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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

The Dandy Ratio
Joe Levit
September 29, 2004

While no formula for success is full-proof in professional or fantasy football, there are some sets of variables which it behooves owners to track and then implement if possible. For instance, when the Minnesota Vikings tried to employ the Randy Ratio, the design tended to shackle the Minnesota Vikings offense rather than liberate it because it required constant monitoring. Still, it is obvious that liberal play calling with Moss in mind is a winning equation.

In fantasy football, owners are always looking to pick up a quarterback who can pass for a number of scores. But touchdowns alone are misleading. Because most leagues deduct points for interceptions, a signal caller who gets picked about as often as he gets patted on the back will not be an advantage for a fantasy squad.

Retaining from the draft or quickly acquiring a quarterback via trade with a better than 2:1 ratio of touchdowns to interceptions quickly ensures that you are in every fantasy game you play. The very best players fit naturally into this category, but there are a couple of underrated field generals who would be a boon for your team this year. Remember this – In most leagues, a good starting QB does not guarantee you a win each week, but a poor quarterback or a stable of stale options can sink your otherwise talented roster faster than a pump fake.

Below are the seven quarterbacks who are a dandy fit for the ratio above, and then three who could be there soon. Get one of them now and cruise through the season.

The Magnificent Seven

Peyton Manning – You knew he’d be high on the list. With a league-leading nine passing scores and only one interception, Manning makes a difference nearly every game he starts.

Donovan McNabb – It’s fairly obvious by now that Terrell Owens was just the talent that McNabb needed to put it all together. Not such a surprise, as Owens is a Cadillac compared to the other cars in Philly.

Daunte Culpepper – Culpepper just keeps on playing the hits. Most of his eight passing strikes have played golden oldie Randy Moss. Plus, Pep always is a threat to run one in for you.

Aaron Brooks – With Deuce out, Brooks has been forced to take over the offense, and he has five touchdowns to just one pass completed to the other team.

Joey Harrington – A mild surprise here, Harrington is showing so far that he really did just need some time, and legitimate weapons, before playing like a top draft pick. Four of his six touchdowns have gone to righteous rookie Roy Williams.

Brett Favre – Like his NFC North opponent, Favre checks in with six touchdowns and two INT’s. Favre is still the gunslinger, and has some of his wideouts coming into the prime of their careers.

Chad Pennington – Ultra efficient, Pennington is the faster wind above the team’s wings that lifts them up and makes them a dangerous team. He had a bye this week, which kept him from adding to four scores with no picks.

Three More Amigos

Jake Plummer – It looks like Lelie is finally finding his stride. With four scores already this season, Plummer can canter along with the leaders.

Jake Delhomme – Jake has five scores in only two games. If he can keep his interceptions low, he looks to ready for an actual breakout season, although it would help to get Steve Smith back sooner rather than later.

Matt Hasselbeck – Matt has a group of good wide receivers, but will need to keep pace with his running back (six scores) to be a top fantasy QB by season’s end.