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Sunday Recap: Week 8

Who’s the best tight end in football? If you haven’t paid attention the past year and a half, you’ll likely say Tony Gonzalez. Hell, even if you have noticed what Antonio Gates has been doing for the Chargers, you may say Gonzo’s still the best simply because he’s been the best for so long. But not anymore. Gonzalez has been complaining about his lack of activity in the KC offense, and rightfully so — coming into this week’s game, Gonzalez had just 25 catches for 209 yards and no touchdowns. Gates, meanwhile, had 33 catches for 430 yards and three touchdowns.

But if there was any real debate about the identity of the NFL’s best tight end coming in to this week’s Chargers/Chiefs game, that debate is now officially dead. Gonzalez delivered his best line of the season, catching seven balls for 97 yards and his first score of the year, but Gates was even better, snagging 10 catches for 145 yards while reaching the end zone three times. You know Gonzo wanted to show up big against Gates and the Chargers, but apparently Gates wanted the same thing.

For Gonzalez owners, though, a silver lining can be found in the game’s box score. Not only did Gonzo have a solid performance but the Chiefs’ passing game, which had been rather lackluster this year, found a groove. Eddie Kennison had 115 yards and a score, Chris Horn caught seven passes, and Trent Green completed 31 of his 47 attempts for 347 yards. But even if Gonzalez finally starts delivering the kind of numbers owners expected from him on draft day, he’ll still play second fiddle to Antonio Gates.

SUNDAY HEADLINERS

Jake Plummer: 309 yards, 4 TD, 0 INT
Okay, this is getting crazy. It’s now been six weeks since Jake Plummer has thrown an interception. Six! We’re talking about a guy who’s thrown at least 20 picks five different times in the last eight years. We’re talking about a guy who, coming into this season, owned a 132-141 career TD-to-INT ratio. But this year, Plummer now has 12 touchdowns vs. just three interceptions. Not coincidentally, the Broncos are now 6-2 after thumping the Eagles 49-21 Sunday.

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Week 8 Preview

Every week, I submit six names to our readers – three borderline fantasy players to start and three to bench. Here’s how I did last week:

START

Jake Plummer, DEN – 194 yards, 1 TD (PUSH)
Plummer didn’t put up big numbers, but he was efficient and didn’t throw any picks.

Chris Brown, TEN – 37 rushing yards, 0 TD (MISS)
Brown left the game with a neck stinger.

Az-Zahir Hakim, NO – 6 catches, 100 yards, 1 TD (HIT)
Hakim is a great play as long as Horn is injured.

BENCH

Michael Vick, ATL – 116 pass yards, 3 INT, 18 rushing yards, 2 TDs (MISS)
The league’s most inaccurate passer threw three picks but managed to run for two scores.

Jamal Lewis, BAL – 34 rushing yards, 0 TDs (HIT)
Lewis has been awful. Is it time for Chester Taylor?

Mushin Muhammad, CAR – 3 catches, 39 yards (HIT)
Muhammad is wasting away in the Bears’ lowly passing attack.

On to this week’s picks:

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World Series, Game 4: Chicago 1, Houston 0 (Chicago wins, 4-0)

Jerry Reinsdorf went on record early and often about how he would trade all six of the Chicago Bulls’ NBA championships for one White Sox World Series championship. Well, now he doesn’t have to. The White Sox win 10 out of 11 playoff games and sweep the listless Astros to win their first World Series since 1917. Unbelievable.

Any columnist, especially the ones in Chicago, will tell you that the Sox didn’t stand a chance in hell in going the distance. They needed another bat, maybe two, that was the conventional wisdom across the board. And yet, like they always say about playoff baseball, good pitching always beats good hitting. In this case, though, it was more a matter of good pitching beating aggressively mediocre hitting. I mean, what on earth happened to Morgan Ensberg? Dude hit 75 home runs during the season.

Some other observations:


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Marbury leads SI’s All-Poison Team

Sports Illustrated has released its All-Poison team – a list of the baddest of the NBA’s “bad apples.” Jalen Rose, Allen Iverson and Kobe Bryant are just a few of the players joining Stephon Marbury on this talented, yet nightmarish squad.

There is one name noticably absent from the list: Latrell Sprewell. This may be due to the fact that Spree doesn’t have a team at the moment, but they should have at least penciled him in as the water boy.

Bucks trade Mason for Magloire

ESPN is reporting that the Milwaukee Bucks have traded swingman Desmond Mason and their 2006 first round pick to the New Orleans Hornets for power forward/center Jamaal Magloire. It’s possible that the Bucks will play Magloire alongside Andrew Bogut, with newly acquired Bobby Simmons at small forward. This would give the Bucks a starting lineup of T.J Ford, Michael Redd, Simmons, Magloire and Bogut. If Bogut progresses quickly and Ford continues to play well, this could be a formidable fivesome.

Mason will step into the starting small forward spot for the Hornets, playing alongside Chris Paul and J.R. Smith, giving New Orleans an exciting trio that will look to push the ball. Chris Andersen and P.J. Brown will likely round out the starting five.

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