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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 8
Whitney Walters
October 25, 2007
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Late
Bye Week
ARI, ATL,
Monday Night
BAL, DAL,
KC, SEA
 
 
 
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: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)
 
Indianapolis (6-0) at Carolina (4-2) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

This may not be 2004 but Manning is on pace for 34 touchdowns and 4200 yards. Not much more you can ask from a starting fantasy quarterback. The Panthers are not pressuring the quarterback well at all this season. With time in the pocket Manning will have a very nice game this week.

RB Joseph Addai S2

The first three games of the season Addai was averaging 25 touches a game. The last two only 21. As backup Keith continues to impress and take touches Addai's upside will be limited. He's still an every week start and Carolina is only an average run stopping defense at best.

RB Kenton Keith B In a run heavy attack on Monday night Keith was given 15 carries in a backup role to Addai. He's proving himself to be an asset to the Colts and its looking like a split backfield is in the works for the second half of the season. Unless you are in a real bind you shouldn't be using Keith and his potential 12-15 touches as a starter.
WR Marvin Harrison S1 Age and a bum knee may be catching up with Harrison. He looked okay Monday night but had only three short catches for 16 yards as the team limited his snaps. His playing time should increase this week and he has a very favorable matchup this week with the Panthers' secondary.
WR Reggie Wayne S1 This has been coming for a while, but Wayne has surpassed Harrison as the top fantasy wideout in Indy. He's been consistent all season and his matchup with Carolina's secondary this weekend is a good one.
WR Anthony Gonzalez B Didn't see a single ball Monday night and with Marvin back he's an afterthought in the passing game.
TE Dallas Clark S1

Continued his streak of five straight games with at least one touchdown. A must start.

Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr or
Vinny Testaverde
B

Carr is expected to return to the starting lineup this week but the official decision won't come until later in the week. Either way you shouldn't be starting him or Testaverde this week against Indy's top rated pass defense.

RB DeShaun Foster S3

Foster is in a system that favors his running abilities, but he is failing to capitalize and his production has been tailing off since his big game in week 3. He's sporting a toe injury that's limiting his practice time after an off week. Not a good sign. If he's able to play he's only a borderline starter this week as backup Williams' play is improving and Indy is very tough to run on.

RB DeAngelo Williams B

Williams may have had his best day as a pro (121 yards and a score) before the bye, but that came on just 10 carries, one more than his season average of nine. Until the Panthers start getting him more than a third of the team's carries he's not going to be a fantasy factor for your team. If Foster ends up missing time due to the toe injury the increased workload may start this weekend. Too bad it will come against the very stingy Colts run defense.

WR Steve Smith S3

Smith seems to be back on track with his starting quarterbacks, and that's a good thing for fantasy owners. No team in the league is shutting down the passing game like the Colts however, and that's a bad thing. Smith should still be able to put up startable fantasy numbers... barely.

WR Keary Colbert
Drew Carter
B

Both Colbert and Carter are still seeing plenty of playing time in the #2 WR role but this limited Panthers passing attack is all about Smith for fantasy purposes.

TE Jeff King U

After a promising start to the season with Delhomme at quarterback, King has just five catches in the past three games with Delhomme's replacements. But if the Panthers play as expected there is a chance King could surprise this weekend. He's a talented pass catcher and running the tight end down the middle of a cover-2 defense typically results in some success.

 
Detroit (4-2) at Chicago (3-4) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

Much to the dismay of fantasy owners Kitna hasn't thrown for 150 yards or a touchdown in two games. Kitna's last good game was oddly enough against these Bears in week four. That was at home. At home last year he put up 283 yards and three TD's on the Bears. In Chicago is another story. The Lions have been blown out in their last two trips to Chicago. But this is a new year and with CB Vasher likely out again the Lions can stretch the thin Chicago secondary beyond its limits. If Detroit can solve their protection problems Kitna should do just fine this week.

RB Kevin Jones S3

Got his first start of the season last week and ran the ball well. He had over 100 total yards and has now scored in three of the past four games. Despite what AP was able to do to Chicago in week six, this will not be an easy matchup for Jones and the Detroit running game. But they will look to establish a running game to help balance the offense for Kitna and likely get Jones a season high in carries.

RB Tatum Bell B

Didn't get a touch last week and Duckett is back. Cut him if you still have him.

RB T.J. Duckett B Duckett saw his first action last week since the ankle injury. Look for his carries to increase a bit now and for him to be active around the goal-line.
WR Roy Williams S3

Six catches in the last two games does not a fantasy stud make. Williams will again draw the opposition's top cover corner, and in this case it's the very solid CB Tillman. Kitna will have much better matchups elsewhere.

WR Mike Furrey S3

Without a highly productive passing attack Furrey's consistent but barely startable fantasy production takes a hit. That has been the case the past two weeks and while there will be some improvement this week against a shaky Chicago secondary, his role is pretty much defined at this point and production beyond the consistently average is not in the picture.

WR Calvin Johnson S2 Running Johnson in 3 and 4-WR sets presents major matchup problems for opponents. Chicago is no different as they lack quality depth in the secondary. Johnson missed the last Bears game with the back injury and he should make up for that with a big game Sunday.
WR Shaun McDonald U

The Lions love to run the 4-WR sets and McDonald typically has great matchups in those situations. But there are only so many balls to go around and McDonald only has six catches for 36 yards in the last two games. He's a hit or miss fantasy starter and with the problems in the Chicago secondary he's due for a hit this week.

Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese S2

Griese struggled in his first start this season against Detroit, throwing three interceptions. But his play has improved each week since then. With a running game that's not getting the job done the Chicago offense is going to continue to rely on Griese's arm. This week that should result in some nice fantasy numbers against the league's third worst passing defense.

RB Cedric Benson S3

This running game is just not getting it done. Only twice has Benson carried the ball more than 20 times. Only once has he gained more than 67 yards. Only three times has he averaged more than 3.0 YPG. Prospects of this week being any different... not good.

RB Adrian Peterson B Has established himself as the Bears third-down back and can get you a few points a week in PPR leagues.
WR Muhsin Muhammad S3

Muhammad had his best game of the season last week and has now scored in three of the four games with Griese at the helm. He's become a consistent option in the passing game and there will be enough passing in this matchup to warrant a fantasy start.

WR Bernard Berrian S3

Berrian remains the top target in the passing game with Griese but the down field accuracy isn't there so the big plays are few and far between. In this conservative passing attack, most passing downs include two tight ends, RB Peterson and now KR Hester in the mix, limiting Berrian's upside.

WR Devin Hester B Now that Hester appears to be getting more looks on offense he warrants some fantasy attention. But unless you get points for his kick return touchdowns he's a highly risky start at WR in most leagues.
TE Greg Olsen
Desmond Clark

S3

Over the past three games both Olsen and Clark have been productive fantasy tight ends. There is are no signs that will be changing any time soon as the Bears are committed to getting both the ball each week. Might as well take advantage of this fantasy oddity - two startable tight ends on the same team. Neither is likely to get you a big game due to the presence of the other, but a consistent 4-5 catches for 40-60 yards has value.

 
Pittsburgh (4-2) at Cincinnati (2-4) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2

Last week Pittsburgh had a terrible passing matchup and Big Ben had his best game of the season. This week the Steelers have a terrific passing matchup with the Bengals. Lets hope Big Ben doesn't start a trend here.

RB Willie Parker S1 The Bengals' run defense is almost as bad as their pass defense. Look for a "run the ball first" game plan this week to aid in keeping the Cincinnati offense off the field.
WR Hines Ward S2 Ward had no setbacks in his first action last week following the knee injury and led the team in receiving. Look for more of the same this weekend in this matchup with the terrible Bengals defense.
WR Santonio Holmes S2

Getting Ward back last week didn't hurt Holmes' production and he should continue to get it done for his fantasy owners in this very favorable matchup with the suspect Cincinnati secondary.

TE Heath Miller S3

Seven of Roethlisberger's 13 touchdowns have gone to the tight end this season. Miller is finally getting back in on some of that, catching three of his four in the past two games. Miller will stay active in the passing attack this week, but the mismatches in the secondary for the wideouts will limit the passing game's need for him.

Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Despite the strength of the Steelers defense Palmer typically does well against them in this divisional rivalry. He's thrown for multiple touchdowns in three of their last four meetings. Denver's success throwing the ball on Pittsburgh last week will surely help as the Bengals prepare for this matchup.

RB Rudi Johnson B

After running the ball more than 20 times only twice all season the Bengals handed it off 41 times last week - a number of carries not reached since 2003. Rudi's hamstring injury kept him out of all the action and there is no telling if he'll return this week. Even if he does try to play (like in week 6) odds are great he'll get only limited touches.

RB Kenny Watson B

Watson had just 13 carries in his two previous start before more than doubling that with his 31 last week. Will Watson start again? Will he get a heavy workload again? The likely answers are yes and no. Johnson's hamstring injury appears to be healing very slowly and only one team this season has been able to get enough of a running game going on Pittsburgh to get a back more than 20 carries.

WR Chad Johnson S2

Still hasn't scored since week two and is being overshadowed by Houshmandzadeh. Typically struggles against Pittsburgh and hasn't scored on them since 2004. Don't expect him to break out of his performance funk this weekend.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S1

The only receiver in the league to score in every game. Tough matchup with CB's Taylor and Townsend, but TJ's been here before and he hasn't come up small against the Steelers since 2004.

 

N. Y. Giants (5-2) at Miami (0-7)

Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

Manning's play continues to be steady and the Dolphins are falling apart. A road trip to another continent can present some problems but this is going to be a good matchup for Manning no matter where they play the game.

RB Brandon Jacobs S1

Has put up 100 yards and a score in two of the three games since his return to action. Ward is very banged up (bad ankle) and Droughns is no answer, so look for Jacobs to keep carrying the load and producing for fantasy owners. Especially against the reeling Dolphins and their 31st ranked run defense.

RB Derrick Ward
Reuben Droughns
B

Ward's and Droughns' touches have decreased since Jacobs returned to the starting lineup and neither are fantasy factors right now.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress didn't score last week for the first time this season and looked out of sync in general all game. It's been about a month now since he's practiced and the weekly routine of only working with Manning on Sunday mornings may begin to take a toll. A very long road trip this weekend isn't going to help.

WR Amani Toomer S3

Thanks to Burress' success this season Toomer is seeing a lot of single coverage he can exploit. This weekend should be no different against the very burnable Miami secondary.

TE Jeremy Shockey S1 Over the past three games the Dolphins have given up either 90-plus yards or a touchdown to opposing tight ends.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Cleo Lemon B

Lemon has played okay since taking over. Unfortunately his weapons are disappearing. Two weeks ago he lost Chambers and now Brown. He'll need to use his good mobility this week against the fierce Giants pass rush. It could be a long day in London if he doesn't get protection. About the only positive for Lemon right now fantasy-wise is that he appears to be the new goal-line back for Miami.

RB

Jesse Chatman

S3 The Dolphins had one thing going for them and that was the consistently great play of Ronnie Brown. Now even that is lost. Chatman looked good in the pre-season and ran the ball well last week filling in for the injured Brown. Is he going to put up weekly big games? Not likely. Does he have a chance to put up decent fantasy numbers? If given 20-plus touches a game, yes. This week's matchup with a tough Giants defense will make those decent numbers hard to reach.
WR Marty Booker
Ted Ginn Jr.
Derek Hagan
B Booker and Ginn Jr. were the starters last week with Hagan seeing plenty of action. The first game without Chambers saw Lemon spreading the ball around to all his targets, leaving none with much fantasy value. Of the three Ginn Jr. possesses the most upside due to his big play ability.
TE David Martin
Justin Peelle
B

With the ball being spread around by Lemon both tight ends are seeing 3-4 looks a game. Enough to help a struggling young QB but not enough to help your fantasy team on a consistent basis.

 
Philadelphia (2-4) at Minnesota (2-4) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2

As a result of their run defense being so good, the Vikings currently sport the league's worst pass defense in YPG allowed. Look for McNabb to put the ball in the air at least 40 times in this matchup. With that many attempts he's bound to have a solid game despite his poor play of late.

RB Brian Westbrook S2

Westbrook remains the best thing going in the Philly offense. He has his toughest challenge of the season facing the #1 Minnesota run defense. But Barber/Jones put up 163 total yards and a touchdown on them last week so there is hope.

WR Reggie Brown B

As expected fell right back into his underachieving ways last week after a momentary blip of hope for fantasy owners.

WR

Kevin Curtis

S2

The Vikings secondary continues to struggle and Curtis is the cream of the Eagles' WR crop this season.

TE L.J. Smith or
Matt Schobel
U

Either Schobel or Smith (if he's able to play) will surprise in this matchup. McNabb likes going to his tight ends and that option will be available Sunday. The Vikings allow 85 yards a game to the tight end position, making them one of the worst fantasy defenses against this position.

Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb B

If the Vikings don't use Jackson's broken finger as a reason to bench the struggling QB and insert Holcomb they are fools. At least he gives the passing game a fighting chance of having some success. Just not enough success to warrant any attention from fantasy owners.

RB Chester Taylor B

Taylor got his expected 10 carries last week and with the heat Minnesota is currently under the chances of them getting him more touches at the expense of Peterson are slim.

RB Adrian Peterson S2

The best thing that could happen for Peterson is for Holcomb to start at QB this week. That way there would at least be some moments in the game that the Eagles would have to respect the passing attack and back off the line.

WR Bobby Wade B

When your quarterback completes only 15 passes in two games it's impossible to get any viable fantasy production from the wideouts. With Holcomb back in the lineup things will improve, but against the very good Eagles corners there's not much fantasy hope here.

WR Sidney Rice
Troy Williamson
B Or here.
TE Vishante Shiancoe B

In the four games with Jackson at QB Shiancoe has just two catches. With Holcomb under center the talented tight end had seven in two games. Look for his production to return this week if Holcomb starts, but it's not enough to warrant starter consideration.

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