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Start/Bench List - Week 3
By Whitney Walters
September 18, 2003
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
KC at HOU PIT at CIN NYG at WAS Sun 8:30 PM  Byes:
NO at TEN   BAL at SD (times ET) DAL, PHI
Player List by Code
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)
S1: Must start, 1st string.
S2: Solid starter, 2nd string.
X: No start or bench indications / Could go either way.
B: Bench 'em / Too much risk.
U: Upside player / Possible sleeper.
Early Injury Status  (O): Out  (D): Doubtful  (Q): Questionable  (P): Probable
Green Bay (1-1) at Arizona (0-2)  
Sun, Sep 21, 4:05 PM ET on FOX at Sun Devil Stadium Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2 Doesn't matter who's playing wide receiver this week, against Arizona you start Favre.
RB Ahman Green S1 Will again be very active with the injuries to the WRs.
RB Najeh Davenport B Purely a backup.
WR Donald Driver (Q)
Robert Ferguson (P)
B Driver is out for sure and Ferguson is worse off this week than last after re-injuring his knee. He's not likely to play.
WR Javon Walker S2 Failed to step up last week but should produce Sunday against one of the worst secondaries in the league.
WR Antonio Freeman S2

Was the team's leading receiver in his return to Lambeau last week. Expect more of the same this week in the blistering heat of Arizona.

TE Bubba Franks S2 With fellow TE Walls likely to sit this one out, Franks will be called upon this week to play a bigger role in the passing game.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Blake B Came back to earth as predicted last week before he was injured, completing only half of his 14 passes and tossing two interceptions. With the Cards looking to run first in this game, don't expect much.
RB Emmitt Smith U Another week and another attempt to run the ball to slow the game and keep the opposing offense off the field. The Green Bay front is a bit undersized and banged up. Look for Emmitt to get 20+ carries and have his best game so far this season.
RB Marcel Shipp  B His opportunities will increase as the season wears on. But for now Emmitt controls the running game for Arizona.
WR Anquan Boldin X Followed up his week 1 explosion with a solid 8-62 last week. Having Blake for the full game will help him improve on those numbers this week.
WR Bryant Johnson U Made some rookie mistakes in his first NFL start, which it to be expected. While Gilmore and Foster remain out much will be asked of Johnson. This week he should deliver now that he should be over the debut jitters.
WR Jason McAddley B

With all the WR injuries McAddley is getting more playing time than his talent warrants.

TE Freddie Jones X The lack of proven wide receivers is making Jones an integral part of the passing game. Should have more of an impact this week.
New York Giants (1-1) at Washington (2-0)  
Sun, Sep 21, 4:05 PM ET on FOX at FedEx Field Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2 Will be under more pressure this week and his wide receivers have tougher matchups. Expect a modest performance but a high scoring game.
RB Tiki Barber S2 Look for a straight ahead, between the tackles approach to the running game this week to aid the inexperienced offensive line. Despite his size Barber can be an effective inside runner and should have a solid game.
RB Delvin Joyce B Has touched the ball once in two weeks.
WR Amani Toomer S2 An obvious elite matchup this week against Champ Bailey. If history is any indicator Toomer will do just fine (12 for 155, 2 TDs last season).
WR Ike Hilliard S2 Continues to develop into a solid possession receiver with his crisp route running and quickness. Will spend most of his Sunday afternoon shadowed by CB Fred Smoot, a matchup he can win.
WR Tim Carter B

The #3 WR just isn't going to get the looks in this offense.

TE Jeremy Shockey S1 The Redskin linebackers do not match up will with Shockey and this will likely be the game where he starts living up to the hype.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey (P) S2 Comes off a career best performance and faces a defense that provided a career best performance for Quincy Carter last week.
RB Trung Canidate (P) X Improved from his week 1 outing but will have to do all his scoring from outside the 10 yard line as he will not get any goal-line carries. TD only leagues stay away.
RB Ladell Betts (P) X Betts strength will again give him an advantage over Canidate this week against the run stopping Giant defense. They should run right at middle linebacker Mike Barrow in an attempt to neutralize him.
WR Laveranues Coles (P) S1 Coles is a terrific vertical target and Ramsey is learning to get the ball to him behind the coverage. The Skins will look to connect with Coles early in order to back the safeties off the line and help open up the running game.
WR Rod Gardner S2 Gardner is looking good, and you know what they say about those third year receivers. This week should be more of the same against a secondary that left Dallas' receivers constantly in the clear Monday night.
WR Darnerian McCants B

Beyond Coles and Gardner, don't expect much production.

TE Robert Royal B Redskin tight ends have only 4 catches in the first two games.
St. Louis (1-1) at Seattle (2-0)  
Sun, Sep 21, 4:05 PM ET on FOX at Seahawks Stadium Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger X Will face many blitz packages this week. Bulger shows flashes of brilliance, but he is relatively inexperienced and could struggle if under heavy pressure.
RB Marshall Faulk S2 Likely to see fewer carries (if that's even possible) this week as Martz will be unable to resist going after the inexperienced Seattle secondary. He may also be needed to help in pass protection. A borderline starter this week.
RB Lamar Gordon  B Just a backup.
WR Torry Holt S2 The secondary is the weak link in the Seattle defense. With CB Shawn Springs out they are starting two rookies and a corner with only one year of playing experience. Both Holt ...
WR Isaac Bruce S2 ... and Bruce should produce on Sunday.
WR Dane Looker B

Martz continues to show no reservations about involving an inexperienced player in the passing attack. Don't expect Looker to be someone you can rely on however.

TE Cam Cleeland B The TE plays only a small role in this offense.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Has been inconsistent so far this season and has completed only 47 percent of his passes. Continues to make good decisions with the ball (no turnovers) and should get it going this week as his line will give him the time needed to find the holes in the Rams' cover-2 schemes.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 The Rams are having trouble with the run this season and have given up nearly 150 yards on the ground in each of the first two games.
RB Maurice Morris B Only the backup.
WR Koren Robinson S2 The Ram corners are inexperienced and beatable but will rarely be used in man-to-man coverage. Robinson must find his success this week attacking the cover-2 zone schemes. Had little trouble doing just that last year, going for 260 yards and a TD in their two games.
WR Darrell Jackson X Ditto for Jackson, only with lower numbers this week.
WR Bobby Engram B

Even with no Robinson he only pulled in two passes.

TE Itula Mili B Is the tight end being phased out of the Seattle offense? Mili has only 3 catches for 11 yards in the first two games.
Baltimore (1-1) at San Diego (0-2)  
Sun, Sep 21, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Qualcomm Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller (P) B Another easy day of handing the ball off for Boller this week.
RB Jamal Lewis S1 Won't repeat last week's history, but the Chargers aren't much better at stopping the run than the Browns are.
RB Chester Taylor  B It's all Lewis, all the time.
WR Travis Taylor B Will draw the best coverage the Chargers can muster. Boller is likely to look elsewhere when he does pass this week.
WR Frank Sanders X Returned to action last week and provided the rookie Boller with another target. Just not enough passes to go around when the team is running the ball as well as the Ravens will be Sunday.
WR Marcus Robinson U

Likely to be isolated with rookie CB Sammy Davis. If the Ravens actually throw the ball some in this game look for Robinson to make some noise.

TE Todd Heap S2 Seeing consistent double coverage (amazing for a TE) and may continue to be hurt by the struggles of his rookie QB.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B A fantasy backup at best, and against a defense like the Ravens a fantasy dud.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S2 Improved greatly in week 2 but failed to score. Will be tough going this week as the Ravens give up a league leading 2.7 YPC rushing.
RB Jesse Chatman  B Won't see the field unless LT goes down.
WR David Boston (Q) B May play this week. But then again may not feel like it and sit. Either way he can't be relied on.
WR Eric Parker B The second year receiver with 24 career catches now finds himself the #1 WR for the Chargers (unless Boston plays). Can't recommend any San Diego receiver this week against the aggressive Raven defense.
WR Tim Dwight B

Thrust back into the mix due to the injuries to the WR corps. Still not much of a factor however.

TE Justin Peelle U With both Alexander and Norman out this week Peelle could surprise as an outlet option in the ball-control Charger offense.
Cleveland (0-2) at San Francisco (1-1)  
Sun, Sep 21, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at 3Com Park at Candlestick Point Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb X Since earning the starting job has played like a career backup thrust into the role. If he takes what the Niners' secondary gives him, which will be underneath routes, he can have some success moving the ball.
RB William Green S2 San Francisco's run stats are bolstered by playing the pathetic Bears and a Rams team in love with the pass. Look for Cleveland to run Green at least 25 times as they seek to control the game tempo and keep the Niners' offense off the field as much as possible.
RB Jamel White B Locked into the 3rd-down back role.
WR Kevin Johnson X Through two weeks it is becoming clear that the Browns are going to spread the ball around to their three top WRs. The two that have emerged so far are Johnson ...
WR Dennis Northcutt X

... and Northcutt. This spread approach makes it very difficult to predict success for either.

WR Quincy Morgan B One thing that is becoming more evident is that Morgan is doing little with his opportunities and is not a fantasy option right now (3 for 32 yards).
TE Steve Heiden B The Cleveland tight end position is shaping up to be a non-factor again this season.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia S2 Cleveland poses no matchup problems for Garcia. The nonexistent pass rush will give him all day in the pocket, and when the Browns blitz the linebackers (which they will need to do) he'll burn them running.
RB Garrison Hearst (P) S2 Wow, 343 rushing yards allowed last week by the Browns. Too bad Hearst will only get half the carries this week as usual. Still, Hearst is a solid start given what the Niners could gain on the ground.
RB Kevan Barlow S2 Ditto for Barlow.
WR Terrell Owens S1 Shaken up with a concussion last week but that won't slow him down.
WR Tai Streets S2 Leaning to take advantage of the single-coverage opportunities he is getting. Will win any matchups he has with Brown CB Daylon McCutcheon due to his five inch height advantage.
WR Cedrick Wilson B

Received several looks last week but his end of game blunder may cost him for a while as the play callers will lose confidence in him.

TE Jed Weaver B More active last week but this is still a passing game driven by Owens, Streets and the backs.
Buffalo (2-0) at Miami (1-1)  
Sun, Sep 21, 8:30 PM ET on ESPN at Pro Player Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2 There's a surprise in the NFL pass defense stats this week... Miami is at the bottom of the list in both yards allowed (316) and sacks (only 1).
RB Travis Henry S2 Concerns heading into Miami after averaging only 1.2 YPC last week. But the Bills are committed to a balanced attack so Henry will continue to get the ball, and may even become more involved in the short passing game.
RB Sammy Morris B Just the backup.
WR Eric Moulds S2 Elite matchup this week with two of the best man-to-man cover corners in the league. May be tough but Moulds performed well last year in these matchups with Miami and should again Sunday night.
WR Josh Reed B Will see single coverage all night. Unfortunately that single CB will be either Patrick Surtain or Sam Madison.
WR Bobby Shaw U

Reed remains the #2 WR but Shaw may out produce him this week going against the always burnable Terrell Buckley.

TE Dave Moore
Mark Campbell
B Looks like Campbell and Moore will be splitting the production this season, unfortunately making neither one a viable fantasy option for your team.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler B Fiedler runs the balanced Miami attack well but remains a modest fantasy performer. Will get you his typical 200 yards and a TD most weeks and does run the ball in on occasion. Not a good option this week against an improving Bills defense.
RB Ricky Williams S1 No need to even think about it.
RB Travis Minor B Purely a backup.
WR Chris Chambers S2 Borderline starter most weeks as the Dolphins' offense will center around number 34. Chambers continues to mature as a receiver and will always be Fiedler's best option downfield.
WR Derrius Thompson B Won't be an every week factor and will rely on mismatches to have any fantasy impact.
WR James McKnight B

Fourth receiving option in a run oriented offense.

TE Randy McMichael S2 The Dolphins need a solid secondary target in the passing game to have any success throwing the ball. McMichael's athleticism and speed make him a great option as he will win most linebacker matchups.
Oakland (1-1) at Denver (2-0)  
Mon, Sep 22, 9:00 PM ET on ABC at Invesco Field at Mile High Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rich Gannon X Lack of a strong running game and downfield target hindered Gannon last week. More of the same is in order this week. But this is Denver and it is Monday night, so he could bounce back.
RB Charlie Garner S2 Won't find much running room and the Raiders are showing little commitment to the run so far (28 runs and 66 passes). Garner will be very active in the passing attack as always and will find some success.
RB Tyrone Wheatley  X Returned last week to his short/tough-yardage duties. If the Raiders run the ball inside the 10 yard line Wheatley will almost always get the call.
RB Justin Fargas  B Super-talent that may get you a home run, but you can't rely on that.
WR Jerry Rice X With Porter out the Raiders are unable to stretch the field vertically. Now defenses can tighten up on the short and crossing patterns both Rice ...
WR Tim Brown X ... and Brown are best suited for. The result is limited production for both.
WR Alvis Whitted B


TE Doug Jolley X Didn't get into the action much last week but it's likely that he'll be relied on more Monday night to find favorable matchups with the speedy Denver LBs.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer (Q) U Will play this week and will likely continue to have success with play action opportunities. May also find his groove against a short-handed Oakland secondary that gave up a 303 yard game to Kitna last week.
RB Clinton Portis (P) S1 Will play. Will dominate.
RB Mike Anderson  B Just the blocking back now, and the Portis backup.
WR Rod Smith X Will likely work against CB Charles Woodson. While one of the top corners, he has not reached "shut-down" status yet and Smith will have a few opportunities downfield.
WR Ed McCaffrey B Will likely get a few more looks this week in 3-WR sets, but Easy Ed's best days are behind him as he's just not the same after the brutal leg injury.
WR Ashley Lelie S2

Can stretch the field against the "non-Woodson" coverage and has the upper hand in those matchups. Could be a breakout game for him this season.

TE Shannon Sharpe X Plummer obviously learned an important lesson early upon arriving in Denver. Always keep an eye on Sharpe.

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