Start & SitOctober 4, 2007

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Week 5

By Nick Hopkins

The Patriots, Colts, Cowboys, and Packers registered impressive wins last week to move to 4-0, while the Dolphins and Rams once again failed to collect their first victory. Hopefully your fantasy team’s record is closer to the former than the latter. If you did manage to make it out of Week 4 unscathed, consider yourself lucky. Many fantasy teams were devastated by a rash of injuries around the league combined with the first round of bye weeks. But now Week 4 is over, and Week 5 is rapidly approaching. For some insight into this weekend’s matchups, I give you the Cafe’s Start and Sit!

Our 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.


Tom Brady – NEvs CLE18.01.39.3
Tony Romo – DALat BUF17.31.79.1
Peyton Manning – INDvs TB17.11.88.9
Jon Kitna – DETat WAS14.13.57.6
Vince Young – TENvs ATL13.83.87.6
Brett Favre – GBvs CHI13.73.87.5
Ben Roethlisberger – PITvs SEA13.64.17.7
Eli Manning – NYGvs NYJ13.34.27.5
Jason Campbell – WASvs DET12.94.06.9
Jay Cutler – DENvs SD12.24.26.4
Drew Brees – NOvs CAR12.25.77.8
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAat PIT12.05.07.1
Matt Schaub – HOUvs MIA11.94.76.6
Chad Pennington – NYJat NYG11.25.46.6
David Garrard – JACat KC10.84.95.7
Derek Anderson – CLEat NE10.66.46.9
David Carr – CARat NO10.55.66.0
Trent Green – MIAat HOU10.25.35.5
Philip Rivers – SDat DEN10.15.75.8
Joey Harrington – ATLat TEN10.15.96.0
Jeff Garcia – TBat IND10.05.85.8
Trent Edwards – BUFvs. DAL9.26.25.3
Kurt Warner – ARIat STL9.17.36.4
Matt Leinart – ARIat STL9.17.46.4
Damon Huard – KCvs JAC9.06.05.0
Steve McNair – BALat SF8.86.14.9
Brian Griese – CHIat GB8.16.44.5
Gus Frerotte – STLvs ARI7.57.24.7
Trent Dilfer – SFvs BAL7.37.44.8

Brett Favre, GB (13.7 rating): The Packers are letting Favre go to the air early and often, and so far it’s working. The NFL’s all time leading touchdown passer has eight touchdowns this year and only two interceptions. The Bears were missing both of their starting corners last week against the Lions, and it showed. Jon Kitna put up 247 yards and a couple of TDs, leading the Lions to a big come-from-behind win. With corners Nathan Vasher and Charles Tillman still banged up, and other big names like Tommie Harris and Lance Briggs also on the injury report, Favre should have a nice game.

Derek Anderson, CLE (10.6 rating): I’ll admit, I think Derek Anderson may actually be pretty good. He’s had at least two touchdowns in each of his three starts. That alone would entice many owners to give him a look this week, but unfortunately the matchup is not in his favor. It is hard to recommend anyone against the Patriots with the way they are playing right now. Then again, if Anderson produces against New England, he’s certainly going to turn a lot of heads.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDat DEN17.01.98.8
Willie Parker – PITvs SEA15.72.98.6
Joseph Addai – INDvs TB15.53.18.6
Ronnie Brown – MIAat HOU15.03.28.3
Edgerrin James – ARIat STL14.92.77.6
Marion Barber – DALat BUF14.53.17.6
Willis McGahee – BALat SF14.43.07.4
Larry Johnson – KCvs JAC13.63.57.2
Reggie Bush – NOvs CAR13.64.37.9
Shaun Alexander – SEAat PIT12.94.47.2
Selvin Young – DENvs SD12.84.87.6
Frank Gore – SFvs BAL12.74.67.3
Clinton Portis – WASvs DET12.24.56.7
Marshawn Lynch – BUFvs. DAL12.14.97.0
DeShaun Foster – CARat NO12.04.46.4
Sammy Morris – NEvs CLE11.94.26.0
Thomas Jones – NYJat NYG11.84.26.1
Julius Jones – DALat BUF11.83.85.6
LenDale White – TENvs ATL11.64.66.2
Derrick Ward – NYGvs NYJ11.45.26.6
Brian Leonard – STLvs ARI11.14.65.6
Ladell Betts – WASvs DET11.15.46.5
Cedric Benson – CHIat GB10.85.15.9
Chris Brown – TENvs ATL10.65.05.6
Kevin Jones – DETat WAS10.45.45.8
Fred Taylor – JACat KC10.35.15.4
DeAngelo Williams – CARat NO10.25.15.3
Jamal Lewis – CLEat NE10.16.26.3
Laurence Maroney – NEvs CLE10.04.84.8
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat KC10.05.45.4
Earnest Graham – TBat IND9.95.65.5
Warrick Dunn – ATLat TEN9.85.45.2
Michael Pittman – TBat IND9.85.55.3
Tatum Bell – DETat WAS9.15.74.8
Aaron Stecker – NOvs CAR8.95.64.5
Brandon Jacobs – NYGvs NYJ8.76.85.5
Ron Dayne – HOUvs MIA8.65.84.5
Jerious Norwood – ATLat TEN8.46.44.8
Ahman Green – HOUvs MIA8.35.94.2
Kenton Keith – INDvs TB7.96.44.2
Kevin Faulk – NEvs CLE7.85.93.7
Travis Henry – DENvs SD7.76.54.2
DeShawn Wynn – GBvs CHI7.66.54.1
Michael Turner – SDat DEN7.56.03.4
Reuben Droughns – NYGvs NYJ7.46.43.8
Vernand Morency – GBvs CHI7.36.74.0
Samkon Gado – HOUvs MIA7.26.43.6
Leon Washington – NYJat NYG6.96.73.6
Adrian Peterson – CHIat GB6.86.83.6
Najeh Davenport – PITvs SEA6.66.73.3
Brandon Jackson – GBvs CHI6.57.13.6
Chris Henry – TENvs ATL6.36.93.1
Maurice Morris – SEAat PIT6.26.82.9
Marcel Shipp – ARIat STL6.16.92.9
Jesse Chatman – MIAat HOU6.17.23.2
Greg Jones – JACat KC5.97.12.9
Michael Bennett – KCvs JAC5.87.22.9
Musa Smith – BALat SF5.67.12.7
Mike Anderson – BALat SF5.47.32.7
Anthony Thomas – BUFvs. DAL4.77.92.6
Michael Robinson – SFvs BAL4.37.92.1
Jerome Harrison – CLEat NE3.28.51.6

Reggie Bush, NO (13.6 rating): It will be interesting to see how Deuce McAllister’s injury affects Bush. Will the extra carries allow Reggie to put up better numbers? Or will Deuce’s absence allow defenses to key on the Heisman trophy winner and limit his effectiveness? My guess is that it will help more than hurt. Bush will have to step up this week if the Saints are going to get their first win against a struggling Carolina Panthers squad.

Tatum Bell, DET (9.1 rating): Kevin Jones appears to be officially back in the fold. Jones and Bell are likely split carries 50-50 for the foreseeable future, and at this point half of the Detroit running game does not seem to be worth starting. The Redskins run defense is much improved over last season. Mike Martz will probably look to Jon Kitna and the passing game to carry the load this week.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Randy Moss – NEvs CLE18.11.29.2
Terrell Owens – DALat BUF16.22.18.3
Steve Smith – CARat NO15.52.88.3
Plaxico Burress – NYGvs NYJ15.13.28.3
Reggie Wayne – INDvs TB14.83.78.5
Roy Williams – DETat WAS14.83.38.0
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIat STL13.94.08.0
Santonio Holmes – PITvs SEA13.64.17.7
Patrick Crayton – DALat BUF13.53.46.8
Laveranues Coles – NYJat NYG13.43.87.2
Wes Welker – NEvs CLE13.03.56.5
Marques Colston – NOvs CAR12.94.17.1
Torry Holt – STLvs ARI12.94.67.6
Braylon Edwards – CLEat NE12.64.87.4
Donald Driver – GBvs CHI12.44.36.7
Deion Branch – SEAat PIT12.34.87.1
Antwaan Randle El – WASvs DET12.33.55.8
Bernard Berrian – CHIat GB12.34.46.7
Brandon Marshall – DENvs SD12.23.96.2
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJat NYG12.24.16.3
Chris Chambers – MIAat HOU12.24.46.6
Dwayne Bowe – KCvs JAC12.14.56.6
Santana Moss – WASvs DET11.94.96.7
Joey Galloway – TBat IND11.84.96.7
Shaun McDonald – DETat WAS11.74.86.5
Greg Jennings – GBvs CHI11.74.86.5
Lee Evans – BUFvs. DAL11.75.06.7
Vincent Jackson – SDat DEN10.95.46.3
Donte Stallworth – NEvs CLE10.74.45.2
Derrick Mason – BALat SF10.65.35.9
Darrell Jackson – SFvs BAL10.55.25.7
Marvin Harrison – INDvs TB10.46.26.6
Joe Jurevicius – CLEat NE10.25.65.8
Amani Toomer – NYGvs NYJ10.24.74.9
Javon Walker – DENvs SD10.25.75.9
Mike Furrey – DETat WAS10.15.05.1
Michael Jenkins – ATLat TEN10.15.05.1
James Jones – GBvs CHI10.15.35.3
Roydell Williams – TENvs ATL9.94.94.8
Isaac Bruce – STLvs ARI9.95.55.4
Calvin Johnson – DETat WAS9.95.75.6
Eric Moulds – TENvs ATL9.84.94.7
Brandon Jones – TENvs ATL9.85.24.9
Roddy White – ATLat TEN9.85.65.4
Drew Carter – CARat NO9.75.04.7
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIat GB9.65.14.7
Reggie Williams – JACat KC9.65.85.4
Marty Booker – MIAat HOU9.65.34.9
Anthony Gonzalez – INDvs TB9.56.05.5
Devery Henderson – NOvs CAR9.45.55.0
Brandon Stokely – DENvs SD9.45.24.6
Bobby Engram – SEAat PIT9.36.05.3
Brandon Lloyd – WASvs DET9.15.24.3
Nate Burleson – SEAat PIT8.86.14.9
Roscoe Parrish – BUFvs. DAL8.75.94.6
Anquan Boldin – ARIat STL8.57.55.9
Michael Clayton – TBat IND8.35.74.0
Drew Bennett – STLvs ARI8.26.04.2
Nate Washington – PITvs SEA8.25.94.0
Mark Clayton – BALat SF7.96.24.0
Bryant Johnson – ARIat STL7.86.34.1
Rashied Davis – CHIat GB7.75.43.1
Arnaz Battle – SFvs BAL7.76.23.8
Jabar Gaffney – NEvs CLE7.65.93.4
Ernest Wilford – JACat KC7.46.43.8
Joe Horn – ATLat TEN7.36.43.6
Sammie Parker – KCvs JAC7.26.63.7
Hines Ward – PITvs SEA7.17.44.5
Matt Jones – JACat KC6.96.63.4
Kevin Walter – HOUvs MIA6.97.03.9
Demetrius Williams – BALat SF6.86.63.4
Buster Davis – SDat DEN6.67.03.6
Derek Hagan – MIAat HOU6.56.53.1
Cedrick Wilson – PITvs SEA6.56.53.0
Dwayne Jarrett – CARat NO6.56.22.7
Maurice Stovall – TBat IND6.56.83.3
Jacoby Jones – HOUvs MIA5.87.33.1
Sam Aiken – BUFvs. DAL5.76.82.5
Terrance Copper – NOvs CAR4.96.81.7
Robert Meachem – NOvs CAR4.67.41.9

Larry Fitzgerald, ARI (13.9 rating): Fitzgerald got off to kind of a slow start, and he still has not found the endzone, but his fortunes seem to be turning. With Anquan Boldin banged up, Fitzgerald has become the clear #1 threat in the Cardinal offense. He recorded ten catches for 120 yards in Arizona’s upset win over the Steelers last week. Boldin is questionable to start this week, but whether he does or not, Fitzgerald has the potential for a huge day. The Rams offense fell apart last week against Dallas, but the Cowboys still have a suspect secondary. Arizona’s offense is not as explosive as Dallas, but Fitzgerald could wreak havoc on a weak secondary.

Darrell Jackson, SF (10.5 rating): 49ers quarterback Trent Dilfer looked lost against the Sehawks last week in relief of Alex Smith, and that’s putting it nicely. He completed less than 40% of his passes with two interceptions. With Dilfer at the helm again this week against the Ravens, I would avoid starting any 49er offensive players.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Jason Witten – DALat BUF16.12.28.2
Antonio Gates – SDat DEN15.92.88.6
Ben Watson – NEvs CLE15.12.67.7
Chris Cooley – WASvs DET14.82.77.6
Dallas Clark – INDvs TB14.73.48.1
Jeremy Shockey – NYGvs NYJ14.43.07.4
Tony Gonzalez – KCvs JAC13.54.07.5
Heath Miller – PITvs SEA13.33.56.8
Todd Heap – BALat SF12.73.96.6
Alge Crumpler – ATLat TEN12.43.76.0
Kellen Winslow – CLEat NE11.84.36.1
Desmond Clark – CHIat GB11.34.55.7
Jeff King – CARat NO10.74.55.2
Eric Johnson – NOvs CAR10.65.15.6
Owen Daniels – HOUvs MIA10.55.05.5
Bubba Franks – GBvs CHI10.45.25.6
Bo Scaife – TENvs ATL10.34.34.6
Tony Scheffler – DENvs SD10.14.94.9
Daniel Graham – DENvs SD9.74.84.5
Chris Baker – NYJat NYG9.55.54.9
Marcus Pollard – SEAat PIT9.35.64.9
Ben Troupe – TENvs ATL8.95.24.1
Donald Lee – GBvs CHI8.95.54.4
Anthony Fasano – DALat BUF8.85.03.8
Greg Olsen – CHIat GB8.75.84.5
Randy McMichael – STLvs ARI8.76.14.8
David Martin – MIAat HOU8.35.63.9
George Wrighster – JACat KC8.06.24.3
Alex Smith – TBat IND7.85.63.4
Marcedes Lewis – JACat KC7.66.44.0
Ben Utecht – INDvs TB7.66.44.0
Dan Campbell – DETat WAS7.46.23.6
Matt Spaeth – PITvs SEA7.46.53.9
Leonard Pope – ARIat STL7.36.33.6
Anthony Becht – TBat IND7.35.83.1
Kyle Brady – NEvs CLE7.25.82.9
Itula Mili – SEAat PIT6.96.53.4
Robert Royal – BUFvs. DAL6.86.33.1
Jeb Putzier – HOUvs MIA6.56.63.1
Delanie Walker – SFvs BAL6.37.13.4

Ben Watson, NE (15.1 rating): My vote of confidence for Dallas Clark last week seemed to work out well for him (yes I am taking the credit!). Let’s see if I can do the same for Watson. The Patriots should have plenty of opportunities in the redzone against Cleveland. Watson has caught three touchdowns in the first four games, so Brady is looking his way near the goal line.

Jeff King, CAR (10.7 rating): Jeff King was looking like a solid sleeper in the early weeks of the season, but Jake Delhomme’s absence from the lineup last week hurt him and the rest of the Panther’s receivers. With Carr likely to start again this week, Jeff King is an iffy start.

Adam Vinatieri – INDvs TB15.13.28.3
Stephen Gostkowski – NEvs CLE14.82.47.1
Nick Folk – DALat BUF14.23.17.2
Matt Stover – BALat SF13.63.97.5
Jeff Reed – PITvs SEA13.54.17.5
Jason Hanson – DETat WAS12.94.06.9
Neil Rackers – ARIat STL12.83.96.7
Robbie Gould – CHIat GB12.53.86.4
Jason Elam – DENvs SD12.44.26.5
Shaun Suisham – WASvs DET12.13.75.8
John Kasay – CARat NO12.13.55.6
Lawrence Tynes – NYGvs NYJ12.13.75.8
Morten Andersen – ATLat TEN11.94.16.0
Josh Brown – SEAat PIT11.54.56.0
Mason Crosby – GBvs CHI11.44.86.3
Nate Kaeding – SDat DEN11.14.65.7
Matt Bryant – TBat IND10.94.85.8
Kris Brown – HOUvs MIA10.75.25.9
Olindo Mare – NOvs CAR10.54.65.0
Jay Feely – MIAat HOU10.54.95.4
Dave Rayner – KCvs JAC10.25.25.3
Jeff Wilkins – STLvs ARI10.15.05.1
Rob Bironas – TENvs ATL10.15.05.1
Mike Nugent – NYJat NYG10.04.64.6
John Carney – JACat KC10.05.35.2
Joe Nedney – SFvs BAL9.55.65.1
Rian Lindell – BUFvs. DAL9.35.24.5
Phil Dawson – CLEat NE9.36.25.4

Shaun Suisham, WAS (12.1 rating): I have been looking for a chance to show my boy Swishy some love, and this seems like a good week to do it. Suisham has hit 6 of 7 field goals on the season. The Lions are giving up over 30 points per game. And best of all, Suisham is probably a free agent in most leagues if you need a bye week replacement.

Olindo Mare, NO (10.5 rating): Before the season, Olindo Mare looked to be a consistent kicker playing for a dome team with an explosive offense. Now, through three games, Mare has only made one field goal out of three, and the Saints offense is struggling. He should probably already be off your team until something changes in New Orleans.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
Baltimoreat SF14.63.17.7
Green Bayvs CHI14.13.07.2
Dallasat BUF14.12.97.0
Arizonaat STL12.33.76.0
Indianapolisvs TB12.34.46.6
New Englandvs CLE12.24.97.2
Pittsburghvs SEA12.25.07.2
Houstonvs MIA11.63.55.1
Jacksonvilleat KC11.44.25.6
Denvervs SD11.24.96.2
New York Giantsvs NYJ11.24.55.7
Tennesseevs ATL11.24.65.7
Chicagoat GB11.25.66.7
Kansas Cityvs JAC11.14.45.5
San Diegoat DEN10.95.16.0
Carolinaat NO10.94.55.4
San Franciscovs BAL9.95.25.1
Atlantaat TEN9.65.04.6
Washingtonvs DET9.35.95.2
Miamiat HOU9.26.05.1
Detroitat WAS8.95.34.2
Seattleat PIT8.86.35.1
New York Jetsat NYG8.45.94.4
New Orleansvs CAR8.35.23.5
St. Louisvs ARI7.86.13.9
Tampa Bayat IND7.07.44.4
Buffalovs. DAL5.28.03.2
Clevelandat NE4.68.43.0

Indianapolis (12.3 rating): The Colts’ defense has been surprisingly strong this year, even after losing key players like Cato June and Booger McFarland, helping the Colts to their 4-0 record. Tampa Bay is not off to a bad start either, thanks to the great play of their own defense. The Bucs offense however, was not exactly “explosive” to start with, and now they have lost their starting runningback, Cadillac Williams, for the season. Indianapolis is a solid, if unspectacular, start against Tampa.

San Diego (10.9 rating): San Diego’s defense was a force last season, led by their dominating front seven. But nothing has gone right in for the Chargers this year. When you give up 30 points to a struggling Kansas City offense, fantasy owners are going to take notice. The Chargers don’t have the ideal matchup this week at Denver. The Broncos have some missing pieces on offense in Javon Walker (and potentially Travis Henry) but they do currently rank 5th in the NFL in scoring offense, and Mike Shanahan does do a good job of plugging backups into the skill positions. I would look elsewhere for a starting defense this week.

Special thanks to SwiperNoSwiping, m16a, knapplc, MoDee, treat24, dream_017, Joelamosobadiah, latraffic, PMoneyTKE, and WaCougMBS for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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