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Start/Bench List - Week 4
Whitney Walters
September 28, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night Bye Weeks   Player List by Position  
ARI at ATL MIN at BUF DET at STL SEA at CHI DEN, NYG,   Early Injury Status  
DAL at TEN NO at CAR CLE at OAK Monday Night PIT, TB   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
IND at NYJ SD at BAL JAC at WAS GB at PHI     (Q): Questionable  
MIA at HOU SF at KC NE at CIN       (P): Probable  
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)  
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) X: No matchup advantage or disadvantage  
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Good matchup) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)  
U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)    
Arizona (1-2) at Atlanta (2-1) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner S2

Despite his struggles and his "almost" benching this week, Warner remains a fantasy option for most teams. Even in his last two difficult games he's averaged 250 yards and a touchdown. The problem isn't Warner, it's the poor protection from the offensive line. That will be a continued problem this week facing an aggressive Atlanta front. Still, with the weapons at his disposal he'll get it done for his owners.

RB Edgerrin James X

Edge had his best game as a Cardinal last week, rushing for 94 yards and scoring his second touchdown on the season. Before the Falcons were gashed on Monday night for 134 rushing yards by McAllister/Bush they had allowed just 91 yards on the ground in two games. This is a tough road matchup made even tougher by a struggling QB. It's doubtful many fantasy teams have the depth at RB to sit James, but if you do you should consider it.

WR Larry Fitzgerald
Anquan Boldin
S2 As expected, Fitzgerald and Boldin are neck and neck in production and every week fantasy starters. They will have their work cut out for them this week facing a Falcons defense that has yet to yield a passing touchdown. And Warner's struggles won't help either. The Falcons secondary showed some holes against the Saints and CB Hall is banged up. Don't let this matchup cause you to question starting either of these receivers.
TE Leonard Pope B The tight end position is just not getting the looks in this offense.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S2

Just when Vick began to give fantasy players some glimmer of hope we get a Monday night meltdown. But the reality is that his 12 completions for 137 yards was right in line with his passing from the previous two weeks. It just took him 31 attempts to reach that total. So despite all the talk, Vick remains Vick. Poor passer, good runner. And if a team can limit his ground production he's a barely startable fantasy QB. The good news is that he faces an Arizona defense this weekend that has trouble stopping both the pass and run.

RB Warrick Dunn S1

Look for the Falcons' running game to get back on track this week at home against Arizona. Dunn may have been held in check on Monday night by an inspired defensive effort from the Saints, but he's still performing at a high level and will bounce back quickly.

RB Jerious Norwood B

Only got one carry on Monday night. The rookie will remain a part of the offense and get his 6-10 touches most weeks.

WR Michael Jenkins S2

After a promising two weeks Jenkins looked horrible Monday night. He couldn't shake his coverage and dropped balls. When an offense is currently ranked as the second worst in passing it's hard to recommend one of its wide receivers. But if anyone is going to produce other than the TE in this offense it's going to be Jenkins. He by far has the most talent in the WR corps.

WR Ashley Lelie B Different team, same story. Lelie is a one-trick pony. Send him deep down the sideline and hope he can catch the ball if it gets to him. Most times he doesn't.
TE Alge Crumpler S2

Crumpler still doesn't look 100% healthy but he had his best game of the season Monday night and was Vick's primary target with 12 passes thrown his way. That's not going to change any time soon.

Dallas (1-1) at Tennessee (0-3) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2

The absence of Owens this weekend will hurt, but Bledsoe has weapons in Glenn, Witten and sleeper Crayton. That will be plenty against the struggling Titans defense.

RB Julius Jones S2

Jones is running well through two games, averaging 4.5 YPC. The Titans present a nice matchup for the Dallas running game as they are currently ranked 30th against the run. But two factors keep Jones from reaching S1 status this week. One - the game plan will rarely call for Jones to get more than 20 carries. Two - Jones is not the team's third-down back.

RB Marion Barber B

Through the Cowboys first two games Barber is averaging just five carries a game. Look for about 10 in this matchup. Some of those carries may come at the goal-line and he is on the field for most of the team's third downs. That's not enough to warrant anything but Jones insurance on your fantasy team.

WR Terrell Owens (Q) B

Unlikely he'll play this week to let the broken bone in his hand heal. Even if he does odds are he will be very limited or used as just a decoy. Why risk a re-injury against Tennessee with Philly up next week?

WR Terry Glenn S2

With Owens out expect to see Glenn draw not only CB Pacman Jones but some safety coverage as well. Don't look for Glenn to blow up this week, but you can bet he and Bledsoe will beat whatever coverage the Titans throw at them.

WR Patrick Crayton U Crayton didn't see much action in the first two games but did score in week two. It's unclear who will get the start this week for Owens, but Crayton should see more playing time and produce. The Cowboys are high on this talented second-year receiver and his big-play abilities. With Glenn drawing the extra attention in the secondary look for Crayton to be a nice sleeper/bye week fill-in this week.
TE Jason Witten S2

The Cowboys move to 2-TE sets this season has yet to impact Witten's production negatively. Through two games he's made seven catches for 78 yards, about his average from last year. Rookie Fasano will continue to take some of his looks (four in week two) but he will remain a part of the Dallas passing attack, especially this week with Owens sidelined.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins
Vince Young

After seeing a lot of action in week two, Young didn't get one snap last Sunday as Collins lead the Titans all afternoon against the Dolphins. It's likely that won't be an every week occurrence, but it's clear the Titans are committed to Collins as their quarterback for now. Don't you be.

RB Chris Brown (Q)
Travis Henry

Both Brown and Henry are battling turf-toe injuries but it was Brown that sat out last week's game. Henry ran okay at times but the Titans' running game is in poor shape, producing just 68 YPG. Don't expect much this week as the Titans' offensive line belongs in a M.A.S.H. unit and they face a stout and improved Dallas defense.

RB LenDale White B

Despite being the team's only healthy back last week, White carried the ball just once. The running back situation in Tennessee is a mess. Stay away.

WR Drew Bennett S2

Through three weeks Bennett has shown himself to be the favorite target in the passing game. He's been targeted 32 times, the sixth highest total in the league right now. His conversion ratio is low however. He has the lowest catch count of any receiver at that level except for one. Tennessee's best chance of moving the ball will come through the air and Bennett warrants a borderline start.

WR David Givens B

Three games in and Givens has yet to make an impact. He did show some flashes last week, getting some nice yards after the catch on his two receptions. Don't look for much improvement facing physical CB Anthony Henry on Sunday but Givens should continue to improve as the season progresses.

TE Ben Troupe
Bo Scaife

The tight end has a productive role in the Titans' passing game. Unfortunately the production is going to both Troupe and Scaife. Right now the lion's share is going to Scaife who has six catches for 106 yards and a score in the past two games. But Troupe's equal involvement in the passing game makes Scaife an iffy proposition at best.

Indianapolis (3-0) at New York Jets (2-1) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

If Losman can get 328 yards and a touchdown on the Jets last week, I think Manning will do just fine against them.

RB Dominic Rhodes B

The Colts turned to the veteran Rhodes in last week's important game, giving him almost all the carries. Don't look for a repeat Sunday against the Jets. Rhodes will take a back seat to the much more explosive and talented rookie Addai.

RB Joseph Addai S2

The rookie didn't get many opportunities last week against Jacksonville's big defensive front. That shouldn't be the case this week against the outmatched Jets. New York has yet to slow down any opposing running game and you can bet the Colts will get the ball into Addai's hands more in this matchup. He out produces Rhodes on each touch and this will be the week he gets his first rushing touchdown.

WR Marvin Harrison S1

Just keeps getting it done week in and week out. Going four weeks without a touchdown is just not going to happen. Look for Harrison to get at least one this week.

WR Reggie Wayne S2 Suffered the loss of his brother last week but is expected to be with the team when they travel to New York. He'll play with a heavy heart for sure. But recent history shows that players that suck it up and play through difficult times can have good, if not great, games. Don't worry too much about starting him this week.
TE Dallas Clark
Ben Utecht (Q)
Bryan Fletcher

After sharing the stage with Utecht and Fletcher for two weeks, last Sunday Clark pulled in the only TE catch for the team's only passing touchdown. The Colts will continue to run mostly 2-TE sets and all three of these guys will see plenty of playing time.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington (P) S2

The Bills and the bad weather slowed Pennington's pace last week, holding him to just 183 yards and a score. After getting torched for two weeks the Indy defense settled down last week and put the clamp on the Jag's Leftwich. This is a tough matchup for Pennington but a more effective running game will open up the play-action passing more. The Colts are not generating much QB pressure this season and that will aid the QB's effort. Pennington should be a solid start at home this week.

RB Kevan Barlow (P) U

Barlow got his first start last week but we still saw a RBBC approach, with Washington and Houston getting 9 carries to Barlow's 12. Because of that there's risk with starting Barlow. If you are in a bye week or injury bind however he may be your ticket to some production this week. The Colts' defensive front is quick but undersized. They are allowing a league high 5.7 YPC on the ground. The Jets will look to this mismatch with Barlow, their most elusive runner.

WR Laveranues Coles (Q) S1

Coles dealt with a calf injury all last week and was "slowed" to just 10 catches for 78 yards against the Bills. That shouldn't be a problem this weekend. He's been thrown to 35 times through three games, third highest total in the league.

WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

The only stat Coles doesn't lead all receivers in is touchdowns. That honor for now goes to the surprising Cotchery with two. Cotchery has shown excellent skills so far this season. He's a strong receiver with good hands that knows how to use his body to get position on defenders. These skills will be of good use against the smaller Colts corners.

TE Chris Baker S2

Baker is not a great receiver but he's what the Jets have to work with. For two of the past three games that's been enough for 3-4 catches and a touchdown. It's unlikely Baker will be a regular producer in the Jets passing attack, but this is a good matchup for him as the Colts have struggled to limit opposing tight ends so far this season, allowing about 50 yards and a score per game.


Miami (1-2) at Houston (0-3)

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Dante Culpepper B

Last week it was one of the league's worst defenses facing Culpepper. This week it's THE worst. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice... ah, you know the rest.


Ronnie Brown


Brown had his best day running the ball last week with the Dolphins feeding him the ball a career high 26 times, 11 more carries than in each of the previous two games. Different week, same story. The Texans, like the Titans last week, are horrible against the run and are allowing 163 YPG and a league leading five touchdowns. Expect the Dolphins to again lean on the running game in this matchup.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Even with his quarterback in the dumper you have to like this matchup with the hapless Texans' secondary. Even CPep can't screw this one up.

WR Marty Booker X Booker will have limited fantasy starter potential most weeks. He's a solid possession receiver that will fall in the 2-5 catch, 30-60 yard range. He may hit the high end of his average this week against a weak opponent but he's still not starter worthy.
WR Wes Welker X

Welker has become a steady producer for the Dolphins out of the slot. The last three games he's been 4-67, 5-41 and 5-59. He is actually benefiting from the struggles at QB since he runs the shorter routes in the offense and Culpepper can find him open quickly while under pressure (which is happening a lot). Welker isn't a fantasy starter most weeks, but if you are in a bye week pinch you could do a lot worse than a consistent 10 fantasy points.

TE Randy McMichael S2

Through three games McMichael has been a fantasy disappointment and doesn't seem to be clicking with his new QB. He's caught just 6 balls for 59 yards. This matchup brings the best chance for a big game so far this season. Now if the Dolphins can just hold off the pass rush without his blocking.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

Carr is actually having a nice fantasy season so far. He's averaging 210 yards and two TD's a game. But that's primarily due to the fact that the Texans have been playing from behind all year. This game shouldn't be a runaway win for the Dolphins and they will surely pressure the banged up and ineffective Texans offensive line. Look for Carr's numbers to drop this week.

RB Ron Dayne B

The Texans went with Dayne last week, giving him all but one of the carries. He actually gained 4.1 yards on each of his 14 carries, so all hope may not be lost for this perennial bust. That doesn't mean you play him against a strong Miami run defense, if ever.

WR Andre Johnson S2

The Dolphins are no pushovers in the secondary, but Johnson is healthy and taking full advantage of the looser coverage thanks to Moulds. He's off to a fantastic start this season and tore up the Washington defense for 152 yards last week.

WR Eric Moulds X

The Houston running game isn't working so they are having to throw the ball to move down the field. That's been great for Moulds but his production had dropped each week since his fantasy starter worthy week one effort. Last week brought just four catches for 27 yards. That should improve Sunday. Not enough to warrant a fantasy start though.

TE Putzier/Bruener/Daniels B

Another week and not much change here. All three Texans tight ends saw action and two scored last week. Each had only a single catch. In fact only once has a Houston tight end had more than one catch. The poor running game and offensive line problems have created opportunities for the tight end position in the red zone. They have scored four of the team's six passing touchdowns.

Minnesota (2-1) at Buffalo (1-2) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson U

Johnson has been efficient running the Vikings' offense, but they haven't scored a touchdown in ten quarters. The Bills are playing solid pass defense despite starting two rookies in the secondary. They are only allowing 170 yards through the air a game but have surrendered four touchdowns. Johnson should add to that total this weekend and could make a serviceable fantasy starter if you are in a bind.

RB Chester Taylor S2

Nobody expected Taylor to light it up last week against the Bears, and he didn't. His 74 yards was a good effort though given the opponent. What may be a concern is his 20 carries. That's down from 24 the week before, which was down from the 31 the week before that. Expect the Vikings to get back to feeding their new workhorse back this week and for Taylor to produce against a Bills' defense that allows 116 rushing YPG.

WR Travis Taylor S2

Taylor is splitting the looks evenly with fellow starter Williamson now and Johnson tends to look his way more in the red-zone. He's a solid possession style receiver and a better option down in scoring position. Look for him to find the end-zone this weekend at Buffalo.

WR Troy Williamson S2 Williamson is a speedy receiver and a big play waiting to happen. He'll meet his match this week trying to go deep on equally speedy CB Terrence McGee. Look for the Vikings to work Williamson over the middle underneath the cushion McGee provides and for him to do his damage after the catch.
TE Jermaine Wiggins U

Wiggins remains a great pass-catching tight end despite appearances. His role in the passing game took a hit last week as he was needed more as a blocker against the Bears. There will be less of a need for his blocking this Sunday and you should expect him to get involved in the Vikings' ball control passing attack again.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B

After struggling for two weeks Losman passed for a career high 328 yards last week. Don't expect those kind of results against the Vikings. Minnesota has a very good and experienced secondary with the ability to throw multiple looks at Losman. He'll go back to struggling in this matchup.

RB Willis McGahee S2

McGahee put up a career high 150 yards last week and now leads the league in rushing yards. The Vikings will pose a stiffer challenge this week. But the formula for the Bills will remain the same. Run McGahee, and run him often.

WR Lee Evans B

When your quarterback goes for over 300 yards that usually means the receivers have big days. That was definitely the case last week as Evans finally got it going with an 8 catch, 107-yard game. A total he hit only twice last season. Much of that came during the fourth quarter against more prevent-style coverage. There won't be as much production through the air against the Vikings and his fantasy value will fall closer to where it was in week's one and two - almost nonexistent.

WR Peerless Price
Josh Reed
Roscoe Parrish

There is still no #2 WR that has emerged in the Buffalo offense. Reed led the way in week's one and two, and Parrish came out of nowhere last week with a 4-for-104 effort. The limited production in the passing game and the inconsistency from week to week make all three of these receivers hands off for fantasy purposes.

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