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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)  
 
N. Y. Jets (4-3) at Cleveland (1-5) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington (P) S3

Pennington and the passing game are just not clicking on a consistent basis and he's struggling to put up startable fantasy numbers each week. He hasn't bested 200 yards since week four. The Browns and their banged up secondary present a good opportunity for him to top the 200-yard mark again with a couple of touchdowns thrown in.

RB Leon Washington S2

His size (5' 8" - 202 lbs.) screams third-down back but his numbers so far say otherwise. Following last week's impressive performance, Washington leads the Jets in rushing with 346 yards with an outstanding 4.9 yards per carry average. The rookie is flat out getting it down and should now have a lock on the starting job in New York. He'll get another chance to shine this weekend with a prime matchup with the porous Cleveland run defense.

RB Kevan Barlow (P) B Squeezed in another score last week but is now running in the backup role to Washington. Barlow has scored five touchdowns since joining the Jets, but he has yet to carry the ball more than 14 times in a game or rush for more than 50 yards.
WR Laveranues Coles (Q) S2

Coles had his second off day in three games last week, going just 4-29. With the Browns' secondary reeling from injury he should bounce back this weekend.

WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

Cotchery bounced back from his season low 1-6 with a 7 catch, 79 yard outing last week. His highest catch total and second highest yardage total of the season. The Cleveland secondary has struggled all season and is now down another starting cornerback.

TE Chris Baker B

Baker hasn't scored since week three and has just three games with more than a single catch.

Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Charlie Frye U

Frye has looked solid at times this season but continues to make too many mistakes. He's thrown a league high ten interceptions. The Jets and their injury depleted secondary present a fairly favorable matchup for Frye.

RB Reuben Droughns S3

The Cleveland running game showed some promise for a couple of games but hit another brick wall against Denver last week. Droughns had just 33 yards on 12 carries. The third time in five games he's failed to reach 40 yards rushing. They are ranked 31st in the league for a reason. Droughns owners catch a break this week however. The Jets are allowing 142 rushing yards a game (5th worst in the league) and have allowed a league worst 12 rushing touchdowns.

WR Braylon Edwards S3

Edwards has immense talent but he's been virtually invisible for the past two games - just 5 balls for 33 yards. The Browns like to go vertical, but Frye just can't get it done consistently. Look for them to emphasize the short passing game this week against the Jets and better utilize the size advantage they have with their receivers and tight end.

WR Joe Jurevicius U

Jurevicius has played just three games this season and has been limited to just 3 or 4 catch games so far. But he does lead all Cleveland wide receivers with two touchdowns. He's a big target and Frye is showing confidence in him while in scoring position.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (Q) S2

Winslow is a favorite target for Frye but he's loosing some looks with the return of Jurevicius. He's still one of the more consistent fantasy tight ends and starters.

 
Pittsburgh (2-4) at Oakland (1-5) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (Q) B

Early week indications are that the concussion Ben suffered last week was not that bad and he'll play Sunday. Don't expect the aerial onslaught you saw last week against Atlanta. This game will feature a heavy dose of Parker and his backups. Don't look for much from Big Ben.

RB Willie Parker  S2

Pittsburgh turned to the air last week and Parker ran for just 47 yards, his second lowest total of the season. The Raiders run defense has shown improvement of late - holding their last two opponents to under 90 yards and having allowed only one touchdown in their last four games. Still, the Steelers will get back to running the ball this weekend and you should expect Parker to get 20-plus carries and have success.

WR Hines Ward S3

The Steelers put the ball in the air for a season high 433 yards and five touchdowns last week and Ward was the primary beneficiary. His 171 yards and three touchdowns were both career highs. There's not likely another 433 yard passing effort coming any time soon so look for Ward's numbers to go back to a level closer to his previous season high from week six - 59 yards and a score.

WR Nate Washington U Washington has made the most of his limited looks lately. He's scored in each of the last two games and totaled 144 yards on just six catches. He's proving to be a solid down field threat that can take it to the house. With Wilson possibly out or at least limited by a groin injury and rookie Holmes still learning the ropes, Washington makes a nice sleeper option this week against the struggling Raiders.
WR Santonio Holmes B The rookie is improving and becoming more active in the passing game. But he still has a ways to go before he's a consistent performer.
WR Cedrick Wilson (Q) B

The groin injury is expected to keep him on the sidelines this week.

TE Heath Miller B

The Steelers put up 433 yards through the air and Miller ends the game with just four yards on two catches. One was for a touchdown, but Miller hasn't been a fantasy option for weeks and there are few signs that's changing any time soon.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Andrew Walter   B Walter did manage to toss his third touchdown on the season last week against the shell-shocked Cardinals, but he also had his second and third fumble and fifth interception. He's not a fantasy option in any matchup, especially this one against the Steelers.
RB Lamont Jordan (Q) B

Jordan appears to still be bothered by the troublesome back injury that made him a list second scratch from last week's game. He'd be an iffy start against the Pittsburgh defense if 100% healthy. He's not one with a back injury that can flair up at any time.

WR Randy Moss S2

Moss' numbers have been on the rise over the past month. He had his first 100-yard game last week and has scored in three of the past four games. He's Walter's primary target, getting double digit looks most games. Moss will see plenty of man coverage against the aggressive Pittsburgh defense and Walter would be wise to look his way often again.

TE Courtney Anderson B

With fellow TE Williams slowed by injury Anderson has put up back-to-back games with 50-plus yards receiving. A career first. Williams is expected to be close to full speed this week so look for Anderson's numbers to drop again. The tight end position is a non-factor in the Raider offense anyway.

 
Dallas (3-3) at Carolina (4-3) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo U

And so the Romo era begins in Dallas. The team likes his mobility, but he's very green. He has a top rate running game and the receivers are loaded with talent. He'll make his share of mistakes for sure, but he can also make a little fantasy noise this week against the average at best Panthers' defense. But being on the road is a definite negative.

RB Julius Jones S2

Jones' streak of three straight 100-plus yard games ended with a loud thud last week with a season low 30-yard performance. It won't be easy this week as the Panthers are solid against the run, but you can bet Jones will see a high number of carries with a wet behind the ears quarterback under center.

RB Marion Barber S3

Barber has yet to get over 10 touches in a game but he remains a fantasy factor. Especially this week with what will likely be an emphasis on running the ball. Last week was the first time in four weeks he didn't score and have over 50 total yards. He should get back in that groove this weekend.

WR Terrell Owens S2

If the young Romo can avoid the blitz long enough Sunday you can bet he'll be looking often for his stud wide receiver. Don't expect much down field, but you'll see a lot of quick slant and out routes to Owens. Then it will be up to him to get his YAC going.

WR Terry Glenn S3

Glenn continues to get the looks, but for the second week in a row he was out produced by Patrick Crayton. Three weeks in a row? Highly unlikely.

TE Jason Witten S3

One of the noticeable impacts of having Romo at quarterback was the resurrection of Witten in the passing game. Look for that to continue as Romo will be under heavy pressure from the Panthers and will need a big check-down target to rely on.

Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Delhomme continues to put up decent numbers and was one pass from a 250-yard, 3 TD game last week. But a late interception in the end-zone killed that. The one vulnerable spot in the Dallas defense is their secondary. With Steve Smith and a highly motivated Keyshawn Johnson working down field it's a good bet that Delhomme will continue his fine play.

RB Deshaun Foster S3

Since taking the full load two weeks ago with the Williams injury, Foster has rushed for just 58 and 59 yards in the past two games. The task doesn't get any easier this week as he faces off with one of the top rush defenses in the league. Don't look for much improvement on his numbers from the past two weeks.

WR Steve Smith S1

Smith continues to rack up big numbers and there's no sign of things slowing down.

WR Keyshawn Johnson S3

The stronger Smith gets it seems the more of a back seat Keyshawn takes in the passing game. The last two games have been his lowest two week output of the season, going 5-46 and 4-41. There will be some extra motivation this week facing off against the team that cast him aside for Owens. Whether that's enough to get Delhomme to break his laser lock on Smith is anyone's guess.

WR Drew Carter B Carter typically gets to take advantage of matchups with nickel or dime corners, and that can lead to the occasional score (he has two this year). But he's just as likely to end a game with just a single catch or less. Something he's done three of the last four games.
 

New England (5-1) at Minnesota (4-2)

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New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S3

Brady's touchdown production continues to hold steady at two per game over the last three, but his yardage is on the decline. Since his 320 yard effort in week three he's averaged just 175 yards a game. His rapport with starters Gabriel and Jackson is improving and there's always big Ben Watson. But Jackson is the only game-breaker and the rookie still struggles at times. Look for Brady to keep his average going this week on the road against a very solid Vikings defense.

RB Corey Dillon S2

Dillon did score his third and fourth touchdowns last week, but he has just 24 carries for 92 yards in the past two games. The running game hasn't got it going since their week four game prior to the bye. The last two headed backfield of note that faced the Vikings (Foster/Williams) managed to squeeze out 100 yards in week two. Since than the only back that's gained over 55 yards on Minnesota was Buffalo's McGahee in week four. To the surprise of some it's the Vikings that are sitting at the top of the run defense rankings this week. Both Dillon and ...

RB Laurence Maroney S3

... Maroney have their work cut out for them. The rookie had a season low 8 carries last week but should improve on that Monday night.

WR Doug Gabriel S3

Since moving into the starting lineup Gabriel has been a solid performer. He's scored in three of the past four games. The passing game continues to improve and evolve as Gabriel becomes more of a factor.

WR Chad Jackson U

Jackson caught his second touchdown of the season last week - a nice 35 yard dart from Brady. As the rookie continues to improve and gain the confidence of his quarterback, you'll see his numbers increase. He's the fastest receiver the Patriots have and their only big-play threat. Look for them to get him involved more.

WR Reche Caldwell
Troy Brown
B Caldwell has lost his starting job but did end up with a season high five catches last week - but for just 22 yards. With the emergence of starters Gabriel and Jackson, Brown's role in the passing attack will fade to the occasional catch.
TE Ben Watson S2

Watson had his best game in over a month last week, going 5-60. It was a good indicator of how the middle of the field will be opening up for him as the outside receivers (Gabriel and Jackson) improve their play. He'll be a key in the passing game this week against the cover-2 schemes run by the Vikings. Be on the lookout for his first touchdown.

Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B

Johnson just keeps dinking and dunking his way to average at best fantasy numbers. He's scored just one touchdown in each of the past three games and is averaging just 216 passing yards a game. Not exactly fantasy starter material.

RB Chester Taylor S2

When the Vikings show a commitment to the run and get Taylor 24 or more carries two things happen. Fantasy owners are rewarded with a big game and the Vikings are rewarded with a win. You can bet they will be looking to keep that trend going under the Monday night lights.

WR Travis Taylor (P) S3

With Robinson out this week the bulk of the work in the passing game will fall on Taylor. He's a solid possession receiver and should respond well to the increased workload.

WR Troy Williamson (P) U The promising second year receiver is turning into a real disappointment this season. He may redeem himself a bit on Monday night however. If the Vikings are paying attention they will notice that aging CB Chad Scott is running very short on speed these days. They should work the speedy Williamson against him and get a few big plays down field.
TE Jermaine Wiggins B

Wiggins' production this season has been all over the map. He went 6-59 three weeks ago but has also had two single catch games. At least last week's catch was for a touchdown, his first of the season. But it came on a trick halfback pass play. The typically reliable fantasy tight end is not so much so this year.

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