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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)
 
New England (8-0) at Indianapolis (7-0) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S1

The Colts at home will be by far the toughest opponent Brady and his crew have faced all season. The 5-plus touchdown streak he's on will surely come to an end, but there are three to be had here, keeping alive his stud status.

RB Laurence Maroney B

Maroney will carry the load again this week. Which for the Patriots means fewer than 20 touches in this multi-headed RBBC situation. And against the Colts run defense that's not going to produce much.

WR Randy Moss S1 This is the matchup Moss was brought in for and he'll show why on Sunday.
WR Wes Welker S2

Ditto for Welker.

WR Donte' Stallworth S3

Has some upside but will take a back seat to Welker as he has the better matchup out of the slot.

TE Ben Watson S3 If history is a guide then if the Pats allow Watson to return to action then that means he's near 100% and should be effective. If that's the case then he's a nice start Sunday. Indy's cover-2 defense is no different then the others in that there's a weakness up the seam that can be exploited by the tight end. However ...
TE Kyle Brady B ... if Watson is out and Brady ends up starting the advantage will not be there. Brady does not possess the speed or route running skills necessary to exploit the defensive weakness.
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

Not on Brady's record setting pace but in this offense he doesn't have to be since RB Addai can carry a big part of the scoring load. Manning has stepped up with 300-plus, multi-TD games in the last two meetings with New England. This one should be no different.

RB Joseph Addai S2

Continues to impress and will be called on often in this matchup as the Colts will need a solid running attack to keep the offense balanced and maintain an advantage in time of possession.

RB Kenton Keith B Nothing more than relief action for Keith now as Addai's backup.
WR Marvin Harrison S3

Will return this week for the matchup that he exploited for 136 yards and two touchdowns a game last year. There's no denying however that age and a bum knee may be catching up with the perennial fantasy stud that has topped out at 87 yards this season and only scored once.

WR Reggie Wayne S1 Hasn't had the success against New England that Harrison has, but that will change this week. Manning and Wayne are in a great rhythm and the matchup with CB Hobbs presents a distinct advantage to exploit. The Patriots will surely roll double coverage over to Wayne's side, but Harrison and the tight ends will make maintaining that difficult.
WR Anthony Gonzalez B Only has one catch in the past two games with Harrison limited or out. May see a bit more looks this week with TE Clark's involvement somewhat limited, but still not a fantasy factor.
TE Dallas Clark S2

You will see a lot more 2-TE sets with Clark in tight and max protect schemes in this matchup with the very tough New England defense. Clark's production may take a hit this week as a result. That doesn't mean you don't start him, it just means he's not a stud start this week.

 
Houston (3-5) at Oakland (2-5) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Sage Rosenfels B

Schaub will sit this one out so Rosenfels gets his first start of the season on the heals of seeing significant action in the previous three games. He's played well while filling in for Schaub but this matchup isn't shaping up in his favor. The Texans' receivers and tight end do not match up well against the Raiders defense and two of his prime down field targets (Davis and Daniels) are banged up and may be limited or out.

RB Ron Dayne U

The Texans are last in the league averaging just 3.2 YPC on the ground this season. Dayne's average on the season: 2.9 YPC. But with the rest of the backfield likely out due to injury, Dayne is all the Texans have. But there may be hope. The Raiders allow a league worst 5.3 YPC on the ground and are giving up almost 150 rushing yards per game. This game should stay close and if the Texans don't abandon the run like they've been doing Dayne could surprise with a nice game.

WR Andre' Davis S3 If he plays he'll be doing so with bruised ribs. He does have a better matchup in the secondary than Walter, so he should be able to squeak out some startable fantasy numbers.
WR Kevin Walter S3

Over the past four games, no receiver's been targeted more than Walter (49 times) and only New England's Welker has more catches. He's become a solid fantasy starter in PPR leagues despite the Texans' offensive struggles. This week however he'll be matched up against one of the league's top cover corners in Oakland's Asomugha and his production is likely to take a hit.

TE Owen Daniels B

If Daniels plays with his sprained ankle this week he'll be facing a very touch matchup in the athletic LB Howard. Not a good option this week and neither is his backup (Putzier) if called into action.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper B

The Raiders seem content to stick with the struggling Culpepper until the season is far enough gone to turn to the rookie. You shouldn't be so content.

RB

Lamont Jordan   S3

Jordan was averaging 120 YPG before the back injury in week 4. Since then he's rushing for only 29 YPG. It's also not helping that the Raiders are being forced to put the slow footed Culpepper in shotgun formation most of the time. Fargas may be a better fit for the offense right now so you may see Jordan continuing to lose carries to him.

RB Justin Fargas B

The Raiders split the workload evenly between Fargas and Jordan last week and Fargas was much more effective. Jordan has not been the same since the back injury and Fargas may be a better fit for the offense with Culpepper at quarterback and in the shotgun on most downs. His speed won't give him much of an advantage against the equally speedy Houston defense.

WR Jerry Porter B Porter's play continues to be spotty along with the rest of the Oakland passing game. That won't be enough to get the job done this week, as he'll likely draw the better half of the Houston secondary coverage.
WR Ronald Curry S3

Like Porter, Curry's play of late has been inconsistent at best. But unlike Porter he'll likely face the terrible half of the Texans secondary, namely CB Faggins. If his bum foot doesn't keep him from playing he's a borderline start this week if you are teetering on the edge of desperate.

TE Zack Miller U

The rookie is coming along and has had some moments in the past three weeks as Culpepper seems to be looking his way more. The Texans have struggled with the past few tight ends they've faced so there may be some upside for Miller this week.

 

Dallas (6-1) at Philadelphia (3-4)

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Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S1

Well now that Romo has his big fat contract he'll immediately start to go in the tank like many NFL players do after they get their money. Just kidding.

RB Julius Jones B

Jones has had single digit carries in three of the last five games. He's had limited success against the Eagles in the past but if you're not getting the rock then you can't produce.

RB Marion Barber S2

After three mediocre games, Barber got back into his groove before the bye against the very stingy Vikings run defense. Gets a better matchup this week against a Philly defense that's given up 100 YPG on the ground over the past three weeks.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Owens came up small against his old team last year going 5-68 and a single score in two games. This is a new year and he'll have little trouble besting that total this weekend.

WR Patrick Crayton S3

With the extra attention paid to Owens this week and the usual attention paid to Witten, look for Crayton to make some noise in this matchup.

TE Jason Witten S1

Not that you need a reason to start Witten, but the Eagles outside linebackers (Spikes and Gocong) are a liability in coverage.

Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2

McNabb's play and mobility seem to be improving with each passing week. His familiar and tough matchup this week with Dallas will put that improvement to the test. He was able to put up 354 yards and three touchdowns on the Cowboys in his only meeting with them last season.

RB Brian Westbrook S2

Westbrook struggled last week against the very tough Minnesota defense but still managed to score twice. This week's matchup with Dallas is equally tough, but as he showed last week you should never count him out.

WR Reggie Brown B

Okay, that's two good games and one decent one in the past three weeks. Fantasy owners can only hope that whatever happened during the bye week to kick Brown into gear holds. Unfortunately, even if it does his matchup this week with the Dallas corners won't afford him much success.

WR

Kevin Curtis

S3

Much of Curtis' success this season has come from using his speed and experience to get open down field. Against the Cowboys very good corners those qualities won't result in the mismatches he's seen most weeks.

TE L.J. Smith
Matt Schobel
B

The tight end just hasn't been much of a factor in the Eagles' passing attack this season and Smith's injury problems haven't helped. Both he and backup Schobel are seeing time but neither have accounted for more than 20 yards in a game.

 

Baltimore (4-3) at Pittsburgh (5-2)

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Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair B Has returned to practice and early indications are that he'll also return to the starting lineup Monday night. It's highly unlikely he was ever in your fantasy lineup and that shouldn't change in this matchup with the Steelers and their top rated defense.
RB Willis McGahee S3

McGahee has been a hit in Baltimore but he runs into his toughest matchup of the season this week against a Pittsburgh run defense allowing just 58 YPG to opposing backs and have been scored on only once.

WR Derrick Mason S3

Mason has produced this season no matter who's been throwing him the ball. He's the unquestioned primary target in the passing attack and it's hard to imagine him not being a fantasy starter regardless of matchup.

WR Mark Clayton B

Clayton has seen his numbers increase over the past three games, but given his performance during the first five weeks of the season that isn't hard to do.

WR Demetrius Williams B

Williams has shown promise at times this season as a red-zone target, but his 2-4 catches a game with no touchdowns just isn't getting it done for fantasy owners.

TE

Todd Heap

B Typically has some success against the Steelers, but his nagging hamstring injury may keep him out another week or will at a minimum limit his effectiveness.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2

Typically struggles against the Ravens but is playing at a high level this season. The possibility of Baltimore being without their top cornerback (McAlister) also improves his chances for success in this matchup.

RB Willie Parker S3 The Ravens run defense has remained top rated this season despite their overall struggles earlier in the season. They allow a league low 2.9 YPC and limited Parker to 10-22 and 13-29 rushing efforts in their two meetings last season. Parker is still startable this week but you should lower your expectations.
WR Hines Ward S3 Will get his catches and yards but hasn't scored on Baltimore since 2004. If CB McAlister sits this game out as expected then Ward's odds of breaking that TD-less streak are very good.
WR Santonio Holmes S3

Getting Ward back has not hurt Holmes' production at all. He's still getting plenty of looks from Roethlisberger and should produce against a Baltimore secondary that's struggled most of the season and may be down their best defender.

TE Heath Miller S3

He's scored three touchdowns in the past four games against Baltimore but only averages about 3 catches for 25 yards. Miller has become a bigger part of the passing game this season and should be able to better that average in this matchup.

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