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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 9
Whitney Walters
November 3, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM Bye Week
ATL at MIA DET at MIN SD at NYJ CHI at NO PHI at WAS BUF, DAL,
CAR at TB HOU at JAC TEN at CLE NYG at SF Mon 9 PM DEN, STL
CIN at BAL OAK at KC   SEA at ARI IND at NE  
      PIT at GB   (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
 
Atlanta (5-2) at Miami (3-4) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick X

Despite the media's best efforts to make the masses think otherwise, Vick is not a good NFL quarterback. I know there are many out there that don't like hearing that, but as they say - the truth can hurt. He barely completes half of his throws, mostly because they are off target, he has a whopping 5 passing TD's through his five games played this season and averages just 135 YPG. If it wasn't for his ability to occasionally make a play with his legs he wouldn't even be on most fantasy rosters. If you want to keep drinking the kool-aid and play Vick, go right ahead. But take it from someone that put that cup down and stepped away from the table of hype long ago, there are better options.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

Dunn has been tearing it up against very suspect run defenses for over a month. This week he draws a Miami unit that gave up 180 yards a game to opposing RB's in week's 6 and 7 before holding the Saints to just 56 yards last week. Dunn is a solid start Sunday.

RB T.J. Duckett (Q) B Duckett is expected to return Sunday, but his playing status won't be determined until later in the week. Even if he plays his touches will be limited.
WR Michael Jenkins (Q)
Brian Finneran
Roddy White
B

If Vick doesn't use his wide receivers, why should you?

TE Alge Crumpler S2 Crumpler's numbers continue to be hurt by the terrible Vick-led passing game. He remains however a top fantasy tight end and Vick's primary target, especially in the red zone.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Frerotte is struggling of late. The Falcons play in the secondary has been a problem, but they pressure the quarterback well. Not that this is a big news flash, but don't expect much out of ol' Gus this week.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S2

Brown hit the century mark again last week and has topped 95 yards in four of his last five games. Ricky Williams did get 17 carries against the Saints, but Brown outperformed him and the Dolphins are very high on their prized rookie. They know the future rests on his shoulders, not Williams'. Brown will keep carrying the load and will keep his solid fantasy play going this week against the Falcons.

RB Ricky Williams B

Finally showed some of that old form Sunday, gaining 82 yards on 17 carries. Don't expect him to keep getting that much work most weeks. The Dolphins are committed to Brown and Ricky will remain just a change-of-pace option that will top out most weeks at 10-12 touches.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Outside of the tight end no one gets more looks in the passing game than Chambers. He's scored a TD in each of the past two games. He will draw the best coverage option the Falcons have, CB DeAngelo Hall. Look for the Dolphins to move Chambers around to create more favorable matchups with the other Falcon corners, who are very limited.

WR Marty Booker B

Outside of Chambers and McMichael there just isn't much happening in the Miami passing attack. Since week one Booker has had over 40 yards receiving only once and hasn't scored. He's also still slowed by an ankle injury.

TE Randy McMichael S2

Seems to be stuck in a 3 catch, 20-something yard loop of late and hasn't scored since week five. But he remains the prime target in the passing game behind Chambers. Atlanta has had some trouble with big-time tight ends this season, so McMichael remains a fantasy starter this week... barely.

 
Carolina (5-2) at Tampa Bay (5-2) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B

Delhomme has been solid most of the season and had his best fantasy outing last week against the Vikings. He has yet to face a top NFL pass defense, and he gets one on Sunday. Only one quarterback has thrown a touchdown on the Bucs, Favre in week 3. Other than that it's been a complete shutout.

RB Stephen Davis (P) X

Davis had another scare with his surgically repaired knee last week and only had 40 yards on 17 carries - the fifth game in a row he's averaged well below 3 YPC. Keeping his fantasy value afloat is his use at the goal-line. Six of his nine touchdowns have come from inside the 5-yard line. It won't be easy running on the Bucs this week, but if the Panthers get down to the goal-line you can bet Davis will get a few cracks at the score.

RB DeShaun Foster X

Had a season high 12 carries last week. The Panthers will continue to increase Foster's workload as the season wears on and Davis wears down. Foster has yet to score a touchdown but he has out-gained Davis in total yards over the last five games he's played.

WR Steve Smith S2

Leads the league in yards and touchdowns. Why any team would attempt to cover Smith with a single DB is beyond understanding. It goes without saying that the Bucs are a bit better coached than the Vikings. Don't look for them to make that mistake. Smith will have his hands full with CB Ronde Barber and company.

WR Keary Colbert U

Colbert is a talented young receiver that has started to come on of late, scoring his first TD of the season last week. If Tampa Bay makes it a priority to stop Smith in the passing game, which they should, the window could be opened for Colbert to have an impact. It won't be easy though as CB Brian Kelly is a tough draw.

WR Ricky Proehl
Rod Gardner
X

With the ball likely being forced to other options against the Bucs both Proehl and Gardner will get a few extra opportunities this week as there is a serious drop off in talent at the nickel and dime cornerback position for Tampa Bay.

TE Kris Mangum X Made his single catch last week count, but has been very inactive in the passing game over the past two games, getting only one pass thrown his way. May see a couple more this weekend, but not enough to warrant a sleeper fantasy start.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Simms X

Simms looked every bit the young inexperienced QB in San Francisco. Should play better at home this weekend, but will have to go a long way to make him a fantasy option. Against the stout Carolina run defense the offense will fall on Simms' shoulders. That's a load he doesn't appear ready to handle yet.

RB Carnell Williams X

Returned to action last week against an average Niner run defense and looked very sluggish on his way to just 20 yards on 13 carries. He better shake it off if he wants to be of use this week. Other than McAllister week 1 and Ronnie Brown week 3, no back has had more than 36 yards against the Panthers. With Simms struggling it will be hard to loosen the defense up with the passing attack.

RB Michael Pittman (Q) X

All bets are off for Pittman. With Williams getting back to full speed and a new inexperienced quarterback, Pittman's role is in transition now. May see a bit more action this week on screens, but it's not likely going to be enough to help your fantasy team.

WR Michael Clayton X

The good news is that Clayton looks to be over his shoulder injury and had his best game in over a month last week. The bad news is that meant just a 4-for-30 day. There will be some opportunities for Clayton this week since the Panthers are going to sell out to stopping the run and dare Simms to beat them. Still not startable though.

WR Joey Galloway S2

Even with the change at quarterback Galloway proved to still be the driving force in the passing game. He's making big plays an almost weekly occurrence and has scored in four of the last five games.

TE Alex Smith X Smith continues to come along slowly but had another nice game last week, catching two balls for 43 yards. His size and talent could come in handy this weekend as the Bucs will need some production over the middle and down the seams to help loosen up the stiff Panther run defense.
 
Cincinnati (6-2) at Baltimore (2-5) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

The Ravens' tough pass defense numbers have been built on the backs of such quarterback talent as Bollinger, Harrington, Dilfer and Orton. This just in... Palmer is a pretty good quarterback. So good in fact that he currently leads the league in yards and touchdowns. Nothing is ever easy against Baltimore, but no way do you sit Palmer.

RB Rudi Johnson (P) S2

After four straight weeks of decreased carries, Johnson finally topped the 20 mark again. He failed to score but had two chances down near the goal-line. Rudi isn't likely to go off each week, especially against the Ravens Sunday, but he is consistent. He's only rushed for more than 90 yards once this season, but he's also only dipped below 70 yards once.

RB Chris Perry (P) X

Didn't get the carries last week but remained active in the passing game with six catches and his second touchdown in three weeks. The Bengals will continue to find ways to utilize him in the passing game. If your league rewards running back receiving then Perry's a #3 RB or flex option most weeks.

WR Chad Johnson (P) S2 With safety Ed Reed out, the deep coverage help on Johnson in this matchup isn't what it could be. Look for the Bengals to challenge the Ravens deep and for Johnson to make a couple of big plays down field.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

This is beginning to sound like a broken record, but the truth is the truth. Johnson continues to draw double coverage, leaving Houshmandzadeh in single coverage that he can routinely beat. Has actually out-produced Johnson in two of the last three games he's played.

WR Chris Henry
Kevin Walter
B Beyond Chad and T.J. there isn't enough production to make either of these guys a fantasy option.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Anthony Wright B Wright has thrown an interception or two in all but one game this season and is facing the team that leads the league in that category. Hey, at least he's consistent.
RB Jamal Lewis S2

Maybe it was all the negative media attention, but Lewis looked like he was running harder Monday night. The results improved a bit with a 3.6 YPC average, his second best game average this season. If he can carry that effort forward there's a good chance for more improvements this week facing a Bengals' defense allowing an almost league worst 4.7 YPC on the ground.

RB Chester Taylor X

Taylor scored his first touchdown of the season Monday night and was very effective in the passing game. The Ravens should continue to get the ball to Taylor in space where his vision and instincts make him more of a weapon in an offense that needs them.

WR Derrick Mason X

Other Baltimore receivers get some looks from Wright, but Mason is the only one producing. He leads all Raven wide receivers by a mile. If you need 5-6 catches and about 60-80 yards, Mason is your man.

WR Mark Clayton (Q) B

Still recovering from a sprained ankle and may not play this week.

WR Randy Hymes B If Clayton misses another game Hymes has the best chance to make a little noise against the single coverage he'll see from the Bengals. He's a big target and a good leaper. Unfortunately his hands fail him often.
TE

Todd Heap

S2

Heap's numbers had been improving until Pittsburgh limited him on Monday. He remains a prime target in the passing game, often lining up as a wide receiver with Mason.

 

Detroit (3-4) at Minnesota (2-5)

Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia (Q) B

Minnesota presents an easier challenge for Garcia this week. It's obvious however that he's not close to 100% healthy and his injured leg and ankle are bothering him. Depending on how this week goes there's even a chance he'll have to sit this game out. If he can give it a go there's a bit of an upside with him given the matchup and the possible return of one or two of his WR's. But the risk it way too high to make him a fantasy option.

RB Kevin Jones S2

Jones has had a rocky season so far, but there are signs of hope. His YPC average is up lately and he's scored four touchdowns in the past five games. Another thing looking up for Jones is the schedule, which starts with the terrible Minnesota run defense this week.

RB Shawn Bryson X

Bryson's only fantasy value comes from his 3rd-down back role that results in some catches out of the backfield.

WR Roy Williams (Q) X

Another week and another "chance" for Williams to return to the field. This is the third week in a row that we go into the week thinking Williams will play if he can have a good week of practice. If he can return to the starting lineup this week he's got a good shot at being productive against the reeling Viking defense. If the past two weeks are any indication, that's a big if.

WR Mike Williams (Q) X

Can make the occasional big play, but the rookie has been slow to develop this season. There's a good chance he will move back into the #3 WR role this week, creating better matchups given his size and athleticism.

WR Charles Rogers X Everyone seems to be eagerly awaiting the return of Rogers. Not quite sure why. Before allowing his drug habit to sideline him he contributed all of 5 catches and 77 yards in three games and looked bad doing it. Maybe the 4-game sit down helped get his head straight. Maybe it didn't. While he's been gone Vines have become quite effective. There's a chance the Lions may not even activate him Sunday if he doesn't get some good practice time in.
WR Scottie Vines X

May hang on to his starting spot if Roy Williams can't return. But chances are he'll be rewarded for his fine play over the last two games with a #4 WR role.

TE Marcus Pollard B

Pollard's role will begin to diminish now that the receivers are returning. He'll still be good for a couple of catches a game, but that's not what most fantasy teams need.

Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson X

If you take Johnson's numbers last week and extrapolate them over a full game, he put up better numbers than Culpepper has in 3-4 games this season. So all hope is not lost for the Vikings... yet. Johnson doesn't have Culpepper's arm strength or mobility, but he's a solid pocket passer that will work the short-to-medium passing game well. He'll have plenty of weapons to work with as all the receivers are healthy. If you are a Culpepper owner and didn't back him up well, you could do a lot worse than Johnson this week.

RB Mewelde Moore S2

One of the changes that you will see due to the loss of Culpepper is an increased reliance on the running game. Moore's carries have been decreasing each week for a month. That trend should reverse itself this week. Moore will also be very valuable in the shorter passing attack that will be used with Johnson at QB. Bottom line, Moore has the potential to become a better fantasy option now.

WR Nate Burleson B

Has just not looked himself since returning from the knee injury two weeks ago. He appears to be struggling with getting into his routes quickly and with cutting. It's probably best to keep him on your bench until he shows his old form.

WR Travis Taylor X

With Burleson not yet up-to-speed, Taylor will be relied on more.

WR Marcus Robinson (Q) U

Since his return to the slot two weeks ago Robinson has scored twice and led all Viking receivers. He's a difficult matchup for nickel corners and this week is no different for Detroit's Keith Smith. Johnson favors big targets when he's pressured.

WR Troy Williamson B The rookie burner will be of less use now, but the Vikings will still take a shot or two down field to him.
TE Jermaine Wiggins S2

There's no better friend to a weak-armed QB that likes the short passing game than a reliable tight end. Wiggins fits that bill to a tee.

 
Houston (1-6) at Jacksonville (4-3) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X

Carr's streak of scoring a single touchdown now stands at 11 games dating back to last season. Only three times in the past season and a half has Carr had more than one TD in a game, all three were last year. Without Andre Johnson to create mismatches down field the odds are not good that Carr will break his streak with a multi-TD game any time soon.

RB Domanick Davis (P) S2

Davis has had two straight 28 carry games and has responded with near 100-yard efforts. The Jags are a tough defense that has only yielded two rushing touchdowns all season, but they rank near the bottom in yards allowed and routinely give up big yardage games to opposing backs. Despite all the attention he receives due to the terrible passing game, Davis produces if given the ball enough. He's also a good receiver out of the backfield.

WR Andre Johnson (Q) B The nagging calf injury has kept Johnson out for four weeks now. This week is more of the same. The Titans expect him back to practice but his playing status for the weekend is uncertain.
WR Jabar Gaffney S2

With Johnson questionable Gaffney will likely be head up with former teammate CB Kenny Wright all afternoon. Wright is overaggressive and if he hasn't corrected his tendencies, Carr and Gaffney should be able to exploit him.

WR

Corey Bradford

X Bradford has disappeared over the past two games, catching only a single pass for 8 yards. Even with Johnson out he's just not getting it done.
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich S2

Leftwich is an average pocket passer that doesn't create well on the move and makes poor decisions when pressured. Good thing the Texans don't have much of a pass rush. The Jacksonville offensive line is playing better and should give Leftwich the pocket protection he needs to produce against the suspect Houston secondary.

RB Fred Taylor S1

Coming off his biggest game of the year, Taylor draws the Texans and their league worst run defense this week. Not much analysis needed here.

WR Jimmy Smith X

After starting the season hot, Smith has cooled of late. He's averaging just three catches for 34 yards over the past three games and has watched the young receivers on the team take the lead role in the passing game. In that span Leftwich has thrown for five touchdowns, all to other receivers. Houston's secondary provides a good opportunity for Smith to turn things around.

WR Reggie Williams (P) X

Williams blew a great opportunity to shine last week with an early game concussion, letting Wilford steal the show. Concussions typically keep players out for a week, depending on the severity. It's advisable to shy away from Williams this week even with the good matchup.

WR Ernest Wilford U

With Smith slowing and Williams woozy against a vulnerable secondary, Wilford had his coming out party last week. All three of those conditions may repeat themselves Sunday against Houston. Wilford may be slow, but he's a big target with great hands.

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