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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
 
Seattle (2-2) at St. Louis (2-2) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Given the nature of this matchup, likely a high scoring game against a porous secondary, Hasselbeck would have been a lock fantasy starter this week. But with all the injury question marks at wide receiver he becomes a bit of a risk.

RB Shaun Alexander S1 Even struggling against the tough Redskin defense last week he still tops 100 total yards and scores. Should approach a season high in carries this week as the Seahawks will want to control time of possession to keep the St. Louis offense off the field as much as possible.
WR Darrell Jackson (D) S2 Jackson's knee was not 100% last week but he played through the injury to the tune of 7 catches for 55 yards and a score. Will be asked to do the same this week. Should improve on those numbers against the highly suspect St. Louis secondary.
WR Bobby Engram (D) B

Expected to sit this one out due to cracked ribs.

WR Joe Jurevicius U Will be the healthiest receiver to take the field Sunday for the Seahawks. Even though that translated into a single catch last week, odds are good that Hasselbeck will lean on the tall veteran a bit more this weekend.
WR Peter Warrick U If he can get on the field this week (groin injury) there's a chance he can make some noise. Warrick has never lacked talent and his quickness and excellent hands will be of great use in this matchup that should feature plenty of passing.
TE Jerramy Stevens X Stevens has been consistent but unspectacular so far this season. That consistent production may take a hit this week as Itula Mili is expected back at full strength for the Rams game.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

Interesting tidbit. Only Culpepper and Carr have been sacked more than Bulger this season. And with Martz's love for 4-WR sets and empty backfields that's not likely to get better given the mediocre offensive line play. The Seahawks have the ability to get some pressure on Bulger this week, but their secondary is really no match for the receivers, even without Bruce.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson's carries through four games - 19, 18, 12, 10. Not a good trend for those fantasy owners that spent a high draft pick on the bruising runner. Last week the Rams were playing from behind for most of the game and passed the ball a whopping 62 times, so a 10-carry game isn't going to happen that often. But from the looks of things neither is a 20-carry game. Will carry a risk each week as a starter due to his lack of use. Following games like last week however the Rams tend to get back to running the ball more, so Jackson is a borderline starter this week facing a somewhat forgiving Seattle run defense.

RB Marshall Faulk X Faulk has looked great when given opportunities and had some upside last week due to Jackson's sternum injury. That didn't materialize. With Jackson on the field Faulk's fantasy value is minimal.
WR Torry Holt S1 With Bruce out last week the Giants rolled some extra coverage to Holt, slowing him down a bit. Don't expect that to happen much this week as the rest of the WR corps (Curtis, McDonald and Looker) stepped up big last week. The Seahawks won't be able to focus on Holt.
WR Isaac Bruce (D) B Expected to miss another week.
WR Kevin Curtis S2 Curtis got his big chance last week filling in for the injured Bruce. The result - 6 catches for 78 yards - about his normal output as a #3. Look for more of the same this week with Bruce out again.
WR Shaun McDonald S2

McDonald moved into Curtis' #3 WR spot last week and had a career high, out catching all other Ram receivers. That's not going to happen every week, but until Bruce returns chances are good that McDonald will put up startable but inconsistent numbers.

WR Dane Looker X Back into the flow last week as the Rams had to throw on almost every down out of 4-WR sets. Will see some of the same on Sunday against the Seahawks, but not enough to warrant you plugging him into your lineup.
 
Tampa Bay (4-0) at New York Jets (1-3) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese X

Griese had his best fantasy outing of the season last week, but he also tossed three interceptions. That gives him six for the season, matching his TD total. The Jets present a solid defensive matchup in this game and Griese is likely to put up only an average performance on the road this week.

RB Carnell Williams (Q) S2

The strained hammy he suffered last week appears to be of little concern, but the sprained foot is still a problem. Williams was in a walking boot Monday and Tuesday and will be limited in practice this week. The Bucs are optimistic that he will start, but you will need to check on his status later in the week to make sure. Either way look for Pittman to share some of the load this week against a forgiving Jets run defense.

RB Michael Pittman X Could have some upside this week if Williams is unable to play. A more likely scenario has him taking on a few more carries but playing a much bigger role in the passing attack, which is his strength.
RB Mike Alstott B With Williams banged up there's a chance the old reliable goal-line back gets a carry or two down by the end-zone. Not much to pin your fantasy hopes on.
WR Michael Clayton (P) S2

Still not back to top form following minor off-season knee surgery. Each week will bring improvement and this week he should bounce back nicely from last week's dismal performance, scoring his first touchdown of the season.

WR Joey Galloway X Galloway has re-emerged as a deep threat and is helping to stretch the field, opening up short passing / running game that Gruden prefers. His recent success will likely mean he draws CB Ty Law in this matchup. Law is playing on a bum ankle but remains physical and aggressive. This could make it difficult for Galloway to get a good release off the line and get into his deep routes. But once Galloway gets by Law it's all over.
TE Alex Smith B Since his 2 TD week one performance, Smith is pulling in a single catch per game, the longest one being seven yards.
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde B Well that didn't take long. Vinny getting the start this week is no real surprise as #3 QB Bollinger was terrible last week and the Jets need a win. Testaverde does give New York it's best chance at a victory this week, but against the very tough Buccaneer defense he has no chance of helping your fantasy team.
RB Curtis Martin (P) B

Martin has yet to cross the goal-line and is averaging only 2.8 YPC this season, a far cry from the 4.4 YPC average he's put up over the previous four seasons. The line blocking in front of him is poor and he's already showing signs of being dinged up physically. Now the #1 rushing defense is coming to town. You need to find another starting option this week for your fantasy team.

WR Laveranues Coles
Justin McCareins (P)
X With Bollinger running the show last week only 4 of the 14 pass completions were to wide receivers. That mix will surely change this week with Vinny at the helm. Testaverde still has the arm to get the ball down field if given time in the pocket. That's a big if with this offensive line. Don't expect much out of Coles or McCareins this week.
TE Chris Baker B

Over the past three games Baker has yet to match in total what he produced in his single week one game. Backup Doug Jolley actually matched his looks last week. With a new QB coming in and adjustments to the passing schemes likely the Jets' tight ends are off limits this week.

 
Tennessee (1-3) at Houston (0-3) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

After facing PIT, BAL and IND in the first four weeks of the season, this week should be a breath of fresh air for McNair. The Texans' pass defense just isn't there. They have no interceptions and only four sacks on the season. In his past four meetings with Houston McNair has averaged over 280 yards and two touchdown per game.

RB Chris Brown S2 In his first game without Henry behind him, Brown was out gained by a 4-carry effort by Walter Payton's son Jarrett. Not good. But signs point to a big up tick this weekend. Brown was limited to just ten carries last week as the Titans fell behind the Colts early. That shouldn't be the case this week against Houston, a defense that has given up big yardage to every back they've faced this season.
RB Jarrett Payton B Has moved up the depth chart and will be Brown's primary backup for now. Expect him to get a few carries a game while Brown takes a blow on the sideline.
WR Drew Bennett (Q) S2 Bennett is entrenched as the go-to receiver for McNair. He's leading all Titan receivers but has yet to find the end-zone. That should change this week against a Houston secondary and it's smallish cornerbacks.
WR Tyrone Calico B

Has lost his starting spot to rookie Brandon Jones and McNair and the Titans' passing game are looking in other directions now. A major fantasy disappointment so far with no signs of improving.

WR Brandon Jones X The talented rookie from Oklahoma may be the best all-around receiver the Titans have right now. Not a burner or great playmaker, but physical and can make catches in traffic. McNair will continue to look his way and may have a fantasy worthy game here or there, but outside of Bennett the tight ends are dominating the passing attack.
TE Ben Troupe (Q)
Erron Kinney (Q)
Bo Scaife
X Of McNair's 37 pass attempts last week, 20 went to the tight ends. That's high, but previous weeks indicate as well that the tight end is a big part of the new passing game plan as expected entering this season. The problem for fantasy owners is of course the absence of a primary tight end. Kinney leads the team in receptions but has no touchdowns. Troupe and Scaife have three between them. If you are in a league that scores a point per reception the Kinney can be a solid start for you each week. If TD's are your need then Troupe may be a better option.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X

Carr is behind the helm of the NFL's worst passing offense and has been sacked a league leading 20 times in just three games. Some improvements were made last week and that should continue Sunday against a Titans' defense that has allowed 10 passing touchdowns through four games, second most in the league.

RB Domanick Davis S2

Under new OC Pendry, Davis saw a season high 23 touches and produced a season high 112 total yards. Look for more of the same this week at home against the Titans.

WR Andre Johnson U Johnson is one of the more talented receivers in the league. But he continues to fall victim to poor passing schemes and no #2 WR to draw coverage. The passing schemes appeared to improve last week and the emergence of Gaffney is promising. The Titans' secondary presents his best opportunity so far this season to produce.
WR Jabar Gaffney X Moved into the starting lineup last week and responded with his best game since week 15 last year, catching 6 passes for 88 yards. Andre Johnson consistently draws extra coverage so there are opportunities for another receiver in Houston if someone can step up and grab them. Right now Gaffney is the prime candidate for that role.
WR

Corey Bradford

B Bradford entered the season with a great training camp and plenty of motivation to be the receiver to take pressure off of Johnson. After three games he's slid to the #3 WR role and that's worth very little in the league's worst passing offense.
TE Mark Bruener B The TE position for the Texans is a blocking position.
 
Indianapolis (4-0) at San Francisco (1-3) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

Any way you slice it the Niners have the league's worst pass defense. Manning-fest this week. Info tidbit: Manning is the only quarterback yet to be sacked this season.

RB Edgerrin James S1

Edge is running strong and should have a nice piece of the roasting the Colts are going to give San Francisco this weekend.

WR Marvin Harrison S1 Not a lot of deep analysis needed here.
WR Reggie Wayne S1 Or here.
WR Brandon Stokley U

Has gone from seven catches for 83 yards in week one to a big fat donut last week. The likelihood of that happening again are pretty slim. Without the offensive tidal wave that was the 2004 season, Stokley has become a typical #3 WR with it's typical inconsistent fantasy output. This week there are some great matchups for Stokley to exploit in the injury riddled Niner secondary.

TE Dallas Clark S2 Clark had his best fantasy performance of the season last week when the Colt offense finally broke out. Look for him to duplicate or improve on that this week in San Francisco. The down field abilities of Bryan Fletcher may be a concern going forward.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith B

HC Mike Nolan finally spoke the words many knew he would at some point this season. "I feel Alex gives us the best chance to win." I swear those words must be on page one of the NFL coach-speak manual. Yeah Mike, whatever. Good luck with that.

RB Kevan Barlow X

If Alex Smith's hesitance to throw down field in the pre-season carries over to his play now it will doom the already struggling running game in San Francisco. Defenses will flood the box and dare Smith to throw behind them. Don't expect him to get more than the 10-12 carries the Niners have been giving him considering they'll be playing catchup all afternoon.

RB Frank Gore B

All the rhetoric about Gore taking over has so far been just that. Gore got a season low two carries last week for four yards. The Niners have handed the ball to one rookie this week, Alex Smith. It appears they may not be benching Barlow and turning to this rookie for a while yet, if at all.

WR Brandon Lloyd X

Lloyd is all the Niner passing attack has. So far he's been able to deliver with two 100-yard efforts in the past two games. If Smith can get time in the pocket and is willing to open it up and go long to Lloyd in this matchup you could see 100-yard game number three. Those are two HUGE if's.

WR Arnaz Battle (Q) B Expected to miss another game due to the knee injury.
WR Johnnie Morton B Will be the third option in the passing game this week behind Lloyd and Lloyd.
TE Steve Bush B Didn't even have a pass go his direction last week.
 
Carolina (2-2) at Arizona (1-3) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Delhomme is rarely going to "light it up", but with Colbert coming to life there are matchup advantages to exploit in the secondary this week as the Cardinals have been weakened by the loss of CB Antrel Rolle and injuries to two other corners. Delhomme remains a solid start this week.

RB Stephen Davis (P) S2

Davis isn't flashy, but he's getting the job done in Carolina. His six touchdowns has him tied with Alexander for second most in the league. Look for the Panthers to stick with the program and establish the power running game with Davis against the weak Cardinal front.

RB DeShaun Foster X

Foster has looked very good when given the ball and has staked out a role in the passing game. He has 141 receiving yards to his 143 rushing and his 10 catches is second most on the team. But as long as he stays in the 10-12 touches per game range he's of little fantasy use to his owners.

WR Steve Smith S1 The Arizona secondary is in bad shape and may be down three cornerbacks for this matchup. Smith is a must start this week and ...
WR Keary Colbert S2 ... Colbert moves to fantasy starter status just in time for you to grab him off your waiver wire since he's likely been cut in many leagues.
TE Kris Mangum B Mangum is a typical tease fantasy tight end. He'll get the occasional score but spend most of his games as an afterthought in the passing game attack.
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown X

The Panthers will surely pose a much tougher test than the Niners did last Sunday night in Mexico City. Good thing McCown is mobile because he'll be under constant pressure from the Panthers' blitzing front seven. He'll struggle to produce this weekend.

RB Marcel Shipp X Just like Arrington, Shipp has been limited by the horrible play of the Arizona offensive line. His experience, strong running and receiving skills have helped him be somewhat productive however. He's averaging 81 total yards per game over the last three games. If you're in a bye week bind that kind of production may help you out of it.
RB J.J. Arrington B Wow. 20 carries for 27 yards through the first quarter of the season.
WR Anquan Boldin S2 The Panthers provide a difficult matchup for the Arizona passing game. Boldin is a big, physical receiver and should be able to work CB Chris Gamble over the middle for some gains. Boldin's a borderline starter this week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald X

Fitzgerald's size and athletic ability causes matchup problems. This week however he'll be challenged by Carolina's Ken Lucas, a big corner by cornerback standards that plays the outside well, one of Fitzgerald's strengths. Fitzgerald may struggle to produce this week.

WR Bryant Johnson B With the Cardinals using more 2-WR formations to help in the blocking up front, Bryant's opportunities to produce will continue to decrease.
TE Whoever B The tight ends are in there to block.

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