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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
 
Seattle (5-2) at Arizona (2-5) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S1

Hasselbeck should continue his fine play this week. The Cardinals will likely adopt a stop-the-run approach to attacking the Seahawk offense. This will give Hasselbeck plenty of matchups in the secondary for him to exploit. Getting WR Engram back will help his production also.

RB Shaun Alexander S1 Leads the league in touchdowns with 12 and put up four on these Cardinals just six week ago. The game prior to that (week 16 last year) he had three.
WR Bobby Engram (P) S2 Engram is set to return this week and draws a favorable matchup with Arizona. The Cardinals will have no choice but to load up and try to stop Alexander and the running game. That will leave Engram one-on-one with a secondary who's best cover corner, David Macklin, is no match for his quickness and savvy.
WR Joe Jurevicius S2

Will stay in the starting lineup and continue to provide Hasselbeck with big, sure handed target on critical downs and in the red zone. Has scored in two of the last three games and leads the team in receiving touchdowns with four.

WR D.J. Hackett X

The big and athletic rookie has filled in well and may have earned himself a spot as the Seahawks' #3 WR for a while. His value will be limited however since Warrick will also see time in that role while healthy.

WR Peter Warrick B

Warrick has been a disappointment, contributing little when the team needed him due to the WR injuries. He'll still see some limited time in 3-WR sets, but don't expect much as he continues to be hampered by his inability to stay healthy.

TE Jerramy Stevens S2 Stevens' role in the passing game didn't really increase with the loss of Seattle's starting wide receivers. But he's remained consistent and is on pace for a career year. Went 3-for-34 in week three against Arizona and should improve on those numbers this weekend.
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner X

The Cardinals go back to Warner this week. He's an improvement over McCown and should run the offense better, but with the way the offensive line is playing and with Boldin out, Warner isn't looking too good in this matchup.

RB Marcel Shipp B

Shipp remains the starter, but behind the Cardinals' terrible offensive line this running game isn't going anywhere. His activity in the passing game (averages 25 YPG) helps. Even with that he's a desperation fantasy start regardless of opponent.

RB J.J. Arrington B

Not getting too many chances, only 5-7 carries a game, but is showing improvement each week.

WR Anquan Boldin (O) B

Out for at least two weeks with a bone bruise in his knee.

WR Larry Fitzgerald S2

An every week performer that's scored a touchdown in three of the past four games. CB Kelly Herndon doesn't have the size or speed to match up with Fitzgerald one-on-one. Look for him to have a big game.

WR Bryant Johnson U Has been a non-factor as the Cards #3 WR this season, mostly due to the heavy use of 2-WR sets. He'll have his chance to step up and show the talent that made him the Cardinals first round pick in 2003. Plenty of upside this week if Warner can get the protection.
TE Teyo Johnson B

With Boldin down there's an opening for someone to step up and help the passing game. Johnson is the best TE on the team but is mostly used for pass protection. If given the chance he could give Warner an outlet when under pressure.

 
Pittsburgh (5-2) at Green Bay (1-6) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Q) X

Big Ben would normally rate as a solid start facing the mediocre Packers defense. The troublesome knee injury makes him a bit of a risk this week. The prognosis is that it's nothing serious and there is no structural damage, but the knee is very painful and it's likely to keep him out of practice this week. That leaves his playing status for Sunday up in the air.

RB Willie Parker (P) S2

The Packers are a pretty solid run defense and have surrendered only one 100-yard game this season to a back. Parker still isn't getting feature back carries, topping 20 only once in the past five games. His speed to make the big play gives him the upside most fantasy owners are willing to shoot for.

RB Jerome Bettis (Q) X

Bettis has been running well when called on but showed up on the team's injury report this week with a quad injury. Also hasn't converted a goal-line carry into a touchdown since week five.

WR Hines Ward (P) S2

The Steelers' passing game is very limited but Ward remains its leader. He had a season high 8 catches Monday night. The only thing holding him back this week could be his quarterback play - either the hobbled Roethlisberger or the barely serviceable Batch.

WR Antwaan Randle El (P) X

Hasn't had a receiving touchdown since week one and has yet to have more than three catches in a game. Is a playmaker after the catch which has him second only to Randy Moss in yards per catch with 20.5. Look for him to get behind CB's Harris and Carroll at least once for a big play on Sunday.

TE Heath Miller S1

And just like that the big rookie is tied with Gates for the most touchdowns with six. Miller has scored at least one in each of the past four games, making him a must start tight end. With the emphasis on the run and talented WR's working the endzone, Miller is finding himself wide open on the other side of the goal-line often.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

It took 214 regular season games, but Favre set another personal best last week. Actually a personal worst - tossing five interceptions. This season continues to spiral downward for the great one and it's not going to get any easier with the Steelers visiting Sunday. The Steelers pass defense doesn't rate out well on passing yardage but they've allowed only 5 TD's through the air this season, second lowest total in the league. It's hard to count out Favre though when at home, where he always seems to shine.

RB Tony Fisher X

Fisher barely kept the Packer running game alive last week, averaging just 3 YPC against a Bengals defense that gives up 4.7 YPC on the season. The job gets tougher this week against the stout Pittsburgh defense, but Fisher will continue to carry the load and pick up yardage in the passing game as well.

WR Donald Driver S2

As expected, Driver saw double coverage most of the game last week. That will surely continue through the rest of the season. But don't count Driver out. The aging veteran may be on the decline, but he can still get it done when called upon.

WR Antonio Chatman X

Chatman may stand only 5-foot-9 in his cleats, but he came up big last week when the team needed him. He had a career high 8 catches for 97 yards. Hope he has a full tank because it's going to be a long season for the new Packers' new starting WR.

TE Bubba Franks (P) S2 Franks is healthy and when the team needs him most is ready to produce. Last week he had his best game of the season, catching passes and scoring his first touchdown. The score won't be his last as Favre will surely keep leaning on his reliable tight end, especially in the red-zone. Has a distinct size advantage over the Steeler safeties.
 
Philadelphia (4-3) at Washington (4-3) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb (P) X

On top of everything else, McNabb suffered a bruised rib last week. He'll take it easy in practice this week but is expected to play. When he takes the field Sunday night he'll be without his top receiver. Rookie Reggie Brown will fill in and the Eagles will still throw the ball around all night. It's hard to imagine them having much success though, especially considering they will be playing the league's top pass defense on the road.

RB Brian Westbrook S1

Remains as dangerous a receiver as a runner. That's a good thing since the Eagles refuse to run the ball and a third of Westbrook's touches come via the pass, which have resulted in almost 60% of his yardage production this season and 80% of his touchdowns. Look for an increased workload for Westbrook this week with Owens out. You may even see him top 15 carries for the first time this season.

WR Terrell Owens (D) B Sprained his bad ankle last week but played through it. After an MRI Monday he declared himself out for this week's game. Given the current state of his relationship with the team it wouldn't be a surprise for him to shut it down for a few weeks.
WR Greg Lewis X

Lewis has been a fairly consistent part of the passing game this season. It's just been a consistently small part behind Westbrook, Smith and Owens. Well that all changes this week with Owens and his 30% of the passing game gone. This is a bad week for Lewis to try and step up his play. The Redskin corners are solid and McNabb is playing hurt.

WR Reggie Brown X The talented rookie steps into the starting lineup this week against the top rated pass defense in the NFL. Not exactly a prime matchup. But Brown has the skills to succeed, just not the experience. He's very raw and has done little with his limited opportunities so far this season.
TE L.J. Smith S2

Had a season low one catch last week, but was kept in for pass protection against the constant Denver Blitz. Will get back to what he does best this week, providing McNabb a big target over the middle and in the red-zone.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell S2

Don't let last week's stinker dissuade you. Even the best quarterbacks have the occasional bad game. Brunell and the Redskins should bounce back this week. The Eagles pass defense is in a free fall. They aren't getting good pressure on the quarterback and the coverage in the secondary breaks down often. They've allowed 11 passing touchdowns in the past four games.

RB Clinton Portis S2

From the highest high to the lowest low. Portis followed up his 100-yard, 3-TD week seven with a 9-yard effort last week. I think it's safe to say that he'll fall somewhere in between Sunday night. Based on the Eagles recent play (SD excluded) Portis will fall on the higher end of the range.

WR Santana Moss (P) S1

Moss was able to salvage a 4-for-34 game out of last week's debacle. The way Philly corners Brown and Sheppard are playing there is no way Moss doesn't go off this week. Sheppard is also dealing with a banged up knee.

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. They've totaled just 8 catches between them in the last three games.
TE Chris Cooley (P) S2

Banged up but expected to play. Cooley is a big, reliable target out of his H-back position and will have a good size advantage against the Eagle outside linebackers. Look for the Redskins to work Cooley on short routes and screens to help open up the deep ball.

 
Indianapolis (7-0) at New England (4-3) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

The injury riddled New England secondary has barely held it together the past couple of weeks. You could argue that they actually haven't. The running game will be cranking so don't look for a monster game from Manning. But you could easily see his first 300-yard game of the season with three scores.

RB Edgerrin James S1

Hey, did you hear that Tedy Bruschi was back? Bet you hadn't heard that. Edge doesn't stand a chance this week. Yeah... Whatever. Wasn't that Willis McGahee I was ripping through the NE defense for 136 yards Sunday night? Thought so.

WR Marvin Harrison S1 Will be going up against CB Duane Starks most of the evening. Starks is being burned regularly. The Patriots have given up a 100-yard game to a receiver every week but one this season.
WR Reggie Wayne S1 Wayne's size and strength continue to be a great benefit to Manning and the passing game. He's matching Harrison catch for catch this season and is actually out gaining him.
WR Brandon Stokley X

With the Colts running a more balanced offense this season, Stokley's #3 WR role is looking very similar to any other #3 WR out there. That means most weeks he's not fantasy worthy. Through seven games he's totaled just 21 catches and has yet to score.

TE Dallas Clark X Has been fairly consistent and had his best game of the season in week 7 before the bye. Nothing about this matchup indicates Clark will do more than his typical 3-4 catches.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X

The Colts have had two weeks to prepare for Brady and the NE passing attack. Indy has yet to allow a multi-TD game from a QB and Brady's only had two of those this season. The 335-yard, 3-TD game Brady had against the Colts in week one of last year is now a distant and fading memory. Given their offensive woes and the great play of the Colts' defense this season, if Brady can put up 200 yards and a score you could consider it a successful outing.

RB Corey Dillon (Q) X

Still listed as questionable (the default category for NE this season) this week but will carry the full rushing load since there is no one left behind him. The Colts front seven is a bit undersized but they are fast and swarm to the ball. The Patriots' suspect offensive line will have problems creating running lanes for Dillon, who is still not 100% healthy. It could be a long day for the NE running game. One upside however is that whenever they get close to the goal-line Dillon typically gets the rock.

RB Patrick Pass (Q) B Not expected to play this week due to the hamstring injury.
WR

Deion Branch

X

Taking a look at the New England injury report shows that Branch may be the last man standing in the WR corps this week. That likely won't hold true come game-time, but Branch is still Brady's favorite downfield target. The Indy secondary is not solid and can be beat. But thanks to the leagues best pass rush they don't typically have to hold up long in coverage. If NE can figure out a way to keep Brady protected Branch's speed will cause problems.

WR

David Givens (Q)

X

Givens has produced this season in the Patriots passing attack and is the biggest target Brady has down field. As with Branch this week, if given time in the pocket Brady will find an open Givens on short and intermediate routes.

WR Troy Brown (Q)
Bethel Johnson
Tim Dwight (Q)
B Beyond Branch and Givens there's just not enough production to warrant any fantasy attention. Between these three receivers they have 13 catches in the past four games.
TE Daniel Graham
Ben Watson (Q)
B

New England has two highly talented receivers in Graham and Watson but they are being used a lot this year in pass protection. Between them they've had only two games with more than one catch.

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