All the Vikings "Love Boat" jokes have been used at least twice by now, but there's still one nautical expression fantasy football players must remember: Abandon ship!
It's time to let go of any faint hopes that somehow Daunte Culpepper will figure out how to play quarterback again and save you the shame of a wasted first-round pick.
It's probably not going to happen, even with a few soft spots on the schedule. (By the way, when you are 1-4 and have been outscored 58-13 the past two weeks, you ARE the soft spot.)
So what the heck happened to this guy who has averaged 31 scores the past five seasons and passed for 4,700 yards last year?
Obviously, Randy Moss' departure means defenses are much harder to read. Plus, nobody's blocking so there's less time to read. Mix in the lack of a running game, no defense and a confused offensive scheme, and Culpepper's ugly stats start to make sense: 12 interceptions, 24 sacks, four fumbles and four touchdowns.
It's hard to imagine Culpepper bouncing back, so forget your preseason draft list and all the projections of Minnesota in the Super Bowl and just bench him. Trade him if you can, but his value has fallen so fast that you may have to settle for Artose Pinner and a bag of Corn Nuts.
In the meantime, here are some players to start, some to avoid, and a few long shots that could pan out in Week 7:
Starting Green Bay's Brett Favre is usually a big no-no in Minnesota's dome, but the Vikings defense is too hard to resist. Favre has had a week to rest after throwing seven touchdowns in his last two games.
About a year ago, Washington's Mark Brunell was so terrible he was benched for Patrick Ramsey. Now he's one of the NFC's top quarterbacks, with at least two touchdowns in each of his past four games and a chance to work on the 49ers' league-worst pass defense.
Denver's Jake Plummer is inconsistent, but the Giants aren't. They rank 31st against the pass and have allowed three 300-yard games in their last four.
Arizona coach Dennis Green won't announce the starter until Sunday, but you should pencil in Josh McCown (with Plan B ready because you never know with Green). McCown is averaging 390 yards and two touchdowns in his two starts, while Kurt Warner's stats are sadly familiar: nine sacks, two interceptions, one TD.
After watching the Seahawks rush for a team-record 320 yards last week, expect the Cowboys to stack the line and leave Matt Hasselbeck with some open receivers.
TAKE A SHOT
Miami's Gus Frerotte has been good for two touchdowns a game at home. The Chiefs have allowed 700 yards passing and six TDs the past two games.
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