Commentary

Alone on an Island: No belief in Green Bay

Updated: December 7, 2007, 6:39 PM ET
By ESPN Staff

Wondering what these guys were thinking when they broke from the pack in the Week 14 rankings? We like to call that being "alone on an island." Here is what our castaways had to say.

Matthew Berry on Greg Jennings
Ranked: 21 Composite Rank: 11.0

I ranked Jennings this low because I'm down on the entire Packers passing offense this week. First, you know Oakland is terrible against the run, so expect to see a lot of Ryan Grant. Then, remember that the Raiders have given up only eight passing touchdowns all year long, second best in the NFL. They allow only 186 passing yards per game, which is fifth best in the NFL. Add to all that the fact that Brett Favre is banged up and the game is in Green Bay, which could mean bad weather. I'm sure Jennings will be fine, I just don't think he'll be one of the top 20 wideouts.

Eric Karabell on Deion Branch
Ranked: 27 Composite Rank: 17.8

This is a theme for me, ranking the Seattle wide receivers worse than everyone else, but I'm going to stick with it. Branch has been back for three games, and in two of them he's failed to top 40 yards or score. I expect a better performance from Branch in Week 14, but he's far from a guarantee to get double-digits in fantasy. He's more like a No. 3 wide receiver to me.

Scott Engel on Donovan McNabb
Ranked: 22 Composite Rank: 17.0

McNabb has been a disappointment overall, and I don't expect much from him in his return to action. The first time he faced the Giants, he was sacked 12 times and threw for only 138 yards. The Eagles will have tackle William Thomas back in the lineup this time, but I still expect the Giants to generate a heavy pass rush that will disrupt McNabb's timing and lead to another mediocre outing. Philadelphia's passing game is based on timing and precision, and the Giants will once again rattle McNabb and not allow him to get into a rhythm. The Giants have feasted on losing teams this year and will do so again this week by holding McNabb down.

Christopher Harris on Thomas Jones
Ranked: 27 Composite Rank: 20.0

I'm shocked my compatriots had Jones this high. One touchdown and they go running for the aisles? Guys, if I'm in my fantasy playoffs and have a choice of starting Thomas Jones or Janet Jones, I'm pondering for quite a while. Absolutely no way in the world you should have your fantasy season resting on the incapable shoulders of the Jets' offensive line, which has made Martin Lawrence look stable. (Come to think of it, Martin Lawrence may be starting at left guard for the J-E-T-S on Sunday.) On the season, the Browns have actually allowed the 21st-most fantasy points against opposing rushers, and in the past five weeks they've allowed the 26th-most. (And by contrast, they've allowed the most fantasy points to opposing quarterbacks … gee, wonder how the Jets want to attack.) But beyond the matchup, I re-emphasize: Do you really want Thomas Jones deciding your fate?

Nate Ravitz on Kolby Smith
Ranked: 6 Composite Rank: 10.8

Most of my colleagues are similarly high on Smith, but I seem to be the only one willing to commit to him 100 percent as an elite option for Week 14. Start Smith over Joseph Addai, Willis McGahee or Willie Parker? Yep, that's what I'm telling you. After the monster game against the Raiders in Week 12, Smith followed up with a solid game against the Chargers Week 13. I realize fantasy owners need more than the 84 total yards Smith tallied against San Diego, but rest assured he'll do better against Denver. Only three teams are allowing more fantasy points to opposing runners than the Broncos, and in Week 13, Justin Fargas destroyed them to the tune of 146 yards and a touchdown. I'm looking for at least 120 total yards and a touchdown from Mr. Smith.