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Start/Bench List - Week 5
By Whitney Walters
October 2, 2003
 
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
ARI at DAL MIN at ATL TEN at NE WAS at PHI IND at TB
CIN at BUF NO at CAR Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  Byes:
DEN at KC OAK at CHI SD at JAC CLE at PIT BAL, HOU,
MIA at NYG SEA at GB DET at SF (times ET) NYJ, STL
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
 
Arizona (1-3) at Dallas (2-1)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Texas Stadium Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Blake (P) U Still mistake prone under pressure, Blake continues to be a hit-n-miss fantasy QB. This week the running game is likely to go nowhere so look for Blake to put it up with some success against a Dallas secondary that has lacked consistency.
RB Emmitt Smith X Did score his first Cardinal TD last week but averaged a terrible 2.1 YPC in the process. It's hard to bet against the proud, and obviously motivated, Smith's return to big D, but the Dallas run defense is 4th in the league and will be just as motivated.
RB Marcel Shipp  B The team needs to get him on the field but only gave him one touch last week. This week with Emmitt's return to Dallas he may not even get that.
WR Anquan Boldin S2 The surprise of the fantasy season continues to lead all NFL receivers in yardage and is #2 in catches. Not likely to explode this week but will be solid against a secondary that will give him a bit too much cushion in coverage.
WR Bryant Johnson X The #17 pick in the 2003 draft shows improvement each week and Blake continues to look his way.
WR Larry Foster
Bryan Gilmore
B

Neither got a single look last week but may be more active on Sunday given they will be closer to 100% healthy.

TE Freddie Jones B Even with all the injuries to the receivers Jones' production has decreased each week and he was blanked last Sunday.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter S2

The Cardinals don't fall to the bottom of the pass defense rankings, but as a group they may have the weakest secondary in the league. Carter and his three amigos will make them suffer. The only thing holding back his production this week will be a very successful running game.

RB Troy Hambrick S2 May play with a bit of a chip on his shoulder this week with Emmitt's return, but what will help him even more will be an increased workload and a weak Cardinal defense.
RB Aveion Cason B Only the change of pace back.
WR Joey Galloway S2 The driving force in the passing game. Arizona has no option in the secondary to match his down field speed.
WR Terry Glenn B He remains the starter with Galloway but other than his big game in week 2 against the Giants he has done nothing.
WR Antonio Bryant U

Made his one catch last week count, scoring a touchdown. Should get many more opportunities against the suspect Arizona secondary.

TE Dan Campbell
Jason Witten
B The Dallas tight ends continue to be a non-factor.
 
Cincinnati (1-3) at Buffalo (2-2)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Ralph Wilson Stadium Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna X

When Kitna can play mistake free he's a solid fantasy QB. But against the Bills pressure and ball-hawking secondary mistakes will be harder to avoid this week.

RB Rudi Johnson X With Dillon out this week, expect second-year back Johnson to carry the bulk of the load. Unfortunately the Bengals could only muster 80 yards on the ground last week against a Cleveland team giving up over 140 per game. The Bills are not much better but it's hard to recommend a shared Bengal backfield.
RB Brandon Bennett B Even though he will share the carries with Johnson it won't be enough to warrant any fantasy consideration.
WR Chad Johnson S2 A premier talent that will have his hands full with the corner tandem of Antoine Winfield and Nate Clements. A borderline start this week.
WR Peter Warrick X Starting to emerge and Kitna is gaining confidence in him. Will also get you some extra yardage in the running game with reverses.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Q)
Kelly Washington
B

TJ may return this week. With the strong corner coverage on Johnson and Warrick the #3 WR spot is key this week for the Bengals. Both of these guys may see increased looks but neither are worth a fantasy start.

TE Matt Schobel (Q)
Reginald Kelly
Tony Stewart
B Schobel is expected to return this week but will not be 100%. The tight end may get extra attention this week due to the limits put on the starting wide receivers. But with what could be a 3-headed TE this week, none can be recommended.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2 Without a commitment to the running game Bledsoe is being asked to carry this offense. That won't always work. This week it should as the Bengals struggle to mount much of a pass rush.
RB Travis Henry (Q) S2 Should return to action this week but at this time it is a late week, game-time decision. If he is healthy and does play Henry is a solid fantasy option this week against a Bengal unit that allows over 130 YPG on the ground.
RB Joe Burns B Didn't fair well in his first start, but not many do against the Philly defense this year. This week it looks like it's back to the bench.
WR Eric Moulds S2 Has not put together two straight solid fantasy efforts this season. The Bengals' pass defense is much improved this year, but Moulds will give his owners two in a row this week.
WR Josh Reed B Started the season well but the past two weeks has been outperformed by Shaw. Only a single catch last week and not a one of the last 25 Bledsoe passes went his way.
WR Bobby Shaw U

Has really come on the last two weeks as Reed fades. It's still too early to say whether or not this becomes a permanent situation.

TE Mark Campbell U Campbell shares time with Dave Moore, but it's Campbell that seems to be the focus in the passing game. Hasn't shown enough to make him a fantasy starter however.
 
Denver (4-0) at Kansas City (4-0)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Arrowhead Stadium Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer (P) B Finding his groove in Denver's offense. This week will be a struggle however. Nothing in his pro career has prepared him for a Bronco game at Arrowhead. The potential loss of his starting center doesn't help.
RB Clinton Portis (Q) S2 Regardless what Shanahan says this week, expect Portis to play. What will hurt him more than his chest will be the potential loss of center Tom Nalen. Still, his speed will serve him well getting to the edges of the KC defense where they are the weakest.
RB Mike Anderson  B Back to fullback.
WR Rod Smith S2 Despite the solid play of the KC defense so far their secondary does tot match up well with the speed of both Smith and Lelie. If the offensive line can give Plummer some time against the aggressive KC rush then Smith ...
WR Ashley Lelie U

... and Lelie will get some opportunities for plays down field.

WR Ed McCaffrey (P) B Still a solid possession receiver and will get a few key catches a game. Just not a fantasy option any more.
TE Shannon Sharpe (P) S2 The spread offensive approach is serving Sharpe well as he leads all tight ends with three TDs.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X Green has developed into a mere caretaker of the high-powered Kansas City offense. Success for him now is finishing a game with no interceptions, around 250 yards passing, MAYBE two TDs and a lot of handoffs to Priest. Don't expect that much this week, well... except for that last part.
RB Priest Holmes (P) S1 Look for the Chiefs to run the ball right at the Broncos' defense in an attempt to neutralize their linebacker speed.
RB Derrick Blaylock B Only if Priest is hurt. And maybe not even then.
WR Eddie Kennison X The Broncos' corners have the ability to press both Kennison and Morton this week with bump-and-run coverage. Both lack the strength to combat the jams at the line and the speed to beat them down field. Expect both Kennison ...
WR Johnnie Morton X ... and Morton to struggle on the parameter.
WR Marc Boerigter B A complete non-factor at this point. With Kennison and Morton likely locked down, Boerigter may get a few extra looks this week, but it won't matter.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2 Almost 100% healthy now and should fair well against the Broncos' safeties who are the weak link in the defense due to the injury to starter Kenoy Kennedy.
 
Miami (2-1) at New York Giants (2-1)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Giants Stadium Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler B Fiedler's value to the Dolphins will be how well he can make opposing defenses pay for cheating to stop the run. Even if successful that will only lead to a typical 200 yards and a TD performance. Not what most fantasy teams need.
RB Ricky Williams S1 Miami leads the league in rushes per game. No big surprise there.
RB Travis Minor B Purely a backup.
WR Chris Chambers S2 Chambers continues to mature as a receiver. With the added support needed to combat the Dolphins' running attack the play-action passing game is almost always there and Chambers is Fiedler's best option downfield.
WR Derrius Thompson B There are about 15 completions a game generated by the Dolphins. Williams, Chambers and McMichael get about 80% of those. That pretty much says it all for Thompson's and ...
WR James McKnight B

... McKnight's fantasy value.

TE Randy McMichael S2 Chambers is likely to draw safety help this week, helping to open up the middle for McMichael.
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2 The passing game provides the best matchup for the Giants this week. Collins has too many weapons at his disposal not to succeed against a Miami pass defense that ranks 27th in the NFL.
RB Tiki Barber S2 Having to work hard behind the young line this season. Could play a factor in his durability. Will be an interesting matchup this week with the quick yet overaggressive Zach Thomas. Look for much of Barber's production to come in the short passing game.
RB Delvin Joyce B Has touched the ball once in three games.
WR Amani Toomer S2

The Giants' WR matchups this week depend on how well both Toomer and Hilliard deal with the mostly man coverage by corners Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. The spread offense should provide both Toomer and ...

WR Ike Hilliard (P) X ... Hilliard with plenty of one-on-one opportunities. Both should make the most of them.
WR Tim Carter B

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

TE Jeremy Shockey S1 As with most teams Shockey poses matchup problems for the Miami linebackers and safeties.
 
Minnesota (4-0) at Atlanta (1-3)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Georgia Dome Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte S2 Early indications are that the Vikings will rest Culpepper this week. Atlanta is playing so poorly that it won't really matter. Whoever ends up starting for the Vikings should also be in your fantasy starting lineup.
RB Moe Williams X Just what fantasy owners need, another RBBC. With Smith's emergence last week look for fewer carries for Williams, and even a few less goal-line opportunities. Throw a healthy Doug Chapman in the mix and you have a real mess.
RB Onterrio Smith  U And so it begins. Smith's 10 carries last week is just the beginning. Expect him to continue to split time with Williams, and even Chapman, but begin to pull ahead. The terrible Atlanta run defense at least provides plenty of production to spread around this week.
WR Randy Moss (P) S1 Hey, I've got an idea. Let's line-up 7-9 yards off the ball and let this Moss dude run free into the secondary. That'll really confuse 'em.
WR D'Wayne Bates (Q) B Slowed by the foot injury but may return this week. Likely to be limited if he does play.
WR Kelly Campbell
Nate Burleson
X

With Bates continued to be slowed the opportunities for either Campbell or Burleson are there each week. Problem is, it could be either.

TE Jim Kleinsasser (P) B Dinged up last week but should return to action on Sunday.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Doug Johnson B Johnson is not making good decisions under pressure. The offensive line's pass protection has been weak and the receivers' ability to adjust to the blitz has been inconsistent at best. You think he may see a blitz or two from the Vikings on Sunday?
RB Warrick Dunn X In week 3 Dunn saw only nine carries and in week 4 he was not the starter and saw only four. It's hard to imagine the Falcons allowing their team captain to fade away, but panic is setting in and anything is possible now.
RB T.J. Duckett  X The Falcons' best chance is to slow the game down with a power running game. If Atlanta can keep from falling behind early (a big if) then Duckett has a chance running at the heart of the quick Viking defense.
WR Peerless Price (D) X Price's production is improving slightly, but until Vick returns it's best to steer clear of the Falcon passing game.
WR Quentin McCord B Has four receptions for 24 yards in four games despite facing favorable one-on-one matchups as a result of opponents giving Price more attention.
WR Jimmy Farris B

If Price has little value, what possibly could Farris bring to your team?

TE Alge Crumpler (P) S2 Remains the best fantasy option in this passing attack, and on this team.
 
New Orleans (1-3) at Carolina (3-0)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Ericsson Stadium Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X Statistically the Panthers are only the 29th best pass defense. They do pressure the QB very well though. This has great potential for Brooks but the bottom line is that he's playing badly. Until he turns it around he'd be hard to rely on at this point.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 The only bright spot in last week's pasting was the running game. The Panthers are tough but that shouldn't stop New Orleans from getting McAllister 25-30 touches in this make-or-break game for the Saints. That will be necessary to keep the battered defense off the field.
RB James Fenderson  B Got a carry last week. Same as the kicker.
WR Joe Horn S2 The typically consistent Horn has now had two subpar performances in a row. Even though the Saints are reeling odds are that it won't be three in a row.
WR Donte Stallworth X Seems to be a forgotten element of the passing game. Only five catches since his 8 catch game in week one. If the Saints can get the running game going then Stallworth could end up with some favorable one-on-one matchups.
WR Jerome Pathon U

#3 receives' production typically relies heavily on the depth of the opposing cornerback corps. The Panthers' is lacking and Pathon could make them pay.

TE Ernie Conwell B Has not been used much until last week when he lead all receivers with nine passes thrown his way. Will be used more for pass protection this week.
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme U Should have another solid outing this week against a Saints' defense that's barely keeping their heads above water due to sever injury problems.
RB Stephen Davis S1 The Panthers have the #3 rushing attack in the league. The only downside right now is the single touchdown scored in three games. There is little doubt this will be Davis' 4th 100 yard game in a row.
RB DeShaun Foster B Working his way back into the mix and had a season high 10 carries last week.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Muhammad's size and speed present a matchup advantage this week against the aging and inconsistent Saint corners. Once the running game gets it going and the safeties begin to cheat up look for Muhammad ...
WR Steve Smith X ... and Smith to have some big plays in the play-action passing game.
WR Ricky Proehl B

An occasional target, but does seem to get his share of looks around the end-zone.

TE Kris Mangum (Q) B Not a big part of this offense and splits time with Jermaine Wiggins.
 
Oakland (2-2) at Chicago (0-3)  
Sun, Oct 5, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Soldier Field Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rich Gannon S2 If the Raiders can carry forward the last few drives from last week's win then this could get ugly. The Bears are just flat out bad.
RB Charlie Garner S2 Got a few more carries last week but 12 is still terrible. Falling behind early didn't help though. Against the worst run defense in the league you can bet Garner will see more than 12 this week.
RB Tyrone Wheatley  U With the running game in full swing this week Wheatley will likely see some extra work and he continues to be the main ball carrier around the goal-line.
RB Justin Fargas  B Super-talented rookie but no carries.
WR Jerry Rice S2

May have lost their down field speed, but both Rice and Brown can produce when given the opportunities and a favorable matchup ...

WR Tim Brown X

... This week they get both.

WR Jerry Porter (D) B

Could return to action this week. If he does he'll likely see only limited action.

TE Doug Jolley X Scored his first touchdown last week and should continue seeing more looks around the end-zone due to his size advantage over the smallish Chicago safeties.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kordell Stewart B Without his running last week he wouldn't even register on the fantasy value scale. Avoid Stewart.
RB Anthony Thomas (P) S2 Finally flashed some of that rookie form and speed on Monday night. Look for the carries to continue to increase this week against the Raiders, who are ranked 30th against the run and allowing over 150 YPG on the ground.
RB Adrian Peterson  B May see some limited action but not enough to warrant fantasy attention.
WR Marty Booker B The only premier talent in this offense. But he's no down field threat and the short passing attack employed by the Bears continues to fail miserably. To top it off he get to battle Charles Woodson this week. Stay away.
WR Dez White B Just not getting it done in this vertically challenged offense managed by a talent challenged quarterback.
WR David Terrell X

If there's any success in the passing game it will likely come to Terrell as he works against nickel coverage playing catchup.

TE Desmond Clark S2 Clark is proving to be the Bears' most consistent matchup to take advantage of. He has the speed to shake most linebackers in coverage.

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