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Start/Bench List - Week 4
Whitney Walters
September 30, 2004
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
PHI at CHI OAK at HOU ATL at CAR Sun 8:30 PM Open Date:
WAS at CLE   DEN at TB (times ET) MIN, SEA
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 (2-1) at Arizona (0-3) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2 Having a capable fill-in for the injured McAllister help Brooks be effective since he doesn't have to carry the whole offensive load. Look for the Saints to use mostly three and four WR sets to stretch a Cardinals' secondary that lacks depth.
RB Aaron Stecker S2 Stecker proved his worth last week and the Cardinals, while playing hard, are the worst run defense in the league, allowing over 180 YPG. He won't likely see 20+ carries but will get extra touches through the short passing game.
WR Joe Horn (Q) S2 The knee is still a problem but he continues to play through it. He remains the main man in the passing game, but Stallworth is nipping at his heals.
WR Donte' Stallworth S2 Stallworth is just to fast and talented for most corners to cover one-on-one. His route running has improved this season and he's making secondaries pay for any slight misstep.
WR Jerome Pathon (Q) B

A solid #3 WR but there are just too many other options in this offense.

TE Boo Williams S2 What do you know. A Boo sighting last week. Don't look for the Saints to waste their talented TE on just blocking again any time soon. The Cards play a lot of cover-2 zone in the secondary so New Orleans will take advantage by using Williams down the seams this week.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B The Cardinals are the only NFL team without a passing touchdown this season and they lead the league in sacks allowed. Not a good combination.
RB Emmitt Smith (P) B The running lanes just aren't there, and if they were Smith has obviously lost the burst needed to hit them.
WR Larry Fitzgerald X Likely matched up with CB Ashley Ambrose this week. While the rookie has the size and talent advantage, Ambrose has 13 years of experience covering the league's top receivers.
WR   Bryant Johnson  B Johnson has come on as a viable #2 option since recovering from his foot injury and had six catches last week. But on an offence that struggles to get it's passing game going most weeks the #2 option provides minimal fantasy production.
TE Freddie Jones X Jones has the skills to create matchup problems for opposing defenses and he's a prime third-down target for McCown. But this passing game just isn't providing a lot of fantasy opportunity. Jones will be a hit-and-miss performer this season.
Atlanta (3-0) at Carolina (1-1) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   X

Vick may be a highlight waiting to happen, but that does not always translate into fantasy studdom. The Falcon passing game is sporadic at best, and without his ability to run his way out of trouble Vick would be a complete fantasy bust. Carolina has the talent up front on defense to contain Vick so you may want to find a better option this week for your starting quarterback.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 Dunn is off to a great start this season and the Panthers are surprisingly susceptible to the run through it's first two games, giving up over 130 YPG and 3 touchdowns.
RB T.J. Duckett  B Dunn played last week despite the knee injury and Duckett didn't get a single touch. T.J. may develop into a viable goal-line back, but for now he seems to have no place in the new Falcon offense.
WR Peerless Price X Price is the best option Vick has at the WR position. Problem is the Falcon passing game is generating only 12 completions a game and neither of it's two TDs have been to a WR.
WR Dez White
Brian Finneran (Q)
B Both have been non-factors in the limited passing game so far.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 The real deal and a major matchup headache for opposing defenses. Crumpler is the only part of the Atlanta passing game worth getting into your starting lineup week in and week out.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme X

The Falcons lead the league in sacks and Delhomme will need a big running game and solid protection against the rush to be successful. The lose of his best deep threat in Steve Smith will be felt all season and creates a more one-dimensional passing game that limits his potential against solid defenses.

RB Stephen Davis (O) B Expect Davis to sit one more week.
RB DeShaun Foster S2 The Falcons may be near the top of the league's rush defense list, but they have yet to face a high caliber running game. Foster and the Panthers will provide that this week and be a great challenge to the likely 8-man fronts Atlanta will utilize.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Teams will learn that they can be more aggressive in coverage due to the lack of deep speed in the Panthers' WR corps. Muhammad remains a decent fantasy starter most weeks but will not give you much more than average production.
WR Ricky Proehl B Proehl has the experience but not much else at age 36. He will have his moments but for the most part should be avoided by your fantasy team.
WR Keary Colbert X The rookie showed some promise in week two with three catches and his first career touchdown. The Panthers remain high on him and he will continue to get the opportunity to make an impact.
TE Kris Mangum B Scored in week two but remains a minor player in the Panthers' passing attack.
New York Jets (2-0) at Miami (0-3) Back to top
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington X Due to the strong corner play of the Dolphins look for Pennington to work the underneath routes to backs and tight ends more in this matchup. The result will be effective movement of the offense but only average fantasy production.
RB Curtis Martin S2 The Dolphins have problems along the defensive front and are giving up 143 YPG on the ground. Good news for the rejuvenated Martin.
RB LaMont Jordan B Two games, one carry. 'Nuf said.
WR Santana Moss X The strong corner play of Miami's Patrick Surtain and Sam Madison will limit the fantasy production of both Moss and ...
WR Justin McCareins   X

... McCareins this week.

TE Anthony Becht
Chris Baker
B The Jets are running more 2-TE sets this year to improve the run blocking. It's provided little in fantasy value at the position however as Becht has yet to catch a pass and Baker produced only in week two.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler  B

Fiedler returns to the starting lineup this week. Whatever slim chance the Dolphins have of scoring this week will come from the passing game as that's where the team's best skill players are.

RB Leonard Henry  B Another week, another starter at tailback for Miami. So now it's Henry's turn to try and run behind the terrible Dolphin O-line. Good luck young man, and wear plenty of padding.
WR Chris Chambers (Q) X The best downfield option Miami has by far. The Jets' secondary has weaknesses and Chambers should take advantage on Sunday. The problem lies in Fiedler's inability to get the ball deep with accuracy and now apparently with his ability to possibly play.
WR Marty Booker
Derrius Thompson
B Booker is a great possession receiver and Thomas has his moments. But in a passing game with rotating QBs and poor pass protection there is little fantasy value here.
TE Randy McMichael S2 The best Dolphin fantasy option this, and every, week. McMichael has the talent to win most matchups he will face, and with Fiedler under pressure due to poor pass protection he'll be the primary outlet.
Denver (2-1) at Tampa Bay (0-3) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2 The Broncos must establish a strong running game to put Plummer in situations where he's the most effective. If he can remain calm in the pocket or on rollouts and is given the time he will have little trouble finding his matchup advantages against the Tampa coverage schemes.
RB Quentin Griffin X Since his week one explosion Griffin has carried the ball 37 times and gained only 73 yards. 25 of those carries came against Jacksonville, so low production is expected. Look for Griffin to get his carries in this matchup but if he puts the ball on the turf or is ineffective you will likely see more of Hearst and Bell.
WR Rod Smith S2 Smith has lost his top-end speed but will still be able to pressure corners Barber and Kelly when given man-to-man coverages.
WR Ashley Lelie S2

Lelie DOES have the top-end speed to get over the top of corners Barber and Kelly when given man-to-man matchups. If Plummer can find him look for a few nice long gains in this game.

WR Darius Watts B Showing great promise but lacks the opportunities to have a fantasy impact.
TE Jeb Putzier (P) S2 Busted out last week with 5 grabs for 66 yards. The Tampa cover-2 defense is vulnerable to quick and big tight ends that cause matchup problems with the linebackers and safeties. Putzier fits that bill.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B Put up some nice numbers last week but most of it came late as the Bucs played catchup in the fourth quarter. With Tampa struggling to run the ball and few matchup advantages in the passing game look for Johnson to be very limited.
RB Michael Pittman X Welcome back. Now get out there. Pittman will eventually carry the running game but don't expect him to make a big splash right out of the gate. It will take time for him to get his legs under him and he's playing behind an overhauled O-line he's not used to yet. Temper your expectations for now.
RB Mike Alstott X Ran the ball well last week when called on to fill in for Garner. Look for Alstott to take a good chunk of the workload this week as the team works Pittman back into shape.
WR Bill Schroeder   B Will be completely neutralized by CB Champ Bailey.
WR Tim Brown B Nice return trip to Oakland last week, but don't expect a rerun any time soon. Brown is beyond the downside of his great career and will struggle to get open most weeks.
WR Michael Clayton X Could find some favorable matchups with the Broncos' nickel coverages and has the talent to take advantage.
TE Ken Dilger B With Dudley out Dilger will get a bit more attentions, but not enough to get yours.
Tennessee (1-2) at San Diego (1-2) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) X McNair will be held out of practice until Friday and will likely be a game-time decision for Sunday.
QB Billy Volek X Will get the start if McNair can't go. This is a favorable matchup for him and he could provide fantasy owners with a nice surprise if he plays. The problem is we likely won't know until game-time if he will start.
RB Chris Brown S2 Even if McNair plays the Titans will surely rely more on their running game this week to take pressure off the QB. The Tennessee O-line matches up well with the 3-4 schemes run by the Chargers and Brown should get his fourth 100 yard game.
WR Derrick Mason X Both Mason and ...
WR Drew Bennett X

... Bennett present matchup problems for the struggling San Diego corners. But with the starting quarterback unsettled it's difficult to recommend either as a starter this week.

WR Tyrone Calico (Q) U Should return to action this week and help open up the passing game for the Titans. Look for more 3-WR sets with Kinney out and for Calico to have an impact down field.
TE Shad Meier
Ben Troupe
B Both Meier and rookie Troupe will fill in for the injured Kinney. Neither is worth fantasy consideration unless one emerges.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B Since his limited week one success Brees has been terrible. Rivers has been moved to #2 on the depth chart and you can feel the hook coming.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S2 The Titans are only average stopping the run and have their problems on defense. But with virtually no passing game Tomlinson is a marked man so far this season and is struggling to maintain his fantasy stud pace.
WR Eric Parker (Q)
Reche Caldwell
B Both Parker and Caldwell are fine young talents, but this passing game is going nowhere fast.
TE Antonia Gates S2 Gates was slowed by injury last week and still pulled in four balls for 30 yards. Not a great performance but an indication that he remains the only fantasy option in the Chargers' passing attack. The injuries to the Titans' linebackers should help open things up for Gates this week.
St. Louis (1-2) at San Francisco (0-3) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2 When given enough pocket protection to find the long developing deep crossing routes the Rams love to run Bulger can get it done, as he showed last week. That protection should be there again against a Niner front that relies on the blitz to get any pressure on the QB.
RB Marshall Faulk X Can still have a big fantasy impact when given the carries. Too bad that is becoming harder to rely on with the Rams offense as he's been limited to just 12 carries in each of the last two games. Thankfully for his fantasy owners he's had 13 catches in those games to help ease some of the pain.
RB Steven Jackson B The big news this week is that HC Martz wants to work Jackson into the running game more. Wow, coming from a guy that thinks a 1/4 run/pass ratio is offensive balance, that's BIG news.
WR Torry Holt S1 Both Holt and ...
WR Isaac Bruce S2 ... Bruce are at the top of their game right now and no secondary can matchup with them.
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. Just 2-for-8 last week.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ken Dorsey   B

Dorsey is obviously not ready for prime-time and Rattay may or may not play this week depending on who you listen to. Stay very far away from this situation.

RB Kevan Barlow S2 With a passing game that's stuck in a Bay Area fog Barlow is struggling against 8-man fronts. Thankfully the Rams are coming to town this week. St. Louis' front is not very physical and even bringing an extra defender into the box won't give them the punch they need to stop Barlow and the Niner running game.
WR Cedrick Wilson X Returned to a Niner passing game last week that sorely needed him. With Dorsey at the helm Wilson's potential is very limited, but he's the best WR fantasy option this team has.
WR Curtis Conway
Brandon Lloyd (Q)
B With Dorsey at quarterback all Niner wide receivers not named Cedrick Wilson should be avoided.
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 Rams will likely stack the line to slow down the running game.
Kansas City (0-3) at Baltimore (2-1) Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X Green appears to be pressing the action in an attempt to compensate for a terrible defense. Problem is he has very few weapons at his disposal. The result, an average fantasy QB on a good day. Playing the Ravens on the road doesn't exactly make for a very good day.
RB Priest Holmes (P) S2 A less than 100% Holmes cranked out 134 yards last week but didn't score. He'll be close to full speed Monday night but meets the aggressive Raven defensive front. Call this one a draw thanks to the excellent O-line play of the Chiefs. Look for an okay but not spectacular night from Holmes.
WR Eddie Kennison (Q) B May try to play this week but 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
Dante Hall (P)
B The Chiefs just don't have the talent at WR to successfully challenge the Ravens' man-on-man coverage.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2 Finally got on track last week and remains Green's best option in the passing game. That bothersome foot injury may have taken half a step from Gonzalez, but he's always a starter, regardless of opponent.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Teams continue to stack the line and dare Boller to beat them. It will be no different Monday night against the Chiefs, and with the same pathetic results.
RB Jamal Lewis S1 Thanks to a Kansas City defense that gives up over 150 YPG on the ground Lewis will easily outperform Holmes in this duel of elite backs.
WR Kevin Johnson B Johnson was expected to step up when Taylor went down but he actually stepped down, with just two catches in the last two games.
WR Travis Taylor (D) B Not expected to play this week.
WR Randy Hymes X

Has been a nice fantasy surprise filling in for the injured Taylor with 7 catches and a touchdown in the last two weeks. In this passing offense (ranked 31st) that's quite a feat.

TE Daniel Wilcox B Without Heap the Ravens appear to be ignoring the tight end in the offensive game plan.

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