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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 9
Whitney Walters
November 1, 2007
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Late
Bye Week
Monday Night
CHI, MIA,
NYG, STL
 
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)
 
Denver (3-4) at Detroit (5-2) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler S2

Cutler's play is improving and the Detroit defense presents a decent matchup this week. You can expect a bit more than his typical 240 yard, single touchdown effort Sunday. The yardage won't increase much as the Broncos will have no trouble moving the ball on the ground, but multiple touchdowns are likely.

RB Travis Henry S2

Early reports are that Henry will return to action this week just in time for his owners to take advantage of this great matchup with the terrible Detroit run defense.

RB Selvin Young B Young got the start Monday night and looked great. He's a strong runner with the "one cut and go" running style favored in Denver. Henry is expected to play this week so Young will slide into the backup/3rd-down role again. Look for the Broncos to start getting Young a few more carries each game and keep use him on passing downs.
WR Brandon Marshall   S2

Marshall's production has maintained a good pace in Walker's absence. He's put up 70-plus yards in each of the past three games. His matchup with the struggling Detroit secondary is a good one this week.

WR Brandon Stokley S2 Has come on since moving into the starting lineup for Walker and is a clutch down field target for Cutler. Like Marshall he has a favorable matchup this week with the suspect Lions' secondary.
TE Tony Scheffler S3

Since returning to action Scheffler has been a nice option in the Denver passing attack. He's always a threat to score but fellow TE Graham is going to continue to steal catches from him.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S2

It's been over a month since Kitna's thrown a touchdown. That should change Sunday. Despite Denver's solid secondary, over the past four games they've surrendered over 270 YPG and 11 touchdowns. The Lions have the depth at WR to stretch the Broncos secondary and since Denver doesn't pressure the QB well, Kitna should find the time he needs in the pocket more often than not.

RB Kevin Jones S2

Getting stronger with each game played and put up over 100 yards on the Bears last week. Look for Detroit to take what the Broncos give them in this matchup, which means plenty of carries for Jones.

WR Roy Williams S2

Williams and Kitna got back on the same page last week. He'll be matched up most of the day against CB Bly, which doesn't sound nearly as bad as it would have a week ago.

WR Mike Furrey B

Don't be fooled by the single bomb CB Bailey gave up Monday night. The rest of the time he was shutting down Green Bay's Driver.

WR Calvin Johnson X As with many opponents, Johnson would present matchup problems against the Denver secondary. But he re-injured his back last week so he's a risky start.
WR Shaun McDonald U

McDonald has been a nice fantasy surprise whenever he's slid up to the #3 WR role due to Johnson's nagging injuries. That could be the case again this weekend.

 
Jacksonville (5-2) at New Orleans (3-4) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quinn Gray B

If you are tempted to take a flyer on this matchup with the Saints suspect pass defense I have one word for you. Don't. The Jags ran the ball 40 times last week and even though this matchup may indicate throwing the ball more than running it, they won't. Gray just doesn't have it and Jacksonville will continue to hold their breath until Garrard can return.

RB Fred Taylor S3

As last week showed the Jaguars are committed to running the ball and Taylor will continue to get a healthy dose of carries. If he ever got one inside the 5 yard line he'd be of more fantasy value. Only six of Taylor's 96 carries have come in the red-zone this season.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew

S2

The touches stay limited behind Taylor and his knee is slowing him somewhat, but MJD is still a big-play possibility every time he touches the ball. Since the Jags have no passing attack to exploit the Saints with, look for them to expose their run defense this week.

WR Dennis Northcutt
Reggie Williams
Ernest Wilford
Matt Jones
B

Until Garrard returns the passing game here is off limits. Gray completed just seven passes last week.

TE Marcedes Lewis B

Ditto for the talented Lewis.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

Brees hasn't been sacked in a month and is finding the end-zone again (8 touchdowns in three games). Jacksonville's defense present another tough matchup for Brees but they Saints are on a roll and there are enough weapons in this offense to keep him a solid fantasy start.

RB Reggie Bush S3

Bush's carry count has decreased each week since McAllister went down and he's already showing slight signs of wearing down. One thing that hasn't changed is his effectiveness in the passing game, where he's pulling in 6-8 passes a game. The Jags are a very tough and physical defense and they will limit Bush's production. He's just a borderline start in standard leagues but a solid start in PPR leagues.

WR Marques Colston S2

The Saints moved Colston to the slot last week and BAM! He's struggled against #1 corners all season but presents big matchup problems for #3's. Don't expect the Saints to just stop now. They've found a way to use Colston to their advantage and they will keep doing it until it doesn't work any more.

WR David Patten S3 Patten has put up 100-yard games in two of the past three and may be emerging as a #2 WR target for Brees. Only Colston has been targeted more this season.
WR Devery Henderson B

Despite the obvious improvements in the Saints' passing attack over the past three games, Henderson has three catches and has been targeted only five times.

WR Lance Moore B After a promising game or two and even moving into the starting lineup, Moore has slid to #4 WR on the depth chart and is a non-factor in the passing game.
TE Eric Johnson S2 Johnson has been fairly consistent this season and has another decent matchup this week with a Jaguars defense that has struggled at times covering opposing tight ends.
 
San Francisco (2-5) at Atlanta (1-6) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith B

Gutted out his first game back but it's obvious his shoulder is not 100% as he struggled with his accuracy. He expects to play through the pain the rest of the season, but if the Niners couldn't get their passing game going against the Saints at home they are not likely to do so on the road in Atlanta.

RB Frank Gore S3

Had his lowest carry total of the season (12) last week and left the game banged up and highly frustrated. The Falcons weak run defense presents a nice matchup for Gore this weekend, but the overall ineptness of the offense and his nagging ankle injury make him just a borderline starter.

WR Darrell Jackson B Was shaping up to be a bust before the quad injury and in this passing attack that's not likely going to change soon. May be sidelined again Sunday.
WR Arnaz Battle B

Battle's best games this season have come with Dilfer at quarterback. With Smith back last week he did match a season high with 10 targets but was only able to pull in three of them. If you roll with a Niners wideout then Battle is your guy, but he has no advantage in this matchup with the solidly average Atlanta secondary.

WR Ashley Lelie B Got the start last week with Jackson out and may again against Atlanta. Only had three catches but QB Smith did try to get him the ball down field a few times but couldn't connect. Don't be tempted. Lelie's been nothing but a disappointment to this point in his career and it's not likely he's going to change now.
TE Vernon Davis S3

Davis looks poised for a strong second half of the season. He's healthy now and last week he was prominent in the game plan. A first this season. He responded with a career high six catches and his first touchdown of the season. The Niners would be foolish to not keep this going as Davis is by far the most talented weapon they have in the passing game.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

Well that didn't last long. Harrington returns to the starting lineup just one game after being benched. Unfortunately the team may be even worse now than before. This team is circling the drain and you need to look elsewhere for fantasy production.

RB Warrick Dunn
B

The last three games Dunn has gone 10-27, 8-15 and 13-28 carrying the ball. Yeah, it makes perfect sense to keep him as your feature back Atlanta. I mean, things are going so well for you, why change?

RB Jerious Norwood B

Still getting only about 10 touches a game despite outperforming Dunn with every single one. Until the Falcons come to their senses and make Norwood the feature back he's of little use to fantasy owners.

WR Roddy White B

White has been the most consistent receiver wearing a Falcons uniform all season. This week however he will likely draw CB Clements and struggle to produce.

WR Michael Jenkins U

With CB Harris likely out this week there's a chance for the secondary receiver in the Falcon offense to have a good game against Harris' replacement, the burnable Spencer. If Harris is able to play then forget about Jenkins.

TE Alge Crumpler B

Struggling with a knee injury that sidelined him for a game before the bye. Expected back this week but even before the injury Crumpler was well on his way to his most disappointing season, catching just six balls for 47 yards in the prior three games.

 

Washington (4-3) at N. Y. Jets (1-7)

Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell B

The Washington passing game is just not happening and Campbell seems to be moving backwards instead of improving as the season wears on. The Jets present a decent matchup for him this week but odds are you have a much better option for your fantasy team.

RB Clinton Portis S3

On the plus side the Jets can't stop the run. On the minus side the offense is anemic, Portis looks to be breaking down and is not special any more, and Betts and Sellers continue to take touches. Add it up and you have a borderline fantasy starter at best.

RB Ladell Betts B

Since his 18 touches in week one Betts has averaged just six a game and has had zero fantasy impact.

WR Santana Moss
Antwaan Randle El
S3

Neither receiver has had over 54 yards in the past three games as the passing attack for Washington continues to struggle. The Jets represent their best matchup in a month so both have a chance to put up some barely startable numbers and one will likely score.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Came through for fantasy owners last week with a last minute score, his fifth for the season. He remains a frequent target for the struggling Campbell and a weekly starter.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kellen Clemens B Well the Jets fans got what they've been calling for, but did fantasy owners? Only time will tell, but he did have some success in his week two start against Baltimore. But against a Washington defense that's looking for some redemption and without his best down field weapon (Coles) I wouldn't hold out much hope for a repeat in his second start.
RB Thomas Jones S3

Last week was the fifth time in eight games that Jones has failed to get 20 or more carries. Look for the Jets to increase his workload a bit this week in an attempt to keep a balanced attack for new QB Clemens. The Redskins haven't allowed a 100-yard back this season and the chances are not good that they will give up their first this week. But Jones should get enough production to make him a borderline starting option for most teams.

WR Laveranues Coles B The concussion he suffered last week will likely keep him out of this matchup.
WR Jerricho Cotchery S3

Will need to step up this week if Coles can't go but has no real matchup advantage against SB Springs for new QB Clemens to exploit. But he'll get plenty of looks and should still be able to squeeze out startable fantasy numbers.

WR Brad Smith U The unknown second-year receiver out of Missouri looks to be in line for the start in place of Coles. If he does there's a chance for some production against the banged up Washington secondary. He'll be facing either the hamstrung CB Smoot or dime CB David.
TE Chris Baker B

Baker hasn't been a fantasy factor all season and anytime a QB switch is made the TE production can change. The most likely outcome here however isn't likely to put Baker on anyone's fantasy radar.

 
Seattle (4-3) at Cleveland (4-3) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Despite still not having his starting receivers and a weak running game, Hasselbeck was playing solid football going into the team's bye. What better way to keep that going then to get your wideouts back and travel to Cleveland to face their woeful defense.

RB Shaun Alexander S2

The Cleveland defense can make just about any player a fantasy star. Several backs have had their biggest game of the season when facing the Browns. That would be a welcome event for a back that hasn't been on the plus side of 50 yards rushing for a month. Hopefully the week of rest will put some pop back into his runs.

WR Deion Branch
D.J. Hackett
S3

If it wasn't Cleveland, taking a chance on the first game back for both of these receivers would be ill-advised. But it is Cleveland and while some risk is still there, Branch and Hackett are worth a look this week.

WR Bobby Engram S3

Has filled in nicely for his fellow injured wideouts, but returns to his familiar and productive place in the slot this week.

TE Will Heller B

Heller filled in for the injured Pollard and only had one more catch (3) than Pollard was putting up each week. But two were for touchdowns, which means he probably won't score another until 2008.

Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson S2

The hottest fantasy QB not named Brady or Romo. Has thrown more touchdowns than every quarterback other than Brady, but faces a Seattle defense that's allowed a league low of only five passing touchdowns. The matchup advantages are there down field with Edwards and Winslow so he should still produce. Just don't expect his third 3-TD game in a row.

RB Jamal Lewis S3

The Browns eased Lewis back into action last week with just 17 carries and he came out of the game looking strong. He'll see more touches in this matchup but his 3.3 YPC average in his last three starts is a concern and the Seahawks are no pushover on defense.

WR Braylon Edwards S2

Edwards is really coming on strong. He's put up 100-plus yards, multiple touchdown or both in the past three games. The Seattle secondary brings another matchup that doesn't threaten the end of his fantasy success.

WR Joe Jurevicius B

The third option in the passing game and the designated "possession" receiver. Fantasy translation: 3-5 catches a game and the rare score.

TE Kellen Winslow S1

Had his lowest catch count last week with just two but pulled in his third touchdown of the season. An every week starter.

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