ELI MANNING Giants
AT Seahawks Enough already about Manning's lack of big-game ability. The grit
he showed in the first two games--even if one was a loss--debunks that myth.
Save for the playoffs, a November matchup with Seattle was Manning's biggest
game in '05, and he delivered: 344 yards and two touchdowns. He needs to
perform the same way again. He will.
Dolphins VS. Titans Culpepper was among the top five fantasy QBs when he threw
39 touchdown passes two years ago. It's been downhill ever since. But if the
Titans can make heroes out of Chad Pennington and Philip Rivers, Culpepper
should be set for a big day. Expect vintage '04 numbers: 300 yards and a score
REX GROSSMAN Bears
AT Vikings There's a sizable chance that Grossman is still available in your
league. Now, while doubters remain, is the time to grab him. Not only does he
present a serious long-ball threat (he already has three touchdown passes of 30
yards or more), but Chicago's defense frequently hands him the ball in opposing
Falcons AT Saints Vick owners aren't a discriminating bunch: They'll gladly
welcome back the Vick who's good for 80 rushing yards a game. Still developing
as a passer, Vick has thrown three scoring tosses to as many receivers. A
speedy middle linebacker can keep Vick in check, but the Saints' Mark Simoneau
is no Brian Urlacher.
Bengals AT Steelers Normally it's suicide to send a runner into the teeth of
the present-day Steel Curtain, but Johnson and the Bengals' offense are so good
it doesn't matter. In their last two games at Heinz Field, Pittsburgh has
focused on Carson Palmer and allowed Johnson to rush for 123 yards and a
touchdown in '04 and 98 yards and two scores in '05.
Vikings VS. Bears If Taylor (201 yards rushing in the first two weeks) is on
your squad, it's time to send Vikings coach Brad Childress a thank-you note for
his dedication to the running game. You'd better believe that the Vikes are
going to stick to their game plan, even against the Big Bad Bears. And you
should stick with Taylor.
Bills VS. Jets The Jets got run over by the Patriots' combination of Corey
Dillon and Laurence Maroney last week (145 rushing yards between them), while
McGahee gained 91 yards at home in Miami. In his last three games against the
Jets, McGahee has carried the ball 88 times for 388 yards (129.3 yards per
game) and two touchdowns.
Falcons AT Saints The Baton Rouge native returns to his home state as an early
favorite to win the rushing title. He should improve his chances in the
Superdome, where he's averaged 118.7 yards and scored two touchdowns in his
last three visits to the Crescent City. (You can also add in 100 yards and a
score last year in San Antonio.)