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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 1
Whitney Walters
September 8, 2004
Thu 9 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
IND at NE JAC at BUF BAL at CLE ATL at SF KC at DEN
Sun 1 PM SD at HOU SEA at NO DAL at MIN Mon 9 PM
TEN at MIA CIN at NYJ OAK at PIT NYG at PHI GB at CAR
ARI at STL TB at WAS DET at CHI   (times ET)
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
 
Indianapolis (0-0) at New England (0-0) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 Will be under intense pressure, but he's a stud and you start him.
RB Edgerrin James S1 This is easy. Stud, week one, start him.
WR Marvin Harrison S1 Another easy one. Stud, start him.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 Proved to be a solid #2 WR last season and that shouldn't change.
WR Brandon Stokley B The #3 WR in Indy never does much and I wouldn't bank on that changing in week one. He'll just get the stud leftovers.
TE Marcus Pollard
Dallas Clark
X Combined they are one of the top TEs in the league. But splitting time and production is not what fantasy owners need. Until a front-runner is established, if that even happens, it's best to park these two on your bench unless you don't have a better option.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2 Started last year with a stinker against Buffalo. With Dillon in the house to soften up the defense don't expect a repeat.
RB Corey Dillon S2 Look for him to be featured early to keep the pressure off Brady and open up the passing game.
RB Kevin Faulk (O) B Out this week for personal reasons.
WR Troy Brown (Q) B

Still nursing a knee injury that may impact his effectiveness this week.

WR Deion Branch S2

The Pats will still spread it around, but Branch is the odds on favorite to emerge as the fantasy impact receiver this season.

WR David Givens X May see additional looks this week with Brown slowed by injury.
TE Daniel Graham X Graham is the starter, but he's being challenged by a fast approaching rookie - Ben Watson.
TE Ben Watson (P) X Came to camp late but had an instant impact. Look for him to be used in 2-TE sets with Graham and cause problems for the Indy linebackers.
 
Tennessee (0-0) at Miami (0-0) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2 Stud, but comes with some risk this week due to the banged up WR corps.
RB Chris Brown S2 Future stud? Only time will tell. The Fins defense will be a great early test.
WR Derrick Mason S2 The only experienced and healthy WR the Titans have this week. Will see plenty of action but plenty of attention from the Miami secondary also.
WR Drew Bennett B

Rib injury likely to hamper his efforts this week.

WR Tyrone Calico (O) B Out with injury.
WR Eddie Berlin X The only decent healthy WR other than Mason. Could see a few extra passes come his way as a result.
TE Erron Kinney (Q) S2 With the injuries to the WR corps Kinney will be a big part of the passing game this week.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler  B

Won the starting job for the Dolphins, but he shouldn't win any starting jobs on your fantasy team.

RB Sammy Morris
Travis Minor
B Don't even think about it. Both have been horrible in the pre-season and the Miami running game is going to start the season highly ineffective.
WR Chris Chambers S2 Always a Fiedler favorite and one of the last true talents left on offense.
WR Marty Booker X A nice pre-season pickup and will help a struggling Miami passing attack.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Without a running game to preoccupy the linebackers McMichael could struggle this week and throughout the season. Regardless, he's a decent start most weeks.
 
Arizona (0-0) at St. Louis (0-0) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B Has some young talent at WR and a solid TE. But that's about it. Steer clear until the Denny Green show actually shows some life.
RB Emmitt Smith   B Will be needed and used. Unfortunately he just doesn't have much left.
WR Larry Fitzgerald B Amazing raw talent but has been battling an ankle injury that is likely to hamper him this week.
WR   Bryant Johnson  B Coming back from a training camp stress fracture in his foot and should be avoided until he's 100%.
TE Freddie Jones U Jones has the talent to create matchup problems for opposing defenses and he's the only Cardinal fantasy option worth considering this week.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1 Not much to really say here other than it's Arizona. Start him.
RB Marshall Faulk S1 Looked good in the pre-season. May give up some touches to rookie Steven Jackson, but still a fantasy stud until proven otherwise.
RB Steven Jackson B The rookie may see some touches, but this is still Faulk's show.
WR Torry Holt (Q) S1 Has had a phenomenal pre-season. Stud, start him.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 Getting old but still getting it done.
WR Dane Looker B

Proved himself to be a solid #3 WR for the Rams last season. But he's still not fantasy worthy.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna B Can be effective, but an after-thought in this offense.
 
Jacksonville (0-0) at Buffalo (0-0) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich (P) B Has had a horrible pre-season and should be avoided.
RB Fred Taylor (P) S2

Banged up but should be ready to go Sunday. Look for the Jags to run multi-WR sets to open things up for Taylor this week against the solid run-stopping Buffalo defensive front.

WR Jimmy Smith X

Still a premier talent, but with the terrible play of Leftwich this pre-season it's hard to have much confidence in Smith in week one.

WR Troy Edwards B Showed some promise last season. But that is a faded memory thanks to his lackluster pre-season this year.
WR Reggie Williams B Has won the #2 WR spot thanks to the poor pre-season by Troy Edwards. Worth keeping an eye on this season, but not worth a fantasy roster spot yet.
TE Todd Yoder B The TE hasn't been a vital part of the Jags' passing game for years. Having their starter Brady out for a few weeks won't help matters.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2 Ended the season poorly last year. Is it time for a rebound? This could be a good start to that against a average pass rush and suspect secondary. The improvements on the Bills offensive line will help also ad Bledsoe is a drop back, rhythm passer that needs time in the pocket to be effective.
RB Travis Henry (P) S2 May be slowed a bit by the rib injury, but he should still pull out an average fantasy game. Was held to just 26 yards last year against Jacksonville, but scored 3 TDs.
RB Willis McGahee B Henry's the starter and McGahee will have to be happy riding the pine for now.
WR Eric Moulds S2 Ready to return to studdom.
WR Josh Reed X With the addition of rookie Evans, look for Reed to have success back in the slot position that is better suited to him.
WR Lee Evans U

Won't set the field on fire in his pro debut, but look for the Bills to use his speed to take a few deep shots down the field.

TE Mark Campbell B Good for a few catches a game but that's about it.
 
San Diego (0-0) at Houston (0-0) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B Won the job of handing off the ball to Tomlinson and then tossing him a few passes. Likely to be overtaken by Rivers this season.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Stud, start him.
WR Tim Dwight (Q)
Eric Parker
Reche Caldwell
B Regardless of opponent, forget about the Charger wide receivers. Keep an eye on Caldwell however as he has the talent to make a #3 fantasy WR if the QB situation improves.
TE Antonia Gates U Has recovered from his training camp ankle injury and is the only viable fantasy player on this team outside of Tomlinson.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr U This may be one of the few weeks you want to consider moving Carr off your fantasy bench if your staring QB has a bad week 1 matchup. The Chargers secondary and pass rush are no better now then they were last year.
RB Domanick Davis S1

The only thing that will slow Davis down this week will be if the Texans get a huge lead and he comes out of the game.

WR Andre Johnson S1 Great size, strength and speed. He'll have a field day against the weak San Diego secondary.
WR Corey Bradford X Remains primarily an occasional long-ball threat.
WR Jabar Gaffney X

Only thing keeping him from a bench rating is the opponent.

TE Billy Miller B Returned slimmer and in better shape this pre-season, and if healthy could again make a fantasy impact. But has been slowed by back problems this pre-season and may be a risk start this week.
 
Cincinnati (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer U

Could surprise this week in his pro debut against a very banged up Jets secondary.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 The Jets had major trouble stopping the run last year and the jury is still out on whether they've improved or not. Look for the Bengals to find out by pounding Rudi up the middle all day.
WR Chad Johnson S1 Johnson should pick up where he left off last year against the injury weakened and inexperienced New York secondary.
WR Peter Warrick (P) X Appears to have recovered from his off-season knee surgery and is expected to be in the starting lineup. Holds some risk since he's only played in a single pre-season game.
WR Kelly Washington B #3 on the depth chart, but is a rare talent and should improve as the season wears on.
TE Reggie Kelly
Tony Stewart
B Either could start, but who care?
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2 Healthy, two excellent receivers and facing a defense that will bring little pressure from the line and has problems in the secondary. Yep... start him.
RB Curtis Martin S2 A bit older and a bit slower, but still a solid fantasy start against a weak defense.
RB LaMont Jordan B May get some backup carries, but still remains just that -- a backup. And at this time the backup appears to be in the head coach's dog house.
WR Santana Moss S2 It's all upside for this star in the making.
WR Justin McCareins   S2

Good matchup this week. Watch for McCareins to become a favorite Pennington target in the end zone due to his size and strength.

TE Anthony Becht B Only an occasional factor in the Jets passing game. Slow but still has great hands and adjusts to the ball well. More of an impact in TD-only fantasy leagues.
 
Tampa Bay (0-0) at Washington (0-0) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson X Will be his average fantasy self running the controlled, short Bucs passing attack.
RB Charlie Garner S2 Will do some damage both on the ground and in the passing game.
RB Mike Alstott B Back from off-season neck surgery but still not quite himself. Will get the short-yardage and goal-line carries, so his real value is in TD-only leagues.
WR Joey Galloway   X Look for the Bucs to challenge CB Fred Smoot deep a few times with Galloway's speed.
WR Tim Brown B May pull in a few short slant or crossing routes, but don't expect much more.
WR Michael Clayton U The talented rookie could surprise this week by breaking some of the short crossing routes the Bucs love into long gains.
TE Ken Dilger B Yeah right.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell B Brunell is just the care-taker of this Portis centered offense. Against Tampa's pass rush don't expect much in the way of passing production.
RB Clinton Portis S1 Will all the doubters be proven wrong this week? The speed of the Bucs defense will be a great test.
WR Lavernues Coles   X Brunell will be under intense pressure that will hamper Coles production this week.
WR Rod Gardner B Is this the year that Gardner's great physical tools push him to the next level? Or will the inconsistency continue? This game should give us a good indication.
TE Walter Rasby B In Gibbs new system the TE may be a bit more active than in the past. But that isn't saying much.
 
Baltimore (0-0) at Cleveland (0-0) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller X Boller has a new QB coach and the physical tools to be a solid NFL quarterback. But his options in the Ravens' passing attack remain limited. This offense will continue to feature the run.
RB Jamal Lewis S1 Stud, start him.
WR Kevin Johnson X Johnson has great upside this season and could develop into a nice option in the passing attack. But it's a risk to bank on that happening right out of the gate.
WR Travis Taylor (P) B Is this the year Taylor fails to disappoint? Maybe, but you don't want to take that kind of chance in week one.
TE Todd Heap S2 Here's to another season of Heap being Boller's best option in the passing game.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia B

It's only week one, but the Ravens are still the Ravens on defense.

RB Lee Suggs (D) B Neck stinger and sharing carries against and the Ravens' defense. Leave him on your bench.
RB William Green B Until someone emerges as the feature back in Cleveland it's best to stay away from this expected RBBC. Especially when the opponent is the Ravens.
WR Andre' Davis B

Despite the QB musical chairs last year in Cleveland, Davis was a consistent performer. He's big and fast and has a nice upside this season. But that season starts AFTER they play Baltimore this week.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

I believe I've mentioned that the Browns are playing the Ravens this week, right?

WR Quincy Morgan B Yeah, thought so.
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.  B Mr. Winslow, say hello to Mr. Lewis.

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