Commentary

Alone on an Island: Eagles No. 1?

Updated: October 20, 2007, 12:27 PM ET
By ESPN Staff

Wondering what these guys were thinking when they broke from the pack in the
Week 7 rankings? We like to call that being "alone on an island." Here is what our castaways had to say.

Matthew Berry on Ben Roethlisberger
Ranked: 21 Composite Rank: 12.0

Make no mistake. I like Ben Roethlisberger. I've been talking about how he's been underrated all year. And he gets Hines Ward back along with a healthy Santonio Holmes. But I have him this low because of a few factors. First, Champ Bailey and Dre Bly. The Broncos don't have one of the best pass defenses in the league for nothing. They give up only 145 passing yards a game, best in the NFL. The Steelers are also on the road. And most importantly, the Broncos are terrible against the run. They give up more rushing yards (187 per game) than anyone else. You're going to see tons of Willie Parker and Najeh Davenport in this game and not a lot of throwing. So that's why I have Ben so low this week.

Eric Karabell on Brandon Jacobs
Ranked: 10 Composite Rank: 15.2

Jacobs has rushed for 186 yards and scored once in the two games since coming back to the team, and while he remains an injury risk -- pick the injury with him -- I love the matchup this week against San Francisco and expect something close to 100 yards and a touchdown. That makes Jacobs an attractive fantasy option yet again. Sure, Derrick Ward and Reuben Droughns should play, as well, especially in a game the Giants figure to be leading, but Jacobs should have a double-digit fantasy day by then.

Scott Engel on Damon Huard and Dwayne Bowe
Ranked: 9 Composite Rank: 19.0

Huard has been playing better than advertised recently, and Bowe is his top target. Huard delivered an 18-point outing last week and was good for 15 points against the Chargers two weeks prior to that performance. He is starting to look comfortable running the Kansas City offense again, and Oakland's defense has not been as good as expected. The Raiders are allowing 212.2 passing yards per game, ranked ninth in the AFC. Bowe has enjoyed a great rookie season so far and will shine again as the Chiefs continue to dominate this bitter rivalry. When the Raiders try to focus on stopping the ground game, Huard will burn them with play-action passes and take advantage of mismatches downfield. At 6-foot-2 and 221 pounds, Bowe is sure to be one of those mismatches

Christopher Harris on Kevin Walter
Ranked: NR Composite Rank: 37.8

I suppose I can see the argument that Walter could be fantasy-relevant this week, since late word has it that Andre Johnson looks unlikely to suit up. Walter also has 27 targets the last two weeks. However, Tennessee allows the ninth-fewest fantasy points to opposing wideouts, and that number includes a 312-yard passing day from Peyton Manning. Matt Schaub is not Peyton Manning. Walter is a nice little story, and he made some fine catches in traffic last week, but he's not anything resembling a sure bet. Can he be a No. 4 fantasy wideout? Maybe, but I think guys like Dennis Northcutt, Marty Booker and Nate Burleson make more interesting Week 7 sleepers.

Nate Ravitz on the Philadelphia Eagles' defense
Ranked: 1 Composite Rank: 9.8

Sometimes when I submit my rankings, I have a pretty good idea of where I'm going to be alone. This wasn't one of those times. I figured I might be the only guy with the Eagles at No. 1, but I didn't figure that three of my colleagues would have them outside the top 10. The Eagles have been hit hard by injuries, but they've actually played pretty well despite the setbacks. They're tied for second in the NFL in sacks, and only three teams have allowed more sacks than this week's opponent, the Chicago Bears. Quarterback Brian Griese has eight turnovers in his three starts this season; he's doing an awfully good Rex Grossman impression, and I don't have any trouble seeing the Eagles collecting four or five sacks and at least three turnovers in this game.