Sorry for the delay, folks. Been a long week for the Shot Caller.
Feel free to bounce questions/ideas/etc.off me as I'll definitely
be able to respond by game time. Until then, your Week 10 recommendations:
Must Start: The Top 10
1. Peyton Manning vs. HOU -
He's the quintessential QB surgeon, dissecting anesthetized secondaries
with near mechanical efficiency. Next to go under the knife? A
grossly overmatched Houston D yielding close to 250 yards and
an AFC-worst 18 passing TDs per game. There isn't a better fantasy
start this week at any position. Period.
2. Donovan McNabb @ DAL - Numbers
are often deceiving but this one's not: 33. Astonishingly, that's
the number of plays Philly's offense ran in Pittsburgh last week.
Is it any wonder Don threw for an anemic 109 yards and no scores?
He should bounce back in primetime this Monday but if his defense
doesn't figure out a way to slow down opposing backs, he could
be in for some more rough outings the rest of the way. Just a
note of caution.
3. Daunte Culpepper @ GB - I
realize hindsight's 20-20 but how does he throw only 19 passes
against the league's worst secondary? There's such a thing as
over-strategizing and Coach Tice officially fell prey to this
most cardinal of football sins Monday night. Even minus Randy,
the Vikings MUST mount a more robust passing attack this Sunday,
especially facing a highly susceptible Green Bay secondary.
4. David Carr @ IND - Don't
expect Coach Capers to employ Minnesota's ball-control strategy
at the RCA Dome this week. Though keep-away works against most
teams, it doesn't work against the Colts. Houston's best bet is
to let the highly accurate Carr air it out against a horrible
Indy secondary (70.6% completion rate and 303.4 yards/game).
5. Trent Green @ NO - Speaking
of highly accurate, the white-hot Green has completed nearly 77%
of his passes the last three games. If you watched the Saints
get drubbed last week, you know he stands a pretty good chance
of reaching that mark again this Sunday. He may need to since
the meal ticket, Priest, will likely sit. Expect 300 yards and
at least two scores.
6. Michael Vick vs. TB - You
never know WHAT to expect when Mr. Vick takes the field and though
that's part of his charm from a fan's perspective, it's also what
makes him such a maddening performer for fantasy GMs. Though his
career numbers against Tampa are underwhelming, I'm gambling he'll
be able to build on the amazing performance in Denver two weeks
ago. Wish me luck.
7. Brett Favre vs. MIN - He's
started 216 consecutive games for the Pack, an astonishing number
in and of itself. More impressive? He's played almost every one
of them in pain. They simply don't come any tougher than Favre
(ever) so the sprained thumb needn't concern you. Get him back
in there against a Minnesota secondary that lacks talent and,
at the moment, confidence.
8. Matt Hasselbeck @ STL - He's
been pretty good since Seattle's desert debacle three weeks ago
but is no longer the focal point of the 'Hawks attack. Ironically,
that could be a good thing. Like his aforementioned mentor, he
tends to get overconfident when everything is placed on his shoulders
(see last year's wildcard game at Lambeau). He's much better when
complementing a solid running attack, as he will be again this
9. Tom Brady vs. BUF - Unlike
last week, it won't be a picnic for the two-time Super Bowl MVP
against the Bills this Sunday. Then again, he IS a two-time Super
Bowl MVP. He didn't get there by laying eggs against 3-5 teams.
Expect the usual 250-and-2 ormore if the stingy Buffalo D makes
things tough on Corey Dillon.
10. Ben Roethlisberger @ CLE
- He only threw 18 passes in the slaughter at Heinz Field last
week but still managed almost two bills and a couple scores. In
fact, his passer rating has exceeded 100.0 for five weeks running.
That's great for an elite signal-caller. For a rook? Sensational.
Start him against a good but not great Cleveland secondary.
Grab A Helmet:
Marc Bulger vs. SEA - Statistically
speaking, last week's game was his best yet (a 103.7 rating).
Why didn't it seem like it then? Perhaps the sight of Troy Brown
in New England's secondary (read that again) led me to expect
even more. He should post solid numbers this weekend but will
likely turn it over multiple times against an opportunistic 'Hawks
secondary. Proceed with caution.
Brian Griese @ ATL - Raise your
hand if you thought he and Drew Brees would be the 3rd and 4th
rated passers in the NFL at midseason. Liar. His career numbers
tell us it's likely an anomaly but until something changes, he's
a solid every-week starter. The matchup looks especially juicy
this week as he faces a Falcons D giving up boatloads of passing
yardage (282.3 per game).
Jake Delhomme @ SF - He posted
monster numbers against the Raiders last week (299 yards and three
scores) and should find similar success against their Bay Area
neighbors this Sunday. Though the Niners give up fewer yards through
the air, they don't keep opposing QBs out of the end zone (14
passing TDs yielded) and don't force turnovers (only three picks
so far). Low risk + high reward = good start.
Aaron Brooks vs. KC - He's a
riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. In other words,
he's the most difficult player for me to gauge on a weekly basis.
Though he has all the tools and all the surrounding talent, he
doesn't get much out of them. I like his chances of performing
well this weekend but I wouldn't stake my reputation on it. Beware.
Tim Rattay vs. CAR - He's seemingly
always playing from behind, which means he'll always get plenty
of opportunities to throw the rock. In fact, he's AVERAGING almost
40 passing attempts per game. Even a so-so NFL QB can post good
numbers with that many chances. Continue to play him if you don't
have better options.
Grab A Clipboard:
Marc Brunell vs. CIN - Things
couldn't get much worse in D.C. but if they do, Coach Gibbs could
always resort to the Wing T and let Mr. Portis run the show. After
all, the star tailback did everything but sweep up the joint last
week, running for 147 yards and throwing the game's only touchdown
pass. It's never a good sign when your tailback throws more TD
strikes than your quarterback.
Kyle Boller @ NYJ - Hey, he's
better than Brunell. Of course, that's like saying beets are better
than Brussels sprouts. Blech!
Craig Krenzel @ TEN - If leadership
and knowing how to win were fantasy categories, he'd be a Top
10 start. They're not. Therefore, he isn't. Stay away.
Quincy Carter vs. BAL - That
flush you heard may be the Jets' playoff hopes going down the
tubes. I never liked Carter in Dallas and I'm not about to start
liking him now that he's running the show in Jersey. He's never
thrown for more touchdowns than picks in a season and is unlikely
to do so this year. Expect multiple turnovers this week against
the always opportunistic Ravens D.
Vinny Testaverde vs. PHI - Carter's
replacement in Big D appears to be nearing the end. He's thrown
six INTs the last two games and now squares off against a seething
Philly squad anxious to atone for last week's Steel City dud.
If mobile quarterbacks struggle to stay upright against the Eagles'
blitz-happy D, how do you suppose the cement-footed Vinny will