Glenn Graham's fantasy football picks

December 08, 2005|By GLENN GRAHAM

Play of the week

Rudi Johnson -- Cincinnati vs. Cleveland. Stop the run or the pass? The Browns' defense will be hard-pressed to contain either in Cincinnati. Johnson has 1,066 yards and nine touchdowns on the season and ran for 202 yards and two scores against the Browns in a 58-48 win last year.

Position analysis

Quarterback

Starting nod -- Brad Johnson, Minnesota vs. St. Louis. The veteran has become a more-than-viable fantasy option who should post big numbers against a weak St. Louis defense. In Sunday's win over Detroit, Johnson completed 17 of 23 passes for 256 yards and two touchdowns.

Other solid options -- Steve McNair, Tennessee vs. Houston ; Kurt Warner, Arizona vs. Washington; Michael Vick, Atlanta vs. New Orleans.

Take a seat -- Jake Delhomme, Carolina vs. Tampa Bay; Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. Chicago; Aaron Brooks, New Orleans at Atlanta.

Running back

Starting nod -- Julius Jones, Dallas vs. Kansas City. The second-year running back is healthy and has re-established himself as the go-to runner for the Cowboys down the stretch. In Sunday's loss to the New York Giants, Jones ran for 74 yards on 23 carries and caught nine balls for 88 yards. And this is the time of year Dallas coach Bill Parcells likes to grind out the running game.

Other solid options -- Chris Brown, Tennessee vs. Houston; Corey Dillon, New England at Buffalo ; Domanick Davis, Houston at Tennessee.

Take a seat -- Thomas Jones, Chicago at Pittsburgh; Reuben Droughns, Cleveland at Cincinnati; Jamal Lewis, Ravens at Denver.

Wide receiver

Starting nod -- Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Cleveland. The flamboyant wide receiver may have to come up with a couple of touchdown celebration ideas this week. For the season, he has 71 catches for 1,139 yards and seven touchdowns.

Other solid options -- Plaxico Burress, New York Giants at Philadelphia; Chris Chambers, Miami at San Diego; Deion Branch, New England at Buffalo.

Take a seat -- Terry Porter, Oakland at New York Jets; Jimmy Smith, Jacksonville vs. Indianapolis; Isaac Bruce, St. Louis at Minnesota.

Tight end

Starting nod -- Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. New Orleans. Expect a big offensive performance from the Falcons on the Monday night stage with a playoff spot in the balance. For the season, Crumpler has 53 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns. Last season, Crumpler enjoyed a four-catch, 103-yard performance at home against the Saints.

Other solid options -- Ben Troupe, Tennessee vs. Houston; Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants at Philadelphia; Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Kansas City.

Take a seat -- L.J. Smith, Philadelphia vs. New York Giants; Ben Watson, New England at Buffalo; Marcus Pollard, Detroit at Green Bay.

Kicker

Starting nod -- Lawrence Tynes, Kansas City at Dallas. The Chiefs' kicker has made 23 of 27 field goals and converted all 32 extra-point tries for 101 points, tops among AFC kickers. He has at least seven points in 10 of the team's 12 games.

Defense

Starting nod -- Denver vs. Ravens: With their lead down to one game in the AFC West, the Broncos will have plenty of incentive. Denver ranks second in the league in takeaways with 28 and has 18 sacks this season. Against Houston last week, the Ravens lost two fumbles and Kyle Boller was sacked four times.

Last week's tab

Play of the week -- Thomas Jones, Chicago: 93 total yards.

QB -- Jake Plummer, Denver: 18-for-29, 276 yards, 2 INTs, 1 TD.

RB -- Jamal Lewis, Ravens: 40 total yards.

WR -- Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis: 50 total yards, 1 TD.

TE -- Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants: 20 total yards.

K -- Matt Stover, Ravens: 1 FG, 1 PAT for 4 points.

Defense -- Chicago: 2 interceptions (one returned for a TD), 2 fumbles, 2 sacks.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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