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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 3
Whitney Walters
September 22, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ATL at BUF JAC at NYJ TEN at STL ARI at SEA NYG at SD
CAR at MIA NO at MIN   DAL at SF Mon 9 PM
CIN at CHI OAK at PHI BYE: BAL, DET, NE at PIT KC at DEN
CLE at IND TB at GB HOU, WAS   (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
 
Atlanta (1-1) at Buffalo (1-1) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick (Q) B

Even before Vick was questionable for this game he was a bench candidate. Now with a strained hammy there's no way he should be in your lineup facing the #1 pass defense in the league through two weeks. Don't expect to hear Vick's status until Sunday.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 With Vick possibly slowed or out this week the Falcons will lean even more on the run. Surprisingly the Bills have allowed over 140 YPG on the ground and three touchdowns. Dunn will only get about 20 carries max, but that should be enough to make him a fantasy starter if you need bye week help.
RB T.J. Duckett  S2 Just not getting the carries (only 12 through two games), but remains a fantasy factor with his two touchdown runs. That's two more than starter Dunn has. The power running game will be needed this week to help keep the Buffalo pass rush off balance. Four big-name backs are on bye this week and Duckett could fill in for you if needed.
WR Michael Jenkins X After his week one potential showed, his week two performance showed just the opposite. Regardless of his potential, Jenkins is just a bad matchup this week going against the CB duo of Nate Clements and Terrence McGee.
WR Dez White (Q)
Roddy White
Brian Finneran
B Outside of Jenkins there is really no other option at WR for the Falcons. Finneran is at least catching some balls. Dez White is still slowed by nagging injuries. Rookie Roddy White is starting to show signs of making an impact. He should be the starter soon.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 Remains the man in the Falcon passing game.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B Losman looks good at times but the bottom line is that the Buffalo passing attack is one of the league's worst and he'll be under a massive blitz all afternoon.
RB Willis McGahee S2 Should bounce back this week. The Bills power blocking will have an advantage against the smaller Falcon defensive front and wear them down as the game progresses.
RB Shaud Williams B Getting some work on passing downs but that's about it.
WR Eric Moulds B

Will continue to be hampered by the anemic passing game. The only TD pass from Losman this season was to an offensive linemen.

WR Lee Evans B Ditto for Evans.
TE Mark Campbell B Primary role in the offense most weeks will be pass protection and run blocking.
 
Carolina (1-1) at Miami (1-1) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

The Dolphins' defense is playing better than expected this early in the season so Delhomme and company have their work cut out for them in what could be a letdown effort following the NE win. If the Panthers can get their power running game established, don't be surprised to see Delhomme taking some shots deep on the man coverage.

RB Stephen Davis (Q) S2

Davis is running strong and proving his doubters (yours truly included) wrong. Still, last week's 25 carries is likely a high water mark for Davis as the Panthers will look to not overwork him early in the season. Look for fewer then that number most weeks. But Davis did get all four goal-line carries last week - a very good sign for fantasy owners

RB DeShaun Foster X

Foster has looked very good when given the ball. Unfortunately that's only been 22 times in the first two games of the season. That load is likely to increase some, but not enough to warrant working Foster into your starting lineup unless you are in a deep league and need bye week help.

WR Steve Smith S2 Smith will draw shut-down corner Sam Madison in this matchup. The edge in this one goes to Smith. Madison has great cover skills but has lost a step and can not recover from mistakes like he used to. Smith's speed and excellent route running will cause him problems.
WR Keary Colbert S2 Colbert disappeared from the box score last week, but he did have seven balls thrown his way, one more than Smith. Will likely draw CB Reggie Howard this week and has the skills to win that matchup.
TE Kris Mangum B Mangum is mostly an afterthought in the Carolina passing game and not a fantasy option.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Playing from behind most of the game last week Frerotte put up 43 passes but could only generate 177 yards and a single TD. Passing that often is not what the Dolphins want to do, but it may happen again this week as they will likely be playing from behind.

RB

Ronnie Brown

X Rookie Brown has shown on occasion the great potential he has. Thanks to his holdout he seems to still have a ways to go before he can make the big fantasy impact most think he's capable of. Getting only 13 touches like last week isn't helping either. The Fins must get Brown the ball more. If they do they are not only helping him, but also the offense. That could prove difficult this Sunday with the Panthers coming to town.
WR Chris Chambers S2 Chambers is a tough, physical matchup for any secondary. The Jets were up to the challenge last week, holding him to just three catches for 21 yards. Expect Panthers CB Ken Lucas to be up for it as well this week. Chambers remains a borderline starter however given the likelihood of Miami having to turn to the air and play catch-up.
WR Marty Booker X Booker is a proven receiver that can make the occasional big play. That kind of inconsistency is not what most fantasy teams need in their starting WR.
TE Randy McMichael S2 One of the only tight ends with two solid fantasy performances under his belt already in the first two weeks of the season. An every week fantasy starter.
 
Cincinnati (2-0) at Chicago (1-1) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Palmer has been just as advertised this season, but this week brings his first tough defensive matchup. He'll be hard pressed to maintain his over 100 passer rating and 70+% completion rate this week against the aggressive Chicago pass rush.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 Johnson has picked up where he left off last season, consistent, solid but unspectacular. Perry is beginning to provide the more spectacular part of the backfield and don't be surprised to see both he and Perry in the backfield at the same time as that formation will help slow down the Bears' pass rush.
RB Chris Perry X Explosive and will keep getting touches as a complement to Johnson's between the tackles power running game. Last week he produced 80 yards on 13 touches and had an 86-yard catch called back on penalty. Isn't a reliable fantasy starter, but is well worth a spot on your bench if you have the roster space.
WR Chad Johnson S2 An every week stud but gets a slight downgrade this week due to the tough matchup this week. Both Johnson and ...
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2 ... T.J. remains fantasy starters as both have the ability to make rookie safety Chris Harris pay for the coverage choices he'll have to make. The key will be getting Palmer the protection he needs to find the open option down field.
WR Kevin Walter
Chris Henry (Q)
B With the attention the #1 and #2 receivers draw there is always some potential for the slot receiver in the Bengals' offense to make some noise. The problem is that it will never be consistent between Walter, Henry or even Washington when he returns from injury.
TE Matt Schobel
Reggie Kelly
B Don't let last week's TD fool you. The tight end just isn't a factor in the Cincinnati offense and both Schobel and Kelly will see action, making neither of much fantasy value.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Played well in the win last week and looks to develop into a serviceable signal caller for the Bears this season. His numbers will likely never make him a fantasy starter though.
RB Thomas Jones S2

If the first two games are an indication, the Bengals don't seem to have solved the run stopping problems from last season. They are allowing 5.4 YPC. Last week Jones' 158 yard, 2 TD performance will likely go down as his best this season. Benson will continue to work into the running game more, moving Jones into a change-of-pace / 3rd-down option. This increases his risk each week, but the matchup with the Bengals' run defense is favorable enough to keep him a fantasy starter for one more Sunday.

RB Cedric Benson X Got a lot of work last week (16 carries) thanks to the big lead and looked very good on most runs. The problem is that teams can key on Benson because they know the Bears are not using him on passing downs. They must mix it up more for him, and the offense, to have more success. He will continue to improve, but until the Bears commit to him he should only be in your starting lineup if you are in a bye/injury bind.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Muhammad is the obvious go-to receiver, and he should be. His abilities and height advantage over most opposing corners, who will be covering him solo as the defensive focus will be applying pressure to the Bears' rookie QB, make him a reliable target for the young Orton.
WR Justin Gage
Bernard Berrian
Mark Bradley
B

Through two games these three have a total of five catches. 'Nuf said.

TE Desmond Clark

U

Clark is a talented and reliable tight end. With the Bears running the ball as well as they have been, look for Clark to surprise this week. He should get a few extra looks as he sneaks behind the linebackers as they focus on stopping the run.
 

Cleveland (1-1) at Indianapolis (2-0)

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Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

After padding his fantasy stats last week against Green Bay, Dilfer is due for a decline against the much improved and aggressive Colts' defense on the road. Indy has allowed only a single touchdown in the first two weeks of the season and are second in the league with nine sacks.

RB Reuben Droughns X

The Colts are allowing over 100 YPG on the ground, so they can be run on. The only problem is the Browns are averaging only 75 rushing YPG on offense. Droughns will keep getting the carries until Suggs takes them away, but only being able to muster 2.5 YPC last week on Green Bay doesn't create much confidence this week.

RB William Green B Barely in the mix and likely out of it when Suggs returns.
RB Lee Suggs (Q) B Returned to practice last week but was inactive for the Green Bay game. He will hit the practice field again this week, but with the bye next week it's likely the Browns will hold him out again on Sunday, giving him another two weeks to heal.
WR Braylon Edwards S2

Despite the breakout game last week (3-107-TD) the rookie will continue to run as the Browns' #3 WR. That's actually a good thing since it means he will be typically be going against the opposing team's nickel corner, resulting in matchup advantages due to Edwards' size and speed.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

The ball is being spread around pretty well amongst all the receiving options. While that creates a nice balanced passing attack, it doesn't create much of a fantasy option for Northcutt or ...

WR Antonio Bryant X

... fellow starter Bryant.

TE Steve Heiden
Aaron Shea (Q)
X The Browns will continue to run a high-percentage passing attack and the tight end will be the benefactor at times. Case in point - Heiden's 6-104-2 TD effort last week. Well okay, it won't mean that kind of production for the tight end very often. Most of the time Heiden is going 1-5 or 2-19. Shea's possible return this week makes the situation all the more uncertain.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 After two weeks the Browns will bring the second worst defense in the league into the RCA Dome. There really isn't much more to say than that.
RB Edgerrin James S1

Ditto for Edge.

WR Marvin Harrison S1 Same goes here.
WR Reggie Wayne S1 And here.
WR Brandon Stokley S2 The third option is a worthy start this week for sure.
TE Dallas Clark S2 The only question mark fantasy-wise for the Colts this week. In his first week back from a concussion Clark was ineffective last week, catching only one of the three passes that came his way for 4 yards. Odds are good he'll bounce back this week and have a start-worthy performance.
 
Jacksonville (1-1) at NY Jets (1-1) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich (Q) X

Leftwich isn't expected to practice much this week in the hopes of getting his groin injury ready to go for Sunday. It's likely that even if he gives it a go this weekend that he'll be limited on the road in the Meadowlands. Not a good situation for the Jags or for your fantasy team.

RB Fred Taylor S2

Taylor ran hard last week and averaged over 5 YPC against the tough Colts' defense. With Leftwich possibly out or slowed, Taylor and the running game will be key on Sunday. The Jets like to stack the line of scrimmage and it will be important for Jacksonville to spread the defense out to create space for Taylor. If successful Taylor should continue his success running and get his first TD of the season.

WR Jimmy Smith X The question marks at quarterback creates a dilemma for the Jags #1 receiver. Smith is proving to still be a weapon in the passing game, but without a 100% Leftwich he's a risk this week. Especially facing CB Ty Law.
WR Reggie Williams X Williams is becoming a consistent down field option for the Jags passing attack. He's probably only good for 3-4 catches a game but will occasionally get you a score.
WR Matt Jones B As the converted college QB and the fantasy world is finding out, one spectacular pre-season catch does not equate to an effective NFL receiver once the games are for real.
TE Kyle Brady (P) B Don't ever start this guy.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington X Despite the numbers, the Jags showed last week to be one of the tougher defenses in the league. Pennington showed good improvement against Miami last week, but the Jags defense will pose an even tougher challenge.
RB Curtis Martin (Q) S2 Martin had 31 carries last week and that's too many. Sure enough he came away with a minor knee injury. All tests were negative, but that is surely a wake-up call that could lead to Martin losing some carries to his backup. What good is having Blaylock if you aren't going to put him to use. Tough matchup for Martin this week, but the Jags' loss of SS Donovin Darius actually turns this into a slight start recommendation. Very slight considering Martin is averaging just 2.5 YPC through the first two games and there is still a chance he sits this one out.
WR Laveranues Coles S2 The loss of SS Donovin Darius isn't a big factor since he was feared more for his run support than his pass coverage. Look for Coles and Pennington to continue to improve on their passing relationship as Coles holds a nice matchup advantage against CB Kenny Wright.
WR Justin McCareins   X

Improved and actually out-paced Coles in yardage last week. McCareins should continue to be a nice option for Pennington given his size and familiarity with the new offensive system run by OC Mike Heimerdinger.

TE Chris Baker X

From waiver wire hero to roster dud in a single week. Such is the life of an unproven and average-at-best tight end. The "TE friendly" Jets offense generated only a single catch for three yards as they didn't like the TE matchups with Miami. That should improve some this weekend against the Jags.

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