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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 1
Whitney Walters
September 6, 2007
Thursday
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Early
Monday Night
 
 
Start/Bench List by Position
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)
 
New Orleans (0-0) at Indianapolis (0-0) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S1

Brees should pick up right where he left off last season in this prime-time matchup with Manning. Look for these two to battle for the #1 fantasy QB spot all season.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

If Bush takes some carries from McAllister this season he could fail to live up to his draft position in most leagues. The Colts' run defense may be somewhat improved this year, but there should still be plenty of opportunities for Deuce to shine.

RB Reggie Bush S2

A lot of speculation this pre-season about Bush taking on a more active role in the running game. Only time will tell, but he did look improved running the ball in the exhibition games.

WR Marques Colston S3

Colston spent most of the pre-season sidelined with a knee injury and only saw brief action in the final exhibition game. All reports are that he'll be ready for this game but he still carries some risk as a fantasy starter.

WR Devery Henderson
B

Like Colston, Henderson had a lot of bench time during the pre-season due to a hamstring injury. He did see some limited action in the final exhibition game however and is slated to start. Carries the same injury risk as Colston this week but since he's the #3 target in this passing game he should be on your bench for now.

TE Eric Johnson B Until it is proven out on the field don't get too excited about all the "sleeper" speculation for Mr. Johnson in this offense.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

The Saints have a solid pass defense, but this is Manning and the Colts on prime-time at home. Last time Manning faced the Saints he threw six touchdowns. Yeah, it was 2003, but it's week one and there's not a whole lot of fantasy analysis needed for this game.

RB Joseph Addai S1

A top five fantasy backs on most draft boards. Now we all get to see what the kid can do with a full workload.

WR Marvin Harrison
Reggie Wayne
S1

These fantasy studs will be joined at the hip in this report for most of the season. This week Wayne has the better matchup against the weaker cornerback Jason David.

TE Dallas Clark S2

Clark is back and should have plenty of opportunities in the soft middle of the Saints' cover-2 schemes.

 
Philadelphia (0-0) at Green Bay (0-0) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2

McNabb has looked great in the pre-season and should start his successful 2007 fantasy campaign Sunday against the Packers. Not a stud starter this week however due to the tough matchups for his receivers with the Green Bay corners.

RB Brian Westbrook S1

Westbrook is always a matchup nightmare for opposing defenses and week one against the Packers will be no different. In PPR leagues Westbrook should be golden this week and beyond.

WR Reggie Brown S3 Brown is the #1 but was outplayed by new arrival Curtis through the pre-season. Look for him to struggle against the top-notch CB duo of Woodson and Harris.
WR

Kevin Curtis

U

Curtis has adjusted quickly to the Eagles' West Coast offense and he and McNabb established a nice chemistry though the pre-season. Corners Harris and Woodson are aggressive but Curtis should find enough space on inside timing routes to surprise.

TE L.J. Smith B

Was sidelined most of the pre-season with a groin injury. He's expected to be in the starting lineup Sunday but the risk is too high for him to be in yours.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S3

Favre has struggled with Philly in the past (only 376 yards and a TD in the past two games) and will be under an aggressive blitz all afternoon behind an improving but still suspect offensive line. Not a good formula for success.

RB Brandon Jackson   S2

Cleared to play following a pre-season concussion and will see a full load as Morency isn't in game shape yet.

RB Vernand Morency B Will eventually split time with Jackson in the backfield but he's not ready to go full speed after sitting for a month in the pre-season due to a knee injury.
WR Donald Driver S3

Driver's foot is reportedly not keeping him out of the opener. Until he hits the field at full speed it's an unknown however. The injury coupled with the aging but solid CB duo of Brown and Sheppard will limit his fantasy potential in this matchup.

WR Greg Jennings B

His poor pre-season play made the emergence of the rookie James Jones all that much easier.

WR James Jones U The surprising rookie has pushed Jennings to the side and will now start his productive fantasy season dealing with the strong CB duo of Brown and Sheppard. With Driver slowed by a foot injury look for Jones to pick up the slack.
TE Donald Lee   B The tight end used to mean something in this passing game. Those days are long gone.
 
Atlanta (0-0) at Minnesota (0-0) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

The Harrington regime begins. With more talent around him than at any time in his career there is some hope that Harrington will succeed this season in the Falcon offense. Maybe. But until it's proven on the field he remains on your bench (or more likely your league's waiver wire).

RB Warrick Dunn
S3

Will be the starter and primary ball carrier but the Vikings present a touch defensive matchup. Dunn will be limited.

RB Jerious Norwood U

Norwood will be the backup to Dunn and come in to change things up and work as a receiver out of the backfield. Could surprise in a PPR league this week in that role. The Vikings will bring a more aggressive attack this year and Norwood may benefit from several check-downs from Harrington in the passing game.

WR Joe Horn U Horn brings more skill and experience to the Falcons' WR position than they've seen in years. Harrington is going to love having this guy running routes for him down field and will lean on him often.
WR Michael Jenkins
Roddy White
Adam Jennings
B Two Falcon disappointments - Jenkins and White - and one pre-season surprise - Jennings. Anything is possible this season in the Atlanta passing game, but until someone emerges it's best to stay away from this trio. Heck, rookie Laurent Robinson even made some noise in the pre-season.
TE Alge Crumpler U

Crumpler wasn't used much in the pre-season but has a good matchup here with the Vikings linebackers and safeties.

Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tarvaris Jackson B

Jackson has struggled through the exhibition games and looks to be spending most of his time handing the ball off to his talented backfield.

RB Chester Taylor
Adrian Peterson
S3

Both Taylor and Peterson have looked great in their pre-season action and they are running behind one of the league's top offensive lines. What's not to like here? Well... for starters the fact that they will be sharing the carries - making both risky fantasy starts this week.

WR Bobby Wade   B Wade worked well with Jackson in the pre-season and may emerge as the #1 target in the Vikings' passing attack. He's slowed by a sprained ankle and has a very raw and inexperienced QB.
WR Troy Williamson B

Williamson will start alongside Wade but was even more unimpressive in the pre-season as he's been in his unimpressive career.

WR Sidney Rice B The rookie showed some flashes of talent in the exhibition games but he's nowhere near a fantasy starter.
TE Vishante Shiancoe B

Shiancoe may be a nice surprise in this passing attack as he's a talented receiver and solid blocker. But week one starters are not about maybes.

 

Miami (0-0) at Washington (0-0)

Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S3

Green hasn't been himself on the field since getting his bell seriously rung last season. Sunday begins his attempt to rebuild his career and prove he's still got it. The weak Redskins' pass defense will be accommodating, but expect only limited success.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S2

Don't buy into all the pre-season Jesse Chatman nonsense. It's called motivational coach speak and it's commonly used this time of year. Brown will get the rock and get it often, with Chatman spelling him only occasionally.

RB Jesse Chatman B See Brown comments above.
WR Chris Chambers S3

Chambers slumped last year but this could be a nice rebound season for him in Cameron's new offense. Corners Springs and Smoot present a tough week one matchup however.

WR Marty Booker B This passing game is likely to struggle for a while so outside of Chambers the production could be limited.
WR Ted Ginn Jr. B

Didn't show much this pre-season and most of his impact for the Dolphins may be in the return game for now.

TE David Martin U

If there's one thing QB Trent Green and new HC Cam Cameron have in common it's knowing how to get the ball to the tight end.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell U

The inexperienced Campbell has looked solid through the exhibition season and is poised for an improved season. With a strong running game and great targets in Moss and Cooley he could surprise, starting this weekend.

RB Clinton Portis S3 Major risk this week. Not only is Miami tough against the run, but there will be no clear indication of Portis starting until much later in the week - possibly not until game time. And even if he starts odds are good that he could see only limited action.
RB Ladell Betts S3

Betts is good to go and ready to carry whatever load the Redskins give him. Look for him to out-carry Portis this week and to have some success against the tough Dolphin defensive front.

WR Santana Moss S3

Moss' matchup this week with the Miami secondary isn't anything to get excited about, but he may squeak out enough production to make him a viable 3rd WR on your team.

WR Antwaan Randle El
Brandon Lloyd
B This pair haven't been fantasy factors and aren't likely to begin now.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley proved last season to be the most consistent fantasy option in the Redskins' passing game, especially after Campbell took over at quarterback. That isn't likely to change much.

 
New England (0-0) at New York Jets (0-0) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S2

Brady may or may not have all his weapons available, but it really shouldn't matter. Never has.

RB Laurence Maroney S1

Maroney hit the field in week three of the pre-season and proved he was ready to roll. He ran hard and looked good. Great matchup this week against a suspect Jets' run defense.

WR Randy Moss B Early reports are that he's practicing but is not 100%. He "may" play Sunday or even "may" start. Who knows. Not exactly what you are looking for in a starting fantasy WR. If you feel lucky this week roll the dice on Moss. But he's a big risk.
WR Donte' Stallworth S3

With Moss slowed or all-together out look for Brady to hook up with Stallworth deep on at least a couple of occasions.

WR Wes Welker S2

Welker was healthy and the star of the passing game this pre-season. Given the uncertainty of Moss' and Stallworth's status Welker could be the star of this game also.

TE Ben Watson S2

Watson is healthy and a big target that Brady likes to go to, especially near the end-zone.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington X

Pennington didn't look all that sharp in the pre-season and his shoulder issues have rendered him mostly a dink-and-dunk QB with the occasional ability to get the ball deep down field. Don't look for much this, or any other, week.

RB Thomas Jones S2

Jones sat out most of the pre-season but all indications are that he'll be close to 100% and in the starting lineup this week. The loss of DL Seymour and S Harrison dealt a big blow to the Patriots' run defense. What would have been a difficult matchup for Jones has turned positive.

WR Laveranues Coles S2 Coles is still the #1 target for Pennington and maintains good fantasy value despite his quarterback's short-comings. Will see CB Samuel most of the afternoon who may struggle in coverage due to his long holdout.
WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

Cotchery should have his way with CB Hobbs all day long.

TE Chris Baker B

Only caught more than a single pass in half the games last season. There are no indications that this year will be any different.

 
Tennessee (0-0) at Jacksonville (0-0) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young S3

And as one fantasy enigma QB (who shall remain nameless) leaves the stage another takes his place. Young's passing NFL passing abilities have yet to be proven but his ability to make plays with his legs has been established. If you get bonus points for QB rushing stats then Young will do you just fine this season. But facing Jacksonville's defense on the road will limit his potential this weekend.

RB LenDale White B The Titans are indicating that White will be the week one starter, but it's highly likely you'll see some of that duty fall to "backup" Chris Brown. Jacksonville presents a tough matchup for the Titans' running game so don't expect much from White in a sharing situation.
RB Chris Brown B Brown will get some touches in the Titans' backfield but against a stout Jaguars' run defense he's not a fantasy option.
WR Brandon Jones B

There is no clear #1 in the Tennessee WR corps but Jones is looking like the top candidate for the job.

WR Roydell Williams
Eric Moulds
B Odds are Williams or Moulds will get the start at #2 WR with the other playing a roll at the #3 WR spot.
TE Bo Scaife S2

Scaife has a lot of upside this season and Young loves to throw him the ball. Backup TE Troupe is working his way back from the ankle injury however and may cut into some of his production.

Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard S2

So Garrard gets the job he had for most of last season, starting QB. Not a bad way to start your "official" career as the Jags signal caller - at home against the weak Titans' defense.

RB Fred Taylor S2

The Jags will start the season with Taylor as the primary ball carrier and should see the majority of the carries. MJD will cut into that total some and take many of the receiving opportunities on third downs, but there should still be enough production to make him a worthy fantasy start as a RB3 or flex.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew

S2

Will lightning strike twice for MJD? We'll see. It's a lot to ask for a part-time back. Chances are good for this week at least facing what is shaping up to be another weak Tennessee run defense.

WR Matt Jones S3

Jones is looking like the lead receiver in this outfit but he has yet to prove himself in that role. Week one against a Tennessee defense with corners that average 5-10 in height is a good place to start doing just that.

WR Dennis Northcutt U

Northcutt put on quite a show in the pre-season and may emerge as a viable target for Garrard running out of the slot position. He's a nice speedy contrast to the rest of the tall timber WR corps.

WR Ernest Wilford B Had a decent pre-season and looks to carve himself out a role as a possession / red-zone receiver. What that means to the fantasy owner are a few catches a week with the occasional TD.
TE Marcedes Lewis B The tight end position was a non-factor last season. However, 2007 may prove to be different as the Jags are looking to the young and talented Lewis to make an impact at TE this season. Problem is the offense has four WR's and two pass catching RB's in the mix.

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