Ed Barkowitz: For fantasy owners, McNabb soars above past Eagles quarterbacks

WHETHER YOU loved him, loathed him or ignored him, there's no doubting Donovan McNabb was a pretty good fantasy quarterback . . . the best in Eagles history, in fact.

So what if he never won a Super Bowl or was 1-4 in NFC Championship games? Fantasy fans have never had a better friend wearing Eagles green. Norm Van Brocklin and Tommy Thompson won titles, but they played in a different era and never had the chance to put up the stats McNabb did.

Let's look at the Eagles' three best quarterbacks since the 1970 NFL-AFL merger.

* In 300-yard passing games in the regular season, McNabb's 27 dwarf Ron Jaworski (12) and Randall Cunningham (12) .

* Mr. Chunky Soup had 29 games with three or more touchdown passes. Randall had 16 and Jaws 14.

* And Mr. Double Overtime penalized owners with three or more interceptions only three times. Compare that to Cunningham's eight and Jaworski's 16.

The 2004 season was McNabb's finest, thanks in large part to wide receiver Terrell Owens . It was with T.O. in Week 12 of that year that McNabb posted the best game of his career when he torched the Packers for a team-record 464 yards, five touchdowns and no picks. He even had 32 yards rushing.

"It was one of those games where you want to send a message out," McNabb said afterward. "I think we sent that message out that, week in and week out, we come ready to play."

So what if it wasn't January.

CONTEST RESULT

Nice job by Luke Kelly, of Exton, Pa., who came closest to guessing Michael Vick's passing yardage on Sunday. Kelly's total of 289 yards was just shy of the 291 Vick piled on the Jaguars and earned Kelly a Daily News fantasy football T-shirt.

THE UNDEFEATEDS

So, not only are the Bears, Chiefs and Steelers undefeated, but Daily News colleague Bob Cooney is 3-0 for the first time in the 9 years he's been in our league. For anybody dragging around a 1-2 or 0-3 record, just know that things are upside down everywhere.

POSITION WATCH

Quarterbacks: The last thing you want to see Drew Brees wearing, other than a Cowboys jersey, is a knee brace. But Brees has downplayed his knee as merely being sore and is OK to start. Sure wish his bye came sooner than Week 10 . . . Peyton Manning is 13-4 against the Jaguars and averages two TD passes and 274 yards. If Michael Vick can get 291 against the Rags defense, Manning's good for 300, right? . . . Since he took over for Kevin Kolb , Vick has targeted DeSean Jackson 22 times, Jeremy Maclin 16, Brent Celek 14.

Running backs: So much for Brandon Jackson taking over the Green Bay job for injured starter Ryan Grant. Neither Jackson nor John Kuhn has been able to crack 40 yards in the two games since Grant was lost for the season in Week 1, which is fueling rumors that the Pack is in the hunt for Buffalo's Marshawn Lynch . . . Consider San Diego's Mike Tolbert a 1-week wonder. Starter Ryan Mathews (ankle) is expected back in the lineup for Sunday's juicy matchup against Arizona's 31st-ranked run defense . . . Baltimore's Ray Rice (knee) said yesterday, "I'm sure I'll be ready to play" Sunday against Pittsburgh.

Wide receivers: Normally, rookie Blair White's debut last weekend of three catches for 27 yards wouldn't register on the fantasy meter, but because he plays for the Colts,it's noteworthy. Pierre Garcon (hamstring) might be out again this week . . . Arizona's Stephen Williams gets a golden opportunity Sunday at the Cards' No. 2 job with Steve Breaston (knee) out. Behind him are Max Komar, Andre Roberts and Onrea Jones "I think they understand the sense of urgency," coach Ken Whisenhunt said. "Two of the guys [three actually, Williams, Komar and Jones] were undrafted rookies who made our club. That's about as difficult as it can get. They've already fought the toughest battle [making the roster]. Now they get a chance to play, which is what every player's dream is" . . . Denver is the only team with three guys among the top 20 wide receivers in catches. Brandon Lloyd seems to be the most reliable, but Jabar Gaffney is popular this week after his 12 catches and 140 yards on Sunday. Eddie Royal is the other . . . The ankle injury to Houston star Andre Johnson might keep him out against the Raiders, and it might be just as well. On Sunday, Oakland star cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha limited Larry Fitzgerald to two catches for 26 years. For the Texans this week, Kevin Walter is probably a safer play than Jacoby Jones .

WEEKLY RANKINGS (Based on projected production for Week 4)

QUARTERBACKS

1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers vs. Lions

2. Peyton Manning, Colts at Jaguars

3. Drew Brees, Saints+ vs. Panthers

4. Tom Brady, Patriots at Dolphins

5. Michael Vick, Eagles vs. Redskins

6. Philip Rivers, Chargers vs. Cardinals

7. Eli Manning, Giants vs. Bears

8. Matt Schaub, Texans at Raiders

9. Kyle Orton, Broncos at Titans

10. Matt Ryan, Falcons vs. 49ers

11. Donovan McNabb, Redskins at Eagles

12. Jay Cutler, Bears at Giants

13. Mark Sanchez, Jets at Bills

14. Carson Palmer, Bengals at Browns

15. Matt Hasselbeck, Seahawks at Rams

RUNNING BACKS

1. Chris Johnson, Titans vs. Broncos

2. Michael Turner, Falcons vs. 49ers

3. Frank Gore, 49ers at Falcons

4. Arian Foster, Texans at Raiders

5. LeSean McCoy, Eagles vs. Redskins

6. Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars vs. Colts

7. Rashard Mendenhall, Steelers vs. Ravens

8. Pierre Thomas, Saints+ vs. Panthers

9. A. Bradshaw, Giants vs. Bears

10. Ryan Mathews, Chargers vs. Cardinals

11. DeAngelo Williams, Panthers at Saints

12. Ray Rice, Ravens+ at Steelers

13. Cedric Benson, Bengals at Browns

14. LaDainian Tomlinson, Jets at Bills

15. Steven Jackson, Rams+ vs. Seahawks

16. Darren McFadden, Raiders vs. Texans

17. Peyton Hillis, Browns vs. Bengals

18. Joseph Addai, Colts at Jaguars

19. Jahvid Best, Lions+ at Packers

20. Beanie Wells, Cards+ at Chargers

21. Matt Forte, Bears at Giants

22. Justin Forsett, Seahawks at Rams

23. Marshawn Lynch, Bills vs. Jets

24. Ronnie Brown, Dolphins vs. Patriots

25. Brandon Jackson, Packers vs. Lions

WIDE RECEIVERS

1. Roddy White, Falcons vs. 49ers

2. Randy Moss, Patriots at Dolphins

3. Calvin Johnson, Lions at Packers

4. Brandon Marshall, Dolphins vs. Patriots

5. Austin Collie, Colts at Jaguars

6. DeSean Jackson, Eagles vs. Redskins

7. Anquan Boldin, Ravens at Steelers

8. Greg Jennings, Packers vs. Lions

9. Larry Fitzgerald, Cardinals at Chargers

10. Santana Moss, Redskins at Eagles

11. Malcom Floyd, Chargers vs. Cardinals

12. Marques Colston, Saints vs. Panthers

13. Reggie Wayne, Colts at Jaguars

14. Steve Smith, Giants vs. Bears

15. Chad Ochocinco, Bengals at Browns

16. Wes Welker, Patriots at Dolphins

17. Jeremy Maclin, Eagles vs. Redskins

18. Donald Driver, Packers vs. Lions

19. Steve Smith, Panthers at Saints

20. Andre Johnson, Texans+ at Raiders

21. Hines Ward, Steelers vs. Ravens

22. Brandon Lloyd, Broncos at Titans

23. Hakeem Nicks, Giants vs. Bears

24. Mike Wallace, Steelers vs. Ravens

25. Louis Murphy, Raiders vs. Texans

TIGHT ENDS

1. Dallas Clark, Colts at Jaguars

2. Antonio Gates, Chargers vs. Cardinals

3. Vernon Davis, 49ers at Falcons

4. Jermichael Finley, Packers vs. Lions

5. Tony Gonzalez, Falcons vs. 49ers

6. Chris Cooley, Redskins at Eagles

7. Dustin Keller, Jets at Bills

8. Zach Miller, Raiders vs. Texans

9. Aaron Hernandez, Patriots at Dolphins

10. Brent Celek, Eagles vs. Redskins

+ Injury concerns.

Byes: Bucs, Chiefs, Cowboys, Vikings

Ed Barkowitz, who is still a little salty after getting beaten by Bob Cooney (and Anquan Boldin's three touchdowns), has been writing about fantasy football for the Daily News since 2001. Send e-mail to fantasyfootball@phillynews.com .