Fantasy rewind: Tomlinson, Brady lead owners

The offensive stars were back in form this week, as LaDainian Tomlinson, Larry Johnson and Steve Smith all produced like first- and second-round selections in what was a high-octane weekend of NFL action. Despite their solid stat lines, however, Johnson and Smith didn't even make our list of the top 10 fantasy performances. Once again it was the quarterbacks and wide receivers that dominated the box scores, but several runners also made a tremendous impact. On the flip side, injuries and difficult matchups doomed other players that were prominent starters on this week. Without further adieu, let's take a look at the studs and duds from Week 7.


1. LaDainian Tomlinson, RB, San Diego (44 points): I think I speak for all fantasy owners when I proclaim, "It's about time L.T.!" Tomlinson had his first monster stat line of the season with 198 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 28-14 win over Oakland. Tomlinson, who also caught three passes for 16 yards, scored on runs of 3, 27, 13 and 41 yards. Even after a slow start, he is now on pace to score 21 total touchdowns based on his current numbers. San Diego has a bye in Week 7 before a home date against Houston.

2. Tom Brady, QB, New England (43 points): If we held fantasy drafts now, Brady would be the consensus No. 1 overall selection. He threw for 388 yards and a career-best five touchdowns in a 48-27 win over Dallas. He threw touchdown passes of 6, 35, 12, 1 and 69 yards and is now on pace to finish the season with 4,700-plus yards and 56 touchdown passes -- that would shatter Peyton Manning's record of 49 set back in 2004. Brady, who is a must-start in all formats, heads to Miami to face the Dolphins next week.

3. Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota (40 points): Here's a not-so-bold prediction: Peterson will be a top-five selection in all drafts next season. The superstar runner out of Oklahoma rushed for 224 yards on 20 carries (11.2 YPC) and scored three touchdowns in a 34-31 win over Chicago. His scores came on runs of 67, 73 and 35 yards. Peterson is now on pace to record for 1,942 rushing yards, 560 receiving yards and 16 total touchdowns. He should remain active next week when Minnesota travels to Dallas to face the Cowboys.

4. Derek Anderson, QB, Cleveland (34 points): I have new for all those fantasy owners out there: Anderson is for real! The Browns quarterback threw for 245 yards and totaled four touchdowns in a 41-31 win over the NFL's worst team, Miami. Anderson's scores came on a 1-yard run and passes of 24, 5 and 16 yards. The Oregon State produce is now on pace to post 3,989 passing yards and 43 total touchdowns based on his current totals. For some reason, he was active in less than 55 percent of leagues this week.

5. Cleo Lemon, QB, Miami (30 points): When life gives you Cleo Lemon, well, make touchdowns. That's what Lemon did against Cleveland, as he scored four times and threw for 256 yards in a loss to the Browns. Lemon scored on runs of 5 and 1 yards and on passes of 14 and 4 yards, both to David Martin. While the statistical performance was indeed impressive, fantasy owners shouldn't rush out to add Lemon to their roster -- he'll head back to Miami next week to face the undefeated and aggressive New England Patriots.

6. Maurice Jones-Drew, RB, Jacksonville (29 points): After a slow start, it appears that Jones-Drew has returned to his rookie form. The mighty mouse runner out of UCLA caught four passes and totaled 184 all-purpose yards and two touchdowns in a 37-17 win over Houston. Jones-Drew scored on runs of 7 and 57 yards, and he averaged a ridiculous 10.4 yards per carry. Jacksonville has a date in Indianapolis next Monday night, and Jones-Drew should be active in most formats now that he's turned his season around.

7. Brian Griese, QB, Chicago (27 points): Griese was active in less than 30 percent of leagues, but he outperformed most of his quarterback brethren this week. The veteran threw for 381 yards and three touchdowns in a loss to Minnesota, which fields one of the league's worst pass defenses. Griese's first two scores on passes of 39 and 33 yards, and his third came on an 81-yard pass to Devin Hester late in the fourth quarter. Despite these numbers, Griese won't be an attractive option next week in Philadelphia.

8. T.J. Houshmandzadeh, WR, Cincinnati (26 points): No matter how his name is pronounced, Houshmandzadeh was the momma of all wide receivers this week. He caught eight passes for 145 yards and scored two touchdowns in a 27-20 loss to Kansas City. He found the end zone on catches of 42 and 30 yards, both out of the hand of Carson Palmer. A must-start wideout regardless of the opponent in all fantasy formats, Houshmandzadeh is a fantastic option in Week 7 when Cincinnati hosts the hapless New York Jets.

9. Braylon Edwards, WR, Cleveland (24 points): One of the most talented wide receivers in the NFL, Edwards has arrived in the world of fantasy football. The Michigan product caught five passes for 67 yards and scored three touchdowns in a win over Miami. Edwards found the promised land on catches of 24, 5 and 16 yards, all from Derek Anderson. Now on pace to finish the season with 77 receptions, 1,400-plus yards and 19 touchdowns, Edwards should be active in all fantasy football leagues after his team's Week 7 bye.

10. Wes Welker, WR, New England (24 points): The Cowboys turned their focus on Randy Moss in the "Duel in Dallas," and that left Welker to have the best game of his NFL career. The former Dolphins wideout caught 11 passes for 124 yards and scored on passes of 35 and 12 yards from Tom Brady. Despite a few mediocre weeks, Welker is still on pace to finish the season with 100-plus receptions, 1,029 yards and eight touchdowns. He warrants serious consideration next week when he faces his old team in South Florida.


1. Kurt Warner, QB, Arizona (minus-2 points): Warner is like the beautiful woman who accepts your dinner invitation only to call and cancel at the last minute after you've already spent $100 on roses. Warner tempted owners with his incredible numbers in relief of Matt Leinart -- he was active in 73 percent of leagues this week -- but a strained elbow cost him most of his first start of the 2007 season. He finished with minus-2 points and like that beautiful woman, he left a lot of owners high and dry.

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2. Santana Moss, WR, Washington (minus-2 points): Moss, who missed last week's win over Detroit due to an injured groin, returned to action against Green Bay and scored fewer points than when he was inactive. He didn't catch a pass, though he dropped several, and lost a fumble on a rush attempt in a 17-14 loss to the Packers. Reports indicate Moss took himself out of the contest late because "something wasn't feeling right." Let's hope he feels better next week when the Redskins host the Arizona Cardinals.

3. Rudi Johnson, RB, Cincinnati (0 points): Word that he would be active caused owners to start Johnson this week, as he was active in almost 80 percent of leagues. Johnson was better left on the fantasy sidelines, however, as Kenny Watson started and saw 13 carries to Johnson's four in a loss to Kansas City. When the smoke cleared, the veteran back rushed for eight yards and didn't find the end zone. Johnson has an awesome matchup next week against the Jets, but keep tabs on his status before you start him.

4. Todd Heap, TE, Baltimore (0 points): Heap missed last week's win over San Francisco due to an injured hamstring, but he was active this week and was able to start against St. Louis. His time on the field was short-lived, however, as Heap aggravated the ailment and missed most of the 22-3 win. Heap was active in close to 70 percent of leagues, so his doughnut cost countless owners. He has a nice matchup next week in Buffalo, but Heap's status for the AFC contest has to be labeled uncertain at best.

5. Vince Young, QB, Tennessee (0 points): Has the Madden Curse struck again? Young was forced out of his team's 13-10 loss to Tampa Bay in the third quarter with an injured quadriceps, and he didn't return. Young finished with 140 passing yards, six rushing yards, no touchdowns and one interception before he left. It's far too soon to know his status for next week's home game against Oakland, but based on the curse's past victims, don't be shocked if Young is forced to miss at least some time due to the ailment.

6. Laveranues Coles, WR, N.Y. Jets: (2 points): Coles had been a touchdown machine for the Jets, but he failed to produce this week against a Philadelphia team that has a solid pass defense on the road. The veteran out of Florida State caught one pass for 27 yards in a 16-9 loss to the Eagles, but he was targeted seven times in the contest. The Jets do have a very favorable matchup next week in Cincinnati, however, so Coles should still remain active whether it's Chad Pennington or Kellen Clemens under center.

7. Brett Favre, QB, Green Bay (3 points): Favre was the fifth-most productive player in's standard format headed into this weekend, but he failed to meet statistical expectations against an underrated Washington defense. The veteran threw for 188 yards with no touchdowns and two interceptions in a win over the Redskins, and he hurt his ankle in the process. Favre has a bye next week and should have time to heal, but it might be time to put him on the trade block while his fantasy value is still relatively high.

8. Torry Holt, WR, St. Louis (3 points): Holt was in a no-win situation this week with Isaac Bruce, Dante Hall and Dane Looker all inactive -- then Drew Bennett went down and Baltimore was able to put of all its defensive attention on the All-Pro wideout. Holt finished with four catches, 33 yards and no touchdowns in a 22-3 loss to the Ravens. It looks like Marc Bulger will return next week when the Rams head to Seattle, so Holt should still be considered a must-start wideout in most fantasy leagues.

9. Ahman Green, RB, Houston (4 points): Here's a note to fantasy football owners: If you have a running back that isn't one of the elite options at the position, keep him reserved if he ever faces Jacksonville at ALLTEL Stadium. The Jaguars held Green to 44 yards on 16 carries (2.7 YPC) and kept him out of the end zone in what was a blowout win over the Texans. Things won't get any easier for Green next week either, as Green faces a Tennessee team that fields one of the top run defenses in the entire NFL.

10. Marion Barber, RB, Dallas (5 points): Barber was on a rampant statistical pace after three weeks, but his numbers have fallen hard in his past three contests. He hasn't found the end zone in that time, and his numbers against New England left much to be desired. Barber totaled 59 all-purpose yards in a loss to the Patriots, and Julius Jones outrushed him 51 to 47 in the contest. With a game against Minnesota's stout run defense next on the slate, Barber could be in line for another forgettable performance.

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