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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)  
 
Miami (1-4) at New York Jets (2-3) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington S3

The Dolphins are now admitting that they probably rushed Culpepper back and have benched him indefinitely. It's now Harrington's show. Which means now the Dolphin fans get what Detroit lived with for years. Stretches of game time with promise followed by the inevitable interception caused by his inability to look off defenders. The Jets are a somewhat favorable matchup, so if you're desperate give him a go.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S1

Brown finally scored again last week, but his 17 carries was just the second time all season he had more than 15. There is really no excuse for one of the up-and-coming elite young backs to have just 85 carries through five games. You want to get this offense going? Run your stud 'til he drops. If the Dolphins don't do just that this week against the terrible run defense of the Jets (league worst 11 TD's allowed) the offensive coaching staff should be fired.

WR Chris Chambers S2

The Dolphins and Harrington are likely to stick with the quick, short-passing attack they used with some success last week against New England. The result? Fewer big play opportunities for Chambers and...

WR Wes Welker S2

... more catching opportunities for the surprising Welker, who had the biggest receiving day of any Dolphin receiver this season, going 9-77. Early indications are he'll be the starter this week for the injured Booker.

TE Randy McMichael (P) S2

If there was one fantasy positive from Harrington last week it was his willingness to get the ball to his big tight end. McMichael had been a fantasy disappointment up until last week's 6-for-84 performance. His best of the season by far. He suffered some bruised ribs last week but is expected to be just fine.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington (P) S2

Talk about a complete and utter train wreck. Pennington was just that last week against Jacksonville. Just 71 yards passing and three interceptions. He's back home playing a division rival. No way he doesn't bounce back with a good game on Sunday.

RB Kevan Barlow (P)
Leon Washington (P)
B

The running back situation for the Jets continues to evolve each week. Barlow moved into the starting lineup two weeks ago but was unproductive early last week and gave way to Leon Washington and his 101-yard game. Current indicators from the team are that they believe Barlow may make a good short-yardage / goal-line option, but they don't believe he's the answer to their feature back question. They favor Washington and the injured Cedric Houston. Chances are good that Washington will get the nod this week, but the Dolphins are allowing a league low 2.9 YPC on the ground so the going will be difficult.

WR Laveranues Coles (Q) S2

Coles is still not 100% recovered from his bothersome calf injury and he sat out most of last week's 0-41 loss to Jacksonville. He wasn't happy about it but it was probably the right call. Even with sitting out most of last week's game he still leads the league in catches with 33 and is second with 431 yards. He'll play every snap in this matchup and is a solid starter.

WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

Like the entire Jets' passing game, Cotchery had an off week but was still able to out produce Coles again. The Dolphins lost starting CB Travis Daniels to injury last week so the youngster will draw backup cornerback coverage all afternoon. Start him.

TE Chris Baker B

It continues to be feast or famine with Baker this season. He either scores a touchdown or has just a single catch, or none. Move along, move along. There's nothing to see here.

 
San Diego (3-1) at San Francisco (2-3) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers B

Rivers had his coming out party last week against the reeling Steelers. San Francisco presents a much better matchup as they have allowed 10 passing touchdowns, second highest total in the league. But you can't rely on the Chargers turning the game over to Rivers every week when you have one of the best runners in the game setting up behind him on most plays.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1

The brutal three week stretch is over for LT (bye, BAL then PIT) and it's nothing but green open field ahead of him until Denver in week 11.

WR Keenan McCardell
Eric Parker
B

Even with the restraints removed from Rivers last week there was no big game had here. Parker did have a season high 5-86 but McCardell's hamstring appears to still be bothering him. The emergence of red-zone specialist Malcom Floyd and the coming soon of rookie Vincent Jackson just means fewer looks for McCardell and Parker, making them even less of a fantasy factor.

TE Antonio Gates S1

Through his first four games last season Gates was 23-341, 2 TD's. This season through four: 13-177, 2 TD's. A drop off yes, but he's still in the top 5 of most fantasy leagues. He's also been targeted eight times a game through the last three, almost twice as much as either starting wide receiver.

San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith B

The Chargers have yet to play an even remotely potent offense. The fact remains however that they are playing some of the most dominant defense in the league right now. Smith has improved his play over last season for sure, but he'll have nowhere to go in this matchup.

RB Frank Gore S3

Gore had a couple of off weeks but got way back on track against Oakland with 27 carries for 137 yards last week, with 3-38 receiving tossed in for good measure. The door slams shut Sunday. Most teams will not be able to bench Gore this weekend, but you have to seriously lower your expectations with him facing the top run defense in the league. He may still produce in the passing game. If you have a better matchup with a backup runner, take it.

WR Antonio Bryant B

Since putting up 114 and 134 yards in weeks one and two respectively, Bryant has only topped 30 yards once. He'll struggle to do it a second time this week facing San Diego.

WR Arnaz Battle B

Battle stole the show last week with his two touchdown catches, now the most by any Niner receiver. May be the high water mark of his season.

TE Eric Johnson B Johnson has failed to live up to expectations since he started filling in for the injured Vernon Davis. He's just 6-37 in his two starts. Not much will be working for the Niners this week, especially Johnson who will be spending most of his time trying to protect his quarterback.
 
Oakland (0-4) at Denver (3-1) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Andrew Walter   B Do you really need a reason not to play this kid on the road in Denver? I didn't think so.
RB Lamont Jordan S3

The offensive line is beginning to get their act together and the running game has been the one bright spot for Oakland over the past two games. Jordan is averaging 6.2 YPC. Just when you think it's safe for your fantasy team to lean on him we get HC Art Shell saying he wants to see more of backup Justin Fargas, who got 8 carries last week and ripped off 63 yards. Jordan's fantasy value will go down along with his carries, especially this week against a tough Broncos defense that has yet to yield a rushing touchdown.

WR Randy Moss S3

That's okay Randy. We don't care if you don't care. Just keep catching touchdowns every week. Against Champ Bailey and crew this week that won't be easy.

TE Courtney Anderson
Randal Williams
B

Four, yes FOUR Raider tight ends caught a single pass last week - Anderson's was a touchdown at least, the only non-Moss receiving touchdown for the Silver & Black this year. Only once so far this season has an Oakland tight end had more than one catch in a game.

Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S2

Plummer is still struggling but got it together enough late Monday night to get the Broncos the one touchdown they needed. If there's one game he knows he has to play well in it's when they play Oakland. And he usually delivers.

RB

Tatum Bell

S1

After torching New England for 123 yards, Bell put up 92 hard earned yards on the dominant Baltimore defense Monday night. Ladies and gentlemen I think we have a premier back in Denver again. Time for him to bust off a long touchdown run. And who better for him to do it against than the hated Raiders.

WR Rod Smith S3

Smith is still the reliable veteran target for Plummer, but the mantel has been passed to Walker. As the Broncos' passing game improves he'll still produce on a weekly basis. But the big gains and big games are behind him.

WR Javon Walker S1

Walker is the go-to guy now in the Denver passing game and he's primed for another big performance. The Broncos will run Bell at the Raiders all night but Shanahan will want a couple of big knock out blows down field. Walker will be the one throwing the punches.

TE Stephen Alexander
Tony Scheffler
B Starter Alexander is a sure pass catching tight end and rookie Scheffler has huge upside talent. Neither are factors in the Denver passing game.
 

Chicago (5-0) at Arizona (1-4)

Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman S2

The touchdowns just keep on coming. Only McNabb has thrown for more than Grossman's 10 this season. Arizona presents another favorable matchup for the surprise fantasy QB of the season.

RB Thomas Jones S2

Okay, now this may start getting complicated. Jones is the unquestioned starter and has had two very good games - 98 yards and two scores against Seattle in week 4 and 109 yards against Buffalo last week. But Benson has also received 25 carries in those games and looked good, even scoring twice last week. The Bears will continue to run the rock and Jones looks to be the starter for the season. But they can no longer ignore the strong, young back with a lot to prove nipping at his heals and demanding more touches with his play on the field.

RB Cedric Benson B

Benson looked very good last week. He showed a great short-yardage burst on his way to scoring his first two career touchdowns. He also had a career high 14 carries. He's not a fantasy starter by any means, but he should not be available in any league. He looks primed to take over if the situation presents itself and may even begin to take Jones' goal-line duty on a regular basis.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2

Muhammad's production has dropped off the past two weeks but he'll bounce back in this matchup. The Cardinals will end up playing a lot of cover-1, leaving safety Robert Griffith back to cover the deep middle. With Berrian's speed a concern he will drift to his side of the field often, leaving Muhammad in single coverage. Look for Grossman to exploit that mismatch.

WR Bernard Berrian S2

The Bernard Berrian train just keeps on rolln'. He hasn't had a bad fantasy game yet. So why expect one this week when he's facing a Cardinal secondary that gives up the fourth most passing yards in the league?

TE Desmond Clark (P)

S2

Clark's ankle is improving but he had his lowest output of the season last week, going just 1-for-12. Of more concern is the fact that Grossman looked his way only once. Chalk it up as a one-week anomaly for now but keep an eye on Clark's usage as the offense continues to hit on all cylinders.

Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart B

After last week's promising debut as a starter you'd be tempted to plug Leinart into your starting lineup. Then you'd look at the opponent and the team's injury report and start the other quarterback on your roster.

RB Edgerrin James B

No one is running on the Bears. No one is even trying. Only two NFL teams average fewer than 20 rushing attempts per game against and Chicago is one of them. A lot of that is a result of Chicago getting out to big leads and teams abandoning the run. That trend will likely continue this week in Arizona.

WR Anquan Boldin S2

With Fitzgerald out all eyes will be on Boldin. He'll have his work cut out for him but has the talent to be productive even in this difficult matchup. He will also benefit once the Cardinals fall way behind and have to throw often.

WR Bryant Johnson U Led the team in receiving last week and will be asked to fill the big void left by Fitzgerald's hamstring injury. With all the attention focused on Boldin he may get a sneaky big play or two, or even a score late in the game.

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