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Start/Bench List - Week 12
John Tuvey
Updated: November 26, 2010
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NEP at DET PIT at BUF MIN at WAS STL at DEN Start/Bench List by Position
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Start/Bench Codes (SBC)
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)
Green Bay at Atlanta Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Rodgers S1

The Falcons have allowed multiple touchdown passes in five straight games and are sitting ducks for Rodgers, who is rounding into form with seven TD tosses in his last two game.


Brandon Jackson


Even if the Dimitri Vance audtion doesn't go anywhere, it's another rough week for Jackson on the fantasy circuit. No team has allowed fewer RB TDs than the Falcons; they haven't given up a running back rushing score since Week 2 and a RB TD period since Week 5. Jackson followed up his two-TD aberration in Week 9 with 66 underwhelming combo yards; certainly you can find something better to plug into your fantasy lineup.

WR Greg Jennings


Donald who? Jennings has been white hot, with at least six catches in each of the past five games and TDs in four of the five. A meeting with an Atlanta defense that ranks seventh in fantasy friendliness to wide receivers should only extend the Packers' passing party.

WR Donald Driver


He's back, but he's showing his mileage. Jennings is the clear cut No. 1, and Jones offers enough as a wingman that Driver is becoming a big name possession receiver.

WR James Jones


The Falcons have allowed multiple wideouts to score in four of their last five games, and while Driver is back in the mix it's tough to bet against Jones, who has scored in back-to-back games.

TE Andrew Quarless
B Since Jermichael Finley went down the tight end position has been a complete afterthought.
DT Packers S2 Few teams strip, pick, and go the other way like the Packers do.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Ryan S3

Ryan has a nice winning percentage at home, but he'll be severely tested by a Packers defense that has allowed a combined three points—to conference finalists, no less—in its last two road games. Green Bay also hasn't allowed multiple passing scores on the road and let just one QB top 256 yards in five trips out of the land of cheese and beer. While Ryan shouldn't be benched, his upside is certainly limited.

RB Michael Turner S3

Another situation where the home cooking Turner so dearly loves might not be enough. Green Bay hasn't allowed a running back touchdown on the road since Week 1; in fact, they've allowed only three overall. Adrian Peterson is the only back to top 75 yards against them, and he was also the last back to score against the Pack back in Week 7. Turner has built up his numbers against softer foes—he's had one good outing and three dogs in four matchups with top-10 run defenses—so lower expectations accordingly against the fourth-ranked Packers.

WR Roddy White S2

Green Bay has been solid against wideouts, surrendering the sixth-fewest fantasy points to the position. But they've struggled to contain physical wideouts: Dez Bryant (9-86-1), Jerricho Cotchery (4-89), Brandon Marshall (10-127), Calvin Johnson (6-86-2). White can definitely get physical, so don't run scared of a matchup with a solid pass defense.

WR Michael Jenkins B

Only once all season has a secondary receiver topped 50 yards in a game where that team's WR1 also had 50 or more yards. In other words, take what you get from White but don't dig any deeper into this wide receiver corps.


Tony Gonzalez


The Packers have tightened up of late against opposing tight ends; they've only allowed two TE TDs all year and none since Week 6. Gonzo is involved enough in the Atlanta game plan that he should still be started in TE-mandatory leagues, but combo leaguers can find better options elsewhere.

DT Falcons B Atlanta's defense has still done nothing of fantasy note.
Carolina at Cleveland Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments

Jimmy Clausen

B In his defense, Clausen has had to face some pretty good pass defenses; the Browns will be the first non-top 10 defense he's seen during the regular season. Cleveland has also allowed multiple touchdown tosses in five straight games and seven of their last eight. Doesn't mean you should look for him to throw for 250 and 2, but perhaps there will be glimmers of hope.

Jonathan Stewart
Mike Goodson

B The Browns have allowed only two RB rushing scores this year, neither of them at home. With Stewart back from his concussion Goodson gets kicked to the back burner despite consecutive 100-yard games. They may share the workload, which would further crimp what little fantasy value one or the other may have had.
WR Steve Smith B

Clausen has been unable or unwilling to throw the ball at Smith. That may change as Smith shouldn't have difficulty getting separation from Eric Wright, but best find out for certain these two know how to share a playbook page before trusting Smitty with a fantasy start.

WR David Gettis B

Same goes for Gettis: we've seen nothing from Clausen that suggests he can hit his receivers with the regularity required to reward them with a fantasy start.

DT Panthers B Certainly the Panthers know how turnover-friendly Jake Delhomme can be. Too bad they don't have the horses to do anything with that information.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B

The Panthers have had plenty of chances to pick Jake in practice; now it's for real. Delhomme brings his 1:4 TD-to-INT ratio into this game as a replacement for the injured Colt McCoy. Don't look to him for anything remotely helpful.

RB Peyton Hillis


Hillis has broken the will of defenses significantly stouter against the run than the Panthers, who rank among the 10 most fantasy-friendly run Ds. There's no reason Hills won't churn out another fantasy helper, be it on the ground or through the air or maybe a little of both.

WR Mohamed Massaquoi
Chansi Stuckey

The Browns haven't had a wide receiver post a double-digit fantasy total since Week 2. No reason to start now, not against a Carolina defense that's given up the third fewest points to wideouts this year.

TE Evan Moore S2

Here's your Uncle Sneaky play of the week. Only two teams have given up more fantasy points to tight ends than the Panthers, but while the Browns rank eighth in tight end fantasy points scored they frequently split that number between Moore and Ben Watson. But as it stands Watson will likely miss this game with an injury, leaving Moore as perhaps the Browns' primary downfield target. Over the past three games Carolina has allowed three TE TDs and five different tight ends to top 45 yards; if Moore has all of Cleveland's looks to himself, he could be one of the best plays of the week at his position.

DT Browns S2 The Panthers have served up four defensive touchdowns in the past five weeks; maybe the Browns can get them some of that.

Minnesota at Washington

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

Just what the doctor ordered for the old man this week: a soft pass defense (only two teams have given up more fantasy points to quarterbacks than the Redskins), a healthier Sidney Rice, and the oppressive shackles of Brad Childress' system removed from the Minnesota offense. Every quarterback to visit FedEx Field has thrown for at least 282 yards, and three of the five have recorded multiple touchdowns; why should the Favre Farewell Tour be left out of the fun?

RB Adrian Peterson S1

Let's say you've just been given the keys to the candy store and you notice that the everlasting gobstopper machine from time to time isn't turned all the way up. Wouldn't the first thing you do be to make certain that your big ticket item is cranked up to the max? So with Leslie Frazier taking over in Minnesota, do you think he'll be inclined to give AP 20 or more carries or limit him to 19 or fewer, like the previous regime did in half the games? Exactly. And when you turn AP lose against a defense that's allowed the last four teams who put any effort into running the football (excludes the Bears and Lions) to produce a 100-yard rusher... well, you have to like Peterson's chances of a big game this week.

WR Percy Harvin


Over the past five games 10 different receivers have scored or topped 70 yards (or both) against the Redskins. Until Sidney Rice proves he's all the way back, Harvin is Favre's go-to guy. In addition to the throwing, expect the Vikings to use handoffs and end arounds in an attempt to get the ball in Harvin's hands as well. It all adds up to a nice, solid fantasy value.

WR Sidney Rice


So much for the rust; Rice was targeted a team-high 10 times in his first game back from his hip injury. You have to believe he'll only get more comfortable with the offense, so expect his numbers to climb from 3-56 against a good secondary to something much more fantasy friendly against a softer defense.

TE Vishante Shiancoe B

With Rice returning to the fold, Favre doesn't have as great a need for Big Shank. The Redskins have been mostly solid at defending the position, so odds are you can find a more helpful fantasy tight end elsewhere.

DT Vikings S3

Will the Vikings D start living up to its vast potential now that Leslie Frazier is in charge? Hard to say, but a date with the mistake-prone McNabb doesn't hurt.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S3

McNabb has just one game with multiple touchdown passes this season, though he does have a handful of gaudy yardage efforts. The Vikings secondary is nothing special, but only twice have they given up more than 250 yards. At best you'll get a usable game from McNabb, but it shouldn't be too difficult to find an option with more upside.

RB Keiland Williams
S3 With Clinton Portis on IR and Ryan Torain unlikely for this week, Williams falls into the full workload once again. The Vikings are softer on the road than at home—all six of the RB TDs they've allowed this season have come away from Metrodome—and have given up 57 yards or more to six different backs. Mix in a little Williams in the screen and checkdown game—always an issue for the Vikings—and he could threaten triple digit yardage with a possible score.
WR Santana Moss
S3 Even though the Vikings have allowed at least one WR TD in six straight games, a total of 11 in that span, and four 100-yard receivers, Moss is a game-time decision going into Sunday's game and a very risky play at this point. Even if he gives it a go, the aging wideout has a history of underperforming when slowed by a hamstring injury.
WR Anthony Armstrong
S2 Armstrong continues to pose a deep threat, and against a Vikings secondary with possibly the worst safety tandem in the history of organized sport the deep ball should be open. With Moss possibly sidelined, Armstrong's stock is rising this matchup.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley is, along with Moss, McNabb's most reliable target. And while the Vikings haven't been soft on tight ends—all four TE TDs they've allowed have gone to division foes—they have plenty of issues with coverage. And pass rush. No reason to sit Cooley here due to matchup.

DT Redskins S3 You can change the coach, but you can't change the fact that Brett Favre is prone to the pick six.
Kansas City at Seattle Back to top
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Cassel S2

Cassel is more of a TD guy (multiple TDs in three straight and five of six), but the Seahawks are incredibly yardage-friendly; they've allowed at least 289 passing yards to four straight quarterbacks and eight of their last nine. Certainly some happy medium can be reached.

RB Jamaal Charles

Kansas City's running game is much better at home; only two of their nine RB TDs have come on the road. But that doesn't mean Charles isn't getting his yardage; not only is he averaging six more touches per game on the road than Jones (17 to 11), he's also averaging 102 combo yards per game. And triple digits is usually enough to get you on the fantasy scoreboard.

RB Thomas Jones

Jones is averaging fewer touches on the road than Charles and producing almost half the yards from scrimmage. But Seattle's run D is trending in the wrong direction: they've allowed at least one RB TD in seven straight games and have given up increasing rushing yardage totals in each successive home tilt. Jones isn't the fantasy threat he is at home, but the matchup suggests he'll get enough to warrant consideration.


Dwayne Bowe


Of course you have Bowe's incredible run, his seven-game scoring streak that has yielded 10 touchdowns and three 100-yard games. Over the past four games alone the Seahawks have allowed three 100-yard wideouts and eight WR TDs. Sounds like a match made in heaven.

DT Chiefs B KC's defense hasn't been special enough to warrant a start against the 12th man.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S3 Hass has posted a couple nice yardage games, but he still hasn't thrown multiple TDs in a game since Week 1. The Chiefs fit that profile as well: a steady stream of yardage, but one or fewer TDs in three of the last four. No reason to expect Hasselbeck to bust out of the low-end fantasy contributor rut he's settled into.
RB Marshawn Lynch
Justin Forsett

Unless the last two road debacles change Pete Carroll's mind, Lynch is still the lead dog when this RBBC plays in Seattle. And against a Kansas City defense that gives up an average of 142 RB combo yards per game on the road, there should be a healthy bite for Lynch on the ground—but not so much that Forsett can't carve out decent production as a change of pace/third down guy.


Mike Williams

B Williams brings back-to-back 100-yard efforts into this game against a Chiefs secondary that has served up four 90-yard performances and four WR TDs in just the last three games. Assuming his foot injury doesn't keep him out of action, that track record alone warrants consideration in PPR and performance leagues.

Ben Obomanu
Deon Butler

U The Chiefs secondary that has served up four 90-yard performances and four WR TDs in just the last three games. With Mike Williams sidelined in this matchup, that track record alone warrants sleeper consideration for former starter Butler and up-and-comer Obomanu in PPR and performance leagues.
TE John Carlson B KC has given up just two TE TDs this season; that's still one more than the Seahawks have tallied.
DT Seahawks S3 The Chiefs have taken good care of the ball, but sometimes that 12th man makes mysterious things happen.
Miami at Oakland Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Henne
Tyler Thigpen

Henne possibly returns on a sore knee one week after Tyler Thigpen was unable to generate any offense for the Phins. Either could be the starter Sunday, but both are ill-equipped to take advantage of a Raiders' secondary that has given up multiple TD tosses in every game except one this season. As a wise man once said, you can lead a man to the fountain of knowledge, but you can't hold his head under the water until the bubbles stop.


Ronnie Brown


Wonder why the Miami ground machine has yet to get on track? Over the past nine games they've faced six top-10 run defenses; makes it difficult to get any traction. The Raiders present Miami's easiest running game matchup since the season opener with Buffalo—Brown's second-biggest yardage game and one of his two touchdowns. Look for Brown to enjoy the relative breather with another "gaudy" (for him) 75 and 1 type of outing.


Ricky Williams


As noted above, the Dolphins' run schedule has been downright brutal. With the Raiders offering an oasis, there's no reason Williams—just barely a junior partner in Miami's RBBC—can't produce a fantasy helper as well.


Brandon Marshall


Marshall left Miami's Week 11 game with a hamstring injury and has yet to practice this week. Don't plan on him being available for Week 12.


Davonne Bess
Brian Hartline


No team has given up fewer receptions to wide receivers than the Raiders, who are allowing an average of less than eight WR grabs per contest. That certainly won't help either Bess or Hartline in PPR leagues, and since neither is a longball threat their yardage will suffer as well. Between the quarterback issues, Marshall's injury and the tough matchup this is a good week to leave Miami's wideouts on your fantasy bench.


Anthony Fasano


Fasano is wildly inconsistent and has only one real fantasy helper on his 2010 resume. Surely you can find a more reliable fantasy contributor elsewhere.

DT Dolphins B If sacks help your fantasy defense, you'll love Cameron Wake against an Oakland line that's allowed multiple sacks in every game this season. Otherwise, there's not much here to like.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell B

Campbell's brief flirtation with fantasy relevance came primarily thanks to a pair of matchups with bottom-feeding pass defenses. The Dolphins, on the other hand, have allowed the fifth fewest fantasy points to quarterbacks. You can do better than Campbell.

RB Darren McFadden

McFadden has beat up every defense he's faced for triple-digit combo yardage—except, of course, the Steelers. But the Steelers are the No. 1 defense against running backs; everyone else he's faced ranks 10th or lower, including three games against bottom-five run defenses. The Dolphins barely crack the top half of the league, but a defense that surrendered 180 combo yards to Ray Rice isn't to be feared.

RB Michael Bush

Enough to go around, or at least for Bush to get a fantasy-relevant taste? Hard to see it, especially since Tom Cable indicated he thought McFadden should get more work and he needs to get him back in the saddle following the Pittsburgh debacle.


Darrius Heyward-Bey
Louis Murphy
Jacoby Ford


Miami is very good against wideouts—only six teams have allowed fewer fantasy points to the position—and Oakland's wideouts aren't very good. Murphy has two of the four fantasy-relevant games Raider WRs have produced (Ford has one of the other two), but if Campbell isn't facing a creampuff defense it's tough to see him producing enough offense to make any of his wideouts useful for fantasy purposes.

TE Zach Miller B

Miller is on schedule to return to action this week, but he will not be 100% and still nursing a foot injury. That, combined with a Miami defense that hasn't allowed a TE TD since Week 3, plants him on the fantasy bench.

DT Raiders B Oakland has scored a return TD every other week for the past two months, and this would be an "on" week... if you believe in blind luck.

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