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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 6
Whitney Walters
October 13, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week
ATL at NO CLE at BAL MIN at CHI NE at DEN HOU at SEA ARI, GB,
CAR at DET JAC at PIT NYG at DAL NYJ at BUF Mon 9 PM PHI, SF
CIN at TEN MIA at TB WAS at KC SD at OAK STL at IND  
          (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
 
Atlanta (3-2) at New Orleans (2-3) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick (Q) S2

A game-time scratch last week, Vick stood on the sidelines and watched his backup do something he has yet to do in his career - throw three touchdowns in a game. He's expected to be back in the lineup and the Saints are showing signs of falling apart. There could be a lot of points scored in this matchup, many on the ground. If Vick plays and is close to 100% he's a good but slightly risky start.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 Dunn doesn't get many chances around the goal-line, but he's currently ranked fourth in the league in rushing yards and can break off a long score at any time. He's a solid start this week facing the hapless New Orleans' run defense.
RB T.J. Duckett  S2 Disappointed last week with just five carries and no touchdowns. The Saints can not stop the run. With Vick likely back in the lineup the running game will take center stage again and Duckett should improve on last week's five totes and get into the end-zone again.
WR Michael Jenkins X Jenkins did have an uptick last week as expected. Even though he had his second best game of the season, three catches for 55 yards isn't going to get it done for most fantasy owners unless you are in a very deep league. The running game will be in full swing again this week against the Saints and Jenkins will likely continue his inconsistent performances.
WR Brian Finneran X Despite not being a "prototypical" #1 WR, in this offense and with these receivers he's getting the job done because he's the most reliable pass-catching WR on the roster. He's not going to put up 100-yard games like last week very often in the run-first Falcon offense, but he's good for 4-5 catches and 40-50 yards most weeks.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 If a team commits to stopping Crumpler they open themselves up to abuse by the Falcon running game. Most teams can't afford that choice.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X

Brooks simply stunk last week. And he did it in a very winnable game against an average defense. This week brings the Falcons to San Antonio, a team shredded by Brady and NE last week. The Falcon defense continues to regress and last week lost two more players (LB Hartwell and CB Cash) to injury. Even though the signs point to a positive matchup for Brooks, all expectations for the Saints should be lowered until they again show the heart they did during the first two weeks of the season. May be worth taking a chance on if your QB situation is in bad shape due to injuries and the bye week.

RB Antowain Smith S2

Takes over for the Saints after the loss of McAllister for the season. Smith is a quality back and more than capable of carrying the rock for New Orleans. Will not be on the field as much as McAllister since the plan is likely to use Aaron Stecker in the third-down role. The Falcons are giving up almost 120 YPG on the ground and just lost their middle linebacker for the season. Smith could get you solid fantasy numbers this week.

WR Joe Horn (Q) S2

The corners for Atlanta struggled last week and do break down in coverage more than the coaches would like. Horn is a great fantasy start this week IF he plays. That's been a big if for the past two weeks, and will be another this weekend. Don't expect confirmation of his playing status until late in the week. If he's able to play then he's an obvious S2, if not, then you know what to do.

WR Donte' Stallworth X

After filling in nicely for Horn in week 4, Stallworth completely disappeared last week in the same role. He may return to his #2 WR role this week. Either way, Stallworth has had only two fantasy worthy games this year, and they were big ones -- in week 2 and week 4. Following that trend this week (#6) should be another good one. The odds of that happening increase if Horn can return and draw the best of Atlanta's coverage.

TE Ernie Conwell (Q) X Conwell remains a solid fantasy tight end despite his lackluster point production. He's currently a top 5 TE in targets (tied with Witten) so the opportunities are there. He also leads all tight ends in red-zone targets. McAllister was the Saints top goal-line option (getting 75% of all goal-line plays). With that option gone, look for Conwell to pick up some of that slack, providing him more scoring chances.
 
Carolina (3-2) at Detroit (2-2) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Delhomme is on a nice three game stretch where he's averaging 245 yards and two touchdowns per game. The Lions defense is average at best and should present no real matchup problems for Delhomme.

RB Stephen Davis (Q) S2

Davis keeps getting the scores, but his carry total has been below 20 in all but one game so far this season. Don't look for it to top 20 very often as Foster continues to out-gain him as a change-of-pace option, producing 4.5 YPC to Davis' 3.2. As is the case every week, look for the Panthers to establish the power running game with Davis against a suspect Lion front.

RB DeShaun Foster (Q) X

Foster has looked very good when given the ball and has staked out a role in the passing game. His 373 total yards is second on the team to WR Steve Smith. Preventing him from being a solid fantasy factor is his lack of scoring opportunities. Those all go to Davis and Smith.

WR Steve Smith S1 A fantasy stud plain and simple. CB Dre' Bly is good. Smith is better.
WR Keary Colbert
Ricky Proehl
Rod Gardner
B Steve Smith - 33 catches, 473 yards, 6 touchdowns. These other guys - 14 catches, 189 yards, zero touchdowns.
TE Kris Mangum B Mangum is the most consistent receiving option on the team outside of Steve Smith. But his two catches a week aren't going to help anyone's fantasy team.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B Not much left to be said here. Harrington is not a fantasy option and would have likely lost his job by now if Garcia had stayed healthy.
RB Kevin Jones S2

The Lions' offensive line still isn't giving Jones much running room and the yards are hard to come by. The lack of a reliable passing attack isn't helping matters either. But Jones is a beast and continues to run hard, and thankfully for his fantasy owners, score some touchdowns. This week Jones draws another defense that's hard to run on. The Panthers allow only 83 YPG on the ground. Borderline starter at best this week.

WR Roy Williams (Q) B

The passing game is under-performing and now Rogers is suffering from a quad strain that may keep him out this week, but at a minimum hinder him. Too bad since Carolina provides a favorable matchup in the secondary he could take advantage of.

WR Mike Williams U Look for the talented rookie to be in the starting lineup for Roy Williams this week and be the primary target for Harrington, just like he was this week. Against a struggling Carolina secondary he may just surprise with a productive game. Keep in mind however that productive for a Detroit receiver is a notch below the NFL standard productive game.
WR Kevin Johnson U Johnson has been solid for the Lions so far this season and led all receivers last week. With first the suspension of Rogers and now the injury to Roy Williams, he'll play a larger role this weekend as a starter.
TE Marcus Pollard S2 Pollard is a big target and Harrington looks his way often when in the red-zone. Even with the anemic passing attack Pollard remains a viable fantasy factor and a bye week/injury fill in most weeks.
 
Cincinnati (4-1) at Tennessee (2-3) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S1

Palmer passed the "tough defense" test last week against the Jags. Palmer has become one of the more consistent fantasy quarterbacks. Only once has he thrown for under 200 yards and only once for fewer than 2 touchdowns. Should have no problem keeping that pace going in Tennessee this weekend.

RB Rudi Johnson (P) S2 Since his week one 126-yard, 1 TD performance, Johnson has been a bit of a disappointment to fantasy owners. His carries continue to decrease and due to the fine play of Chris Perry he's rarely on the field on third downs. He's averaging just 85 YPG and hasn't scored since week 1. He's going to get the rock each week about 20 times, so he remains a solid fantasy start with a bit of an upside depending on matchup.
RB Chris Perry X Had the best game of his short career last week and will continue to see action as a change-up to Rudi and on most passing downs. With all the RB injuries and bye weeks you could do worse that plugging Perry into your lineup. Especially if your league awards points for receptions.
WR Chad Johnson S1 Should have a big game this week. The Titans just don't have the talent in the secondary to cover Johnson, even if it's double coverage. They've given up 11 touchdowns through the air. Only the Niners are worse in that category.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (Q) S2

The wrist injury made him a late scratch last week. All signs point to him getting back into action and continuing his fine play. Should score this week and NOT have it called back by a penalty.

WR Chris Henry B Henry is a talented rookie that seems to have a lock on the #3 WR spot. With T.J. back this week that role isn't worth a spot on your fantasy team's lineup.
TE Whoever B What do you know, a Bengal tight end actually had more than two catches last week. The position on this team still isn't worth your attention.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

McNair has completed his comeback from last year's injury and is putting up startable fantasy numbers almost every week despite the difficult defenses he's faced. Expect more of the same this weekend against an average Bengal defense.

RB Chris Brown S2

With Henry out of the picture Brown's carries did increase. He had a season high 22 last week. Unfortunately he averaged only 3.5 YPC and ended the day with just 78 yards. Brown has yet to top 100 yards this season or score a touchdown. A hard reality to face for fantasy owners with much higher expectations. Statistically CIN isn't much better at stopping the run than HOU, so odds are Brown's production will remain about the same. But he is WAY overdue for a score.

RB Jarrett Payton B Scored his first career NFL touchdown last week and had eight carries. But his 11 yards on those 8 carries isn't going to move him to more than just a backup that occasionally spells Brown.
WR Drew Bennett S2 McNair's primary target finally scored last week. 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 become almost nonexistent behind Bennett, the tight ends and the talented rookie that took his starting job, Jones.

WR Brandon Jones X Jones is settling into his role as starter opposite Bennett. The results are equal to a #3 WR on most teams as the tight ends play a big part in the passing game. So most weeks that means he's of little fantasy use but can surprise with a few extra catches or a score at times.
TE Ben Troupe
Erron Kinney
S2

The tight end's role in the Titans' offense is now established, and it's a key one. Over the past two weeks half of McNair's passes have gone to this position. Kinney is now second among tight ends in catches and Troupe is second in touchdowns. It seems strange to say this, but both are viable fantasy starters at this point, Kinney getting the edge in leagues with reception scoring and Troupe getting the edge in TD-only leagues.

 

Cleveland (2-2) at Baltimore (1-3)

Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer X

Last week Dilfer saved what would have been a terrible day statistically with two late touchdown strikes to Bryant. Baltimore's defense looks like it's finally coming down to earth, but they are still a top unit. Don't expect much from Dilfer and the Cleveland passing game this week.

RB Reuben Droughns X

The Ravens may have given up 90 yards on the ground last week and three touchdowns, but the Cleveland running game is ranked 29th in the league for a reason. They are also one of only three teams that have yet to run for a score. Don't expect much.

RB William Green B With Suggs injured AGAIN, attention turns back to Green as the backup to starter Droughns. Has done nothing with the few opportunities he received in that role earlier in the season.
WR Antonio Bryant X

Talent was never the question with Bryant. The past two weeks have shown what he can do, and he did it against two very good defenses, Indy and the Bears. Will it be three in a row? After last week's meltdown by the Ravens defense I'm not sure I'd bet against them. Don't expect much from Bryant on Sunday.

WR Braylon Edwards (O) B

A Sunday morning scratch last week due to an infection in his elbow. His status for this week's game won't be known until later in the week. The initial prognosis last week was that Edwards would be out for a while.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

Northcutt's role in the passing game isn't really impacted by the absence of Edwards. His most productive game this season has been a 3-catch, 39-yard effort in week 2. If you are looking for a possible starter for your fantasy team, look elsewhere.

TE Aaron Shea X Shea had a successful return last week pulling in six of Dilfer's passes for 65 yards, second most out of the Cleveland receivers. The Ravens have given up very little to opposing tight ends this season.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Anthony Wright X Wright did put up two touchdowns last week against a Detroit defense high on passion but mediocre on talent. Neither went to wide receivers however as the down field passing game is very limited. Any way you want to slice it Wright isn't a fantasy starter.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 Lewis continues to improve each week and had his best game of the season last week. Look for more of the same against Cleveland's 30th ranked run defense.
WR Derrick Mason S2 Other Baltimore receivers may be getting some looks from Wright, but Mason is the only one doing anything with them. He's likely never going to have a huge game in this offense, but his production is consistent and that can make him a valuable #2 or #3 WR on your fantasy roster. A decent start this week and due for another touchdown.
WR Mark Clayton X

The rookie may be explosive after the catch, but he has few opportunities in this offense and has done little with the chances he's received.

TE

Todd Heap (P)

S2 Finally found the end-zone last week. Heap is being used more this season as a blocker due to their porous pass protection, but he's also lining up out wide more which is providing for more big gain opportunities. He's had a catch of more than 20 yards in each of the past three games.
 
Jacksonville (3-2) at Pittsburgh (4-1) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich B

The Steelers may have given up over 370 yards to Brady in week 3, but they've been scored on only three times through the air in four games this season.

RB Fred Taylor (P) S2

Taylor got it going last week with a season high 132 yards rushing. The yardage won't come quite so easily this week facing the very stingy Pittsburgh defense. A defense that did a very good job against LT on Monday night. Taylor will get the carries, just lower your expectations this week.

WR Jimmy Smith (P) X Smith had his worst outing of the year last week and things aren't really looking up for this week. Leftwich will be under pressure all day from a very aggressive front and behind a very shaky offensive line. Smith will make some plays, but there won't be many. The Steelers have not allowed a passing touchdown from a wide receiver this season.
WR Reggie Williams B

Williams' 2-5 catches a week are not what most fantasy teams need.

WR Ernest Wilford B Wilford caught his second TD of the season last week and is seeing more time on the field at rookie Matt Jones' expense. He's becoming more of a factor in the red-zone.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (D) B This is not only a tough defensive matchup for Roethlisberger, but his playing status is a big question mark due to his knee injury. Best to leave him on your bench this week.
RB Willie Parker S2

Well it was fun while it lasted. Parker took a back seat on the Bus Monday night. He'll remain the starter for Pittsburgh and will get the majority of the carries most weeks. But without the goal-line attempts his fantasy value becomes limited. Parker does remain a viable starter however given his ability to bust off long gains, keeping his yardage totals at a good level most weeks. This week is likely one of those weeks.

RB Jerome Bettis S2 The Bus is back, and back in a big way. Not only did he get the goal-line action as expected, but he out-carried and out-gained starter Willie Parker. Bettis looks fresh and ready go to, and when HC Bill Cower wanted rushing production in a big Monday night game he turned to his reliable ball carrier. I wouldn't expect Bettis to out-gain Parker very often, but with him getting the goal-line carries he will be the better fantasy back most weeks.
WR Hines Ward (Q) X

Ward played well through his hamstring injury on Monday night, leading the team in receiving as usual. With either a hobbled Roethlisberger or a shaky Batch tossing him the rock this week, Ward's potential is very limited. He likely remains a borderline starter on most teams unless they are blessed with great WR depth.

WR Antwaan Randle El (P) X

Two or three catches a week is hard to plug into your starting lineup, even if they are long catches in the case of Randle El.

TE Heath Miller B In what has to be the major TE breakout of the season, Miller actually had seven passes go his way Monday night and caught four of them, one for a touchdown. A Pittsburgh tight end has had more than one catch in a game only nine times in the past three seasons. Only time will tell if this is just a blip or the trend promised when Miller was drafted.

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