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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
 
New York Jets (2-3) at Buffalo (2-3) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde B Vinny didn't take long to shake off the rust. He didn't throw for any scores and had only 163 yards against the Bucs, but he went 13 of 19 and did what they needed - just managed the game without screwing anything up. The Jets are powered by defense and rushing and Vinny looks like the autopilot to run it. Just not with many fantasy points.
RB Curtis Martin (P) X

Martin finally notched two scores last week but remains anemic in yards per carry (2.7). This week against the Bills, Martin brings his "slow and steady" style against a team only giving up yards to the "fast and elusive" like Cadillac, McAllister and Dunn. He'd need almost 40 carries to break the century mark and that won't happen now since the Bills at home play the same "eat the clock" game.

WR Laveranues Coles
X Having Coles catch six passes for 89 yards to ease the fears of every fantasy owner last week and he was instantly the primary target for Vinny. This week has Coles on the road against the Bills who have only allowed one passing score to wideouts the entire season and CB Terrence McGee has been shutting down his side. Coles will get a few catches here but anything more would be a huge success.
WR Justin McCareins   B As encouraging as Coles was last week, McCareins went the other way and had no catches on his mere two passes last week. No reason yet to expect a big step up for him though he has the better matchup this week.
TE Chris Baker
Doug Jolley
U

Baker is still considered the primary tight end but the Jets are using two tight end sets now and Doug Jolley out gained him again last week. Of 19 passes thrown by Vinny last week, six went to the tight ends and the Bills are softest in the middle with three scores allowed to tight ends versus only one for wideouts. Now the hard part - choosing which one may be better this week. My money's on Jolley.

Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb B Like his counterpart in this game, Holcomb had his first start last week and turned in 169 yards and one score, turning the tide that saw Losman wash out. Holcomb won't be throwing much this week in a certain defensive battle, but he won't make mistakes either. Unless you get points for lack of errors, there's better fantasy quarterbacks to start this week.
RB Willis McGahee S2 McGahee is consistent if nothing else. He has scored in each of the last three games and at home has never managed less than 86 rushing yards, no matter how many carries it takes. He even chips in the odd reception or so each week. McGahee is not going to help you win a game this week, but he won't be why you lose either. His trend of around 90 yards per game matches perfectly with what the Jets have been allowing.
WR Eric Moulds
X

Now that Losman is gone, suddenly Eric Moulds looks like... Eric Moulds. With Holcomb last week, Moulds had ten passes with seven receptions for 59 yards and one touchdown. That's almost as much as he had in the first four games COMBINED. Those ten passes signal that Holcomb knows where the possession catches are and the seven catches says Moulds has the hands to get it done. What he doesn't have this week is a good matchup against a Jets team that has been tough against all wideouts. Moulds has a shot at a score this week but not a great one in a game likely to be about rushing and not throwing.

WR Lee Evans
X

Evans had been worse than many tight ends for the last three weeks but with Holcomb at center, he ended last week with three catches for 65 yards and instantly looks back to form. Tough gig against the Jets this week and Evans bread and butter is the long pass, so he has a chance at some yardage here but not likely much. Moulds is a better risk for yardage since he'll be getting more passes but at least Evans can be considered once again.

WR Josh Reed B

Just because some good things happened with a change in quarterback doesn't mean it bled down to the slot receiver quite yet. He's just a fantasy bench player unless someone gets injured - and possibly still there anyway.

TE Mark Campbell B Just because Campbell had a season high three catches with Holcomb there doesn't mean he's worth a second look. 15 yards just doesn't go very far in any scoring scenario.
 
San Diego (2-3) at Oakland (1-3) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees (Q) U

Brees remains a viable, though only moderately productive, fantasy prospect this week going against a secondary that should easily give him the standard 220 yards and a couple of scores but Tomlinson's dominating performances this season have made Brees more of a game manager. He had 226 yards and one score last year in Oakland right in line with this season. There's a chance he could have a nice game here. Calf injury not expected to keep him out this week.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Scores in every game and is back to his receiving ways as well.
WR Keenan McCardell X

The potential is there but McCardell has declined since week one and only had one catch for the second week in a row. Five scores on the year says it is still there but just not used. Secondaries have been focusing on shutting down McCardell with success, but that's just allowed Tomlinson and Gates to keep on trucking.

WR Eric Parker U With McCardell and Gates getting attention, Parker has seen increased targets for the last three weeks and had 72 yards against the Steelers. Going against Woodson this week likely won't help him though. Not bad in a pinch for some yardage but hasn't scored this year.
TE Antonio Gates S1 Simply the best tight end in the game and leads in most categories despite playing in only four games instead of five.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2 Hopefully the bye week helped Collins figure out how he only managed 218 yards and no score against the Cowboys in week four, but all those hand-offs to Jordan likely were the main culprit. Jordan won't be cruising through the Chargers this week so Collins has to go back to the air. The Chargers let anyone score at least once if they try hard enough.
RB Lamont Jordan S2 Jordan pounded the Cowboys for 126 yards and a score but he'd been barely average before that and no runner has topped 60 yards in the last four games against the Chargers. Decent chance for a short score here but his yardage will likely get cut in half from the last game. At least his receptions will make him worth considering.
WR Randy Moss S1

So far Moss has seen his targets decreasing this season but his strength is always the long ball and so far - no one can stop him from at least one or two. Raiders want to re-energize the passing to The Freak. CB Drayton Florence gives up 4" to Moss, so let the leaping begin.

WR Jerry Porter X

Porter gets more passes than Moss lately but he consistently does a lot less. Only one game above 50 yards in the last five weeks spells only a marginal bye week filler for you.

WR Doug Gabriel
Alvis Whitted  
B

The last game finally brought the duo down to no catches, no yards. And no fantasy value.

TE Courtney Anderson S2

Anderson hasn't been used consistently but when he is in the passing scheme, he's been rock solid. Expect the same team that gave up 101 yards to Shockey to force Collins to look for someone other than Moss and so far it's been only Anderson with any success.

 
Houston (0-4) at Seattle (3-2) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X

If you thought Carr was bad with a healthy Andre Johnson, imagine the beating he'll be getting searching for Gaffney and Bradford. The Seahawks secondary can be beaten but the Texans have yet to show they have anyone capable of making a difference. His only saving grace is that he'll have to throw - a lot.

RB Domanick Davis S2

Second week under the new OC and Davis is looking very much like 2004 - even if nothing else on the team has. His 130 yards on 19 carries were great against the Titans and finally he had eight catches for 43 yards as well. With Johnson out, no doubt Davis continues as the primary receiver as well. Seahawks just gave Steven Jackson 62 yards on six catches, paving the way.

WR Andre Johnson (Q) B Calf sprain has him questionable and off the practice field. At least now you can feel good about benching him... well, sort of anyway. Too early to tell if he doesn't end up a game time decision but is it worth the risk waiting on a potential 30 yards?
WR Jabar Gaffney X Gaffney started last week but only managed 24 yards thanks to all things being Domanick and while that could happen this week, the Seattle corners are nothing special and eventually Carr will throw to someone other than Davis. Few yards probable here but some potential.
WR

Corey Bradford

X Like Gaffney, will be needed to step up against a secondary that now has no main focus with Andre Johnson ailing. Like Gaffney, that doesn't necessarily mean more than unfulfilled potential. Had already lost the starting gig to Gaffney last week.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

How can you not love a QB that can lose both starting wideouts and still throw for 316 yards and two scores last week? Granted - it was against the Rams but this one is back home against the Texans. The only limiting factor here is how often Alexander scores.

RB Shaun Alexander S1 Eight scores in the last four games and over 100 total yards in each. This week against Houston? Cha-ching. Cha-ching. Loss of T Womack not a help, but did not hurt last week.
WR Darrell Jackson (O) B Worse than the knee injury, he'll be missing out on all the fun.
WR Bobby Engram (O) B

Expected to sit out once again due to cracked ribs.

WR Joe Jurevicius S2 Used his first start to turn in a career best game last week and faces a Texans secondary that should prove to be "Ram-tough" (St. Louis, that is). The only reason he is not an S1 is because this won't be a shootout.
WR D.J. Hackett U

The big and athletic rookie got his first start last week and responded with a nice 5-for-43 effort. As with Jurevicius, should get plenty of chances against the Houston secondary.

WR Peter Warrick B Warrick continues to be hampered by his sore groin and he's not likely to add more than a few catches from the slot, if that. There was a reason why the Bengals released him. Now you are witnessing it.
TE Jerramy Stevens S2 In the smaller world of productive tight ends, Stevens has become a consistent feature of the passing game worth at least 30 or so yards a game and had 65 last week with his second score of the year. Texans are weak against tight ends, but it's not like they were strong anywhere else.
 
St. Louis (2-3) at Indianapolis (5-0) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

What happens when the QB with the most passing yards in the NFL meets the defense that has shut down every offense it has met? Probably not Bulger dragging the Colts up to his level. Bruce is out and Holt is a little banged up and the Colts on MNF will want to showcase this new powerhouse defense that is averaging four sacks and almost two interceptions per game. Bulger brings in the best passing offense yet faced by IND, but played as an away game - Bulger takes a step backward this week.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson remains a borderline starter this week since he never gets the carries to top 100 yards in any game and will undoubtedly get even less this week against a defense that has not allowed any rushing scores this season. Jackson is worth starting based on what happened last week - the Rams finally ignored Marshall Faulk completely and threw six passes for 62 yards to Jackson. With Freeney showing up faster than relatives when you win the lottery, a close passing outlet will prove valuable.

RB Marshall Faulk B Faulk only had one pass and could not catch that last week. And so he fades entirely from the fantasy light...
WR Torry Holt (Q) S2 Holt has a bruised knee but he played much of last week with it anyway and still ended with 126 yards on 8 catches. He'll take it lightly this week but play on Sunday. Holt leads the league in passing yardage so you can never sit one of the truly premier wideouts in the NFL but he faces a secondary that has not allowed any wideouts to score this season and held any visiting receiver to 75 yards or less. Holt is not the only wideout for the Rams but he's the best one - the Colts will split between blanketing him and blitzing Bulger.
WR Isaac Bruce (D) B Expected to miss another week.
WR Kevin Curtis S2 Curtis has been a more than adequate replacement for Bruce so far - two games and 141 total yards with one score. His biggest advantage here is that he is not Torry Holt. That will also be his biggest weakness. The Colts secondary has been terrific this year and Curtis will likely remain near his 70 yard average - in the best case.
WR Shaun McDonald X

McDonald calmed down from his first outing as the #3 wideout when he only had 55 yards last week but in a game against a great defense,he'll be worth a few catches if Bulger buys enough time. So far this season, the #3 wideouts have stalled at around 30 yards against the Colts.

WR Dane Looker X Looker had a big 90 yard effort last week and along with McDonald, provides more options for Bulger in the 4 receiver sets but he's just as likely to turn in another 25 yard game like week four. This won't be a shootout.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

The Rams have given up 300 passing yards and/or two more more touchdowns to every opponent this season. The only question here is what Manning wants to take. He has to start and it is a national game, but there is no desire by the Colts to start a shootout here. James will still come first, the passing second.

RB Edgerrin James S1

James has over 100 yards in every game this year. The Rams have allowed the last two opposing runners to gain over 130 yards each. Put the calculator down and just smile when you start Edge this week.

WR Marvin Harrison S1 Will have something between 17 yards (like last week) or 204 yards (like Burress had against the Rams). Big game, Monday night - have to expect a much better showing and if anyone in the NFL scores a touchdown this week, it will be Harrison. Guaranteed. Why? Because on that national stage, Monday night, where better should Manning and Harrison set the all-time record for tandem touchdowns? Manning-Harrison is currently tied with Young-Rice for 85 touchdowns. They already have the graphic ready and lines rehearsed. Finally - a lock to score for Harrison. Really.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 While Wayne has not replicated last year, he's been solid the last three weeks and could pick up another score here once Harrison is done.
WR Brandon Stokley X

Already way overdue on scoring a touchdown, Stokley has varied between 83 yards and complete obscurity this season. His risk exceeds his reward.

TE Dallas Clark X Clark has not been a fantasy force like the tight end spot supplied last year, but he has settled down to a more consistent 40 yards per game lately and the Rams can be dinged by a tight end if Manning looks that way. He has no real upside, but at least is turning in some yardage every week lately.

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