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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Tunnel Vision - Week 12
David Dorey
November 20, 2006
Sunday Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Drew Brees 510 2
J.P. Losman 340 3
Tom Brady 244 4
Running Backs Yards TD
LaDainian Tomlinson 179 4
Jamal Lewis 108 3
Larry Johnson 154 2
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Lee Evans 265 2
Chad Johnson 190 3
Deion Branch 113 1
Tight Ends Yards TD
Ben Watson 74 1
Chris Cooley 58 1
L.J. Smith 57 1
Placekickers XP FG
Jason Elam 3 2
Ryan Longwell 2 2
Joe Nedney 2 2
Defense/Special Teams TDs Sacks TOs
Miami 2 3 3
Cleveland 2 2 3
Tennessee 2 0 3

Week 11 Bumps, Bruises & Bow-outs

When the #1 QB (McNabb), the #1 WR (Colston) AND Brett Favre are injured in one day, it is truly Black Sunday

Brett Favre (GB) - Injured elbow
Donovan McNabb (PHI) - Torn ACL
Lamont Jordan (OAK) - Knee injury
DeShaun Foster (CAR) - Elbow injury
Marques Colston (NO) - Ankle injury
Randy Moss (OAK) - Invisibility potion overdose
Kevin Jones (DET) - Ankle injury
Corey Dillon (NE) - Neck sprain

We've only just begun...

LaDainian Tomlinson has reached 100 touchdowns faster than any other player in NFL history when he scored his second touchdown against the Denver Broncos on Sunday night. It only took him 89 games - four games faster than either Jim Brown or Emmitt Smith. Tomlinson scored two more times in the game so he has the records for reaching 101st and 102nd as well.

After 10 games, Tomlinson has scored 19 rushing touchdowns and three via receptions for a total of 22 scores. At that rate, he would end with 30 rushing scores and five rushing scores. Of course that is unlikely to happen, just as it was unlikely he would post eight touchdowns in the last two games or reach 100 touchdowns faster than anyone in NFL history. Wonder who will be drafted second next year?

Ummm... Hooray for me?

David Carr tied the NFL consecutive completions record when he was successful on 22 straight passes against the Bills on Sunday. Oddly enough, he did it on the same field that Mark Brunell set the record only eight weeks ago as the visitor in Houston. Unfortunately, unlike Brunell, Carr lost his game and never even managed to throw a touchdown. So while Denver is the kicker's paradise, Houston is where to go for passing records? Then again, the humidity from that corner from the Gulf of Mexico hasn't hurt Drew Brees either...

Like hitting the trifecta only opposite

On a day that had several players turning in monster games, oddly enough there were three shut-outs in the NFL. The Packers lost to the Pats 0-35, the Rams lost to the Panthers 0-15 and the Jets lost to the Bears 0-10. Nothing like dropping a few Benjamins to see your team end up with the same score they started with. All three game in the early games, so maybe it's just a question of coffee on the team bus...

Huddle Player of the Week

Lee Evans - This week was a replay of week 10 for Tomlinson, Chad Johnson and Larry Johnson but we all have come to expect that from those players. But Lee Evans? Prior to Sunday, Evans only had one game over 100 yards (107 in week three) and he had not turned in more than 82 yards for the last month. Evans only had two touchdowns on the entire season.

So, naturally, when you benched him - he went off. In the first quarter for the initial two series, Evans caught back-to-back 83 yard touchdown passes and ended the day with a career high of 265 yards on 11 catches for the two scores. Lightning really does strike twice but the question now is will it strike at all against the Jaguars this week? No matter, here's to you Evans owners waiting all too long for a reason to smile.

Salute!

Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Lineup Yards TDs Tragedy Lineup Yards TDs
QB J.P. Losman 354 3 QB Donovan McNabb 78 0
RB Travis Henry 151 1 RB Ronnie Brown 2 0
RB Samkon Gado 99 1 RB Ahman Green 28 0
WR Devery Henderson 169 0 WR Muhsin Muhammad 29 0
WR Mark Bradley 80 1 WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh 15 0
WR Santonio Holmes 75 1 WR Marques Colston 0 0
PK Joe Nedney 2 FG 2 XP PK Jeff Wilkins oops

Huddle Fantasy Points = 110

Huddle Fantasy Points = 8

Sunday's Couch Commentary

NE 35, GB 0 When Favre leaves the game injured, you knew it was going to be bad. Now the Packers have their second home shutout this season and evidently Aaron Rodgers is not "plug and play" since he only completed 4 of 12 passes for 32 yards in the second half. Donald Driver led all Packer receivers with just two catches for 42 yards but Green Bay lost Favre at the end of the first half and almost nothing happened from then on. At least not offensively but the Green Bay secondary was busy handing out touchdowns to four different Patriot receivers. Ben Watson (5-74) led the crew but as always no individual receiver had a big game. Dillon scored once but jammed his neck and Laurence Maroney did the most damage with 19 carries for 82 yards including 34 yards on four catches with one of the passing scores. The Pats now have a two game lead in the AFC East and return home to host the Bears this week while the Packers head to Seattle while praying that Favre brings his helmet on the trip. He is expected to play because the arm is attached to Brett Favre.
PIT 24, CLE 20 Whew... the Steelers squeaked out a win by playing as great in the second half as they did poorly in the first half. Ben Roethlisberger ended with 272 yards and two scores against three interceptions and Willie Parker ran for only 46 yards on 16 carries as he usually does when no longer at Heinz Field. The only reason this game was close Roethlisberger tried to give it away and then took it all back. The Browns scored no offensive touchdowns, only a touchdown on an interception return and later a 92-yard kick return for another score. Braylon Edwards had 137 yards on seven receptions but Kellen Winslow finally turned into just a tight end when he caught only four passes for 36 yards. Reuben Droughns was inactive this week and Jason Wright filled in with 74 yards on 18 carries which is probably better than what Droughns would have managed anyway. This was an exciting game at the end when Roethlisberger commanded a 77 yard drive with just three minutes left to take the win on a pass to Parker with just 39 seconds left to play. Definite Game of the Week contender.
STL 0, CAR 15 The Rams offense is still stuck in reverse and the loss of LT Orlando Pace meant that DE Mike Rucker had two of the Panther record seven sacks in this game including the one for a safety. This game played out exactly as expected in August before we thought the Rams were going to be good and the Panthers would be bad. Bulger only had 142 passing yards with one interception and Steven Jackson ran only seven times for 27 yards. Take away Torry Holt's seven catches for 68 yards and there just wasn't much happening for the Rams. DeShaun Foster (9-63) was injured and allowed DeAngelo Williams to run 20 times for 114 yards while adding 24 yards on two catches. Steve Smith had four catches for 90 yards and one score (60-yarder at that) and lost out on another touchdown because of a penalty that had nothing to do with the play. Just a thorough beat down by the Panther defense against an offense that continues to struggle lately. Now the Rams are 4-6 and can just drop those playoff fantasies after losing their fifth straight game. They head home to host the 49ers this week while the Panthers have finally drawn to a tie with the Saints in the NFC South and head to Washington, D.C. this week.
ATL 10, BAL 24 In what has become a standard game for the Falcons, Michael Vick threw for 127 yards and one score while gaining 54 yards on six runs and that about wraps up the Falcon report. Warrick Dunn only gained 52 yards on 15 carries while Roddy White actually led all Falcon receivers because he caught one pass for 49 yards. What was not standard in this game was that Jamal Lewis ran in three touchdowns and gained 91 yards on 22 carries. Mark Clayton continues to improve with five caches for 89 yards and Heap had six receptions for 62 yards yards. Just a pretty standard game really although the Falcons did not have any turnovers. They just couldn't keep up. Now Atlanta falls to 5-5 and returned home to host the Saints in what should be a big game for both. The Ravens rise to 8-2 and remain home to host the Steelers. Atlanta has lost their last three games and the rushing leader in the NFL is losing ground every week thanks to no runner being effective other than Vick.
WAS 17, TB 20 Go ahead - rub your eyes. Drink some coffee. And then come to terms with the Buccaneers not only winning a game but Carnell Williams gaining 122 yards on 27 carries and adding 34 more on two receptions. Jason Campbell made his NFL debut and had a respectable 196 yards and two scores without any interceptions and that was without Santana Moss. He was smart enough to hook up with Chris Cooley (5-58, 1 TD). In the absence of Portis, the Skins had almost no rushing game and T.J. Duckett was the best and yet only had 26 yards on five carries. Joey Galloway hauled in one touchdown and had another ping off him and into Anthony Becht's hands for the other score by Gradkowski since that is realistically the only way that Becht is ever going to score. Close game between two 3-7 teams that have that record for a reason. Now the Skins return home so that the Panthers can maul Campbell this week and the Bucs head into Dallas to notch their seventh loss on the season. Cadillac may not be running much again this year but for at least one week, it was like 2005 all over again... at least the very first thee games... In a bit of irony, Jason Campbell was Carnell's college quarterback.
TEN 31, PHI 13

Yeah, this game is also known as "The Heartbreak Bowl" since all those giddy McNabb owners were immediately in need of oxygen when he tore his ACL and will, like his fantasy owners, just watch the NFL for the rest of the season. It was truly bad mojo bad for the Eagles who not only lost their star quarterback but also game up a 70-yard touchdown run to Travis Henry and a 90 yard punt return for a score to Pacman Jones. Evidently Jeff Garcia is not the same as McNabb. He only completed 26 of 48 for 189 yards and one touchdown just like most of the other non-McNabb quarterbacks in the NFL. Westbrook was his same self with 102 yards on 22 carries and adding 46 on 12 catches as Garcia's new and bestest buddy. L.J. Smith also came back to life with Garcia playing and had the lone touchdown along with seven catches for 57 yards. The score suggests a blowout but that all happened on long if not highly unusual plays. Vince Young completed just 8 of 22 passes for 101 yards and a score to Ben "What? Me? Really?" Troupe while Travis Henry ended with 143 yards on 18 carries thanks to the long romp. The Eagles now get a scary flashback of 2005 with McNabb out though Westbrook remains. They now get to play in Indianapolis this week where McNabb would have come in rather handy and their 5-5 record may be where they end up on the year anyway. The Titans now return home to host the Giants where they hope for more magical things to happen. In other news, Albert Haynesworth returned this week and was successful in not stomping on anyone's face this time. Of course he had no tackles either, but it is a step in the right direction overall.

CHI 10, NYJ 0 Possibly the most boring game on Sunday (and that includes all Bingo halls and croquet tournaments), the Bears followed the well-worn script on how to beat the Jets. Thomas Jones (23-121) and Cedric Benson (10-51) ran all over the Jets while Grossman had no turnovers (and one important touchdown). Mark Bradley (4-80, 1 TD) is making the absence of Bernard Berrian a bit easier to take but he had all but 49 of the passing yards. Mostly, the Bears ran well, collected two Pennington interceptions and then punched out early for home. Just to make the Jets backfield a never-ending rotation of ne'er-do-wells, Cedric Houston was a surprise with 11 carries for 50 yards, Kevan Barlow ran four times for two yards and Leon Washington had 13 carries for 22 yards. Starting any Jets running back on your fantasy team either says you have been hard bit by injuries or you really stocked up on other positions in the early rounds of your draft (and for the last time probably). Now the Bears are 9-1 with a three game lead over the entire NFC and head to New England this week while the Jets remain home to host the Texans.
CIN 31, NO 16 This was an outstanding game though it all compressed into the fourth quarter for points. Carson Palmer threw for 275 yards and three scores - all to Chad Johnson again (6-190). Evidently Ocho Cinco is going to shoot for rare "worst to first" for fantasy wideouts with back-to-back monster games. This time around, he left nothing for the other since Houshmandzadeh (2-15) and Chris Henry (2-24) mostly just watched. Rudi Johnson ran for 111 yards on 27 carries but this game, yet again, was all about Palmer throwing to Chad. Drew Brees incredibly only had two touchdowns despite completing 37 of 52 passes for 510 yards. He also had three interceptions which hardly helped his cause. Reggie Bush (13-51) is running better in the last couple of weeks and Devery Henderson turned in a career best nine catches for 169 yards. Joe Horn had 93 yards and a score while Terrance Copper settled for 87 yards and a touchdown as well. It was the biggest passing yardage of the year and came within 44 yards of an NFL record and ends up 6th of all time. Marques Colston broke the heart of every ulta-lucky owner out there when he sprained his ankle and left the game. If Brees could have scored at least one more touchdown, this would have been the game of the week - big fantasy points in this one. Now the Bengals reach 5-5 and head into Cleveland next week while the Saints go to Atlanta for a game that will define this season.
MIN 20, MIA 24 Joey Harrington threw for one touchdown to Justin Peelle which made the difference in this game because the Vikings could only score twice while giving away two touchdowns thanks to a fumble and an interception - both in the fourth quarter to seal the game. This was fortunate since the Fins offense gained a total of - drum roll please - a net three yard loss rushing. Ronnie Brown turned 12 runs into a net two yard gain (Thank goodness for the one six yard run) while Harrington loss five yards on two attempted runs. Chris Chambers (6-44) is still exactly who he has usually been except he is not even adding in the touchdown catches to marginal yardage games. The Vikes had Taylor run for 80 yards on 28 carries and he scored twice but they had not factored in giving away 14 points in the fourth quarter. Brad Johnson threw for 262 yards but no scores unless you count the interception return. Now the Vikings are 4-6 and on a four game losing skid. They return home to host the Cardinals this week while the Dolphins are also 4-6 and head to Detroit on Sunday where two more defensive touchdowns are not impossible.
OAK 13, KC 17 Aaron Brooks is back and he looks fantastic since he is compared to everything that has happened over the last ten weeks (or hasn't happened). Brooks had 179 passing yards and one score to Courtney Anderson while Ronald Curry (5-85) led the Raider receivers. Evidently Art Shell has decided that if he is going to go down, he might as well bring Jerry Porter (0-0) and Randy Moss (0-0) with him. Lamont Jordan hurt his knee after gaining 24 yards on just four carries and left Fargas to gain 52 yards on 19 runs. But the important thing here is that the Raiders not only were not shut out, they actually scored a touchdown on the road. Trent Green had only 102 yards so he could have waited a week for what good it did. Larry Johnson was the focus of the attack naturally and his 154 yards on 31 carries for two scores dominated the game. The Chiefs had to squeak past the Raiders in a mail-in game that they got away with. Now the Raiders head into San Diego where they hope the Chargers forget to show up while the Chiefs will host the Broncos on Thursday in the late game. Imagine how good Brooks might have looked if he had real receivers like Porter and Moss? I mean the versions of Porter and Moss that actually care what happens. If they ever really existed anyway.
BUF 24, HOU 21 After seven offensive plays, J.P. Losman was 5-5 on passing for 181 yards and two touchdowns. Lee Evans caught book-end 83-yard touchdowns to open the game. Evans ended with a franchise record 265 yards on 11 receptions. That allowed Losman to turn in 340 passing yards and three scores while no other Bills player did much other than Peerless Price who caught the winning score but only had two catches for 21 yards in the game (figure the secondary was all too busy covering Evans). Anthony Thomas only had 56 yards on 19 carries. Carr threw for 223 yards but never scored, using mostly just Andre Johnson (6-76) and Eric Moulds (5-68). The game was likely extra painful for Moulds who was beaten by his ex-employer. The Texans backfield is getting muddy again with Wali Lundy (8-61, 1 TD) and Samkon Gado (10-69, 1 TD) sharing the load. They even shared duty as a receiver equally with Gado (5-30) getting a slight edge over Lundy (4-22). The Texans were killed by two long pass plays that started the game and they could not stop the Bills at the end of the game once Houston finally regained the lead. Now the Texans head to New York to face the Jets while the Bills go home to host the Jaguars..
SEA 14, SF 20 Well, don't look now but the 49ers have won their last three games and at 5-5 they are only one game behind the Seahawks - who they just beat! The return of Shaun Alexander only produced 37 yards on 17 runs though he did shoulder almost the entire rushing workload. He just could not get into a groove and the Seahawks trailed for the entire game. Instead everyone just sat back and watched the other running back. Frank Gore rumbled for 212 yards on 24 carries and had 26 yards on four receptions though he was unable to score despite runs as long as 51 yards. Oddly enough, it was the Seahawks who were forced to see how hard it is to beat a team with a dominating ground game. Seneca Wallace throwing for three interceptions was no help either though both Branch (7-113, 1 TD) and Darrell Jackson (4-77, 1 TD) made the game interesting. Now Seattle returns home to face the Packers and get back on track hopefully with Hasselbeck back as well and the 49ers go to St. Louis to face the reeling Rams. Funny how much things change over the course of a month...
DET 10, ARI 17 It took a home game against the Lions, but Matt Leinart finally has experienced an NFL victory and the Cards finally end their eight game losing streak. Now they are tied with the Lions and Raiders for the worst record in the league. Leinart had 233 passing yards and one score with a nine yard run for a second touchdown as well. Edgerrin James (22-96) came tantalizingly close to an actual 100 yard rushing game. Leinart mostly used Anquan Boldin (5-87) and Bryant Johnson (4-47, 1 TD) while Larry Fitzgerald ended with just two catches for 20 yards. The Lions lost Kevin Jones in the first quarter and Arlen Harris (10-40, 1 TD) filled in. Kitna had 238 passing yards but no scores and both Mike Furrey and Roy Williams had 67 receiving yards. Corey Bradford is back again and had a respectable 54 yards on three catches and has not be released as of this writing. Two bad teams and the home squad won - big deal. Now the Cards head to Minnesota where things are getting desperate and the Lions host the Dolphins on Thursday.
IND 14, DAL 21 And then there were none. The Colts finally fall from the top after finally meeting their match in a game that realistically was the most convenient for them to lose - on the road against an NFC team. Manning threw for a typical 254 yards and two scores but had two uncharacteristic interceptions which proved costly when one was returned for a touchdown if only because the swarming Dallas secondary took it away from Harrison and Dungy never threw the red flag. Tony Romo finally had a down game with 226 yards and one interception but it came in a win over the unbeaten Colts so no one is unhappy for the Boys. Julius Jones ran for 79 yards on 22 carries but Marion Barber took the two rushing scores on his nine carries for 35 yards. Both Reggie Wayne (7-111, 1 TD) and Harrison (6-94) had good games but the Colts couldn't get a rushing attack going and lost two fumbles to sabotage the game. Now the 9-1 Colts have that "when are they going to lose" monkey off their back and return home to play the Eagles who have their own problems now while the Cowboys host the Bucs for Thanksgiving.

Game-O-The-Week

What a week! Three shut outs, 265 yards from Lee Evans and Chad Johnson scores another three times to make the last two weeks more than the first eight efforts combined. Drew Brees throws for 510 yards and loses and LaDainian Tomlinson is more unstoppable than crabs at Swingers Camp. While I hate to award Game of The Week to a team that won it last week - how could there be another?

San Diego 35, Denver 27

Evidently the Chargers just cannot get motivated in games until they trail by insurmountable amounts. Last week, they rallied twice from 21 point deficits to beat the Bengals 49-42. This week they were down 14-7 at halftime and on the first series of the third quarter, the Broncos drove the field for a 42 yard field goal by Elam and a 17-7 lead. On the Chargers first series, they found themselves with a third and six from their own 24-yard line and when Rivers threw the pass to Keenan McCardell, it was caught. By Darrent Williams that is, the same guy that never stopped running until 31 yards later when Denver took a 24-7 lead. Sure, the Chargers fell behind and rallied in Kansas City but the Denver defense is #1 at not allowing points. And they were at home. But the Chargers had Tomlinson.

Starting at their 40 yard line, the Chargers drove the field to the DEN 3-yard line where LaDainian Tomlinson ran in his second touchdown of the game. 24-14.

The Broncos took their next possession and went three and out. The punt was returned to the SD 42-yard line and a short pass to Malcolm Floyd brought it to the 49 yard line where Rivers hit Tomlinson on a pass that turned into a 51-yard touchdown. In the span of 1:15, Tomlinson had scored twice. Now the Chargers only trailed 24-21.

Using Mike Bell and Damien Nash, the Broncos drove the field to the SD 18-yard line where Plummer's passing skills resulted in a two yard loss and the Broncos settled at the 11:17 mark in the fourth quarter for another Elam field goal and the 27-21 lead. That was safe, right? Um... right?

Not really.

Using both Tomlinson and Gates, the Chargers once again marched down the field to the DEN 5-yard line where Rivers hit Vincent Jackson for a five yard touchdown and a 28-7 lead with 6:51 left to play. After trailing by 17, the Chargers had once again made up the difference and taken the lead. With the game on the line, Denver took over from their own 20-yard line and used runs by Mike Bell to reach the DEN 32 yard line and a first down. Since Bell was running well, Shanahan switched to Nash who lost six yards. Plummer then hit Nash for a 12-yard gain but then had an incompletion to Brandon Marshall. On 4th and four from their own 38-yard line, Denver went for it and Plummer expertly threw an interception that was returned to the Denver 23-yard line with 3:03 left to play.

It was time to roll out the secret weapon so the Chargers ran Tomlinson three straight times to the DEN 5-yard line. Who could have guessed that Tomlinson would get it? One sneak by Rivers that intentionally ended on the 1-yard line drained the close down to 1:17 to play. On third and one, Tomlinson burst over the left side standing up for his fourth touchdown in the game. 35-27 - Charger lead.

Just to make bad things worse, Ian Gold was called for unnecessary roughness and Darrent Williams wa called for Unsportsmanlike conduct so that the Chargers kicked off from the Denver 40-yard line. Even I could hit the endzone from there. Maybe anyway. WIth the wind. Regardless, Denver took over from their own 2-yard line and Plummer found Javon Walker for 28 yards on fourth down with 55 seconds left. DE Igor Shansky got made when the center tried to cut his knees and popped him in the helmet a few times before being ejected from the game. That brought the ball to mid-field where Plummer hit Rod Smith for 14 yards. With just 24 seconds left to play and on the SD 32-yard line, Plummer was sacked and lost the ball which was recovered by his own tight end Alexander - whew! But time ran out - doh!

The Colts have fallen and the Chargers keep battling back. So what if they have no defense currently and never start trying until the second half? It's been a fantasy gold mine and no doubt Tomlinson is well represented in all of your leagues.

Six weeks left to play and only two more games before fantasy playoffs for most.

Remember - always start your studs. You never know when their ACL will take a vacation.

Now get back to work...