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Written by Admin   
Wednesday, 14 November 2007 19:23
NFL Headline News

 Arizona's Kurt Warner presents a huge problem for fantasy football owners.
It's not that he's an injury-prone 36-year-old statue who hasn't played in more than 10 games a season since 2001. It's not that he hasn't thrown a dozen touchdowns in a year since then, or that he's had consecutive two-TD games just once in that span. It's not even the unwieldy scuba gear thing holding together his injured non-throwing arm.
The big problem is Warner's swell history. You know, the tear-jerker about a grocery store worker who played small college ball, worked his way to arena football stardom, landed in the NFL, threw nearly 100 TDs in a three-year stretch and won a Super Bowl.
It was all so unlikely. Just like the prospects of him leading the Cardinals to big offensive numbers the rest of the year. Yet, his history is exactly why you can't rule him out. Maybe, just maybe, he can shake his recent troubles, build on his three-TD game last week and become a fantasy star all over again.
So what do you do? Roll with him, of course, especially this week against the miserable Bengalis. Nobody wants to shoot down such a feel-good story, especially fantasy teams so hard-up for a QB that they plucked Warner from the waiver wires.
As you wonder whether Warner's wife will start showing up on TV again, here's a look at some players to start in Week 11, some to avoid, and a few long shots that just may pan out:
QUARTERBACKS
A SAFE BET
-Every time I advise against starting Philadelphia's Donovan McNabb he throws four touchdowns. I really could use four TDs for my fantasy team, so ... yeah, by all means bench McNabb against the tough and talented Miami defense.
-Eli Manning may always look a little confused and like he's about to start a sentence with, ``Dude ...'' but that shouldn't matter so much this week. He should slow the Giants' annual second-half swoon against the Lions' No. 30 pass defense.
-Not long ago you'd bench a young QB like Derek Anderson on the road against the Ravens. But he had three TDs last week at Pittsburgh, and the Ravens have slipped to merely mediocre on pass defense.
-Considering the feel-bad story that is the NFC West, Marc Bulger just may get a playoff run started for the Rams. OK, maybe not. But he can at least pretend it's a big game as he whips up on the 49ers in front of a couple hundred fans.
-The incredibly brittle Matt Schaub returns for the Texans against one of the worst pass defenses in the league. Schaub could rack up big stats on the Saints well before he limps off for the day.
TAKE A SHOT
-Nobody's allowed more TD passes (22) than Cleveland, so if you're really desperate give new Ravens starter Kyle Boller a try. He's been kind of OK, which is a huge upgrade from putrid, which is how Steve McNair has played.
BACK AWAY SLOWLY AND NOBODY GETS HURT
Please, in the name of John Navarre, don't start these guys:
-Detroit's Jon Kitna is a good candidate for a meltdown. His back is hurting, the Lions don't really do pass-blocking, and the Giants lead the league with 32 sacks.
-The Colts are really beat up, but they're not in such bad shape that wild-armed new Chiefs starter Brodie Croyle will put up any kind of stats.
-The requirement that you must start any QB against the Vikings' NFL-worst pass defense is hereby waived for the Raiders' Josh McCown, or whoever else they scrape up.
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RUNNING BACKS
ALL DAY LONG
-Are you kidding me, Frank Gore? (And Gore's offensive coordinator, horrid line, inept QB, etc.) Surely he can do something against the Rams, the only team he's had 20 carries against this year and the last team he scored on - two months ago.
-The Saints' Reggie Bush hasn't hit 100 yards in six games as the featured back but has scored three times the past two games. He also may want to prove to Houston lineman Mario Williams that he should have been drafted No. 1 in 2006.
-Bush's former USC pal LenDale White vanished and got hurt last week. But the Titans can't throw and the Broncos give up 151 yards rushing a game, so White should roll to 100 yards for the fourth time in five games.
-Tampa Bay's Earnest Graham has turned into the best all-purpose back nobody's ever heard of. He's averaged 131 total yards the past three games and faces Atlanta's not-very-good run defense.
-Speaking of Atlanta, it's kind of nice that one of the Falcons' tiny little spots of optimism this year is the play of good citizen (and nearly senior citizen) Warrick Dunn. He'll get another heavy workload against the Bucs.
HE COULD FIND A SEAM
-With Adrian Peterson out, Chester Taylor starts against Oakland, which has allowed an NFL-worst 13 rushing TDs. On the other hand, Taylor may not be able to carry the QB-free attack like Peterson. And the Vikings do have a history of not letting the best runner run.
RED FLAGS
-Cincinnati's Rudi Johnson has been feeling better, just not running better. He brings a stunning 2.6-yard average and zero scores into his meeting with the Cardinals, who somehow held Detroit to minus-18 yards rushing last week.
-Even before the Bills got above .500, Marshawn Lynch produced. But now he's a little beat up and becomes the first poor sap to face the Patriots after they've had two weeks to prepare for a game.
-About the only thing the Ravens can still do is stop the run, so leave creaky old Jamal Lewis on the bench.
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WIDE RECEIVERS
THROW HIM THE DARN BALL!
-It appears Chad Johnson is OK after coming back from a neck injury. His fantasy owners don't think it's OK that he hasn't scored in a couple months, but he could get back as the Bengals go pass-only against Arizona.
-In other Johnson news, Andre shows off the NFL's most rested knee as he returns after most of the year off. The Houston deep threat's welcome-back gift is a date with the Saints secondary that's allowed an NFL-worst nine passes of 40 yards or more.
-In other non-coverage news, start any Saints receivers you can scrape up because the Texans are without their top cornerback. They've shuffled the secondary, so now they're both bad and playing out of position.
-Plaxico Burress, nearing the world record for longest time with a sore ankle, may be wearing down. He's totaled 81 yards in the Giants' past three games and hasn't scored in that span, although he's worth one more shot if he's still walking.
-If you're going to carry the label of Brett Favre's favorite target, shouldn't you catch a touchdown pass once in a while? Donald Driver has been TD-less for six weeks, so maybe the law of averages gets him into the end zone.
MAYBE THROW HIM THE DARN BALL?
-Seattle's defense just isn't the same on the road, so Chicago's Bernard Berrian could be hauling in desperation heaves from Rex Grossman or slightly more calculated desperation heaves from Brian Griese.
SHOW HIM THE DARN BENCH
-The Panthers just can't get the ball to Steve Smith without blockers and with quarterbacks who are either 50 years old or 19. He's averaging about 30 yards a game the past three weeks, and that could get worse at Green Bay.
-Keep benching all Chargers receivers until Philip Rivers quits acting so Ryan Leafy. In fact, bench all Chargers except for LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Cromartie.
-In the off chance that you were actually considering a start for Atlanta's Roddy White, remember that the Bucs' No. 3 pass defense has allowed just six TD passes all year.
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FREE AGENT SHOPPING LIST
Pick up these guys if they're available in your league: RB Chester Taylor (starting for Adrian Peterson), RB Ricky Williams (reinstated), WR James Thrash (2 TDs), QB Kyle Boller (new starter) QB Brodie Croyle (new starter), QB Rex Grossman (old/new starter?), RB Kolby Smith (Priest Holmes' backup), WR Justin Gage (TD), RB Jason Snelling (Warrick Dunn's backup).
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WHAT DO I KNOW?
Here's the best and worst of last week's projections:
Big Hits: I expected big things for Marc Bulger (302 yards, 2 TDs), Jesse Chatman (149 total yards), Warrick Dunn (140 total yards, TD), Larry Fitzgerald (2 TDs), Brett Favre (351 yards, 3 TDs), Ben Roethlisberger (278 yards, 3 TDs), Cedric Benson (TD) and Patrick Crayton (TD). I expected woes for Philip Rivers (104 yards, 2 INTs, lost fumble for defensive TD).
Big Misses: No way I thought Donovan McNabb would go for four TDs, and that one would go to Reggie Brown. I also didn't expect much from Ryan Grant (119 yards, TD) or Chris Henry (99 yards). I did expect nice games from Greg Jennings (63 yards), David Patten (37 yards), DeShaun Foster (59 yards) and Amani Toomer (37 yards). My chronic inability to see the horribleness of J.P. Losman (157 yards, INT) caught up with me again.
 

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