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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
 
Minnesota (2-4) at Carolina (4-2) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2

As expected Culpepper got back on track somewhat last week. The suspect Panthers' secondary will provide a great opportunity to keep that going.

RB Mewelde Moore S2

The last three games carry totals - 14, 14 and 13. In those three games Moore has more receiving yards (175) than rushing yards (159) and his only score was a catch. He's averaging a very solid 4 YPC, so the more they hand off to him the better. Don't expect above average carries against the Panthers' #3 run defense. But it's his receiving activity that keeps him a borderline starter in this matchup.

WR Nate Burleson S2

Didn't look quite himself, but made it through his first game back from injury with three nice catches. Now it's time to start thinking of getting him back into your starting lineup. The Panthers have struggled all season against the pass and two of their top three corners, Gamble and Manning, are a liability more often than not.

WR Travis Taylor X

As predicted, with Burleson back Taylor's looks decreased. Last week's three passes were a season low. That trend is likely to continue, limiting his upside and fantasy value.

WR Marcus Robinson U

Mr. Robinson, say hello to Mr. Manning. Ricky that is. You know, the very burnable nickel cornerback for the Panthers.

WR Troy Williamson X Along with Robinson, look for Williamson to get a few changes to wave to Ricky Manning on his way to being open on a deep slant or sideline route.
TE Jermaine Wiggins X

Since the bye week has led the team in receptions with 16 in the past two games. The secondary will open up a bit for the wideouts this week so Culpepper may not be as dependent on the rotund one.

Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

The interceptions are hurting his team, but over the last four games Delhomme has averaged over 240 yards and two touchdowns per game. The Vikings have improved their play against the pass lately, but they are still vulnerable more times than not. Those vulnerabilities should provide Delhomme enough chances to hit his averages this week.

RB Stephen Davis X

Davis may be getting the scores, but he hasn't had more than 20 carries since week two and his yards per carry decreases a bit with each passing week. You can't ignore the major off-season knee surgery, and he could already be breaking down. The Panthers will surely keep using him around the goal-line, but look for him to start giving up more touches to Foster.

RB DeShaun Foster (Q) U

Foster didn't play in week 6 (before the bye) due to a bruised heel. He's expected to return this week and has looked very good when given the ball. He's established a role in the passing game and his 373 total yards is second on the team to WR Steve Smith. Davis may get the scoring opportunities, but look for the Panthers to work Foster into the running game more starting this week because he's been much more productive. The horrible Viking run defense provides a bit of sleeper action for Foster.

WR Steve Smith S2 Minnesota corners Smoot and Winfield have improved their play since earlier in the season, but it's unwise to bet against Smith this season. He's been unstoppable most weeks.
WR Keary Colbert (Q) X In an odd show of diversity in week 6, receivers other than Steve Smith played a role in the Panthers' passing game. Colbert ended the day with three catches for 53 yards, his highest yardage total of the season. His breakout game may come this season, but it's not going to be this week facing the strong Viking CB tandem of Smoot and Winfield.
WR Ricky Proehl
Rod Gardner
B

The ball actually got spread around in week 6 before the Panthers' off week. Proehl and Gardner combined for 9 catches, 82 yards and two touchdown (the first non-Smith WR scores of the season). If Smith is shut down there may be a chance for that to repeat itself this week. But don't count on it.

TE Kris Mangum U Except for week 6's shutout, Mangum has been a fairly consistent 2-3 catch a week performer. If you are without a good TE option this week due to the byes, and if you are feeling lucky, give Mangum a shot. The Vikings have given up one or more touchdowns to every tight end they've played this season.
 
Oakland (2-4) at Tennessee (2-5) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2

After a two week drought Collins finally hit the end-zone again last week, if only once. That touchdown total will increase this week against a Titan secondary that's given it up to the likes of Wright, Carr and McCown so far this season.

RB Lamont Jordan S2

There is little doubt that HC Norv Turner wants to run the ball. And there's no denying that the Raiders have won the only two games in which Jordan topped 20 carries. But his lack of use in the losses has more to do with game development than philosophy. It's hard to run when you are behind. That shouldn't be a problem this week as these two struggling teams will likely play a closely fought contest.

WR Randy Moss (Q) S2

Ended up giving it a go last week but played only through the first half. Expected to play again this week despite not being close to 100% due to the injuries. Because of that he carries some risk, but even in limited action last week he put up fantasy worthy numbers (43 yards and a score). Against a very suspect Titan secondary he's a good bet to improve on that stat line.

WR Jerry Porter X

Even with Moss slowed or out last week Porter continued his disappointingly average season, going just 4-for-43 -- about his season average. He also has yet to score a touchdown. So on one hand he's way overdue to cross the goal-line this week against a very suspect Titan secondary. But on the other hand he's failed to step up so far this season.

WR Doug Gabriel U

Didn't get the start last week but ended up being the best Oakland receiver on the field. Until Moss is close to 100% that's likely to continue to be the case. Even as a #3 WR this week Gabriel has a big advantage over the Titan secondary due to his speed and big play ability.

TE Courtney Anderson X Anderson's opportunities have been limited by the heavy use of max protection schemes in the passing game. Since his 100-yard game in week 3 he's totaled just just 4 catches for 46 yards and didn't have a single pass go his way last week. At 6-7 Anderson is a huge target, but his lack of use prevent him from being a consistent fantasy factor.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) S2

McNair is expected to return to practice this week and play Sunday. Look for a good day from him as he faces a makeshift Oakland secondary that wasn't that good before losing CB Woodson and S Gibson.

RB Chris Brown (Q) X

Well, Brown almost made it through the Henry suspension without an injury. It doesn't appear that the neck stinger he suffered last week will cause him to miss any action this week. The return of Travis Henry to the backfield sure will though. Look for about 40% of his touches to go back to Henry starting this week.

RB Travis Henry X Returns to the team this week after his 4-game suspension. Before the suspension Henry had 31 carries to Brown's 39. With Brown dinged up look for a fairly even split of the workload to be re-established. Half of a so-so running game isn't typically what a fantasy team needs from it's starting running backs.
WR Tyrone Calico U

Still doesn't look like he's fully back from his off-season knee surgery, but stepped up last week and led the Titans in receiving with 6 catches for 51 yards. Not like he had a choice once Jones went down with a knee injury. Going into this matchup with the injury riddled Oakland secondary he'll have little choice again with Jones possibly out. Nice sleeper start this week.

WR Brandon Jones (Q) X

Exam results on Jones' knee have been called "positive" and that's all the Titans are saying. If he's strong enough to play this week there is an obvious matchup advantage with the Raiders' injury weakened secondary. Don't expect to hear a final playing status on Jones until Sunday morning.

WR Roydell Williams
Courtney Roby
X With Bennett sidelined and now Jones possibly joining him, these two rookies will play a much bigger role in the passing game. Both are very raw but talented. It's possible one will step up and produce if Jones sits this week. Based on past activity the likely candidate is Williams.
TE Erron Kinney S2

The tight ends play a key role in the Titans' offense and that role is increasing with the loss of WR Bennett and now possibly Jones. Kinney led the team in receiving yards last week with 60, his second highest total of the season.

TE Ben Troupe X Troupe remains active, but is a secondary choice to Kinney for fantasy purposes.
 
Washington (4-2) at New York Giants (4-2) Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell (P) S2

Last week Brunell welcomed the worst pass defense to our capital city. This week he visits the almost worst pass defense at Giants Stadium. The results will be just about the same.

RB Clinton Portis S2

Ended his eight-game touchdown drought in a big way with three scores last week. The Giants are not playing good defense right now and they lack any big run-stopping playmakers. Portis should have another fine afternoon running the ball.

WR Santana Moss S1

Moss is playing so well that last week's 5-112, TD stat line seems almost routine. Moss is leading the league in receiving yards and has scored three touchdowns in the last two games.

WR David Patten
James Thrash
B Both Patten and Thrash are seeing time opposite Moss, with Patten currently having the most potential. Neither are a fantasy option however as they take a back seat most weeks to Cooley.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley is a big, reliable target out of his H-back position. He only had two catches last week but one was a nice 32-yard screen play. The Giants' defense doesn't handle the short routes very well over the middle so look for Cooley to be very active this week.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

Manning wraps up a tough three game stretch this week with his most difficult matchup. The Redskins are a top defensive unit and have held their last three opponents to an average of just 120 YPG through the air. Okay, one was Alex Smith, but you get the point. They are tough to throw on and have not allowed a multi-TD game from a QB this season. Look for Manning to struggle in this matchup.

RB Tiki Barber S2

Only had 19 carries last week, but added six receptions, a season high. The Giants will need to run the ball with some success in order to help open up the passing game for Manning. That goal should be met given the Giants' advantage at the line of scrimmage against a Redskin front that has been run on consistently.

WR Plaxico Burress (Q) S2

The simple fact is that when Burress plays well there isn't a corner in the league that can match up with him. He's been playing very well this season and is Manning's top target in the passing game, averaging almost 13 passes a game, second most in the NFL. He has a shoulder injury that will limit him in practice this week, but he's expected to play.

WR Amani Toomer X

When the Giants had to play catch-up in the fourth quarter last week, Toomer became a big target for the first time this season. He ended the game with 8 catches for 62 yards and a score, most of that coming on the final two drives of the game. Toomer has gradually become more active in the passing attack, but his role is still the fourth option and his 8 catches last week was his highest total since week 10 of last season.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2

Shockey's size and speed are a tough matchup for any defender. This week one of the league's biggest and most physical safeties, Sean Taylor, gets his shot at trying to slow Shockey down. Should be a fun individual matchup to watch, but Shockey's ability to find soft spots in coverage and play making ability gives him the edge.

 
Miami (2-4) at New Orleans (2-5) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Frerotte is struggling of late and the Saints play better at "home" this season. Well this week they actually get to go home with this game being played in Baton Rouge. Don't expect much out of ol' Gus this week.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S2

Followed up his 9 carry effort in week six with an 8 carry game last week. Thankfully for fantasy owners one of those carries was a great 65-yard score down the sidelines. The lack of carries since Williams' return is a big concern. Williams is just not ready to contribute and Brown is suffering while the Dolphins try to work Ricky into the offense. The Saints don't pose much of a threat this week so chances are good that even with Williams taking carries, Brown can produce.

RB Ricky Williams B

Since his return, Williams has just 7 yards on 11 carries. Not exactly what everyone's been waiting on. There's a good chance he can get something going this weekend against the lowly Saints, but until he begins to produce he should stay on your bench unless you are desperate this week.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Had a season low two catches last week. But one being a 77-yard touchdown jaunt made it a nice day for Chambers owners. The passing production is suffering right now along with Frerotte's poor play. Chambers remains the receiving leader for the team, putting up decent fantasy numbers most weeks. Look for more of the same Sunday.

WR Marty Booker (Q) B

Outside of Chambers and McMichael there just isn't much happening in the Miami passing attack. With it's limited production lately there just isn't enough to go around. Suffered an ankle injury last week and should be avoided.

TE Randy McMichael S2 McMichael remains in the flow and is the second option behind Chambers in the passing game. Until the passing game can get it's act together, expect barely startable numbers from McMichael. Numbers that will be aided this week by Booker's possible absence.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X

The Saints continue to find ways to lose, but Brooks has thrown for two touchdowns in each of the last two games. That's the only two this season and something that doesn't happen often for the erratic QB (only four times last year). This could shape up to a nice matchup for Brooks against a banged up Dolphin secondary, but with his top three receivers and tight end landing on the injury report this week it will be hard to take advantage.

RB Antowain Smith S2

With Stecker bothered by a bum ankle look for Smith to carry most of the running load this week. There's a good change that load will increase with all the injuries at WR. The Dolphins defense isn't playing nearly as well as it was to start the season due to injuries that impact run support. Smith is a solid start this week.

RB Aaron Stecker (Q) X Stecker's a risky proposition this week due to the ankle injury he suffered last week. He was able to play through it at the time, but his status is uncertain.
WR Joe Horn (Q) B

Horn's hamstring will likely keep him out another week.

WR Donte' Stallworth (Q) X

Except for the week 5 implosion, Stallworth has performed well as the team's primary receiver with Horn out. He's been much more consistent than usual. His shoulder injury isn't expected to be bad enough to keep him out, but he will not be 100% this weekend.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim (Q) X

Has been tearing it up with Horn out. Over the last three games he's pulled in 17 passes for 293 yards and a touchdown. The rib injury he suffered last week makes him an unknown for Sunday's matchup with Miami.

WR Devery Henderson U

By default the rookie may see a lot of playing time this weekend. If Horn and the others are unable to go then Henderson should be a decent sleeper start this week. He has great speed and can make big plays down field.

TE Ernie Conwell (Q) B

Conwell has been limited the past three weeks due to a nagging back injury. Now he's injured his knee. With all the WR injuries he could be a nice play, but not if he can't say on the field himself.

 
Kansas City (4-2) at San Diego (3-4) Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

Green threw for a season-high 289 yards last week but failed to throw a touchdown. That makes three times this season Green has gone TD-less. It's unlikely to happen a fourth time Sunday as the Chargers' secondary has struggled all year and this should be a high scoring game. This should be Green's most productive game so far.

RB Priest Holmes S2

All-world OT Willie Roaf returned last week and sparked a resurgence in the Chiefs running game. Holmes had his highest rushing yards of the season and ripped off his longest touchdown run at 35 yards. The going will get tough this week against San Diego and their #2 ranked run defense. Look for the Chiefs to run more screens and short passes to Holmes to get him going on the edges of the defense.

RB Larry Johnson B Against the Dolphins last week, Johnson outgained Holmes for the first time since week one. Expect a sharp decline in production this week facing the very stout San Diego run defense.
WR Eddie Kennison S2

After a highly productive four game stretch, Kennison put up a donut two weeks ago and had just two catches for 24 yards last week. If there's ever a time to bounce back it's in this high scoring game against the very beatable CB duo of Florence and Jammer who will be forced into man-to-man coverage due to the safety help needed against Gonzo and LT.

WR Dante Hall B With the injury to Samie Parker, Hall has seen more attention in the Chiefs' passing attack. But his 2-3 catches a game aren't going to be of value to anyone's fantasy team.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2

Finally! Last week was his second in a row of good activity in the offense with nine passes going his way. And this time it paid off with his best game of the year -- seven catches for 67 yards. You can stop panicking now and keep Gonzalez in your starting lineup with a little less trepidation this week.

San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

In a bit of a surprise against the tough Philly defense last week, Brees put up his best stats of the season. This matchup with the schizophrenic Chiefs defense at home has big game written all over it. Kansas City will want to blitz Brees, but that requires it's corners to hold up in man coverage. Something they have yet to accomplish with any consistency.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Hey, those kind of days happen to the best of them. This is a must win for the Chargers and they will surely lean heavily on their star performer.
WR Keenan McCardell S2

After three weeks of two or fewer catches McCardell appeared last week to lead all wide receivers in catches with six. With LT and Gates demanding attention, look for McCardell to make a little noise of his own in this matchup against a Chiefs' secondary that has been plagued by injuries and inconsistent play all season.

WR Eric Parker X

Parker has faded away over the past two games and was held without a catch last week. The ankle injury really limited his abilities. Should bounce back this week if healthy.

TE Antonio Gates S1 Only twice has Gates not had stud TE numbers this season, and one of those was week one when he didn't suit up.

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