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Start/Bench List - Week 9
By Whitney Walters
October 30, 2003
 
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
CAR at HOU NYG at NYJ WAS at DAL STL at SF NE at DEN
IND at MIA OAK at DET CIN at ARI Sun 8:30 PM Byes:
JAC at BAL SD at CHI PIT at SEA GB at MIN BUF, CLE,
NO at TB   PHI at ATL (times ET) KC, TEN
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 (6-1) at Houston (2-5)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Reliant Stadium Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B Rarely a fantasy factor. And when the star running back out gains him in four of seven games, that's not going to change any time soon. May find a bit more success this week against the league's worst fantasy pass defense, and with Muhammad's return.
RB Stephen Davis S1 On pace for a 2100 total yard / 12 TD season.
RB DeShaun Foster B While Foster may be available, this is Davis' team. He will only see a few carries in relief of Davis and a couple of looks in the passing game.
WR Muhsin Muhammad (Q) B Expected back this week, but hasn't scored since week one and has only two catches in three of the last four games he's played.
WR Steve Smith S2 Last week was Smith's third 100 yard game in a row, the the first with Davis going off. On a roll and you might as well ride it out, especially against the terrible Texan pass defense.
WR Ricky Proehl B

Even with Muhammad out last week was a non-factor.

TE Kris Mangum B Only a minor role in the passing game.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Banks B Likely starter due to the Carr injury. Not a fantasy option this, or any, week.
RB Stacey Mack B

Four carries two weeks ago and only one last week. Mack appears done.

RB Domanick Davis S2

The Panthers provide a tough challenge as they will likely stack the line to stop the run due to Carr being out. Carolina has also allowed a league low three rushing TDs. Davis will get his carries if Houston can stay close, but his 100 yard game streak likely comes to an end this week. Will stay involved in the passing game.

WR Andre Johnson X If Banks can step up, Johnson should be able to exploit the overrated Carolina secondary.
WR Corey Bradford B Only a single catch in three of the past four games. Appears to have a firm grip on the #2 WR spot, but that has been worth little so far this season.
WR Jabar Gaffney B

Showed up last week with four catches. But with Banks under center this week it's best to avoid any Texan receiver other than Johnson.

TE Billy Miller U Starting to be more involved in the offense and finally scored last week. With Banks under pressure he may get additional looks this week.
 
Indianapolis (6-1) at Miami (5-2)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Pro Player Stadium Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S2 Likely to struggle this week for two reasons. First, crowd noise on the road always causes the forever audiblizing Manning problems. Second, the play-action passing game will be limited by a struggling running attack.
RB Edgerrin James X James looked good last week, returning from the back injury. He'll be needed this week, as always, to set up the play-action passing game. Against the #1 run defense he's not likely to produce on the ground and may be needed for pass protection, limiting his opportunities in the passing game.
WR Marvin Harrison S2 Always a starter regardless of opponent. In his last three games against Miami has totaled 27 catches for 402 yards and four TDs.
WR Reggie Wayne X Will see single coverage this week. Unfortunately that will come in the form of either Sam Madison or Patrick Surtain. Both have the ability to neutralize Wayne.
TE Marcus Pollard
Dallas Clark (Q) 
X Pollard emerged last week thanks to Clark's injury. With Clark expected back
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese (P) B Fiedler's injury will likely keep him on the bench for another week. Griese had some success in his Dolphin debut Monday night, but the cover-2 zone run by the Colts will cause him problems.
RB Ricky Williams S1 Indy has made improvements on defense, but still allow over 130 rushing YPG.
WR Chris Chambers X Will find his open space limited this week, but remains Griese's best option on the perimeter.
WR Derrius Thompson (P) B Surprisingly got fewer looks last week than normally invisible #3 WR McKnight. Not worth a start, or even a roster spot for that matter.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Will be the key to Miami's offensive success this week. His down field abilities will help split the safety coverage, opening up his routes or the running game underneath.
 
Jacksonville (1-6) at Baltimore (4-3)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at M&T Band Stadium Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich B Can make great plays but has thrown three interceptions in three of the four games he's started this year. Against the Raven pass rush and playmakers in the secondary, expect more of the same.
RB Fred Taylor X Should see a solid dose of carries as the Ravens aren't likely to jump out to a lead, and plenty of looks in the short passing game. But against the speedy Baltimore linebackers, Taylor will see only limited production.
WR Jimmy Smith S2

Has been very productive since his return from suspension and will have an advantage in his matchup with the banged-up CB Corey Fuller.

WR Troy Edwards X Has emerged as a solid down field target alongside Smith, and with the attention Smith gets he's been able to produce lately. But this is not a favorable matchup for Edwards. Ravens CB Chris McAlister has the speed, strength and size to neutralize him.
TE Kyle Brady B Has yet to click with rookie Leftwich and will likely spend most of this game helping in max pass protection.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Continues to grow, making more plays and fewer mistakes. The Jags secondary should help him look even better this week. But this is still a run first and second offense, so Boller won't help your fantasy team.
RB Jamal Lewis (P) S1 Just keeps rolln' along.
WR Travis Taylor B Over the past three games the Baltimore WRs have pulled in a whopping 13 catches. At least Taylor has seven of those, for whatever that's worth.
WR Frank Sanders
Marcus Robinson
B No fantasy value in this offense.
TE Todd Heap (P) S1 As expected was limited by the Denver LBs last week, but Boller still went his direction nine times. The Jacksonville LBs and safeties will have no match for Heap's size and speed.
 
New Orleans (3-5) at Tampa Bay (4-3)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Raymond James Stadium Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X Getting Stallworth back will allow the Saints to spread the field more, which produces more opportunities for Brooks and the running game to make plays. The downside this week will be the Bucs pass rush.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 The Bucs obviously pose a big challenge for the Saints running game. But Deuce is touching the ball 27 times a game and has had success against a better Bucs defense last year, averaging over 100 yards.
WR Joe Horn (Q) S2 If the Bucs are forced to bring eight men in the box to stop McAllister, which is likely, then Horn will find himself matched up against CB Tim Wanly. This is a matchup Horn can win easily.
WR Donte Stallworth (Q) B If he plays this week he'll be limited.
WR Jerome Pathon X

Has become a consistent #2 along side Horn. Hasn't scored since week four and may be due to find the end-zone.

TE Ernie Conwell S2 When the Bucs decide to stick with their cover-2 schemes Conwell will play a key role in working those coverages over the middle.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson S2 Johnson has not been his normal efficient self over the past two weeks. All the injuries to his skill positions hasn't helped, limiting his options. He gets a limited Jurevicius back this week, but that may not be enough.
RB Michael Pittman (P) S2

Over the past three games Pittman has averaged almost 100 total yards a game. But he has failed to score and the Bucs have only two rushing TDs this season. Look for Pittman to salt away a Tampa lead and end the game with another solid carry total.

RB Thomas Jones B Has seen his touches decrease each week since Alstott went down. Won't happen again this week. Can't go any lower than zero.
WR Keyshawn Johnson X Have a one catch game, call your coach out publicly. Result, another one catch game. Better find another approach Meshawn.
WR Keenan McCardell S2 Clearly favored in the passing game right now. Should have little trouble winning his matchup with either CB Fred Thomas or Ashley Ambrose.
WR Joe Jurevicius (Q) B

May return to action this week, but will be very limited.

TE Ken Dilger B Three different tight ends last week with one catch each.
 
New York Giants (3-4) at New York Jets (2-5)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Giants Stadium Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X

The offensive line play improved last week. Result, 375 yards and 2 TDs. Biggest fantasy game of the season. Collins is a fine QB, he just requires time to comfortably set up in the pocket. The Jets lead the league in sacks, but Collins catches a break this week as they will be without DE John Abraham.

RB Tiki Barber S1 As expected Barber remains the driving force of the offense. It doesn't get much better than facing the #31 run defense in the league.
RB Dorsey Levens B Don't expect more than 10 touches a game.
WR Amani Toomer X

The Jets secondary weakness is somewhat masked by it's intense pass rush and terrible run defense. When Collins does get time in the pocket look for both Toomer and ...

WR Ike Hilliard X ... Hilliard to have an impact.
TE Jeremy Shockey (P) S1 The Jets don't have the LBs to match up.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2 Should be sharper in his first start this week. Look for the Jets to get back to the pass-friendly system Pennington ran well last season. Should find matchup advantages in the injury depleted Giant secondary.
RB Curtis Martin X The Jets have turned their running game around. Over the past three games they are averaging over 125 YPG on the ground. A big part of that has been Martin, who appears to have a little left in his tank.
RB LaMont Jordan  B Getting the goal-line carries and has scored the Jets' only three rushing TDs this season. Potential, but only if he takes over for Martin.
WR Curtis Conway B Filling in for the injured Chrebet didn't help his production at all. Now it's back to being #3. His stock may rise now that Pennington has returned, but it's a wait and see at this point.
WR Wayne Chrebet X Still nursing the back injury but is playing. Should start to see a few more looks now with Pennington back. Remains mostly a non-fantasy factor.
WR Santana Moss S2

Look for the Jets to find ways to get Moss matched up against the marginal CB Ralph Brown. When they do Moss will smoke him.

TE Anthony Becht B Wasn't much of a factor with Pennington in control last year. Don't expect the rest of this season to be much different. He'll get his 2 catches a game and the occasional short TD.
 
Oakland (2-5) at Detroit (1-6)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Ford Field Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marques Tuiasosopo U You couldn't ask for a better matchup to bring your inexperienced young QB off the bench to start. There is no nice way to put this - the Lions are flat out terrible. Tuiasosopo could surprise this week as a bye week fill-in if needed.
RB Charlie Garner S2 Only two games with more than 12 carries this season. Thankfully for fantasy owners he remains a huge threat in the passing game. Logic dictates that you'd lean more on your running game with a new, very inexperienced QB this week. But when have the Raiders done anything logical this season.
RB Tyrone Wheatley
Zack Crockett
B Wheatley typically gets 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

The only thing keeping Rice from bench status this week is the terrible opponent.

WR Tim Brown B

Porter back, Brown out.

WR Jerry Porter (Q) S2

Returned prior to the off week and had 10 passes go his way in his first game back. More than both Rice and Brown. Regardless of the QB, Porter will scorch the Lions secondary this week.

TE Teyo Johnson S2

The rookie gets his first start this week. Along with Porter will bring some much needed speed to the passing game.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington (P) B

Harrington appears to have stemmed the tide of controversy last week, but only barely. Should improve his play this week as he will have a productive running game to help bring balance to the offensive attack. His wide receivers are still a big liability however.

RB Shawn Bryson S2 If there's any time to get your running game going, it's against the team that occupies the bottom spot in the run defense rankings. Bryson will still split carries with Gary, but he should get the majority of them and is much more active in the passing attack.
RB Olandis Gary B Will see some carries, but it appears that Bryson is the main man for now.
WR Az-Zahir Hakim X Continues to get the looks, but does little with them. Poor play and too many drops are keeping Hakim from being a factor.
WR Scotty Anderson B

Ditto for Anderson.

WR Bill Schroeder B Schroeder just isn't getting it done. His age and knee injury are likely catching up with him.
TE Mikhael Ricks (Q) X Proving of late to be the Lions' best option in the passing game. Has a TD in each of the last two games he's played.
 
San Diego (1-6) at Chicago (2-5)  
Sun, Nov 2, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Soldier Field Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees U Only one team has fewer sacks than the Bears, so Brees should have time in the pocket to improve his play and limit his mistakes.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 It's the Bears. 'Nuf said.
WR David Boston S2 Boston should have little trouble with the inexperienced Chicago secondary.
WR Eric Parker
Tim Dwight
Reche Caldwell (Q)
B Injuries, poor play and a run oriented offense make any WR outside of Boston worth very little.
TE Antonio Gates B The undrafted rookie may get the start if Peelle can't go due to the ankle injury. Either way is doesn't matter.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Chandler U A decent matchup this week for Chandler against a Chargers' defense that has allowed a league worst 15 passing touchdowns this season. Could surprise this week as he'll be helped by a stronger running game if Thomas is healthy.
RB Anthony Thomas (Q) X Expected to be back in the starting lineup this week. Against the Chargers, that's a good thing for fantasy owners. Thomas had just started to get it going before the foot injury. If he has a good week of practice then you should move him back into your starting lineup.
RB Adrian Peterson (Q) B May not be as far along in his recovery as Thomas. Could miss another game.
WR Marty Booker (Q) B Still slowed by the ankle injury.
WR Dez White X

White's ability to get down field may benefit him if he can beat the jams at the line. The young Charger corners have trouble at times with deep coverage.

WR David Terrell X

Has been more active in the passing game with Chandler at the helm. Could struggle this week with the press coverage as the Chargers look to crowd the short and mid-range routes.

TE Dustin Lyman S2 Filled in for the injured Desmond Clark last week and put up a solid 42 yards on six catches. Look for more of the same this week as Clark is expected to miss another game.

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