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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 5
Whitney Walters
October 7, 2004
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 9 PM
DET at ATL MIA at NE BUF at NYJ STL at SEA TEN at GB
NYG at DAL TB at NO CAR at DEN Sun 8:30 PM Open Date:
MIN at HOU CLE at PIT JAC at SD BAL at WAS CHI, CIN,
OAK at IND   ARI at SF (times ET) KC, PHI
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
 
Detroit (2-1) at Atlanta (4-0) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington X

Touch matchup this week for Harrington. The Lions have already given up nine sacks this season and Falcons are second with 16 so far. Harrington will need to be accurate under pressure for any success. His upside is that the Lions may be playing catchup in this one and forced to air it out a bit.

RB Artose Pinner
Shawn Bryson
B

With Jones out both Pinner and Bryson will split the workload. Combined they are not a big drop off from Jones, but neither has much of a chance to amount to much for fantasy owners against Atlanta's #2 rush defense.

WR Roy Williams S2

Look for the Falcons be roll coverage to Williams' side of the field in an attempt to limit Detroit's prime target in the passing attack. Williams is a fierce competitor and has the advantage physically over the Falcon secondary. He'll again pay off for his fantasy owners.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim
Tai Streets
X Both Hakim and Streets have the potential to make a little noise if Harrington chooses to look their way as Williams draws the coverage. One may breakout this week, but not likely both.
TE Stephen Alexander U Alexander remains a part of the passing game but so far it has not delivered for fantasy owners. He will get another chance this week as he will be an important safety valve for a heavily pressured Harrington.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   U

A fantasy bust so far, Vick may warrant a look this week. The Detroit secondary is still reeling from injuries at cornerback and they lack a linebacker with the speed to shadow Vick. Yes, he ranks at the bottom of most passing catagories but Vick has a good shot at improving on most of those numbers this weekend.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 Dunn's injury from last week isn't serious and he's expected to play. His speed will be a problem for the Lions all day as they lack the range at linebacker to matchup on the corners.
RB T.J. Duckett  B After only 12 touches in three games Duckett stepped up for an injured Dunn and produced well with his 13 carries last week. Dunn is expected to play but don't be surprised if the Falcons continue to work Duckett into the mix more. Not likely enough to make him a fantasy starter, but he's still worth a roster spot.
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. May be worth a shot this week as the passing game should get a boost due to the poor Detroit secondary play.
WR Dez White
Brian Finneran (Q)
B Both have been non-factors in the limited passing game so far.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 Crumpler is the only part of the Atlanta passing game worth getting into your starting lineup week in and week out. He creates matchup problems for opposing defenses every week.
 
New York Giants (3-1) at Dallas (2-1) Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner S2

Warner isn't going to light it up any time soon, but he's putting up some solid numbers now that he's getting better pocket protection. Most weeks he'd be a bench player, but with the injuries to the Cowboy's secondary he should be considered this week. With the bye weeks in full swing and several quarterbacks hit by injury, Warner could pull you out of a bind this week.

RB Tiki Barber S2 Barber is averaging an impressive 155 total YPG and has scored three times. The Cowboys are solid against the run and have yet to be scored on, but the matchup isn't one-sided enough to sit one of the top fantasy backs.
RB Ron Dayne   B Back in the mix following the mysterious calf injury. The Giants continue to give him a few shots around the goal-line and Dayne continues to do little with them.
WR Amani Toomer
Ike Hilliard
Tim Carter
X

The way the Giants are spreading the ball in the passing game may be great for their offensive efficiency, but it's a fantasy killer for their wide receivers. None have stood out with each getting between 12-18 catches so far this season. The Cowboys are suspect at the cornerback position due to injury, but none of these three have stood out and are poised to take great advantage. If forced to pick one it would be Toomer this week as a possible starter.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Finally got into the action last week. Look for more of the same as he will stretch an already thin Cowboy secondary. Will likely be shadowed by SS Roy Williams in what may be a great battle. Note to Jeremy -- this is when all that motion stuff is going to come in handy.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde X

The strength of the Giant's secondary will allow them to blitz frequently, which Washington used with success in week three to limit Testaverde.

RB Eddie George X George's 12 carries a game for a 2.9 YPC average place him firmly on most fantasy benches. His two scores however give some hope, but mostly for TD-only leagues. The Giants are one of only four teams that have yet to yield a rushing touchdown.
RB Richie Anderson X Anderson is the most versatile back the Cowboys have and he will continue to get touches in both the running and passing game. Those touches will rarely account for enough to make Anderson anything but a longshot fantasy fill-in.
WR Keyshawn Johnson X

Since Johnson's nine catches in the opener he's had three catches in two games. There's plenty of passing going on in the Dallas offense, but the ball is being spread around intentionally making the fantasy value of Johnson, ...

WR Antonio Bryant B

... Bryant and ...

WR Terry Glenn X

... Glenn limited at best. At least Glenn has found the end-zone twice this season.

TE Jason Witten S2 Witten is the primary TE now that Campbell has been lost for the season. He will remain an active target for Testaverde as he has deceptive speed and the size to overpower linebackers and safeties.
 
MInnesota (2-1) at Houston (2-2) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S1 Houston's pass defense numbers are solid (under 200 YPG allowed) but they've given up eight TDs through the air so far this season. Only one team has given up more.
RB Moe Williams (Q) B

With Bennett and Smith out all eyes turn to Williams. Unfortunately for fantasy owners that have had Williams stashed on their bench he's struggling with a calf injury that's limiting his practices this week.

RB   Mewelde Moore U

The unknown rookie may be the starter this week for the Vikings. At a minimum he'll get the bulk of the carries and be a help to many a fantasy lineup hit by injury.

WR Randy Moss S1 As we've all learned by now, defensive matchups don't really factor in here any more.
WR Nate Burleson S2

The Texans don't have the cornerback talent to even challenge Moss so look for them to provide constant safety help. That should open up some opportunities for Burleson on the other side. Could surprise this week with his first TD.

WR Marcus Robinson
Kelly Campbell
B

Robinson and Campbell have both found the end-zone this season, but their five catches each in three games doesn't warrant fantasy attention.

TE Richard Owens
Jeff Dugan
B

Both these rookies will get their chances with both Kleinsasser and Wiggins out, but neither is worth looking at yet.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr (P) S2 Has the makings of a high scoring game as the Texans will have to keep pace with the Vikings and Minnesota is sporting the #30 pass defense in the league.
RB Domanick Davis (Q)
Jonathan Wells
S2

Davis may play this week. If he doesn't Wells will again carry the load. Whoever takes the field should have success. The Texans will want to establish the running game to shorten the game for the high-powered Viking offense. The Vikings have been hit with injuries at the linebacker position and their D-line is better suited to the pass rush than run stopping.

RB Tony Hollings B Only six carries last week and the team appears to favor Wells now as Davis' backup.
WR Andre Johnson S2 The focal point of the Houston passing game. Johnson is proving himself to be a solid fantasy start regardless of opponent.
WR Corey Bradford U Bradford has the abilitiy to stretch the field. Against a suspect Viking secondary he has the potential to step up this week as they will spend much of their time focusing on Johnson.
WR Jabar Gaffney B Only a factor last week because Bradford was a last minute scratch. Two of the three previous games were the single catch variety.
TE Billy Miller B Miller has shown some life lately and may get a few extra looks this week as the Vikings are beginning to blitz more due to a weak pass rush.
 
Oakland (2-2) at Indianapolis (3-1) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2 The deep ball was on display last week, unfortunately so was the INT ball. The Raiders game plan will be to run the ball, taking some of the pressure off of Collins. But that will only last as long as they can keep from falling behind. When that happens they will have to cut Collins loose and hope for the best. Against the worst pass defense in the league that may not be such a bad thing.
RB Tyrone Wheatley (D) B Listed as doubtful and will not play this week.
RB Justin Fargas (Q) B Received just a single carry last week as Zereoue stole the show after Wheatley went down. Word is he's close to 100% now but until he proves the toe is no longer a problem he should be on your bench.
RB Amos Zereoue X As he showed last week Zereoue is a more than capable fill-in for Wheatley. He'll be called upon again this week but his carries may be limited if the Raiders quickly fall behind the Colts, which is a very good possibility.
WR Jerry Porter S2

Porter is the go-to receiver now for the Raiders and his size, speed and ability to make plays down field will cause the Colt's suspect secondary problems all afternoon.

WR Ronald Curry
Doug Gabriel
X

Both youngsters have shined this season and give the new vertical passing game extra punch and options down field. Neither can be relied on as a fantasy starter yet, but an eye should be kept on them, especially Curry.

TE Doug Jolley
Courtney Anderson
B

Anderson emerged last week and out-caught Jolley. The TE isn't a big part of the offense for the Raiders and if that is now going to include a second factor, forget them both.

Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 Should get back to his high speed pace this week, but may turn and hand the ball off a bit more than he has lately.
RB Edgerrin James S2 The most carries James has had since week one is 21. Now that he appears close to 100% back from the hamstring injury look for the Colts to get him more involved again, getting him back to his normal 24-27 level.
WR Marvin Harrison S1 Leads the team in catches but is amazingly third in yardage. Teams continue to work hard on slowing Harrison down, but it's having little effect on the overall passing game. We may see teams start to back off a bit, but he's still a must start.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 Wayne has become the fantasy force many have waited years to see as the #2 WR in the Indy offense.
WR Brandon Stokley (P) S2 The #3 WR in an offense rarely warrants much fantasy attention. Well for now that has changed with Stokley. For two weeks he has caused major matchup problems for opposing nickel coverages, and until defenses deal with it he will remain a viable fantasy option for most teams.
TE Marcus Pollard X The success Indy is having with their 3-WR sets is putting a big dent into the consistent production from the TE position. Pollard only has eight catches but two are for touchdowns. He's a nice fill-in but is no longer a weekly starter.
 
Miami (0-4) at New England (3-0) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler  B

Simply not a fantasy option. In last season's two games against New England Fiedler averaged 170 yards passing, threw only one touchdown and four interceptions.

RB Leonard Henry  X Henry's debut as a starter last week went well as he gained 97 total yards on 21 touches. Henry showed while he doesn't have great speed he's a tough runner that can pick up yardage after contact. This is a difficult matchup and the Dolphin O-line still has problems, but the Pats allow 130 rushing YPG so there's a chance Henry can repeat last week's numbers. A slight chance, but still... a chance.
WR Chris Chambers (Q) X A late week scratch in week four but is expected to play Sunday. Has has some limited success against the Pats in the past, but the way this offense is playing I wouldn't want to count on it this time around.
WR Marty Booker B Booker is a great possession receiver but in a passing game this weak the third option has little fantasy value.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Will likely lead the Dolphins in receptions each week. Draws a tough matchup with SS Rodney Harrison on Sunday but in a league devoid of quality fantasy tight ends, McMichael starts.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X As they did last week against Buffalo expect the Patriots to come out firing against the solid Miami defense and get them back on their heels. The running game may play a bigger role this week so Brady may not quite match last week's numbers.
RB Corey Dillon S2 So far the early indications are that Dillon will be running primarily from a spread formation and getting around 20 carries a game. This week against a Miami defense that has interior problems and allows 135 YPG on the ground, that should be just enough.
RB Kevin Faulk (Q) B May play this week, but until he takes the field and performs well it's best to stay clear.
WR Deion Branch (D) B

Not expected to play this week.

WR David Patten X

Patten and ...

WR David Givens X ... Givens are the remaining healthy wide receivers. Look for them to be very active but to be somewhat limited as the Dolphins have the talent at the cornerback position to cover both.
TE Daniel Graham S2 Graham will be a great option for Brady in the passing game Sunday as the Dolphins have the wheels to cover the New England wide receivers but not to deal with the matchup problem Graham creates.
 
Tampa Bay (0-4) at New Orleans (2-2) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Simms B The Bucs have switched QBs for the immediate future. Simms did okay in his debut this season when he replaced Johnson in week two against Seattle. He'll provide more mobility but will surely struggle as all young and inexperienced QBs do. Stay clear for now.
RB Michael Pittman S1 Pittman averaged a solid 4.8 YPC last week in his 2004 debut. Look for the Bucs to emphasize the run this week against a horrible Saints run defense. As long as they can keep from falling behind Pittman should put up some nice numbers.
RB Mike Alstott B Only carried the ball three times last week, but also had three short catches. May see a bit more action this week but it's not going to make him worthy a spot on any fantasy starting lineup.
WR Michael Clayton X It's not saying much, but Clayton has been the most consistent fantasy receiver the Bucs have offered this season. The QB situation makes him a risky play for now.
WR Charles Lee
Tim Brown
Bill Schroeder
B Lee made a nice appearance in last week's box scores, but outside of Clayton there just isn't another fantasy option in the Tampa Bay passing game.
TE Ken Dilger B With Dudley out Dilger will get a bit more attentions, but not enough to get yours.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks B The Bucs have their problems for sure this season, but defending the pass is definitely not one of them. Brooks will struggle.
RB Aaron Stecker S2 The running game was shut down last week but Stecker kept his value by staying active in the passing attack. He's no Deuce, but he's filling in nicely and remains a viable fantasy option this week.
WR Joe Horn X The lingering knee injury remains a concern, but until last week's stinker in Arizona Horn had played through it with fantasy success. A less than 100% Horn against the strong Tampa cover-2 may not be your best fantasy option this week.
WR Donte' Stallworth X Has struggled to follow up his week 2 breakout performance with a meaningful fantasy outing. Stallworth has the speed and talent but this week it's matched by the Tampa secondary.
WR Jerome Pathon (Q) B

May be ready to return this week, but the #3 WR in this offense isn't worth your time.

TE Boo Williams S2 Likely the best option this week in the Saint's passing game. If Brooks can find the open Williams underneath when the Bucs blitz he could end the game as the leading Saints receiver.
 
Cleveland (2-2) at Pittsburgh (3-1) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia B

The third worst pass offense in the league showed a bit of hope last week with the addition of Suggs and a strong running game. Garcia is still struggling with the Cleveland offense and has been a bust so far (more INTs than TDs) but should continue to show some improvement as the season progresses. He's still not a fantasy starter however.

RB Lee Suggs S2 The Steelers have been solid against the run but the front seven has shown some inconsistant play so far and the loss of LB Kendrell Bell doesn't help. Suggs is a strong runner between the tackles which is just what the Browns' offense needs. Look for another solid but not spectacular performance this week.
RB William Green B The Browns keep saying Green is still a part of the running game plan, but don't buy it. Suggs is the better talent and Green got only four carries last week.
WR Andre' Davis X

Davis remains the focus of the passing game and leads the team in receiving yardage. Has yet to taste the end-zone however. That honor goes to ...

WR Quincy Morgan X ... Morgan, who leads the team with two touchdowns but only seven catches. Both have potential to be fantasy worthy on any given week, but they are both risky in a struggling passing game.
WR Dennis Northcutt X

Cleveland will continue to work the ball to Northcutt on short and underneath routes as they compensate for the loss of TE Winslow. The problem is this role doesn't produce great fantasy numbers. A starter in only very deep leagues.

TE Steve Heiden
Aaron Shea
B The good news is that the TE position out-caught all receivers last week with a total of four and the team's only passing TD. The bad news is that the production was split between both Heiden and Shea. Until one emerges as the prime target fantasy owners should steer clear.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B The Steelers have done a good job protecting their prized rookie QB with a limited passing game plan and a committment to the run. So far the results have been good for the team, but are not producing great fantasy numbers. That trend may continue for a while.
RB Duce Staley (P) S2 The Browns have held both Jamal Lewis and Clinton Portis to under 60 yards rushing so far this season. So the going won't be easy for Staley. Couple that with having to watch him stand on the sidelines whenever the Steelers get inside the 10-yard line and Staley becomes a less attactive start this week.
RB Jerome Bettis X In the three games he's touched the ball he's scored five touchdowns. A TD-only league stud and a performance league borderline starter.
WR Hines Ward (P) S2 If there's one thing fantasy owners can count on week in and week out it's Ward.
WR Plaxico Burress X

Burress poses matchup problems for most secondaries and last week it appeared that Roethlisberger is figuring that out. With the rookie's strong arm Burress can be a constant deep threat down the sidelines.

WR Antwaan Randle El B Just not enough opportunities to have a fantasy impact.
TE Whoever B A fantasy rule that won't change this year. Never start a Pittsburgh TE.

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