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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
 
New Orleans (1-1) at St. Louis (1-1) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2 The Saints will of course continue to try and run the ball without McAllister. But make no mistake, the offense is on Brooks' shoulders now and he should deliver in this offensive shootout.
RB Aaron Stecker U Amazingly the Saints have the league's second worst rushing offense, and now they've lost their star player. Look for Stecker and the newly signed Ki-Jana Carter to share the load this week with Stecker getting the lion's share. The Rams are giving up over 170 YPG so far on the ground. Stecker could surprise this week.
WR Joe Horn (Q) S2 Helped Brooks take charge of the game last week when Deuce went down. That will continue this week and from here on out.
WR Donte' Stallworth S2 Breakout game last week? Probably. Stallworth is just to fast and talented for the suspect Rams' secondary.
WR Jerome Pathon B

Came up empty last week. Too many other options.

TE Boo Williams U Why the Saints are wasting one of the top TE talents in the league on blocking is beyond me. Boo had ZERO looks last week. He's a risky play this week, but he has some good upside since his blocking shouldn't be as needed against a weak Rams defensive front.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger (P) S2 The poor pass protection is starting to be a concern. Bulger was sacked five times last week and the lack of protection is throwing a wrench into the Rams' offensive machine. They should be able to hold their own this week against an overrated Saints defensive front.
RB Marshall Faulk S2 The offensive philosophy continues to be to give up quickly on the running game when it shows any sign on not working. Thankfully that shouldn't be the case this week against a Saints' run defense that's next to last in the league, allowing almost 175 YPG.
RB Steven Jackson B May be an impressive rookie, but he's still just a backup and not a fantasy starter.
WR Torry Holt S2 If Bulger is provided time in the pocket both Holt and ...
WR Isaac Bruce S2 ... Bruce will torch the CB tandem of Ashley Ambrose and Fred Thomas all afternoon.
WR Dane Looker B

A solid #3 WR in the Rams' passing game, but that is only good for the occasional spike in fantasy numbers. Looker is just a bench player.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna B Can be effective on occasion, but an after-thought in this offense. Didn't even get a look last week.
 
Jacksonville (2-0) at Tennessee (1-1) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich B Potential aside, the fact remains that through two weeks Leftwich is one of the worst fantasy quarterbacks.
RB Fred Taylor S2

Could have some late game success against the smallish Titans defensive front. But for that to happen the Jags will have to stay committed to the run, something they have not showed through two weeks of play. Taylor will also see plenty of 8-man fronts in this matchup.

WR Jimmy Smith X

Smith is still getting it done in a terrible passing attack under increased coverage. But his fantasy potential is limited and he remains only a borderline starter / bye week fill-in.

WR Ernest Wilford U This unheralded rookie has made some noise in the red-zone with two TD catches in as many weeks. He may begin to see more action as the #3 WR and appears to have the size and talent to grow into a solid possession receiver.
WR Troy Edwards
Reggie Williams
B Outside of Smith and Wilford there hasn't been much for fantasy owners to get excited about with the Jaguar passing game.
TE George Wrighster B Just providing some blocking until Brady returns.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2 Has not had that breakout game yet this short season, but this could be it. The Jacksonville defense is tough against the run but they generate little pass rush. With time in the pocket McNair can pick apart the Jags secondary.
RB Chris Brown S2 The Jags are allowing only 2.8 YPC on the ground, second best in the league. So Brown and the O-Line have their work cut out for them. Look for the Titans to run Brown on the edges as that's where the Jags are weakest and Brown has the speed to get outside.
WR Derrick Mason S2 With practically every other WR on the team listed in the injury report Mason will have to carry the load Sunday. McNair will have time in the pocket this week to find him.
WR Drew Bennett (Q) X

Bennett is an excellent target for McNair, but he's had some drops this season and his rib injury keeps flaring up. A borderline start that carries some risk.

WR Tyrone Calico (Q) B Making his way back quickly, but not expected to play this week.
TE Erron Kinney S2 Became the solid option in the passing game many expected last week. That shouldn't change any time soon.
 
San Diego (1-1) at Denver (1-1) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B Brees is expected to stay the starter despite his mild concussion last week. Considering he was 3-of-12 for 74 yards BEFORE sustaining the blow to the head, there seems to be little hope for the Chargers' passing game.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (P) S1 The Broncos have played solid against the run and two premier backs (Holmes and Taylor). But injuries along the front are taking their toll and they get THE premier NFL back this week.
WR Eric Parker
Reche Caldwell
B Both Parker and Caldwell are fine young talents, but CB Champ Bailey will have little trouble shutting down whichever one he covers and the rest of the Bronco secondary can deal with the other.
TE Antonia Gates (Q) X Gates loses his S2 status thanks to a sprained foot that may limit him this week and his "dropsies" performance last Sunday.
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2 With the running game re-established Plummer should be more effective using the play-action and roll-out passing game, where he does some of his best work. Look for a bounce back game this week.
RB Quentin Griffin S2 Should have no trouble getting back on track this week against the smallish San Diego defensive front.
WR Rod Smith S2 Smith has lost his speed and doesn't possess much upside anymore, but he remains a solid fantasy starter. Especially against a terrible Charger pass defense.
WR Ashley Lelie U

Has had minimal fantasy impact in the previous two games, but this week is prime for a breakout. Look for Plummer to find the speedster for some long gains and a touchdown.

WR Darius Watts (P) B Remains firmly entrenched behind Lelie as the #3 WR in an offense that features only 2 WR's.
TE Jeb Putzier
Dwayne Carswell
B Both are seeing some action but not enough to warrant fantasy attention.
 
Green Bay (1-1) at Indianapolis (1-1) Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2 The Colts' pass defense is ranked third worst in the league after two weeks. Overall the Packers have more talent at receiver then Indy has in the secondary. Edge to Favre in what could be a shootout.
RB Ahman Green S1 One of the few remaining healthy elite fantasy backs.
WR Javon Walker S2 Who will emerge each week for the Packers in the passing game may be a season long three-way coin flip. This week the flip comes up Walker. Favre seems most comfortable with him right now and he will see none of the bump-and-run coverage he can struggle with.
WR Robert Ferguson X There could be plenty of balls in the air in this one, so Ferguson or ...
WR Donald Driver X

... Driver could have an impact.

TE Bubba Franks X Rarely utilized by the Packers lately. Against the Colts cover-2 he may see some additional looks down the seams of that coverage scheme. Big risk this week, but if your other TE is injured and you need to take a flier ...
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 Another potential shootout and another must start.
RB Edgerrin James (Q) B There is still a possibility that James could take the field this weekend. But even if he does gut it out and play, he will not be 100% and he will not see a full workload.
RB Dominic Rhodes S2 It's not always going to be automatic for Rhodes to step in and produce Edge-like numbers, but this week there is potential. Without NT Grady Jackson last week the Packers gave up 152 yards to Thomas Jones on 23 carries. Rhodes should be good for 100 total yards and a score on Sunday.
WR Marvin Harrison S2 Teams are really focusing on slowing Harrison down, and so far they have. But Harrison is too quick and smart to allow the more physical Packer secondary to keep him off his game.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 Wayne continues to improve and his increased chemistry with Manning is showing. The extra attention teams are giving Harrison isn't hurting either.
WR Brandon Stokley B A hit-or-miss #3 WR in a high-powered offense.
TE Marcus Pollard
Dallas Clark (P)
X Pollard took advantage of Clark's absence last week and scored a TD. But he only had 3 catches for a paltry 7 yards. Clark should be back this week and both he and Pollard will split what should be a fairly productive day for the Colt TEs.
 
San Francisco (0-2) at Seattle (2-0) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ken Dorsey   B

Serviceable last week in his first start on the road. The Niners will keep things simple for Dorsey and not ask him to do much more than manage the passing game and hand the ball off to Barlow.

RB Kevan Barlow S2 Barlow will be asked to be the workhorse again to help keep pressure off of the inexperienced Dorsey. He'll struggle to deliver this week against a Seattle run defense that's allowing only 83 YPG and hasn't given up a TD in two games.
WR Brandon Lloyd B Lloyd has proven to possess some big-play ability. In two games so far this season as a starter he's shown little. As in the past two weeks Lloyd's size and speed disadvantage will result in another non-fantasy worthy effort against a solid secondary.
WR Cedrick Wilson (Q) X Should be back in the starting lineup this week, but his hamstring may limit him. The state of the Niner passing game we know will limit him.
WR Curtis Conway   B Don't be fooled by his 8 catch game last week. With normal starter Wilson a game-day scratch Conway filled in nicely. But Wilson is back this week and Conway moves back to the unproductive #3 WR slot.
TE Eric Johnson S2 Should remain a prime target for an uneasy and inexperienced QB. Johnson will stay active in this matchup and has some upside as the Seahawks will likely play close to the line to slow down the running game.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 The secondary is the strength of the San Francisco defense. That won't stop Hasselbeck and crew from challenging it however. Don't expect the passing game to light it up, but there will be plenty of production to make Hasselbeck a good start this week.
RB Shaun Alexander S2 Alexander should be close to 100% this week and he should get back on track against an overmatched Niner defensive front. The massive Seattle O-line will clear the way for a solid but not spectacular performance.
WR Koren Robinson X Improved his concentration last week and brought in 4 of the 5 passes that came his way. A good sign for Robinson, who had a few drops in week one.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Koren got the touchdown last week but Jackson got twice the looks.
WR Bobby Engram B

May see a little more action this week as the Seahawks will look to spread the field more to stretch the Niners into nickel and dime coverages. Won't amount to much fantasy-wise however.

TE Jerramy Stevens (P)
Itula Mili
B In two weeks of action there have been a total of three passes thrown to the TE position. Logic says that won't continue, but until the Seahawks consistently prove that the TE is a part of the game plan these two talents stay on your bench.
 
Tampa Bay (0-2) at Oakland (1-1) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B Gets his job back after a temporary benching. Too bad his options remain limited with the absence of Galloway, Jurevicius and McCardell.
RB Charlie Garner S2 Becoming more active in the passing game which boosts his fantasy value since the running game has been struggling to only 61 YPG.
RB Mike Alstott B Short-yardage and goal-line carries only. Only real value is in TD-only leagues, and that may even be in question now.
WR Bill Schroeder   B You'd think the old-timer would see a bit more action with the current state of the Tampa WR corps. So far that hasn't happened. He was only 1-for-4 yards last week.
WR Tim Brown U Needs one more touchdown to make it 100 for his career, only the forth player to ever do so. You don't think there's just a little bit of motivation to get it against his old team AT Oakland? Nah, me either ;)
WR Michael Clayton X With all the injuries the rookie remains the focal point of the Bucs passing attack. Against a strong unit in the Oakland secondary he will likely struggle to have an impact.
TE Ken Dilger
Ricky Dudley
B Good for a couple catches each most weeks, max.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rich Gannon X Gannon showed much improvement in week two and that should continue as he adjusts to the new offense. There may be a setback however this week against a Tampa pass defense that's ranked #2 in the league after two weeks.
RB Tyrone Wheatley  B Wheatley will remain a factor in power formations, but he's been highly ineffective to date and will give way to the more explosive Fargas this week.
RB Justin Fargas (Q) U The Raiders are in desperate need of a game-breaking back and Fargas fits that bill. Look for them to spread the field on Sunday and run Fargas out of a single back formation. He should find success running the ball and also in the short passing game.
WR Jerry Porter S2

In his likely matchup with CB Ronde Barber, Porter will have the size and speed advantage. He should be able to use that to get open for a few deep throws from Gannon.

WR Ronald Curry
Doug Gabriel
B

Both have shined this season, but each in different games. Each youngster holds great promise and the ability to stretch the field, which is back in vogue in O' Town. Until one emerges or the Oakland offense improves, neither should be relied on as a starter for your fantasy team.

TE Doug Jolley B

Jolley emerged last week as the tight end of choice. He should fine a few openings down the middle of the Bucs cover-2, but he's still not a fantasy starter.

 
Dallas (1-1) at Washington (1-1) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde X

Because of the limited running game the Cowboys have been forced to rely on the old arm of Testaverde, to the tone of a league leading 677 yards. It'll be more of the same this week but with less success.

RB Eddie George
Richie Anderson
ReShard Lee
X Anderson is back in the mix this week making it very likely that you will see all three Dallas backs with carries depending on the offensive situations. If you are going to take one this week my money's on Anderson because of his speed around the corners and his versatility in the passing game.
WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Look for the Cowboys to run the solid Redskin corners deep with Glenn and Bryant and work Keyshawn underneath where he is very effective. It won't be flashy, but he'll get you some fantasy points.

WR Terry Glenn B

Glenn leads the team in receiving but will be limited this week by the strong corner coverage of the Redskins.

WR Antonio Bryant U

If a wideout is going to shake free for a score this week in the passing game it's going to be Bryant.

TE Jason Witten S2 The Redskins will have to blitz in order to put pressure on Testaverde. Look for Witten to do some more damage this week down the middle in the areas vacated by the blizers.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey B Took over for the injured Brunell last week and keeps the starting job for now. The Cowboys will come after Ramsey with their talented and aggressive defensive front. Ramsey struggled against Dallas last year and he was also shell-shocked last season due to poor protection schemes. Don't expect much from him in this matchup.
RB Clinton Portis S2 Take away Portis' first carry of the season and he's now gained 153 yards on 48 carries through two games. Not exactly the impact everyone was expecting. Well, almost everyone. He could improve those numbers this week against the aggressive, penetrating, single-gap defensive front of the Cowboys. Look for him to break a couple of nice cutback runs Monday night.
WR Lavernues Coles   S2 Coles matches up nicely with the inexperienced Dallas secondary and could get some prime opportunities down field as the Cowboys often leave their corners to man-to-man coverage with no safety help.
WR Rod Gardner X The same goes for Gardner, but Coles is the better fantasy option.
TE Walter Rasby
Chris Cooley
B Cooley may be emerging as the tight end of choice in Washington, but for now that doesn't amount to much as the TE is primarily a blocker in the Gibbs' offense.

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