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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 7
Whitney Walters
October 20, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Bye Week
DET at CLE KC at MIA SD at PHI DAL at SEA TEN at ARI CAR, JAC,
GB at MIN NO at STL SF at WAS BAL at CHI Mon 9 PM NE, TB
IND at HOU PIT at CIN   BUF at OAK NYJ at ATL  
      DEN at NYG   (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
 
Buffalo (3-3) at Oakland (1-4) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb U

Holcomb has been solid since taking over as the Bills' starter, but not solid enough to warrant a spot in a fantasy starting lineup. He does however have some upside this week facing the Raiders. Oakland has yet to play a good game and the secondary just isn't getting the job done. They also have close to a league low 8 sacks through 5 games. Holcomb should have some success with the short passing game and with McGahee tearing it up on the ground there will be opportunities for plays down field.

RB Willis McGahee S2 In Buffalo's last two games (both wins) McGahee carried the ball 31 and 29 times. Look for that trend to continue and for him to have success against a Raiders defense that gave up 192 yards on the ground last week to San Diego. It's amazing what even a slight threat from a passing game can do for your fantasy back.
WR Eric Moulds S2

We are witnessing the rediscovery of one of the leagues top wide receivers. With Holcomb under center Moulds is showing his old form and paying off for fantasy owners that stuck with him. He's the top target, getting 10 passes, seven catches and a touchdown in each of the last two games. Nothing the Oakland defense brings to the table should make you feel that the trend won't continue.

WR Lee Evans U

As with Moulds, Evans is starting to recapture the form that had him drafted before his elder teammate in most drafts. But there just isn't enough passing offense to go around and right now Moulds is getting the lion's share. Evans however may have a bit of an upside this week facing the Raiders.

WR Josh Reed B

Hasn't had more than 2 catches for 24 yards since week two.

TE Mark Campbell B In two games with Holcomb throwing the ball Campbell has tripled his season production. But a couple of mediocre games does not a fantasy starter make.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X

Moss may have been under performing by his standards, but his absence changes things considerably for the Raiders offense. And not necessarily for the worse. Without Moss, Collins will be freed from the pressure to get him the ball deep and run the passing attack through a more natural receiver progression. This week's matchup with the #1 pass defense is still not a good one however. He hasn't thrown a touchdown in two games and will be hard pressed to get one here.

RB Lamont Jordan S2

Only once have the Raiders given Jordan a significant workload, and he responded with a 126-yard, one TD performance. Aside from that week 4 effort (Oakland's only win by the way) he's getting just 15 carries a game. That should turn around at least for this week. Without Moss the Raiders will surely lean more on the running game and it's the perfect week to do it. The Bills rank 30th in run defense.

WR Randy Moss (D) B

Will not play this week.

WR Jerry Porter X

It took a bad fall by Moss, but Porter is finally the man for Oakland. At least for a while. Hasn't topped 70 yards this season or scored a touchdown. This matchup with the great cornerback duo of Clements and McGee won't provide much of an opportunity to better those numbers.

WR Doug Gabriel U

Gets the start with Moss down. Gabriel has good size for a wideout and has excellent speed, explosiveness and a knack for the big play. Could surprise this week with one of those big plays despite the seemingly bad matchup with a very solid Buffalo secondary.

WR Alvis Whitted B Wasn't doing much as a #4 and won't improve much as a #3.
TE Courtney Anderson S2 Has just 4 catches for 46 yards in the past two games. Should see an uptick this week. The loss of Moss obviously will provide opportunities for other receivers. Anderson is a huge target that has the ability to get down field and make plays. Collins would be well served to look his way this week against a Bills defense who's strength is not covering the tight end.
 
Denver (5-1) at New York Giants (3-2) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2

After disappointing fantasy owners most of the season, Plummer ripped off his best game of the season last week. Could easily top that against the lowly Giants defense on Sunday.

RB Mike Anderson X

Anderson may be the starter for Denver, but his production over the past two weeks has him moving toward non-starter for fantasy teams. He's averaged just 53 yards in the past two games and only his touchdown last week saved his value. Anderson is the pounder and will still get action in the running game. But unless he gets some of that action around the goal-line his fantasy value is minimal right now.

RB Tatum Bell U

Bell is getting fewer carries than starter Anderson, but he's blowing his doors off in actual production. Despite not starting, Bell has posted two straight 100-yard games and scored three touchdowns in those two games. It's hard to recommend a back that isn't starting, but his big play ability make it attractive. If you take a chance on him remember, if you live by the big play you will die by the lack of the big play.

WR Rod Smith S2

Smith got back on track last week as predicted. Should keep that going this week facing a Giants' secondary that's giving up yardage in big chunks.

WR Ashley Lelie S2

Finally got it going last week with his best performance of the season - 3 catches for 81 yards. The most promising part was his nice 55-yard over-the-shoulder grab in the second quarter. A good sign that he and Plummer are starting to get on the same page with the deep ball. There will be more deep opportunities this week against the Giants' gimpy secondary.

TE Jeb Putzier (P) B This is no longer the tight end friendly system of the past in Denver. The offense has moved away from the position and as a result, Putzier's fantasy value is no better than any other under used tight end in the league. Since week 1 he's averaging a little more than one catch for 18 yards a game.
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

As expected, Manning struggled last week against a solid defense. With the running game likely limited, look for the offense to fall on Manning's shoulders. In this matchup with Denver there are potential advantages to exploit down field. With CB Champ Bailey out or limited by his failing hamstrings, Burress, Toomer and Shockey should win their battles with a secondary high on talent and confidence but low on experience.

RB Tiki Barber X

Getting the running game going this week will be difficult. The Broncos defensive line is playing better than most expected and the linebackers are quick to the ball and considered one of the top groups in the league. Barber has faced two other tough run defenses this season. He went 15-for 60 against SD and 14-for-64 last week against DAL.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

With CB Bailey expected to be slowed or out this week, look for Denver to try the 6-4 Lenny Walls on Burress. Walls is solid and has shown some improvement this season. This should be a fun matchup to watch.

WR Amani Toomer B

Just not in the mix this season as the third option behind Burress and Shockey in the passing game.

TE Jeremy Shockey S1 In the past three games has put up two 100-yard games and scored twice. Shockey and Manning have a great thing going. Get him in your lineup every week and don't give it a second thought.
 
Tennessee (2-4) at Arizona (1-4) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) S2

McNair had a bit of a setback last week and failed to throw a touchdown for the first time this season. He should make up for that this week against an Arizona secondary that's scrambling for starters due to injuries.

RB Chris Brown S2

Brown finally found the end-zone last week... twice. Now that he's warmed up he should keep it going this week against a Cardinals defense that has allowed a league leading eight rushing touchdowns though it's five games.

WR Drew Bennett (O) B Out indefinitely with a dislocated thumb.
WR Tyrone Calico X

Like fantasy owners everywhere, the Titans are waiting on Calico to make an impact this season. He has only seven catches on the season. You would think that would change now that he moves into the starting lineup. But it may not. With the talented Jones on the other side and a trio of pass-catching tight ends, Calico isn't a lock to finally make his presence felt.

WR Brandon Jones S2

And just like that the rookie becomes the #1 option in the Titans' passing attack. Jones had 12 looks last week, the most by any Titan receiver this season. And most of that came before Bennett's late injury. With the Cardinals' secondary still decimated by injury, a career game for Jones is not out of the question.

TE Ben Troupe
Erron Kinney (Q)
S2

The tight ends play a key role in the Titans' offense and that role may even increase with the loss of WR Bennett. Kinney is first among tight ends in catches and Troupe is second in touchdowns. Both are viable fantasy starters, Kinney getting the edge in leagues with reception scoring and Troupe getting the edge in TD-only leagues.

Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown S2

Conditional recommendation. The condition is that McCown is the actual starter this week. If he is then he's a good play facing the suspect Titan secondary. Warner is supposedly recovered from the groin injury but coach Green isn't naming his starting QB until Sunday morning. Odds are good that he'll stick with McCown as the offense has moved much better under his guide.

RB Marcel Shipp B

Shipp may have won the starting job, but he's really not that much more effective than Arrington most of the time. Of his 13 carries in week 5, only five went for positive yardage. The problem isn't the back, it's the blocking up front. Neither Shipp or his backup ...

RB J.J. Arrington B ... Arrington are worth your attention right now unless in an extreme matchup advantage.
WR Anquan Boldin S2

Tearing it up with McCown at QB. 18 catches, 274 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games. The Titans' secondary will have no answer for Boldin, or ...

WR Larry Fitzgerald S2

... his running mate Fitzgerald, who has 16 catches, 238 yards and two touchdowns in the last two games. Get these guys in your lineup.

WR Bryant Johnson B With the Cardinals using more 2-WR formations to help in the blocking up front, Bryant's opportunities to produce are very limited.
TE Teyo Johnson B

Johnson is the best receiving tight end the team has and they'd like to get him more involved in the passing game. But until that materializes he's just someone to keep an eye on.

 
New York Jets (2-4) at Atlanta (4-2) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde B

In his two weeks back, Vinny has completed a total of 25 passes, none for a touchdown. And it doesn't get any easier this week against the very aggressive Falcon defense and the loss of all-world center Kevin Mawae.

RB Curtis Martin S2

The return of Vinny has meant the return of Martin as well. He's piled up 207 yards and three touchdowns in the two games since Vinny took over at QB. I hope C-Mart's legs are up for some more action. The Jets will keep pounding Martin this week since the only thing the Falcons' defense can't do is stop the run. This matchup does lose some of it's luster with the loss of center Mawae.

WR Laveranues Coles U

Coles is staying active in the passing game, even if his stats took a dip last week. The Falcons' best cornerback is DeAngelo Hall, who is struggling and a target for most offenses now. Look for Coles to pad his season totals a bit in this matchup. May even find the end-zone again.

WR Justin McCareins   X

Looks like Vinny found his other wide receiver. McCareins had a season high 116 yards last week on five catches. There's no reason to think he'll duplicate that any time soon, but he does have a favorable matchup this week against the Falcons.

TE Doug Jolley X

With Baker back to his old form of poor pass catching and only slightly better blocking, Jolley is now the Jet tight end to have. His chances may be limited this week as he'll be called on more for pass protection against the aggressive Falcon rush. But he will also slip out on screens and short releases to give Testaverde a quick target to hit.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick X

Vick returned to action last week and had a typical game - 112 yards passing and a touchdown with 51 yards on the ground. Enough to get the Falcons a win but not enough for him to help a fantasy team to the same. And so it goes for the ever hopeful Vick owners.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

Dunn has averaged over 100 yards a game over the past three and scored twice. Will see a few more carries this week with Duckett out and should have no trouble maintaining that average against a Jets' defense allowing 130 YPG on the ground.

RB T.J. Duckett (Q) B Duckett is out this week with an ankle sprain.
WR Michael Jenkins X

NY CB Ty Law is hobbled and the young and athletic Jenkins could take advantage this week and... oh... sorry... this is a Falcon wide receiver we are talking about here. Forget that thought.

WR Brian Finneran X

After teasing fantasy owners for three weeks and exciting them for one, Finneran dropped off the face of the earth last week with a zero catch effort. If the Falcon receiver's last name isn't Crumpler he ain't worth didily pooh. Sorry, Mora Sr. flashback.

TE Alge Crumpler S1 It's only a hunch, but look for Crumpler to top 100 yards for the first time this season on Monday night. And with Duckett out you can bet they'll be looking for the big guy down around the goal-line.

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