I THINK . . . ByPeter King
. . . It's time topick up Packers tight end Donald Lee.
Follow me. BrettFavre is playing safe, efficient and winning football, not taking the sort ofchances he took in 2005 and '06, when he led the NFL with a combined 47interceptions. Because he's throwing shorter stuff and going to his checkdownreceivers more often as the Green Bay coaches make a priority of reducingturnovers, Favre is looking for his tight ends a lot; he trusts Lee more thanBubba Franks after Franks's eight-drop 2006 season. Through Week¬†5, the 6'4", 248-pound Lee was on pace for 53 catches; in four previous seasons withMiami and Green Bay he had 63 combined. "I'm the luckiest player in theNFL," he told me after the Packers beat the Vikings on Sept. 30. "I'mbuilding chemistry with one of the best quarterbacks of all time, and he'slooking for me." It's only going to get better for Lee, 27, who's the kindof sure-handed, physical tight end the Packers love. I think he'll exceed 53receptions and get his share of touchdowns (he has one so far this season).Unless I had Dallas Clark, Antonio Gates, Jason Witten or Kellen Winslow, I'ddeal for Lee right now.
EPSTEIN'S THEORYON Groin Injuries
Laurence Maroney'sis sore, Steven Jackson's is partially torn, Santana Moss's is strained, andL.J. Smith had surgery to clear scar tissue from his. The groin has been thescourge of many a fantasy notable this season, and rather than hope for theirspeedy recoveries, owners of these players should seek long-term alternatives.Here's why: Groin injuries don't go away. They generally start in the hip,which bears so much weight and stress that these injuries are particularlypesky to rehab; without extended rest, they tend to recur. If one of yourplayers hurts his groin during the season, he's liable to be a perpetual"questionable" on the injury report, leaving you at the mercy ofgame-time decisions. Bill Belichick can get by when he announces minutes beforekickoff, as he did two weeks ago at Cincinnati, that Maroney (left) can't go.But for fantasy owners who were stuck starting the back, the sight of himsitting out was all too painful.
David Sabino'sMarket Watch
Making his first start for St. Louis on Sunday, in place of Isaac Bruce, theformer Titan caught his first TD pass since Dec. 3. The 6' 5" wideout givesthis anemic passing attack an inviting target.
Like Indy needed another weapon. The former CFL star had 121 yards and two TDsfilling in for the injured Joseph Addai.
Wright becomes a fantasy starter next week against Miami if Jamal Lewis issidelined by his foot injury.
LT's understudy was hidden offstage before erupting for a Sunday-best 147rushing yards against Denver.
Rated a top five fantasy QB this summer, he now can't generate average numbersat home against a beat-up Panthers defense. He'll continue to throw often, buthe's no longer an every-week starter.
Yes, he had a great season in 2006, but you can't afford to play someone who'snow gaining 41 total yards per game.
He gets decent yardage, but he has thrown for four TD passes and sixINTs--unacceptable for a starting QB.
He caught 10 TD passes in Seattle last year. This year, with his new team, hehas caught zero.
GREG TROTT/GETTY IMAGES (BENNETT)
Playing for the injured Bruce, the Rams' Bennett grabbed a TD pass.
TRAVIS LINDQUIST/GETTY IMAGES (MARONEY)