Wide Write: Burning Questions

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With three weeks in the books, you’ve probably got a few fantasy questions. Heck, we’ve got a few as well. Let’s start with ours, and get to yours some other time. We’ll skip our first question, which is, “Has Tatum Bell returned Rudi Johnson’s clothes and credit cards yet?”

Question #1: If I picked Randy Moss in the first round of my draft, should I commit fantasy suicide?

Not yet, but it’s time to manage your expectations. Matt Cassel certainly isn’t Tom Brady, and he might not even be Marcia Brady. However, someone’s gotta catch some TDs for the Pats this season, and you can expect Bill Belichick’s staff to figure out a plan for offensive respectability. We’re just guessing, but how do 1,100 yards and eight TDs strike you?

Question #2: Is Derek Anderson going to lose his job in Cleveland?

Yes, yes he is. The Browns might have been better off following the fantasy axiom of dealing a player at peak value and shipping Anderson out of town during the offseason. Anderson slumped late in 2007, with seven touchdowns and eight interceptions in his final five games, and he’s been awful so far during the Browns’ 0-3 start. Anderson’s reportedly on a short leash, and Brady Quinn wasn’t a first-round draft pick for nothing. If you can stash Quinn on your bench, go ahead and do it now, because he’d enter a situation with plenty of talented players around him.

Question #3: Is Ronnie Brown going to score five TDs every week?

We don’t think so. We’re hesitant to jump on any running back’s bandwagon due to the infuriating Shanahan-esque committees that are popping up all over the NFL. With that said, Brown appears fully recovered from his 2007 ACL surgery, and before getting hurt last season, he was flat-out awesome. More big numbers could be coming.

Let’s move on to this week’s pick to start at quarterback, running back and receiver (either WR or TE). As usual, they’ll be players who aren’t permanent fixtures in fantasy starting lineups. Also, don’t forget this week’s byes — Lions, Colts, Dolphins, Patriots, Giants, Seahawks.


J.T. O’Sullivan, 49ers — If Mike Martz can turn Jon Kitna into a 4,000-yard passer, then why can’t he do it with O’Sullivan? The career backup has completed 66.7 percent of his passes for 705 yards in the season’s first three games, with three TDs against just one interception. This week, O’Sullivan visits New Orelans and the fantasy-friendly Saints’ defense. We’re expecting continued improvement here.

David Garrard, Jaguars — After averaging more than 200 yards per game with an astounding 18:3 touchdown-to-interception ratio in 2007, Garrard was drafted as a borderline fantasy starter this year. Then he started getting picked off occasionally like a normal QB, and everyone started benching him. Fear not, Garrard owners — we think your man is just in a slump, and the Jags are home to the struggling Texans this week. Get back on that bandwagon.

Running Back

Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers — This one is pretty simple. Willie Parker is out with a sprained knee, so Mendenhall gets his first professional start on Monday night against the Ravens. Should you be worried that the rookie carried the ball 10 times for 28 yards in Week 1, and hasn’t gotten a handoff since? Sure, and we’re worried too. But he’s the man for the Steelers this week, so we’re in. Who’s with us?

LenDale White, TitansChris Johnson has emerged as a hot fantasy commodity for the undefeated Titans, and that’s well-deserved considering he’s averaging 92 yards per game. An offshoot of Johnson’s performance is that White seems to be flying under the radar a bit. He shouldn’t, since he’s splitting carries pretty much straight down the middle with Johnson and has four TDs already. White is still a worthy #2 fantasy RB.


Brandon Lloyd, Bears — If this is the 58th time this week you’ve been advised to pick up Lloyd, well, we’re sorry about that. We’re not sorry about recommending the six-year vet, since he’s got 11 receptions for 190 yards in his last two games. Besides, it’s not like Kyle Orton has anyone else to throw to.

Patrick Crayton, Cowboys — It’s hunch time. Crayton caught six passes for 82 yards in the Cowboys’ opening game, grabbed two for 23 yards in Week 2, and posted a goose egg in Week 3. Why do we think he’s going to snap out of it against the ‘Skins this week? We’re not really sure, and we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

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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