Glenn Graham's fantasy football picks

The Kickoff

December 21, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM

PLAY OF THE WEEK

Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona at San Francisco -- The 49ers seem to bring out the best in Fitzgerald, who caught nine passes for 133 yards against them in the opening week. This season, Fitzgerald has 61 receptions for 820 yards and four touchdowns - scoring in two of the past three games.

POSITION ANALYSIS

QUARTERBACK

STARTING NOD -- Peyton Manning, Indianapolis at Houston. The good news for Manning's fantasy owners is that the Colts are still playing for playoff positioning. Manning is coming off a 282-yard, four-touchdown effort against the Bengals and should keep things rolling against Houston.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Tony Romo, Dallas vs. Philadelphia; Brett Favre, Green Bay vs. Minnesota; Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. Washington.

TAKE A SEAT -- Chad Pennington, New York Jets at Miami; Rex Grossman, Chicago at Detroit; David Garrard, Jacksonville vs. New England.

RUNNING BACK

STARTING NOD -- Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Arizona. Gore, who was considered a second-tier running back at draft time, has been one of the biggest surprises of the season and emerged with 1,909 total yards and seven touchdowns.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. Tennessee; Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Washington; Larry Johnson, Kansas City at Oakland.

TAKE A SEAT -- Travis Henry, Tennessee at Buffalo; Ahman Green, Green Bay vs. Minnesota; Warrick Dunn, Atlanta vs. Carolina.

WIDE RECEIVER

STARTING NOD -- Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Philadelphia. Snubbed from the Pro Bowl and up against his old team, Owens will have a productive outing. Owens, who had a two-touchdown performance last week against Atlanta, has 77 catches for 1,040 yards and 11 touchdowns.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Anquan Boldin, Arizona at San Francisco; Reggie Wayne, Indianapolis at Houston; Plaxico Burress, New York Giants vs. New Orleans.

TAKE A SEAT -- Reche Caldwell, New England at Jacksonville; Drew Bennett, Tennessee at Buffalo; Deion Branch, Seattle vs. San Diego.

TIGHT END

STARTING NOD -- Antonio Gates, San Diego at Seattle. Coming off an uncharacteristic one-catch effort last week against Kansas City, Gates will return to form in what could be a high-scoring game in Seattle. He has 65 catches for 805 yards and eight touchdowns this season.

OTHER SOLID OPTIONS -- Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants vs. New Orleans; Todd Heap, Ravens at Pittsburgh; Vernon Davis, San Francisco vs. Arizona.

TAKE A SEAT -- Heath Miller, Pittsburgh vs. Ravens; Alex Smith, Tampa Bay at Cleveland; Jermaine Wiggins, Minnesota at Green Bay.

KICKER

STARTING NOD -- Jeff Wilkins, St. Louis vs. Washington. Wilkins, who ranks second among NFC kickers with 113 points, has two field goals in three of his past four games. Playing at home, the Rams should be able to move the ball effectively against the Redskins.

DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS

STARTING NOD -- Kansas City at Oakland. At 7-7, the Chiefs will be playing for their playoff lives against an awful Raiders offense that ranks last in the NFL and has a league-high 38 turnovers.

Last week's tab

Play of the week -- Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis: eight catches, 86 yards, three TDs.

Quarterback -- Drew Brees, New Orleans: 21-for-38, 207 yards, one INT.

Running back -- Jamal Lewis, Ravens: 109 rushing yards, one TD; one catch, 5 yards.

Wide receiver -- Donald Driver, Green Bay: seven catches, 70 yards.

Tight end -- Jeremy Shockey, New York Giants: eight catches, 70 yards.

Kicker -- John Carney, New Orleans: one field goal, one extra point.

Defense -- Chicago: two sacks, one INT, one fumble.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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