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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 8
Whitney Walters
October 27, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week
ARI at DAL GB at CIN OAK at TEN MIA at NO BUF at NE ATL, IND,
CHI at DET JAC at STL WAS at NYG KC at SD Mon 9 PM NYJ, SEA
CLE at HOU MIN at CAR   PHI at DEN BAL at PIT  
      TB at SF   (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
 
Arizona (2-4) at Dallas (4-3) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown X

Only threw for 140 yards and a single TD last week against a terrible TEN secondary. But did lead the Cardinals to a win so he will hold on to the starting QB job one more week despite coming out of the win with a bruised hand and slightly sprained ankle. This will be McCown's first road game of the season and it will be a difficult one facing a very tough Dallas defense.

RB Marcel Shipp B

Over the last two games Shipp is averaging just over 1 YPC. The Cardinals just can't run the ball... period. On the positive side, he did outrush Tomlinson this week.

RB J.J. Arrington B

Had his best day as a pro totaling 37 yards, 32 of which came on a nice run. There may be hope for the rookie this season, but he's not a fantasy factor.

WR Anquan Boldin S2

Huh? Followed up two 100-yard games with his first career zero-catch game. With a running game that's going nowhere, Arizona is forced to throw the ball. Dallas is a tough matchup for sure, but Boldin will get his shots and should produce.

WR Larry Fitzgerald S2

An every week performer that's scored a touchdown in the past three games. CB Terence Newman has good speed and can be a playmaker, but Fitz will be too much to handle.

WR Bryant Johnson B The more 2-WR sets the Cardinals use to help with blocking up front, the fewer snaps Bryant gets. Has had more than two catches only once this season.
TE TE du jour B

In this offense the tight end's primary job is blocking.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2

The Cardinals defense continues to improve and Bledsoe took a step back last week. Bledsoe was under constant pressure and was sacked five times. The loss of LT Flozell Adams and the resulting shuffle on the offensive line surely didn't help. Look for the Cardinals to bring plenty of heat. If the line can protect Bledsoe there are matchup advantages to exploit in the secondary.

RB Julius Jones (Q) X

Jones didn't even make the trip to Seattle last week, so his playing status for this game is up in the air. Since giving up a couple of big rushing games early in the season the Cardinals have held their last three opponents to under 70 yards rushing and just a single TD. Regardless, if Jones takes the field Sunday then he's a good, but not great, fantasy start. It's not looking good for him to play, but don't expect to know his playing status until later in the week.

RB Marion Barber X Anthony Thomas got the start last week but it was Barber carrying the load with 22 carries for 95 yards. If Jones sits this game out then Barber becomes a decent option for your fantasy lineup.
WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Isn't going to light it up most weeks, but is always solid and leads the team in touchdown catches.

WR Terry Glenn S2 After a blistering four game stretch, Glenn has cooled off the past two weeks. The Arizona secondary are making a habit of giving up big games to opposing receivers. Especially the one's with down field speed. Look for Glenn to get it going again Sunday.
WR Peerless Price B Price made himself useful last week as a punt returner but had only one pass thrown his way. At least he caught it.
TE Jason Witten S2

Had his lowest output since week 1 against Seattle. Unfortunately it's likely not a coincidence that it comes the week after the team loses one of its top offensive linemen. There may be more blocking assignments for Witten now that may continue to limit his fantasy upside.

 
Chicago (3-3) at Detroit (3-3) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Orton continues to do enough for the Bears to log some wins. Don't look for him to do the same for your fantasy team.
RB Thomas Jones (P) S2

Didn't find the end-zone last week but matched his season high of 139 yards rushing on 25 carries. That other 139-yard game, week two against these Lions. The Lions have improved defensively since then, but they still gave up a 100-yard game to Droughns last week. Jones should do just fine in Motown.

RB Cedric Benson B

If he doesn't get double digit yards this week he's off the SBL. What a waste.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2

When you're stuck on the 30th ranked passing offense led by a very raw rookie QB, there's just not a lot of upside. But Muhammad is the team leader in receptions and yards by a long shot, and that's good enough for a spot on most fantasy lineups. It won't hurt that Detroit's leading CB Dre' Bly will be out this week with a dislocated wrist.

WR Mark Bradley B Bradley is a raw rookie but has big play potential due to his great speed and run after the catch ability. With opposing defenses keying on Muhammad, Bradley has been getting a fair amount of looks in the passing game. So far that's only warranted a FA pickup in deep or dynasty leagues. Don't expect that to change any time soon.
TE Desmond Clark

S2

As expected, Clark is healthy and becoming a nice target for QB Orton, who looked his way nine times last week, same number of looks as Muhammad. The Lions are expected to focus on stopping the run (as most Chicago opponents do) which will provide openings for Clark over the middle behind the attacking linebackers.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia X

Well all it took was a 70% healthy Garcia to send Harrington to the bench for the season. It wasn't always pretty, but he did throw for more yardage, 210, than Harrington had in a game all season. And his ability to run for scores is a plus. The Bears will be a tough challenge, and with a WR corps that may be without it's top 3 receivers, Garcia is no fantasy option at this point but he's worth a spot on your roster if you have the room.

RB Kevin Jones X

Wasn't 100% and it showed. But Jones strapped it up and gave it his best shot last Sunday. The results weren't spectacular from a fantasy perspective, but it was good to see him get over 20 carries and the 74 yards rushing was his second highest total for the season. The Lions will keep pounding the ball, but against the Bears this week don't expect much. They remain the only team in the NFL that has yet to surrender a rushing TD.

RB Shawn Bryson
Artose Pinner
X

Bryson and Pinner will keep getting some carries in relief of starter Jones. Except in the case of Bryson it won't be enough to warrant any fantasy attention. Bryson's only fantasy value comes from his 3rd-down back role that result in some catches out of the backfield.

WR Roy Williams (Q) B

Williams is still nursing the quad injury that has kept him out for the past two games. It will likely be a late week decision on his playing status. With Harrington on the bench, if Williams can get some good practice time in this week he should be on the playing field Sunday. Even if he is he's a risky play due to the solid Chicago defense and the nagging leg injury.

WR Mike Williams X

Can make the occasional big play, but the rookie has been slow to develop this season. Expected to get another start this week. His size is an advantage but his inexperience makes him a better matchup against opposing nickel and dime cornerbacks. Those matchups won't come again until Roy Williams is healthy and Rogers returns from suspension.

WR Scottie Vines U At a minimum will be the #3 WR this week, but may find himself the starter if Roy Williams can't go. Garcia looked his way seven times last week, once in the end-zone. If he starts this week he makes a nice sleeper for those that need some help at WR due to injuries and the bye week.
TE Marcus Pollard X

Pollard's only getting 2-3 catches a week since he's spending most of his time in pass protection. That may begin to decrease given Garcia's mobility, but how the new QB feels about going to the TE has yet to be determined. He only looked his way three times last week.

 
Cleveland (2-4) at Houston (0-6) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer U

Has played progressively worse over the past two weeks and has six turnovers in the last two games. Houston presents the worst defense Dilfer's seen since Green Bay in week two, so a bounce-back is likely. If he doesn't this could be his last week as the Browns' starting quarterback.

RB Reuben Droughns S2

Still didn't get his 20 carries, but did get his first 100-yard game of the season last week. The Texans and their league worst run defense present a tasty matchup for Droughns. Look for the Browns to keep feeding him the ball and for him to produce. Could this be the week the Browns score their first rushing TD of the season? After six games the odds are good.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Since Bryant's big two touchdown game in week 5 he's totaled just five catches for 49 yards and has struggled along with the Browns' passing attack, dropping more than his fair share of passes. Cleveland gets a break this week visiting Houston, so look for an uptick in production this week if he can correct the concentration problems that landed him in Cleveland this season.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

With the return of Edwards, Northcutt will move to the slot-receiver and a much smaller role in the passing game.

WR Braylon Edwards S2 Returned to the field last week and actually led the team in receiving. Only took three catches for 30 yard to do it though. As the Browns only big play threat on offense it's time for the rookie to get more involved in the offense. Look for the Browns to do just that.
TE Aaron Shea
Steve Heiden
X The tight end position is key for the Browns controlled, short passing game they like to employ. Both Shea and Heiden stay active, but both are rarely going to be productive in the same game. Picking one to play isn't an activity fantasy owners should waste their time on each week.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X

Nine... NINE... How can you play an entire NFL game and only throw the ball nine times? The Cleveland secondary is suspect and they can't rush the quarterback, as their league low 8 sacks shows. So Carr avoids a 'B' rating given the matchup, but I wouldn't recommend anyone start him.

RB Domanick Davis S2

Davis had a season high 28 carries last week and remains the only piece of the offense that works with any consistency. The formula will stay the same for Houston this week with the terrible run defense of the Browns coming to town. Run the ball.

WR Andre Johnson (Q) B The calf injury is expected to limit Johnson in practice this week but he may give it a go on Sunday. Even if he does he won't be 100% and could easily tweak the injury. The Texans sure need Johnson back on the field, but until he gets some productive game time under his belt he should stay on your bench.
WR Jabar Gaffney S2

Despite the horrible performance of the passing attack last week against the Colts, Gaffney again led all Houston receivers and had another fantasy worthy effort, scoring only the second touchdown by a Texan WR this season. With Johnson still slowed and Bradford failing to step up, Gaffney will again be the only viable option for Carr down field.

WR

Corey Bradford

X Will still get some attention with Johnson out of the lineup, but Bradford's play has been inconsistent at best and he's taking a back seat to the emerging Gaffney.
 

Green Bay (1-5) at Cincinnati (5-2)

Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre X

It has to be tough watching your team fall apart around you. Through it all Favre has produced. But that will be a major challenge now that he's lost his starting running back and another starting receiver. He also faces a much improved, ball-hawking Cincinnati secondary. Not a good matchup given he'll be pressing more than ever now.

RB Tony Fisher (P) S2

Steps into the starting job for the Packers this week with the loss of Green for the season. The last time Fisher was called on to carry the load for Green Bay was in 2002 and he responded with two touchdowns and 187 rushing yards in two games. But this is 2005 and that 187 yards is more than starter Ahman Green has had in any THREE games this season. The Pack may not be running the ball well, but the Bengals aren't stopping the run very well. You should expect Fisher to put up some decent numbers this week. If you are in an injury/bye week bind, you could do a lot worse than playing Fisher.

WR Donald Driver X

If this continues Driver could be lining up with Arena League receivers soon. The aging veteran may be on the decline, but he can still get it done when called upon. He'll be called upon big time for the rest of the season. CB's Tory James and Deltha O'Neal have developed into one of the better duos in the league and play excellent man coverage. Driver will have his work cut out for him as he'll likely see double coverage all day.

WR Antonio Chatman X

Chatman started the season as Green Bay's #4 or #5 WR. Now he becomes the starter for the remainder of the season. Went catchless in week 5, but since gaining more playing time after week 1 he's produced, scoring three touchdowns in the past four games. Fantasy factor by attrition. His size makes him a better slot-receiver, but he's the best option they have for a starter opposite Driver.

TE Bubba Franks S2 Franks returned last week and was the most productive Packer tight end. With weapons dropping all around him, look for Favre to lean on his reliable TE even more now.
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Palmer finally came down to earth last week thanks to the fine play of the Pittsburgh defense. Don't expect that kind of play from the Packers. Their shuffled secondary didn't fair well last week against the Vikings. Palmer and company should get back on track this week.

RB Rudi Johnson (P) S2

Has seen his carries decrease every week over the past four and had a season low of 12 last week. But the game dictated that workload. He had 9 carries for 46 yards in the first half, but after the Bengals fell further behind they had to turn to the pass. Duplicating his first half numbers in the second would give you his typical performance, and about what you should expect out of him this week.

RB Chris Perry X

Rudi may complain about his workload, but the bottom line is that he's not the best running back in a Bengal uniform. That honor goes to Perry, who will remain active in the passing game and get 8 or so carries in relief of Johnson.

WR Chad Johnson S1 It's the same old, same old for Johnson. Lots of talk, lots of double coverage and lots of production.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

The injured hand seemed fine last week as T.J. led the Bengals with seven receptions. With all the attention Chad Johnson gets, Houshmandzadeh has become very adapt at using his quickness and finding the open spots over the middle and down the seams.

WR Miscellaneous #3 WR B Over the past three games the lead #3 WR role has been shared between rookie Chris Henry and Kevin Walter with a little Kelly Washington thrown in. The production is too inconsistent beyond the starters to warrant any fantasy attention.
 
Jacksonville (4-2) at St. Louis (3-4) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich S2

Leftwich started the season with his high score in week one and hasn't topped that 250-yard, 2-TD mark since. This matchup should provide his best chance to do just that. The Rams are reeling and had to come from behind last week to beat the lowly Saints. The offensive line is playing better and should give Leftwich the pocket protection he needs to pick the Rams' suspect secondary apart.

RB Fred Taylor (P) S1

Coming off a bye week that allowed his sprained ankle to heal, Taylor should be raring to go against a Rams' defense that gives up big games to big-time backs.

WR Jimmy Smith S2

Going into the bye, Smith had his worst two game stretch this year, going just 6-for-74. But that was Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and this is St. Louis. It'll be a different story in week 8.

WR Reggie Williams U

Williams is the starter along with Smith and gets plenty of looks each week. But to date he's done little with them, averaging about 3 catches a game and yet to score. The way the Rams' secondary is playing lately Williams may be a deep sleeper pick this week.

WR Ernest Wilford B Wilford caught his second TD of the season in week 5 (two more than starter Williams) and is seeing more time on the field at rookie Matt Jones' expense. He's becoming more of a factor in the red-zone due to his size and great hands.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jamie Martin (P) B

Martin has one more chance to show everyone what HC Martz apparently saw, a quality backup NFL QB. Too bad that chance is coming against the Jaguars' defense after their bye week.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson had his best day running the ball last week and actually got 20 carries for only the third time in his career. Funny little tidbit. The Rams are 3-0 in those games. Statistically the Jags don't rate out as a top run stopping defense, but the yards will be hard to come by in this matchup. But they will come, along with another 20+ carry game.

WR Torry Holt (D) X

Holt's bruised knee made him a gameday scratch last week, the first missed game of his career. He's scheduled to give it a go this week in practice, but expect another late week decision on his playing status. If he's close to 100% and plays, then he's of course a decent fantasy start even against the Jags. But early indications are that he'll miss another week.

WR Isaac Bruce (Q) B Not expected to return until week 10.
WR Kevin Curtis S2 Curtis has been a more than adequate replacement for Bruce so far, averaging over 70 yards a game and scoring in all but one game since moving into the starting lineup. Will be hurt a bit if Holt plays, but if Holt is out again Curtis is a very solid start.
WR Shaun McDonald X

Has been getting the looks with Holt out but has done little with them. Carries little value if Holt is out and much less if Holt returns to the starting lineup.

WR Dane Looker B Since his 90-yard effort in week 4, Looker has had very few opportunities even with the injuries to Bruce and Holt.

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