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Start/Bench List – Week 5

Bulger and the Rams finally woke up and McNabb continued his dominance in week four. The top WRs are starting to rise to the top so be patient. Who had week five in the Matt Leinart pool?

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. This list will change from week to week. The first week, the studs will consist of the preseason top “tier” at each position.

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: Michael Vick, Carson Palmer, David Carr, Matt Hasselbeck


Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
Tom Brady, New England vs. Miami
Marc Bulger, St. Louis vs. Green Bay
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. Dallas
Eli Manning, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington


Brad Johnson, Minnesota (vs. Detroit): Johnson hasn’t had a big game yet, but look at his opponents the past three weeks: Carolina, Chicago, & Buffalo. Johnson will have a much easier time this week against the Lions who watched Marc Bulger and the Rams light them up last week.

Mark Brunell, Washington (vs. N.Y. Giants): Brunell enters this division matchup coming off a huge week (329 passing yards and 3 TDs). The Giants may be coming off a bye week, but with Clinton Portis healthy and running strong, Brunell with find his openings and post solid numbers for the third week in a row.


Ben Roethlisberger, Pittsburgh (vs. San Diego): In Roethlisberger’s first two games he has thrown five INTs and no TDs. It won’t get much easier this week on the road in San Diego. Have a fish taco and start someone else.

Jake Plummer, Denver (vs. Baltimore): Do not expect a repeat of his numbers against the Patriots in week three. Plummer will be forced out of the pocket by the blitz-crazy Ravens who will cause at least two turnovers by Plummer. Ge ready to fire up the Jay Cutler talk once again!


Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Warrick Dunn, Jerious Norwood, Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson, Ron Dayne, Wali Lundy, Samkon Gado, Shaun Alexander, Maurice Morris, Mack Strong

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Larry Johnson, Kansas City vs. Arizona
LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Pittsburgh
Ronnie Brown, Miami vs. New England
Steven Jackson, St. Louis vs. Green Bay
Frank Gore, San Francisco vs. Oakland
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Washington
Clinton Portis, Washington* vs. N.Y. Giants

Removed from Studs list:
-Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia: knee
-Edgerrin James, Arizona: rookie at QB, poor offensive line


DeShaun Foster, Carolina (vs. Cleveland): Despite DeAngelo Williams breathing down his neck, Foster posted his first 100-yard rushing game of the season on only 16 carries with a TD last week. Foster gets a taste of the Browns this week who allowed LaMont Jordan to surpass 100 yards rushing in week four. Look for DeShaun to run wild keeping DeAngelo on DeBench for another week.

Dominic Rhodes, Indianapolis (vs. Tennessee): Rhodes is also fighting off a rookie as Joseph Addai continues to produce when given the chance. The Colts have leaned on Rhodes when they want to emphasize the running attack and they’ll have plenty of success against the Titans on the ground. Don’t fear the RBBC this week. Rhodes will be the man!

Laurence Maroney, New England (vs. Miami): ANOTHER RBBC! What has the NFL done to us?!?!? Even though Corey Dillon is still the starter, there is no denying the impact that Maroney is having on the Patriots offense. Maroney has his first 100-yard rushing game of his career last week and he’ll have #2 this week against Miami who looks nothing like the team that some people predicted to win the AFC.


Kevin Jones, Detroit (vs. Minnesota): Jones has posted solid games in two straight weeks, but those defenses (G.B, STL) were soft against the run. The Vikings have been solid in stopping the run and Jones will feel it. 50 yards rushing this week for Jones is about as good as it will get.

Cadillac Williams, Tampa Bay (vs. New Orleans): Williams still doesn’t look the same 1,000-yard rusher from last year. The back problems are a concern and the Bruce Gradkowski era begins this week. Is it possible to put 11 men in the box on defense? The Bucs may find out this week.

All Jets RBs, N.Y. Jets (vs. Jacksonville): It’s one thing to have a RBBC with backs like Dillon/Maroney or Foster/Williams. When your choices are Barlow/Washington/Blaylock/Houston, you reaching too far. None of the Jets RBs will be worth a start in Jacksonville this week.


Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Michael Jenkins, Ashley Lelie, Roddy White, Chad Johnson, T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Chris Henry, Kelley Washington, Andre Johnson, Eric Moulds, Darrell Jackson, Bobby Engram, Deion Branch, Nate Burleson

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. Green Bay
Terrell Owens, Dallas vs. Philadelphia
Anquan Boldin, Arizona vs. Kansas City
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Kansas City
Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Tennessee
Laveranues Coles, N.Y. Jets vs. Jacksonville
Roy Williams, Detroit* vs. Minnesota
Santana Moss, Washington* vs. N.Y. Giants

Removed from Studs list:
-Chris Chambers, Miami: average at best


Isaac Bruce, St. Louis (vs. Green Bay): BRUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCE!!! No, it’s not the Boss, it’s the latest veteran WR to post big numbers. Bruce caught seven passes for 100 yards and a TD last week and he should match that performance against the Packers whose secondary will be referred to simply as “Toast” for the rest of the season.

Amani Toomer, N.Y. Giants (vs. Washington): Toomer came back to earth in week three after destroying the Eagles in week two. The Giants were beaten up by the Seahawks in week three and had a whole week to think about it. Look for Manning to look Toomer’s way early and often with Shockey and Burress not living up to their expectations.

Greg Jennings, Green Bay (vs. St. Louis): With Driver questionable this week, Favre will continue to look to his newest weapon in the Packers offensive attack at home against the Rams in what should be a shoot-out.

Marcus Robinson, Minnesota (vs. Detroit): Looking for a one-week replacement for Darrell Jackson, Chad Johnson, or Housh? Robinson is your man. Robinson returned from a hamstring injury and posted solid numbers last week (5-78, 1 TD). The Vikings passing attack will have success against the Lions, so keep Robinson in mind when reviewing your waiver wire.


Lee Evans, Buffalo (vs. Chicago): If the Bears can shut down the Seahawks passing game, what do you think they’ll do against J.P. Losman and the Bills? Evans has posted solid numbers for two straight weeks, but don’t forget that he had two catches in each of the first two games. Against the toughest defense in the league in the Windy City, Evans will return to the two-catch, 20-yard range this week.

Hines Ward, Pittsburgh (vs. San Diego): As Roethlisberger goes, so goes Hines Ward. With low expectations from the Steelers passing attack again this week, Ward is not recommended.

Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay (vs. New Orleans): Let Gradkowski find his way before taking a chance on Clayton or any other Tampa Bay WR.

Keyshawn Johnson, Carolina (vs. Cleveland): The Panthers will find success on the ground against the Browns and when Delhomme does pass, Steve Smith will be the main recipient. Keyshawn will have his days, but this Sunday won’t be one of them.


Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Alge Crumpler, Reggie Kelly, Owen Daniels, Mark Bruener, Jeb Putzier, Will Heller, Itula Mili

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Todd Heap, Baltimore vs. Denver
Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Pittsburgh
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Arizona
Kellen Winslow, Cleveland* vs. Carolina


L.J. Smith Philadelphia (vs. Dallas): With Donte’ Stallworth and Reggie Brown both dinged up, look for McNabb to lean on Smith in this huge division game.

Ben Watson, New England (vs. Miami): Watson has yet to catch a TD pass, but Brady will find Watson open often against a soft Dolphins defense that allowed 94 yards receiving and a TD against the Titans TEs two weeks ago.


Alex Smith, Tampa Bay (vs. New Orleans): Gradkowski-Smith doesn’t exactly flow off the tongue like Bledsoe-Coates or Montana-Clark.

Randy McMichael, Miami (vs. New England): McMichael’s four catches for 54 yards was easily his best game of the season. Yuck. Until Culpepper gets his act together, look elsewhere for your TE production.

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