Tag Archives: Michael Turner

NFL Draft Review: Atlanta Falcons

Ed: Continuing with our NFL draft coverage,  we’ve got the Atlanta Falcons’ draft review. Plenty more teams to come, so keep checking back with us.

First off, I’d like to address the fact that most people are stunned the Falcons didn’t get a solid DB with their first pick.

People have lampooned the Falcons for having a weak secondary, and while it could certainly be bolstered with a good shut-down corner, the defensive numbers really weren’t as bad as a lot of people think they were.

Yes, they were 22nd in the league in pass defense. More importantly, they were fifth in the league in points per game on the defensive side of the ball and had 22 interceptions. They got burned, but they were able to hold when it counted, so while they’ll definitely need to work on it this season, it’s not the end of the world.

Sure, the Packers destroyed them in the playoffs, but they also destroyed pretty much everyone else they played, and don’t forget, the Falcons beat them in the regular season. Now on to the picks.

The Julio Jones (first round, sixth overall) trade-up shocked a lot of people, including myself.

The Falcons gave up a lot to get him, but here’s why it may work out in the end: Jones is a phenomenal, physical receiver that makes the offense a lot more prolific than it was before. Having a deep threat receiver pulls the safeties back, which should provide a lot more room for some shorter routes to White and Gonzalez, the go-to guys on third down, and keep the defense from stacking the box to shut down Turner.

Last year, the Falcons ran a system built on short yardage that ate up the clock. Now, they’ll be more of a threat at all three levels of the field. Having Jones should also spread the defense. Double-teaming either guy isn’t going to seem like a great option for many defenses this season and should cause more than a few headaches for opposing defensive coordinators.

Akeem Dent (third round, 91st overall), who I had the pleasure of watching while he played at UGA, is a solid tackler that while not being able to jump in as a starter over Curtis Lofton, should be able to give him some much needed rest and be a reliable backup.

He was a bright spot, along with Justin Houston, on a team that would have finished even lower without his tough work in the middle.

Jacquizz Rodgers out of Oregon State was an interesting pick that I personally really liked. Rodgers is a small, shifty back that should compliment the power running of Turner and Snelling. His role will more than likely be very limited in his first year, however, but that’s to be expected as he won’t have the ability to block the pass rush as well as the other backs.

That extra speed, however, could prove beneficial when up-the-gut running with Turner just isn’t getting it done.

Matt Bosher, punter out of Miami, was taken in the sixth round at the 192nd overall spot. While I haven’t watched a ton of film on him, he led the ACC in average punt yards (44.7) and averaged 65 yards kicking off the tee. I don’t think he’ll be jumping right in over Bryant or Koenen, but he’s got a hell of a leg and should become a solid addition to the special teams units.

The seventh round brought in two players I’m less familiar with. Andrew Jackson, OG from Fresno State (210th overall) and Cliff Matthews (230th overall). With players taken this deep in the draft, knowing exactly how they’ll pan out is difficult.

That said, I love the players South Carolina has been churning out on the defensive side of the ball, so I think Matthews will more than likely have the skills to build himself into a solid DE and hopefully have time to learn the tricks of the trade before starting his first NFL game.

There’s too much speculation to really know how well this will all pan out until the season starts, if of course it even happens. The only player the Falcons drafted for immediate impact was Jones, but when you’re coming off a 13-3 season, it’s probably okay to stick with a lot of the guys that got you there in the first place.

Overall grade: B.

– El Hammerpuncho

NFL Week 6 picks and predictions

Last week was one of the most wretched I can remember in the NFL. Six of the week’s fourteen games were blowouts of 20 points or more, and three of the closest games (Buffalo/Cleveland, Washington/Carolina and Dallas/Kansas City) were egregiously painful to watch.

Fear not, as the Week 6 slate is decidedly more interesting.

I went 10-4 last week to push my overall record to a respectable 49-27.

The show, on with it…

Houston (2-3) @ Cincinnati (4-1):

Houston was supposed to contend for a Wild Card berth this season (sound familiar?) but instead are middling at 2-3 — good for just third place in the AFC South.

Cincinnati was supposed to be about where Cleveland (1-4) sits right now, proving that NFL prognosticators (myself included) know absolutely nothing until at least a few weeks into the season.

RETURN TO FORM

RETURN TO FORM

The Texans put up an inspired effort last week, coming from a 21-0 deficit to put themselves in position for a 28-28 tie late in the fourth quarter, but it was not to be. Short-yardage situations have plagued Houston all year long and it won’t get easier against a Bengals team tied for 12th in first downs allowed and 10th in third-down conversions allowed.

Cinci is even better on offense thanks to a where-the-hell-did-this-come-from season from the NFL’s leading rusher, Cedric Benson, and a passing game with a variety of weapons.

All that said, this screams “trap game” for the Bengals. Coming off a big win against the Ravens, there’s a good likelihood that Cinci is looking ahead to back-to-back games against the Bears and Ravens and the Texans are good enough on offense to fell a distracted Bengals team.

JORDAN SAYS: Texans 21, Bengals 20

———–

Detroit (1-4) @ Green Bay (2-2):

The record makes it seem otherwise, but the Detroit Lions have some fight in them. They’ve been in every game at halftime and gave the defending Super Bowl champions a four-quarter fight last week.

Matthew Stafford is questionable for Sunday’s tilt at Lambeau, and Daunte Culpepper filled in very well last week but he’ll be hard-pressed to put up a similar performance against the seventh-ranked Packers defense. With the 3-4 scheme Green Bay is running now, they’ll be able to send a variety of blitz packages against the relatively immobile Culpepper.

With a week to rest, Aaron Rodgers and Co. should be plenty able to rack up yards and points against a Lions unit that, though improved, is still in the bottom third of the league.

JORDAN SAYS: Packers 28, Lions 14

———–

Baltimore (3-2) @ Minnesota (5-0):

The Ravens are reeling after consecutive losses, especially since both losses were the result of defensive meltdowns late in the game. They could take solace in those losses both being to possible playoff teams, but something tells me Ray Lewis has been motivating his defensive unit all week to give Brett Favre hell.

And they’ll need to. The Vikings’ offensive line have been a group of stalwarts so far this season; Favre has been sacked only 11 times through fives games, and that time in the pocket has allowed him to rack up 1,069 yards and nine touchdowns.

If the Ravens can get up early — something this high-powered offense is more than capable of — and attack Brett Favre non-stop, it’ll take Adrian Peterson mostly out of the equation. The 40-year-old quarterback has been amazing with the lead, how he’d react down by more than a touchdown late in the game remains to be seen.

I like the Ravens here in a close one.

JORDAN SAYS: Ravens 26, Vikings 21

———–

New York Giants (5-0) @ New Orleans (4-0):

Now this is the matchup everyone has been waiting for.

Both of these teams have bulldozed their competition through five weeks, but there’s an important difference and that’s quality of opponents. The G-Men haven’t played a quality squad yet, and have had the good fortune of playing three of the NFL’s worst five teams in Kansas City, Oakland and Tampa Bay.

HAULIN' IT IN

HAULIN' IT IN

New Orleans, on the other hand, demolished a very solid Philadelphia Eagles team and completely shut down a New York Jets team that was 3-0 at the time.

There are plenty of similarities, though.

Eli Manning and Drew Brees are ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively, in passer rating. Each has at least nine touchdowns and 1,000 yards through the air.

Both teams boast mutli-faceted run games, dynamic receivers, and shut-down defenses.

In a game that’s almost too close to call, the nod has to go to the home team, especially since the Superdome is one of the NFL’s truest home-field advantages.

JORDAN SAYS: Saints 24, Giants 16

———–

Cleveland (1-4) @ Pittsburgh (3-2):

I’m going to type this out for the first time right now, because I was too furious to do a column on the game:

Derek Anderson was 2-of-17 for 23 yards passing last week and beat the Buffalo Bills. It’s almost unfathomable. Jamarcus Russell was laughing at Derek Anderson last week. Joey Harrington and Tim Couch were home laughing at Derek Anderson. J.P. Losman was laughing from a Las Vegas Locomotives practice.

Obviously, that’s not going to fly against a real football team like the Steelers.

It’s clear that Pittsburgh misses Troy Polamalu on defense, as last year’s No. 1 unit has given up at least 20 points in each of the last three games. The hard-hitting safety is the Steelers’ most important cog. As a pass rusher, as a tackler, as a run-stopper, as a leader. He’s almost a mirror image of Indianapolis’ Bob Sanders and these defensive struggles are not unlike what Indy went through in 2007 while he was hurt.

He’s probable for Sunday, but it won’t matter. They’re playing the Browns, remember?

JORDAN SAYS: Steelers 33, Browns 12

———–

Carolina (1-3) @ Tampa Bay (0-5):

Both of these teams are better than their records.

Not by much, but they are. The Buccaneers have to be thrilled with how first-year quarterback Josh Johnson is playing. His stats haven’t been exemplary, but with nobody of note to throw to, a weak offensive line and a first-year head coach, the onus is not on him.

He’s looked poised and comfortable at key moments, and I think he puts together his best performance even against a tough Panthers defense.

I still don’t think it’s enough to win, though. Jake Delhomme has settled a bit, completing 60% of his passes, and the teammate-punching Steve Smith has yet to go off. Now is as good a time as any — Tampa has allowed more throws of 30+ yards than any team in football.

JORDAN SAYS: Panthers 19, Buccaneers 10

———–

Kansas City (0-5) @ Washington (2-3):

The Chiefs have quietly put up back-to-back respectable performances in losses against the Giants and Cowboys.

Well, if you don’t count the anti-tackling clinic they put on in overtime of the Dallas game.

MISSING: LARRY JOHNSON

MISSING: LARRY JOHNSON

What’s held KC back the most is a complete and total lack of a run game. Larry Johnson is so far over the hill he forgot there was a hill, and Matt Cassel is their second-leading rusher. Yeah. It’s that bad. No run game means no play-action and it means no time for Cassel to get the ball to Dwayne Bowe, Mark Bradley or Bobby Wade.

Washington has a stout defense, which doesn’t help matters for KC, but I made a pact with myself five minutes ago to never pick the Redskins unless they’re playing the Rams. They already did.

JORDAN SAYS: Chiefs 16, Redskins 3

———–

St. Louis (0-5) @ Jacksonville (2-3):

This is GASB’s “May as well take a three-hour bathroom break” game of the week!

JORDAN SAYS: Jaguars 28, Rams 6

———–

Arizona (2-2) @ Seattle (2-3):

Don’t look now, but the Seattle Seahawks are ready to make a charge. Even at 2-3, the Seahawks have looked good in every game besides a 34-17 thrashing at the hands of a Colts team that may very well be the best in football.

What’s more, is two of those losses — San Francisco and Chicago — were both with backup Seneca Wallace. This Seattle team plays completely differently with Matt Hasselbeck at the helm and in the two games the oft-injured quarterback has played, he’s completing 63% of his passes and has seven touchdowns to two picks.

Oh, and what’s that, the Arizona “let’s mail this one in” Cardinals are surrendering 374 yards per game through the air?

Ruh oh.

I like Hasselbeck to have his best game of the season in a 300-yard performance here. Not only is Hasselbeck throwing well, but his top two receivers — T.J. Houshmandzedah and Nate Burleson — have each caught at least 25 passes for over 300 yards.

JORDAN SAYS: Seahawks 27, Cardinals 19

———–

Philadelphia (3-1) @ Oakland (1-4):

Oh, great, another good NFC East team against another atrocious AFC West team. No, no, scratch that — THE atrocious AFC West team.

MACLIN AND RELAXIN'

MACLIN AND RELAXIN'

The Raiders are a trainwreck of biblical proportions. There’s no run game, Jamarcus Russell couldn’t hit the ocean if he was standing in the middle of it, and the defense has been gashed in every game but one this season.

Enter the 3-1 Eagles.

McNabb found a new favorite target in first-round pick Jeremy Maclin last week, and with Desean Jackson flanking the other side and Brian Westbrook in the backfield, this is one of the most dynamic offenses in  football. If Philly isn’t up by three touchdowns at the half I will eat my hat, your hat, your father’s hat, and every hat in the New Era factory.

JORDAN SAYS: Eagles 40, Raiders 7

———–

Tennessee (0-5) @ New England (3-2):

With the Dolphins edging the Jets last week and making the AFC East a whole lot more competitive, this suddenly became a must-win game.

Luckily, the Patriots get a chance to rebound from last week’s loss against the listless Titans.

Tom Brady still hasn’t quite found his groove, but he’s got the perfect forum in which to do it this week. Tennessee ranks dead last in overall pass defense and they’re a banged-up unit. Cortland Finnegan and Michael Griffin might both miss this game, and if that’s the case, look for an air raid from Brady and Co.

JORDAN SAYS: Patriots 30, Titans 13

———–

Buffalo (1-4) @ New York Jets (3-2):

Not so much Super Bowl chatter following the Jets now, is there?

I’ll go ahead and toot my horn in saying that the Jets were not as good as their 3-0 record looked. They’ve only had one hundred-yard rusher and Sanchez has only thrown for over 200 yards twice; both were in the season-opener against the Texans.

Hardly a marquee win.

And contrary to Rex Ryan and Calvin Pace’s sour grapes whining after the loss to Miami, the defense got flat-out beat. Granted, not every team runs the wildcat, but they couldn’t get any pressure on a quarterback starting his second career game, either.

HUNGRY... FOR A WIN

HUNGRY... FOR A WIN

Luckily for Gang Green, the woeful Bills are trudging to the Meadowlands this week.

Buffalo’s offense has hit a brick wall. A really sturdy, reinforced brick wall. The offense has managed just 13 points in the past three games and Trent Edwards is regressing by the week. He simply won’t throw it deep; no deep crosses, no deep hooks, no deep outs. Nothing.

Captain Checkdown goes down with the ship.

JORDAN SAYS: Jets 23, Bills 7

———–

Chicago (3-1) @ Atlanta (3-1):

Very interesting game in the ATL.

Both teams are coming off convincing victories, both have young, talented quarterbacks and workhorse tailbacks and both figure to vie for division titles.

With each squad having a similar offense, the game should come down to defense.

Chicago has a better pass defense and a better run defense, but the Falcons are fourth in the league with only 15.8 points per game allowed. That’s the biggest difference in Mike Smith’s team from this year to last. There are playmakers on Atlanta’s defense now.

John Abraham and Kroy Biermann bookend the speedy defensive line and have three sacks apiece and middle linebacker Curtis Lofton has registered 47 tackles on the season. The Bears have their playmakers too, even with Brian Urlacher hurt.

Adewale Ogunleye leads the team with 4.5 sacks and defensive end Alex Brown has five tackles for a loss.

Whichever defense plays bigger on Sunday night will earn its team a win.

JORDAN SAYS: Falcons 19, Bears 14

———–

Denver (5-0) @ San Diego (2-2):

I guess we have to take the Broncos seriously now, don’t we?

It’s funny; everyone had the Chargers penciled in for 11 wins and an easy AFC West title this year. Now it’s looking every bit like Denver will avenge their late-season collapse in 2008 by going 6-0 in the division and winning it.

And they’re winning it with Kyle Orton at the helm. With a rookie running back. With a rookie coach and a dramatically re-tooled defense allowing an NFL-low 8.6 points per game. Denver is also top-5 in rush yards per game allowed and pass yards per game allowed. Numbers don’t lie.

DUM AND DUMERVIL

DUM AND DUMERVIL

Neither does a ‘5’ in the win column and a ‘0’ in the loss column.

There’s little reason to believe the Chargers can be the first to beat Denver. They rank second in passing offense but dead last in rushing offense and the Broncos do a damn good job of getting after the quarterback. Elvis Dumervil’s eight sacks is a team-high and Brian Dawkins has galvanized this unit into a tackling machine that keeps runners at the first level of defense and receivers on their backs.

Six wins it is.

JORDAN SAYS: Broncos 21, Chargers 10

———–

BYE: Miami, San Francisco, Indianapolis, Dallas

Week 5: The Fantasy Football Follow-Up

For those of you that checked out the F3 for Week 5, here’s how my picks came out…

Nailed It (Great call!):

Kurt Warner (QB, Arizona): As predicted, Kurt went off… 26-of-38, 302 yards, and two TDs. Top 10 in quarterbacks in Week 5.

Matt Hasselbeck (QB, Seattle): FYI, some “experts” had Seneca Wallace in their top-20 rankings for Week 5. I doubt that will happen again. Hasselbeck was 18-of-30 with 241 yards, and four, yes, four TDs. Money!

GOT TOUCHDOWNS?

GOT TOUCHDOWNS?

Glen Coffee (RB, San Francisco): Coffee had 12 rushes for 45 yards and a TD, four catches for 21 yards. Even in a blowout, he was still a solid play this week.

Tim Hightower (RB, Arizona): Not a breakout week, but Timmy definitely helped his owners out in Week 5. Especially in PPR leagues, six rushes for 17 yards and a TD, with five catches for 30 yards is nice.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh (WR, Seattle): He’s back! Five catches for 77 yards, two in the endzone. Keep an eye on Seattle going forward.

Hines Ward (WR, Pittsburgh): Consistent “Hines Ward” performance. Notched 85 yards on seven catches. This time he picked up a TD, which makes this NAILED IT that much sweeter.

Bills (D/ST, Buffalo): Ohhhh boy were they wrong! A lot of columnists predicted a high-scoring defensive anti-clinic. That didn’t happen.

Browns (D/ST, Cleveland): Same as the Bills. Ugly game, but the D/ST’s pick were perfect.

Got Nailed (Terrible call!):

David Garrard (QB, Jacksonville): Sorry, folks. Here’s to the worst-rated quarterback in Week 5, and I liked him. He did virtually nothing, aside from the two fumbles. My bad.

Jerome Harrison (RB, Cleveland): Noone saw this coming. Sure, an eyebrow or two raised when Jamal Lewis was announced as active, but I would have never expected Harrison would be essentially de-activated as a result.

Derrick Mason (WR, Baltimore): Doubled the second he stepped off the bus. No chance. My apologies.

Dolphins (D/ST, Miami): I had it wrong. As bad as the Jets D/ST played, the Fins were neck and neck.

FROM DOLPHENSE OR LOLFENSE

FROM DOLPHENSE TO LOLFENSE

Steven Hauschka (K, Baltimore): No explanation, it just didn’t happen.

Joe Nedney (K, San Francisco): Extremely disappointed. Don’t forget about Joe though.

Wash (Probably didn’t kill you…):

Brent Celek (TE, Philadelphia): My TE picks weren’t stellar at all this week. Case in point, Brent. My “Wild-Vick formation big play” prediction didn’t pan out either. You could have done worse though…

John Carlson (TE, Seattle): T.J. took over. Surprised he didn’t get a look while Hasselbeck was playing Madden in the endzone all day.

Marcedes Lewis (TE, Jacksonville): The good part about Garrard’s JaMarcus Russell impression was that a completion or two belonged to Lewis. One of the brighter points, although not that bright.

BMW 1, MARCADES 0

BMW 1, MARCEDES 0

Dan Carpenter (K, Miami): Not a huge day, but at least he nailed 4 XPs.

* (16-11-9, 0.569) after Week 5. Still over .500!

Haterade Blog

Steve Smith (WR, Carolina): My hate was warranted. In most standard leagues, the original Steve Smith is averaging single digit fantasy points per week. Not what you’d expect, but I think you can expect it from now on.

Marshawn Lunch and Fred Jackson (RBs, Buffalo): I’m calling this one a tie. Lynch was serviceable, Jackson was a ghost. I said the Bills would suffer from “subtraction by addition” upon Lynch’s return, and I stick by it. The Bills were a scarier team with Jackson getting all the touches.

Cedric Benson (RB, Cincinnati): I was wrong, but can you blame me? Sure, he finished the 2008 season running hard. Sure he’s been dominant thus far in 2009. But, I can’t get over his “Cedric Benson”-ness, so its hard, but I’m coming around.

YOUR NFL LEADING RUSHER... CEDRIC BENSON. WAIT, WHAT?

YOUR NFL LEADING RUSHER... CEDRIC BENSON. WAIT, WHAT?

* (4-1-1, 0.750) when it comes to spitting hate!

“Big Johnson”:

– Ok Chris, fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice shame on me. You’re done. If you think I’m falling for your crap this week, you’re wrong. Not against my Pats. The Big Johnson this week was Andre, who put up foolish numbers, but the interesting Johnson is Josh, the Buccaneers’ new QB. He could contend in the future weeks for the biggest Johnson. The more the merrier! (Wait, that’s a little weird…)

* (0-2 0.000) at nailing the Johnson’s.

Week 4’s Top Performers: Fluke or For Real

Quarterbacks:

No. 1) Peyton Manning – Indianapolis Colts

FOR REAL: More of the same. Obvious play. Do I need to say more? (Notice, I didn’t even change this one from last week. Lazy? Yes. True? Also yes.)

No. 2) Matt Schaub ­– Houston Texans

FOR REAL: This is a hard one, because all the factors are there. I like Schaub. He’s got a great RB in Slaton, a filthy WR in Andre Johnson, and an emerging TE in Owen Daniels. The options surrounding Schaub are top-notch. The problem is his fragility. When he’s healthy, he’s capable of top-10 numbers. In saying he’s FOR REAL, I’m relying on his continued health, but I think he ends up near, if not in, the top-10 after Week 17.

No. 3) Kyle Orton – Denver Broncos

FOR REAL: He is not Peyton Manning. He is not even Jay Cutler. But with Marshall, Royal, and Stokley surrounding him, Orton is definitely start-able. I have Orton resting in the Flex spot in one of my more competitive leagues. He’s not on the same level as other QBs of 5-0 teams, but the record is surely not in spite of Orton. His numbers probably won’t make your eyes bug out like some, but he’s FOR REAL.

THIS MAN IS THE QUARTERBACK OF A 5-0 TEAM... I'VE GOT NOTHING

THIS MAN IS THE QUARTERBACK OF A 5-0 TEAM... I'VE GOT NOTHING

Running Backs:

No. 1) Ahmad Bradshaw – New York Giants

FLUKE: Guys, this is a conditional FLUKE. What the heck happened to Brandon Jacobs in the offseason?! In 2008, he was running like Lendale White to a round of tequila shots at an Old Country Buffet. Bradshaw geeked the Raiders on Sunday for two scores and over a hundred yards rushing, with a 50+ yard reception to boot. It was nice, but he’s still just a “change-of-pace” back, which have proven to be fantasy teases (e.g. Leon Washington, Darren Sproles, Fred Jackson).

No. 2) Michael Turner – Atlanta Falcons

FOR REAL: Yes, the Burner is FOR REAL. But, it’s not for the reason you might think. Sure, he’s the only guy getting touches near the goal line (fantasy plus). He reached paydirt Sunday three times (fantasy money). Turner is FOR REAL, because he’s being conserved, not over-used. If you spread his carries out over the season, the result is consistent play in a good offense, not a burnout (fantasy gold). Start Turner every week.

No. 3) Cedric Benson ­– Cincinnati Bengals

FLUKE: I am stubborn. I refuse to believe that Benson is a dominant fantasy RB. I won’t do it. BUT, as a man of the people, if he plays well against the Texans, I promise to proclaim his FOR REAL-ness, but I’m not ready right now. It’s freaking Cedric Benson everyone! Come on!

Wide Receivers:

No. 1) Miles Austin – Dallas Cowboys

FLUKE: No. None of the receivers on the Cowboys impress me. You know why Austin had freakish, Madden-on-easy-difficulty-like numbers? I’ll tell you why! Because the Chiefs can’t tackle! Watch his big plays, and you’ll see something that would make any Pop Warner coach vomit. Oh yea, and he should have had four TDs, but he dropped two in the endzone. That’s the kind of thing that really bugs me.

BECAUSE POINTDEXTER AUSTIN WOULDN'T FIT ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE

BECAUSE POINTDEXTER AUSTIN WOULDN'T FIT ON THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE

No. 2) Roddy White – Atlanta Falcons

FOR REAL: More than a few fantasy teams had their names changed to “Ooochy-Roddy-Roddy-Ooochy-Bang-Bang” after Week 5. We’re talking bigtime numbers in a legit offense (eight catches, 210 yards, two TDs). While Roddy’s been quiet prior to Week 5, I think he lives up to his draft position in the coming weeks.

No. 3) Jeremy Maclin – Philadelphia Eagles

FLUKE: DeSean Jackson owners unite! Grab your pitchforks and lanterns! I’m kidding guys, Donovan’s back, and he looks great. Maclin isn’t the receiver you want on the Eagles, DeSean is. It seems to me that this was one of those fluky weeks where supporting cast outshines the stars, so don’t go dropping Jackson for Maclin. Maclin’s mega-week was a FLUKE.

Tight Ends:

No. 1) Kellen Winslow ­– Tampa Bay Buccaneers

FOR REAL: The Bucs are bad. There’s no hiding that. But, aside from Antonio Bryant, Winslow is the target in the passing game. With Leftwich out, and Johnson in, I think Winslow continues to receive looks as th No. 1 or No. 2 option from now on. I’m on board, but don’t expect multiple TDs each week.

No. 3) Owen Daniels – Houston Texans

FOR REAL: Daniels is averaging 5+ catches for 50+ yards each week. That kind of consistency is hard to come by at the TE position, so if you’ve got him, start him, if you don’t maybe look to pick him up in a trade for a questionable RB (Willis McGahee, Jamal Lewis, Beanie Wells).

#3. Dallas Clark – Indianapolis Colts

FOR REAL: Don’t kid yourself, Clark is a WR. Like Witten, their roles is to catch passes and sometimes try to block. If you drafted him, you’re giddy through Week 5, if you didn’t, chances are your TE won’t be as good as Clark when you match up with his team. Definitely FOR REAL.

Defense / Special Teams:

No. 1) Seattle Seahawks

FLUKE: Nope. Two fumble recoveries and a TD on defense. They blanked Jacksonville. Look back a little bit further though… they went from -2 fantasy points to 29. They had a great week, and might have another one against Arizona in Week 6, but I will not hesitate to call the Seahawks a FLUKE.

No. 2) New York Giants

FOR REAL: They played the Raiders in Week 5. That’s enough to make and D/ST look FOR REAL, but they’ve looked that way all year.

BIG BLUE - DOIN' THANGS

BIG BLUE - DOIN' THANGS

No. 3) Cleveland Browns

FLUKE: The only reason I picked the Browns D/ST in Week 5 was because of their matchup with the Bills. Both offenses suck, which means the D/ST’s in turn look great. The Browns’ offense was slightly less terrible than the Bills’, so they got the edge in points. Dump the Browns for a team with a better matchup in Week 6.

Kickers:

No. 1) Lawrence Tynes – New York Giants

FOR REAL: Still the best. The perfect situation for a K to thrive is on a good offense, with a good defense, that moves the ball even against strong D’s. He’ll get you points no matter what.

No. 2) Olindo Mare – Seattle Seahawks

FLUKE: That was not what you can expect from the Seahawks each week. The Jags looked particularly lost, and Seattle rightfully ran up the score on them, giving Mare big numbers in the process.

No. 3) Rob Bironas ­– Tennessee Titans

FOR REAL: Last year, Bironas was a “stud” K if there ever was one. Now he’s putting up points for a very different reason, because noone else can. The Titans scored so much in 2008 that Bironas ranked amongst the top K’s solely because of his XPs. This year, he’s responsible for a lot of the Titan points in general.

* Check back on Friday for the Week 6 F3, where I’ll make my fantasy picks for the upcoming weekend. As always, any questions or comments can be posted here or emailed to briangrimsley@gmail.com.