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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Quarterback Watch Report - Week 7
Scott Boyter
October 17, 2006
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 PHI Donovan McNabb McNabb was good in a losing effort against the Saints, but not great. He still holds on to the top spot because of what he’s done during the first six weeks of the season as a whole. This week he goes up against an aroused Tampa Bay defense that held Carson Palmer mostly in check, and will be desperate to build on the momentum of the team’s first win of the season.
2 STL Marc Bulger Call this a knee-jerk reaction, but Bulger’s 360-yard, three-TD explosion against the Seahawks warrants at least a one-week stay in the Top 3. It’ll be a short stay because the Rams have bye this weekend, but don’t be surprised if Bulger jumps back into this spot very soon.
3 IND Peyton Manning Slips a notch because of the bye week, but he’ll be in good shape to rise with a meeting against the Redskins in Week 7.
4 NYG Eli Manning He was serviceable against the Falcons with two TDs, but his yardage total was pedestrian (180 yards) and he threw two picks. Don’t look for a whole lot of improvement against the Cowboys.
5 CIN Carson Palmer Palmer had good yardage (261) against Tampa Bay, but he only had one score. It would be easy to say his stock will take another dive against the Panthers this weekend, but if Kyle Boller can go for 226 and three scores in relief duty against Carolina, Palmer should have a good day as well.
6 NO Drew Brees Three TDs and 275 yards against the Eagles takes Brees up the board a couple of pegs. The Saints’ bye couldn’t come at a worse time for Brees owners.
7 SEA Matt Hasselbeck Welcome back, Matt. Three scores and 268 yards in a stirring comeback win over the Rams get Hasselbeck back in the good graces of QB Watch. Just imagine what his numbers would be if the Seahawks had a running game. That should return in two weeks when Shaun Alexander is expected to take the field. For Week 7, though, Hasselbeck should still be a strong play at home against the Vikings.
8 CAR Jake Delhomme Are you kidding? A career-high 365 yards and two TDs against the Ravens? On the road? For that performance, Delhomme deserves this quantum leap to the Top 10. A healthy Steve Smith means there’s a good chance Delhomme will hang out here for a while.
9 NE Tom Brady Another victim of the bye, Brady takes on a vulnerable Buffalo D in Week 7.
10 GB Brett Favre Favre slips only because of his bye. He returns this week with a trip to Miami, the same defense that surrendered two passing scores to Chad Pennington.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Philip Rivers (SD) – Granted, he had a great matchup against the 49ers. But Rivers is quickly becoming a worthwhile starter for fantasy squads. At the very least, he’s earned enough respect to be seriously considered as a No. 1 just about every week. Ben Roethlisberger came back to life against the Chiefs; there’s no reason Rivers shouldn’t keep his hot streak going in Kansas City.

Bruce Gradkowski (TB) – Give the rook some props for two solid games in a row. If he doesn’t get rattled by the Philadelphia blitz, Gradkowski should put up good numbers. That’s a big if, however, so don’t throw him into your lineup unless you’re in dire straits because of a bye week that will leave fantasy players without the services of Marc Bulger, Drew Brees and Rex Grossman.

Kyle Boller (BAL) – Boller surprised with a strong outing against the Panthers in relief of Steve McNair. And, of course, you won’t be able to capitalize on any possible momentum Boller may have because the Ravens are on bye. You gotta love NFL scheduling.

Matt Leinart (ARI) He grew up against the Bears with an outstanding performance. It'd be a natural to say rush out and grab him off the free agent list (more likely an astute owner already picked him up), but the way the Cardinals lost to Chicago makes you wonder whether they'll be anything close to competitive the rest of the season. However, judging from the way Leinart performed, you have to think he won't let that mindset creep in. Grab him, or play him if you already have him against the Raiders.

Sliding Back

Drew Bledsoe (DAL) – Being just “serviceable” against the pathetic Houston pass D won’t cut it, and that’s what Bledsoe was on Sunday. The Giants were able to throttle Atlanta’s pass offense in the Georgia Dome, so they have a defense that’s worthy of some respect.

Brett Favre (GB) – Favre slips only because of his bye. He returns this week with a trip to Miami, the same defense that surrendered two passing scores to Chad Pennington. Look for a good chance at a return to the Top 10 for No. 4.

Steve McNair (BAL) – The Ravens’ signal-caller will use the bye to heal up from a concussion and sprained neck.

Jake Plummer (DEN) – Plummer’s not sliding back because of performance, but because of the shackles that Mike “The Weasel” Shanahan inexplicably put on him against the woeful Raiders. When Plummer went deep – the only time he really did, in fact – he hit Javon Walker for a 55-yard play down to the four. After that, Plummer didn’t get to air it out the rest of the night.

Rex Grossman (CHI) Wow. The quickest rise in the illustrious history of Quarterback Watch becomes the fastest fall out of the Top 10. Yeah, the Bears somehow won the game against Arizona, but Grossman did everything he could to lose it. Six turnovers? Are you freaking kidding me? He'll have to do a lot of soul searching over the bye week to figure out how one quarterback can suck so bad against what was a lousy pass defense. If he doesn't turn it around lightning fast, the Bears can forget about even making the playoffs, much less being a Super Bowl contender. And this is not merely a knee-jerk reaction. He's got to be incredibly thankful that the off-week focus will be on Chicago's miracle win rather than his putrid performance. Absolutely pathetic.