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Friday, November 16, 2007
Alone on an Island: Roddy a No. 1?

By ESPN Staff

Wondering what these guys were thinking when they broke from the pack in the Week 11 rankings? We like to call that being "alone on an island." Here is what our castaways had to say.

Matthew Berry on Anquan Boldin
Ranked: 9 Composite Rank: 16.8

It boils down to the hip, right? I mean, the Bengals give up almost 250 passing yards a game (fifth worst in the NFL) and only the Browns have given up more touchdown passes. Boldin's got five touchdown receptions in six games this year, and while his injury means he is not 100 percent, if he's healthy enough to play for the Cardinals, he's healthy enough to play for you. Yes, he has struggled the past two games, but those were against a tough defense in Tampa Bay and then last week when Leonard Pope decided to have the game of his life. Saying Boldin is going to have a very good game against the Bengals isn't alone on an island, it's common sense.

Eric Karabell on Roddy White
Ranked: 25 Composite Rank: 32.4

While White has reached double-digits in fantasy only two times, he's been fairly consistent, giving fantasy owners five or six points at worst. I think the potential return of Byron Leftwich helps him, actually. Are you aware White is on pace for 75 catches and more than 1,100 yards. I don't view White as a must-start, but this Falcons team, after years of looking, has found its No. 1 wide receiver.

Scott Engel on Brandon Marshall
Ranked: 37 Composite Rank: 21.8

My low ranking of Marshall isn't necessarily a knock on him as much as I think there are better starting options this week at what seems to be a pretty deep crop of wide receivers, especially with players such as Andre Johnson, Deion Branch and Chris Henry all back in action. I really think the Broncos will concentrate on the ground game against Tennessee, especially if Albert Haynesworth cannot play. That will limit the production in the passing game, and Marshall will post decent, but not outstanding totals.

Christopher Harris on D.J. Hackett
Ranked: 17 Composite Rank: 26.8

I guess folks believe Deion Branch will immediately assume the stud-boy role in the Seattle offense, but I don't think that'll be the case Sunday against the Bears. Branch is the flanker in the Seahawks offense, which means he'll line up against the healthy Bears corner, Charles Tillman. Meanwhile, Hackett will be the split receiver, and Nathan Vasher is still out. So Hackett will run mostly against Ricky Manning, Jr. Now, Chicago knows this, and will roll help Manning's way, but I still like Hackett better. He's got 18 targets, 14 receptions and two touchdowns the past two weeks, since returning from his injury. He's having the breakout (late)season we all thought he would back in August. I'd get him in there as a second receiver in 12-team leagues.

Nate Ravitz on Justin Fargas
Ranked: 36 Composite Rank: 25.2

I could sum up my argument in just a few words: He's Justin Fargas! But no, I won't rely on that crutch. His yards-per-carry average has dropped each of the past two weeks, from 5.1 to 4.5 to 3.5. I think that drop can be attributed to a few things: The fact that Fargas wears down easily, the fact that teams now know how to prepare for him, and -- oh by the way -- he's Justin Fargas! That 3.5 YPC came against the Bears, who have hardly stopped anyone all season long. Now he faces the Vikings, who still feature one of the top run defenses in football, despite last week's setback against the Packers. I'd be very uncomfortable playing Fargas as a flex, let alone a No. 2 back.