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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 5
Whitney Walters
October 6, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week
BAL at DET NE at ATL TB at NYJ IND at SF CIN at JAC KC, MIN,
CHI at CLE NO at GB TEN at HOU CAR at ARI Mon 9 PM NYG, OAK
MIA at BUF SEA at STL   PHI at DAL PIT at SD  
      WAS at DEN   (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
 
Baltimore (1-2) at Detroit (1-2) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Anthony Wright X Wright is struggling to make plays and is not looking like the serviceable replacement he's been in the past. The Ravens are also going to continue to pound the ball in the ground as they did last week, getting their running backs 40 total carries.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 Lewis only averaged 2.8 YPC last week, but the Ravens showed a commitment to the run, giving him the ball 29 times. The Detroit defense is very forgiving to opposing backs. Lewis will keep getting the rock and will do some damage this week in Detroit.
WR Derrick Mason S2 Mason is by far the most effective Baltimore receiver. Last week gave us an indication of the immediate future of the passing attack when Wright completed 15 of just 21 pass attempts. With so few opportunities Mason will struggle for fantasy relevance. We are in the middle of the bye week portion of the NFL schedule, and any #1 WR that's averaging 7 catches a game is worth a start most weeks.
WR Mark Clayton U

The rookie continues to get looks in the passing attack. To date he's done little with those, catching only three in the past two games. His elusiveness after the catch always makes him a candidate for a big play and Lion corners Dre' Bly and Andre Goodman do break down in man coverage (Galloway last week a prime example).

WR Clarence Moore B No longer a starter and Wright looked his way only once last week.
TE

Todd Heap (P)

S2 The Ravens are starting to line Heap up wide to accomplish two things. To help the running game by pulling a defender out of the box, and also to get him one-on-one with a linebacker or nickel cornerback. It's working, but so far it's producing only 4 catches for 45 yards each game. That's barely fantasy starter numbers. A touchdown every once and a while would sure help.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B If the last two weeks are any indication, Harrington is done. His final drive may win him some points, but his play up to that point was simply terrible. He looks very uneasy in the pocket, often getting happy feet before any real pressure is on him, and he can't deliver the ball with any consistency to his talented receivers. The passing game looks completely out of sync and Harrington is off limits as a starter, especially against the Ravens.
RB Kevin Jones X Another game, another disappointing performance. At least he scored. Detroit's offensive line just isn't getting the job done as Jones is met at the line of scrimmage on most carries. His longest gain this season is just 8 yards. Jones is a rare talent and the Lions must get him going if they hope to move the ball consistently (15 carries a game isn't going to cut it). Don't expect much improvement this week facing the Ravens' #2 rushing defense. May get some extra work in the passing game against the blitz, IF Harrington can get him the ball.
WR Roy Williams X

With Rogers out look for teams to double-cover Williams all over the field. Dealing with cornerbacks Rolle or McAlister are bad enough, but throw safeties Reed or Demps into the mix and it could be a long afternoon for Williams.

WR Mike Williams X The talented rookie has been gaining reps every week and now gets a chance to start with Rogers suspended 4 games. Will be able to use his size and strength to make some plays this week, just don't expect much.
WR Kevin Johnson B Johnson has been solid for the Lions so far this season and he'll play a larger role now as the full-time slot receiver on offense. Not much of a matchup advantage for him this week against a Raven secondary loaded with all-pro players.
TE Marcus Pollard S2 Pollard is a big target and if put in the right position can take advantage this week of one of the few weak areas in the Ravens' pass coverage, the middle of the field.
 
Chicago (1-2) at Cleveland (1-2) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Rookie Orton will continue to show promise at times but overall will be error-prone and inconsistent. He does have Muhammad, which would help any quarterback, but the Bears are going to run the ball as much as possible every week.
RB Thomas Jones S2

Jones is a quick, slashing type of runner that will be a great complement to tough running Benson. But through the first thee games Jones has been given the rock and he's produced. Just a borderline starter this week however as the rock starts getting shared.

RB Cedric Benson X The plan has always been to get Benson up-to-speed following the Bears' bye week. Odds are that goes into action this week as planned. And what better matchup could there be to implement it. The Browns simply can't stop the run.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Muhammad has tremendous talent and is the obvious go-to receiver in this offense. That's part of the problem, it's so obvious there are few other targets for rookie QB Orton to throw to. Shouldn't matter too much this week against a struggling Cleveland secondary.
WR Mark Bradley X Has emerged as the starter opposite Muhammad. Has great speed and can help draw coverage deep if he and Orton can start to hook up on a few big plays.
TE Desmond Clark (P)

X

Clark is a solid tight end but is currently being slowed by a nagging neck injury. May see only limited action this week.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer X

Dilfer came back down to earth in week three against a very good Colt defense (208 yards and no touchdowns). Chances are against an equally good, or even better Bears' defense, he'll remain there.

RB Reuben Droughns X

Since week one the Bears have allowed only 112 rushing yards on 51 carries. Droughns has run well this season but is averaging just 3 YPC in the Browns' last two games. Look for him to start to give way to Suggs this week.

RB Lee Suggs X Got some action in week 3 and is expected to be full-speed and ready to go this week. His role in the running game this week is anyone's guess however, and you can bet Cleveland isn't going to be providing that information to the public. But everyone realizes that the Browns' running game needs a shot in the arm and Suggs, when healthy, can provide that.
WR Antonio Bryant X

Had his best effort before the bye with a 7-for-75 game against Indy. Bryant has the talent to win his matchup with the Bears' secondary, but Dilfer will need to withstand the aggressive pass rush for it to pay off for Bryant's fantasy owners.

WR Braylon Edwards U

Followed his 107-yard, 1 touchdown performance in week 2 with a 4-for-43 effort in week 3. Despite the lower numbers it was clear that the rookie was the #2 target in the passing game and he got a look in the end-zone. Carries some upside due to his big play ability.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

Northcutt may be the starter but is much better suited for a slot-receiver role. The Browns must realize this since they are rarely looking his way.

TE Steve Heiden B Heiden is a hit-or-miss fantasy prospect who's time will start being cut with the likely return of Aaron Shea this week.
 
Miami (2-1) at Buffalo (1-3) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Frerotte is getting it done for the Dolphins, but for fantasy owners it's a different story. On a good week ol' Gus is only a bye week filler if you are in a real pinch. Going against the Bills' pass defense this week doesn't qualify as a good week.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S1 The off week should provide the rest Brown's strained hamstring needed and he should be ready to tear up the Bills' defense just like everyone else has this season. With Ricky Williams returning next week, this will be the last time you won't have to worry about Brown being short-changed on his carries.
WR Chris Chambers X Chambers is aging but he's as hard to handle in coverage as ever. The cornerback duo of Nate Clements and Terrence McGee will have their hands full, but they should be able to limit Chambers.
WR Marty Booker X Booker is a solid receiver and can make the occasional big play. But a fantasy starter he's not. Has only three catches since the big week one performance that landed him on many fantasy rosters.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Only had one catch in week 3, but it was for a touchdown. The Bills will have no choice but cover McMichael one-on-one with injured safety Lawyer Milloy in the hopes of pressing their linebackers up in run support.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B The clock appears to be ticking on starter Losman. His play is costing the team possible victories and has landed him on the bench in both of the past two games. HC Mularkey is publicly sticking with his young QB for now, but another loss may end that.
RB Willis McGahee S2 Despite the horrible passing attack, McGahee has held on to his fantasy value. Outside the poor game vs. Tampa in week 2 he's averaging 5.3 YPC and has scored in each of the last two games. Speaking of Tampa, they are the #1 rush defense in the league. Miami is currently #3. Lower your expectations this week.
WR Eric Moulds
Lee Evans
Josh Reed
X

Through four games these three receivers have COMBINED for 29 catches, 309 yards and no touchdowns. Together you'd have a startable fantasy receiver. But since there's no such thing as a team WR, neither of these three should be in your fantasy team's plans right now.

TE Mark Campbell B Four games, three catches, 18 yards.
 

New England (2-2) at Atlanta (3-1)

Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X

Just when you thought it might be safe to plug Brady into your starting lineup each week the Patriots' passing attack has been reverted back to it's familiar ball control game plan thanks to an injury riddled defense and now offensive line.

RB Corey Dillon S2

Dillon has been a disappointment so far but had his best day running the ball last week, averaging 4.5 YPC. His 14 carries however tied his season low. The Falcons have struggled to stop the run this year and can be susceptible to power running by a bruising back, à la Dillon. They will also want to pound the ball to maximize time of possession. Until the two rookies on the New England offensive line show some improvement Dillon's success will continue to be limited however.

WR

Deion Branch

S2

Branch has been out-caught by Givens the past two weeks, but remains Brady's prime target in the passing game. Should be able to take advantage of his matchup with DeAngelo Hall, who has yet to play a full season's worth of games.

WR

David Givens

S2

Givens can produce in the Patriots passing attack and is the biggest target Brady has outside of his tight ends. Hasn't scored yet but leads the team in receiving. His size should give him an edge in this matchup with the smallish Falcon corners.

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. The constant possibility of being pulled over to play in the secondary also hurts his fantasy value.
TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson
B

The ball's going everywhere lately except to the tight ends. Graham and Watson have combined for only four catches in the past three games. They are continuing to be called upon in pass protection due to the inexperience on the offensive line.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick (P) S2

Vick was on his way to a very nice game last week before injuring his knee in the second quarter. All indications are that the knee is fine and he'll play this week. Don't expect big numbers, but Vick is a borderline starter this week facing a Patriot defense trying to find it's way with a bunch of injury replacement players.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 Doesn't score much, but is on pace for almost 1600 rushing yards this season. Look for the Falcons to keep giving him up to 20 touches a game. With a 5.6 YPC average and the ability to break off a long touchdown at any time, Dunn remains a fantasy starter.
RB T.J. Duckett  S2 A touchdown a week is all that any fantasy owner can ask for from Duckett. He also received a season high 14 carries last week, a trend that should continue Sunday against the beat up New England defense.
WR Michael Jenkins U Jenkins is in a great position to succeed. The Atlanta running game and the presence of TE stud Crumpler results in plenty of single-coverage for the youngster. Unfortunately he continues to fail to take advantage. Two of four games this season have been one-catch affairs. There are some definite matchups to exploit this week in the New England secondary. Is this a week that Jenkins produces? Could be.
WR Brian Finneran X Until Dez White returns from injury and rookie Roddy White delivers on the hype the Falcon coaches give him, Finneran will remain the starter opposite Jenkins. He also remains the most reliable pass-catching WR Vick has to throw to.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 Anyone catch what Gates did to the Patriots injury riddled defense last week? Any Crumpler owners that did should be smiling big this week.
 
New Orleans (2-2) at Green Bay (0-4) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks U Brooks should get more time in the pocket this week as the Packers don't have a big pass rush. More time, a clicking running game and the return of his #1 target down field (Horn) should help Brooks get back on track this weekend with a solid performance. Look for his first multi-TD game of the season.
RB Deuce McAllister S2

Last week was Deuce's best game so far this season, carrying the ball 27 times for 130 yards, a 4.8 YPC average. While the Packers can hold their own against the run at times, they do not match up well with the power running style of McAllister and his offensive line and fullback. Deuce should have another productive game.

WR Joe Horn (Q) S2

After sitting out last week's game due to a strained hamstring, Horn is expected back this week. He'll receive extra attention from a Green Bay secondary that has given up 9 touchdowns this season. Only two teams have surrendered more. If Horn plays he'll draw CB Ahmad Carroll on most downs. A big mismatch that Horn can exploit.

WR Donte' Stallworth S2

With Horn sidelined last week, Stallworth was the only weapon in the New Orleans passing game. He pulled in 8 balls for 129 yards, his second 100+ yard game of the season. He's been on-and-off this season so far but this week should be another "on". The Packers have enough in the secondary to handle one good receiver, so with Horn likely back this week, Stallworth is a good bet to have another solid game. He may even get his first TD of the season.

TE Ernie Conwell X Conwell appears to be on one of those every other week programs. Which means this is an "on" week for him. Despite only catching a single ball for 5 yards last week he was targeted four times, second most on the team. A good sign that he's remaining active in the passing game plan.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre X This season more than ever the Packer offense begins and ends with Favre. At this point in his career that's a load he can't always carry. He can still have his moments, like the almost comeback Monday night. But most week's he's going to struggle to make things happen surrounded by sub-par talent. The only thing saving fantasy owners is watching him pad his stats each week as he plays from behind.
RB Ahman Green (Q) B No official word yet on the severity of his knee injury. That's typically not a good sign. If Green is okay and gets the start this weekend then he's no worse or no better a fantasy start than he's been all season.
RB Najeh Davenport X Will get the start this week if Green can't go. Don't get too excited if you drafted him as Green insurance. He's averaging fewer yards per carry than Green so far this season and has never been near the runner Green is. He's also running behind the same poor offensive line.
WR Donald Driver X After taking a back seat to the youngsters the previous week, Driver reasserted himself as the #1 target in the Green Bay passing game on Monday night. With the running game going nowhere and the Packers likely to continue having to play from behind, Driver should put up decent fantasy numbers most weeks.
WR Robert Ferguson X

Since getting his chance with Walker down, Ferguson has put up some so-so fantasy number. They remain only so-so due to the overall struggles of the Green Bay offense and his overall inconsistent play. Loads of talent but still loses concentration and makes too many mistakes in route running and blitz adjustments.

WR Antonio Chatman X Very small for a Packer receiver (stands only 5-8), but Chatman seems to be carving out a role in the passing game as the slot receiver. He put up 71 yards in week 2 and has a touchdown in each of the past two games.
TE Bubba Franks (Q) X Franks has missed two games now and is still questionable for this week. If he plays he's an obvious fantasy starter since the tight end is still very active in the Green Bay passing game and Favre looks their way often, especially in the red-zone.

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