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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
 
Buffalo (0-3) at New York Jets (3-0) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe X The O-line seems to be coming together but Bledsoe has still been on his back a league leading 15 times through just three games.
RB Travis Henry S2 Almost cracked the 100-yard barrier last week and the Bills will continue to feed the ball to Henry in the hopes of taking some pressure off Bledsoe. Henry has also failed to cross the goal-line. That will change this weekend.
WR Eric Moulds S2 Moulds has been a consistent fantasy performer so far this season, catching a touchdown in each of Buffalo's games. The passing game still struggles under Bledsoe but Moulds remains a solid play most weeks.
WR Josh Reed B Reed just isn't getting the job done and has been overtaken by Evans in the passing game.
WR Lee Evans U

Evans' value is stretching the field vertically with his speed. He has shown flashes of that potential so far this season but that value is dependent on Bledsoe having time in the pocket so the deep routes can develop. So far that's been hit-and-miss, but Evans could surprise this week.

TE Mark Campbell B Good for a couple of catches a game, if that.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2 Look for Pennington to bounce back from last week's terrible fantasy performance against a Bills defense without its two best defenders in the secondary, Milloy and Vincent.
RB Curtis Martin S2 The Bills front is solid and may be the best Martin has faced this season. But when a player is on this kind of roll you stick with him. May not get his fourth 100-yard game, but he'll get plenty of carries and all the opportunities at the goal-line.
WR Santana Moss S2 Moss will reap the most reward this week from the injuries in the Bill's secondary as he will likely be matched up with the inexperienced Terrence McGee.
WR Justin McCareins   X

Will get a healthy dose of single coverage this week, problem is that coverage comes in the form of one Nate Clements. McCareins still has some fantasy potential this season, but not this week.

TE Anthony Becht
Chris Baker
B Both are spending most of their time on the field as blockers in the running game.
 
Carolina (1-2) at Denver (3-1) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B

Denver's pass defense has shown to be greatly improved this season but Delhomme's play has not. If the running game again falters this week and Delhomme is forced to carry the offensive load with his prime WR target neutralized, it could be a long afternoon.

RB Stephen Davis (Q) X Davis should return this week and help a Panther running game averaging under 100 YPG. But will he help your fantasy team? Not likely. Look for limited carries as they work Davis back in following the knee injury.
RB DeShaun Foster S2

Davis should be back but Foster will likely carry the load for one more week. However the 1-2 punch Davis will help provide should soften up the Bronco's run defense enough for Foster to put up a solid performance, especially late.

WR Muhsin Muhammad X He's the best option Delhomme has now in the vertical passing game but Muhammad will find himself staring at CB Champ Bailey all afternoon.
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 U The rookie continues to show promise and has a good chance to step up this week. With Muhammad nutralized on the other side of the field Colbert could have an impact if Delhomme has the time to look his way.
TE Kris Mangum B Scored in week two and got a few extra looks last week. Worth keeping an eye on but he remains a minor player in the Panthers' passing attack.
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer X Another tough draw for Plummer and the Denver passing game, and another underperformance likely.
RB Quentin Griffin (Q) S2 The ankle injury doesn't appear serious. The fantasy world seems to be waiting for the other shoe to drop in Denver. That other shoe being rookie Tatum Bell. But holding true to form Shanahan is sticking to a single back and at least for now that back is Griffin.
RB Tatum Bell B There are some statements coming from Shanahan that indicate this may be the week we see Bell in action. Maybe. But this is Mike Shanahan remember.
WR Rod Smith S2 Smith has a nice matchup with CB Ricky Manning and should be able to exploit it for some decent production.
WR Ashley Lelie X

Had seven balls come his way last week (same as Smith) but only came away with a single three yard catch. Lelie was an average fantasy performer prior to that effort and at best will get back to that average-ness this week.

WR Darius Watts B Showing great promise but lacks the opportunities to have a fantasy impact.
TE Jeb Putzier S2 Led the team in receiving last week with 42 yards. That won't happen often, if ever again, but Putzier is improving his chemistry with Plummer and should remain a nice target, especially when he rolls out.
 
Jacksonville (3-1) at San Diego (2-2) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich U Until last week's 318 yard performance Leftwich's only career 300 yard game came last season against the Chargers. San Diego has made some improvements on defense this season but the secondary is still highly vulnerable.
RB Fred Taylor X

The Chargers are allowing only 3.3 YPC, second best in the league, and the front seven are playing well. On the other side the Jags O-line will be without one, maybe BOTH, of its tackles this week. Taylor has underperformed all season and it's not looking good for that to change this week.

WR Jimmy Smith S2

Smith continues to produce despite being stuck on the league's worst passing offense. Catches a break this week with a matchup he can win handily.

WR Troy Edwards (P)
Reggie Williams
Ernest Wilford
B Outside of Smith there hasn't been much for fantasy owners to get excited about with the Jaguar passing game. Rookie Wilford seems to show the most promise right now but "THE" rookie Williams finally showed some life last week.
TE George Wrighster (Q) B Now Wrighster is banged up. Avoid the Jags tight end.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees (P) B Brees may have saved his job for another week but he should still be nowhere near your fantasy starting lineup.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (P) S2 The strength of the Jags run defense is right up the middle, but they are vulnerable on the edges. Tomlinson will take advantage of this weakness with his speed and incredible agility, but it won't be easy.
WR Eric Parker (Q)
Reche Caldwell
B With Parker still being bothered by the neck injury Caldwell becomes the only Charger wide receiver with any hope of producing.
TE Antonia Gates S2 As will be the case most of the season, Gates provides the best option for Brees in the passing game.
 
Arizona (1-3) at San Francisco (0-4) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B Emmitt Smith now has more passing touchdowns than McCown this season. That about sums it up for his fantasy value.
RB Emmitt Smith X As most marginal backs in marginal running games, Smith has done well against bad run defenses and poorly against good ones. On tap this week is an average Niner run defense. Result? An average game from Smith. Also, don't expect to see Smith getting more than 20 carries again any time soon.
RB Troy Hambrick B Hambrick received 16 carries and scored in a run oriented attack last week. You won't see that often this season as long as Smith is healthy, but what you will see now that he's working his way back into shape is a handful of carries each week as the Cardinals don't want to overwork the aging Smith.
WR Larry Fitzgerald X McCown's best option on the outside and many may think this is a good spot for the rookie given the Niners' woes. But he'll likely draw the best San Francisco has to offer in CB Ahmed Plummer. Advantage -- Plummer.
WR   Bryant Johnson  X Johnson should be matched up most of the day on rookie CB Shawntee Spencer (Rumph's replacement). Advantage -- Johnson. Look for Spencer to get plenty of safety support.
TE Freddie Jones X Jones is a talent and can create matchup problems for opposing defenses, but it just isn't happening for him so far this season. The passing game has been so limited he has very few chances to really breakout fantasy-wise.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Rattay B

The Niner offense is better served with Rattay under center, but unless they are forced to play catchup like last week, your fantasy team is not better served with him as your starter. This should be a close game with a more balanced attack.

RB Kevan Barlow S2 Suffering from a sprained AC joint in his shoulder that appears to be effecting his running. Also effecting his running are the constant 8-man fronts he's facing. He's a risk because of the shoulder, but with the Cardinals coming to town and giving up over 145 YPG on the ground it's a risk many should take this week.
WR Cedrick Wilson X Wilson remains the most consistent outside threat the Niners have. Looks to be fully recovered from the hamstring injury and should provide some spark to the Niner's passing game.
WR Curtis Conway B Conway has stepped up in two of the three games since Lloyd went down. With Lloyd's expected return this week Conway's numbers will surely take a hit.
WR Brandon Lloyd (P) B Expected to return this week but shouldn't be considered until he proves something on the field again.
TE Eric Johnson (P) S2 The Niner's leading receiver and the best option going in the passing game. It can't get much better for a fantasy TE to be on a team constantly behind with a QB constantly under pressure.
 
St. Louis (2-2) at Seattle (3-0) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger X Bulger's only multi-touchdown game this season comes thanks to a scramble in week three. It would be hard to sit Bulger for most fantasy teams, but if there's a better option you should consider it. The Seahawks are very good defensively and have the corners to matchup with Holt and Bruce. They've also had two weeks to prepare for the Ram's offense.
RB Marshall Faulk (P) X The Rams turned back to running the ball last week (34 carries) with great success. Will that continue? With Mike Martz, who knows. What is likely to continue however is Faulk getting only about 2/3 of the carries like last week. Look for the rookie Jackson to remain a presense in the running game and for Faulk's fantasy production to take a hit. The upside for Faulk this week is in the passing game as he will be a problem for the Seattle linebackers to cover.
RB Steven Jackson B It appears that Jackson will indeed start getting more carries in the Ram's running attack. Unfortunately the only fantasy impact that has is on Faulk.
WR Torry Holt S2 With just over 300 yards and only two scores Holt has been a bit of a fantasy disappointment so far. Should have one of his BIG games soon, but it for sure won't come this week against the highly talented Seattle secondary.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 Bruce is at the top of his game right now but the Seattle secondary is one of the league's best.
WR Dane Looker B

Thanks to nickel CB Bobby Taylor Seattle has a distinct edge in their matchups with the Rams' 3-WR sets.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna U Has been a non-fantasy factor so far but the one weakness in the Seahawk defense is the lack of speed and athleticism at the linebacker positon. The Rams would be smart to exploit this with Manumaleuna.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 The Seahawks will likely come out running the ball early then take to the air once the play-action passing game opens up. If Seattle can successfully pull an extra safety up in run support Hasselbeck has matchup advantages with his receivers that he can exploit.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 The knee should be no problem now with the week off and Alexander is primed for a big game against a St. Louis defense allowing over 135 YPG on the ground.
WR Koren Robinson X It just doesn't seem to be happening for Robinson... again. He's still inconsistent and seems to drop more balls than he catches. In his last game against the Niners he pulled in only one of the six that came his way.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Still has the occasional mental lapse, but Jackson is the prime target in the passing game now and should put up nice numbers this week against the Rams average at best secondary.
WR Bobby Engram B

Will on occasion outperform #2 WR Robinson, but as with most #3 receivers it's hard to set your fantasy team up to rely on it by sliding him into your starting lineup.

TE Jerramy Stevens
Itula Mili
B After an abysmal first two weeks (only three passes to the TEs) in week theree Stevens pulled in three Hasselbeck passes and Mili scored on his single catch. That bodes well for the TE position but not for fantasy owners looking for a starter.
 
Baltimore (2-2) at Washington (1-3) Back to top
Baltimore
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 Sunday night against Washington, and with the same lackluster results.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 Lewis is a stud but faces the #1 run defense in the league this week. Still a starter but don't expect a big game.
WR Kevin Johnson B Johnson has played better over the past two games, but in an offense that's averaging just 13 completions a game there just isn't enough opportunity to build any fantasy worth.
WR Travis Taylor (Q) B Not expected to play this week.
WR Randy Hymes S2

Has been a nice fantasy surprise filling in for the injured Taylor with 9 catches and two touchdowns in those three games. In the league's worst passing offense that's doing something. Should continue his trend this week as the Ravens will have to turn to the air a bit more due to the stout Redskin run defense.

TE Terry Jones
Daniel Wilcox
B Without Heap the Ravens are pretty much ignoring the tight end in the offensive game plan.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell B Looked extremely sharp at times in the Monday nighter against Dallas but very ordinary last week aginst Cleveland. Expect more of the ordinary this week against the very aggressive Raven front.
RB Clinton Portis S2 Don't let last week's running effort by KC fool you, the Ravens are a strong run-stopping defense and you will never find anyone that confuses the outstanding KC offensive line with Washington's. Portis will be limited.
WR Lavernues Coles S2

The only consistent threat in the passing game, Coles has the advantage in the open field against the Raven's secondary. If Brunell can get the time in the pocket Coles could have a big game. That's a big if though.

WR Rod Gardner B Again Gardner proves his inconsistency by following up his stellar Monday night performance with a 3-for-19 last week. Gardner has always had the physical tools to succeed, but his lack of concentration aways does him in.
TE Chris Cooley
Walter Rasby
B Just when Cooley starts to show some signs of emerging he goes catchless and Rasby pulls in three balls. Heck, this week maybe it's Robert Royal.
 
Tennessee (1-3) at Green Bay (1-3) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) S2 No question McNair will return to action this week for Monday night, pain and all. The Green Bay secondary has major problems and has allowed a league leading nine passing touchdowns. McNair should get his fantasy season on track this week.
RB Chris Brown S2 The Titans struggled a bit last week to run the ball and then fell behind and had to abandon the run. The result was only 15 carries for Brown. That shouldn't be the case this week against a suspect Packer run defense and with McNair back running the show.
WR Derrick Mason S2 Mason has had some tough matchups so far this season that have limited his production. This won't be one of those.
WR Drew Bennett S2

Bennett moves quickly back into a key role with the new injury to Calico. He will be very active and his height always poses a problem for opposing secondaries. McNair should look to him more in the red-zone.

TE Shad Meier (Q)
Ben Troupe
U

With Calico out both Meier and rookie Troupe will be needed to help the Titans in 3-WR and 4-WR sets. If Meier is healthy enough to play he'd make a nice bye week fill-in if you need it. If he can't go then Troupe may be worth taking a flyer on.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) S2 Without a doubt will be ready to go for Monday night. Should be able to put up some nice numbers since the Titans are not getting to the quarterback very well this season without the blitz. There are few better at beating the blitz than Favre.
RB Ahman Green S1 The Titan's inexperienced defensive line (four rookies in the rotation) breaks down at the point of attack, and there's not a better "attacking" back in the league than Green.
WR Javon Walker S2 Both Walker and ...
WR Donald Driver S2

... Driver are frequently lined up in Favre's sight, each getting just about the same looks so far this season. It's just that Walker is doing more with his opportunities. Look for that to change this week and for Driver to take the lead, at least for a week.

WR Robert Ferguson B I'll be the first (okay, maybe not the first) to say it... complete fantasy bust (so far).
TE Bubba Franks (P) B The glory days of the Packer tight end are long gone.

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