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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 8
Whitney Walters
October 26, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night Bye Weeks   Player List by Position  
ARI at GB JAC at PHI STL at SD DAL at CAR BUF, DET,   Early Injury Status  
ATL at CIN SEA at KC IND at DEN Monday Night MIA, WAS   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
BAL at NO SF at CHI NYJ at CLE NE at MIN     (Q): Questionable  
HOU at TEN TB at NYG PIT at OAK       (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 (1-6) at Green Bay (2-4) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart S2

Yes, Leinart and the rest of the Cardinals laid an egg in Oakland last week. The Monday night shock should begin to wear off this week and going into Green Bay could be just what the rookie needs. The Packers are getting torched by opposing quarterbacks every week - giving up a 400-yard game to Harrington last Sunday.

RB Edgerrin James S3

There's looking to be little hope for Edge behind that offensive line. He's topped 70 yards rushing only once since week three and bottomed out at a season low 34 yards on a season low 13 carries last week against a terrible Oakland run defense. At his stagnant season average of just 2.5 YPC it will take a 40-carry game against a weak opponent to even have a shot at a 100-yard game. That workload isn't coming and the Packers haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season.

WR Anquan Boldin S1

Fitzgerald is expected to miss another week and Boldin will continue to get most of the looks from Leinart.

WR Bryant Johnson S3

Will continue to start for the injured Fitzgerald. Johnson became much more active in the passing game last week as Leinart began to look to receivers other than Boldin. He led the team with 87 yards receiving. This will continue against Green Bay.

WR Troy Walters U With opposing defenses focusing more on taking Boldin out of the mix, look for Walters' production to continue to increase. At 5' 7" Walters is much smaller than Leinart's other options, but he is very quick and runs excellent routes. He could surprise this week.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

The Packers will continue to lean on the passing game but Favre's options are dwindling at an alarming rate. With Jennings likely out this week they will be turning to Ruvell Martin, who saw his first action of his career last week.

RB Ahman Green (P) S3

Green's 70-yard touchdown run last week saved what was shaping up to be another poor outing for the oft-injured back. Without that run he produced just 48 yards on 17 carries. The Cardinals should provide a better matchup this week, but not by much.

RB Vernand Morency
Noah Herron
B With Green back this pair of backups only received 9 total carries last week.
WR Donald Driver S2

Driver had his biggest game since week 2 against Miami last week and was targeted by Favre a season high 16 times. With Jennings likely out his very active role in the passing game will continue.

WR Greg Jennings (D) B

His sprained ankle will likely keep him out this week.

WR Ruvell Martin U Expected to start for the injured Jennings on Sunday. Martin has little experience but Favre will get him the ball if he can get open. Don't expect a big game, but he should be a nice bye week fill-in if needed.
TE David Martin U Fellow TE Franks just isn't getting it done this season. With the limited receiving options due to the Jennings injury, look for Favre to lean on Martin, who is a very good pass catching tight end.
TE Bubba Franks B

Looks like Franks has reached the end of the fantasy line. His production is decreasing each week even with the WR options diminishing.

 
Atlanta (4-2) at Cincinnati (4-2) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S3

Well, we got one of the "see I can pass" games from Vick. They typically come about this time each season, followed by maybe one more before the end. So don't get too caught up on the "passing" Vick hype this week. He is what he is and one week doesn't change that. He got a little better protection against Pittsburgh and was able to make a few good throws down field. Apply a little pressure and that all goes out the window. Look for the Bengals to attempt just that and for Vick to return to his running ways.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

Dunn had only his third 20-plus carry game last week - a mark he hadn't hit since week two. The results were an average 69 yards against the tough Steelers run defense. Not a big surprise. The Bengals have made some improvements defensively of late but can still be run on. Look for Dunn's numbers to increase this weekend.

RB Jerious Norwood B

An explosive rookie that has made some noise thanks to a big touchdown run earlier in the season. He's just Dunn's backup and only good for 6-10 touches a game.

WR Michael Jenkins
Ashley Lelie
Roddy White
B

This group only had 8 catches in what was Vicks best passing game of the season. Jenkins did pull in a spectacular touchdown, but outside of that a totally forgettable outing again from the Falcon wide receivers. White is about to slide to #3 behind Lelie.

TE Alge Crumpler S2

WOW! I guess Crumpler felt he needed to make up for not scoring since week one. Let's just hope for his fantasy owners that it's not another five games before he finds the end-zone again.

Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Palmer's protection improved last week and he had a solid game - throwing for 240 yards and two scores. His first multi-TD outing since week three. The Falcons' strength is against the run and Palmer should have little trouble putting up another good fantasy game.

RB Rudi Johnson S2

The offensive line settled in last week with another injury replacement and held its own against the Panthers. Johnson had 101 yards on 26 carries - his first 20-plus, 100-yard game since week two. A good sign of things to come. The Falcons' run defense has been slipping down the rankings for weeks but they did hold the Steelers' Willie Parker to just 47 yards last Sunday.

RB Chris Perry B Perry returned from injury last week and caught a few passes. Last season he proved to be a very productive backup. But his is not the high-powered Bengals offense of 2005. He'll get more touches this weekend but will be of limited fantasy value unless Johnson goes down.
WR Chad Johnson
T.J. Houshmandzadeh
S2

Johnson and Houshmandzadeh continue to perform well despite the Bengals' offensive struggles. Johnson got some well needed opportunities for big plays down field last week and TJ scored his (team leading) fourth touchdown of the season. The matchup this week will be against the high profile DeAngelo Hall. Look for the Bengals to shift both Johnson and TJ around to create and exploit favorable matchups with the other Falcons corners.

 
Baltimore (4-2) at New Orleans (5-1) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) S3

All indications are that McNair will start this week. He suffered a concussion and sprained neck in week 6 but recovered well during the team's off week. Even with only playing briefly in week 6, McNair has thrown six interceptions in his last three games. Look for a conservative passing attack against the Saints and for the Ravens to lean more on the running game. McNair's production will be limited.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

Lewis' frustration (and his owner's) is at an all time high thanks to his season low 9 carries going into the bye. But it's out with OC Jim Fassel and now the offense is in the hands of HC Billick. One change will surly be the use of Lewis. He's averaging a respectable 3.6 YPC and needs 20-plus carries to be effective late in games. Odds are good you'll see just that this Sunday against the smallish New Orleans defensive front.

WR Derrick Mason S3

Despite his perceived connection with McNair, Mason has topped 50 yards only once and has yet to score this season. He actually went catchless in week 6 when McNair went down early due to injury. McNair is back and so will Mason's role in the passing attack.

WR Mark Clayton B

The highly talented but underutilized Clayton saw his production take a big jump when Boller took over at quarterback in week 6. But Boller heads back to the bench this week and Clayton's two touchdowns (his first two of the season) came on tipped balls. So don't look for a repeat performance any time soon.

TE

Todd Heap

S1 Not that you need a reason to start Heap, but the Saints linebackers have struggled covering top-end tight ends all season.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees B

While Brees was surprisingly tearing up the tough Philly defense in week 6, the Ravens were surprisingly getting torched by Carolina's Delhomme. A bye week later you should expect a much different storyline for both sides in this matchup.

RB Deuce McAllister (P) B

Bush may get all the hype, but McAllister is the key to the Saints' offense. He's averaging 5.1 yards per touch and has scored all New Orleans' rushing touchdowns. It's his power running that enables the balanced offense and play-action passing that Brees and Bush are able to take advantage of. That power running game will be difficult to establish against the Ravens. McAllister could easily end this matchup with around 20 carries for 50 yards.

RB Reggie Bush S3

Thanks to his production in the passing game Bush is averaging 80 total yards a game so far this season. He has yet to score an offensive touchdown and has rushed for over 25 yards only twice this season. He's a borderline fantasy starter in most leagues, even more so this week against the tough Baltimore defense. But his big play ability in the passing and return game keeps him a viable fantasy option.

WR Joe Horn B

After five weeks of mediocre performances, Horn exploded against Philly in week 6 for his biggest game since early last season. The chances of that even coming even close to repeating this week against the Ravens is remote. Corners McAllister and Rolle are very aggressive and physical and have the speed to match the aging Horn.

WR Marques Colston   S3

Colston's production went down in the two weeks leading up to the bye. He made just 7 catches for 78 yards, his lowest two game stretch all season. He did manage a score however. The Saints' offense has its work cut out for it this week, but Colston actually has the best chance for success. His combination of size and speed will pose a serious problem for the Baltimore secondary. Something you don't see often.

TE Mark Campbell   B

Campbell is expected to start for the injured Conwell. The tight end is just not a factor in the Saints' passing attack. Only twice all season has a New Orleans tight end had more than a single catch.

 

Houston (2-4) at Tennessee (1-5)

Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr S3

Carr surprised most last week by putting up one of his best games against the very stout Jacksonville defense. Because of their awful run defense the Titans' pass defense looks solid statistically. But they are getting a league low 1.3 sacks a game so Carr should have time in the pocket this week, something that can't be said very often. If you are in a bye week or injury bind this week, you could do a lot worse than Carr as your starter.

RB Wali Lundy S2

In the first seven weeks of the season Lundy has gone from draft sleeper to bust to waiver wire star. Gado got the start last week but it was Lundy that earned the praise and recaptured some of his pre-season hype. On 19 carries he scored the first running back touchdown of the year for Houston and nearly doubled any previous rushing effort this season. The Houston running game may have found itself just in time for fantasy owners to take advantage of the matchup this week with the worst run defense in the league. His only downside this week is the presence of Gado and even Dayne to siphon off carries.

WR Andre Johnson S1

Johnson has scored only three touchdowns this season, the result of an ineffective offense. But he leads the league in catches and yards and is an every week fantasy starter with a great matchup this week.

WR Eric Moulds B

Moulds has served well as a complementary receiver, but the Houston passing attack goes through Johnson. Moulds has caught more than four balls only once this season and hasn't scored since week one.

TE Owen Daniels B

Only three times this year has a Houston tight end had more than one catch. All three have been Daniels. He also has three touchdown catches - the same as WR Johnson. A couple of catches and hope for a score does not make for a good fantasy tight end.

Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young U

Young is coming along slowly, but he did get the Titans their first win of the season before the bye. In the three games since becoming the starter Young has completed just 14, 10 and 13 passes. He has scored a touchdown in each and is always a threat to run the ball. If there was a week to play Young this may be it. He's had two weeks to prepare for a Houston defense that is just flat out terrible and he might just pull you out of a bye week bind if needed.

RB Travis Henry S3

Henry has earned the starting job in Tennessee. He pounded his way to a career high 178 yards on 32 carries before the bye and is looking more like the leading rusher he was for the Bills in 2002 and 2003. The Titans will continue to run the ball a lot as they ease QB Young along. This week is a great spot for Henry against a Houston defense that's allowing nearly 140 YPG on the ground.

WR Drew Bennett S3

With the week off to rest his sprained ankle Bennett should be back to full speed now. He gives Young an experienced receiver and a big target down field he can rely on.

WR Brandon Jones (Q) U Jones spent his rookie season on injured reserve but is emerging as a favorite target for Vince Young. He leads the team in receiving since Young took over, but with the limited passing attack they are running that doesn't amount to much. Only eight catches for 92 yards and a touchdown in three games. Jones is fast and has big play abilities. This is a good matchup for the Titans' passing game and he could surprise this week.
WR David Givens (Q) B Returned to practice this week following the thumb injury and may see some limited action. Will be wearing a protective device on his hand for at least a couple of weeks.
TE Ben Troupe
Bo Scaife
B

At least for now it's looking like having a rookie quarterback is going to mean the end of the fantasy tight end in Tennessee. It the past two games Young has looked their way just 10 times and connected on only two passes for a total of eight yards.

 
Jacksonville (3-3) at Philadelphia (4-3) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich (Q) B

Leftwich sprained his ankle last week during practice but gave it a go on Sunday. He shouldn't have. He was obviously hampered by the ankle and looked horrible. A week of rehab may help, but it's very likely he'll be limited again this week against the highly aggressive Philly pass rush and ball-hawking secondary. This has the makings of another ugly performance and the Jags may have no choice but to sit Leftwich down and go to his backup, David Garrard.

RB Fred Taylor S2

Taylor continues to run well. With a hobbled (or backup) quarterback under center this week, look for the Jags to pound Taylor inside against a solid Eagles' defensive front that can be run on.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew S3

The surprising rookie is never going to get more than a handful of carries, but he can be very dangerous catching passes out of the backfield. Since his breakout game in week three he's scored five touchdowns to lead the team.

WR Matt Jones (Q) B

Has been cleared to practice this week, but the groin and hamstring injuries are likely to keep him out another week. Even if he plays he'll be very limited.

WR Reggie Williams S3

Along with the rest of the Jaguars passing game, Williams had an awful game last week, going without a single catch. Williams has been a solid fantasy performer most weeks but with Leftwich hobbled by the bum ankle a bounce back isn't a sure thing. Especially on the road in Philadelphia.

WR Ernest Wilford B Even with moving into the starting lineup for the injured Matt Jones, Wilford has been forgettable. He topped out with a 3-58 performance in week one and bottomed out with a season low 26 yards last week.
TE George Wrighster B

Has seen his production fall off lately. He has just three catches for 16 yards in the past two games. One of those catches was for his only touchdown of the season though.

Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S1

It took a while for him to get going last week. But when he did it was another banner week for his fantasy owners.

RB Brian Westbrook (P) S1

Knee problem or no knee problem, Westbrook is just flat out tearing it up. Last week's 214 total yards was with just 20 touches. The Jags defense started the season strong against the run but has been slipping lately.

WR Donte' Stallworth (P) B

Stallworth may play this week, but until he gets back on the field for a full and productive game without a reaggravation of the injury he has to remain on your bench.

WR

Reggie Brown (P)

S2

With or without Stallworth in the lineup Brown has been the Eagles most consistent receiver this season. He's scored four touchdowns and has 446 receiving yards over the past five weeks.

WR Hank Baskett
Greg Lewis
B

Neither receiver has stepped up since Stallworth went down. With the heavy use of Westbrook and Smith this offense really only supports a single fantasy wide receiver. And that WR is Brown.

TE L.J. Smith (Q) S1

Smith continues to get it done week in and week out and is a favorite target of McNabb's.

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