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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 1
Whitney Walters
September 8, 2005
Thu 9 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
OAK at NE DEN at MIA SEA at JAC ARI at NYG IND at BAL
Sun 1 PM HOU at BUF TB at MIN DAL at SD Mon 9 PM
CHI at WAS NO at CAR TEN at PIT GB at DET PHI at ATL
CIN at CLE NYJ at KC   STL at SF (times ET)
     
Start/Bench Codes (SBC) Early Injury Status
S1: Must start, 1st string. X: No start or bench indications / Could go either way. (O): Out    (D): Doubtful
S2: Solid starter, 2nd string. B: Bench 'em / Too much risk. (Q): Questionable
U: Upside player / Possible sleeper. (P): Probable
 
Oakland (0-0) at New England (0-0) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X First start in the revamped offense against one of the elite defenses in the NFL. If you drafted Collins as your #1 QB then it's likely you have to go with him, but if a better option exists for you then you should consider it this week.
RB Lamont Jordan X The power runner coach Norv Turner loves in his offense. Will struggle this week however against the always tough Patriots. Will make some noise catching the ball in the flats.
WR Randy Moss S1

The stage doesn't get much bigger than opening day. Look for Moss to have a fine start to his season.

WR Jerry Porter (Q) X

There will need to be another option down field for Collins and Porter should benefit, not only this week but all season. His hamstring problems keep him from starter status this week however.

WR Doug Gabriel
Ronald Curry  
B

Until their role in the new offense are proven these two receivers are better left on your bench.

TE Courtney Anderson B

The Pats may struggle with the tight end position early with the transitions at linebacker. Anderson has solid skills, but his use in the new look offense is yet to be determined.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2 Plenty of unknowns this week with HC Belichick being the voice in Brady's helmet now. Look for plenty of run plays and then play-action from Brady. Hard to expect anything more than his typical 200 yard, 2 TD effort in this first outing of the season.
RB Corey Dillon S1 Dillon will be the focus this week as Belichick prefers a run-first game plan. A power running game will wear down the Raiders front and if the Pats have a lead Dillon will get plenty of action in the fourth quarter.
WR

Deion Branch

X

This is supposed to be Branch's breakout year. The jury's still out on that but all speculation ends this week.

WR

David Givens (Q)

X

Givens was New England's top WR last season but ended the season with only three trips to the end-zone. Running with a healthy Branch should help, as will still being the Pats biggest and most physical receiver.

WR Andre Davis
Troy Brown
Tim Dwight
Bethel Johnson (Q)
B And behind the starters we have the typical group of solid yet unspectacular WRs New England likes to have on their roster. Some will tease from week to week, but mostly they will disappoint.
TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson
B Both of these former first-round picks have mismatches with the Oakland linebackers, and both will be used as they lineup in 2-TE sets. But two tight ends on a team spell fantasy death to both more times than not.
 
Chicago (0-0) at Washington (0-0) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Shouldn't have even been drafted, let alone starting for your fantasy team.
RB Thomas Jones S2

May be the one and only time you get some decent production from this draft pick. But he's borderline this week regardless.

RB Cedric Benson B Benson will see some action but not enough to warrant fantasy attention... YET!
WR Muhsin Muhammad X Go-to receiver with a rookie QB. And everyone knows it. Look for Muhammad to battle Shawn Springs most of the day. Muhammad does have a height advantage over the Washington secondary, so there is a chance for some production this week.
WR Justin Gage
Bernard Berrian
B

No one has emerged yet and the #2 WR is unlikely to have much fantasy value on this team anyway.

TE Desmond Clark

U

A tight end can be a rookie quarterback's best friend, and Clark is a solid outlet. He could surprise this week as LB Arrington is coming off knee surgery and LB Harris has lost a step in his coverage abilities.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey X Will manage the offense and not be asked to do anything special. That's about all Ramsey has shown he can handle at this point in his career. And that's pushing it.
RB Clinton Portis S1 Better offensive blocking schemes and an upgrade on the line and fullback should provide wider lanes for Portis this week and season.
WR Santana Moss X

Will be the teams most productive receiver, but in this passing offense that will be good enough for only "X" ratings most weeks.

WR David Patten B An upgrade at the #2 WR position over Gardner for sure. Beyond that, we'll have to see.
TE Chris Cooley S2 Highly effective H-Back and could be the Redskins second leading receiver this year if used properly. Can be a force inside the 5-yard line.
 
Cincinnati (0-0) at Cleveland (0-0) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

The Browns have three new starters in the secondary and Palmer has plenty of big down field weapons at his disposal. He must get better protection this season however.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 Johnson will get the work for sure against a Browns run defense that was very suspect last season. This year's switch to a base 3-4 two-gap may help the Browns, but Rudi is a force between the tackles.
WR Chad Johnson S1 Poised for a big year and should get off to a great start this week against the revamped Cleveland secondary.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2 Should have an improved year if the schedule doesn't get the best of the Bengals this season. This week that won't be a problem.
WR Kelly Washington (Q) B With Warrick out of the picture, Washington, like Houshmandzadeh, is primed for an improved season. But he's still only a #3 WR and fantasy relevance isn't going to come easy.
TE Matt Schobel
Reggie Kelly
B The tight end isn't much of a factor in the Cincinnati offense and both Schobel and Kelly will see action, making neither of much value.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

Most weeks Dilfer is going to be a desperation / bye week filler type of starter for your fantasy team.

RB Lee Suggs (D)
Reuben Droughns
William Green
B

Suggs may not play, leaving Droughns as the possible starter this week with Green likely to see plenty of carries. It's best to stay away from this situation until the dust settles. Too bad since the Bengals have a tradition of not being able to stop the run.

WR Braylon Edwards B

The rookie has been very slow to develop during the pre-season. May be a few weeks away from making an impact.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

The starter until Edwards' gets his feet under him. Will likely move to the #3 WR spot soon.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Finding things to his liking in Cleveland and has been a pre-season surprise.

TE Aaron Shea (Q)
Steve Heiden
B Both Shea and Heiden will be used in the Browns high-percentage passing game. They are both solid pass catchers and combined they may make a nice fantasy tight end. But you can't do that.
 

Denver (0-0) at Miami (0-0)

Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2 Denver has the personnel in the passing game to make it hard on the Dolphins. They will use many spread formations and two-tight end packages to stretch their secondary. Look for Plummer to start the season with a good fantasy game.
RB Mike Anderson S2 Back as the Broncos starter and will be running into the strength of the Miami defense. Expect a solid but not spectacular performance.
RB Tatum Bell
Ron Dayne
B Anderson is the man for now with Bell and Dayne fighting for scraps.
WR Rod Smith S2 The old veteran just keeps on going, but a bit slower each season. Should have an effective day with his short and intermediate routes under the usually soft coverage of Miami CB starters of Madison and Howard.
WR Ashley Lelie X

For the same reason Smith should succeed, Lelie may struggle. His deep, over-the-top speed may be negated by the soft Miami CB coverage.

TE Jeb Putzier
Stephen Alexander
X Both will see plenty of action as the Broncos will use more two-TE sets this season. As is the case with many teams, a two-headed TE may be effective for them, but not so much so for your fantasy team. Alexander may take the fantasy lead here as Putzier isn't used as much around the goal-line.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte B

Frerotte is solid and easily won the starting job over the failure that is A.J. Feeley. That will likely never translate into a starting status for your fantasy team though.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S2 Rookie Brown will get the start but is not ready for a full load. He'll split time with Sammy Morris this week, making him a borderline starter.
WR Chris Chambers
Marty Booker
B Chambers and Booker are solid talents that could spend another season stuck on a team going nowhere. They will on occasion tease you with a good game but for the most part have to be ignored by fantasy owners.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Should again be the best thing going in the Dolphin passing attack, and a decent starter for your fantasy squad.
 
Houston (0-0) at Buffalo (0-0) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B The Texans have implemented more short drops and quicker routes for Carr this year in the hopes of keeping him upright more. If the pre-season is any indication, it won't matter against the Bills.
RB Domanick Davis S2

Davis is the foundation of the offensive scheme to keep pressure off of Carr. The Texans will have to use plenty of 3-WR sets this week to create running room for Davis. Otherwise it could be tough going.

WR Andre Johnson X Chances are Johnson was drafted to be a starter on your team. But this week against the CB tandem of Clements and McGee it will be difficult to produce. He can likely win his matchups with the much shorter McGee or nickel backs if Houston can find ways to motion him into that coverage.
WR

Corey Bradford
Jabar Gaffney (P)
Derick Armstrong

B A lot of things will need to come together this season for one of these receivers to step up and be a fantasy factor. For now they are not.
TE Mark Bruener B The TE position for the Texans had a total of 21 receptions last year. Even if Houston was able to improve on that, Bruener is better known for his blocking than receiving skills.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B Even against what may be another suspect Texans pass defense Losman should not be a factor on your fantasy team.
RB Willis McGahee S1 No question, McGahee is a must start this week.
WR Eric Moulds X

May end up taking a back seat to the emergent Evans this season, but for now he's still the go-to guy in Buffalo.

WR Lee Evans X An emerging talent, but with the untested Losman at the helm it could be difficult to make any fantasy noise.
WR Josh Reed (P) B Losman won't make it to his third read very often.
TE Mark Campbell B Only 17 catches last season and used a lot in pass protection.
 
New Orleans (0-0) at Carolina (0-0) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2 Traditionally plays well against the Panthers and this week should be no different as long as the retooled offensive line can hold off the intense pass rush.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 McAllister is the engine that powers this offense. Put up over 150 yards in his last matchup with the Panthers, but Carolina is healthy now and stout up front on run defense.
WR Joe Horn S2 Horn should continue his elite fantasy WR status this year and will find some nice matchup opportunities against rookie safety Thomas Davis deep over the middle.
WR Donte' Stallworth X Should benefit from the extra attention Horn draws, but must shake his inconsistency to be a weekly fantasy source for your team.
TE Ernie Conwell B The likely starter with Boo Williams done for the year. Some talent but a non-fantasy factor.
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Questions in the Saints secondary should provide enough for Delhomme to be a borderline starter this week.

RB Stephen Davis B

Amazingly gets the week one start following major off-season knee surgery. Only got 5 carries in the pre-season finale so don't expect much this first time out.

RB DeShaun Foster X

Likely to carry at least half the load this week, if not more. If you need Foster then you may have to start him. The Saints were terrible at stopping the run last year and the jury's still out on if they've improved any.

WR Steve Smith S2 Back from injury and a solid start this week against a questionable Saints secondary.
WR Keary Colbert S2 Shined last season and has continued with a great pre-season. Get him in your starting lineup this week.
TE Kris Mangum B Mangum was an afterthought last season (34 catches, 3 TDs) and there are no indications that will change in 2005.

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