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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
 
Dallas (1-1) at San Francisco (1-1) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2

Well any doubt that was raised in week 1 can now be put to rest. The Niners' pass defense it horrible. The only positive is the pass rushing of Young and Peterson. If the Dallas offensive line can give Bledsoe time in the pocket he'll put up some nice numbers.

RB Julius Jones S1 For the Cowboys to succeed they can't get the ball in the hands of Jones enough. Regardless of what Parcells says about "overworking" his star back, he's not stupid. He'll feed Jones the ball, increasingly so through the air in the flats.
WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Keyshawn took a back seat to Glenn in last week's loss but Bledsoe should have little trouble finding him open against the very suspect CB Shawntae Spencer.

WR Terry Glenn X With the safeties having to be used in run support or to help cover TE Witten, Glenn will be in man-to-man coverage with CB Ahmed Plummer. A matchup that will provide some opportunities down field.
WR Patrick Crayton
Peerless Price
B Crayton is still the #3 WR for the Cowboys but Price is nipping at his heels. Both will see snaps but not enough to warrant a spot on your fantasy roster. TE Witten is the true #3 receiving option for Dallas.
TE Jason Witten S2 Major fantasy disappointment through two weeks, having just 5 catches and 47 yards. The Cowboy passing attack will keep spreading the ball around, but look for them to work Witten into the mix more this week.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Rattay B

The pressure brought by the Dallas front seven will be too much for Rattay and his offensive line to handle. He'll struggle again this week.

RB Kevan Barlow X Through two games Barlow is showing no signs of creating an effective running game for the Niners - 24 carries for 56 yards. It's his week 1 TD and some catches that are keeping him even slightly fantasy relevant. The task this week isn't any easier and Barlow will likely continue to struggle against the solid Dallas front seven.
RB Frank Gore B Has only carried the ball 8 times this season, but has averaged 4.0 YPC to Barlow's 2.3 YPC. The running game must be effective for the Niners to have any hope of competing this season. If Barlow continues to struggle it won't be long before SF has no choice but to give Gore a shot.
WR Brandon Lloyd (P) X Lloyd has become the Niners best option for stretching the field thanks more to his ability to make difficult catches than his deep speed. Was slowed last week by a slight hamstring strain and enters this week with a tweaked ankle injury that kept him out of Wednesday's practice. Not an encouraging sign for fantasy owners looking to fill a bye week void with Lloyd.
WR Arnaz Battle X The versatile receiver is arguably the teams most dangerous weapon, given his ability to work as both a receiver and quarterback. Look for the Niners to try to get Battle the ball in space so they can take advantage of his abilities after the catch.
TE Eric Johnson (D) B Still not expected to return to action and all other Niner tight ends are worthless fantasy-wise.
 
New England (1-1) at Pittsburgh (2-0) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X By most observations Brady had a poor outing last week in Carolina. He still managed 270 yards (high for him) and a TD. Protection will be the key this week facing the wide variety of blitz packages thrown at him by the Steelers. The Patriots should handle it well enough for Brady to have an average game.
RB Corey Dillon X

Only 99 yards through two games, a 2.7 YPC average. Dillon is finding little room to run. The Steelers are allowing over 100 YPG on the ground, but have yet to give up a rushing touchdown. Finding room to run on the road in Pittsburgh is a tall order.

WR

Deion Branch

S2

Branch remained Brady's prime target last week, a good sign for fantasy owners looking for a reliable NE receiver for their team. He did drop a couple of balls last week, highly unusual for him. The Pittsburgh corners are not the strength of their defensive unit and Branch should maintain his solid fantasy pace.

WR

David Givens
Troy Brown

X

Both Givens and Brown are going to produce in the Patriots passing attack. The problem for fantasy owners is the way NE spreads the ball around not only to it's receivers, but also to it's two tight ends. Both of these receivers are good only for deep leagues and for taking a chance on as bye week fillers.

TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson
B Both Graham and Watson are seeing plenty of playing time as the Patriots are running a lot of 2-TE formations. That will continue this week, the difference being that they will be used more in pass protection against the Steelers' blitzing linebackers.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (P) X

In two meetings with New England his rookie season, Roethlisberger put up about 200 yards and a pair of TDs in each. This year is looking even better for Big Ben. He's spreading the ball around and has yet to throw an interception. The Pats' defense is not living up to last year's version, but it is no TEN or HOU, the Steelers last two opponents. They are still injury depleted in the secondary but should be able to muster enough to keep the Steeler QB on many fantasy benches this week.

RB Willie Parker S2 New England is allowing over 100 YPG on the ground and gave up three rushing TDs last week (one questionable however). Parker and the league leading rushing attack will surely put them to the test this week.
RB Jerome Bettis (D)
Duce Staley (Q)
B Both are expected to miss another week but Staley may dress for this one.
WR Hines Ward S2

Ward bounced back with a vengeance last week and should be able to keep that going against a Patriot secondary stripped by injury.

WR Antwaan Randle El S2

Ever since Burress left everyone's questioned Randle El's ability to replace his big down field play. No one's questioning it now. He's averaging 32.8 yards on his five catches this season. Always a risky fantasy play when you have so few catches.

TE Heath Miller
Jerame Tuman
B Through two weeks the tight end position has a total of three catches. Yeah, things are gonna change this season for the Steelers' tight ends. If you believed that on draft day then I have some land down... never mind.
 
NY Giants (2-0) at San Diego (0-2) Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

Manning is making strides in his second season. So far it's been enough to keep the Giants winning but not enough to make him a fantasy starter.

RB Tiki Barber S2 Increased his touches from week 1, and his fantasy production as well. Sure, he lost that one goal-line carry to Jacobs, but he also received two of his own and a reception that resulted in one of his touchdowns. A solid fantasy starter every week.
RB Brandon Jacobs B Only has fantasy value in TD-only leagues at this point.
WR Plaxico Burress S2 Manning-to-Burress is going to produce this season. 21 of Manning's 47 pass attempts so far this season have been aimed at Burress. Burress also had his second TD of the year called back on a penalty last week. Expect more of the same this week as Plax will pose problems for CB Quentin Jammer who struggles with big, physical receivers.
WR Amani Toomer B

Has lost a step but can still produce. Problem is he's not getting the looks as he's third in the receiver food chain behind Burress and Shockey.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 The ankle injury didn't slow him down much last week so Shockey should shine Sunday night as the Chargers won't have an answer for him when the Giants split him out wide or in the slot.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees X The Giants' pass defense has been about as bad as their run defense has been good. But while they've given up a ton of yardage, they also have 5 interceptions and apply good pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The 2004 storybook season is over for Brees and a new book is being written. So far it's not as good a read.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Has been held to just 124 yards rushing by DAL and DEN, neither of which are as good at stopping the run as the Giants. Also of concern are the zero catches LT has through two games. That's right... ZERO. Nineteen touches a game just isn't going to do it. If the Chargers want to right this 0-2 season they need to get the ball in the hands of their most lethal weapon more. Oh... and block better.
WR Keenan McCardell X Went 4-for-54 last week. A far cry from 9-123-2 TD week 1 effort. But a lot closer to his typical performance.
WR Eric Parker X Shows a lot of promise, but with Gates back in the mix he's too far down the progression to be a consistent fantasy producer. Will likely tease fantasy owners with a big game every so often however.
TE Antonio Gates S1 Looks like he may pick up right where he left off in 2004. Had a team high six catches last week for 80 yards. Most of those coming in tight coverage.
 
Kansas City (2-0) at Denver (1-1) Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

Has yet to throw a touchdown this season. The odds of that continuing are pretty slim. Lit Denver up for 243 yards and 3 TDs in their last meeting.

RB Priest Holmes S2

As expected, the days of Holmes cranking up stats on 25-30 touches a game are coming to an end. But even with his touches dropping to the 20-25 per game level he remains the back that the Chiefs call on in critical situations and at the goal-line, helping to maintain his fantasy starter status each week.

RB Larry Johnson X Again only received nine carries last week. Without the TD it would have been a typical backup RB performance and warrant no fantasy attention. I've heard many advise that both Priest and Johnson are fantasy starters every week. Sorry, but I ain't buyn' that. If you want to plug a back into your fantasy lineup that's getting under 10 touches a game, go right ahead. More than likely there's a better option on your roster.
WR Eddie Kennison S2 Kennison seems to keep causing Denver quite a bit of pain since he quit on them two years ago and jumped ship to Kansas City. More a byproduct of the cornerback attention Gonzo draws than his actual ability. Nonetheless, look for it to continue this week.
WR Samie Parker B Of the receivers behind Kennison, Parker is showing the most promise. Will always be limited however to just the scraps of offense left over from Priest, LJ, Kennison and Gonzo.
TE Tony Gonzalez X Denver, with a lot of help from CB Champ Bailey, limited Gonzalez to just 61 yards on five catches in two games last season. Expect to see more of the same Monday night.
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2 Plummer hasn't been forcing the action this season but only has a single touchdown to show for his efforts. Look for him to double that total on Monday night. There are matchup advantages to exploit at all the receiving positions against the Chiefs.
RB Mike Anderson (P) X Anderson played through the pain of his rib injury last week and totaled 90 yards on 22 touches. He'll have to do the same on Monday night against a much improved KC defense that is currently ranked 4th in stopping the run, allowing just 64 YPG.
RB Tatum Bell (Q) B Bell suffered an ankle sprain during a kickoff last week and didn't get a single carry. If he's unable to practice much this week don't be surprised if the Broncos deactivate him since they just resigned Quentin Griffin for RB depth.
RB Ron Dayne X Was actually productive with the 8 carries he received last week on Denver's winning drive. That will of course mean nothing this week. He could get double the work or he could get half. These are the Broncos after all, and anything is possible this season in the backfield.
WR Rod Smith S2 Showing no signs of slowing down and led the Broncos in receiving again last week. Should draw CB Dexter McCleon in coverage, a matchup he can win consistently.
WR Ashley Lelie X

Lelie has a height advantage on CB Patrick Surtain, but Surtain's weakness is his inability to match physical receivers with physical coverage. Shouldn't be a problem with Lelie who is not a strong, physical receiver.

TE Jeb Putzier S2 Putzier's stats where hurt last week due to his 36-yard TD being nullified by penalty. He continues to show he's becoming one of the best at his position and a valuable part of the Denver passing attack each week.

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