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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 2
Whitney Walters
September 15, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Mon 7:30 PM
BAL at TEN MIN at CIN ATL at SEA SD at DEN NO at NYG
BUF at TB NE at CAR STL at ARI Sun 8:30 PM Mon 9 PM
DET at CHI PIT at HOU CLE at GB KC at OAK WAS at DAL
JAC at IND SF at PHI MIA at NYJ   (times ET)
    Player List by Position
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
 
Baltimore (0-1) at Tennessee (0-1) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Anthony Wright U Wright takes over and couldn't get a better matchup. He showed some rust last week but with a full week of practice he has the tools on offense to possibly surprise on Sunday against what is looking like a terrible Tennessee secondary.
RB Jamal Lewis (P) S2 You see what little Willie Parker did to the Titans' defense last week? This matchup is scary good. The questions surrounding Lewis' ankle and stamina keep him from S1 status this week.
WR Derrick Mason S2 The only thing holding Mason back this week will be if Wright struggles.
WR Mark Clayton U

The rookie showed some promise and is very good after the catch. Could break off a long TD against the inexperienced Titans' secondary. Shouldn't be long before he moves into the starting lineup.

WR Clarence Moore B Couldn't find the handle last week and dropped some very catchable balls. On his way to sliding down to the #3 WR for the Ravens.
TE

Todd Heap (P)

S2 Looked good in the opener but was outperformed by his rookie counterpart, Wilcox. Once Heap works his way into game shape he should take the lead in production. Should...
TE Daniel Wilcox (Q) U Very promising young TE that filled in some for Heap last season. He's short for a TE but he has WR skills and speed and often lines up in the slot as a WR. His size creates many mismatches with opposing nickel cornerbacks.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair X

Looked okay against Pittsburgh last week, but things get only tougher Sunday with the Ravens coming to town.

RB Chris Brown B Looked good last week against Pittsburgh, averaging over 6 YPC. But he split carries 50-50 with Henry and faces the Ravens this week. Find another option if possible.
RB Travis Henry B Doesn't look fully recovered from the turf toe injury but did get 10 carries last week. But another 10 carries against Baltimore is not what your fantasy team needs.
WR Drew Bennett S2 Until Calico gets it going it's just Bennett and a bunch of rookies. Bennett should get enough quick looks behind the Ravens' blitz to make him a borderline starter this week if you need him.
WR Tyrone Calico B

Only caught two quick screen passes last week and looked very tentative. Until he shows he has confidence in his knee and puts up a solid game he's best left on your bench.

WR Brandon Jones B Looks to be the best of the rookie receivers on the Titans' roster. Will continue to get playing time in multi-WR sets, but not a fantasy factor.
TE Ben Troupe (Q)
Erron Kinney
X Week one verified the TE role in the new Tennessee offense, and it's a big one. The tight ends received 13 of McNair's 26 pass attempts and the only score. The difficulty for fantasy owners is that both Kinney and Troupe (and even Bo Scaife) will split the production.
 
Buffalo (1-0) at Tampa Bay (1-0) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B Moved the offense fairly well in his debut, but in five trips to the red-zone only a single touchdown was achieved. Those trips will be harder to come by this week on the road in Tampa.
RB Willis McGahee S2 The Bucs stymied the Minnesota running game last week and will likely do the same this week against Buffalo. On the positive however was McGahee's 5 carries last week inside the 10 yard line. Will get 25+ touches each week, but a borderline starter this Sunday.
RB Shaud Williams (P) B McGahee's backup and will get some carries and third-down work. Not enough to warrant any fantasy attention other than as insurance for McGahee owners.
WR Eric Moulds (P) X

Will need to create mismatches in the Bucs' secondary with great route running and deep speed. Both Moulds and ...

WR Lee Evans X ... Evans have those abilities, but Losman at quarterback limits their fantasy potential.
TE Mark Campbell B Primary role in the offense this week will be extra pass protection.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese B Griese looked solid in the opener as expected. Don't expect much production out of him this week however against the dominant Buffalo defense.
RB Carnell Williams S2

Phenomenal rookie debut last week. Gets his first test this Sunday facing the Bills run defense, and it's one brutal test. Despite the difficult matchup, Williams remains a borderline starter because he's likely to get more work in the passing game this week.

WR Michael Clayton X Hard to recommend any Buc this week given the strength of the Bills' defense and the likely low score of this game. Clayton does have the speed and talent to make something happen after the catch, and will have plenty of chances as the Tampa offense likes to hit receivers underneath coverage.
WR Joey Galloway B Will stretch the field and attempt to get behind the Buffalo secondary. Don't expect that to be enough this week to make him a viable fantasy starter.
TE Alex Smith X It became very clear last week that this talented rookie will be a part of the Tampa passing game, especially in scoring position. Will still struggle at times due to inexperience and is still behind Anthony Becht on the depth chart, but will likely get a few scoring opportunities each game.
 
Detroit (1-0) at Chicago (0-1) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington X Still doesn't look like he has it all together, but was good enough last week against a suspect Packer secondary. That won't be the case on Sunday. Look for the Bears to cause Harrington problems on the road. He put up just 353 yards and a single TD last season in two meetings with an injury depleted Bears' defense.
RB Kevin Jones S2 Wasn't spectacular, just solid, last week. His longest run was only 7 yards, but came close a few times to breaking one long. Look for the Lions to run out of the spread formation in the hopes of forcing Chicago into their nickel package. Portis' 121 yards last week on the Bears is a positive sign for Jones and makes him a borderline starter this week.
WR Roy Williams S2

Williams' had a rough day with only two grabs. But Harrington threw to him 10 times, more that all the other wide receivers combined.

WR Charles Rogers
Kevin Johnson
Mike Williams
B Rogers and Williams always bring a size advantage to their matchups, and Johnson seems to be finding a niche in the Lions' passing game. Until one of these receivers emerges as the consistent #2 WR they will be of little value to fantasy owners.
TE Marcus Pollard S2 Pollard is aging but still has the skills to play this position, as he proved last week leading all Detroit receivers. With all the talent at WR however, it's not likely that Pollard will emerge as an elite fantasy TE.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Showed some promise for the Bears last Sunday, but holds none for your fantasy team.
RB Thomas Jones X

Will start losing carries to Benson this week.

RB Cedric Benson X Against the blitz happy Redskins, Benson only received three 4th quarter carries. He'll get more this week, likely splitting with starter Jones. Until Orton can back opposing defenses off the line of scrimmage with his down field play the running game will struggle.
WR Muhsin Muhammad (P) U Muhammad is the obvious go-to receiver, and he should be. Will be hard pressed to "light it up" this season, but his height advantage over the smallish Detroit corners should provide enough of an edge this week.
WR Justin Gage
Bernard Berrian
Mark Bradley
B

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

TE Desmond Clark

X

Clark is a solid tight end but will rarely make a big fantasy splash. With a rookie at QB however he will see several dump-offs each week.
 

Jacksonville (1-0) at Indianapolis (1-0)

Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich X

Leftwich put up two 300 yard games on Indy last season, but this isn't last year's Colts. It's unlikely that the aggressive Indy defense will allow Leftwich a third 300 yard game in a row.

RB Fred Taylor S2

Came through last week's 20-carry game without a hint of problems with the knee. A very good sign for his fantasy owners. He'll only get better as his strength and stamina increases. Keep him in your lineup this week but he may find the going tough against the Colts' interior defense.

RB LaBrandon Toefield B Will occasionally spell Taylor, but not enough to warrant your fantasy attention.
WR Jimmy Smith S2 Wow. So much for the pre-season dropsies. Don't expect another monster fantasy outing for Smith, but it's obvious he and Leftwich have something going. Leftwich threw Smith's direction 13 times Sunday, more than all the other WR's combined.
WR Reggie Williams
Matt Jones
B These two receivers have tons of talent. But until proven otherwise, not enough opportunities to warrant fantasy starter status. Williams will be the most consistent while Jones will occasionally get scoring plays that will keep him active on the fantasy waiver wires.
TE Kyle Brady B Basically a third tackle on the line for the running game.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 Moved up to S1 status where he will likely remain for most of the remainder of the season.
RB Edgerrin James S1

Jacksonville may present another challenge for James and the running game. But it will be a breeze compared to last week.

WR Marvin Harrison S1 The Jags secondary is no match for Harrison or ...
WR Reggie Wayne S1 ... Wayne. Start them both with confidence.
WR Brandon Stokley (P) S2 Looked fine playing with the shoulder brace.
TE Dallas Clark (Q) S2 Expected to return to the Colts' starting lineup this week following recovery from a concussion. He should return to your fantasy starting lineup as well.
 
Minnesota (0-1) at Cincinnati (1-0) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S1 Ouch. That was ugly. Last week was the first time Culpepper had failed to lead the Vikings to a touchdown since October 25, 2001. Odds are good that won't happen again any time soon. Expect a 300 yard / 3 TD game this week.
RB   Michael Bennett B

Bennett and the entire Viking running game looked awful against the Bucs. The latest coach-speak from Tice indicates Bennett will remain the starter. Without 18-20 carries however, Bennett is just an average back who pads his stats with the occasional long run. Something he rarely gets with limited carries.

RB Mewelde Moore B Supposedly injured his leg or ankle and never got into the game last week. Still the best back the Vikings have, but until there is some indication that he'll not only play, but get significant carries, he's off limits to fantasy owners.
RB Moe Williams X Right now the only startable Viking running back, but just barely. Williams will continue to back up Bennett, be used on passing downs and at the goal-line. If you are desperate for RB production then Williams may fill that void.
WR Nate Burleson S1 As Culpepper bounces back, so will Burleson. Should take advantage of his matchup with CB Tory James, who has been slowed by a foot injury.
WR Travis Taylor X Taylor has worked his way to the starting lineup opposite Burleson. Expect him to struggle against one of the better cover corners in the league, Deltha O'Neal.
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

Showed last week that he will remain a big part of the Vikings' passing attack. Had two long touchdowns called back on penalty last week, the first of which was completely bogus.

Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Palmer continues to play great (passer rating of 107.5 last week) and the Vikings' defense contains several new faces that have yet to jell into a solid unit.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 What can you say? Rudi is solid and consistent.
RB Chris Perry B Loads of talent. Will keep getting 10-12 touches a game to spell Johnson.
WR Chad Johnson S1 Didn't score but got off to the best start of his career, catching 9 balls for 91 yards. Gets a good opportunity to improve on that this week against the retooled Minnesota secondary.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (P) 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 Kevin Walter U With Kelly Washington sidelined with an injury, it looks like Walter may have secured a spot as the #3 WR for the Bengals with his 4-47 and a TD performance last week. It's not clear how long he will hold on to that spot, but this week against the very suspect nickel back Brian Williams, Walter could have another surprising performance.
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.
 
New England (1-0) at Carolina (0-1) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2 Many answered questions last week and it looks like another season of solid but unspectacular fantasy performances from Mr. GQ.
RB Corey Dillon S1 Started off slow in the opener, but Dillon pulled out a nice fantasy performance. Look for more of the same against the now very average (with the loss of DT Kris Jenkins) Panther run defense.
WR

Deion Branch

S2

Shaping up to be Branch's breakout season, one year delayed due to his injury plagued third season last year. Branch may be what fantasy owners have been waiting on for a few years; a go-to receiver in the New England offense.

WR

David Givens
Troy Brown

X

Both Givens and Brown are going to produce as the Patriots will spend a lot of time in 3-WR sets this week to spread out the Panther defense. The difficulty for fantasy owners is that it's highly unlikely that both will produce fantasy starter numbers at the same time.

TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson
B Both will play, both will produce, both will kill each other's fantasy value all season long.
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Delhomme struggled at times against the Saints last week. Should bounce back a bit Sunday against a Patriots' secondary that is already banged up and possibly without corners Poole and Scott.

RB Stephen Davis X

Got the start and actually produced for his fantasy owners. But before you get all excited, don't forget that he did only get 13 carries to Foster's 9, and without the 39 yarder he broke off he averaged only 3.5 YPC against an average Saints' defense. He will continue to split carries with ...

RB DeShaun Foster X

... Foster, basically making both very risky fantasy starters. Especially this week against the always tough Patriots.

WR Steve Smith S1 Smith has had it in for the Patriots' secondary ever since an alleged incident in Super Bowl XXXIII. Will get his chance for payback this week. It doesn't hurt either that the New England secondary may be down a man or two due to injury.
WR Keary Colbert S2 Should see more than the four looks he got last week and as more attention flows to Smith, Colbert will begin to produce.
TE Kris Mangum B Mangum was an afterthought last season (34 catches, 3 TDs) and after week one there are no indications that will change.

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