MATCHUP OF THE
They were backfieldmates at Auburn, they were both top five picks in the 2005
draft, and they're both starters on playoff-caliber NFL teams. So which one
should you pick for your fantasy team?
The second pick in the '05 draft, Brown split time with Ricky Williams last
year, averaging 4.4 yards on 207 carries with five total TDs. His big game came
against Carolina in Week 3 (132 yards), but he had only one other 100-yard
game. History is against him: The most rushing TDs scored by a back playing
with Daunte Culpepper is Moe Williams's 11 in 2002.
The fifth pick in the '05 draft, Williams averaged 4.1 yards on 290 carries
last season as Tampa Bay's primary back, breaking the 100-yard mark six times.
At 5'11" and 217 pounds, he's slightly smaller than the 6-foot, 232-pound
Brown. History is against him, too: The most rushing TDs scored by a back under
Jon Gruden is Tyrone Wheatley's nine in 2000.
It's a close call between the two players, who haven't yet reached the NFL's
upper echelon. The edge goes to Brown based on increased playing time this
season, an upgraded Dolphins offense and the lack of a quality change-of-pace
back to spell him. -- David Sabino
Read Peter King's 10 Fantasy Things I Think I Think and analysis from David
Sabino at SI.com/fantasy.
THE INSIDE MAN
On the mend after knee surgery, Javon Walker is primed for a climb up the
decided one thing early on: He wasn't going to play with any sort of knee
brace. The last thing the Broncos wide receiver wanted was another mental
hurdle to clear during the rehab process. Walker, who suffered a torn right ACL
last September with the Packers, wasn't swayed by the added comfort and support
that even an elastic sleeve could provide for his surgically repaired knee. He
would work it back to where he could play without worrying about it
Drafting a player
who's coming back from a serious injury is always a gamble for fantasy owners,
but Walker could very well prove to be worth the risk. By not babying himself
he has been able to cut confidently on pass routes. Neither has he been
tentative when it comes to leaping for balls in traffic. Most encouraging, he
made it through his first two weeks of camp without any soreness or swelling in
Walker is about
10 months removed from surgery--doctors told him that it takes a year to get
back to normal--and says he's about 80 to 85% recovered. At his rehab pace he
looks like a solid No. 2 fantasy receiver. Even if he doesn't produce the stats
he achieved during his breakout season of 2004 (89 catches for 1,382 yards and
12 touchdowns), he should still put up good numbers in an offense that will be
more aggressive this season.