Commentary

Alone on an Island: Bench Braylon?

Updated: October 6, 2007, 2:15 PM ET
By ESPN Staff

Wondering what these guys were thinking when they broke from the pack in the
Week 4 rankings? We like to call that being "alone on an island." Here is what our castaways had to say.

Matthew Berry on Braylon Edwards
Ranked: 27 Composite Rank: 15

Cheater though he may, Bill Belichick is not stupid. He's seen the same thing we have: that Braylon Edwards is the No. 1 option on offense for the Browns. So he's going to make sure they shut him down, and this week, he gets Rodney Harrison back to help him do so. The Patriots are giving up only 156 passing yards a game, fourth best in the NFL. In addition, while Edwards has had some great games, they have all come against teams that are in the bottom half of the league in pass defense. In his lone game against a good pass defense (Pittsburgh in Week 1), he was held to three receptions for 49 yards. I like him this season, and he should be started in leagues where you start three receivers. But if you only start two, you have better options this week.

Eric Karabell on Brandon Stokley
Ranked: 36 Composite Rank: 46

Knowing the situation with Javon Walker and his iffy knee, I expect Stokley to start again this week, but this time be more productive. The Broncos just played the Colts, a much more defensive-minded team than in past years, and Stokley caught two passes. Now Denver hosts a Chargers team that has not only lost three straight, but allowed 30 or more points each time. The Chargers are No. 27 in passing yards allowed per game. So, if Walker can't play, Brandon Marshall needs help, and I expect Jay Cutler to look for Stokley quite a bit.

Scott Engel on Matt Schaub
Ranked: 6 Composite Rank: 11

Forget the lack of weaponry; Schaub is proving he can put up healthy numbers on a regular basis. Some quarterbacks need a good supporting cast to help them stand out, but then there are the rare types who make good use of whatever they have at their disposal. Schaub is the latter. He takes what a defense gives him, makes the most of it, and isn't afraid to throw to his tight ends or even his fullbacks to keep the chains moving. The Dolphins are allowing over 344 yards per game, and while much of that has been on the ground, the Miami defense is very weak overall, and Schaub will prove that it can also be exposed via the air.

Christopher Harris on LenDale White
Ranked: 9 Composite Rank: 16

LenDale White is off the injury list, so whatever illness sidelined him in Wednesday's practice is gone. He's gotten 18, 15 and 17 carries, respectively, in Tennessee's three games this year, and in the last two, he seemed firmly entrenched as the team's goal-line back, scoring from the three and the one. He's 20th in fantasy points per game among running backs already. Plus, the Falcons allowed 22 fantasy points to Adrian Peterson in Week 1 and 25 to DeShaun Foster in Week 3. As good as Tennessee's offense looked against New Orleans, White is one of the closest things to a lock for a short touchdown Sunday.

Nate Ravitz on Sammy Morris
Ranked: 11 Composite Rank: 20

I want to be very clear: This ranking assumes that Laurence Maroney will play. That's how confident I am that Morris will have a big game, regardless of moving parts around him. Morris was averaging 11 carries per game when Maroney was healthy, and he carried 21 times when Maroney sat out in Week 4. He's scored in three of four games so far this season and is averaging 5.0 yards per carry. The Patriots actively pursued Morris in the offseason because they were so impressed with how he played against them in the past. Now he's seized a major role in the offense and will not be relinquishing it anytime soon. This game has "blowout" written all over it, and I expect Morris to get at least 15 carries and at least one touchdown.