On fantasy football

Postseason pause for a midseason report

Kicker: David Akers – He's made more kicks from 40 yards and out (10) than anyone else in the NFL, a stat that puts him in a fantasy league of his own.. Honorable mention: Jason Elam, Phil Dawson, Nate Kaeding.

Defense: Baltimore – A draft day favorite, the Ravens' defense is again living up to its billing as one of the best in the biz. Baltimore leads the league in defensive TDs (3) and is tied for first in interceptions (10). Too bad there are no fantasy style points for Deion's old-school dance moves – or his super-fly wardrobe. Honorable mention: Seattle, Arizona.

Losers

Quarterback: Michael Vick – Funny how in that Michael Vick Experience commercial, no one ever fumbles the ball, throws over the head of an open receiver or has trouble learning a new offense. Guess that's the beauty of virtual reality. Honorable mention: Steve McNair, Matt Hasselbeck, Trent Green.

Running back: Clinton Portis – This isn't exactly what Joe Gibbs had in mind when he picked up Portis to be his franchise back, and definitely not what fantasy owners expected when they took him with a top-six pick. The more Reuben Droughns runs in Denver, the more it looks like Portis' gaudy numbers were the product of the Broncos' fine offensive line. Honorable mention: Travis Henry, Stephen Davis, Domanick Davis, Michael Bennett.

Wide receiver: Santana Moss – The good news here is that he's the second-best Moss in all of fantasy football. The bad news: 13 catches in five games, no TDs and a bum hamstring. Honorable mention: Laveranues Coles, Peerless Price, Koren Robinson, Amani Toomer.

Tight end: Boo Williams – The great thing about being Boo Williams is when you play as poorly as he has this season, the fans still shout your name. Honorable mention: Todd Heap, Dallas Clark, Freddie Jones.

Kicker: Mike Vanderjagt – Even the best kickers are only valuable when they get chances to kick. Vanderjagt (5-of-6 on field goals) hasn't had many. Honorable mention: John Kasay, John Hall.

Defense: Carolina – Injuries have turned last year's NFC champs into one of the NFL's worst teams on both sides of the ball. Carolina's eight sacks are a league low. Honorable mention: Dallas, Tennessee, St. Louis.

Quick hitters

  • A rough week for Trent Green owners, who were no doubt elated to see the Chiefs put up 56 points, then devastated to discover that all of those points has come courtesy of K.C.'s running game. Holmes and Derrick Blaylock each ran for four touchdowns in Week 7, as the Chiefs set an NFL record for rushing TDs in a game (8). What's more, they did it against the Falcons, who came into the game with the league's top-ranked run defense. Go figure. Side note: Blaylock scored more points last week than Stephen Davis, Michael Pittman, Travis Henry, William Green or Kevin Jones have totaled this season. Also in the top five last week: McNabb, Manning and Ahman Green, who scored two TDs, his first since Week 1.

  • The season-long fall from grace of Denver RB Quentin Griffin reached bottom with the news that Griffin is done for the year with a knee injury. The rookie from Oklahoma, who rushed for 156 yards and two TDs in Week 1, had already been relegated to a backup role behind Droughns. That job now goes to Garrison Hearst, who's worth picking up in deep leagues. Just don't expect much.

  • Keenan McCardell proved to be the most valuable of last week's trade deadline acquisitions with six catches in his San Diego debut. But keep an eye on Quincy Morgan, who had four grabs for 76 yards last week and should get the chance to start with Terry Glenn sidelined for the next two weeks.

  • Arizona's Neil Rackers tied an NFL record with three field goals from 50 or more yards in a win against Seattle last weekend. Rackers now has five kicks of 50 or longer this season; no one else has more than two. If you need a kicker, he's a good choice.

  • Considering adding – Cleveland QB Jeff Garcia, Carolina RB Brad Hoover, Philadelphia RB Dorsey Levens, Arizona WR Anquan Boldin, Oakland WR Jerry Porter, Baltimore WR Travis Taylor, New York Jets WR Justin McCareins, Arizona defense; Consider dropping – Atlanta RB T.J. Duckett, New York Giants WR Amani Toomer, Chicago WR David Terrell, Baltimore WR Randy Hymes.

    Ravens report

    Chester Taylor proved to be a useful fantasy starter in relief of Jamal Lewis, but he'll find the yards won't pile up as easily behind a line that will likely be without Jonathan Ogden. Taylor makes a good second or third RB option, but 80 yards and possibly a touchdown are about all that can be expected against a defense that hasn't allowed an opponent to run for more than 78 yards since Week 1. Musa Smith has minimal fantasy appeal and shouldn't be started.

    Travis Taylor returned to the lineup and looked good on a 47-yard catch down the middle in the first half. He finished with two catches for 52 yards, but was limited to roughly 40 snaps in his first game back from a groin injury. He's worth owning if you can afford to take a chance on a receiver, and his numbers should improve as he gets more work. He replaces Hymes as the Ravens' No. 1 option at WR and the team's top deep threat. All signs point to Todd Heap being at least a week away from returning.

    The Eagles have put up some big numbers on offense this season, but they've done it against some of the worst defenses in the league. That changes this week, as they face a Ravens' defense that's the best in fantasy football and will have plenty of incentive against Owens & Co. With Brian Westbrook sidelined by a rib injury, Philly figures to pass often. That's not necessarily bad news for Baltimore, which has been tough against the pass lately and got its pass rush going against the Bills. A few sacks and a couple of interceptions aren't too much to expect.

    Dave Alexander is a sports producer at baltimoresun.com. Send questions or comments to dalexander@baltimoresun.com
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