The value of the gut call, and a lot more

Before getting into this week's fantasy football news and notes, some final words about last week's column. I would never claim that this column is more work than it is fun, but it does involve some work and some challenges. One challenge is there isn't always room to say everything I want to say. For instance, last week, I wanted to tell you about Trent Green. Really, I did. While I was telling you about how great the now-injured Byron Leftwich is, I wanted to add that Green's ugly touchdown numbers were bound to improve. It was only logical.

But I was short of room, not to mention any hard-and-fast statistics or anecdotes to support the claim. Saying that, "this guy is too good to keep averaging just a TD pass a game" -- it just didn't sound well researched. I guess research is overrated. Some things just make sense. And they really make sense after three scoring passes and nearly 400 yards through the air, which was Green's output against Indianapolis on Sunday. So since I didn't say it then, let me point it now: Trent Green is a top fantasy quarterback, and with New Orleans, Oakland, Denver and Tennessee left on the Chiefs' schedule, he's got a few more big games in him. The other lesson here: Sometimes in fantasy football, you should just go with your gut.

Players to Watch

Even playing for Buffalo's largely inept offense, Willis McGahee is looking like a pretty good fantasy option after a two-TD in his first start. Interesting note from The Bills are using defensive linemen to open things up for their goal-line offense. However, here's a possibly meaningless but also interesting note, courtesy of me: Though McGahee has two 100-yard games in his last three, his rushing average has declined in each of the four games he's played in. He's averaging 3.7 yards per rush overall.

Shaun McDonald of St. Louis is starting to get noticed. He's scored three times in the last four games, and faces a suddenly injury-riddled New England defense this week. Certainly, the Rams' offense is capable of producing three quality fantasy receivers. From a fantasy perspective, it figures that McDonald can be to St. Louis what, say, Brandon Stokely is to the Colts.


If you're digging for running backs and you got beat out for Onterrio Smith, Tyrone Wheatley is again in play. The Oakland veteran returned last week and scored a touchdown (though he only had four rushes). The word is that while Wheatley isn't fully recovered from his shoulder injury, he should get more carries Sunday at Carolina.

Question of the Week

As noted here previously, a Fantasy Sports Trade Association survey reveals that 93 percent of all fantasy-game players are male. But we know that fantasy football isn't the exclusive domain of men.

If you're a female who plays fantasy football, come represent your 7 percent. Do you play in a league with other women? If you compete against the men, do they take you seriously? Do they cry when you beat them? Contact me at and share some of your experiences participating in this male-dominated pastime. Your comments may be included in a future column.

This Week in Fantasy Football History

1998: Charles Johnson scored three touchdowns and passed for another, highlighting a stretch where the Pittsburgh wide receiver scored six times in four games. For the season, he finished with seven touchdowns. Atlanta running back Jamal Anderson also found the end zone three times, while Denver's Terrell Davis, Minnesota's Jake Reed, Green Bay's Antonio Freeman and Jacksonville rookie Fred Taylor all scored twice.

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