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Intelligence Report
October 01, 2007
I THINK . . . By Peter King
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October 01, 2007

Intelligence Report

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I THINK . . . By Peter King

. . . You should buy stock in Wes Welker and buy it now.

He is neither an imposing nor a sexy early-season pickup. But you can get the new Patriots WR, and you should be able to do so without weakening your team. Here's the reason: Welker has two touchdowns in 50 career games. So you begin your trade conversation with Owner X by saying, "Hey, Maroney and Moss are going to score all the touchdowns in New England. I'll give you Bernard Berrian or Deion Branch. You ought to take that and laugh all the way to the bank." Why am I so fantasy-high on Welker? Because this is not Miami. Tom Brady is not Joey Harrington. And receivers would trade two years off the end of their careers to be in Welker's cleats. It's not just that he's on pace for a 107-catch year. (He's, realistically, more likely to be an 85- or 90-catch guy.) It's also that with Randy Moss stretching the field and the offensive line blocking so well and giving Brady time to pick and choose his targets, Welker will be the one chosen more often than anyone else. He has a Stokley-like knack for getting open, and Brady always finds the open man. Welker's durable, he'll finish with eight or 10�touchdowns, and he'll roll up 1,200 yards. What more do you want out of a No.�2 receiver?

EPSTEIN'S THEORY ON Time of Possession

SPEED KILLS in football, but slow drives kill in fantasy football. Nothing shuts down your halfback like an opponent's offense creeping down the field, as the Texans' did in Week�1 against the Chiefs, when Larry Johnson carried just 10 times. In the first two weeks combined, teams ran only 35 times against Houston, which was fourth in the league in time of possession during that period. Not coincidentally, four of the top�five possession teams--the Steelers, Patriots, Texans and Titans--were also in the top�five in limiting rushing attempts. That can be partly attributed to teams getting ahead and milking the clock. But the Titans, committed to the run with Vince Young, Chris Brown and LenDale White (left), rushed 34 times in a loss to the Colts, who ran just 22 times (almost five below their average) for 81 yards. Consider sitting even a top rusher against a ball-hog team, especially if his replacement is facing the Dolphins, Browns or Broncos, against whom foes rush more than 35 times per game.-- David Epstein

David Sabino's

Market Watch

WHO'S UP

Kevin Curtis

Eagles WR By late in the second quarter against Detroit he had 205 yards and had already moved into second place on Philly's alltime single-game receiving list. Next up for Curtis: the woeful Giants secondary.

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