Sunday, February 25, 2024

Despite poor start, Gannon worth start against Cleveland

With four games in the past, it is all even between The State News homegrown fantasy football gurus.

A new season begins in Week Six - known in college football as Separation Saturday - when fantasy players start showing whether they will be consistent forces each week.

Look for good football in Week Six as three of the NFL's weakest teams - Cincinnati, Detroit and San Diego - take the week off.

Stevie E. says start 'em

Oakland quarterback Rich Gannon isn't playing like the playmaker we've grown to appreciate in the past five years. With nearly a third of the season in the bag, Gannon has tossed five touchdowns and three interceptions - numbers far from his regular standards.

Look for Gannon to put his first five weeks of sorry performances in the past as he leads his team of veterans to a win over Cleveland. The victory should bode well for fantasy owners who start the underachieving Gannon this week.

Tampa Bay's stingy defense allowed 38 points and a huge fourth quarter Monday night when the Bucs faced the Colts. The performance exposed a late-game vulnerability that could make some fantasy owners nervous about this consistently brilliant defense in the weeks ahead.

But don't be one of those owners who lets a prime-time, Monday-night fluke throw you off your game plan. Start Tampa Bay and expect big rewards Sunday against Washington.

Styf says sit 'em

Make certain that you place all of your Redskins on the bench this week. And make sure that Patrick Ramsey stays there for a while, as punishment for missing receiver Laveranues Coles in the end zone on a game-tying 2-point conversion attempt last week.

Also, place Arizona receiver Anquan Boldin on the bench. He cannot match up with the Baltimore Ravens' defense.

Also, note to all J-E-T-S fans: Your team is not good. Vinny Testaverde is too old, and allowing Coles to leave will haunt you for years. No, he's not Babe Ruth, but he was the key to Chad Pennington's success last season. So, sit any and all Jets this week when they face the surprisingly stellar Buffalo defense.

Styf says add 'em

The key addition for this week will be Jacksonville quarterback Byron Leftwich. He has proved to be a formidable passer and has breathed life into the struggling Jaguars lineup.

With the return of wide receiver Jimmy Smith and the surprise entrance of Troy Edwards and Matthew Hatchette, there is life in an offense that depended solely on injury-prone running back Fred Taylor earlier in the season.

The question of this week has been what to do about Dante Hall. Opponents can't figure it out, and there is no good way to use him in fantasy football. As it turns out, the officials will allow Hall's teammates to block in the back and ESPN will overlook it when it shows the highlight in slow-motion fifty times and sings Hall's praises with headlines such as "Dante's Inferno."

The key is don't sign Hall, just pick up the Chiefs defense if return points count toward your league's point total. For Hall, the honeymoon is over. Don't expect another touchdown return any time soon.

Stevie E. scouts the Spartans

The implications of Detroit receiver Charles Rogers' broken collarbone, suffered Tuesday, won't be immediately apparent as the Lions take Week Six off.

Consecutive down weeks for Pittsburgh receiver Plaxico Burress showed the young star isn't immune to slumps and injuries. But look for Burress to return to form this week when his Steelers travel to Denver.

Tennessee receiver Derrick Mason is a good start versus the inconsistent Texans this week.

Styf's picks Steve E's picks
QB Drew Bledsoe Rich Gannon
RB Ricky Williams Priest Holmes
WR Marvin Harrison Terrell Owens
TE Todd Heap Shannon Sharpe
DEF Baltimore Miami
MSU Plaxico Burress Derrick Mason
Last Week 69 50
Total 222 239
Record 2-2 2-2


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