Washington Redskins quarterback Mark Brunell is the clear consensus for fantasy football shocker as the season reaches the halfway point in many leagues. It's a safe bet most owners did not have Brunell on their draft boards in late August or early September. The handful of owners who selected him probably did so because they had few alternatives (Anthony Wright and A.J. Feely were unavailable), and endured league-wide ridicule after making the pick.
Knowing then what they know now, fantasy owners would have chosen Brunell among the top five quarterbacks. By the end of the season, he may finish as the most valuable fantasy quarterback in the league. Astonishing to think only Brett Favre and Carson Palmer have more touchdown passes than Brunell after seven weeks.
The Cowboys' Drew Bledsoe also deserves a mention. His 12 touchdowns are tied for third in the league, and his 1,799 yards are third most.
Other fantasy do-overs would include:
* Running back Thomas Jones, Bears. Before the season, fantasy owners drafted Cedric Benson before Jones, anticipating the No. 4 overall pick would take over after a few weeks. Jones instead has kept Benson mostly on the sidelines with 641 yards and six touchdowns. Honorable mention to the Steelers' Willie Parker.
* Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, Giants. Ravens players gave Burress the unflattering nickname of Plexiglass when he was with the Steelers. New surroundings have helped transform Burress into a bona fide No. 1 wide receiver with 535 yards and five touchdowns. Honorable mention to the Redskins' Santana Moss.
* Tight end Mike Sellers, Redskins. Yeah, yeah, he plays H-back for Coach Joe Gibbs, but for fantasy purposes, this guy's a tight end, and no one, not even the most rabid of Redskins fans, could have had an inkling that Sellers would be tied for the NFL lead among tight ends with four touchdowns. Honorable mention to the Steelers' Heath Miller.
In the anti-Brunell category of biggest fantasy dud, Vikings quarterback Daunte Culpepper continues as the topic of expletive-filled invective among owners who had the misfortune of drafting him. He was rated among the top three fantasy quarterbacks after throwing for a career-high 39 touchdowns last season. This season Culpepper has six touchdowns and 12 interceptions.
Dishonorable mention goes to Michael Vick, who highlights the divide between reality and fantasy. In real life, Vick often wins games with ordinary passing statistics. In fantasy, he is a high pick every season and has failed to meet expectations each time.
Other fantasy blunders include running back Jamal Lewis, wide receiver Andre Johnson and tight end Tony Gonzalez. Of those three, Gonzalez appears the player with the best chance of rebounding during the second half of the season. Unlike the Ravens and Texans, the Chiefs at least are able to move the ball and score touchdowns.