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Start/Bench List - Week 6
By Whitney Walters
October 9, 2003
 
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
CAR at IND MIA at JAC TB at WAS PIT at DEN ATL at STL
CHI at NO NYG at NE Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  Byes:
HOU at TEN OAK at CLE BAL at ARI SF at SEA CIN, DET
KC at GB PHI at DAL BUF at NYJ (times ET) MIN, SD
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
 
Carolina (4-0) at Indianapolis (5-0)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at RCA Dome Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B Caretaker of the second worst passing offense, who's chief role is not making key mistakes and handing the ball to Davis.
RB Stephen Davis S2 Indy poses a solid test defensively, but the real Davis killer this week may be the Colt offense. If the Panthers fall behind they will be forced to throw more.
RB DeShaun Foster B Seeing spot work in relief of Davis.
WR Muhsin Muhammad U The best Carolina has to offer, but Muhammad continues to be hurt by inconsistent play resulting in drops, mistakes and turnovers. Could emerge as a sleeper this week as it's likely the Panthers will have to throw more to stay in this one.
WR Steve Smith B There may be a few extra balls in the air this week, but that likely won't amount to enough to give Smith any fantasy impact.
WR Ricky Proehl X

Only an occasional target in this passing game, but continues to to get looks around the end-zone.

TE Kris Mangum B Not a big part of this offense and now giving up playing time to rookie Mike Seidman.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 Another challenge for the Manning lead offense this week. But while Carolina does pressure the QB well, their secondary is suspect. Given time in the pocket Manning will hurt them.
RB Edgerrin James (Q) B Another week and another big unknown for James, as the back continues to be an issue. So again, your choice this week for the Colts' running game may be a less than 100% Edge, or ...
RB James Mungro
Ricky Williams
Dominic Rhodes (P)
B ... a three-headed monster made up of Mungro, Williams and Rhodes. Either way it's best to steer clear of the Colts' backfield as it's highly unlikely you'll see a Tampa Bay-esque meltdown by the Panthers this week.
WR Marvin Harrison S1 What can you say. The best the NFL had to offer couldn't slow him down.
WR Reggie Wayne B Since the week three explosion, back to his subordinate role behind Harrison.
WR Troy Walters  B

Saw some extra looks Monday night as the Colts used a lot of multi-WR sets playing catch-up. Normally however, the #3 WR will have little impact in this offense that primarily runs 2-TE, 2-WR sets.

TE Marcus Pollard X Looks to be back in the flow of the passing game. Even though he was needed in pass protection Monday Pollard still had an impact. Look for that to continue this week as the Panthers bring a fierce pass rush.
TE Dallas Clark X Remains as active in the passing game as the wide receivers not named Harrison.
 
Chicago (1-3) at New Orleans (1-4)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Superdome Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kordell Stewart B Has balanced his terrible passing with production running the ball. The Saints secondary is hurting but they still bring a solid pass rush. Look for Kordell to be running again this week.
RB Anthony Thomas S2 Another good matchup for Thomas who should continue his roll against a banged up Saints run defense that's allowing over 120 YPG.
RB Adrian Peterson  B This is Thomas' position now. Peterson has 1 carry in the last two games.
WR Marty Booker (P) X Had a season best 94 yards last week and should again lead all Bears in receiving. His strength will come into play this week against the poor tackling Saints.
WR Dez White B Unable to get it done in this vertically challenged offense managed by a talent challenged quarterback.
WR David Terrell B

One week you put up a season-best seven-catch effort, the next you get blanked. Not exactly what you want in a fantasy WR.

TE Desmond Clark S2 Should get some single-coverage opportunities working against the Saints' linebackers and safeties, and he will take advantage.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks U Brooks showed some improvement last week in his play and should do even better this week. Chicago doesn't have the pass rush to pressure him and they don't have the secondary talent to stay with his three WR's.
RB Deuce McAllister S1 Not much to say here. The Bears' run defense is terrible, ranked 30th and allowing almost 170 YPG.
RB Ki-jana Carter  B Appears to be the official "backup never used" for the Saints now.
WR Joe Horn S2 Horn is still battling a knee injury and isn't 100%. But this matchup against the Bears' secondary should be taken advantage of. Brooks continues to look Horn's way regularly.
WR Donte Stallworth X His matchup this week with cornerback Charles Tillman will be an interesting one. While Tillman is a rookie and will start only his second game, he has shown great talent and athletic ability so far.
WR Jerome Pathon B

Should see the field often this week as the Saints will likely want to spread the weak Chicago defense horizontally. But Pathon looks to be the 4th or 5th option in a passing game that is not hitting on all cylinders yet.

TE Ernie Conwell U Conwell isn't a field-stretcher. But while opposing defenses deal with the other Saints' weapons, he has quietly become very effective. Only two tight ends have more catches this season. Brooks appears to be consistently looking his way now.
 
Houston (2-2) at Tennessee (3-2)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at The Coliseum Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B New weapon Andre Johnson has been a great benefit to Carr, along with a little more time in the pocket this season. Both will be needed this week for Carr to have any fantasy success.
RB Stacey Mack B Continues to suffer from turf toe on both feet and the week off doesn't appear to have helped. Look for Mack to share carries with both backups Domanick Davis and Tony Hollings.
RB Domanick Davis
Tony Hollings
B After getting his shot week 3, the rookie Hollings looked good then fumbled and went to the bench. Week 4 it was Davis that shared the load with Mack. This week look for both to see action as Mack is not 100%.
WR Andre Johnson S2 The rookie is still raw, but has the skills to win this matchup with injured CB Samari Rolle's replacement, likely second year man Tony Beckham.
WR Corey Bradford X Pure speed receiver that has the ability to surprise each week with a big play. That leads to inconsistent and unpredictable fantasy production.
WR Jabar Gaffney B

Johnson's presence has made Gaffney more dangerous out of the slot and he has been finding some success. But like Bradford his production will be sporadic along with the passing game and due to the focus on Johnson.

TE Billy Miller B Miller is no longer the focus of the passing game like last season and he's fallen into the "couple of catches a week" category of non-starting fantasy tight ends.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2 An every week starter regardless of opponent who's fantasy value is being elevated as he makes up for the weak running game.
RB Eddie George X Ricky Williams, Deuce McAllister, Priest Holmes, Fred Taylor. What do these top RBs have in common this year? They've all been held under 100 yards rushing against Houston.
RB Chris Brown B The Titans will have to realize George's limitations soon and start working Brown's speed into the running game. Right?
WR Derrick Mason (Q) X The usual double coverage will be limited this week because Houston just doesn't have the horses to pull it off against the multi-receiver attack of the Titans. As McCareins and Bennett continue to draw more attention, Mason will benefit.
WR Drew Bennett B With CB Aaron Glenn out, his replacement, Kenny Wright, will cause some difficulty for Bennett due to his size and strength.
WR Justin McCareins X

May be #3 on the depth chart, but more often than not is outperforming Bennett. With Bennett potentially slowed this week McCareins will have another chance to step up for the Titans.

TE Erron Kinney U Wycheck remains out and now may be joined by Meier who suffered a concussion last week. Expect Kinney to get a few extra looks this weekend.
 
Kansas City (5-0) at Green Bay (3-2)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Lambeau Field Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X Continues his average-at-best play. The emphasis on the running game and the inconsistent play of his receivers will keep it that way.
RB Priest Holmes (P) S1 After starting with a bang, Holmes has failed to reach 100 yards rushing or score a touchdown in two weeks. Green Bay won't be so resistant and you can expect Priest to hit paydirt at least once in Lambeau.
WR Eddie Kennison B Both Kennison and Morton continue to struggle gaining separation on defending corner backs as they lack the strength to combat jams and speed to beat them deep. The Green Bay corners will likely put the clamps on both Kennison ...
WR Johnnie Morton X ... and Morton this week. Expect both to struggle.
WR Marc Boerigter B When the tiny kick returner starts getting more looks in the passing game, it's time to move on.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2 Looks healthy, looks good and looks to again be the leading receiver for the Chiefs.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2 Has been given more freedom in the offense and now has a close to 100% healthy receiving corps. Found a serious groove last week and if he remains patient and takes advantage of the zone cushion the Chiefs will provide, that tune will continue.
RB Ahman Green S1 With Kansas City allowing almost five yards per rush, Green should have little trouble keeping his highly productive streak going.
RB Tony Fisher B Has replaced Najeh Davenport as the backup for now. Sees only spot duty in relief of Green.
WR Donald Driver S2 After a shaky couple of weeks following his return from the neck injury Driver looked back to his old self Sunday against Seattle.
WR Robert Ferguson X Obviously not 100% back from the knee and ankle injuries. Expect hit-and-miss production from Ferguson as he gets his legs back under him.
WR Javon Walker B

With Walls now in the mix there are even more weapons in the passing game that will limit Walker's fantasy impact.

TE Bubba Franks S2 Still one of Favre's favorite end-zone targets, but watch the passes thrown his way now that Walls is on the field.
TE Wesley Walls B Walls returned to action last week and was in on most 2-TE sets. His receiving skills will not go untapped and he could begin to cut in to Franks production.
 
Miami (3-1) at Jacksonville (1-4)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at ALLTEL Stadium Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler (P) B Fiedler's value to the Dolphins will boil down to 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 I think it's safe to say that it will be a long, long time before a wide receiver out-rushes Ricky.
RB Rob Konrad (P) B A few carries and a few catches.
WR Chris Chambers S2 Chambers continues to mature as a receiver and can win most matchups with his combination of size and speed. But he carries a downside each week, and that's the very limited use of a passing game by Miami.
WR Derrius Thompson B About 15 completions a game generated by the Dolphins and Williams, Chambers and McMichael get about 80% of those. That pretty much sums it up for Thompson's and ...
WR James McKnight B

... McKnight's fantasy value.

TE Randy McMichael S2 The Jags run primarily two-deep zones and with a safety very likely cheating up in run support, McMichael could have one of his most productive Sundays.
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich B Against a terrible Chargers defense last week the rookie looked solid throwing for over 300 yards and two TDs. Don't expect a repeat this week as his lack of mobility will hurt against the blitzes that will be coming all afternoon.
RB Fred Taylor S2 The Dolphins are allowing only 66 YPG on the ground and Taylor's yards will come on much smaller gains this week. But his quickness on the corners and his receiving skills keep him in starter status.
WR Jimmy Smith X

And just like that you're a fantasy stud again. But that was the Chargers. This week he gets a pro bowl cornerback to deal with and his QB will be under intense pressure.

WR J.J. Stokes B Not a catch and not even a look last week as he was deactivated for the game. Yeah, that was a great free agent pickup.
WR Troy Edwards X

Seems to have emerged as the #2 WR alongside Smith. With the attention Smith garners that's not a bad place to be.

TE Kyle Brady B Practically non-existent last week with the rookie Leftwich under center.
 
New York Giants (2-2) at New England (3-2)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Gillette Stadium Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X The Giants have many weapons in the passing attack and the Patriots will have their hands full defending them. But the inexperienced offensive line will be challenged to protect Collins against the Patriots’ complex blitzing schemes. Collins must avoid the mistakes under pressure.
RB Tiki Barber S2 Due to continued struggles in run blocking the Giants are passing much more than running these days. Even missing four starters the New England defense is holding it's own against the run. Barber will continue to struggle along with his line but make up for it with his active role in the passing game.
WR Amani Toomer S2

Toomer's size and strength will give him an advantage over the hobbled Ty Law.

WR Ike Hilliard X A solid possession receiver with crisp route running and quickness. Will spend most of this game shadowed by the undersized Tyrone Poole, a matchup he can win if his QB is given enough time to find him.
WR Tim Carter B

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

TE Jeremy Shockey S1 Doubled his catches for the season last week, pulling in 11 for 110 yards. Look for him to continue his dominance as SS Rodney Harrison is no match for him down field.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady X The Giants lead the league in QB sacks with 15 but also lead the league in passing yards allowed with 273 per game. So if given protection Brady should be able to hurt the Giants through the air.
RB Antowain Smith (Q) X The plan remains the same this week for Smith, the Pats will look to establish the run against the physical Giant front. But that front is likely too physical and with the probable return of Faulk Smith will see less action.
RB Kevin Faulk (Q)
Mike Cloud
B Great, another team with three running backs. With Faulk expected to return this week but not be 100% look for both to take carries from Smith and neither to have much of a fantasy impact against the Giants.
WR Troy Brown X

Could see some one-on-one coverage with CB Will Allen. If so then that's a matchup that Brown can win.

WR Deion Branch (Q) U

The Giants have two solid cover corners but get into trouble in nickel coverage with Ralph Brown. Look for the Patriots to try and work Branch in this matchup.

WR David Patten (Q) B The leg injury is keeping him limited.
TE Christian Fauria X With the injury to the rookie Graham, Fauria maintains his active role in the passing game.
TE Daniel Graham (Q) B The shoulder injury is preventing this talented rookie from gaining a foothold in the Patriot passing game.
 
Oakland (2-3) at Cleveland (2-3)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Cleveland Browns Stadium Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rich Gannon X Has failed to throw a touchdown pass in three of the five games this season. The offense may get Porter back this week which will help. But the problems run deeper than his absence. If Porter remains out then don't expect much from Gannon against the #2 pass defense.
RB Charlie Garner X The Raiders are the only team in the league averaging under 20 rushing attempts per game. There just doesn't seem to be a commitment to the run and he's become no-existent in the passing attack (only 3 catches in the last 3 games). Factor out the Jamal Lewis disaster in week 2 and the Browns are a top 5 run defense. Garner will likely struggle on his limited carries.
RB Tyrone Wheatley (Q) B Always seems to get a few of the "pound the ball" and short yardage carries each game. But when it gets to the goal line it could just as easily be Crockett that gets the call.
WR Jerry Rice X

Rice may have lost his down field speed, but he can still produce on short and mid-range routes when given a favorable matchup.

WR Tim Brown B

His days as a fantasy factor appear to be ending. He struggles on almost every play to gain separation and get open. Can't be relied on.

WR Jerry Porter (D) B

Could return this week, but if he does he'll likely see only limited action.

TE Doug Jolley X Has become a vital part of the passing game with the continue absence of Porter. He's getting as many looks in the offense as Rice and lead the team in catches last week.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Couch X Likely to remain the starter this week and is looking sharper with each passing game. Won't be asked to do much this week as the running game will take center stage.
RB William Green S2 Had his first 100 yard game last week against a normally tough PIT defense. This Sunday the Raiders come to town with their run defense that has allowed over 200 YPG over the past three weeks.
RB Jamel White B Locked into the 3rd-down back role but not consistently used.
WR Kevin Johnson S2 With Couch, with Holcomb, with good matchups and with bad matchups. There is simply no rhyme or reason for which of the four Cleveland wide receivers will produce each week. Through it all the most consistent fantasy producer has been KJ.
WR Andre' Davis X Outside of KJ it's a mystery who will get the most action.
WR Dennis Northcutt X

Ditto.

WR Quincy Morgan X Ditto.
TE Steve Heiden B The Cleveland tight end position is typically a non-factor.

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