DAVID CARR TexansAT Cowboys
If someone had told you in August that Carr would be the NFL's highest-ratedstarting quarterback in mid-October, you'd have called him crazy. But Carr topsthe rankings ... until this week when Terence Newman, Roy Williams and the restof Dallas's prickly pass defense send him for a tumble.
MATT LEINARTCardinals VS. Bears
The Leinart era began with a bang: two first-quarter TD passes. However, by theend of his debut, it was the same old desert denouement--an Arizona loss. Ifthe Bears made Super Bowl quarterback Matt Hasselbeck look like a rookie twoweeks ago, what do you think they'll make a real rookie look like?
JAKE DELHOMMEPanthers AT Ravens
Carolina's usual game plan is to ride the run and let Delhomme take deep shotsto Steve Smith when the defense cheats toward the line. But Baltimore's 4--3doesn't need to cheat to shut down DeShaun Foster, which will mean lots ofpressure on Delhomme and the Panthers' passing game.
October 15, 2006
LAMONT JORDANRaiders AT Broncos
Facing a soft 49ers defense that's been vulnerable against the rush all year,Jordan averaged 5.9 yards a carry, but gained only 71 yards. That's not awful,but he needs to produce more to justify his inclusion in your lineup. Now hegoes up against a Denver team that hadn't allowed a ground TD through Week4.
EDGERRIN JAMESCardinals VS. Bears
The Bears are a daunting assignment for even the best running teams, whoseranks decidedly do not include Arizona. No back has rushed for 100 yardsagainst Chicago in the last four games, and James would be lucky even to matchthe 50 that Willis McGahee gained against the Bears last week.
STEVEN JACKSONRams VS. Seahawks
Seattle's interior defense is the strength of the team, with Rocky Bernard,Chartric Darby and Lofa Tatupu anchoring one of the league's most underratedunits. With its air attack clicking over the last two games, look for St. Louisto use Jackson as a change of pace rather than as a main option.
PLAXICO BURRESSGiants AT Falcons
Few defenders are more foreboding for your fantasy receivers than Atlanta'sDeAngelo Hall, the best shutdown corner in the league. While Burress had a finegame against the Redskins last week (7 catches, 69 yards, 1 TD), and has scoreda TD in three of his four games, look for Hall to put the clamps on.
HINES WARDSteelers VS. Chiefs
Speaking of great corners, Pro Bowler Ty Law is a big reason why Kansas City'sdefense is much improved from last season. Ben Roethlisberger hasn't beenhimself this year and has brought Ward (13 catches, 248 yards, 1 TD) down withhim. Ward's best game of the season was with Charlie Batch at QB.
MARQUES COLSTONSaints VS. Eagles
One week after containing Terrell Owens, Philly confronts a bigger (but a lotquieter) pass-catcher in first-year man Colston, who has overtaken Joe Horn asthe Saints' most lethal receiving weapon. But savvy Eagles defensivecoordinator Jim Johnson will find a way to shut down the rookie.
ERIC JOHNSON49ers VS. Chargers
In three games since replacing injured Vernon Davis in the starting lineup,Johnson, San Francisco's leading receiver in 2004, has brought down 13 ballsfor 124 yards and one TD. However, against the Chargers' relentless pass rush,Johnson is more likely to be used in pass protection for quarterback Alex Smithand is less likely to be the target of Smith's tosses.
NEIL RACKERSCardinals VS. Bears
Coming off a 51-yard miss that would have sent last week's game against KansasCity into OT, Rackers faces a Bears squad that has allowed only 18 kickingpoints all season. After setting an NFL record with 40 field goals in 2005, hehas just six through five games this season for a total of 28 points anddoesn't even rank among the top 10 scoring kickers.
Even with Hall of Fame tackle Orlando Pace on the shelf, the Rams haverecaptured the spark that made them the "greatest show on turf."Besides, takeaways will be at a premium: St. Louis quarterback Marc Bulger hasyet to throw a pick, and the Seahawks have only four interceptions allseason.
STEELERS VS Chiefs
Despite beingheld to 57 yards against the Chargers on Sunday, Parker has had some very bigrushing games in his first season as an unquestioned lead back, so thiscautionary note is not an indictment of his talents. He's still one of theleague's most desirable fantasy running backs. However, he faces someformidable obstacles when Kansas City visits Heinz Field. The surprising Chiefsdefense, under the tutelage of coach Herm Edwards, has become one of theleague's better units, especially against featured backs: It has yet to allow a100-yard rushing game and has given up just two rushing TDs this season (nonesince a Week 3 bye). And with Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisbergerstruggling (he's the league's second-lowest-rated starting QB), defenders cankey on Parker. The upshot: If you have a better alternative this week than FastWillie, use it.
FISH OR CUTBAIT?
Last weekCulpepper was sidelined with what was reportedly a sore throwing shoulder. JoeyHarrington got the start, completing 26 of 41 passes for 232 yards, no TDs andtwo interceptions in a loss to the Patriots. The 29-year-old Culpepper, tryingto come back from a potentially career-ending knee injury, has been soineffective and immobile that he has choked the life out of what was supposedto be a high-powered offense (not to mention many fantasy teams). Follow theDolphins' lead and go with Plan B. There are at least two dozen more-valuableQBs.
WEEK 6 INJURYWATCH
WR Cardinals (hamstring)
RB Packers (hamstring)
RB Chiefs (neck)
TE Giants (foot)
BYE WEEK Browns,Colts, Jaguars, Packers, Patriots, Vikings
For the latest injury news, go to SI.com/football/nfl/injuries.