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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 9
Whitney Walters
November 2, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Monday Night   Player List by Position  
ATL at DET HOU at NYG TEN at JAC DEN at PIT OAK at SEA   Early Injury Status  
CIN at BAL KC at STL Sunday Late Sunday Night Bye Weeks   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
DAL at WAS MIA at CHI MIN at SF IND at NE ARI, CAR,   (Q): Questionable  
GB at BUF NO at TB CLE at SD   NYJ, PHI   (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)  
 
Atlanta (5-2) at Detroit (1-6) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S2

It appears we may be entering new territory with Vick. He has rarely thrown for over 200 yards in his career and he's topped that the last two games, nearly hitting 300 yards last week. He had never thrown for more than two touchdowns in his career and now he's thrown for four and three in consecutive weeks. He's completed 38 passes in the past two games at a 65% rate. Both figures are well above his career averages. All of that and he still rushed for 95 yards. Now the big question? Can it continue? Two games does not a new Vick make. But it has to be a positive sign. And the matchup this week at Detroit is a very good indicator that it should continue for at least one more game. The Lions rank 29th in pass defense.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

With fewer Vick designed running plays over the past two games, Dunn's carries have increased - receiving 46. But his production has not followed suit. He rushed for only 126 in that span, his second lowest two game total of the season - averaging just 2.7 YPC. The Lions have allowed two 100-yard rushers in their last three games. Dunn is due for a big game.

RB Jerious Norwood B

Always has the chance to produce some decent yardage on his 10 touches a game. But the explosive rookie is only a desperation fantasy consideration.

WR Michael Jenkins U Jenkins has been able to score a touchdown in each of the past two games and is benefiting from the new-look Vick. But his role in the passing attack is no greater than Lelie's and White's at this point. He's a risky start, but the matchup is very favorable this week and if he finds the end-zone again he'll be worth a look.
WR Ashley Lelie
Roddy White
B

Lelie is the starter now but in true West Coast style the ball is being spread around in the passing attack. Lelie has caught 7 balls for 113 yards in the past two games and White got into the action last week going 3-42, his best game of the year. Neither are much of a fantasy option.

TE Alge Crumpler S1

Crumpler appears to be 100% recovered from the nagging injuries and as long as Vick is throwing the ball down field he'll be the primary beneficiary.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

Kitna has been a solid fantasy QB this season and had his best game of the year in week seven before their bye. That was against the lowly Jets secondary however. After starting the season strong, the Falcons have allowed nine touchdowns and 879 yards passing over the past four games. So they are not as strong a matchup as you might think. The week off should help the passing game's continued improvements and Kitna should continue to be a solid, but not spectacular, fantasy starter.

RB Kevin Jones S2

Jones is quietly averaging over 100 total yards a game this season and has scored in four of the last five games. The Lions' offense has yet to show a real commitment to the run and Jones has topped 20 carries only once this year. But he makes up for that in the short passing game, where he gets 5-6 catches per game. Atlanta is tough against the run, but the off week will mean two of the injured offensive linemen will be returning to the starting lineup Sunday. Jones should do just fine in this matchup.

WR Roy Williams S1

Prior to the bye, the Jets pressured and double-teamed Williams all over the field, limiting him to just 2-29, his lowest non-injury output of the season. But he still found the end-zone on one of those two catches. The Falcons likely won't take that approach. They have enough confidence in stud CB DeAngelo Hall to run single man coverage on Williams. Look for the Lions to move Williams around a lot to find mismatches outside of Hall.

WR Mike Furrey S3

The more attention teams give to shutting down Roy Williams, the more room for the surprising Furrey to produce. We saw that in week seven against the Jets as Furrey put up his biggest game of the year, going 9-109 and a score. He won't find as much room to roam this week as the Falcons will use single coverage on Williams as much as possible. But Furry remains a solid #3 WR on most fantasy teams.

 
Cincinnati (4-3) at Baltimore (5-2) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

The passing game is getting it done, but still hasn't reached that top gear it showed last season. Palmer hasn't come close to 300 yards since week two, but he's thrown two touchdowns in each of the last two games and is looking more comfortable and mobile in the pocket. Surprisingly the Ravens have been torched the past two weeks for 748 yards and five touchdowns through the air. This is not the bad matchup many would think.

RB Rudi Johnson S3

After rushing for 101 yards on 26 carries in week 7, the Bengals rarely used Johnson after the opening drive last week. A drive that was capped by Johnson's first touchdown in a month. This lack of use resulted in a season low 12 carries and 46 yards. It's obvious to most that the Bengals are a better offense when they run the ball consistently and they should get back to that on Sunday. The only problem for Johnson owners is this Sunday he's on the road in Baltimore.

RB Chris Perry B After just two games Perry and the coaches are still looking for his niche in the Bengals' offense. He's only had nine touches since returning and may prove to be more valuable as a kick returner than a third-down back for now.
WR Chad Johnson S2

Johnson may have run his mouth uncontrollably last week, but at least he found the end-zone again. It was his first score since week two. He still ended with what has become his typical catch-yardage total, 6-for-78. He's topped that only once this year and has yet to have a 100-yard game. The Ravens corners have shown their vulnerability to the long-ball lately and the Bengals would be wise to get the ball to Johnson down field in this matchup, as he's their top deep threat.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2 He may leave all the talking to his fellow wideout across the field, but he gets more than his share of the passing game production. Despite missing two games this year he has the same number of catches as Johnson and twice the touchdowns.
WR Chris Henry U Returned from his suspension last week and picked up right where he left off, going 5-81 and scoring his third touchdown. In the two games Henry's played as the #3 with Houshmandzadeh in the lineup he's totaled 10 catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns. The Ravens have been very weak against the pass lately and Henry may sneak another score in Sunday.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S3

With the renewed emphasis on the running game McNair completed just 17 passes last week. But it was a very effective 17 and two went for touchdowns. He also added his first rushing score of the season. He seemed more comfortable executing the new game plan and that looks to continue this weekend against the visiting Bengals.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

As expected under the play calling of HC Brian Billick, Lewis saw in increase in carries. A big increase. Not only were his 31 carries last week a season high, it's a total he hasn't reached since 2004. The Ravens weren't any more effective running the ball as Lewis' YPC remained around 3.5. Regardless, against the Bengals you can bet he'll see plenty of action again as the Ravens will seek to control the time of possession.

WR Derrick Mason S3

The ball was going all over the place last week, with seven different receivers getting completions. But it was Mason leading the way, going 6-67. His best game since week three and a good sign of production to come.

WR Mark Clayton B

Clayton may be loaded with talent and potential, but this passing game begins with Heap and ends with Mason. He went just 1-17 last week and has only twice all season topped 37 yards receiving.

TE

Todd Heap

S1 He has yet to catch more than five passes in a game or gain more than 60 yards, but he's scored a touchdown in five of the past six games and is a prime target for McNair in the red-zone.
 
Dallas (4-3) at Washington (2-5) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S2

It's a bit scary to push Romo to an S2 rating so quickly. But he was solid last week in his debut, he has immense talent at wide receiver and tight end, and he has a very good running game to keep defenses off balance. Add in the Redskins' 30th ranked pass defense and you have a nice fantasy starter this week.

RB Julius Jones S2

Jones and the running game are the key to the Dallas offense. He put up 94 yards on Washington back in week two when they were playing some decent defense. They aren't now. Jones' fantasy downside continues to be the 40-50 yards and a touchdown Barber takes from him each game.

RB Marion Barber S3

Barber has become a fantasy anomaly. He may be the first running back to be an every week fantasy start, but never touch the ball more than 10 times in a game. He's scored in five of the last six games and his six rushing touchdowns are more than all but two backs in the league (LT and LJ).

WR Terrell Owens S1

Owens didn't score last week but did log his first 100-yard game as a Cowboy. He'll likely do both this week against the struggling Washington secondary. He'll be very motivated to redeem the 3-19 egg he laid against the Redskins in week two.

WR Terry Glenn S3

Glenn hasn't scored since week four and his six looks last week was his lowest level since week one. Glenn will remain active in the passing game, but with Romo under center it is becoming clearer that in most games Owens and Witten will get more looks.

TE Jason Witten S2

What a difference a new quarterback makes. With Romo at quarterback Witten has been freed from his pass protection duties and is back to creating mismatches down field. He's totaled 152 yards in the past two games and scored his first touchdown of the season last week.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell (P) S3

Brunell and the Redskin passing game have struggled in all but a couple of games this season. The off week should help with the continued adjustments to the new offensive schemes. Despite the week two 197-yard stinker, Brunell has had some of his best games against Dallas over the past two seasons. I say they will be ready for the tough Cowboy defense and Brunell will do just enough to warrant a fantasy start.

RB Clinton Portis (P) S2

The Redskins fell apart against Indy before the bye and squandered a killer matchup for Portis. He ended with his worst production of the year, 43 yards on just 12 carries. Portis missed the week two matchup with Dallas and hasn't scored on them in their last four meetings. Dallas is allowing just 81 YPG on the ground (fourth best in the league) and has given up just four touchdowns to opposing backs this year. This will be a very tough matchup for Portis.

WR Santana Moss (Q) S2

Moss has struggled to make a fantasy impact this season, and outside of his one huge game in week four he's been only average. This week should bring a better than average performance. The one weak spot in the Cowboys' defense is their secondary. They give up big plays often and the personnel keep getting shuffled around looking for a combination that works.

WR

Antwaan Randle El (P)
Brandon Lloyd

B

Randle El hasn't caught more than three balls since week one and Lloyd's best game of the season was before the bye when he went 4-37. Not exactly fantasy options.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Even with the struggles in the passing game Cooley has remained active and a viable fantasy option. He's scored two of the Redskins' three touchdowns in the previous three games.

 

Green Bay (3-4) at Buffalo (2-5)

Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S3

With his wide receiver options limited, Favre's been averaging just 200 yards and a touchdown a game over the last four. Buffalo doesn't present much of a matchup advantage, so don't expect more than the average this weekend.

RB Ahman Green (P) S2

When healthy Green has been a dominant fantasy force. He's totaled over 600 yards and scored four touchdowns in his five games this year. The WR corps continue to be banged up and short-handed. So look for plenty of Green again this weekend in Buffalo.

RB Vernand Morency (O)
Noah Herron
B Thanks to three big runs last week, Morency logged the first 100-yard game of his career. Then he left with a back injury that will keep him sidelined for a few weeks. Herron will serve as Green's backup until Morency's return.
WR Donald Driver S2

With Jennings likely out another week there are really no other down field options for Favre. Driver did suffer an ankle injury last week, but it appears to be minor and he shouldn't be slowed by it Sunday. Will have a favorable matchup with CB Terrence McGee.

WR Greg Jennings (Q) B

May return to practice this week but his badly sprained ankle will likely keep him out another game. Even if he can play he will be very limited.

WR Ruvell Martin U Will start for the injured Jennings again this week. Martin has little experience but did okay last week in this role. Don't expect a big game, but the reality is there just aren't many other options for Favre. Martin could be a nice bye week fill-in if you need it.
TE David Martin S2 Martin has caught two of Favre's three touchdown passes in the past two games. With the limited receiving options expect Favre to lean on Martin again this week.
TE Bubba Franks B

Franks decreasing production hit rock bottom last week when he went without a catch or even a look from Favre.

Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman U

This is purely a matchup rating. Losman has failed to impress this season and has turned the ball over eight times in the Bills' past three games. Still, when you have a quarterback coming off a bye week and facing the worst pass defense in the league, you have to take note.

RB Willis McGahee S2

McGahee has only one 100-plus yard game this season and the Packers have yet to allow one. The Bills must get back to running McGahee and I'm going against the odds in this matchup. Look for the Bills to get the ball in McGahee's hands at least 25 times and for him to hit 100 yards again.

WR Lee Evans S2

Evans is the unquestioned primary target for Losman and he holds a distinct advantage this week over the aging and slowing GB corners, Woodson and Harris.

WR Peerless Price U There isn't much in the Buffalo passing game beyond Evans, but Price is the most consistent performer of the other receivers. He has a shot to surprise this week against the terrible Green Bay pass defense.
WR Josh Reed
Roscoe Parrish

B

There is little more here than a few catches each and the occasional touchdown for one.

TE Robert Royal B Royal showed up in the box score prior to the bye week with a first for him this season. Week seven's four catch effort was his first game with more than a single catch.
 
Houston (2-5) at N. Y. Giants (5-2) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

Carr was benched last week for the first time in his playing career. All indications are that he has not lost his job. And he shouldn't. But this week's matchup is a doosy. Outside of the two garbage touchdowns Romo threw in week seven, the Giants haven't allowed a passing touchdown since week three.

RB Wali Lundy B

The Lundy train has officially left the station. He has yet to get over 20 carries but is averaging over 100 yards rushing in the last two games. Given the state of the Houston running game and the play of their offensive line prior to that point this will go down as one of the biggest fantasy surprises so far this season. Will it continue against the tough and improving Giants' defense? Not likely. New York has held Dallas and Tampa to just 81 total rushing yards in the past two games.

WR Andre Johnson S2

The passing game begins and ends with Johnson most weeks and he's currently in the middle of what could be his best season. He'll have his hands full against a Giants' secondary that has improved its play lately.

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 S3

Before last week's explosion, Daniels had more than two catches in a game only once all year. But he had scored three touchdowns. Now he has five to lead the team and seems to be a good bet to pull one in each week.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

The past four weeks have not been real productive for Manning. After a fast start the passing game has slowed a bit. He's thrown for under 190 yards in each of the last three games. But after a very difficult stretch of matchups, Houston coming to town may be just what he needs to get the passing game going again.

RB Tiki Barber S1

Last week was Barber's first sub-100 yard game in a month. But he still touched the ball almost 30 times and that'll be more than enough to shred the Houston defense. Also, look for the coaches to put an end to all the "Tiki hasn't scored" talk by getting him into the end-zone no matter what.

RB Brandon Jacobs S3 Jacobs continues to get about 8-10 touches a game, but mostly in short yardage situations. But he's scored in each of the last three games and he's now going in whenever the ball is within the 2-yard line. So in TD-only leagues he's a solid start, and in others he's a borderline start if you are in need of a fill-in for a regular starter.
WR Plaxico Burress (P) S1

Burress hasn't hit the 100-yard mark since week two, but his five touchdowns have him tied for third most in the league right now. Houston presents a great matchup and opportunity for another big yardage game.

WR Amani Toomer (P) B

Toomer is a nice complementary receiver to Burress. But with Barber and Shockey heavily in the mix he hasn't had an impact game in weeks. Last week was a season low 1-12, giving him just six catches for 56 yards in the past three games.

TE Jeremy Shockey S1

Last week was another low catch outing for Shockey, but he was targeted 10 times. That's three times as many as any other player other than Burress. He's a key to the Giants' passing attack and will bounce back this week against the overmatched Texans.

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