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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
 
Pittsburgh (1-0) at Houston (0-1) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (P) S2 The Texans provide another nice matchup. Roethlisberger showed last week why the pre-season can be meaningless. Thanks to a 63 yard score to Randle El his 11 completions resulted in a nice fantasy outing. Look for him to up his completions in this game but remain only a borderline fantasy starter.
RB Willie Parker S2 Houston couldn't stop McGahee last week and they won't be able to stop Parker this week. As long as Parker remains the Steelers' starter, he should remain yours. And right now that's looking like that could last the whole season.
RB Duce Staley (Q) B Expected to be a late-week or game-time decision. Even if he plays it will be minimal.
RB Jerome Bettis (D) B Will be held out this week against the Titans.
WR Hines Ward (P) S2

Ward has averaged 95 catches a season over the last four. Don't expect many more two-catch games this season. He and Big Ben should get in sync soon. Likely as early as this weekend.

WR Antwaan Randle El S2

Randle El will likely be a hit-or-miss fantasy proposition this season. Last week was obviously a hit. Odds are good for a repeat against the very suspect Texans' corners.

TE Heath Miller B Even though last week's reception was a touchdown, it was still only a single pass, and the only pass that went his way all day.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B No way to put this other than Carr and the Houston passing game were horrible last week. Only his rushing TD saved him from the bottom of the fantasy QB rankings. While it's likely he won't repeat such a bad performance, going against the Blitz-burgh defense means any improvement will be minimal.
RB Domanick Davis S2

Davis' 14 carries last week were his lowest since week 5 of 2004. He is the key to this offense working and should see more carries on Sunday. The offensive line and fullback will need to improve their blocking for Davis to have any success running the ball. Davis is also a great receiver out of the backfield and will likely see more opportunities there as well this week.

WR Andre Johnson X Johnson is one of the more talented receivers in the league. Unfortunately until the Houston passing game gets it together he'll be a very talented fantasy disappointment for his owners. Improvements in the passing attack will be hard to come by this weekend against the aggressive Steelers' secondary.
WR

Corey Bradford
Jabar Gaffney
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. This trio went catch-less last week.
TE Mark Bruener (Q) B The TE position for the Texans is a blocking position for the running game and Bruener is better known for his blocking than receiving skills.
 
San Francisco (1-0) at Philadelphia (0-0) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Rattay B

Would you want to go into Philly after they dropped the season opener on Monday night? Didn't think so.

RB Kevan Barlow X 14 carries... 22 yards. That about sums up Barlow's career of late. And that was against the Rams at home. At least he crossed the goal-line. Don't look for much improvement this week going against a fired up Philly team.
RB Frank Gore B Out played Barlow in the opener and if that continues he will keep getting the touches.
WR Brandon Lloyd X Has some potential as a fantasy fill-in this season as last week's 65 yard, 1 TD performance showed. This week however he's probably better left on your bench.
WR Arnaz Battle B The versatile receiver (and former college QB) showed his stuff last week, lining up twice in the shotgun, once completing a 24-yard pass to Lloyd. A talented player that should probably work his way onto your fantasy roster if you have the space for a project WR. May surprise with another gadget play or two this week, but don't pin your fantasy hopes on that.
TE Eric Johnson (D) B Not likely to return to action this week and all other Niner tight ends are worthless fantasy-wise.
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (Q) S2 Suffered a bruised chest Monday night but that isn't expected to keep him sidelined for this matchup. However, the injury clearly hindered his performance against the Falcons and will likely do the same this week against the Niners. Still a fantasy starter, but slides down from his normal S1 rating.
RB Brian Westbrook S1 Westbrook is dangerous any time he touches the ball. And in this offense he's going to touch it a lot.
WR Terrell Owens S2 Say what you will about "it's all business on the field", but it's obvious the McNabb-to-Owens connection is not fully in sync. They had virtually no time together in the pre-season and it shows. McNabb's injury isn't going to help either.
WR Greg Lewis
Reggie Brown  
B At least after week one it's looking like another season of Owens, Westbrook, L.J. and oh yeah... those other receiver dudes over there.
TE L.J. Smith U Smith has loads of talent and looks to be a bigger part of the passing game this season. Should find the end-zone this weekend.
 
Atlanta (0-0) at Seattle (0-1) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S2

Passing stat line for week one: 12-21-154. Yep, that's about right. Except he usually gets a single TD also. Vick picked up right where he left off last year in the passing department. Let's be real here. Without his running Vick wouldn't even be drafted in most fantasy leagues. But he does run and that's what keeps him a borderline starter most weeks.

RB Warrick Dunn X Until Vick can consistently hurt teams down field, Dunn will continue to run against 8-man fronts. It will be more of the same this week as the Seahawks have the talent at cornerback to cover the Falcon receivers one-on-one.
RB T.J. Duckett  X Only gained four yards last week after his short touchdown run as the Philly defensive front wore down the Atlanta line. That should be less of a problem this week so Duckett should be more effective and get a few more carries.
WR Michael Jenkins U Showed the potential on the 58 yard strike last week. Jenkins has the size and speed to create mismatches down field, especially this week against of Seattle corners Trufant and Dyson. Vick just needs to get him the ball consistently.
WR Dez White
Roddy White (P)
Brian Finneran
B Outside of Jenkins, don't look for much from the Falcon WR position. But keep an eye on rookie Roddy White.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 Until proven otherwise, Crumpler remains the prime weapon in the Falcon passing game.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Hasselbeck will see a Falcon defense that is similar to what he saw from the Jags last week. Look for him to improve on his play and have an excellent outing at home.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 Averaged over 5.2 YPC last week but only took 14 handoffs. For this offense to get going that will have to change. Expect it to this week with Alexander getting over 20 carries easily as his running will be needed to help keep the Falcon pass rush at bay.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Didn't drop a single pass in the opener. Things are looking up.
WR Bobby Engram U

Lead the team in catches last week as an outlet for Hasselbeck, who was under pressure from the Jags pass rush. You can expect similar results this Sunday against the very effective Falcon pass rush.

TE Jerramy Stevens U Got off to a decent start this year and should follow it up this weekend with his first score of the 2005 season.
 
St. Louis (1-0) at Arizona (0-1) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1

The Cardinals have an improved defense, but as the Eli Manning lead Giants showed last week there's still work to be done. Bulger needs better protection though as he absorbed seven sacks last week.

RB Steven Jackson S2 The loss of starting MLB James Darling will hurt the Cardinals run support. If HC Mike Martz will give him the chance, Jackson will have a monster game this week. With the pass-happy Martz however, Jackson may not get that chance.
RB Marshall Faulk B Was on the field quite a bit but only received 4 touches.
WR Torry Holt S1 Ten catches for 125 last week. This week it's touchdown time!
WR Isaac Bruce X The #3, #4 and #5 WRs got 25 looks last week to Bruce's six. Not a good sign. The development of Curtis and McDonald will allow the Rams to look their way in spread formations more than ever this season, hurting Bruce's fantasy value in the process.
WR Kevin Curtis (P)
Shaun McDonald
U

When the Rams want to pass this season (and that's often) they are using more 3-WR and 4-WR sets than in the recent past. This gives both Curtis and McDonald plenty of opportunities to have a fantasy impact, which they both did last week each with 7 catches.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna B Played as much fullback as he did tight end in the opener.
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner U As a result of having to play catchup most of the second half, Warner had to put up 46 passes last week, making for a decent fantasy performance. It'll be deja vu this weekend against the visiting Rams.
RB J.J. Arrington B It's painful to watch, but the run blocking for the Cardinals stinks. Both Arrington and ...
RB Marcel Shipp B ... Shipp are talented in their own ways, but neither can be expected to produce when they have to break tackles in the backfield.
WR Anquan Boldin S2 Most will be disappointed in his 4-catch performance last week. But there are signs of hope as he did get 11 looks from Warner. Look for his production to improve Sunday against the Rams.
WR Larry Fitzgerald S2 Coming off a career day with 13 catches for 155 yards where he seemed to be open all day. You can't expect a 13-for-155 every Sunday, but nothing in this matchup with the Rams' secondary points to much of a drop-off. You can expect Boldin to be more involved though which will cut down on Fitzgerald's opportunities.
WR Bryant Johnson B Had a whopping 11 balls go his way last week and only caught two of them. That's no way to hang on to your #3 WR role in the passing attack.
TE Eric Edwards B Not an option and could lose his starting job to newcomer Teyo Johnson soon.
 
Cleveland (0-1) at Green Bay (0-1) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

Dilfer's stats last week were bloated due to the Browns playing from behind for the entire second half. He ended the game with 43 pass attempts. The odds of that happening again against the struggling Packers on Sunday are not good.

RB Reuben Droughns S2

The Browns prefer Droughns, so until Suggs returns to the mix he'll remain the starter and receive most of the work. Averaging 6.5 YPC last week has earned him the added workload. Should do well against a Packer front seven that doesn't hold up well against the run.

RB William Green B With Droughns winning favor don't expect Green to get many more than the four carries he got last week.
RB Lee Suggs (Q) B Has returned to practice this week but isn't expected to play much, if at all Sunday.
WR Braylon Edwards U

The rookie is coming along and has his first NFL game and catch under his belt. Edwards' combination of size, speed and good hands will make him a joy for any QB to throw to. This week on the road against a suspect Packer secondary should be the time Dilfer takes advantage of those skills.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

The starting split end for now but really better suited for the #3 slot WR role.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Followed up a surprising pre-season with a decent effort in week 1. Still tends to fade away at times during the game, which isn't going to endear him to Dilfer or his coaches.

TE Steve Heiden B Until Shea returns from injury Heiden will see some looks in the Browns high-percentage passing game.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre X The Lions defense is improved, but not that much. Something just doesn't seem right with Favre. Many felt he'd be able to put last season's funk behind him, but week one showed no indication of that happening. Getting home to Lambeau Field should help this week. That and the lowly Browns' defense. But until he shows that old form and swagger he's a very risky fantasy start.
RB Ahman Green S2 The Browns show no signs of improving on the run defense that ended 2004 ranked almost dead last. Green should also be relied on a bit more this week with the loss of Walker in the passing game.
WR Donald Driver S2 Takes over for the injured Walker in his old familiar role of #1 WR. Surely isn't the Driver of old, but still a quality receiver that can get the job done. Lets not forget he had 84 catches, over 1200 yards and 9 TDs last season.
WR Robert Ferguson U

Well Mr. Ferguson, ask and ye shall receive. After spending the pre-season moaning about his limited role in the Packers' offense, Ferguson will now be the starting split end for Green Bay. Not as big as Walker, but Ferguson has a great burst off the line and should perform well as a possession receiver as he gains more playing time.

WR Antonio Chatman
Terrence Murphy (P)
B One of these young receivers may need to step up and play a successful role as the #3 WR in the Packers' passing attack. Even if that happens they hold little fantasy value.
TE Bubba Franks S2 Franks may be the player most impacted by the loss of Walker. Favre is very comfortable throwing to his big ole' tight end and he'll be needed more than ever to be a secure target on third downs and underneath routes.

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