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Quarterback Watch - Week 7
Scott Boyter
October 19, 2004
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s To Own Comment
1 MIN Daunte Culpepper Any questions? Culpepper just put up your garden variety 425-yard, five-TD day. Yeah it was the Saints, but it doesn’t matter. Culpepper’s not only the hands-down No. 1 quarterback; he’s the frontrunner for NFL MVP. It looks like the weather is the only thing that can slow Culpepper down.
2 IND Peyton Manning Upcoming opponents Jacksonville, K.C. and Minnesota should be patsies for the Manning machine. It’s hard to imagine how he can supplant Culpepper for the No. 1 spot, but you never know.
3 PHI Donovan McNabb Don’t let one 209-yard, one-INT, no-TD day throw you into a panic, but McNabb’s lousy fantasy day should have you concerned. It looks like the Eagles are good enough to crush a lot of teams – even if McNabb doesn’t put up huge numbers. He could be primed for a fantasy fall, but he’s been too good to drop just yet.
4 STL Marc Bulger Bulger keeps rolling right along, even though no one seems to want to anoint him as an elite NFL passer. As good as he's been, though, beware his difficult matchup against the Dolphins this week. Home games against the Patriots and Seahawks bring the potential for big numbers and a return to the top five.
5 HOU David Carr Carr continues to put up good-to-excellent numbers each week. He’s off in Week 7, and then has tough matchups against the Jags and Broncos. But in the following three, big numbers loom against Indy, Green Bay and the Titans. Psst…Carr has thrown for only 125 fewer yards than Culpepper.
6 NYJ Chad Pennington Pennington slips a notch after a subpar game against the 49ers – there’s no excuse for that performance (222 yds, no TDs). Next week he gets his biggest test on the road against New England – but that’s the same defense that surrendered…
7 SEA Matt Hasselbeck …349 yards to Hasselbeck. Hasselbeck slips a bit for his failure to throw for a TD, but has done enough this season to stay on the list. Look for big numbers the next four weeks ( Arizona, Carolina, San Francisco, St. Louis).
8 JAX Byron Leftwich Leftwich explodes into the top 10 after averaging 326 yards in his last three games, while throwing for four TDs and running for two more. He should stay here for a while, with games coming up against Indy, Houston and Detroit.
9 GB Brett Favre Favre came back strong after the Tennessee debacle with an excellent game against Detroit. Next up comes a beleaguered Dallas defense.
10 KC Trent Green Fairly or unfairly, Green has supplanted Kurt Warner, who was on a bye. But his is a tenuous hold on No. 10 at best, now that K.C.’s season is on the verge of a death spiral.

(Note – this listing considers the rankings of QB’s if a draft was held today)

Climbing Up The Ladder

Tim Rattay (SF) – You can’t ignore what Rattay did against the Jets, throwing for 286 yards and a TD. He’s averaged 334 yards in his last three, and added five TDs. Do you risk running him out? If you do this week you’re screwed, because he’s on a bye. However, he could have good numbers in his next three against Chicago, Seattle and Carolina.

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – This guy is good – damn good. He’s not a fantasy top 10 QB yet, but he’s getting there. He’ll give you about 230 yards and a couple of scores each week, and is a legitimate threat for a seven- or eight-yard rushing TD. His next two matchups against the Patriots and Eagles could be brutal.

Jeff Garcia (CLE) – He’s not top 10 material by a long shot, but you gotta give him a shout-out for his 310 yards and four TDs against Cincinnati. Looks like Chad Johnson should have given the Pepto to his own DBs. Don’t get excited, though – Garcia will tumble back into the fantasy abyss during brutal matchups with Philly, Baltimore and Pittsburgh.

Sliding Back

Tom Brady (NE) – Leave the running to Corey Dillon, will you Tom? Brady’s slide out of the top 10 is more a function of good performances than his own shortcomings, but it’s hard to overlook the fact that he’s only averaged 153 yards in his last two. It appears Brady is sliding back into the “chicken today, feathers tomorrow” pattern that has enraged his owners the last couple of seasons.

Steve McNair (TEN) – The playoffs are nearly a rumor for the Titans at 2-4, and McNair is, shockingly, one of the reasons why. He’s only cracked 220 yards once on the season and has four TDs versus six interceptions, including a ridiculous four picks against the Texans. His last two chances at 2004 fantasy redemption come the next two weeks against Minnesota and Cincinnati.