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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 2
Whitney Walters
September 16, 2004
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
PIT at BAL CHI at GB WAS at NYG NE at ARI MIA at CIN
STL at ATL DEN at JAC Sun 4 PM IND at TEN Mon 9 PM
CLE at DAL CAR at KC SEA at TB NYJ at SD MIN at PHI
HOU at DET SF at NO BUF at OAK   (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
 
Pittsburgh (1-0) at Baltimore (0-1) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tommy Maddox B If you can't get it done against Oakland then you sure aren't going to get it going against the Ravens defense on the road.
RB Duce Staley B Staley looked solid in his Steelers debut. Against what will be a fired up Raven defense this week, I'd try to find a better matchup on your fantasy roster. Knowing Bettis will likely take any goal-line carry only makes this matchup worse.
RB Jerome Bettis X Before everyone goes nuts, lets calmly contemplate how often you can expect The Bus to get 3+ goal-line opportunities in a game. Oh it'll happen, but not every week. Keep in mind that Staley DID get some goal-line action last week. In a TD-only league Bettis is a for sure start, otherwise he's borderline.
WR Hines Ward S2 The only Steeler to catch more than a single ball last week. Remains a stud but gets downgraded to S2 due to the tough matchup with what will be a fired up Raven defense.
WR Plaxico Burress X

Has all the physical tools to dominate most matchups. Last week's performance may indicate that he also still has all the mental tools to put up inconsistent fantasy numbers throughout the season.

WR Antwaan Randle El X In the simplified, run oriented Steelers offense this year Randle El may have more of an impact as a returner than a receiver.
TE Jay Riemersma B A fantasy rule that won't change this year. Never start a Pittsburgh TE.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Looked shaky in the opener and threw 2 INTs. For another season the Ravens will give Boller few downfield options outside of TE Heap. The groin injury to Taylor makes matters even worse.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 Without two starting linemen (Ogden and Flynn) Lewis struggled in week one. The team is hopeful that Ogden will return this week, and so are all of Lewis' owners. With Boller proving so far to still be ineffective the Steelers will surely sell out to stop the run. Lewis is only a borderline S2 this week.
WR Kevin Johnson X With Taylor slowed by the groin injury Johnson will be "the" wide receiver in the Ravens' run-oriented, weak passing offense.
WR Travis Taylor (Q) B Not expected to play this week.
WR Randy Hymes B Stepped in for the injured Taylor last week to the tune of 5-for-39. May duplicate those numbers or do a little better, but he's not fantasy worthy this week.
TE Todd Heap S2 As expected, Heap is the best thing going in the weak Baltimore passing game.
 
St. Louis (1-0) at Atlanta (1-0) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1 Well protected and fairly effective last week. The improvements that will likely come against the Falcons only bolster his position as a must start most weeks.
RB Marshall Faulk S1 Look for Faulk to be more involved in the passing game this week and for his fantasy numbers to improve.
RB Steven Jackson B May be an impressive rookie, but he's still just a backup and not a fantasy starter.
WR Torry Holt S1 Not even the elite receivers are going to get you big fantasy numbers every week. He was very active in the passing game last week and should improve his fantasy production this week against the Falcons.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 My comments last week remain valid... Getting old but still getting it done.
WR Dane Looker B

A solid #3 WR in this passing attack, but that is only good for the occasional spike in fantasy production. Looker is a bench player in all but the deepest leagues.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna B Can be effective, but an after-thought in this offense.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   S2

I guess you do need more than 20-something snaps in the pre-season. Vick looked out of sorts last week and couldn't even make anything happen with his legs (6 runs for 10 yards). Should play better this week at home, but until he settles into this new offense there are going to be struggles.

RB Warrick Dunn X A spectacular opener but will likely see fewer touches this week against a quicker defensive front than the Cardinals brought to bear last week.
RB T.J. Duckett  X In a shock to most everyone Duckett had only 2 carries last week. Don't expect a repeat this week as the Falcons will likely pound Duckett at the smallish Rams front in an attempt to soften them up and open up the passing game for Vick.
WR Peerless Price X Price's return to his more natural flanker position appears to be working. He remains the best WR option Vick has.
WR Dez White B Has the speed to be a factor, but falls below Crumpler on the receiving food chain in Atlanta.
WR Michael Jenkins B Blanked last week and after showing some pre-season promise has fallen to #4 on the WR depth chart.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 Last week's 6-for-82 and 1 TD game is only the beginning this season for this stud TE. The coaches will continue to line him up all over the field and use his size and speed mismatches with linebackers and safeties to their advantage.
 
Cleveland (1-0) at Dallas (0-1) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia X

His lack of production through the air can be made up for sometimes with a rushing TD. Garcia is not going to light it up in Cleveland, but he should improve on last week's numbers against the Cowboys.

RB Lee Suggs (Q) X Looked good in Wednesday's practice and should get his first NFL carry this weekend. But with a more than capable William Green also in the backfield, and with coming off a neck injury, look for the Browns to give Suggs limited touches this weekend.
RB William Green X The Cowboys are capable of stopping the run and with Suggs in the mix this week we are looking at a shared backfield. Not what fantasy owners want or need.
WR Andre' Davis B

Early indications are for another year of musical WR's for the Browns. This week I'm picking Northcutt.

WR Dennis Northcutt U

With Winslow likely to emerge this week look for Northcutt to begin to excel in the short routes critical for the West Coast offense. Of all the Cleveland receivers, Northcutt is the best suited for this due to his quickness and strength.

WR Quincy Morgan B Only a single catch last week, but it was a doosy.
TE Kellen Winslow Jr.  S2 Now that he's seen his first NFL action look for the Browns to work the rookie more down the seam and over the middle to soften up the Cowboys for the running game. Winslow is a matchup problem for the Dallas linebackers and safeties.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde B

Forced to throw the ball 50 times last week, which was not the plan... and will never be the plan. The Cowboys want to run the ball, which they will get back to doing this week. Vinny will have a more pedestrian game this week as a result.

RB Eddie George B Will likely get more than 8 carries as Dallas had to abandon the run last week after falling behind. But the jury is still out on whether George can still get it done even with more touches.
RB Julius Jones   X Knowing Parcells, Jones could either sit on the bench all afternoon... or get 20 carries in his pro debut.
WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Not flashy -- just gets the job done. Look for Keyshawn to end his touchdown drought early this seasons with a score this week.

WR Terry Glenn B

Will get you the occasional deep ball, but shouldn't be relied on as a fantasy starter.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Another strong possession type receiver like Keyshawn. Will be more valuable to the Cowboy's ball-control offensive game plans than the flashier and speedier Glenn.

TE Jason Witten S2 The rookie didn't deliver last week but was thrown to 8 times. Look for Dallas to use him again this week down the middle to back the safeties off the line of scrimmage to open up the running game.
 
Houston (0-1) at Detroit (1-0) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr S2 Disappointed last week in a great matchup. But don't expect the Texan offense to turn the ball over four times this week. They'll finish those drives with scores... a couple going to Carr.
RB Domanick Davis S1

An every-down back in an offense that loves to establish the run. These are becoming few and far between in the NFL and should be coveted by all fantasy owners. Davis' speed on the edges will be on display this week against a Lion defense that lacks the same.

WR Andre Johnson S2 Detroit will be without their best cover cornerback in Dre' Bly, so look for Johnson to easily win this matchup.
WR Corey Bradford B Remains primarily an occasional long-ball threat.
WR Jabar Gaffney B

Looks like Gaffney may be developing into the possession / third-down receiver role.

TE Billy Miller (P) B Oh where, oh where has the TE gone in the Texan offense? Miller had more than 3 catches only five times last season, and had one or none five times as well.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington S2

As was shown last week, the Texans lack a solid pass rush. Given time in the pocket Harrington is an effective and improved captain of the West Coast offense.

RB Kevin Jones S2

Will loose some touches to Pinner and Bryson, but the talented rookie is the feature back in this offense. Unfortunately the running game didn't show us much last week.

WR Roy Williams X

Moves into the spotlight now and will be asked to carry the passing game. A lot to ask of a rookie. Could struggle this week against the experience of Texan CB Aaron Glenn.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim U Williams was expected to contribute this year, so the major benefactor to Rogers going down will likely be Hakim. He scored in four of the Lions' last seven games in 2003 and added another last week.
WR Tai Streets B Streets may not be the key to your fantasy team, but he now becomes the key to the Detroit passing game. If he is unable to step up and fill the void left by Rogers' injury, opponents can roll coverage to Williams and slow Hakim in the slot.
TE Stephen Alexander U Yes, Alexander is a constant under-achiever, but the Chargers exposed the weakness with the Texans' safeties (Gates = 8-for-123) so look for Detroit to copy that approach this week. They won't have that kind of success, but Alexander could surprise.
 
Chicago (0-1) at Green Bay (1-0) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B Average at best last week and his three turnovers killed his team. If he can cut down on his mistakes he may have some success for the Bears. But that isn't likely going to ever make him a fantasy starter this season.
RB Thomas Jones S2 Jones was asked to carry the offensive load and he delivered. Only with an effective running game do the Bears have any hope of offensive success. The Packers pose a stiff challenge this week however and Jones won't likely match last week's fantasy production.
WR David Terrell   X

Terrell shined last week and may just make good for all those that predicted he'd emerge as the #1 WR for the Bears this season. Has the talent to win his matchup this week with the Packer secondary.

WR Bobby Wade
Justin Gage
B

Neither looked very good last week, but if the Bears can force Green Bay into their inexperienced nickel and dime packages Wade and/or Gage could have a greater impact on Sunday.

TE Desmond Clark B One catch, one fumble. Not the kind of stat line that will increase your popularity. Look for improvements this week however.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2 Primed for another big season. But as Monday night showed, this is a running team now and if they Pack get a lead you aren't going to see Favre drop back to pass much. That could easily happen again this week at home against the Bears.
RB Ahman Green S1 Do you really need a reason to start Green?
WR Javon Walker X Until someone emerges as the #1 receiver in this offense (if that even happens this year) it's going to be a crapshoot each week for fantasy owners. Many think it will be Walker ...
WR Robert Ferguson X ... many others think it will be Ferguson ...
WR Donald Driver U

... but I'm going with Driver this week who will see plenty of action in the 3-WR sets that will take advantage of the Bears nickel coverage which has been weakened by the injury to CB Jerry Azumah.

TE Bubba Franks B A hit-or-miss factor in the Packers' passing game. Outside of the occasional TD he's mostly miss lately.
 
Denver (1-0) at Jacksonville (1-0) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2 Had good success against the Chiefs when rolling out of the pocket. Look for the Broncos to continue that strategy against a very aggressive Jag front. The result will be Plummer's first of several rushing TDs this season.
RB Quentin Griffin S2 Griffin showed he's for real but gets a stiffer challenge this week against a Jags run defense that ranked 2nd last season and held Buffalo to well under 3 yards/carry last week.
RB Tatum Bell
Garrison Hearst
B Both Bell and Hearst will be called on for a few more carries in this one as the going will be tougher on the small Griffin. But it still doesn't amount to any fantasy worth.
WR Rod Smith S2 Smith has lost his speed but is one of the more savvy receivers in the game. He'll have his moments and this week's matchup should be one of them.
WR Ashley Lelie (P) X

May have won over the coaches with his solid performance Sunday night that included finishing the game after having his dislocated shoulder "popped" back into place.

WR Darius Watts   B Made a great catch Sunday night, but that was it. This rookie is impressive, but he seems to be firmly entrenched behind Lelie as the #3 WR in an offense that features only 2 WR's.
TE Jeb Putzier B Appears to be the primary TE now, but it's looking like the Broncos may be phasing out the TE in their passing attack now that Sharpe has retired. Only time will tell.
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich B Continues to struggle with pressure. Look for the Broncos to bring just that Sunday.
RB Fred Taylor S2

The Broncos gave up over 150 yards to Priest Holmes last week and they get another elite, big-play back Sunday in Taylor. He should improve on last week's numbers.

WR Jimmy Smith X

It's been a long time (maybe forever) since someone has said this -- Look for Denver's shut-down corner (Bailey) to do just that this week against Smith.

WR Troy Edwards
Reggie Williams
B Outside of Smith there just isn't much for fantasy owners to get excited about with the Jaguar passing game.
TE George Wrighster B Actually caught a couple of balls last week, both inside the 10-yard line. Would be worth keeping an eye on except that starter Brady will be back soon.
 
Carolina (0-1) at Kansas City (0-1) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme X

The Panthers defense should keep the high-powered KC offense in check, so Delhomme won't be asked to do much in this one through the air. The lose of Steve Smith doesn't help either.

RB Stephen Davis B Late week announcement - Out 2-5 weeks. See our Priority News.
RB DeShaun Foster S2 With Davis sidelined Foster become a great start this week against what is still showing to be a porous KC run defense.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Must move back into a #1 WR role now with Smith out. He's done it before and has the talent to step up and get the job done.
WR Ricky Proehl X Even with potentially more looks Proehl is still a 36-year old veteran that just doesn't have much upside. He may have a bigger immediate role, but as Colbert emerges he will remain a #3 WR in a 2-WR offense.
WR Keary Colbert U The rookie that shot onto everyone's radar this week with the season-ending injury to Steve Smith. He was inactive last week, which may speak to his ability to make an immediate impact, but the coaching staff is high on him and he bears watching since he's expected to get the start in Smith's vacated spot.
TE Kris Mangum B Just not a factor in this offense.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X Looked mediocre week one. Protection will be the key this week. If the highly regarded KC OL can give him time in the pocket he will have little trouble with the very weak Panthers secondary. If not then it could be a long afternoon.
RB Priest Holmes S1 Needs just 147 yards to become the all-time leading rusher for the Chiefs. Don't expect that to happen this week, but he may get close.
WR Eddie Kennison S2 His single attribute of being a vertical deep threat receiver will come in handy this weekend against a Carolina secondary that won't be able to stay with him.
WR Johnnie Morton B Played through his Achilles pain, which he will have to do every week, but disappointed again Sunday night. Will need to improve before he can be considered of fantasy value.
WR Dante Hall B The promise of Hall being more active in the passing game didn't materialize in week one. Only three passes went his way.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1 The Panthers can not match the Broncos coverage abilities so look for Gonzo to bounce back this week.
 
San Francisco (0-1) at New Orleans (0-1) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ken Dorsey   B

The Niners do not matchup well with the Saints secondary and Dorsey is very inexperienced and on the road. Look for the Saints to apply good coverage and to force Dorsey into his 2nd and 3rd options. Not a good situation for the young QB.

RB Kevan Barlow S1 The Saints have an average at best interior defense and you can expect the Niners to run Barlow right at them. The possible return of FB Beasley is an added bonus.
WR Brandon Lloyd B Lloyd can make the spectacular catch, but he will rarely have a size or speed advantage on most corners. He struggled to get open last week against the Falcons and that may repeat itself Sunday against a strong New Orleans secondary.
WR Cedrick Wilson X Showed up strong last week, leading the team in receiving and coming up with some touch catches in critical times.
WR Curtis Conway   B Had only two catches last week as the teams #3 WR. That's about what you can expect from Conway each week.
TE Eric Johnson S2 Wow. So maybe the tight end HAS returned to the Niner offense.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2 With an improved running game this week Brooks should have enough comfort in the pocket to challenge the solid Niner secondary down the field with his Big-3 receivers (Joe, Donte' and Boo).
RB Deuce McAllister S1 The team plans on giving McAllister his fullback back this week at least in some situations. Look for his production and effectiveness to improve as a result.
WR Joe Horn S1 One of the only bright spots from the Seattle lose last week. Should duplicate last week's 100+ yard performance and throw in a TD for good measure.
WR Donte' Stallworth X Only had three catches last week but is still expected to become a bigger part of the passing game this season.
WR Jerome Pathon B

Came up empty last week. Too many other options.

TE Boo Williams X Outperformed big time last week by backup Ernie Conwell. Not a good sign and this situation bears watching. On a positive note he did have 6 balls thrown his way compared to Conwell's 4 and they did go to him once in the end-zone, but he dropped the ball.

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