Wide Write: Repeat Offenders

We’d like to apologize for last week’s selections. Seven running backs and receivers, and not a touchdown in the bunch. Heck, one of our quarterbacks didn’t even play. If this keeps up, you might as watch a presidential debate for fantasy football advice. It’s not like either guy is going to give a straight answer about the economy, so they might as well offer their weekly quarterback selections.

Fear not, fantasy fans, because we see a rebound week ahead. Two of the players below are repeat selections from Week 5, and we’ll explain why in a moment. Like the Raiders, we can’t stay this bad, can we?


Jason Campbell, Redskins — Campbell has been terrific this season in real football, but just OK in fantasy, with 1,054 yards and six touchdowns against ZERO interceptions in five games. That might change this week, as Campbell plays at home against the lowly Rams. If he doesn’t put up the big numbers this week, they’re probably not going to come at all.

Gus Frerotte, Vikings — Here’s a name we never thought we’d include in this column. Frerotte has a 74.2 quarterback rating in three starts, and he exploded — sort of — for 222 yards and a TD on Monday in New Orleans. This week, he gets a dream fantasy opponent in the winless and toothless Lions. If you own Ben Roethlisberger and are scrambling for a bye-week replacement, ol’ Gus might not be the worst guy you ever picked up.

Matt Schaub, Texans — In our view, Schaub was set to have his second straight strong game against the Colts in Week 5, so he was one of Wide Write’s weekly selections. Instead, he spent Saturday night in the hospital with a stomach virus and the Texans announced less than an hour before the game that he wouldn’t play. That must have been a nice thing to discover at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday. Anyway, we’re still believers, especially when we’re reminded of Schaub’s 307-yard, three-touchdown performance against the Jaguars in Week 4. We’ve liked him all along, and we especially like him this week against the Dolphins.

Running Back

Cedric Benson, Bengals — Benson’s first appearance of 2008 was uneventful, as he carried 10 times for 30 yards. More importantly, starter Chris Perry has fumbled five times in five games, and that tends to banish running backs to the NFL equivalent of a leper colony. The Bengals are saying that Benson will be more involved this week, and we figure that means at least 15 carries.

(Trying to … avoid … cheap … Bengals police blotter joke … ARRRGGGHHH!)

Justin Fargas, Raiders — Huggy Bear’s son is expected to play this week for the Raiders after missing two games with a groin injury. Before you say “What about Darren McFadden?”, Fargas carried 18 times in Week 1, and nine more times in Week 2 before getting hurt. Also, McFadden’s struggling with turf toe. Add the not-so-sturdy Saints’ defense to the mix, and you’re looking at a solid opportunity for Fargas.

Thomas Jones, Jets — This guy is the bane of many a fantasy owner’s existence. Jones, who was expected to have a big season with Brett Favre forcing defenses to focus more on the pass against the Jets, has gained just 83 yards in 28 carries over his last two games after getting 171 yards and a TD in his first two. This week, he plays at home against the Bengals and their 29th-ranked rushing defense. Time to earn your fantasy money, Mr. Jones.

Receiver (WR/TE)

Steve Breaston, Cardinals — We picked Breaston last week, and he caught seven passes for 77 yards but didn’t score. Starter Anquan Boldin will probably miss another game for the Cardinals, and like we keep saying, we’re riding the Kurt Warner Express until it stops. Breaston gets his next start against the struggling Dallas secondary on Sunday.

Nate Jackson, Broncos — With Tony Scheffler not playing this week, Jackson could benefit. OK, now you can go look at Jackson’s stats, see that he has four receptions for 12 yards this season, and say, "Are you %$#@! crazy?" Maybe, but the Broncos like throwing to their tight ends, and Jackson is a former wideout who won't be blocking if and when he's on the field. If you’re a Tony Gonzalez owner looking to take a one-week flier, Jackson could pay off. He could also do nothing, but that's why we used the word "flier."

Kevin Walter, Texans — The Texans are a desperate team after last week’s epic collapse against the Colts. Andre Johnson is obviously the big dog for the Texans, but Walter caught 12 passes in his last two games with Schaub under center, and has three touchdowns this season. He’s a nice No. 3 fantasy receiver, and is vying with Jacksonville’s Matt Jones for a starting berth in the Caucasian Pro Bowl opposite Wes Welker.

Finally, don’t forget your byes this week — the Bills, Chiefs, Steelers and Titans are off. You’re going to have to wait one more week for Brodie Croyle to take another snap in Kansas City.

John Halpin covers fantasy sports for FOXSports.com, writing a morning fantasy blog Sundays through Fridays and baseball columns once or twice each week, depending on the season. His "Wide Write" appears every Thursday during the NFL season on FOXNews.com. Send him an e-mail at jhalpin37@gmail.com.

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