Just in time for your Friday lunchtime lethargy, here’s your weekly review of Who Sharks Are Starting
, the live-updating player rankings that help you decide who to start in your fantasy football team’s lineup. Adrian Peterson, Reggie Wayne, Greg Ellis, and the Big Blue defense top the latest rankings. This week only: Co-starring influenza, and with twice the virulence of the leading brand. This review has not been sanitized for your protection. Wash your hands before and after using, and do not click if you are pregnant or nursing.
It turns out the “swine flu” retraction wasn’t a result of greasing by the bacon lobby. According to the CDC, genes in the H1N1 virus aren’t just porcine, but also human and avian. I don’t know if this is what I’ve got, but be aware the NFL has it’s own avian flu this week with the Cardinals, Falcons, and Eagles all on bye. Mercifully, the Panthers also get the week off to tend to their acute case of suck.
On with the show: Peyton Manning, Matt Schaub, Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees, et cetera, et cetera — Things get interesting when you get to the Jersey boys. I’m one of those Warner owners starting Mark Sanchez on the road in New Orleans. He’ll probably throw one or two to Darren Sharper and the Saints secondary, but I’m looking for lots of yards and at least a couple of scores. Eli Manning against KC, on the other hand, is a trap. If a team can run all day, they will. Running the ball is low risk and eats up the clock. Kansas City can be run on, and the Giants can definitely run the ball.
Speaking of which, Ahmad Bradshaw is in a boot, but coach says he’ll be ready, and he’s bound to break one. Feeble Willie Parker has no business above him in the rankings. Moving up, I’m not buying on the Joneses — neither Thomas Jones against New Orleans nor Julius Jones against Indy. Running the ball while Peyton Manning plays catch with Reggie Wayne and Dallas Clark isn’t a winning strategy, especially with the backup QB at the helm. Ryan Grant in Minneapolis? Nuh uh. Portis against the Bucs? I guess. You probably don’t have any better option. Maybe this is the week. Bitter as I am over Frank Gore being hurt, Coffee is a strong start against St. Louis.
Atop the wideouts: I see old people. Check out Donald Driver and Hines Ward rocking the rankings. Age tends to show quickly, which is why you drafted them so low, but these guys still have gas in the tank and will do well this week. Hallelujah, Kevin Walter is back. Don’t chase last week’s explosion out of Santana Moss, you still don’t know what this team is bringing this year. Garcon — with cedilla, s’il vous plait — have a seat. The Colts won’t have to pass a whole lot, and you probably have better options than this waiver wonder anyway. Johnny Knox or Earl Bennett? I don’t know, surprise me. It’s now or never for Josh Morgan, who is in for a boom-bust kind of week. And as for Mario Manningham, in case you didn’t get the point earlier, I’ve composed a brief intermezzo with my advice (MP3).
Because I’m so high on antihistamines that these guys are actually interesting, let’s talk kickers. Neil Rackers is apparently so good, he’s a better start from his couch than Mason Crosby, Ryan Lindell, Joe Nedney, and Matt Prater. Now I can understand starting a kicker on a bye. They don’t put up reliable points, maybe your other byes have you penciled in for a loss anyway. You also want to keep a guy on a good offense, and you really don’t want to make room by dropping a stashaway guy like, say, Mewelde Moore, because someone has to run the ball in Pittsburgh. What I don’t get is carrying two kickers, and not starting the one that’s playing! Punter-wise, I don’t like Dustin Colquitt against the Giants. You’ve gotta have possession to punt the ball, and the Giants are the league-leading ballhogs.
On defense, Jason Hunter and Kyle Vanden Bosch will be busy. Patrick Kerney is an interesting play. I’m just not feeling Will Smith or Charles Grant, or in the next level, Jonathan Vilma. The Jets aren’t going to run at New Orleans. Terrance Newman has no business being atop the CB list (the correct answer is Antoine Winfeld), especially against Denver of all teams. Sit the Dallas secondary this week. Nate Clements will get picked on, and Al Harris probably can’t wait to get his hands on a Favre duck. Darrelle Revis will keep it going this week. At safety, Roman Harper probably deserves the top spot. In fact, I’d find room for every Jet, Saint, and Raider secondary man I’ve got.
Finally, I’d like to take a moment to acknowledge the inventors of the Neti Pot. This handy dandy home torture device is a pot with a spout that you stick up your nose so you can pour in hot and salty water — note, hot AND salty, because neither of these burns quite enough on their own. It’s nasty as anything, but works pretty well for mild-to-moderate nasal congestion. It’s also a source of entertainment for loved ones as they hear you and your pained gurgly cries when the water goes down the wrong tube. When you’re done blowing snot bubbles, you can also rinse it out and use it to decant streams of Kentucky Cough Syrup (a.k.a. Jack Daniels) to forget the 49ers loss to the Vikings, and the 3rd and 6 run call that invited Brett Favre to play headline hero. Yep, I watch the Favre comeback, then get the flu. I’ve been a real happy camper. Good thing for you that Who Sharks Are Starting is 100% whiny human free, never sick, and always ready to help you decide who to start.