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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 8
Whitney Walters
October 28, 2004
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
ARI at BUF NYG at MIN ATL at DEN SF at CHI MIA at NYJ
DET at DAL BAL at PHI CAR at SEA   Open Date:
IND at KC CIN at TEN NE at PIT   CLE, NO,
JAC at HOU GB at WAS OAK at SD (times ET) STL, TB
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 (2-4) at Buffalo (1-5) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B McCown threw a touchdown last week in only his second game of this season. There are some signs of improvement and hope with Anquan Boldin returning soon, but for now McCown isn't a fantasy starter. Those days are coming however.
RB Emmitt Smith X Smith put up one of his best games of the season last week against the tough Seattle defense. It took 30 touches to get it however. It just isn't in the team's best interest to work Smith that much so don't expect that to continue. He'll likely move back into the 16-18 carry range this week, and against a strong Buffalo run defense that won't get you a repeat 100-yard outing.
RB Troy Hambrick B Hambrick should see 10-12 carries most weeks. Not enough to create much fantasy value.
WR Larry Fitzgerald X Has come on nicely the past two weeks, scoring in each game. May take a step back in his increasing fantasy value this week against the always strong CB Nate Clements.
WR   Bryant Johnson  B Bryant showed up briefly last week, but with the Bill's secondary boosted by the return of CB Troy Vincent and S Lawyer Milloy don't expect much from a wideout other than Fitzgerald this week.
TE Freddie Jones X Had his highest catch total last week since week two. This week, as with last, he will be called upon more due to the strong coverage of the wide receivers on the outside.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe B The Bills seemed to open up the offense a bit last week but Bledsoe just flat out stunk. His four interception outing should place him permanently on your bench, if not on your league's waiver wire.
RB Willis McGahee S2 McGahee got only 16 carries last week as they were playing catchup to the Ravens. He may get more this week as the starter but this still has the potential to be an unpredictable RBBC situation as both he and Henry bring a little something different to the table. Both will continue to see action. In a running game that's barely averaging 100 yards a game and is the only to have yet to score, lower your expectations for now.
RB Travis Henry B Henry looks to be fully back from the ankle injury but had only seven carries last week and has lost his starting job. He will spell McGahee and may even take a few series depending on the game situation. But don't expect much from Henry for now.
WR Eric Moulds S2

Despite the Bill's offensive struggles Moulds remains productive enough to keep in your starting lineup. He's averaged over 90 yards a game the past four weeks and has accounted for half the team's passing touchdowns this season.

WR Lee Evans
Josh Reed
B The Bills are just not very effective right now moving the ball through the air. Neither Evans or Reed offer much fantasy value.
TE Mark Campbell X Has scored twice in three weeks, but remains only a bit player in an ineffective passing game. Only good for a catch or two a week and relies on a touchdown to make himself fantasy worthy.
 
Detroit (4-2) at Dallas (2-4) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington S2

With Williams back in the mix Harrington should again be a weekly 200+ yard / 2 TD option. This week with some upside thanks to the poor play of the Dallas secondary.

RB Kevin Jones S2 So what happens when the #31 rushing offense meets the #29 rushing defense? With Jones back to full speed and the Lions continued commitment to the running game, good things this week.
RB Artose Pinner B

Has returned to a backup role. Only received the carries last week after Jones left the game late with cramps.

WR Roy Williams (Q) S2

Even at less than 100% there just isn't a cornerback in a Cowboy uniform that will be able to handle him.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim (Q) U Expected to return this week from the sprained ankle that sidelined him last Sunday. With all the attention Williams will get and the weak play of the Dallas secondary Hakim is a nice option this week.
WR Tai Streets B Even with all the injuries to his fellow wideouts Streets has failed to impress.
TE Stephen Alexander B Has been a non-factor all season, but with Fitzsimmons out of the picture he has his best effort of the year last week going 5-for-52. That doesn't warrant throwing him into your lineup but as the Lion's passing game improves he's worth keeping an eye on.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde S2

The Cowboys are struggling but Vinny keeps putting up decent fantasy numbers. He topped 300 yards passing last week for the third time this season but again failed to throw for more than a single touchdown. With only three teams allowing more passing yardage than the Lions this should be a good matchup.

RB Eddie George
Richie Anderson
X George wants more carries and isn't getting them, but he did score his third touchdown in five games last week. Anderson gets his 8-10 touches a game, but like George is of little value if he doesn't score. Either could make a decent bye week fill-in depending on the game flow but neither can be counted on each week.
WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Johnson is the best wide receiver option for Testaverde this week due to the injuries to Glenn and Morgan. The Lions don't have good cover skills and Johnson should be able to find the soft spots in their coverage all afternoon.

WR Terry Glenn (O) B Re-aggravated his foot injury last week and can't be relied on until healthy.
WR Quincy Morgan (Q) B Showed some spark for his new team last week with a nice downfield catch and a few others thrown in. Suffered a pulled hamstring late however and may not be as effective this week.
TE Jason Witten S1 A solid start at TE even before the injuries to Glenn and Morgan. A must start now.
 
Indianapolis (4-2) at Kansas City (2-4) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 His "worst" game this season was a 220 yard, 2 TD effort. Some fantasy teams would kill to get that out of their quarterback each week.
RB Edgerrin James S1 Look for the Colts to do a better job of establishing the run against the undersized Kansas City defensive front.
WR Marvin Harrison (P) S1 Had his first multi-touchdown effort last week. Are things looking up for Harrison? Could be.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 Wayne's newfound fantasy status has really been based on his efforts in weeks two and three. Outside of those two games he's averaging just 2.5 catches for 40 yards a game and has scored only once. He's due for another big game.
WR Brandon Stokley (P) X Has outperformed Wayne two of the past three games. Based on nothing more than a hunch I think it's Wayne's turn this week.
TE Marcus Pollard X Has struggled so far this season with injury and finding his place in the new 3-WR offense. But he remains a great target for Manning because of the matchup problems he cause with opposing linebackers.
TE Dallas Clark X Clark appears to be back in the mix as he had his 3rd, 4th and 5th catch of the season last week and his second touchdown in as many games. He continues to struggle with parts of his game, most notably blocking and turnovers, and isn't on the field as much with the increased use of the 3-WR sets. A highly risky start.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

I'll bet many a Green owner had great excitement when viewing the game score last week... Only to crash into disbelief when they checked out the box score. 56 points, ZERO touchdowns... Amazing. After that it's hard to have much confidence in him, but with the league's worst pass defense coming to town you have to get him in your lineup.

RB Priest Holmes (P) S1 Last week the #1 rushing defense, this week #6. Does it really matter? It shouldn't.
WR Eddie Kennison X The soft cover-2 played by the Colt's secondary makes for many matchup advantages underneath but doesn't provide many opportunities vertically. Kennison really doesn't work between the hashes any more so this matchup, while attractive on a larger scale, doesn't play to his strengths.
WR Johnnie Morton S2 Morton no longer has his downfield speed, but he has the talent and experience to find the soft spots in the weak Indianapolis secondary. Look for one of Morton's better games of the season this week.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1 Will find the middle of the Colt's soft cover-2 very much to his liking.
 
Jacksonville (5-2) at Houston (3-3) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich S2 Last week it was the team that allows the most passing yardage, this week it's the team that's allowed the most passing touchdown. Leftwich is just flat out hot right now and should be in your lineup against Houston.
RB Fred Taylor (Q) S2

There continues to be good and bad with Taylor. He's becoming more effective as the passing game takes off (he had his first 100 yard game last week). But the takeoff of the passing game is resulting in a lot of shotgun formations for Leftwich which means fewer good opportunities for Taylor in the running game. More good... he's averaging over 50 YPG receiving over the last four games. More bad... his ineffectiveness in short-yardage situations may result in him losing some of those opportunities.

WR Jimmy Smith S2

This is another great matchup for Smith against the inexperienced Texan secondary.

WR Troy Edwards
Reggie Williams
Ernest Wilford
B Outside of Smith the ball is getting spread around too much for any of these three to build their fantasy value with consistent production.
TE Kyle Brady
Todd Yoder
X Brady is back and scored last week. Yoder remains in the mix however as the Jags are spreading the ball around in the passing game (nine players in each of the past two weeks). Either could score but neither should be relied on.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr S2 Has struggled with an ankle injury for the past few weeks but it hasn't slowed him down. The week off will surely help. The Jags remain a solid defense but have quickly fallen off their perch as one of the league's best. There are enough weaknesses to exploit to make Carr a solid start this week at home.
RB Domanick Davis S2

The week off should allow Davis to enter this game as healthy as he's been since week two. So get him in your lineup before the next injury.

WR Andre Johnson S2 The Carr-to-Johnson combo has become the focal point of the Houston passing game. He's the Texan's vertical threat and has all the tools, the most important of which may be his ability and desire to fight for the catch. He's a solid fantasy start regardless of opponent.
WR Jabar Gaffney U Gaffney seems to be finding his place in the Texan's passing game. With Johnson stretching the field Gaffney is taking advantage of his route running to find soft spots in the coverage and his great hands to make the tough catches. The Jags are weak in underneath and inside-the-hashes coverage so look for Gaffney to put up some solid numbers this week.
WR Corey Bradford (Q) B Continues to be slowed by the groin injury and hasn't had more that two catches since week two.
TE Billy Miller B Miller may get some added attention this week to take advantage of the weakness down the middle of the Jaguar secondary, but he's still not worth a start.
 
New York Giants (4-2) at Minnesota (5-1) Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner S2

Warner's play is solid and he put up 270 yards last week, his second highest total of the season. Against the porous Viking secondary he's a good bet to repeat that performance, but the touchdowns are hard to come by. Only two teams (CHI and BAL) have fewer this season.

RB Tiki Barber S1 Keeps putting up great fantasy efforts thanks to the big play. That may not be the best thing to rely on, but you have to just keep riding him and hope it continues.
WR Amani Toomer (Q) S2

With the Giants spreading the ball around in the passing game Toomer is struggling to have more than a minor fantasy impact. He's topped 54 yards only twice this season and has yet to cross the goal-line. The Vikings are a nice matchup with some potential but Toomer is still only a #3 WR on most fantasy teams.

WR Ike Hilliard X Had his highest output since week one last week. In a telling indication of how this season is going for Hilliard that was only a 5-for-42 effort. This is another favorable coverage matchup against the Vikings but whether that makes Hilliard a starter depends on how deep your league is and how badly the bye week leaves you.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Only the elite tight ends get it for you every week and Shockey hasn't proven to be even close to that level yet. Now that he's catching on to the new system his potential make him an every week starter however.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2 Came crashing back to earth last week without Moss. All indications are that he'll return this week but will not be at full strength.
RB   Mewelde Moore S2

Moore's play has earned him the starting spot and he isn't likely to let it go. For now he remains a solid fantasy start with some risk each week depending on the number of carries he may lose to Bennett and the number of goal-line opportunities he may lose to Williams.

RB Moe Williams (P) B Looks to be good for only a few carries a week but some may come in goal-line situations.
RB Michael Bennett (P) B After all the hype of Bennett's return he got only a single carry for zero yards last week. The running game has been tearing it up with Moore as the starter so don't expect fantasy worthy numbers from Bennett any time soon.
WR Randy Moss (Q) S2 Early week indicators are that Moss will return to action this week. He looked very immobile last week in the two plays he participated in so baring a miraculous recovery it's very likely he will not be close to 100% and only used in red-zone situations. A risky start this week.
WR Marcus Robinson
Nate Burleson
S2

Both Robinson and Burleson are proving to be viable fantasy options. A trend has developed showing Burleson more likely to get more yardage and Robinson more likely to score. Start each accordingly depending on your league's scoring.

TE Jermaine Wiggins S1

Didn't score last week but pulled in six passes, as many as the top WR. Wiggins is a big part of the passing game and the goal-line packages.

 
Baltimore (4-2) at Philadelphia (6-0) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Taylor's return seemed to spark the passing game. The end result? 86 yards and no scores for Boller last week. His second sub-100 yard effort in as many games. Nuf said.
RB Chester Taylor B This is the second game most picked up Taylor for but it comes with downside. Monster OT Jonathan Ogden will be out this week, a key to the running game. Also, the Eagles have shown that they can be worn down against the run but that requires two things; a big bruising back which Taylor is not (enter Musa Smith) and a close game which this isn't likely to be.
WR Travis Taylor B Taylor provided a spark last week in the form of a single long catch and not much else.
WR Kevin Johnson
Randy Hymes
B

With Taylor back in the lineup last week Johnson went 1-for-5 and Hymes went 1-for-3. It can't get much worst than that.

TE Terry Jones
Daniel Wilcox
B Heap is expected to miss another week and the Ravens are pretty much ignoring the tight end in the offensive game plan during his absence. They combined for 3 catches and 15 yards last week.
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2 McNabb obviously remains a starter but your expectations should be lowered this week. The Ravens are playing great against the pass now that Deion Sanders is at full speed. They lead the league in interceptions and they blitz successfully.
RB Brian Westbrook (Q) B If Westbrook plays with the fractured ribs this just isn't a good spot for him. The Ravens have improved against the run since the early season and the odds are good that he'll take a good shot or two to the midsection against the firm tackling Ravens.
RB Dorsey Levens X Even if Westbrook can start Levens is likely to see an increased workload. If Westbrook has to sit this game out Levens will be used occasionally to keep the Ravens honest but will likely turn to the passing game to move the ball.
WR Terrell Owens S2 A starter for sure, but he loses his S1 status this week against the Ravens. This is the one matchup that can cause Owens the most trouble as CB Chris McAlister is one of the few that can cover him one-on-one. You can also throw the possibility of a very limited running game into the mix. Last season with the Niners Owens was held to just three catches for 23 yards against Baltimore.
WR Todd Pinkston B With all the attention Owens draws there will always be opportunities for Pinkston on the other side. Unfortunately those opportunities won't be cashed in on every week so Pinkston is a risky start.
WR Freddie Mitchell B The Eagles are running more 3-WR sets to spread the field but the nickel back Mitchell draws this week happens to be Deion Sanders.
TE L.J. Smith
Chad Lewis
U This may be the best matchup Philly has in the passing game this week. With the wideouts covered well and the Ravens blitzing LB Terrell Suggs often, there will be room underneath for both Smith and Lewis to make some noise. Smith's explosiveness give him more upside than Lewis.
 
Cincinnati (2-4) at Tennessee (2-5) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer B

Look for the Titans to play some soft coverages against Palmer and to bring pressure by blitzing. If he can get good protection and he can make accurate throws to well run underneath routes he can find some success this week. Problem is that none of that has been shown by the Bengals so far this season.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 Johnson has put up 100-yard, single touchdown games in two of the past three. The Titans are decent against the run, but their fast linebackers have a tendency to over pursue and Johnson's cutback ability can make them pay.
WR Chad Johnson (P) X Fresh off his big Monday nighter it will be important to keep the momentum going. Tennessee has allowed 12 passing touchdowns this season so the opportunities will be there. Now if only Palmer-to-Johnson can find the consistency to make the Titans pay. Up until Monday night it hadn't been there.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Kelly Washington (Q)
B Even in one of the Bengal's best offensive efforts this season on Monday night these two ended the game with just a single catch each.
TE Whoever B The Bengals field an unimpressive crew of tight ends, none of which are fantasy worthy.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Billy Volek S2

McNair is expected to sit this one out and Volek gets his second start of the season. His first outing in week four against San Diego resulted in a 278 yard, two TD performance. This week he gets a Bengals team that's on the road in a short week following a big win. Can you say letdown? Thought so. Volek could surprise this week.

RB Chris Brown (Q) S2 Brown carried the ball only 14 times last week as the Titans fell behind. That shouldn't be the case this week and the Titans should turn to Brown without McNair and against the worst run defense in the league. The risk this week however is the turf toe injury that will likely keep Brown out of practice all week.
WR Derrick Mason S2 The emphasis this week may end up in the air if Brown is slowed by the turf toe injury. Mason is the best the Titans have to offer in the passing game right now and will likely draw double coverage from a suspect Cincinnati secondary. Without a solid play-action game it may be difficult for Mason to find openings in coverage.
WR Drew Bennett S2

Bennett is playing hurt and virtually disappeared last week. The Bengals secondary will need to roll safety help to Mason so Bennett should find success this week in single coverage if his lingering injuries allow it.

TE Ben Troupe B

With McNair out last week Volek looked Troupe's way 11 times, as much as Mason. A good sign but not enough to warrant a start since in the previous six games he'd totaled just five catches for 32 yards.

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