TRUM: Bad week for quarterbacks

October, 5, 2008
Thoughts, Ramblings, Useless information and Musings from Sunday's games

Kevin (Pittsburgh): Dude, are you psychic or something? You got so much guff over the Trent Edwards [prediction] this week, and he just carted off the field. I am now a true believer. Keep it up … you are my guiding light for the rest of the year (pun intended).

TMR: I'd love to take credit for this one, but no, I didn't see a concussion coming. I wasn't high on him this week, and if you benched him based on that, it paid off. Of course, I was high on Jon Kitna this week, and if you started him based on that, I'm sorry. Can we rehire Matt Millen? I want to fire him again.

What an absolutely brutal week to be an NFL quarterback. Or, for our purposes, to own one. Let's dive in with my 10 biggest reactions from the games.

1. And you're telling me Daunte Culpepper can't get a gig?

The following quarterbacks attempted at least one throw this week: Sage Rosenfels, J.P. Losman, Seneca Wallace, Dan Orlovsky, David Carr, Tyler Thigpen and Jeff Garcia. Plus, Josh McCown didn't attempt a pass but made an appearance.

Now, some of these were injury-related, and I'm writing this during the afternoon games and don't know how serious many of these injuries are. And David Carr and Josh McCown were in just because their team was up so big. Speaking of which, how come the NFL imposes fines and penalty yards for taunting, and yet David Carr and Josh McCown were put in with nary a peep? Does it get more humiliating than that?

The one thing Losman does do well is throw the deep ball, so Lee Evans' value would stay the same as it is with Edwards. Jeff Garcia is clearly hurting the Buccaneers' wideouts, and Tyler Thigpen is not a phrase we want to hear again.

Oddly enough, Andre Johnson's first big game came with Sage Rosenfels instead of Matt Schaub. Rosenfels looked good from a fantasy perspective, especially since the Colts have a pretty good secondary. But I expect Schaub back next week.

As for Seattle, no wideout there has any value right now anyway, except for Bobby Engram, who returns with a solid eight catches for 61 yards. He'll be fine.

But the point here is there was a lot of ugly quarterback play, even from the regular starters. But the biggest question I have is …

2. What's an Orlovsky?

Jon KitnaHarry How/Getty ImagesThanks for nothin', Jon Kitna!
The opposing Bears were without Nathan Vasher in the secondary and Tommie Harris to provide pressure and were 28th in the NFL in passing yards allowed coming into the game, and the Lions were coming off a bye week and were at home … and yet, Kitna and the Lions were putrid. Eventually Kitna was replaced by Dan Orlovsky. I complained just before the season that I loved Calvin Johnson in the preseason but didn't have him on any teams because every draft I was in, my fellow owners seemed to know I loved him, so they grabbed him right before me. Well, now I'm glad I don't have him.

Downgrade the entire Lions offense, including Johnson. I wouldn't trade him now because you're selling low, but he's no longer an automatic start. And the Rudi Johnson era was short-lived. As I've said about Rudi in the past, this is a team that will fall behind early and have to throw, and Rudi is not their best pass-catching option. When Orlovsky came in, so did Kevin Smith, who finished with 12 touches for 56 yards and the lone Lions touchdown. Meanwhile, Rudi had eight touches for just 32 yards.

3. Was that Marshall or Kevin?

Coming into today's game, Kevin Faulk had only one touchdown over his previous 18 games. He had only one rushing touchdown in his previous 43 games. Today? He had two. Sammy Morris had the most carries of any New England running back, Laurence Maroney continues to get nowhere near the goal line and Bill Belichick continues to drive fantasy owners crazy. The only reasoning behind this that I can think of is that, because of Matt Cassel's inexperience and lack of arm strength, they want another good pass-catcher in the backfield, and that's Faulk. I don't trust any Patriots running back right now, but I still say Sammy Morris is the guy you want if you have to use one of them. But this is worth keeping an eye on. Oh, and welcome back, Randy Moss.

4. See, what I meant was to sit Larry Johnson this week.

"Sleepless" (St. Louis) After almost having a heart attack Sunday during the Chiefs game [versus the Broncos last week], the doctors have said I'm recovering OK. You! You said to "take whatever you can get for LJ." Reallllly?! I have Ryan Grant, so I moved LJ for Brandon Jackson and Jamal Lewis. I really can't believe I'm still able to stomach your columns, but I can't help myself. Did I make a monumental mistake? Or will I be able to lead a normal life again someday? I feel you owe it to me to answer this one. Thanks in advance for all your "help."

You will be fine. While you missed out on last week's explosion, you also missed out on this week's stinker. For those that missed it, Johnson had seven touches for two yards. Two.

Looking at the Chiefs' upcoming schedule, they have a bye next week, followed by the Titans, Jets, Bucs and Chargers after that. The Saints matchup in Week 11 is nice, but then it's Buffalo, at Oakland (Johnson ran for only 22 yards against the Raiders the previous time they met), Denver again, which is nice, but then San Diego again and a suddenly better-than-you-thought Miami defense in Week 16. Oh, and for the record, Jamaal Charles had eight touches for 40 yards.

Next week's come-back-to-earth candidate (this week's LJ) is DeAngelo Williams. He had a great game, but you'll never see that again from him.

5. Sleepless in St. Louis? What about Seattle?

Matt HasselbeckJarrett Baker/Getty ImagesThe Seahawks' injury woes continue. … This week Matt Hasselbeck got hurt.
The Seahawks have one bad defense. The Giants looked good, of course, but the Seahawks are a mess right now. Deion Branch left with another injury, as did Matt Hasselbeck, and the Seahawks defense, a top pick this year, scored minus-six fantasy points for you in the standard scoring setup. Green Bay is next, in case you were thinking of keeping them around. At least Julius Jones ran hard in a game in which nothing worked and the team was down early.

6. Hail to the Redskins! Hail victory. Braves on the warpath, fight for ol' D.C.

Obviously, I'm thrilled with Washington's win over the Eagles as a Redskins fan, and both Clinton Portis and Chris Cooley were studs. But if you're looking for two buy-lows, how about Santana Moss, who didn't do much today, and Jason Campbell, who played well but saw his only touchdown pass go to Antwaan Randle El? Look at Washington's upcoming schedule: St. Louis, Cleveland and then at Detroit. Lots of fantasy fun to be had there, no? The Steelers and then a bye are after that, and that's no fun, but overall the schedule looks good for the Redskins, especially considering they have now played all three division teams on the road.

7. OK, but what's Cooper's value?

Let's compare two quarterbacks real quick, using fantasy points by week (each guy has had one bye):

Quarterback A: 12, 22, 15, 18
Quarterback B: 14, 12, 9, 15

Quarterback A is Eli Manning. Quarterback B? Peyton Manning. I got a ton of crap in the preseason for ranking Peyton 30th overall and third among quarterbacks. Hmm, I don't get as much hate mail on that these days. But you know what? Maybe I should. Because frankly, I should have ranked him even lower. And speaking of rankings, Peyton is now the second-best fantasy Manning (but is still in front of brother Cooper).

8. As long as we are patting ourselves on the back …

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I raised eyebrows this week by ranking Chad Pennington over Philip Rivers. (And again, I had Kitna ahead of both of them. Stupid Kitna.) That said, the Pennington call was just a matchup one. He's not gonna be anything more than a fill-in when his matchup is favorable. But how about that Greg Camarillo?! I was the only guy who ranked him this week; sure, it was 49th among receivers, but still, at least I ranked him! He's a nice little sleeper and now has 14 receptions in his past three games. If you are in a very deep league …

Meanwhile, I don't think Rivers is this bad -- he threw for less than 200 yards and had only 10 fantasy points for a second straight week -- but this is closer to what he is than the guy who had nine scores in three games to start the season. Rivers has New England at home next week and then two road games. One is at New Orleans, which should be good, but this is why I don't like him. He is inconsistent from a fantasy perspective, and coach Norv Turner has never had a great fantasy quarterback. As a head coach or offensive coordinator. Never.

9. Cedric Benson? Really?

Really. Chris Perry had another brutal fumble, arguably costing the Bengals the game after they had recovered an onside kick. And Benson had 10 carries for 30 yards (yup, just 3 yards per carry). Perry had 13 carries for 31 yards (2.4 yards per carry). And the fumble.

10. No, he's not sexy, but he is very hot.

Check out the fantasy points over the past three weeks for four quarterbacks. The last number is the total of the three weeks.

Quarterback 1: 13, 14, 19 = 46
Quarterback 2: 15, 22, 12 = 49
Quarterback 3: 16, 14, 14 = 44
Quarterback 4: 22, 11, 18 = 51

Now let's put names to those guys:

Kurt Warner: 13, 14, 19 = 46
Tony Romo: 15, 22, 12 = 49
Jay Cutler: 16, 14, 14 = 44
Kyle Orton: 22, 11, 18 = 51

He's not "Sexy Rexy," but Kyle Orton has seven touchdowns in his past three games, his next three games are Atlanta, Minnesota and Detroit again (after a bye), and he's available in more than 60 percent of leagues.

Matthew Berry -- The Talented Mr. Roto -- lost a game this week in his longtime keeper league thanks to Jon Kitna, Jason Hanson and the Seahawks' defense. He appears on Fantasy Football Now, airing Sundays at noon ET on He is a four-time award winner from the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, including a Writer of the Year award. He is also the creator of, a Web site that combines a bunch of well-known fantasy sites, including ESPN Insider, for one low price. Use promo code ESPN for 10 percent off. Cyberstalk the TMR | Be his Cyberfriend

Matthew Berry | email

ESPN Senior Writer
• Senior Fantasy analyst for ESPN
• Member, FSWA and FSTA Halls of Fame
• Best-selling author of "Fantasy Life"



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