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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
CAR at MIA NO at MIN   DAL at SF Mon 9 PM
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
New Orleans (1-1) at Minnesota (0-2) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2 Lost in all the hand wringing about the Vikings' offense is the fact that the retooled defense is not proving to be much of an improvement over last year's version. They are allowing 268 YPG and only one team has given up more TDs through the air. Look for Brooks to remain a solid fantasy starter in the matchup.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 McAllister carried the ball only 15 times last week as the Saints spent a good portion of the game playing from behind. That shouldn't be the case this Sunday against the league's worst run defense through two games.
WR Joe Horn S2 The cornerback tandem of Fred Smoot and Antoine Winfield may have the name cache, but they have yet to produce on the field. They may improve through the season, but this week both Horn and ...
WR Donte' Stallworth S2 ... Stallworth should have an advantage that the Saints will surely take advantage of down the field.
TE Ernie Conwell B An option for Brooks at times, but went catchless last week. They did look his way once in the end-zone, so he holds some minimal value. Will rarely, if ever, be a fantasy starter.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2 Panic? It may be getting close to that. As odd as it is to say, Culpepper looks lost out there. Many will claim it's the loss of Moss. The more likely source however is the loss of OC Scott Linehan and all-pro center Matt Birk. It was also revealed this week that he's running on a bum knee. The upside is good though as all that's needed to right this ship is for CPep to cut way down on the turnovers. That's doable and keeps him, for at least one more week, at a fantasy starter status.
RB Michael Bennett B Just when Bennett seemed to get rolling last week he fumbled twice and was parked on the bench for the rest of the game. That could be it for the ever-injured Bennett. Which isn't all that bad because...
RB Mewelde Moore S2 ... it means more time for Moore, the far superior back. Moore came in last week and looked good on his 8 carries. Look for at least double that this week against the Saints and possibly for Moore to get the start. If he does then he's a solid start for your fantasy team as well as New Orleans struggles to stop the run.
RB Moe Williams B Got the start in week 1 then got a single touch last week as the Vikings played from behind most of the game. Will still get action and is likely to remain the goal-line back. But with such an undefined role in the running game right now he can't be relied on.
WR Nate Burleson (D) B Suffered a sprained ligament in his knee last week and isn't expected to play Sunday.
WR Travis Taylor S2 Taylor was the most active Viking receiver last week, getting 13 looks. With Burleson likely out that will continue this week and he should produce against the average New Orleans secondary.
WR Marcus Robinson X

Robinson's activity will increase this week and so will his fantasy production. Culpepper is under more pressure this season and should look to the tall Robinson on short routes.

WR Troy Williamson U Could surprise this weekend with the added game reps. The Viking offense works best when they can stretch the field vertically (i.e. Randy Moss). The rookie Williamson was brought in just for that task and it may be time to get him going.
TE Jermaine Wiggins X

Always active in the passing attack, but not a big touchdown producer.

Oakland (0-2) at Philadelphia (1-1) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X Everyone knows Collins can be rattled if pressured. Everyone. You can bet DC Jim Johnson will be bringing so many blitzes that Collins' head will be spinning. If you have a good matchup with your backup QB, this is a good week to give him a try.
RB Lamont Jordan S2 The Raiders will seek to establish the running game in the hopes of slowing down the aggressive Philly defense. They have been beat on the ground at times through the first two games, but overall it will be tough for Jordan to produce good fantasy numbers. His use in the passing attack (team leading 11 catches) will help his cause.
WR Randy Moss S2

Most difficult matchup for Moss in this short season. His struggles will come as a result of the pressure Collins will be under as much as it will be caused by the CB duo of Brown and Sheppard.

WR Jerry Porter U

Collins' favorite target last week, but has the same matchup negatives as Moss this week. However, with Moss receiving constant double coverage Porter will have opportunities to shine if he can beat the single man-coverage he'll receive most of the game.

WR Doug Gabriel (Q)
Alvis Whitted  

With Curry lost for another season it'll be up to the injured Gabriel or barely effective Whitted to fill the #3 WR role for the Raiders. Don't expect much from either.

TE Courtney Anderson X

Two touchdowns week 1, zero catches week 2. Will be somewhere in between this week, but on the low end of the scale.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (Q) S2 The bruised chest appears fine and shouldn't be a problem this weekend given the Raiders inability to apply pressure on the quarterback. The only question mark is the groin injury to Terrell Owens. Without Owens, McNabb's fantasy value takes an obvious hit.
RB Brian Westbrook S1 Westbrook is dangerous any time he touches the ball. If the Eagles get him 22-25 touches in this game he'll have little trouble going off on the suspect Oakland linebackers. They are oversized and lack the speed and quickness to handle Westbrook out of the backfield.
WR Terrell Owens (P) S2 Looked in sync with McNabb last week but tweaked his nagging groin injury. He'll be limited in practice this week but is expected to play Sunday. Oakland provides a great matchup advantage for Owens, so if he can play effectively he'll easily produce for your fantasy team.
WR Greg Lewis (P)
Reggie Brown  
B Thanks to the blowout Lewis actually found the end-zone last week, but he still only had four catches for 39 yards. Both Lewis and Brown have the talent to be a solid #2 WR option for Philly. With Westbrook, TO and LJ however, 4-40 games with the occasional TD are about all you can expect from these options.
TE L.J. Smith S2 The young Smith looks to be coming of age in this his third season with Philly. He should be a solid fantasy starter at TE most weeks.
Tampa Bay (2-0) at Green Bay (0-2) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese S2 Griese had his streak of 12 straight games with a TD broken last week. Should have no trouble starting a new one this Sunday against a Packers defense that has allowed five touchdowns already this season, tied for second worst in the league.
RB Carnell Williams (P) S2

Outstanding start to his rookie campaign and would be an easy S1 grade this week if it wasn't for the foot injury that makes him a slight risk. If the injury doesn't slow him down he'll use his deceptive speed through the hole to hurt the Packers all afternoon.

RB Mike Alstott U What do you know, there was an Alstott sighting last weekend. Carnell Williams is a strong runner and can handle goal-line duty. So it's unclear how many opportunities Alstott will get this season. But with the Caddy running with a possible low tire this week Alstott may sneak another score in.
WR Michael Clayton S2 With the running game going Clayton will see some single man-coverage against the Packers. That's bad for Green Bay but good for his fantasy owners.
WR Joey Galloway U Galloway didn't catch a ball last week but still stretches defenses with his down field speed. Look for him to get behind the Green Bay secondary for a couple of big gains Sunday as their safeties tend to cheat up for run support.
TE Alex Smith X The tight end is definitely the third option in the Tampa passing schemes. Some weeks that will mean a few chances for the talented but inexperienced rookie. Other weeks it will not. Last week equaled one of those nots. Such is the life of a rookie TE in the NFL.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre X Favre kind of bounced back last week from his week 1 nightmare performance, but it took a fourth quarter comeback attempt to create a fantasy worthy effort. It only gets more difficult facing the always tough Tampa Bay defense. They should have little trouble shutting down the running game, leaving the offense on Favre's shoulders against the very solid Bucs secondary. Not a good recipe for success.
RB Ahman Green X Green and the Packer running game have lost a step and the Bucs are allowing a league low 40 rushing YPG through the first two. A bad fantasy combination. Dating back to last season Green hasn't hit 100 yards rushing and scored only once in the past nine games.
WR Donald Driver S2 Driver has the down field speed and the experience to find the open spots in Tampa Bay's cover-2 schemes.
WR Robert Ferguson X

Ferguson showed last week that he does have the skill and ability to be a solid possession receiver for Green Bay. His impact opportunities will be very limited this week however against the Tampa Bay CB tandem of Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly.

WR Antonio Chatman
Terrence Murphy
B Chatman got the starting nod but Murphy also saw time at the #3 WR spot for the Packers last week. Look for more of the same this week, only without the 7 catches for over 100 yards.
TE Bubba Franks (Q) B Franks was disappointing last week and suffered a bruised knee that may keep him from playing for the first time in his career.
Tennessee (1-1) at St. Louis (1-1) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair X

McNair looks poised to have a nice comeback year following the injury shortened 2004 season. The Rams prefer to bring eight men up to the line of scrimmage to stop the run, so McNair will have chances down field if his receivers can consistently beat St. Louis' man coverage.

RB Chris Brown (Q) X Matches up fairly well with the Rams defense, but St. Louis is allowing only 58 YPG on the ground so far this season and Brown will be a risk due to the concussion he received last week.
RB Travis Henry B Got some extra work last week and looked okay in putting up 62 yards on the Ravens. If Brown isn't hindered by the after effects of the concussion, Henry will go back to his part-time role in the running game.
WR Drew Bennett (Q) S2 Bennett has yet to show last season's form, but the wait may be over. Will see a lot of man-on-man coverage from the Rams and Bennett has a big height advantage against the shorter St. Louis cornerbacks.
WR Tyrone Calico U

Looked better in week 2. Will get plenty of single man-coverage this weekend and as with running mate Bennett, has a big height advantage over the St. Louis corners. Should surprise with a productive fantasy effort this week.

WR Brandon Jones B The promising rookie is getting about half of Calico's snaps at the #2 WR spot and all the snaps in 3-WR sets. Not a fantasy factor yet, but shows potential.
TE Ben Troupe
Erron Kinney
X Following last week's production drop-off, the Titans will look to get their tight ends more involved this week when the Rams throw zone coverage schemes at them. Unfortunately for fantasy owners both Kinney and Troupe will split the production.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1

Bulger needs better protection as he's been sacked 11 times already this season. The Titans bring only an average pass rush and the secondary is no match for Holt, Bruce and company.

RB Steven Jackson S2

After getting gouged by PIT in week 1 the Titans held Jamal Lewis to just nine yards rushing last week. On any other team Jackson is a no-brainer fantasy stud. On the Rams, lead by the pass-happy Mike Martz, he's a fantasy stud that leaves owners hoping each week that this will be the week he gets 25 carries.

WR Torry Holt S1 This one isn't that complicated. The Titans' secondary is simply no match for Holt.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 The development of Curtis and McDonald has made Bruce a situational fantasy starter this season. Well the Titans' terrible secondary presents one of those situations.
WR Kevin Curtis (P)
Shaun McDonald

Both Curtis and McDonald are getting opportunities this season as the Rams are using more 3-WR and 4-WR sets. But as with most receivers beyond the team's starters, those opportunities are not consistent.

TE Miscellaneous TE B Forget about the Rams' tight ends.
Arizona (0-2) at Seattle (1-1) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner X Thanks to an ineffective running game and playing from behind, Warner has put up big yardage numbers this season. But the Arizona offense has yet to score a touchdown. Look for the Cardinals to put Warner in the shotgun more to help with protecting him and for him to continue to be fairly effective. If they can start scoring touchdowns Warner would make a solid fantasy backup.
RB J.J. Arrington B The offensive line is killing Arrington's chances this season. His running style isn't suited to making his own running lanes and he's been awful in blitz pickups. Both key skills behind terrible line blocking. Even if he returns this week from the stomach virus that kept him out last week, he's likely now behind Shipp on the depth chart. He'll still see time this week if able.
RB Marcel Shipp X Shipp is a more physical runner that can at least make some positive things happen behind the struggling Cardinals' offensive line. May get the start this week.
WR Anquan Boldin S2 As expected Boldin took the lead last week and that will be the case most weeks. The Seahawks love to blitz which will present matchup advantages for the play making receiver.
WR Larry Fitzgerald S2 Will remain second fiddle to Boldin most weeks, but the two carries for 25 yards last week are a nice little bonus for his fantasy owners. As with Boldin this week, with the blitz-happy Seattle defense there will be one-on-one matchup advantages for Fitzgerald to take advantage of.
WR Bryant Johnson B Simply not taking advantage of his opportunities. Has been a passing target 18 times in two weeks and has only four catches for 42 yards.
TE Whoever B Eric Edwards, Teyo Johnson, Adam Bergen, whoever. Just ignore the Arizona tight ends until on emerges. Johnson is the favorite to take the lead eventually.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 This is an easier matchup than last week's against the Falcons, but not by much. Still, Hasselbeck looked great last week and should repeat that performance at home on Sunday.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 Now that's more like it. After only 14 carries in the opener, Alexander doubled that last week to his owner's delight. No reason to think it won't be more of the same this weekend.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Interesting matchup this week. CB Antrel Rolle is at his best in aggressive bump-and-run, man-on-man coverage. Jackson's strengths, quickness and precise route-running, make him difficult to jam and play tight coverage on. Look for the veteran to teach the aggressive rookie a few things Sunday.
WR Bobby Engram X

Engram is making the most of his opportunities in Seattle. He starts as the #2 WR opposite Jackson, but moves into the slot in 3-WR formations creating matchup problems for opponents with his quickness.

WR Peter Warrick B Should see some action this weekend. Keep an eye on him as the slot receiver can make some noise on occasion in this offense.
TE Jerramy Stevens X Will struggle this week as the Cardinals have the talent in linebacker Karlos Dansby to cover Stevens.

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