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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
Sun 1 PM HOU at BUF TB at MIN DAL at SD Mon 9 PM
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
NY Jets (0-0) at Kansas City (0-0) Back to top
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2 First game back from his injury last year and facing the rebuilt Kansas City defense. The pre-season didn't offer much in the way of visible improvements, so Pennington should put up enough production to warrant starting for your fantasy squad.
RB Curtis Martin S2 He'll need quite an encore this season to maintain his fantasy studness. Kansas City is as good a place to start as any.
WR Laveranues Coles S2 Reunited... and it feels so gooood. (apologies to Peaches and Herb)
WR Justin McCareins   X

McCareins has what it takes to take advantage of the man coverage the Chiefs will likely use. Will be helped by newcomer CB Patrick Surtain expected to be locked on Coles.

TE Doug Jolley
Chris Baker
X Baker is getting the start over the newly acquired Jolley. Expect both to be used however as Jolley is clearly the better receiver, Baker the better blocker. Long-term Jolley will end up being the better fantasy option.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green (P) S2

The Jets can bring the pressure to disrupt the pocket passing Green.

RB Priest Holmes S1

As long as he's healthy he retains his fantasy stud status. Will lose some carries to Johnson however to keep him fresh for later in the season.

RB Larry Johnson B Will get some touches each week to keep him sharp. Not a fantasy factor until Holmes goes down.
WR Eddie Kennison S2 A perennial disappointment, Kennison had a strong second half to last season. If he's able to carry that over there is hope. Still mostly just a "straight down the sidelines" kind of receiver though.
WR Samie Parker
Chris Horn
B Behind Priest, Gonzo and Kennison is no place you'll find fantasy viable receivers.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1 Ty Law may help in coverage, but heck, why should that matter. Just start him.
Seattle (0-0) at Jacksonville (0-0) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Should have little trouble putting up starter worthy numbers this week... and most weeks.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 No reason needed.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Jackson should pick up right where he left off last season.
WR Bobby Engram X

A very serviceable #2 WR for Seattle. That will translate into a fantasy starting status only with great mismatches.

TE Jerramy Stevens U This is the year. Really. I mean it. Kidding aside Stevens has had the best pre-season of his career and Hasselbeck was looking his way often.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich S2

Seattle will be without defensive coordinator Ray Rhodes due to illness. Look for Leftwich to start the season strong and take advantage of the man-coverage mismatches down field.

RB Fred Taylor X

Expected to be the starter this week but it would be foolish for the Jags to give him a full load to open the season. A risky start this week if you use him.

RB LaBrandon Toefield B Will spell Taylor, but not enough to warrant your fantasy attention.
WR Jimmy Smith U Both Smith and ...
WR Reggie Williams U ... Williams will find some favorable one-on-one matchups when the Seahawks have to bring safety help to stop the Jags power running game.
TE Kyle Brady B Brady may see a few balls come his way, but his main job is blocking for the running game.
Tampa Bay (0-0) at Minnesota (0-0) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese U Griese is an accurate passer with another season of Gruden's offense under his belt. The new look Vikings defense should put pressure on Griese and press his receivers down field. If they actually pull that off then Griese will struggle. At this point that's a big if.
RB Carnell Williams S1

Will put the revamped Vikings defense to the test. Look for Gruden to give his new weapon plenty of touches as he looks to control the clock and keep the ball out of the hands of the Vikings offense.

WR Michael Clayton S2 Griese's go-to receiver and loaded with talent. A borderline starter this week due to the new face added to the Minnesota secondary, CB Fred Smoot, to go with Antoine Winfield.
WR Joey Galloway B Will stretch the field and attempt to get behind the Vikings coverage. That won't be enough this week to make him a viable fantasy starter.
WR Ike Hilliard B

Will work as the #3 WR in an offense that doesn't employ a lot of 3-WR sets.

TE Anthony Becht
Alex Smith
B These two will be on the field together a lot this season. Becht is the more reliable blocker but will see looks in the red-zone. Smith is a talented rookie but not ready for prime time... yet.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S1 Do you really need a reason?
RB   Michael Bennett B

Bennett is expected to start this week despite his sprained neck. Just too much risk for me to recommend him as a starter for your fantasy squad.

RB Mewelde Moore B Returned to practice this week but still slowed by the sprained ankle. More risk your fantasy team doesn't need.
RB Moe Williams B May be the only healthy back available.
WR Nate Burleson S1 Culpepper's main down field target and poised for a huge season.
WR Travis Taylor U Has worked his way to the #2 WR spot in the very productive passing game. That's a good place to be if he's on your roster.
WR Marcus Robinson B

#3 on the depth chart but will still see action in the many 3-WR sets the Vikings use.

TE Jermaine Wiggins S2

Wiggins led the team in receptions last year and will remain a big part of the passing attack.

Tennessee (0-0) at Pittsburgh (0-0) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair B

McNair has looked great in his limited pre-season action. But week one against the new Blitz-burgh defense is no place to try him out as your starter.

RB Chris Brown B Brown is close to 100% but will have a rough day in Pittsburgh. The Steelers were the top rushing defense last season and there are no indications that they won't keep that going in 2006. Plus, the Titans plan on adding backup Travis Henry into the rushing mix.
WR Drew Bennett X Has potential this season, but this week one matchup is not looking good. The offense will struggle as a whole on the road against the Steelers. Don't expect much out of Bennett's debut as the Titans' #1 WR.
WR Tyrone Calico U

Will consider this a successful outing if he can just make it to the final gun without another injury. Could surprise this week with his deep speed and after the catch abilities, both of which have yet to be seen so far.

TE Erron Kinney (Q) X

Kinney will get most of the action at TE this week with Ben Troupe still recovering from his foot injury.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B The Titans will provide a tasty matchup for many the quarterback this season. But Big Ben had a terrible pre-season, not producing a single touchdown. I'd stay away until the passing game gets in sync.
RB Willie Parker S2 Parker is lightening in a bottle and will produce in his first pro start.
WR Hines Ward S2

With Roethlisberger's struggles Ward is a borderline starter this week, even given the great matchup with the Titans secondary.

WR Antwaan Randle El X

Could produce this season opposite Ward. But not a good week one option.

TE Heath Miller B Yeah, yeah... The Steelers will throw to the tight end this year. All I have to say is, "prove it".
Arizona (0-0) at NY Giants (0-0) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner B The offensive line is a mess, and that hurts pass protection most of all. Without time in the pocket Warner will struggle... a lot.
RB J.J. Arrington B Arrington has struggled in the pre-season with both his running and blitz pickups. That combination could mean there will be more Marcel Shipp this week.
WR Anquan Boldin X Boldin is a talent, but if Warner doesn't get the time he needs in the pocket it will lead to a very average day for him.
WR Larry Fitzgerald U May surprise with a nice TD grab, but that's about it.
TE Eric Edwards B Not an option
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning (P) B

The younger Manning will be under pressure all afternoon by the much improved and faster Cardinal defensive front. Also recovering from the pre-season elbow injury to his throwing arm.

RB Tiki Barber S1 His first step to showing the fantasy world he's not done yet.
WR Plaxico Burress U The pressure on Manning will hurt Burress' chances to make some noise in his Giants debut. But he'll still be a prime target once they get down in the red-zone.
WR Amani Toomer X

An afterthought with all the attention on Burress this off-season. Went without a touchdown last year for the first time since his injury shortened rookie year in 1996. The move to flanker may help the aging veteran get off the line better by providing more room off the snap.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 If Shockey's foot holds up this could easily be his best year as a pro.

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