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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)
 
Baltimore (2-2) at San Francisco (2-2) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair B

Made it through last week's game without re-injury and played okay. McNair and the offense are still struggling in the red-zone however and too many drives are ending without touchdowns. Don't look for that trend to correct itself this week against a strong Niners defense and McNair likely without his prime red-zone target - TE Heap.

RB Willis McGahee S2

McGahee has become a lock for a 100-yard effort but isn't hitting pay dirt very often. The Ravens are committed to pounding McGahee when in scoring position, so look for him to get his first rushing TD of the season if they can get some "and-goal" situations.

WR Derrick Mason S2

Mason isn't finding the end-zone but only one wideout has more catches than his 33 on the season. Not a real good matchup against the tight CB duo of Clements and Harris, but when you are getting the looks Mason is it's best to roll with it and keep him in your lineup.

WR Mark Clayton B

Since working his way back into the lineup he's splitting the action with #3 WR Williams equally. Both have eight catches in the past two games. Clayton looks to be very close to 100% back now but don't expect much from him against the very good Niners corners.

WR Demetrius Williams U

There are typically not a lot of opportunities for the #3 WR in the Ravens offense, but this week may be different. With McNair's default red-zone target, TE Heap, likely out or limited Williams' big frame and leaping ability will fill that void nicely. He also has a far better matchup in the secondary with the very beatable nickel corner Spencer.

TE

Todd Heap

X Heap is tough as nails and has played through many injuries. But early word is that the hamstring strain he suffered last week may keep him sidelined. Steer clear if you can unless there are strong late week indications he'll play.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

Seriously? ... Seriously.

RB Frank Gore S3

Without a passing game to pull the defense off the line of scrimmage Gore is going to have a heck of a time generating much production against the Ravens.

WR Darrell Jackson
Arnaz Battle
B

One word. Dilfer.

TE Delanie Walker B

Davis is expected to miss at least another week and the Niners tight end position is of no fantasy use without him.

 
San Diego (1-3) at Denver (2-2) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers B Even Manning could only muster 193 yards on the Denver defense last week. Don't expect much better from Rivers.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 LT's fantasy production has increased each of the past three weeks and that trend will likely continue. In the past four meetings with the Broncos he's averaged 110 total yards and over two touchdowns in each.
WR Vincent Jackson   B

Jackson has great size and talent but his inexperience has led to some inconsistent play this season. He'll gain some great experience this week facing one of the best shut-down corners in the league.

WR Malcolm Floyd B Continues to disappoint and has a bad matchup with the Denver corners.
WR Buster Davis U The talented rookie will have the benefit of not facing either Bailey or Bly in this matchup. Look for San Diego to run him out of the slot as he complements the size of Jackson and Floyd with good speed and quickness.
TE Antonio Gates S1

Leads the league in catches and yards despite the struggles of the San Diego passing game, and typically does well against Denver.

Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler B

Cutler's passing numbers have decreased each week since his 304-yard effort in week one. Getting Walker back is key. Without Walker the passing options down field become very limited as opposing secondaries have a much easier time in coverage. Early indications are that Walker may play, but it's very iffy. Find another QB option for your team this week.

RB Travis Henry X

Henry's bum ankle took a "turn" for the worse last week and he may end up sitting this game out. His status won't be determined until late in the week. A high risk start if you go with him this week.

RB Selvin Young U Regardless of Henry's status look for Young to get some additional work this week. And if Henry misses this game Young will do well against the very average San Diego run defense.
WR Javon Walker X

Walker expects to play, but with Denver on bye next weekend there will be pressure to shut it down and get the troublesome knee healed with some good rest. If he plays at close to 100% he's a nice start against a struggling San Diego secondary. Odds are not good that will be the case.

WR Brandon Marshall   S2

Marshall came up small last week along with the rest of the Denver passing game. With Walker likely sidelined again he'll need to step it up. He should against the suspect Chargers secondary.

WR Brandon Stokley U Flopped last week starting against his old team. Will likely be back in the starting lineup this week but should fare much better.
TE Daniel Graham U

You would think a team like San Diego would be better covering tight ends since they practice against the league's best every day but they aren't. Graham's involvement will increase again this week due to the problems at WR.

 

Chicago (1-3) at Green Bay (4-0)

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Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese B

Well the switch didn't get them a win but Griese put up better fantasy numbers that Grossman had all year. But throwing the ball 52 times made that a bit easier. It won't be any easier this week going on the road to face the solid Green Bay defense.

RB Cedric Benson S3

The running game just isn't getting it done in Chicago. In 3 of 4 games Benson has had fewer than 20 carries and just 50 rushing yards or less. Comments coming out of Chicago this week indicate they need to run the ball more. Duh. The Packers give up over 100 YPG on the ground but have yet to surrender a rushing touchdown. Look for Benson to get more than 20 carries and for him to do slightly better than his season average of 3.2 YPC. Result? A decent borderline starter.

WR Muhsin Muhammad B

The aging veteran more than doubled his season catch total last week and scored his first touchdown. With Griese under center you can expect Muhammad to stay more involved in the now more conservative passing game. He'll rarely warrant a fantasy start however.

WR Bernard Berrian S3

Berrian had season highs across the board last week but the deep strike is a thing of the past with Griese at quarterback. With Packer CB Harris banged up and not playing all snaps, look for Chicago to try and get Berrian matched up against the much weaker nickel backs.

TE Desmond Clark
Greg Olsen

U

As expected Clark was much more involved in the more conservative, short passing game the Bears will run with Griese. What wasn't expected was for super-stud rookie Olsen to spend most of the game standing on the sidelines. Based on comments by HC Smith this week that won't happen this week. Look for both tight ends to be involved against Green Bay and for both to have fantasy potential.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S3

Favrefest continues this week with another familiar opponent. An opponent he's only thrown one touchdown against in the past four meetings. Despite the injuries in the Chicago secondary they remain a challenge due to the pressure they bring. That is something Favre has seen little of on his current three-game roll. Look for him to struggle in this matchup.

RB Brandon Jackson
DeShawn Wynn
Ryan Grant
B

This unimpressive bunch is just being used enough to bide time until Morency is healthy.

RB Vernand Morency B Returned to the field last week. Only had one carry but he looked fine on his three catches out of the backfield. Will be worked into the game plan more this week but he's likely a week or two away from full-time duty.
WR Donald Driver S3

Always the wideout with the most looks and production. If the Packers can give Favre some time in the pocket Driver will have a big day against the injury depleted Bears secondary.

WR Greg Jennings
James Jones
U

Jennings continues to play despite his hamstring being less than 100%. He'll take it easy in practice again this week but likely continue to start. Rookie James Jones will also see a lot of snaps at the #2 WR spot however and both have scoring potential each week.

TE Donald Lee S3 Lee has worked his way to one of the more consistent fantasy tight ends this season. He'll never have a huge game with Franks around, but he's had four catches in each of the first four games and is averaging 43 YPG. Not bad if you need a bye week fill-in.
TE Bubba Franks B Franks is having a bit of a career revitalization thanks to his experience and ability to find open spaces in zone coverage. He's matched Lee's 21 targets through four games but is doing less with them (5 fewer catches and 100 fewer yards). He'll remain a factor in the Packers passing attack but isn't a reliable fantasy option most weeks.
 

Dallas (4-0) at Buffalo (1-3)

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Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S1

The #3 pass offense visits the #32 pass defense. Need I say more?

RB Julius Jones S3

This may sound weird but Jones actually stole a TD from Barber last week. Jones may make a decent bye week or injury fill-in, but he's rarely going to get you more than his average of 14 touches for 60 yards.

RB Marion Barber S2

Barber remains the top fantasy back in the high-powered Dallas offense. Don't sweat him not scoring a touchdown last week. Come on. He can't score one EVERY week. Great matchup this week against a Buffalo defense used to giving big games to opposing backs.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Back to Owens this week. Look for a big game against a Buffalo secondary that's been giving up big games all season.

WR Patrick Crayton B What's the first thing you do when a young receiver that hasn't done anything all season puts up a career game? Take a breath. Second? Don't expect a repeat any time soon. Third? Realize that he's still the third option in the Dallas passing game and keep him on your bench.
TE Jason Witten S1

We are a quarter way through the season and Witten has established himself as a top 5 fantasy tight end with no indication that the rest of the season won't turn out the same.

Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Edwards B

In the rookie's first start last week he put up better numbers that Losman had in the first two games of the season combined. A repeat performance against Dallas on Monday night is highly unlikely.

RB Marshawn Lynch S2

Lynch isn't tearing it up, but given the brutal schedule he's had he's producing impressing and consistent numbers. In a season riddled with running back injuries and under performers that can be a nice asset to have. Another difficult matchup for the rookie on Monday night. So what. Play him anyway. It's been working so far.

WR Lee Evans S3

The rookie QB breathed a little life into the Buffalo passing attack last week and Evans more than tripled his production for the season. This matchup with the Dallas secondary isn't a good one, but Evans could easily pad his numbers in late game garbage time.

WR Roscoe Parrish
Josh Reed
B Evans remains the only fantasy viable receiver on this team.
TE Robert Royal
Michael Gaines
B Through three games Royal and Gaines accounted for four catches for 36 yards. Last week? Seven catches for 51 yards and a touchdown. Interesting production jump but nothing a fantasy owner should act on.

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