RK PO PLAYER OPP H/V COMMENT I/N PASS RUSH REC TD LW CPROJ* AVG PROJ VAR 1 RB Jamal Lewis, BAL CLE h Another record? Lewis will unload on Browns' woeful defense
Evaluation: Lewis averaged a whopping 250 rushing yards against Cleveland last season, and the Browns have done little to improve their run defense. Lewis, the Ravens' main offensive weapon, will get the ball until he's stopped (which isn't likely to happen) or until More... 0 168 12 2 0 0 5 29 24 2 QB Donovan McNabb, PHI NYG h Weapons galore, should have big night
Evaluation: McNabb won't face much pressure from a Giants's defense that lacks playmakers. In Andy Reid's pass-happy offense, McNabb will get ample opportunity to connect with his talented crew of receivers. The addition of Terrell Owens gives the Eagles a homerun th More... 303 21 0 3 0 0 30 26 -4 3 QB David Carr, HOU SD h Under little pressure, he should pick apart Chargers' secondary
Evaluation: Carr's stats could suffer late as Houston builds what should be a considerable lead and Domanick Davis and Tony Hollings get the call to finish off the Chargers. Before that happens, though, expect Carr to have a monster game. San Diego's secondary is sha More... 276 18 0 3 0 0 10 26 16 4 QB Marc Bulger, STL ARI h Should start off with a bang against pressure-free Cardinals
Evaluation: Facing what seems to shape up as a terrible Arizona defense--one that lacks talent and depth in the secondary and a decent pass rush--Bulger should have a huge day. If NFL officials continue the strict adherence to the league's pass interference rules the More... 331 4 0 3 0 0 14 25 11 5 QB Michael Vick, ATL SF h Bad hammy, rangy 49ers linebackers could limit his running
Evaluation: In the wake of Vick's broken leg last year and his hamstring pull in the preseason, all the talk has been about how much he will run. But fantasy owners should worry as much about his passing, which hasn't been great since Atlanta installed a West Coast s More... 193 41 0 3 0 0 11 25 14 6 RB Priest Holmes, KC DEN h Running lanes could be choked, but Holmes always gets his numbers
Evaluation: Denver's trade for cornerback Champ Bailey allows them a ton of flexibility on defense, including the ability to load up the box at minimal risk. That, and the speed of the Broncos' linebackers, could make for a pedestrian rushing performance for Holmes i More... 0 79 51 2 0 0 33 24 -9 7 RB Marshall Faulk, STL ARI h Will be a major factor as a runner and receiver
Evaluation: Assuming he is injury-free, Faulk is too much for Arizona's defense to handle. St. Louis' offensive line has lost Kyle Turley, but it still is too strong for the Cardinals' rebuilding defensive line. Because Arizona's secondary will be so preoccupied with More... 0 68 61 2 0 0 15 24 9 8 RB Rudi Johnson, CIN NYJ h Powerful, patient runner has favorable matchup vs. Jets
Evaluation: New York gave up a lot of rushing yards last season, but the defense's average yards allowed per carry (4.2) wasn't bad and the unit's health and overall speed are improved. Will it be enough to stonewall Johnson? Don't bet on it. The Jets don't have the More... 0 111 9 2 0 0 13 23 10 9 RB Brian Westbrook, PHI NYG h Multi-skilled back has position to himself, decent Week 1 matchup
Evaluation: Westbrook not only is the Eagles' No. 1 back--he also, out of necessity, will be their workhorse. Quick and explosive as a runner and receiver, Westbrook often is put into favorable open-field situations by the Eagles' offense (and his job should be easie More... 0 74 48 2 0 0 15 23 8 10 QB Aaron Brooks, NO SEA h Leg injury, matchup will put Brooks on bubble for some owners
Evaluation: A quadriceps injury robbed Brooks of some preseason playing time and might linger into the regular season. That is a concern, because he already gets sacked and stripped (league-high 11 lost fumbles in '03) an awful lot for a supposedly mobile quarterback More... 287 21 0 2 0 0 13 23 10 11 WR Jerry Porter, OAK PIT h Can pick and run through Steelers' zone. Man coverage? Even better
Evaluation: Rich Gannon definitely will be under some heat at Pittsburgh, but unlike Oakland teams of the recent past, protection will be a priority over multiple pass routes. One guy who won't be left in to block, however, is Porter. He can find soft spots in the St More... 0 0 114 2 0 0 4 23 19 12 QB Daunte Culpepper, MIN DAL h No cakewalk matchup, but Vikings' offense is nearly unstoppable
Evaluation: With Minnesota's running game missing a key component (running back Michael Bennett) and Dallas' swift defense equipped to limit his scrambling and apply some pressure, Culpepper could take some lumps in Week 1. He will give as good as he gets, though, be More... 275 16 0 2 0 0 31 22 -9 13 QB Tom Brady, NE IND h Great matchup: Expect yards and TDs--Dillon or no Dillon
Evaluation: The Colts' only chance against Brady is to generate steady pass-rush heat and smother his shrimpy receivers. But Brady is too smart, too quick on the release and too familiar with the offense to be rattled by a defense that lacks the personnel depth and t More... 264 0 0 3 0 0 25 22 -3 14 RB Kevan Barlow, SF ATL h Box will be loaded for Barlow, but Falcons' D is in transition
Evaluation: Barlow's blend of power, burst and speed will be a load for an Atlanta front seven adjusting to a new alignment and that still lacks size. But how much daylight will he find behind a retooled offensive line and with questionable support from the 49ers' ov More... 0 132 35 1 0 0 8 22 14 15 QB Steve McNair, TEN MIA h Can score using arm and legs against aging Dolphins D
Evaluation: McNair, who has lost a lot of help since the end of last season, deserves some good news: Tennessee's offensive line--the franchise returns every starter for the first time since 1997--will look even better now that the Titans can effectively double team More... 244 20 0 2 0 0 7 21 14 16 QB Jake Plummer, DEN KC h Will be pressured to make plays. That usually turns out bad
Evaluation: Though coordinator Gunther Cunningham is expected to turn the Chiefs' defense into an attacking unit, the secondary might stick to cover 2 against the Broncos. Plummer is more of a schoolyard passer than a technician, and beating two-deep coverage usually More... 209 33 0 2 0 0 20 21 1 17 RB LaDainian Tomlinson, SD HOU h Houston's D is improved, but not enough to shut down LT
Evaluation: San Diego's offensive line is a mess and Tomlinson will have to work for every yard he gets, but he already has proved he can produce under some of the worst conditions. Tomlinson's salvation in the running game is fullback Lorenzo Neal, a ferocious block More... 0 112 46 1 0 0 18 21 3 18 QB Chad Pennington, NYJ CIN h More targets and more time spell big numbers against Bengals
Evaluation: Pennington might be the league's most accurate passer, and he now has a deep stockpile of weapons at his disposal. He tried to do too much with too little late last season, but the rejuvenated health of running back Curtis Martin and additions of receiver More... 302 4 0 2 0 0 16 20 4 19 RB Deuce McAllister, NO SEA h Dual-threat fantasy back will be greatly focused vs. Seattle
Evaluation: The Seahawks' run defense is better for the additions of end Grant Wistrom and rookie tackle Marcus Tubbs, and Anthony Simmons is a speedy, skilled cover linebacker who might give McAllister trouble. But Seattle's D still figures to be soft up the middle, More... 0 105 44 1 0 0 7 20 13 20 QB Matt Hasselbeck, SEA NO h MVP candidate gets easy mark in Saints secondary to start off
Evaluation: One of the rare highlights of New Orleans' defense last season was its strong pass rush, but pressure rarely gets to Hasselbeck. The Seahawks' pass protection was anything but exemplary last season (42 sacks allowed), but Hasselbeck coughed it up only fou More... 314 8 0 2 0 0 13 20 7 21 QB Rich Gannon, OAK PIT h Has looked like old (younger?) self. Pass on him for now
Evaluation: The return of coordinator Dick LeBeau in Pittsburgh means the return of the zone blitz and the unleashing of controlled chaos on opponents. But the effect might not be all that drastic against Gannon, a veteran who has seen the scheme a time or two, who r More... 280 11 0 2 0 0 22 20 -2 22 RB Clinton Portis, WAS TB h Is there any another option? Not in Joe Gibbs' world
Evaluation: No matter the opposition, Portis is a stud runner who should be removed from a fantasy lineup only when injured. Washington's offensive line has some holes--tackle Jon Jansen is out for the year, and tackle Chris Samuels and guard Randy Thomas are hurting More... 0 122 19 1 0 0 21 19 -2 23 QB Josh McCown, ARI STL h Playing from behind, he will be airing it out.
Evaluation: In an offense that features numerous three-receiver sets, McCown will have ample opportunity and reason to throw. Probably playing from behind for much of the game, McCown will be called upon to rally Arizona through the air. He should put up decent yarda More... 246 23 0 2 0 0 7 19 12 24 QB Trent Green, KC DEN h No cakewalk, but Green can get it done with Holmes, Gonzo
Evaluation: Denver's pass defense should be exponentially better with cornerback Champ Bailey in the lineup, but that only covers half the field. Moreover, the loss of rush end Bertrand Berry and so many new faces on defense might take some adjusting for the Broncos. More... 268 5 0 2 0 0 6 18 12 25 RB Curtis Martin, NYJ CIN h Bengals in Week 1: Maybe Martin's most favorable start all year
Evaluation: Slowed by injury last year, Martin still rushed for 1,000 yards for the ninth consecutive season. He claims to be healthy--he certainly appeared to be in the preseason--and the Jets' new additions should help free him up, especially around the goal line. More... 0 107 24 1 0 0 31 18 -13 26 WR Torry Holt, STL ARI h Still on the injury report, but all indications are that he'll be fine
Evaluation: Holt, more than most receivers, will benefit from the NFL's decision to follow the letter of the law regarding receivers five yards past the line of scrimmage. Holt's excellent burst and speed will get him separation from the Cardinals' secondary, which i More... 0 0 126 1 0 0 9 18 9 27 WR Santana Moss, NYJ CIN h Bengals' secondary is physical but still overmatched vs. Moss
Evaluation: Cincinnati likes to play rough with its cornerbacks, but New York will counter by putting Moss in motion, positioning him in the slot and otherwise constantly trying to keep him out of physical confrontations. Tory James has no chance of staying with Moss More... 0 0 121 1 0 0 5 18 13 28 WR Koren Robinson, SEA NO h Can get deep, but Saints zone could shackle him
Evaluation: Robinson is quite skilled, but he has been troubled by drops and an inability to break press coverage. Only he can help himself with the first problem, but New Orleans likely will lend a hand on the second. Saints cornerbacks Ashley Ambrose and Fred Thoma More... 0 0 119 1 0 0 3 17 14 29 RB Duce Staley, PIT OAK h Versatility, scoring potential and matchup all are big plusses
Evaluation: Staley will be a more effective feature back than Jerome Bettis at this point, though that isn't saying much. In fact, Pittsburgh could employ a rotation--maybe one that includes more than just those two backs--but the team's rededication to the run shoul More... 0 82 31 1 0 0 9 17 8 30 QB Brad Johnson, TB WAS h Expect loads of completions--but maybe interceptions too
Evaluation: Johnson will be working behind an offensive line that was overhauled in the offseason, but maybe not for the better. This group is aging, not very athletic and, except for center John Wade, new to the team. Expect the Redskins to try to take advantage, se More... 244 0 0 2 0 0 6 17 11 31 RB Thomas Jones, CHI DET h Did someone call a Priest? Jones could be another all-in-one tool
Evaluation: Free-agent tackle John Tait is the gem in what suddenly is a very respectable Bears offensive line, and scouts can't stop raving about what Jones is doing behind it. A former first-round pick who mostly has underachieved during his NFL career, Jones alway More... 0 79 31 1 0 0 21 16 -5 32 WR Andre Johnson, HOU SD h San Diego's secondary could make him Week 1 fantasy star
Evaluation: Though cornerback Quentin Jammer (who likely will match up on Johnson) was much improved in the second half last year, San Diego's secondary nevertheless is young, inexperienced and only a year removed from being torched for 36 passing TDs. Jammer will ge More... 0 0 101 1 0 0 5 16 11 33 RB Ahman Green, GB CAR h Panthers' D can be tough, but so can Green, Packers' O-line
Evaluation: Carolina probably could pull off a two-gap scheme and challenge for the league lead in run defense. (Tackle Kris Jenkins is that good, and linebacker Dan Morgan actually would be a better fit.) On the whole, the Panthers create more havoc in an attacking More... 0 84 28 1 0 0 29 16 -13 34 D Philadelphia Eagles, PHI NYG h Can you say dominant? Expect turnovers--and maybe a score
Evaluation: Philadelphia's defensive line and the endless blitzing and stunting of coordinator Jim Johnson will overwhelm the Giants' under-construction offensive line. When that happens, bad things will happen to Giants quarterback Kurt Warner--most of which could l More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 16 8 35 RB Domanick Davis, HOU SD h Only thing that might slow him vs. Houston is nagging injury
Evaluation: Davis could get several cracks at the end zone, as the Texans should move the ball easily on the Chargers. Davis will be the closer against San Diego, and should be allowed to rack up yardage as Houston runs out the clock late. No matter what the situatio More... 0 97 14 1 0 0 27 16 -11 36 WR Randy Moss, MIN DAL h Has the upper hand in every matchup, even against Dallas D
Evaluation: No doubt the Cowboys will check Moss with Terence Newman--who wasn't invincible in his rookie year but certainly showed his pedigree as a shutdown corner--and probably will provide him with safety help deep. But Moss has a six-inch height advantage in thi More... 0 0 91 1 0 0 15 15 0 37 RB Charlie Garner, TB WAS h Expect some production on the ground, much more by air
Evaluation: Garner always has played well under coach Jon Gruden, but wildly impressive rushing numbers can't be expected from a 32-year-old running back who showed signs of breaking down last season. Add to that the athleticism and strong tackling of Washington's li More... 0 56 48 1 0 0 2 15 13 38 RB Corey Dillon, NE IND h Could turn Colts' small, one-gap linemen into bowling pins
Evaluation: Dillon's weekly workload could depend on a number of factors--opponent, injuries and weather, for starters--which currently makes him something less than a No. 1 fantasy back. But Week 1 looks like a can't-miss matchup for him. The Colts' defensive scheme More... 0 96 8 1 0 0 8 15 7 39 RB Shaun Alexander, SEA NO h TD machine and yards producer will do the marching on Saints
Evaluation: New Orleans' run defense should be better than it was a year ago, but it still won't be even average unless second-year tackle Jonathan Sullivan plugs the sieve in the interior. Between the tackles is exactly where Alexander likes to run, and is where the More... Q 0 86 15 1 0 0 34 15 -19 40 WR Larry Fitzgerald, ARI STL h McCown's main target, he should shine in his debut.
Evaluation: Fitzgerald will be Josh McCown's main receiving target while Anquan Boldin is out (knee), and in particular he should get lots of looks if Arizona falls behind. St. Louis' cover schemes are largely predicated on how much pressure the defense can produce u More... 0 0 98 1 0 0 7 15 8 41 WR Keyshawn Johnson, DAL MIN h All is well if Cowboys can keep Vinny on his feet
Evaluation: Johnson and Vinny Testaverde revived some of the old magic in the preseason, connecting on a number of quick outs and slants on timing throws. They can keep it up as long as Testaverde's protection holds out, though that isn't a sure bet against Minnesota More... 0 0 81 1 0 0 11 14 3 42 QB Jeff Garcia, CLE BAL h Porous O-line could cost him against Ravens' killer D
Evaluation: The Browns' plan on offense is to supplement a power running game with Garcia's efficient short passes. But against the Ravens, Cleveland's mediocre offensive line will have trouble creating a push or reaching Baltimore's swift linebackers on the second l More... 208 24 0 1 0 0 18 14 -4 43 TE Tony Gonzalez, KC DEN h Broncos don't have an answer: It's all systems go for Gonzo.
Evaluation: Denver has played a lot of zone with its linebackers in the past, but that won't work against Gonzalez, who roots out soft spots in coverage and whose quarterback (Trent Green) is accurate and throws with excellent timing. Trouble is, neither linebacker T More... 0 0 83 1 0 0 1 14 13 44 WR Corey Bradford, HOU SD h Home run threat is an excellent bet to score
Evaluation: Bradford, who has ridiculous big-play ability (19.2 yards per catch last year), is a player whose ability Houston's coaching staff is committed to maximizing. Against the Chargers in Week 1, Texans quarterback David Carr will have plenty of time to allow More... 0 0 88 1 0 0 2 14 12 45 RB Kevin Jones, DET CHI h Questionable interior running is key to Week 1 production
Evaluation: Chicago has good team speed on defense, and the addition of end Adewale Ogunleye strengthens its run-stopping ability considerably. Jones is a whip-crack runner to the outside, but he might find little room on the edges. His interior running and durabilit More... 0 74 10 1 0 0 6 14 8 46 WR Chris Chambers, MIA TEN h Tough matchup, but will get his numbers in this one-man show
Evaluation: Chambers not only is back to being Miami's only legitimate downfield threat--he now is the only Dolphins offensive player worth losing sleep over. Tennessee will drape multiple defenders over Chambers whenever he toes the line, but fantasy owners can take More... 0 0 82 1 0 0 3 14 11 47 RB Travis Henry, BUF JAC h Top option near goal line and still the starter
Evaluation: The perception is that Henry is being pushed hard by Willis McGahee, but you won't know it from how the carries are split between the backs early on. Henry still is the man. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a great deal of help on the offensive line, which More... 0 72 14 1 0 0 7 14 7 48 WR Steve Smith, CAR GB h Fire and ice: Smith vs. physical but slow Packers cornerbacks
Evaluation: Because of his quickness off the line, burst, hands and ridiculous after-the-catch running, Smith is a tough matchup no matter what the defense. He can be stifled by bigger cornerbacks, but they have to be quick enough to stay in front of him at the line, More... O 0 0 86 1 0 0 6 14 8 49 WR Terrell Owens, PHI NYG h Eagles have too many weapons for Giants to focus on T.O.
Evaluation: Contrary to popular opinion, Owens will get some deep balls in coach Andy Reid's West Coast offense-influenced scheme. And with quarterback Donovan McNabb expected to have time to throw and the Giants still getting back on their feet in the secondary (whi More... 0 9 88 1 0 0 24 14 -10 50 WR Charles Rogers, DET CHI h If Harrington can handle Bears' pass rush, Rogers will do the rest
Evaluation: Fully recovered from the broken collarbone that ended his rookie season after five games, Rogers is ready to roll. With game-breaking back Kevin Jones and receivers Tai Streets and Roy Williams added to the mix, Rogers no longer has to be a one-man gang. More... O 0 0 81 1 0 0 0 14 0 51 WR Deion Branch, NE IND h Emerging star has ideal skills for breaking down Colts' cover 2
Evaluation: Branch, clearly Tom Brady's favorite target, could be in line for a breakout season. But the Patriots' passing game still abides by a one-for-all spirit, and the addition of Corey Dillon could further limit Branch's chances to put up numbers. The good new More... 0 0 88 1 0 0 14 14 0 52 QB Tim Rattay, SF ATL h Injuries, new offense and matchup against Mora put him behind 8-ball
Evaluation: Rattay missed most of training camp and the preseason because of a groin tear and forearm injury--a big deal for a starter in his first full season who is breaking in a new offense and a boatload of new receivers. His short stature and marginal arm streng More... Q 228 0 0 1 0 0 15 13 -2 53 D Detroit Lions, DET CHI h Making strides, but not enough playmakers--even against Bears
Evaluation: Detroit slowly is improving itself on defense, but its most pressing needs (shutdown cornerback and pass-rushing end) still haven't been met. Chicago--with a starting quarterback in his first full season (Rex Grossman) and a new, complex offense--could be More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 17 13 -4 54 RB Julius Jones, DAL MIN h Has game-breaking potential, but workload limits his value
Evaluation: Jones has the best burst and top speed of the three backs the Cowboys plan to rotate in, but he is the least proven and, for now, the least likely to pick up goal-line work. The Vikings' run defense and tackling technique was abominable last year, so Jone More... O 0 71 6 1 0 0 0 13 0 55 D Atlanta Falcons, ATL SF h Team has to like its new scheme, matchup vs. 49ers
Evaluation: The Falcons certainly couldn't do much worse against the run than they did last season, and their switch from a 3-4 alignment to a 4-3 not only bolsters the line but better suits the team's personnel. Injuries in the secondary could become a problem, but More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 13 6 56 WR Donte' Stallworth, NO SEA h Incredible talent just needs good health, head screwed on tight
Evaluation: Stallworth impressed his coaches and Saints observers with his dedication and conditioning--both of which had been questioned in the past--this offseason. Will that translate into regular-season improvements? We think so. Stallworth's chronic leg problems More... 0 0 73 1 0 0 3 13 10 57 WR Javon Walker, GB CAR h Will dominate Panthers' puny cornerbacks. A good bet to score
Evaluation: Carolina's formula for success--run the ball, keep the defense fresh, attack with the line and protect with the back seven--isn't the best game plan against Green Bay. Why? Because the Packers have become a good ball-control team themselves, and the Panth More... 0 0 71 1 0 0 3 13 10 58 QB Drew Bledsoe, BUF JAC h Has weapons at skill positions and--this week--time to throw
Evaluation: Buffalo's offense under new coach Mike Mularkey will be predicated on quick reads, so Bledsoe won't look deep as often as he once did. The Bills' offensive line still can be characterized as suspect, but the short throws will help and Bledsoe can be thank More... 247 6 0 1 0 0 10 13 3 59 WR Dante Hall, KC DEN h His role on offense is expanding--too bad for Broncos
Evaluation: With receiver Marc Boerigter and tight end Kris Wilson out because of injuries, the Chiefs have little choice but to ride Hall for as long as the little guy holds up. In addition to his return duties, he will be expected to make plays as the slot receiver More... P 0 11 62 1 0 0 1 13 12 60 WR Peerless Price, ATL SF h Could face some single coverage against blitz-happy 49ers D
Evaluation: Defenses blanketed Price with double teams and rolled coverages last season, when the Falcons had no one to relieve the pressure and no one to deliver him the ball. The return of Michael Vick should help in both regards, and if the 49ers' defense is as ag More... 0 0 71 1 0 0 7 13 6 61 RB Fred Taylor, JAC BUF h If healthy, he will lead offense. But is that foot OK?
Evaluation: Taylor, the focal point of the Jaguars' offense, will run behind one of the better offensive lines in the league. But assuming the foot injury he suffered in the preseason doesn't slow him--and that is a big “if”--he still faces quite a challenge in Buffa More... 0 68 14 1 0 0 6 13 7 62 WR Derrick Mason, TEN MIA h Dolphins' secondary still is tough. A good--but not great--start
Evaluation: Mason could find coverage tighter than ever after all of the hits Tennessee's offense has taken, but he still is quarterback Steve McNair's primary target--and that is worth plenty. And because the Titans aren't afraid, on any down, to throw it, mix up th More... 0 0 78 1 0 0 5 13 8 63 WR Chad Johnson, CIN NYJ h Has superstar potential and sweet matchup, but still needs QB's help
Evaluation: Johnson is big, fast and has excellent body control, which is why he is so dangerous, no matter the scheme or personnel he is facing. Against New York, Johnson's opportunities could be as plentiful as ever. The Jets' cornerbacks are built for zone coverag More... 0 0 73 1 0 0 15 13 -2 64 TE Todd Heap, BAL CLE h Baltimore's only aerial weapon, Heap always grabs a few receptions
Evaluation: Even if the Ravens are content to run most every down in Week 1 (and against the Browns, they will be), Heap is too talented not to use. With Cleveland's entire defense committed to stopping Jamal Lewis, Heap--who is versatile enough and has the size, bur More... 0 0 74 1 0 0 8 13 5 65 WR Eric Moulds, BUF JAC h Big-play threat will be matched up against suspect secondary
Evaluation: A weak pass rush. A secondary lacking playmakers. One happy receiver. At least that is the case with Moulds, who is healthy again and should enjoy a bounce-back season in the Bills' new passing offense (designed to get the ball out of slow-footed quarterb More... 0 0 79 1 0 0 13 13 0 66 WR Marvin Harrison, IND NE h As consistent as they come. Worth starting even in tough matchup
Evaluation: New England is a brutal matchup for any receiver, even one of All-Pro timber. Still, Harrison has averaged 98 yards and scored twice in three regular-season games against the Patriots in the last three years, and he and Peyton Manning are as qualified as More... 0 0 69 1 0 0 10 12 2 67 RB Stephen Davis, CAR GB h Not the fantasy hoss of '03, but still promising vs. Packers
Evaluation: Green Bay's run defense improved as last season wore on, mostly thanks to an in-season addition (tackle Grady Jackson) and the improvement of linebacker Nick Barnett. But the Packers have since lost run-stuffing tackle Gilbert Brown, and they will be pron More... 0 68 6 1 0 0 4 12 8 68 QB Tommy Maddox, PIT OAK h Raiders are minimal threat, but run game could be a biggie
Evaluation: For Maddox, a timing pocket passer, the name of the game is pressure--or, more to the point, avoiding it. Maddox isn't mobile, and his worst moments have come when Pittsburgh hasn't protected him. But unless Oakland's Warren Sapp suddenly feels five years More... 212 0 0 1 0 0 6 12 6 69 QB Brett Favre, GB CAR h Has smarts, arm to dissect Panthers' secondary, but getting fewer chances
Evaluation: Favre still has his instincts, experience and big arm, but age might be getting to him just a touch. He doesn't throw heat-seekers through coverage like he used to, and his mistakes are exaggerated when he gambles. The result: Ahman Green now is the engin More... 216 0 0 1 0 0 9 12 3 70 QB Peyton Manning, IND NE h Manning still the man, but Pats are a unique challenge
Evaluation: Patriots coach Bill Belichick works every bit as hard in the film room as Manning, and his ability to game plan consistent pressure and effectively mix coverages against the Colts has given Manning fits. But the new emphasis on the five-yard rule will be More... 215 2 0 1 0 0 19 12 -7 71 WR Michael Clayton, TB WAS h Rook will get in his shots, might be Bucs' top target
Evaluation: With Keenan McCardell still holding out, Clayton has leapt up Tampa Bay's depth chart to No. 2. Against Washington's talented secondary, Clayton is unlikely to have a great day. But his combination of size and speed makes him one of Tampa Bay's best big-p More... 0 0 60 1 0 0 5 12 7 72 QB Mark Brunell, WAS TB h Talent surrounds him, but will he get to use it?
Evaluation: Brunell has playmakers in Laveranues Coles, Clinton Portis and, to a lesser extent, Rod Gardner, Darnerien McCants and Chris Cooley. But in new coach Joe Gibbs' offense, the run game always is option No. 1. With Washington facing a Tampa Bay defense that More... 184 11 0 1 0 0 5 12 7 73 WR Isaac Bruce, STL ARI h Rams' No. 2 should find the end zone
Evaluation: Facing an Arizona secondary that will be expected to cover him for long stretches of time, Bruce has the crisp route-running ability and steady hands to be a serious threat to reach the end zone in Week 1. Playing opposite Holt, who will command regular d More... 0 0 68 1 0 0 17 12 -5 74 WR Justin McCareins, NYJ CIN h Downfield and red-zone ability still are keys to his production
Evaluation: Whether the Bengals' cornerbacks want to press or play off coverages, McCareins should match up fairly well. He has the strength to chuck the jam at the line and the size and sense to shield defenders from the ball on underneath routes. He still isn't gre More... 0 0 68 1 0 0 6 12 6 75 QB Joey Harrington, DET CHI h Track record isn't great, but a gem vs. Bears would bode well
Evaluation: Chicago should be a nice litmus test to gauge how far Harrington and Detroit's offense have come since last season. Too quick on the trigger last year--Harrington was sacked only nine times but completed 55.8 percent of his passes and threw 22 interceptio More... 222 8 0 1 0 0 11 12 1 76 QB Kyle Boller, BAL CLE h Jamal Lewis and Baltimore D will make Boller a bit player
Evaluation: With Jamal Lewis facing one of the league's worst run defenses and Ravens coach Brian Billick unlikely to suddenly change his ways, Boller won't be given much opportunity to put up much better than average fantasy production. When he does throw, he will h More... 189 12 0 1 0 0 8 12 4 77 WR Brandon Lloyd, SF ATL h Need a sleeper? Lloyd could rock in Week 1--and beyond
Evaluation: For now the 49ers have more questions than answers on offense, but Lloyd seems to fall into the latter category. Though he has neither elite size nor speed, he is an astounding athlete who is capable of creating separation and coming down with anything th More... 0 0 66 1 0 0 2 12 10 78 RB Artose Pinner, DET CHI h Could be Lions' man in opener, but then all bets are off
Evaluation: Pinner has decent speed and is versatile in the Moe Williams mold: powerful enough to play in short-yardage situations, skilled enough to produce as a receiver. One problem: Detroit drafted Kevin Jones to be its feature back. Pinner will get some touches- More... 0 41 13 1 0 0 2 11 9 79 QB Carson Palmer, CIN NYJ h Arm, receivers and matchup all look good. Is he ready?
Evaluation: Palmer, who looked poised and sharp in the preseason, just might carry his momentum into Week 1. New York lacks the personnel in the secondary to pull off man-to-man coverage, which new defensive coordinator Donnie Henderson prefers. But the Jets might be More... 194 9 0 1 0 0 18 11 -7 80 QB Jay Fiedler, MIA TEN h Without Ricky, the offense is--gulp!--on his shoulders
Evaluation: The departure of workhorse back Ricky Williams, the constellation Miami's offense once revolved around, will allow Tennessee to drop into coverage and dare Fiedler to beat the defense with his arm. The Dolphins' offensive line has been turned over--and no More... 198 9 0 1 0 0 1 11 10 81 K Jason Elam, DEN KC h Experience, leg and matchup make him a slick pick in Week 1
Evaluation: Elam has lost a touch of leg strength over the years, but he still has decent power and his length is enhanced by the mile-high air in Denver. The Broncos' passing game is in flux and the team lacks a keynote goal-line runner, so the team could have serio More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 12 11 -1 82 QB Jake Delhomme, CAR GB h Packers' secondary has holes, but Panthers--as usual--will run first
Evaluation: The running game might be the foundation of Carolina's offense, but Delhomme always is dangerous because he plays off of it so well. Efficient, aware and careful with the ball, he also is capable of the big play. And with changes on the offensive line sha More... 194 9 0 1 0 0 19 11 -8 83 QB Drew Brees, SD HOU h Tough road game only half the pressure on embattled Brees
Evaluation: Brees, playing behind arguably the worst offensive line in the league, unfortunately will face a Houston defensive line that is one of the NFL's most improved. With Ladainian Tomlinson in the backfield and few viable receivers on the roster, Chargers coac More... 179 9 0 1 0 0 16 11 -5 84 WR Freddie Mitchell, PHI NYG h Will benefit from Terrell Owens, shaky Giants secondary
Evaluation: Terrell Owens will make all of the Eagles' offensive players better, and Mitchell is no exception. Though he lost out on a starting spot and more looks from Donovan McNabb, the addition of T.O. moves Mitchell back to the slot--a more natural fit for his a More... 0 0 57 1 0 0 2 11 9 85 QB Vinny Testaverde, DAL MIN h Vinny still has life in his arm. Legs? That's another story
Evaluation: Testaverde still has above-average arm strength, throws with accuracy when given time, and has the tools to be productive taking shots downfield (Terry Glenn and Antonio Bryant) or throwing possession passes (Keyshawn Johnson and Jason Whitten). But it al More... 197 3 0 1 0 0 18 11 -7 86 RB Moe Williams, MIN DAL h Do-it-all back gets chance to do most of it in tough matchup
Evaluation: The Week 1 availability of Onterrio Smith--whose four-game suspension is on hold while he appeals--is a blow to Williams' value, but it isn't a deal-breaker. Because of his ability in passing and short-yardage situations, Williams still should get 15-20 t More... P 0 36 24 1 0 0 2 11 9 87 WR Rod Smith, DEN KC h Broncos' only proven weapon will be focus of Chiefs' pass D
Evaluation: Smith, even at age 34, still is an effective NFL possession receiver. He will be one of quarterback Jake Plummer's more attractive red-zone targets, but he also will receive plenty of attention from opposing defenses now that Shannon Sharpe, Clinton Porti More... 0 0 48 1 0 0 7 10 3 88 WR Amani Toomer, NYG PHI h Still a threat, but can Kurt Warner make him dangerous again?
Evaluation: Toomer matches up well with the Eagles' callow and smallish cornerbacks, and the Giants surely know they will have to strike on some big pass plays to keep the Eagles from loading the box against the run and teeing off with their blitz packages. Toomer's More... 0 0 46 1 0 0 4 10 6 89 TE Antonio Gates, SD HOU h With the pressure on, Brees will have Gates in his sights
Evaluation: Gates is ultra-athletic and has a favorable matchup against the Texans' linebackers, who are devoted more to Houston's pass rush than to its coverage packages. Moreover, with Drew Brees expected to be under massive pressure, he won't have time to make dee More... 0 0 44 1 0 0 12 10 -2 90 K Josh Brown, SEA NO h Lacks name value. Big leg, bigger offense provide actual value
Evaluation: Brown, only in his second season, still has work ahead in order to become more consistent. But even if his conversion rate on field goals (73.3) doesn't improve a bit, he will be more valuable to fantasy owners than 90 percent of NFL kickers thanks to Sea More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 10 7 91 TE Alge Crumpler, ATL SF h Less blocking, healthy Vick and favorable matchup boost his value
Evaluation: Last year Crumpler, covering for a porous Falcons offensive line in front of an immobile quarterback, spent too little time in pass routes and too much time missing Michael Vick. Now his quarterback is back and Crumpler--who has a ridiculous combination o More... 0 0 48 1 0 0 14 10 -4 92 TE Freddie Jones, ARI STL h With the receivers hurting, Jones becomes a bigger target
Evaluation: With receiver Anquan Boldin out (knee), Jones' role in the offense should expand. He certainly will become more of a factor in the red zone and in goal-line situations. Jones deftly use his strength and size to clear space in short-yardage scenarios, and More... 0 0 49 1 0 0 3 10 7 93 WR Plaxico Burress, PIT OAK h Fast and skilled, but letting his size go to waste
Evaluation: Oakland is a tough matchup for Burress because cornerback Charles Woodson--though occasionally inconsistent--has the size and talent to take Burress (no pushover himself) out the game on his own. And if Burress instead draws Phillip Buchanon, small but ex More... 0 0 48 1 0 0 1 10 9 94 RB Richie Anderson, DAL MIN h Won't do much but block for Jones and George. No impact. 0 34 18 1 0 0 4 10 6 95 WR Andre' Davis, CLE BAL h Could be a red-zone target for a scrambling Jeff Garcia
Evaluation: If the Ravens take a commanding lead--and given the strength of their defense and running game, they probably will--expect Garcia to start directing passes toward Davis, the Browns' most dynamic receiver and big-play threat. Baltimore allowed only six rus More... 0 0 41 1 0 0 5 10 5 96 TE Daniel Graham, NE IND h Sleeper? You bet. If hands don't fail him, Colts won't stop him
Evaluation: Whether he finally got the message that New England was losing patience (thanks to the drafting of first-rounder Ben Watson) or he just needed this long to develop, Graham seems ready for a breakthrough. No time like the present: Indianapolis' pass defens More... 0 0 46 1 0 0 11 10 -1 97 RB Quentin Griffin, DEN KC h Broncos will try to ice Chiefs' offense by sticking to run
Evaluation: Whether the diminutive Griffin can handle a regular 20-carry workload isn't yet certain. Here's what is: Denver will start to find out immediately. The best way to stop Kansas City's offense is to keep it off the field. That should sit well with the Bronc More... 0 71 37 0 0 0 33 10 -23 98 D Tennessee Titans, TEN MIA h Losses will be mitigated by corner play, awful Miami offense
Evaluation: Don't eulogize Tennessee's defense just yet. The Titans have absorbed some free-agent and injury hits, but this unit still has a nice mix of talent, experience and strong coaching. More to the point, the Titans face what appears to be shaping up as a wret More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 16 10 -6 99 K Phil Dawson, CLE BAL h Unless offense totally shuts down, Dawson should get chances.
Evaluation: Cleveland has some useful red-zone weapons that could minimize dependency on the kicking game, but Dawson's value could get a boost against Baltimore. Even if the Browns' offense moves the ball between the 20s, the Ravens' defense is brutal on a short fie More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 8 10 2 100 D New England Patriots, NE IND h Will get a run for its money, but still will cash in
Evaluation: New England will lose a little something to the crackdown on the five-yard rule and the loss of nose tackle Ted Washington. But the Patriots remain the most versatile and best coached unit in football. Maybe the Colts, an offensive juggernaut, have learne More... 0 0 0 0 0 0 7 10 3 *Computer projected: based on percentage of fantasy points player scores for his team by position and opponent's fantasy points allowed.
wow - they project 100 players a week. damn. thats a lot of work trying to put that into an excel spreadsheet. What if we did just the top 20? Wouldn't that still be a good source for how accurate they are?
That's the most obvious pick that it surely would not have come to fruition. If a guy puts up 500 on you in two games, do you not think the other team will spend the whole offseason working on the D gameplan for week 1 against him?
And they thought he was going to set another record. Geez.