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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
 
Green Bay (3-4) at Washington (2-4) Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) S2 Has been hot the past two weeks but the opponents (DET and DAL) leave something to be desired defensively. Not so this week on the road in Washington.
RB Ahman Green (P) S2 Only got 15 carries last week but thankfully for his owners he did A LOT with them. A runaway game was a primary factor in his limited workload, but the presence of a healthy Davenport (who carried the rock 12 times last week) will be a constant factor. The good news is he didn't look at all impacted by the lingering Achilles injury. The bad news is he draws the #1 run defense this week on the road.
RB Najeh Davenport B Only a factor in diminishing Green's carries each week.
WR Javon Walker S2 Walker has been one of the more consistent WRs this season and is always capable of the "big game." It won't be easy this week against the man coverage of CBs Shawn Springs and Fred Smoot but you just can't sit Walker.
WR Donald Driver S2

As with Walker the coverage will be a challenge this week in Washington. Driver has come on of late and appears to have shaken off his early season struggles. It would be hard to sit him down this week.

TE Bubba Franks X Has three touchdowns in the last three games. If you can live with relying almost exclusively on your TE getting into the end-zone to have any value then Franks is your man.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell B His past two efforts have not been pretty, coming in under 100 yards in each. He should improve with the week off against a Packer defense that has a limited pass rush and has allowed a league leading 14 passing TDs. Are these positives enough to move him into starter status? Nope.
RB Clinton Portis S2 Portis continues to struggle somewhat behind an offensive line that just isn't getting the job done. Don't expect a breakout this week as the Packers defensive front has improved with the recent return of Grady Jackson and James Lee to bolster their run stopping abilities. Look for average production from Portis this week, which keeps him in starter status.
WR Lavernues Coles X

Coles continues to disappoint this season, only surpassing 52 yards twice and having yet to score. When your passing offense ranks at the bottom of the league and can't even muster 100 yards in the past two games it's hard to see a rosey future for Coles this season. The talent and potential is there but so is the risk in moving him into your starting lineup.

WR Rod Gardner B One good performance in week three (10-167, 2 TD) does not a fantasy starter make.
TE Chris Cooley B Cooley is technically an H-back in the Washington offense. He has scored twice this season but has also put up donuts in two of the past three games.
 
Atlanta (4-2) at Denver (5-2) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   B

Given opportunity after opportunity Vick continues to disappoint fantasy owners. One way to help lessen that disappointment is to park him firmly on your bench.

RB Warrick Dunn B Dunn will surely get more carries this week (only 16 in the past two games) but he's not the type of back that can do well against the aggressive Denver run defense that has the range at linebacker to stretch him to the sidelines. Don't expect much.
RB T.J. Duckett  B Denver has shown a bit of difficulty with strong, straight ahead style runners. The Falcons may turn to Duckett more this week and he may have only his third game this season with double-digit totes. That won't likely be enough to make him startable though.
WR Peerless Price X Came up small last week with only two catches and two that went off his hands for interceptions. Don't be swayed by what Chad Johnson did to Champ Bailey Monday night, Price is no Johnson.
WR Dez White
Brian Finneran
B Finneran sat out last week and is still not 100% and White went catchless. Not exactly what your fantasy team needs right now.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 The only sure thing the Falcons offer fantasy owners this season.
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2 As soon as you start to feel some confidence in Plummer he forces another pass into coverage that results in a needless interception. He seems to be playing better at home this season with three of his best four games coming at Mile High (sorry, just can't give that up). The Falcons are aggressive against the run but are suspect in the secondary so Plummer should bounce back this week at home.
RB Reuben Droughns S2 The Falcons may have dropped from first in run defense to not even close to first in a week (giving up 271 yards and 8 TDs will do that), but they remain a solid unit and will limit Droughns effectiveness.
WR Rod Smith X Isn't likely to get you the big game anymore, but he is likely to get you a solid 60-70 yards each week. That won't change against beatable Falcon secondary.
WR Ashley Lelie U

After averaging just 2.5 catches a game this season Lelie pulled in six last week and looked very good doing it. He also leads the team in touchdowns with three, all coming in the past five games. He's got some upside this week against Atlanta.

TE Jeb Putzier X Has led the team in receiving in two of the last four games. Unfortunately he's also gone catchless in two of the last four games. So flip a coin -- heads he starts, tails he doesn't.
 
Carolina (1-5) at Seattle (3-3) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B

Delhomme is talented and has a future in the league, but the injuries on offense are just too much to overcome. Without a threat in the passing game and a sputtering running game the tools for success just aren't there. The Seahawk's solid secondary and strong pass rush make this a very difficult matchup.

RB Brad Hoover X Hoover is likely to be called on again this week. He's a power back that gave the Panthers a bit of a spark last week with 99 yards on 24 hard carries. But he doesn't have the lateral mobility to make defenders miss, so the long gain isn't likely. Against Seattle this week and behind a shuffled and poor performing O-line consider yourself fortunate to get even close to 100 yards out of Hoover.
WR Muhsin Muhammad X Remains a reliable possession receiver but his numbers are struggling right along with the rest of the team's. It won't help this week that his matchup with the talented and deep Seattle secondary is one he can't win.
WR Keary Colbert X The rookie shows improvement each week and has out-caught Muhammad in two of the last three games. This week's matchup however doesn't favor continued improvements.
TE Whoever B The Panthers are running three different tight ends who's primary purpose is blocking for the running game.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck (P) S2 The Panthers don't have the talent in the secondary to hold up in man coverage and their pass rush has been a huge disappointment this season accounting for a league worst eight sacks in six games. Hasselbeck should bounce back nicely this week.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 Must get on track to stop Seattle's three game slide. This will be a good week to get it going. All the talk about the Panther's defensive front is just that this season... all talk. They are allowing almost 140 YPG on the ground and have surrendered nine rushing TDs. Has topped 20 carries only twice this season. This week will make it three.
WR Koren Robinson X At the time of this release there was no final word on Robinson's impending 4-game suspension so it looks like he gets to play one more week. After vowing to never drop another ball he went out last week and pulled in only two of the eight that came his way.
WR Darrell Jackson S2

Got back on track last week with his best performance of the season in an otherwise dismal effort for the Seahawks. With Robinson's inconsistent play and Engram's injury Jackson will continue to be the top fantasy option in the Seattle passing attack.

WR Jerry Rice U

Only had the single 10-yard catch last week in his Seattle debut, but Hasselbeck threw the ball his way seven times. That's a good sign that he will indeed be a vital part of the passing game. Once he gets in sync with his QB his production will increase. If Robinson starts his suspension this week then Rice will play a larger role in the offense starting now.

TE Jerramy Stevens S2 Took a hit last week with a single catch outing. He remains a viable target for Hasselbeck however and makes a decent start this week against a Carolina defense that struggles to defend the TE.
 
New England (6-0) at Pittsburgh (5-1) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2 Consistently average, and with the injuries to his WR corps a little less than that of late. Only twice this season has he surpassed his 230 yard, 2 TD average performance and only once has he fallen significantly below it. At least you know what to expect most weeks.
RB Corey Dillon S2 More consistent scoring would be nice but Dillon gets the job done when given the carries. The Steeler defense has been strong against the run this season but the loss of run stuffing NT Casey Hampton will hurt.
RB Kevin Faulk B Back to his change-of-pace, third-down role. If you are in a touch spot at RB due to injuries and bye weeks then Faulk can bail you out with a few points. But that's all he's worth right now.
WR David Patten
David Givens
S2

Both Patten and Givens continue to perform well with Branch out and the depth at WR limited. The Steelers rank high in overall pass defense but there are some weaknesses that the Patriots can exploit. There will be a backup at one corner spot so they will lack the talent to play consistent man coverage. Also, with two very inexperienced safeties the play-action game will create some mismatches down the middle of the field.

TE Daniel Graham S2 Had his worst fantasy outing of the season last week and hasn't scored in two weeks. He's due.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B A major test for the rookie. New England will throw every coverage scheme and blitz package in the book at him this week. Big Ben can be a nice bye week fill-in for your fantasy team, but not this week.
RB Duce Staley (P) S2 The New England run defense is improving weekly (held Martin to only 70 yards last week) and you can bet they will walk safety Rodney Harrison up to the line to stuff the run and put all the pressure on Pittsburgh's rookie QB. Staley will struggle to be productive and since he's losing goal-line carries he's an iffy start at best this week.
RB Jerome Bettis B Has scored in his last three games but will likely see that mini-streak end this week against the very stout goal-line defense of the Patriots.
WR Hines Ward
Plaxico Burress
X

This is a tough spot for both Ward and Burress. Both are typically fantasy starters most weeks but they come with risk this week. Ward will be the more reliable target and excels at finding soft spots in opposing secondaries. Burress on the other hand will be the bigger and more athletic target. These traits make both receivers vital to the passing game as Roethlisberger will likely be struggling and under pressure all afternoon.

TE Jay Riemersma
Jerame Tuman
B After five weeks of being completely ignored (only four catches between them) they pull in six catches and a touchdown in week six. Interesting yes, worth your time no.
 
Oakland (2-5) at San Diego (4-3) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2 FINALLY! Last week against the terrible NO pass defense Collins finally got it together with 350 yards, two TDs and just as important only one interception. This week against an equally terrible pass defense it should be time to make that free agent pickup work for you.
RB Amos Zereoue B Aside from the one game in week four where he stepped in for the injured Wheatley, Zereoue has done little to warrant much fantasy attention. That trend will likely continue this week against a San Diego defense that has held it's last four opponents to under 100 yards rushing.
WR Jerry Porter S2

Youngsters Gabriel and Curry are nice complements, but Porter is the true talent in the Raider's WR corps. And last week it finally showed. If Collins again gets time in the pocket this week Porter will have his way with the Charger's inexperienced secondary.

WR Ronald Curry (Q) U

With the TEs needed in pass protection, which is most weeks, it's Curry that's making a living off of the underneath routes that open up. With Porter and Gabriel stretching the field Curry will continue his limited fantasy success this week against the suspect San Diego secondary.

TE Courtney Anderson
Doug Jolley
B

Jolley finally showed up last week but this is still a committee approach at TE and both Anderson and Williams seeing time. Don't expect a repeat of last week's activity as all three will be needed in pass protection more on Sunday.

San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2 Took a step back last week after steady improvement all season. He was also kept out of the end-zone for the first time. The additions of McCardell and Shaw will provide Brees with even more options in the passing game and with Oakland's only shutdown cornerback hurting this week this is a good spot for him. Plug him in if you need help at QB this week.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (P) S2 The late game absences due to the lingering groin injury are becoming a real concern for fantasy owners. Early reports are stating that he feels better this week than he has in weeks. The improvement helps but he's lost his super-stud status until he can play an entire game at close to 100%. Could have a big impact in the passing game this week.
WR Eric Parker X Parker is a fine young talent but has had only a single fantasy worthy game all season (week 6). The addition of McCardell now places him as the third option in the passing game and he's unlikely to be a consistent fantasy factor from here on out.
WR Keenan McCardell S2 Showed up on Tuesday and lead all wide receivers on Sunday. Not bad. CB Charles Woodson will be slowed and maybe even out with the hip pointer injury he suffered last week. Either way that's a boon for McCardell.
TE Antonio Gates S1 The cornerback coverage is pretty solid for Oakland but the linebackers and safeties leave something to be desired. Great matchup for Gates this week.
 
San Francisco (1-5) at Chicago (1-5) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Rattay X

The arm is still bothering Rattay, and for a quarterback with limited arm strength that's not good. The Niners will likely emphasize the run this week and since it's very likely they won't be playing catchup look for Rattay to have a limited performance.

RB Kevan Barlow S2 Barlow has been a disappointment so far this season. This week his fantasy owners catch a nice break however. The week off should have allowed some healing of his shoulder injury, giving him more confidence to get back to the bruising running style. Also, the Niners should be able to stick with the running game in this matchup, and visiting the third worst run defense in the league doesn't hurt either.
WR Cedrick Wilson X Good for about 3-4 catches and 50-60 yards each week. If that's what you need then plug him in. Most likely you have an option with more upside.
WR Brandon Lloyd S2 Since his return he's been solid, catching 11 balls for 149 yards and two touchdowns. Good matchup this week with the injury riddled Chicago secondary.
WR Curtis Conway B Since Lloyd's return he has just six catches for 61 yards in two games. No longer a factor.
TE Eric Johnson X Had a great stretch but don't be surprised if Johnson's better fantasy days are behind him this season. He continues to be bothered by the cracked ribs and with Brandon Lloyd now healthy his production is likely to drop.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Craig Krenzel B Quinn goes to the bench and the rookie from Ohio State gets a shot. Doesn't really matter as neither are NFL caliber players.
RB Thomas Jones S2 The horrible play of the passing game is hurting Jones' fantasy value, but he continues to get it done most weeks. This week should be no different against a Niner defense that allows 115 YPG on the ground and have surrendered 10 rushing touchdowns, second worst in the league. He had a 77 yard TD called back on penalty last week.
WR David Terrell
Bobby Wade
B

You're kidding right?

TE Desmond Clark

B

May see a few more looks with a jittery rookie in the pocket, but he's still not worth a spot in a fantasy lineup.
 
Miami (1-6) at New York Jets (5-1) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler (P) B

Fiedler keeps his job... for now. He had his best game of the season last week but still operates under the specter of a quick hook if he struggles again. Not exactly what you want as a starter for your fantasy team.

RB Sammy Morris (Q) S2 Morris is a tough runner. He won't make many guys miss but he picks up whatever yardage is there. As a result he needs many carries to be effective fantasy-wise, which is what we got last week with 28. The Dolphins will surely want to repeat that strategy to eat up the clock and keep Pennington and company off the field. Look for less output vs. a Jets defense that is solid against the run.
WR Chris Chambers B Don't be fooled into trusting Chambers following last week's big performance. One big gain came on a trick play and another (the TD) against a full-on blitz that Fiedler just barely beat. His only output that came in the normal flow of the offense was a nine yard catch.
WR Marty Booker B With the exception of week five Booker has been a complete fantasy bust moving to the Dolphins. He's the #3 options behind McMichael and Chambers.
TE Randy McMichael S2 There continues to be just enough production in the Miami passing game to keep McMichael productive. It helps that he's the teams best receiver. Found the end-zone for the first time since week one last Sunday.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington X Look for another tough game for Pennington. The Dolphins employ many of the same zone and man schemes in the secondary as New England with the bonus of having the coverage talent and depth to hold up against the Jet's receivers.
RB Curtis Martin S1 Had his worst performance of the season last week against the tough NE defense. Hey, you can't tear it up every week. Should get back on track Monday night against a Miami defense that lacks size and depth up front. Look for Martin to have a big fourth quarter after grinding the Fins into submission in the first three.
WR Santana Moss B It was obvious last week that Moss wasn't close to being back from the hamstring injury. The result was a 2-for-12 performance. An extra week may help but he'll still be less than 100% and against the talent in the Dolphin secondary that's not good.
WR Justin McCareins   U

Had his best game of the season last week and will have to carry the load again Monday night with Moss still slowed and Chrebet just play slow.

WR Wayne Chrebet B Not a consistent factor in the Jet's passing game. Only a single catch in each of the past two games.
TE Anthony Becht B Becht can be a solid fantasy TE but is losing production to Chris Baker.

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