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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 10
Whitney Walters
November 9, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
BAL at TEN HOU at JAC SD at CIN DEN at OAK CHI at NYG   Early Injury Status  
BUF at IND KC at MIA SF at DET DAL at ARI Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
CLE at ATL NO at PIT WAS at PHI STL at SEA TB at CAR   (Q): Questionable  
GB a MIN NYJ at NE         (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)  
 
Denver (6-2) at Oakland (2-6) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S3

Denver has started to move Plummer out of the pocket and the passing game is finding more success. This is what they did last season with similar results. Why it took them seven games to get back to that successful formula is anyone's guess. The Raiders pass defense is not as good as their stats would suggest. It's just that their run defense is horrible and teams don't pass on them much (a league low 26.5 attempts per game). Plummer may sneak a couple of touchdowns in this week but his yardage is going to be low.

RB

Mike Bell

S2

Obvious great matchup with the terrible Oakland run defense. Only downside is the possible return of Tatum Bell, who was listed as probable last week but did not play. This week he's listed as questionable but there's been some reports that he'll play. My gut says he will not and Mike will carry the load again.

RB Tatum Bell (Q) B Still dealing with turf toe on both feet. Missed last week's game and there's a very good chance he'll miss this one as well.
WR Rod Smith (Q) B

Smith scored his second touchdown of the season last week but finished the game with a separated shoulder. He's only missed one game since 2001 so you shouldn't count him out of this rivalry matchup. But he's not a fantasy option either way.

WR Javon Walker S2

Back to his old big-play form and the go-to guy in the Denver passing game. An every week starter.

TE Tony Scheffler B Tons of potential, little use in the passing attack. Has caught a pass in just three of the Bronco's eight games this season.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Andrew Walter   B Breaking news out of Oakland. Walter sacked during pre-game warm-ups. Sets new NFL record for earliest sack ever.
RB Lamont Jordan (P) S3

Jordan has had 12 or fewer carries in three of the last four games. Amazingly he ran for over 60 yards in two to those games. There are injuries at every level of the Denver defense and Jordan could be productive this weekend. But for that to happen the Raiders must commit to the running game. Something they seem unable to do.

WR Randy Moss S3

Moss will be locked in a battle all afternoon with CB Champ Bailey. It's a battle Bailey will win more times than not, but Moss will get tons of looks from Walter and should put up startable fantasy numbers. He went 5-86 in week six in Denver.

WR Jerry Porter B After getting lots of work the prior week Porter played just 10 snaps last week and didn't have a catch.
TE Courtney Anderson B

Anderson had followed two promising 50-yard games with two catchless ones.

 
Dallas (4-4) at Arizona (1-7) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S2

Romo has had only two starts but his fantasy future for 2006 looks good. He's thrown for 270 yards or more and at least one score in each outing. There's just too much talent on this offense for him to falter. Arizona doesn't pose much of a matchup threat so his success should continue.

RB Julius Jones S2

Jones isn't scoring many touchdowns this season (only 3) and he hasn't hit 100 yards in the last three games. He's due to hit both marks and the Arizona defense will accommodate.

RB Marion Barber S3

For only the third time this season Barber failed to score last week. But he did get his typical nine touches for a very productive 73 yards. He hasn't failed to score in two straight games all year.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Owens was one dropped pass from having his biggest fantasy game of the season last week. Despite his inconsistent play at times, Owens is a big game waiting to happen each week.

WR Terry Glenn (P) S3

Glenn's quad is causing him some problems and he was out gained last week by #3 WR Crayton. He's expected to be close to full speed Sunday but Romo has shown through two games that he's going to be looking Owens' and Witten's way first.

TE Jason Witten S2

With Romo leading the offense Witten has been targeted 20 times, as many as the previous four games combined. Now that he's back in the offensive flow he's a solid fantasy start every week.

Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart S3

Looks like everyone may have jumped the gun on this whole desert savior thing. Leinart has followed up his great two game start with a forgettable two games where he looked much more rookie-like. Teams now have plenty of game film on him so he'll need to step up his play to succeed. Getting WR Fitzgerald back will help. So will having an extra week to prepare for the very tough Dallas defense.

RB Edgerrin James S3

It took half a season, but the offensive line showed some signs of improvement in the Green Bay game prior to the bye. James actually averaged a respectable 3.5 YPC and scored his third touchdown as a Cardinal. More improvements will be hard to come by against the Cowboys and their 5th ranked run defense.

WR Anquan Boldin S2

Boldin has struggled against the double coverage he's seen without Fitzgerald in the lineup. He has just eight catches in the past two games. His running mate is back this week (on a limited basis) so look for Boldin to double that output in this matchup.

WR Larry Fitzgerald (P) S3 Fitzgerald will be back in the starting lineup this weekend, but the early word is he'll likely only play in about half of the offensive snaps. If he looks good and has no problems with the hamstring, don't be surprised to see him get more action than that.
WR Bryant Johnson
Troy Walters (Q)
B

With Fitzgerald returning this week Johnson moves back to the #3 WR spot and Walters to the #4. Both useless for fantasy owners.

 
St. Louis (4-4) at Seattle (5-3) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1

Bulger is now in full command of the new passing attack and is playing as good as he ever has. The Seattle pass defense is nothing special. Bulger's hot so just keep riding him.

RB Steven Jackson S1

Jackson hasn't hit the 100 yard mark since week two but he makes up for that with his heavy use in the short passing game. The Seahawks started the season as one of the highest ranked run defenses but have been slipping over the past month. They've given up huge games to Chester Taylor and LJ in the past three games and will likely give up another one to Jackson Sunday.

WR Torry Holt S1

Holt has now gone two weeks in a row without either a touchdown or a 100-yard game. Look for the Rams to test the Seahawk corners early in this matchup and get their stud WR going again.

WR Isaac Bruce S3

Bruce has just one touchdown this season and his fantasy value is slipping as Curtis emerges. That trend may very well continue.

WR Kevin Curtis S2

Curtis has grown into a fantasy threat as the Rams' new passing attack has improved. Bulger is looking to him in the red-zone and he's out caught Bruce for two straight weeks. With Holt and Bruce drawing the opponent's top coverage options, look for Curtis' solid production to continue.

TE Joe Klopfenstein B

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

Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Seneca Wallace S2

Wallace has proved that he has the skills and poise to run the Seahawks' offense. He has a good arm, can extend plays with his legs and benefits from great WR talent. The Seattle offense will be hard pressed to keep pace with St. Louis' scoring in this matchup and Wallace will need to have his most productive outing yet. Look for over 200 yards and two touchdowns.

RB Maurice Morris S2

Morris finally got it going last week. Amazing what a mix of bad run defense and returning offensive linemen can do for a running game. That same mix will be in play Sunday.

WR Darrell Jackson
Deion Branch
S2

Jackson continues to make big plays and Branch improves with each passing week he's in his new offense. The Rams' secondary is average at best and has struggled all season. Both DJax and Branch will take advantage.

WR D. J. Hackett B

Has been a great #3 WR filling in for Engram and has likely carved out a bigger role in the passing game for himself even when Engram returns. However, he's not producing enough to warrant a fantasy start most weeks. Not with Jackson and Branch ahead of him and TE Stevens back in the mix.

TE Jerramy Stevens B

Stevens wasted a great matchup last week and went catchless. Until he gets a couple of productive games under his belt he should be avoided.

 

Chicago (7-1) at N.Y. Giants (6-2)

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Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman S3

Grossman's fantastic start has evolved into mostly sporadic performances from week-to-week. The Giants have held four of the last five quarterbacks they've faced to zero passing touchdowns. On the positive side however are the injuries to key members of the New York defense, including DE's Strahan and Umenyiora. Back on the negative side is the expected absence of WR Berrian. Call the injuries a wash and this an iffy start for Grossman.

RB Thomas Jones S3

Thomas remains the primary ball carrier for the Bears and is getting 20-plus carries most weeks. To most observers he's being out played by the rookie Benson however. Jones tends to dance in the holes more than the straight ahead running Benson. But for reasons known only to the coaching staff, Jones is the man. He'll be limited this week by a Giants' defense that's held the past three backs it's faced to under 50 yards.

RB Cedric Benson B

Should be getting more carries but that just isn't happening. May be called on for a short touchdown run, but at just eight carries a week (his count the last two games) he isn't a fantasy option... yet.

WR Muhsin Muhammad (P) S3

Muhammad is back on track now and Grossman is looking his way in the red-zone again, but the passing attack will be limited this week.

WR Bernard Berrian (D) B

The rib injury is expected to keep him out at least this week.

WR Rashied Davis B Davis will be the primary WR called on to fill in for the injured Berrian but is not a fantasy option.
TE Desmond Clark

S2

With Berrian out look for Clark to pick up some of the slack and have a big game.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S3

The passing game is not in sync of late and Manning is riding a four game streak where he's been held under 200 yards passing. Now he faces a Chicago defense that specializes in holding opposing quarterbacks to under 200 yards. Something they've done six times this year.

RB Tiki Barber S2

Still cranking out the yardage and finally crossed the goal-line last week. Tiki gets the usual Chicago downgrade this week, but surprisingly the Bears have allowed 100-yard rushers in each of the past two games.

RB Brandon Jacobs X Jacobs broke his three game scoring streak last week and should be avoided in all but TD-only leagues.
WR Plaxico Burress (Q) S3

Burress sat out last week due to back spasms but is expected to return. He hasn't hit the 100-yard mark since week two and chances are good that he won't hit that mark against the Bears secondary. But he might sneak a fade touchdown into his stat sheet.

WR Amani Toomer (O) 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.

WR Tim Carter B Will be called on to fill the void left by Toomer's season ending injury. Carter has been with the Giants for five seasons but ended up on injured reserve for the first three. Toomer's role in the New York passing game wasn't fantasy worthy so don't expect Carter's to be.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2

Seems to have put his nagging ankle injuries behind him for now and is Manning's second favorite target. Look for Manning to look his way often in this matchup. They will use Shockey to split the zone coverages down the middle. A middle that will likely be more open due to MLB Urlacher being slowed by the toe injury.

 

Tampa Bay (2-6) at Carolina (4-4)

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Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Bruce Gradkowski B

The rookie is showing some improvements and did throw the ball better last week. He's still not a fantasy option though.

RB Carnell Williams S3

Boy, the running game just isn't there. This is a similar situation to James' in Arizona. Both are running behind poor offensive lines. The difference is the commitment to the running game. No matter how bad it gets in the desert, the Cards keep pounding the ball. Not so in Tampa. Cadillac is the best offensive weapon they have and Gruden seems determined to lean on his rookie QB. Williams has carried the ball over 20 times once all season. ONCE! Yet the rookie QB is putting up 30-plus passes regularly. That's ridiculous. The Panthers are not very strong against the run and Cadillac's only touchdown of the season came against them in week three. If they will give him the ball he can produce in this matchup.

WR Joey Galloway S3

Galloway is this team's only consistent fantasy pass catcher and only play maker. He's also the primary target for his rookie quarterback. 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 caught a couple of touchdowns a few weeks back, but has topped 18 yards receiving only once this season. He's just not a factor in the Bucs' passing game.

Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

The Tampa defense is not pressuring the quarterback well and is giving up too many big plays in the passing game. A formula for disaster against Delhomme with WR Smith roaming the secondary. Delhomme put up 272 and a touchdown on the Bucs in week three.

RB Deshaun Foster S3

Foster saw his carries drop off in the two weeks going into the bye (14 and 15). With Williams back those numbers may not increase much. But his is a great matchup none the less against the fairly porous Tampa Bay run defense.

RB DeAngelo Williams B Will return to action this week after missing several weeks with a badly sprained ankle. He was only sporadically used prior to the injury, getting only a few carries in some games. The jury's still out on how much of a role he'll play in the running game down the stretch.
WR Steve Smith S1

The Tampa secondary had no answer for Smith in week three and they won't in this rematch either.

WR Keyshawn Johnson (P) B

As Smith has regained his prominent role in the Carolina passing attack, Keyshawn's has diminished. He actually went just 1-19 against Dallas before the bye. A game you'd think he'd be pumped up to do well. Keyshawn's days as a fantasy starter may be over.

WR Drew Carter B Carter hasn't caught a pass in two games and there is nothing going in this passing game beyond Smith and Johnson.

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