It's been another long week for Daddy Shot Caller so I'll skip the
chitchat (once again) and get right down to business. As always,
you're welcome to e-mail me if you have specific questions/concerns
or wanna talk about players not mentioned in the column. I'm usually
able to answer before game time and I ALWAYS have an opinion, good
or bad. Here we go...
Must Start: The Top 10
1. Daunte Culpepper vs. TEN
- Who's YOUR daddy? Unless you're a Yankees fan, it's Daunte.
The outlandish "on pace" numbers look even more cartoonish
after Week 7: 5,600 yards and 58 touchdowns. Can he keep it up
if Randy goes down for an extended spell? Nope. Do you still want
2. Peyton Manning vs. JAX -
In any other season, Peyton's projected totals would look pretty
ridiculous, too (4,200 yards and 45 TDs). By comparison, they
look just ho-hum. Then again, most fantasy owners can live with
that kind of ho-hum. He gets the Jags for the second time in four
weeks and on the Indy fast track, to boot. Get him back in there.
3. Donovan McNabb @ CLE - Don
looked pretty shaky against Carolina, completing barely 50% of
his passes. No need to panic, though. He faces yet another suspect
D in Cleveland and should be primed for a bounce-back performance.
It doesn't hurt that his main target has made this one personal.
A motivated T.O. is a productive T.O.
4. Matt Hasselbeck @ ARI - Don't
blame him for the 'Hawks' current two-game skid. The defense is
springing leaks and his receivers are (once again) having a hard
time holding onto the football. Provided they're able to turn
things around this weekend (the receivers, not the defense), he
should post some big numbers in the desert.
5. Tom Brady vs. NYJ - Only
in Boston could Brady and his unbeaten Pats play second fiddle.
This week, they face a 5-0 Jets squad that isn't as good as advertised.
Even if they were, you wouldn't sit Brady. He's made a career
out of beating quality opponents. Mark him down for 200+ yards
and at least two more scores. Oh
and mark this down, too:
New England 2, New York 0.
6. Michael Vick @ KC - Good
coaches don't let philosophy interfere with ability. That's a
fancy way of saying the jury's still out on Mora Jr. When he gives
Michael some leash, there isn't a more dangerous weapon in the
game (Randy Moss included). When he doesn't
well, let's just
say it makes you wish you'd drafted someone like
7. Byron Leftwich @ IND - Call
him the anti-Mike. He's big, slow, right-handed, and prefers the
pocket to the perimeter. Of course, he does share one thing in
common with Mr. Vick: a rocket launcher for a throwing arm. This
week, he faces an Indy bunch yielding well over three bills a
game. Start him, sit back, and watch the fantasy points pile up.
8. Marc Bulger @ MIA - He's
starting to round into form and even reacquainted himself with
#1 target, Torry Holt, last Monday night. Unfortunately, he faces
a tough Miami secondary in Week 7. He'll still get his yards (how
could he not in that offense?) but will likely turn the ball over
several times. If you can live with that, disregard.
9. Steve McNair @ MIN - What
do Jeff Garcia, Josh McCown, Mark Brunell, and Rex Grossman have
in common? They all have a higher passer rating than McNair through
six weeks. That may be cause for concern in the long run but not
this week. He draws a very generous Vikes' D (293.8 passing yards/game)
and will need a big game to keep pace with Culpepper and Co.
10. Chad Pennington @ NE - We
expected more than five touchdowns through five weeks but it's
hard to argue with the unblemished record. Unfortunately for his
owners, C-Mart's gain has been Pennington's loss. Making matters
worse, the Jets rarely play from behind. That won't be the case
this week against the twenty-and-running Pats. Expect lots of
yards and a touch or two in the losing effort.
Grab A Helmet:
Brett Favre vs. DAL - See what
happens when you don't fall behind by three touchdowns in the
first quarter? The D finally played with some fire last Sunday
and the result was a trip to the woodshed for Detroit. Favre administered
most of the whippings with 257 yards and two scores. He could
be similarly successful this week against a seriously short-handed
Aaron Brooks @ OAK - Numbers
never lie but sometimes they can be awfully misleading. Exhibit
A? Brooks. He always manages to throw for a bunch of yards and
more TDs than INTs. Yet, his team is rarely (if ever) above .500.
Bottom line: he's not a gamer. Fortunately for you, fantasy is
all about the numbers. Guess that's why they call it fantasy,
Jake Delhomme vs. SD - Speaking
of fantasies, what was the Carolina brass thinking when they awarded
him a $38 million contract extension this past off-season? He's
not the kind of QB who can carry a ballclub and for that kinda
money, he should be. If he doesn't get things going against a
dreadful Chargers secondary this week, things could get ugly in
Charlotte. He will and they won't
Kurt Warner vs. DET - Last we
saw Warner, he was efficiently leading the Giants to a 4-1 record
in Big D. Indeed, "efficient" seems to be his modus
operandi this season. There's nothing dazzling about three TDs
in five contests but the single pick and the 225 yards-per-tilt
tell us he's capable of some big days. He might just bust out
against a Lions defense struggling to stop the pass (278.6 ypg).
Jake Plummer @ CIN - He only
completed 11 passes against the hated Raiders last weekend. Amazingly,
three of them went for scores. That's called getting it done with
limited opportunities, folks. I don't like Jake as a long-term
solution but he's worth a matchup play here and there. Cincinnati's
26th-ranked defense is definitely a good matchup.
Vinny Testaverde @ GB - Joey
Harrington was unable to capitalize on the Pack's deficiencies
last week but the wily Vinny will definitely have more success
this Sunday at Lambeau. Why? He's more accurate, has better receivers,
and knows the only way Dallas has a chance is if he chucks it
40+ times. Start him if you don't have better options.
Grab A Clipboard:
Kyle Boller vs. BUF - Two weeks
haven't dulled the memory of his last, most frightening performance:
nine completions, 81 yards, and three picks. That's one pick for
every three completions if you're scoring at home. Making matters
worse (they can GET worse?), he'll be without the meal ticket,
Jamal Lewis, this weekend. Coach Billick is sticking by him but
he doesn't have much of a choice. You do.
Drew Bledsoe @ BAL - He'll be
the best QB on the field for the second week in a row. Of course,
when your opponents are named Fiedler and Boller, that's not saying
much. I doubt you've been starting Bledsoe anyway but if you have
been, it's time for Plan B. He faces the ever-ferocious (and well
rested) Ravens this week and could lose his job in another two
or three when J.P. Losman returns.
Jonathan Quinn or Craig Krenzel @ TB
- Are the Bears joking? They'd be better off with ANTHONY Quinn
under center than the alleged signal-caller who shares his surname.
Krenzel, on the other hand, hasn't been relevant since the last
time his alma mater was. Oh, by the way? That Buckeyes team didn't
win a national championship because of great quarterback play.
Cover your eyes.
Jay Fiedler vs. STL - With apologies
to Jake Plummer, Fiedler threw the worst interception of the season
in Buffalo last week. Naturally, it cost the Fish seven points
in a game they ultimately lost by (you guessed it) seven points.
Minus the turnovers, he's a marginal fantasy play. With them,
he's a terrible one. Stay away.
Carson Palmer vs. DEN - It's
been all downhill since a solid debut at the Meadowlands in Week
1. What's the problem? Peter Warrick's mysterious leg injury hasn't
helped. Neither has a woeful effort from the defense. Playing
come-from-behind isn't the route you wanna take with a new field
general and it's DEFINITELY not the route you wanna take against
a #1-ranked Denver D on Monday night. Expect a crescendo of "Kitna
for QB" calls after this one.