Start & SitOctober 19, 2006

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Week 7

By Nick Hopkins

Studs will be studs. Last week was a not-so-subtle reminder that there were reasons you targeted certain players early in your drafts. Four touchdowns for Tomlinson. Three touchdowns for Owens. Tiki Barber, Steve Smith, and Warrick Dunn all had huge yardage days. These totals came at an ideal time for owners last week, as an unprecedented six teams were on a bye. Well, things should be easier this week, right? Wrong. Once again, six teams are off. Optimizing your lineup is critical during bye weeks. Below, several of your Cafe peers ranked how they feel players will fare. Best of luck this week except, of course, to your opponents.

Our revised system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Donovan McNabb – PHIat TB15.52.58.0
Peyton Manning – INDvs WAS15.32.57.8
Byron Leftwich – JACat HOU15.01.86.8
Tom Brady – NEat BUF14.52.87.3
Matt Leinart – ARIat OAK14.32.56.8
Eli Manning – NYGat DAL13.83.87.5
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAvs MIN13.53.57.0
Jake Delhomme – CARat CIN13.54.37.8
Jon Kitna – DETat NYJ13.33.56.8
Carson Palmer – CINvs CAR13.04.37.3
Brett Favre – GBat MIA12.84.06.8
Philip Rivers – SDat KC12.84.06.8
Chad Pennington – NYJvs DET12.84.37.0
Jake Plummer – DENat CLE12.34.06.3
Ben Roethlisberger – PITat ATL11.84.36.0
Brad Johnson – MINat SEA11.84.56.3
Drew Bledsoe – DALvs NYG11.35.06.3
Joey Harrington – MIAvs GB10.84.85.5
Michael Vick – ATLvs PIT10.05.55.5
Mark Brunell – WASat IND10.06.06.0
David Carr – HOUvs JAC9.86.36.0
Bruce Gradkowski – TBvs PHI8.56.34.8
Charlie Frye – CLEvs DEN7.86.54.3
JP Losman – BUFvs NE7.56.33.8
Damon Huard – KCvs SD7.37.04.3
Andrew Walter – OAKvs ARI6.57.03.5
Daunte Culpepper – MIAvs GB2.39.31.5
Steve McNair – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Rex Grossman – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
Drew Brees – NOBYE0.00.00.0
Alex Smith – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Marc Bulger – STLBYE0.00.00.0
Vince Young – TENBYE0.00.00.0

Matt Leinart, ARI (14.3 rating): Leinart has thrown for four touchdowns the last two weeks, and has shown remarkable poise for a rookie. Look for him to have continued success against the Raiders, as the Arizona offense will not relent like a week ago. The Cardinals will look to make a statement after firing their offensive coordinator following Monday night’s game.

Mark Brunell, WAS (10.0 rating): Since his heroic, three touchdown perfomance in an overtime win against Jacksonville, Brunell has struggled mightily. He has thrown only five touchdowns all year, including the aforementioned three in one game to Moss against the Jags. Brunell is far too inconsistent to be considered a viable fantasy starter at this point.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDat KC16.82.08.8
Clinton Portis – WASat IND15.53.08.5
Tatum Bell – DENat CLE14.52.87.3
Kevin Jones – DETat NYJ14.33.07.3
Tiki Barber – NYGat DAL14.03.57.5
Fred Taylor – JACat HOU13.53.36.8
Willie Parker – PITat ATL13.34.07.3
Brian Westbrook – PHIat TB13.34.88.0
DeShaun Foster – CARat CIN12.84.06.8
Ronnie Brown – MIAvs GB12.84.37.0
Larry Johnson – KCvs SD12.85.38.0
Laurence Maroney – NEat BUF12.34.56.8
Willis McGahee – BUFvs NE11.84.05.8
Julius Jones – DALvs NYG11.84.56.3
Corey Dillon – NEat BUF11.84.56.3
Cadillac Williams – TBvs PHI11.54.86.3
Edgerrin James – ARIat OAK11.55.36.8
Joseph Addai – INDvs WAS11.34.86.0
Chester Taylor – MINat SEA11.35.06.3
Ahman Green – GBat MIA11.04.55.5
Rudi Johnson – CINvs CAR11.05.06.0
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat HOU10.85.05.8
Warrick Dunn – ATLvs PIT10.55.56.0
LaMont Jordan – OAKvs ARI10.55.56.0
Dominic Rhodes – INDvs WAS10.35.55.8
Marion Barber – DALvs NYG9.85.35.0
Maurice Morris – SEAvs MIN9.35.54.8
Brandon Jacobs – NYGat DAL8.85.84.5
Kevan Barlow – NYJvs DET8.36.34.5
Leon Washington – NYJvs DET8.36.54.8
Reuben Droughns – CLEvs DEN8.06.84.8
Michael Turner – SDat KC7.86.54.3
Najeh Davenport – PITat ATL7.56.54.0
Correll Buckhalter – PHIat TB6.87.34.0
Jerious Norwood – ATLvs PIT6.87.54.3
Ladell Betts – WASat IND6.36.83.0
Cedric Houston – NYJvs DET6.07.83.8
Vernand Morency – GBat MIA5.87.83.5
Noah Herron – GBat MIA5.57.83.3
Wali Lundy – HOUvs JAC5.08.03.0
Mike Bell – DENat CLE4.08.02.0
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs DEN3.88.52.3
Ron Dayne – HOUvs JAC3.88.52.3
Samkon Gado – HOUvs JAC2.59.31.8
DeAngelo Williams – CARat CIN1.59.30.8
Jamal Lewis – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Musa Smith – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Mike Anderson – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Thomas Jones – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
Cedric Benson – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
Reggie Bush – NOBYE0.00.00.0
Deuce McAllister – NOBYE0.00.00.0
Frank Gore – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Michael Robinson – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Steven Jackson – STLBYE0.00.00.0
Travis Henry – TENBYE0.00.00.0
Chris Brown – TENBYE0.00.00.0
Lendale White – TENBYE0.00.00.0

Fred Taylor, JAX (13.5 rating): Despite splitting some carries with rookie Maurice Jones-Drew, “Fragile Freddie” is putting up solid numbers of late between the twenties. Expect more of the same this week against the Texans.

Maurice Morris, SEA (9.3 rating): Filling in for Shaun Alexander is not easy, as Morris is finding out. The loss of Steve Hutchinson on the offensive line, combined with the resurgence of the Seahawks’ passing attack, have limited Morris’ productivity. Also, the Vikings have the fourth-best rushing defense in the league. This is not a favorable matchup for Alexander’s replacement.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Roy Williams – DETat NYJ16.02.08.0
Anquan Boldin – ARIat OAK15.82.38.0
Marvin Harrison – INDvs WAS15.32.37.5
Steve Smith – CARat CIN15.33.38.5
Reggie Williams – JACat HOU14.82.87.5
Terrell Owens – DALvs NYG14.83.58.3
Laveranues Coles – NYJvs DET14.53.07.5
Reggie Wayne – INDvs WAS14.32.87.0
Greg Jennings – GBat MIA14.03.37.3
Terry Glenn – DALvs NYG13.33.87.0
Santana Moss – WASat IND13.34.37.5
Darrell Jackson – SEAvs MIN13.34.57.8
Chris Chambers – MIAvs GB13.03.86.8
Plaxico Burress – NYGat DAL13.04.07.0
Javon Walker – DENat CLE12.84.37.0
Deion Branch – SEAvs MIN12.84.37.0
Chad Johnson – CINvs CAR12.85.07.8
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJvs DET12.53.86.3
Donald Driver – GBat MIA12.54.06.5
Reggie Brown – PHIat TB12.54.36.8
Andre Johnson – HOUvs JAC12.54.87.3
Keyshawn Johnson – CARat CIN11.84.36.0
Hines Ward – PITat ATL11.54.56.0
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINvs CAR11.55.36.8
Doug Gabriel – NEat BUF11.34.86.0
Eric Parker – SDat KC11.34.86.0
Lee Evans – BUFvs NE11.35.06.3
Joey Galloway – TBvs PHI11.05.86.8
Bryant Johnson – ARIat OAK10.85.05.8
Rod Smith – DENat CLE10.54.85.3
Mike Furrey – DETat NYJ10.54.85.3
Keenan McCardell – SDat KC10.05.55.5
Wes Welker – MIAvs GB9.85.35.0
Amani Toomer – NYGat DAL9.85.35.0
Randy Moss – OAKvs ARI9.85.85.5
Troy Brown – NEat BUF9.55.55.0
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs DEN9.55.85.3
Ernest Wilford – JACat HOU9.35.85.0
Troy Williamson – MINat SEA9.36.05.3
Travis Taylor – MINat SEA8.86.35.0
Matt Jones – JACat HOU8.55.84.3
Eric Moulds – HOUvs JAC8.56.04.5
Eddie Kennison – KCvs SD8.56.04.5
Michael Clayton – TBvs PHI8.56.34.8
Donte’ Stallworth – PHIat TB8.07.85.8
Nate Burleson – SEAvs MIN7.56.54.0
Michael Jenkins – ATLvs PIT7.07.04.0
Samie Parker – KCvs SD6.86.83.5
Reche Caldwell – NEat BUF6.57.03.5
Santonio Holmes – PITat ATL6.57.03.5
Antwaan Randle El – WASat IND6.57.03.5
Roscoe Parrish – BUFvs NE6.57.33.8
Nate Washington – PITat ATL6.36.83.0
Josh Reed – BUFvs NE6.37.53.8
Az-Zahir Hakim – DETat NYJ6.06.82.8
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs DEN6.07.33.3
Roddy White – ATLvs PIT5.57.53.0
Brandon Lloyd – WASat IND5.37.52.8
Ashley Lelie – ATLvs PIT4.87.82.5
Dennis Northcutt – CLEvs DEN3.88.52.3
Brandon Stokely – INDvs WAS3.88.52.3
Bobby Engram – SEAvs MIN3.09.02.0
Chris Henry – CINvs CAR1.89.31.0
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIat OAK1.09.50.5
Derrick Mason – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Mark Clayton – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
Bernard Berrian – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
Marques Colston – NOBYE0.00.00.0
Joe Horn – NOBYE0.00.00.0
Antonio Bryant – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Arnaz Battle – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Torry Holt – STLBYE0.00.00.0
Isaac Bruce – STLBYE0.00.00.0
Drew Bennett – TENBYE0.00.00.0
David Givens – TENBYE0.00.00.0

Greg Jennings, GB (14.0 rating): The sensational rookie has been a favorite of Brett Favre this year. Jennings has 60 yards or more in his last four games, with touchdowns in three of them. With defenses keying on Donald Driver, Jennings is a big play waiting to happen. He has already amassed over 360 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. In addition the Packers’ opponents this week, the Dolphins, have already given up 10 touchdowns through the air this season.

Braylon Edwards, CLE (9.5 rating): Braylon had a couple of nice games early in the season, but he faces a tough matchup this week in Champ Bailey and the Denver Broncos. The stingy Denver D has only allowed one touchdown so far this season. Don’t expect Edwards to get the second.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Antonio Gates – SDat KC15.32.88.0
Jeremy Shockey – NYGat DAL13.53.87.3
Randy McMichael – MIAvs GB13.33.87.0
Chris Cooley – WASat IND12.53.86.3
George Wrighster – JACat HOU11.54.35.8
Jason Witten – DALvs NYG11.54.56.0
LJ Smith – PHIat TB11.54.56.0
Ben Watson – NEat BUF11.34.35.5
Alge Crumpler – ATLvs PIT11.35.36.5
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs DEN11.05.36.3
Dallas Clark – INDvs WAS10.84.55.3
Tony Gonzalez – KCvs SD10.85.86.5
Chris Baker – NYJvs DET10.35.05.3
Heath Miller – PITat ATL10.35.55.8
Marcus Pollard – DETat NYJ10.05.05.0
Jermaine Wiggins – MINat SEA10.05.05.0
Daniel Graham – NEat BUF9.85.35.0
Bubba Franks – GBat MIA9.55.04.5
Alex Smith – TBvs PHI8.86.04.8
Kris Mangum – CARat CIN7.86.03.8
Courtney Anderson – OAKvs ARI7.36.03.3
Dan Campbell – DETat NYJ7.06.03.0
Itula Mili – SEAvs MIN7.06.53.5
Jeremy Stevens – SEAvs MIN6.37.84.0
Stephen Alexander – DENat CLE6.06.52.5
David Martin – GBat MIA6.07.03.0
Bryan Fletcher – INDvs WAS6.07.33.3
Owen Daniels – HOUvs JAC5.87.02.8
Jeb Putzier – HOUvs JAC5.87.33.0
Anthony Becht – TBvs PHI5.57.02.5
Adam Bergen – ARIat OAK5.57.32.8
Mike Sellers – WASat IND5.57.32.8
Todd Heap – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Desmond Clark – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
John Gilmore – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
Eric Johnson – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Bo Scaife – TENBYE0.00.00.0
Ben Troupe – TENBYE0.00.00.0

George Wrighster, JAC (11.5 rating): Wrighster could be the solution to many teams’ bye week problems at tight end. He is becoming a safety valve for Jacksonville’s improving young quarterback Byron Leftwich. Look for Wrighster to have a solid game against the woeful Houston defense.

Tony Gonzalez, KC (10.8 rating): Gonzalez has had a rough year so far, due in part to the absence of Trent Green in the Kansas City lineup. Unfortunately, things aren’t exactly looking up for the once-elite tight end. After an embarrassing loss at the hands of the Pittsburgh Steelers, the Chiefs have to play a very tough San Diego defense. I realize benching Gonzalez may not be a realistic option for many teams, but don’t expect too much if you leave him in your lineup.


Jason Elam – DENat CLE15.32.37.5
Nate Kaeding – SDat KC14.33.07.3
John Kasay – CARat CIN14.02.56.5
Josh Scobee – JACat HOU14.02.56.5
Neil Rackers – ARIat OAK13.83.37.0
Shayne Graham – CINvs CAR13.52.86.3
David Akers – PHIat TB13.52.86.3
Josh Brown – SEAvs MIN13.33.36.5
Jason Hanson – DETat NYJ12.53.35.8
Adam Vinatieri – INDvs WAS12.54.36.8
Jeff Reed – PITat ATL12.04.56.5
Dave Rayner – GBat MIA11.84.05.8
Ryan Longwell – MINat SEA11.54.35.8
Jay Feely – NYGat DAL11.54.56.0
Olindo Mare – MIAvs GB10.84.55.3
Stephen Gostkowski – NEat BUF10.85.05.8
Mike Vanderjagt – DALvs NYG10.85.36.0
Mike Nugent – NYJvs DET10.35.35.5
Rian Lindell – BUFvs NE9.85.55.3
Lawrence Tynes – KCvs SD9.85.85.5
Nick Novak – WASat IND9.55.55.0
Morten Andersen – ATLvs PIT9.55.85.3
Phil Dawson – CLEvs DEN8.85.54.3
Matt Bryant – TBvs PHI8.56.34.8
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKvs ARI8.35.53.8
Kris Brown – HOUvs JAC8.36.34.5
Matt Stover – BALBYE0.00.00.0
Robbie Gould – CHIBYE0.00.00.0
John Carney – NOBYE0.00.00.0
Joe Nedney – SFBYE0.00.00.0
Jeff Wilkins – STLBYE0.00.00.0
Rob Bironas – TENBYE0.00.00.0

Josh Brown, SEA (13.3 rating): Fresh off a game-winning 54-yard kick to beat the Rams, Josh Brown should have another good week against the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings have a good, but not elite defense, and the Seahawks will still be missing Shaun Alexander. Brown should get several opportunities when the Seattle offense stalls in Viking territory. As his three field goals over 40 yards last week prove, his leg is certainly up to the task.

Jay Feely, NYG (11.5 rating): “Touchy” Feely may not be your best option at kicker this week with a match up against a good Dallas defense in Irving. Feely has made only two of four field goals from 40 yards or longer this year. Leave him on the bench this week if you can.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
Jacksonvilleat HOU16.02.38.3
Arizonaat OAK14.83.58.3
San Diegoat KC14.33.07.3
New Englandat BUF13.83.37.0
Denverat CLE13.33.87.0
Pittsburghat ATL13.03.86.8
Philadelphiaat TB12.84.37.0
Seattlevs MIN12.34.06.3
Miamivs GB11.54.35.8
Indianapolisvs WAS11.35.06.3
Carolinaat CIN11.05.56.5
New York Giantsat DAL10.85.56.3
Green Bayat MIA10.55.05.5
New York Jetsvs DET10.34.54.8
Detroitat NYJ10.35.05.3
Atlantavs PIT9.86.05.8
Clevelandvs DEN9.55.34.8
Minnesotaat SEA9.55.85.3
Dallasvs NYG9.56.05.5
Cincinnativs CAR9.36.86.0
Buffalovs NE8.36.85.0
Tampa Bayvs PHI7.57.04.5
Kansas Cityvs SD7.06.83.8
Oaklandvs ARI7.06.83.8
Washingtonat IND6.57.84.3
Houstonvs JAC5.57.32.8
New OrleansBYE0.00.00.0
San FranciscoBYE0.00.00.0
St. LouisBYE0.00.00.0

Arizona (14.8 rating): Despite the Cardinals falling apart last week in the waning moments against the Bears, their defense looked really good. They forced Rex Grossman into six turnovers, and face the hapless Raiders this week. Bon appetit.

Kansas City (7.0 rating): While they once looked like a solid unit, the Chiefs were destroyed by the Steelers last week. This week things don’t get any easier as the Chargers come to town, sporting one the most potent offenses in the AFC.

Special thanks to dream_017, Kilroy1872, knapplc, mattb47, lmcjaho, and logan for submitting rankings this week. Rankings were compiled by SwiperNoSwiping.
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