Fantasy report


Daunte Culpepper was one of the first of the "new breed of quarterbacks" when he entered the league in 1999.

Several quarterbacks could run and throw, but few had the size or plain imposing nature of Culpepper. Listed at more than 260 pounds, he is bigger than some of the linebackers in the national football league.

That includes Texans linebacker Jamie Sharper, who is listed at 239 pounds and is an inch shorter than the Vikings quarterback.

Sharper figures to get his regular amount of tackles Sunday when the Texans and Vikings meet at Reliant Stadium for those who are interested in fantasy numbers, but he will have a harder day at the office Sunday against the Vikings.

"He's kind of like Michael Vick," Sharper said of Culpepper. "You can't tackle him like a regular quarterback. You have to make sure you get him down. You have to make sure you go after him like he's a running back.

"You don't like to say it, but you have to tackle him hard because he can make you miss. He can run over you."

Culpepper has rushed for 2,002 yards in his career, but his arm – combined with his ability to take hits in the pocket – make him a dangerous player. He and All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss are reasons why the Vikings are the number one offense in the league and average 315 passing yards per game.

He and Moss are regarded as one of the best quarterback, receiver combinations around.

"First I take that as a huge compliment," Culpepper said Wednesday afternoon. "We work very well together. Since I became a Viking we've worked very well together. It's just two guys who have a tremendous amount of will, I'll say. We have the will to want to make big plays. I think when you put God-given talent together like that then you have a chance to make good things happen."

Sharper leads the Texans with 42 tackles and a sack. He was one of the stars of last Sunday's game against the Raiders, knocking the ball form Kerry Collins' hands and returning it 13 yards for a touchdown.

He won't be the only man responsible for silencing Culpepper and Moss, but may need to use his athletic ability if the quarterback challenges the team with one-on-one situations.

Even if the Texans win the match ups, Culpepper shear strength allows him to escape a jam and make throws anywhere on the field.

"You can cover all the receivers up and all of a sudden he can scramble," Sharper said. "It's like a Catch-22. You can do your job and cover everybody up then he's able to get away from you."

The Texans hope the new breed of linebackers in the 3-4 defense can take care of that.

FANTASY GAME BALLS:How about Drew Brees?

The Chargers quarterback continues to pull himself up anytime questions swirl about his job security. He completed 16-of-20 passes for 278 yards and three touchdowns against the Titans.

He's the starter for another week.

That same game saw another great quarterback performance. In just his second outing as a starter, Titans quarterback Billy Volek threw for 278 yards, putting the ball in the air an astounding 58 times.

To bad his effort was wasted in one of the week's most surprising upsets.

How can we forget the trio of great running back performances from Week Four?

Giants running back Tiki Barber is having a career year. He rushed for 182 yards and a touchdown last week.

Priest Holmes pulled the Chiefs out of a tail spin Monday night against the Ravens, taking the ball right at linebacker Ray Lewis and coming away with 125 rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Veteran Cardinals running back Emmitt Smith not only completed his first NFL pass for a touchdown, he rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Anyone else think he's washed up?

RANT OF THE WEEK:What's the deal with Clinton Portis? Sure, he has been a steady contributor but has not exploded for the big points this season.

Before this year Portis had never gone two-straight games without a 100-yard performance. This season he's gone three games without cracking the century mark.

Of course, the Redskins have had trouble holding on to the football. Luckily for Portis, the Browns defense gave up 500 yards rushing to Jamal Lewis last season.

WHO TO START THIS WEEK:Raiders running back Tyrone Wheatley is out for two to four weeks with a shoulder injury. Justin Fargas got limited touches against the Texans, which opens the door wide for Amos Zereoue.

Zereoue had a great game in Houston, rushing for 117 yards and two touchdowns. He alluded what seemed to be the entire Texans defense on one 55-yard run.

With Wheatley's injuries the Raiders are forced to do less platooning in the backfield and decide on a more steady back, might as well be "Famous Amos."

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