Glenn Graham's fantasy football picks

November 10, 2005|By GLENN GRAHAM

Play of the week

Larry Johnson -- Kansas City at Buffalo. With fellow RB Priest Holmes out for the rest of the season, it's Johnson's show in the Chiefs' backfield and he's shown he can handle it. Last week against Oakland, he ran for 102 yards, with his second touchdown coming on the game's last play. He also had 48 yards on three catches. On the road against a Bills defense that ranks first against the pass and 31st against the rush, Johnson will be the focal point in the Chiefs' attack.

Position analysis

Quarterback

Starting nod -- Kerry Collins, Oakland vs. Denver. Collins should be throwing plenty against a Denver defense that has struggled against the pass this season. With Jerry Porter coming off back-to-back strong weeks and Randy Moss back in the mix, Collins has more than enough options to exploit the Broncos' secondary.

Other solid options -- Eli Manning, New York Giants vs. Minnesota; Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle vs. St. Louis; Tom Brady, New England at Miami.

Take a seat -- Byron Leftwich, Jacksonville vs. Ravens; Mark Brunell, Washington at Tampa Bay; Trent Green, Kansas City at Buffalo.

Running back

Starting nod -- Tiki Barber, New York Giants vs. Minnesota. Barber accounted for 102 total yards last week against San Francisco but gave way to rookie Brandon Jacobs near the goal line as Jacobs scored twice from 1 yard. Look for much the same production from Barber this week and possibly more against the Vikings, whose defense ranks 27th in the league. Barber, who has 912 yards of total offense and six touchdowns, should return to the end zone this week at least once.

Other solid options -- Warrick Dunn, Atlanta vs. Green Bay; Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia vs. Dallas; Steven Jackson, St. Louis at Seattle.

Take a seat -- Reuben Droughns, Cleveland at Pittsburgh; Ronnie Brown, Miami vs. New England; Clinton Portis, Washington at Tampa Bay.

Wide receiver

Starting nod -- Joe Jurevicius, Seattle vs. St. Louis. The eight-year veteran has been a savior for the Seahawks' injury-riddled receivers and one of the biggest fantasy surprises. For the season, he has 29 catches for 354 yards and has become Hasselbeck's favorite target in the red zone as evidenced by his five touchdowns. He should add to those numbers Sunday against a St. Louis defense that ranks 30th in the league.

Other solid options -- Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at Detroit; Plaxico Burress, New York Giants vs. Minnesota; Eric Moulds, Buffalo vs. Kansas City.

Take a seat -- Laveranues Coles, New York Jets at Carolina; Terry Glenn, Dallas at Philadelphia; Eddie Kennison, Kansas City at Buffalo.

Tight end

Starting nod -- Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Green Bay. Crumpler has 33 catches for 440 yards at the halfway point - both ahead of last season's totals, but his two touchdowns to this point are down. At home against the struggling Packers with QB Michael Vick coming off his best passing day of the season, Crumpler could score more than once.

Other solid options -- Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants vs. Minnesota; Jason Witten, Dallas at Philadelphia; Randy McMichael, Miami at New England.

Take a seat -- Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota at New York Giants; Jeb Putzier, Denver at Oakland; Todd Heap, Ravens at Jacksonville.

Kicker

Starting nod -- Jeff Reed, Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland. With Charlie Batch replacing Ben Roethlisberger at QB, the Steelers' offense has to grind it out even more, which should produce field-goal chances for Reed. In a 20-10 win over Green Bay, he had two FGs and two extra points for eight points. Expect a little more from Reed with the Steelers at home against a soft Browns defense.

Defense

Starting nod -- Carolina vs. New York Jets. After forcing four turnovers and registering four sacks in a 34-14 win over Tampa Bay last week, the Panthers' defense should produce similar havoc at home against the Jets. The Panthers rank first in the NFL against the run, so should limit Jets veteran RB Curtis Martin. And, like Bucs QB Chris Simms last week, they will have another inexperienced thrower to chase after in Brooks Bollinger.

Last week's tab

Play of the Week -- Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis: 128 total yards, 2 TDs

QB -- Jake Delhomme, Carolina: 11-for-18, 216 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT.

RB -- Fred Taylor, Jacksonville: 63 total yards.

WR -- Jerry Porter, Oakland: 68 total yards, 1 TD.

TE -- Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants: 77 total yards, 1 TD.

K -- Lawrence Tynes, Kansas City: 2 FGs, 3 PATs for 9 points.

Defense -- Jacksonville: 6 sacks, 1 fumble.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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