There were some resounding statements made this week. Two were by the leagues elite superstars and then one by a rookie who appears on a fast track to superstar status.
Tom Brady showed the fantasy GM’s across the nation just how cheated they got by selecting the likes of Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, or Donovan McNabb as their QB. Sunday, Brady went out and his best statistical game ever capped with 5TD’s. On the season now, he has 21 TD’s with only 2 INT’s; an absolute sick figure after 6 games. What is more impressive, the TD figure or lack of interceptions? He set a league record by throwing 3 TD’s or more in his teams first 6 games to start a season. The TD record set by Manning is in serious jeopardy of falling.
LaDainian Tomlinson has taken some heat from not performing to his level from the last two seasons. He doesn’t just have this pressure from his fans and teammates, he has it from the fantasy geeks all over the country that made him the easy number one draft pick. Up until his 4 TD performance against Oakland, his performance was costing fantasy teams wins.
Hello Adrian Peterson! His 224 yard, 3 TD statement game against the Bears elevated him to another plateau as a RB. Through 5 games, only Eric Dickerson has had more rushing yards to start a career. Chuck Foreman’s 31 year old Vikings rushing record for one game was shattered. He currently leagues the NFC in yards from scrimmage, but his stats don’t do him justice. Every week he gets better and better.
He’s doing things that all the great RB’s of the last 50 years did during their first season. Can you imagine if this team had a QB and teams weren’t able to key on the Vikings running game? Peterson was a fantasy draft day question mark because he was going to be sharing time with solid incumbent RB, Chester Taylor. Don’t be surprised to see Peterson being on many league’s Championship team.
Cedric Benson RB (Bears): Benson’s 18 carry 67 yard performance vs the Vikings last week was nothing spectacular but yet impressive. The Bears remain committed to the run and Benson should see 20 -25 carries this week vs the Eagles. The Eagles allowed 130 yards rushing to ex-Bear Thomas Jones and the punchless Jets last week. Look for Benson to again carry a big load and rack up 100+ yards on the ground.
Carson Palmer QB (Bengals): Palmer’s stats have been less than stellar over recent weeks, but make no mistake Carson is a fantasy All-Star. The Bengals are having all kinds of trouble on the defensive side of the football and injuries have really hurt the running game. However, the Jets are in town this week and just in time to make Palmer, "Ocho Cinco", and Houshmandzadeh all feel good again.
Clinton Portis RB (Redskins): The Skins fumbled away a win in Green Bay last week and will look to ride Portis’ legs vs the visiting Cardinals. The Cardinal defense is allowing around 100 yards a game on the ground and Portis’ 20 carries should easily put him over that number. Look for him to hit paydirt as well!
Jerricho Cotchery WR (Jets): Very difficult to recommend a Jet, but here goes”¦ Cotchery is averaging over 6 receptions a game and will be lined up against a Bengal defense that has allowed 13 passing TD’s. The Jets should be playing from behind all afternoon so look for Cotchery to haul in several balls and break one for a long TD.
Derrick Mason WR (Ravens): This may be the week where Mason gets a long TD, or how about just a long pass to mix things up. Mason has been great in leagues where you get a point for a reception. Every week his numbers are around 8 catches for 92 yards. What’s wrong with getting a guaranteed 17 points each week?
Kevin Walter WR (Texans): Matt Schaub found himself a reliable possession receiver that gives him another option with his star WR out. In leagues that gives points for receptions, Walter could be a nice pick up if one of your regular players has been struggling or has an unfavorable matchup against a good defense. Kubiak wants to throw the ball with Shaub and will do so and Walter is available in just about every league.
Ike Hilliard WR (Bucs): Here we go picking on the Lions defense again, but so what, that’s exactly what Jeff Garcia will do this week as they’ll follow a module set before them by every offense in the league that has played them. Hilliard is a poor mans Derrick Mason meaning he’ll get a lot of short passes thrown to him but at the end of the day you’ll be happy with 14 points. He could have a much better day than usual against this defense and he’s available in just about every league.
Ben Roethlisberger QB (Steelers): The Steelers roll into Denver with both team fresh off their bye weeks. Denver has lost 3 straight in an embarrassing fashion and their last 2 at home. Taking it a strech further, Denver has lost 6 of their last 8 home games with the two wins coming against Oakland on the timeout kick and then last season against Cincy when the Bengals fumbled the extra-point snap that would have tied the game. Two schools of thought; keep the trend going and wait for Denver to self-implode as they prove they do each week, or let Coach Shanahan earn his money as he does coming off a bye week every year with big wins?
Expect a big effort from CB’s Champ Bailey, Dre Bly, and FS John Lynch. Big Ben should have WR’s Hines Ward and Santonio Holmes both healthy but expect some rust from the extended absence from live action. Give Shanahan two weeks to prepare for any team and he’ll find a weakness no matter how bad his team really is. The conservative spread offense the Steelers are running has crack somewhere and Shanahan will find it and then expose it.