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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Quarterback Watch Report - Week 4
Scott Boyter
September 26, 2006
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 IND Peyton Manning The numbers weren’t Manning-like by any stretch of the imagination, but he mixed in a rushing TD this week to bolster his point total. If J.P. Losman can throw for 328 yards and a TD against the Jet defense, imagine what Manning will post this week. The only thing that could possibly stop him this week would be the weather.
2 CIN Carson Palmer Palmer owners had to be sweating it for a while before his TD barrage occurred against Pittsburgh. Even with only 193 yards passing, Palmer did enough to help a whole lot of fantasy teams win in Week 3. Week 4 against New England should be a bust-out for Palmer, not only from a TD perspective but from a yardage one as well.
3 PHI Donovan McNabb Think it can’t get any better for McNabb, who followed up his first two spectacular starts with a garden variety 296-yard, two-TD performance against the 49ers? Well it can. He gets to feast on the putrid Packer pass defense on Monday Night Football at home. Let the point explosion commence. You better look long and hard at your matchups this week if your opponent is running out McNabb, because you’ll need as many points as you can possibly muster.
4 NYG Eli Manning Through the first half of the Seattle game, Manning was poised for perhaps the biggest fall in the illustrious history of “Quarterback Watch.” But he proved that even on a lousy day for his team, he can still crank out big-time numbers. Whether or not the Giants implode from internal dissension remains to be seen. For the short term, however, he’s still a must start. Just not this week since the Giants are on bye.
5 ARI Matt Hasselbeck Wow. See what happens when a QB is threatened with expulsion from this Top 10 list? Hasselbeck probably won a lot of fantasy games by himself with his five-TD eruption against the Giants. But don’t blindly throw him into your lineup this week, because there’s a good chance the Chicago D will turn off the faucet on Sunday Night Football at Soldier Field.
6 NE Tom Brady If not for a late game flurry that resulted in New England’s only points of the night, Brady would have taken a nosedive off of this list. You can’t really argue with the numbers, but that, without question, was the ugliest 320-yard, one-TD game in the history of the NFL. He’s obviously desperate for the kind of chemistry he enjoyed with WRs Deion Branch and David Givens. Maybe the Patriots’ belief that receivers are mere interchangeable parts will finally bite them this season. It sure looks like it’ll bite Brady owners sooner or later. It’s still too early to panic, and Brady should put up good numbers against the Bengals, but you can’t help but have a bad feeling that Brady’s value is about to crater in disastrous fashion.
7 DAL Drew Bledsoe Bledsoe might have to go without T.O. against Tennessee, but that really shouldn’t affect his numbers that much. In the next three games after that, the Cowboys go up against the Eagles, Texans and Giants, with the last two at home. None of those pass defenses exactly inspire fear in opposing quarterbacks. Bledsoe could be huge in the next month.
8 STL Marc Bulger The Ram offense showed a pulse finally, even if it was only against the Cardinal defense. Bulger should feast the next two weeks against the Lions and Packers before having to face Seattle. Play him while the matchups are favorable, however, because he’ll have some stiff tests after the Oct. 22 bye (at San Diego, vs. Kansas City, at Seattle).
9 GB Brett Favre Give the old man some love. He’s lit up the Saints and Lions in consecutive weeks, and will have to light up the Eagles to even keep the Packers competitive this week.
10  NYJ Chad Pennington It’s not time to drop him out of the Top 10 yet, even though his 183-yard, one-TD performance against the Bills ranks as a pedestrian day at best. The Colts can be thrown upon, so there’s a good chance Pennington remains a Top-10 fantasy QB for one more week.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Alex Smith (SF) – He’s averaging about 270 yards and a TD through three games, and that’s not going to hurt any fantasy owner too badly. But you’ll want to think twice about running him against the Chiefs this week, especially with TE Vernon Davis on the shelf. But if you don’t have a better option, think seriously about starting Smith the following week against Oakland.

Jon Kitna (DET) – Whether his 342-yard, two-TD outburst against the Packers was more a function of his excellence or the futility of the Packer pass D is up for debate. However, you can’t ignore that kind of production. There’s a better than zero chance he’ll put up more great numbers this week against the Rams.

J.P. Losman (BUF) – Losman was lousy the first couple of weeks before torching the Jets in a losing cause in Week 3. He deserves kudos, but he’s got lousy matchups the next two weeks (vs. Minnesota, at Chicago).

Jake Plummer (DEN) – Maybe Javon Walker will be the consistent explosive threat the Broncos envisioned when they signed him. Maybe the New England pass defense just sucks. Either way, Plummer was strong in Week 3. You should sit him against Baltimore after Denver’s bye, but think about starting Plummer the following two weeks against the Raiders and Browns.

Sliding Back

Kurt Warner (ARI) – Yes, this is written with more than a tinge of bitterness, but Warner was more than just putrid against the Rams. He was stupid putrid. Three brain-dead interceptions and a moronic fumble erased a decent outing (256 yards, one TD) against St. Louis. It’s not a reach to think that Matt Leinart is closer to ditching the clipboard than anyone would have expected. At the very least, Leinart will probably see some playing time the next couple of weeks.

Chris Simms (TB) – You can’t criticize the kid’s toughness, but he’s more than likely out for the rest of the season.

Daunte Culpepper (MIA) – Culpepper isn’t even a shell of his former self. He just flat out sucks. The only thing that kept him from being a 100 percent fantasy liability against the Titans was a rushing TD. And that’s against the Titans. Don’t be fooled if he puts up great numbers against the Texans. I could put up great numbers against the Texans. At first glance the upcoming schedule (Houston, New England, N.Y. Jets, Green Bay) looks like a fantasy feast for Culpepper, but don’t touch him unless you have absolutely no other option.