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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Quarterback Watch Report - Week 9
Scott Boyter
October 31, 2006
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 IND Peyton Manning Welcome home, Peyton. A stunningly strong performance against Denver, even for Manning, resulted in 345 yards and three TDs against a defense that had only surrendered 44 points through six games. He takes to the road against the Patriots on Sunday night, and New England has been fairly stingy in terms of passing TDs allowed. That should change when the Colts roll into town.
2 STL Marc Bulger In a losing cause, Bulger cranked out 327 yards and two TDs against the incredibly stout San Diego defense. If he can do that against the Chargers, he deserves to jump up this list. He’s third in the league in yardage, and has 12 TDs versus only one interception. He’s back to being a fantasy machine. This week’s tilt at home against the Chiefs promises to be a shootout.
3 PHI Donovan McNabb McNabb gets knocked down a couple of pegs after a brutal outing against the Jaguars – 161 yards and no TDs, at home no less, against a defense that had been torched the week before by David Carr just won’t cut it. With the Eagles in a state of chaos after their third straight loss, their bye couldn’t come at a better time. McNabb and the Eagles host the Redskins in Week 10.
4 NO Drew Brees The Saints were thrashed by Baltimore, but Brees put up phenomenal numbers against the Ravens’ strong defense. Blow off the three picks; Brees’ 383 yards and three scores more than offset his mistakes. His next opponent, Tampa Bay, has given up 9 TDs in 7 games. Look for Brees to add a few to that total this weekend.
5 CIN Carson Palmer Another solid outing by Palmer, who hasn’t done a whole lot to hurt any fantasy team this season. He’s rather quietly put together Top 10 seasons in yardage and touchdowns. Even though he’s not the stud he was last season, performing this well after suffering a shredded knee is nothing short of phenomenal. His matchup on the road against the Ravens doesn’t look great, but Baltimore’s pass D has been, to say the least, vulnerable in 2006.
6 NYG Eli Manning Manning slips due to a pedestrian performance against the Bucs combined with the strong performances of others. But he’s still No. 8 in yardage and No. 3 in TDs, so he won’t hurt you the vast majority of weeks. Look for a rise up the list after he shreds the Texans at home.
7 NE Tom Brady A phenomenal game against the Vikings, the best of the weekend. However, the reason Brady isn't a Top 5 QB is that, as was on display Monday night, Bill Belichick is going to play to the weakness of the opposing defense. Or, rather, away from the strength. You won't be able to count on huge, or even big, numbers from Brady week to week. For example, the Colts, New England's next opponent, is lousy against the run. So Indy will probably get a heaping dose of Laurence Moroney and Corey Dillon. Odds are Brady's numbers will come back down to that of a mortal. But one thing you can at least be sure of is that, even if Brady's numbers aren't spectacular, they shouldn't be a liability to your squad. Run him every chance you get, with the possible exception being his matchup against the Bears in Week 12.
8 ATL Michael Vick The last two weeks, Michael Vick has been nothing short of spectacular, totaling 523 yards passing and 7 TDs against the Steelers and Bengals. Since he spouted off, he’s been incredible. There’s no real reason he doesn’t continue to be an absolute stud against a Lion pass D that has given up 238 yards per game and 14 TDs. Unless, of course, Vick plays down to the level of his competition. With the mercurial Vick, that’s a legitimate concern.
9 GB Brett Favre Favre wasn’t great through the air against the Cardinals (180 yards, 1 TD), but he mixed in a rushing TD. That’s good enough to keep him on the list. His next opponent, Buffalo, has given up 10 passing TDs through 7 games.
10 DET Jon Kitna Slips because of the bye but has been a strong fantasy start nearly all season, and should be again at home versus the Falcons. Brushed under the rug of Atlanta’s last two stirring victories is the fact that the Falcon pass D has surrendered 504 yards and 5 TDs against Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. Kitna should be able to continue that trend.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Rex Grossman (CHI) – The only reason he’s not in the Top 10 is residual disgust over his pathetic performance against the Cardinals. Apparently Grossman used the bye week to get his mind right, as 252 yards and 3 TDs against San Francisco suggests. The Dolphins rank No. 4 in pass defense, but they’ve given up 12 TDs. So Grossman might have another big day.

Tony Romo (DAL) – Silenced all the doubters and the haters for a week with a strong 270-yard, 1 TD debut on the road against the Panthers. The Redskins rank No. 30 in pass D, and they’ve given up the second-most passing TDs (14) in the league, so Romo is at least worth consideration as a start.

Damon Huard (KC) – Huard gets big props for fighting through a groin injury to hit the Seahawks for 312 yards and a TD. This week against the Rams should be a track meet.

Seneca Wallace (SEA) – Wallace was strong in relief of Matt Hasselbeck, throwing 198 yards and 3 scores against the Chiefs, and should get at least two more starts. He gets to show what he’s got in front of a Monday night national audience at home against the Raiders.

Sliding Back

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – Can he slide back any further? Four picks against the Raiders? He’s dragging down not only the Steelers, but any Pittsburgh player who may reside on your fantasy squad. It’s probably not going to get a lot better against the Broncos.

David Carr (HOU) – From near the penthouse to squarely in the outhouse, Carr was benched for Sage Freaking Rosenfels against the Titans, of all teams. Who knows how he’ll bounce back from this. Even if he does start this weekend, he’s a lousy play on the road against the Giants. Grab Seneca Wallace or Damon Huard if you can.

Jake Delhomme (CAR) – Delhomme was awful from a fantasy standpoint against Dallas, with 149 yards, no scores, and an interception. But he didn’t have a lot of help from his receivers, who combined to drop several balls. Delhomme and the Panthers have a week to reflect before taking the field once again in Week 10 against Tampa Bay.