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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 11
Whitney Walters
November 17, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  
ARI at STL MIA at CLE PIT at BAL SEA at SF KC at HOU  
CAR at CHI NO at NE TB at ATL BUF at SD Mon 9 PM  
DET at DAL OAK at WAS   IND at CIN MIN at GB  
JAC at TEN PHI at NYG   NYJ at DEN (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 (2-7) at St. Louis (4-5) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner U

Has put up two 300-yard games since returning to the starting lineup for the Cardinals. Not a big surprise since their running game is dead last in the league and they are forced to pass the ball often. Warner is averaging over 45 attempts per game. That trend will continue this week facing the Rams and their weak pass defense.

RB Marcel Shipp B

Was limited last week due to missing some practice time for personal reasons. Should see a few more touches this week. Even against the porous St. Louis defense it's best to stay away from Shipp.

RB J.J. Arrington X

Arrington scored his first touchdown last week, which happened to be the Cardinals' first rushing touchdown of the season. That pretty much sums up the fantasy value of Arizona's running game. Arrington is showing much improvement and will continue to get his chances running the ball. But the offensive line is a joke and they lost another lineman last week to injury.

WR Anquan Boldin (Q) X

Early indications are that he'll return to action this week. If he does then he's a solid start against a Rams secondary that gives out 100-yard games like they're Santa and all opposing wide receivers are on the good list.

WR Larry Fitzgerald S2

Fitzgerald has produced big while Boldin's been out. But he was producing big before that as well. Boldin returning and stretching the weak St. Louis coverage even more will only help.

WR Leron McCoy X With Johnson likely out another week, rookie McCoy will get another start if Boldin is unable to return this week. If Boldin plays then McCoy's fantasy value is minimal as the team's #3 WR option.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

Looked a bit off in his return last week but was still able to manage a 300-yard game. Should have little trouble this week against the Cardinals, who actually made Harrington look good last week.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Last week the Rams were forced to throw more after falling behind on the scoreboard. Even with limited carries Jackson still rushed for 70 yards and added 45 more receiving. Arizona's giving up 125 YPG on the ground and has allowed a league high 13 rushing touchdowns.

WR Torry Holt S1

Wasn't spectacular in his return but scored the Rams only touchdown and dropped another. There shouldn't be any rain in the Edward Jones Dome to deal with Sunday so look for Holt to go off on the Cardinals' secondary.

WR Isaac Bruce X

Bruce's toe is not 100% healed and it showed last week. He gave it a good effort, but was limited to just a single catch. Despite this great matchup it's prudent to wait for a solid game from Bruce before putting him back in your starting lineup.

WR Kevin Curtis S2

Until Bruce returns to full speed, Curtis can still produce as the #2 and #3 WR options for St. Louis. Once Bruce does move Curtis back to a permanent #3 spot it will remain to be seen if Curtis can put up fantasy worthy numbers given the increased commitment to the running game. But for now and for this week he's a borderline starter.

WR Shaun McDonald
Dane Looker
B

With Holt back and Bruce working his way back, both McDonald and Looker have very limited fantasy value splitting time at the #4 and #5 WR spots.

 
Carolina (7-2) at Chicago (6-3) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme X

Delhomme has struggled to find the end-zone against his last two opponents, both top pass defensive units. This week he's on the road facing a third. Chicago has a talented secondary and a good pass rush that will aggressively bring pressure. Delhomme is likely to under-perform again this weekend.

RB Stephen Davis (P) S2

Davis hadn't had more than 19 carries since week 2 and just when you think the Panthers are set with limiting his carries they give him the rock a season high 27 times. Go figure. It's unlikely that workload will continue, but what is almost a lock is Davis getting the call when the team is in scoring position. Davis has all 12 of the Panthers rushing touchdowns, most of them 1-yard runs. Chicago's stingy run defense makes him a borderline starter this week.

RB DeShaun Foster X

Was on pace to begin out-carrying Davis until a monkey wrench was thrown into the works with Davis getting 27 carries to Foster's 6 last week. Most weeks from here on out the distribution will be more equal, but Davis gets all the TD's and it's likely you have a better option than Foster now that the bye weeks are over.

WR Steve Smith S2

Last week Smith was held under 100 yards and didn't score for the first time in five games. Looks like someone finally got a clue and clamped down on Smith with constant double coverage. You can bet the Bears will do the same with their talented secondary.

WR Keary Colbert X

Colbert is still getting limited looks opposite Smith, but he has caught a touchdown in two of the past three games. A good sign that he is staying involved in the game plan. If Smith continues to demand extra coverage Colbert will produce at times.

TE Kris Mangum (Q) B Mangum is expected to miss another week and his replacement, Michael Gaines, isn't worth your attention.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton X

Last week's wind-limited performance aside, Orton's play continues to improve and it's likely he'll retain the starting job even when Grossman returns. Now does that mean he's a startable fantasy QB? Not by a long-shot.

RB Thomas Jones X

Jones' ribs are not expected to be 100%, but he's determined to get back on the playing field this weekend. The week off surely helped, but he'll still be one good shot to the ribs away from the sidelines. That risk along with facing the #2 rush defense make him an iffy fantasy proposition this week.

RB Adrian Peterson X

With Benson sidelined for at least a month and Jones still ailing from the bruised ribs, Peterson moves into the spotlight. If Jones can gut it out and play this week then Peterson is little more than insurance. If Jones is limited this week then Peterson will get the call. Just don't expect much against the tough Panthers' defense.

WR Muhsin Muhammad X

Will face CB Chris Gamble most of the day. Gamble has struggled this season but has shown signs of improvement of late. Really won't matter either way since there is no one opposite Muhammad and Gamble will have safety help over the top.

WR Justin Gage B

Gage stepped back into the starting lineup last week. Unless there are more 40mph winds Sunday he should improve on his 1-for-6 performance. Still won't be enough to warrant any attention from fantasy owners.

TE Desmond Clark

X

After two single-catch games Clark got back into the flow of the passing game last week. He remains the best option other than Muhammad and the Bears would be well served to work him the ball more.

 
Detroit (4-5) at Dallas (6-3) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

Let's not go too overboard with his 3-TD game. That was Arizona after all. But it's hard to deny the positive impact of getting a healthy Roy Williams back in the passing game. Will stay the starter in Detroit until Garcia is healthy enough to play. That looks to be at least a week away, but anything's possible. The Cowboys will pressure Harrington much more this week with their aggressive pass rush, something Harrington has a history of handling badly.

RB Kevin Jones S2

Jones is running better than he has all season, but as long as Bryson and Pinner keep getting work (both had 7 carries last week) Jones' fantasy value will be limited. It's a shame since, when healthy, Jones is one of the premier young runners in the league.

RB Shawn Bryson
Artose Pinner
B

Mariucci's insistence on keeping both Bryson and Pinner in the flow of the running game does nothing for fantasy owners but kill Jones' potential stud status.

WR Roy Williams X

The Lions' top receiving talent exploded back onto the fantasy scene last week with a 3-TD performance. He'll be the focus of the Dallas coverage schemes this week, and with Harrington under much more pressure, don't look for anything close to a repeat performance.

WR Mike Williams B

His sprained foot has been keeping him out, but he has been disappointing even when healthy. Stay away.

WR Charles Rogers B

Last week was his second game back from suspension and it's looking like he's picking up right where he left off six weeks ago... a catch or two per game.

WR Scottie Vines X

With Rogers and Williams back, Vines looks to be the odd man out. Too bad as the undrafted rookie has shown much more promise than the highly touted Rogers this season. Should stay active as the team's #3 WR, but has limited fantasy value now.

TE Marcus Pollard X

Pollard has staked himself out a little corner of the Detroit passing attack. In the past three weeks he's caught 12 balls for 124 yards and a score. Could be used more in pass protection this week so he's not a good option.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe X

Over the past three games Bledsoe has not been asked to do much. He's thrown just 24 passes in each. This matchup pits the mediocre Bledsoe against the mediocre Lions' defense.

RB Julius Jones X

Jones returned to action Monday night and showed no signs of being limited by the ankle injury. He was however limited by the game plan and carried the ball only 8 times. The Lions are doing a good job of clogging the running lanes up the middle, so look for Jones to use his quickness and speed to bounce several runs outside. If he's given the carries he'll have a nice game. That's the big "if" in big D right now. Risky borderline start.

RB Marion Barber X

Looks like the Barber run isn't quite over. He started Monday night and out carried Jones 13 to 8. Not likely to remain the starter, but if Monday night is any indication this may be the season Parcells decides to feed the ball to two backs.

WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Isn't going to light it up most weeks, but is reliable and leads the team in touchdown catches with five. Has a matchup advantage against CB's McQuarters and Goodman.

WR Terry Glenn S2

Glenn struggled on Monday night but found the end-zone late. Glenn should have little trouble getting behind the suspect Lions secondary for a few more big plays.

TE Jason Witten X

Witten is not having the fantasy season most expected, but he's productive every week. The more attention Johnson and Glenn get on the outside, the more open the middle of the field is for Dallas' talented tight end. This is a difficult matchup as the Lions rank first in defense against tight ends, allowing just 2 catches and 20 yards per game.

 

Jacksonville (6-3) at Tennessee (2-7)

Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich X

Statistically Tennessee provides a nice matchup for Leftwich as they've allowed a league high 18 passing touchdowns this season. One of the Titans' strengths on defense however is their pass rush. And one of the Jags' weaknesses is pass protection. Look for the Jags to run the ball a lot and for Leftwich to have no more than his typical 200-yard, 1-2 TD game.

RB Fred Taylor (D) X

Missed last week's game and his early week status is uncertain for Sunday. If he's close to 100% recovered from the bone bruise in his ankle then he's a solid play this week. If not, then you know what to do.

RB Greg Jones X Jones got another chance last week and again produced. This is a run oriented team and if called upon again this week for the injured Taylor, Jones will easily get 20-plus carries and gives his fantasy owners a solid starting option.
WR Jimmy Smith (Q) X

Smith looks a bit older and slower each week and has seen his role in the passing game reduced due to the fine play of youngsters Wilford and Jones. This week would have presented a nice spot for a resurgence, but Smith is questionable this week due to a hamstring injury.

WR Matt Jones U

With the Titans stacking the line of scrimmage in an attempt to slow down the running game, Jones will see plenty of single coverage Sunday. His size and athleticism make him a difficult matchup for the Tennessee secondary.

WR Ernest Wilford S2

After two solid games Wilford was limited last week and suffered a sprained shoulder. He's expected to play Sunday however. With Smith hurting look for Wilford to possibly take the lead role in the passing attack this weekend.

Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair X

The week of rest will help McNair's health and he should come out strong Sunday. The matchup with Jaguars' #1 pass defense will be too much however, so don't look for McNair to break out of the average fantasy rut he's in this season.

RB Chris Brown S2

Henry's return has had zero effect on Brown and in fact, he had two of his best games of the season going into the bye week. The Jags are very stout up the middle but can be run on outside the numbers. Unfortunately that is not a strength of Brown and he's likely to struggle this week. Borderline starter at best.

RB Travis Henry B

Has touched the ball once since his return from suspension.

WR Tyrone Calico (Q) B

Continues to be hit by the injury bug and early week indications are that he's unlikely to play Sunday.

WR Brandon Jones X

Gave it a go before the bye but is expected to be closer to 100% this week. Even if the talented rookie plays Sunday he's a risky fantasy start as the Jags will limit QB McNair.

WR Drew Bennett (Q) X Expected back in the starting lineup this week but will play with some form of protection on his left hand. Too many question marks for your fantasy team to rely on his right out of the gate. Will have more value in later weeks.
WR Roydell Williams
Courtney Roby
B

Their chances to contribute will be limited now with the return of Bennett and Jones. Beyond the starting WR's it's all about the tight ends in the Tennessee passing game.

TE Erron Kinney S2

Kinney found the end-zone for the first time in 2005 before the bye. He remains one of the top pass catching tight ends in the league -- behind only Gates and Gonzo. Good matchup this week against a group of linebackers that are better at stuffing the run than pass coverage.

TE Bo Scaife B Has been very active (5 catches in each of the past two games) with Troupe out due to injury. There is no word at this time on Troupe's status for this game. With the receivers and Troupe getting healthy, Scaife's role in the offense will diminish.
TE Ben Troupe (Q) X There is no indication yes as to whether or not Troupe's high ankle sprain will keep him out for another game.
 
Miami (3-6) at Cleveland (3-6) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte or
Sage Rosenfels
U

Frerotte had his best game of the season last week but may be sidelined because he injured the index finger of his throwing hand. He was able to finish the game with the injury, but this may be a window for a switch to Sage Rosenfels. Whoever gets the start is a nice fantasy sleeper this week. The Browns secondary is suspect and they get little pressure on the quarterback (league low 11 sacks).

RB

Ronnie Brown

S2

Brown's touches have been limited in the last two games, but he remains the primary ball-carrier for the Dolphins. This week's matchup with the porous Cleveland defense provides a good chance for another 100-yard game.

RB Ricky Williams X

After two solid efforts Williams was ineffective last week with just 13 yards on 11 carries. The Browns provide a nice spot for a bounce-back performance, but his production is too hit-and-miss for a fantasy team to rely on.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Chambers had his first multi-TD game since 2003 last week. He also had four drops. Remains a solid fantasy start against Cleveland, but if Rosenfels gets the start there's some risk since throwing patterns can change drastically when a new QB is inserted into the offense.

WR Marty Booker X

Booker had his first 100-yard game since week one. There should be some opportunities for Booker down field this week as the Browns will surely commit to stopping the run. On this run first team with a possible change at QB it may be another eight weeks before he has a fantasy relevant game however.

TE Randy McMichael X

After a month of struggles the Dolphins got their talented TE back into the flow last week. That's a good sign. But remember, this is a run oriented team that may be switching quarterbacks this week. Don't get too excited.

Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer U

Miami's secondary continues to under-perform but they are bailed out often by a solid pass rush. Look for the Browns to concentrate their efforts on protecting Dilfer. If they are successful and his receivers can get their act together then he can surprise this week

RB Reuben Droughns S2

The Browns running game has shown improvements over the past month and Droughns has been a top fantasy running back over that span. He even registered his first touchdown last week. Cleveland will not change their approach any time soon. They will run Droughns at Miami all afternoon.

WR Antonio Bryant S2

Bryant has been the most consistent fantasy producer in the Browns passing game. That trend should continue this weekend facing the woeful Dolphin secondary.

WR Braylon Edwards U

Edwards is still learning and hasn't had much of an impact since returning from his elbow surgery. This week working out of the slot should provide a killer matchup with the ineffective Eddie Jackson at cornerback.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

Had a nice week nine but last week Northcutt slid back to his limited role in the offense. Has some upside this week due to matchup, but not enough to warrant your attention.

TE Aaron Shea
Steve Heiden
B The tight end position typically plays a key role in the Browns controlled short passing game. Over the past month however both Shea and Heiden have just 8 catches between them.
 
New Orleans (2-7) at New England (5-4) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2

Things have not gone well for Brooks lately. In the two games prior to the off week he put up a total of 351 yards and just one touchdown. That should turn around this week. Horn is back and Brooks still has the talent to get the job done. Saying the Patriots' secondary is banged-up is a huge understatement. Look for Brooks to exploit that weakness to your fantasy advantage.

RB Antowain Smith S2

Smith ripped off a surprising 110 yard effort against the Bears in week nine on just 17 carries. That's the kind of production this offense needs to provide some balance to the attack. Smith is a bit banged up but should find further success running the ball at New England's defensive front.

RB Aaron Stecker B Getting some touches but not enough production.
WR Joe Horn S2

This one is pretty simple. Horn is healthy again and the Patriots' secondary is not.

WR Donte' Stallworth (Q) U

With Horn back drawing some double coverage, Stallworth will find some favorable matchups against an injury depleted secondary. He's been inconsistent in the past but this may be a good week to set that aside and get him in your lineup.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim B

Hakim has one catch in the two games since Horn's return.

TE Zack Hilton B

With Conwell out and possibly Meier as well, little used Hilton will likely get the start. Had two catches for 13 yards in his first start before the bye.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

With the running game a total mess, more of the offense is falling on Brady. The past two week's that has meant solid fantasy performances. His production may take a bit of a hit this week as the Saints one strength has been the play of their secondary and he will be under a new center this week due to the season ending injury to Dan Koppen. Overall the Saints are in a tailspin though and playing at home it's hard not to recommend Brady this week.

RB Corey Dillon (Q) X

Dillon could play and rip the porous Saints defense for a big day, or he could spend his afternoon standing on the sidelines. Whether you want to start Dillon this week will depend on your risk tolerance level.

RB Heath Evans X Evans could play and rip the porous Saints defense for a big day, or he could spend his afternoon standing on the sidelines. Whether you want to start Evans this week will depend on your risk tolerance level.     Hey... is there an echo in here?
WR

Deion Branch

S2

Brady depends on Branch to stretch the field, so look for the Saints to double-up on his coverage. Regardless, Branch remains the only consistent Patriot receiver and the only one worth a weekly fantasy start.

WR

David Givens (Q)

B

Inactive last week due to injury. May return this weekend, or maybe not. Heck, this is New England so we'll probably all know about five minutes AFTER kickoff Sunday.

WR Troy Brown (Q) X

Has been somewhat productive since returning from injury two weeks ago. But with the additional injuries in the secondary Brown was called on for spot cornerback duty last week. Look for that to continue this weekend.

TE Daniel Graham (Q) B May be out another week.
TE Ben Watson B

Watson has the talent to be a top NFL tight end. But with a second TE in the mix and the way NE spreads the ball around he rarely gets a chance to produce. That all changed last week with the injuries to TE Graham and WR Givens. Don't expect that situation to repeat itself this week.

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