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Quarterback Watch Report - Week 8
Scott Boyter
October 24, 2006
Top Ten Fantasy QB’s to own Comment
1 PHI Donovan McNabb Lost in the celebration of the 62-yard field goal that beat the Eagles was another outstanding performance by McNabb. He only put up 302 yards and three scores. Ho hum. His 76 yards rushing, in most league formats, offset his three picks. If anything, he solidified his standing as the No. 1 fantasy quarterback in the loss. If you saw what David Carr did to the Jacksonville pass D, imagine what McNabb will do to it at home. The only thing that can stop McNabb is the weather.
2 IND Peyton Manning Strong, strong, strong. Manning comes roaring back to fantasy prominence with his 342-yard, 4-TD game against Washington. The only reason he’s not No. 1 is the otherworldly performance of McNabb this season. Combine his explosiveness with a running game that’s slowly beginning to earn the respect of opposing defenses, and Manning’s stock can’t get much higher. Then you look at his bad matchup against Denver on the road this week. Make sure your other starters have the best matchups you can possibly find, because Denver’s defense is stout.
3 STL Marc Bulger Bulger’s been so good this season he stays at No. 3 even after a bye week. He’s fourth in passing yards and has thrown 10 TDs vs. only one interception. As banged up as San Diego’s defense has suddenly become, Bulger is once again a no-brainer starter this weekend.
4 NYG Eli Manning Not spectacular, but good enough to keep his spot in the Top 5. The Giants look like they'll be an offensive machine the rest of the season, and Manning will continue to establish himself
as an elite fantasy quarterback.
5 CIN Carson Palmer Palmer showed why he’s still and elite fantasy QB after throwing for 240 yards and two scores against the tough Carolina defense. He ought to shine at home against a ragged Atlanta pass defense.
6 NO Drew Brees Brees was on bye but still ranks sixth in the league in pass yardage. Normally, going up against the Baltimore D would be a huge cause for concern, but the Saints are at home and the Ravens were torched by Jake Delhomme in Week 6.
7 DET Jon Kitna This new entry to the Top 10 is on a lousy team that could quit putting out max effort at any time. But for now, Kitna belongs among the elite. He’s second in passing yards and has thrown nine TDs. He’s also thrown nine picks, but the good far, far outweighs the bad. At least to this point of the season. The Lions are on a bye in Week 8.
8 GB Brett Favre Favre wasn’t phenomenal against the Dolphins, but his two TDs gave him nine for the season to go with his Top 10 yardage total. And that’s good enough to keep him on this list. He ought to chew up and spit out a disheartened Cardinal defense this weekend at Lambeau.
9 NE Tom Brady Steady as she goes. Brady still won’t win a week for you on his own, but he won’t lose one, either. He’s pretty far down the list yardage-wise, but his total of 10 passing TDs ranks fourth in the league. Compare that to his measly interception total of three and it’s clear Brady remains a solid fantasy start each and every week. And that includes his potential trip into a hornet’s nest in Minnesota on Monday Night Football.
10 CAR Jake Delhomme Delhomme had a lot of fantasy owners expecting a lot more against Cincinnati after he carved up the vaunted Raven D. While his output, when compared to those expectations, was a little disappointing (238 yards, two scores, one interception), he still did enough to keep the status of a No. 1 fantasy starter. He ranks fifth in yardage and has thrown eight TD versus only four picks. Plus, the presence of Steve Smith means Delhomme is a potential fantasy stud each and every start. Don’t hesitate running him against the Cowboys.

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

Climbing Up The Ladder

Michael Vick (ATL) – So much for the “he can’t throw” hype. Vick was simply awesome against Pittsburgh. But he needs to be more consistent to be considered a Top 10 fantasy QB. Let’s see how he does on the road against Cincinnati before placing him in the fantasy elite.

Philip Rivers (SD) – It’s getting harder and harder to keep Rivers out of the Top 10, as he keeps putting up strong numbers. Even after a shaky start against the Chiefs, Rivers still put up 266 and two scores. He looks like a pretty good play at home against the Rams if you’re ready to take that plunge.

David Carr (HOU) – Carr went from Top 10 material to off the radar after a stinker against the Cowboys, but a solid performance against the Jaguars gets him back on the brink of the list. He’s got a great matchup against the Titans, and is worth a start.

Joey Harrington (MIA) – You got it. Harrington. It’s hard to ignore a 414-yard, two-TD outburst, even if it was against the Packers. He’s on bye this week.

Tony Romo (DAL) - This is a lukewarm endorsement at the very best. He's only here because it looks like he'll be the Cowboys' starting quarterback for the duration. But Dallas looks like a team that will be lucky to win six games this season, so Romo's an option only if you have no others on your squad.

Sliding Back

Ben Roethlisberger (PIT) – A concussion will likely keep Big Ben out for at least a game, eliminating whatever fantasy momentum he may have gained from a breakout performance against the Falcons.

Matt Hasselbeck (SEA) – As soon as he breaks back into the Top 10, Hasselbeck screws up his knee. Looks like he’s going to be out for at least three games. If you have no depth, grab Seneca Wallace ASAP. Shaun Alexander is coming back soon, and Seattle has an excellent group of receivers.

Matt Leinart (ARI) – Earth to Leinart: Welcome back. You’ll have to look long and hard at the Cardinals’ upcoming matchups before even thinking about starting Leinart – even with Larry Fitzgerald’s imminent return. Arizona has no running game, and worse, seem thoroughly dispirited. They’re looking 3-13, 2-14 or even worse squarely in the face.

Drew Bledsoe (DAL) - He's probably better off riding pine for Dallas the rest of the season. It'll be good for his life span.