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Start/Bench List - Week 9
John Tuvey
Updated: November 5, 2010
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NYJ at DET CHI at BUF NYG at SEA PIT at CIN Start/Bench List by Position
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Start/Bench Codes (SBC)
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)

Indianapolis at Philadelphia

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Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

Save for that aberration against the Chiefs, Manning has at least 250 yards and two touchdowns in every game this season. The Eagles have allowed those benchmarks in each of their last three; in other words, it's looking like another ho-hum fantasy masterpiece from Manning this week.

RB Joseph Addai
Mike Hart
B Addai is listed as doubtful and Hart thrown into the Colts' catch-all "questionable" category. Neither practiced all week, and it would be a major upset if either played on Sunday.
RB Donald Brown
Javarris James
B And then there were two. Brown was on a snap count last week as he worked his way back from a hamstring injury, but he's not even listed this week. Still, it's tough to see the Colts giving him all the touches. Expect James to siphon off just enough work to render both as something less than fantasy helpers this week. If you must pick one, though, pick Brown.
WR Reggie Wayne S1

Philly has had little luck with opposing WR1s: Greg Jennings, Michael Crabtree, and Calvin Johnson have all scored, and Kenny Britt ruined them with 225 yards and three scores. You know Wayne is going to get his; the only question is, will it be merely good or will it be something stunning.

WR Pierre Garçon S2

Garçon remains second in the pecking order—which, in Indy, is still pretty doggone good. Certainly good enough to be in your fantasy lineup.

WR Anthony Gonzalez B

Gonzalez failed to practice all week after suffering a knee injury Monday night, and while he's listed as questionable it's all but certain he won't play this week.

WR Austin Collie S2

Collie hurried back from his thumb injury, and while it isn't fully healed he practiced all week—including a full workload both Thursday and Friday—and should be back in his familiar slot role this week. And if he's out there, Peyton will be throwing to him.

TE Jacob Tamme S3

Tamme did a more than serviceable Dallas Clark impersonation with Clark's touches last week, and that should continue with a favorable matchup against a Philly defense that has given up four TE TDs in the last four games and two 100-yard games to the position already this season.

DT Colts B Defense isn't exactly Indy's forte, and Mike Vick might be one of the only quarterbacks who can elude Dwight Freeney.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S3

Vick returns after a little hiatus, but instead of the bottom-feeding defenses he was putting up monster numbers on he'll face a legitimate NFL D. Not that we're doubting him, but against a defense that's held four of five to one or fewer TD passes and six of seven under 250 yards... well, let's just say the Colts are a whole different animal than the Lions and Jaguars.

RB LeSean McCoy

Gotta love McCoy's chances against a defense that has let three of the last four feature backs it has faced to go for triple-digit rushing yardage and score a TD. And when you consider what Arian Foster did to them last week via the air (65 yards)... well, that makes it all the better.

WR DeSean Jackson
Jeremy Maclin
S2 Jackson put up a pair of ginormous games with Vick at quarterback; Maclin's numbers were a little more subdued, but he also scored in both tilts in which Vick both started and finished. Now that Vick is back, so too is Philly's downfield passing game. And it's not as if quality wideouts haven't had success against the Colts—and in the case of the Giants and Broncos, multiple wideouts in the same game.
WR Jason Avant
B With Jackson healthy, Avant returns to the backburner.
TE Brent Celek
B Celek enjoyed a brief resurgence with Kevin Kolb at quarterback, but with Vick either going long or tucking it under and running his fantasy value is heading in the wrong direction.
DT Eagles B Go ahead, blitz Peyton Manning; see what good it does.

Kansas City at Oakland

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Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Cassel S3

The Raiders have held seven of eight opposing quarterbacks under 200 passing yards, while Cassel hasn't topped 250 yet this season. So it'll take a TD or two for Cassel to have fantasy value; thankfully, the Raiders have given up multiple scoring strikes in seven of eight as well. He's not nearly as enticing a start as he's been over the past month or so of matchups, but in a six-team bye week he offers enough upside for a plug-in play.

RB Thomas Jones
Jamaal Charles

Oakland ranks seventh in fantasy points allowed to running backs. They give up yardage, both rushing and receiving, and touchdowns via ground and air. So no matter how Todd Haley opts to divvy up the touches, both Jones and Charles are bound to make them pay off.


Dwayne Bowe


Bowe has scored in three straight; he scored in the front end of last season's series and had 91 yards in the rematch. He's the Chiefs primary (only?) downfield target, and with Nnamdi Asomugha nursing a bum wheel Bowe has a better than usual chance of making a fantasy splash here.


Tony Moeaki


Moeaki isn't as targeted as he was at the start of the season, but with Oakland one of the most fantasy-friendly defenses against tight ends he's worthy of consideration for a spot start in a six-team bye week.

DT Chiefs S3 KC is playing some pretty solid defense, the Raiders have all kinds of quarterback questions, and the Chiefs have been known to fare well in the special teams area. It all adds up to a viable fantasy play.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Bruce Gradkowski B

Gradkowski teased us with a potential return after taking some snaps with the first team, but Jason Campbell will get the start again this week. Enjoy.

QB Jason Campbell B

Campbell actually hasn't been awful the past two games, but his primary job this week will be to take the snap, then turn and hand it off. If the Chiefs can shut out Peyton Manning, they can keep Campbell from putting up anything resembling helpful fantasy numbers.

RB Darren McFadden

All McFadden has done is churn out triple-digit yardage; his low-end game resulted in 122 yards from scrimmage. The Chiefs have only given up that kind of yardage to a couple backs, but they haven't seen a back like McFadden. So long as he's healthy, he's productive—and he's in your fantasy lineup.

RB Michael Bush

With Campbell under center, the Raiders have even more reason to run. That, along with McFadden's potential for injury, ups the possibility of leftovers for Bush enough to nudge him over the start/bench fence in a week with six teams on the bye.


Louis Murphy
Darrius Heyward-Bey


The Chiefs have given up one WR TD in six of seven games this season, but with Campbell under center the passing game will focus on the tight end and backs—and with Zach Miller doubtful, it may be just the backs. Murphy won't play because of injury anyway, and DHB is listed as probable—though his hands are still doubtful.

TE Zach Miller B

Miller vanished last week, and he may not return here as he's listed as doubtful with a foot injury. Even if he goes, it may not matter, as the Chiefs have had his number—he mustered just one catch in the two-game series last year—and have only allowed two TE TDs this season.

DT Raiders B The Chiefs have played three straight without a turnover and given the ball away just four times on the season; tough to generate any defensive points out of that.

Dallas at Green Bay

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Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

This isn't nearly the favorable matchup Kitna had last week, plus it's on the road. But what are the Cowboys gonna do, run the ball? Kitna will have plenty of opportunities to throw, so through sheer volume alone he'll put up helpful fantasy numbers.

RB Felix Jones
Marion Barber

Jones is nursing an ankle injury, but it doesn't really matter; only four teams allow fewer fantasy points to running backs than the Packers, so whether the Cowboys split their carries two ways or three or give them all to MB3 (or even Tashard Choice), there's little fantasy potential here.

WR Miles Austin S2

The Packers certainly have talent in their secondary, but they've also surrendered big games to the likes of Brandon Marshall and Santana Moss. Surely a receiver as targeted as Austin can get his as well.

WR Dez Bryant

Bryant has moved into the second spot in the Dallas receiver rotation, with a pair of solid games under Jon Kitna. The Packers secondary can be had by multiple receivers, and after Austin takes his Bryant is next in line.

WR Roy Williams

Williams seems to be the afterthought under Kitna, the wideout whose looks are now being directed towards Jason Witten.

TE Jason Witten S2

Witten is thriving with Kitna at the helm, targeted double-digit times with 95 and 97 yards and touchdowns in each game. The Packers are middle of the pack against tight ends, so there's no compelling reason to think Witten won't continue to get his.

DT Cowboys B Aside from the possibility of a Bryant return TD, there's nothing to see here.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Rodgers S2

The Cowboys have allowed back-to-back Abe Lincolns (four scores) to opposing quarterbacks—and now they travel to Lambeau to face Rodgers? Even though he was shut out by the Jets last week, you have to love his chances at a big bounceback here.


Brandon Jackson


Dallas has surrendered 100-yard rushers in two straight and three of the last five, but all of those backs were getting 17 or more carries. Jackson is topping out around 15, losing goal line looks to John Kuhn, and good for maybe 60 yards a week. Tough to bank on him for fantasy productivity even with what appears to be a favorable matchup.

WR Greg Jennings


Jennings is seeing a bump in productivity with Jermichael Finley gone for the season and Donald Driver limited as well. Against a Cowboys defense that has surrendered at least one WR TD in every game since Week 2, Jennings' resurgence should continue.

WR James Jones
Jordy Nelson


With Donald Driver out, Jones and Nelson will see more looks. Jones has more upside, but he's also more prone to dropsies and the big flameout. Nelson might be the more reliable play, especially in PPR leagues.

TE Andrew Quarless
B Aside from a phantom TD two weeks ago Quarless has done nothing to make Packer fans forget Jermichael Finley. Marcedes Lewis scored twice on the Cowboys last week, but Quarless isn't nearly the part of the Packers offense that Lewis is to Jacksonville's. Worse, he's apparently been bitten by the injury bug that's plaguing the Pack this season; he missed practice Wednesday and Friday and was limited on Thursday by a shoulder injury. Officially he's listed as questionable, but you can beat the rush and rule him out now.
DT Packers S2 At home, against a backup quarterback, with plenty of playmakers on the defensive side of the ball... sounds like an opportunity waiting to be had.

Pittsburgh at Cincinnati

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Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2

Big Ben didn't do much fantasy damage against the Bengals last season, and Cincy hasn't given up much to opposing quarterbacks at home. But now the Bengals' secondary is banged up, giving Roethlisberger an opportunity to put up helpful fantasy numbers.

RB Rashard Mendenhall


The Bengals have allowed a running back touchdown in five straight games and Mendenhall has scored in four of five, so even if he doesn't produce much in the way of yardage—likely, as Cincy has hosted some pretty good backs and held each to 87 yards or less—a score puts him in the fantasy win column.

WR Hines Ward
Mike Wallace

The Bengals own a pretty good pair of corners, but injuries have left them vulnerable. With Ward working underneath and Wallace going deep, both should put up solid fantasy numbers in Cincy.

TE Heath Miller

After a score in Big Ben's first game back, Miller has returned to his regular sideman role of three catches for 30 yards. He did little against the Bengals last season, and against a Cincy defense that hasn't allowed a TE TD since the season opener he's apt to do little again here.

DT Steelers S3 The Steelers DST is an every-week fantasy start, but there's no compelling reason to expect an uptick in production in Cincy this week.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S3

Palmer brings a four-game streak of multiple touchdown games into this tilt, while the Steelers surrendered their first multi-TD game last week in New Orleans. Carson was held in check in last season's series, but a home date and a ground game that's unlikely to help much against the Steel Curtain should provide him with enough passing opportunities to put up numbers that should at least qualify for consideration as a fringe fantasy starter.

RB Cedric Benson S3

The Steelers haven't allowed a back to top 50 yards this season, and they haven't surrendered a running back touchdown since their Week 5 bye. Benson hasn't scored since Week 2, so at best you're looking at something like the 16-76-1 he produced in the front end of last season's series. He'll get enough touches to warrant consideration in such a heavy bye week, but if you have alternative options this would be a good time to use them.

WR Terrell Owens

Only two teams have allowed more WR receptions than the Steelers, and with TO the most targeted member of the Cincy receiver rotation he's bound to put up decent numbers—nothing flashy, but certainly worthy of a fantasy start.

WR Chad Ochocinco

Ocho is clearly second banana to TO, and against a tough matchup like Pittsburgh it's unlikely the second banana gets enough action to be fantasy relevant.

TE Jermaine Gresham B Gresham produces one quality fantasy game a month; if you think this month's will come against a Steelers defense that has given up just one TE TD this season, you're on your own.
DT Bengals B The Bengals aren't doing anything on the defensive side of the ball to warrant a fantasy start.

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