Jay Cutler, Broncos – After tearing it up in Week 2 with 350 yards and 4 touchdowns, Cutler was just “OK” to “pretty good” his next six. But he reverted back to “Fantasy god” status last week against the Browns, throwing for 447 yards and 3 TDs. He’ll have to throw even more now that Denver is nearly depleted of running backs, and gets to take on the same Atlanta pass defense that gave up 422 yards and 2 scores to Drew Brees. Yeah, I’d take my chances on Cutler this week.
Tyler Thigpen, Chiefs – This guy has come out of nowhere to, arguably at least, earn “must-start” status. He’s averaging 237 yards and 2 touchdowns since taking over at quarterback three weeks ago, and those are pretty salty numbers that will help any Fantasy squad – even if two of his matchups were against the Jets and Chargers. I wish I had gotten that out of Jake Delhomme this week. Much, much more on that later. Now I’m not suggesting you bench a Philip Rivers, Drew Brees or anyone else on a regular basis for Thigpen. Not at all. But, I repeat, if your No. 1 has a bad matchup on a given week and Thigpen’s is favorable, you need to think long and hard about going with the kid. He hasn’t done anything the last three games to suggest you’d be making a mistake. It may be heresy to even suggest this, but in the critical Weeks 14 and 15, Kansas City plays Denver and San Diego. Can you trust your playoff life to Thigpen? If his recent performances are any indication, the answer is “yes.”
Matt Ryan, Falcons – Here’s another youngster who is proving he’s not a fluke. This makes five straight games where Ryan has put up very, very solid numbers. Folks, that’s not a coincidence, that’s a trend. The Falcons play Denver at home this week, then in two weeks travel to San Diego, then go to New Orleans. Ryan will be worth a start in three of his next four games, with the only exception being a Week 12 tussle with Carolina.
Kerry Collins, Titans – The old guy showed the league that he’s not just a caretaker by throwing for 289 yards and 2 touchdowns against Chicago. The 9-0 Titans served notice to the league there’s a price to pay by solely selling out to stop the run. Collins may not be more than an emergency start Fantasy-wise, but if the matchup is right he may be worth a flier. Collins could put up some pretty good numbers the next two weeks against the Jets and Lions.
Donovan McNabb, Eagles – McNabb has proven himself to be a Top 10 Fantasy quarterback. Although he only threw for 194 yards, he had three touchdowns against a strong New York Giant defense. The smart money will be on McNabb lighting up the Bengals this week, then doing the same to the Cardinals two weeks later. It looks like you can trust McNabb to be a big part of your team’s playoff push.
Jake Delhomme, Panthers – What in the blue hell was that? Horrible. Putrid. Pathetic. Inept. Those are some of the tamer words you can use do describe that ridiculously bad, 7-for-27, 72-yard, 4-interception “performance” against Oakland. He slimed out a 3-yard TD pass, and that’s the only thing that kept him from posting a negative Fantasy score in most formats. Has anyone had a worse Fantasy Football game this season? Has anybody had a worse Fantasy Football game in the history of Fantasy Football? He absolutely killed a whole lot of owners who were relying on Steve Smith this week. I’m not only one of them, but I had to start Delhomme in my other league. And yeah, I lost that game, too. Think I’m a little bitter? Oh, yeah. With that being said, however, you’ve got to think he can bounce back in a big way this week at home against freaking Detroit. He has too, right? If he doesn’t, either plant his useless ass on your bench or jettison him from your team completely. I’ve been a big proponent of Delhomme most of the season, but saying that Raider game has shaken my faith in him is a massive understatement.
Marc Bulger, Rams – Somebody who nearly looked as bad as Delhomme was Bulger, who was yanked in the Rams’ blowout loss to the Jets and replaced with Trent Green. Until Steven Jackson is once again unquestionably 100 percent healthy, neither Bulger nor Green will be worth even the slightest Fantasy consideration, no matter what the matchup. Without at least a threat of a running attack, opposing defenses will continue to decimate the Ram passing game.
Sage Rosenfels, Texans – The Texans are probably glad they haven’t put Matt Schaub on Injured Reserve yet. After Rosenfels’ four INTs against Baltimore, Houston would love for Schaub to get back sooner rather than later. Much, much sooner, seeing how Rosenfels has turned the ball over 8 times in three games this season. There was no indication that this would happen early in the week, but don’t be surprised if there’s at least a chance Schaub is back under center in Week 12 – if not sooner.