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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 4
Whitney Walters
September 29, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week
BUF at NO HOU at CIN SD at NE NYJ at BAL SF at ARI CHI, CLE,
DEN at JAC IND at TEN SEA at WAS DAL at OAK Mon 9 PM MIA, PIT
DET at TB PHI at KC STL at NYG MIN at ATL GB at CAR  
          (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
 
Buffalo (1-2) at New Orleans (1-2) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B New Orleans doesn't pose much of an obstruction, but the Losman led Buffalo passing game is ranked 31st in the league and will struggle through his first season under center. His only upside is his running, but not even that makes him a bye week filler for your team.
RB Willis McGahee S1 McGahee still looked a bit tentative hitting the hole last week, but 27-140-TD is a great fantasy performance any way you slice it. Look for more of the same this week against a Saints defense allowing over 125 rushing YPG.
WR Eric Moulds X

Through three games neither Moulds nor ...

WR Lee Evans X ... Evans have a TOTAL of 100 yards for the season or a touchdown. They get a slight uptick this week visiting the forgiving New Orleans defense, but still aren't good starts unless you are in a real bind.
WR Josh Reed X The Bills #3 WR is their leading receiver through three games. Running out of the slot on shorter routes has made him a Losman favorite since those are about the only routes he can hit somewhat consistently.
TE Mark Campbell B Three game, three catches, 18 yards. It's surprising that the TE isn't more active given how Losman and the passing game are struggling.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X Brooks will be under heavy pressure this week as the Bills will likely use several blitz packages to counter their injuries up front. That shouldn't give fantasy owners much confidence this week as Brooks continue to struggle against teams that can successfully pressure him in the pocket.
RB Deuce McAllister S1 The Bills are currently LAST in run defense, allowing a whopping 174 YPG on the ground. The loss of top LB Takeo Spikes won't make for much improvement. Look for the Saints to turn Deuce loose in this matchup.
WR Joe Horn (Q) S2 With the safety help needed in run support this week, Horn should see plenty of man coverage from CB Terrence McGee. Man coverage he should have little trouble taking advantage of as long as his ailing hamstring holds up.
WR Donte' Stallworth X This should be an interesting matchup. The improving Stallworth will line up facing CB Nate Clements on most downs. Stallworth is good at getting off the line but relies too much on speed to get open. The fast and aggressive Clements will match him stride for stride.
TE Ernie Conwell U Went catchless in week 2 but pulled in three nice grabs and a score last week. Brooks does look his way, and with all the attention Deuce, Horn and Stallworth get he can find openings in coverage. Could surprise this week against the under performing and banged up Bills defense.
 
Denver (2-1) at Jacksonville (2-1) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer X Only a modest fantasy effort in the KC blowout, but the rushing TD helped. The task doesn't get any easier this week facing the #2 pass defense in the league. Expect struggles with a short week and being on the road.
RB Mike Anderson S2

Anderson isn't a highlight reel runner, but he gets the job done in the Denver running game. And all indications are that that job is his until he breaks down, with all other backs on the roster just getting spot duty. Jacksonville is below average at stopping the run so far this season, so look for Anderson to have some success.

RB Tatum Bell (P) B Until Bell gets a chance to start he'll just fill a "change-of-pace" role in the Bronco offense, getting 5-8 carries a week.
WR Rod Smith (P) S2 Knocked out of the Monday nighter by some big hits but still led the team in receiving. Expected to be okay and play this week. Has another favorable CB matchup facing Kenny Wright.
WR Ashley Lelie X

Lelie continues to get the looks in the passing game, especially the deep ones. So far however he and Plummer are not in sync. They'll give it another try this week as Lelie should be able to get behind CB Rashean Mathis. But Mathis has the size and skill to play him tight, so don't expect much.

TE Jeb Putzier (P) S2 Putzier has been a fantasy disappointment so far this season, going without a single catch in week 3. This week things turn around. Look for the Broncos to target the TE more Sunday against a tough Jags defense who's main weakness is the hole left by injured SS Donovin Darius.
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich X

Took a beating against the Jets but came away with no further injury. The Jags showed their cards last week. They will run the ball as much as possible in the hopes of keeping their star QB on his feet through the end of the season. Even with limited opportunities he should be able to produce this week against a Denver secondary that will likely be down it's top cornerback.

RB Fred Taylor S2

You're reading that right. Taylor had 37 carries last week. Leftwich should be healthier for this matchup, but the Jags offense is going to center around Taylor until he runs out of gas. The fast linebacker trio of Gold, Wilson and Williams will not make it easy this week, but Taylor remains a starter, even if borderline.

WR Jimmy Smith S2 Without the overtime touchdown Smith would have been a big fantasy disappointment last week. Denver expects to be without CB Champ Bailey, meaning Smith will likely draw rookie Darrent Williams. Williams is good, but not good enough to cover the veteran Smith for 60 minutes.
WR Reggie Williams U Leftwich continues to look Williams way, and at times it looks like Williams will live up to his vast potential. At other times he does not. He has a chance to make a little fantasy noise this week. Doesn't have the size advantage over Denver's Lenny Walls, but Walls was demoted to nickel CB for a reason this season.
WR Matt Jones B Seems to improve each week and the Jags are still experimenting with the various ways to use his skills. Not likely to make much of a fantasy splash as the third option in the below average Jacksonville passing attack.
TE Whoever   B Multiple tight ends on a team that rarely throws to the tight end.
 
Detroit (1-1) at Tampa Bay (3-0) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B Harrington's last outing was a nightmare for Detroit, throwing five interceptions. Maybe the off week did them some good, maybe it didn't. Until the Detroit line can give him some time in the pocket, and the offense opens up and uses the talent it has at WR and TE, Joey is off limits to all fantasy owners.
RB Kevin Jones X Through two games it's become clear that the Detroit offensive line isn't getting Jones the holes needed to get far beyond the line of scrimmage. Now they must visit the top rush defense in the league. Most fantasy teams won't have the luxury of benching Jones this week, but don't expect much from him.
WR Roy Williams S2

Williams is Harrington's go-to receiver and looks to him often under pressure. Which is most of the time. Corners Ronde Barber and Reggie Kelly are tough but undersized. Williams will get some chances Sunday despite the poor play by his quarterback. Borderline starter this week.

WR Charles Rogers
Kevin Johnson
Mike Williams
B Rogers is the #2 WR but is receiving some challenge from rookie Williams. However, for now Williams stays the #4 option behind Kevin Johnson, who has established a hold on the #3 spot. Until one of these receivers emerges as a consistent option for Harrington they will be of little value to fantasy owners.
TE Marcus Pollard S2 Pollard still has some game left in that aging frame and has quickly become a vital part of the Lions' passing game.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese X Thanks to the strength of the running game Griese isn't having to do much to keep the Bucs offense moving. He hasn't topped 140 passing yards in either of the last two games. He has put up four touchdowns however. There's not much to suggest this matchup will be much different.
RB Carnell Williams (P) S1

This one isn't rocket science. Detroit's defense is below average and HC Gruden shows no signs of cutting back on the Caddy's workload. Whenever he gets into the Lions' secondary, look out.

RB Mike Alstott B The slight glimmer of hope Alstott showed in week 2 was dashed in week 3 when he stood on the sidelines and watched Williams get all the goal-line carries.
WR Michael Clayton S2 If the Lions have any hope of slowing down the Bucs running game they will have to bring extra help up to the line of scrimmage. That will be good news for the passing attack as both Clayton and ...
WR Joey Galloway S2 ... Galloway can stretch the field against an overmatched Detroit secondary that's down one CB in Fernando Bryant.
TE Alex Smith B Since his 2 TD week one performance, Smith has two catches for six yards. May have loads of talent, but until he's utilized in the play calling he's of no use to fantasy owners.
 

Houston (0-2) at Cincinnati (3-0)

Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X Don't underestimate the firing of OC Chris Palmer. Many inside the organization and on the team felt it was long overdue. The Bengal defense is emerging as a solid unit so don't expect Carr to suddenly light it up. But progress should be seen this week and down the road as they implement many of the scheme improvements worked on all pre-season that had been ignored in the first two games.
RB Domanick Davis S2

After two weeks and only 29 carries, fantasy owners should enjoy the dismissal of Houston's offensive coordinator. Newly promoted Joe Pendry's first order of business will be to get back to running the ball. The yards won't come easy against the Bengals, but Dom owners will be feeling better after week three than they've felt since their draft.

WR Andre Johnson X Johnson is one of the more talented receivers in the league. But he is falling victim to poor passing schemes and no #2 WR to draw coverage. The passing schemes should begin to improve now, but the trio of receivers on the other side of the formation are just not getting the job done.
WR

Corey Bradford
Jabar Gaffney
Derick Armstrong

B Showed some promise in week two as these receivers pulled in six catches. The team needs one of these three to emerge. If I was a betting man my money would be on Bradford. He's aging but still has a great combination of size and speed, and has a chemistry with Carr from the old expansion days.
TE Mark Bruener B The TE position for the Texans is a blocking position for the running game, as is evident by Bruener (a blocking TE) being the starter.
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S1

Palmer continues to shine and passed the "tough defense" test last week in Chicago. Houston doesn't pressure the QB well and is one of only two teams yet to make an interception. Palmer is a no-brainer this week.

RB Rudi Johnson (P) S2 Johnson may not put up the gaudy numbers of a fantasy stud, but he does have a positive that most fantasy owners long for. He's on a team committed to the run week in and week out. Even if they struggle the Bengals will keep feeding Rudi the ball, which means more opportunities to make something happen. Struggling shouldn't be an issue this week against a run defense ranked 31st and dealing with a shake-up that has benched LB Jason Babin.
RB Chris Perry U Didn't see much action last week against the tough Chicago defense that needed the pounding of Rudi Johnson. Perry will see more touches this week, maybe even enough to warrant a starting spot on your roster as a #3 RB or flex position if you are in a bye week pinch.
WR Chad Johnson S1 Johnson is an every week starter and gets an upgrade this week facing a shuffled Houston secondary with a new starting CB, Demarcus Faggins.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2 Last week's 2-13 performance was a disappointment. But T.J. did have a TD called back by penalty. Like Chad, should produce vs. the Texans' suspect secondary.
WR Chris Henry B Henry has staked his claim on the #3 WR slot in the Bengals offense and has eight catches for 96 yards and a score in the last two games. Very few #3 receivers warrant starter status, and Henry's not one this week.
TE Whoever B The tight end just isn't a factor in the Cincinnati offense and the playing time is being split by three players.
 
Indianapolis (3-0) at Tennessee (1-2) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

It must be close to hara-kiri time for all those fantasy owners that overpaid for Manning in their drafts. 350 yards and no touchdowns in the last two games. That's almost unthinkable for Manning and this offense. Despite the early setbacks Manning won't lose his S1 status this week thanks to the injury plagued and inexperienced Titans secondary.

RB Edgerrin James S1

Edge has started the season strong and has been the focal point of the offense for the past two weeks. The touchdown total is low (only one) but he's averaging 140 total yards a game. Look for more of the same this week as the Colts will keep pounding the ball if their opponents continue to drop 7 or 8 into coverage in an attempt to stop the passing attack.

WR Marvin Harrison S2 Teamed with Manning, Harrison is now part of the most productive passing duo in NFL history. Against the very suspect Titans' secondary that success will surely continue.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 As with Manning and Harrison, the secondary is ripe for the picking this weekend.
WR Brandon Stokley X The hardest hit by the offensive struggles has been #3 WR Stokley, with only three catches for 33 yards in the past two games. Until thee Colts get it going in the passing attack Stokley has no more value than a typical #3 WR on a typical NFL team.
TE Dallas Clark X Clark's value this season was based on being a part of the pass-happy Colt offense. The offensive struggles,an early season concussion and a slight case of the drops have hurt Clark's production (3-18 in two games). The offense may get it going this week, but production beyond the big three (Edge, Marvin and Wayne) may remain limited.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair X

McNair has had a nice start to the 2005 season and has held his own facing two top NFL defenses, PIT and BAL. This week he gets #3 in the form of the much improved and aggressive Colts. McNair will be under intense pressure all afternoon from Dwight Freeney and Co. so don't expect more than a 200 yard, single score performance this week.

RB Chris Brown S2 The Colts are not shutting down the run, but they have yet to allow a rushing touchdown through three games. With Henry gone Brown will now carry the full load which makes him a starter in most leagues this week despite the difficult matchup.
RB Travis Henry B Has been suspended for four weeks by the league.
WR Drew Bennett S2 Bennett is leading all Titan receivers but has yet to find the end-zone. Could sneak one in this week, but odds are that he'll have just an average game.
WR Tyrone Calico B

Has looked less tentative each week but has failed to step up and command the #2 spot opposite Bennett. He fumbled his only catch last week and McNair and the Titans are looking to other options right now in the passing game. Calico should recover from this bad start, but until he does he must take a spot on your fantasy bench.

WR Brandon Jones X Calico's struggles to return from knee surgery have opened the door for this talented rookie. Last week Jones walked right through it and may not look back. Was targeted nine times last week, only one shy of Bennett's team leading ten.
TE Ben Troupe
Erron Kinney
X Both tight ends are healthy now and producing, Kinney with yardage and Troupe with touchdowns. The Titans are using a lot of 2-TE formations and that will continue. While the position is a producer for the Titans, it's a very dicey situation for fantasy owners since Troupe and Kinney split the fantasy points. A situation made even worse this week since one will always be needed to help with pass protection against Dwight Freeney.

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