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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 3
Whitney Walters
September 20, 2007
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Late
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)
 
St. Louis (0-2) at Tampa Bay (1-1) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S3

The first week without OT Pace and Bulger is sacked six times. Not good. Making matters worse was the loss of C Incognito also. It doesn't get any easier on the road against the Bucs and the Rams need to solve their protection issues. On a positive note, even under pressure Bulger has great primary options down field in Holt and Bruce. Having those options allowed a 368 yard performance last week.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson did produce more in week two thanks to the passing game, but his yards per carry average actually dropped to 2.9. The injury depleted offensive line just isn't getting it done. The Bucs defensive front held Bush/McAllister in check last week and could do the same against Jackson given the OL problems. He could make up for that with production out of the passing game, but with additional options now (Bennett and McMichael) the need to go to Jackson appears to have decreased.

WR Torry Holt S2

This week's matchup with the aging CB duo of Barber and Kelly should produce solid numbers for the always reliable Holt.

WR Isaac Bruce B

Bruce showed last week that he can still get it done. Unfortunately the consistency just isn't there any more. Look for Bruce to have 2-3 more big games this season but the rest of the time he'll put up less than starter type numbers.

WR Drew Bennett B Returned to the lineup last week and received more looks than starter Holt. Once he and Bulger get on the same page look for the Rams to work him a lot to gain matchup advantages in nickel coverage. That advantage won't exist this week against CB Buchanon.
TE Randy McMichael U

McMichael was active last week and that should be the case again in the matchup. Any time you face a cover-2 defensive scheme the middle of the field can open up for the tight end to exploit. The Tampa safeties are a liability in coverage.

Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia S3

Garcia bounced back from the beating he took in week one and looked really good last Sunday. Now that the Bucs have some confidence in their QB look for them to open up the passing game more. Against the struggling Rams this week Garcia makes a nice fill in starter if you need it.

RB Carnell Williams S2 Despite the rib injury Cadillac got 24 carries last week and word is they want to get him even more. Look for a heavy workload this week against a Rams defense that's allowing 135 YPG on the ground through two games.
RB Michael Pittman B Now that Williams appears good to go, Pittman is just a backup / 3rd-down option.
WR Joey Galloway S2

Galloway doesn't look like a fluke. He looks as fast and strong as ever and now has a quarterback that can air it out. This should be a high scoring game with Galloway taking part in some of festivities.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Has emerged as the #2 WR for the Bucs but there's still a chance the more talented Michael Clayton will overtake him if he's given the opportunity.

TE Alex Smith B

Smith looks healthy and Garcia is showing a knack for finding his big tight end down field. He'll tease you with the occasional nice game or TD grab, but the problem for fantasy players is that in this offense the tight end just won't produce consistently enough to warrant a roster spot.

 
Arizona (1-1) at Baltimore (1-1) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart B

Leinart bounced back from his horrendous week one with a near 300-yard outing last week. Things will continue to improve for the Arizona offense, just not this week in Baltimore.

RB Edgerrin James S3

In two games James has rushed for 220 yards and two TD's on 50 carries. He may not be the James of old, but he's a far cry from the previous Arizona version. Too bad he going into Baltimore this week. Don't expect much.

WR Anquan Boldin S3 Difficult matchups all around this week for the Cardinals, but in two games so far the Ravens have given up production to opposing wideouts. Boldin may be limited but he's still a borderline starter this week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald S2 As with Boldin and the rest of the Arizona players, difficult matchups everywhere you turn. But the wideouts should still produce okay numbers and Leinart is going to throw one touchdown. My money's on it going to Fitzgerald.
TE Leonard Pope B The huge Pope stayed on the fantasy radar with a touchdown on his single catch last week. Keep an eye on him, but for now he's not worth a roster spot.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair B

McNair is expected back from the groin injury this week. He has a solid running game behind him and a WR corps that seem to be coming together. Expect him to perform well this week but not enough to merit fantasy starter status.

RB Willis McGahee S2

McGahee got the workload last week he should have had week one and produced over 100 total yards and a score. Look for the 25-plus carries to continue as the team needs to keep the pressure off of their shaky quarterback.

WR Derrick Mason S3

Through two weeks of play Mason appears to be the man in the Baltimore passing attack. He's been targeted 12 times in each game and is the leading receiver.

WR Mark Clayton B Clayton didn't start again last week due to the toe injury but did play. Reports out of Baltimore have him moving back into the starting lineup this week, but we'll see. Still not a startable option.
WR Demetrius Williams B

Williams was banged up last week but expected to play. He shows promise but will have limited opportunities if he indeed moves back to the #3 WR spot this week. The Ravens don't run a lot of 3-WR sets and then there's that whole Todd Heap thing.

TE

Todd Heap

S2 Heap remains a key component in the Ravens' passing attack regardless of who's playing quarterback. Interestingly tight ends are just 2-4 against the Cardinals through two games. I still wouldn't shy away from starting Heap this week.
 
Indianapolis (2-0) at Houston (2-0) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

Just look at what Delhomme to Smith did to the Houston secondary last week.

RB Joseph Addai S1 Handling the full load just fine thank you.
WR Marvin Harrison
Reggie Wayne
S1

This dynamic WR duo will continue to shine against the overmatched Texans' secondary.

WR Anthony Gonzalez B Got his first NFL catch last week, then his second and third. Looks to be working his way into the #3 WR role for the Colts and will be one more weapon in an offense full of them.
TE Dallas Clark S2

With all the receiving talent on this team on the outside, the middle of the field is wide open for Clark to exploit.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Schaub S3

Schaub looks good through two games and has made the Texans very pleased with his acquisition. Houston may want to run the ball but they are going to have to throw it to keep pace with Indy. What's keeping Schaub from being a solid fantasy starter in this matchup? No Andre Johnson.

RB Ahman Green B

The Texans are a running team and are doing so 30 times a game. That has meant decent numbers for Green even though backup Dayne has been getting half of those carries. Houston will want to run, run, run in this matchup with the high-powered Colts. The difficulty will be maintaining that strategy once they begin to trail, which is very likely to happen.

RB Ron Dayne B Dayne is playing a big role in the Houston running attack, garnering half the carries out of the backfield through two games. But in typical Dayne fashion he's averaging a paltry 2.5 YPC. Don't expect much out of him or the Texans' running game this week.
WR Jacoby Jones S3

The big rookie with all the potential gets his shot this week filling in for the injured Andre Johnson. The odds are against him in what will be the biggest game of his very short career. But I'm gonna say the kid steps up and makes some noise.

WR Kevin Walter
Andre' Davis
B

Walter's role man not change all that much this week. He'll remain the starter but so far he hasn't been getting it done on the field. The team expects to activate Andre' Davis this week and he may see just as much playing time as Walter and may be more effective.

TE Owen Daniels B

Daniels will be needed more this week with the absence of WR Johnson. Problem is the Colts are built at linebacker and safety to handle him.

 

Jacksonville (1-1) at Denver (2-0)

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Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard B

Garrard and company will be the best passing attack Denver has faced so far this season. That says more about the Broncos opponents (BUF and OAK) than it does the Jags. The passing game will struggle this week against the improved Denver pass rush and killer CB duo.

RB Fred Taylor S3

The Jags running game is struggling right now with the big two (Taylor and MJD) averaging only 67 YPG combined. Through two weeks the Denver defense has shown an inability to consistently stop the run. Look for Taylor to do alright in this matchup, but because he shares the workload he warrants just a borderline starter status.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew

S3

The same goes for Jones-Drew. Limited fantasy potential in a good matchup due to the splitting of carries. His upside remains however the catches out of the backfield. Those could increase this week with the down field options in the passing game being well covered.

WR Matt Jones B

Potential and upside just don't cut it if you don't put out the effort when on the field. Jones looks to be the odd man out this season in the Jacksonville passing attack.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

Northcutt has been a great pickup for the Jags and is their leading receiver. But it's never going to be a good idea to start a #1 or ...

WR Ernest Wilford B ... #2 wideout against the Broncos' CB duo of Bailey and Bly. Unless you're the Colts, Bengals, Patriots... you get the idea.
WR Reggie Williams U Williams returned to the field last week and pulled in Garrard's only touchdown of the day. He will play a role as the #3 WR due to the matchup advantage he'll typically have due to his size. With starters Northcutt and Wilford tied up in a losing battle with the Denver corners, Williams could surprise with another score this week.
TE Marcedes Lewis U

Lewis had only 13 catches in his rookie season but is off to a solid start with six through two game. He's a talented pass catcher and Garrard will continue to go to him as his wideouts struggle down field.

Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler S3

Cutler continues to make great plays with his arm and the occasional bad play with his head. But that isn't slowing down Denver's desire to get the ball down field. The talented Denver passing attack will be the best Jacksonville has faced this season and will knock them down the pass defense rankings several notches.

RB Travis Henry S1

Henry's leading the league in rushing through two games but hasn't crossed the goal-line yet. Look for that to happen this weekend against a Jags defense that has become soft against the run.

WR Javon Walker S1

Walker is playing great and really clicking with his young quarterback. He leads the league in targets and that pace doesn't look to slow down any time soon. He has a very favorable matchup this week with the very average Jaguars secondary.

WR Brandon Marshall   S3

Marshall's size and athletic abilities are already making him an end-zone target for Cutler. He's had two passes inside the 5-yard line go his way in two games and connected on one for a score. He also had a TD called back last week on a penalty. As with Walker, his matchup this week with the shaky Jags secondary is a good one.

WR Brandon Stokley B Stokley is as clutch as he was in his hay days in Indy, making critical 3rd-down catches. He's great for the Denver passing attack but will never get you fantasy starter type numbers on a consistent basis.
TE Daniel Graham B

Graham is an excellent blocker and is finding himself left out of much of the passing attack due to the talent Denver has at WR.

 

Cleveland (1-1) at Oakland (0-2)

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Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson S3

Anderson's strength seems to be his ability to read the field and get rid of the ball quickly. Through six quarters of play he's been sacked only once. So far the Oakland pass defense is a mere shadow of the fine 2006 unit. They are allowing a league worst 72.5% completion ratio for opposing QB's and over 270 YPG. If Anderson can build off of last week's performance he has the weapons down field to be successful in this matchup with an Oakland team geared up to stop the run.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

While last week was a great surprise for Lewis owners, lets not be too quick to have one game erase the past 2-3 seasons of sub par play. Lewis still has much to prove. That proving should continue this weekend against a struggling Oakland run defense that's allowing over 5 YPC and 137 YPG.

WR Braylon Edwards S3

Edwards will have matchup problems with the strong CB play of Asomugha and Washington. But he should find success when working against the smaller Washington. Also working to his advantage will be the Raiders going light in the secondary by pulling the safeties up to the line to stop the run.

WR Joe Jurevicius B

Jurevicius is the third option in this passing attack and that's just not going to cut it for fantasy owners. He may be a great asset in the passing game on 3rd-downs and in the red-zone, but 3-4 catches a week with a rare score don't make him a starter.

TE Kellen Winslow S2

So far the Raiders haven't allowed much production from opposing tight ends. But they haven't faced a talent like Winslow yet. The Oakland safeties don't match up well in coverage against Winslow but the fine coverage skills of LB Morrison may make up for that.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B

The blood is in the water in Oakland. But don't forget too quickly who missed the game winning kick... AGAIN! McCown with his broken finger and bum ankle probably shouldn't have been playing last week. But he was and that says a lot about him and a lot about where Culpepper truly is. McCown should bounce back this week against the banged up and struggling Cleveland secondary, but he's not a fantasy starter until the finger proves to be no problem.

RB Lamont Jordan   S1

Jordan is tearing it up and that shouldn't stop this week against a Cleveland defense that's giving up over 137 YPG to opposing running backs.

WR Jerry Porter B

Porter may be back on the field, but he's not back. He has yet to stand out through two games but last week was a very difficult matchup with Champ Bailey. McCown did look his way a team high 7 times against Denver, a good sign. This is no easy matchup for him this week against the very solid CB Bodden. But the cornerbacks' lingering groin injury may tip the advantage slightly in Porter's favor.

WR Ronald Curry S3 Curry should return to his week one success Sunday against an over matched and banged up Cleveland secondary.
TE Zack Miller B

The rookie TE is splitting time with John Madsen, killing any of the slight fantasy value he may have had. But the Raiders really like this kid so he will get more targets than Madsen each week.

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