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Quarterback Watch Report - Week 6
Scott Boyter
October 10, 2006
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 PHI Donovan McNabb McNabb becomes the no-brainer No. 1 after decimating the Cowboy defense with an almost unconscious 354 yards, two passing TDs and a rushing TD. Next up are the Saints, with a decent pass defense, on the road in a raucous Superdome. But as hot as McNabb is going, you’d run him against the Bears. And by that I mean the 1985 Bears.
2 CHI Rex Grossman No, not even I can believe I’m writing this, but Grossman leaves me no choice. He’s No. 2 in passing TDs with 10, sixth in yards with 1,243, and he’s only thrown three interceptions. Plus, he now has a legitimate downfield threat in Bernard Berrian, and he gets to light up Arizona’s No. 29 pass defense in Week 6. Each week I kept waiting for him to fall back to earth, but he refused. His numbers not only warrant, they demand that his first appearance on this list is at the No. 2 spot.
3 IND Peyton Manning You’ve GOT to give us more than 166 yards and two scores against the freakin’ Titans. For just about any other quarterback, Manning would have good fantasy numbers. For a guy at the helm of what was supposed to be an offensive machine, his numbers fall short of No. 1 status. He and the rest of the team get to take a week off and contemplate their question marks before the Redskins visit in Week 7.
4 NYG Eli Manning Little brother is just consistent enough to remain a Top 5 QB, mainly on the strength of his 9 TDs. Run him, obviously, but you might want to temper your expectations a bit due to a tough matchup in Atlanta this weekend.
5 STL Marc Bulger Bulger had what is finally becoming for him a usual occurrence in 2006 – 220 yards and two scores. You’d expect more, however, against Green Bay’s defense. He has a pretty good matchup at home this week against Seattle’s No. 23 pass D.
6 CIN Carson Palmer Slips to No. 6 mainly because of the emergence of Grossman and Bulger’s solid play. A week off didn’t help, either. After a visit to play the No. 7 pass defense of Tampa Bay, the possibility exists that Palmer may slide even further.
7 NE Tom Brady Brady was lousy from a yardage standpoint against the Dolphins (140), but still had two TDs. He continues to do juuuust enough to remain a viable fantasy QB. Brady is on bye this week then plays Buffalo on the road.
8 GB Brett Favre You just can’t shake the old man. Favre’s newfound chemistry with Greg Jennings resulted in another TD hookup against the Rams to go along with 220 yards. Favre has fairly tough matchups two out of his next three games on the road against the Dolphins and Bills.
9 DAL Drew Bledsoe Yes, he sucked against the Eagles, but the Cowboy offensive line and coaching staff must share the blame. If he can remain upright, however, he still has good matchups against the Texans and Giants at home the next couple of weeks.
10 NO Drew Brees Pedestrian at best against Tampa Bay with 171 yards and one score. Brees probably won’t be on this list too much longer, seeing how he faces the Eagles, Ravens, Bucs and Steelers in upcoming weeks.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Matt Leinart (ARI) – Surprised everyone with 253 yards and two scores, but disaster looms. First, he may be without Larry Fitzgerald due to a hamstring injury. Second, he has to face the Bears. Give the guy credit for a great debut, but don’t even think about starting Leinart on Monday night.

Alex Smith (SF) – Three TDs were great against the Raiders, even though the yardage total of 165 was a disappointment. Don’t even think about running him against the Chargers, however.

Philip Rivers (SD) – Could the Pittsburgh game have been Rivers’ coming out party? Totals of 242 yards and two TDs suggest so. If one of your QBs is on bye – and six of them are league-wide next week – Rivers could be a great play against the 49ers.

Bruce Gradkowski (TB) – More props to a rookie who exceeded expectations. Gradkowski’s 225 yards and two scores against a Top 10 pass defense deserves some major kudos. With that said, don’t even think about starting him against the Bengals unless you’re desperate or victimized by the Week 6 bye.

Sliding Back

Jon Kitna (DET) – On the surface, Kitna was horrible against the Vikings from a fantasy standpoint, with three interceptions and a deadly fumble. But he also threw for 225 yards and a score, and ran in a touchdown. Kitna seems like a no-brainer start even on off weeks, but hold on. He may have lost his best receiver, Roy Williams for an extended period of time. More importantly, the Lions are 0-5, and you’ve got to wonder how long it will be before a team-wide malaise caves in the offense for good.

Charlie Frye (CLE) – If you decided to take a flyer on Frye against the Panthers, well, you got burned. If Frye’s not running the ball in for a score, he seems almost useless, as totals of 9 interceptions vs. only 5 TDs indicate.

Brad Johnson (MIN) – Johnson probably hurt a whole lot of fantasy squads with a tepid, 201-yard, one-TD outing against the No. 30 pass defense in Detroit. A defense that, going into Sunday’s game, had surrendered 10 passing scores in only four games.