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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
 
Miami (2-2) at Tampa Bay (4-1) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Last week Frerotte performed well against the very tough Buffalo pass defense. He'll have to create a sequel on Sunday if he wants to be a fantasy factor for his owners. Odds are that won't happen on this short trip to Tampa.

RB

Ronnie Brown

X Brown is a highly risky start this week any way you look at it. Not only will be now begin to share carries with Williams, but they go on the road to take on the #1 run defense in the league.
RB Ricky Williams B This week will be Williams' first regular season game since the 2003 season. Those fantasy owners that have had him stashed on their roster all season should probably wait until after this week to consider starting him. He'll get into the mix for sure, but how much is anyone's guess at this point.
WR Chris Chambers X Chambers is a tough, physical matchup for any secondary. The Bucs cornerback tandem of Ronde Barber and Brian Kelly will be up for the challenge.
WR Marty Booker X Finally made another dent in the boxscore last week with a 3-for-72 performance. That was his best since week one. Don't count on a repeat this week.
TE Randy McMichael S2 McMichael's production has been way down the past two games, catching only a single ball in each. Thankfully for fantasy owners they've both been for touchdowns.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese U

Griese's play has been erratic this season. He's thrown five interceptions in the past three games and last week put up another zero-TD effort. It was his second touchdown-less game this season after having none last year. That shouldn't happen again this week as pass defense is not Miami's strength.

RB Carnell Williams (Q) X

Carnell's college teammate Ronnie Brown may have a tough time of it on the other sideline this week, facing the #1 run defense. But it won't be easy for Cadillac either as the Dolphins bring the #2 run defense into Tampa. Given that and the still lingering questions about Williams' foot and hamstring injuries, this is a very risky start for fantasy owners this week.

RB Michael Pittman X Even with Williams' likely return to the starting lineup this week, Pitman will retain his new role as his backup and more importantly in the passing game. Pittman won't get many carries, but in leagues where receptions are rewarded he can make a nice injury or bye week fill in.
RB Mike Alstott B Hasn't scored since week 2 and getting only a couple of touches per game.
WR Michael Clayton S2

Still not back to top form following minor off-season knee surgery and is now being slowed by a nagging shoulder injury. Based on what the Bucs are saying they know they need to get the talented Clayton the ball more. He's only had 5 looks in the past two games. The aging Sam Madison and rookie Travis Daniels should provide enough chances for both Clayton and ...

WR Joey Galloway S2 ... the speedy Galloway to make plays. Both are borderline starters this week.
TE Alex Smith B After three weeks of being ignored in the offense, Smith turned in his best game since week 1 against the Jets last week. His five catches almost doubled his season total. I'd give him another week to make sure this wasn't just what could be a once-a-month type performance.
 
Minnesota (1-3) at Chicago (1-3) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2

Before the off week Culpepper had two solid fantasy games. That should give his owners hope for the remainder of this year. Getting the running game in gear and getting Burleson back will help. It appears he'll have a while to wait on Burleson.

RB Mewelde Moore S2

After years of frustration fantasy owners now have what we've always wanted... a feature back in the Minnesota offense. Since being given the job Moore has averaged 112 total yards a game but has yet to score his first TD of the season. Yardage and touchdowns will be hard to come by in Chicago. They allow only 88 YPG on the ground and are one of only two teams yet to surrender a rushing TD. Moore will get the carries so he rates borderline starter status only this week.

WR Travis Taylor S2 With Burleson is out another week, Taylor is the #1 receiver again. That's a role that produced big in week three but only so-so in week four. The improved running attack with Moore will continue to help open up the down field routes for both Taylor and ...
WR Marcus Robinson X

... Robinson this week. The Bears are expected to shuffle their secondary this week as well which could add to this favorable passing matchup.

WR Troy Williamson X The Vikings are starting to work Williamson into the mix more out of the slot and it's paying off for them and for fantasy land. He's averaging over 18 yards per catch. His speed creates matchup advantages that can be exploited almost every week against opposing nickel corners.
TE Jermaine Wiggins S2

The Bears have one of the tougher defenses in the league this season, but as Cleveland showed last week the tight end can do some damage in the open areas of that defense. Look for Wiggins to help the Vikings move the chains in this matchup. It might even be time for him to find the end-zone.

Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Orton hasn't gone over 150 yards and a touchdown all season. Odds are he won't top that very often.
RB Thomas Jones (Q) B

Not expected to play due to the mild knee injury he suffered last Sunday.

RB Cedric Benson S2

The Vikings are giving up big games to running backs every week and now they're having injury problems along the defensive line. If there's ever a week to get your prized rookie out there for some action, this is it. Now will the Bears actually do that? Based on the way they've handled Benson to this point it's about a 50-50 proposition. They could just as easily split the workload with Adrian Peterson. If you are a risk taker then this is the week you should get Benson the start for your fantasy team.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2 Muhammad will struggle along with the Chicago passing game, but he gets the looks every week as Orton's go-to receiver. Will likely struggle more this week against a Minnesota secondary that is showing improvements each week. Borderline starter at best.
WR Mark Bradley X Bradley is a talented rookie with great speed. He's emerged as the starter and has some big play potential each week with all the attention Muhammad attracts.
TE Desmond Clark

B

Clark should get back in the flow this week having recovered from the neck injury that slowed him last week. That flow only amounts to about two catches a game.
 
New York Giants (3-1) at Dallas (3-2) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

Manning put together the best two games of his short career just before the Giants' off week. But that was against San Diego and St. Louis. Dallas will prove much tougher and Manning should likely be on your bench this week.

RB Tiki Barber S2

Barber has always had success against the Cowboys, and with the passing game greatly improving his running lanes will only increase. This year's Dallas defense has had some success against the run so Barber may struggle some in this matchup.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Only Terrell Owens gets more looks per game that Burress is getting with the Giants this season -- 13 per game. That and his great height advantage over opposing corners make him a fantasy starter every week.

WR Amani Toomer X

It was great seeing Toomer get his first touchdown in like forever in week 4, but he remains the third option in the Giants' passing attack and not a fantasy option.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Shockey got a nice, new contract this week and gets a tough matchup on Sunday. The Cowboys have the speed and athleticism to cover most opposing tight ends and are allowing only 20 yards a game to them and have yet to give up a score.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2

The Dallas passing game has been in high gear under Bledsoe and he had one of his best games last week against the very tough Philly defense. This week he draws the very soft Giants' pass defense. They will apply little pressure and that's when Bledsoe's at his best.

RB Julius Jones (Q) or
Tyson Thompson
S2

Jones is iffy to play this week. If he does and his ankle is close to 100% then he's a good play against the Giants average run defense. If he sits and Tyson Thompson gets the start then he'll get the job done as well and makes for a great one-week start if you can pick him up in your league.

WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

The Giants' pass defense has been just terrible and they may have to throw a rookie out there at cornerback due to the injury to Will Peterson and poor play of Will Allen. Dallas should have little trouble getting both Keyshawn and ...

WR Terry Glenn S2 ... Glenn involved this week.
WR Patrick Crayton B Crayton has two nice long strikes to the end-zone this season but not much else.
TE Jason Witten S1

Has been one of the top fantasy tight ends over the past three games after a slow start to the season. Plug him into your lineup and don't think about that position again until his bye on week 9.

 
Washington (3-1) at Kansas City (2-2) Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell S2 Surely aided his comeback-of-the-year season last week by toasting the solid Bronco defense for 322 yards and 2 TDs in a downpour. Brunell should have little trouble keeping his fine play going this week. After a strong start to the season, the KC defense is struggling to cover opposing passing attacks.
RB Clinton Portis (P) S2

Is this deja vu or what? Great yardage, no touchdowns. Portis has only 4 rushes inside the 5-yard line through four games. One attempt a game isn't going to cut it. It's hard for a back to score when the team doesn't give him opportunities down by the goal-line. Most of your premier fantasy backs have twice Portis' goal-line carries.

WR Santana Moss S2

Moss has had two 100-yard games this year and two others that were very close. Moss and Brunell are working well together and will spend their afternoon pushing CB Patrick Surtain for all he's worth. Surtain is solid, but susceptible to quick moves and blazing speed - two of Moss' strengths.

WR David Patten
James Thrash
B Both Patten and Thrash are seeing time opposite Moss, with Patten seemingly taking the lead. Either way, neither are a fantasy option regardless of matchup.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley is a great weapon out of his h-back position and the last two weeks show that the Redskins have finally figured out how to best utilize him. In two games he's had 12 catches for 143 yards and a score. Last week only Santana Moss got more looks. Cooley will be more than rookie OLB Derrick Johnson will be able to handle.

Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

Green is off to a slow start this season. His numbers through four games are his lowest in four years. His protection has been suspect, preventing him from establishing the deeper parts of the passing game. Getting all-world OT Willie Roaf back this week will surely help.

RB Priest Holmes S2

There was some grumbling in KC over the bye week about ending the Holmes gets 2, Johnson gets 1 dispersal of touches, but it's expected to continue. So the odds are 2-1 that Holmes gets the score and he's currently getting 100% of the looks in the passing game.

RB Larry Johnson B Will keep getting his 8-10 touches a week, which hasn't amounted to much since week 2.
WR Eddie Kennison S2

Kennison had his best game of the season before the bye against the very tough Eagles. This week will present another difficult challenge, but the Redskins' top corner, Shawn Springs, may be slowed by a shin injury.

WR Samie Parker
Dante Hall
B The Chiefs were working Parker quite a bit in the early season but lately have been really trying to get the ball to Hall. Both are below average NFL receivers and outside of Gonzo and the surprisingly productive Kennison there's no real fantasy option in the KC passing game.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2 Gonzalez has been held without a touchdown this season, and he's not a happy camper lately with his lack of involvement in the passing game. He only has 16 catches through four games. But there's hope for fantasy land. Through four games last season he had just 18 catches and one TD. And we all know how last year turned out.
 
New England (3-2) at Denver (4-1) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

The Patriots rank almost dead last in points allowed this season. A result has meant a lot more of Brady than in years past. Aside from the down game against San Diego, Brady is averaging 325 yards a game. A figure well above his 231 yard average over the previous three seasons. If Denver CB Champ Bailey misses another game Brady should have plenty of chances to exploit the very green Bronco secondary.

RB Corey Dillon (P) S2

Dillon may finally be getting it going. The past two games have been his best yet this season, and they came against two solid defenses, SD and ATL. Denver will present a challenge for sure at home, but the Patriots know what they need to do, and that's pound the ball with Dillon to set up their play-action passing game.

WR

Deion Branch

S2

Branch out-caught all receivers last week and remains Brady's prime target even though the ball is going to many receivers lately. Should be able to take advantage of his matchup with a very inexperienced Denver secondary that may again be without CB Champ Bailey.

WR

David Givens

S2

Givens has produced this season in the Patriots passing attack and is the biggest target Brady has outside of his tight ends. Saw his number drop last week, pulling in only two short passes. The ball continues to be spread around by the Patriots, but more often than not Givens will be a top recipient of the action along with Branch.

WR Troy Brown (P)
Bethel Johnson
Tim Dwight
B The Patriots are really spreading the ball around in the passing game, so these three will trade off getting a nice catch or two here or there. Nothing that warrants fantasy attention.
TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson
B

Graham and Watson took a break from pass protection last week and blew up. They combined for 6 catches, 152 yards and two touchdowns. To that point in the season they had accounted for only 7 catches, 113 yards and a single touchdown... combined. With that kind of inconsistency they are a risky fantasy bet.

Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2

Plummer had his worst game of the season last week, but the Broncos still won. That's not going to happen this week. Plummer must bounce back this week and the injury riddled Patriot secondary should provide a good opportunity for just that.

RB Mike Anderson S2

Anderson had a very poor showing last week, but keeps his starting job because the Bronco coaches like his pounding style and it wears down opposing defenses, opening things up for the speedy Tatum Bell later. New England is not stopping the run well so Anderson should shine in this matchup. The risk now is when Bell come in. If Bell gets hot Anderson will likely stay on the sidelines.

RB Tatum Bell (P) X

There's never been a real question as to who was the best back on the Denver roster. When healthy it's Bell. And Bell is healthy for the first time since becoming a pro. Will he take over as the starter? Not likely. HC Shanahan seems very pleased with his committee and for the first time in 10 seasons in Denver, may stick with it. So for now look for Bell to provide the "change-up" to Anderson's pounding style and for the Broncos to stick with him if he gets hot like last week against the Redskins.

WR Rod Smith S2 Smith started the season strong but has tailed off the past two weeks. Should get back on track Sunday against the suspect and injury depleted New England secondary.
WR Ashley Lelie X

The jump fade pattern for his first TD was nice last week, but it was his only catch, making it three games in a row Lelie had a 1-catch effort. It's not for lack of trying, as he's been targeted 14 times in those games. The Plummer-to-Lelie connection is just out of sync this season. This week presents a tasty matchup, but until proven otherwise, Lelie is a risky proposition.

TE Jeb Putzier B Had one nice 31-yard catch last week, but since week 1 has been worthless to fantasy owners. There may be a chance for improvement this week against the Pats defense, but it could just as easily be Alexander or even Carswell that make the fantasy noise.

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