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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
 
Philadelphia (2-1) at Kansas City (2-1) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (P) S2 Banged up and playing in pain, McNabb was able to rebound from a terrible first half last week, throwing for 266 yards and 2 TDs in the second half. While this is going to be a lingering concern for McNabb owners, this weekend's matchup should be a high scoring affair and the QB will have his fair share of the action. But it's becoming clear that McNabb may be one big hit from taking a place on the sidelines.
RB Brian Westbrook S1 The "improved" KC defense continues to move down the defensive rankings. They do tend to play better at home, but Westbrook is a fantasy monster right now and a must start every week.
WR Terrell Owens (P) S1 Like McNabb, Owens will likely be playing the season with a nagging injury. His groin/abdominal injury isn't as bad however, but he still carries a bit of risk each week. Thankfully for his owners he's playing another secondary this week that he won't have to strain much to beat.
WR Greg Lewis U Lewis' 15 catches, 153 yards and a touchdown through three games is better than most three game stretches the Philly #2 WR has had in a while. If he continues to improve he could become a viable fantasy starter as he and McNabb take advantage of the extra coverage Owens receives.
WR Reggie Brown B The rookie isn't the boon many thought he might be this year. Not surprising as the #3 WR isn't going to do much in an offense loaded with weapons.
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 as he's become a consistent part of the passing attack. Consistency is a huge bonus for a fantasy tight end.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green X

If OT Willie Roaf is unable to make it back for this game, what Denver did to Green on Monday night will be a picnic compared to what the blitz-crazed Eagles will do to him.

RB Priest Holmes X

Holmes needed garbage time just to show up in the week 3 fantasy rankings. Now comes the Eagles, who have given up just 79 total rushing yards in the past two games. If Roaf returns this week it will help, but only enough to make him a borderline starter this week at best.

RB Larry Johnson B If your fantasy team is trying to live with his 8-10 touches a week, it's going to die with his 8-10 touches a week as well.
WR Eddie Kennison X Kennison's off to a decent start to the 2005 season but is struggling in the TD department along with his quarterback. That's not likely to improve much this week facing the very solid CB duo of Sheldon Brown and Lito Sheppard.
WR Samie Parker B Seems to have established himself as the #2 WR option for the Chiefs. Traditionally in this offense that's worth the occasional fantasy start given the right matchup. This week isn't one of those.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2 Philly sees a lot of quality tight ends in the NFC East (Shockey, Witten, Cooley) and that experience will surely help SS Brian Dawkins on Sunday against one of the league's best. Gonzo is still a load to handle however and should provide enough production to warrant starter status here. But just barely.
 
San Diego (1-2) at New England (2-1) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees X Against the bad Giants' pass defense last week Brees had success but only a so-so fantasy performance. This week he must take advantage of the WR mismatches against a decimated secondary focused on LT and Gates. There will be opportunities for big plays down field.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Now that's what a #1 fantasy pick is supposed to do, win games for his owners with the occasional huge performance. Still didn't do much in the passing game but the six receptions is a welcome sight in the box score. Some changes made on the offensive line last week seemed to help up front, but it's going to be tough to get much going against a NE defense that held the Steeler backs to just 62 yards last week.
WR Keenan McCardell S2 McCardell is having a great start to the season and has become a Brees favorite. With the focus on stopping LT and the running game and Gates in the passing game, opportunities for both McCardell and ...
WR Eric Parker U ... Parker to make fantasy owners happy will be available. Get them both in your starting lineups this week.
TE Antonio Gates S1 SS Rodney Harrison's replacement, Guss Scott, is small by NFL standards (5-10, 205). He and the Pats' linebackers will have their hands full all day with Gates.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X

At times Brady seems to be on his way to finally taking that step from good NFL quarterback to good fantasy quarterback. After four years of averaging just 220 YPG, Brady has started this season averaging 316. His TD rate (3 in 3 games) is still holding him back however. Due to the injury to LT Matt Light, Brady's blind side will be protected by two rookies now. Look for the Chargers to use that to their advantage.

RB Corey Dillon S2

Entered the game last week averaging 2.7 YPC and left the game averaging 2.7 YPC. Without the four touchdowns this season Dillon would be a fantasy bust through three games. The offensive line troubles aren't helping matters. But as long as Dillon gets the touches (24+ in two of the three games) he remains a fantasy factor for most teams.

WR

Deion Branch

S2

Branch remains Brady's prime target despite being out-caught last week by Givens, and is off to the best start of his career. Hasn't scored since week one so he's due.

WR

David Givens

X

Givens can produce in the Patriots passing attack, as his 9-130 effort showed last week. His quickness off the line and size will help him succeed against CB Drayton Florence this weekend.

WR Troy Brown B Outside of his long catch in week 2, Brown has done little and remains behind #2 WR Givens in the New England receiving food chain.
TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson
B

The ball's going everywhere lately except to the tight ends. Graham and Watson have combined for only three catches in the past two games. Graham's one catch was for a score, but it looking like neither can be relied on now as fantasy options. They may also be called upon more for pass protection as the rookies on the O-Line struggle.

 
Seattle (2-1) at Washington (2-0) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Hasselbeck is at his best when he can operate out of a comfortable pocket. That comfort will be challenged this weekend by the Redskins, but the Seattle offensive line should enable Hasselbeck to succeed.
RB Shaun Alexander S2 Bang! Just like that Alexander is on pace for over 1900 yards and 26 touchdowns. The Redskins will pose much more of a challenge this week as they are allowing only 65 YPG on the ground and have given up a single touchdown through two games. Look for Alexander's pace to take a hit this week.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Jackson has had his way with a couple of rookies the past two weeks but faces a much tougher matchup this week in Shawn Springs and Walt Harris. Both are solid cover corners.
WR Bobby Engram X

Engram has become a solid #2 WR for Seattle. His production is helped by his move into the slot in some 3-WR formations. The attention drawn by TE Stevens also helps free him up on crossing routes over the middle.

WR Joe Jurevicius
Peter Warrick (Q)
B The #3 WR isn't going to produce much in this offense as the TE plays a strong role and Alexander is the man in the red-zone.
TE Jerramy Stevens U Stevens has rewarded fantasy owners with some consistent but unspectacular production, three catches a game and one touchdown. That production should continue this week as the Redskins won't have an answer for Stevens' unique combination of size and speed.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell X Don't expect two long late game touchdowns to save his fantasy bacon every week. Heck, it's doubtful that will happen again any week. 200 yards and a touchdown. That's what you'll get from Brunell most weeks.
RB Clinton Portis S2 Portis isn't setting the fantasy world on fire yet this season. But it's only been two games, one good and one average. The Seattle defense is nothing to write home about and Portis has yet to score. Expect that to not be the case after this weekend.
RB Ladell Betts B Has looked good in two games but his only fantasy impact will be the touches he takes from Portis each week. Betts' fumble in their last game may cut down on those touches.
WR Santana Moss S2

It's speed and finesse against speed and finesse in this matchup. Moss is leading the league with a 28.3 YPC average and his battle with CB Andre Dyson will likely maintain that average.

WR David Patten
James Thrash
B Both Patten and Thrash are seeing time opposite Moss. Neither are a fantasy option.
TE Chris Cooley X Cooley worked well with QB Patrick Ramsey last season, but so far he and Brunell haven't developed a strong working relationship. That is critical for Cooley's fantasy success as his strength was the six touchdowns he scored last season.
 
St. Louis (2-1) at New York Giants (2-1) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger (P) S1

With Jackson slowed last week by injury the attention turned to Bulger and the passing game. He responded with a near 300-yard, 3 TD performance. Brees picked the Giants' secondary apart last week and Bulger should do the same this Sunday, even down one starting WR.

RB Steven Jackson (Q) X

It's been revealed that Jackson suffered a cracked sternum last week. According to the team his ability to play will depend on the amount of pain he can withstand. Not exactly a comforting situation for fantasy owners relying on this bruising runner. The Giants have a suspect run defense, but Jackson is a big risk this week.

RB Marshall Faulk U Faulk has looked great when given opportunities so far this season. He's averaging 6.4 YPC and is catching the ball well out of the backfield. Due to the uncertainty of Jackson's injury, Faulk may start seeing more touches starting this week. If he happened to not be drafted in your league, pick him up.
WR Torry Holt S1 Another week, another massive mismatch for Holt to exploit.
WR Isaac Bruce (D) B So far the Rams are being tight lipped on Bruce's turf toe injury. Early reaction after the game was not good and silence from teams is typically not a good sign. Showed up as doubtful on the NFL Injury Report so odds are good he won't play. Even if he's able to go this week he's likely to be very limited.
WR Kevin Curtis S2 Curtis is showing great improvement this season and is scary fast in the open field. With Bruce listed as doubtful Curtis will likely get the start for the Rams this week. He should get the start for your fantasy team as well.
WR Shaun McDonald X

Since his 7-catch opener, has done little in his #4 WR role. With that role likely changing to a #3 WR role this week his numbers should improve.

TE B. Manumaleuna (P) B Left Sunday's game with a sprained knee. Did anyone even notice?
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

Manning had the best game of his short career last week and this week could bring more of the same. The Rams' pass defense is ranked 27th in the league statistically, but they aren't even that good. Congrats lil' Manning, you just earned your first S2 rating.

RB Tiki Barber S2

If the passing game keeps improving you can expect Barber's overall numbers to continue their decline. The Rams can stop the run with new linebackers Chris Claiborne and Dexter Coakley and the Giants' offensive line will need to do a better job run blocking to get Barber into the secondary where he can do some damage.

RB Brandon Jacobs B Carried the ball only once last week and gained zero yards.
WR Plaxico Burress S2 Missed some first quarter action last week because he missed some team meetings, but still had a nice game. He and Shockey are proving to be a solid 1-2 punch in the passing game. The corners for St. Louis stand all of 5' 10" so look for plenty of jump balls down field and fade routes in the end-zone this week.
WR Amani Toomer X

Toomer is the third option in the Giants' passing attack and most weeks that's not a fantasy worthy option.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Shockey is well on his way to a fantasy season most expected to see starting in 2002. He's developing a good chemistry with his young QB and if he stays healthy look for this to be the best season of his career.
 
New York Jets (1-2) at Baltimore (0-2) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brooks Bollinger B It's bad enough the third-stringer getting thrown into action this week, but it's on the road against Baltimore. One word... UGLY
RB Curtis Martin B The chips are starting to stack up against Martin this season. Poor line blocking. No more 2-TE sets that provided extra blocking up front. A dinged knee. And now taking handoffs from the third string quarterback. Oh yeah, and visiting the Ravens this week.
WR Laveranues Coles
Justin McCareins
B Until the dust settles in New York the passing game is strictly off limits.
TE Chris Baker X

If Baker can free up from pass protection duties he may actually catch a few dump offs from Brooks "deer in headlights" Bollinger this week.

Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Anthony Wright U Wright struggled in week 2 against the suspect Titans' secondary. That happened to him the last time he had to lead the Ravens. Then he ripped off five wins in six games and was a fantasy sleeper on occasion. History could repeat itself this week as the Jets will surely dare the Ravens to beat them through the air.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 Lewis hasn't looked quite himself through the first two weeks and many speculate he's still bothered by the ankle injury he couldn't properly rehab while incarcerated. The bye weeks should have helped some and the Ravens must get back to running the ball to take the pressure off their pair of bad quarterbacks. Look for Lewis to get it going this week facing the Jets' 29th ranked run defense.
WR Derrick Mason S2 As Wright improves his play, Mason's numbers will follow. Mason proved to be the only reliable receiver for Wright in week 2. With the running game going again Mason should see plenty of single coverage, but that single coverage will be in the form of one Ty Law. Mason is a borderline starter this week.
WR Mark Clayton X

The rookie is showing some promise and can be dangerous after the catch. Running out of the slot this week he has a mismatch with the nickel corner Derrick Strait.

WR Clarence Moore B Still the starting WR but has more drops than catches in two games. May be overtaken by rookie Mark Clayton soon.
TE

Todd Heap

S2 Is established as the prime TE target for the Ravens. Has struggled in the past working with QB Wright, but seemed in sync with him week 2. The more they can work the ball to Heap in short yardage situations, the more it opens up the running game by pulling the safety out of run support.

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