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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 7
Whitney Walters
October 19, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Monday Night Bye Weeks   Player List by Position  
CAR at CIN NE at BUF DEN at CLE NYG at DAL BAL, CHI,   Early Injury Status  
DET at NYJ PHI at TB ARI at OAK   NO, SF,   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
GB at MIA PIT at ATL MIN at SEA   STL, TEN   (Q): Questionable  
JAC at HOU SD at KC WAS at IND       (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)  
 
Arizona (1-5) at Oakland (0-5) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart S2

To the surprise of just about everyone, Leinart and the Arizona passing attack picked apart the Bears for about three quarters Monday night. Leinart's career is off to a very good start. This week should continue that good start. Statistically the Raiders sport the top pass defense in yards allowed. But that's because most teams spend their time running the ball down their throats. After the Monday night meltdown in Arizona that won't likely be a problem. Look for the Cardinals to throw the ball a lot in this matchup.

RB Edgerrin James S3

Well I guess you can give them props for trying. The Cardinals ran James a whopping 36 times against the stout Chicago defense. The result was about what you'd expect from the league's worst run offense - 55 yards. James is being met in the backfield more than any other back this season. Hope may be on the horizon however, in the form of the Oakland Raiders. But don't be surprised if the focus of the offensive attack remains with Leinart in this matchup. James is a borderline start.

WR Anquan Boldin S1

With Fitzgerald out Boldin had his best game of the year Monday night against the Bears. He's an obvious must start this week against Oakland.

WR Bryant Johnson S3

Will again start for the injured Fitzgerald. Leinart really focused in on his stud Boldin against the Bears and Johnson had just two catches. One was for a touchdown however. Look for him to be more involved this week as Leinart gains in confidence.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Andrew Walter   B The pass protection in Oakland is making little improvements and as a result Walter operates under heavy blitz pressure each week. It will be no different against Arizona.
RB Lamont Jordan S2

The running game has been the only real bright spot for the Oakland offense lately as the offensive line slowly gets its run blocking down. He received a season high 23 carries last week against the very tough Denver defense and the Raiders would be smart to increase that total this week facing an average Arizona run defense.

WR Randy Moss S2

Moss is having another down year but he remains the primary (almost the only) target for the young Walter. The Cardinals secondary poses no real threat to Moss and he should put up a very nice game. Maybe even a season best.

TE Courtney Anderson B

Anderson saw a few extra looks last week with Williams out due to injury. The tight end position is still a non-factor in the Raider offense.

 
Minnesota (3-2) at Seattle (4-1) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson S3

Johnson has been efficient at best this season, dinking and dunking his way to just 220 passing yards a game and just three touchdowns. The Vikings are looking to get more production out of the passing game following the off week, and you might think this matchup with Seattle would provide a good opportunity for that since the Seahawks have given up big games to E.Manning, Grossman and Bulger in the past three weeks. But the bottom line is that Johnson is an aging game manager that will not get you a big fantasy game regardless of opponent.

RB Chester Taylor S2

Taylor is the workhorse in the Minnesota offense and they will need to get him plenty of carries in order to control the tempo of the game. His rushing production will be limited however as the Seahawks have one of the top run defenses in the league. Taylor will still be able to produce in the passing game however, maintaining his fantasy value.

WR Travis Taylor
Troy Williamson
S3

Taylor and Williamson both have just 18 catches on the season. Williamson started the season off strong, but after week 2 the bulk of the production has been from Taylor who has gone 14-154 and a score in the last three games. Due to Williamson's speed he remains the fantasy option with the most upside, but until the Vikings open up the passing attack on a consistent basis his value will be limited.

TE Jermaine Wiggins X

Predicting Wiggins' production has proved to be a chore this season. At times he seems to be a main target in the passing attack. At other times he seems to disappear. For all but one week of the season that's meant unstartable numbers from the typically reliable fantasy tight end.

Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Hasselbeck has had two great fantasy performances this season and three that were not. Last week's fine production however is a good sign of things to come. He's getting better protection in the pocket now and the added down field weapon of WR Branch has made the offense more vertical.

RB Maurice Morris   B

The running game was struggling with Alexander carrying the load so it shouldn't be much of a surprise that it is with Morris as well. The offensive line did show some improvement last week as Morris was able to pound out 74 yards on the Rams. The Vikings are tough to run on so don't expect much from Morris this weekend. He'll get around 20 carries but the passing game will lead the way.

WR Darrell Jackson S2

Jackson got back into the end-zone last week and it looks like he's already benefiting from having Branch on the other side of the field.

WR Deion Branch S2

Branch's production has increased each week and he scored his first Seattle touchdown last week. He also was targeted 11 times by Hasselbeck, the same amount as Jackson. That's a very good sign that the initial feeling out period is over. Look for Branch to continue to produce.

WR D. J. Hackett B

With Engram out and Burleson invisible, Hackett stepped up last week with three catches for 66 yards. Burleson may get a few extra looks this week against his old team. Either way Hackett isn't a fantasy option.

TE Jerramy Stevens B

Stevens did not make his return as expected last week and the Seahawks are again stating that he'll return THIS week. His size and speed combination is needed down the middle in the Seattle passing attack, but until he takes the field and makes some catches he's off limit to fantasy teams.

 
Washington (2-4) at Indianapolis (5-0) Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell B

Brunell and the whole Redskin offense didn't stay out of their slump very long. The last two games have been a struggle offensively. They may snap out of it this week to keep pace with the Colts, and they've shown already this season that they can. But at this point you'd want to see a couple of solid games out of Brunell and a great matchup to give him a shot at starting for your fantasy team.

RB Clinton Portis S1

A fantasy matchup made in heaven. The explosive Portis facing a Colts defense that last in the league in rushing yards allowed per game (167) and per rush (5.2).

WR Santana Moss S2

Moss only went 5-50 last week but he was targeted by Brunell 12 times compared to the three for both Randle El and Lloyd. He should bounce back with a nice game this weekend against a banged up Indy secondary.

WR

Antwaan Randle El
Brandon Lloyd

B

Over the past two games these two have combined for just 9 catches for 150 yards. Randle El is quick and adds a few rushing attempts per game and Lloyd has shown an ability to make a big play occasionally. But fantasy starters? No way. They will be out performed in the passing game by Cooley and even Portis most weeks.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Even with the struggles in the passing game Cooley has remained active and a viable fantasy option.

Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

Manning had a season low 166 yards going into the bye week but should bounce back nicely this week facing the Redskins and their struggling pass defense.

RB Dominic Rhodes (Q)
Joseph Addai
S2

There has been no real pattern to how the Colts have been using their two backs. Both Rhodes and Addai have had games where they've led the team in rushing yards or carries. Both stay active in the passing game and both have scored touchdowns. The biggest difference has been their effectiveness. Addai is averaging 4.9 yards every time he touches the ball and Rhodes is averaging just 3.7. Rhodes is a bit banged up so chances are good that Addai will receive the majority of the work this weekend.

WR Marvin Harrison
Reggie Wayne
S1

This fantasy dynamic duo had an off week against Tennessee before the bye, but they still each scored a touchdown in that game. With the Colts leaning on their running game more this season both Harrison and Wayne are capable of putting up big numbers on any given week.

TE Dallas Clark
Bryan Fletcher
S3
B

Clark and Fletcher have accounted for four of Manning's eight touchdown passes this season. The most consistent from week to week is Clark as he's the only Colt tight end to produce fantasy points each week. Fletcher has only produced in two games, but he scored in both. Clark is probably your best fantasy option.

 

N. Y. Giants (3-2) at Dallas (3-2)

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New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

The past two weeks have not been good ones for Manning. After a fast start the passing game has slowed a bit. He threw for just 180 yards against Atlanta last week. Last season was a struggle against the Cowboys, with Manning tossing for just 367 yards and a single touchdown in two games. The passing game is improved and the one weakness the very good Dallas defense has is defending the pass. McNabb carved them up two weeks ago.

RB Tiki Barber S2

Watching Barber shred the Falcon defense for 185 rushing yards last week will surly get the Cowboys attention. They may have the league's top run defense going into this week but Barber can still produce fantasy numbers because he can just as easily hurt you in the short passing game. The only question this week will be if this is the night Barber finally crosses the goal-line. I say yes.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress is Manning's prime target down field. He's an elite physical talent and has a chance for a big game every week. He'll be matched up with CB Anthony Henry most downs on Monday night. Henry is a big, physical corner who can run with Burress. This will be an interesting battle but if Manning is accurate with his high throws it will be one Burress will win.

WR Amani Toomer B

Toomer had an off game last week, going just 2-18. But the whole passing game was struggling and that shouldn't be the case Monday night in Dallas. Of more concern to Toomer's fantasy value will be if Shockey continues his increased activity in the passing game.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2

A fantasy season pulled from the brink of busthood? We'll see. But last week's two touchdown game was a great start. Now if he can just keep it up. Thankfully for what seems like the first time all season he ended the game without re-aggravating his ankle/foot injury.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2

After three weeks of allowing receivers to post "We're Open" signs all over the secondary, the Giants seem to be closed for business now. But playing Brunell and Vick in the past two weeks has helped. Not exactly prolific passers that pair. The New York secondary hasn't solved all their problems, and with receivers like Glenn and Owens it's hard to bet against Bledsoe producing.

RB Julius Jones S2

Jones is playing great and now has three straight 100-plus yard games. He hasn't scored in two weeks, but it's not without trying. Jones received five carries last week inside the five yard line, he just wasn't able to punch it in. Which is why the team is starting to turn to Barber more in those situations.

RB Marion Barber S3

Barber has yet to get over 10 touches in a game but he's become a fantasy factor. He's scored in each of the Cowboys' last four games and had over 50 total yards in three of them. During these heavy bye weeks that's a great fill in for most fantasy teams. There is no reason to think this production trend won't continue this week.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Much to everyone's (well at least Cowboy fan's) delight Owens found the end-zone again last week - three times. That's not going to happen again any time soon but the Bledsoe to Owens connection will continue to develop and improve.

WR Terry Glenn S2

Glenn was actually out produced by Patrick Crayton last week in an oddity that won't likely repeat itself any time soon. Look for Glenn to take the struggling Giants secondary deep more than once in this matchup.

TE Jason Witten B

Last week was the second time this season Witten has had under 20 yards receiving and he has yet to score his first touchdown. With the Dallas passing game now having two elite wide receivers there just aren't as many looks going Witten's way. Especially in the red-zone. It also doesn't help that the Cowboys are running a lot of 2-TE formations with talented rookie Fasano.

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