Glenn Graham's fantasy football picks

The Kickoff

December 07, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Shaun Alexander, Seattle at Arizona -- Fantasy owners who waited for Alexander or picked him up in a trade will reap the benefits as the playoffs approach. He's beginning to regain his MVP form with 66 carries for 291 yards and a touchdown the past two weeks and loves to play the Cardinals. In two games last year, he totaled 313 yards and scored six touchdowns.

POSITION ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACK

STARTING NOD -- Tony Romo, Dallas vs. New Orleans. After throwing for 306 yards and five touchdowns against Tampa Bay on Thanksgiving day, Romo met with adversity Sunday at the New York Giants with a no-touchdown, two-interception performance. Look for somewhere in between from Romo this week with the Cowboys back home against the Saints.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Michael Vick, Atlanta at Tampa Bay; Vince Young, Tennessee at Houston; Matt Hasselbeck, Seattle at Arizona.

TAKE A SEAT -- Joey Harrington, Miami vs. New England; J.P. Losman, Buffalo at New York Jets; Rex Grossman, Chicago at St. Louis.

RUNNING BACK

STARTING NOD -- Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Oakland. Limited to 47 rushing yards last Thursday against the Ravens' defense, Johnson will take advantage of the extra rest to come back with a big outing against the Raiders on Sunday. He needs 63 yards to reach 1,000 for the season and has scored eight touchdowns.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Green Bay; Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Chicago; Thomas Jones, Chicago at St. Louis.

TAKE A SEAT -- Corey Dillon, New England at Miami; Edgerrin James, Arizona vs. Seattle; Wali Lundy, Houston vs. Tennessee.

WIDE RECEIVER

STARTING NOD -- Steve Smith, Carolina vs. New York Giants. Smith has 66 receptions for 958 yards and six touchdowns, including one in each of the past four games. More production should come this Sunday with the Giants in Charlotte.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Roy Williams, Detroit vs. Minnesota; Donald Driver, Green Bay at San Francisco; T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati vs. Oakland.

TAKE A SEAT -- Lee Evans, Buffalo at New York Jets; Joey Galloway, Tampa Bay vs. Atlanta; Eddie Kennison, Kansas City vs. Ravens.

TIGHT END

STARTING NOD -- Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Denver. Somewhat inconsistent earlier in the season, Gates is now looking like the top fantasy tight end, catching 13 passes for 172 yards in the past two games with touchdowns in both. For the season, he has 57 receptions for 694 yards and six touchdowns.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Alge Crumpler, Atlanta at Tampa Bay; Heath Miller, Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland; Ben Watson, New England at Miami.

TAKE A SEAT -- L.J. Smith, Philadelphia at Washington; Randy McMichael, Miami vs. New England; Desmond Clark, Chicago at St. Louis.

KICKER

STARTING NOD -- Robbie Gould, Chicago at St. Louis. The Bears should be able to run the ball against the Rams, giving Gould opportunities playing inside in St. Louis. He leads all kickers with 112 points, hitting 26 of 27 field goals and all 34 extra points.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

STARTING NOD -- Pittsburgh vs. Cleveland. The Steelers' defense should do well in prime time tonight against a Cleveland offense that has committed 31 turnovers and ranks 29th in the league.

Last week's tab

Play of the week -- Steven Jackson, St. Louis: 96 rushing yards; nine catches, 69 receiving yards.

Quarterback -- Drew Brees, New Orleans: 17-for-28, 186 yards, one TD.

Running back -- Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia: 68 rushing yards; six catches, 56 receiving yards, one TD.

Wide receiver -- Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis: three catches, 57 yards.

Tight end -- Chris Cooley, Washington: two catches, 12 yards.

Kicker -- Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis: 2-for-2 on field goals, two extra points.

Defense -- New England: three INTs, two fumble recoveries, five sacks.glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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