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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)
 
Cincinnati (1-1) at Seattle (1-1) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S1

Palmer is an every week starter and gets another nice matchup with a Seattle defense that gave up 300 yards to Leinart last week.

RB Rudi Johnson S1

Even Rudi got into the fray last week, catching the first touchdown pass of his career. This week he runs his first one of the 2007 season in.

WR Chad Johnson S1

How does that beer down your drawers feel? Ah, who cares. Just keep catching bombs and scoring touchdowns.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

Who's sitting atop the NFL in catches with Moss and Walker? That's right. T.J. Doesn't have the flash of Johnson but gets it done every week.

Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Not surprisingly the Bengals fall at the bottom of the pass defense rankings. But they are better than last week's performance. If consistency is what you want then Hasselbeck is your play. He'll get you 250 and a score or two just about every week. This week should be no different.

RB Shaun Alexander S2

The hand injury did seem to slow SA down last week as the Seahawks only gave him 18 carries in a tight game. The protective cast is expected to stay for another week. So Alexander gets a bit of a risk downgrade against a Bengals defense that was torched by another aging record-holding back last week.

WR Deion Branch S2

The Seahawks vowed to get Branch more involved after the week one donut and they did. Hasselbeck targeted him on 13 of his 36 throws, more than one of every three. On paper the matchup with corners O'Neal and Joseph are not very good. But both have been struggling so far this season and Brach should be just fine this week.

WR Nate Burleson B

Burleson continues to start for the injured Hackett. but he's not going to be consistent enough to be much of a fantasy factor. He typically struggles to get open down field against strong cover corners, and Cincinnati has a couple.

WR Bobby Engram S3

He's never going to put up huge number, but he's one of the more consistent slot receivers in fantasy. A lot like Furry last season, only with about half the touchdowns. He'd make a great WR4 on any team.

TE Marcus Pollard S3

After a very successful Seattle debut in week one the game went away from the tight end. Only two passes went his way last week and neither were caught. The offense should find more opportunities this week for their big tight end against a defense that hasn't handled the position well this season.

 
Carolina (1-1) at Atlanta (0-2) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Two games, six touchdowns. Only Palmer has thrown for more so far. The Falcons secondary isn't going to know what hit them.

RB DeShaun Foster S3

Foster is very familiar with this opponent. In his last four meetings with Atlanta he's averaged over 130 total yards and a touchdown in each. The Panthers running attack always gives Atlanta fits, and if Foster was getting a full load he'd be a top tier starter this week. Problem is he's splitting the workload down the middle with backup Williams, making him only an okay fantasy start.

RB DeAngelo Williams S3

Williams has the most upside in the split Panthers backfield, but he's under performing the older Foster right now. He's also fumbled in each game so far this season. The running game will find success this weekend but look for Williams to keep taking a back seat to starter Foster.

WR Steve Smith S1

Smith pulls out a couple of those monster games a year. Here's hoping his next one comes with you most need it.

WR Keary Colbert B

Colbert's spot as starting WR may be in jeopardy. He played poorly for the second week in a row and had three drops last week. With Carter playing well and the talented rookie Jarrett waiting for his chance, Colbert better step up this week.

WR Drew Carter U Carter played well again last week and has a better chance of making plays down field than starter Colbert at this point. The Falcons will surely pressure Carolina to spread the ball around by blanketing Smith in coverage. There should be some big plays for Carter to make this week.
TE Jeff King U

For the second week in a row King put up decent numbers and out-caught everyone not named Smith on the team. He's looking like a viable part of the passing game in Carolina and a nice backup to have on your bench with the bye weeks coming up.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

The Falcons are on pace to surrender over 100 sacks this season. A bad situation for Harrington or whoever ends up being the Falcons QB. Thankfully the Panthers are not pressuring the QB well so far and that will help. This is the team's first home game of the season and I have a hunch they will play better against a familiar foe at home. Harrington is still not a fantasy starter though.

RB Warrick Dunn
S3

Just like the rest of the Atlanta offense the running game is struggling. Starter Dunn is still getting the majority of the touches and has scored the team's only touchdown. He's still a tough runner but has lost his "pop". He's averaging just 3.0 YPC.

RB Jerious Norwood U

Norwood continues to out perform Dunn - averaging 4.5 YPC to Dunn's 3.0 - but not get enough touches. He did go from 5 week one carries to 9 last week, but more is needed. He has the burst and speed to make big plays so look for Atlanta to get him 10-12 carries and some catches this week. It will be an improvement, but still not enough to warrant a fantasy start unless you just feel lucky and he'll bust off a long score.

WR Roddy White B For what it's worth it seems that White may be the wideout to have in this offense. Through two games he leads the team in catches, yards and targets. Topping even Crumpler in every category. He's Harrington's favorite target and he's flashing the great running ability that made him a first round NFL draft pick. He's worth keeping an eye on but is not a fantasy starter, yet.
WR Joe Horn
Michael Jenkins
Laurent Robinson
B Horn is obviously the best of this bunch, but the Falcons wideouts are just not getting it done and the team is using a receiver rotation that's preventing anyone from really emerging at this point.
TE Alge Crumpler S3

Crumpler remains the team's best option in the passing game and Harrington continues to go to him. Because of the terrible WR corps however teams are able to double cover the big tight end and are impacting his play, particularly in the red-zone. Houston's Daniels had a nice game last week against Carolina and Crumpler should as well.

 

New York Giants (0-2) at Washington (2-0)

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New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

The shoulder appears fine and Manning had his second very efficient game in a row last week. Has he finally turned the corner? The next three games (WAS, PHI, NYJ) will go a long way to answering that question. Manning will push the Redskins more than McNabb was able to Monday night, but Burress' sprained ankle could be a problem. He could go either way this week.

RB Derrick Ward S2

Ward only carried the ball 15 times last week in his first start but he was very productive, gaining 90 yards and adding 35 yards receiving. All against a very tough Packers defense. This week's opponent is equally tough but Ward should produce.

WR Plaxico Burress S3

Burress re-sprained his ankle last week but is expected to play. He's struggled in the past against Washington, going 9-95 and a TD in two games last season. But his matchups in the secondary are favorable and his QB is playing well. The biggest downside is the ankle and how much is slows him down Sunday.

WR Amani Toomer S3 Toomer had only two catches last week but remained very active in the passing game. Manning only looked Shockey's way more. In his only meeting with Washington last season he went 4-81 and you should expect similar numbers this week.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2

Cost his team with a bonehead penalty and dropped touchdown last week, but Shockey remains a prime target for Manning and an every week fantasy starter.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell U

Campbell has played well through two weeks and the Giants' secondary has been simply terrible. Look for OC Saunders to open up the playbook more for Campbell in this matchup and for him to have his best game of the season. Could be a nice sleeper starter if you need one.

RB Clinton Portis S2

The Giants have given up a league high four rushing touchdowns through two games. Portis has scored one in each game so far. Now comes the bad news. In two games Portis has also lost a starting offensive lineman in each. One their best run blocker, G Randy Thomas. To expect Portis' production to not take a hit is just wishful thinking. This week should be a wash however since the Giants are not strong against the run.

RB Ladell Betts B Betts received only 6 carries to Portis' 17 last week and could not get it going, gaining only 14 yards. This week it would be prudent to sit Betts until this situation shakes out, especially given the massive injury hit the offensive line has taken.
WR Santana Moss S2

Sanity returned and Moss took his customary lead role in the Redskins passing attack last week. Look for more of the same in this matchup. The Giants secondary haven't slowed down anyone so far this year.

WR Antwaan Randle El B As expected Randle El fell back to earth last week with a more pedestrian 4-44 performance. Should improve on those numbers this week facing a reeling Giants secondary.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley started getting back into his 2006 groove with Campbell last week, connecting on a very nice 16-yard touchdown. The Giants have allowed 171 yards and three TD's to opposing tight ends through the first two games.

 

Dallas (2-0) at Chicago (1-1)

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Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo B

This one is tough. Romo has been on fire but going on the road into Soldier Field can make even the best of NFL quarterbacks look painfully ordinary. The presence of Owens and Witten will help, but if you have a better matchup with your backup QB you should consider rolling with that.

RB Julius Jones B

The first two weeks of this season look very much like last season. Jones struggling to find his rhythm in the split backfield. He has yet to score and is averaging just 3.2 YPC. The Chicago defense has held two of the league's premier initial backs (LT and LJ) to a combined 80 yards). Don't look for much fantasy value from Jones this week.

RB Marion Barber B

After just a single week of peaceful equality the cries for Barber to take over as the lead back for the Cowboys have started again. Nearly tripling Jones' yardage and scoring twice on fewer carries last week has something to do with it. Barber is averaging 6.2 YPC to Jones' 3.2. Look for that efficiency to take a hit Sunday night against a Bears run defense that allows a league low 2.4 YPC on the ground.

WR Terrell Owens S2

Should be an entertaining matchup between Owens and the fine CB duo of Vasher and Tillman. Look for them to frustrate Owens early but by the end of the game he'll have enough production to warrant keeping him in your fantasy lineup.

WR Patrick Crayton B Crayton played through a dislocated pinky injury last week but ended the day with a goose egg. He'll be needed in this matchup as a complement to the double-covered Owens. Look for a couple of nice catches and maybe one big play, but not enough to make him a fantasy starter.
WR Sam Hurd B Simply not a factor in the passing game.
TE Jason Witten S2

Chicago gets its third big time tight end in a row. With their top safety Mike Brown out for the season, covering the tight end has been their one defensive weakness so far this year. Look for Witten to continue his successful connections with QB Romo.

Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B

Improved his play somewhat last week and is facing a Dallas pass defense that is really reeling so far this season, giving up nearly 300 yards and 3 TD's a game through the air. Does that make him a fantasy starter? No. But he should be able to keep the hometown boo-birds at bay this week.

RB Cedric Benson S2

Benson ducked his head and bowled his way to a 100-yard performance last week. Only the second of his career. The loss of Cowboys NT Ferguson should allow for Benson to grind out similar numbers in this matchup. If you're lucky one of his 3.3 yard carries will come from the 3-yard line.

RB Adrian Peterson B Shaping up to be just a backup.
WR Muhsin Muhammad B

Held to just a single catch in each of the first two games. The ankle injury looks to be hindering the old veteran more than he's letting on.

WR Bernard Berrian S2

Even with the poor QB play Berrian is producing. He should have his best game yet facing CB Newman's inferior replacement Jacques Reeves Sunday night. Look for a couple of big plays down field.

TE Desmond Clark

B

Clark is the team's second leading receiver through two weeks and has carried over his fine play from last season. Unfortunately for potential fantasy owners big-time rookie Greg Olsen will return to the playing field this week, cutting into Clark's potential.

 

Tennessee (1-1) at New Orleans (0-2)

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Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young S3

Finally a startable matchup for Young. Putting it simply the New Orleans secondary stinks. Too bad Young doesn't have any quality wideouts to go to. But he should do enough damage to warrant a borderline start this week.

RB LenDale White S3

White crossed the goal-line for the first time as a pro last week and improved his overall play. Look for him to continue to get 15-18 carries a game. Most importantly many of those carries will come in scoring position. He currently leads the league in carries inside the 20-yard line and also inside the 5-yard line. Remains the starter and the better fantasy value due to the scoring opportunities.

RB Chris Brown B

Brown fell back to earth with a 34 yard performance last week on just 12 carries. A far cry from the 175 yard week one outburst. White remains the starter and should get more carries most weeks. The New Orleans run defense settled down last week after getting pounded by Indy in week one. Don't look for Brown to get back to that week one form any time soon.

WR Brandon Jones
Roydell Williams
U

Jones and Williams broke out of the pack a bit last week with Jones getting a team leading five catches and Williams the team's first passing touchdown of the season. These two are the most likely to emerge this year and have the most potential. Most have seen how bad the Saints corners are by now so don't be surprised if one of these two doesn't put up a really nice game. Could be either but my money's on Jones.

TE Bo Scaife S3

The passing game should get on track in this matchup with the Saints and Scaife's production should improve. He's struggled so far this season but remains one of Young's favorite targets. Don't give up on him yet.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

It's going to happen. You know it will. Brees is going to bounce back. He put up respectable numbers last week thanks to some garbage time production. If the struggling offensive line can give him protection against the improved Titans pass rush, he'll better those Monday night against a suspect secondary.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

The Saints know they need to establish the run with McAllister, but fell behind 0-21 at half last week making that very difficult. That shouldn't be a problem Monday night against a Titan team only scoring 16 points a game. Look for McAllister's carries to increase this week and for him to find the end-zone.

RB Reggie Bush S3

Bush's strength was not running the ball last year. He averaged just 3.6 YPC. So far this season he's averaging just 3.0. His fantasy value was in catching the ball out of the backfield. So far this season he has 10 catches. Not bad. The big plays will come. He just needs to remember the lessons learned last year and quite pressing.

WR Marques Colston S2

Colston got back into a groove with Brees last week, pulling in the team's only passing touchdown of the season. Has an excellent matchup Monday night with the very beatable CB Reynaldo Hill.

WR Devery Henderson
B

Henderson has been a big disappointment and the Saints went with backups David Patten and Terrance Copper last week. Look for New Orleans to rotate the receivers opposite Colston until they find some decent production.

TE Eric Johnson S3 After a big week one Johnson went 3-18 last week. He'll get back on top of those numbers in this matchup. The Titans struggle in coverage against the tight end position and the Saints will work to get Johnson space over the middle to work.

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