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Start/Bench List - Week 9
By Whitney Walters
October 30, 2003
 
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 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
 
Washington (3-4) at Dallas (5-2)  
Sun, Nov 2, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Texas Stadium Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey B

The Redskins spent the off week re-tooling their pass protection schemes. But until they prove they can stop the rush, Ramsey will continue to get a heavy dose of blitzes from all directions. He's unlikely to find that early season success this week in Big D.

RB Chad Morton B With the injuries to Canidate and Betts, Morton will get the start. He will split carries with ...
RB Rock Cartwright B ... Cartwright, and neither will be worth a spot in your starting lineup against the Cowboys' #3 rush defense.
WR Laveranues Coles S2 Look for the Cowboys to use a variety of blitz packages with the safeties this week. This should give Coles some opportunities to use his speed to beat some man coverage. If Ramsey can survive the blitzes Coles could do some damage down field.
WR Rod Gardner X Gardner remains inconsistent, and this week against the Dallas secondary that won't be enough.
WR Darnerian McCants B

Leads the team with four TDs, but only 16 catches. The Cowboys have the secondary depth to limit McCants production out of the slot this week.

TE Byron Chamberlain X Word is the Redskins have changed their pass protection schemes by removing the TE from the mix. That should allow for more production for Chamberlain.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter X

Despite the desire to run the ball, the Cowboys will again turn to the passing game to move the ball. Outside of CB Champ Bailey Dallas matches up will and Carter should have plenty of open targets down field. The short game to Anderson is finding success as well.

RB Troy Hambrick X Aside from his 127 yard game in week four, Hambrick has been very ineffective, averaging only about 50 YPG and a woeful 2.8 YPC. With Anderson starting to take a few carries and now the re-signing of Murrell, Hambrick's production isn't likely to improve.
RB Richie Anderson (Q) B Anderson has found a nice niche in the Dallas offense with his 10-12 touches a game. If you're in a league that awards points for receptions, Anderson is worth a look.
WR Joey Galloway U

With Glenn likely tied up with Champ Bailey, some other Dallas receiver will be left to take advantage of Fred Smoot's replacement on the other side. Odds are that will be Galloway, who possesses the speed to get behind the coverage.

WR Terry Glenn X

Glenn has emerged as Carter's primary target on the perimeter, but this week's matchup with shutdown corner Champ Bailey is not one with an advantage for Dallas.

WR Antonio Bryant X

When the Cowboys spread the field with 3-WR sets, look for Bryant to do some damage against the weak nickel coverage of the Redskins.

TE Jason Witten B The tight end is proving to be a non-factor for the Cowboys.
 
Cincinnati (3-4) at Arizona (2-5)  
Sun, Nov 2, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Sun Devil Stadium Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

Has quietly worked his way into the fantasy top 10. Shouldn't disappoint owners this week against a Cardinal defense that has league lows in sacks and interceptions.

RB Corey Dillon (Q) B Based on early week comments coming from the Bengals, look for Dillon to be deactivated again this week due to the lingering groin injury.
RB Rudi Johnson U Johnson's 101 yard day last week put the beleaguered Bengal running game over 100 yards for the first time since week two. With Dillon a huge question mark this week Johnson will be called upon again and will likely see 20+ carries.
WR Chad Johnson S2 The Arizona secondary did hold Terrell Owens to only 53 yards last week. But that really isn't proving to be that hard this year. With Kitna having plenty of time in the pocket both Johnson and ...
WR Peter Warrick S2 ... Warrick will find plenty of room to roam.
TE Matt Schobel B Schobel has terrific hands and will be a reliable target for Kitna. But lingering injury problems had him sitting out last week after scoring a TD the week prior. Best to stay away until he can stay on the field.
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Blake X With the likely run oriented game plan Blake's main job will be to protect the ball. He must not force the ball into coverage. With Shipp running the ball well the opportunities down field should be there for Blake to make a play or two.
RB Marcel Shipp  S2 If the Cardinals stick to the successful game plan of running Shipp behind that mammoth offensive line, they should easily wear the Bengal front down and Shipp will again find success running the ball.
WR Anquan Boldin X Blake's favorite target, and drawing the double coverage that goes along with that. That's a tough challenge for any rookie and has resulted in only three catches in two of the last three games. Has also failed to score since week one. Is he due?
WR Bryan Gilmore
Bryant Johnson 
B Gilmore and Johnson are finally healthy but the rookies lack any experience. They will continue to improve but struggle.
TE Freddie Jones U This is a good matchup for Jones against a Bengal LB corps that struggle in coverage.
 
Pittsburgh (2-5) at Seattle (5-2)  
Sun, Nov 2, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Seahawks Stadium Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tommy Maddox S2 As the offensive line returns to health and the power running game improves, Maddox should begin to resemble his 2002 form. This has the potential to be one of his best games so far this season. Look for 200+ yards and multiple touchdowns.
RB Amos Zereoue B The return to his 3rd-down / change-of-pace role doesn't look to be paying any dividends for his owners any time soon.
RB Jerome Bettis U Only received 12 carries last week in his return to the starting lineup due to the Steelers falling behind. Given 20+ carries this week Bettis will produce against a soft Seattle front that may be without middle LB Randall Godfrey.
WR Plaxico Burress S2

Should bounce back this week. He'll draw a matchup this week against either an injured or rookie corner. Either way the Steelers should take advantage of this matchup advantage.

WR Hines Ward S1 Same goes for Ward.
WR Antwaan Randle El B Creates matchup problems for opponents when the Steelers spread the offense. A few of those mismatches may pay off this week against the banged up and inexperienced Seattle secondary. But it's never enough production to make him a fantasy factor.
TE Jerame Tuman B Likely starter with Riemersma injured. Mainly a blocker and non-factor.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 The Steelers play some pretty soft coverage schemes and Hasselbeck should be able to find success moving the ball through the air this week.
RB Shaun Alexander S2 The Steelers are tough up front and will pose a challenge.
WR Koren Robinson (Q) S2 Provides the Seahawks with it's best run after the catch opportunities, which is needed in their quick-hitting West Coast offense. The softer coverage used by the Steelers should provide KRob with the room necessary to do some damage.
WR Darrell Jackson X The physical play of CB Chad Scott could cause some problems for Jackson this week.
WR Bobby Engram X

Seattle's beginning to open the offense up more with 3-WR sets and Engram's production is showing the affect (10 catches for 146 yards and a TD in the past two weeks).

TE Itula Mili X Waiver wire darling this week. An 80 yard, 2 TD game by a tight end will cause that. Prior to last week's 5 catch game he had only 11 catches in the previous six games.
 
Philadelphia (4-3) at Atlanta (1-6)  
Sun, Nov 2, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Georgia Dome Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (P) S2 Had a decent game last week, which resulted in 141 passing yards and a 4-yard TD to his fullback. Not exactly what his fantasy owners are looking for. If he can't get it going this week against the league's worst defense then it's over. So what the heck, give him a chance this week.
RB Brian Westbrook (O) B Out due to an ankle injury.
RB Duce Staley B May see some additional carries this week with Westbrook out, but you should not rely on him as CBuck appears to have taken the starting job by the horns.
RB Correll Buckhalter S2 The window of opportunity opened wide for CBuck last week and he crashed through it like a mad-man. Look for the Eagles to give him the rock against a Falcon defense that allows 150 YPG on the ground and a league worst 12 rushing TDs.
WR James Thrash X Could this be the week? The week that the Eagles get their first touchdown thrown to a wide receiver? Call me an optimist, but could be.
WR Todd Pinkston B Another wide receiver TD this week? ... Nah.
TE L.J. Smith (P) X Has nine catches for 101 yards in the last four games and has become a viable option for McNabb.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Kittner B

Kittner makes his second NFL start against the blitz-crazed Eagles. Yikes!

RB Warrick Dunn X Dunn isn't a good fantasy starter, but he provides the best shot at a big play. You just can't rely on this type of all-or-nothing fantasy player.
RB T.J. Duckett  B The Falcons will continue to featured a power running game with Duckett carrying the load. Unfortunately that means a lot of series that will look like this: Short gain on first down. Short gain on second down. Long trot off the field for third down and a punt.
WR Peerless Price
Brian Finneran
B Until Vick returns it's to the bench for all Atlanta wide receivers.
TE Alge Crumpler S2 The WRs won't stand a chance against the physical Eagles' cornerbacks and Kittner won't have much time in the pocket. Crumpler will become Kittner's best friend this week.
 
St. Louis (5-2) at San Francisco (3-5)  
Sun, Nov 2, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at 3Com Park at Candlestick Point Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2 The #1 fantasy QB is playing at the top of his game right now. He's confident and reading defenses very well. Don't expect that to change against the Niners this week.
RB Marshall Faulk (Q) X Faulk is expected to return to action, but may not start depending on how his practices go this week. He's a risky start given the fact that he will likely split carries with Harris and he was not all that productive prior to the injury.
RB Arlen Harris B Had a nice debut last week, but it took three TDs to make up for the mild 81 yards that took 34 carries to gain. That's a pathetic 2.4 YPC. Will split carries with Faulk and likely do little with them.
WR Torry Holt (P) S1 On a tear. Start him.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 The Niners don't have the talent in the secondary to match-up with Bruce's sharp route running skills.
WR Dane Looker B

The team has gained some confidence in Looker but his playing time will now start to decrease as both Shaun McDonald and Kevin Curtis work back into the rotation.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna B Appears to be a bigger part of the passing game of late. Manu has ten catches in the last three games and a look at the goal-line last week. His primary duty however, remains pass protection in the Rams' multi-receiver sets.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia (P) X

Continues to be limited by the injuries and has put up zero touchdown games in four of his last six. Not what you need in a starting fantasy QB.

RB Garrison Hearst S2 With a banged up QB and underachieving receiving corps, the Niners are more committed to the running game. That will be of great importance this week as they look to eat up the clock and keep the Rams offense off the field.
RB Kevan Barlow X Continues to get a good chunk of the Niner carries, but also continues to do little with them. Hasn't scored since week two (against the Rams, hmm...). There's a good chance he'll see extra carries this week.
WR Terrell Owens (P) S2 In this strange season Owens is no longer a lock against any opponent. Last week's 6-53 effort against Arizona is a case in point.
WR Tai Streets (P) X Even with the Niners' struggles Owens still draws opposing team's attention, providing opportunities for Streets. Leads the team with four receiving TDs this season.
TE Jed Weaver B An afterthought and highly ineffective.
 
Green Bay (3-4) at Minnesota (6-1)  
Sun, Nov 2, 8:30 PM ET on ESPN at Metrodome Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) S2 In his last three games against Minnesota, Favre has five TDs and eight INTs. The week one nightmare is far behind now and the Pack are healthy and running the ball very well. Favre carries risk every time he steps into a dome, but he's still worthy of a start in this huge divisional game.
RB Ahman Green S1 The Vikings defense doesn't break often, but they do bend enough to make Green a no-worries start.
WR Donald Driver S2 Green Bay has the weapons on offense to spread the coverage and get both Driver and ...
WR Robert Ferguson X ... Ferguson in favorable one-on-one matchups with a Viking secondary that is not as strong in coverage as it's 17 interceptions would lead you to believe. Look for both Driver and Ferguson to have chances for big plays.
WR Javon Walker B

Walker's use in the offense has decreased now that all the WRs and TEs are healthy.

TE Bubba Franks X Franks has always been reliable in the past, but with the emergence of Walls his looks are decreasing. Still the more likely of the two to score.
TE Wesley Walls X Walls receiving skills will not go untapped and the Packers will continue to use him often with 2-TE sets.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S1 Threw his first two INTs of the season last week. It's more likely this week that we see a repeat of his week one 3 TD game, than last week's 2 INT game.
RB Moe Williams S2 The Packers run defense struggles at the point of attack and the front seven are undersized and not very physical. Look for the Vikings to use a heavy dose of both Williams and ...
RB Onterrio Smith  X ... Smith in a balanced attack. Great for Minnesota, not so much so for fantasy owners. Both are borderline starters this week with the edge likely going to Williams.
WR Randy Moss S1 Dominant fantasy receiver. Start him.
WR Nate Burleson U Life is good on the other side of Moss. But that is translating into only three catches a game for Burleson. Call it a hunch, but Nate breaks off a long one this week at home.
WR Kelly Campbell B

Should return to action this week following last week's calf injury. Don't expect much however.

TE Jim Kleinsasser B The role of the tight end in the Viking offense has greatly diminished.
 
New England (6-2) at Denver (5-3)  
Mon, Nov 3, 9:00 PM ET on ABC at Invesco Field at Mile High Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X The long passing game will likely struggle due to the pass rush and press coverage in the secondary. But the short game will be there for the taking.
RB Antowain Smith B Returned from his injury last week but received only three carries. The Pats need his pounding style of running, but until he gets another chance and capitalizes on it he has to remain on your bench.
RB Kevin Faulk  X The Broncos stiff run defense has taken a toll lately due to injuries to 2/3 of it's starting LB corps. With the safeties back in pass support, Faulk should find some room to run this week. His downside will remain the uncertainty around when and how much Smith will be used from week-to-week.
RB Mike Cloud B Inactive last week and a non-factor... again.
WR Troy Brown X

Brown typically struggles against physical cornerbacks that can jam him at the line and disrupt his rhythm with Brady. The Broncos will provide just that challenge Sunday.

WR Deion Branch X

Ditto for Branch.

WR David Patten (Q)
David Givens
B Patton, Givens or whoever are used to spread the field and the defenses, but are not true targets in the passing game.
TE Christian Fauria (Q) B Was always expected to give way to the young Graham and that has likely happened now thanks to the injury he suffered last week.
TE Daniel Graham S2 FINALLY! This guy is a stud on the level of Heap and Shockey, but has struggled to stay healthy. He appears to be now. A big, fast down field target that Brady will continue to exploit.
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Danny Kanell (P) B Just trying to keep the Broncos' heads above water until Plummer returns. He'll see blitzes from all directions this week.
RB Clinton Portis S2 Until Plummer returns Portis will face stiff defensive fronts designed to limit the Denver running attack. Where Portis can make up his production is in the passing game with screens and dump-offs.
WR Rod Smith X With Kanell under center the Pats will not be afraid of using man coverage on both Smith and ...
WR Ashley Lelie X

... Lelie, freeing up the blitz. With Kanell under pressure he will be more likely to use Portis and Sharpe in the short passing game than the wideouts down the field.

WR Ed McCaffrey (Q) B Is not recovering well from the leg injury and may again sit out.
TE Shannon Sharpe (P) S2 Look for the Broncos to work Sharpe in short crossing and flat patterns to combat the pressure Kanell will be under.

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