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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)
 
Denver (0-0) at Buffalo (0-0) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler S3

The young Cutler continues to show improvement but makes an iffy start at best in this opener on the road against a solid Buffalo pass defense.

RB Travis Henry S2

Early practice reports this week state Henry has looked great and is showing no sign of the sprained MCL that sidelined him for much of the pre-season. Goes back east this week to play the team that drafted him back in 2001. Should have a very nice game against the Bills' so-so run defense.

WR Javon Walker S2

All signs point to a big year for Walker. Second year in the offense and with Cutler, another year removed from his knee injury and a promising #2 WR on the other side of the field. The Bills present a solid challenge this week but Walker should still be in your lineup.

WR Brandon Marshall   B

Slowed most of the pre-season with a quad injury, Marshall still won the starting job along side Walker and the Broncos hope with his combination of size and speed he emerge as a second big-play target for Cutler. For now fantasy owners should take a wait and see approach.

TE Daniel Graham U

Thanks to the pre-season injury to TE Scheffler, Graham established himself as the starter for the Broncos. Scheffler will work in 2-TE sets with Graham, but it's Graham's fine play that will demand the ball for at least the first few weeks of the season.

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

The pass rush will be limited due to the injuries along the Denver defensive front, but if DL Rice can play with some effectiveness that could improve. Regardless his deep options are going to be limited against the stingy Broncos secondary.

RB Marshawn Lynch S2

Lynch is a superb talent and a great fit in the Bills' offense. He has a brutal schedule this season but he starts out with a visiting Broncos team that has struggled on defense in the pre-season and lost some key talent to injury.

WR Lee Evans S3

This is a tough call. Going deep to Evans against CB Bailey or even CB Bly will be difficult. But he and Losman may sneak one in and get enough short stuff to make him a borderline starter this week.

WR Peerless Price
Roscoe Parrish
Josh Reed
B Early indications are that is will be another meaningless fantasy season for the collection of wide receivers opposite Evans.
TE Robert Royal B Last season Royal had more than a single catch in just five games. He's an insignificant fantasy tight end and this may be the last time you see him even listed on this report.
 
Pittsburgh (0-0) at Cleveland (0-0) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2

What should be an improved fantasy season for Big Ben starts off with a nice matchup with a familiar opponent. The Browns defense hasn't looked much improved over last season's unit that ranked near the bottom of the NFL's passing defense rankings.

RB Willie Parker S1

Parker and the Steelers offense should hit the ground running against a Cleveland run defense that Parker has put up over 130 yards and a touchdown against in each of their last three meetings.

WR Hines Ward S2 Outside of CB Bodden the Browns' corners are banged up and inexperienced. Look for both Ward and ...
WR Santonio Holmes S2

... Holmes to put up some nice fantasy numbers in this divisional matchup.

TE Heath Miller U

If the pre-season is any indication, Miller's role in the Steelers' passing game is poised to increase in 2007. Miller is big, athletic, has good hands and has always been underutilized as a pass catcher. That looks to start changing this week.

Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Charlie Frye B

Frye gets the starting nod this week for Cleveland and will be under attack all day by the aggressive Steelers defense.

RB Jamal Lewis S3

Not much has changed in Pittsburgh on the defensive side of the ball. They ended the year 3rd against the run and look to be in that range this year as well. Don't expect much out of Lewis in this matchup.

WR Braylon Edwards S3

Don't look for much scoring in this game by the Browns, but Edwards should put up enough yardage and catch numbers to make him a borderline starter candidate. He's averaged 4-95 in his last three games against the Steelers.

WR Joe Jurevicius B

The third option in the Browns' passing attack and that won't amount to much this week.

TE Kellen Winslow S3

Winslow has struggled in his past meetings with Pittsburgh, going just 4-36 and 4-19 last season. He'll likely still struggle again this week, but he'll be a prime target for Frye.

 
Carolina (0-0) at St. Louis (0-0) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S3

Delhomme did not have his best pre-season and there are already grumblings in Panther Land about backup David Carr. Yes! David Carr. Not a good way to enter the season. This is a nice matchup for Delhomme however and he should do just fine.

RB DeShaun Foster S2

Foster's outstanding play in the pre-season has him entering this season as the starter. Can he hang on to that job? We'll see. But at least for this week he's expected to get the bulk of the carries against an inferior run defense.

RB DeAngelo Williams S3

Foster gets the nod as the starter but don't look for the Panthers to just sit the talented Williams on the sidelines all day. He won't get the carries Foster will, but if the pre-season is any indication he'll see some nice opportunities in the passing game. Carolina was even splitting him out wide some in the exhibition games.

WR Steve Smith S1

Smith is a stud and an every week starter. Should have a big game against the short-handed St. Louis secondary.

WR Keary Colbert S3

After a strong pre-season Colbert has locked down the #2 WR spot opposite Smith. Playing opposite a super-stud WR can have it's benefits, like seeing less coverage. That should work out to his benefit right off the bat in week one against a Rams's secondary that doesn't look much improved over last year's version.

TE Jeff King B Flashed some great play in the pre-season and looks to have locked down the starting job. The issue with King is that the days of Wesley Walls are long gone and this offense has too much talent at RB and WR for the TE to matter much.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

The Rams' outstanding running attack provides relief for Bulger against an opposing pass rush. After a less than stellar pre-season look for Bulger to get on track in this matchup.

RB Steven Jackson S1

The interior run defense of the Panthers last season was very lacking. Look for Jackson and the Rams to find out early and often if they've improved at all.

WR Torry Holt S2

All indications are that Holt is close to 100% recovered from the arthroscopic knee surgery after resting much of the pre-season.

WR Isaac Bruce B

Age and injury are catching up with the 14-year veteran. He may still get you 50-60 YPG, but his touchdowns are fewer and further between now (only 6 in the past two seasons).

WR Drew Bennett U With outside receivers Holt and Bruce locked in a battle with the solid Panther corners, look for Bennett to provide Bulger with a nice big target over the middle. He could surprise this week.
TE Randy McMichael U

As with Bennett, McMichael could be a welcome target in the middle of the field as Holt and Bruce do battle with the corners on the outside.

 

Kansas City (0-0) at Houston (0-0)

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Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Damon Huard B

Don't even think about it. Not even against Houston.

RB Larry Johnson S2

The fantasy stud doesn't get his S1 rating this week due to all the talk of him not being in game shape and the Chiefs looking to possibly limit his touches in week 1. Even if this is just smoke and he gets 25+ carries he will not be as effective with those fourth quarter touches as he normally would. He's still an obvious starter but he's going to have to earn the S1 this season.

WR Eddie Kennison
Samie Parker
B

The Texans didn't really upgrade their secondary talent this year but let's face it - the Chiefs fantasy potential in the passing game begins and ends with Gonzo.

TE Tony Gonzalez S2

Gonzalez is still an elite TE, but the Chiefs' offense is not looking good and the passing game will struggle to get off the ground. Houston does however provide a nice matchup this week and Gonzo is a very solid fantasy starter.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Schaub X

Schaub has looked good in his new Texans uniform so far and most importantly stayed off his back, being sacked only once in the pre-season. Should do okay in his home debut.

RB Ahman Green S2

The stars seem to be aligning for Green. He's healthy and playing behind a very familiar zone-blocking scheme run by his former head coach, Mike Sherman. Should start the season strong with a good outing against a thin Kansas City defensive line.

WR Andre Johnson S2

Johnson started last season on a hot streak that ran out quickly. Look for that hot start to repeat itself, starting with this great matchup with two aging corners (Law and Surtain) that have lost a step.

WR Jacoby Jones U

The talented rookie has yet to play himself into a starting spot opposite AJ. Don't expect that to take too long though. Look for him to surprise this week matched up against one of the aging and increasingly ineffective Kansas City corners. And there's the bonus of Jones being a very dangerous return man.

TE Owen Daniels U

Drafted as a sleeper type TE in most drafts this season - Daniels begins the season in that role also. When Schaub isn't too busy getting the ball deep to his talented WR's he'll find Daniels also available over the middle in a mismatch with the suspect KC safeties.

 

Tampa Bay (0-0) at Seattle (0-0)

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Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia X

Garcia still has the tools to get the job done at QB and is a very good fit for Tampa's West Coast offense. But the talent around him is suspect (with the exception of his RB) and you should just not expect much fantasy value here.

RB Carnell Williams S3

Better blocking and improved quarterback play should help Williams rebound from his disappointing 2006 season. If he gets the carries he should do okay against a so-so Seahawks run defense. Will lose many 3rd down touches to Pittman.

WR Joey Galloway S3

Corner coverage was a weak spot for the Seahawks last season and early indications are that may be carrying over to 2007. If Tampa can get Galloway isolated on the inexperienced CB Jennings he should have some success.

WR Maurice Stovall B

Who? Oh yeah, the second year WR battling for the #2 spot with the likes of Michael Clayton, Ike Hilliard and David Boston. Yes, David Boston.

TE Jerramy Stevens
Alex Smith
B

Smith should end up the starter but is still nursing an ankle sprain. So the ever underachieving Stevens will see action as well. All in all a situation unworthy of your fantasy attention.

Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Hasselbeck looked poised and healthy in the pre-season. Alexander should be back to form this season and Hass is entering his second season with his #1 WR Branch. He also has the reliable Engram, an up and coming talent in Hackett and a much improved TE in Pollard. Look for him to have success this week stretching the field on the aging CB's Barber and Kelly.

RB Shaun Alexander S1

The Bucs run defense was mediocre at best last season and while improvements look to have been made Alexander is always a fantasy starter.

WR Deion Branch S2

Branch has had a full off-season and training camp with his new QB and should improve greatly on his 2006 season in Seattle. Look for him to push the aging CB's Barber and Kelly beyond their limits.

WR D. J. Hackett S3

The talented Hackett has secured the #2 spot and his speed will help Seattle stretch the field in this matchup.

TE Marcus Pollard B

Pollard is a great improvement at the TE position for Seattle and has looked very good in the pre-season. He may turn into a fantasy sleeper but odds are just as good that he'll fall just short of that in an offense with many talented options.

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