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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 3
Whitney Walters
September 23, 2004
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
ARI at ATL CHI at MIN JAC at TEN SF at SEA DAL at WAS
BAL at CIN PIT at MIA Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Open Date:
HOU at KC CLE at NYG SD at DEN TB at OAK BUF, CAR,
PHI at DET NO at STL GB at IND (times ET) NE, NYJ
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
 
Arizona (0-2) at Atlanta (2-0) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B Two weeks -- only 341 yards -- zero touchdowns. The Cards are playing with more effort this season, but the passing game just isn't there.
RB Emmitt Smith   X Has only rushed for about 60 yards a game so far, but has scored in each game. With all the RB injuries out there Smith is not a bad option now. Keeping him from S2 status this week however is the second ranked Falcon run defense -- allowing only 61 YPG.
WR Larry Fitzgerald X Fitzgerald is the real deal and will likely lead all Cardinal WRs in production each week. But in an offense that will struggle every week that may not be fantasy worthy very often.
WR   Bryant Johnson  B Appears to be close to 100% recovered from the training camp stress fracture in his foot. With such a limited passing game and a very active TE, Johnson will remain the third and lease productive option.
TE Freddie Jones S2 Jones has the skills to create matchup problems for opposing defenses and he's typically the only Cardinal fantasy option worth considering as he could lead the team in catches most weeks.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   S2

West Coast, Shmest Coast. Just give him the rock and let him do his thing. Vick is the only QB that a fantasy owner can not be disappointed in when he has a passing stat line of 179 yards and a TD. Vick won't likely make it through the season running as much as he did last week, but he's a big gain waiting to happen every time he drops back in the pocket.

RB Warrick Dunn (Q) B Isn't expected to play this week due to a knee injury.
RB T.J. Duckett  S2 Has not had many opportunities so far this season. That changes this week with the injury to Dunn. Look for a healthy dose of Duckett this week against a Cardinal defense giving up over 170 rushing YPG.
WR Peerless Price S2 The Cardinals are not doing a good job against the pass so far this season. With Dunn out look for a few more balls in the air this week and for Price to be the primary benefactor.
WR Dez White B Has been a non-factor in the limited passing game so far.
WR Jimmy Farris B Stepping in for the injured Finneran. Don't expect much.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 The real deal and a big part of the passing game plan each week.
 
Baltimore (1-1) at Cincinnati (1-1) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Not before Heap went down, and ABSOLUTELY not after.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 Is only averaging 60 YPG but at least scored twice last week. Don't worry about backup Chester Taylor. Even with Taylor getting some of the action Lewis still had 24 carries last week. What should be of more concern is the fact that teams have no motivation to play the pass against Baltimore. The going will be tough for Lewis.
WR Kevin Johnson B With Taylor slowed by the groin injury Johnson is expected to step up. He might, but stepping up in a passing game that is averaging just 28 attempts and 63 YPG isn't going to help your fantasy team much.
WR Travis Taylor (D) B Not expected to play this week.
WR Randy Hymes X Continuing to start for the injured Taylor. Last week he was the team's main passing target, accounting for 7. Could surprise this week if he keeps getting the opportunities, but it's a major longshot.
TE Daniel Wilcox U Will be the primary receiving TE filling in for the injured Heap. With weak wide receivers Wilcox will surely be asked of in this matchup. He could be a nice sleeper this week, but don't expect big numbers.
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer U

Palmer will be under a heavy rush this week as the Ravens rely on that to protect a injury depleted secondary. If the solid Bengal OL can give Palmer some comfort in the pocket he could surprise this week.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 The Bengals will continue to try and establish a power running game with Johnson. The problem is that the OL is suffering through some injuries that are hindering their effectiveness.
WR Chad Johnson S2 Will draw the best the Ravens have to offer in the form of Chris McAlister. Man-on-man that wouldn't typically be enough, but with the pressure Palmer will likely be under it may be.
WR Peter Warrick (P) X Getting the more looks than Johnson in the passing game. Expect that trend to continue this week as the short passing game will be much more effective against the Ravens pass rush.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh B Not much action for the #3 WR in this offense.
TE Reggie Kelly
Matt Schobel
B 15 of Palmer's 38 passes went to the TE last week. But they were evenly split between Kelly and Schobel, limiting the fantasy potential of both.
 
Houston (0-2) at Kansas City (0-2) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr (P) S2 With the running game at top speed this week the play-action passing attack of Carr's should be very effective.
RB Domanick Davis S1

Great job improving that run defense in KC guys. Now please, will you hold on to the ball Domanick.

WR Andre Johnson S2 The Chiefs just don't have the wheels in the secondary to keep up with the game-breaking Johnson. Especially with all the safety help their woeful run defense needs.
WR Corey Bradford X The running back has become the true #2 receiver in the Houston offense so far this season. Bradford is an all-or-nothing type of fantasy producer. Given the opponent this week the odds are that he puts up an "all" Sunday in KC.
WR Jabar Gaffney B

Looks like Gaffney is developing into the possession / third-down receiver role which means little if any fantasy value.

TE Mark Bruener B The TE has become a blocking position in the Houston offense.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X Not getting good protection and has looked mediocre at best for two weeks now. The entire KC offense seems out of sync, especially the passing game. If you have a good matchup with another QB on your roster it's best to sit Green until things improve for the Chiefs.
RB Priest Holmes (Q) B If Holmes plays this week, which is looking unlikely, it will not be at 100%.
RB Derrick Blaylock X Will get the start if Holmes can't go and will likely see increased touches regardless as Holmes will not be 100% if he plays.
WR Eddie Kennison (Q) B Not expected to play and even if he guts it out (which he isn't known for doing) and takes the field, a tweaked hamstring is death to a vertical speed receiver.
WR Johnnie Morton B Still appears to be bothered by the Achilles tendon injury and has been mostly ineffective to date.
WR Dante Hall B What was all that talk about Hall being more active in the passing game this season? At this point, with 4 passes his way in two games, all it appears to be is talk.
TE Tony Gonzalez (P) S2 Literally the last man standing. Gonzo is good, but when everyone in the stadium knows you are the only healthy impact player left, that has to make it more difficult to produce. He loses his S1 status this week.
 
Philadelphia (2-0) at Detroit (2-0) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S1 The #1 fantasy QB is on a roll. Don't stop playing him now, especially going against a suspect Detroit secondary.
RB Brian Westbrook S2 Westbrook isn't likely going to be asked to provide more than about 17-20 touches a week for the Eagles offense. Against a Lion defense that's allowing over 360 total yards and 2 TDs a game, that should be enough to make him a solid start.
WR Terrell Owens S1 Didn't deserve the one TD he had Monday night, but he'll probably make up for it this week with a couple legit scores.
WR Todd Pinkston (P) B The ball's starting to get spread around quite a bit in the Eagle passing game. Good for the team, bad for fantasy owners looking to cash in on the Eagle's offensive success with some secondary players like Pinkston.
WR Freddie Mitchell B Ditto for Mitchell.
TE L.J. Smith S2 Chad Lewis is taking some opportunities from Smith, but it has become apparent that McNabb is looking for his young tight end in the red-zone.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington X

The Eagles intense blitz packages will be a difficult test for Harrington. Protection will be the key to success. If he gets it look for success against a Philly pass defense that's just 3 yard from being the league's worst in allowed YPG. If not then, well... you know.

RB Kevin Jones X

Jones' lack of pre-season playing time because of minor injuries is proving to be an issue. His inexperience is showing itself as impatience running the ball as he adjusts to the speed of play in the NFL. Jones will continue to improve this season but will struggle this week against the Eagle defense.

WR Roy Williams S2

The Philly secondary is young and scrappy. But they are also on the small side and Williams should be able to use his size advantage to make some plays for your fantasy team this week.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim (P) B Still not very effective out of the slot. Boy, those St. Louis days seem like a lifetime ago.
WR Tai Streets U With the attention rookie Williams will start to garner Streets will have the opportunity to step up and make some fantasy noise this season. You should get a little out of him this week.
TE Stephen Alexander U The Lions continue to work Alexander into the passing game but so far it has not produced. He will get another chance this week as he will be an important safety valve for a heavily pressured Harrington.
 
Chicago (1-1) at Minnesota (1-1) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman X Grossman has shown only glimpses of his potential this season. Can he put it together for a whole game on the road in the Metrodome? The Vikings secondary is ripe for the picking (currently worst in the league) but this is a high risk play due to not only his inexperience, but that of his receiving corps.
RB Thomas Jones S2 Tearing things up so far. The Vikings rate out as a solid run defense, but that is more a product of their poor passing defense and having not played a good running game yet. Jones is the key to the Bears offensive success and he'll get it done again this week.
WR David Terrell   X

Talk about a regression. From 146 total yards in week one to -15 last week. Inconsistency like that is a fantasy killer for a receiver. There is potential in this matchup with a suspect Vikings secondary, but as with Grossman Terrell is a high risk play this week.

WR Bobby Wade
Justin Gage
B

Both continue to perform poorly, with Gage getting zero catches in week 2. Now there is talk of working unheralded third-year receiver Daryl Jones into the mix. Until the Bears passing attack shows some promise there is no need to look further than Terrell.

TE Desmond Clark B There seems to be improvement in the Grossman-to-Clark relationship. Clark is a solid receiver and should begin to become a bigger part of the passing game, especially given the disappointing play of the wide receivers.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S1 The Bears secondary is badly damaged after losing it's second starter (Mike Brown). Not like you really need a reason to start Culpepper.
RB Michael Bennett (Q)
Moe Williams (Q)
B Both remain unlikely to play.
RB Onterrio Smith   S2

The Bears are still learning the new, aggressive one-gap defensive schemes. The Vikings should be able to handle it and spring Smith for some long gains. The effective passing game also helps keep defense off balance.

WR Randy Moss S1 Actually third on the team in receiving yards and hasn't had that monster game yet. This will likely be it.
WR Nate Burleson S2

Burleson appears to be emerging as the #2 WR in Minnesota... at least for a week. With the TE injuries the non-Moss receivers should get more looks this week against a very suspect secondary.

WR Marcus Robinson B

Robinson has not stood out so far and is behind Burleson on the fantasy depth chart. He may get a few extra throws his way this week, but until he proves himself worthy he's not a fantasy starter.

TE Richard Owens
Jeff Dugan
B

The TE has been very active in the Vikings passing attack this season. Unfortunately both Kleinsasser and now Wiggins are out with injuries. Both these rookies will get their chances on Sunday, but neither is worth looking at yet.

 
Pittsburgh (1-1) at Miami (0-2) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B First start on the road against a very talented Miami secondary (pass defense currently #1)? Don't even think about it.
RB Duce Staley S2 Staley continues to look solid and he should get the rock more this week. The Steelers will want to establish an active running game against a Miami defense that's allowing 138 YPG on the ground in order to keep pressure off their rookie QB. A downside is the fact that Verron Hayes got 9 touches last week.
RB Jerome Bettis B Goes from three TDs to zero carries in a week. Pittsburgh playing catchup last week was a likely contributor to his zero touches and that shouldn't be an issue this week. But there is enough uncertainty about his usage this season now to warrant being on your bench.
WR Hines Ward S2 What better friend can a rookie QB have in his first start than one of the toughest and most reliable receivers in the game?
WR Plaxico Burress B

3 catches for 43 yards in two games. Not exactly a fantasy favorite right now. The loss of Maddox may hurt Burress the most.

WR Antwaan Randle El B Not many opportunities for this shifty and explosive returner in the Steelers stripped down passing game.
TE Jay Riemersma B A fantasy rule that won't change this year. Never start a Pittsburgh TE.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB A. J. Feeley   B

Feeley does have promise, but the Miami offensive line was exposed last week and they looked every bit like a unit with four new pieces that hasn't gelled yet. You can expect Feeley to be under duress all afternoon.

RB Lamar Gordon (P) X The offensive line play has been horrible and Gordon is averaging only 1.7 YPC and is meeting the defensive linemen in his own backfield often. But he is the feature back now and will get the carries and is seeing some serious action in the short passing game also.
WR Chris Chambers X The best downfield option Miami has by far. The strong Steelers defensive front will be in Feeley's face all game long, preventing Chambers from having much of a fantasy impact this week.
WR Marty Booker
Derrius Thompson
B Bit players in a passing offense that's averaging less than 200 YPG. Neither are going to be fantasy worthy until the Miami offense under Feeley emerges from swamps of South Florida.
TE Randy McMichael S2 The best Dolphin fantasy option this week. McMichael has the talent to win most matchups he will face, and with his QB under pressure due to poor pass protection he'll be the primary outlet.
 
Cleveland (1-1) at New York Giants (1-1) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia X

You have to work pretty hard to get a ZERO passer rating, which is exactly what Garcia put up last week against the slightly better than average Dallas defense. He'll get even more pressure this week so look for the Browns to roll him out a lot in this matchup. The result may be better production and some rushing yardage.

RB Lee Suggs (Q) B Will again practice this week and have an increased workload. But he was a late week scratch last weekend and it's very likely he'll be a game-time decision this week as well. Wait on him if you can, but even if he does play there's the risk of him only getting limited touches as the team works him back slowly.
RB William Green X The Browns running game is faltering and Green is averaging under 3 YPC and has yet to score. That may change this week as the Giants have weaknesses in run defense that can be exploited. But the Browns OL will need to improve it's play for that to happen.
WR Andre' Davis S2

Davis now becomes the focus of the passing game. He has the size and speed to win his matchup this week with a poor Giants secondary.

WR Dennis Northcutt U

With Winslow out look for the Browns to use more 3-WR sets and for Northcutt to be the main benefactor. He will win his matchup with nickel CB Terry Cousin.

WR Quincy Morgan B Two games, two catches. Keep him on your bench for now.
TE Aaron Shea   B With Winslow down and Heiden not back from his knee injury it's up to Shea to fill the void. Shea has been effective in the past but has only 23 receptions in the past three season.
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner X

With more time in the pocket last week Warner had his best game in quite a while. Look for more of the same this week against a Browns team with injury problems on the defensive front.

RB Tiki Barber S2 The Browns lost two starters on their defensive line last week. Even with the poor OL play Barber should be able to exploit this matchup.
RB Ron Dayne (Q) B Take away the week 1 TD and what do you have? 22 carries at 2.6 yards per. Yeah, now that's an effective fantasy back.
WR Amani Toomer S2

The Cleveland secondary lacks talent and depth. Both Toomer and ...

WR Ike Hilliard S2 ... Hilliard are good fantasy options this week.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Showed some improvement in week two but is still not having a fantasy impact. That may change this week. Cleveland sports a mediocre linebacking corps that doesn't have the speed to handle Shockey.

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