Fantasy Football News 2007

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#81
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Fine Tuning
We're getting down to mere hours now before the start of the season and, if you're like me, you're starting to get a little twitchy with anticipation. In just a little while, you will find out if all of your drafting and preseason studying really did much good.

But if you've already drafted, this is also one of the quietest weeks of the season. If your draft is coming up, you obviously are doing everything to get ready that we have talked about in the past. But for everybody else, there are not many moves to make yet and you're not really beating yourself up about who to start.

You should have a pretty good idea of who you're starting. You drafted a team with some probable starters in mind. Yes, you might have questions about filling a flex slot or your third wide receiver if you have a couple of relatively similar players. The tough questions don't come until one of your regulars fail to produce and you have a backup on the bench who keeps scoring more points.

For the most part, the individual matchups do not matter too much for this week. There are some exceptions, of course, and here are a few games that could get you thinking.

Detroit at Oakland

Sitting a few Lions, such as quarterback Jon Kitna or rookie wide receiver Calvin Johnson makes sense. The Raiders return a strong pass defense and an inconsistent team on the road such as Detroit could have difficulty in its opener. Kitna and Johnson probably are not automatic starters anyhow so you're OK sitting them.

Wide receiver Roy Williams is on my list of automatic starters so plug him in without looking at the matchup. Running back Tatum Bell is a more difficult question. The matchup is not a cinch, but you might have fewer weeks to play Bell than we originally thought. Once Kevin Jones gets back, Bell's production figures to drop and this is a case of getting what you can from him now.

Baltimore at Cincinnati

This game is causing some consternation among many Bengals owners, but you need to stick with them. You went after Carson Palmer, Rudi Johnson, Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh to be integral parts of your team. Even though it's Week 1 and it's against the Ravens and emotions will be high on both sides, you don't want to sit any of your stars right out of the gate. That's simply part of the fun of the game.

Giants at Dallas

The Giants can't stay out of the news for all kinds of off-field reasons so they should be grateful to get back on the field again. One thing to watch here is the health of the Cowboys' secondary. If Terence Newman's foot injury sidelines him, that means guys such as Jacque Reeves and Nathan Jones will be lining up at cornerback. With QB Eli Manning having a surprisingly accurate preseason and completing 68.6% of his 51 attempts, his eyes ought to light up against that secondary. As much of a mess as the Giants eventually could turn into this year, look for them to come out winging it in this game.

Panthers at Rams

Last year, the Panthers shut out the Rams 15-0, easily St. Louis' worst offensive game of the season. Star running back Steven Jackson had only 27 yards on seven carries, both his lowest of the year by far. So the natural question is if we should expect a repeat? Um, no. This game has a potential shootout feel to it with the Rams ready to come out of the gate strong at home. Carolina comes in with several holes on defense, especially in the secondary. The Rams will move the ball and Jackson should match his regular production with a TD shot or two.

Roster fine-tuning

In addition to being aware of some the intriguing matchups coming out of the gate, you also want to make sure your roster is in top-top shape. And that means you need to be aware of all of that late-preseason moves that teams have been making. Your rock-solid team might have a few more unexpected cracks today than a few days ago.

David Garrard

The Jaguars' quarterback move was one of the biggest changes to come out of the last weekend, but there is little reason to think he will be any better of a fantasy quarterback than Byron Leftwich was. And Leftwich was not anything great. The only good news that is Garrard should have a little more job security than Leftwich would have if he had stuck around, even though Garrard was benched late in the season finale last year. Garrard is a marginal No. 2 quarterback and better suited as a third quarterback in deep leagues.

Selvin Young

The undrafted rookie is the hot name to scoop up after the Broncos made him the backup to starter Travis Henry and moved Mike Bell to fullback. Bell reportedly is on the trading block and you probably should grab Young if you have an extra roster slot, but replacing Bell with Young is a more difficult question. If Henry were injured and missed any significant length of time, chances are the Broncos would move Bell back to tailback. Bell did have 157 carries and eight TDs last season, production and experience that would carry some weight if it were needed.

Patrick Crayton</B>

He has improved slowly throughout his three-year career and now appears to be one opportunity away from turning into a breakout candidate. And that chance might be upcoming with the Cowboys needing youth at wide receiver behind veterans Terrell Owens and Terry Glenn. Glenn already missed most of the preseason because of a knee injury and his status is unclear heading into Week 1. Crayton figures to see more playing time now and if he does well against a beat-up Giants secondary, the Cowboys can afford to be much more cautious with Glenn all season.

Torry Holt

Questions have been flying over the past few weeks because Holt was barely heard from in the preseason following supposedly minor knee surgery in the spring. But there are a couple of things at work here. First, Holt is one of those established veterans who do not need much, if any, playing time to get ready for the regular season. He has played with quarterback Marc Bulger for five seasons, and those two already work well together. That also allows the Rams to be extra cautious with Holt even if he really is able to play. Unless word comes that Holt can't go, he should be an automatic go for you.

Kenton Keith

No, you probably should not have heard of this guy. But the Colts dumped somebody else you hadn't heard of, DeDe Dorsey, to make Keith the backup to first-round pick Joseph Addai. It's a very risky position for the Colts to take and nobody is suggesting that Keith would match Addai if he had to play. But he is somebody to be aware of and possibly pick up if you have an extra roster spot. Keith is about as well-known as Dominic Rhodes was before Edgerrin James was injured in 2001.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Vernand Morency

Make sure Morency isn't floating out there on your waiver wire if you're eligible to pick him up. Morency returned to practice this week after missing most of the preseason because of a knee injury and rookie Brandon Jackson has not exactly locked down the starting running back job. Morency will get some playing time as soon as he is ready and the long-term outlook at the position is up in the air.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#82
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Chiefs to Lessen LJ's Workload
With Priest Holmes officially out of the picture through at least Week 6, coach Herm Edwards said Tuesday that he plans to give Michael Bennett plenty of early work until Larry Johnson "gets his legs underneath him" following a lengthy holdout. Johnson seeing a reduced workload for a while won't make his fantasy owners happy, but it's likely the best thing for his long-term value after he racked up an NFL-record 416 carries (plus 41 catches) last season.

Running backs coming off that type of massive workload have historically tended to break down at alarming rates soon after, which is why Johnson enters the season ranked as the No. 5 fantasy running back in Rotoworld's online draft guide despite totaling 2,200 yards and 19 touchdowns in 2006. While Edwards is responsible for working Johnson so hard last year, he seems to understand that doing so again could be disastrous.

"When I took this job I didn't anticipate him carrying the ball that much," Edwards said. "It's kind of ironic. He's back, signed a big contract, and now he's not going to get the ball as much." Of course, as Helmuth von Moltke once said, "No plan survives contact with the enemy." Edwards may be planning to lessen Johnson's workload, but we'll see what he actually does once the Chiefs' sub par offense stalls without Johnson getting his hands on the ball 30 times per game.

While Johnson's projected Week 1 value declines thanks to the Chiefs' coaching staff making a smart decision, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Speculation has been building throughout training camp that Ronnie Brown's hold on the starting job in Miami is not nearly as secure as initially thought. New coach Cam Cameron is familiar with Jesse Chatman from their days together in San Diego and indicated Monday that some sort of job-sharing arrangement could be in order. "You need two backs in this business," Cameron said. "You'll see both those backs in a game."

It's interesting to note that Cameron had one of the league's premiere backups in Michael Turner while orchestrating the Chargers' offense last season, yet didn't let him steal many of LaDainian Tomlinson's touches. Turner got plenty of work early and averaged a whopping 6.3 yards per carry overall, but received a grand total of just 28 carries from Week 6 to Week 16. The Miami Herald speculated that a true Brown-Chatman split may be forthcoming, but I'd bet against it.

However, it's clear that Cameron thinks highly of Chatman and plans to give him significant work. For now Chatman's workload likely isn't enough to make him a fantasy factor, but it definitely takes some of the air out of Brown's short-term stock. In the 13 games that he appeared in last season, Brown received 84 percent of the carries that went to Dolphins running backs. At this point it would be surprising if that number doesn't drop, perhaps to around the two-thirds mark.

* Speaking of potential job-sharing arrangements, it sounds like the Redskins will be splitting carries between Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts early on. Portis practiced Monday, signaling that he's recovered from knee tendinitis, but coach Joe Gibbs said afterward that Portis will "start off, and he and Betts will take the load" in Week 1. Further, the Washington Post reported Tuesday that Betts "seems likely to be used frequently" for the first several weeks.

Betts was fantastic while subbing for an injured Portis last season, racking up 1,154 yards on 245 carries (4.7 YPC), including six 100-yard games. He also caught 53 passes for another 445 yards, showing himself to be a gifted receiver out of the backfield. Betts is likely the best backup in football?assuming that you can call someone coming off a 1,600-yard season a backup?and Portis is far from a sure thing to remain healthy after missing half of the 2006 schedule.

At best Portis figures to get about 75 percent of the carries all season and every indication points to that number being far closer to 50-50 initially. If that's the case and Betts takes on much of the third-down work, then Portis becomes an iffy RB2 option. Betts signed a very reasonable five-year contract extension in December, so he's not going anywhere for a while. Regardless of Portis' health and performance, I'll be shocked if Betts doesn't get at least 150-175 touches.

* With Chris Perry on the PUP list, the Bengals were left with Kenny Watson as Rudi Johnson's primary backup and predictably attempted to improve the situation by claiming Antonio Pittman off waivers from the Saints. Unfortunately, they lost out on the fourth-round pick thanks to a win-loss record tiebreaker, so Pittman is now property of the Rams and begins the season stuck behind both Steven Jackson and fellow rookie Brian Leonard on the depth chart.

It's tough to criticize the Saints' brain trust at this point, but using a fourth-round pick on Pittman was iffy to begin with given the presence of both Reggie Bush and Deuce McAllister. Picking Pittman and then letting him go for nothing is perhaps the most inexplicable cutting of a draft pick in a year that saw a pair of third rounders (Buster Davis, Quentin Moses) cut loose. After missing out on Pittman, the Bengals successfully claimed Clifton Dawson off waivers from the Colts.

An undrafted rookie out of Harvard, Dawson is an intriguing player, but likely won't develop into the snap-stealing threat that Pittman may become. Meanwhile, after letting Dawson leave the Colts will go with Kenton Keith as Joseph Addai's backup. A CFL star with zero NFL experience, Keith beat out DeDe Dorsey for the gig. However, the Colts figure to turn Addai into an every-down workhorse now that Dominic Rhodes is in Oakland, so it won't matter unless injury strikes.

Two-Minute Drill: Judging from their respective body languages following meetings with coach Lane Kiffin, the San Francisco Chronicle speculates that Daunte Culpepper beat out Josh McCown to start in Week 1 ? A trendy pick this time last season, Wali Lundy couldn't secure the Texans' No. 3 running-back job behind Ahman Green and Ron Dayne, getting cut in favor of Samkon Gado (who once stepped in for Green with the Packers) ? Rookie Zach Miller will be the Raiders' starting tight end and has the potential be a solid TE2 ? Simeon Rice's one-year deal with the Broncos is worth $3 million plus incentives, and he could see time as a situational pass rusher immediately ? Donald Lee will be the Packers' starting tight end in Week 1, but Bubba Franks figures to get plenty of playing time ? In his upcoming book, Tiki Barber writes that he might still be playing for the Giants if not for a horrible relationship with coach Tom Coughlin.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Red Zone: Asked Tuesday about Torry Holt's (knee) health status, coach Scott Linehan said that "he looked 100 percent to me today" ? Thomas Jones (calf) practiced Monday for the first time since August 12, with the New York Daily News reporting that it "looked like he will play in the opener" ? Darrell Jackson (hamstring) missed practice Tuesday for the second straight day, but is expected to suit up Monday night against the Cardinals ? Plaxico Burress (back) practiced Tuesday and looks likely to play in Week 1 ? After missing two weeks, Damon Huard (calf) returned to practice Monday and is set to start in Week 1 ? Drew Bennett (quadriceps) sat out practice Tuesday, but said afterward that he expects to play in Week 1 ? Jonathan Ogden (toe) participated in individual drills Monday and practiced Tuesday, but the Baltimore Sun reports that he's "still a question mark" for Week 1.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#83
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

The Fantasy Showbar
Ring the canons, fire the hounds, and loose the bells -- you're only one day away from fantasy football season. Granted, unless you're one of those 365-day per year super-nerds, most of you will have probably just started weaning yourself off of a summer tv-watching routine of "Ugly Betty" reruns and "Rock of Love" marathons. Emasculate yourself no more, young Funston, for your day of reckoning has arrived.

Yes, it's officially time to inoculate yourself for 16 weeks of faux-pigskin geekdom that'll take precedence over everything: family, friends, sex (in all forms), major surgeries, financial obligations, funerals for pets, and personal hygiene. Your life has now morphed into one big, giant Stat Tracker, constantly loading and reloading with information that ranges from vital to miniscule. In fact, it's probably been doing that for the last two weeks, but you just don't even realize it yet. (Honestly, if you've been name-dropping Jessie Chatman at the bar, you might as well just propose to your left hand right now. See: Pitzer, Matt.)

But, here, each week at the Showbar, I'll track some of the players I'm currently using on my five fantasy teams: gushing about the ones that make this season worthwhile and concocting various vicious torture techniques for those who don't.

It should be mildly amusing. En garte!

[SIZE=+1]GUSH[/SIZE]

Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings: I'm apparently drafting him waaay too high in most leagues according to some, ahem, "experts", but how can you pass on the possibility he might do something magical? Chester Taylor could get 40 carries a game for all I care, but it won't change my mind about starting Adrian Peterson. He's my WR/RB slot show pony. I'm drunk on the possibility. He's MINE. In fact, yes, for the rest of the year, I've officially named my left hand Adrian Peterson.

D.J. Hackett, Seattle Seahawks: He's your typical sleeper candidate that everybody loves to draft in round 12 so they can talk about his upside and the potential big play ability that he'll bring to the Seahawks offense. Me? I like his name: D.J. Hackett. Try yelling it in your best Sam Jackson voice: DJ HACK-IT. That just sounds like a wide receiver's name. Or a bad-ass detective show.

Brian Leonard, St. Louis Rams: Who doesn't lose their mind when white guys from Rutgers start leaping over linebackers? And, of course, there's the whole backup plan if Steven Jackson gets crippled-aspect that also makes him appealing. But he's totally got that Nick Goings-in 2004 look about him. And any member of the Scarlet Knights you put on your team is also a subtle protest against racial insensitivity by morning radio personalities.

[SIZE=+1]MAIM[/SIZE]

Kansas City Chiefs: Hasn't "Hard Knock Life" just spooked everybody? I'd rather eat a sandwich using Gunther Cunningham's Skoal-ravaged gums as lunchmeat than be stuck with an offensive player from this ugly squad. Yes, even Larry Johnson's almost guaranteed dominance still doesn't make up for the fact that I don't want to have any reason to watch the Chiefs this year at all. I think October Gonzalez's left implant could potentially have a better quarterback rating than both Brodie Croyle and Duane Huard this year.

Clinton Portis, Washington Redskins: This is the year Clinton Portis officially becomes a fantasy drain. He's still too talented to bench every week but Ladell Betts is appearing more and more like the most productive member of the Redskins backfield. And he'll do so without silly costumed-press conferences or making unfortunate proclamations about Michael Vick's innocence. However, that's his downside as well. Somebody should really put a purple wig on Ladell Betts and give him a script of asinine things to say of the dog-fighting-is-just-like-hunting-variety just to keep him interesting.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Travis Henry, RB, Denver Broncos: How can a man with such an active sperm count be depended upon week-to-week in high altitudes? There's not a medical correlation between the two (yet), but it is something to consider. Plus, personally, I'm afraid if I put him on my team, I'll end up three months pregnant.

[SIZE=+1]Next Year's Team Name[/SIZE]

Joe Theisman's Prostate Exam
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#84
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Week 1 Rankings

It won't take long to find out if Donovan McNabb is all the way back. Philly's Week 1 opponent, the Green Bay Packers, have quietly built their best defensive line since Reggie White was roaming Lambeau. Aaron Kampman leads a unit that will be a stern test for Philadelphia's mammoth offensive line. When McNabb does get time to pass, he'll have to deal with one of the best cornerback tandems in the NFL: Al Harris and Charles Woodson. Don't discount a big fantasy day from McNabb; Andy Reid throws in volume even if the team isn't at peak efficiency. If the Eagles do put in a good showing this Sunday, it could be a sign that McNabb is ready to compete for top fantasy quarterback honors again. The defensive backfields in the NFC East aren't close to Green Bay's caliber.
Tampabaybuccaneers.com
***

Welcome to the first Goal Line Stand of the year. If you are as dorky as I am, you jumped out of bed a little quicker than usual this morning. It's my favorite day of the season because it's the one furthest from the season ending.

For newcomers to Goal Line Stand, this is the spot each Thursday where I'll rank all the worthwhile fantasy options for the week, with notes culled primarily by the power of Tivo. The rankings coincide with our Season Pass rankings and projections, which begin to roll out on Tuesday each week. The rankings are made for standard scoring leagues without points-per-reception. Matchups are important, especially at quarterback and running back, but I try not to get too carried away early in the year before all the new defensive trends shake out.

If you haven't signed up for the free-to-play $100K Challenge, what are you waiting for? Sign up today and prove you are the best fantasy player in the country.

[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]


<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Peyton Manning</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Marc Bulger</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Tom Brady</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Matt Hasselbeck</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Jon Kitna</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Eli Manning</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Matt Leinart</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Vince Young</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Jeff Garcia</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>J.P. Losman</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Josh McCown</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>Expected to start </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Steve McNair</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Rex Grossman</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Tarvaris Jackson</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Chad Pennington</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Joey Harrington</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Charlie Frye</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: It's could be a tough week for Vince Young owners. Jacksonville's stalwart defense is healthy again, and Young figures to struggle against elite pass defense. Young combined for only 248 passing yards in two games against Jacksonville last year, with one touchdown and three picks. He barely ran in both games ... Our excellent Matchups writer from Football Outsiders suggests benching Carson Palmer this week, but I'm not that bold. I still have memories of Palmer's 383-yard, three touchdown coming-of-age fireworks show he dropped on Baltimore back in 2004. Palmer struggled against the Ravens in both matchups last year, but topped 300 yards three times in four tries earlier in his career. He's too good to bench.

Eli Manning should strafe a beleaguered Dallas secondary if he gets protection. Expect Wade Phillips to send the house in an effort to protect his back seven. It could lead to big plays. ? I hesitate to assume too much going into Week 1, because 2007 just won't start how last year ended. Many of our assumptions will be proved wrong. That said, it's hard to imagine Oakland's defense falling off too much after returning every starter. This won't be Jon Kitna's best effort.

David Garrard gets an easy first matchup against a Pacman-less Titans secondary. Tennessee's has even more questions on defense (MLB, DE, the whole defensive backfield) than offense. Vince Young will have his hands full. He combined for 248 yards, one touchdown, and three picks in two games against the Jaguars last year. They are one of the few defenses athletic enough to contain Young on the ground. Bench him if you have a good option. ? Ben Roethlisberger will be a solid option most weeks, but Cleveland has one of the best young secondaries in the league. Expect Pittsburgh to focus on the run.



[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Joseph Addai</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Willie Parker</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Shaun Alexander</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Laurence Maroney</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Travis Henry</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Brandon Jacobs</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Rudi Johnson</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Carnell Williams</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Ronnie Brown</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>LaMont Jordan</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Deuce McAllister</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Julius Jones</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Cedric Benson</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Ahman Green</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Tatum Bell</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>DeShaun Foster</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Jesse Chatman</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Chris Brown</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Ron Dayne</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Sammy Morris</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Anthony Thomas</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Kenny Watson</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>T.J. Duckett</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>(CHI)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Vernand Morency</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Brian Leonard</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: LenDale White fits the Titans offense better than Chris Brown. That's why they drafted him to replace Brown two years ago. White has a lax reputation, but his consistent grinding for yards-after-contact in the preseason showed a toughness Brown doesn't have. White's best two performances in Titans uniform were the last two games of the preseason, earning him plenty of work this week against a tough Jaguars defense. While Brown will play some on third-downs, White should also catch passes because Vince Young loves to check down. I only like White this week as a flex because of the matchup. ? LaDainian Tomlinson has had some slow starts over the years, and his early schedule (CHI, @ NE) could mean another one is coming. With Tomlinson, everything is relative. His slumps are better than everyone else. ? Practice reports out of San Francisco have been very positive concerning Frank Gore. Don't be concerned with him.

I downgraded Larry Johnson in the middle of the week, but you'd have to have a loaded backfield and no flex spot available to bench him against the Texans. 15 carries and a few catches against Houston is worth playing. ? I'll believe the Ronnie Brown-Jesse Chatman split of carries when I see it, and not before. Chatman is a big concern for all Ronnie owners, but the real stuff hasn't even begun. I watched more tape of Brown this preseason, and I couldn't see what the Dolphins were disappointed in. Maybe it's his practice habits. ? The Jets may not try to run the ball often against the Patriots. They didn't last season, and it worked pretty well. New England's weaknesses are in the secondary, so it may not be a heavy workload for Thomas Jones in his first game back from a calf injury. He's a below-average RB2 this week.

On paper, Seattle should have one of the worst rush defenses in the league. They did last year, and lost their best run-stuffer Marcus Tubbs for the season late in the preseason. That bodes well for Carnell Williams this week. ? The Panthers backfield battle has not received much attention. DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams have a good matchup this week, but it's hard to evaluate them without seeing any usage patterns from the new Carolina coordinator. John Fox was highly unpredictable late last year using the two, and the trend could frustrate owners. More than any other borderline flex play, Williams gets a huge boost in PPR leagues. ? Warrick Dunn is starting over Jerious Norwood this week. It's worth benching both players if possible against Minnesota until the mess in Atlanta starts to shake itself out. ? Vernand Morency will probably play against Philadelphia as a third-down back.

[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Reggie Wayne</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Marvin Harrison</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Chad Johnson</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Andre Johnson</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Roy Williams</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Marques Colston</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Javon Walker</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Plaxico Burress</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Reggie Brown</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Deion Branch</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Randy Moss</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Calvin Johnson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Joey Galloway</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Kevin Curtis</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Darrell Jackson</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>(hamstring, limited in practice)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>D.J. Hackett</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Devery Henderson</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Ernest Wilford</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Greg Jennings</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Joe Horn</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Donte' Stallworth</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Mike Furrey</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Drew Bennett</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>(thigh, missing practice)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>James Jones</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Terry Glenn</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Wes Welker</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Brandon Jones</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>Expected to start</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Marty Booker</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Matt Jones</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Troy Williamson</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>56</TD><TD>Joe Jurevicius</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>57</TD><TD>Eddie Kennison</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>58</TD><TD>Maurice Stovall</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>59</TD><TD>Keary Colbert</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>Should start </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>60</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: Bill Barnwell did a great study in Pro Football Prospectus this year that will inform his matchup column and these rankings. Basically, the effect of matchups on receivers (wideouts and tight ends) is far less than on quarterbacks and running backs. While we think of wide receivers as inconsistent, you generally don't want to get too cute sitting a top-20 option. You will see less fluctuation in the weekly wide receiver rankings than the other position, and that's why this top-60 isn't so different than our draft guide rankings.

Randy Moss and Donald Driver received sizeable downgrades this week because of injury concerns. Moss is fully practicing, but may not he a huge part of the offense after missing so much of camp. I'd be surprised if he takes more than 40 snaps. He's still ranked so high because he's easily the most likely Patriots wideout to score a touchdown. New England will put him in positions to succeed this year, and that should mean plenty of work near the goal line. ? Rotoworld news pro Evan Silva disagrees, but I'd play Calvin Johnson as a third receiver against the Raiders. Oakland has a great pass defense, but not great enough to bench a top-20 projected receiver if you start three. The Lions are floating reports that Johnson may not start, but he'll get starter-worthy snaps and targets regardless. Even Mike Furrey will be a decent option in PPR leagues most weeks if Detroit throws fifty times a game. ? DJ Hackett Nation hasn't had a good preseason, but I'm a long way from giving up. Per-play, he's been one of the best receivers in the NFL the last two years on Sundays. All he needs to do is keep up his level of play, post his numbers, and Mike Holmgren will forget about giving Nate Burleson significant snaps. Tampa Bay is a fine matchup for Seattle this week, so he's staying in a few of my deeper lineups.

There are contrasting reports on Terry Glenn's readiness for this weekend. He should play, but perhaps not a full complement of snaps. That makes Patrick Crayton a reasonable flex option in 3WR, PPR leagues, but that's about it. I'd wait to see how Glenn looks before using him as well. ? Drew Bennett has missed a few practices with a thigh injury, but Torry Holt isn't even on the injury report. Play Holt with confidence. ? Darrell Jackson is already missing practices for the 49ers, which isn't a great sign, but he's expected to start on Monday night. Keep an eye on him though if he's in your lineup. ? Ernest Wilford is available in many leagues and wouldn't make a terrible WR3 option this week against the Pacman-less Titans secondary. He's the favorite to lead Jacksonville in targets.

[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Jeremy Shockey</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Ben Watson</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Dallas Clark</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Daniel Graham</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>David Martin</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Eric Johnson</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Visanthe Shiancoe</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Tony Scheffler</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Chris Baker</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Ben Troupe</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Greg Olsen</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>Gametime decision (knee)</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

TE Notes: Here are the tight ends I'm watching the closest on Sunday.

Alge Crumpler ? Will he continue to be a huge part of the Atlanta passing game. And is he healthy?

Kellen Winslow ? Will his knee surgery affect his ability to get yards after the catch.

David Martin - - Will he get Antonio Gates-like targets in Miami.

Owen Daniels, Bo Scaife, Marcedes Lewis, Tony Scheffler, Alex Smith - So many good young tight ends, fantasy leagues could conceivably require two starters someday and have decent options. Whoever emerges from this group early will be popular waiver choices.

Ben Watson - Will he get lost in the wideout-heavy Patriots offense?

Vernon Davis- Will he hurt any Cardinals by running them over?

[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Patriots Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Colts Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Dolphins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Seahawks Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Lions Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Giants Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Adam Vinatieri</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Jeff Wilkins</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>vs. CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>at SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>vs. BAL</TD><TD>Sidelined(hip)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Olindo Mare</TD><TD>at IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Josh Scobee</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Stephen Gostkowski</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>vs. TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Jason Hanson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>at BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>at SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>vs. PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>vs. DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>at CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Mike Nugent</TD><TD>vs. NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Matt Prater</TD><TD>at DAL</TD><TD< TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>vs. PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Justin Medlock</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Lawrence Tynes</TD><TD>at MIN</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#85
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

It's Go Time!
I debated trying to come up with a witty intro for this column, perhaps comparing today to Christmas morning or something equally as cute, but quickly decided that's probably not even necessary. Peyton Manning and the defending champion Colts match up in prime time tonight against Drew Brees, Reggie Bush, and the Saints to kick off five straight months of non-stop football. Let's see some fat guy in a red suit stick that in a box and fit it under a tree.

While we count down the seconds before the first of this season's 267 games kicks off, here are some notes from around football ?

* After causing a minor stir for the past week by strongly hinting that Ronnie Brown's hold on the starting job wasn't secure, coach Cam Cameron predictably announced Wednesday that Brown is indeed still the Dolphins' starter. The fact that the team turned a non-story into a relatively big issue is worth noting, because they either felt the need to motivate Brown through the media or thought that Jesse Chatman presented legitimate competition for the gig.

Whatever the case, Brown can safely be used as a solid RB2 in Week 1 against the Redskins. However, it's worth keeping an eye on how Cameron splits up the carries, because he's given every indication that he won't be using Brown as an every-down workhorse. As pointed out in this space yesterday, Brown received 84 percent of the carries given to Dolphins running backs in the 13 games he played last season, so even as a backup Chatman's presence could change things.

* A relatively big fantasy name thanks to a pair of 1,200-yard seasons in 2004 and 2005, Reuben Droughns signing with the Giants as a backup likely put a scare into Brandon Jacobs owners. However, the Rotoworld staff has been suggesting all offseason that Droughns wasn't much of a threat to Jacobs' workload, although Monday's news that Derrick Ward has overtaken him as the team's No. 2 running back still comes as a minor surprise.

NBC Sunday Night Football analyst John Madden actually hinted at Ward's higher-than-expected status during a game last month, suggesting that coach Tom Coughlin preferred him over Droughns. Of course, unless an injury strikes Jacobs the whole point will mostly be moot. While Ward (or Droughns) could steal some of his third-down touches, Jacobs is a lock for all the goal-line work and will clearly be getting a huge percentage of the Giants' carries.

* It was assumed that Tatum Bell would get most of the snaps in the Lions' backfield while Kevin Jones is out, but Tom Kowalski of MLive.com speculated Wednesday that T.J. Duckett could be more involved in the running game than initially expected. Kowalski wrote that Duckett "raised some eyebrows with his versatility" and added that "regardless of who starts, this could turn into a running back-by-committee situation."

Duckett was already set to get the goal-line work, the pass-happy Lions don't figure to have a whole lot of carries to go around in the first place, and it's looking more and more like Jones could be back within a few weeks. Add it all up and Bell's value suddenly becomes pretty marginal. Gregg Rosenthal ranks him as the No. 31 running back in his Week 1 Goal Line Stand rankings, and I tend to agree. I'd tell you where Duckett ranks too, but you should check it out for yourself.

* Another season, another batch of Broncos running backs who coach Mike Shanahan can use to confuse and frustrate the fantasy football world. Travis Henry is Denver's clear-cut starter and figures to put together a hugely productive season if he can remain healthy, but Shanahan has already begun his usual depth-chart shuffling behind him. In an interesting twist, both Mike Bell and Cecil Sapp have been shifted to fullback.

That leaves undrafted rookie Selvin Young as Henry's backup, which is textbook Shanahan. The job was assumed to be Bell's for most of the offseason, but Shanahan said Monday that he thinks Bell "can be a Pro Bowl fullback" and "can be a special player there." The pecking order behind Henry figures to change constantly throughout the season, but for now at least Young is the Broncos backup to get.

* The following has absolutely nothing do with fantasy football, but this is my column and some things simply must be shared: According to the San Francisco Chronicle, 49ers tight end Vernon Davis is rumored to have dated Serena Williams. A ridiculous blend of size and speed makes Davis undoubtedly one of the NFL's best athletes and Williams is obviously one of the most physically dominant female athletes of all time.

I'm not sure how their courtship went or if it actually happened at all, but in the interest of seeing what kind of offspring their amazing genetic combination could produce, I think we need to make this happen. Think of it as the sports version of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie hooking up, except instead of blinding people with good looks the kid will run a 4.4 40-yard dash to catch the bus to kindergarten, show up wearing a full-body spandex suit, and bench-press the lunch-room table.

Two-Minute Drill: FoxSports.com's Jay Glazer reports that No. 1 overall pick JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders are "headed down the final stretch in their contract negotiations," with Russell expected to get in excess of $30 million in guaranteed money ? Meanwhile, after initial reports that Daunte Culpepper would be the Raiders' starter in Week 1, Josh McCown will now get the nod in part because Culpepper hasn't mastered the offense ? As expected, the Falcons announced Wednesday that Warrick Dunn will start over Jerious Norwood in Week 1 ? Coach Mike Holmgren indicated Wednesday that he hasn't decided whether to start D.J. Hackett or Nate Burleson in Week 1 ? Coach Herm Edwards said Wednesday that first-round pick Dwayne Bowe will be part of the Chiefs' regular wide-receiver rotation and figures to get plenty of action in the red zone ? Fellow first rounder Ted Ginn will begin the season as the Dolphins' punt returner and No. 3 wide receiver ? J.T. O'Sullivan is the Lions' pick as Jon Kitna's backup, which means that he's just an injury away from running Mike Martz's pass-happy offense.
Tampabaybuccaneers.com
Red Zone: Not only did Torry Holt (knee) practice Wednesday, he was absent from the Rams' first injury report ? As expected, Thomas Jones (calf) said Wednesday that he expects to play in Week 1 ? Kevin Jones (foot) won't play in Week 1, but it's a good sign that he practiced Wednesday after experiencing some soreness following his first action Monday ? Clinton Portis (knee) practiced Wednesday and looks likely to start in Week 1, but figures to lose plenty of touches to Ladell Betts ? Despite being limited in practice Wednesday, rookie Brandon Jackson (concussion) pronounced himself "ready to go" for Week 1 ? Randy Moss (hamstring) was not on the Patriot's initial injury report, meaning that he'll start in Week 1 ? L.J. Smith practiced Wednesday, signaling that he's fully recovered from hernia surgery ? Terry Glenn (knee) returned to practice Wednesday ? After skipping practice Wednesday, Drew Bennett (quadriceps) looks questionable for Week 1.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#86
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Watch for undervalued players
After getting through a lackadaisical preseason and completing seven months of talk and speculation, another season is upon us. What all of that time allowed us was plenty of rumination about the fate and potential of every team, and nearly every player, around the league.

So while no year ever goes as expected, here is my last-minute collection of thoughts and tidbits on the new fantasy season. And if you agree with some of my impressions of what is about to happen, you might get an advantage in the final compilation of your roster.

If you spent August watching HBO's Hard Knocks, you probably heard Kansas City Chiefs coach Herm Edwards talk to his team about needing to win one-on-one matchups. Well, after watching the Chiefs all preseason, they do not appear to have anybody other than Larry Johnson and sometimes Tony Gonzalez who can beat anybody one-on-one.

The quarterback "battle" was a bust, with Damon Huard winning while standing on the sideline injured. The offensive line is so shaky that a knee injury to journeyman Damion McIntosh was considered almost devastating. Johnson is so good he can succeed in such surroundings and did so last season. Don't touch anybody else.

I'm still not quite sure what to make of Torry Holt's lingering knee injury, although I am much more concerned about it now than when I made him my No. 1-rated wide receiver a few months ago. All his rest for the last month helps, and he should not need much time to get on the same page with quarterback Marc Bulger, with whom he has worked for parts of five seasons. If anything, you might be able to pick up Holt at a bargain with that health question looming.

Another player available at a bargain now is Washington Redskins running back Clinton Portis, who did not play in the preseason because of knee tendinitis and has slipped in drafts for the past month. But if he is sitting there in the third round, how do you not take him? Yes, the injury risk is high but so is the potential reward now that he apparently will enter the season as close to 100% as he can be. That kind of pick can win a championship if it works out, although you also have to spend a later pick on backup Ladell Betts.

The biggest news to come out of the final round of roster cuts involved a player not released, Detroit Lions running back Kevin Jones. They activated him from the physically unable to perform list after months of speculation about being sidelined to start the season while recovering from last year's foot injury. That means Tatum Bell is not the clear-cut starter in a potentially explosive offense, although Jones probably will be limited early on.

That is a big hit to Bell's value because he had turned into a fashionable sleeper candidate because the Lions have big hopes for the offense heading into their second season under coordinator Mike Martz. You should be OK sticking with Bell for the first few weeks but do not rely on him all season. Try also to snap up Jones for your bench and keep an eye on his progress. Bell and Jones have been injury-prone, so the Lions were not going to lean on either for every carry anyhow. Now, though, they appear headed to another split-back situation at some point.

The Cincinnati Bengals will be a team to watch as the season goes along, and you might want to consider any reasonable trade requests you get for their stars ?Carson Palmer, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Rudi Johnson. They have little depth this season and could suffer whenever the usual bruises hit.

The noise out of Dallas this summer has been how quiet it has been, but the Cowboys offense should be poised to change that right out of the gate. One worry spot is the health of aging receiver Terry Glenn, but Patrick Crayton is poised for a nice year if Glenn stumbles. The other big question is how the points will be divided between running backs Julius Jones and Marion Barber III, but assume Barber retains the touchdown role until you see evidence otherwise. That does not mean, however, that Jones will not get enough touches to be a No. 3 back. He might be even more reliable than Barber because you know what you're getting.

Knock the New England Patriots defense down a notch after they lost end Richard Seymour and safety Rodney Harrison for the start of the season on back-to-back days. Against the San Diego Chargers and Cincinnati in the first four games, the Patriots might struggle a bit. They still are a top-five defense but not in the top two. Of course, the Patriots are always more worried about being in perfect shape at the end of the season than the beginning.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
The lack of love for Rex Grossman is astonishing. OK, so he has some issues getting the ball from center, but he also was tied for seventh in the league with 23 TD passes and went 13-3 ? in his first full year as a starter. He had a full offseason in this program and has some young, dangerous options in wide receiver Bernard Berrian and, when healthy, tight end Greg Olsen. The ceiling is high for Grossman and much more inviting than it is for ho-hum quarterbacks such as Trent Green, Chad Pennington and Steve McNair, who have gone ahead of Grossman at times.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#87
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Taking Stock
We wait seven months for football, and then 13 games are upon us in one day and it's deliriously overwhelming. We don't know where to look; we want to see it all, but that's impossible.

This new Monday morning column, being sent out with our Daily Dose email (signup to get it in your inbox every week day by entering your email address in the right-hand column of this page), hopes to let you take a deep breath, survey the Fantasy Nation landscape, and get caught up on the stories that matter.

This is going to work out just fine
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
1. Travis Henry and Mike Shanahan's running game sure looked like a good match on paper. With 183 total yards in his first game, Henry made it a reality. He put the preseason injury concerns behind him and looked like a first-round fantasy pick.

2. Tom Brady to Randy Moss. Yeah, this could work. The Patriots probably aren't going to miss the fourth-round pick they traded for Moss in April, as the second best wide receiver ever to come out of Marshall (Moss said it, not me) caught nine passes for 183 yards and a score ? his biggest total since 1999.

While he didn't look blazing fast, Moss made tough leaping catches in traffic and beat triple coverage for a 51-yard score. Five of his first six catches went for more than 15 yards; he's New England's only true deep threat. The Patriots will spread it around more usually, but Moss only needs to throw in a handful of huge games to go with his lesser efforts to re-join the fantasy elite.

3. As a representative of Torry Holt owners everywhere, I want to thank Big Game for worrying out loud about his knee right before draft season. And then putting up a ho-hum eight catches for 73 yards and a touchdown in his first game.

4. Who needs a quarterback when you have Adrian Peterson? With Chester Taylor hurt, AP looked every bit like The Next Great Fantasy Running Back with 163 yards and a touchdown in his debut. He runs with such force, one can only hope he stays healthy. If Taylor's injury lingers, the Peterson Era is already in full swing.

5. Microfracture, microshmacture. Kellen Winslow put up 83 yards in his first official game back from the once career-threatening knee surgery.

6. Matt Schaub backed up a scorching preseason with a composed first game as a starter in Houston, connecting for 225 yards, one touchdown, and one pick against a solid Chiefs defense. Schaub has connected on 73% of his passes in a Houston uniform. Andre Johnson (172 yards) owners rejoice!

7. My optimism surrounding Raiders skill players Ronald Curry (10-133-1) and LaMont Jordan (159 total yards, 1 TD) wasn't just based on the varied skill sets they've displayed in the past. It was based on Oakland's record-setting ineptitude last year. If Lane Kiffin can just make the Raiders mediocre, improved numbers will follow.

Curry is one of the best twenty receivers in the NFL and his numbers will show it if Oakland is average. Josh McCown may play just well enough for Oakland to get beat, but the overall level of the offense was back to NFL standards Sunday. You are supposed to move the ball on the Lions, and they did. PPR owners of Jordan should love his eight-catch, 89-yard effort out of the backfield. He had 74 receiving yards all of last year after piling up 563 in 2005.

Don't Panic Yet

1. In his first game as Jaguars coordinator, Dirk Koetter called 13 combined runs for Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew, while David Garrard threw 30 passes. It was tight game throughout. Look for Koetter to welcome Jack Del Rio back into his office this week, when Del Rio will plead for a return to smashmouth football.

2. I heard from a few panicked Chris Cooley owners who wanted to drop him for Marcedes Lewis or Eric Johnson. Relax - Cooley had a few similar games early last year. All tight ends do. That's why they don't put up 1,000 yards.

3. Take a deep breath Steven Jackson owners. He actually played worse against Carolina next year.

4. Thomas Jones may not put up great stats until the Jets are past their New England/Baltimore gauntlet to start the year, but he still got the majority of carries over Leon Washington Sunday. Jones may be a buy-low candidate next week.

5. Donovan McNabb was shaky in his season debut, completing less than half his passes for 184 yards and a score. But the dominant Packers defense is going to make a lot of offenses look bad. Worry about number five if he can't improve against the Bucs next week.

6. All offseason, I've talked about Larry Johnson's risks: his health and his teammates. His teammates did him in Sunday, as LJ only earned ten carries because Kansas City trailed all game and the passing game couldn't convert first downs.

Johnson owners could find positives though. He still looked like the LJ of old when he touched the ball, piling up 87 total yards in limited work. Johnson's teammates will keep him from being great this year, but his owners can hope for him to be good.

7. Here were the three scoring drives completed by the Green Bay offense Sunday:

* -1 yard, 3 points
* 51 yards, 3 points
* 6 yards, 3 points.

With a shaky running game, young players everywhere on offense, and Brett Favre in decline, this unit could take a while to get going. I'm concerned, but am willing to be patient.

8. Cedric Benson predictably struggled against the Chargers. Rotoworld has never been high on him as a dominant fantasy back, but he'll have better days. He's the type of RB2 that can't rise up against great defenses like San Diego's. He'll pile up his numbers when the Lions come to town.

9. Oakland's Nmandi Asomugha was responsible for Roy Williams' four-catch, 20-yard effort. The depth of the Raiders secondary behind Nmandi was exposed.

Go Ahead and Panic

1. Maurice Stovall barely saw the field for Tampa despite David Boston hurting his foot. I still could see Stovall making a fantasy impact this year, but there's no need to remain overly patient with a buried Tampa receiver. Ike Hilliard actually had an encouraging performance against Seattle. I would tell you to pick him up, but then I'd have to kill myself.

2. Donte' Stallworth was New England's fifth receiver Sunday according to snaps, behind even Kelley Washington. Stallworth played 26 fewer snaps than Jabar Gaffney, who essentially was a starter. Stallworth will probably have his moments this year, but good luck guessing when they come. I wouldn't hold on too long in shallow leagues.

3. Dwayne Jarrett was inactive for the Panthers. Unless you are in a keeper league, his upside isn't worth holding on to.

4. The same goes for Reggie Williams, who was a healthy scratch for Jacksonville. It's not a good sign for his career when a seventh-round pick like John Broussard is ahead of him.

5. The Rams offense, especially Marc Bulger, won't be same if Orlando Pace is out for an extended period of time. They will hardly turn into the Browns, but monster numbers will be more difficult to post.

6. Anyone forecasting a surprise by the Falcons offense this season was just being a contrarian for contrarian sake. This is one of the worst teams in football on both sides of the ball. They would be with or without Michael Vick. Jerious Norwood could earn more carries after Warrick Dunn struggled badly in Week 1, but Dunn is getting most of the work now.

7. I'm not sure Jamal Lewis has enough left in the tank to succeed if he was on an average offense. But I know he's not good enough to overcome playing on one of the worst offenses in the league. Lewis fumbled early against the Steelers Sunday and their revamped offensive line looked just like they did last season. The Browns had six months to decide on a starting quarterback, and they waited exactly ten passes Sunday before yanking Charlie Frye for Derek Anderson.

8. T.J. Duckett appeared to have put on some weight. He also appeared to be running through pudding when he got the ball (three carries, four yards). T.J. Duckett did not need to put on any more weight.

9. Devin Hester had one offensive snap Sunday. He was an insane fantasy pick to begin with. Jump ship.

Fear the Champ

Lee Evans is probably one of the best ten pure wide receivers in the NFL. Matched against Champ Bailey, he finished with two catches for five yards. With the additions of Dre Bly at cornerback and Jim Bates at defensive coordinator, the Broncos are going to be difficult to pass against. J.P. Losman finished with a microscopic 4.6 yards-per-attempt and wasn't able to top 100 passing yards.

So much for a committee

Dick Jauron talked tough all offseason about splitting up carries in the Buffalo backfield. But when gameday arrived, Marshawn Lynch put the struggles of the preseason behind him with 99 total yards and a score on 21 touches. He looked consistent from the first carry. The A Train got on the track four times, for seven yards. And Lynch owners everywhere felt a lot more secure.

Four's Company

Ben Roethlisberger, Tony Romo, and Eli Manning all endured offseason with varying levels of skepticism thrown their way. They each responded with four touchdowns in Week 1. Ben pulled it off despite only 161 yards. Romo pulled it off with 345 yards thrown in on only 24 attempts. He's off to a good start defending his YPA crown. Eli managed the feat despite a shoulder injury. More on that later.

Looks like a Committee

1. Cam Cameron talked up Jesse Chatman and followed through by playing him in key situations throughout the game, often with Ronnie Brown in the same backfield. Brown wound up with 17 touches for 72 total yards, while Chatman had 13 touches for 63 yards. And Brown owners began to wonder if 300 carries is but a dream.

2. Maybe the offseason is overrated. Clinton Portis barely practiced for ten months, yet looked to be in mid-season form with 98 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries. Ladell Betts wound up with one more touch (and 21 less yards), but that division of carries may not last long.

3. LenDale White started and looked ready to carry the load for the Titans early, but Chris Brown's terrific play forced a split of carries. Brown gained 80 yards on his first five carries and never looked back on the way to 175 carries. Don't expect Brown to become a workhorse, though. He's started fast before and wore down quickly. Jeff Fisher knows Brown well and won't overburden him with more than 15-20 carries a game. This will be a split until it doesn't work.

4. More of the same in Dallas. Julius Jones and Marion Barber split carries, and Barber outplayed the starter.

5. Ron Dayne quietly had 13 carries to 16 for Ahman Green, and only four of Dayne's totes came on the final drive when the game was decided. Green outplayed Dayne, but Texans coach Gary Kubiak is wise to divvy up the workload between his veterans ? even if Green's fantasy owners don't agree.

Calm Down

1. Antwaan Randle El caught five passes for 162 yards in Week 1. While he's passed Brandon Lloyd as the second most valuable Redskins wideout, he may not put up half this total again all year.

2. Drew Carter caught two touchdowns, but he was the team's third receiver and only had three total catches. Odds are you just missed his best fantasy day for a while.

Depth Charting

1. Selvin Young was indeed Denver's backup running back on Sunday. Cecil Sapp was the starting fullback, and finished with one more carry, but Young was in at crunch time when Travis Henry briefly left the game.

2. Calvin Johnson was basically Detroit's fourth receiver against Oakland Sunday, playing behind Mike Furrey and Shaun McDonald. And yet Johnson still put up 70 yards and a touchdown in his first NFL game. The Lions go three and four wide so often, Johnson will get enough targets to be fantasy-worthy. He's being put in positions to succeed. More performances like these should help him earn even more snaps.

Infirmary report

Brian Flood will cover injures more in depth each Monday morning in our Season Pass package, but I'll give you the quick skinny here.

This week was defined by all the injuries. While they will hurt many fantasy owners, they also create opportunities. I try to take a Patriot-like view on injuries. Accept them as part of the game, don't moan about them, and quickly move on and try to find solutions. Don't waste energy on what you can't control.

1. Bills TE Kevin Everett's injury goes beyond sports. It casts a deep sadness on the whole day of football. We can only wish the young man and his family the best in the difficult days ahead.

2. Rotoworld favorite Brandon Jacobs suffered a potentially devastating injury when his knee buckled back on a hit Sunday. Testing will be performed Monday, but early indications are it's a sprained MCL ? a three or four week injury.

3. D.J. Hackett left Sunday early with an ankle injury. Nate Burleson played the rest of the game in his place and caught two passes. That's two more than Deion Branch caught the whole game.

3. Carnell Williams was on his way to 100 yards before leaving in the third quarter against Seattle with a rib injury. Michael Pittman and Earnest Graham filled in for him.

4. Eli Manning left New York's wild loss late with a "bruised" right shoulder. Tests will reveal if it's something worse, and my instinct guesses it is. At least Eli was considerate enough to deliver 312 yards and four scores before the bad news.

5. Chad Pennington wound up missing a few series with an ankle injury, and further tests will show if it's anything serious. Jeff Garcia also missed time after getting decked, something that's probably going to happen too much.

6. Chester Taylor left Minnesota's game early with a hip pointer. Wait for the prognosis, but Taylor is worth holding on to in all leagues unless he's out for the year.

Waiver Wired Preview

Here are a few of the names who will be mentioned in Tuesday's waiver wired column.

Selvin Young
Michael Pittman
Nate Burleson
Sammy Morris
Derrick Ward
Mewelde Moore
Jared Lorenzen (any excuse to write about him)

Worst Person in Fantasy Football

I ran this segment in homage to Keith Olbermann's Countdown in the preseason a few times before I knew he was doing it for football on Football Night in America. It could because of the overkill. But show must go on.

Our Week 1 winner is Brandon Jacobs. Injuries happen, but do they have to happen six plays into the season? Honorable mention goes to Steven Jackson for his 61 total yard, two lost fumble effort.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#88
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Giants and Ravens Hurting
And just like that, Week 1 is in the books. Gregg Rosenthal used this space yesterday to recap all the opening-week action, including Travis Henry, Randy Moss, and Adrian Peterson making great first impressions with their new teams. Rather than recreate an inferior version of that for today?seriously, go read his complete Week 1 rundown ? once you're done with this column, of course?I'll instead focus on some storylines that figure to stretch into Week 2 and beyond.

While I come to the startling realization that all it takes to make Tony Kornheiser enjoyable as a football announcer is Ron Jaworski in the booth with him and "The Three Mikes" in the booth after him, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Falling to the Cowboys in Week 1 now looks like the least of the Giants' problems, with Eli Manning, Brandon Jacobs, and Osi Umenyiora all going down with significant injuries Sunday night. Jacobs and Umenyiora both suffered knee injuries, with Jacobs expected to miss 3-5 weeks and Umenyiora out either one month or two months depending on the source. Manning's status is still somewhat up in the air, but it doesn't sound good.

Several New York newspapers and the Giants' team website suggested Monday that Manning might play in Week 2, but both Chris Mortensen of ESPN and Adam Schefter of NFL Network reported that he suffered a separated shoulder and will miss several weeks. It sounds like Manning will go for a second opinion and could attempt to practice later this week, but for now the Giants are looking at either Jared Lorenzen or Anthony Wright throwing passes in Week 2.

It'd be fun to see the 550-pound backfield of Lorenzen and Jacobs, but the always-entertaining Hefty Lefty will be handing off to Derrick Ward if he gets the nod in Week 2. While a lightweight compared to Jacobs, Ward is a compact, powerful runner who played well after coming on in relief against the Cowboys and figures to get a full workload. Along with 89 yards on 13 carries, Ward caught four passes for 27 yards and a touchdown. If he's still available, grab him.

* As bad as the Giants' injury carnage was in Week 1, the Ravens may have come away from Monday night's ugly loss to the Bengals in even worse shape. Ray Lewis suffered a triceps injury during the first quarter and stayed in the game, but is said to have told reporters afterward that the injury is a tear. A Ravens spokesperson denied that, saying that the team never would have sent him back into the game if that were the case. If true, Lewis may be looking at a lost season.

Losing Lewis would be a huge blow to the Ravens' defense and the offense may have lost a future Hall of Famer of their own in Jonathan Ogden. Ogden started after being a game-time decision, but exited in the first quarter after apparently aggravating the torn ligament in his toe. While it might seem odd that something called "turf toe" could wreck a 6-foot-9, 350-pound beast, that's a very real possibility after Ogden missed the entire preseason with the injury.

Injuries to Lewis and Ogden overshadow the fact that Steve McNair was on the sidelines as the Ravens attempted their fourth-quarter comeback. After going 20-of-34 for 203 yards while committing four turnovers, McNair gave way to Kyle Boller late because of a groin injury. McNair figures to play through the injury, but his inability to stretch the field continues to hurt the Ravens' offense and things will only get worse if Ogden is out.

* Cincinnati attempted to add running-back depth behind Rudi Johnson by using a second-round pick on Kenny Irons, but then lost both Irons and Chris Perry to injuries. They tried to claim Antonio Pittman off waivers before losing out on him thanks to a tiebreaker, and then grabbed Clifton Dawson once he was let go by the Colts. In other words, it's clear that coach Marvin Lewis and company don't feel especially comfortable with their running game beyond Johnson.

That point was hammered home Monday, when Johnson got all 18 carries that went to Bengals running backs. He totaled just 50 yards against a tough Ravens defense, but added 26 yards on three catches. Not known for his receiving skills, Johnson caught three passes in a game just twice between 2005 and 2006, and hasn't topped that total since Week 9 back in 2004. While not having a solid backup hurts the Bengals, it figures to do wonders for Johnson's fantasy stats.

Two-Minute Drill: He's not likely to see action before midseason, but JaMarcus Russell and the Raiders have finally agreed to a six-year contract worth $61 million, including $32 million in guaranteed money ? Coach Wade Phillips said Monday that Julius Jones and Marion Barber will continue to split carries, adding that Jones will see more red-zone work this season ? Randy Moss' 183 yards in Week 1 were his most in a game since 1999 ? Warrick Dunn out-carried Jerious Norwood 22-to-5 in Week 1, but coach Bobby Petrino said Monday that Norwood's workload will increase going forward ? Despite throwing two interceptions, suffering a hand injury, and taking a loss while the Oakland crowd chanted Daunte Culpepper's name in Week 1, coach Lane Kiffin confirmed Monday that Josh McCown will continue starting ? Following in the Week 1 footsteps of Deion Branch, Mark Clayton was held without a catch Monday night ? Devin Hester was on the field for just one offensive play in Week 1.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Red Zone: Cadillac Williams' (ribs) odds of playing in Week 2 appear slim, with Michael Pittman in line to start ? Owner Jerry Jones said Monday that he expects Terry Glenn (knee) to make a decision regarding season-ending surgery "over the next few weeks" ? Coach Brad Childress indicated Monday that Chester Taylor may be able to play in Week 2 after being diagnosed with an oblique contusion and will start if healthy ? Short of being injured themselves, labrum and rotator-cuff tears ending Orlando Pace's season is the next-worst thing for Marc Bulger, Torry Holt, and Steven Jackson ? Jesse Chatman suffered a bruised knee while splitting time with Ronnie Brown in Week 1, but doesn't expect to miss any time ? Coach Mike Holmgren said Monday that Rotoworld favorite D.J. Hackett is "out for a significant period" with a dreaded high-ankle sprain, meaning that Nate Burleson could be starting for the next month ? After getting three carries early, T.J. Duckett suffered a high-ankle sprain of his own in the first quarter Sunday and didn't return ? A hamstring injury will force Eddie Kennison to the bench for Week 2.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#89
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Picking up the slack
The best waiver pickups come in September. The reality that the 2007 season is a completely different animal than 2006 will take time to set in, and some owners will be slow to react.

Change for change's sake is never a good idea either. In deep leagues, there are probably only a few good pickups each week. If you can't get a clear upgrade, don't swap Antwaan Randle El for Deion Branch out of boredom. Owners of high ceiling lottery tickets at running back should keep this in mind. A lot of Maurice Jones-Drew draftees last season bailed early last season after he only touched the ball four times in the first two games. Let's get to the wire.

[SIZE=+1]Running Backs[/SIZE]

Derrick Ward, Giants

Ward has a short file for a 27-year-old. He's only earned 37 touches as a pro before this season, including zero in an injury-marred 2006 season. Here's what we know

1. He's the heavy favorite to start for the Giants for the next 3-5 weeks while Brandon Jacobs overcomes a sprained MCL.

2. The Giants have held on to Ward since 2004 despite an assortment of injuries and competitors for a reserve running back job. Former GM Ernie Accorsi loved him. They would have to in order to be so patient.

3. Ward looked exceedingly ready for a bigger role when he piled up 116 total yards on 17 touches against the Cowboys. He's no Brandon Jacobs, but Ward is also a power back at 228 pounds. His four receptions show some versatility. He's what Reuben Droughns was supposed to be.

4. Ward would have a far better chance for success if Eli Manning were healthy. The schedule over the next three weeks (Green Bay, Washington, Philadelphia) is fairly difficult and the Giants may struggle to move the ball.

Add it all up, and Ward is our favorite pickup of the week. He should be the primary back for at least three games, and that's worth using your first waiver pick.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Michael Pittman, Bucs

All Michael Pittman does is produce. With a 5.6 yards-per-carry average over the last two years and great receiving skills, Pittman should be owned in a lot more than one-quarter of all fantasy leagues. Carnell Williams is week-to-week with bruised ribs, and Pittman should get the most work at running back in his absence. Earnest Graham should also be involved.
Pittman's two starts at the end of last season are instructive. He only averaged 14 carries a game, but still piled up 216 total yards. The upcoming schedule (New Orleans, St. Louis) is very favorable. If I knew for sure Williams would miss multiple games, I'd rather have Pittman than Ward, especially in points-per-reception leagues.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Kenton Keith, Colts

The Colts played so long ago, perhaps Joseph Addai owners have been able to remove their hearts from their throats. And perhaps owners have forgotten in the meantime that Kenton Keith is a great pickup for insurance. He looked solid in the five carries he was given.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Selvin Young, Broncos

Don't forget about him too. A lot of waivers have been closed for a few weeks, so Young may still be available.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Sammy Morris, Patriots

Morris was ignored by a lot of Laurence Maroney owners who didn't want to waste a spot on his handcuff. I think Morris could wind up being one of the most valuable backups in the league. The Patriots weren't afraid to use him early in the game and near the goal line. He will probably wind up with ten touches a game, and he'd be a fantasy starter if Maroney gets hurt.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Adrian Peterson, Bears

Rotoworld news MVP Evan Silva believed this offseason that Peterson could have a chance to split carries with Cedric Benson by midseason if all went well. So far, so good.

Peterson played on many key second half snaps against the Chargers and nearly out-rushed Benson despite 12 less carries. A costly fumble won't help him, but Benson has one too. I love Peterson's skill set, but it's still a stretch to imagine Lovie Smith making this a true job share. Peterson is worth owning in nearly any league format as a RB5 to find out.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Musa Smith, Ravens

For a brief history of our obsession with Musa Smith, head over to Pancake Blocks. Smith's solid outing Monday night could earn him permanent backup status. That's worth noting for Willis McGahee owners in deep leagues.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deep leagues

Mewelde Moore, Vikings

Long-time Wired favorite could get an opportunity to be Minnesota's third-down back if Chester Taylor's injury is serious. I wouldn't grab him yet, but Adrian Peterson owners especially should monitor the situation.

Recommendation: Keep an eye on

[SIZE=+1]Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

Ronald Curry, Raiders

We ranked him in our top 100 overall players all offseason, so Curry shouldn't be available in most Rotoworld user leagues. But the numbers say he's out there for the taking in many shallow formats. Go grab him; he's a solid WR3 at worst. And yes, I enjoyed the hell out of that monster first game after taking crap from people that Curry would inevitably be our highest-ranked player available on the board by far in every other draft.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Nate Burleson, Vikings

Burleson is full of contradictions. Seemingly a gifted player after the catch in 2004 while in Minnesota, he vanished while healthy the last two seasons. He disappointed the Seahawks so much that they felt forced to give up a first-round pick for Deion Branch just before the season.

But all we've heard this offseason were positive reports of Burleson "flashing", enough to rival D.J. Hackett for snaps in Seattle. He backed it up with a big preseason, and now is in position to start with Hackett sidelined indefinitely with a high ankle sprain.

Normally, I love Seattle receivers. The passing game was highly consistent until last year, but is starting to show signs of decline. Burleson was targeted three times Sunday, catching two passes for 41 yards. He broke a few tackles on a 21-yard grab before fumbling. He caught a 20-yard pass deep over the middle later and held on after a tough hit. Burleson looks like their best deep threat right now, and that's certainly worth owning. He may even be worth starting as a WR3 in some formats.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Patrick Crayton, Cowboys

Just in case you missed our 90 minute Crayton-athon on Fantasy Fix Live last Sunday. Crayton didn't explode against the Giants, but we'd still take him over Burleson.

Recommendation: Should be owned in all leagues

Shaun McDonald, Lions

I'm intrigued, but McDonald is destined for the fourth receiver role in Detroit. And the list of valuable fantasy fourth receivers is non-existent. You could do worse as a WR6/7 in deep leagues, but you could probably do better.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deep leagues

Antwaan Randle El, Redskins

This is doing worse. There was a time in Pittsburgh when Randle El looked like a potential quality starter, but he didn't step up when Plaxico Burress left town. Someone has to catch the ball in Washington so Randle El could improve, but not enough to make a difference in fantasy leagues. You already missed his best game of the season.

Recommendation: Stay away

Dwayne Bowe and Samie Parker, Chiefs WR

Kansas City confirmed our worst fears when they scored three points at Houston. Bowe and Parker should start this Sunday with Eddie Kennison out, but neither player has shown enough to think that they'll put up consistent stats. It could be an ugly game against the Bears.

Recommendation: Stay away

Troy Williamson, Vikings

A risky flex or WR3 play this week against the hapless Detroit secondary.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deep leagues

[SIZE=+1]Quarterbacks [/SIZE]

Honestly, you probably shouldn't be trolling for quarterbacks this week unless either

A) David Garrard is still available
B) You own Chad Pennington or Eli Manning or..
C) You play in a two-quarterback league.

Eli owners don't even need to pick up a QB2 if their starter doesn't have a bye coming up. Reports vary about Manning's injury timeline, but it sounds like he could be back in a few weeks. Garrard would be our first pickup, but here are some other options

Jared Lorenzen, Giants

I want so badly for the hefty lefty to succeed, but the Packers are a brutal first opponent. If they dominated the Eagles' passing attack, they should make quick work with the Giants. That said, don't expect Tom Coughlin to go into a shell because his backup is in there. This team will probably still throw it and play high-risk football because their defense is so poor. Lorenzen could rack up some garbage stats through volume if he's lucky, but you can probably do better a short-term fill in.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 2QB leagues

Kellen Clemens, Jets

I'm not a doctor, but I know Chad Pennington was able to play through his ankle injury for most of the second half of Sunday's game. He's a tough guy and one would imagine he can get ready to play in time for Sunday. Pennington probably sees the writing on the wall and will do whatever he can to keep his job. Clemens will be an interesting player to track when he takes over, but he's not a fantasy option yet except in 2QB leagues.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 2QB leagues

Brady Quinn, Browns

It looks like the Quinn era will start sooner than later, but I'd much rather have a second-year player like Clemens (or Tarvaris Jackson) than a rookie on an offense like the Browns.

Recommendation: Not yet

Tarvaris Jackson, Vikings

He looked very shaky in Week 1, but Jackson faces the Lions this time around. If he can't put up 15 fantasy points against Detroit, it's not going to happen for a while.

Recommendation: Emergency one week option

Josh McCown, Raiders

I watched most of the Oakland-Detroit game, and McCown played worse than his numbers indicate. He is a better fantasy quarterback than in real life, but his lack of job security and unfavorable schedule (DEN, CLE, MIA) makes it likely he won't keep it up.

Recommendation: Only worth a look in 2QB leagues
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
[SIZE=+1]Don't Drop[/SIZE]

Deion Branch, Mark Clayton - I shouldn't have to say this, but I've received too many panicked emails.

Jerry Porter, Raiders - The lack of separation is a concern, but give Porter a few weeks.

D.J. Hackett, Seahawks - In standard formats, Hackett should be good enough when healthy to save a roster for him.

[SIZE=+1]Drop[/SIZE]

Eddie Kennison, Chiefs - He's going to miss this week. The upside when he returns on the struggling Kansas City offense isn't worth holding on to.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#90
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

The Fallacy of Week 1 Analysis
First week's over and it's time to assess the bloody damage. Most of you out there with teams that got waxed in week 1 are already in panic mode, you're rethinking strategies, and drinking Big Gulps full of Robitussin, just to numb the pain. Don't. Or else you'll fall into a tinkering obsession that finds you home by yourself each and every Sunday just waiting for the next Brandon Jacobs knee explosion or the next Drew Carter-like epiphany.

Seriously, just, stick it out for a couple more weeks before you start giving up all your receivers and offering a no-strings boink with your girlfriend in order to get Marshawn Lynch. (Well, that depends upon the current status of your relationship. If you've been looking for an easy exit, maybe now's the time to do it. Marshawn Lynch looks solid.)

Otherwise, don't be the first person to overreact. Wait it out. There are plenty of guys who were completely humiliated in week 1 because they had a Donovan McNabb/Lee Evans/ Steven Jackson lineup that are just aching for redemption. Start seeking out the low-hanging fruit in your chat rooms, IM sessions, and email exchanges.

Observe: "Man, having both Tony Romo and Marc Bulger is just going to have me pulling my hair out all year..."

Or, "God, I always seem to end up with four good running backs?"

Pretty soon, you'll be fielding lopsided trade offers that'll provide you with a stress-free season and you may even land yourself a pretend girlfriend for the weekend. Win-win.

Let's engage this week's list of mighty giants and disposable heroes. ?


[SIZE=+1]GUSH:[/SIZE]

Green Bay D: Yes, the Packers looked all stout and hearty against a sleepwalking Eagles team, but there may be some legitimacy to this group. Those linebackers appear feisty, plus, there's a front-four pass rush, which is perfect for a one-trick pony like Kabeer Gabaja Ooga Booga to topple the quarterback. (Apologies in advance for the mangling of his name. I'm 100% certain that isn't correct, however the accurate spelling of such a syllable-snarling abomination is for the crack copy editing team at Rotoworld.)

Ronald Curry, Oakland Raiders: Yeah, he's been picked up by now. Bye-bye. Like most other people on the planet, I thought it was tough to draft any Raiders this year, especially those considered the team's "number one receiver" on a team without any legit quarterbacks. (Fool me once, Daunte?) However, Curry's been downfield muscle for a couple years now and it appears last week's 133-yard performance has made him the most viable member of The Plata y Negro. However, beware his Hampton, Virginia roots, which may reveal he's a charter member at Bad Newz Kennelz. For now, it's worth the risk.

James Jones, Green Bay: I know, I know?more Packers. However, this guy is last year's Greg Jennings and Favre likes throwing the ball to/at anyone remotely capable of catching it. However, their running game is pitiful, as Brandon Jackson's feet appear to have been the victims of some sort of mafia-esque cement encasing. But remember: it only takes one personal family tragedy to transform all the Packers receivers into John Jeffersons. So, keep this guy stashed away and always scan the obits of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to keep abreast of the situation.

[SIZE=+1]MAIM:[/SIZE]

Deion Branch, Seattle: Speaking of checking the obits?dude, no receptions? For real? I had Deion Branch as my starting WR this week in one league and was rewarded with those lovely - - - - - - - 's across his box score. At first I thought that one high-powered fantasy organization that rhymes with Pah-too had suddenly discovered the way to apply brail etchings into Stat Tracker. Sadly, that wasn't the case.

Clinton Portis, Washington: Yes, he's a repeat MAIM attendee, but only because he actually played well last week and now has me thoroughly confused. Sit the man? Start the man? Sit the man? Start the man? I don't want to think about you, Clinton. You're supposed to suck. But now I'll be forced to start you against the Eagles on Monday Night and you're sure to disappoint. Expect Ladell Betts to score twice and Clinton to be sidelined due to a bizarre cleat malfunction.

Vincent Jackson, San Diego: Just when it looked like everybody's coveted San Diego receiver not named Antonio Gates was actually going to live up to that pre-season hype, he implodes. Jackson had a sure-thing sixer tossed his way, only to have it doink off his shoulder pads. In fact, Vincent dropped a few balls on Sunday, two of which never descended from his stomach. I'll let you guess which two they were.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#91
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

For real or not?
By far the most important thing you can figure out for your team in Week 1 is how much of what happened is real and how much an aberration. Some of that can be difficult to figure out. Some is not so tough -- the Titans are extremely unlikely to rush for 282 yards every week and the Bears probably will score more than three points a week.

The rest of it? Well, that's why we're here. Names like Deion Branch and Antwaan Randle El are either making you very happy or very concerned about your club heading into Week 2. Here are some thoughts to consider, while you're wondering if any of your fellow owners are taking a peak at your research, about some of the hot topics around the league during a hectic Week 1.

The Giants. They could be on the ropes already because of injuries to Eli Manning and Brandon Jacobs. The shame of it is not that their season could go down in flames; most of us have been expecting that. The problem is seeing Manning go down after a strong four-TD game against the Cowboys that hinted at real progress out of him. As long as Manning doesn't play, Plaxico Burress, Amani Toomer and Jeremy Shockey take big hits. There simply will not be as much production to go around.

And running back Derrick Ward's chance to be a great pickup as Jacobs' replacement is in jeopardy. With Manning's passing threat, Ward will see a bunch of eight-man fronts. And that is bad news for an unproven runner, albeit one who showed some promise in relief against Dallas.

Deion Branch. The Seahawks' supposed No. 1 receiver was shut out in the opener, something that even coach Mike Holmgren said should not happen. Branch was pretty cheap all summer -- and perhaps this is why. But I wouldn't yank him out of your lineup. Seattle's offense was out of sorts in the opener, as are many rhythm-oriented passing games in Week 1. QB Matt Hasselbeck did not play much in the offseason or preseason because of injuries so give him the benefit of the doubt, and another week or two.

D.J. Hackett also is in the news and has a severe ankle sprain that could sideline him for a big part of the season. He was a popular preseason sleeper and will be replaced by Nate Burleson and Bobby Engram. Don't overlook Engram who is a reliable veteran and has a strong history with QB Matt Hasselbeck. Burleson never has been productive in Seattle and the Seahawks want to save him for special teams. He has limited upside. Backup QB Seneca Wallace is still a long way from being a valuable receiver.

Chris Brown. He went undrafted in many leagues so you'll want to jump on Brown if you have a chance. If you drafted him, you just found some great running back depth. And with a few injuries already sprinkled around the league, he might become valuable great trade bait. You would be better off dealing Brown in the next few weeks if you can.

The Titans likely will remain a run-heavy team because QB Vince Young is not a great passer and they do have a solid offensive line, but Brown has dealt with injuries throughout his career and there is no reason to think that will change. LenDale White also is worth a pickup, but his fumble on the Jaguars 1 dropped his stock.

Raiders quarterbacks. The rest of the NFL world can sweat over what is happening in Cleveland, but the quarterback mess with some fantasy value is in Oakland. An injured index finger on a quarterback's throwing hand does not sound good so if the injury reports are true, let's suppose Josh McCown is out and Daunte Culpepper is in.

McCown had a strong 313-yard, two-TD debut and Culpepper has the same ability, although the Broncos will be a tougher test on the road than Detroit was at home. Culpepper's hold on job would be unclear, but it stands to reason that he would keep it if he played well. Grab him if you need a quarterback.

Bengals defense. Don't buy the hype following six turnovers and a return TD against the Ravens. That was more indicative of Baltimore's problems than any great improvement out of the Bengals. Yes, you will want to play them this week against the Browns; you would want to start me if I lined up by myself against the Browns.

And it seems clear that you'll want to play Cincinnati in its rematch against the Ravens but be very careful in trying to find other spots to play them. There are plenty of shootouts coming for the Bengals.

Antwan Randle El. After a phenomenal 162-yard game in the opener, Randle El already is more than 34% of the way to his previous career average of 472.6 receiving yards a season. Given Randle El's history, the presence of Santana Moss ahead of him and the Redskins' inconsistent passing game, it seems unlikely that Randle El will be a regular producer. But given how huge that game was, you'll certainly want to keep an eye on Randle El. He never has been a regular fantasy threat and likely will not a great one now.

Cedric Benson. His first game as the Bears' feature back was far from a success, as he gained just 42 yards on 19 carries. Yes, that came against one of the league's top defenses in San Diego, but backup Adrian Peterson needed only seven rushes to pick up 38 yards and Peterson got plenty of key second-half carries while Benson stood on the sideline with his much-debated ballcap on.

Nobody is about ready to turn things over to Peterson, but you immediately should start dialing down your hopes for Benson and get ready for the idea that Peterson and Garrett Wolfe will steal a chunk of carries every week.

Tackle injuries. Of all the Week 1 injuries, the two most damaging might have been to Rams left tackle Orlando Pace and Redskins right tackle Jon Jansen. Both were excellent at best and reliable at worst at key positions for their teams' run-oriented offense.

The Redskins, in particular, have had problems with line injuries during coach Joe Gibbs' tenure, hurting both the run game and important pass-protection schemes for young QB Jason Campbell. Both Campbell and RB Clinton Portis will be hurt.

At least the Rams are used to playing without Pace, who missed half of last season to injuries. RB Steven Jackson and QB Marc Bulger managed without him then and they ought to now. It is another thing to worry about, however, especially if you already were stressing about Jackson's two lost fumbles in Week 1.

Laurence Maroney. Maroney will have a tough time to living up to the hype that landed him as a first-round pick in many leagues if Sammy Morris keeps getting 11 carries a game and if Heath Evans poaches late, cheap touchdowns. Maroney appears to have the ability to be a star, but the Patriots still do not appear entirely comfortable with him, possibly because of injuries from his rookie season that lingered into this year. Instead of considering him a potential No. 1 back, think about him more as a possible solid No. 2.

John Carney. Josh Scobee now sounds like he will miss a considerable chunk of the season and, at some point, it will be hard for the Jaguars to hold a roster spot for him. Carney is the kicker for now and should be productive. He missed only two out of 25 attempts last year with the Saints, although his range appears all but shot. The Jaguars scored enough that Scobee was fifth in the league with 119 points last year, which represents Carney's potential ceiling.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Rookie kickers. Love 'em or hate 'em, right? The Packers love Mason Crosby now after he nailed three field goals, including the game-winner against the Eagles and appear to have full confidence in him to try any kick. Remember, Crosby kicked at Colorado so he shouldn't be too fazed once bad weather rolls into Lambeau. Grab him if you're on the kicker carousel and possibly the Cowboys' Nick Folk too, though he still has to earn his team's trust. All of those scoring chances can't hurt, though. The Chiefs have moved on from Justin Medlock to Dave Rayner. And I just wasted 11 words.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#92
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Megatron, Chad, and Eli
In the past I've given Roy Williams a hard time in this space because of his tendency to predict great things for the Lions just before they get blown out, but I'm starting to come around to the idea that he's a very likable guy. While doing a local radio interview Tuesday, Williams revealed his nickname for No. 2 overall pick Calvin Johnson: Megatron. As Williams put it, "He's real quiet. He's a good athlete. He's big as hell. He's Megatron."
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Aside from Megan Fox I'm not much of a Transformers fan, but I'll do everything in my power to make that nickname stick just because we need more players who go by something other than their initials (L.J., T.O., L.T., etc.). Plus, I'm amused by the Detroit Free Press' decision to publish a side-by-side photo comparison of Johnson and Megatron, which is made even better by the fact that the pictures look oddly similar somehow.

Williams also talked about his fantasy football addiction, which includes five teams. "When we're at the stadium and they show the highlights or stats on the screen I'm definitely one of the guys who is paying attention to them," Williams said. Williams also said that he sets all of his lineups on Tuesday, benches players and defenses when he's playing against them, recommends Shaun McDonald as a sleeper, and apologizes to his owners for managing just 20 yards in Week 1.

While Williams moves up a few notches in my book, here are some other notes from around football ?

* The Giants continue to say that Eli Manning may be able to play through his shoulder injury in Week 2 and various New York media outlets have been steadfast in reporting the same. However, ESPN continues to insist that Manning will miss at least a month of action with a separated shoulder. John Clayton said Tuesday that the Giants are being less than truthful about Manning's status in order to force the Packers into preparing for two quarterbacks this week.

Meanwhile, the New York Daily News reports that Dr. James Andrews cleared Manning to play as long as he can handle the pain. Manning said Tuesday that he hopes to practice later this week with an eye towards suiting up Sunday, although his status for Week 2 is definitely still up in the air. He may end up missing the game and will almost certainly be a game-time decision, but it seems unlikely that he'll be sidelined for a month unless the Giants have been hiding something.

* Chad Pennington sat out the end of Sunday's game after suffering an ankle injury in the third quarter. Coach Eric Mangini was predictably secretive about Pennington's status Monday, but Pennington is said to have told people that he doesn't expect to play this week and Adam Schefter of NFL Network reports that he's been diagnosed with a high-ankle sprain. If true, Pennington will likely be sidelined for multiple games, giving Kellen Clemens a chance to start.

Going on the road Sunday against Baltimore would be unfavorable for Pennington or Clemens, but the Jets' schedule lightens up a bit with Miami in Week 3 and Buffalo in Week 4. Pennington came back from two shoulder surgeries to throw for 3,300 yards while leading the Jets to 10 victories last season, but he's 31 years old and his lack of arm strength often limits the offense somewhat. If Clemens plays well in his absence, Mangini could have a big decision to make.

* It can often be a sign of a bad organization when a plan fails, but a sign of an even worse organization is when a plan is abandoned so quickly that it didn't even have a chance to fail. Judging from their quarterback situation, the Browns qualify as the latter. Charlie Frye entered training camp atop the depth chart and was named the starter on August 31. Ten passes later and Frye's not only no longer the starter in Cleveland, he's in Seattle following Tuesday's trade.

A third-round pick in 2005, the Browns dealt Frye to the Seahawks for sixth rounder and will apparently turn the starting job over to Derek Anderson. Given all the decisions and preparation that go into getting an NFL team ready for the upcoming season, it's astonishing that someone could be named a starter and then completely fall out of the team's favor within the span of two weeks, all while throwing six incomplete passes.

If the Browns wanted to truly give Frye another legitimate chance with the job, then he obviously needed more than a 10-pass opportunity to do so. And if they didn't really have much interest in giving him that chance, then why bother naming him the starter (or keep him on the roster) to begin with? The move to Seattle is a great opportunity for Frye, who now becomes the potential long-term successor to Matt Hasselbeck in a quarterback-friendly situation.

For the Browns, it means that Anderson will be the one keeping the seat warm for Brady Quinn, who moves one step closer to taking over as a rookie. Cleveland fans no doubt want to see Quinn immediately, but they felt largely the same way about Frye not too long ago. Quinn is the bigger talent, but the offense surrounding him won't do any more favors than it did for Frye. Don't be shocked if you see Quinn taking snaps at some point in Week 2, but don't expect him to thrive.

Two-Minute Drill: True to his word, coach Cam Cameron split the touches between Ronnie Brown (17) and Jesse Chatman (13) in Week 1, although Chatman's bruised knee could change that some in Week 2 ? Despite trading for Frye and D.J. Hackett (ankle) being out for at least a month, Seahawks president Tim Ruskell said Tuesday that there are no plans to move Seneca Wallace to wide receiver ? Laurence Maroney managed 20 carries in Week 1 despite being on the field for just 30 snaps, with backups Sammy Morris (18) and Kevin Faulk (10) combining for nearly as much playing time ? With Manning hurting, the Giants have reportedly talked to the Bucs about Chris Simms ? Signed on Tuesday, Reche Caldwell has a chance to quickly emerge as the Redskins' third receiver ? With Eddie Kennison (hamstring) out for Week 2, Arena League star Bobby Sippio?about whom "the kid can catch" was said approximately 500 times on HBO's Hard Knocks?will see his first NFL action.

Red Zone: Dr. James Andrews confirmed the initial diagnoses of Terry Glenn's knee injury, meaning that Glenn still has to decide whether to undergo season-ending microfracture surgery or attempt to come back following an arthroscopic procedure ? Jonathan Ogden is out indefinitely with a hyper-extended toe and coach Brian Billick indicated Tuesday that he's not sure if Ogden "will be able to come back from this or not" ? Losing Ogden will hurt Willis McGahee and make the Ravens' passing game even shakier, as Adam Terry will now be protecting Steve McNair's blindside ? Coach Lane Kiffin said Monday that Josh McCown will continue to start, but if reports of McCown suffering a cracked bone in his finger Sunday are true he's likely looking at several games on the sidelines ? Meanwhile, Schefter reported Tuesday that Daunte Culpepper may get the nod this week in what is a horrendous matchup against the Broncos' outstanding pass defense.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#93
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Don't overreact after one week
Let's get a couple of things out of the way immediately: No, the Saints will not be as inept all season as they were in Week 1, Randy Moss just might be that good and, yes, the Bears will outscore the Chiefs and Falcons.

Beyond that? It's still a crapshoot. When the Lions hung with the defending NFC champion Seahawks in a 9-6 loss in Week 1 last year, we thought Detroit might actually have a good year. On the other hand, the Saints' win against the Browns sent both teams off and running.

This game is all about speculation, so let's try to separate some of the facts and fiction:

If the only thing you took from the Patriots' shellacking of the Jets is that Tom Brady and Moss are really good, you aren't paying close enough attention. The troubling development was Sammy Morris getting 11 carries behind Laurence Maroney's 20. That is way too much time for a backup and indicates Maroney will not live up to his first-round billing.

One theory with the Giants was that if they go down this year, they at least will go down swinging. Threats such as wide receiver Plaxico Burress and tight end Jeremy Shockey will let them pile up points even in losses. But they really could collapse with a running game on the ropes without Brandon Jacobs and quarterback Eli Manning's injured shoulder. In a worst-case scenario, Burress does not match his three Week 1 TDs the rest of the year.

Those of us who expected the Lions to come charging out of the blocks should have taken a closer look at the schedule. They made a fraud out of the Raiders' top-ranked pass defense from 2006, but up next is Minnesota (two defensive TDs last week), Philadelphia and then Chicago. Remain careful with Jon Kitna, Tatum Bell and Calvin Johnson through that stretch.

Some split-running back situations quickly gained a bit of clarity. Neither the Panthers' DeAngelo Williams nor the Falcons' Jerious Norwood is a great player, although Williams is more valuable because he splits time almost 50-50 with DeShaun Foster. Norwood's role appears minor at present.

The Jaguars got virtually nothing out of Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor, but their roles are clear. Jones-Drew will get most of the TDs once the run game comes around. In Dallas, Marion Barber III is the one you want. He had 17 more yards and one TD more than Julius Jones on five fewer touches. Barber is faster, more elusive, more explosive and will be the main back before long.

So what should we make of Jacksonville scoring 10 points and losing to the Titans? First, quarterback David Garrard is not much of an upgrade over deposed Byron Leftwich and you will have to pick your spots in starting him. The wide receivers are worse. Reggie Williams was inactive, Matt Jones was shut out and somebody named John Broussard made headlines with a 47-yard TD.

Two of the most devastating injuries in Week 1 were to tackles Orlando Pace (Rams) and Jon Jansen (Redskins). Both are among the best at their positions, and replacing them will be difficult for two run-oriented offenses. The Redskins have been done in by their offensive line in recent years, both in pass protection and run blocking. The Rams at least have experience playing without Pace, but Steven Jackson's rush for an MVP-type season will take a hit.

Denver escaped Buffalo with a win but not without concern. Jay Cutler had a 300-yard game ? as well as a few boneheaded decisions. Get ready for some wild swings this season if you are counting on him as your only starter. And don't ignore Jason Elam's two missed field goals just because of his wild game-winner.

The predictable rookies ? Adrian Peterson, Marshawn Lynch, Calvin Johnson? made an immediate impact, but a few others did so negatively. Running backs Tony Hunt (Eagles) and Lorenzo Booker (Dolphins) and receiver Dwayne Jarrett (Panthers) did not play, and others such as Brian Leonard, Craig Davis, Anthony Gonzalez and Jacoby Jones were barely heard from.
Tampabaybuccaneers.com
The NFL's new injury reports are a mess. The end result appears to be mostly the same, with the traditional designations along with a little more information about how much players practiced. But the process of getting there is a mess. Between full participation, partial participation and not participating for non-injury-related reasons and then not listing guys as probable, questionable, doubtful or out until Friday, your head will spin. The best solution would be to wait until Friday to look at it, but you would have no contingency plans if you did so.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#94
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Manning's Murky Status
The reports on Eli Manning's shoulder injury continue to contradict themselves and make his status nearly impossible to decipher. Early this week, most New York-based media outlets were consistent in reporting that Manning was day-to-day with a shoulder sprain and had a chance to play in Week 2. On the other hand, ESPN and NFL Network were just as consistent in reporting that Manning had a separated shoulder that will keep him sidelined for multiple games.

Slowly but surely various newspapers are beginning to lean more towards the ESPN/NFL Network version of Manning's status. According to the New York Daily News, team physician Dr. Russell Warren and Dr. James Andrews have both given Manning a 3-4 week recovery timetable. As the newspaper offered Thursday: "That seems to confirm a report that has been running all week on ESPN, despite vehement denials from" the Giants.

The newspaper also quotes an unnamed team source as saying, "I'm hearing conflicting things. I don't know what to believe anymore." At best, it sounds like Manning will be a game-time decision for a tough matchup against the Packers' underrated pass defense. At worst, he's out for at least one week and the Giants are doing their best to conceal his true status. Whatever the case, the one thing that's clear is that you'll want to prepare for a different QB1 option in Week 2.

While the Daily News points out that the Giants insisted on calling Osi Umenyiora, Justin Tuck, and Michael Strahan "day-to-day" before they missed huge chunks of last season with major injuries, here are some other notes from around football ?

* I was highly skeptical that coach Herm Edwards would follow through on his stated plan to lessen Larry Johnson's workload in Week 1, but sure enough he got just 17 touches (10 carries, seven catches) in the season opener. Playing it safe with Johnson following a record-breaking workload last season is smart and Johnson said after Week 1 that he's still not at 100 percent following a lengthy holdout, but Edwards apparently plans to remove the reins this week.

"He's got a game under his belt now," Edwards said. "We've got to run the ball better. We have to run the football as an offense 30 times. We have to get him some more carries." If that sounds familiar, it's because it should. While expressing my skepticism about Edwards' plans last week, I wrote that "we'll see what he actually does once the Chiefs' sub par offense stalls without Johnson getting his hands on the ball 30 times per game."

Scoring three points while the non-Johnson portion of the offense managed a grand total of 132 yards against the Texans in Week 1 definitely counts as stalling, and it's not surprising to see that Edwards is suddenly a lot less concerned about keeping Johnson fresh. Johnson getting back to his regular workload would be good news for his fantasy owners, at least in the short term, but his matchup against the Bears makes it unlikely that he'll post big numbers in Week 2 either way.

* After reportedly telling people Tuesday that he doesn't expect to play in Week 2, Chad Pennington wore a black wrap around his injured ankle during practice Wednesday. Pennington is said to have walked with a noticeable limp and didn't throw any passes. Citing "three people familiar with the severity of Pennington's injury and the Jets' plans," the Newark Star-Ledger reports that Kellen Clemens will get the start Sunday against the Ravens.

* One day after trading Week 1 starter Charlie Frye and handing Derek Anderson the gig for Week 2, coach Romeo Crennel said Wednesday that he won't hesitate to bring rookie Brady Quinn in if Anderson struggles against the Bengals. "I think it just depends on how the game goes," Crennel said. "If things can't get straightened out, then I think you have to do something quickly." The Browns appear to have no plan and zero patience, so Quinn seems likely to play.

* Cadillac Williams took part in some of Wednesday's practice and said afterward that his injured ribs have improved "rapidly," but coach Jon Gruden told reporters that Williams was "very limited" and did most of his work "above the neck." Williams is optimistic about his status, saying that "there's no question" he'll play "if it continues to get better," but it sounds like he'll be listed as questionable for Week 2. Count on 10-15 carries and 3-5 catches for Michael Pittman.

Two-Minute Drill: Despite a pair of dropped passes in Week 1, coach Mike Nolan said Wednesday that Frank Gore's broken hand "is not an issue" ? With future Hall of Famer Orlando Pace (shoulder) out for the season, the Rams will move Alex Barron to left tackle ? Tampa Bay released David Boston on Wednesday after tests revealed the so-called "date-rape drug" GHB in his system following a DUI arrest last month ? Corey Dillon's agent said Wednesday that Dillon would be interested in coming out of retirement "if the right team called," adding that "Chicago is definitely a right team" ? Ashley Lelie was on the field for exactly one play in the 49ers' season opener Monday night ? Offensive coordinator Ron Turner said Wednesday that he plans to involve both Devin Hester and Garrett Wolfe in the offensive game plan more going forward after they combined for one snap in Week 1 ? Shaun Phillips called Cedric Benson "soft" while doing a radio interview Wednesday, to which Benson responded: "I'll run that dude over any day." How about last Sunday, Cedric?
Tampabaybuccaneers.com
Red Zone: Antonio Gates missed Wednesday's practice with a back injury, but coach Norv Turner said afterward that he "should practice later in the week" ? Ray Lewis reportedly plans to play in Week 2 after an MRI showed that his triceps injury is not a tear ? Shaun Alexander is expected to play in Week 2, but reportedly wore a brace on his hand during practice Wednesday ? T.J. Houshmandzadeh (knee) skipped practice Wednesday, but did the same thing before turning in a big game last week ? Chester Taylor (oblique) is expected to be limited in practice this week and looks likely to be a game-time decision Sunday ? Vernand Morency (knee) could suit up in Week 2 after going through a full practice Wednesday, while both Brandon Jackson (concussion) and Donald Driver (foot) are absent from the injury report ? Jonathan Ogden (toe) said Wednesday that he expects to play again this season, but it likely won't be for a while ? Marshawn Lynch sat out Wednesday's practice with a stomach illness, but returned Thursday.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#95
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Week 2 Rankings
The 2006 Jaguars were a truly rare running game. On an 8-8 team, they managed to squeeze out two overachieving, top-20 running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. We're only through one week, but there are early indications that Jacksonville could struggle to reproduce that sort of dominance.

Jacksonville's offensive line was manhandled against Tennessee. Albert Haynesworth dominated the day, disrupting the Jaguars' rare attempts to run. The team's play calling is a bigger concern for Mo-Jo owners. The Jaguars hired a new offensive coordinator this season, Dirk Koetter, who has a repuation for vertical passing. He called 13 runs versus 30 passes during a game that was tight throughout.

One of the primary reasons both Jaguars runners excelled last year was that the Jaguars pounded the ball 513 times, good for third in the league. This was only one game, and could prove to be an anomaly. Jacksonville's schedule is favorable (including this week against Atlanta) and Jones-Drew and Taylor are the best two players on the offense. Hopefully Dirk Koetter realizes it.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Peyton Manning</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marc Bulger</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Tom Brady</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Jon Kitna</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Matt Hasselbeck</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Vince Young</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Matt Leinart</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Tarvaris Jackson</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Jeff Garcia</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Rex Grossman</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Kyle Boller</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>J.P. Losman</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Steve McNair</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>(groin, looks unlikely to play)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Chad Pennington</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>(ankle, looks unlikely to play)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Derek Anderson</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Daunte Culpepper</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Kellen Clemens</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Jared Lorenzen</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Joey Harrington</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: For fantasy leaguers, Chad Pennington's injury is fairly irrelevant. Perhaps the Jets wideouts are worth downgrading slightly if Kellen Clemens plays, but the entire Jets offense could be in for a rough day against an ornery Ravens defense. I've ranked Clemens and Pennington, as well as Kyle Boller and Steve McNair. Everyone is ranked as if they'll start. ? The Patriots emphasized protecting Tom Brady in Week 1 ? he was only hit once. They occasionally played three tight ends at the same time, including usual tackle Ryan O'Callaghan. If they can keep Brady clean against the Chargers, it will show true improvement from a unit that struggled a year ago. ? Brett Favre needs to bounce back this week. The Giants may have the worst secondary in the league and Favre gets Greg Jennings back. The Packers offense looked disorganized for much of their game against the Eagles, but Mike McCarthy remained pass-heavy as ever. That makes Favre a solid option this week.

I'm not sure what the Redskins were doing benching Shawn Springs last week, but it didn't help their pass defense. Miami picked on Fred Smoot, and I expect the Eagles to do the same. Look for a much better effort from Donovan McNabb. ? Jason Campbell did not look sharp against the Dolphins. At least once a game, though, Campbell will drop a gem pretty enough to make Joe Gibbs cry. Last week, it was a 49-yard third quarter sideline strike to Antwaan Randle El ? the best pass I saw all week. Now he needs consistency. ? Trent Green looked better than I expected overall in Miami's first game. He has a cake matchup this week against the Cowboys, so let's see if he can put up some scores before considering him as a fantasy option. ? Philip Rivers just isn't ready yet to post huge stats against elite defenses. That makes him a poor option this week against the Patriots, who held him in check during their playoff matchup last year.

Players in 2QB leagues could consider picking up Luke McCown, becauseJeff Garcia is not going to survive the season with his playing style and Tampa's offensive line. He barely survived one game. ? Daunte Culpepper will have a difficult re-introduction to NFL life against a primed Denver secondary. ? Vince Young and the Titans are running a scaled-back passing game these days. Young only attempted ten passes to his wide receivers Sunday, completing four. He only threw three passes over 20 yards by my count. Of course he also scored on a designed rushing play; he's probably Tennessee's best goal line option. The Colts won't give anything up deep, so Young will have to run for fantasy points this week, like he did last year when he posted 121 yards and a touchdown in two games against Indianapolis. He's a shaky QB1 play, but he shouldn't kill you.

David Garrard was under a lot of pressure and didn't react particularly well late in the game. I'd still count on a bounceback game for that team against Atlanta. ? Upon further inspection, Matt Schaub's debut wasn't overly exciting. The Houston offensive line still had trouble protecting and Schaub threw an ugly interception. I only counted four throws over 20 yards, although Schaub threw a beautiful bomb to Andre Johnson for a long score. Schaub still looks like a solid fantasy backup; he's already better than David Carr.

I love Ben Roethlisberger's matchup against Buffalo. Jay Cutler found a lot of open receivers last week. Cutler seems to do better on plays when he's in trouble, but he's going to throw a lot of interceptions because of his decision-making. He could have been picked of a few more times last week. As Football Outsiders pointed out, Cutler has an amazing amount of success throwing long passes off his back foot. He may have the best pure arm in the league. And despite a few brain farts, Cutler was very sharp on Denver's game-winning drive. ? Reports out of New York Thursday suggest Eli Manning's injury will probably be a couple weeks, as Chris Mortensen originally reported. ? Buffalo's pass protection was terrible last week and J.P. Losman didn't react well. It could be another long week against a blitzing Pittsburgh defense. Tarvaris Jackson is high because Detroit's defense is that bad.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Joseph Addai</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Willie Parker</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Travis Henry</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Shaun Alexander</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Rudi Johnson</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Laurence Maroney</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>LaMont Jordan</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Cedric Benson</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Ronnie Brown</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Deuce McAllister</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Julius Jones</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Ahman Green</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Derrick Ward</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>DeShaun Foster</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>(ribs, uncertain status)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Tatum Bell</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Chris Brown</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Jesse Chatman</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Sammy Morris</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Ron Dayne</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Musa Smith</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Anthony Thomas</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Brian Leonard</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: I almost led the column with Marshawn Lynch because of his impressive Week 1 effort. It wasn't just the solid totals (99 total yards, more than half of his team), it was how Lynch got to them. The kid runs hard, his feet do not stop moving, and he gets a lot of yards after contact. His herky-jerky style reminds me of Fred Taylor. They both have great vision, although I think Lynch can be a better power runner. After a shaky preseason, Lynch owners that took him as a RB2 should feel good. He'll have a very difficult matchup this week, but Lynch will be tough to bench in most formats.
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The optimistic Larry Johnson owner could note his large role in the passing game against Houston. With a weak group of wideouts and offensive linemen, Damon Huard is going to look for LJ coming out of the backfield often. ? Ahman Green's so-so debut was worse than it appeared in the box score. Thirty of Green's 73 yards were earned on garbage carries; one on a third-and-35, another at the end of the first half. Both Green and Dayne had very little running room all day. ? Tatum Bell scored a touchdown late against the Raiders, but the Lions only attempted 18 runs last week in a game they led throughout. Look for that number to decrease against the stout Minnesota rush defense.

Rudi Johnson is a player to watch closely this week. Getting stuffed against Baltimore is no crime, but the Bengals coaching staff was clearly concerned with Rudi slowing down over the offseason. Getting stuffed against the Browns would be a cause for concern. ? Fantasy owners don't care, but the Broncos should be concerned that 11 of Travis Henry's 23 carries went for three yards or less. Nine were two yards or less. It sounds like I'm nitpicking, but the Broncos will want less boom-or-bust from their starter. ? Ronnie Brown is off to a slow start, but it's difficult to bench him against a shaky-looking Dallas defense. ? For now, I'm ranking the Vikings as if Chester Taylor will play. Peterson is a strong RB2 against Detroit regardless. I'm ranking Derrick Ward as if Eli Manning won't play, which appears safe. Cadillac Williams is not ranked, but he will be inserted around Michael Pittman's rank if it looks like he'll start. I update the rankings on Saturdays, so check back.

Chris Brown had a terrific day against the Jaguars, outrunning their physical defense. I think LenDale White will be featured more against the lightweight Colts. Either way, White is getting the ball on the goal line more, which makes him safer.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Reggie Wayne</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marvin Harrison</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Chad Johnson</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Andre Johnson</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Roy Williams</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Marques Colston</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Randy Moss</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Javon Walker</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Plaxico Burress</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Reggie Brown</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Joey Galloway</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Darrell Jackson</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Deion Branch</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Calvin Johnson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Kevin Curtis</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Mike Furrey</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Nate Burleson</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Devery Henderson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>James Jones</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Troy Williamson</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Wes Welker</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Greg Jennings</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Marty Booker</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Ernest Wilford</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Demetrius Williams</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Dennis Northcutt</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Joe Horn</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Matt Jones</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>Amani Toomer</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>56</TD><TD>Brandon Jones</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>57</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>58</TD><TD>Joe Jurevicius</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>59</TD><TD>Jacoby Jones</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>60</TD><TD>Jabar Gaffney</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>61</TD><TD>Keary Colbert</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>62</TD><TD>Drew Carter</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: Javon Walker led the NFL in targets last week. He dropped a couple, but dominated Terrence McGee on Denver's final drive. This week will be as difficult a test as there is: Nmandi Asomugha. If Walker holds his own, it could be a sign that he's ready for a big campaign. ? Brandon Marshall made a couple tough grabs against the Bills and is facing a Raiders secondary that was shredded last week. We'll see if it was a fluke. ? Lee Evans got the Champ Bailey treatment last week and was practically shutout (although he did beat Bailey once deep). Ronald Curry will probably draw Bailey most of the time this week or he'd be ranked much higher. ? I am remaining patient with Jerry Porter, but he's had a poor preseason and Week 1 effort. Where's the separation? He looks like Mike Williams out there.

Mark Clayton is ranked so low this week because his ankle/toe isn't fully healthy. My thoughts on Demetrius Williams are in Pancake Blocks. ? Eddie Kennison popped his hamstring on the very first offensive play for Kansas City's season, an ominous sign to say the least. I dismissed Dwayne Bowe and Samie Parker in Waiver Wired, but watching tape of the game made me think twice. Bowe certainly looked like the team's number one receiver with seven targets. He grabbed one tough deep pass, but failed to haul in two other catchable balls. That was the rap on Bowe coming out of LSU; a guy who doesn't get great separation needs better hands. Still, he was in position to make plays. They should come eventually. Parker shocked me by making a pair of difficult catches. It's hard to get excited about these two with such a tough schedule, but Bowe could be worth a look in deep leagues.

Andre Johnson's 77-yard score was great to see after a season in which he was basically a possession receiver. He caught one pass over 25 yards in the second half of last season. Gary Kubiak moved AJ around a lot, and got him matched up with a young safety on that play. Maybe he can bust through Carolina's shaky safeties deep this week. ? Matt Jones was targeted in the end zone in Week 1, but otherwise was an afterthought in the Jacksonville offense. That team will spread it around, making any of their receivers tough plays. For what it's worth, Dennis Northcutt looked like the top option in the first week. He went 4-for-57 and is worth owning in deep leagues, but had a trademark costly drop. ? Eric Moulds came off the bench for the Titans. I don't see the upside in the offense ? I'd drop him. The biggest play Brandon Jones made was on a run. His talent is worth holding on to, but he's not a borderline WR3 like a lot of owners hoped. Roydell Williams, by the way, didn't even have a target.

I'd still play guys like Deion Branch and Reggie Brown this week. ? Randy Moss is going to have his quiet weeks, but I don't think this will be one of them. San Diego can be attacked vertically, and Moss is the only option unless Donte' Stallworth plays more. Stallworth is off the board. ? Mike Furrey will continue to be a sneaky PPR option as long as he's starting. Minnesota's secondary is average at best. ? You could do worse than Nate Burleson as a WR3 this week. He'll get targets deep. Other randomly good matchups: James Jones, Greg Jennings, Troy Williamson, and Marty Booker.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Jeremy Shockey</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Ben Watson</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eric Johnson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Dallas Clark</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Daniel Graham</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>David Martin</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Jeff King</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Zach Miller</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Marcus Pollard</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Tony Scheffler</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Chris Baker</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Visanthe Shiancoe</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

TE Notes: A couple tight ends with that are rising in the rankings and are worth <A href="http://blogs.rotoworld.com/Fantasy_Football/2007/09/waiver_tight_ends.php" target=_new>a look for bye week purposes include Jeff King, Marcus Pollard, and Marcedes Lewis. Lewis is easily the best bet to be a TE1. He made a great leaping catch against Tennessee and also stretched the field on a 15-yard slant. I think Randy McMichael-in-Miami like numbers are a reasonable goal. ? Kansas City's offensive struggles will affect Tony Gonzalez, if only because he'll get fewer scoring opportunities. Everything to him in Week 1 was short.

Chris Cooley had four games under 25 yards last year. Tony Gonzalez also had four. It happens to tight ends, so don't panic. ? Eric Johnson had a big game as a Cover 2 zone buster last week against the Colts. He faces the original Tampa 2 this week and looks like a fine PPR option. ? Jason Witten may benefit the most from Terry Glenn's injury. It's only one game, but Witten hasn't had a game like that since 2004. ? I love Heath Miller this week. The Bills left a lot of wide open holes in the middle of their defense against Denver. Miller caught all four of his targets in the opening game.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Patriots Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Colts Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Dolphins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Seahawks Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Giants Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Lions Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Adam Vinatieri</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Jeff Wilkins</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Stephen Gostkowski</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jason Hanson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Olindo Mare</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>Probable(hip)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Lawrence Tynes</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Mike Nugent</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>John Carney</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Matt Prater</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Dave Rayner</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#96
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Good week for graying QBs
As several e-mails reminded me this week, Alex Smith did not, in fact, outscore Carson Palmer in Week 1 of the 2007 season. That is a fact. If that's good enough for you, then you can probably skip the rest of the column.

Why Carson Palmer outscored Alex Smith in Week 1 of the 2007 season is a much more interesting story. What owners who played Carson Palmer in Week 1 may have noted is that Palmer did not have a great day. His numbers were, for Palmer, pedestrian: 20-32 for 194 yards, granted, with two touchdowns. That's 17.7 fantasy points in a standard league. Palmer averaged 18.1 fantasy points per game last year, and that was when he was recovering from his torn ACL and struggled early on (he averaged 19.1 fantasy points in 2005).

If you look at the drive log from the game, you'll notice something very interesting about Palmer's two touchdown passes. They were both on drives that started in Baltimore territory, by virtue of a short field granted them by one of five Baltimore turnovers. Steve McNair, for those of you that didn't watch the game on Monday, had a balky groin and was sailing every one of his throws like he was an America's Cup captain (quick, let me stash him on my America's Cup keeper league team). The Ravens fumbled five times and lost four of them to the Cincinnati defense. Research we've done at Football Outsiders shows that fumble recoveries are entirely random. The result of these fortuitous recoveries and a late interception return were the two short fields that resulted in the bulk of Palmer's points, the two touchdown passes.

The Ravens turnovers affect Palmer's chances of getting points in several ways. First, he has more time on the clock to run plays. Second, and more noticeably, he gets more drives, which means more plays, which means more yardage and then more points. Palmer and the Bengals ran twelve actual drives on Monday (I'm not including the last drive of the game, where they kneeled to end it). Last year against the Ravens, the Bengals only got ten drives. Had the Bengals not been the beneficiaries of some fumble luck, or Brian Billick decisive enough to get McNair out of the game when he was hurting the Ravens, odds are Palmer's performance would have been a lot closer to disappointing than average.

Of course, even if he had 10 points, he would've bested Alex Smith. For those of you who watched that game late Monday, our support group meets on Saturday. Bring pastries. Smith, outside of the last drive of the game, looked like the terrified rookie of 2005, not the developing player we saw in 2005. He was victimized by a few drops, but that's no excuse. He simply had a bad game. Much like Palmer, the two short fields the 49ers got were turned into nine points, but the touchdown was Frank Gore's for the taking, not Smith's.

While there's going to be some variability in quarterback performance regardless of who the defense is, one thing that needs to be considered, and what I want to highlight in this week's column, is the importance of the broader team matchup when making decisions about players on a week-to-week basis. When the San Francisco 49ers and the Arizona Cardinals play each other, who do you think about? Right -- Frank Gore, Larry Fitzgerald, Anquan Boldin, and the dynamic skill position stars each team enjoys. Neither team has much of a defense (sorry, Adrian Wilson and Nate Clements) to speak of -- the Cardinals defensive DVOA was 23rd in football last year, while the 49ers was 28th. What would you expect to happen in a 49ers-Cardinals game? A shootout! Last year, these teams averaged nearly 54 combined points in their two matchups.

They only got to 37 this year, partly because of improved defensive play, and partly because of a failure to execute offensively. In hindsight, you can make a case for that game story being a plausible possibility before the game ever started, but if your life depended on it, would you have taken an under of 38 on the game? 45? 50? Not a chance.

When you're looking at matchups for your players each week, you not only need to consider the individual matchup of the player, but the matchup of both teams and what's most likely to happen in their game. Take Chicago-Kansas City this week. A Chicago loss is possible, but what odds would you put on it? 5%? 10%? You have to take your strongest intuition about how the game will go and project performance accordingly. In all likelihood, Chicago will go ahead early and stay there. That means lots of Cedric Benson and Adrian Peterson on the ground as Chicago holds onto their lead and runs clock.

On the other side of the ball, you can expect Damon Huard to get plenty of dropbacks this week, although it's questionable what he might be able to do with them with Eddie Kennison hurting and the offensive line a shell of what it used to be. Likewise, Larry Johnson isn't likely to get 25 carries while the Chiefs are down 21 points. I'll try and highlight some likely game situations that might result in surer predictions for your players this week as we go position-by-position.

Quarterback

Last week, Pittsburgh's defense was so good that Cleveland gave up on their starting quarterback halfway through the game and traded him to Seattle three days later. Buffalo isn't likely to do that with J.P. Losman, but Losman is probably shaking a little in his boots. Losman will likely be helming a Bills team that'll be behind the Steelers as the game goes along, which means a decent amount of attempts, but his ability to do things with those attempts is in question -- Losman is a quarterback who takes a lot of sacks, and the Steelers defense has the pass rushers to get to him. On the other hand, don't downgrade Lee Evans.

While the Steelers pass defense was effective last year, it was very poor against #1 wide receivers, ranking 30th in the league. Part of this was down to the struggles of Ike Taylor, and while the Steelers defense is changing some with the arrival of Mike Tomlin, they don't really have a cover corner who can hang with Evans. If Losman throws for 220 yards, 150 of them might go to Evans.

For a start recommendation out of nowhere, how about Jeff Garcia? You saw New Orleans' pass defense picked apart by Peyton Manning last week -- Garcia is no Manning, but there are holes in that defense and while New Orleans is likely to be ahead of Tampa, expect Garcia to be throwing to try and catch up to the Saints' attack. On a somewhat more obvious note, if you weren't starting Tom Brady last week, do so this week. The Chargers' weakness is their pass defense, and expect Brady to be able to create and then exploit mismatches against their safeties and linebackers. See -- no taping jokes! Only column on the internet.

Finally, Brett Favre gets to go up against the shop of horrors that is the Giants pass defense. Now without Osi Umenyiora for the whole game, Favre's got to be licking his chops to play against a team in such dire straits. Expect big numbers from Favre this week.

Running Back

Jacksonville's rush defense, which was expected by myself and everyone else to be one of the league's best in 2007, was absolutely decimated by the Titans last week. Decimated. Is it possible that Marcus Stroud and John Henderson have given up the ghost at 28? Sure. I'm willing to give them a second chance before I say it wasn't anything more than a fluke, though. Downgrade both Warrick Dunn and Jerious Norwood this week.

While Baltimore couldn't keep the ball last week, they absolutely suffocated Rudi Johnson. Expect them to do the same to Thomas Jones this week; the Jets will likely be losing on the road against the Ravens, and that means passes from whoever's playing quarterback for them.

Houston looked like a real NFL team for the first time in a while against Kansas City last week; unfortunately, there's not many reasons to think that will continue against a much better Carolina team. Their rush defense still leaves much to be desired, and playing on the road against the Panthers, they're likely to see a steady flow of DeShaun Foster and DeAngelo Williams while the Panthers lead. Foster had a great game last week, but didn't hit my yardage mark because Williams received the bulk of the second-half carries. I'll be monitoring this over the first few weeks to see if it's a trend in how the Panthers use their backs.

It's hard to recommend anyone on Cleveland after last week's debacle, but Jamal Lewis has a much better matchup this week going against the questionable interior of the Bengals defensive line. With Derek Anderson in at quarterback, the Browns most likely offensive strategy might be to ride Lewis to 25-30 carries.

Wide Receiver

The Patriots will struggle to contain the Chargers offense on Sunday, but one guy they should be able to handle is Vincent Jackson; the Patriots do very well against the #1 wideouts of other teams, and Jackson is currently in that slot for San Diego.

We also project Jacksonville's passing defense to be quite good this season, and it held up its end of the bargain against Vince Young last week. I don't believe in Joey Harrington. Keep all your Falcons receivers on the bench this week.

While Antwaan Randle El had a huge day against Miami last week, Philadelphia's pass coverage is much more stifling than Miami's. He's not going to put up the same numbers again, even with Lito Sheppard out. Keep him out, but play Santana Moss.

St. Louis simply did not look good against Carolina last week; again, we project them to have the worst defense in football in 2007. While losing Orlando Pace will hurt their offense immensely, they're still probably good enough to beat the 49ers at home. At the very least, they'll be competitive -- that means San Francisco putting the ball in the air and not just pounding Frank Gore, and some chances for Darrell Jackson to have a big game. Following with the Garcia recommendation, I'll talk up Joey Galloway as a starter this week as well. Yes, Galloway is ancient. It's hard to argue with his success against the Saints, though; as a Buccaneer, he's got seven touchdowns in five games against the Saints, including one in each game. He's an excellent third wideout for teams this week.

In addition, push your Packers wideouts up some. Donald Driver is an excellent play this week, and even the secondary receiver group (Ruvell Martin, Greg Jennings, and James Jones) are borderline starts in deeper leagues.

Tight End

So, yes, Antonio Gates had an excellent week against the best tight end defense in football, the Bears. (Close readers would note that I only said to bench Gates if you had an option like Jason Witten to replace him with, and that Witten actually outproduced What was interesting about it, and what we can learn for the future, is how the Chargers used Gates -- to avoid putting him up against Lance Briggs, they used Gates as an out-and-out wideout; most of his catches came out of the slot or split out, as opposed to in the traditional tight end role. It will be interesting to see if the Chiefs employ Tony Gonzalez in the same way. I'm not prepared to say that people should sit Gonzalez, mainly because the Chiefs are going to need to throw the ball and Gonzalez seems like the only possibility for where it might go to.

Some borderline guys who are good starts this week: Eric Johnson (NO), Owen Daniels (HOU), and Vernon Davis (SF); keep away from Reggie Kelly (CIN), Desmond Clark (CHI), and Chris Baker (NYJ).
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
A final guy to downgrade this week? Dallas Clark. He's never put up big numbers against Tennessee, who defend tight ends very well, courtesy one Keith Bulluck. Clark's only averaged 7 fantasy points per game in his career against Tennessee, and could only muster four catches for 52 yards combined over his two games against the Titans last year. Outside of the chance that Clark might catch a touchdown, he's not likely to see much of the ball come Sunday.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#97
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Week 2 Rankings Update

The 2006 Jaguars were a truly rare running game. On an 8-8 team, they managed to squeeze out two overachieving, top-20 running backs in Maurice Jones-Drew and Fred Taylor. We're only through one week, but there are early indications that Jacksonville could struggle to reproduce that sort of dominance.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Jacksonville's offensive line was manhandled against Tennessee. Albert Haynesworth dominated the day, disrupting the Jaguars' rare attempts to run. The team's play calling is a bigger concern for Mo-Jo owners. The Jaguars hired a new offensive coordinator this season, Dirk Koetter, who has a repuation for vertical passing. He called 13 runs versus 30 passes during a game that was tight throughout.

One of the primary reasons both Jaguars runners excelled last year was that the Jaguars pounded the ball 513 times, good for third in the league. This was only one game, and could prove to be an anomaly. Jacksonville's schedule is favorable (including this week against Atlanta) and Jones-Drew and Taylor are the best two players on the offense. Hopefully Dirk Koetter realizes it.

Editor's Note: These rankings were updated Saturday morning. The notes were from Thursday. A roundup of the movement is in Pancake Blocks.
[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Peyton Manning</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marc Bulger</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Tom Brady</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>Probable(shoulder)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jon Kitna</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Matt Hasselbeck</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Vince Young</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Eli Manning</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>Questionable(shoulder)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Matt Leinart</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Tarvaris Jackson</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Jeff Garcia</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Rex Grossman</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Kyle Boller</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>J.P. Losman</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Steve McNair</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>Questionable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Derek Anderson</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Daunte Culpepper</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Kellen Clemens</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Joey Harrington</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: For fantasy leaguers, Chad Pennington's injury is fairly irrelevant. Perhaps the Jets wideouts are worth downgrading slightly if Kellen Clemens plays, but the entire Jets offense could be in for a rough day against an ornery Ravens defense. I've ranked Clemens and Pennington, as well as Kyle Boller and Steve McNair. Everyone is ranked as if they'll start. ? The Patriots emphasized protecting Tom Brady in Week 1 ? he was only hit once. They occasionally played three tight ends at the same time, including usual tackle Ryan O'Callaghan. If they can keep Brady clean against the Chargers, it will show true improvement from a unit that struggled a year ago. ? Brett Favre needs to bounce back this week. The Giants may have the worst secondary in the league and Favre gets Greg Jennings back. The Packers offense looked disorganized for much of their game against the Eagles, but Mike McCarthy remained pass-heavy as ever. That makes Favre a solid option this week.

I'm not sure what the Redskins were doing benching Shawn Springs last week, but it didn't help their pass defense. Miami picked on Fred Smoot, and I expect the Eagles to do the same. Look for a much better effort from Donovan McNabb. ? Jason Campbell did not look sharp against the Dolphins. At least once a game, though, Campbell will drop a gem pretty enough to make Joe Gibbs cry. Last week, it was a 49-yard third quarter sideline strike to Antwaan Randle El ? the best pass I saw all week. Now he needs consistency. ? Trent Green looked better than I expected overall in Miami's first game. He has a cake matchup this week against the Cowboys, so let's see if he can put up some scores before considering him as a fantasy option. ? Philip Rivers just isn't ready yet to post huge stats against elite defenses. That makes him a poor option this week against the Patriots, who held him in check during their playoff matchup last year.

Players in 2QB leagues could consider picking up Luke McCown, becauseJeff Garcia is not going to survive the season with his playing style and Tampa's offensive line. He barely survived one game. ? Daunte Culpepper will have a difficult re-introduction to NFL life against a primed Denver secondary. ? Vince Young and the Titans are running a scaled-back passing game these days. Young only attempted ten passes to his wide receivers Sunday, completing four. He only threw three passes over 20 yards by my count. Of course he also scored on a designed rushing play; he's probably Tennessee's best goal line option. The Colts won't give anything up deep, so Young will have to run for fantasy points this week, like he did last year when he posted 121 yards and a touchdown in two games against Indianapolis. He's a shaky QB1 play, but he shouldn't kill you.

David Garrard was under a lot of pressure and didn't react particularly well late in the game. I'd still count on a bounceback game for that team against Atlanta. ? Upon further inspection, Matt Schaub's debut wasn't overly exciting. The Houston offensive line still had trouble protecting and Schaub threw an ugly interception. I only counted four throws over 20 yards, although Schaub threw a beautiful bomb to Andre Johnson for a long score. Schaub still looks like a solid fantasy backup; he's already better than David Carr.

I love Ben Roethlisberger's matchup against Buffalo. Jay Cutler found a lot of open receivers last week. Cutler seems to do better on plays when he's in trouble, but he's going to throw a lot of interceptions because of his decision-making. He could have been picked of a few more times last week. As Football Outsiders pointed out, Cutler has an amazing amount of success throwing long passes off his back foot. He may have the best pure arm in the league. And despite a few brain farts, Cutler was very sharp on Denver's game-winning drive. ? Reports out of New York Thursday suggest Eli Manning's injury will probably be a couple weeks, as Chris Mortensen originally reported. ? Buffalo's pass protection was terrible last week and J.P. Losman didn't react well. It could be another long week against a blitzing Pittsburgh defense. Tarvaris Jackson is high because Detroit's defense is that bad.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Joseph Addai</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Willie Parker</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Travis Henry</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Shaun Alexander</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Rudi Johnson</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Laurence Maroney</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>LaMont Jordan</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Ronnie Brown</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Cedric Benson</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Deuce McAllister</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Julius Jones</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>Questionable(calf)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Derrick Ward</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Ahman Green</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>DeShaun Foster</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Carnell Williams</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>Questionable(ribs)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Tatum Bell</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Chris Brown</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>Questionable(hip)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Sammy Morris</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Ron Dayne</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Jesse Chatman</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>Probable(knee)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Musa Smith</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Anthony Thomas</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Brian Leonard</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: I almost led the column with Marshawn Lynch because of his impressive Week 1 effort. It wasn't just the solid totals (99 total yards, more than half of his team), it was how Lynch got to them. The kid runs hard, his feet do not stop moving, and he gets a lot of yards after contact. His herky-jerky style reminds me of Fred Taylor. They both have great vision, although I think Lynch can be a better power runner. After a shaky preseason, Lynch owners that took him as a RB2 should feel good. He'll have a very difficult matchup this week, but Lynch will be tough to bench in most formats.

The optimistic Larry Johnson owner could note his large role in the passing game against Houston. With a weak group of wideouts and offensive linemen, Damon Huard is going to look for LJ coming out of the backfield often. ? Ahman Green's so-so debut was worse than it appeared in the box score. Thirty of Green's 73 yards were earned on garbage carries; one on a third-and-35, another at the end of the first half. Both Green and Dayne had very little running room all day. ? Tatum Bell scored a touchdown late against the Raiders, but the Lions only attempted 18 runs last week in a game they led throughout. Look for that number to decrease against the stout Minnesota rush defense.

Rudi Johnson is a player to watch closely this week. Getting stuffed against Baltimore is no crime, but the Bengals coaching staff was clearly concerned with Rudi slowing down over the offseason. Getting stuffed against the Browns would be a cause for concern. ? Fantasy owners don't care, but the Broncos should be concerned that 11 of Travis Henry's 23 carries went for three yards or less. Nine were two yards or less. It sounds like I'm nitpicking, but the Broncos will want less boom-or-bust from their starter. ? Ronnie Brown is off to a slow start, but it's difficult to bench him against a shaky-looking Dallas defense. ? For now, I'm ranking the Vikings as if Chester Taylor will play. Peterson is a strong RB2 against Detroit regardless. I'm ranking Derrick Ward as if Eli Manning won't play, which appears safe. Cadillac Williams is not ranked, but he will be inserted around Michael Pittman's rank if it looks like he'll start. I update the rankings on Saturdays, so check back.

Chris Brown had a terrific day against the Jaguars, outrunning their physical defense. I think LenDale White will be featured more against the lightweight Colts. Either way, White is getting the ball on the goal line more, which makes him safer.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Reggie Wayne</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marvin Harrison</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Chad Johnson</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Andre Johnson</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Roy Williams</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Marques Colston</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Randy Moss</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Javon Walker</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>Probable(shoulder)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>Probable(knee)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Plaxico Burress</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Reggie Brown</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Joey Galloway</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Darrell Jackson</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Deion Branch</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Calvin Johnson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>James Jones</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Kevin Curtis</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Mike Furrey</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Nate Burleson</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Devery Henderson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Troy Williamson</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Wes Welker</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Marty Booker</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Ernest Wilford</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>Questionable(toe)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>Probable(ankle)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Demetrius Williams</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>Questionable(chest)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Dennis Northcutt</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Amani Toomer</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Joe Horn</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Matt Jones</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>Brandon Jones</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>56</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>57</TD><TD>Joe Jurevicius</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>58</TD><TD>Jacoby Jones</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>59</TD><TD>Jabar Gaffney</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>60</TD><TD>Keary Colbert</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>61</TD><TD>Drew Carter</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: Javon Walker led the NFL in targets last week. He dropped a couple, but dominated Terrence McGee on Denver's final drive. This week will be as difficult a test as there is: Nmandi Asomugha. If Walker holds his own, it could be a sign that he's ready for a big campaign. ? Brandon Marshall made a couple tough grabs against the Bills and is facing a Raiders secondary that was shredded last week. We'll see if it was a fluke. ? Lee Evans got the Champ Bailey treatment last week and was practically shutout (although he did beat Bailey once deep). Ronald Curry will probably draw Bailey most of the time this week or he'd be ranked much higher. ? I am remaining patient with Jerry Porter, but he's had a poor preseason and Week 1 effort. Where's the separation? He looks like Mike Williams out there.

Mark Clayton is ranked so low this week because his ankle/toe isn't fully healthy. My thoughts on Demetrius Williams are in Pancake Blocks. ? Eddie Kennison popped his hamstring on the very first offensive play for Kansas City's season, an ominous sign to say the least. I dismissed Dwayne Bowe and Samie Parker in Waiver Wired, but watching tape of the game made me think twice. Bowe certainly looked like the team's number one receiver with seven targets. He grabbed one tough deep pass, but failed to haul in two other catchable balls. That was the rap on Bowe coming out of LSU; a guy who doesn't get great separation needs better hands. Still, he was in position to make plays. They should come eventually. Parker shocked me by making a pair of difficult catches. It's hard to get excited about these two with such a tough schedule, but Bowe could be worth a look in deep leagues.

Andre Johnson's 77-yard score was great to see after a season in which he was basically a possession receiver. He caught one pass over 25 yards in the second half of last season. Gary Kubiak moved AJ around a lot, and got him matched up with a young safety on that play. Maybe he can bust through Carolina's shaky safeties deep this week. ? Matt Jones was targeted in the end zone in Week 1, but otherwise was an afterthought in the Jacksonville offense. That team will spread it around, making any of their receivers tough plays. For what it's worth, Dennis Northcutt looked like the top option in the first week. He went 4-for-57 and is worth owning in deep leagues, but had a trademark costly drop. ? Eric Moulds came off the bench for the Titans. I don't see the upside in the offense ? I'd drop him. The biggest play Brandon Jones made was on a run. His talent is worth holding on to, but he's not a borderline WR3 like a lot of owners hoped. Roydell Williams, by the way, didn't even have a target.

I'd still play guys like Deion Branch and Reggie Brown this week. ? Randy Moss is going to have his quiet weeks, but I don't think this will be one of them. San Diego can be attacked vertically, and Moss is the only option unless Donte' Stallworth plays more. Stallworth is off the board. ? Mike Furrey will continue to be a sneaky PPR option as long as he's starting. Minnesota's secondary is average at best. ? You could do worse than Nate Burleson as a WR3 this week. He'll get targets deep. Other randomly good matchups: James Jones, Greg Jennings, Troy Williamson, and Marty Booker.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Tight Ends[/SIZE]





<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>Probable(back)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Jeremy Shockey</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Ben Watson</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>Probable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eric Johnson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Dallas Clark</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Daniel Graham</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>David Martin</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Jeff King</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Zach Miller</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Marcus Pollard</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Tony Scheffler</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Chris Baker</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Visanthe Shiancoe</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

TE Notes: A couple tight ends with that are rising in the rankings and are worth <A href="http://blogs.rotoworld.com/Fantasy_Football/2007/09/waiver_tight_ends.php" target=_new>a look for bye week purposes include Jeff King, Marcus Pollard, and Marcedes Lewis. Lewis is easily the best bet to be a TE1. He made a great leaping catch against Tennessee and also stretched the field on a 15-yard slant. I think Randy McMichael-in-Miami like numbers are a reasonable goal. ? Kansas City's offensive struggles will affect Tony Gonzalez, if only because he'll get fewer scoring opportunities. Everything to him in Week 1 was short.

Chris Cooley had four games under 25 yards last year. Tony Gonzalez also had four. It happens to tight ends, so don't panic. ? Eric Johnson had a big game as a Cover 2 zone buster last week against the Colts. He faces the original Tampa 2 this week and looks like a fine PPR option. ? Jason Witten may benefit the most from Terry Glenn's injury. It's only one game, but Witten hasn't had a game like that since 2004. ? I love Heath Miller this week. The Bills left a lot of wide open holes in the middle of their defense against Denver. Miller caught all four of his targets in the opening game.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Patriots Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Colts Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Dolphins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Seahawks Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Giants Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Lions Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Adam Vinatieri</TD><TD>at TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Jeff Wilkins</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>vs. WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Stephen Gostkowski</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jason Hanson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Olindo Mare</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>at ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>vs. KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>vs. SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>vs. OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>at STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>vs. HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>at CLE</TD><TD>Probable(hip)</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>at NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>at MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>vs. NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Lawrence Tynes</TD><TD>vs. GB</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>at CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Mike Nugent</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>John Carney</TD><TD>vs. ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>vs. NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Matt Prater</TD><TD>at JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Dave Rayner</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#98
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Last Minute Decisions
Welcome to Last Minute Decisions, your final stopping point before setting your lineups Sunday morning. Each week I'll tell you Game-Time Decisions to watch and provide matchup rundowns you won't find anywhere else.

[SIZE=+1]Week 2 Game-Time Decisions[/SIZE]
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Arms
Eli Manning ? signs now point towards Eli sitting against Green Bay
Steve McNair ? was horrific in opener, won't play by most accounts
Josh McCown ? Daunte Culpepper set to make first start as a Raider
Dan Orlovsky ? likely to remain Lions' No. 3, behind J.T. O'Sullivan

Wides
Greg Jennings ? probably won't play after having hamstring setback
Demetrius Williams ? will play and start; he's looking like a fine WR3
Mark Clayton ? banged up and not close to 100 percent, won't start
Drew Bennett ? probable, Rams' third receiver practiced fully Friday
Bryant Johnson ? Explosive third receiver taking backseat in new 'O'
Laurent Robinson ? starter didn't practice all week, status uncertain
Josh Reed ? hasn't practiced at all; Roscoe Parrish to get more reps
Reggie Williams ? No. 5 WR is behind late-round pick John Broussard

Backs
Thomas Jones ? don't believe Mangenius, he'll certainly start @ BAL
Carnell Williams ? looks like he'll be active but no lock to finish game
Kevin Jones ? Lions '99 percent sure' Jones will sit out v. Minnesota
Chester Taylor ? very questionable; Adrian Peterson a must-play @ DET
Jesse Chatman ? Ronnie Brown's workload should expand on Sunday
Vernand Morency ? Brandon Jackson likely to again play on all downs
Maurice Morris ? not practicing, may lose backup job to Alvin Pearman

Ends
Greg Olsen ? rookie was limited all week, won't be 100% if he goes
Stephen Alexander ? blocker expected to play after practicing Friday

Legs
Shayne Graham ? Bengals haven't signed anyone else, so he'll start
Lawrence Tynes ? bad kicker on Giants team that may be w/o its QB

[SIZE=+1]Already Ruled Out for Week 2[/SIZE]

Arms
Chad Pennington ? Kellen Clemens gets frightening matchup @ BAL
A.J. Feeley ? Rookie Kevin Kolb to again back up Donovan McNabb

Wides
Terry Glenn ? team says he'll miss 4-6 weeks, bet here is he's out longer
D.J. Hackett ? Nate Burleson will be Seahawks' new starting split end
Eddie Kennison ? Fast Eddie has torn hammy; Dwayne Bowe steps in
Eric Parker ? Craig Davis had 2 catches for 15 yards in first NFL start
Koren Robinson ? eligible to be reinstated on October 17

Backs
Brandon Jacobs ? says he'll be back before initial timetables predicted
Dominic Rhodes ? it's early, but LaMont Jordan on his way to securing job
T.J. Duckett ? has high ankle sprain; expect red-zone passing by DET
Ricky Williams ? ready to apply for reinstatement on October 1
Michael Bush ? fourth rounder is on PUP; can rejoin Raiders in Week 7

Ends
Mark Campbell ? Eric Johnson could have another big day v. Bucs' zone
Daniel Wilcox ? Quinn Sypniewski likely to see expanded role on offense

Legs
Josh Scobee ? out for 6-8 weeks; John Carney to kick for Jacksonville

[SIZE=+1]Week 1 Matchups to Exploit/Avoid[/SIZE]

Saints @ Bucs
Game Time: Sunday 12:00 CT/1:00 ET


Marques Colston's Week 1 performance against Indianapolis' zone defense wasn't a dandy, but I'll take 6-for-48 every week in a points per reception league. This Sunday, the Bucs will be without starting right cornerback Brian Kelly due to a groin injury. Stepping in is Phillip Buchanon, a speedy but slight nickel corner whose tackling has been decidedly poor throughout the course of his career. Since Colston normally lines up on the left side of the formation, he frequently gets the opposing RCB in man coverage. Already an exceptionally physical wideout, the 6-4/231-pound Colston will have five inches and 46 lbs on little Phillip. Owners who were disappointed in Colston's opening-day outing or may be anticipating a sophomore slump are likely to reconsider after Sunday's tilt?

?On the other side, Carnell Williams appears ready to play against the Saints. New Orleans' rush defense is substandard and Cadillac would normally be an excellent RB2 play in the matchup. But due to his dinged up ribs, don't count on Caddy getting carries on short-yardage downs. The Bucs should look to avoid using him in situations where a lot of bodies will be flying around and Williams is more likely to take hits from multiple defenders. His injury is extremely painful and Cadillac will be at risk of re-aggravating it if he takes a shot to the right place in his midsection. Look for Michael Pittman to wind up getting the majority of the work. Pittman is already the Bucs' clear cut third-down back so the catches will be there, and he should see about 15 carries against New Orleans, in addition to potentially getting any goal-line chances. That would make him well worth a fantasy start in leagues that use flex positions.

49ers @ Rams
Game Time: Sunday 12:00 CT/1:00 ET


With Rams left cornerback Tye Hill out indefinitely as a result of broken ribs and cracked bones in his back, Arnaz Battle has sleeper value as the flanker in San Francisco's offense. Battle's Week 1 touchdown was fluky, as it came on a late-game end around, but with no one seriously challenging him for playing time and Darrell Jackson dropping balls left and right, the former college quarterback has a good chance to emerge as Alex Smith's go-to target. Battle, a crafty and sure handed wideout, will see usual Rams nickel back Lenny Walls in primary coverage Sunday. Expect Battle to run circles around Walls, the tallest yet most sluggish corner in the NFL. You could do a lot worse than Battle as a WR3 in points-per-reception formats?

?On the other side, if there is one player I wouldn't expect to be adversely affected by Orlando Pace's year-ending shoulder injury, it'd be Steven Jackson. Jackson showed rust on opening day with two fumbles (his same total from a season ago) after not playing in the preseason. With that forgettable performance out of the way, Jackson should get back on track against the Niners. Jackson was actually at his best while Pace was on injured reserve in 2006, amassing 11 TDs and averaging 172 total yards-per-contest during the final six games. Don't think about trading Jackson because 'Big O' is injured; St. Louis will likely rely on him more now that Marc Bulger's blind-side protection is in doubt.

Packers @ Giants
Game Time: Sunday 12:00 CT/1:00 ET


Gregg Rosenthal might disagree, but I wouldn't pencil Derrick Ward in as a reliable fantasy player until Brandon Jacobs returns from his sprained MCL. The Giants Wednesday acquired old-fashioned lead blocker Madison Hedgecock off waivers from the Rams and will plug him into the lineup at fullback. That will allow Reuben Droughns to again concentrate on carrying the football. With explosive rookie Ahmad Bradshaw also in the mix, don't be surprised if he, Ward, and Droughns are doled out carries close to equally over the next three weeks. Jacobs owners should be hoping big Brandon makes it back in time for the Jints' Week 6 game at Atlanta. The real concern is that if Ward does play well, he'll have earned an expanded role in the offense by that time?

?On the other side, Packers receiver James Jones will be looking to bounce back after an uninspiring opener against Philadelphia. Jones only caught four balls for 29 yards versus the Birds, but was targeted enough to prove that he's clearly an integral part of Green Bay's offensive plans. Starting split end Greg Jennings is not expected to be active, so Jones will get his second straight start. This time, with a banged up Giants secondary attempting to guard him, Jones' production is likely to increase. Cornerback Sam Madison and free safety Gibril Wilson are both less than 100 percent for New York and the Giants' defensive backfield talent is below average to begin with. A score and 90 yards is a realistic goal for the rookie from San Jose State.

Jets @ Ravens
Game Time: Sunday 3:15 CT/4:15 ET


Demetrius Williams will start for the second consecutive week over injured Ravens receiver Mark Clayton. Clayton has a foot/toe/ankle injury that has lingered since the halfway point in the preseason. He's likely to dress for Baltimore, but appears to have fallen behind Williams on the depth chart. The Jets showed last week that they have problems with lanky deep threats like Williams by giving up nine catches and 183 yards to Randy Moss. A poor man's version of the Mossman, Williams could also have success against Jets starting CBs David Barrett and rookie Darrelle Revis, as well as SS Erik Coleman, who can be a coverage liability. If Kyle Boller gets the Week 2 nod over Steve McNair, expect the stronger-armed backup to target Williams regularly. The duo has practiced together on the second unit for the last two years and likely developed a nice rapport?.

?On the other side, don't necessarily expect Kellen Clemens to struggle in his first career start. While the Ravens' pass rush is fearsome, Clemens' athletic ability will be an asset in evading it. Clemens' arm strength is also a big plus over Chad Pennington (high ankle sprain). If they are to be beaten defensively, it'll be due to the Ravens' secondary, which contains players like free safety Ed Reed who are more apt to take risks in coverage than follow through on their scheduled assignments. While Clemens isn't a good fantasy start in one-quarterback leagues, he shouldn't hinder Jerricho Cotchery and Laveranues Coles' ability to produce. In fact, look for both to have excellent days against coordinator Rex Ryan's defense, and Clemens to earn another start in Week 3.

[SIZE=+1]Do Not Underestimate[/SIZE]

Brandon Jackson

Vernand Morency will again sit out for Green Bay, which gives Jackson his second opportunity in as many weeks to establish himself as the Packers' every-down back. Jackson appears to have put his struggles in pass protection behind him and, after catching four balls in the opener, earned the trust of Brett Favre as a check-down target. Despite having five capable ball carriers on their roster, the Packers are in no obvious rush to get other running backs involved. That means Jackson is the man until he proves otherwise. Because he has experience in the zone-blocking system Green Bay uses from his college days at Nebraska, Jackson should come on strong quickly. He had 19 touches in Week 1 and it'd be safe to assume he'll get more against an injury-ravaged Giants defense on Sunday. His immediate matchups (v. SD, @ MIN, v. CHI) are tough after that, but expect Jackson to be an every-week fantasy starter by midseason.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
#99
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

A Whole New Season
The Saints and Rams are supposed to run elite offenses; the Browns are not. Yet when the dust cleared Sunday, Jamal Lewis had outscored Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, and Steven Jackson combined. Derek Anderson strafed the Bengals for five touchdowns, helping exactly one fantasy owner (Mrs. Anderson). Drew Brees and Marc Bulger combined for two touchdowns, disappointing thousands.

The Browns should come back to Earth, but there were stories beyond the box score that should concern fantasy owners of Rams and Saints. Despite good yardage, Bulger was knocked around like a pi?ata and the Rams continued to struggle in the red zone. Steven Jackson found little running room. Brees couldn't stretch the field and the Saints didn't score their first offensive touchdown of the year until late in the third quarter. Most of his stats came in garbage time.

We are only getting out of the blocks during this marathon season, and there is plenty of time for both offenses to right the ship. But as Brees and the Saints are keenly aware, the magic of 2006 can't help you now. It's a whole new season.

Wideouts going wild

If someone was to make a ridiculously early list of possible fantasy MVPs (I smell weekly feature), wide receivers might exclusively top the list.

Chad Johnson, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, and Randy Moss have all carried fantasy teams while many of the first- and second-round running backs have disappointed. Wideouts traditionally are drafted later because they provide poorer weekly consistency. The leading two running backs in PPR leagues thus far are LaMont Jordan and Edgerrin James.

History insists the wideouts will slow down precipitously and the running backs will rebound. For now, many owners that invested early picks at wide receiver are doing well.

Yeah, this could work

1. Jeff Garcia may not by Rich Gannon, but he's no Bruce Gradkowski. Through two games, Garcia has a yards-per-attempt average over ten and Tampa's offense is looking respectable. That gives Joey Galloway (135 yards, two scores) a chance for a big season with no other Bucs wideout stepping up.

2. It's tempting to ignore Derek Anderson' five touchdown game as a fluke. And while Anderson may not reach those heights again, the game was a great sign for talented receivers Braylon Edwards (146 yards, two scores) and Kellen Winslow (100 yards, TD). The Browns only need to approach competence for Winslow and Edwards to be elite options.

3. Kellen Clemens' numbers weren't flashy, but he showed plenty by getting the Jets in position for a comeback win in Baltimore. If not for a wide-open Justin McCareins drop, the Jets would have scored 17 fourth quarter points. Eric Mangini will have a difficult decision if Chad Pennington is ready to play at home next week against Miami.

4. Trent Green's four interceptions didn't help Miami's chances of winning Sunday. But his ascension to the starting role has revived Chris Chambers' career. Chambers only topped 66 receiving yards once last season. He's topped 90 yards in both games this season.

5. So much for getting used to his new receivers. Tom Brady has six touchdowns and 12 incompletions after playing against two defenses that gave him problems last season.

Don't Panic

1. Thomas Jones is averaging less than three yards-per-carry on the season, but that happens when you face the Patriots and Ravens. Buy low if you can. Any concern of a job share is a distant memory with Leon Washington going without a touch Sunday. Jones' solid RB2 season should start next week.

2. I don't need to tell you that LaDainian Tomlinson (worst YPC in NFL) and Steven Jackson are going to bounce back strongly right? Right?

The main concern I have surrounding Tomlinson is that the San Diego passing game may take time to develop. Vincent Jackson and Craig Davis aren't winning many individual battles on the outside. That will lessen Tomlinson's chances to score.

3. Larry Johnson owners are similarly aggrieved after two quiet weeks. But what did you expect at Chicago? There are legitimate concerns about the Kansas City offense, but 174 total yards in two games from LJ is solid considering the circumstances.

Some panic is acceptable

1. Alex Smith isn't ready to be a fantasy starter yet, no matter the opponent. The Rams, minus a number of key starters, should have been sitting ducks Sunday. But Mike Nolan called a very conservative game plan and the 49ers struggled to move the ball. Hold on to Smith as a QB2, but don't play him.

2. Mark Clayton has five targets in two weeks. I'm not sure what's going on, but he needs to stay on fantasy benches until proven otherwise.

3. Let the J.P. Losman/Trent Edwards watch begin! Losman has a 5.7 YPA through two starts this season. He took four sacks Sunday and fumbled for the second straight week. The schedule has been brutal, but it doesn't get any easier this week at New England.

4. Ronnie Brown got most of the carries, but his inability to do something with them is a growing problem in Miami. So is Cam Cameron's willingness to abandon the run quickly. Brown is edging towards a matchup/flex play in fantasy leagues instead of a RB2.

5. Rookie first-round wideouts aren't good fantasy picks (except Megatron), examples 143 and 144: Ted Ginn and Craig Davis have combined for 15 yards in two weeks.

6. The Raiders somehow had a game-winning kick attempt in a game where Josh Mccown had eight completions, 73 yards, and three interceptions. Denver is going to shut down a lot of passing games, but McCown shouldn't be long for that starting job.

7. Throwing four interceptions against the Lions is about the worst possible result for an NFL quarterback. Owners aren't counting on Tarvaris Jackson, but his struggles could be a drain on Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. Jackson left Sunday's game late with a groin injury.

Bounceback Week

Even the best wide receivers are going to have stinkers. Solid wide receivers you draft to be your WR3 are going to have a few. That's why Deion Branch owners shouldn't be shocked Branch followed up his o-fer with a 122-yard effort. Isaac Bruce rebounded from a three-catch, two-drop game with 145 dominating yards gained mostly on deep routes.

There's no telling what these two guys will do next week, but the numbers will even out over the course of the season.

Sigh of Relief in Desert

Perhaps Arizona's ugly Week 1 game had a lot to do with the San Francisco's defense. The high-flying days of Dennis Green may not return, but Larry Fitzgerald and Anquan Boldin owners showed the Ken Whisenhunt era can be productive with 170 combined receiving yards. The touchdowns will come.

Committee Time

1. DeAngelo Williams and DeShaun Foster remain equally boring thus far from a fantasy perspective.

2. It's taken Brandon Jackson 32 carries to gain 75 yards. His lack of production against the soft Giants could lead to a bigger role for DeShawn Wynn (68 total yards, 2 TDs Sunday) in the coming weeks. Wynn is a huge injury risk, but he's flashed better big-play potential than Jackson in limited work.

3. The Jaguars continue to lean Fred Taylor on the ground to mostly mediocre results. Maurice Jones-Drew owners have only enjoyed 18 carries in two weeks.

4. Bobby Petrino made good on his promise to get Jerious Norwood more involved, giving Norwood ten touches to Warrick Dunn's 14. Dunn had the better day, so look for a relatively even split to continue moving forward.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
5. Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush were stuffed for the second week in a row. McAllister is averaging only 11.5 touches a game. This happens when the Saints are playing from behind.

6. Marion Barber and Julius Jones continue to head in opposite directions. While Jones surprisingly had more receiving yards, Barber out-gained Jones by 67 yards and two touchdowns on one fewer carry. MBIII is improbably scoring in bunches again, and the starting role in Dallas will be a hot topic this week.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Offensive Underload
The Saints and Rams are supposed to run elite offenses; the Browns are not. Yet when the dust cleared Sunday, Jamal Lewis had outscored Reggie Bush, Deuce McAllister, and Steven Jackson combined. Derek Anderson strafed the Bengals for five touchdowns, helping exactly one fantasy owner (Mrs. Anderson). Drew Brees and Marc Bulger combined for two touchdowns, disappointing thousands.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
The Browns should come back to Earth, but there were stories beyond the box score that should concern fantasy owners of Rams and Saints. Despite good yardage, Bulger was knocked around like a pi?ata and the Rams continued to struggle in the red zone. Steven Jackson found little running room. Brees couldn't stretch the field and the Saints didn't score their first offensive touchdown of the year until late in the third quarter. Most of his stats came in garbage time.

We are only getting out of the blocks during this marathon season, and there is plenty of time for both offenses to right the ship. But as Brees and the Saints are keenly aware, the magic of 2006 can't help you now. It's a whole new season.

[SIZE=+1]Wideouts going wild[/SIZE]

If someone was to make a ridiculously early list of possible fantasy MVPs (I smell weekly feature), wide receivers might exclusively top the list.

Chad Johnson, Andre Johnson, Steve Smith, and Randy Moss have all carried fantasy teams while many of the first- and second-round running backs have disappointed. Wideouts traditionally are drafted later because they provide poorer weekly consistency. The leading two running backs in PPR leagues thus far are LaMont Jordan and Edgerrin James.

History insists the wideouts will slow down precipitously and the running backs will rebound. For now, many owners that invested early picks at wide receiver are doing well.

[SIZE=+1]Yeah, this could work[/SIZE]

1. Jeff Garcia may not by Rich Gannon, but he's no Bruce Gradkowski. Through two games, Garcia has a yards-per-attempt average over ten and Tampa's offense is looking respectable. That gives Joey Galloway (135 yards, two scores) a chance for a big season with no other Bucs wideout stepping up.

2. It's tempting to ignore Derek Anderson' five touchdown game as a fluke. And while Anderson may not reach those heights again, the game was a great sign for talented receivers Braylon Edwards (146 yards, two scores) and Kellen Winslow (100 yards, TD). The Browns only need to approach competence for Winslow and Edwards to be elite options.

3. Kellen Clemens' numbers weren't flashy, but he showed plenty by getting the Jets in position for a comeback win in Baltimore. If not for a wide-open Justin McCareins drop, the Jets would have scored 17 fourth quarter points. Eric Mangini will have a difficult decision if Chad Pennington is ready to play at home next week against Miami.

4. Trent Green's four interceptions didn't help Miami's chances of winning Sunday. But his ascension to the starting role has revived Chris Chambers' career. Chambers only topped 66 receiving yards once last season. He's topped 90 yards in both games this season.

5. So much for getting used to his new receivers. Tom Brady has six touchdowns and 12 incompletions after playing against two defenses that gave him problems last season.

[SIZE=+1]Don't Panic[/SIZE]

1. Thomas Jones is averaging less than three yards-per-carry on the season, but that happens when you face the Patriots and Ravens. Buy low if you can. Any concern of a job share is a distant memory with Leon Washington going without a touch Sunday. Jones' solid RB2 season should start next week.

2. I don't need to tell you that LaDainian Tomlinson (worst YPC in NFL) and Steven Jackson are going to bounce back strongly right? Right?

The main concern I have surrounding Tomlinson is that the San Diego passing game may take time to develop. Vincent Jackson and Craig Davis aren't winning many individual battles on the outside. That will lessen Tomlinson's chances to score.

3. Larry Johnson owners are similarly aggrieved after two quiet weeks. But what did you expect at Chicago? There are legitimate concerns about the Kansas City offense, but 174 total yards in two games from LJ is solid considering the circumstances.

[SIZE=+1]Some panic is acceptable[/SIZE]

1. Alex Smith isn't ready to be a fantasy starter yet, no matter the opponent. The Rams, minus a number of key starters, should have been sitting ducks Sunday. But Mike Nolan called a very conservative game plan and the 49ers struggled to move the ball. Hold on to Smith as a QB2, but don't play him.

2. Mark Clayton has five targets in two weeks. I'm not sure what's going on, but he needs to stay on fantasy benches until proven otherwise.

3. Let the J.P. Losman/Trent Edwards watch begin! Losman has a 5.7 YPA through two starts this season. He took four sacks Sunday and fumbled for the second straight week. The schedule has been brutal, but it doesn't get any easier this week at New England.

4. Ronnie Brown got most of the carries, but his inability to do something with them is a growing problem in Miami. So is Cam Cameron's willingness to abandon the run quickly. Brown is edging towards a matchup/flex play in fantasy leagues instead of a RB2.

5. Rookie first-round wideouts aren't good fantasy picks (except Megatron), examples 143 and 144: Ted Ginn and Craig Davis have combined for 15 yards in two weeks.

6. The Raiders somehow had a game-winning kick attempt in a game where Josh Mccown had eight completions, 73 yards, and three interceptions. Denver is going to shut down a lot of passing games, but McCown shouldn't be long for that starting job.

7. Throwing four interceptions against the Lions is about the worst possible result for an NFL quarterback. Owners aren't counting on Tarvaris Jackson, but his struggles could be a drain on Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor. Jackson left Sunday's game late with a groin injury.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Johnson's Big Season on Hold
Proving to be a good match with new quarterback Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson followed up a 7-141-1 performance in Week 1 with 120 yards and a pair of touchdowns on seven more catches in Week 2. Unfortunately, he exited Sunday's game in the fourth quarter with a potentially serious knee injury. Johnson's injury was initially reported as merely cramping and coach Gary Kubiak said after the game that he was day-to-day, but his status changed significantly Monday.

Johnson underwent an MRI and has been diagnosed with a sprained left knee, pending further tests later this week. He's considered doubtful to play in Week 3 and Kubiak indicated Monday that he could miss several games. "We feel very fortunate, Andre's going to be fine," Kubiak said. "Is he going to be fine in a week or is he going to be fine in four weeks? We're still in an evaluation process right now, but he's definitely got a sprain."

Results from the MRI have reportedly ruled surgery out, but being without Johnson for even a few games would be very tough on a Texans offense that was already thin at wide receiver. With Johnson out, Jacoby Jones figures to move into the starting lineup alongside Kevin Walter, but that duo has combined for just 50 yards on four catches through two games. I'd take a chance on Jones over Walter, but tight end Owen Daniels is likely to benefit most from Johnson's absence.

While the Texans try to build upon the first 2-0 start in franchise history without their best player, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Coach Rod Marinelli said Monday that Kevin Jones is "probable" to play in Week 3 after missing the first two games of this season and the final four games of last season with a fractured foot. Marinelli indicated that Jones would likely see 15-20 snaps against the Eagles, which is the type of limited workload that would keep him from being a legitimate fantasy option yet. However, if Jones can show that he's healthy and effective in Week 3, a larger workload is imminent.

The Lions called just 16 runs compared to 56 passes Sunday with both Jones and T.J. Duckett sidelined, so it's clear that they don't have the same type of confidence in Tatum Bell that they had in Jones last season. Mike Martz's offense will always be extremely pass-happy, but before breaking his foot last year Jones was averaging over 20 touches per game while being heavily involved as a receiver. In other words, he was looking like a poor man's Marshall Faulk.

It'd be wishful thinking to expect Jones to immediately resume thriving in that type of role, but counting on him as a solid RB2 option by some point next month makes sense. Meanwhile, Bell's days as a solid fantasy starter in Detroit appear to have lasted exactly one week. He'll no doubt continue to have a role of some kind with Jones back, but he's neither a more competent goal-line option nor a better receiver than Jones, leaving him as a pure backup eventually.

* Vernand Morency is hoping to return to practice this week after sitting out the first two games with a knee injury, but it's DeShawn Wynn who's making news in the Packers' backfield. Playing behind starter and fellow rookie Brandon Jackson in Week 2, Wynn totaled 68 yards and a pair of touchdowns on a dozen touches. Following that strong performance, the Green Bay Press Gazette reports that Wynn "will get more carries" and "could displace Jackson" as the lead back.

Wynn's size makes him a strong goal-line option and Jackson has averaged just 2.3 yards per carry, but Wynn potentially moving to the top of the depth chart is still surprising given that Jackson was drafted five rounds ahead of him and has gotten 40 touches through two games. Between Jackson, Wynn, Morency, and Ryan Grant the Packers' backfield is very crowded and trying to figure out how the carries will be split up is difficult, but Wynn is definitely worth grabbing.

* Two games worth of data is a very small sample, but the Indianapolis Star ran some interesting numbers Monday showing which running backs have the highest percentage of their team's carries. Steven Jackson leads the way at 88.6 percent, followed by Joseph Addai (84.3), Rudi Johnson (83.7), Thomas Jones (82.6), and Jamal Lewis (82.6). Those numbers include runs by quarterbacks and receivers, whereas Johnson is actually the only Bengals halfback with a carry.

Addai being among the top five is noteworthy because he totaled just 226 carries while splitting time with Dominic Rhodes last season, while Jones' inclusion means that Leon Washington has seen little action after racking up 920 total yards as a rookie. With Addai on pace for 118 more carries than he got as a rookie, coach Tony Dungy indicated Monday that he'll continue to get a similar workload going forward, saying that "right around 20" carries per game "is good."

Two-Minute Drill: Donovan McNabb passed for 240 yards Monday night, but needed 46 throws to do it and continued to look shaky following knee surgery ? Coach Wade Phillips said Monday that he has no plans to change the carry split between Julius Jones and Marion Barber ? After leading the NFL in dropped passes last season, Terrell Owens explained two of his three drops in Week 3 by saying that "the sun was right in my face" ? With coach Bobby Petrino saying publicly Monday that he's not confident in current starter Joey Harrington, the Falcons are reportedly set to meet with Byron Leftwitch ? Shaun Alexander is expected to continue wearing a cast on his injured wrist in Week 3 ? Coach Lane Kiffin said Monday that Josh McCown will again get the starting nod over Daunte Culpepper despite throwing five interceptions in two games ? Coach Herm Edwards said Monday that Damon Huard remains the starter for Week 3, but the Kansas City Star speculates that Brodie Croyle may be on the verge of taking over the job ? Coach Jack Del Rio criticized Matt Jones on Monday, saying that he's "not comfortable with some of the body language he's exhibiting" on plays where he's not the primary target.
Tampabaybuccaneers.com
Red Zone: Plaxico Burress came out of Sunday's game with both a sprained ankle and sprained pinky finger, but said afterward that he doesn't expect to miss any time ? However, rookie Steve Smith is expected to miss at least 2-4 weeks after suffering a fractured shoulder blade Sunday, moving Sinorice Moss up the Burress-led Giants receiver depth chart ? Frank Gore strained his leg while rushing for 81 yards and a pair of touchdowns in Week 2, but he's expected to be practicing by midweek ? Greg Jennings (hamstring) is unlikely to practice much this week and could be a game-time decision ? Coach Rod Marinelli called Jon Kitna's concussion "mild" Monday, suggesting that he'll be ready to start in Week 3 ? After sitting out Week 2, Steve McNair (groin) is expected to slide back into the starting lineup over Kyle Boller against the Cardinals on Sunday ? With Tab Perry (hamstring) ruled out for Week 3, Glenn Holt will serve as the Bengals' third receiver following a 5-52-1 effort in Week 2.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Wynning Strategy
The season is young enough that Brandon Jackson has the same amount of fantasy points in points-per-reception leagues as Steven Jackson. Sammy Morris has more than both of them. While most owners know to remain patient, there are 0-2 teams out there just waiting to panic with odd trades or waiver pickups. Take advantage on both counts.

With few major injuries in Week 2, the best waiver pickups this week will be drafted players that owners gave up too quickly. I'll try to cast a wide net here to cover all league shapes and sizes.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
[SIZE=+1]Running Back[/SIZE]

DeShawn Wynn, Packers - Wynn is the closest thing we have to a consensus must pickup this week. Some will chalk up his two-touchdown game as a fluke, but the seventh-round rookie has been the most impressive runner on the Packers thus far. He led the team's tailbacks in snaps against the Giants. That's worth something.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel put it well: "Wynn flashed more big-play ability in his two touchdown runs than Jackson has in two months as the No. 1 back."

The Green Bay Press-Gazette is even stronger: "DeShawn Wynn will get more carries at halfback this week and could displace Brandon Jackson as the Green Bay Packers' primary halfback."

Sobering news for Jackson owners considering how crowded the position is getting. Vernand Morency will return at some point. The Packers are high on their acquisition from New York Ryan Grant. Wynn is still a long shot to carve out fantasy starter value, but he's not that much longer than Jackson. He will probably be quiet against the Chargers and Vikings the next two weeks,but I'd rather own Wynn than most of the RB5/RB6 lottery tickets.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 12-team leagues

Ron Dayne, Texans - He somehow has more rushing attempts than Larry Johnson, Ronnie Brown, and both Jaguars runners. That won't keep up, but Dayne remains a fine player for the end of your bench.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Selvin Young, Broncos - We placed him here just in case he was already dropped. Mike Shanahan continues to shower Young with love and Jay Cutler targeted him twice as a receiver on deep routes. He's among the backups with the highest ceilings.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Brian Calhoun, Lions - Detroit's leading rusher on Sunday! Okay, it was only 22 yards. But it said a lot about Tatum Bell that Calhoun was in the game in overtime. He had more total yards than Bell in five less touches. With Kevin Jones coming back, Calhoun isn't worth grabbing. But we'd watch the Detroit depth chart to see if Bell continues to fall.

Recommendation: Worth keeping an eye on

[SIZE=+1]Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

Jeff Garcia, Bucs - Available in a surprising amount of leagues, Garcia could be in for another big day against St. Louis this week. There are concerns he won't hold up over the season, but he's a decent short-term fix for owners looking for a QB2. I'd take him over J.P. Losman and Trent Green.

Recommendation: Should be owned in 12-team leagues

Derek Anderson, Browns QB - Anderson had a miserable offseason, but he had plenty of good moments last year for Cleveland as a starter before his five-touchdown effort. He played tough against Kansas City, Pittsburgh, and Baltimore last season.

Were the five touchdowns a fluke? Sure. Aaron Gleeman tells me that Anderson didn't even look particularly good on many throws. Can Anderson's big play-potential help the Cleveland passing game appreciably this season? I think so.

The Brady Quinn era should come as soon as the Browns are a couple games under .500. Every start that Anderson wins should earn him a couple more weeks. His schedule ( Oakland, Baltimore, NE) does Anderson no favors. There could be some decent efforts, but there isn't much fantasy upside. Let someone else get him.

Recommendation: Only if you're desperate

Matt Schaub, Texans - Some Schaub owners may take the news of Andre Johnson's injury and release their QB2 for a while. Schaub has shown enough that he's worth picking up and stashing until AJ is right.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 12-team leagues

J.T. O' Sullivan, Lions - Jon Kitna is an injury waiting to happen. O' Sullivan was shaky in relief against the Vikings, but he racked up yardage like any Mike Martz disciple. He's an option in two quarterback leagues.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 2QB leagues

Kellen Clemens, Jets - All things considered, Clemens held up very well in his first start. Chad Pennington should get his job back this week, but Clemens is the most likely Jets quarterback to be starting in December.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 2QB leagues

[SIZE=+1]Wide Receiver[/SIZE]

Shaun McDonald, Lions - I deal in probabilities. There is so much uncertainty involved in fantasy football on a week-to-basis that it's all we have. And the probability of any fourth receiver having consistent fantasy value, even on a Mike Martz team, seemed nearly impossible before the season. Shaun McDonald is starting to make me believe.

The Lions passed 56 times on Sunday. Their top four wideouts had the following yardage: 111, 71, 61, and 60. Lee Evans owners would kill for 60 yards right about now. This sort of production isn't sustainable over the long haul, but McDonald is playing well enough to match Mike Furrey and Calvin Johnson in snaps.

I still wouldn't expect McDonald to be a great every-week option. He's someone that's fine to have on your bench, but a lot of the wideouts listed below have higher ceilings.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 12-team leagues

James Jones, Packers WR - Jones was dropped in a couple of the "industry" leagues I play in, so I'm guessing there were many impatient owners out there who dumped in. With Greg Jennings suffering a setback with his knee, Jones has a chance to cement his role on the Packers long-term. Jones showed some versatility by getting behind the Giants defense when he's more known for short routes. There are some difficult matchups coming up, but Jones would be a fine WR3 option against Minnesota in Week 4 if Jennings were still out.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 12-team leagues

Brandon Jones, Titans WR - I'd still take him over Roydell Williams. The Tennessee passing game showed some signs of life against the Colts, and Jones remains the most likely player to lead the team in receiving. Grab him as a WR5/6 if someone in your league dropped him.

Recommendation:Worth owning in 12-team leagues

Jacoby Jones, Texans - Completing our Jones trifecta, Jacoby is the shakiest long-term bet of the three. But he's Houston's best wideout while Andre Johnson is gone, making him a WR3 option in the meantime.

Recommendation: Worth a look in 12-team leagues

Roddy White, Falcons - Speaking of mediocre number one wideouts, White earned some post-game love from surly Bobby Petrino after his four-catch, 81-yard effort. He's only a deep league prospect, but all of the Atlanta wideouts would see an increase in value if Byron Leftwich signs.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deep leagues

Dennis Northcutt & Bobby Engram, Jaguars & Seahawks - These two should win a Waiver Wired lifetime achievement award for making it into the column all four years I've written it.

They are the type of uninspiring possession receiver that rightly get ignored on draft day, but start to look better during the season when you want someone that doesn't get shut out.

Northcutt is the better option this year. He's putting his awful 2006 season behind him, and is emerging as David Garrard's top option. Northcutt leads the Jaguars in targets by eight and receptions by six. He won't keep up his 96-catch pace of course, but Northcutt could put up 8-12 points in PPR leagues each week like a poor man's Mike Furrey.

Engram just doesn't quit. Matt Hasselbeck trusts him and the absence of DJ Hackett should mean a handful of catches each week. These guys don't have high ceilings, but they are worth stashing over guys like Mark Bradley who are buried on the depth chart.

Recommendation: Northcutt: Worth owning in 12-team leagues. Engram: Worth a look in deep leagues

Marty Booker, Dolphins - Like the guys above, but with a higher ceiling. The young Miami wideouts aren't stepping up, so Booker should be a starter all season.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 12-team leagues

Glenn Holt, Bengals - Glenn Holt!

Recommendation: Keep an eye on in deep leagues

[SIZE=+1]Tight Ends[/SIZE]

Owen Daniels, Texans - Some owners gave up after a quiet Week 1, but Daniels has the opportunity to be Houston's top receiver with Andre Johnson likely out of the lineup this week. He'll be a top ten option.

Recommendation: Worth owning in 12-team leagues

Jeff King, Panthers - King is the new Bo Scaife, and I mean that as a compliment. Look for 3-4 catches and 30-40 yards each week. He's ninth in the NFL among tight ends in targets.

Recommendation: Worth a look in deep leagues

Marcedes Lewis, Jaguars I listed Lewis and King last week, but they remain un-owned in nearly all leagues and remain the best tight end options out there. Lewis has 76 yards through two weeks and may be one of the only consistent parts of the Jacksonville passing game.

Recommendation Worth owning in deep leagues

[SIZE=+1]Team Defense[/SIZE]

Tampa Bay - Traditionally a solid fantasy defense, Tampa went undrafted in most leagues this year after a disastrous 2006. They have shown signs of turning it around against Seattle and New Orleans. This week, they get a St. Louis attack likely to give up sacks.

Colts - Continuing their solid play, the Colts should do well against an Andre Johnson-less Houston attack this week.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Early Busts
The Cleveland Browns are in the Super Bowl

Anybody else take Cincinnati in a knockout pool this week only to be sideswiped by the Derek Anderson Express? Rivalry games always spell disaster, even if the team's involved appear to be, competitively speaking, polar opposites Playing a rivalry game -- even one for "fun and entertainment purposes only" -- can only lead to disastrous results for someone involved, most of the time, the favorite. And, of course, me.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
However, what that free-flinging game did provide is an avalanche of points for lucky owners of Browns and Bengals fantasy chess-pieces. If you started any members on either of their starting offenses you probably wound up with a good haul. I was fortunate enough to start the Cleveland Browns sideline trainer at my flex spot and still managed to wind up with six points. I believe Carson Palmer's left sock finished with eight.

The start of Week 3 is when I traditionally like to freak out and completely dismantle the squad that scored the least amount of points for me. I'll start swapping under-performing first, second or third-round picks in 3-for-1 crapshoots just because it's the best medicine for a crappy points week. (That, or an oily foot-rub from Matt Pitzer can usually vanquish the pain of losing. Thanks again, MP.)

But foot-rubs can only do so much, as there is plenty of work to be done. Just like the real NFL, starting 0-2 against weaker opponents probably means you didn't draft as well as you thought, smart guy. Some things will shake out in due time and patience, but why wait six weeks for Larry Johnson to wake up when you can start cutting deadweight right now?

Let's rundown this week's able and disabled bodies.

GUSH:

Shaun McDonald, Detroit

Why doesn't he have a more creative spelling of his name? He should be a Shawa'n. Or a Seann'. Or a Chone. I'm not necessarily buying into the player, but I am buying into Mike Martz and Jon Kitna's blessed noggin to keep chucking it 50+ times a game.

He's an awesome flex receiver to stash away on your bench and will make the Thanksgiving game so much more enjoyable. (I picked up Az Hakim off the waiver wire one year right before Thanksgiving for that very purpose.) At this rate, McDonald could have a Macy's Day float inflated in his honor.

Jeff Garcia, Tampa Bay

The Jeff Garcia Renaissance continues and he's proven to be a more than serviceable second quarterback. Don't be spooked by Tampa's lame offense, Joey Galloway's age, or Garcia's alleged femininity -- this little girl can flat out toss. Last year's miraculous run with the Eagles proved that there's something to be said for knowing your offense's strengths and weaknesses he should only get better as the season continues. Take a flyer on the Faux Mexican and reap the rewards.

Jason Avant, Philadelphia

After two games, he appears to be the only receiver worth owning on this wretched, wretched offense. Built like a brick crap house, not afraid to go over the middle, and sporting the former jersey number of the only Philadelphia receiver that's done anything moderately productive in the last three years (81). By the end of the season, we'll see Avant holding press conferences in his driveway, doing sit-ups, and staging attention-grabbing half-suicide attempts to secure a contract negotiation.

MAIM:

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia

He's appearing more and more like the Byron Leftwich of last season. Hate to say it, but the new shiny-domed Five can't play at 80% capacity and 30-years-old. This week's game against the Lions maybe McNabb's final shot at redeeming himself for the suckers that took him way too high this year, hoping for a repeat of the first half of last season. (Hello, me. It's me again.) He's inaccurate, he's cranky, and, once again, the Philadelphia media's giving him his yearly pounding. First decent game he has, owners should trade him immediately because there won't be many more of them.

Lee Evans, Buffalo

Puke. I knew this guy wasn't a solid number one receiver, yet I took him anyway, hoping for that mythical fourth-year-receiver production leap. Nope. Nothing. What I'm left with is a spaz-cake diva, totally frustrated by noodle-necked J.P. Losman. Evans is getting the boot to the bench this week against New England. He will be bullied by Pats D-backs all day, and be forced to run most of his patterns dodging Gatorade buckets and assistant coaches in the sidelines after his pushed out of the play.

Maurice Jones-Drew, Jacksonville

Hey, wha' happen? This squatty little monster has yet to do anything resembling the fleet-footed battering ram of last year. Great, you moved the chains, Maurice! Why didn't I just draft Lorenzo Neal in the 15th round then, instead of wasting the second pick on your Oompa-Loompa-looking ass? I'll have some patience, but if you don't score against Denver, I'm sending Chris Hanson over your house with an ax.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Digging out of a hole
So it has to come to this. Your team is 0-2, you are ready to throw the whole blasted group out the window, convinced that your season already is cooked.

Just relax. That clich? you hear from coaches every week has some truth (as do most clich?s): Things are never as good as they seem or as bad as they seem. Unless, of course, Joey Harrington was your sleeper quarterback pick for the year. Then, yes, you might as well fold up shop.

If you are struggling, this is a difficult time. You want to ditch Steven Jackson, Drew Brees and Lee Evans. All of these guys you spent high draft picks or big auction money on are dragging you down. You want to dump them for your own sanity, if nothing else.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
But everybody else in your league knows the same thing. You'll get a nice little trade offer of Derrick Ward for Jackson and, if you're lucky, the other guy will offer to throw in Reuben Droughns as "insurance" behind Ward. Your first move is the most obvious: throw away all of the absurd trade propositions.

That is a psychological part of the process. You purge yourself of the desire to simply get rid of your bums any way possible. That leaves the more realistic proposals, which you then can stay up all night considering. And that is where you have to make critical decisions.

You have to decide how you feel about Reggie Bush and whether you can stand to wait for him to get his act together. Part of that will mean determining whether you can win with backup LaMont Jordan starting for a few weeks. If so, don't be in a rush to trade anybody. If, however, you are convinced Bush will remain a disaster, then it might be time to get what you can for him -- although that likely is a premature assessment.

You also need to get realistic about how good your players are. Jackson is a phenomenal talent; his team's problems are more of a drag on him than anything else. But there are guys such as Thomas Jones or Cedric Benson who are in some way flawed and need to be in perfect surroundings to succeed. As it looks more and more like they are not in those situations this year, either get what you can for them or decide how good your team is with seriously downgraded expectations.

Then there are slugs such as Devery Henderson (see below) who you ought to set about replacing altogether as quickly as you can. Let's get to some of the other players whose value has moved significantly up or down this week.

[SIZE=+1]ON THE WAY UP[/SIZE]

Jason Avant. The only Eagles wide receiver currently worth much is the one who probably was not drafted. Avant, a fourth-round pick in his second season, leads the team's wide receivers in catches and yards and has the team's only TD reception. If Donovan McNabb gets his act together, some receptions might go back to the more talented Reggie Brown and Kevin Curtis. But right now Brown and Curtis can't handle the defensive attention they're getting. That leaves Avant and he is worth a shot this weekend against the still-shaky Lions defense.

Owen Daniels. Somebody has to step up for the Texans this week if Andre Johnson can't play and it could be Jacoby Jones or Kevin Walter, the two likely starting receivers. But past production for both is spotty and gambling on either would be just that -- a gamble. Daniels at least has been good before and easily could wind up as QB Matt Schaub's favorite target. He is worth a start this week.

Ron Dayne. Dayne is always fun to ridicule, but you might not have noticed that he has the same number of carries (31) as starter Ahman Green. Part of that is because the Texans have been playing with a lead for a change, though it is clear he will retain a significant role in the offense. Dayne has only 77 yards rushing to Green's 144, but he will wind up stealing a TD or two before long.

Shaun McDonald, Mike Furrey. If you thought the only good Lions receivers would be Roy Williams and Calvin Johnson, think again. Not surprisingly, the Lions lead the league in both pass attempts and completions and Williams, Johnson, McDonald, Furrey all are over 100 yards already. McDonald (161) leads the team in yards and Furrey is repeating his 2006 season as a big reception guy. At this rate, the Lions could wind up with four 1,000-yard receivers.

Byron Leftwich. He will be a hot grab based on name recognition, but you'd be crazy to think that he will be very good very soon. The Falcons are turning to him only because their offense has been so pathetic. Leftwich is marginally better than Harrington, but he is a similar style player who won't move around much, takes too many sacks and holds the ball too long. The rest of the offense's problems are not going anywhere so do not expect more than minimal help when Leftwich plays.

Glenn Holt. The Bengals thought they could replace the suspended Chris Henry as their third receiver, but Chad Johnson and T.J. Houshmandzadeh have been getting a disproportionate amount of work. That's great for them but not so much for the Bengals. Holt filled in after Tab Perry was hurt last week and finished with five catches, 52 yards and a TD. He will continue to get regular scoring chances as the No. 3 receiver and also will get some return yards, if you get points for that.

[SIZE=+1]TAKING A DIVE[/SIZE]

Leon Washington. The Jets did something remarkable last week against the Ravens. With starting running back Thomas Jones struggling and a quarterback making his first start, they failed to give the ball to their most dynamic offensive threat. Not a carry, not a dump-off pass, nothing. Unless there is more to this story, that is a stunning coaching failure. Washington should be a good change-of-pace back to Jones. But if Washington can't get he ball when Jones is slumping, there is no reason to start him.

Mark Clayton. First it was an ankle injury that sidelined him during the preseason, then a toe injury. He supposedly is healthy now, but he has just one catch for minus-1 yard in a year in which he was supposed to establish himself as a No. 1 receiver. Veteran Derrick Mason has retaken his position atop the depth chart and is off to a strong chart. That has led to Clayton being dumped in a bunch of leagues; you might snap him off waivers if available but he appears to be a few weeks away from being worth playing.

Julius Jones. We've brought this up before, but there is almost no upside to Jones. He has a role for the Cowboys, albeit a very minor one. He is stumbling along at a piddling 3.2 yards a carry, brings no punch to the offense and will not see the ball near the goal line. Marion Barber III is so clearly a superior threat that Jones that Jones' value is in the tank. He has only marginal trade value as insurance to Barber owners and you should start any other runner you have who has a chance to score.

Tatum Bell. There was a time about, oh, two weeks ago that Bell was supposed to be the next Marshall Faulk, a versatile, dynamic threat who posted phenomenal numbers in a Mike Martz offense. Well, Mad Martz is in full effect. He all but gave up on the run last week even though his starting quarterback had a concussion and the backup was struggling. Plus, the Lions hope to get Kevin Jones back this week. Make sure Jones is not available; he will be the starter as soon as his foot will let him.

Devery Henderson. He was supposed to be a breakout possibility as the second receiver in a powerful offense but has just three catches for 34 yards. He still is struggling holding onto the ball and that Saints offense, well, you know all about it. Henderson was benched during the loss to the Bucs after a couple of more drops, including a potential touchdown. He has virtually no value right now and should not be near your lineup.

Chris Brown. The Titans turned to LenDale White as the main runner against the Colts and White did well, actually getting into the end zone instead of fumbling on the goal line for a change. But that is bad news for Brown, who should have been a great start last week. Brown was, rightly, one of the hot pickups last week but now it appears the Titans will be going back and forth between these runners so you're gambling by starting either. Both White and Brown have poor injury histories so that might not last.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Leftwich Lands in Atlanta
Atlanta was suggested as a logical landing spot for Byron Leftwich when he was let go by Jacksonville on September 1, but the Falcons repeatedly denied any interest in him while heading into the season with Joey Harrington, Chris Redman, and Casey Bramlet as their quarterbacks. Harrington proceeded to lose the first two games while being sacked 13 times and completing two touchdowns to the opposing defense compared to zero touchdowns to his own receivers.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
During his Monday press conference coach Bobby Petrino spoke publicly about his lack of confidence in Harrington and on Tuesday the Falcons signed Leftwich to a two-year contract. It's amazing what two weeks of watching Harrington can do to change a franchise's plans. Leftwich will join the team as a backup initially, but could emerge as a serious threat to overtake Harrington on the depth chart as soon as he masters the Falcons' new offense.

Atlanta is a good fit for Leftwich, and at 27 years old he could carve out a long-term home if the Falcons avoid grabbing someone like Brian Brohm or Andre Woodson in the upcoming NFL draft. Leftwich will be paid over $2 million for this season's final 14 games, so it's clear that he wasn't just brought in to provide motivation for Harrington. Don't be surprised if Leftwich is starting by around midseason and don't be surprised if the Falcons' passing game improves dramatically.

While the clock starts ticking on the Harrington Era in Atlanta, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Kellen Clemens played reasonably well while making his first career start in place of an injured Chad Pennington against the Ravens in Week 2, throwing for 260 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions against one of the league's premiere defenses. Despite that, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Tuesday that Pennington will move back into the starting lineup this week against the Dolphins unless he suffers a setback with his ankle injury before then.

Coach Eric Mangini has predictably avoided making an official announcement, but said Monday that "Chad is still the starter." Interestingly, Pennington indicated Monday that he would have been able to play against the Ravens if given a chance, saying that he "was ready to go" while placing the decision to start Clemens over him solely on Mangini. Whatever the case, there are better QB2 options this week, although the home matchup against Miami is a decent one.

* Frustrated with just four catches for 27 yards through the first two games, Vernon Davis spoke out Monday about his role in the 49ers' offense during Week 2 against the Rams. "There wasn't much double-team," Davis said. "Every route I ran, I got open. Every route. I was screaming. I want the ball. I don't know what it is. I got one or two passes thrown to me. I feel like I should have had more."

I'm an admitted Davis fan and expect big things from him eventually, but his team is 2-0 and it's worth noting that he's been targeted on seven of Alex Smith's 48 throws. That works out to 14.5 percent, which is similar to several of Davis' fellow second-tier tight ends like Alge Crumpler (15.4), Chris Cooley (16.0), Tony Gonzalez (18.5). While Davis' involvement in the offense has been lacking, the bigger problem for him is that the 49ers simply haven't needed to throw much.

* The season is officially underway once coach Mike Shanahan praises his backup running back. Asked about Selvin Young following the rookie's 40-yard run in Week 2, Shanahan indicated that he hopes to get him more snaps and said: "I can see him as a starter. He's a starter in this league." The big difference between the praise of Young and praise of previous backups is that Travis Henry is locked in as the starter thanks to a big contract and NFL-best 267 yards.

* Ted Ginn has 246 return yards and a pair of carries thus far, but has zero catches through two games. That's perhaps not surprising given how raw he was as a receiver when the Dolphins drafted him ninth overall back in April. However, his lack of a catch is still noteworthy for two reasons. One, Trent Green has completed 47 passes already. Two, Ginn is the only receiver taken among the top 10 overall picks since 2000 to go without a catch in his first two games.

* About which NFL quarterback was the following quote uttered by a teammate after Sunday's game (answer at the bottom of this column): "Indy can have Peyton and New England can have Tom, but we wouldn't trade this guy for anyone in the world. He's the best quarterback in the league right now."

Two-Minute Drill: Devery Henderson was benched in the second quarter Sunday after dropping three passes and has been passed up on the depth chart by other receivers ? A pending free agent who'll no doubt cash in huge on the open market, Tony Romo's agent is reportedly talking to the Cowboys about a long-term contract extension ? Despite a shaky performance in relief Sunday, coach Rod Marinelli said Monday that J.T. O'Sullivan remains Jon Kitna's backup, leaving him one injury away from a whole slew of passing yards ? Told Monday that Mark Bradley hopes to see more snaps, coach Lovie Smith called him "our fifth receiver" and "one of our guys who will dress" while saying that "he'll get some occasional plays" ? According to the Washington Post, recently signed Reche Caldwell "is expected to challenge for playing time in practice this week" after being inactive in Week 2 ? He's not eligible to play until Week 9 because of an eight-game suspension, but Tank Johnson signed a two-year contract with the Cowboys on Tuesday.

Red Zone: Warrick Dunn played reasonably well in Week 2, but Jerious Norwood narrowed the playing-time gap and Dunn said afterward that his back is "not where I want it to be" following preseason surgery ? Coach Brad Childress said Monday that Tarvaris Jackson (groin) is "beat up pretty good," but made it clear that Jackson will start in Week 3 if healthy ? Coach Andy Reid said Tuesday that Brian Westbrook "twisted his knee a little bit" in Monday night's loss, but is expected to play in Week 3 ? Brandon Jacobs is unlikely to practice this week, but said Monday that he hasn't ruled it out completely as he tries to return sooner than anticipated from a sprained knee ? Coach Herm Edwards indicated Tuesday that rookie Dwayne Bowe will remain a starter even once Eddie Kennison (hamstring) is healthy ? Between Jon Jansen (ankle) and Randy Thomas (triceps), the Redskins have lost the entire left side of their offensive line to season-ending injuries.

Quote Answer: Jon Kitna. Seriously.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Westbrook Goes for MRI on Knee
Brian Westbrook suffered a left knee injury during the fourth quarter of Monday night's game, but returned after missing just one snap and went on to touch the ball seven more times. The Eagles initially called the injury a strain, but have since reclassified it as a sprain and Westbrook went for an MRI instead of practicing Wednesday. Westbrook has a history of knee problems, which makes a mid-week MRI an obvious concern.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
With that said, NFL Network's Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that he's been told the injury is "nothing serious." "It's sore right now," coach Andy Reid said. "I've got to see what the doctor says. The doctor is going to check him and then determine what he does from there." With Donovan McNabb struggling, the Eagles have leaned hard on Westbrook, as he leads the team in both rushing (181) and receiving (112) yards while totaling 51 touches through two games.

If Westbrook is forced to sit out Week 3 against the Lions, backup Correll Buckhalter will slide into the starting lineup. Buckhalter has just six touches thus far, but totaled 143, 136, and 107 touches over his last three seasons while averaging 4.3 yards per carry. Of course, because of an assortment of injuries those three years were 2001, 2003, and 2006, so he's far from a workhorse. Rookie Tony Hunt would likely get at least the short-yardage and goal-line work.

While Eagles fans hope that a bad start to the season hasn't gotten much, much worse, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Kevin Jones practiced Wednesday, with coach Rod Marinelli saying afterward that he made "pretty violent cuts" and "seemed not to have any problems" with his surgically repaired left foot. Interestingly, both Marinelli and Jones used the word "optimistic" to describe his chances of playing in Week 3 against the Eagles. "I practiced hard," Jones said. "I tried to go all out and it felt good. We're going to see, towards the end of the week, see how it feels."

Marinelli said earlier this week that he plans to get Jones 15-20 snaps, although that obviously remains contingent on his avoiding a setback between now and then. "It's the day after where we find out," Marinelli said. "He can either get really sore and swollen, or there's nothing the next day." Even if a setback is avoided, 15-20 snaps really isn't enough work to make Jones a viable RB2 option, but it likely won't be long before that changes.

* LaMont Jordan's comeback may have hit a snag after back-to-back huge games to begin the year. Jordan missed Wednesday's practice with a back injury, which is more of a concern than usual given that back problems were an issue for him during much of last season and caused him to miss part of training camp this year as well. You'll want to keep a close eye on Jordan's status Thursday and Friday, because if healthy he's a decent RB1 play this week against the Browns.

Jordan has gotten 49 touches through two games, piling up 318 total yards by oddly managing exactly 159 yards in each game. He's looked a lot more like the fantasy stud from 2005 than the colossal disappointment from 2006, but lingering back problems could make that difficult to maintain all season. Dominic Rhodes will eventually serve as Jordan's backup, but he's only midway through serving a four-game suspension, so Justin Fargas is No. 2 on the depth chart.

* As expected, Andre Johnson has officially been ruled out for Week 3. His sprained knee will be examined again Friday, at which point the Texans should have a better idea about his return timetable. In the meantime, the team indicated Wednesday that he could miss anywhere from one week to one month. "I know that it's very favorable that this could be a short-term deal," coach Gary Kubiak said. "I don't think we'll know until he's re-examined."

With Johnson out, the Texans indicated that rookie and Daily Dose favorite Jacoby Jones will likely move into the starting lineup alongside Kevin Walter. While I like Jones a lot long term and expect him to make an impact as long as Johnson is sidelined, counting on him being much more than a decent WR3 right away is probably wishful thinking. On the other hand, tight end Owen Daniels moves into TE1 territory after catching five balls for 72 yards in Week 2.

* Brandon Jacobs has consistently said that he plans to come back from a sprained knee before the 3-5 week recovery timetable given to him by doctors, but his return won't come this week. Coach Tom Coughlin said Wednesday that Jacobs "feels good," but has a "ways to go" before seeing game action. The best-case scenario at this point is limited practice later this week with an eye towards playing in Week 4, but Derrick Ward figures to retain his value until November.

Two-Minute Drill: Eli Manning (shoulder) is absent from the Giants' injury report this week and is expected to practice fully leading up to Sunday's game ? After managing just 22 yards on four catches through two games, the Bills hope that moving Lee Evans around more will make it difficult for opposing defenses to focus on him ? Apparently not a Football Outsiders reader, coach Mike Tomlin said Wednesday that he plans to "ride Willie Parker until the wheels come off" and has no problem with his 400-carry pace ? Chris Cooley should break out of his slump with a Week 3 matchup against a Giants defense that has allowed 174 yards and three touchdowns to tight ends through two games ? According to the San Francisco Chronicle, the Raiders have already told Andrew Walter that he'll be let go once the roster exemption for JaMarcus Russell expires ? No doubt prepping him for a massive workload in Week 3, the Chiefs gave Larry Johnson the day off Wednesday ? Oddly Amazing Stat of the Week: The false start called against Steve Hutchinson in overtime Sunday was his first penalty since November of 2004.

Red Zone: Despite getting banged up on Sunday, Marc Bulger (ribs, knee) practiced fully Wednesday ? Chad Pennington (ankle) was limited in practice Wednesday, but remains likely to return to the starting lineup in Week 3 ? Meanwhile, Thomas Jones (calf) put in a full practice Wednesday for the first time this season ? Chester Taylor (oblique) was limited in practice Wednesday, but may put in more time later this week ? As usual, T.J. Houshmandzadeh (knee) skipped practice Wednesday ? Deuce McAllister (knee, eye) sat out practice Wednesday, but coach Sean Payton said afterward that he "should be fine" ? Steve McNair (groin) took first-team reps at practice Wednesday and channeled Ice Cube afterward by saying that "today was a good day" ? Meanwhile, the Baltimore Sun reports that Jonathan Ogden (foot) also "had a good day" at practice Wednesday and hopes to play in Week 3 ? L.J. Smith continues to struggle with a groin injury and sat out practice Wednesday, but is likely to play through the injury again this week ? Dallas Clark (neck) missed practice Wednesday, but is expected to play in Week 3.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Week 3 Rankings
Braylon Edwards grew up last Sunday. Lost amidst the insane eleven touchdown passes and the Jamal Lewis rejuvenation was one of the most talented young receivers in football putting up a dominant performance. Edwards has flashed great skills in the past, but consistency and toughness were missing.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Edwards is now eager to go over the middle, taking a couple massive whacks. He showed off his hands on the highlight reel touchdown dive, but his most impressive catch was a streaking sideline toe tap for a first down. He can make people miss after the catch; he's got a complete game. Edwards could have produced even more ? he was open all day and Derek Anderson missed him a couple times early.

Edwards's owners have to love Anderson's aggressive style. He will make mistakes, but he's not afraid to target Edwards deep. Despite a tough matchup against Oakland's Nmandi Asamugha this week, I would roll with Edwards. If the Browns passing game can simply approach average, Edwards can put up top-10 wideout numbers despite falling into the middle rounds of most drafts.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Peyton Manning</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Tom Brady</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marc Bulger</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Jon Kitna</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Matt Hasselbeck</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Vince Young</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Eli Manning</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Jeff Garcia</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Chad Pennington</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>Expected to start</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Rex Grossman</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Steve McNair</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Matt Leinart</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Derek Anderson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Josh McCown</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>J.P. Losman</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Joey Harrington</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Kelly Holcomb</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Tarvaris Jackson</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>May not start</TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: The Colts are playing solid pass defense as usual. That makes Matt Schaub a must-sit with Andre Johnson out of the lineup. ? Derek Anderson had all day to throw against the Bengals which bodes well for Matt Hasselbeck this week. I chart "bad passes" in the games I watch, and Anderson had a high number in Week 2, so his performance was far from flawless. At least every other pass was a bomb. ? Hasselbeck has quietly played two solid games. He was extremely sharp in the second half against Arizona, and should be in for a big game this week. ? Carson Palmer continues to get wild for stretches, sailing balls over the heads of his receivers. It's more of a concern for the Bengals than fantasy leaguers, because he's still racking up stats.

Rex Grossman still can't handle a blitz being thrown at him; the Bears offense has scored one touchdown this season. Look for Wade Phillips to pressure the Bears quarterback as much as possible. The Dallas secondary is so poor, though, that this should be a solid week for Grossman. If he can't light up the Cowboys, Chicago is in trouble. ? Jacksonville and Denver have the two best defensive backfields in the league statistically on the young season. It's not a huge surprise when you look at the rosters. I'd stay away from Jay Cutler, David Garrard, and the receivers in the Broncos game if possible.

Matt Leinart played better against Seattle, but most of his yards were earned by busted defenses or good individual plays against his receiver. He was under a lot of pressure, but overall it was an inconsistent game. He's not ready for Baltimore. ? Kelly Holcomb looks likely to start this week if Tarvaris Jackson can't practice by Thursday. ? Jason Campbell is ranked so high because the Giants are that bad. Brett Favre turned back the clock ten years in his game against New York and Campbell is set for his best game as a pro. Favre and Campbell already have common opponent (Philadelphia) and Campbell played better.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Joseph Addai</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Willie Parker</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>Had MRI on knee</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Shaun Alexander</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Travis Henry</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Rudi Johnson</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>LaMont Jordan</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Laurence Maroney</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>Ranked if Chester Taylor is out </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Carnell Williams</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Cedric Benson</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Ahman Green</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Ronnie Brown</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Derrick Ward</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Deuce McAllister</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Julius Jones</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>DeShaun Foster</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Chris Brown</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Tatum Bell</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Sammy Morris</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Jesse Chatman</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>DeShawn Wynn</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Kevin Jones</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>Likely to get 15-20 snaps</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Ron Dayne</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Mewelde Moore</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Najeh Davenport</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Correll Buckhalter</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Musa Smith</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: FootballOutsiders didn't rank Jamal Lewis' 200-yard effort as one of the ten best performances by a running back Sunday because so many of his runs were stopped near the line of scrimmage. 12 of his carries went for two yards or less, and he had a fumble. That's the bad news. The good news is that Lewis ripped off three runs over 30 yards. That equals his total from the last three years combined. Lewis had huge holes to run through, but he also juked Rashad Jeanty, Madieu Williams, and Lemar Marshall out of their shoes on different occasions to turn a 12-yard gain into much more. I want to see him do it again, but perhaps all those offseason puff pieces had some truth to them (for once).

Rudi Johnson has seven catches for 59 yards through two weeks. That's far ahead of his usual pace. Kenny Irons' injury could mean more third-down work all year. ? Larry Johnson continues a difficult schedule to open the year. There was no room for him to run against the Bears and Minnesota's run defense looks great again. LJ could be a buy-low candidate if he struggles again. ? Shaun Alexander is a system back. And Seattle's system (offensive line) is not playing well, especially in the first half of games. Alexander has 49 yards on 20 first half carries this season. Mike Holmgren placed all the blame on the offensive line getting dominated and I agree. Life should get easier this week against the Bengals. ? The Russ Grimm era appears to be making a difference for Edgerrin James. Edge never lost his vision, but he's simply not a running back that is going to make big plays on his own. Against Seattle, James had more big holes to run through than he did all of last year. We'll see how far they've truly come with games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh next week.

The Texans have stuffed the run two consecutive weeks. If they stop Joseph Addai, we'll know they are for real. ? The Panthers haven't established a consistent running game. It will be difficult to use either Carolina runner until one takes charge. ? Ron Dayne isn't only being used over Ahman Green in garbage time. Dayne is on the field early in passing down situations, which is surprising considering Green's reputation as a fine blocker and pass-catcher. The Texans don't want to wear Green out, so look for Dayne to play significantly this week against a Colts team he destroyed in December.

Lane Kiffin says LaMont Jordan actually left yards on the field during his 155-yard effort against the Broncos. That's a great sign that the offensive line has greatly improved their run blocking this season. I'd ride Jordan until he slows down. ? Kevin Jones isn't an option until he plays a full set of snaps. Look for him to get 5-10 touches this week. ? Brian Westbrook's knee isn't a huge concern until it slows him down on Sundays. He had similar issues last season.

Note: Head to Pancake Blocks for many more matchup breakdowns.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Chad Johnson</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marvin Harrison</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Randy Moss</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Reggie Wayne</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Roy Williams</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Marques Colston</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Plaxico Burress</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Javon Walker</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Joey Galloway</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Deion Branch</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Calvin Johnson</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>Megatron</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Darrell Jackson</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Reggie Brown</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Mike Furrey</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Wes Welker</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Kevin Curtis</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>James Jones</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Jacoby Jones</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Nate Burleson</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Shaun McDonald</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Marty Booker</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Antwaan Randle El</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Bobby Engram</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Joe Jurevicius</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Brandon Jones</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Amani Toomer</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Devery Henderson</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Drew Bennett</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Demetrius Williams</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>Dennis Northcutt</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>56</TD><TD>Joe Horn</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>Could be last time on rankings?</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>57</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>58</TD><TD>Arnaz Battle</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>59</TD><TD>Drew Carter</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>60</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD></TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: The Texans left DeMarcus @@@gins alone in man coverage against Steve Smith for most of the game last week. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are going to destroy Houston like Smith did if that happens again. ? T.J. Houshmandzadeh has been uncharacteristically inefficient through two weeks. He leads the NFL in targets, but his yardage is average. He had two drops last week in the fourth quarter. Housh's numbers are great, but they can get even better. ? Glenn Holt! will hold on to the third receiver role in Cincy. Four of his catches against the Browns were made while a defender was cracking him. He held on each time. Housh and Chad Johnson should have their way with the mini cornerbacks Seattle puts out there.

Jeff Webb was playing starter-worthy snaps for the Chiefs last week and caught a deep pass late. Keep an eye on him. Dwayne Bowe would have scored twice if not for a illegal motion penalty. He would have been a popular waiver pickup if not for the penalty. ? Bernard Berrian is quietly emerging as a true number one NFL receiver. He's doubled the rest of the Chicago wideouts in targets, and is the only one producing. Like Lee Evans last year, Berrian is starting to add shorter routes to complete his repertoire. He's basically a must start this week. ? Bobby Engram was very active last week against Arizona. Both he and Nate Burleson are sneaky plays against the Bengals secondary. I'd play Engram first ? he's safer. Burleson struggled to get separation last week.

I'm not giving up on the Eagles receivers yet. There aren't many better matchups than facing the Lions at home. I will give up on them more if they don't produce in this game, but you don't throw out years of performance because of two bad weeks. ? The Cardinals tried to stretch the field more against Seattle. Larry Fitzgerald's big plays came on jump balls, and he couldn't hold on to two other catches. Anquan Boldin also caught some deep crossing routes. I have the Cardinals ranked fairly low this week because I don't think Arizona can protect Matt Leinart. That said, Baltimore's pass defense hasn't been at their best so far. ? For now, I'm ranking James Jones as if Greg Jennings won't play.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Jeremy Shockey</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Ben Watson</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Dallas Clark</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>L.J. Smith</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Eric Johnson</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Jeff King</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Daniel Graham</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>David Martin</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Zach Miller</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Chris Baker</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Bubba Franks</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Greg Olsen</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>Expected to play first game</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Marcus Pollard</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>



TE Notes: Jeff King has shown great hands for the Panthers a few times. He's used in motion a lot and could wind up being the second-leading receiver on that team. ? Kellen Winslow is a physical freak. He's come back from a broken leg, a torn ACL, and microfracture surgery without missing a step. How good would he be if he stayed healthy? The speed isn't quite back yet, but his hands are great and he's stretching the field more than he did last year. ? Vernon Davis complained to the media and to his coach Mike Nolan about getting more involved. While this act is annoying, I've found it usually works. Look for Alex Smith to shut Davis up with some targets early.

Dallas Clark is off to his best season as a Colt, possibly because of the absence of Brandon Stokley. He topped 45 yards twice in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He's done it in both weeks thus far. Clark takes on some average safeties in Houston this week.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Patriots Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Colts Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Dolphins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Lions Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Seahawks Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Giants Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Jeff Wilkins</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Adam Vinatieri</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jason Hanson</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Olindo Mare</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Stephen Gostkowski</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Lawrence Tynes</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Mike Nugent</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>John Carney</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Dave Rayner</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Week 3 Matchups
OK, so this space didn't predict that Jamal Lewis would go for 200 yards last week. But hey, find someplace else that said Lewis was going to have a big day, and we can both bask in the success. For those of you who had Derek Anderson in your lineup last week, congratulations; now, evacuate.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws www.eogcontests.com
Quarterback

The aforementioned Anderson goes up against an Oakland pass defense that featured upper-echelon ballhawks and pass rushers last year. While last week's game proved that Anderson can do damage against a weak defense, Oakland's pass defense is far superior to Cincinnati's, and inside the Black Hole, expect Cleveland to again apply a liberal dose of Lewis to Oakland's weaker rush defense.

Matt Leinart goes up this week against the stifling Baltimore pass defense, and while Kellen Clemens put together a couple of late drives against the Ravens last week, they had their way with the Jets offense for most of the game. The only thing really in Leinart's favor is that the Cardinals are likely to be behind and throwing the ball frequently, but this may be one of those 250 yard, 1 TD, 3 INT games you'd rather not have Leinart in for.

Drew Brees hasn't gotten off to a great start this year. That's about to change. Peyton Manning threw for 312 yards last week, and while Brees isn't Manning, he's about the closest thing available when it comes to fantasy. Expect Brees to have a big day at home in the Superdome as New Orleans gets off the proverbial shneid.

Finally, Brett Favre's going to be in a shootout at home against San Diego and its middling pass defense. He might not reach the numbers he did against the Giants last week, but as San Diego features several real-life pass defenders, they are indeed several steps up on the G-Men. Keep him in your lineup this week.

Running Back

One of the things we predict in Pro Football Prospectus 2007 is that Larry Johnson is likely to either get hurt or lose a significant chunk of value because of his workload last season.

So far, we've been right; Johnson has 98 yards through two games. Johnson is still likely to have better games ahead of him than those, but he won't be having it this week against Minnesota and its elite rush defense, which has picked up right where it left off last season. Don't expect more than 50-70 yards from Johnson this week, although chances are good he'll score a short touchdown.

Another bad play this week is Edgerrin James, who'll be up against the Baltimore rush defense in a game Arizona's likely to be behind and throwing to catch up in. Even as a member of the Colts, James never had a 100-yard game against the Ravens. It's not likely that he'll start here.

Indianapolis' rush defense seems much improved over the first two weeks of 2007. While Ahman Green and the Texans aren't a huge offensive threat, there are two factors that make me think Green will be a good play this week: One, the Texans will be playing keepaway from Peyton Manning. That means Green up the middle, Green left, and Green right. Two, the Texans don't have Andre Johnson this week. If you are more sanguine on Jacoby Jones than I am, hey, go crazy. But expect Green to see a lot of carries this week.

The only complicating factor is that Green has split time (because of injury) so far this year with Ron Dayne, who tore up the Colts last year for 153 yards. Dayne's ribs have been bothering him, but he practiced on Thursday and will play this weekend. I'd play Green in all leagues and Dayne in deeper leagues.

The Patriots offensive juggernaut rolls on -- this week, they're at home against Buffalo. The Bills' quick defensive line gives the Patriots' pass blockers fits. In 2006, the Patriots responded with an aggressive rushing attack, running the ball 36 times in Week 1 on the way to victory. Since the Patriots are likely to be leading comfortably for most of the game, you'll be seeing a lot of second-half runs for Laurence Maroney, who's got his first 100-yard game of the campaign in sight.

Wide Receiver

Poor Lee Evans. The guy has a breakout year in 2006 and the Bills continue to line up scrubs like Peerless Price and Roscoe Parrish across from him. The result has been double-teams for Evans pretty much on every play, and a miserable start to the season. Expect that to continue this week, as Evans managed only three catches in his two starts against New England last year.

Another early leader this year has been the Pittsburgh defense, which is apparently several thousand times better than the Cincinnati defense. Maybe they're not that good, but they'll be good enough to keep Darrell Jackson and Arnaz Battle off the scoresheet in Week 3.

The Denver pass defense was expected to be fantastic this year. Through two weeks, although they've been up against Buffalo and Oakland, they've been from another planet. This week, they get Jacksonville. Do you really want to start Matt Jones or Dennis Northcutt against Champ Bailey or Dre' Bly? Be my guest. I wouldn't play them in even the deepest league.

I don't mean to pick on the Giants (I am a Giants fan after all), but for those of you who saw the miasma emanating from Giants Stadium last week, well, the Giants couldn't have stopped me from throwing for 250 yards on them. Outside of one bomb to James Jones, the Packers carved the Giants up with a series of short to medium range passes to mediocrities like Donald Lee and Bubba Franks. Therefore, Santana Moss might be primed for a big game, but the real guy to make sure you have in your lineup is...

Tight End

Heaven and earth should not keep you from having Chris Cooley in your lineup this week. If you don't have a tight end slot, put him in at running back. I don't care who you have to bench. There's not a figure you could tell me that I would say "That's too high of a projection for Chris Cooley this week". 100 catches for 7,000 yards and 26 TD's? Sounds plausible to me. They run out of footballs because Chris Cooley's caught them all, and the game ends in the third quarter? Sure. The point is, Cooley's a lock for a big game this week.

The 49ers had the worst pass defense against tight ends last year. Losing Manny Lawson for the rest of the season doesn't help in the way of a pass rush, and while Patrick Willis certainly looks to be a stud at middle linebacker, you can still expect Heath Miller to put up a big game.

Guys to avoid this week include Eric Johnson (NO), Robert Royal (BUF), and Zach Miller (OAK); in addition, while you can keep Jason Witten in your lineup, he's not likely to put up big numbers against Lance Briggs and the Bears. Tony Gonzalez had a middling day against them in Week 2, as he couldn't move outside and line up against the cornerbacks the way Antonio Gates did in Week 1; Witten's similar to Gonzalez, and likely to have one of those three catch, 28 yard days you hate to see.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Say Hello to "Orch Dork"
Having done a 180-degree shift in my opinion of Roy Williams recently, I'm trying to avoid turning Daily Dose into your home for daily updates on amusing things that Williams said. Today at least I've lost that battle. As if slapping rookie Calvin Johnson with "Megatron" wasn't more than enough in the nickname department, Williams revealed in a recent interview with Yahoo! Sports that people used to call him "Orch Dork" in high school because he was in the orchestra.
Tampabaybuccaneers.com
"I was tall, so basically I was the only one who was tall enough to hold the bass in orchestra," Williams said. While not quite "Megatron"-level brilliance, "Orch Dork" is pretty solid for one of the NFL's elite wide receivers. Within the same interview, Williams revealed that he typically tries "to sleep in as much as possible" on his off day each week and then will "get up and play some Madden." Join the club, Roy.

Williams nominated himself for "cheapest guy on the team" and admitted to preferring bowling over clubbing, although he added that "sometimes guys can't go bowling because of injuries to their fingers." I used to think of Williams as a Terrell Owens-level annoyance, but now I'm convinced that he's legitimately amusing and probably a pretty good guy. In fact, I'm far enough on the Williams bandwagon that I'm willing to overlook the fact that Pizza Hut is his favorite pizza.

While everyone reading this right now wonders exactly what the point of the preceding three paragraphs was, here are some other notes from around football ?

* Brian Westbrook missed Thursday's practice for the second straight day after having his injured left knee reexamined Wednesday, but did not undergo an MRI as was initially reported. Offensive coordinator Marty Morninweg called Westbrook's injury "a day-to-day situation" and added "we'll see" when asked about his status for Week 3 against the Lions. Coach Andy Reid told reporters that Westbrook is "going to be all right."

Westbrook has a history of knee problems, but as the Philadelphia Inquirer pointed out Friday morning it was actually his right knee that was problematic last season. This time it's his left knee, which is perhaps part of the reason why the newspaper suggests that he's likely to start Sunday afternoon. NFL Network's Adam Schefter concurs, reporting earlier this week that the injury isn't believed to be serious. For now, count on Westbrook as your must-start RB1.

* LaMont Jordan returned to practice Thursday after taking Wednesday off due to a back injury, but his participation was classified as limited and coach Lane Kiffin said afterward that he'll likely be a game-time decision Sunday. Of course, it's only three weeks into his first season on the job and Kiffin has already shown a major tendency to play overly coy with the media on injuries while trying to keep information secret.

Jordan getting back on the field Thursday is noteworthy and for whatever it's worth the writers covering the Raiders on a daily basis seem relatively confident that he'll suit up in Week 3. If Jordan is out, Justin Fargas will take over as the primary runner and Adimchinobe Echemandu will serve as his backup. You'll want to check Jordan's status Friday and Saturday, because the Raiders playing a late-afternoon game Sunday will make a last-minute decision very difficult.

* Greg Jennings missed another practice Thursday and James Jones exited early after injuring his hamstring during a jog-through. Jennings is hoping to see some practice time Friday, but at best he seems likely to be a game-time decision in Week 3 after sitting out the first two games with a hamstring injury of his own. Coach Mike McCarthy sounds significantly more optimistic about Jones' chances of suiting up, but his ability to practice Friday will be key.

"His whole deal is to see how he feels in the morning," McCarthy said. "I said, 'Call me as soon as you get up.' He wanted to practice today. I was a little nervous, so he didn't practice." Jones has an opportunity to make an impact if Jennings is out, but both receivers being limited will likely lead to the passing game relying even more heavily than usual on Donald Driver. With 139 yards on 24 targets through two games, he's a WR1 despite a tough matchup against the Chargers.

* Chester Taylor was limited in practice on both Wednesday and Thursday, but there's no clear indication yet whether or not he'll play in Week 3. Whatever the case, it seems obvious that Taylor will not be big part of the Vikings' offense, giving Adrian Peterson another week to show that he belongs as the team's No. 1 running back. If Taylor sits, Mewelde Moore will once again serve as Peterson's backup and should see plenty of third-down action like he did in Week 2.

Meanwhile, it sounds like the Vikings will be without Tarvaris Jackson. Jackson left Week 2 with a groin injury after throwing four interceptions and has been limited in practice all week. Coach Brad Childress said Thursday that Jackson still has a chance to start, but all signs point to Kelly Holcomb replacing him against the Chiefs. Interestingly, the recently acquired Holcomb was so unfamiliar with the offense last week that he was inactive in favor of Brooks Bollinger.

Two-Minute Drill: Frank Gore returned to practice Thursday after leaving the team to attend his mother's funeral ? In what could be good news for Ronnie Brown and his slow start, coach Cam Cameron said Thursday that the Dolphins "need to run the ball more" after ranking dead last in rushing yards through two games ? Coach Gary Kubiak surprisingly said Thursday that Kevin Walter is the only Texans receiver guaranteed a starting job with Andre Johnson out, signaling that Jacoby Jones may have to split snaps with Jerome Mathis and Andre Davis ? With Mike Anderson a healthy scratch in Week 2, Rotoworld favorite Musa Smith has officially passed him on the depth chart as Willis McGahee's backup ? Coach Lane Kiffin said Thursday that Josh McCown will once again start over Daunte Culpepper in Week 3, but added that "you could see them both in the game" ? Released by the Bucs last week, David Boston plead not guilty to DUI charges Thursday.

Red Zone: Deuce McAllister (knee, eye) returned to practice Thursday and looks set to face the Titans on Monday night ? Darrell Jackson (back) sat out Thursday's practice for the second straight day, putting his Week 3 status in some doubt ? After taking Wednesday off, Ahman Green (knee) returned to practice Thursday and could get a value boost if Ron Dayne (chest) sits out Week 3 ? Chad Pennington (ankle) was listed as "limited" in practice Thursday, but took first-team reps and remains likely to start in Week 3 ? Kevin Jones (foot) still figures to make his season debut Sunday after being limited in practice Thursday ? Coach Mike McCarthy indicated Thursday that Vernand Morency (knee) could miss several more games, saying that "another week or two will help him" ? L.J. Smith (groin) typically plays through nagging injuries, but may actually sit out Week 3 after missing another practice Thursday ? Ike Hilliard (ankle) missed practice Thursday, perhaps opening the door for Michael Clayton to start in Week 3.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Week 3 Rankings

Note: Changes in the rankings were added Saturday morning.

Braylon Edwards grew up last Sunday. Lost amidst the insane eleven touchdown passes and the Jamal Lewis rejuvenation was one of the most talented young receivers in football putting up a dominant performance. Edwards has flashed great skills in the past, but consistency and toughness were missing.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Edwards now appears eager to go over the middle. He showed off his hands on the highlight reel touchdown dive, but his most impressive catch was a streaking sideline toe tap for a first down. Edwards could have produced even more ? he was open all day and Derek Anderson missed him a couple times early.

Edwards's owners have to love Anderson's aggressive style. He will make mistakes, but he's not afraid to target Edwards deep. Despite a tough matchup against Oakland's Nmandi Asamugha this week, I would roll with Edwards. If the Browns passing game can simply approach average, Edwards can put up top-10 wideout numbers despite falling into the middle rounds of most drafts.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Quarterbacks[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Peyton Manning</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Carson Palmer</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Tom Brady</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marc Bulger</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Jon Kitna</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Matt Hasselbeck</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Donovan McNabb</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Drew Brees</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Vince Young</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Jason Campbell</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Eli Manning</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Tony Romo</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Ben Roethlisberger</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Jeff Garcia</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Jake Delhomme</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jay Cutler</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Chad Pennington</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>Expected to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Brett Favre</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Philip Rivers</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Trent Green</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>Probable(ankle)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Rex Grossman</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Steve McNair</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>Probable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Matt Schaub</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Matt Leinart</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Derek Anderson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Josh McCown</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>Probable(foot)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>David Garrard</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Damon Huard</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>J.P. Losman</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Joey Harrington</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Kelly Holcomb</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

QB Notes: The Colts are playing solid pass defense as usual. That makes Matt Schaub a must-sit with Andre Johnson out of the lineup. ? Derek Anderson had all day to throw against the Bengals which bodes well for Matt Hasselbeck this week. I chart "bad passes" in the games I watch, and Anderson had a high number in Week 2, so his performance was far from flawless. At least every other pass was a bomb. ? Hasselbeck has quietly played two solid games. He was extremely sharp in the second half against Arizona, and should be in for a big game this week. ? Carson Palmer continues to get wild for stretches, sailing balls over the heads of his receivers. It's more of a concern for the Bengals than fantasy leaguers, because he's still racking up stats.

Rex Grossman still can't handle a blitz being thrown at him; the Bears offense has scored one touchdown this season. Look for Wade Phillips to pressure the Bears quarterback as much as possible. The Dallas secondary is so poor, though, that this should be a solid week for Grossman. If he can't light up the Cowboys, Chicago is in trouble. ? Jacksonville and Denver have the two best defensive backfields in the league statistically on the young season. It's not a huge surprise when you look at the rosters. I'd stay away from Jay Cutler, David Garrard, and the receivers in the Broncos game if possible.

Matt Leinart played better against Seattle, but most of his yards were earned by busted defenses or good individual plays against his receiver. He was under a lot of pressure, but overall it was an inconsistent game. He's not ready for Baltimore. ? Kelly Holcomb looks likely to start this week if Tarvaris Jackson can't practice by Thursday. ? Jason Campbell is ranked so high because the Giants are that bad. Brett Favre turned back the clock ten years in his game against New York and Campbell is set for his best game as a pro. Favre and Campbell already have common opponent (Philadelphia) and Campbell played better.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Running Backs[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Joseph Addai</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>LaDainian Tomlinson</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Steven Jackson</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Willie Parker</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Brian Westbrook</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>Expected to start</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Frank Gore</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Shaun Alexander</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>Probable(wrist)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Travis Henry</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Willis McGahee</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Rudi Johnson</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>LaMont Jordan</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>Probable(back)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Laurence Maroney</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Clinton Portis</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Larry Johnson</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Thomas Jones</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>Probable(calf)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Carnell Williams</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Reggie Bush</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Cedric Benson</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Edgerrin James</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Ahman Green</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Maurice Jones-Drew</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Ronnie Brown</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>LenDale White</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Derrick Ward</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Jamal Lewis</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Marion Barber</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Deuce McAllister</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Marshawn Lynch</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Ladell Betts</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Fred Taylor</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Julius Jones</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>DeAngelo Williams</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Warrick Dunn</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>DeShaun Foster</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Chris Brown</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Jerious Norwood</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Brandon Jackson</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Tatum Bell</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Sammy Morris</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Chester Taylor</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>Questionable(hip)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Jesse Chatman</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>DeShawn Wynn</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Kevin Jones</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>15-20 plays</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Ron Dayne</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>Questionable(chest)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Selvin Young</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Leon Washington</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Michael Turner</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>Najeh Davenport</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Michael Pittman</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Adrian Peterson</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Correll Buckhalter</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Musa Smith</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

RB Notes: FootballOutsiders didn't rank Jamal Lewis' 200-yard effort as one of the ten best performances by a running back Sunday because so many of his runs were stopped near the line of scrimmage. 12 of his carries went for two yards or less, and he had a fumble. That's the bad news. The good news is that Lewis ripped off three runs over 30 yards. That equals his total from the last three years combined. Lewis had huge holes to run through, but he also juked Rashad Jeanty, Madieu Williams, and Lemar Marshall out of their shoes on different occasions to turn a 12-yard gain into much more. I want to see him do it again, but perhaps all those offseason puff pieces had some truth to them (for once).

Rudi Johnson has seven catches for 59 yards through two weeks. That's far ahead of his usual pace. Kenny Irons' injury could mean more third-down work all year. ? Larry Johnson continues a difficult schedule to open the year. There was no room for him to run against the Bears and Minnesota's run defense looks great again. LJ could be a buy-low candidate if he struggles again. ? Shaun Alexander is a system back. And Seattle's system (offensive line) is not playing well, especially in the first half of games. Alexander has 49 yards on 20 first half carries this season. Mike Holmgren placed all the blame on the offensive line getting dominated and I agree. Life should get easier this week against the Bengals. ? The Russ Grimm era appears to be making a difference for Edgerrin James. Edge never lost his vision, but he's simply not a running back that is going to make big plays on his own. Against Seattle, James had more big holes to run through than he did all of last year. We'll see how far they've truly come with games against Baltimore and Pittsburgh next week.

The Texans have stuffed the run two consecutive weeks. If they stop Joseph Addai, we'll know they are for real. ? The Panthers haven't established a consistent running game. It will be difficult to use either Carolina runner until one takes charge. ? Ron Dayne isn't only being used over Ahman Green in garbage time. Dayne is on the field early in passing down situations, which is surprising considering Green's reputation as a fine blocker and pass-catcher. The Texans don't want to wear Green out, so look for Dayne to play significantly this week against a Colts team he destroyed in December.

Lane Kiffin says LaMont Jordan actually left yards on the field during his 155-yard effort against the Broncos. That's a great sign that the offensive line has greatly improved their run blocking this season. I'd ride Jordan until he slows down. ? Kevin Jones isn't an option until he plays a full set of snaps. Look for him to get 5-10 touches this week. ? Brian Westbrook's knee isn't a huge concern until it slows him down on Sundays. He had similar issues last season.

Note: Head to Pancake Blocks for many more matchup breakdowns.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Wide Receivers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Steve Smith</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Chad Johnson</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Terrell Owens</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Marvin Harrison</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Torry Holt</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Randy Moss</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Reggie Wayne</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Roy Williams</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Santana Moss</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Marques Colston</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>T.J. Houshmandzadeh</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>Probable(knee)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Donald Driver</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Javon Walker</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Joey Galloway</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Larry Fitzgerald</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Anquan Boldin</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Laveranues Coles</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Braylon Edwards</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Jerricho Cotchery</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>(shoulder, expected to start)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Deion Branch</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Bernard Berrian</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Plaxico Burress</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>Gametime Decision</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Ronald Curry</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Santonio Holmes</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Hines Ward</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Chris Chambers</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Lee Evans</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Calvin Johnson</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Darrell Jackson</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>Probable(back)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Wes Welker</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Mike Furrey</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Reggie Brown</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>33</TD><TD>Isaac Bruce</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>34</TD><TD>Vincent Jackson</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>35</TD><TD>Kevin Curtis</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>Probable(quadricep)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>36</TD><TD>Mark Clayton</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>37</TD><TD>Jacoby Jones</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>38</TD><TD>Nate Burleson</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>39</TD><TD>Brandon Marshall</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>40</TD><TD>Patrick Crayton</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>41</TD><TD>Derrick Mason</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>42</TD><TD>Shaun McDonald</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>43</TD><TD>Marty Booker</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>44</TD><TD>Jerry Porter</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>45</TD><TD>Antwaan Randle El</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>46</TD><TD>Bobby Engram</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>47</TD><TD>Joe Jurevicius</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>48</TD><TD>Brandon Jones</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>49</TD><TD>James Jones</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>Probable(hamstring)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>50</TD><TD>Amani Toomer</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>51</TD><TD>Greg Jennings</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>Probable(hamstring)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>52</TD><TD>Roddy White</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>53</TD><TD>Devery Henderson</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>54</TD><TD>Drew Bennett</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>55</TD><TD>Demetrius Williams</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>56</TD><TD>Dennis Northcutt</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>57</TD><TD>Joe Horn</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>58</TD><TD>Dwayne Bowe</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>59</TD><TD>Arnaz Battle</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>Probable(groin)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>60</TD><TD>Drew Carter</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>61</TD><TD>Muhsin Muhammad</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

WR Notes: The Texans left DeMarcus @@@gins alone in man coverage against Steve Smith for most of the game last week. Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne are going to destroy Houston like Smith did if that happens again. ? T.J. Houshmandzadeh has been uncharacteristically inefficient through two weeks. He leads the NFL in targets, but his yardage is average. He had two drops last week in the fourth quarter. Housh's numbers are great, but they can get even better. ? Glenn Holt! will hold on to the third receiver role in Cincy. Four of his catches against the Browns were made while a defender was cracking him. He held on each time. Housh and Chad Johnson should have their way with the mini cornerbacks Seattle puts out there.

Jeff Webb was playing starter-worthy snaps for the Chiefs last week and caught a deep pass late. Keep an eye on him. Dwayne Bowe would have scored twice if not for a illegal motion penalty. He would have been a popular waiver pickup if not for the penalty. ? Bernard Berrian is quietly emerging as a true number one NFL receiver. He's doubled the rest of the Chicago wideouts in targets, and is the only one producing. Like Lee Evans last year, Berrian is starting to add shorter routes to complete his repertoire. He's basically a must start this week. ? Bobby Engram was very active last week against Arizona. Both he and Nate Burleson are sneaky plays against the Bengals secondary. I'd play Engram first ? he's safer. Burleson struggled to get separation last week.

I'm not giving up on the Eagles receivers yet. There aren't many better matchups than facing the Lions at home. I will give up on them more if they don't produce in this game, but you don't throw out years of performance because of two bad weeks. ? The Cardinals tried to stretch the field more against Seattle. Larry Fitzgerald's big plays came on jump balls, and he couldn't hold on to two other catches. Anquan Boldin also caught some deep crossing routes. I have the Cardinals ranked fairly low this week because I don't think Arizona can protect Matt Leinart. That said, Baltimore's pass defense hasn't been at their best so far. ? For now, I'm ranking James Jones as if Greg Jennings won't play.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Tight Ends[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Chris Cooley</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Antonio Gates</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Todd Heap</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Kellen Winslow</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Tony Gonzalez</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jeremy Shockey</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Jason Witten</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Vernon Davis</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Owen Daniels</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Ben Watson</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Alge Crumpler</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Dallas Clark</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD></TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Heath Miller</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eric Johnson</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Marcedes Lewis</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jeff King</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Randy McMichael</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Bo Scaife</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Daniel Graham</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>David Martin</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Zach Miller</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Desmond Clark</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Alex Smith</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Chris Baker</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Bubba Franks</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>Probable(knee)</TD></TR>
<TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Greg Olsen</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Marcus Pollard</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR>
</TBODY></TABLE>

TE Notes: Jeff King has shown great hands for the Panthers a few times. He's used in motion a lot and could wind up being the second-leading receiver on that team. ? Kellen Winslow is a physical freak. He's come back from a broken leg, a torn ACL, and microfracture surgery without missing a step. How good would he be if he stayed healthy? The speed isn't quite back yet, but his hands are great and he's stretching the field more than he did last year. ? Vernon Davis complained to the media and to his coach Mike Nolan about getting more involved. While this act is annoying, I've found it usually works. Look for Alex Smith to shut Davis up with some targets early.

Dallas Clark is off to his best season as a Colt, possibly because of the absence of Brandon Stokley. He topped 45 yards twice in the 2005 and 2006 seasons. He's done it in both weeks thus far. Clark takes on some average safeties in Houston this week.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Team Defense[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Patriots Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Vikings Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Ravens Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>Steelers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Panthers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Bears Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Broncos Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Chargers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Colts Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Jaguars Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Packers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Chiefs Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Raiders Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Eagles Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Buccaneers Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Cowboys Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Bengals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Fortyniners Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Dolphins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Cardinals Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>Redskins Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Texans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Lions Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Browns Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Jets Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Titans Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Seahawks Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Saints Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>Rams Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Falcons Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>vs. CAR</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Bills Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>32</TD><TD>Giants Def/Spec Team</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Kickers[/SIZE]

<TABLE width="100%"><TBODY><TR class=TableTopRed><TD>Rank</TD><TD>Player Name</TD><TD>Opponent</TD><TD>Notes</TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>1</TD><TD>Jeff Wilkins</TD><TD>at TB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>2</TD><TD>Adam Vinatieri</TD><TD>at HOU</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>3</TD><TD>Josh Brown</TD><TD>vs. CIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>4</TD><TD>David Akers</TD><TD>vs. DET</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>5</TD><TD>Nate Kaeding</TD><TD>at GB</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>6</TD><TD>Jason Hanson</TD><TD>at PHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>7</TD><TD>Shayne Graham</TD><TD>at SEA</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>8</TD><TD>Jeff Reed</TD><TD>vs. SF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>9</TD><TD>Robbie Gould</TD><TD>vs. DAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>10</TD><TD>Olindo Mare</TD><TD>vs. TEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>11</TD><TD>Shaun Suisham</TD><TD>vs. NYG</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>12</TD><TD>Stephen Gostkowski</TD><TD>vs. BUF</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>13</TD><TD>Jason Elam</TD><TD>vs. JAC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>14</TD><TD>Neil Rackers</TD><TD>at BAL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>15</TD><TD>Ryan Longwell</TD><TD>at KC</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>16</TD><TD>Jay Feely</TD><TD>at NYJ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>17</TD><TD>Joe Nedney</TD><TD>at PIT</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>18</TD><TD>Nick Folk</TD><TD>at CHI</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>19</TD><TD>Matt Stover</TD><TD>vs. ARZ</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>20</TD><TD>Rob Bironas</TD><TD>at NO</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>21</TD><TD>John Kasay</TD><TD>at ATL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>22</TD><TD>Lawrence Tynes</TD><TD>at WAS</TD><TD></TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>23</TD><TD>Kris Brown</TD><TD>vs. IND</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>24</TD><TD>Sebastian Janikowski</TD><TD>vs. CLE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>25</TD><TD>Mason Crosby</TD><TD>vs. SD</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>26</TD><TD>Matt Bryant</TD><TD>vs. STL</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>27</TD><TD>Phil Dawson</TD><TD>at OAK</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>28</TD><TD>Mike Nugent</TD><TD>vs. MIA</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>29</TD><TD>John Carney</TD><TD>at DEN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW1><TD>30</TD><TD>Rian Lindell</TD><TD>at NE</TD><TD>- </TD></TR><TR class=TABLEALTROW2><TD>31</TD><TD>Dave Rayner</TD><TD>vs. MIN</TD><TD>- </TD></TR></TBODY></TABLE>
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Last Minute Decisions Week 3
Welcome to Last Minute Decisions, your final stopping point before setting your lineups Sunday morning. Each week I'll tell you Game-Time Decisions to watch and provide matchup rundowns you won't find anywhere else. Make sure to check Rotoworld early Sunday for the latest news around the NFL, including each team's inactives.

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Game-Time Decisions[/SIZE]
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
Arms
Chad Pennington ? called questionable but highly likely to play, start
Tarvaris Jackson ? Kelly Holcomb expected to get start at Kansas City
Jared Lorenzen ? Eli at full strength so J-Load will be riding the bench

Wides
Plaxico Burress ? status in serious doubt; Anthony Mix starts if he can't
Jerricho Cotchery ? underrated wideout highly likely to face the 'Fins
Greg Jennings and James Jones ? both probable but weak WR3 plays
Darrell Jackson ? listed as probable, worked without limitations Friday
Donte' Stallworth ? has minor knee injury but is likely to start vs. BUF
Troy Williamson ? butterfingers has four catches in '07, status uncertain
Ike Hilliard ? looks like he'll give it a go Sunday but may not finish up
Laurent Robinson ? rook started Week 1 but hasn't been healthy since
Antonio Chatman ? former return ace hasn't been healthy as a Bengal
Jason Hill ? Niners' sixth receiver hasn't been active for a game yet

Backs
Brian Westbrook ? likely to start against Lions despite questionable tag
LaMont Jordan ? virtually certain to play, but back issues are recurring
Kevin Jones ? might only see 5-10 touches but on right track in rehab
Chester Taylor ? status uncertain; Chester is confident he'll be out there
Ron Dayne ? Samkon Gado will back up Ahman Green if Dayne sits out
Maurice Morris ? listed as doubtful, Alvin Pearman slides up depth chart

Ends
Dallas Clark ? practiced fully Friday and will start; has nine catches so far

Legs
Martin Gramatica ? hasn't reached injury settlement, is on injured reserve

[SIZE=+1]Already Ruled Out for Week 3[/SIZE]

Arms
None of note

Wides
Andre Johnson ? speedy rookie Jacoby Jones given starting nod vs. IND
Terry Glenn ? Use Patrick Crayton in Week 4 vs. STL and Week 5 @ BUF
D.J. Hackett ? has high ankle sprain, when Hackett will return is uncertain
Eddie Kennison ? have a feeling he'll be a third receiver when he heals up
Chris Henry ? back in the news again for possessing a stolen rental car
Eric Parker ? Craig Davis isn't producing, so Parker could start upon return
Steve Smith (NYG) ? out at least a month with fractured shoulder blade
Rod Smith ? Baby T.O. and Stokley playing well; may no longer be needed
Tab Perry ? Glenn Holt the new temporary third receiver for Cincinnati

Backs
Brandon Jacobs ? guessing he'll be back for a limited practice Wednesday
Vernand Morency ? With DeShawn Wynn emerging, may be headed for I.R.
T.J. Duckett ? out indefinitely w/ high ankle sprain, drop him in most formats

Ends
L.J. Smith ? underwent a second hernia surgery Friday, is out indefinitely
Matt Spaeth ? impressive rookie from Minnesota will sit with quads injury
Daniel Wilcox ? Quinn Sypniewski to be Todd Heap's main backup Sunday
Dan Campbell ? blocking tight end to be replaced by Casey FitzSimmons
Dwayne Blakley ? backup's absence means Martrez Milner will see action

Legs
Josh Scobee ? Jags hopeful he'll return soon; John Carney kicking for now

[SIZE=+1]Week 3 Matchups to Exploit/Avoid[/SIZE]

Dolphins @ Jets
Game Time: Sunday 12:00 CT/1:00 ET


If you've been getting antsy with Thomas Jones (2.9 yards per carry, no TDs through two games), this is likely to be the RB2-caliber week you've been anticipating. All-Pro middle linebacker Zach Thomas will sit for Miami, and while his replacement (Channing Crowder) is adequate, Jones should find plenty of success to the outside. Derrick Pope, a smallish special teamer who hasn't started a game since 2005, gets the nod at WILL linebacker. On the strong side, Joey Porter is admittedly less than 100 percent after in-camp knee surgery and has been a major liability against the run so far this year. When Jones gets to the second level, he'll find waiting for him former cornerbacks Travis Daniels and Renaldo Hill, neither of whom is half the hitter Yeremiah Bell (ruptured Achilles) was. Jones has resumed practicing fully this week after being limited with a calf injury prior to Weeks 1 and 2. He will be in top form for a tasty matchup.

Lions @ Eagles
Game Time: Sunday 12:00 CT/1:00 ET


With left corner Lito Sheppard again out due to a sprained MCL and free safety Brian Dawkins (neck) officially a game-time call, the Birds could have a difficult time manning up against Detroit's constant four-receiver sets. Dawkins' would-be replacement is Quintin Mikell, a five-year veteran with one career start to his credit. Sheldon Brown and Will James are serviceable answers for Calvin Johnson and Roy Williams, but the bottom of Philly's cornerback depth chart spells trouble. 5-9/170-pounder Joselio Hanson and undrafted rookie Nick Graham will have to step up to cover slot guy Mike Furrey and Lions leading receiver Shaun McDonald. In what projects to be a shootout of a game, Jon Kitna should pad his stats quite nicely?

?On the other side, Brian Westbrook is sporting a questionable tag after having his left knee re-examined Wednesday and not practicing until Friday. It was Westbrook's right knee that caused him to miss several practices and one game last season, and every indication, including those given by the Eagles' organization, is that he will start against the Lions. Detroit may be 2-0, but that doesn't mean its defense is undefeated-caliber. Journeyman Paris Lenon is still the Lions' middle linebacker and rookie free safety Gerald Alexander was a projected late-round pick before Detroit took him in the second round this past April. The Eagles will need their passing game to click to keep up Sunday, and Westbrook has been check-down champ Donovan McNabb's favorite target thus far. Check the morning inactives to be sure, but have Westbrook penciled into your lineup and expect a big PPR day.

49ers @ Steelers
Game Time: Sunday 12:00 CT/1:00 ET


Manny Lawson was a budding force against the run and as a pass rusher, but where his season-ending loss will hurt San Francisco most is in the coverage department. Lawson was often asked to guard opposing tight ends as the Niners' left outside 'backer. Hannibal Navies takes over, and while he has experience as a starter in the league, Navies seems likely to be exploited by Heath Miller. Navies will try to jam Miller at the line because he lacks the speed Lawson could rely on to stay with the Steelers' tight end. Miller is a physical player in his own right and will be up to the task. With rookie Matt Spaeth, who has two touchdowns to Miller's one this season, sidelined due to a hurting quadriceps muscle, there will be less competition for targets at tight end. Miller, one of our favorite bounce-back candidates following a down sophomore season, is a strong TE1 play?

?On the other side, Darrell Jackson has picked up where he left off in Seattle and resumed skipping valuable practice time, this week due to a back injury. For chemistry purposes, that won't help him and Alex Smith get on the same page. Currently ranked dead last in total offense, the 49ers face off against a Steelers secondary that is third in the NFL in yards allowed per game, behind only Denver and Jacksonville. Ike Taylor has recaptured his blanketing form on the left corner and Deshea Townsend is making plays on the right. If you've been waiting for a strong performance from Jackson in his new IXer digs, it'd probably be best to keep waiting.

Bengals @ Seahawks
Game Time: Sunday 3:05 CT/4:05 ET


The Bengals will be minus Ahmad Brooks on Sunday after the second-year middle linebacker missed practice all week with a groin injury. Due to a lack of effective depth behind Brooks, Cincinnati is exploring the idea of using a strict dime alignment featuring three safeties and only two linebackers. Lanky Landon Johnson and former third-round disappointment Caleb Miller would figure to be the 'backers, with special teamer Herana Daze-Jones the third safety. Neither RCB Johnathan Joseph nor LCB Deltha O'Neal is 100 percent and first-round pick Leon Hall's play was dreadful in Week 2. The Bengals' defense is in utter shambles. Keep all your Seahawks, from Shaun Alexander on down to Nate Burleson, going against Cincy.
 

Hache Man

"Seven Days Without Gambling Makes One Weak"
Re: Fantasy Football News 2007

Panic Time?
Panic doesn't rest in fantasy football leagues. It just changes location. All the angry Donovan McNabb owners are temporarily appeased, but the Marc Bulger and Larry Johnson owners are going to suffer through another long week. Let's take a broad look around all the exhilarating and frustrating developments of Week 3.
www.tampabaybuccaneers.ws
[SIZE=+1]Stepping off the Ledge[/SIZE]

1. That feels better Donovan McNabb owners, doesn't it? Hopefully you stayed faithful. Something tells me Kevin Curtis' wild 221-yard and three touchdown effort was on a few benches. That boy can run.

2. Jesse Who? Ronnie Brown finally played like he's capable of, putting up 213 total yards and three scores against the Jets. Mr. Chatman didn't have a touch.

3. We've confirmed that Mark Clayton is alive. He started and caught five passes for 34 yards for the Ravens, an effort just lame enough to get him dropped in some leagues or keep him off waivers. We'd still pick him up for depth. Michael Clayton's long-running disappearance has also been explained. He's been spending his time as the subject of a George Clooney movie.

[SIZE=+1]Who needs to run? [/SIZE]

1. Tatum Bell led the Lions with five carries; they scored 21 points at Philly.
2. Brandon Jackson led the Packers with six rushes; they scored 31 points against San Diego.
3. Samkon Gado led the Texans with six rushes; they scored 24 points against Indy.
4. Edgerrin James led the Cardinals with ten rushes; they scored 23 points in Baltimore.
5. Warrick Dunn led the Falcons with 11 rushes; they scored 20 points gainst Carolina.
6. Cadillac Williams led the Bucs with 12 rushes; they scored 24 points against St. Louis.

Yes, I'm aware only two of the teams won out of this group.

Who Needs the final 20 minutes?

Brian Westbrook threw in his usual mid-game injury so we'll get a week's worth of updates, but he politely put up 221 total yards and three scores before leaving.