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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)
 
Chicago (0-0) at San Diego (0-0) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B

The on and off performance of Grossman continued through the pre-season. At times he looks great and at times he looks terrible. He'll likely have more bad than good moments in this tough matchup on the road in San Diego.

RB Cedric Benson S3

Many say the Bears' season rests on Grossman's shoulders. I say it's on Benson. He has yet to prove anything positive since his UT heydays. He has yet to carry a full load or be a productive NFL back. It's put up or shut up time. And he gets a very tough matchup to start the season off going on the road against the Chargers' top notch defense.

WR Muhsin Muhammad B

With Grossman likely to struggle, that doesn't leave much room for success at WR...

WR Bernard Berrian U

... However, Berrian has emerged as a great deep threat and if Grossman can get some occasional time in the pocket these two will connect on some nice gains. Berrian should have no trouble getting over the top of CB's Jammer and Florence.

TE Desmond Clark

B

With the rookie Olsen likely out Clark will pick up the full TE workload this week. Will struggle in this matchup along with the rest of the Bears' passing game.

San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers B Just an all-around bad matchup for Rivers. He is at home and has some of the league's best talent around him. But that's not enough to start him as your fantasy QB this week.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Not exactly the matchup LT owners wanted to start the season with. But hey, you got LT. You'll get no sympathy from me.
WR Vincent Jackson   U

Jackson looked great in the pre-season and is working with with Rivers. He's a big and fast receiver that will push standout CB's Tillman and Vasher for all they're worth. In the end Jackson may shake free for enough production to warrant taking a flyer on him this week if you need one in deep leagues.

WR Malcolm Floyd B Floyd may be developing into a nice option at WR, when you are behind LT, Gates and #1 WR Jackson there's just not a lot left over to create any fantasy value.
TE Antonio Gates S1

Look for the Chargers to work Gates down field against S Archuleta as much as possible as coverage is not his strength.

 
Detroit (0-0) at Oakland (0-0) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S3

The pass-happy Detroit offense is going to produce good fantasy numbers for Kitna most weeks. The Raiders present a difficult matchup this week but the production should still be there.

RB Tatum Bell B

Gets the start while KJ heals and gets into game shape. The Raiders are much better against the pass than run but Bell is going to lose touches to backup T.J. Duckett, especially around the goal-line.

WR Roy Williams S2

Great talent in a WR friendly offense but will have his hands full with the strong Oakland CB duo of Asomugha and Washington.

WR Mike Furrey S3

Furrey became a consistent part of the Lions' passing game last season, maybe the most consistent. As with Williams this is a tough matchup with the Oakland corners. He'll produce better the more they run him in the slot, which may not be that much until rookie Johnson can move outside consistently.

WR Calvin Johnson U May be #3 on the depth charts but the Lions will run a ton of 3-WR sets and Johnson will be out there for most of those snaps. If they run him out of the slot he'll have a huge advantage over the Oakland nickel and dime corners.
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown
Daunte Culpepper
B

Starter won't be named until game-time. Yeah, sneaking up on the Lions with a "mystery" QB should really help. ;-)

RB Lamont Jordan   S3

The revamped offensive line receives its first test this week. Thankfully for Jordan and the Oakland running game it comes against the Detroit defense.

WR Jerry Porter   S3

Both Porter and ...

WR Ronald Curry S3 ... Curry have an advantage over the smallish Detroit CB duo of Bryant and Wilson. Unfortunately the QB situation just about negates that advantage. I'll go out on a limb and say that both Porter and Curry get just enough production to warrant a borderline start in deep leagues.
TE Zack Miller B

Rookie TE in what's shaping up to be a struggling passing game for a while. No thanks.

 

New York Giants (0-0) at Dallas (0-0)

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New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

The Giants will hope for a successful running game so the play-action will be available to pull aggressive safeties Williams and Hamlin toward the line of scrimmage. That may be somewhat effective but I still wouldn't want Manning as my starting QB this week.

RB Brandon Jacobs S2 Jacobs gets his first crack at carrying the full load against what should be one of the top defenses in the league on the road. This should be a close, tough battle and when the Giants get close to the goal-line Jacobs will be who they call on.
WR Plaxico Burress S3

Burress sat out almost the entire pre-season with a variety of injury issues. Reports are that he just fine now and ready to go. Still, he carries a lot of risk into this very tough matchup with a Dallas team he's had little recent success against.

WR Amani Toomer B With Shockey in the lineup Toomer is the #3 option in a mediocre passing attack.
TE Jeremy Shockey S1

Always a bit risky due to what seems to be a perpetual string of injuries. But the season is young, his QB still goes to him often and he's always performed well against Dallas.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S2

Romo has what it takes around him to succeed. A great line, versatile and talented backfield and serious weapons down field. Now he just needs to make it happen. This week one matchup against a hurting New York secondary should be a nice start.

RB Julius Jones
Marion Barber
S2

Jones and Barber will be running behind one of the league's largest offensive lines. That line should be able to clear the way against a Giants' defensive line who's best player only showed up a few days ago. Look for Jones and Barber to receive about equal touches with Jones getting more carries and Barber getting more catches.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Stud going up against a banged up secondary.

WR Terry Glenn B Early indications are that Glenn will be recovered enough from his knee injury to start on Sunday. Still, he's a risk and will play second fiddle to Owens anyway.
WR Patrick Crayton B With Glenn hoping to start Sunday Crayton's value is very limited as a #3 WR in this offense.
TE Jason Witten S3

The Romo to Witten connection looked good in the pre-season but this talented TE's fantasy potential is limited by the even more talented options available to Romo.

 

Baltimore (0-0) at Cincinnati (0-0)

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Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair B

McNair will do just enough to get the job done but little more. That translates into a spot on your fantasy bench. The yardage may be there but this passing game just doesn't put a lot of points on the board.

RB Willis McGahee S2

McGahee will get the rock often in this matchup and the very good Ravens offensive line will provide him plenty of running room against the average Bengals defensive front.

WR Derrick Mason B

Both Mason and ...

WR Mark Clayton B ... Clayton will struggle in their matchups with the very solid CB duo of O'Neal and Joseph.
WR Demetrius Williams X Williams won't start with Clayton returning from an ankle injury. But the Ravens hope to run more 3-WR sets to get him on the field more. He's had a great pre-season and his speed makes him a weapon down field. Keep an eye on him as he develops this season.
TE

Todd Heap

S2 Heap has the best matchup in the passing game this week for the Ravens and is still a well used safety outlet for McNair.
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Difficult week one matchup for Palmer owners, but unless you drafted a very good backup you have to run with him. It may not be as bad as you think. In the last four games against Baltimore Palmer has averaged about 240 yards passing and thrown seven touchdowns.

RB Rudi Johnson S2

The always consistent Johnson should still be starter worthy this week as he puts up about 85 yards and a touchdown on average against Baltimore.

WR Chad Johnson S2

What could be a very tough matchup is softened somewhat by the gimpy ankle of CB Rolle. Johnson's been hot this pre-season and should keep that going under the Monday night lights.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

If history is the indicator, T.J. will outperform Johnson in this matchup with the Baltimore secondary. He was very productive against them last season and should be again.

 

Arizona (0-0) at San Francisco (0-0)

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Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart S3

Leinart looked just okay in the pre-season and had little success in his only meeting with San Francisco last season (162 yards and a single TD). The new play calling being implemented by HC Whisenhunt should enable better production for Leinart owners. But it may take a third of the season for things to really start clicking.

RB Edgerrin James S2

The Cards will feed the ball to James all night as they look to establish a power running game against the Niners' banged up defensive line and undersized and new linebackers.

WR Anquan Boldin S2 Boldin has averaged 7-100 and a touchdown over the past two seasons against the Niners, and ...
WR Larry Fitzgerald S2 ... Fitzgerald has averaged 7-115 and a touchdown every other game over the same span. You shouldn't expect much less from them this time around despite the improvements to the Niners' secondary.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith S2

Smith showed signs of maturity and consistency in the pre-season and things should be looking up for the Niners passing game. With the Cardinals geared up to stop the run Smith should put up some nice numbers.

RB Frank Gore S1

The hand is healed and Gore will be ready to go Monday night. Four of his eight rushing touchdowns came against the Cardinals last season. Look for him to pick up right where he left off.

WR Darrell Jackson S2

Jackson is still resting his bothersome hamstring but is scheduled to be ready for action Monday night. Even if he's not at 100% he can produce against the suspect Arizona secondary.

WR Arnaz Battle B

Talented receiver that the teams likes a lot, but looks to be the odd man out in a passing game with several other options.

TE Vernon Davis S2

After flashing his immense talent as a rookie the sky seems to be the limit for Davis this season. The Niners plan to line him up all over the field and he will be a prime target for QB Smith as he presents mismatches with just about everyone he'll line up against on the other side of the ball.

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