I hope Marcus Fitzgerald managed to make it through Arizona's beatdown without tweeting about Kurt Warner's struggles and how his brother wasn't getting the ball enough (although as a Fitz owner I would agree). Maybe if Warner wasn't "like a damn 80 year old," he'd have a Twitter account of his own where he could post messages to Marcus like these:
"Have fun catching passes from Mike McMahon, Liam O'Hagan, and Shane Boyd in the UFL."
"I completed more passes to your brother last year than you caught in your whole college career."
"Call me when you need tips on sacking groceries."
Here are my starts this week:
Jay Cutler -- Cutler has rebounded admirably from his Week 1 meltdown. In the two games since, he's completed 73.8 percent of his passes for 483 yards, five TDs and one interception. Defenses continue to stack the box to stop Matt Forte and Cutler is picking them apart even with an inexperienced receiving corps. This week, he faces the Lions, who made Jason Campbell look competent last week.
Jason Campbell -- You know who else can make him look competent, diary? The Bucs.
David Garrard -- The Titans' struggles against the pass are no secret after allowing an average of 297 yards and two-plus TDs per game to opposing quarterbacks. Garrard is struggling, but a favorable matchup may jumpstart him with Tennessee loading up to stop MJD.
Cedric Benson -- Michael Vick isn't the only reclamation story in the NFL. Benson seems to have finally figured things out, and the Bengals are showing confidence in him by committing to the run. Even after a woeful start against the Steelers, they continue to feed Benson, eventually leading to a 23-yard score. He has at least 80 total yards in all three games with a pair of touchdowns. More importantly, he plays the Browns this week, who have surrendered 493 yards and eight TDs to opposing running backs.
Ahmad Bradshaw -- Teammate Brandon Jacobs finally found the endzone last week, but Bradshaw looked even more impressive, racking up 104 yards on just 14 carries. He's averaging 5.7 yards per carry compared to 3.4 for Jacobs. The Giants' powerful O-Line faces the Chiefs this week and should create running lanes for Bradshaw, making him a terrific Flex play.
Glen Coffee -- The rookie admitted to not really being ready when Frank Gore went down after one carry against Minnesota. Diary, I think I speak for all Gore owners in saying that I wasn't prepared for it either. This time around, the preseason rushing champ will have a full week to prepare, and I don't expect the 49ers to abandon their run-first philosophy against the Rams.
Knowshon Moreno -- Even though Correll Buckhalter's yards per carry are better than Moreno's, the rookie has never received fewer carries than C-Buck. Moreno scored his first TD last week, and Josh McDaniels has been content to control the clock with the running game, thus limiting Kyle Orton's chances to screw up. This week, they face a Dallas defense that looks vulnerable against the run.
Devin Hester -- In just three games with Cutler, Hester has nearly matched his 2008 TD total with two scores. He's caught at least four passes each game, and this week he faces a Lions secondary that allowed 178 yards to the similarly shifty Santana Moss.
Santana Moss -- The aforementioned Detroit secondary proved to be the magic elixir for Moss, who had just five catches and 41 yards through two games. Ten catches and 178 yards later, Moss is full of confidence and faces a Tampa secondary that has surrendered seven TD passes already.
Terrell Owens -- Luckily for the Bills, TO is focusing most of his hate on Rodney Harrison in the wake of his catch-less performance against the Saints. Still, I look for Buffalo to take some shots against a Miami secondary that's been burned for six plays of 30 yards or more in the last two weeks.
Mike Sims-Walker -- I'll admit that I wasn't sold on Sims-Walker coming into Week 3. Unlike Nickelback though, I'm changing my tune. Sorry diary, but all their songs sound the same. Sims-Walker has back-to-back games with six receptions and at least 80 yards, and more importantly, he clearly has the eye of David Garrard. On top of that, he faces a Tennessee secondary that has been torched in recent weeks.
Kevin Boss -- The Chiefs gave up five catches, 74 yards and a TD to Todd Heap in Week 1 and got shredded by Brent Celek for six receptions, 104 yards and a score in Week 3. The fact that they shut out Zach Miller in between doesn't count since it involved the Raiders, so start Boss with confidence.
Jeremy Shockey -- It seems like sacrilege to recommend starting anyone against the Jets these days, but Shockey has caught at least four passes in each contest this year. One player who did find room to operate against the Jets last week was Alge Crumpler (who appears to have swallowed a Volkswagen). With much attention being paid to the Saints' wideouts, Shockey could have a nice game underneath.
9/29/09 - Dear Diary,
Don't you think having Matt Millen as an analyst is a credibility robber for ESPN? I hear they're also starting segments on sportsmanship with Bill Romanowski and healthy eating habits with Romeo Crennel. Millen is clearly a "sit" candidate. Here are some others:
Tony Romo -- After torching an abysmal Tampa Bay secondary for 353 yards and three scores in Week 1, Romo has posted just 382 yards since. He's also seen his yards per attempt fall to 6.2, and he struggles to consistently involve receivers other than BFF Jason Witten. Look for Elvis Dumervil and the Broncos to pressure Romo into a few miscues this week.
Mark Sanchez -- For all the hype around the "Sanchise," he's averaging just 202 yards per game and has four fumbles (only one lost) to go with two picks. Obviously the five total TDs are nice, but he'll be facing the Saints in front of a boisterous and hostile crowd. He's got to look like a rookie at some point, right?
Ryan Grant -- If it took Grant 26 carries to get 99 yards against the Rams, how many will it take against Minnesota? He is an effective running back, but his lack of explosiveness limits his fantasy value. Grant can still be productive if the matchup is right, but Aaron Rodgers will have to outduel his nemesis if the Packers are going to win this one.
Marshawn Lynch -- He's baaaack. But what does that mean for the Bills' backfield? The only thing I know is that Fred Jackson has been extremely productive and reliable in Lynch's absence. Well, I also know Miami has a stingy run defense and that I shouldn't eat yellow snow. I guess that's three things, diary.
Darren Sproles -- Sproles is averaging less than three yards per carry and has failed to excel as the feature back with LT injured. This week he faces a Steelers D that held him to 15 yards on 11 carries in the playoffs last year. Owners will need a strong contribution in the passing game for Sproles to have value this week.
Fred Taylor -- Black is white. Up is down. Matt Millen is an NFL expert. The pass-happy Patriots are a smash mouth running team? Sure, Taylor's 21-carry, 105-yard performance was impressive, but the weather conditions and a Falcons defense missing starting DT Peria Jerry dictated a more conservative approach. With the Ravens next on the docket, don't expect back-to-back big games from Taylor.
Braylon Edwards -- Does it matter who the Cleveland QB is at this point? Diary, even you know the answer to that. Throw some turmoil in the mix with a Cincinnati secondary that held Greg Jennings catch-less in Week Two and limited Santonio Holmes to one reception last week, and you'll get another subpar outing from Edwards.
Ted Ginn Jr. -- Here are Ginn's reception totals for the first three games: 2, 11, 0. I'm calling it Ginn-consistency. Get it, diary? He had issues hanging onto passes last week and was criticized for making a bee-line for the sidelines the week prior. Throw in a rookie quarterback, and I'm staying away for now.
T.J. Houshmandzadeh -- He's built a career on consistency, but this season Housh has been consistently mediocre. He's averaging just 48.3 yards per game, but according to him, Sunday's poor showing wasn't his fault since he was open all game. Whether that's true or not, Nate Burleson and John Carlson each had more targets than T.J. with Seneca Wallace at QB. If you start him and be bombs, it still won't be his fault, so just bench him and save yourself the heartache.
Daniel Fells -- I think the "don't be a sucker" tight end has become a weekly staple of this column. Make the former fullback prove he's legit, which should be challenging with Kyle Boller at QB.
Todd Heap -- The Patriots shut down Tony Gonzalez in Week 3 and have yet to allow an opposing tight end to catch more than three passes. Don't look for a heap of fantasy points from Todd. Sometimes it's just too easy.
Until next week, diary...