The Saints Are Finally Marching

This week's Pats-Colts Game of the Century will be a fantasy player's delight, with studs all over the field. Brady, Manning, Addai, Moss, Welker…I'm giddy just thinking about it. These offenses are so good, it's extremely unlikely you'll have even one player in uniform that will be on your fantasy bench. Everybody plays, so everybody gets to root for someone.

Everybody except the football fans of Houston, that is; the Texans are playing the Raiders at the same time on the same network, so the game won't be available for them. Oakland fans may catch a break, since if the home game doesn't sell out, the broadcast will be blacked out locally, enabling CBS to show Pats-Colts.

Can you imagine being a football fan in Houston, wishing you could watch a titanic Brady-Manning battle, but being the only one in the country stuck with Sage Rosenfels-Daunte Culpepper instead? I'd make my reservations at the local sports bar immediately.


GOOD: Drew Brees, New Orleans

Brees completed 31 of 39 passes for 336 yards and four touchdowns in a 31-10 rout of the 49ers, leading the Saints to their third win in a row. After looking like Johnny Unitas in the Saints' magical 2006, Brees started this season horribly, throwing nine interceptions with only one touchdown in a season-opening four-game losing streak.

Brees appears to be back on his game with eight TD passes in his last three games, and you can expect the Saints to keep lighting up the scoreboard from here on out. Plan to start your fantasy Saints until further notice.

Honorable mention: Derek Anderson, Cleveland (18-25, 248 yards, 3 TDs)

BAD: Vince Young, Tennessee

Hey, didn't we just do this two weeks ago? Young returned from an injured quad on Sunday to post one of the worst stat lines you'll ever see in the NFL: 6-for-14 for 42 yards passing, along with seven carries for 11 yards. Yes, you had high hopes for Vince heading into the season, but it's time for him to take a permanent seat on your fantasy bench if he's not there already.

THIS WEEK'S PLAY: Joey Harrington, Atlanta

The Bears, Rams, Giants and Dolphins are off this week. If you have Brian Griese, Marc Bulger, Eli Manning or Cleo Lemon — OK, I know you don't really have Cleo Lemon — your so-so No. 2 QB might be causing you to have a wandering eye.

Harrington is only playing due to Byron Leftwich's injury, but when he started earlier in the year he did have some good games. In three home starts, he's thrown for 793 yards and four touchdowns against just one interception, and this week he's facing the 49ers' 21st-ranked pass defense.

I was going to suggest the Jets' Kellen Clemens here, but "Go get 'em, Joey!" sounds better than anything you could say with the word "Kellen" in it. If you're looking for a QB, grab Joey and give him a spot start.

Running Backs

GOOD: Kevin Jones, Detroit

Jones was almost put on the league's physically unable-to-perform list before the season, which would have required him to sit out at least six games. But the Lions decided to keep him on the roster at the last minute, and he's starting to pay dividends.

Jones had 105 yards and a touchdown against the Bears after gaining 76 yards with a score in the previous week. If you stashed Jones on draft day, or picked him up recently, give yourself a gold star. You're looking at a quality No. 2 fantasy back.

Honorable mention: Joseph Addai, Indianapolis (23 carries, 100 yards, 2 TDs; 2 receptions, 8 yards, 1 TD)

BAD: LaMont Jordan, Oakland

Jordan continued his amazing streak of rushing putridity with 12 carries for 16 yards against the Titans. In his last three games, Jordan has rushed 41 times for 87 yards, but in his defense he's been bothered by an injured back. At this rate, he'll reach 1,000 yards by around Memorial Day. Jordan's on thin ice right now, and his coach is talking about giving carries to…

THIS WEEK'S PLAY: Justin Fargas, Oakland

In Week 4, Fargas gained 179 yards rushing against the Dolphins, and I rushed to the waiver wire to pick him up for all my teams (I got him in two out of three leagues). Then the overrated and overpaid Dominic Rhodes came back from his substance-related suspension, Jordan's injured back got better and Fargas was inexplicably sent back to the bench.

Last week, head coach Lane Kiffin finally realized that Rhodes stinks, and he probably couldn't bear to watch Jordan anymore, so he let Fargas play. Again, Fargas delivered, with 61 yards on 12 carries. This really isn't rocket science, folks. If a guy gets 179 yards in a game, you might want to give him another shot.

If you've got a roster spot doing nothing for you, grab Fargas off your league's waiver wire. He could be a nice matchup starter or flex player. Or, he could drop another 179 yards on the Texans' subpar run defense and start for you every week. Stranger things have happened.

Wide Receivers/Tight Ends

GOOD: Marques Colston, New Orleans

Last year as a seventh-round pick out of Hofstra, Colston delighted the Saints and fantasy owners everywhere with a 1,038-yard, eight-TD season. Like the rest of the Saints, Colston started this season slowly, but he exploded on Sunday with eight catches, 85 yards and three touchdowns. He was Brees' favorite target among the Saints wide receivers last season and should be again for the rest of 2007.

Honorable mention: Braylon Edwards, Cleveland (8 receptions, 117 yards, 2 TDs); Lee Evans, Buffalo (5 receptions, 138 yards, 1 TD)

BAD: Plaxico Burress, New York Giants

Burress had been one of this year's most consistently productive fantasy receivers, scoring at least one touchdown in each of the Giants' first six games. He didn't catch a TD in Week 7 but was primed for a big game against the Dolphins in London.

Then the Giants arrived at historic Wembley Stadium for a foggy, rainy game on a field that looked like a bunch of goats were sent to chew it up the day before, and their passing game was awful. Burress had just two catches for 14 yards, so he pretty much has to be this week's dishonoree, but I can't blame him for this performance. I blame the Brits.

THIS WEEK'S PLAY: Lee Evans, Buffalo

Evans had 1,292 yards and eight touchdowns in 2006, and much was expected of him from fantasy owners. Then he started 2007 with 113 receiving yards in his first five games, and people couldn't get rid of him fast enough.

In the last two games, Evans has bounced back with 10 receptions, 236 yards and an 85-yard TD. His bombing buddy, quarterback J.P. Losman, will return to the starting lineup against the Bengals' hapless pass defense. If you have Evans, make sure he's in your lineup this week. If he's available — which he is in 35 percent of fantasy leagues — grab him as fast as you can.

John Halpin covers fantasy sports for, writing a morning football blog Sundays through Thursdays and baseball columns once or twice each week, depending on the season. His "Wide Write" will appear every Tuesday during the NFL season on Send him an e-mail at

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