by Jim O'Dell
November 9, 2006
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    Well, the NFL has reached its halfway point, and we sure have seen some great, and not so great performances?  What happened to the World Champs?  Weren't the Eagles supposed to be better without TO?  Didn't some experts say that the Cardinals were going to be contenders?  And what about some fantasy studs from the recent past?  Where's the league MVP?  How about Carson Palmer, wasn't he supposed to bounce back?  Now, let's take a look back at the "second quarter" of the NFL season from a fantasy standpoint.

Quarterbacks:  One thing we know for sure that by this time of year, if you are not good yet, you are not going to be that much better for the rest of the season.  These guys at the top of the heap will more than likely stay there.  Dononvan McNabb, although his team is just 4-4, leads the league in yardage and is 2nd in touchdown passes.  You knew Peyton Manning would be at the top; he leads the league in td passes (17) and is just 21 yards behind McNabb.  Marc Bulger is having a nice season so far, with 2300 yards, good for 2nd overall and 13 td passes.  Others floating to the top of the list are Drew Brees, Jon Kitna, Brett Favre, Carson Palmer and Eli Manning.

At the other end of the spectrum, you have guys who wish the season was like the movie Groundhog Day, and they could start over.  Ben Roethlisberger is at the top of that list.  Also on that short list are Dante Culpepper, Andrew Walter and Aaron Brooks of the Raiders, Kurt Warner and David Carr.

Running BacksTiki Barber has made it very public that he is calling it quits at the end of this year.  Who better to lead the league in rushing than a class act like Barber.  And, he finally got into the end zone this past week.  LaDanian Tomlinson is once again a beast, scoring 12 times on the ground.  Right behind him is Larry Johnson with nine rushing touchdowns.  Chester Taylor has made a nice transition from backup in Baltimore to starter in Minnesota.  Julius Jones has had a great first half, staying healthy.  Stephen Jackson, Warrick Dunn, Frank Gore and Willie Parker are also near the top of the leaderboard.

Bad offenses and injuries have taken a toll on some of the better backs in 2006; MVP Shaun Alexander, LaMont Jordan and Cadillac Williams are three that come to mind.  The Bills got some bad news this week, as Willis McGahee broke a rib and will be out for a while.

Wide Receivers:  Nine weeks into the season and a Houston Texan receiver leads the league in yardage?  Yes, that is Andre Johnson's name there with 752 yards, and 4 scores.  Reggie Wayne had a great game a few weeks back, scoring three times and putting him 2nd overall in yards.  Roy Williams has developed into Jon Kitna's favorite and more reliable receiver.  And a 7th round rookie is up there too, Marques Colston of the New Orleans Saints.  Also near the top are Marvin Harrison, Javon Walker, Steve Smith, Torry Holt, Darrell Jackson and Anquan Boldin.

What happened to Santana Moss?  I was sure he would have another great year, with Randel El and Lloyd coming over to Washington to give him some help.  Not so.  Also, that other guy named Moss, Randy, and his partner Jerry Porter have been in that horrible Raider offense.  And Chad Johnson has been over shadowed by T.J. Houshmandzadeh.

    So, with the season halfway over, the season is unfolding.  The good teams are playing like it, and the bad ones... well, let's just say they are preparing for next year already.  How's your team looking?  Are you a contender, or a pretender?  We'll see you in four weeks for the next installment, the "Third Quarter" of the season.

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