Top Five at Five: Week 3

Kill me. Now. I was almost done with this post, and then an errant click on the back button wiped it out because I hadn’t thought to save it as a draft yet. Sigh.

The following are my top five picks for the week at the five positions I give a crap about – i.e., everything but the kicker.

Quarterback

  1. Drew Brees (@BUF) – He’s in a league of his own, and will occupy this position in the weekly rankings regardless of the matchup until I’m given a good reason to change my mind, which doesn’t seem likely to happen.
  2. Tony Romo (vs. CAR) – He’s the A-Rod of the NFL: He saves his biggest performances for the weakest opponents. (Oh, and he plays for the flashiest team in a shiny new stadium, has dalliances with pop singers, and is alternately exalted and skewered by both the local and national media.)
  3. Peyton Manning (@ARI) – Arizona’s been good against the pass so far, but their opponents (JAX and SF) don’t have aerial attacks anywhere close to the same class as Indy’s. This will almost surely be a shootout. Speaking of which…
  4. Kurt Warner (vs. IND) – If it’s a shootout you’re selling, Warner’s buying. If he wasn’t slightly bothered by a shoulder injury, I’d like him a little bit more than Manning this week.
  5. Tom Brady (vs. ATL) – Rust, the Jets, and Welker’s absence are all valid excuses. But one more off week and he won’t make this list again until he looks like the Brady we used to know. I’m guessing here that the recent Moss injury reports are just a Belichick game of some sort since he was fine all week.

Running Back

  1. Maurice Jones-Drew (@HOU) – The Texans have given up more yardage on the ground than any other team in the NFL this season. Expect a monster outing.
  2. Matt Forte (@SEA) – Considering that Frank Gore was able to run the ball down the Seahawks’ throats with ease last week, Forte shouldn’t have any trouble producing his first big game of the season.
  3. Adrian Peterson (vs. SF) – The back injury appears to be trivial so that isn’t what concerns me enough to drop him out of the top spot this week – it’s the 49ers, who are allowing only 53 yards per game on the ground through the first two weeks.
  4. Fred Jackson (vs. NO) – This game is shaping up to be a shootout, which ordinarily wouldn’t bode well for the team’s starting rusher, but Jackson is an excellent receiver and Edwards will be looking his way regularly this Sunday.
  5. Felix Jones (vs. Car) – Even if Barber plays, Jones is likely to get the bulk of the carries, with perhaps a handful going to Tashard Choice. His speed and talent combined with the Panthers defense’s lack of either land him in my top five this week.

Wide Receiver

  1. Larry Fitzgerald (vs. IND) – I’ll be stunned if Fitz doesn’t find the end zone at least once in this one.
  2. Reggie Waybe (@ARI) – Same goes for him. Hope I get this game on Dish Network, it’s going to be a fun one to watch.
  3. Marques Colston (@BUF) – Given that I live an hour from Buffalo, I’ll definitely be watching the other expected shootout of the weekend. Brees should be good for about ten thousand passing yards or so, with a sizable chunk of those going to Colston.
  4. Andre Johnson (vs. JAX) – The Jags always seem to be able to keep him in check, so temper your expectations somewhat despite last week’s fantasy point smorgasbord, but Johnson’s the best receiver in the league by my estimation, so I think there’s a good chance he’ll finally stick a big game on the Jags.
  5. Calvin Johnson (vs. WAS) – If the Lions can stop the losing streak at 19 with a win this week, Johnson will probably be a big reason why.

Tight End

  1. Antonio Gates (vs. MIA) – The Dolphins seem to have trouble keeping talented tight ends from having monster games against them. That doesn’t bode well for them this week against a finally-healthy Antonio Gates.
  2. Dallas Clark (@ARI) – I’ve used the word “shootout” too many times in this post already. Wait – crap.
  3. Jason Witten (vs. CAR) – If I’m right about Romo, Witten will get his share.
  4. Tony Gonzalez (@NE) – It’s great to see Gonzalez revitalized with a QB who knows how to get him the ball. He’s a must-start every week.
  5. Kellen Winslow (vs. NYG) – Can I tell you something? Winslow scares the crap out of me. I really, genuinely hope I never run into him anywhere. He just doesn’t seem stable; he’s one of those guys who you’re always going to wonder whether he’s about to shake your hand or put his head through a plate glass window because the coffee’s laughing at him. Good player, though.

DST

  1. Eagles (vs. KC) – Chiefs QB Matt Cassel was overmatched against the Raiders defense, and it won’t get any easier for him this week in Philadelphia.
  2. Giants (vs. TB) – With the Giants passing game rounding into form nicely, the Bucs will likely be playing from behind early. That means Byron Leftwich will be forced to throw a whole lot against the Giants, who are fourth in the league in interceptions.
  3. Broncos (@OAK) – Denver has allowed the fewest points in the league so far – just 16. Oakland has scored the 9th-fewest.
  4. Jets (vs. Ten) – Their considerable defensive prowess hasn’t translated into much fantasy scoring – yet.
  5. Ravens (vs. CLE) – The Browns are terrible. They’re dead last in total yards per game and tied for second-most fumbles and second-fewest points per game. Ray Lewis will literally eat a Brown this weekend – just open up and devour some unlucky soul. My money’s on Brady Quinn.