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Start/Bench List – Week 7

A trio of RBs continued to prove they belong on the Studs list last week as LT2, Alexander and Edge all dominated. Despite the recent injuries, there’s plenty of RBs out there to fill your needs if you weren’t one of the lucky ones to get one of the big three.

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: Jake Delhomme, Byron Leftwich, Tom Brady, Brian Griese, Chris Simms, Tim Rattay

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Peyton Manning, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Carson Palmer, Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
Donovan McNabb, Philadelphia vs. San Diego
Drew Bledsoe, Dallas* vs. Seattle

Removed from Studs list:

-Marc Bulger, St. Louis: injured shoulder


Mark Brunell, Washington (vs. San Francisco): Brunell has quietly posted stud-like numbers throwing for two TDs in each of his previous four games. He has also cracked 300 yards passing in back-to-back weeks and should find similar success against a 49ers defense that has allowed the most passing yards in the NFL this season.

Josh McCown, Arizona (vs. Tennessee): Forget about Kurt Warner. McCown is the direction head coach Dennis Green needs to go. Monitor his situation closely, but unless Warner has compromising pictures of Green, McCown will get the nod and perform well coming off the bye week against the Titans.


Michael Vick, Atlanta (vs. N.Y. Jets): Vick played the entire game last week, but you couldn’t tell by his final stats (112 yards passing, 1 TD, 1 INT, 58 yards rushing). The Jets pass defense has been solid while their run defense is porous. Expect Vick to do what little damage he can on the ground which is not enough to warrant a start this week.

Alex Smith, San Francisco (vs. Washington): The trade of Tim Rattay to Tampa Bay opens the door for Alex Smith. Despite the confidence boost, the rookie will continue to suffer his lumps against the Redskins who, despite having a depleted secondary, held the high-powered Chiefs passing game to only 181 yards last week.

Running Backs

Bye Weeks: Stephen Davis, DeShaun Foster, Fred Taylor, Greg Jones, Alvin Pearman, Corey Dillon, Patrick Pass, Cadillac Williams, Michael Pittman, Mike Alstott


LaDainian Tomlinson, San Diego vs. Philadelphia
Shaun Alexander, Seattle vs. Dallas
Edgerrin James, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Willis McGahee, Buffalo vs. Oakland
Tiki Barber, N.Y. Giants vs. Denver


Antowain Smith, New Orleans (vs. St. Louis): Smith’s 88 rushing yards on 12 carries was impressive, but the two TDs pushed the fantasy performance over the top. Expect another above average day for Smith against the Rams who still haven’t tackled Edgerrin James.

Clinton Portis, Washington (vs. San Francisco): Portis has yet to score a TD, but he’s getting more involved in the passing game as his 51 yards receiving last week can attest to. With the 49ers on the schedule, look for Portis to finally hit pay dirt and post a bundle of yards along the way.

Warrick Dunn, Atlanta (vs. N.Y. Jets): What would a Start List be without Warrick Dunn? The Falcons seem to matchup well rushing every week and Dunn is the main reason. Dunn rushed for exactly 100 yards last week and he faces a Jets defense that saw Willis McGahee rush for over 140 yards last week.


Brian Westbrook, Philadelphia (vs. San Diego): If your league doesn’t count receiving yards and receptions for RBs, you probably put Westbrook on your bench three weeks ago. Westbrook has three receiving TDs and his only 100-yard performance came in week three when he had 140 yards receiving. This week, the Eagles will continue to struggle on the ground and Westbrook will not see enough action in the passing attack to warrant a start.

Kevan Barlow, San Francisco (vs. Washington): Barlow came within one yard of his first 100-yard rushing game two weeks ago against the Colts. Coming off a bye week, Barlow faces a Redskins defense that held Priest Holmes to 18 yards on 14 carries. Granted, Holmes posted big numbers receiving, but Barlow doesn’t have the QB to get him the ball. It’s not going to be pretty for Barlow and the Niners.

Mewelde Moore, Minnesota (vs. Green Bay): Things continue to get worse for the Vikings. Who would have thought so many problems would stem without Randy Moss? Moore posted the exact same rushing numbers two weeks in a row: 14 carries, 57 yards, 0 TDs. Not exactly the numbers that will lead you to a victory in the fantasy circles. Expect more average numbers this week as the Green Bay defense is rested after a bye week and is looking to kick the Vikings while they are down.

Wide Receivers

Bye Weeks: Steve Smith, Ricky Proehl, Keary Colbert, Rod Gardner, Jimmy Smith, Reggie Williams, Ernest Wilford, Matt Jones, Deion Branch, David Givens, Troy Brown, Tim Dwight, Joey Galloway, Michael Clayton, Ike Hilliard

Studs (* = new addition to the list)

Marvin Harrison, Indianapolis vs. Houston
Randy Moss, Oakland vs. Buffalo
Torry Holt, St. Louis vs. New Orleans
Chad Johnson, Cincinnati vs. Pittsburgh
Larry Fitzgerald, Arizona vs. Tennessee
Terrell Owens, Philadelphia vs. San Diego
Santana Moss, Washington* vs. San Francisco


Plaxico Burress, N.Y. Giants (vs. Denver): Burress followed up his 10-catch, 204-yard, 2 TD performance with an average 5-55 yards last week. Look for the G-Men to air it out often this week as Denver’s run defense will slow down Tiki Barber. Burress has caught at least five passes in every game this season and this week against the Broncos pass defense which is ranked 26th in the NFL in yards allowed should be no exception.

Chris Chambers, Miami (vs. Kansas City): Chambers best day receiving this season came in week three against the Panthers when he caught six passes for 93 yards and a TD. Look for Chambers to surpass those stats this week against the Chiefs who Mark Brunell and Santana Moss lit up like a Christmas tree last week.

Keyshawn Johnson, Dallas (vs. Seattle): Johnson had his best game of the season last week catching 8 passes for 120 yards. Look for his success to continue this week as the Seahawks will focus on preventing Terry Glenn from beating them opening up the middle of the field for Keyshawn to roam all day long.

Donte Stallworth, New Orleans (vs. St. Louis): The on-again, off-again status of Joe Horn has allowed Stallworth to step into the #1 WR spot and he’s caught at least seven passes for 80 yards in two of the past three games. This week, Stallworth should get plenty of action as Antowain Smith will soften the middle just enough for Stallworth to hit the Rams with a knockout blow deep down the sidelines.


Muhsin Muhammad, Chicago (vs. Baltimore): Kyle Orton vs. Ray Lewis. Advantage Lewis. Sit Muhammad and any other member of the Bears passing attack that you haven’t released yet.

Jabar Gaffney, Houston (vs. Indianapolis): With Andre Johnson out, Gaffney stepped it up last week and caught 10 passes for 87 yards. While Gaffney should continue to play a significant role in the passing attack, he won’t have many opportunities this week against the Colts as the Texans will try and establish the run early and often.

Derrick Mason, Baltimore (vs. Chicago): Given the state of the Ravens running game, Mason has not performed that badly. He has caught eight passes in three of the Ravens five games including 8-85 yards last week. This week, Baltimore travels to Chicago where it’s likely to be an extremely physical contest with very little offensive highlights. Look elsewhere this week.

Antwaan Randle El, Pittsburgh (vs. Cincinnati): Randle El busted off a punt return for a TD last week, but depending on your scoring system this could have meant absolutely nothing. With injuries to Roethlisberger and Ward, the Steelers passing attack is not running on all cylinders. Don’t expect big things from Randle El as the Steelers travel to Cincy this week.

Tight Ends

Bye Weeks: Kris Mangum, George Wrighster, Kyle Brady, Daniel Graham, Ben Watson, Alex Smith


Antonio Gates, San Diego vs. Philadelphia
Alge Crumpler, Atlanta vs. N.Y. Jets
Tony Gonzalez, Kansas City vs. Miami
Jeremy Shockey, N.Y. Giants vs. Denver
Randy McMichael, Miami vs. Kansas City
L.J. Smith, Philadelphia vs. San Diego


Chris Cooley, Washington (vs. San Francisco): Cooley has caught a TD in two straight weeks and has more than 50 yards receiving in each of the past three weeks. With San Fran up next, expect both of those streaks to be extended.

Matt Schobel, Cincinnati (vs. Pittsburgh): Call it a hunch, but I believe the Bengals will pull use all the tricks in the book this week to take out the Steelers. My bet is one of those tricks includes finding the TE in a goal line situation.


Desmond Clark, Chicago (vs. Baltimore): Forget about Clark’s two TDs last week. The Ravens defense is much different than the Vikings.

Justin Pelle, San Diego (vs. Philadelphia): Pelle’s three catches last week practically matched his season total for receptions heading into the game (4). The Eagles defense will present many more problems for Drew Brees than the Raiders, leaving Pelle’s primary responsibility to blocking thus limiting his offensive opportunities.

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