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Start/Bench List - Week 4
By Whitney Walters
September 25, 2003
 
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
ARI at STL PHI at BUF ATL at CAR DET at DEN GB at CHI
CIN at CLE SF at MIN KC at BAL Sun 8:30 PM  Byes:
JAC at HOU TEN at PIT SD at OAK IND at NO MIA, NYG,
NE at WAS   DAL at NYJ (times ET) SEA, TB
Player List by Position
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
 
Atlanta (1-2) at Carolina (2-0)  
Sun, Sep 28, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Ericsson Stadium Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Doug Johnson B Johnson is a better player than he's showed through three weeks. Under the tremendous pressure the Panthers will bring this week he'll extend that trend to four weeks.
RB Warrick Dunn X There are few teams better at stopping the run than Carolina. Dunn will struggle this week but may find limited success using his speed on the corners of the defense against the injury depleted Panther linebackers.
RB T.J. Duckett  B The Panthers' run defense is strongest up the middle. Don't expect much out of Duckett, even if the Falcons can get the ball down to the goal-line.
WR Peerless Price X Until Vick returns it's best to steer clear of the Falcon passing game. But if there's a weakness in the Carolina defense it's the cornerbacks. If Johnson can get some time in the pocket (a big if) Price could produce.
WR Quentin McCord B Was expected to step up with the injury to Finneran but hasn't. Went catchless last week.
WR Jimmy Farris B

Suffered a mild concussion last week. Even if he does play Sunday don't expect much.

TE Alge Crumpler S2 Remains the best fantasy option in this passing attack, and on this team.
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme U An extra week to prepare and a soft Falcon secondary present Delhomme with a chance at having a fantasy impact this week.
RB Stephen Davis S1 Atlanta's allowing over 135 yards a game on the ground and a league leading 5 rushing touchdowns.
RB DeShaun Foster B Working his way back slowly with limited touches.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Muhammad's size and speed present a matchup advantage this week against the Falcon corners.
WR Steve Smith X If the Panthers can stretch the field with Muhammad then the short and intermediate passing game will open up for Smith.
WR Ricky Proehl B

May occasionally produce but is more likely to pull in just 2-3 catches a week.

TE Kris Mangum B Not a big part of this offense and splits time with Jermaine Wiggins.
 
Kansas City (3-0) at Baltimore (2-1)  
Sun, Sep 28, 4:05 PM ET on CBS at M&T Band Stadium Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X Current TD/INT ratio is 3/5. Not good. Must remain patient this week and take what the Ravens' defense gives him, which won't be a lot.
RB Priest Holmes S1 Ray Lewis and the Ravens. Yeah, yeah. Just play him.
RB Derrick Blaylock B Only if Priest is hurt. And maybe not even then.
WR Eddie Kennison X The more inconsistent of the primary Chief receivers. Will have a tough go of it this week as Green will be under increased pressure and the Raven secondary will pose matchup problems.
WR Johnnie Morton X Same goes for Morton, except for the inconsistent part.
WR Marc Boerigter B Only getting a couple of looks a week in this high scoring offense with many options and a single driving force in Holmes.
TE Tony Gonzalez (P) S2 So far a major fantasy disappointment, only 7 catches for 78 yards through three games. Has been slowed by injury but has also not played well. His chance to redeem himself will not be easy this week against the aggressive Raven linebackers.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Barely doing enough to keep Baltimore winning. Zero fantasy value.
RB Jamal Lewis S1 Gets left guard Edwin Mulitalo back this week and will run at the KC defense all afternoon. An intriguing RB matchup against the man he sent packing to Kansas City back in 2001.
RB Chester Taylor (P)  B It's all Lewis, all the time.
WR Travis Taylor B The wide receivers have a total of seven, yes seven, catches between the three of them over the past two games. 'Nuf said.
WR Frank Sanders B Ditto.
WR Marcus Robinson B

Ditto.

TE Todd Heap S1 Again leading the team in receiving and it's best fantasy option outside of Lewis. But when your passing game averages less than 100 yards each week it can limit your fantasy potential at times.
 
San Diego (0-3) at Oakland (1-2)  
Sun, Sep 28, 4:05 PM ET on CBS at Network Associates Coliseum Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B The Raiders aren't going to scare anyone with their pass defense (ranked 28th), but neither is the Chargers' passing offense.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 The Raiders give up over 130 YPG on the ground.
RB Jesse Chatman  B Won't see the field unless LT goes down.
WR David Boston X Had some brief moments of promise last week, then gets kicked out of practice on Wednesday. If he's allowed to return and play on Sunday he will cause matchup problems for the Raiders.
WR Eric Parker U With all the attention given to Boston, Parker's speed and run-after-the-catch ability make him a good option for Brees.
WR Tim Dwight B

Remains a minor fantasy factor in an offense featuring the run.

TE Justin Peelle X With both Alexander and Norman likely still out this week Peelle could surprise as an outlet option in the ball-control Charger offense.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rich Gannon X Lack of a strong running game and the ability to stretch the field continue to hinder Gannon and the Raider passing game. Look for an emphasis on the running game this week and a few more chances downfield.
RB Charlie Garner S2 You want to cure this stagnant offense? Here's a tip. RUN THE BALL! Garner is arguably one of the league's top 5 RBs based on speed and talent. Getting him 8 carries a game is pathetic. If Garner doesn't touch the ball at least 20 times against one of the NFL's worst run defenses, Al Davis should clean house next week.
RB Tyrone Wheatley  X Still getting the short/tough-yardage calls, but when they get to the goal-line Crockett seems to be the back of choice most of the time, limiting Wheatley's value.
RB Justin Fargas  B Super-talent that may get you a home run, but you can't rely on that.
WR Jerry Rice S2

While the plan now is obvious, tighten up the safeties and use underneath zones to take away the Raiders' favorite horizontal routes, the Chargers don't have the personnel to give them a great deal of success. Rice should bring a solid fantasy game to the table this week.

WR Tim Brown B

Two games, two catches. Huh?!?! The Chargers' young guns on the corners may cause the old man some problems this week.

WR Alvis Whitted B

Non-factor.

TE Doug Jolley X Could be used more to stretch the middle of the field this week.
 
Dallas (1-1) at New York Jets (0-3)  
Sun, Sep 28, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Giants Stadium Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter X

By playing to the strength of the 3-WR sets the Cowboys lead the league in passing and in plays over 25 yards, with seven. The trio of Galloway, Glenn and Bryant are more than most nickel coverages can handle, but the cover-2 schemes used by the Jets and their solid pass rush could cause Carter problems.

RB Troy Hambrick X Should get some extra work this week as the Cowboys will want to control the clock and likely won't fall behind in this one.
RB Aveion Cason B Change of pace back.
WR Joey Galloway S2 Can stretch the field with his speed but the New York corners don't have it to match. Look for Galloway to burn then a few times deep.
WR Terry Glenn B He has a favorable matchup against the thin Jets' secondary, but his inconsistencies, and those of his quarterback, make him a difficult start.
WR Antonio Bryant U

Nickel CB Aaron Beasley is tough and physical, which will pose problems for Bryant. But if he stays at him his speed will provide him with a few big play opportunities.

TE Dan Campbell
Jason Witten
B Carter is not a dump-off quarterback, he's a runner. Just four catches between the two of them in two weeks. Don't expect much from the Dallas TEs.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde X The Cowboys are not a great defense against the pass and Testaverde could make them pay this week. Maybe.
RB Curtis Martin X The Jets' offensive line seems to be better suited to pass blocking than run blocking as the Jets are last in the league in rushing with less than 50 YPG. Dallas is a solid run stopping unit so don't expect much from Martin.
RB LaMont Jordan  B Still going to see only limited carries in relief of Martin.
WR Curtis Conway X Hasn't been the deep threat the Jets were expecting when they signed him in the offseason and just isn't explosive enough to consistently beat a young, athletic Cowboys' secondary.
WR Wayne Chrebet B Ditto for Chrebet.
WR Santana Moss U

Moss's speed will continue to give him an edge over nickel CB's each week. This week is no exception and he should bounce back from his one catch outing last week.

TE Anthony Becht B His career average of 2 catches a game leave a lot to be desired.
 
Detroit (1-2) at Denver (3-0)  
Sun, Sep 28, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Invesco Field at Mile High Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington (P) B After starting the season with a 4 TD game against Arizona, Harrington has followed that with two consecutive weeks with three interceptions and no touchdowns.
RB Shawn Bryson B Starting to emerge as a solid starter in Detroit. Unfortunately runs into a stingy Denver defense this week that's allowing only 70 rushing YPG.
RB Olandis Gary B It's starting to look like there were reasons other than injury why Gary has been riding the pine so much since his big season back in 1999.
WR Charles Rogers X Rogers is a rookie, but he's the only Detroit wideout that has the talent and speed to hurt the Bronco secondary.
WR Bill Schroeder (Q) B Continues his inconsistent play which is not compounded by the young Harrington at quarterback. Also slowed by the knee injury.
WR Az-Zahir Hakim B

Returned to action last week but was fairly ineffective.

TE Mikhael Ricks X Harrington should look for Ricks when the Broncos roll the coverage to Rogers' side. He has good speed and is capable of providing big plays.
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer (P) S2 Starting to come around. The Lions lost their third cornerback for the season due to injury. Look for an increase in the passing game this week.
RB Clinton Portis (Q) X May sit this one out. If he doesn't, play him.
RB Mike Anderson (P) X If Portis doesn't play then Anderson steps in and will provide a great fantasy game against a Detroit defense allowing over 140 YPG on the ground.
WR Rod Smith S2 If he can keep his punches in check this week look for Smith to benefit along with everyone else in the Bronco passing attack against the decimated Lion secondary.
WR Ed McCaffrey B Still a solid possession receiver, but is still playing tentatively. Not a fantasy option any more.
WR Ashley Lelie S2

Lelie's size and speed are going to be a nightmare for the Lions' secondary.

TE Shannon Sharpe S2 Well, let's make it virtually a clean sweep this week and also recommend starting Mr. Sharpe. The one still playing of course.
 
Indianapolis (3-0) at New Orleans (1-2)  
Sun, Sep 28, 8:30 PM ET on ESPN at Superdome Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 The New Orleans defense is in tatters and Manning should have another big day.
RB Edgerrin James (P) X Back problems revealed on Wednesday may keep James out of this game. If he plays it's looking likely that he won't be 100%.
RB James Mungro  X If James is out then Mungro may fill in as he is the healthiest of the three Colt backups.
WR Marvin Harrison S1 This is the week!
WR Reggie Wayne S2 Don't expect another career performance. But the #2 WR has always had potential in Indy and maybe it's going to be Wayne that finally realizes that potential.
WR Troy Walters  B

The #3 WR will never be an impact in this offense that prefers 2-TE, 2-WR sets.

TE Marcus Pollard B Three catches week one, two catches in week two, zero catches last week. A very disturbing trend has developed here. Pollard is the better blocker and that seems to be hurting his opportunities in the 2-TE sets with rookie, pass catching, tight end Clark.
TE Dallas Clark U And on the other side, one catch in week one, four in week two and four last week. It appears that the Colts are growing confident in the rookie's abilities to split the secondary on vertical routes down the seams.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X So far this season Brooks hasn't shown the touch, accuracy or consistency required to beat a good two-deep zone like the Colts'. You might be better off finding another option this week.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 Should find more running room this week. But the Saints' offense is struggling in all phases and if they fall behind the risk is high that they will abandon the run like last week.
RB James Fenderson  B Never see the field. Well, almost never.
WR Joe Horn S2 Horn is at his best against zone coverage, like the type he will see against the Colts. If his knee holds up he should put up some nice numbers Sunday night.
WR Donte Stallworth X Stallworth's speed could cause matchup problems for the Colts.
WR Jerome Pathon B

One week wonder? Probably.

TE Ernie Conwell B Limited looks and Conwell isn't the sort of deep threat that can exploit the Colts' zone coverage schemes.
 
Green Bay (1-2) at Chicago (0-2)  
Mon, Sep 29, 9:00 PM ET on ABC at Soldier Field Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2 The offense is almost back to full strength and it's on a Monday night. Oh yeah, and the Bears are terrible. Start him.
RB Ahman Green S1 It's only been two games, but there may not be a worse rush defense in the league than the Bears'.
RB Tony Fisher B Has replaced Najeh Davenport as the backup for now. Isn't the power runner that Davenport is, but is a much better receiver.
WR Donald Driver S2 Driver looked somewhat tentative last week in his return to action after the neck injury. You can expect a much better performance Monday after a week's worth of practice time.
WR Robert Ferguson (P) X With Driver back Ferguson should rest a week and get healthy. He's had to leave the past two games due to the knee injury. Until he's 100% the risk is too high to make him a fantasy starter.
WR Javon Walker X

Ferguson's iffy status will impact Walker. If Ferguson starts and plays well then Walker's value is limited. If Ferguson rests then Walker could be a surprise impact player this week against the Bears' suspect man-to-man coverage.

TE Bubba Franks S2 Teams have learned to pay more attention to Franks inside the 10 and his production is showing that. Favre continues to look his way though.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kordell Stewart B Can still make a few things happen with his running ability, but that isn't enough anymore to make him a viable fantasy quarterback. If he's your bye week backup, you should have already been hitting the waiver wire to replace him.
RB Anthony Thomas B A north/south runner who can be effective in a pound-it-out attack behind a big, mauling offensive line. Too bad the Bears' line is one of the league's worst.
RB Adrian Peterson  B May see some action but not enough to warrant fantasy attention.
WR Marty Booker X The only premier talent in this offense. But he's being wasted in the controlled, short passing game the Bears continue to fail at.
WR Dez White B Fast but has average hands. White will remain the starter opposite Booker for now but will struggle along with the offense.
WR David Terrell B

Will get few looks in this offense.

TE Desmond Clark U The single matchup advantage the Bears have this week is in the short passing game. Look for Clark to be active.

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