs, take
a look at the schedule during Weeks 15 and 16 (when most leagues
hold their playoffs) and target acquiring players with favorable
matchups during those weeks through trades and waiver-wire pick