Sunday Fantasy Studs and Duds

Drew Brees spread the ball around to eight receivers on Sunday.
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - It looks like Drew Brees is prepared to defend his 2008 fantasy scoring title. After leading all players with 335 points in 2008, Brees began his 2009 season by abusing the Detroit Lions defense (not a huge surprise).

Brees threw four touchdown passes in the first half and ended the day with a career-high six and 358 yards passing. Looks like another big season for Brees, who was the No.2 quarterback in preseason average draft position (RapidDraft ADP 32.8) behind New England's Tom Brady (ADP 23).

Brees spread the ball around to eight receivers with Devery Henderson leading the way by hauling in five balls for 103 yards and one score.

The Saints' star quarterback has officially thrown down the gauntlet, let's see how Brady responds on Monday night.

Brees wasn't the only star to shine on Sunday.

Minnesota's Adrian Peterson showed why he was the No.1 overall selection (RapidDraft ADP 1.3) picking apart the Cleveland Browns rushing defense for 180 yards and three touchdowns. the Browns were 28th in rush defense last year with 151.9 ypg, so like Brees' annihilation of Detroit, this was not unexpected.

Studs

Tony Romo, QB, Dallas - Romo completed just 16 passes (for 353 yards), but his three touchdown tosses were from long distance - 42, 66 and 80 yards out.

Ben Roethlisberger, QB, Pittsburgh - When Hines Ward put the ball on the turf which sent the game into a fifth quarter, it gave "Big Ben the opportunity for one more drive. He capitalized on the chance by going 5-for-7 for 60 yards to bring his game total to 363 yards, one TD and two INTs.

Joe Flacco, QB, Baltimore - Flacco came out throwing and is the surprise of the 300-yards passers in Week 1. He threw for 307 yards and three scores.

Honorable mention goes to the Jets' rookie Mark Sanchez, who went on the road for his first NFL start and posted a 24-7 victory including a solid 18-for-31 for 272 yards and one score.

Mike Bell, RB, New Orleans - Despite Brees dominating the game, Bell got plenty of opportunities and took advantage of them for 143 yards on 28 carries. Still, when Pierre Thomas comes back, Bell sits on the pine.

Thomas Jones, RB, New York Jets - Jones was downgraded in almost every preseason rankings, but he continued to produce like last year. He ran for 107 yards and two scores.

Julius Jones, RB, Seattle - A couple of sites called Julius Jones the "weakest starting running back in the NFL." He showed them something today, rushing for 117 yards, including a 62-yard touchdown blast right up the gut. Not bad for a running back with a RapidDraft ADP of 77.

Reggie Wayne, WR, Indianapolis - Wayne was the fifth receiver off the board in most drafts (RapidDraft ADP 19.5), but he was the best in Sunday's games, posting 10 receptions for 162 yards and a TD.

Santonio Holmes, WR, Pittsburgh - On Thursday night, Holmes showed why he has surpassed Ward as the No.1 receiver on the Steelers, catching nine balls for 131 yards and the team's lone touchdown. It won't be the only time Holmes makes this list in 2009.

Philadelphia D/ST - Five interceptions, two fumble recoveries including one for a TD, five sacks and an 85-yard punt return for a TD by DeSean Jackson. That should win you the week all by itself, assuming you started the Eagles.

Duds

Jake Delhomme, QB, Carolina - Five interceptions (six turnovers) in his last playoff game and now four INTs (four turnovers) and three sacks in an inept effort against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Matt Schaub, QB, Houston - I was expecting a lot better from Schaub than 18-for 33 for 166 yards, zero TDs and one interception.

Steve Slaton, RB, Houston - Slaton didn't help out Schaub much, rushing for 17 yards on nine carries and fumbling once. Completely unacceptable for a high second round draft choice (RapidDraft ADP 13.5).

Larry Johnson, RB, Kansas City - A starting running back should be able to get more than 20 yards rushing on 11 carries, even if it is the Baltimore Ravens you are running against.

Willie Parker, RB, Pittsburgh - Use the same sentence as was used with Johnson except substitute 19 yards on 13 carries and Tennessee for Baltimore.

Bernard Berrian, WR, Minnesota - No receptions, no yards...enough said.

Braylon Edwards, WR, Cleveland - One catch for 12 yards won't cut it. He did make a great catch, but was ruled that he hadn't re-established himself inbounds after being interfered with.

Eddie Royal, WR, Denver - Two catches for 18 yards against Cincinnati after such a great 2008 (91 receptions for 980 yards, 5 TDs) doesn't inspire me to keep start him. Is the Bengals defense improved or the Broncos passing game that inept? Only a freak tipped pass got Denver a victory for rookie coach Josh McDaniels.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Steve Schwarz at sschwarz@sportsnetwork.com.

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