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Saturday, November 10, 2007
Alone on an Island: Believing in Berrian

By ESPN Staff

Wondering what these guys were thinking when they broke from the pack in the
Week 10 rankings? We like to call that being "alone on an island." Here is what our castaways had to say.

Matthew Berry on Bernard Berrian
Ranked: 20 Composite Rank: 30

It's not a great matchup, and it's not like Berrian has been red hot or anything, so this is more of a gut feeling than anything else. Brian Griese has attempted an average of 40 pass attempts since becoming the starter and Berrian is the best target. Griese has thrown for more than 300 yards in two of his last three. Despite the poor Raiders defense against the run, I still expect Cedric Benson to be ineffective. The Bears are coming off a bye and with Devin Hester now forcing defenses to consider him offensively, I expect the Bears to find more ways to get the ball into their best wide receiver's hands.

Eric Karabell on Chris Chambers
Ranked: 17 Composite Rank: 28.8

Since coming to the Chargers, Chambers has scored his first touchdown, but seen his targets and production drop. I understand Philip Rivers is no Tom Brady, but I see the Colts being susceptible if Rivers can get going. Chambers could have had a big game Week 9 if Rivers was more accurate and penalties hadn't overturned plays. Just a gut feeling Chambers is in for a signature game on prime-time TV.

Scott Engel on Desmond Clark
Ranked: 12 Composite Rank: 17.0

Rookie Greg Olsen is certainly on the rise, but Brian Griese has used both of his tight ends rather well since becoming the starting quarterback. Clark is not consistent, but once you get outside of the top seven or so tight ends, who really is anyway? Clark caught five passes in Week 7 and scored in back-to-back games in Weeks 4 and 5. Griese cannot fully trust his wide receivers, and the Oakland cornerbacks will often force him to go elsewhere on key passing downs. Clark can emerge as a quality red zone target at any time, and this will be one of the weeks when he contributes something of significance.

Christopher Harris on Amani Toomer
Ranked: 28 Composite Rank: 39.8

I guess what I'm saying with Toomer is: I think you can use him as your No. 3 fantasy wideout against a Dallas secondary that does have Anthony Henry back, but has three other members who don't inspire my confidence. Roy Williams and Ken Hamlin are perhaps the most overrated safeties in football, and Terence Newman is terribly inconsistent. He'll make a terrific breakup one play, then whiff at the line on the next. Toomer had nine catches for 91 yards against this unit in Week 1, while Eli Manning threw four touchdown passes. I don't expect 80 combined points in this game, and Manning's play has grown less consistent, but the best way to beat Dallas is deep down the middle, and I think the Cowboys will pay extra-close attention to Plaxico Burress. So give me Toomer as a third receiver.

Nate Ravitz on Olindo Mare
Ranked: 4 Composite Rank: 17.6

We all know that there's no real science to picking kickers. Under normal circumstances, I'm not a big Olindo Mare fan. However, the Saints are red hot, and they're playing the awful St. Louis Rams this week in the controlled environment of the dome. After a slow start, Mare has 17 points in the last two games. I can't see the Saints being held to fewer than 28 points in this game, so Mare should have plenty of scoring chances. Only two teams in the NFL are allowing more fantasy kickers this season than the Rams, so Mare should be good for at least 8-10 points.