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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 6
Whitney Walters
October 12, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night Bye Weeks   Player List by Position  
BUF at DET NYG at ATL KC at PIT OAK at DEN CLE, GB,   Early Injury Status  
CAR at BAL PHI at NO MIA at NYJ Monday Night IND, JAC,   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
CIN at TB SEA at STL SD at SF CHI at ARI MIN, NE   (Q): Questionable  
HOU at DAL TEN at WAS         (P): Probable  
     
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)  
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)  
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: No matchup advantage or disadvantage  
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)  
 
Buffalo (2-3) at Detroit (0-5) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman U

Losman played about as well as you could expect against the stifling Bears defense last week on the road. This road trip will prove much more appealing to fantasy players. The Lions' pass defense is near the bottom of the league in just about every category. Getting CB Fernando Bryant back in the lineup last week helps the Lions cause but this is still a pass defense that's out of sync. Week six is a huge bye week and many teams will be looking for a sleeper play at quarterback. Losman fits that bill this week.

RB Willis McGahee S1

Last week was expectedly tough for McGahee against Chicago. That won't be the case this weekend. Detroit can be run on and you can bet the Bills will return to getting their stud running back the ball 25-plus times and he'll produce with a 100-yard game and score his second touchdown of the season.

WR Lee Evans S2

Evans is the unquestioned primary target for Losman. In the past three games they've connected on 24 passes for 291 yards and a score. The ball does get spread to the other three receivers in the passing game. But Evans is the one that gets the majority of the looks, and against the Lions' pass defense that's a good thing for fantasy players.

WR Peerless Price
Josh Reed
Roscoe Parrish

U

There is still no real #2 WR emerging in Buffalo, and there may not be one this season. All three have had their moments with Price seeming to be the most consistent leader in looks through the first five games - but only slightly. All three have scored a single TD but each on a different week. Given the favorable matchup with Detroit this week one of these three is bound to score and be of value to a fantasy team. The problem is that is can be any of the three. If you're in a bye week bind and you have one of these receivers you may want to take a chance on them. But the risk is high.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna B

Kitna looked like... well... Kitna last week. Solid play but too many mistakes. Regardless, he was able to put up his third straight fantasy worthy effort thanks to a rushing touchdown. His offensive line is down three starters due to injury and it's looking doubtful that WR Roy Williams will play this week. The odds of a fantasy worthy game number four happening are slim.

RB Kevin Jones B

The running game Detroit thought they finally had going completely died last week against the Vikings. Jones ended with just 8 yards on 10 carries and a concussion he sustained in the closing minutes of the game. Several teams have shown that the Bills can be run on, but the Lions will be without three of their starting offensive linemen this week due to injury. Two were out last week and we saw what impact that had.

WR Roy Williams (P) B

Early indications are that Williams will not play Sunday due to the back injury he suffered last week. Even if he tries to play a back injury can flare up at any time, after any hit. He needs to be benched this week.

WR Mike Furrey S3

Furrey has become a solid producer since his move to the #2 WR spot. He's fast, has good size and works well on the quicker routes that Kitna will be needing more this week due to the potential protection problems caused by the injury depleted offensive line.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim U Showed up big in the box score last week thanks to the Williams injury (8-92). With Williams likely out this week chances are good for a repeat.
 
Carolina (3-2) at Baltimore (4-1) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B

The Panthers' passing game has indeed improved since Steve Smith's return, but it still isn't in sync. Delhomme has thrown for just 170 yards in each of the past two games. It would be hard to expect much improvement on the road in Baltimore.

RB Deshaun Foster B

Foster has a season high 24 carries last week thanks to Williams' ankle injury. He'll likely get the same workload on Sunday. Problem is it's on the road against the Ravens. LT did squeeze out 98 yards on Baltimore two weeks ago and Tatum Bell was able to gain 92 Monday night. So not all hope is lost. But almost. Chances are you can't sit him this week however with six teams on bye. So plug him in and hope for 70 yards and a score if they can get the ball down near the goal-line.

RB DeAngelo Williams (O) B

Will miss at least this game due to the sprained ankle he suffered last week.

WR Steve Smith S3

Take away the week 3 bomb to Braylon Edwards and the best any receiver has been able to produce is Javon Walker's 63 yards on Monday night. No other WR has more than 45 yards on the Ravens' secondary this season. The best you can expect from Smith, who is obviously not 100% yet, is some average yardage and maybe a touchdown. Maybe. His upside however maintains his starter status. Barely.

WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

With the focus on Smith this week there a good chance that Johnson will have an opportunity to use his experience and skills in the red-zone to pull in a score against the aggressive Baltimore corners.

Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair B

The passing game and McNair have yet to reach the potential promised with his arrival. He still doesn't seem comfortable with the Ravens' system. He's passed for over 200 yards only once and tossed more than a single TD only once. The going doesn't get any easier this week facing a Carolina defense that's starting to turn things around.

RB Jamal Lewis S3

Lewis has been ineffective against strong defenses in the past two weeks. Monday night also saw a greater involvement from his backups, Anderson and Smith. The Panthers haven't given up more than 65 rushing yards to a back since week two. Look for Baltimore to attack that defense right up the gut with a good dose of their three running backs. Lewis will start and be the first in the attack, but don't be surprised if he gives way more this week to his backups. There are rumblings in Baltimore that if Smith or Anderson get hot they will receive more carries.

WR Derrick Mason B

Mason has yet to score this season and outside of the big yardage game the Ravens' passing attack had at Cleveland in week 3 there's been little for fantasy owners to like here. His next best game was a 50-yarder in week one.

WR Mark Clayton B

For the second time this season Clayton out-caught Mason in the Monday nighter. He didn't out-produce him, but it's a positive sign that he's gaining favor in the passing game attack. He's the team's best playmaker and is excellent after the catch. Will that ever turn into a weekly fantasy option for his owners? Not likely with a stud TE on the roster.

TE

Todd Heap (Q)

S1 Heap remains the most consistent option in the Ravens' passing game and has three of the team's five passing touchdowns this season. He was targeted a team high 8 times on Monday night but McNair was inconsistent and he only ended up with three catches. He will always be a big part of the passing game and the Panthers have struggled this season covering tight ends.
 
Cincinnati (3-1) at Tampa Bay (0-4) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Palmer has yet to return to his 2005 self. He still seems uncomfortable in the pocket and his offensive line isn't affording him the time he's used to. He's already been sacked 15 times in four games. He was sacked just 21 times last season. The Bucs don't have much of a pass rush, so look for that to improve. Palmer should do just fine in this matchup but the running game will take center stage this week for the Bengals.

RB Rudi Johnson S1

The Tampa Bay defense is allowing 5.0 YPC and over 160 YPG on the ground. You can bet the Bengals will be giving them a big dose of Johnson this week.

WR Chad Johnson S2

Before the bye Johnson bounced back from his horrendous 1-11 week three game in Pittsburgh. Look for him to push the solid but aging CB duo of Barber and Kelly to the edge of their ability, and beyond.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

Houshmandzadeh's return in week 3 had an immediate impact and he's put up 189 yards and two scores in just two games. He continues to benefit from the room he's allowed from opposing secondary's as they focus on the higher-profile Johnson.

WR Kelly Washington B

Washington doesn't have Henry's vertical speed but he's a solid third-down receiver and will get his chance over the next two games while Henry serves out his suspension. A benefit to the Bengals' passing game, yes. A viable fantasy starter, not likely. Antonio Chatman is back from injury and will also be used to fill the Henry void.

Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Bruce Gradkowski B

The rookie's mobility seemed to spark the Bucs' offense last week and he had a nice debut against New Orleans. It was actually the first multi-passing touchdown game of the season for Tampa. But don't get your hopes too high. The offense being run right now is very simple and now there's game tape on Gradkowski for opposing teams to study. Look for his production to drop off this week.

RB Carnell Williams S2

Thanks to the success throwing the ball last week Caddy found some running room for a change. He had a season high 20 carries and his first 100-yard game of the year. The Bengals forgot how to stop the run in weeks 3 and 4, allowing a total of 362 yards to the PIT and NE backs. If the Bucs don't fall too far behind in this matchup it should be a favorable one for Williams as his offensive line's health is improving with the return of G Davin Joseph to the starting lineup this week.

WR Joey Galloway S3

After a blistering 2005 campaign Galloway has remained the primary down field option in the Bucs' passing game. He's had two 100-plus yard games this season, the last one coming last week with rookie Gradkowski as quarterback. The QB play will drop off this week so Galloway's opportunities for big plays will be limited. He's a borderline starter at best in this matchup.

WR Michael Clayton B The last two games have seen a big drop off in Clayton's use in the passing attack. In the first two games he was targeted 17 times and the last two just 5. Each of the last two games have been single catch efforts. With TE Smith emerging there isn't going to be enough looks to go around in the passing game and Clayton seems to be the odd man out.
TE Alex Smith S2

After two weeks of nothing, the talented young TE has emerged in the passing game in the past two games. Nine catches, 88 yards and a score are solid numbers for any tight end. That's more catches than anyone else on the roster and more yards than everyone but Galloway. With a rookie at the helm you can be sure Tampa will keep this big target available.

 

Houston (1-3) at Dallas (2-2)

Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

Carr's play has improved this season. He's managing the games better and the increased receiving talent around him has helped. But he's still making mistakes that cost his team and the offensive line is still not giving him the protection he needs. The Dallas defense is playing at a high level so don't expect much from Carr.

RB Ron Dayne B

Before the off week the Texans handed the ball to Dayne a whopping 22 times - a total he hadn't reached since his rookie season in 2000. Unfortunately he was only able to muster the same 58 yards he gained the week prior on just 14 carries. For the first time in his career Dayne is the lead back for his team. No matter. This offensive line is still struggling and I stopped drinking the Dayne kool-aid years ago. Six in fact.

WR Andre Johnson S2

It's looking like the analysis on the highly talented Johnson was spot on. Get him a decent running mate that gives him a fair shake with coverage and he'll tear it up. Despite the only average play of his quarterback Johnson is a top flight fantasy receiver this season. He's both physical and fast and will pose matchup problems for the Dallas corners.

WR Eric Moulds X

Moulds has four catches in each of the past three games and hasn't scored since week one. If you are in need of a 4-for-60 game from your fantasy wide receiver, odds are very good you'll get it from Moulds most weeks.

TE Putzier/Bruener/Daniels B

Only once has a Houston tight end had more than one catch, and before the off week they had none against Miami. The poor running game and offensive line problems do create opportunities for the tight end position in the red zone. But trying to predict which player may get the single catch for a touchdown is a game all fantasy players should avoid.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2

Yes he's immobile and yes Philly shut him down last week. Nothing better for a discouraged quarterback than coming home to face the worst pass defense in the league. If Brunell and Culpepper can put up 250 and a touchdown on Houston, Bledsoe will do just fine in this matchup.

RB Julius Jones S1

Jones continued his fine play last week with his second 100-yard game in a row against the tough Eagles defense. Tough isn't a word that comes to mind when describing the Houston defense. Jones should have little trouble making it three in a row.

RB Marion Barber S3

Barber continues to get his 10 touches a game, mostly on third downs. The result has been a touchdown in each of the past three games and 62 total YPG in that span. There are starting running backs in the league not producing at that level. Oddly enough, Barber scored in three straight games last season, only to never cross the goal-line again. That little trend doesn't look to repeat this year. It's hard to recommend starting a back that only touches the ball 10 times a game. But Barber's on a nice roll and the Cowboys are committed to getting him the ball and he seems to be a more efficient goal-line runner than Jones.

WR Terrell Owens S1

The Eagles did a great job limiting Owens last week with double teams. Houston can quadruple team him this week if they want, but they don't have the talent in the secondary to make a dent in the big day he's going to have Sunday. If Owens doesn't finally have his breakout game of the season this week then there is something seriously wrong with the Cowboys' passing game.

WR Terry Glenn S1

Pick your poison Houston. Focus on Owens and both Owens and Glenn will burn you. Focus on Glenn and both Glenn and Owens will burn you. Hey wait... I guess it doesn't matter who they focus on this week.

TE Jason Witten X

With Bledsoe under pressure all afternoon Witten was able to benefit to the tune of four catches for 51 yards, a season high. That seems to be what you can expect most weeks from him. The passing game this season is focused more on the wide receivers and his looks in scoring position have decreased thanks to the 2-TE sets that Dallas is running.

 
New York Giants (2-2) at Atlanta (3-1) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S3

Manning had his lowest fantasy production of the season last week and the task isn't any easier this Sunday on the road in Atlanta. The Falcons' secondary is much more dangerous than the one he faced last week and they have yet to surrender a touchdown. The Atlanta pass rush also gets a boost by the expected return of DE John Abraham. This is shaping up to be a very difficult spot for Manning and he's just a borderline starter.

RB Tiki Barber S2

The Giants got back to running the ball last week and gave Barber a season high 23 carries. He rewarded them with a season high 123 yards, his second 100-yard game of the year. Expect the same plan of attack this week, but the results won't likely be the same. The Falcons currently have the #2 rush defense in the league and give up just 3.1 YPC. Look for the Giants to try attacking the edges of the defense, away from run stuffing nose tackle Grady Jackson. Barber squeaks out a S2 rating due to his ability to add fantasy points through the passing game.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress has scored in three of the Giants four games this season. His obvious height and physical advantage over most cornerbacks make him a favorite red-zone target for Manning. The same will hold true this week, but when matched up against the stellar CB DeAngelo Hall, he'll be fighting one of the few cover corners with the skills to help compensate for Burress' size advantage. Look for the Giants to move Burress around to get him matched up with the even smaller CB Jason Webster.

WR Amani Toomer X

Toomer typically struggles against the type of physical man coverage CB DeAngelo Hall plays. He won't be matched up with him all the time, but enough to limit Toomer to his usual possession receiver production level. 3-5 catches for 30-60 yards.

TE Jeremy Shockey (P) S3

Shockey is officially on the verge of being a fantasy bust. He seems out of sync with Manning and the passing game this season and his ankle is not improving. Even after the week off he didn't seem any more explosive and then re-injured the ankle again late in the game. Couple that with the fact that he'll have increased pass protection duties this weekend and you have a stud TE that's barely startable.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S2

Vick hasn't scored since week two, has yet to throw for over 153 yards or complete more than 13 passes in a game. It's all about the legs when discussing Vick's fantasy value. He's rushed for 333 yards in four games. That's enough to make him #16 among running backs - above Larry Johnson, Willie Parker and others. Since the #16 back is almost always a fantasy starter, it's safe to say that despite his horrific passing numbers he remains a starter.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

The Falcons running game continues to dominate the league thanks to the great production of Vick and backup Norwood. But Dunn struggled in the two weeks leading to the bye, getting just 32 carries and 99 yards. He also has yet to score as the team seems to be passing more down by the goal-line now that they don't have T.J. Duckett to pound it in. And when they have given him the ball it hasn't worked. Dunn is the only back with seven or more carries inside the 5-yard line without a touchdown. The Giants have yet to give up more than 76 yards to a back this season and that streak will likely hold for another week.

RB Jerious Norwood (Q) B

Almost doubled Dunn's output in week 4 thanks to a 78-yard touchdown run. Norwood's explosive speed may get him more involved in the Falcon running game, but for now he's just Dunn's backup and good for 6-10 touches a game. Holding him back is that he's still a liability in pass protection.

WR Michael Jenkins B

After a promising week one Jenkins has been a non-factor, catching only seven balls for 65 yards in the past three games. When your quarterback has almost as many rushing attempts as pass completions it's hard to imagine much improvement.

WR Ashley Lelie S3 Seems like we've seen this before. Lelie deep down the sideline occasionally catching the ball if it gets to him. Expect to see more of that every week as Lelie learns more of the offense and he and Vick improve their timing. His production has increased each game since joining the team and he's due to make it across the goal-line soon.
TE Alge Crumpler S3

Crumpler leads the team in targets but isn't any more productive than the wide receivers right now. His 5-for-49 Monday night performance is his high through four games. The dump-offs he used to get when Vick came under pressure are limited this season as the decision is to run in those situations this year.

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