- Tristan H. Cockcroft, Fantasy
Each week, I provide my list of 10 things I'm watching on game day, so you'll be prepared for some of the week's biggest developments in advance of them happening.
A record-setting week? So here we are, with four games left to play, and Chargers RB LaDainian Tomlinson finds himself two touchdowns short of Shaun Alexander's single-season record of 28, set a season ago. It's no longer a question of if LT will break the record; it's only a question of when. And if you love watching record-setting performances, Sunday's game against the Broncos is a must-watch. Does that ninth-ranked Denver rush defense scare you? It shouldn't. The Broncos have allowed 456 yards and five TDs on the ground the past three weeks, including three by Tomlinson himself in Week 11. (Tomlinson added a fourth score through the air in that contest.) I'd say LT's a virtual lock to tie Alexander's mark on Sunday, and there's a better-than-50/50 chance he breaks it outright. Broncos rookie Jay Cutler could be playing catch-up quite a bit.
The rebirth of Jeff Garcia. Few people could have seen Garcia throwing for 312 yards and three scores against a Carolina pass defense ranked in the top 10 in the league, especially not on the national stage on Monday Night Football. But as we say, sometimes one big play can mount a hot streak, as was the case when Garcia located deep threat Donte' Stallworth for a 51-yard pass in his team's third drive of the second quarter. From that point forward, Garcia completed 14 of 23 pass attempts for 258 yards and all three TDs, and now he looks to extend that string into an awfully favorable matchup on paper in Washington in Week 14. The Eagles now find themselves back in the thick of the playoff race, and Garcia's going to play a huge part in their chances, so expect him to come out throwing with confidence. For fantasy, that means a worthy speculative pickup, a fine fill-in option, and if he keeps up this pace Sunday, he'll be an interesting fantasy playoff sleeper for you.