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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 2
Whitney Walters
September 14, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
BUF at MIA HOU at IND TB at ATL KC at DEN WAS at DAL   Early Injury Status  
CAR at MIN NO at GB Sunday Late NE at NYJ Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
CLE at CIN NYG at PHI ARI at SEA TEN at SD PIT at JAC   (Q): Questionable  
DET at CHI OAK at BAL STL at SF       (P): Probable  
     
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)  
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) X: No matchup advantage or disadvantage  
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Good matchup) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)  
U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)    
 
Buffalo (0-1) at Miami (0-1) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman U

Losman looked solid in his 2006 debut but was unable to find the end-zone in New England. This week takes Losman on the road again against another tough division rival. He keeps his upside rating this week since Miami did allow Charlie Batch to throw for three scores last week. But just barely.

RB Willis McGahee S2

With Losman and the passing game still developing, McGahee is the driving force of this offense. He only carried the ball 20 times in the opener, but you should expect that to be a low point this season. Look for the Bills to attack the vulnerable corners of the Miami defensive front with their slimmed down and quicker lead back.

WR Lee Evans S2

As goes Losman, so goes Evans. The new look Miami secondary struggled last week in their debut with weak coverage at times and several penalties. Evans' quick bursts will provide several opportunities to make plays over the top of the Miami coverage. Last time the Dolphins saw Evans he smoked them for 117 yards and three touchdowns.

WR Peerless Price
Josh Reed
B

No real #2 WR has emerged yet and it's unclear if Price, Reed or even Parrish will ever take hold of that spot. Regardless, the fantasy options in the Bills' passing game stop with Lee Evans.

TE Robert Royal B Not a fantasy factor.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Dante Culpepper S2

As expected Culpepper struggled at times last week against a fired up Pittsburgh defense. This return home against Buffalo will serve him well however. Look for CPep to "get his roll on" a couple of times in this matchup.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S1

Found the going difficult last week against the Steelers, but did find the end-zone twice. Look for a much better rushing effort this week. The Bills didn't allow a rushing score last week but did give up 180 yards to New England's backfield trio. Their personnel changes along the defensive line have so far not yielded the desired improvements.

WR Chris Chambers S1

Chambers did struggle a bit in the opener, along with his QB. Look for the two to get it together at home against the Bills. The Buffalo secondary will give Chambers a nice cushion due to his speed - and the fact he put up 238 yards on them last time they met. This will leave plenty of room to work underneath.

WR Marty Booker X Booker is going to be a hit and miss fantasy starter all season. He'll occasionally produce starter numbers but will fall in the 2-5 catch, 30-60 yard range most weeks.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Disappointed last week with Culpepper looking his way only twice. He should be more active this weekend and should find some success against the Bills' linebackers if the Dolphins can successfully stretch the field with Chambers and Booker.
 
Carolina (0-1) at Minnesota (1-0) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Delhomme and the passing game fell flat on their face last week without Smith in the lineup. There is just no excuse for that and look for it to be corrected this week. If Smith plays, great. If not the Panthers have enough talent at WR in Johnson, Carter and Colbert to move the ball through the air successfully. Look for Delhomme to bounce back Sunday.

RB Deshaun Foster S2

Foster ran strong against a tough Falcon defense and was able to average a barely serviceable 3.6 YPC. More noteworthy is the injury to starting LT Travelle Wharton, who will miss the rest of the season. A reshuffled line will be the likely result. Not a real good development for Foster and the running game. Regardless, look for the Panthers to establish the running game early in this matchup to help take pressure off the passing attack.

RB DeAngelo Williams B

Well don't say I didn't warn you last week. Williams didn't get a single carry against the Falcons. Reports are that he'll get some this week, but until Foster goes down he's just going to take up a bench spot on your fantasy roster.

WR Steve Smith (Q) B

Until Smith has a couple of good practices under his belt he should be avoided. He did not practice Wednesday and you can expect him to be a game-time decision this weekend. If he plays it would be an interesting rematch of last season's famous Smoot torching for 201 yards and the paddling end-zone celebration. But the early indications are not good.

WR Keyshawn Johnson X Even with Smith out Johnson still plays the possession receiver roll. Last week that was good for 4 catches and 40 yards. About what you can expect on average from Johnson - with the occasional score thrown in.
WR Drew Carter U Conditional upside player. If Smith sits out another game then Carter will again get the start. He was thrown to 11 times last week and led the team in receiving. Look for a repeat on Sunday if he starts. If Smith starts then Carter downgrades to a "B" status this week.
WR Keary Colbert B

Even with the current shake up in the WR depth chart, Colbert remains the #3 WR in the Carolina passing game. Not a fantasy option any way you slice it.

TE Kris Mangum B Mangum was actually targeted 5 times last week and does have the receiving skills to be a viable pass catcher. That's just not enough to pull Mangum off the "never start" TE list.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson S2

Johnson was efficient and productive running the Viking passing game Monday night. Minnesota is going to lean on the running game this season but Johnson will be a serviceable fantasy starter in a bye week or injury crunch.

RB Chester Taylor S1

So do you think the Minnesota coaches noticed the whoppn' Atlanta put on the revamped Carolina defense last Sunday - to the tune of 252 rushing yards (204 by the backs)? Yeah, I think so too. With Hutchinson and McKinnie paving the way on the left side Taylor should have no trouble duplicating, or improving on, his fine performance last week (131 total yards and a TD).

WR Travis Taylor B

Johnson rarely looked Taylor's way Monday night. He was a target only twice and ended with just a single catch. It was a critical catch, but still just a single catch. The early indications are that Taylor may be the 3rd or even 4th receiving option in this offense. Not what fantasy players need.

WR Marcus Robinson B

Robinson will be a solid possession receiver for the Vikings. That's a fine role for the new spread it around west coast offense in Minnesota, but not for your fantasy team.

WR Troy Williamson S2 Despite his obvious dropped ball problems Monday night, it should be clear to anyone watching that Johnson was looking Williamson's way often. If he can cure his current case of dropsies, the second-year WR is going to be a weekly play most of the season.
TE Jermaine Wiggins S2

Wiggins looks to be on his way to another 70-catch season. His TD total will likely remain low, but in a PPR league he can serve the fantasy player well as a starter most weeks.

 
Cleveland (0-1) at Cincinnati (1-0) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Charlie Frye B

Frye actually had a nice fantasy day last week thanks to his running (44 yards and a TD). Teams will continue to stack the box against the run and dare Frye and the passing attack to beat them. So there will be opportunities for Frye to produce. Don't count on one of those opportunities coming this weekend in Cincy.

RB Reuben Droughns B

It's never a good sign when your quarterback leads the team in rushing, as Frye did last week. The running game never got going against the Saints and Droughns averaged just 2.5 YPC on 11 carries. Don't expect too much improvement on the road against the Bengals this weekend as the Cleveland offensive line has serious problems to solve.

WR Braylon Edwards B

Didn't put up big numbers last week. But he looks strong and close to 100% back from the knee injury. He did have a 74-yard touchdown called back. Edwards will face a Bengals secondary with more size and ability than last week's Saints' squad. His quarterback will also be under even more pressure thanks to the Cincinnati pass rush. Not a good spot for Edwards this week.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

With Jurevicius out for at least a month with a rib injury, it'll be Northcutt that will likely slide into the starting lineup for the Browns. But look for Josh Cribbs and rookie Travis Wilson to see time as well. Making none of them a fantasy option.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr. S2

Winslow finally got his NFL career off the ground last week with a strong and very promising performance - 8 catches, 63 yards and a touchdown. The Jurevicius injury only increases the Browns' need for a playmaker in the red zone. A healthy Winslow will fill that need nicely.

Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

So far it appears that the Bengals will be bringing Palmer and the passing game along slowly this season. The absence of Houshmandzadeh last week and the wet field conditions made that an easier choice. Look for the passing game to get it going this week against the never improving Browns at home.

RB Rudi Johnson S1

One of the most underrated backs in the league. Johnson has averaged almost 140 yards and a score in the last four games against Cleveland.

WR Chad Johnson S1

Johnson didn't score on the Browns last season. Look for that to change starting Sunday. The only question that remains is what silly touchdown celebration he'll subject us to.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (P) S2

T. J. is expected to practice and play this week. His return will surely be welcomed by Palmer, who relies heavily on the talented receiver underneath as Johnson stretched secondaries vertically.

TE Reggie Kelly B The most you can expect out of a Bengals TE is a couple of catches a game, if that. Kelly is there for his fine blocking skills.
 

Detroit (0-1) at Chicago (1-0)

Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna B

You thought the Seahawk defense was tough? Welcome to Soldier Field Jon.

RB Kevin Jones B

Jones and the Detroit running game never got on track last week. He averaged just 2.5 YPC on 14 carries. Six of those carries went for zero or negative yards. He did help his fantasy value out a bit with 45 receiving yards however, a good sign of an increased role there. Don't expect much improvement this week on the road in Chicago. The Bears did allow over 100 yards rushing last week, but the majority of that was late in the blowout game while in a more prevent mode of defensive play.

WR Roy Williams S2

Williams was a big disappointment last week against the Seattle corners. This week he draws an equally difficult pair in old Longhorn pal Vasher and Tillman. This is a tough call, but Williams has the strength and talent to win this matchup enough to warrant a borderline fantasy start. Now if Kitna can just deliver the ball more accurately this week.

WR Corey Bradford B

Week one didn't provide any evidence that Bradford will become any more than an infrequently producing role player in the Detroit passing game.

WR Mike Furrey B The receiver turned safety now turned receiver again may have found a nice home in the slot. He led the Lions with 5 catches for 55 yards last week. The Bears have excellent nickel corners, starting with Manning Jr. Don't expect much out of Furrey this week.
TE Marcus Pollard B 37 pass attempts last week - 4 to the tight ends (3 to Pollard). That tells you all you need to know about the position usage in the new Martz run offense.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B

For at least a week Grossman put to rest the doubt about his ability to lead the Bears. He looked sharp and effective, garnering a career best of 262 yards. Does that make him a fantasy starter? Not for the moment. But it does mean he may be worth stashing on your bench if you have a need for a #3 QB. It also means his receivers have value.

RB Thomas Jones X

The running game never really got going last week against the Packers. Jones averaged just 3 YPC and finished with 63 yards on the ground. He also saw one carry go to Benson for every two he received. That ratio will likely only decrease as Benson regains his health.

RB Cedric Benson B

Benson's shoulder appears to be close to 100% now and he carried the ball 11 times last week for a serviceable 3 YPC average. Until he takes on close to a full load for Chicago he remains a bench warmer on your fantasy team.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2

Muhammad had his first 100-yard receiving game as a Bear last week and all signs look positive for him to have a solid season catching from Grossman. Look for Muhammad to use his size advantage over corners Bly and Bryant for more success this weekend.

WR Bernard Berrian B

Only one catch last week, but it was a good one - a 49-yard TD strike. Berrian will continue to play third fiddle to Muhammad and Clark in the passing game. Receivers Bradley and Gage return to practice this week and will begin to cut into Berrian's playing time.

TE Desmond Clark

S2

Clark surprised last week, pulling in 5 passes for 77 yards - second only to Muhammad. He's a good pass-catching tight end with size and speed. The Bears would be wise to continue working him into the passing attack as Grossman seems to have developed a comfort level with him and he's a big target over the middle.
 
Houston (0-1) at Indianapolis (1-0) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B Last week looked all too familiar to Carr as his pass protection doesn't look to have improved much so far. That's a very bad thing going into Indy with their strong pass rush. He was able to squeeze out just over 200 yards and a score last week however and committed no turnovers. So not all hope is lost.
RB Wali Lundy B

Two single week trends collide in Indy. The Texans' backs mustered just 45 yards rushing last week and the Colts' defense allowed 186 yards, third worst performances of the week for both. The trend most likely to continue? The Texans.

WR Andre Johnson S2

Johnson performed well last week against the tough Philly secondary, pulling in 6 passes for 101 yards. The addition of Moulds on the other side is providing Johnson with more room to work against some single coverage. This is another difficult matchup for Houston's #1 WR, but he's still a solid start since the Texans will be forced to throw the ball more this week as they try to keep pace with the Indy offense. He also has 5 inches and 40-50 pounds on the smallish Colt corners.

WR Eric Moulds U

As he showed last week, Moulds still has what it takes to produce in this league. He will surely do that on occasion opposite another physical, coverage drawing receiver in Johnson. He's got some upside this week as Houston is going to be playing a lot of catch-up against the Colts.

TE Jeb Putzier B Putzier's pass catching abilities were not on display in the opener as he pulled in only one of the five passes Carr sent his way. With Carr under intense pressure this week look for the Texans to go more with the better blocking option in Mark Bruener often.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

It took Houston all of one week to find its place at the bottom of the pass defense rankings.

RB Dominic Rhodes X

Rhodes got a touchdown last week, but his 1.8 average on the ground is a concern. The Texans will attempt to stuff the run and make the Colts' offense one-dimensional, and they may have a shot at accomplishing that with Rhodes in the game.

RB Joseph Addai X Addai's first NFL action was a success. He averaged 3.7 YPC to Rhodes' 1.8, he caught the ball well out of the backfield and most importantly received high marks from HC Dungy on his blitz pickups. Look for his workload to increase this week as the Colts will look to improve on last week's poor overall rushing effort in New York.
WR Marvin Harrison S1

Do you really need a reason to start Harrison? Okay, Houston's pass defense stinks.

WR Reggie Wayne S1 Ditto for Mr. Wayne.
WR Brandon Stokley (Q) B

Still recovering from the pre-season ankle injury but may play this week.

TE Dallas Clark
Ben Utecht (Q)
B

The Colts love to use 2-TE sets and they've found a great complement to Clark in Ben Utecht. What that means for fantasy owners is the TE production for the Colts will be split by these two all season. So unless you can start a team TE you will need to look elsewhere for a fantasy starter.

 
New Orleans (1-0) at Green Bay (0-1) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B

Brees did just enough for the Saints to get a win last week against a bad opponent. He gets a second weak opponent in a row with his visit to Green Bay, but don't expect much more than his pedestrian 176 yard, 1 TD performance last week.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

The Saints ran the ball 37 times last week with McAllister getting 22 carries. He ran strong, averaging 4.1 YPC and getting the call when in scoring position. He, combined with Reggie Bush, will be a handful for the Packers run defense. The only downside is the loss of both New Orleans' fullbacks to injury. They'll likely be breaking in a new one on Sunday.

RB Reggie Bush S2 Bush only got 14 carries last week, but as expected he was a force in the passing game, catching all eight passes that came his way. His touchdown opportunities look to be limited, but his ability to gain big chunks of yardage makes him a solid fantasy start. The Packer linebackers that couldn't stop Desmond Clark last week won't know what hit them after Bush does his work.
WR Joe Horn B

Horn took a back seat to the youngsters last week. Colston, Henderson and Bush all out produced his 2-25 effort. You may see that a lot this season. This week Horn will likely draw the newly acquired Charles Woodson in coverage. Expect limited production.

WR Marques Colston   B

In Colston's debut last week he led all wide receivers and scored the Saints only touchdown. Not a bad first NFL start. He's big and raw and will continue to get his chances in the Saints' passing attack. Might not be so productive against the veteran Al Harris this week however.

TE Mark Campbell B

The Saints' tight end position remains a mess and didn't get a single look last week. With the heavy use of Bush in the passing game the tight end is likely to be an afterthought most weeks. With the loss of their fullbacks, look for both Campbell and Conwell to spend more plays blocking than running routes.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre B

Okay, now his first shutout is behind him and it has to look up from here... right? I'd love to be the one to say ol' Brett will bounce back this week, but this is not the Brett Favre we've all become familiar with over his career. He's on his way out and the offense around him has problems galore. Until they can get it together he belongs on your bench.

RB Ahman Green S2

Green was one of the few bright spots for the Packers last week. He played most downs and ran strong on his way to 110 yards against the Bears defense. With two rookies up front blocking for him that's an accomplishment. Look for Green Bay to keep leaning on the running game and for Green fantasy owners to benefit. The Saints' defense may be improved, but they will not be confused with the Bears' any time soon.

RB Vernand Morency B The newly acquired Morency is a good fit for the Packers running game and after he digests enough of the playbook will likely start to spell Green during games.
WR Donald Driver S2 As expected Driver was about the only thing going in the Green Bay passing attack. He has seven catches and the next closest receiver had just two. Until the rest of his targets develop, Driver should be a productive fantasy starter regardless of opponent.
WR Greg Jennings B The rookie struggled in his NFL debut, catching only a single Favre pass and causing an interception on another. Until he can get his act together in the regular season he'll be nothing more than a bench warming fantasy sleeper and may be passed over on the depth chart by the newly acquired Koren Robinson soon.
TE Bubba Franks B

Things must be getting bad when a healthy Bubba Franks doesn't get a single look from Favre. With all the problems on the offensive line Franks is being used as extra blocking protection on passing downs.

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