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Saturday, September 10, 2005

Week 1 tips

Must starts:
Usually, I wouldn't include Peyton Manning, Daunte Culpepper or Donovan McNabb on this list - they are must-starts every week - but I'm sure some out there are wondering whether to bench Manning against the Ravens defense. Don't. Jake Delhomme, Panthers, Delhomme faces a Saints defense that has been on the road for weeks because of the hurricane. A healthy Steve Smith, an emerging Keary Colbert and Rod Gardner as the No. 3 should make up for the loss of Muhsin Muhammad. Brett Favre, Packers. He used to be a must-start every week, but now there are times to bench Favre. This isn't one of them. The Packers will need to score plenty to keep up with Detroit. Joey Harrington, Detroit. This will be a weekly thing. Start whoever is playing against the Packers.

Bench them: Don't start Kyle Orton, Bears, Tim Rattay, 49ers, Kyle Boller, Ravens or Gus Frerotte, Dolphins unless you want the first waiver pick in your league this week.

Running backs:
Must start: St. Louis' Steven Jackson should tear up against San Francisco. Kevin Jones, Detroit: Again, Green Bay has the league's worst defense. Willis McGahee , Buffalo. With J.P. Losman making his first start, the Bills will lean on McGahee. Rudi Johnson, Cincinnati. Johnson torched the Browns last season. And that defensive front doesn't look any better.

Bench them: Michael Bennett, Minnesota. Missed a lot of the preseason with injuries. Keep him on the bench until you see what he does. Reuben Droughns, Cleveland. He'll likely share carries with William Green. And they'll be way behind, so they may split 20 attempts. Kevan Barlow, San Francisco. Another team that will be way behind, limiting his carries.

Must Start: Nate Bureleson, Minnesota. Will replace Randy Moss' output for the Vikings. He'll soon be a no-brainer. Terry Glenn, Dallas. The San Diego pass defense is a little soft and Glenn has had an outstanding preseason hooking up with former teammate Drew Bledsoe. Drew Bennett, Tennessee. Bennett will have a big size advantage on the Steelers' starting corners. Antonio Bryant, Cleveland. Browns should be behind all day. Bryant's their best receiver.

Bench them: Any Bears receiver. Kyle Orton. Ick. Any Washington receiver. I haven't seen enough out of any of their QBs to make me want to start a Redskins' receiver.


Start them: Heath Miller, Steelers. They'll show the world their No. 1 pick. Dallas Clark, Indianapolis. Could be the guy who gets open against the Ravens. Erron Kinney, Tennessee. Always has good games against the Steelers.

Bench them: Alge Crumpler, Atlanta. The Eagles will try to take Crumpler away from Michael Vick and see if the receivers can beat their excellent corners. Ituli Mili, Seattle. A late addition to the injury list. Antonio Gates, San Diego. The only time you'll see him here. He's suspended.

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