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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)  
 
Kansas City (4-3) at St. Louis (4-3) Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Damon Huard S3

Huard played hurt last week and played very well, throwing for over 300 yards for the first time this season. Green isn't due back for another couple of weeks, so this is Huard's job for a while longer. With the running game hitting on all cylinders, Huard will play-action pass his way to another decent game this weekend.

RB Larry Johnson S1

Johnson is simply a fantasy beast right now and he gets a very nice matchup this week in St. Louis.

WR Eddie Kennison S3

Kennison emerged last week from his below average season with a 132-yard effort, his first 100-plus game of the season. The Rams' secondary should provide another opportunity for him to make some fantasy noise. But both Gonzalez and LJ are going to continue to take a good chunk of the passing game and most of the scoring chances in the red-zone.

WR Samie Parker B Parker has disappeared from the passing game in the past two weeks, catching just two passes for 27 yards. He'll see his stats increase this week against the suspect Rams secondary, but not enough to warrant a fantasy start.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1

After four forgettable games, Gonzo has been tearing it up in the last two. Two straight 100-yard games for a tight end is huge. Plug him into your lineup and move on.

St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1

Bulger and the new passing attack are really clicking now. Thanks to three terrible QB performances in week's 1-3, the Chiefs statistically rank as one of the top passing defenses in the league. But since then they are allowing over 240 yards and two touchdowns passing each game. That would rank them as one of the league's worst.

RB Steven Jackson S1

Jackson takes on all comers and doesn't back down. Even last week against the Chargers he racked up 139 total yards and a score. Look for him to touch the ball 25-plus times in this matchup with KC and have a big game.

WR Torry Holt S1

Holt went without either a touchdown or a 100-yard game for only the second time this season last week. He'll hit both marks this week against the aging and slowing Chiefs' cornerbacks, Law and Surtain.

WR Isaac Bruce S2

Bruce got it going again last week with his second 100-yard game of the season. He's only found the end-zone once this year but remains a vital part of the Rams passing attack.

WR Kevin Curtis S3

With the Rams' new passing attack getting into a nice groove, Curtis is benefiting. He has a season high seven catches and 79 yards last week and caught his second touchdown in three games. With the Chiefs forced to put their top secondary talent on Holt and Bruce, look for Curtis to keep his fine play going against the very suspect nickel and dime corners for Kansas City.

TE Joe Klopfenstein B

The rookie gets a consistent one or two catches a week. That's it.

 
Miami (1-6) at Chicago (7-0) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

The last five quarters of play have been very good for Harrington. In that span he's thrown for over 600 yards and three touchdowns. Expecting that to continue on the road against the league's top defense it asking a bit much.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S3

Just like the rest of the Miami offense, Brown has failed to live up to the pre-season expectations. But he's still a top fantasy back, having scored four touchdowns and averaging almost 100 total yards a game thanks to his sometimes heavy involvement in the short passing game. Most won't have the luxury of benching Brown this week against Chicago, and probably shouldn't. But the value is very low, especially if the Dolphins fall behind early and have to turn to the passing game.

WR Chris Chambers S3

Mostly ineffective to date, Chambers is primed for an increase in production. He and Harrington are beginning to click and there is talk of moving him to the slot more where he had most of his success last season. But that increase will likely start AFTER this week's matchup with Chicago. Although, he may save a fantasy start with some garbage time stats late in the game.

WR Wes Welker S3

Welker has yet to find the end-zone, but he's been the most consistent week-to-week performer in the Miami passing game all season. His low was a 5-41 game and his high was 9-77. Never likely to explode, but always there for some fantasy production if you need it. Even in this difficult matchup with the Bears.

WR Derek Hagan X Hagan has come on lately. In the two games before the bye he had 11 catches for 119 yards and a score. In the five games prior he had just two catches for 31 yards. With a stud WR and a RB and TE that are highly active in the passing game, it's unlikely that the #3 WR will become a viable fantasy option.
TE Randy McMichael S3

Four games with Culpepper - 10 catches for 113 yards. Three games with Harrington - 21 catches for 233 yards. He has yet to score, but it's obvious that McMichael is back in the mix with Harrington under center. Still a fantasy starter at a position with few elite options, but with the standard Chicago downgrade.

Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman S2

You can expect a bit of an offensive letdown after the dismantling of the Niners last week. But Grossman remains a solid fantasy start at home against an average Miami defense.

RB Thomas Jones S2

Even with the talk of getting Benson more work, Jones got 27 touches last week and cranked out 134 total yards and a score. The Dolphins are tough against the run, but look for the Bears to use Jones to attack the undersized Miami front seven with some success.

RB Cedric Benson B

After the public statements about getting Benson some more work in the running game, Benson did get his third touchdown of the season. But only eight carries, his third lowest total of the season. Overpaid and underused is how this season is shaping up.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2

After two very forgetful games (3 catches, 12 yards) Muhammad got back in the flow last week. But when your team is piling up points like they were last week against SF that's not too hard to do. This matchup will be more of a challenge and the heavy involvement of Berrian and the tight end makes it even tougher for consistent production from Muhammad.

WR Bernard Berrian S2

Berrian sandwiched the bye week with his two lowest outputs of the year, going 2-31 before the off week and 5-41 after. If the Dolphins key on the running game as expected, look for Berrian to burn them deep a couple of times.

TE Desmond Clark

S2

Clark had a monster game last week, leading the team in all passing categories. Miami has struggled at times against tight ends this season. Regardless, now healthy Clark is a fantasy starter no matter the matchup.

 
New Orleans (5-2) at Tampa Bay (2-5) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S3

Thanks to falling behind early, Brees ended up throwing the ball 45 times last week on his way to a great fantasy performance against the very tough Ravens defense. The task doesn't get any easer this weekend. Brees will be on the road against a Tampa team that held him to his lowest output of the season in week five - just 171 yards and a touchdown.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

Because they were playing from behind early in last week's matchup, McAllister ended with just five carries. He'll get it going this week facing the Bucs and their 30th ranked run defense. McAllister had his best game of the season (123 yards and a score) in week five against these same Bucs.

RB Reggie Bush (Q) S3

Bush hasn't had more than 25 yards rushing since week three. Last week he had just 16 before injuring his ankle late in the game. Early word is he'll be fine for this week's game. But the fact remains that week one was his best fantasy outing of the season and it's been down hill since. If you get a point per catch he just makes borderline starter status. If you don't then he doesn't.

WR Joe Horn (Q) S3

Horn just completed a two week tear against two of the better pass defenses in the league. He's gone 11-236 and three touchdowns in that span. Look for him to return to his more typical average performance in this matchup with the very tough Tampa Bay corners.

WR Marques Colston   S3

Colston's lowest production of the season came in week five against the Bucs. The Tampa corners are not big or physical, but are very experienced and had success limiting the big rookie. They are good at keeping him in front of then and then closing quickly, cutting down on Colston's success running after the catch.

TE Mark Campbell   B

It took the Brees explosion last week for Campbell to have a multi-catch game, something that has happened only three times all season for a Saints' tight end.

Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Bruce Gradkowski B

After a promising start (against the Saints actually) it's been all down hill for this very green rookie. He's thrown for just 104 and 139 yards in the past two games with no touchdowns. The Saints are tough against the pass, but Gradkowski isn't a fantasy option against any opponent at this point.

RB Carnell Williams S2

Since Gradkowski took over at quarterback the Bucs have made a more concerted effort to run the ball and Williams' numbers have increased. Except for last week's meltdown in New York. Look for Tampa to keep feeding Cadillac the ball and for his fantasy owners to benefit this week against a New Orleans run defense that's allowing more than 120 YPG.

WR Joey Galloway S3

Galloway is this team's only viable fantasy pass catcher and only play maker. That's enough to warrant sliding him into your starting lineups most weeks... barely.

WR Michael Clayton B

Clayton has now followed up his biggest game of the season with two games and four catches for 34 yards. This passing game under Gradkowski is only going to support one fantasy receiver, and most weeks that's going to be Galloway.

TE Alex Smith B

Smith has caught two touchdowns, but the yardage just isn't there. In six of the season's seven games he has fewer than 20 yards receiving. The Saints do have trouble covering tight ends. They rank 30th in fantasy points allowed to the position. That's still not enough to warrant starting him however.

 

Tennessee (2-5) at Jacksonville (4-3)

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Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young B

Young completed only seven passes last week, his lowest total since taking the starting role. He has scored a touchdown in every game he's started, but the passing game just isn't going to be there right now. He's averaging just 116 passing yards per game. His fantasy value is boosted only when he can run a score in, which will be a much more difficult task this weekend in Jacksonville.

RB Travis Henry S3

Henry got another start but was only able to gain 29 yards last week against the terrible Houston run defense. That's a far cry from the 178 yards and 123 yards he'd racked up in the previous two games. Despite the poor performance last week Henry will be a key to the Titans' offense as they need a productive running game to keep pressure off of Young.

RB LenDale White B Has looked good when given a chance, but that chance has meant fewer than ten carries in four games this season. The Titans' season is going nowhere so at some point White may start carrying the load. It's anyone's guess as to if and when that may happen.
WR Drew Bennett B

Since Young took over Bennett has just six catches for 93 yards in four games. He's a big experienced target for the rookie, but while the Titans' passing game is stuck in first gear he'll be of little fantasy value.

WR Brandon Jones
Bobby Wade (Q)
B

Both Jones and Wade have shown some promise, each pulling in a touchdown in the past two games. But when your offense completes 12-14 passes on a good afternoon you shouldn't bother with the #2 or #3 receivers.

WR David Givens (Q) B May actually play this week with a protective device on his hand. Even before the hand injury his best game was a 2-47 effort in week three.
TE Ben Troupe
Bo Scaife
B

The fantasy tight end has died with the rest of the passing game in Tennessee. In the past three games Young has completed just five passes to his tight ends for a total of 35 yards.

Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich (P) B

Garrard filled in for the injured Leftwich last week and played poorly but got the win. Early indications are that Leftwich's ankle should be well enough for him to start Sunday. And Tennessee would be a nice matchup for his return to action. But at this point there is too much risk to recommend starting him. If he ends up having a great week of practice and they give him the starting nod by Friday, then he's worth a shot if you need him.

RB Fred Taylor (P) S1

This is an easy one. Taylor is on a great three game roll where he's rushed for nearly 300 yards and scored twice. Tennessee brings to town one of the worst run defenses in the league.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (P) S3

Drew's talent has created a vital role in the Jacksonville offense. He's still Taylor's backup, but he's totaled 224 yards in the past three games and scored three touchdowns. He even out carried Taylor last week 21 to 15. With either a gimpy or backup quarterback under center you can bet the Jags will continue to lean heavily on the running game, meaning more action for Drew against a terrible Tennessee run defense.

WR Matt Jones S2

Didn't start last week but played some and caught two balls for 32 yards. He'll return to the starting lineup Sunday and should get just enough against a suspect Titans' secondary that's down one Pacman to warrant getting him back into your fantasy lineup.

WR Reggie Williams B

Williams had a couple of good games while Jones was out injured, but his play has fallen through the floor lately. He's had just one catch for 13 yards in the past two games. A healthy Leftwich and Jones will help his numbers bounce back. But his QB is still very iffy.

WR Ernest Wilford (P) B With Jones back he'll move back to the slot, where he was just as ineffective as he's been as a starter.
TE George Wrighster B

Did score in week five, but the last two games have brought 3 catches for 7 yards.

 

Minnesota (4-3) at San Francisco (2-5)

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Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson S3

Johnson took a beating from his coach after a dismal game Monday night where he made uncharacteristic mistake after mistake. But there will be no QB switch in Minnesota. The Niners present a great matchup to bounce back with as their defense ranks at the bottom of most categories. But even if he does and matches his best game of the season, that will net you 270 yards and a single touchdown.

RB Chester Taylor S1

Taylor and the Vikings' running game were completely shut down Monday night by New England. That won't repeat this week in San Francisco. Look for Minnesota to put this game in the hands of their star running back and for him to pay off big time for fantasy owners.

WR Travis Taylor S3

With Robinson likely out again this week there will be more work for Taylor in the passing game. To date that hasn't meant a whole lot, but against the Niners it may mean just enough.

WR Troy Williamson S3

Since his 102-yard game in week two, Williamson has gone 39, 27, 11, 18 and 44, and has yet to score. Well if there ever was a week that his speed could pay off in the play-action passing game, it's this one. With the running game going strong look for the speedy second year receiver to get some big plays down field.

TE Jermaine Wiggins U

Wiggins' use in the passing game has been very inconsistent this season. He's been targeted as many as eight times and as few as once. The last few games have been better and he did get six looks last week. With the Niners having to commit more to the line of scrimmage to stop the running game, there's a good chance Wiggins can make some fantasy noise this week over the middle.

San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith S3

Smith continues to play well and has shown great improvement in his second season. So far that has rarely translated into a startable fantasy performance. This week will be different. The Vikings struggle against the pass and if the running game is slowed by their good run defense the Niners will rely more on Smith to carry them in this matchup. He has the talent around him (Gore, Bryant, Johnson) to have a fantasy impact this week.

RB Frank Gore S2

The Vikings are one of the league's top run stopping defenses, and the Patriots didn't even try to run the ball on them Monday night. That will NOT be the case for the Niners. If Gore can put up 111 yards on the Bears, I'm not going to hesitate keeping him in my starting lineup against the Vikings.

WR Antonio Bryant S3

Bryant found the end-zone last week and the odds are very good he'll make it two weeks in a row facing the talented but underachieving Minnesota corners.

WR Arnaz Battle B

Battle may have pulled down two touchdowns against the Raiders in week five, but he hasn't topped 40 yards receiving in the past five games.

TE Eric Johnson U

Johnson remains one of Smith's best options. His quickness and speed make him a difficult matchup and he excels going over the middle. But since he took over for the injured Vernon Davis he has just three catches in each game - none for touchdowns. Look for Johnson to get a little more attention from Smith in this matchup and for him to find the end-zone again.

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