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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 5
Whitney Walters
October 4, 2007
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Late
Bye Week
Monday Night
CIN, MIN
OAK, PHI
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)
 
Seattle (3-1) at Pittsburgh (3-1) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S3

Hasselbeck is off to a very good start this season. If you've been starting him, this week you may need to find a better option. Playing Pittsburgh on the road is not where you typically want your fantasy starter to be on Sundays.

RB Shaun Alexander S3

The 77 yards James put up on Pittsburgh last week was the most they've surrendered to an opposing back through four games. Don't look for a big day from Alexander.

WR Deion Branch S2

Branch has now established himself as the prime option in the Seattle passing attack. Don't shy away from him this week. His matchup with CB Taylor is not as tough as you'd think. In fact he should hold the advantage.

WR Nate Burleson S3

Burleson had a fast start filling in for the injured Hackett, but hit the breaks last week when Hasselbeck looked his way only three times. Look for a bit of a bounce back this week but he's still behind Branch and Engram in Hasselbeck's pecking order.

WR Bobby Engram S3

You know what to expect with Engram. 3-5 catches for 50-70 yards and a good shot at a score each week. You'd be hard pressed to find a better bye week fill-in option, even against the Steelers.

TE Marcus Pollard B

After going silent for two weeks Pollard spoke up with a touchdown last week. This is how it will go with Pollard. He's rarely a prime option in the Seattle passing schemes so he'll be a very streaky performer and not very good for fantasy.

Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S3

This team is at its best when they stick to their traditional run-first mentality. The Seahawks will provide a very solid matchup for Big Ben. Don't expect much more than a normal performance this weekend.

RB Willie Parker S2

Well last week sure didn't go as planned. Look for the Steelers to get back to feeding Parker the ball 25-plus times in this matchup.

WR Hines Ward X Ward's playing status remains iffy this week. If he guts it out he may make a borderline starter in this matchup.
WR Santonio Holmes S3

As expected Holmes took advantage of a great matchup and the absence of Ward last week. His matchup this week with CB Jennings is pretty even and Ward may return. Also, look for the Steelers to run the ball more this week then they did last.

WR Nate Washington B Washington filled in for the injured Ward last week and put up a whopping 2-18. Not a fantasy option unless both Ward and Holmes go down.
TE Heath Miller S3

Miller put up a typical 3-46 last week but still hasn't seen the end-zone since week one. On the positive, neither backup (Spaeth or Tuman) got a single look from Roethlisberger. Miller remains a borderline fantasy option with a bit of an upside most week. This one included.

 
Cleveland (2-2) at New England (4-0) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson B

Anderson continued his fine play last week and had brought some hope and life to the Browns offense. It's a bit much to think that won't run out this week on the road in New England. Lost in the hoopla about the Patriots' offense is the fact that they also sport the league's top defense.

RB Jamal Lewis B

Other than his week two explosion, Lewis has been the disappointment expected in Cleveland. In the three other games he's averaged just 52 YPG and scored once (kind of). The Patriots have shut down every running game they've faced so far this season. Nothing indicates this matchup will be any different.

WR Braylon Edwards S3

Edwards is on a serious roll and is averaging over 20 yards per catch. But this is another of many bad matchups for the Browns this week. The Browns will need to stretch the field with Edwards but will find that difficult against fine CB Samuel.

WR Joe Jurevicius U

Jurevicius only has 11 catches on the season but three of those have gone for touchdowns. If there's a matchup for fantasy owners to possibly exploit it will be Jurevicius' with the very beatable and 8" shorter CB Hobbs.

TE Kellen Winslow S3

The shoulder appears fine and wasn't aggravated last week. That's a good thing because he'll need to be 100% against the fine New England LB corps and the returning S Harrison.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S1

The Browns have the second worse pass defense and have allowed a league leading 12 passing touchdowns. Oh my!

RB Laurence Maroney B

A surprise scratch last week that burned many fantasy owners Monday night. Of course there is no word from the Patriots on the severity of the groin injury or if it will keep Maroney out another week. If he's healthy and plays this is of course a great matchup. Those are two very big ifs however. With a highly productive Sammy Morris playing the Patriots may not be in any rush to get Maroney back on the field.

RB Sammy Morris S2 After getting part-time duty for three weeks Morris showed on Monday night that he can carry a full load and be highly productive. His 117 yards was just the second time in his career that he topped the century mark. If Maroney is sidelined again this week you can bet Morris will make it a third time against a Cleveland run defense allowing almost 140 YPG to opposing backfields.
WR Randy Moss S1 Another week and another mind-blowing matchup advantage for Moss.
WR Donte' Stallworth B

Stallworth put up season highs last week going 4-49, but this passing attack is all about Moss... then Welker... then Watson. The only fantasy impact Stallworth's increased involvement in the passing attack has is decreasing Welker's opportunities and value.

WR Wes Welker S3

Welker's production took a hit last week with Stallworth getting more involved. If this trend continues then Welker's main fantasy value, his consistency, will be shot. There should be plenty of action to go around in this blowout.

TE Ben Watson S3

Watson lost his scoring opportunity to LB Vrabel last week but remains a prime target for Brady when the Patriots get into the red-zone.

 
Carolina (2-2) at New Orleans (0-3) Back to top
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr U

Carr is expected to get a chance to redeem himself this week as Delhomme is likely out. He has plenty of room for improvement. Through three quarters last week he had just 40 passing yards. The rest of his 155 came in late garbage time. If there's a defense to get it going against it's the Saints. They have yet to sack the QB this season and are allowing a league high 10 yards per pass attempt. Having Steve Smith to throw the ball to doesn't hurt either.

RB DeShaun Foster S3

Foster continues to run well but the turnovers are becoming a concern. This is a good matchup for the Panthers running game and they will turn to that option as often as possible to keep the pressure off of Carr. As long as Williams pulls up to a dozen carries away however Foster is little more than a borderline starter for most owners.

RB DeAngelo Williams B

Scored his first TD of 2007 last week but got only two carries as the game got away from the Panthers. He'll likely return to his 8-12 touches this week in his change-of-pace role behind starter Foster. There may be a ray of hope for Williams owners however as Foster has fumbled in three of the four games this season. If that continues you may see Williams' workload increase.

WR Steve Smith S2

Week one with new QB Carr did not go well. Before the final drive last week Smith was just 2-5. He and Carr must get in sync or this passing game is in real trouble. The New Orleans secondary is awful and Smith has averaged 100 yard and a score in the past four meetings with the Saints. This matchup has big game written all over it, but Carr pulling the trigger tempers my enthusiasm.

WR Keary Colbert
Drew Carter
B

It's fitting that these two both went 2-16 last week because Colbert and Carter are running neck and neck in the battle for the #2 spot opposite Smith. Colbert is still the starter but Carter is getting plenty of playing time. Neither make a viable fantasy option and you can bet Carr will be looking to get the ball to Smith all afternoon in this matchup.

TE Jeff King B

The tight end appears back in the Panthers offense, but the change at QB has hurt King's chances at having a fantasy impact. He had five passes go his way last week which is about normal, but Carr just couldn't get him the ball. That should improve this week but King should not be an option for you until Delhomme returns or Carr gets his act together.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

The Saints are throwing the ball more than any other team and that may even increase now with the loss of RB McAllister. They've had two weeks to prepare for a very suspect Panthers pass defense so odds are very good that Brees puts up some really good numbers this week.

RB Aaron Stecker B

The Saints claim that Stecker will slide into McAllister's role in the running game. If that indeed happens and it works you may see it stick. But the Saints will be passing the ball even more now and looking to get the ball into the hands of their most talented asset, Reggie Bush. Also, the bruising Mike Karney may vulture the goal-line opportunities.

RB Reggie Bush S2

We now enter the "Bush as lead back" era in New Orleans. Can he pull it off? That's the big question. An equally big question is if he'll be given a chance. The team has Aaron Stecker to help carry the load and Mike Karney to handle goal-line duty. The comments from the team indicate Bush's role in the offense won't change all that much. That seems hard to believe, but if Bush continues to prove unable to run between the tackles it may pan out that way. Tampa Bay ran all over the Panthers last week so Bush has a chance. He should be in your lineup this week.

WR Marques Colston S2

Colston appears to be the best thing going in the struggling passing attack. Brees will be looking his way early and often in this matchup.

WR Devery Henderson
B

Henderson has been a big disappointment and the Saints are running with backups David Patten, Terrance Copper and Lance Moore more each week. Look for this receiver rotation opposite Colston to continue in the hopes of finding production in the passing game, nullifying any consistent fantasy value for any of them.

TE Eric Johnson S3 Johnson is a great asset to the passing attack and will continue to get plenty of looks from Brees. This week's matchup is good against a Panthers defense that ranks 31st in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.
 

N. Y. Jets (1-3) at N. Y. Giants (2-2)

Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S3

Pennington seems to have little long-game left in his arm. Of his 82 pass attempts this season only two have traveled more than 20 yards in the air. The Jets have the down-field weapons at WR and the Giants are vulnerable in coverage. This matchup may come down to protection. The Jets seem to have their early protection problems solved, but they will be tested by a Giants defensive front that will still be drunk on the success of their 12 sack night.

RB Thomas Jones S2

On the heals of Jones' best game of the year the Jets oddly abandoned the run against the terrible Buffalo run defense last week - getting Jones just 12 carries. That can't continue if the Jets want to succeed, and they know that. Look for at least 20 carries this weekend and some decent production against a so-so Giants run defense.

WR Laveranues Coles S2 If Pennington is afforded the time in the pocket look for both Coles and ...
WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

... Cotchery to continue their fine play against a suspect Giants secondary.

TE Chris Baker U

Baker is the king of the single-catch touchdown game and he's had two already this season. He might surprise with some actual production in this matchup however. The Giants are giving up nearly 60 yards and a touchdown to opposing tight ends this season - worst in the league.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

Since his week one 4-TD outburst Manning has thrown for just a single score in each game. The Jets lack of pass rush and suspect secondary gives Manning a very good shot at breaking his 1-TD trend the week.

RB Brandon Jacobs X Early signs point to Jacobs returning to the playing field this weekend. By week's end he'll have completed two weeks of practice. Look for the Giants to work him into the mix just enough to tease fantasy owners with some hope and kill Ward's value.
RB Derrick Ward X

Ward gutted out 19 productive carries last week but the ankle is still bothering him. Throw in the fact that Brandon Jacobs may return to action this week and Ward's fantasy value may have run it's course.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress' ankle remains a concern and may be keeping him out of practice for a while. But he's determined to play through the injury. His matchup with the Jets secondary this week is a good one but he remains a high risk / high reward fantasy play due to the ankle problems.

WR Amani Toomer B Hanging with Burress catch for catch - both having 19 on the season. But possession receiver Toomer averages just 11.4 YPC to Burress' 15.0 and has yet to score. Look for Toomer to find the end-zone soon since he's been targeted in the red-zone twice as many times as Burress so far.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2

Followed up three straight 5-catch games with a 1-catcher last week. Should bounce back nicely this weekend against a Jets defense that's already given up three touchdowns to opposing tight ends. Look for Shockey to log his first of the season.

 

Tampa Bay (3-1) at Indianapolis (4-0)

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Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia B

Garcia has thrown a touchdown in only one game so far this season and has averaged just 164 YPG passing in the last two games. It's hard to imagine those stats seeing much improvement this weekend. The Bucs will run the ball as much as possible and the loss of their best lineman (LT Petitgout) will hurt in pass protection.

RB Michael Pittman S3

Pittman is slated to be the starting tailback with Williams gone for the season. He'll share the workload with Graham but Pittman has the better all-around game and is averaging 5.7 YPC. The Bucs ran the ball 38 times last week and that game plan will surely be in effect again this week in Indy. Pittman is a decent play this week, especially in PPR leagues.

RB Earnest Graham B Pittman will get the start for the Bucs but Graham will see action as a change-of-pace and goal-line / short-yardage back. We'll see how this all shakes out after a couple of weeks, but for now Graham's production isn't likely to be of the startable kind.
WR Joey Galloway S3

Teams typically like to try and stretch the Colts' cover-2 zone but since Galloway is the only deep threat the Bucs have that won't be easy. He'll bounce back from his 1-7 outing last week but will do so with shorter patterns.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Hilliard's 7-114 explosion last week was his first 100-yard game since 2003 and only the fifth in his eight year career. Given the fact that only one receiver has gone for more that 70 yards against the Colts this year, don't expect a repeat performance this week.

TE Alex Smith U

Last week Smith saw season highs in targets and catches as Garcia continues to look for his big tight end down field. That will come in handy as the tight end is a key component of a passing attack facing cover-2 schemes. Smith could surprise this week with startable numbers.

Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

The Bucs do sport one of the top fantasy defenses against the pass, but that status has been built against the likes of the struggling Brees and Bulger, and the always dangerous Carr. Look for Tampa's ranking to drop a bit after this matchup.

RB Joseph Addai X

May sit out this week with what they are calling a shoulder bruise. Or he could play through the pain of the injury. Either way you may have to think about sitting Addai this week. If you have Keith or good RB depth then consider going that direction. If you don't then you may need to just roll with Addai and take your chances.

RB Kenton Keith X If Addai sits this one out then Keith is a nice start against a Tampa defense that's giving up 160 total yards and a touchdown per game to opposing backs.
WR Marvin Harrison S2 Given the fact that Harrison was able to play for a series following his injury last week I'm going to assume he'll be able to play this weekend after a week of rest and treatment. He's still a risk however since the final word on his playing status won't likely come until very late in the week.
WR Reggie Wayne S1

Wayne remains a must start with an even bigger upside than usual if Harrison does miss this game or is limited.

WR Anthony Gonzalez B Don't assume Gonzalez will benefit from any downtime from Harrison. The rookie will remain in his slot position as Indy will just move backup Moorehead into Harrison's spot.
TE Dallas Clark S1

Not much to say here. Clark is tearing it up and is now the top fantasy tight end in most leagues. Plug-and-play.

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