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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
 
Oakland (3-4) at Kansas City (4-3) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S1

Last week's dismantling of the Titans secondary was just a tune-up for the matchup this Sunday with the Chiefs, who are making a habit of giving up 300-yard, 3-TD games to opposing quarterbacks. Only the Niners defend the pass worse than Kansas City and Moss should be a step closer to being healthy.

RB Lamont Jordan S1

Fully entrenched as the Raiders' primary offensive weapon, even before Moss went down. As long as Jordan can stay healthy he's an every week fantasy starter with the added bonus of no backup behind him taking touches.

WR Randy Moss (Q) X

Played hurt again last week but appeared less effective than the previous week. Word is that Moss is improving and will once again give it a go Sunday in KC. He's a big risk at this point, but the Chiefs defense makes it a risk most fantasy owners will take.

WR Jerry Porter U

Who's that over there? Well what do you know, it's Jerry Porter running for a touchdown. Hey! There he goes again. After seven weeks of mediocrity Porter finally gave fantasy owners something to cheer. With Moss slowed again and facing a Chiefs secondary that's breaking down in coverage often and could have up to three corners injured, odds are good for a repeat this weekend at Arrowhead.

WR Doug Gabriel X

In the span of a week, goes from leading the team in receiving for two games to a big fat donut. The stronger Moss becomes the fewer opportunities Gabriel gets.

TE Courtney Anderson B Anderson's involvement in the passing game has all but vanished as he's seeing heavy work in pass protection. Against a Chiefs defense that likes to blitz, that won't change.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green (P) S1

Despite personal tragedy last week Green had his best passing day of the season. The struggling and injury depleted Raider secondary provides a good chance at a sequel on Sunday.

RB Priest Holmes (Q) X

As expected, the Chargers tough run defense slowed Holmes down long before the mild concussion knocked him out of the game last week. The Raiders are a nice matchup for any running back this season. The downside this week is that with the concussion the Chiefs might limit Holmes' carries Sunday. There's also a chance that All-Pro OG Will Shields may be down with a knee injury. A mixed bag for Holmes this week.

RB Larry Johnson U

Johnson has been more of a factor for the Chiefs lately and may be called on a bit more this weekend due to the concussion Holmes suffered last week. Has some good upside this week against the porous Oakland run defense if given the opportunity to carry a bigger load.

WR Eddie Kennison S2

As predicted Kennison got back on track last week and he should have little trouble keeping it going this week facing a Raider secondary that's struggling badly due to injuries.

WR Chris Horn X What do you know - a Chris Horn sighting. Let's give it a week before we start thinking there's another option in the passing game other than Gonzalez and Kennison worth paying attention to.
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 and the Chiefs are never going to over work him because they want him fresh for returns.
TE Tony Gonzalez S2

It looks like all the Gonzo owners can stop wringing their hands now. Last week was the second in a row with seven catches and he registered his first touchdown of the season.

 
San Diego (4-4) at New York Jets (2-5) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

The game plan against the Jets should be to run the ball and wear down their struggling defense. Look for Brees to do more handing off this week and his stat line to return to its average following last week's season highs.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Only 17 carries in each of the last two games, and his production has been off as a result. Going on the road against the 30th ranked run defense is a good place for the Chargers to get LT2 back above the 20 carry mark. If they do he'll make his fantasy owners very happy this week.
WR Keenan McCardell X

Thanks to the attention Tomlinson and Gates demand, McCardell typically carves out a viable #3 WR role for most fantasy teams. This week against CB Ty Law he may come up a bit short.

WR Eric Parker X

After a two week absence from the offense, Parker showed up again thanks to LT2's halfback pass. He appears to be recovered from the ankle injury and should return to his consistent 3-4 catch 30-50 yard weekly contribution to the Chargers' passing game.

TE Antonio Gates S1 The Jets are significantly better against the pass then the Chiefs, but Gates has a lock on the top spot in any fantasy rankings and should have a lock on your starting lineup as well.
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde (P) X

Each week since Vinny's return it's gotten a little worse, ending with a 139-yard, 4 turnover nightmare before the bye. A game he had to leave early due to a calf injury. He'll be back under center this week and catches a bit of a break at home. The visiting Chargers rank 29th in pass defense and their secondary is highly suspect. But time in the pocket will be the issue behind the Jets' shuffled offensive line. The Chargers have a very aggressive pass rush (2nd in the league with 24 sacks) that will apply pressure all afternoon.

RB Curtis Martin (P) X

The Jets couldn't get the running game going in week 7 behind a now struggling offensive line against a suspect Falcon run defense. There is nothing suspect about the San Diego defense that ranks 3rd against the run. Even with the off week Martin's strained knee remains an issue. Look for Martin to be limited this week.

WR Laveranues Coles S2

Despite the offensive struggles, Coles has remained active in the passing game. He works well with Testaverde and if his QB can get some time to throw he should have a productive afternoon thanks to the vulnerable San Diego secondary.

WR Justin McCareins (P)   X

McCareins had a season high 116 yards in Vinny's first start. He can get the job done, but not consistently. Has a favorable matchup this week with CB Quentin Jammer, who has yet to live up to his potential.

TE Doug Jolley B

Jolley may be the best tight end in a Jets' uniform, but he and the other tight ends are spending most of their time in pass protection now. Since Vinny's return there's been just one catch by this position.

 
Tennessee (2-6) at Cleveland (2-5) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) S2

McNair is still bothered by back spasms but is expected to return to practice later in the week and play Sunday. He's banged up and starting to shows the signs of age and wear, but if he's out there he'll get the job done against the rebuilding Browns.

RB Chris Brown S2

Despite Henry's return and a neck injury Brown had his best rushing game of the season last week against Oakland. With McNair's back fairing up and the rash of injuries to the receivers, look for the Titans to run the ball more this week facing a Browns defense that's given up big rushing days all season.

RB Travis Henry B

Henry's single carry in last week's return to the team leaves his future use up in the air. It's likely the Titans will work him into the mix more in his second game back, but at this point he should be avoided. Even against the poor Cleveland run defense.

WR Tyrone Calico (Q) B

Had another chance to step up for the injury riddled receiving corps but caught only one ball for six yards before leaving last week's game with a calf injury. Early week indications are that he's unlikely to play Sunday.

WR Brandon Jones (Q) B

It doesn't appear that Jones will be recovered enough from his knee injury to have an impact this week against Cleveland.

WR Roydell Williams
Courtney Roby
U

As the WR corps get thinner and thinner it's looking like these two rookies will be the starter for the Titans Sunday. Both are very raw but talented. Between them they had over half of McNair's throws go their way last week. They will be very active again and one or both could step up and fill in for a fantasy team in need of a WR this week.

TE Erron Kinney S2

Kinney is a prime target for McNair and is behind only Gates in catches at this position. Should be even more active now that Troupe is slowed by an ankle injury. Now if he can just get into the endzone.

TE Ben Troupe (Q) B Troupe may have to sit this one out due to a high ankle sprain.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

Dilfer is struggling after a strong start to his season and he no longer seems to have the support of his head coach. The Titans present a decent matchup in the passing game, but the way Dilfer's been playing he can't be recommended. If the Browns fall behind in this game it's likely Dilfer will be benched in favor of rookie Charlie Frye. In fact, the switch could be made before Sunday.

RB Reuben Droughns S2

In two weeks Droughns has produced over 200 yards but the Browns remain one of only two teams in the league who have yet to score a rushing touchdown. Don't fret the 10 carries backup William Green got last week, he's expected to be out due to a sprained ankle. It'll be all Reuben this weekend.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Along with rookie Edwards, Bryant has proven to be a big play threat. He got back on track last week with a 4-for-98 game - pretty solid considering how poorly the Cleveland passing game is playing right now. The QB play is going to hurt Bryant's chances to produce, but both he and ...

WR Braylon Edwards X

... Edwards have some upside this week facing a couple of rookie cornerbacks in Adam Jones and Reynaldo Hill. Both do make the occasional big play, but more often they struggle in coverage.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

Has gone catchless in the two games since Edwards' return.

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.
 
Chicago (2-5) at New Orleans (2-6) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B Orton has improved his play over the past month and the Bears are winning. The Saints obviously provide some upside this week, but unless you are desperate at QB Orton is not the answer for your fantasy team. The loss of improving rookie WR Mark Bradley will hurt.
RB Thomas Jones (P) S2

Hasn't scored since week six but was on his way to another nice game when it was cut short by a rib injury. He's expected to start against the Saints and should do well. Carries some risk however as he's one good shot to his bruised ribs away from going to the sidelines. He's also still slightly bothered by the sprained knee he suffered three weeks ago.

RB Cedric Benson B

Well... holds on to his place on this list with a 35-yard performance last week. The first time he's been productive since week 2. With Jones banged up with a rib injury there's a chance the Bears will allow Benson to build on last week and get some additional carries Sunday against the terrible Saints run defense. Given how this season's gone so far that chance may end up being remote.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2

The best thing going in an otherwise very unproductive passing game. Will be an even bigger part of the offense this week against the Saints, whose secondary lacks the talent to handle Muhammad. As was the case last week, the opponent's best cornerback, Mike McKenzie, will be slowed due to injury.

WR Justin Gage
Bobby Wade
B

Gage is expected to step into the starting lineup now but Wade will also be called on to contribute with the loss of Bradley. Neither has done much this season, catching just 10 balls between them through seven games.

TE Desmond Clark

S2

After two solid weeks, Clark couldn't get it going against the Lions, pulling in just a single catch for seven yards. He's still a nice target for QB Orton and should see a few more passes his way with the loss of WR Bradley.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X

With little hope of a running game the offense's success will fall squarely on the shoulders of Brooks. Rarely in his career has Brooks shown the ability to carry such a load.

RB Antowain Smith B

Many consider the Bears to be the league's top defense. The strength of that defense is playing the run and they allowed only their first rushing touchdown of the season last week. Don't expect much from either Smith or ...

RB Aaron Stecker B ... his running mate Stecker.
WR Joe Horn S2

Returned to the lineup last week and picked up where he left off, with a productive 99-yard effort. As bad as the Saints are playing and as good as the Bears defense is, Horn remains a decent start and about the only fantasy worthy Saint.

WR Donte' Stallworth X

With Horn back drawing some double coverage, Stallworth will find some favorable matchups in the secondary. He remains very inconsistent however, making him difficult to rely on.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim (Q) B

Prior to Horn going out Hakim was nonexistent as the team's #3 WR. If he returns this week from the rib injury don't expect much.

WR Devery Henderson B

If Hakim can't go then Henderson will play the invisible #3 WR role for the Saints this weekend.

TE Zack Hilton B

With Conwell out and possibly Meier as well, little used Hilton will likely get the start. Outside of Conwell the tight end position has just four catches all season.

 
New York Giants (5-2) at San Francisco (2-5) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

Big game for the young Manning as he has yet to win a road game. The Niners' defense has held it's own at times and hasn't allowed a 300-yard passing game since week 4. The Niners' secondary will be no match for New York's talented receivers. If the offensive line can give Manning the time against a solid SF pass rush he'll have a good day throwing the ball.

RB Tiki Barber S1

The Niners may have bolstered their rankings by allowing just 25 yards on the ground last week, but prior to that game they had been surrendering over 120. They can be run on, and run on they will be.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

The running game dominated last week but the passing game will Sunday in San Fran. Look for Burress to be at the center of the action.

WR Amani Toomer S2

Toomer has not been consistent this season, but this is a very favorable matchup this week facing the beleaguered SF secondary.

TE Jeremy Shockey S1

Hit his season low in yardage last week but did score. That was more a product of the running game going wild than anything the opposition did. Shockey's in the midst of his best season and that will keep on going Sunday by the bay.

San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Cody Pickett B

That's right sports fans. Pull out that program and look deep into the team depth chart. There you will find the starting QB for the Niners this weekend. I'm not sure it could get much worse for San Francisco's passing offense. Pickett was the fourth-string QB just two weeks ago and will likely be more comfortable running than throwing. Hey, at least if he struggles they can always turn to "The Bachelor" for help.

RB Kevan Barlow X

Barlow now has the distinction of being the only back to put up 100 yards on the league's top run defense. It was also his first 100-yard game this season and a result of the improved play of the offensive line. That improved play will need to continue as the Giants are a solid unit when it comes to stopping the run.

RB Frank Gore B

Had a season high 10 carries last week, but as good as some feel Gore is, Barlow is playing good enough to hold on to the starting job.

WR Brandon Lloyd
Johnnie Morton
Arnaz Battle (Q)
B

Two words... Cody Pickett.

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