I turned 40 yesterday.Forty. 4-0. 50 minus 10. No matter how I type it, it looks old. It feels old, too. However, I join elite company. In the football world, Morten Andersen, the kicker, is 46.

I turned 40 yesterday.


Forty. 4-0. 50 minus 10. No matter how I type it, it looks old. It feels old, too.


However, I join elite company. In the football world, kicker Morten Andersen is 46.


Quarterbacks Steve DeBerg and Warren Moon played until they were 44. The youthful-looking Doug Flutie is 43. Jerry Rice was 42 when he finally hung up his cleats.


I’m still older than Brett Favre, though. He turns 38 this week. And he looks older than dirt. Happy birthday, Brett. Jerome Bettis is only 35, and he called it quits a year ago. I figure it will be at least 35 more years before I can join the Bus in retirement.


To celebrate this landmark occasion in my life, I came up with my top 40 list of the all-time best fantasy football players. Let me know if I left off one of your favorites.


1) LaDanian Tomlinson, RB. Only Norv Turner can stop L.T. 


2) Priest Holmes, RB. For two years, 2002 and 2003, Holmes was a beast with 48 rushing TDs before injuries caught up with him.


3) Joe Montana, QB. Joe was the man during the days of TD-only leagues. 


4) Jerry Rice, WR. I can still see him going across the middle for a touchdown.


5) John Elway, QB. Always made the big play when your fantasy team needed it.


6) Dan Marino, QB. Marino had 61,000 passing yards and 420 TDs. Enough said.


7) Emmitt Smith, RB. You could always count on 2 TDs a game from this Cowboys great.


8) Barry Sanders, RB. Might have been the best ever if he hadn’t retired after 10 seasons.


9) Marshall Faulk, RB. Playing on turf his entire career helped pad Faulk’s numbers.


10) Brett Favre, QB. All-time TD passing leader keeps plugging along.


Best of the rest


11) Peyton Manning, QB


12) Shannon Sharpe, TE


13) Terrell Owens, WR


14) Curtis Martin, RB


15) Randall Cunningham, QB


16) Ricky Watters, RB


17) Warren Moon, QB


18) Gary Anderson, K


19) Shaun Alexander, RB


20) Troy Aikman, QB


21) Cris Carter, WR


22) Randy Moss, WR


23) Tom Brady, QB


24) Thurman Thomas, RB


25) Terrell Davis, RB


26) Jim Kelly, QB


27) Marcus Allen, RB


28) Tony Gonzalez, TE


29) Jerome Bettis, RB


30) Marvin Harrison, WR


31) Jason Elam, K


32) Steve Young, QB


33) Kurt Warner, QB


34) Mike Alstott, RB


35) Keyshawn Johnson, WR


36) Natrone Means, RB


37) Christian Okoye, RB


38) Eddie George, RB


39) Rod Smith, WR


40) Jimmy Smith, WR


Start ’em


(Opponents in parentheses): QB Jon Kitna (Washington); RB Edgerrin James (St. Louis); WR Santonio Holmes (Seattle); TE Chris Cooley (Detroit); K Mason Crosby (Chicago); DEF Dallas (Buffalo).


Bench ’em


QB Gus Frerotte (Arizona); RB Cedric Benson (Green Bay); WR Lee Evans (Dallas); TE Owen Daniels (Miami); K Phil Dawson (New England); DEF Cleveland (New England).


Game of the Week: Cleveland at New England


The Patriots should score 50 against a Browns team that gave up 45 to Cincinnati in Week 2. Tom Brady and Randy Moss will continue to play their own game of catch this week. Who else will be on the receiving end of Brady’s generosity is anyone’s guess. The Browns will be behind most of the day which means Derek Anderson will have to throw often. And that’s never a bad thing in fantasy football.


Mailbag


If you’re looking for a quarterback, do you pick up Brian Griese, and why?


“I picked up Griese in two of my leagues. He had a rough first start but I believe he will come around,” e-mailed Rich Walsh of Poplar Grove. “I only plan to use him as a bye-week replacement, but if he gets hot, I’ll use him more.”


“Yes, in a 12-team league there are not many free agent QBs. If you need a QB due to injuries or bye weeks, what other choices would you have?” e-mailed Dan Campbell of Rockford.


“Picking up Brian Griese is a waste of time until the Bears find an offensive line that can pass block and run block,” e-mailed Greg Jury of Rockford.


Question of the Week


Do you agree with my top 40 list of all time fantasy football players? Who would be on your list?


Paul Anthony Arco’s fantasy football column appears every Sunday in the Register Star. Email questions or comments to paularco@aol.com.