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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 4
Whitney Walters
September 27, 2007
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Bye Week
Monday Night
JAC, NO,
 
TEN, WAS  
 
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)
 
Baltimore (2-1) at Cleveland (1-2) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair X

McNair was unable to finish out last week's game after re-injuring his groin. The Cleveland defense may present a good matchup for McNair, but he's obviously not 100% and with his age is very susceptible to re-injury. With the new found confidence in backup Boller the team will have a pretty quick trigger on sitting McNair if he keeps getting dinged in games. If he gets every snap this weekend he's a decent start. But if you have a better option, use it because McNair is a very high risk fantasy start.

RB Willis McGahee S1

McGahee has been within a few yards of his first Raven 100-yard game the past two week. This week he faces a Cleveland run defense that has yet to hold an opposing RB to under 100-yards. Look for a big game out of McGahee.

WR Derrick Mason S2

Mason isn't getting huge numbers and doesn't have much upside, but he's been very consistent so far with 7-8 catches a week on 12-13 targets. That places him in the top five for WR targets through three weeks. A consistent WR is a valuable fantasy commodity and he has some actual upside in his gross mismatch with CB Wright this weekend.

WR Mark Clayton B Clayton saw significant action last week and was second behind Mason with five grabs. Not bad, but about as good as you can expect on a regular basis. Heap is always the Ravens' 1st or 2nd option and Williams is working into the mix more now.
WR Demetrius Williams B

Williams is playing well but with the return of Clayton to the starting lineup his opportunities as a #3 WR in a passing game with a dominant TE are going to be very limited. He still makes a nice end-zone target for his QB, but that's not going to be enough for most fantasy owners to live on.

TE

Todd Heap

S2 Heap is day-to-day this week due to the mild concussion he suffered against Arizona. He is expected to play however and remains a key component in the Ravens' passing attack regardless of who's playing quarterback. His 15 grabs on the season are second only to WR Mason.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson U

Anderson has put up three solid performances and has quieted the Quinn talk in Cleveland for now. Oddly enough this isn't as bad a matchup as you'd think. The Ravens have allowed a 260-yard, 1 TD performance from QB Clemens and a 258-yard, 2 TD performance from QB Warner in less than a full game. With the running game shut down the Browns will have little choice but to turn to the air and Anderson may sneak in this week with a decent fantasy game.

RB Jamal Lewis B

Typically when a player goes up against his former team you can count on him for a solid performance. Too bad Lewis' former team is the Ravens. No way Baltimore allows their old friend much running room.

WR Braylon Edwards S2

Ravens CB Rolle should return to the lineup this weekend but his better days are behind him. Edwards has a matchup advantage with injured CB Rolle's replacement and averaged 92 yards a game and scored twice on Baltimore last season.

WR Joe Jurevicius B

Jurevicius is very good at playing the possession receiver role. That role works out great for the Browns but rarely provides startable fantasy numbers.

TE   Kellen Winslow S2

The Ravens have yet to face a quality TE this season. Winslow hurt his shoulder last week but should be okay for this matchup. He went 12-153 last season in his games against Baltimore should have little trouble putting up similar numbers this weekend.

 
St. Louis (0-3) at Dallas (3-0) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S3

The story line for Bulger just keeps getting worse. First the offensive line takes another major hit with the loss of G Setterstrom. Then we find out he has broken ribs. Then he loses his stud running back. This road trip to Dallas is shaping up to be a disaster. Even though they may need to throw the ball more this week and there are matchup advantages down field, the deck is stacked against Bulger and if you have a better option at QB you should roll with it.

RB Brian Leonard B

Leonard got his first NFL carries last week. Good thing since he'll be getting most of them Sunday for the Rams. Jackson managed 115 yards last week but had a bunch of carries for no or very little gain. Leonard is a quality replacement for the injured Jackson, but the offensive line is still a mess and the passing game is still struggling. Don't expect much out of the rookie against a Dallas defense that's allowed only 123 rushing yards to opposing RB's in the past two games.

WR Torry Holt S2

The sign of a solid fantasy WR. Even when the passing game breaks down he still goes 5-63 last week and gets you some points. On paper the Dallas corners present a difficult matchup. But that hasn't translated onto the field yet. Burress put up 8-144 and three scores, Chambers put up 9-109 and even Berrian put up 6-73 last week.

WR Isaac Bruce U

Bruce can still get it done but just not consistently. The presence of Bennett is also cutting into his looks. Could sneak in with a score this weekend, but he'd make a very shaky fantasy start.

WR Drew Bennett B With TE McMichael staying home in pass protection Bennett is getting some good looks out of the slot. But this passing game still revolves around Holt and Bruce, especially with Bulger under intense pressure and needing to get the ball out quickly.
TE Randy McMichael B

With all the problems along the offensive line McMichael is being called on to do a lot more blocking than desired. The result is he's not the fantasy option many had hoped for.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S1

Statistically the Rams are a top pass defense. Their opponents the past two weeks? San Fran and Tampa. Not exactly passing offenses in the same league as Dallas'. Romo is tearing it up and should be in your starting lineup every week. Except week eight of course.

RB Julius Jones B

We are three weeks in now and Jones is struggling. He's producing just 63 total YPG and not running well, averaging just 3.3 YPC. He suffered this second mild concussion of the season last week and has yet to get a carry inside the 5-yard line. There's always a chance that he gets it going and puts up one of his occasional big games. But fantasy owners shouldn't waste a starting lineup spot waiting on that to happen.

RB Marion Barber S2

Thanks to Jones' concussion last week Barber got a season high 15 carries and produced big time against a big time defense. He's averaging 6.4 YPC and has scored a league high five TD's. In the high-powered Dallas offense Barber could score a TD in every game. He's an every week fantasy starter and should have another big game against the terrible St. Louis run defense.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Didn't score last week but put up a season high 8-145. What is there to say here? Owens is primed for a big season and is an every week starter.

WR Patrick Crayton B Crayton is the third option here and had a couple of key drops last week. Still getting the looks from Romo (7 last week) but not doing much with them. Odd man out in this high fantasy output offense.
TE Jason Witten S2

Another big game for Witten last week. Through three weeks he's a top fantasy tight end and a must start every week.

 
Chicago (1-2) at Detroit (2-1) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese B

The Grossman plug has finally been pulled and the Bears will now find out what life with Griese is like. He's not very mobile and doesn't have a great arm, so look for Chicago to go with a more controlled, short passing attack. Detroit may present a good QB matchup, but I still wouldn't want to be pinning my fantasy hopes on Griese this week.

RB Cedric Benson S2

Benson scored his first TD last week but the Bears running game ranks just 26th with an 87 YPG average. With Griese under center the offense should maintain drives longer, allowing for more carries by Benson. Look for 20-plus carries and 100 yards rushing against a suspect Lions' run defense.

WR Muhsin Muhammad B

The aging veteran has only four catches through three games and has looked slow in the process. He's just not getting separation from his coverage. His numbers will likely improve with Chicago going to a more conservative passing attack with Griese. That's still not likely going to be enough to make him a fantasy factor again.

WR Bernard Berrian S2

The Detroit secondary has proven to be very beatable this season and even with Griese under center the Bears will take their shots down field. Look for Berrian to continue his so-so production in this matchup.

TE Desmond Clark
Greg Olsen

U

Clark is playing very well and is the team's second leading receiver with nine catches. Rookie Olsen got his first action last week and looked very good. Both Clark and Olsen will be prime weapons in the passing game now with Griese running the show. Expect more looks for both tight ends and for one or both to surprise this week with good fantasy numbers.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

Kitna is piloting the top passing offense in the league. They are averaging 345 yards and a whopping 46 pass attempts per game. Kitna has performed well against Chicago in the past and the Bears will be without both stellar cornerbacks (Vasher and Tillman) and may also be without two other starters on defense Sunday (DL Harris and LB Briggs). The Lions don't have the strength to wear down the Chicago defense like the Cowboys did Sunday night, but Kitna should be able to generate solid fantasy numbers none-the-less.

RB Tatum Bell
Kevin Jones
B

Jones is back but not ready for a full workload. Look for Jones and Bell to split the carries for at least another week with Jones getting any that come near the goal-line. In a pass happy offense that averages a league low 18 rushes a game, neither Bell or Jones are viable fantasy starters. Jones may work his way into one, but for now he must remain on your bench.

WR Roy Williams S2

Fantasy stud well on his way to a big season. With Chicago starting their backup secondary with both Vasher and Tillman out, look for Williams to have his normal big game.

WR Mike Furrey S3

With the immense talent of Johnson and great matchup advantages of McDonald behind him now, Furrey is looking like the odd man out each week. That has translated into 5-52, 5-60 and 5-43 outings so far. Numbers better than a lot of #2 WR's in the league. Can make a nice bye week filler if you need it.

WR Calvin Johnson S2 Suffered a bruised back that took him out of action after just two catches last week but is expected to be just fine for this matchup with the undermanned Bears secondary.
WR Shaun McDonald S3 Continues to put up very good numbers while taking full advantage of running against dime cornerbacks out of the 4-WR sets. It's hard to recommend a #4 WR as a viable fantasy starter, but only 14 WR's have more targets than him through three games. With the bye weeks hitting now you could do a lot worse with a fill in starter.
 

New York Jets (1-2) at Buffalo (0-3)

Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2 Got his first full game in last week and threw for only 124 yards, but did toss two touchdowns. There isn't a worse defense in the league than the Bills, so put Pennington down for at least 250 yards and another 2 TD's. The only thing preventing some upside is how horrible the Bills are against the run.
RB Thomas Jones S1 Jones and the Jets running game started the season out slow but improved greatly against an inferior Miami run defense last week. They don't get any more inferior than the Bills.
WR Laveranues Coles S2 Thanks to a rash of injuries the Bills defense has become the fantasy whipping boy. Look for Coles and ...
WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

... Cotchery to continue their fine play against a depleted Buffalo secondary and for Cotchery to pull in his first touchdown of the season.

TE Chris Baker B

Two weeks in a row Baker has turned his one catch per game into a touchdown. Pretty amazing but nothing you should pin your fantasy hopes on continuing.

Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Edwards B

Are you kidding? If the Buffalo passing game wasn't done before, it is now.

RB Marshawn Lynch S2

Lynch has taken on his beast of a schedule head on and so far he's coming out with fantasy victories. He had 99 total yards and a score on DEN, 85 yards on PIT and 80 yards and a score on NE. Not bad at all. He's the lone bright spot in an otherwise dismal Buffalo offense. Look for his best game yet facing a Jets defense that's allowing over 120 yards and a TD per game.

WR Lee Evans B

When your offense is averaging a league worst 92 yards passing per game, is the only offense that has yet score a passing touchdown and now has a rookie at QB... you are done as a fantasy option. Even if you are as talented as Evans. ...

WR Peerless Price
Roscoe Parrish
Josh Reed
B ... And especially if you are as untalented as the rest of the Bills WR crew.
 
Houston (2-1) at Atlanta (0-3) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Schaub S3

Schaub has played well through three games but his weapons are dropping around him. Johnson remains out and now Jones is gone at WR. He also lost his starting center for the season last week. Protection could be an issue this week against a solid Falcons pass rush. With a banged up and sub par running attack he will be asked to throw the ball in this matchup. And of course there's the "former team" factor for Schaub this week.

RB Ahman Green B

Green has been nursing a bad knee since week one and took shot to that knee last week. He's expected to play this weekend but is very iffy. Even if he can rest this week and get on the field Sunday he'll likely be very limited and will share the workload with Dayne and Gado.

RB Ron Dayne S3

Before sitting out last week with a chest injury Dayne was playing a big role in the Houston running attack. He'll keep that going this week with Green slowed or possibly sidelined. The Falcons defense had held up okay for two weeks but was carved up by the Panthers last week. Dayne should be able to produce enough to warrant a borderline start this week if your team has been hit with injuries at RB. Just don't expect much. But he's very likely to score a touchdown.

RB Samkon Gado B With Green a possible scratch Gado will surely be called on for some carries this week. But with Dayne likely to shoulder the majority of the workload Gado has little to no fantasy value.
WR Andre' Davis U

The "other" Andre now becomes the starter with rookie Jones out. He went a respectable 4-70 last week and has been a productive receiver in the past. Okay, in the distant past. But he's a starter in an offense that will be throwing the ball against an opposing secondary that may be without their top corner (Hall). He's worth a shot if you are desperate.

WR Kevin Walter B

Even with the injuries at WR Walter just isn't getting the looks in the passing attack - only six targets in three games. Schaub appears more comfortable going to the split end or tight end in his progressions.

TE Owen Daniels S2

Daniels is the biggest benefactor from the injuries at wide receiver. After an invisible week one his 12 catches over the past two games is second only to Gates.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

After being sacked 13 times in the first two games, Harrington was only dropped once last week and responded with a 300-yard effort. Give Joey time and he can be a decent quarterback. The pressure may return this week as the Texans do a good job generating it. Harrington won't fold and he'll likely have a decent game. But with a weak running attack and even weaker wideouts his upside is limited.

RB Warrick Dunn
S3

Dunn has been running the ball better the past two weeks but he's not going to approach 20 carries very often this season with Norwood taking 6-10 per game. The Texans are playing some very good run defense this season. Only Addai last week has rushed for more than 43 yards against them. Don't look for much from Dunn in this matchup.

RB Jerious Norwood B

Despite statements of needing to get the talented Norwood more touches in the offense here are is stat lines - 7 touches for 57 yards, 10 for 43 and 9 for 66. That works out to a 6.4 yards per touch average, almost twice what starter Dunn is averaging. I have no idea why the Falcons aren't getting Norwood the ball more, but until they do he's going to have to remain on your bench.

WR Roddy White S3

The resurgence of White continues. He looked good for the second week in a row and is by far the team's leading wideout. His 127 yards last week was a career high for the third-year receiver. His matchup in the Houston secondary is a decent one and if Harrington can get some time in the pocket he should be able to produce startable fantasy numbers this week.

WR Michael Jenkins B Jenkins put up a nice game last week (6-76) and didn't drop a pass. He might be worth keeping an eye on, but despite his talent he's been a disappointment since day one of his NFL career.
WR Joe Horn B Has lost a step and is not getting it done for Harrington. At most good for 2-4 catches each week.
TE Alge Crumpler S2

Crumpler pulled in his first score of the season last week and remains a prime target in the Falcons passing attack. As the play of the wideouts improves he'll free up more down field.

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