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Start/Bench List - Week 7
By Whitney Walters
October 16, 2003
 
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
BAL at CIN NE at MIA TEN at CAR CHI at SEA KC at OAK
DAL at DET NO at ATL WAS at BUF NYJ at HOU Byes:
DEN at MIN PHI at NYG   TB at SF ARI, IND,
GB at STL SD at CLE   (times ET) JAC, PIT
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
 
Baltimore (3-2) at Cincinnati (1-4)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Paul Brown Stadium Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Without a doubt the worst passing offense in the NFL. Forget Boller.
RB Jamal Lewis (P) S1 Only downside is the lack of scoring opportunities in this offense.
RB Chester Taylor  B May begin seeing a few more carries in relief of Lewis.
WR Travis Taylor B Remains a mystery after dropping three passes Sunday. Taylor had eight go his way, but only converted two into short gains. When your team averages only 25 passing attempts a game you better make the most of the ones that come your way. Taylor is not.
WR Frank Sanders B No fantasy value in this offense.
WR Marcus Robinson B

Ditto.

TE Todd Heap S2 One of the most promising young tight ends in the league. But that won't do his fantasy owners any good if the passing game continues to be non-existent. Remains a fantasy starter, but he's more likely to produce "average" weeks now than "big" weeks.
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna X

Must remain mistake free to have an impact. Look for the aggressive Raven defense to make that difficult.

RB Corey Dillon (Q) X Expected to return this week but faces a touch challenge in the Ravens defense that allows less than 100 YPG on the ground. The Bengals are one of only three teams that average under three yards per carry and have just two rushing touchdowns.
RB Rudi Johnson B If Dillon is 100% and sticks it out for the entire game, Johnson won't see much action.
WR Chad Johnson S2 Has the skills and talent to win his matchups with all but the best corner backs in the league. This week will be no exception.
WR Peter Warrick S2 Has emerged as a reliable target for Kitna. Hasn't scored in a couple of game so he's due. He's also due for a reverse or two given the aggressive Raven defense.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Q)
Kelly Washington
B

TJ is expected to return this week and will likely split time as the #3 WR with Washington. The focus of the passing game is Johnson and Warrick so whoever is running at the #3 spot gets few looks.

TE Matt Schobel
Reginald Kelly
Tony Stewart
B The tight end position usually gets some extra attention against strong defenses. But this 3-headed TE in Cincinnati should be avoided.
 
Dallas (4-1) at Detroit (1-4)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Ford Field Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter S2

Playing within himself and his abilities while leading one of the league's top offenses. Very favorable matchup this week with a Detroit defense that doesn't apply much pressure and who's secondary is starting three backups.

RB Troy Hambrick S2 Only the Panthers are running the ball more than Dallas, and the Lions allow almost 130 YPG rushing. A nice combination for Hambrick owners this week.
RB Richie Anderson B Will keep getting about 10 touches a game. Some weeks that will mean some reception points or a touchdown. Some weeks that won't mean much.
WR Joey Galloway S2 Will be too much for the injury riddled Lion secondary to handle. Look for Galloway to be the headliner in a balanced Dallas attack this week.
WR Terry Glenn X Detroit doesn't have the talent to stay with Glenn. His biggest downside this week will be his always inconsistent play.
WR Antonio Bryant X

Hit-and-miss, big-play receiver with only 11 catches this season through five games. The Cowboys love to throw to him in the end-zone and the Lions are woefully weak in the secondary due to injury. Still a difficult play.

TE Jason Witten (Q) B Expected to return to action despite the broken jaw. Don't expect much.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B Will be fresher following the week off and should be well prepared for the very tough Dallas defense. But he has no control over his pass protection, and he will need extra time in the pocket to allow his receivers to get open against the tight Dallas secondary. That extra time won't be there often.
RB Shawn Bryson X After a couple of weeks of emerging as the lead back, Bryson took a back seat to Gary in week 5. It looks like the only way to avoid a committee approach here is for Bryson start strong and have Mariucci stick with him. Against the #3 run defense, that's not likely.
RB Olandis Gary X The most likely scenario this week is an equally unproductive dose of both Bryson and Gary against the tough Cowboy run defense.
WR Az-Zahir Hakim X With the lose of rookie Charles Rogers, Hakim moves to the forefront in Detroit's passing attack. He will have to step up for them to have any success throwing the ball. The strength of the Dallas secondary will make that difficult.
WR Bill Schroeder B Will see a few extra looks this week, but still looks to be slowed by the knee injury and continues his inconsistent play.
WR Scotty Anderson B

Moves up the depth chart again due to Rogers' injury. Won't matter.

TE Mikhael Ricks B Coming off a big game before the bye week, Ricks will meet his match in SS Roy Williams. Williams is big and athletic enough to cause problems for this former WR.
 
Denver (5-1) at Minnesota (5-0)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Metrodome Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve Beuerlein X In for the injured Plummer. Will need to be sharp as the Vikings lead the league with 13 interceptions. Expect average performance at best with a good portion of the damage coming in the short game to Portis and Sharpe.
RB Clinton Portis S1 Sub-par performance last week. Will bounce back on the Minnesota carpet.
RB Mike Anderson  B Back to fullback and the occasional carry.
WR Rod Smith S2 Smith may not be the down field threat he used to be, but he has the skills to take advantage of the physical play of CB Brian Williams. Look for him to get behind Williams for a few big plays.
WR Ashley Lelie X

Has struggled the past two games, catching only four balls for 41 yards, and did not click last week with Beuerlein. Look for the Broncos to correct that and get Lelie the deep balls he excels at.

WR Ed McCaffrey B Still a solid possession receiver and will get a couple key catches a game. He may help spread the offense, but he's not a fantasy option any more.
TE Shannon Sharpe S2 Should have little trouble gaining separation on the Viking safeties and linebackers and remains very effective in the play-action passing game.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper (P) S2 Should be close to 100% recovered from the back fractures. Will need to stand tall in the pocket as the Broncos bring good pressure on the QB. The Vikings have allowed a league leading 12 sacks. Look for CPep to do most of his damage on short routes.
RB Moe Williams X The 20+ carry games from earlier in the season are long gone now. Williams owners now must be happy with 10-14 carries with hopefully a few of those coming at the goal-line.
RB Onterrio Smith  X Smith out-carried Williams in their last game and was very productive. He also received two carries inside the 10 yard line. A good sign. But splitting carries and a tough opponent make Smith a difficult start.
WR Randy Moss S1 Will face the tallest cornerback in the league this week in Lenny Walls. Walls may be able to handle some to the jump balls, but he lacks the acceleration to stay with Moss.
WR Nate Burleson B This rookie's fine play has him starting along side Moss. Typically a good place to be with all the attention Moss garners. Has not had much time with Culpepper however.
WR Kelly Campbell
D'Wayne Bates (Q)
X

Bates remains a likely scratch and Campbell hasn't been much of a factor since week 3.

TE Jim Kleinsasser U Should be healthy now and the return of Culpepper raises his stock.
 
Green Bay (3-3) at St. Louis (3-2)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Edward Jones Dome Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2 With Green, two tight ends and four wide receivers, Favre has the weapons to attack the Rams' cover-2 defense with success. He'll have the protection in the pocket, all he needs is the patience to pick them apart with the short passing game.
RB Ahman Green S1 Has taken over the top spot for fantasy running backs.
RB Najeh Davenport B With Fisher re-injuring his groin Davenport moves back into the backup role.
WR Donald Driver S2 Firmly entrenched again as the go-to receiver for Favre. While tough, the Rams' cover-2 defense shouldn't pose many problems as he and Favre work the underneath routes.
WR Robert Ferguson X With the exception of Driver, expect the ball the be spread around this week as it was last Sunday against the Chiefs who run similar defensive schemes to the Rams. This will mean fewer opportunities for both Ferguson ...
WR Javon Walker B

... and Walker. Walker especially given the increase in the 2-TE sets used by the Packers now that Walls is healthy.

TE Bubba Franks X As expected, Favre's favorite end-zone target saw his looks decrease last week with the emergence of Walls. There are no indications that will not continue. Another 2-headed TE is born. Wonderful.
TE Wesley Walls X Out produced Franks big time last week. Walls receiving skills will not go untapped and the Packers will continue to use him often with 2-TE sets.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2 The Rams' offensive line continues to improve. They should have little trouble giving Bulger the time needed to create some big plays.
RB Arlen Harris B A versatile back, but the undrafted rookie will remain second fiddle to Gordon.
RB Lamar Gordon (P) S2 The Rams are not running the ball that well, averaging under 100 YPG. But with Faulk out they are more committed to the run and Gordon is benefiting. He's totn' the rock 20 times a game. That's six more than Faulk this season. Gordon's between-the-tackles style will dominate this week as the Packers' defensive line is undersized and thinned by injury.
WR Torry Holt S1 Should abuse his matchup this week with CB Al Harris. Harris is strong and physical, but once Holt gets into his routes it's all over.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 Still has the speed and talent to make opposing defenses pay for the extra attention now given to Holt.
WR Dane Looker B

The team has gained some 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
Brandon Manumaleuna
B Manumaleuna has outperformed Cleeland (the starter) in the past two games. The TE appears to be working it's way into the game plan more for the Rams, but with two of them splitting time neither are worth much.
 
New England (4-2) at Miami (4-1)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Pro Player Stadium Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) B Has thrown for only 331 yards and a single touchdown in the past two games against tough opponents. Miami makes three in a row so don't expect much from Brady this week.
RB Antowain Smith (Q) B If Smith is healthy the plan should be to run the bruiser right at the Dolphins to wear them down. But the Pats show little patience for that. Look for about 10-12 carries, which won't allow for much against the #2 run defense.
RB Kevin Faulk 
Mike Cloud
B Last week Cloud got the start, carried the ball 7 times for 19 yards in the first half. Then went to the bench and watched Faulk carry it 14 times for a career high 87 yards. Expect more of Faulk and less of Cloud this week if Smith is limited. Neither are worth a lineup spot.
WR Troy Brown X

Very inconsistent this season. Has had 7 catches in two games but in three others he's had only a single catch. The ball control, run first offense has hurt his production as well. Miami's secondary will surely limit him this week.

WR Deion Branch (Q) B

May return this week but isn't worth your time as he'll be limited by the injury and the Miami coverage.

WR David Patten (Q) B The only receiver to catch more than a single pass last week.
TE Christian Fauria U When the Pats get down close to the end-zone they will be looking Fauria's way often as the wide receivers do not match up well this week.
TE Daniel Graham (Q) B The shoulder injury is preventing this talented rookie from gaining a foothold in the Patriot passing game.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler (P) B Fiedler just doesn't have what it takes to be a viable fantasy quarterback. His limited arm strength prevents the Dolphins from stretching the field or working the deep outside routes. He functions primarily as a care-taker.
RB Ricky Williams S1 After two light work weeks (20 carries a game) it's time for some more "run Ricky, run!"
WR Chris Chambers X The Dolphins' only real down field threat draw "the Law" this week. Tough matchup that will likely limit his production.
WR Derrius Thompson B Only 15 completions a game generated by the Dolphins with Williams, Chambers and McMichael typically getting 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 McMichael should play a key role in the passing attack with the secondary able to limit the WRs and SS Rodney Harrison likely cheating up in run support. Fiedler should look for him often.
 
New Orleans (2-4) at Atlanta (1-5)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Georgia Dome Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks U Hasn't thrown for over 200 yards since week one. Will likely be doing a lot of handing off to Deuce, but when the Saints do pass they should do so well.
RB Deuce McAllister S1 Last week he got the 30th ranked run defense, this week the 29th. Should find the end-zone against a Falcon defense that has allowed a league leading nine rushing touchdowns.
WR Joe Horn S2 If the Falcons' secondary doesn't improve from it's Monday night debacle Horn could easily have his biggest game of the season.
WR Donte Stallworth B Since his eight catch outing in week one, Stallworth is averaging about a catch a game.
WR Jerome Pathon U

The passing game should get it going this week against the Falcons, so look for a few extra passes to go Pathon's way.

TE Ernie Conwell S2 Has quietly become a top fantasy TE. In a season where the TE seems to be taking a back seat in team's passing games, and more and more 2-headed TEs are popping up, Conwell's value can't ge denied.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Kittner B

Who? The second-year player from Illinois will get his first start Sunday as he replaces the struggling Doug Johnson. I actually thought this would be a nice bounce-back game for Johnson. But what do I know. Now it's Kittner to the rescue. Yeah, whatever. Is Vick ready yet?

RB Warrick Dunn X Not getting the carries in the power running game. His 23 yards Monday night were the most since week 2. But remains a good passing target out of the backfield. Unfortunately that may not amount to much.
RB T.J. Duckett  U The Falcons continue to featured a power running game with Duckett carrying the load. Look for more of the same this week as the Saints are vulnerable to the run, allowing over 125 YPG.
WR Peerless Price (Q) X Johnson looked Price's way often Monday night, but just couldn't get the ball to him. Lets hope this Kittner dude has the same game plan.
WR Brian Finneran X Returned to action Monday night and looked good while leading the team in receiving yards. As with Price however, gets a downgrade with the new QB.
WR Quentin McCord
Jimmy Farris
B

With Finneran back, both McCord and Farris become afterthoughts.

TE Alge Crumpler (P) S2 Leads all tight ends with 316 yards and is an integral part of the Falcon passing attack.
 
Philadelphia (2-3) at New York Giants (2-3)  
Sun, Oct 19, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Giants Stadium Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (P) B And so the slump continues. Played like a deer in headlights last week. Until he snaps out of this (if he does) it's best to go with your backup.
RB Duce Staley U Out-carried by Buckhalter last week but made up for that in the passing game. This mess of a backfield may be a little cleaner this week with Westbrook dinged up. Look for more action to come Staley's and ...
RB Correll Buckhalter X ... Buckhalter's way as a result. This week the edge goes to Staley.
RB Brian Westbrook (Q) B The hip injury may not keep him out, but will keep him limited for sure.
WR James Thrash B Thrash is a solid receiver that's struggling along with his quarterback. Until McNabb and the passing game get it going Thrash owners will suffer. No Philly WR has caught a touchdown this season.
WR Todd Pinkston (Q) B Had a team leading nine passes come his way last week and caught a grand total of ZERO. With a struggling passing game, if you can't catch what's coming your way then you are of no value.
WR Freddie Mitchell B

Has fallen behind the tight ends and running backs as a viable option in the Eagles' passing game.

TE L.J. Smith B Smith was ignored last week but he remains a great target for McNabb down the seams in the coverages. Now it they will only throw him the ball consistently.
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X The inexperienced offensive line continues to limit the passing game, providing little protection for Collins. Against the aggressive, blitzing Eagles defense this week that will be a big problem.
RB Tiki Barber X Has played well so far this season but fumbles and the Giants’ offensive line woes have held him back. Don't expect a lot out of him this week against the #1 rushing defense, allowing under 70 YPG.
WR Amani Toomer X

The Philly secondary continues to improve with the return of Troy Vincent last week and the probable return of Bobby Taylor this Sunday. Both Toomer and ...

WR Ike Hilliard U ... Hilliard will likely struggle this week.
WR Tim Carter B

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

TE Jeremy Shockey (P) S1 On a nice little roll. Isn't finding the end-zone much, but leads all tight ends in catches and is #2 in yards.

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