Glenn Graham's Fantasy Football Picks

September 21, 2006|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Sun Reporter

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia at San Francisco -- Last season, the Eagles opened with a tough loss to Atlanta and McNabb responded with a huge game against the 49ers (342 yards, five touchdowns). After Sunday's loss against the Giants, McNabb should again enjoy a fine day in San Francisco. In his first two games, he has thrown for 664 yards and five TDs.

POSITION ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACK

STARTING NOD -- Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle vs. Giants. The addition of WR Deion Branch is reason for concern for a Giants defense that first has to worry about shutting down RB Shaun Alexander. In a 24-21 win over the Giants last season, Hasselbeck completed 21 of 37 passes for 249 yards and two TDs.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Michael Vick, Atlanta at New Orleans; Kurt Warner, Arizona vs. St. Louis; Eli Manning, Giants at Seattle.

TAKE A SEAT -- Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh vs. Cincinnati; Jake Plummer, Denver at New England; Rex Grossman, Chicago at Minnesota.

RUNNING BACK

STARTING NOD -- Edgerrin James, Arizona vs. St. Louis. James gets on track Sunday, finding more room against a St. Louis defense that ranks 26th in the league against the run. In his first two games with the Cardinals, James has run 44 times for 137 yards, a 3.1-yard average.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. Jets; Jamal Lewis, Ravens at Cleveland; Steven Jackson, St. Louis at Arizona.

TAKE A SEAT -- Reuben Droughns, Cleveland vs. Ravens; Tatum Bell, Denver at New England; DeShaun Foster, Carolina at Tampa Bay.

WIDE RECEIVER

STARTING NOD -- Antonio Bryant, San Francisco vs. Philadelphia. Bryant has emerged as a big-play target and the Eagles' injured secondary is prone to giving up long catches. Look for QB Alex Smith to be throwing Bryant's way with the 49ers likely having to come from behind. In his first two games, Bryant has eight catches for 245 yards, including a 72-yard TD reception against St. Louis on Sunday.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. St. Louis; Darrell Jackson, Seattle vs. Giants; Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville.

TAKE A SEAT -- Joe Horn, New Orleans vs. Atlanta; Andre Johnson, Houston vs. Washington; Drew Bennett, Tennessee at Miami.

TIGHT END

STARTING NOD -- Alge Crumpler, Atlanta at New Orleans. Quiet so far with just four catches and one TD in the first two games, the veteran tight end will be leaned on as the Falcons try to get past an emotional Saints team Monday night.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Ben Watson, New England vs. Denver; Jeremy Shockey, Giants at Seattle; Todd Heap, Ravens at Cleveland.

TAKE A SEAT -- Dallas Clark, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville; Vernon Davis, San Francisco vs. Philadelphia; Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota vs. Chicago.

KICKER

STARTING NOD -- Adam Vinatieri, Indianapolis vs. Jacksonville. The Colts prized free-agent pickup will earn his money Sunday with a tough Jacksonville defense coming to town. Vinatieri is 7-for-7 on field-goal attempts with a long of 48 yards this season.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

STARTING NOD -- Ravens at Cleveland. QB Charlie Frye, Droughns and the rest of the Browns' offense will be no match for the Ravens, who have shown the same swagger as their 2000 Super Bowl team. The NFL's top-ranked defense, yielding an average of 152 yards in its first two games, has nine take-aways and nine sacks.

Last week's tab

Play of the week -- Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati: 148 total yards, two TDs.

Quarterback -- Marc Bulger, St. Louis: 19-for-34, 185 yards, one TD.

Running back -- Shaun Alexander, Seattle: 98 total yards, 1 TD.

Wide receiver -- Chris Chambers, Miami: 55 yards, one TD.

Tight end -- Todd Heap, Ravens: 17 yards, one TD.

Kicker -- Jay Feely, Giants: one field goal, three extra points.

Defense -- Chicago: three fumbles, six sacks.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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