Must Start: The Top 15
1. Chad Johnson @ PIT—T.O.
breaks his ring finger and promptly proclaims he’ll miss
two to four weeks. CJ nearly gets his face caved in and says merely,
“it’s the first time I’ve been hit in six years.”
If you ever wondered why I diss one trash-slangin’ prima
donna and praise the other, there you go. Expect 7-11 to be yappin’
away come Sunday, stitches and all.
2. Marvin Harrison v. JAX—The
anti-prima donna just goes about his merry business, Sunday after
Sunday, slaying opponents with precision routes and ruthless efficiency.
After two 100-yard outings in a row, it’s quite obvious
he has no intention of letting up, either. I think the best word
to describe Marvin is “relentless.” Sure wish I had
him on my team, tell you that.
3. Anquan Boldin v. STL—The
Harrison/Wayne combo has enjoyed more success thus far but, for
my money, I’d still take Boldin/Fitzgerald. Why? They’re
bigger, stronger, and younger. That last part is especially salient
because it tells me the two Redbirds haven’t yet reached
their immense potential. “Hi, I’m the Shot Caller
and I’m a potential-holic.”
4. Donte Stallworth @ SF—Speaking
of potential, look who decided to fulfill his. In just two short
weeks, Stallworth has everyone in the City of Brotherly Love asking
“T.O. who?” I simply cannot wait for the prodigal
son’s return in Week 5. Here’s hoping his boo-boo
is all better by then.
5. Donald Driver @ DET—I
told you Don had the potential (theme alert) to star this year
for a team that will consistently find itself playing from behind.
Exhibit A: he shagged eight balls for 153 yards as the Pack frantically
sought to keep pace with New Orleans in Week 2. Expect another
100-yard outing at Ford Field this Sunday as the Pack will find
running room hard to come by.
6. Larry Fitzgerald v. STL—He
hasn’t found the end zone yet but I promise you that will
change…soon. In fact, how’s this Sunday sound? The
Rams are comin’ to the desert and Fitz REALLY likes facing
his NFC West foes (eight career scores in 14 games). Start him
7. Torry Holt @ ARI—Holt
has made a pretty decent living torturing his division rivals
and gets another chance to do so when the Rams face off against
the Cards this Sunday at the Cactus. All you need to know about
this weekend’s contest is that it features three top 10
receivers and two questionable defenses. Hope the scoreboard operator
gets some sleep the night before.
8. Antonio Bryant v. PHI—Nobody
gave the Niners much chance of crashing the NFC West party this
year but after two games, one thing is certain: scoring points
isn’t going to be the reason they don’t do it. Bryant
is a huge part of that offensive resurgence as he now leads the
NFL with a gaudy 30+ yards-per-reception. Get him in there and
hope for another long hook-up with Alex Smith.
9. Steve Smith @ TB—The
Panthers are in full crisis mode after falling from Super Bowl
favorite to bottom of the NFC South barrel in the first two weeks.
At least they have company. No way the loser makes the playoffs
so you can bet Smith will do everything he can to suit up for
this Sunday’s nobody-gets-out-alive cage match. Forget the
contract conspiracy. He’s a warrior and wants to compete.
10. Chris Chambers v. TEN—Despite
my reservations about Daunte’s readiness, I went ahead and
drafted Chambers in the second round of my ultra-competitive yearly
league. I’ve since traded him to my little brother (see
below). Not saying you should follow suit but the situation bears
monitoring. His talent and wheels cannot be utilized to their
fullest extent if Culpepper’s unwilling to stand in against
11. Reggie Wayne v. JAX—In
fact, Little Bro just asked me this week if he should trade Chambers
for this guy. I told him “yes.” In the interest of
full disclosure, I should tell you that I’m not always truthful
with Little Bro. After all, fantasy football has nothing to do
with maintaining familial relationships. One could argue it’s
exactly the opposite of that. Can’t wait to whip his candy-a$$
in Week 9, actually.
12. Plaxico Burress @ SEA—He’s
one of six receivers to score touchdowns in both of the first
two weeks and while that list isn’t exactly a who’s
who of name-brand pass grabbers (Cotchery, Colston, Berrian),
it’s still a pretty select club. All about results in this
game, folks, and this guy delivers ‘em more often than not.
Get him in there against the ‘Hawks this weekend.
13. Hines Ward v. CIN—The
Curtain was a fantasy wasteland in Week 2 but there’s no
way that trend continues. Big Ben now has a game under his belt.
Ward seems to be putting the nagging injuries aside. The defense
is already in playoff form. All that’s needed now is some
bulletin board material from you-know-who and we’ve got
ourselves a bonafide rivalry game. Where you at, 85?
14. Laveranues Coles @ BUF—Even
if I’d tried, even if I’d gone out of my way to be
as inaccurate as humanly possible, I couldn’t have been
more wrong about Lav. Leading the league in receiving after two
weeks? I swear. The NFL is so unpredictable sometimes. For turning
that particular trick, Coles wins “Grab Some Wood”
15. Jerricho Cotchery @ BUF—I’m
so flummoxed by Coles’ shocking turnaround, in fact, that
I’ve decided to try a little reverse psychology. I mean,
what are the chances he and Cotchery continue to surpass the century
mark and score touchdowns every week? If I put them BOTH in the
Top 15, there isn’t even a microscopic possibility it happens,
right? Don’t take it personally, Jerricho. Loved the TD
last week, by the way.
Grab a Helmet
Joey Galloway v. CAR—Apparently,
I wasn’t content sullying just Coles’ reputation last
week. I had to go and pile on Mr. Galloway, as well, he of the
zero catches/zero yards from Week 1. His retort? Try a LEAGUE-LEADING
161 yards and nine snags. Looks like somebody got in Chris Simms’
face after Week 1. The line’s more than likely getting longer
after Week 2.
Darrell Jackson/Deion Branch v. NYG—Meet
Seattle’s new and improved receiving corps. Nate Burleson
has struggled to be a contributor thus far and since the ‘Hawks
are thisclose to winning a championship, they obviously don’t
have a lot of patience. That’s where Deion Branch comes
in. I’m not sure he gets them over the top but he’s
certainly a guy who’s been there before. More than once,
in fact. Stay tuned.
Amani Toomer @ SEA—Toomer
fired up the way back machine last Sunday, hauling in twelve passes
for 137 yards and two scores in the Giants’ thrilling overtime
win at the Linc. He then proceeded to collapse on the field due
to dehydration. Hey, I feel ya’, man. Getting old can be
a real you-know-what. Don’t expect him to ever do that again
(the 12-catch part, I mean). Just enjoy the memories and hope
for 75 yards and a score.
Marques Colston v. ATL—I
seem to remember another Hofstra grad coming out of nowhere to
set the league on its ear. Just two weeks in, Colston, a seventh-round
draft pick, has already become Drew Brees’ favorite target,
snagging eight balls for 102 yards and two touches. Go get him
if he’s still out there. 6’4” 230+ pound receivers
don’t grow on trees…and don’t last on the waiver
Matt Jones @ IND—Since
we’ve been talking about potential quite a lot, can we spend
a few moments on this guy? Seriously, how many dudes do YOU know
who reach 6’6” and run 4.3 forties? I’m guessing
you can probably count them on one finger…and that’s
if you happen to be a close personal bud of the former Razorback
field general. He’s barely scratched the surface, folks.
Grab Some Wood
Roy Williams v. GB—Williams
approximates Jones’ natural gifts (same speed, slightly
shorter) but you wouldn’t know it by the way he plays. Two
weeks in, Mr. Guaranteed W isn’t even Detroit’s most
productive receiver. That would be the 6-feet tall, undrafted
Mike Furrey, for the record. Brother.
Troy Williamson v. CHI—The
former Gamecock posted his first 100-yard outing last Sunday against
the Panthers and even made a stellar one-handed grab to keep the
chains moving in OT. What does he do for an encore? Not much,
if you ask me. The Bears are coming to the Twin Cities and it’s
back-to-reality time for Williamson. Sit him down.
Chris Henry @ PIT—Henry’s
a supremely gifted #3 wideout who would probably start for most
teams. Cincinnati’s not most teams, though, and with Houshmandzadeh
due back this weekend, his production is likely to slip. Think
of him as no better than a decent #3 guy or a bye week fill-in
for the time being…and hope he doesn’t run afoul of
the law anytime soon.
Lee Evans v. NYJ—Off to
another sizzling start, I see. Could somebody please tell Mr.
Evans that football season starts in September?