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Don't go shooting for Week 1 fantasy stars

Week 1 of the 2007 NFL season went about the way you would have expected -- had you expected to see camels flying or Paris Hilton on the cover of this month's issue of "Nuclear Physicist Illustrated."

Ronald Curry and Chris Brown became Beatles. Steven Jackson and Larry Johnson became irrelevant. Drew Brees became Rex Grossman. Nobody knows what became of Larry Fitzgerald, Vernon Davis and Deion Branch.

What are we to make of so many unlikely developments? That it was only one week out of 17, that the earth will soon resume spinning on its axis, and that it's too early to second-guess your draft strategy.

Curry (10 receptions for 133 yards and a touchdown) and Brown (19 rushes for 175 yards) -- likely the two most popular names among Week 2 waiver pick-ups -- could very well become season-long contributors, but it's unreasonable to expect them to sustain All-Pro levels of production.

On the other hand, stars like Jackson, Johnson and Brees are entitled to a down week here and there because they have proven that they can and will deliver. It just so happened that their stink bombs came early, but experience tells us that they will rebound in short time. With that in mind, don't become a seller based on one afternoon, and resist the temptation to part with known qualities for one-week wonders.

As owners, we're all trying to find the "Next Big Thing" before the competition, but cases such as Marques Colston and Mike Furrey in 2006 are the rare exceptions.

Two years ago, then-Raiders tight end Courtney Anderson, who at the time was owned in minus-15 percent of all CBS fantasy leagues and a desperation starter in place of the benched Antonio Gates, caught two touchdown passes in a season-opening loss to New England and was on everybody's wish list the following day. I even got cocky and traded Gates (albeit for LaMont Jordan, who helped me win our league title).

But just as quickly as owners began pushing and shoving to acquire his services, Anderson slipped back into obscurity, wound up on a very different kind of list by season's end and became a cautionary tale.

Though there were plenty of surprises, Week 1 also taught us some absolute truths. Like, for instance, that LaDainian Tomlinson, even on his worst day against the world's best defense, will outscore most running backs on their best days, Clinton Portis and Randy Moss still got it, Tony Romo could put up some seriously crooked-good numbers this season, and Terrell Owens can still do more than just talk a good game.

What can we expect in

Week 2? That Brees and the rest of the Saints' offense will show up with a vengeance against Tampa Bay, Seattle's Shaun Alexander will run like a man possessed against Arizona, Cincinnati could put up 50-plus points at Cleveland (ladies and gentlemen, start your Bengals), and Sunday night's Patriots-Chargers tilt at New England has "instant classic" written all over it.

I managed not to embarrass myself in the season's first week, with my 12-team league team in second place (44 points out of first) and my nine-team league team in fifth but equipped with enough firepower to make up ground quickly.

My starting lineups for Week 2:

TEAM 1 (9-TEAM LEAGUE) -- QB: Marc Bulger (vs. 49ers); RB: LaDainian Tomlinson (at Patriots) and Deuce McAllister (at Buccaneers); WR: Steve Smith (vs. Texans), Anquan Boldin (vs. Seahawks) and Chris Chambers (vs. Cowboys); TE: Todd Heap (vs. Jets); D/ST: Chargers (at Patriots); K: Jeff Wilkins (vs. 49ers).

TEAM 2 (12-TEAM LEAGUE) -- QB: Tony Romo (at Dolphins); RB: Shaun Alexander (at Cardinals) and Clinton Portis (at Eagles); WR: Chad Johnson (at Browns) and Laveranues Coles (at Ravens); TE: Benjamin Watson (vs. Chargers); D/ST: Broncos (vs. Raiders); K: Jeff Wilkins (vs. 49ers).

Stu Rosenberg's fantasy sports column runs Fridays. He can be reached at or 578-2300.