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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)  
 
Philadelphia (4-1) at New Orleans (4-1) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S1

There is not a fantasy quarterback playing at a more consistent high level, period. He's in your starting lineup every week, no questions asked.

RB Brian Westbrook (Q) S2

The knee is obviously a problem, and may be for the remainder of the season. After sitting out week 4 the Eagles took it easy on their start back last week, giving him just 11 carries. He did have five catches, but the result was his first sub-100 total yard game of the year. The solid Saints defense has wavered over the past two weeks, allowing 311 yards on the ground. The initial reports are that Westbrook came out of last week's game in very good shape and he expects to see more action this week. If he can get some late week practice time in that will be a good sign that he'll get what he expects. If not then it will be another iffy Sunday morning call.

WR Donte' Stallworth (D) B

Stallworth will surely be motivated to get on the field at his old home in New Orleans. But with his history of hamstring problems it may not happen. And the team is in no rush to force him out there since they are playing well without him.

WR

Reggie Brown

S2

With or without Stallworth in the lineup Brown has been the most consistent Eagles' receiver. He's scored three touchdowns in three different games and has 248 receiving yards over the past three weeks. The Saints cornerbacks are physical but slow. Look for Brown and ...

WR Hank Baskett U ... Baskett to get behind them for some big gains. Baskett was a pre-season darling but quickly took a back seat after the Stallworth trade. That all changed last week thanks to an 87-yard touchdown strike. HC Andy Reid and McNabb love to go deep and this promising rookie has the skills to make it happen. But without that long strike he'll have non-factor fantasy numbers.
WR Greg Lewis B Lewis may have made some fantasy noise in week four with his two touchdown grabs. But two catches for no touchdowns is what Lewis is producing every other week.
TE L.J. Smith S1

Smith continues to get it done week in and week out. He's an every week starter and has a nice matchup this week against a New Orleans linebacker corps that struggles against good pass-catching tight ends.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B

This is a tough matchup for Brees. The Philly secondary is closer to full strength now with CB Lito Sheppard back and they haven't allowed a passing touchdown in two weeks. Their defensive front is very aggressive and leads the league with 23 sacks.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

While Bush gets all the hype it's McAllister that's carrying the Saints running attack on his back. He's averaging almost five yards a carry and has scored four touchdowns - tied for second most among backs. He'll be needed more than ever this week as the Saints will need a productive running game to help keep the high powered Eagles offense off the field. Look for them to pound McAllister between the tackles to try and control the clock.

RB Reggie Bush S3 Thanks to his production in the passing game Bush is averaging 84 total yards a game so far this season. If your league scoring is set up to reward individual players with special team touchdowns then you've benefited from his first score last week. The reality is that scores are going to be hard to come by with Bush. He is not running the ball well (averaging just 3.1 YPC) and McAllister is. He remains a fantasy starter due to his big play potential, but the production won't come easily this week against the tough Philly defense.
WR Joe Horn S3

Horn isn't the big play threat of his past but he's still a consistent factor in the Saints passing attack. He's been good for 3-5 catches and 50-80 yards almost every week. In a six team bye week that's not a bad fill in if you need it.

WR Marques Colston   S3

Colston had a season low 3-38 last week as the down field passing game never got going. There's a good chance it will struggle again against a stout Philly defense with a secondary that's getting healthy again.

TE Ernie Conwell  B

Finally working his way into the passing game plan. Two weeks ago he had four catches and last week he scored his first touchdown of the season. Conwell is a solid tight end with the skills to be a good pass receiver. Against the Eagles' blitz this week he'll likely be needed more in pass protection.

 
Seattle (3-1) at St. Louis (4-1) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Two weeks of the new look passing attack are in the books with mixed success. One outing was a 5-TD smacking of the porous Giants' secondary, the other was a 0-TD stuffing by the stellar Bears' defense. Expect something in between this week against a Rams' secondary that has shown some improvement but still struggles at times. They will be pushed beyond their limits by Seattle's 4-WR sets.

RB Maurice Morris   S2

The worst any starting back has done against St. Louis this season is Kevin Jones' 93 yards in week four. The issue here is going to be carries. With their all-world running back out will the Seahawks commit to the run and give Morris 20-plus carries in this matchup. If they do the chances for fantasy success are very good. He only got 11 in their last game but that was against Chicago and they fell behind early. Even with the current transition to a more passing oriented offense, Seattle realizes that a productive running game remains a key to offensive success. Morris will get his 20 touches and have a productive game.

WR Darrell Jackson S1

The knee has not been a problem so far and Jackson remains Hasselbeck's go-to guy. If any Seattle receiver is going to have a big game against the struggling and now injury depleted Rams' secondary it's Jackson.

WR Deion Branch S2

Branch has looked good in his two games as a Seahawk but only has five catches. The off week will surely help get him worked into the passing schemes more and he's very close to being the starter along side Jackson. Look for improved production this week and his first touchdown as a Seahawk.

WR Nate Burleson B

Only seven catches through four games, and of those four games, three were single catch efforts. Branch will soon push him out of his starting position and he'll be relegated to getting snaps only in 4-WR sets.

WR Bobby Engram (Q) B

Engram is entrenched as the slot receiver, a place where he is at his best. He excels in finding the open spaces in the middle of the field. With Jackson and now Branch on the outside those spaces are open often. He has a great rapport with Hasselbeck and will continue to produce in the 3-5 catch, 30-60 yard range most weeks.

TE Jerramy Stevens B

The big pass-catching tight end will return to the starting lineup this week and the plan is to play him about 30 snaps. This offense has missed his presence over the middle and Hasselbeck will look to get him involved in the passing attack again. If the team holds to its plan of just playing him on 30 downs the production isn't likely to be fantasy worthy.

St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

The new passing attack is clicking now and Bulger's production has improved over the past two games. He's averaging 50 more YPG over the past two games and has thrown five touchdowns. Compared to the two touchdowns he had through the first three games of the season. This is not an easy matchup but the Seattle secondary has struggled against the deep ball. There should be enough of those to Holt and Bruce to make Bulger a fantasy starter this week.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson continues to roll and leads the league in total yards with 649. He's also tied for the league lead in rushing yards and is tops in carries with 113. The only negative from a fantasy perspective is his single touchdown through five games. But it's not due to a lack of trying. Jackson has 12 touches inside the 5-yard line, second most among backs.

WR Torry Holt S1 Holt only had 40 yards last week against Green Bay, but he's scored in each of the last four games and remains Bulger's prime target, especially in the red-zone. Two weeks ago the Bears burned the Seahawk corners deep. Look for Bulger and Holt to do the same Sunday.
WR Isaac Bruce S2

The aging Bruce isn't going to get you a big game often any more. But he's a steady performer and still one of the best in the business.

WR Kevin Curtis
Shaun McDonald
B

As expected as the Rams new passing attack improves you are seeing more 3 and 4-WR sets from them. That means Curtis and McDonald are getting more involved. Last week that resulted in 5 catches for 51 yards between them with Curtis getting his first score of the season. The only fantasy potential here is with Curtis, but it's minimal.

TE Joe Klopfenstein B

The big rookie continues to improve each week but he's just not a regular option in the Rams' passing schemes. He's only caught passes in three of their five games.

 
Tennessee (0-5) at Washington (2-3) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young B

Young can be exciting to watch at times but he's far from being ready for the role of a starting NFL quarterback. He'll do most of his damage with his legs. But the Titans' have made their choice and he'll be their starter for the rest of the season. Just don't expect to ever make him yours.

RB Travis Henry S3

Henry won the staff coin toss last week and got the start for the Titans. He rewarded them with an impressive 123 yards on 19 carries against the very porous Indy defense. It was the first 100-yard effort from a Titan back in over a year and it likely earned him another start this week. Tennessee will want to establish a solid running game to ease the pressure on QB Young. Look for Henry to get around 20 carries again and be somewhat productive against a Washington defense that gave up 149 rushing yards to the Giants last week.

RB Chris Brown B Inactive with no explanation last week and early reports are that this week it will be the same.
RB LenDale White (Q) B The Titans look committed to playing the rookie every week now. In the past two games he's had 17 carries and looked good, averaging over 5.1 yards on each. As his experience grows so will his number of carries.
WR Drew Bennett (Q)
David Givens (O)
Bobby Wade
Brandon Jones
B

Here's the rundown from last week: Givens was out again due to a thumb injury. Bennett sprained his ankle and didn't have a single catch. Jones started for Givens and caught three balls. Wade didn't catch any of the four passes that came his way. This is a mess and should be avoided by all fantasy players.

TE Ben Troupe
Bo Scaife
B

Rookie quarterback - extra work for the tight ends. That's the conventional wisdom. The current reality in Young's two starts - 7 catches, 81 yards and a touchdown in two games between these two. The situation will improve over time but it will be up and down from here on out with this two-headed tight end.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell S2

After two solid games Brunell laid an egg last week against a beatable Giants' secondary. The Titans have actually played fairly good pass defense lately. They've held both Bledsoe and P. Manning to under 180 yards in the past two games. Both did toss two touchdowns however. I'd expect Brunell and the Redskins to bounce back this week in this favorable matchup with the out-manned Titans.

RB Clinton Portis S1

Portis had his first off week since returning from the shoulder injury, gaining just 76 yards last week against the Giants. He should have no trouble bouncing back on Sunday with the league's worst run defense coming to town.

WR Santana Moss S3

Ah... the highs and lows of Moss ownership. 138 yards and three touchdowns one week, just 39 yards the next. It'll be Moss vs. Pacman this week. My money's on Moss.

WR Antwaan Randle El U

Randle El continues to get looks each week and the Redskins always work a few running plays in for him. He should have his best game of the season this week facing CB Reynaldo Hill, who doesn't have the quickness to stay with him.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley led the team in all receiving categories last week. That makes two games in a row that the great pass-catching tight end was a force in the Redskins' passing attack. It appears safe to make him an every week starter for your fantasy team.

 

Kansas City (2-2) at Pittsburgh (1-3)

Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Damon Huard B

After struggling in his first start for the injured Green, Huard has improved his play. He's thrown for nearly 500 yards and four touchdowns in the last two games. His opponents (SF and ARI) helped in that regard. On paper the Steelers don't look much tougher, but the reality is they are. Being on the road in Pittsburgh is a tough spot for Huard and you shouldn't expect too much from him.

RB Larry Johnson (P) S1

The running game struggled last week and LJ almost lost his head on that long catch and run. He's alright though and will be close to 100% for this game. No back has had more than 22 carries or 92 yards against the Steelers this season. KC will lean on LJ heavily in this matchup and he'll eclipse both numbers.

WR Eddie Kennison
Samie Parker
B

Both Kennison and Parker are producing at a barely fantasy relevant level. Kennison scored in week four, Parker last week. Neither will in this matchup with the solid Pittsburgh secondary.

TE Tony Gonzalez S2 It's been a hit-and-miss season so far for Gonzo. The Chiefs don't seem able to consistently work him into the passing attack. In week two he went 2-7 and last week he had just a single 25 yard catch. The Steelers run a ton of blitzes so if the Chiefs are on top of their game there should be opportunities for them to get him the ball in the vacated areas of the defense.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B

It's official. Big Ben is not himself and is in the first major slump of his short career. It shouldn't be a surprise. You don't almost lose your life, go under the knife and miss much of training camp and pre-season without suffering some difficulties on the field. Until he plays his way out of this he needs to take a spot on your bench.

RB Willie Parker  S1

Parker has had two games with over 100 yards rushing and two games where he didn't get 100 combined yards. It's been that kind of season for the Steelers. On the positive he has scored three touchdowns in the past two games. If there's anything that will help heal this team's woes it's getting back to smash mouth Steeler football by feeding Parker the ball 25-plus times.

WR Hines Ward S3

Ward is getting twice the looks of any other receiver on the team and leads them all in every category. Result - 13 catches, 148 yards and a single touchdown through four games. His best was week one when he went 5-53 and a score. It's been downhill since. Until the struggles at quarterback are solved you shouldn't expect much better from Ward.

WR Cedrick Wilson
Nate Washington
Santonio Holmes
B

Starter Wilson, #3 Washington and rookie Holmes are all producing at a non-fantasy factor rate. When your passing game is generating under 200 yards a game and no touchdowns there's little hope of improvement.

TE Heath Miller B

Miller is a size and speed mismatch with most opposing linebackers and safeties. But take away his 80-yard score in week one and he's averaging just what he got last week, 2 catches for 22 yards.

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