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Start/Bench List – Week 4

We turned back the clock last week and recommended starting Fred Taylor, Terry Glenn, and Keenan McCardell. They all paid off in spades. Be sure to check in to see the new names on the Studs list and some old names that have been taken down a notch until they can prove us wrong. Keep an eye on the bye weeks and don’t be afraid to start the hot hand.

When using this list, try and remember a couple basic rules:

1) Studs – Always play your studs. Each position will include a list of players that are considered studs and should not be benched. If you have the luxury of needing to decide between studs, check out the matchups or feel free to let the shark tank assist you in your decisions. I will try to answer as many inquires as possible.

2) Depth – Every fantasy team is different and some have more depth than others. Only follow the recommended moves if your team depth allows you to make such a move.

Enough of the chit-chat, onto the list!!



Bye Weeks: Kyle Orton, Trent Dilfer, Gus Frerotte, Ben Roethlisberger


Daunte Culpepper, Minnesota vs. Atlanta
Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Kansas City
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Houston


Tom Brady, New England (vs. San Diego): Brady is creeping ever so close to the Studs list. Another performance like last week against the Steelers (372 yards passing) will bring Brady to the next level. Look for another solid day out of Brady in front of the home crowd.

Drew Bledsoe, Dallas (vs. Oakland): The man whom Brady replaced is also off to a hot start. This week is another favorable matchup for Drew as Bledsoe and the Boys head to Oakland who allowed 365 yards passing last week. Expect Bledsoe to impress once again this week.


Joey Harrington, Detroit (vs. Tampa Bay): Even a bye week doesn’t help me forget about the five INTs Harrington threw in week two. The Tampa Bay defense will once again make things very difficult for Harrington to get on track.

Brian Griese, Tampa Bay (vs. Detroit): Despite the fact that Tampa Bay is 3-0 to start the season, Griese hasn’t posted big numbers. Thanks to the Cadillac in the backfield, Griese has been asked to simply not make the mistakes that will cost them the game. Look for that same trend to continue this week as Griese will not impress, but the Bucs will ride in style with the Cadillac leading the way.


Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Thomas Jones, Cedric Benson, Lee Suggs, Reuben Droughns, William Green, Ronnie Brown, Sammy Morris, Ricky Williams, Willie Parker, Duce Staley, Jerome Bettis


LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. New England
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. Washington
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
Deuce McAllister, New Orleans vs. Buffalo
Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. New Orleans
Corey Dillon, New England vs. San Diego
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. St. Louis

Removed from Studs list:

-Priest Holmes, Kansas City: RBBC in KC.
-Domanick Davis, Houston: Watch to see if new coordinator makes a difference.
Ahman Green, Green Bay: Offense in shambles. Favre must improve to open things up for Green.


Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia (vs. Kansas City): If your league does not award points to RBs for receptions and receiving yards, then skip right over Westbrook. Otherwise, he’s as close to a must-start as can be as his 140 receiving yards in week two can attest to. Westbrook should find plenty of room in the secondary this week against the Chiefs posting solid numbers once again.

Carnell Williams, Tampa Bay (vs. Detroit): All Williams has done thus far is rush for an average of 145 yards per game leading Tampa Bay to a 3-0 start. The Lions have had all week to formulate a gameplan to stop the rookie, but it won’t happen. The Cadillac will keep rolling this week.

Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. Minnesota): Dunn came within three yards of cracking the 100-yard mark on the ground last week at Buffalo. This week, Dunn faces the Vikings who rank 30th in the NFL is rushing yards allowed. Dunn should have no problem hitting 100+ yards this week at home.


Kevin Jones, Detroit (vs. Tampa Bay): Jones only mustered 22 yards on eight carries in week two against the Bears. Jones won’t have an easier task this week on the road in Tampa Bay. Expect more struggles from Jones.

Curtis Martin, N.Y. Jets (vs. Baltimore): With both Pennington and Fiedler out, the Jets will need to start Brooks Bollinger this week. That does not bode well for Martin as teams will place eight men in the box and force Bollinger to beat them. Against the Ravens, neither the  running game nor the passing game of the Jets will do enough to warrant a start.

Lamont Jordan, Oakland (vs. Dallas): Jordan hasn’t rushed for more than 70 yards in a game yet this season, but he’s caught enough passes to make up the difference. This week against Dallas, Jordan will once again struggle on the ground the only difference will be the fast linebackers of Dallas will prevent Jordan from making big plays in the passing game.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Muhsin Muhammad, Bobby Wade, Frisman Jackson, Braylon Edwards, Antonio Bryant, Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Wes Walker, David Boston, Hines Ward, Antwaan Randle El, Cedrick Wilson

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Randy Moss, Oakland vs. Dallas
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. N.Y. Giants
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia vs. Kansas City
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Houston
Joe Horn, New Orleans vs. Buffalo
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. San Francisco
Steve Smith, Carolina* vs. Green Bay


Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants (vs. St. Louis): Burress has caught five passes in each of the Giants three games this season. With Eli Manning looking more comfortable each week, Burress is primed for a breakout game. The Rams head to N.Y. this week and that could be just what Burress needs to post a big game. Start him and enjoy.

Deion Branch, New England (vs. San Diego): While Brady tends to spread the wealth in the New England passing attack, Branch is quietly emerging as the top target for Brady. Branch has caught at least six passes in the first three weeks and that shouldn’t change this week as Branch and Brady will connect on some big plays against the Bolts.

Keyshawn Johnson, Dallas (vs. Oakland): Keyshawn’s numbers have been down slightly with Terry Glenn posting back-to-back 100-yard receiving games. One number that is not down for Keyshawn is TD catches as Johnson has already caught three TDs. Expect at least one TD reception this week as Bledsoe lights up the Oakland secondary like a Christmas tree.

T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Cincinnati (vs. Houston): Housh had a quiet day in week three (2 catches for 13 yards), but he’s likely to bounce back against the Texans as Palmer and the Bengals passing attack is firing on all cylinders.


Ashley Lelie, Denver (vs. Jacksonville): Lelie had more yards rushing (56) than receiving (16) last week. Until Plummer gets his act together, there’s not much reason to start Lelie especially on the road in Jacksonville this week.

Andre Johnson, Houston (vs. Cincinnati): A new offensive coordinator in Houston should shake things up, but it’s too soon to think that this will have an immediate impact this week against the red-hot Bengals. You’re advised to sit Johnson and the rest of the Texans.

Eric Moulds, Buffalo (vs. New Orleans): Moulds expressed some concern with the Bills play-calling after last week’s loss to Atlanta. Hey Eric, here’s a news flash: Losman is not that good. Expect an off year for Moulds and another below average week vs. New Orleans this week.

Brandon Lloyd, San Francisco (vs. Arizona): Lloyd posted some big numbers last week (4-142, 2 TDs), but most of those stats came on one 89-yard TD reception. Lloyd will return to normal this week which does not make him an enticing option for your starting lineup.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Desmond Clark, Steve Heiden, Randy McMichael, Heath Miller

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Philadelphia
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. New England
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. St. Louis
Jason Witten, Dallas vs. Oakland
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. Minnesota
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia*vs. Kansas City



Courtney Anderson, Oakland (vs. Dallas): Anderson went from two TDs in week one to no catches in week three, to 100 yards receiving in week three. Which Anderson will show up this week? My money is on the guy who posts the big stats as the Dallas defense will focus on containing Lamont Jordan opening things up ever so slightly for Anderson.

Jerramy Stevens, Seattle (vs. Washington): You could do worse than Stevens three catches for 40 yards which is what Stevens is averaging after three games. Look for Hasselbeck to find Stevens in short-yardage situations raising his stats even more this week.


Chris Cooley, Washington (vs. Seattle): Cooley has been average so far this season, but he hasn’t shown anything that would dictate a break-out game is on the horizon. With Brunell still finding his stride, hold off on Cooley until he establishes a rapport with Brunell.

Daniel Graham, New England (vs. San Diego): Between the emergence of Ben Watson and the injuries on the offensive line in New England, Graham will find himself spending the majority of the time blocking up front. This should translate into Graham sitting on your bench.

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