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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

IDP Report - Week 5
Brent Clement
October 6, 2005

New Orleans @ Green Bay

New Orleans finally has a home game and they mop the floor with the Buffalo Bills in Week 4. Saints DL Charles Grant got back on track with 7 solo tackles and a sack, and showed everyone who was thinking of moving him, they ought to think twice. The Packers are 0-4 for the first time in the Brett Favre era, yet he isn’t the problem in Green Bay. Green Bay doesn’t play defense outside of LB Nick Barnett, and he can’t make every tackle, though 10 solo and 3 assists were impressive.

New Orleans is playing inconsistent defense, but they are putting a lot of pressure on the QB, and its paying off. Grant isn’t likely to duplicate his performance from last week, but DB Dwight Smith sure could. Green Bay will have its hands full with the Saints offense even if Joe Horn doesn’t play. Of course Nick Barnett could have a huge game meeting Deuce head on every other play.

Best Bets – New Orleans - DLCharles Grant - Green BayLB Nick Barnet

Solid plays – New Orleans - DBDwight Smith - Green BayDB Nick Collins

Others to Consider – New Orleans - DLDarren Howard - Green BayLB Robert Thomas

Baltimore @ Detroit

Baltimore hopes it can get out of its own way on offense enough to let its defense win some games for them. The Ravens OL is simply terrible right now, and Jamal Lewis can’t get going. Detroit doesn’t figure to have the pass rush the Jets had a week ago vs. Baltimore, but their defense should be good enough to stop Anthony Wright and the vertically challenged Ravens from finding the end zone, making this a close game for 4 quarters.

In this game look for Detroit to try and get Kevin Jones going, and Ray Lewis should have a big game. The size of the Lions WR’s should create problems for the Ravens DB’s and force S Ed Reed and S Will Demps to spend more time in coverage. Lions LB Earl Holmes and Boss Bailey could have nice days as well, if Baltimore can hold Detroit to Field goals instead of touchdowns.

Best Bets – BaltimoreLB Ray Lewis - DetroitLB Earl Holmes

Solid plays – BaltimoreDB Ed Reed - DetroitDB Kenoy Kennedy

Others to Consider –BaltimoreDB Will Demps - DetroitLB Boss Bailey

Chicago @ Cleveland

Chicago coming off its Bye week saw its QB get liquored up and thrown out of a bar. Not exactly what HC Lovie Smith had in mind when he gave his team time off during the bye week. Cleveland also on bye, was able to stay out of the headlines and should be ready to go this weekend.

Chicago has been impressive on defense this season, and LB Brian Urlacher and DB Mike Brown have been playing at a pro-bowl level. Cleveland starting MLB Andra Davis has been one of the best linebackers in the league through the first 3 weeks, before their bye. Expect both teams playmakers to show up in this regional contest.

Best Bets – ChicagoLB Brian Urlacher - ClevelandLB Andra Davis.

Solid plays – ChicagoLB Lance Briggs - ClevelandLB Ben Taylor

Others to Consider – ChicagoDB Mike Brown - ClevelandGary Baxter

Miami @ Buffalo

Miami has been a pleasant surprise, and that can be attributed to new Head Coach Nick Saban and his team’s preparation each week. In week 3, Miami knocked off Carolina, and held the Panthers leading rusher Stephen Davis to 36 yards on 16 attempts. Buffalo was whipped last week in San Antonio by the New Orleans Saints and releasing former QB Drew Bledsoe has proved to be a huge mistake.

Nick Saban with 2 weeks to prepare for Buffalo will prove to be a huge advantage for the Dolphins. Buffalo on defense hasn’t been the same since LB Takeo Spikes went down to injury. Couple that with RB Ronnie Brown looking for another statement game before Ricky Williams returns from suspension, and this has the makings of a blowout.

Best Bets – MiamiLB Zach Thomas -Buffalo - LB London Fletcher

Solid plays – MiamiDL Jason Taylor - Buffalo - LB Angelo Crowell

Others to Consider – MiamiDB Tebucky Jones - Buffalo - DB Terrance McGee, DL Aaron Schobel.

New England @ Atlanta

New England lost at home for the first time since 2002, and by the looks of things, it wont be their last home defeat of the season. New England and its patch work defense was humiliated by the Chargers at their place to the tune of 41-17. Atlanta blew out Minnesota 30-10, and had only 88 yards passing, but 285 yards rushing. Both amazing in their win.

New England may catch a break if Vick isn’t 100%, but the way Atlanta is playing defense, they may not be able to take advantage. The Falcons had 9 sacks last week, and you can bet Tom Brady is aware of that while entering this game. Atlanta LB Keith Brookings has been impressive through 4 weeks, but the surprise of the Falcons D has been the stellar play of 2 nd yr LB Demorrio Williams. Williams has played so well, he has pushed hot free agent LB Ed Hartwell to the bench on 3 rd down, while he covers in the nickel package instead.

Best Bets – New England- DB Guss Scott - AtlantaLB Keith Brooking.

Solid plays – New England - LB Monty Beisel - AtlantaLB Patrick Kerney

Others to Consider – New England - DL Richard Seymour - AtlantaLB Demorrio Williams

Seattle @ St. Louis

Seattle limped out of week 4’s defeat to Washington with both of its starting WR’s banged up and questionable for this week. Bobby Engram has 2 broken ribs, while Darrell Jackson is nursing a bruised knee. St Louis has its own share of head aches with its HC going in and out of Hospitals the last 2 weeks over an undetermined illness. Its still not determined if he will coach this game or his top assistant Joe Vitt will.

Seattle rookie MLB Lofa Tatupu had his finest game of the season in week 4, with 9 solo tackles, an assist, and a sack. Expect him to be active hunting down Rams RB Steven Jackson in this contest. St Louis best defenders at the moment are its two safeties Adam Archuleta and Michael Hawthorne. Expect both to be active again this week.

Best Bets – SeattleDB Michael Boulware - St. LouisDB Adam Archuleta

Solid plays – SeattleLB Lofa Tatupu- St. LouisLB Chris Claiborne

Others to Consider – SeattleLB Jamie Sharper, - St. LouisDB Michael Hawthorne

Tampa Bay @ NY Jets

Tampa Bay simply finds a way to get it done. Last week its workhorse RB Cadillac Williams had a flat tire, so it relied on backup RB Michael Pittman and WR Joey Galloway in the passing game to beat the Lions. The Jets are in QB hell right now, without its top 2 options Chad Pennington and Jay Fiedler, due to injury. Third string Brooks Bollinger was so bad after one game, he was replaced by just signed Vinny Testaverde after just 2 practices.

Tampa has the firepower to score some points, but the Jets defense only shot in this game is to keep this a low scoring affair. Buc LB Shelton Quarles is still getting it done at age 34, and LB Derrick Brooks age at WLB is starting to show in his performances so far. NY doesn’t have any problems with age in its LB corps, as Jonathon Vilma is one of the youngest stars in the game. Expect a low scoring game, where a fumble, could decide things.

Best Bets – Tampa Bay - LB Shelton Quarles - NY JetsLB Jonathon Vilma.

Solid plays – Tampa Bay - DB Ronde Barber - NY JetsDL John Abraham

Others to Consider –Tampa Bay - DL Simeion Rice - NY JetsDL Shaun Ellis

Tennessee @ Houston

Tennessee and Houston are both bottom feeders this season, and while its not surprising Tennessee is struggling, as they are in salary cap hell, it is surprising Houston is. Titans QB Steve McNair clearly misses Derrick Mason, and the offense isn’t the same without its best WR for the past 5 seasons. Houston can’t seem to give David Carr time to get the ball down field to, (star if he was actually thrown the ball) WR Andre Johnson.

Houston comes into this game winless, as Tennessee does have one victory on the season to date. Houston should be able to run the ball and Titan LB’s Bullock and Kassell should benefit. Expect Tennessee DL Kyle Vanden Bosch to get to QB David Carr more than once, and have another solid outing.

Best Bets – TennesseeLB Keith Bullock - HoustonLB Morlon Greenwood

Solid plays – TennesseeLB Brad Kassell - HoustonLB Kaliee Wong

Others to Consider –TennesseeDL Kyle Vanden Bosch - HoustonDB C.C. Brown

Indianapolis @ San Francisco

Indianapolis finally got its offense on track, and its defense was just as stellar, holding Tennessee to 10 points. The Colts look like the real deal this year and are licking their chops at this weeks match up. San Francisco had an impressive first quarter in Mexico City, but was drilled the final 3 quarter in their beat down vs. the Cardinals.

San Francisco is starting #1 overall pick QB Alex Smith in this game, and he is in for a long day facing the pass rush of the Colts. The only thing that would make this match up worse would be if they were playing this game indoors on the fast track. One would expect the Colts DB’s to score well, as the 49ers will be forced to throw as a result of the score. The 49ers LB should score very well, with Edge being fed the ball 30 times in this game.

Best Bets – IndianapolisLB Gary Brackett - San FranciscoLB Derek Smith

Solid plays – IndianapolisDL Dwight Freeney - San FranciscoDB Tony Parrish

Others to Consider – IndianapolisDB Bob Sanders - San FranciscoDL Bryant Young

Washington @ Denver

Washington pulled off another stunning upset, beating the Seahawks last week, and are the worst undefeated team in the league at 3-0. This team is literally a handful of plays away from being winless, but that’s why you suit up, and play the game. Denver looked impressive in its 20-7 victory over the Jags last week, though place kicker Jason Elam missed 2 field goals or it could have been 26-7.

Washington will not be able to hang around and steal a win vs. the Bronco’s this week, and this game will be decided by the 3rd quarter. Look for Washington’s run stoppers to score very well in this game, as Denver will control the clock with its ground game, and this could be a disappointing scoring game for the Denver LB corp.

Best Bets – WashingtonLB Lemar Marshall - DenverDB Nick Ferguson

Solid plays – WashingtonDB Sean Taylor - DenverLB Ian Gold.

Others to Consider – WashingtonDL Cornelius Griffin - DenverLB Al Wilson.

Philadelphia @ Dallas

Philadelphia showed what kind of team its made of, getting down big to Kansas City early, on the road, and storming back to get the win. McNabb and Owens put on a pass and catch clinic with Owens receiving 171 of McNabb’s 369 passing yards. Dallas is coming off its 2 nd loss of the season and once again failed to make a play down the stretch to get a win.

A year ago in Dallas, McNabb displayed a 13 second scramble that eventually led to a 40+ pass and catch to WR Freddie Mitchell. Dallas drafted LB Demarcus Ware and shifted to the 3-4 defense to prevent McNabb from ever doing anything like that again. Philly is clearly the better team, but if Brian Dawkins isn’t able to play, and Cowboys QB Drew Bledsoe can beat the blitz, this could be an exciting match up.

Best Bets – PhiladelphiaLB Jeremiah Trotter - DallasLB Dat Nguyen.

Solid plays – PhiladelphiaDB Michael Lewis -DallasLB Bradie James,

Others to Consider –PhiladelphiaDB Brian Dawkins (questionable) - DallasDB Roy Williams, DL/LB Demarcus Ware

Carolina @ Arizona

Carolina made a huge mistake in last Monday nights game, going for 2 with a big lead, midway through the 3 rd quarter. Favre rallied the troops and led a dramatic comeback, that fell just short. That 2 pt failure could have forced the game in OT, if Favre could have gotten another first down or two on the Packs last drive. Arizona looked like they were going to be blown out last Sunday night, trailing 14-0 early in the 2 nd qtr, only to come roaring back and embarrass the 49ers in front of 105,000 in Mexico City.

Carolina is clearly the stronger team, and wants to play ball control in this game and wear out the Cardinals defense with its rushing attack. Arizona has one of the best WR tandems in the NFL, and if QB Josh McCown can stay upright, the Cardinals will score some points. Id expect the Carolina DL to get to McCown early and often and have solid scoring in this match up.

Best Bets – CarolinaDL Julius Peppers, DL Mike Rucker - ArizonaDB Adrian Wilson

Solid plays – CarolinaLB Will Witherspoon - ArizonaLB Karlos Dansby

Others to Consider – Carolina -LB Dan Morgan - ArizonaDL Bertrand Berry

Cincinnati @ Jacksonville

Who’d have thunk, Cincinnati is undefeated, and playing some of the best football in the NFL right now. Bengals QB Carson Palmer is one of the most accurate deep ball throwers in the NFL, and he has weapons deep to make defenses pay. Jacksonville on the other hand has taken a step back from a year ago, and looks more like the Bengals of 2004. The Jags have a strong defense and weapons on offense, but have yet to put it all together like Cincinnati has done in 2005.

Linebacker play in this game will be key as Cincy MLB Odell Thurman and Jags MLB Mike Peterson have been dominate to date. Thurman started off with a bang week 1, and has fewer opportunities because teams have had to shelf the run, and turn to the pass to stay in games with Cincinnati. Peterson has been more productive as his teams offense hasn’t been as fortunate to get a big lead. But that’s what keeps Peterson productive, a tight ball game where teams are still running in the 4 th quarter.

Best Bets – CincinnatiLB Odell Thurman - JacksonvilleLB Mike Peterson

Solid plays – CincinnatiDL Justin Smith. - JacksonvilleDL John Henderson, DL Marcus Stroud

Others to Consider – CincinnatiLB Brian Simmons - Jacksonville - LB Daryl Smith

Pittsburgh @ San Diego

Pittsburgh coming off a Bye, better have prepared for a resurgent Charger team, that is much better than its 2-2 record. San Diego did what Pittsburgh couldn’t the week before, beat the Patriots. The Chargers didn’t just squeak out a win, they dominated the World Champs in New England and showed every team in the NFL, the recipe for success. A strong running game, and patience in the passing game.

The Steelers have something New England doesn’t, a stout defense that can derail the Chargers running game, and force QB Drew Brees to beat them. Both teams feature a 3-4 defense where the ILB and SS play are keys to each defense’s success. This game should be a battle, and the best advice is to start your studs and get ready for a great Monday night game.

Best Bets – PittsburghLB James Farrior - San Diego LB Donnie Edwards

Solid plays – PittsburghDB Troy Polamalu - San Diego DB Terrance Kiel

Others to Consider – PittsburghDL Aaron Smith - San Diego LB Steve Foley

Open Date: Kansas City, Minnesota, Oakland, NY Giants