Patrick Dahl

$100,000 Fantasy Challenge Strategy

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$100,000 Fantasy Challenge

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Play the $100,000 Fantasy Challenge!

When someone has their back pressed against the wall, they're often forced to sink to depths they'd never imagined possible. The entire porn industry is supposedly built on this premise.

With six teams on bye this week, I was close to taking an action that would deprive me of more self-respect than any Midwestern girl with a coke problem has ever contemplated: I considered recommending Joey Harrington.

Fortunately for all of us, resident Rotoworld genius Evan Silva talked me down, and I have maintained at least a portion of my self-respect. I solemnly present the rest of my picks:


Brian Griese – Griese-bomb has thrown two touchdowns in each of the games he's started this year. In his first game he threw three interceptions, but tossed just one against Green Bay. The Vikings' defense is solid against the run, but gets beat through the air. Expect the Bears to abandon their pathetic running game and let Griese nickel-and-dime the Vikes.

Damon Huard – Huard is expected to start this week, but with the youth movement waiting in the wings, his grasp on the starting job is lessening with every Kansas City loss. Fortunately for Huard, he has a great match-up against Cincinnati this week.

Cleo Lemon – Finally, a football player whose name reminds me of a television psychic and Carmen Miranda every time I hear it. Lemon played decently in reserve last week, and this week faces the struggling Cleveland defense. Again, it's a risky play, but when you have to start twenty quarterbacks, it makes Lemon worth consideration this week.

Daunte Culpepper – Culpepper heads to San Diego after Oakland's bye week, and should be forced into throwing by a combination of the Chargers' solid run stopping and lackluster pass defense. The Chargers have allowed eight passing touchdowns in five games this season, and the number would likely be higher if they weren't fortunate enough to face Rex Grossman in Week 1. The only other shaky defense the raiders face in the 100KFC regular season is Minnesota in Week 11.

Donovan McNabb – The Jets' secondary has allowed an average of almost two touchdown passes a game this season. McNabb is coming off a bye week and obviously has a lot to prove in New York this weekend. In a week with limited options, McNabb makes a nice start, but can also be used in Week 8 against Minnesota.

Matt Hasselbeck – New Orleans has allowed an average of two passing touchdowns a game, and Matt Hasselbeck is poised to put up at least that many playing at home this week. The problem is, this week he is without Deion Branch. He also has a good match-up in Week 9 against Cleveland, but in a week with limited options, makes a decent Week 6 start.

Jason Campbell – Green Bay is allowing the eleventh-most fantasy points to starting quarterbacks this season, and thus presents one of Jason Campbell's best remaining plays. He faces the Jets in Week 9, but makes a solid start this week if need be.

Running Backs

Willis McGahee – And now it's McGahee's turn to show what he can do against St. Louis' rush defense. The Rams have allowed the third most points to running backs, and in a thin week, McGahee makes a solid start. He also has good match-ups against Buffalo and Cincinnati coming up.

Larry Johnson – It's been a tough week for good ole LJ. 12 yards on nine carries. Ouch. Thankfully, he faces Cincinnati this week and should be able to put up solid numbers – both on the ground and through the air - against their suspect defense. Most importantly, this is Johnson's best match-up over the rest of the 100KFC regular season, meaning that if you haven't used him yet, you should now.

Brian Westbrook – Westbrook returned to practice without limitations on Wednesday, priming him to take advantage of a cake walk match-up against the Jets, who have allowed 8 touchdowns to running backs through five weeks. Not only is the Jets defense pathetically bad against running backs, they are Westbrook's only solid match-up before the 100KFC playoffs. Like LJ, you should use him if you haven't yet.

Shaun Alexander – Alexander's value takes a hit after the loss of Mack Strong, but he still has this week's game against New Orleans and two more games against St. Louis in which he should put up quality numbers. The Rams make for a better match-up, but in a week with slim pickings, Alexander makes a nice play.

LenDale White – White makes a decent option against Tampa Bay this week. He hasn't been putting up great numbers, but Tampa's run defense hasn't been stopping anybody. Tampa has give up 795 all-purpose yards to running backs through five weeks, and also allowed six touchdowns, making White another name to consider this week.

Wide Receivers

Dwayne Bowe – Well, Eddie Kennison made it back for one target before heading right back to the sidelines with an injured hamstring last week. Bowe continues to be the top receiver in Kansas City and should put up solid numbers against Cincinnati.

Chris Chambers – Chambers is going to be catching balls from Cleo Lemon this week, but he's doing so in Cleveland where he has a good chance at reaching 'pay dirt' as that guy from NFL Films calls it.

Vincent Jackson – Jackson goes against an Oakland secondary that has allowed the tenth-most points to fantasy wide receivers this year. He is coming off a comparatively good game against Champ Bailey, and his only other good match-up is in Week 9 vs. Minnesota. By then, though, Eric Parker could be back in San Diego.

Torry Holt – Holt goes up against Baltimore's secondary, which as I mentioned last week, has been allowing the fifth most fantasy points to wide receivers in the NFL. Holt has nice match-ups against Cleveland in Week 8 and New Orleans in Week 10, but in a week with ten teams on bye, he makes a solid option.

Jerry Porter/Ronald Curry – The Bears and the Chiefs are the only two teams who haven't had two receivers with over 70 yards against the Chargers. Blame the Bears' failure on Rex Grossman, and the Chiefs' failure on Dwayne Bowe, who hogged all the yardage with 164. The Chiefs have also allowed a passing touchdown each week, making each of these guys a decent gamble.

Bobby Engram/Nate Burleson - With Deion Branch out for the next two weeks, both Engram and Burleson have the opportunity to take advantage of the New Orleans and St. Louis secondary. Engram is the favorite to put up better numbers, although you may want to see how things shake out in Week 6 and play whoever puts up better numbers in Week 7.

Larry Fitzgerald – It's looking like Anquan Boldin could miss Week 6, and Larry Fitzgerald has a chance to once again put up great numbers in his absence. The match-up isn't ideal, but the workload should be.

Randy Moss – Dallas' pass defense has looked good the past few weeks, but they've faced Rex Grossman's Bears, the Rams and Buffalo. Hardly a challenge. Randy Moss and the Patriots head to Dallas for what should be a high-intensity contest. Expect Moss to put on a good show.

Tight End

Alge Crumpler – The Giants allow a ton of points to tight ends, and I can't help but envision a scenario where Joey Harrington, whose blind side is being protected by a rookie, keeps dumping off passes to Crump.

Chris Cooley – The Packers also give up a ton of points to tight ends, and Cooley has scored in three straight. Expect Jason Campbell to be forced to pass, and Cooley should benefit.

Greg Olsen/Desmond Clark – The Vikings also give up points to tight ends, and Olsen and Clark both benefit from Brian Griese's propensity to throw short passes. I'd guess that both have a chance of out-scoring a Chicago receiver.


New York Giants – You've got to love the Giants' chance to put up big numbers with a rookie protecting Joey Harrington's blind side. They should put up a number of sacks and be able to hold the Falcons in check.

Chicago Bears – The Bears play some pretty solid teams in the final weeks of the 100KFC, so Minnesota presents a great chance to start them.

Baltimore Ravens – They're playing St. Louis, so the damage should be kept to a minimum.

Sunday Night Bonus Player

Rex Grossman – There's no doubt in my mind that Rex Grossman is going to be traded to New Orleans this week. I figure it will probably happen on Friday night. Rex will spend the weekend studying the playbook, only pausing to re-build houses devastated by Katrina. After heeding the city's cries, coach Jay Payton will start him over Drew Brees on Sunday night. Grossman will throw for 500 yards and six touchdowns, in the process putting the entire city of New Orleans on his shoulders and scaring any hurricane from ever messing with Louisiana again. Most importantly, he will call George Bush with Kanye West after the game and convince him that hating black people just isn't right.

If you don't believe me, you might consider Shaun Alexander, who should have a great game against New Orleans. I think he will score twice and put up over 100 all-purpose yards.

My Current Rank: 4307

Santonio Holmes' last-minute leg injury hurt me, as I accidentally left him in. Oh, well.

Patrick Dahl covers baseball and football for
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