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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
CHI at NO NYG at NE Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  Byes:
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
Philadelphia (2-2) at Dallas (3-1)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Texas Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (P) X Had his third sub-par performance in four games as he was constantly off-target, going just 16 of 30 and throwing 2 INTs for the second time in three games. Is it too early to open the "overrated" can again? Thought so. Okay, how 'bout a "slump". That better? At least he threw his first (yes FIRST) TD of the season. Keep him in your lineup but hope for better.
RB Duce Staley B Yuck! Got about as many carries as Westbrook last week but wasn't nearly as productive. In this mess of a three-headed running back I'd rank Staley as #2 in startability, just above Buckhalter.
RB Correll Buckhalter (Q) B A bruised hip limited him last week but he's expected to be fine for Sunday's game. Which means just enough carries to hurt both Staley and Westbrook. He ranks #3.
RB Brian Westbrook X Don't expect him to get that many more carries than the other backs, but he is currently much more productive with his touches and is seeing more action in the passing game. If you start a Philly back, Westbrook is the best bet right now.
WR James Thrash S2 Thrash is very adapt at finding soft spots in zone coverage and running after the catch. This will be a Trash week against the Dallas cover-2.
WR Todd Pinkston B Seems to work best in man coverage but struggle against zones like the Cowboys'.
WR Freddie Mitchell B

Has fallen behind the tight end as a viable option in the passing attack.

TE L.J. Smith (P) B Chad Lewis has likely moved to the background now with the improved play of the rookie Smith. Splitting the safeties with a tight end is the best way to beat a two-deep zone. Look for the Eagles to use Smith for just that on Sunday.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter S2

Despite solid play at times the injury riddled Philly secondary provides Carter with some very favorable receiver matchups to exploit. Look for the Cowboys to use roll-outs more to give Carter the time to find his down field targets.

RB Troy Hambrick X Gaining the confidence of his coach and getting the carries (47 in past two games). But this week against the #1 run defense his production will be limited as the Cowboys will have to turn to the air to move the ball.
RB Richie Anderson B The Parcells' favorite from his past is seeing about 10 touches a game now and is producing. May be worth a look in deep leagues that award points for catches.
WR Joey Galloway S2 Galloway's high gear will be too much for the fill-in corner backs of the Eagles to handle.
WR Terry Glenn B So far batting .500. Two big games, two blanks. Glenn typically doesn't do well against the type of press coverage used by the Eagles. Expect another down game.
WR Antonio Bryant U

As the #3 receiver has turned in uneven results. Bryant has been inconsistent but should get some additional looks this week as the Cowboys should spread the field often in 3-WR sets.

TE Jason Witten (D) B Whitten had his best game of the season and then broke his jaw. Look for Campbell and the newly signed Tony McGee to fill in and be ineffective.
Tampa Bay (2-2) at Washington (3-2)  
Sun, Oct 12, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at FedEx Field Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B Remarkably efficient this season, but he will be hard-pressed to put up better than average numbers this week. Three of his top four receivers may not play, cornerbacks Bailey and Smoot will cause problems and he'll see a lot of blitzing. The Bucs will likely focus on the running game.
RB Michael Pittman S2 With all the injuries Pittman will carry the load now, both in the running and passing game.
RB Thomas Jones B With Alstott out and Stecker banged up, Jones gets his chance. He'll likely get some extra touches this week, but it won't be enough to have much of a fantasy impact.
WR Keyshawn Johnson (Q) B Johnson is not likely to play, but there's always an outside chance. But that's not something a fantasy owner want's to rely on.
WR Keenan McCardell X Becomes the man this week with the injury to Johnson. Will likely out produce all other WRs, but it will be a struggle as he'll draw the best coverage the Skins have to offer.
WR Karl Williams (P)
Reggie Barlow

Both Williams and Barlow will be asked to step up this week due to the injuries in the WR corps. Don't expect much.

TE Ken Dilger U Was worked heavily into the passing game on Monday night and responded with a 6-63 performance. The Bucs do not have an advantage on the perimeter with the WRs so look for more Dilger action this week.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey (P) B Will be under intense pressure with few options available in the passing game to bail him out. He's improving but is still only a second year QB and will not do well against a ticked off Tampa Bay squad.
RB Trung Canidate B Let's not get too excited about Monday night. The Bucs still have a dominant defense with the horizontal speed to shut Canidate down.
RB Ladell Betts (P) X The best way to run the ball on the Bucs is to go right up the middle on them. Betts will likely out carry Canidate this week and could find some running room between the tackles. Notice I said "some" running room.
WR Laveranues Coles S2 Injuries in the Tampa Bay secondary make this a great matchup for the Redskins to exploit Sunday.
WR Rod Gardner B Just isn't getting it done for owners this year. Has only a single game with more than 32 yards. Don't expect much this week as the Bucs secondary will put the clamps on him.
WR Darnerian McCants U

At this rate appears to be a better option than #2 WR Gardner as Washington continues to utilize more spread offensive formations looking for mismatches.

TE Robert Royal
Byron Chamberlain
B Redskin tight ends are a non-factor. The signing of Byron Chamberlain may change that, but not this week.
Baltimore (2-2) at Arizona (1-4)  
Sun, Oct 12, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Sun Devil Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Look for Boller to be given a few more opportunities to get the ball down field this week. The Cardinals have no pass rush and the secondary is very weak. Doesn't make him a starter, but he should gain some confidence.
RB Jamal Lewis S1 Will get his carries and will get his yards.
RB Chester Taylor  B It's all Lewis, all the time.
WR Travis Taylor U The wide receivers have only 12 catches between them over the past three games. That's about as bad as it can get. However, if Boller gets the green light to work down field this week Taylor will be the most likely to benefit.
WR Frank Sanders B In this extremely limited passing attack, forget it.
WR Marcus Robinson B

Ditto for Robinson.

TE Todd Heap (P) S1 When your passing game averages about 100 yards each week it can limit your fantasy potential at times. This week look for more passing and more production for Heap.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Blake B Still mistake prone under pressure, Blake continues to be a hit-n-miss fantasy QB. This week expect more miss than hit against the very tough Raven defense.
RB Marcel Shipp  B The Arizona running game gets a boost by turning to Shipp as Emmitt is out indefinitely. But against the Ravens that won't matter much.
WR Anquan Boldin B Continues to cool as opponents can afford to bracket cover him on most plays because the Cardinals’ other weapons aren’t all that intimidating. With Blake under intense pressure all afternoon, don't expect many passes to get to Boldin.
WR Bryan Gilmore B The rookie moves into the starting lineup due to all the injuries.
WR Jason McAddley (O) B

Will not play due to the hamstring injury.

TE Freddie Jones U Jones has the talent to be a threat in the passing game. This week Blake will be looking for him often to dump the ball off under pressure.
Buffalo (3-2) at New York Jets (0-4)  
Sun, Oct 12, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Giants Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe X Jets opponents average a league-low 22.8 passing attempts per game thanks to the terrible run defense. So don't expect Bledsoe to be flinging it around the field, especially with his #1 target likely out.
RB Travis Henry S1 Buffalo picked a good time go get the running game back on track. Henry only had 85 yards last week, but that was his best output since week one and he wasn't 100% healthy. This week he should be close to 100% and his opponent is allowing a whopping 174 YPG on the ground.
WR Eric Moulds (D) B Moulds is doubtful but may play this weekend. If he does he'll be very limited and likely ineffective.
WR Josh Reed B Only a single catch in each of the past two games. Reed has been a major flop so far but gets a chance to redeem himself this week with Moulds likely on the shelf.
WR Bobby Shaw U

Has really come on the past three weeks and should pay off for fantasy owners this week as Shaw will be much more active in the passing game due to Moulds' injury.

TE Mark Campbell U Campbell may be another player that benefits from the Moulds situation.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde B The aging backup has performed admirably, averaging 285 yards in the past three games. But the Jets have to know that they can’t ride Testaverde’s arm to victory and must have a run-heavy game plan against Buffalo.
RB Curtis Martin X The Jets' impatience on offense shows itself in a league low 19 carries per game. If the run doesn't produce quickly they abandon it.
RB LaMont Jordan  B Should be utilized more, but isn't.
WR Curtis Conway X Demoted to #3 behind Chrebet. The Jets run a lot of 3-WR sets so Conway will still see plenty of action. But his action hasn't translated into much so far.
WR Wayne Chrebet B A solid possession receiver once that has lost his edge.
WR Santana Moss X

Moss' move into the starting lineup is a golden opportunity for him. But Bills cornerback Antoine Winfield is similar in stature and quickness to Moss, and won't allow him much this week.

TE Anthony Becht B Simply not a factor in the passing game.
Pittsburgh (2-3) at Denver (4-1)  
Sun, Oct 12, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Invesco Field at Mile High Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tommy Maddox X Maddox continues to make poor decisions and throws, and last week's meltdown was the worst. Don't expect him to bounce back against a good defense in a hostile environment. The Broncos' speed on defense will help keep his interception streak going.
RB Amos Zereoue X Isn't likely to break out of the "15 carries a game" category, but as last week showed the Steelers need to keep Zereoue involved in the passing game. Will be limited this week against the aggressive and fast Bronco defense.
RB Jerome Bettis U Only got three carries again last week but one was for a touchdown. Should be a bigger part of the game plan since running right at the Denver defense is the best way to combat their speed advantage on defense.
WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress' numbers have been down since week 2 and he is not being used in the end-zone, which is ridiculous considering his size advantage over every corner in the league.

WR Hines Ward S2 The guy just does it all and is a starter every week.
WR Antwaan Randle El B Randle El can create matchup problems for opponents but he just isn't getting the looks to make him much of a factor.
TE Jay Riemersma (Q) B Still banged up and ineffective.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer (Q) S2 If the shoulder injury doesn't prevent him from playing, the Broncos’ 3-WR sets are perfect for slicing and dicing a Steelers’ secondary that gives up few passing yards but has allowed eight TDs through the air this season.
RB Clinton Portis S1 A threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.
RB Mike Anderson  B Back to fullback and the occasional carry.
WR Rod Smith S2 The Steelers lack ideal speed and depth in their secondary to handle Smith. So he should continue his solid play and may even get his first touchdown this week.
WR Ashley Lelie S2

When the Broncos spread the field good things will happen for Lelie. He will be matched up with Steelers' nickel back DeShea Townsend who does not posses the size or downfield speed to match Lelie.

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 (Q) S2 Remains very effective in the play-action passing game and leads all tight ends with three touchdowns.
San Francisco (2-3) at Seattle (3-1)  
Sun, Oct 12, 8:30 PM ET on ESPN at Seahawks Stadium Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia B

It's become evident that Garcia is struggling to throw the deep ball with any accuracy. Maybe it's the back, maybe the groin. Whatever it is, it's holding back any "long ball" offense they want to run. Add in the fact that his line will have a hard time protecting him from the Seattle blitz, and you have the makings of a poor performance.

RB Garrison Hearst (P) S2 The Packers ran right at the undersized Seattle front seven and had great success last week. The Niners will likely follow suit. The problem is that the success running the ball will be split between Hearst ...
RB Kevan Barlow S2 ... and Barlow. Touches had been pretty even until last week when the edge definitely went to Hearst. If that continues this week then we may finally have some indication as to who is the better fantasy option.
WR Terrell Owens (P) S2 TO got the ball in the end-zone and kept his mouth shut. All-in-all a good week. But the situation hasn't really changed. He's still getting more balls thrown his way than any other WR, he's still under-performing and his QB still can't get him the ball consistently down field.
WR Tai Streets X Okay, okay Garcia. We all know now that you really like Owens (wink, wink). Now get back to throwing the ball to your future #1 receiver.
WR Cedrick Wilson B

Now fighting for his #3 spot with Brandon Lloyd.

TE Jed Weaver
Aaron Walker
B Not only is the TE an afterthought in the Niner passing attack, now rookie Aaron Walker appears to be gaining favor, thus splitting the very limited production with ineffective Weaver.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Spanked last week, home against a division rival, increased pocket protection, weak corners to attack. All signs indicate a steller outing for the Seattle signal caller.
RB Shaun Alexander (P) S2 Coming off his second 100-yard game of the season and he gets right tackle Chris Terry back. The only downside this week is the fact that most teams attack the weak San Francisco corner backs, lessening the impact of the running game.
WR Koren Robinson S2 Robinson's advantage in this matchup is running deep on CB Ahmed Plummer. With Hasselbeck afforded more time due to the return of RT Terry, a few big plays are in order.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 A matchup with CB Mike Rumph that he will win. Only had four catches last week, but three others went his way once the team crossed the 10 yard line.
WR Bobby Engram B

The advantage on the perimeter with Robinson and Jackson will mean that Engram will be an afterthought this week.

TE Itula Mili B To hit-and-miss to make him a viable fantasy starter.
Atlanta (1-4) at St. Louis (2-2)  
Mon, Oct 13, 9:00 PM ET on ABC at Edward Jones Dome Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Doug Johnson B Johnson is be coming off his best game and has something to build on. His worst performance this year unfortunately came against another team, Tampa, that runs the same cover-2 schemes as St. Louis. The Rams are not the Bucs, but they are solid and will cause the same type of problems.
RB Warrick Dunn X Not getting the carries in the power running game but remains a great passing target out of the backfield. The Rams' speed on defense may limit his effectiveness this week.
RB T.J. Duckett  X The Falcons have featured a power between-the-tackles running game of late and Duckett is it's main attraction. Look for that to continue this week as they go right at the Rams in order to limit their defensive speed and break down the cover-2.
WR Peerless Price (Q) X Made everyone's bench scoring look great last week. Don't expect the same type of production against the solid Ram zone coverage. He is also still bothered by the foot injury and re-aggrevated it last Sunday.
WR Brian Finneran (Q) B May see the playing field for the first time since week one. Will likely work his way back into a fantasy factor, but it won't happen this week as he'll be limited if he plays.
WR Quentin McCord
Jimmy Farris

Farris scored on his single catch last week, but look for him to remain a non-factor as both he and McCord get pushed down the depth chart as Finneran works his way back into the lineup.

TE Alge Crumpler S2 Will be needed this week to stretch the Rams' defense down the seams.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2 If the Rams continue the balanced attack Bulger should benefit as there will be more big play opportunities off play-action. The Falcons just don't have the horses to stay with the Ram receivers.
RB Arlen Harris B A more versatile back than Gordon but the undrafted rookie will remain second fiddle.
RB Lamar Gordon (P) S2 In week 4 without Faulk the Rams ran the ball an amazing 34 times. Gordon is a good between-the-tackles runner. If the Rams show that type of commitment to the run on Monday night Gordon will put up big numbers against the disappointing Falcon front.
WR Torry Holt S1 If given man-to-man coverage by the Falcon corners, Holt will have a big night.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 Still has the speed and talent to make opposing defenses pay for the extra attention given to Holt.
WR Dane Looker B

The team has gained confidence in Looker but his playing time will now start to shrink as Shaun McDonald is expected to return to action this week.

TE Cam Cleeland B The TE plays only a minor role in this offense.

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