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Start/Bench List - Week 13
John Tuvey
Updated: December 3, 2010
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HOU at PHI DEN at KCC SFO at GBP STL at ARI 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)
Houston at Philadelphia Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Schaub S2 It’s been a nice run for quarterbacks against Philly; over the past two months, the only QBs who failed to throw for multiple touchdowns and at least 247 yards were Eli (147 and 2) and Peyton (294 and 1). Schaub’s a little gimpy, but he’ll have a running game to help keep the pass rush honest. It’s a solid enough matchup that if you’re used to starting Schaub there’s no reason to reach for someone else.
RB Arian Foster
S2 At this point even Gary Kubiak can’t find a reason to yank Foster, so he’s an every week starter. But there are mild causes for concern here, specifically how Philly has kept visiting backs in check. Michael Turner (15-45) couldn’t get it going; neither could the Giants’ tandem of Ahmad Bradshaw (12-29) and Brandon Jacobs (5-10). Foster’s been better at home than on the road—four of his five top rushing performances came in Houston, as did three of his four games with multiple rushing scores—but he’s still been good enough on the road to earn the start.
WR Andre Johnson S2 Philly’s secondary has been significantly better at home—eight of the last nine WR TDs they’ve allowed have come on the road—but they’ve still allowed elite receivers like Roddy White (6-83) and Reggie Wayne (8-83) a modicum of success. AJ’s only lackluster performances of late have come against the Chargers (not surprising, they’re the #2 pass defense in the league) and Darrelle Revis (again, hardly a stunner); while the Eagles have been good at home they’re not of the level that should send you scurrying for alternatives to your first-round pick.
WR Kevin Walter
Jacoby Jones

The Texans’ secondary targets have combined for exactly one meaningful fantasy game in the past nine; nothing in this matchup suggests that streak will change.

TE Joel Dreessen S1

Looks like Owen Daniels will miss another game—in this case a real opportunity, as Philly has trouble covering tight ends. The Eagles have given up five TE TDs in their last four home games, at least one in every game. Dreessen brings a two-game scoring streak of his own into this tilt and provides a sneaky great fantasy play.

DT Texans B From an overmatched secondary to a moribund return game, the Texans offer little that would produce defensive fantasy points.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S1

Congratulations, Houston: you shut down Rusty Smith, the first time you’ve held a QB without a TD all year and the first time since Week 2 you’ve held them to less than two. You’re still giving up more fantasy points per game to quarterbacks than any NFL team, and now you get to face the most dynamic player in fantasy football. Depending on which side of the scoreboard you’re standing, this either will or won’t be pretty.

RB LeSean McCoy

Houston’s numbers against the run don’t look all that bad, but it’s primarily because so many teams have such success in the passing game they forget about running the ball. McCoy’s receiving ability, against a defense that’s already given up 71- and 82-yard receiving games to backs, will help him rack up a helpful combo yardage total; a TD might be a tougher proposition against a Houston D that’s allowed only one back to score in the past five games.

WR DeSean Jackson
S1 After Andy Reid chewed out Jackson in front of the entire team last week for lacking a proper attitude, Vick was among the first to console him. What better way to get his No. 1 receiver back in the saddle than with multiple big plays against the most permissive secondary in the league? Jackson better brace for a big bear hug from Reid, ‘cuz he’s gonna love his performance.
WR Jeremy Maclin
S2 It’s been primarily WR1s toasting the Texans, but in addition to seven games of 100-plus yards and at least one TD Houston has also surrendered 11 more games with a touchdown or at least 50 yards. Those aren’t all WR1s, and you could even quibble that Maclin is more of a 1A than a 2.
TE Brent Celek
B Celek returned to the radar with a TD catch last week, his first anything in six weeks thanks primarily to Vick’s preference for throwing downfield. While Houston’s opponents have had success throwing to TEs, most have been tight ends who serve more as WR2s: Dallas Clark, Zach Miller, etc. Philly has other options they’ll use this week; your fantasy team should take a similar approach.
DT Eagles S2 Schaub’s beat up, the Eagles like to bring the heat, and you never know when Santa might show up to get pelted with batteries by the Philly faithful.
Buffalo at Minnesota Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick S2

Every starting quarterback to face the Vikings has thrown at least one touchdown pass, even the bad ones. And Fitzpatrick has turned out to be anything but bad, with at least one TD toss in each of his starts this year and 11 in four road games. With the Bills likely to face the same difficulty running other teams face in Metrodome, Fitz will have the opportunities to put up decent fantasy numbers.

RB Fred Jackson B

Despite severely diminished expectations, Jackson put up surprisingly good fantasy digits against the Steelers. The bar is being set low again this week, as no visiting back has scored against Minnesota and none of the last four have even topped 40 rushing yards. Any shot Jackson might have of using his pass-catching skills to augment those numbers—not a bad plan; three visiting backs have posted at least 36 receiving yards in Minnesota—must be tempered by the Bills’ plan to start working rookie C.J. Spiller into the backfield rotation.

WR Steve Johnson S2

Johnson’s numbers—796 yards, nine TDs—are astounding; just think how good they’d be if he wasn’t tied for third in the league in drops. Johnson will be out for atonement this week after letting an upset win over the Steelers slip through his fingers last week; a date with a Vikings’ defense that’s allowed eight WR TDs and four 100-yard receivers in just the past six games is like an answer to his prayers Twitter rants.

WR Lee Evans S3

In four of the last six games, Minnesota’s secondary has allowed at least one WR to score and the other to post at least 90 yards. Evans has the kind of speed that can expose the Vikings’ weakness at safety.

DT Bills B With Brett Favre in game manager mode, pick sixes will be tougher to come by—especially for a team with only four picks on the season.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre B

Favre appears perfectly happy handing off and brings a two-game TD drought into this tilt. Buffalo’s secondary isn’t anything special, but “game manager” doesn’t equate to “fantasy helper”.

RB Adrian Peterson S1

Officially a game-time decision and listed as probable with an ankle sprain, all indications are Peterson starts and plays this week. And if he goes he’s a fantastic start against a Buffalo defense recently gutted by Rashard Mendenhall (36-151-1) and Cedric Benson (25-124-1).

RB Toby Gerhart S3

If AP can’t go Gerhart will get an upgrade but as it stands he’s still a good fantasy play as three of the last four Buffalo road games have featured multiple backs either scoring or topping 70 yards (or both).

WR Percy Harvin


Harvin is such a multipurpose threat that even if the Vikings don’t air it out he could score on a reverse or a return. Simply put, he’s too talented to be on a fantasy bench.

WR Sidney Rice


He’s still working his way back into the mix, and this isn’t a matchup that will ease the transition.

TE Vishante Shiancoe B

Over the past five games Buffalo has given up only one TE TD and no tight end has topped 50 yards. That’s a bad matchup to expect Shiancoe to shake his slump against; he’s had one legit fantasy helper since Week 1.

DT Vikings S3

Minnesota’s defense looked as rejuvenated as the offense appeared liberated following last week’s regime change. Can they turn Metrodome into a house of horrors again?


Cleveland at Miami

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B

If the topic is fantasy football and the question involves Delhomme, the answer is always going to be no. But if you need stats to justify it, the Fins have allowed two passing TDs and a total of 551 yards in the past three games—roughly equal to the 569 and one Delhomme has produced in his three games of activity this season.

RB Peyton Hillis


Hillis is unbenchable, and while this is a tough matchup he has multiple ways to attack it: on the ground against a run defense that allowed Matt Forte (25-97-1) and Chris Johnson (17-117-1) to leave Miami with solid stat lines; or through the air against a Dolphin D that’s allowed five different backs to top 40 receiving yards this season.

WR Mohamed Massaquoi B

If you’re into 50 yards and a slim-to-none chance at a touchdown, then Massaquoi is the Browns’ receiver for you.

TE Ben Watson B

Over the last eight games the Dolphins have allowed no TE TDs and no tight end to top 51 yards. Watson still shares looks with Evan Moore, and this week there won’t be enough to make either worthy of consideration.

DT Browns S3 Cleveland has scored defensive touchdowns in each of its last two road games, and the Dolphins have thrown at least one interception in each of the last nine games. So we’re sayin’ there’s a chance.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Henne S2

Henne looked healthy last week throwing for 307 and two in Oakland, and he should look even better against a Cleveland defense that’s given up multiple TD tosses in every road game. Tune in to watch the Browns go for the rare Florida triple, having already given up 182 and 2 to Josh Freeman in Tampa and 254 and 2 to David Garrard in Jacksonville.


Ronnie Brown
Ricky Williams


Through the first 10 games of the year the Browns’ run D was more than solid, giving up just one RB rushing TD. However, the past two weeks they’ve shown cracks in surrendering 132 and one to Maurice Jones Drew and a combined 153 and one to Carolina’s backup backs. It certainly doesn't help that they'll be without LB Scott Fujita, plus run-plugging DT Shawn Rogers missed practice all week and is listed as questionable. Brown (24-85) and Williams (20-95-1) are coming off their best tandem effort since the season opener and should take advantage of the fading Browns’ run D.


Brandon Marshall


Marshall is the kind of big receiver the Browns have struggled with all season (Boldin 142 and 3, TO 222 and 1, Roddy 101 and 1, Colston 112 and 1). He was limited in practice all week, but he should still be healthy enough to collect the majority of targets and break that seven-game scoring drought.


Davonne Bess
Brian Hartline


The Browns aren’t against giving up TDs to multiple WRs; they’ve done it twice in five road trips already this year. Bess is the better possession guy, but Hartline has 75 yards or more in five straight.

DT Dolphins S2 They’re playing Jake Delhomme; that’s an open invitation to a defensive touchdown.

Jacksonville at Tennessee

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard B

The Titans knocked Garrard out of the earlier meeting, but since then he’s had multiple TDs in four of five. A visit to Tennessee could rekindle Garrard’s old road woes, however, as the Titans have allowed just five passing TDs in as many home games. Garrard isn’t the worst fantasy start you could come up with this week, but there are likely to be a whole bunch better ones available somewhere.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew S2

The last time MoJo faced Tennessee he was limited to 65 yards from scrimmage. However, since that game Jones-Drew has reeled off five straight games with at least 120 combo yards—and the Titans have lost three defensive linemen to injury. After seeing Arian Foster gouge the Titans for 143 on the ground and another 75 in the air, you have to like MoJo’s chances of extending his streak.


Mike Thomas

B Anybody want to go a couple rounds with Cortland Finnegan? Thomas (8-88) was the more successful Jag wideout in the earlier meeting, but that may have had as much to do with the change in quarterback as anything else. Including the earlier Week 6 meeting, Tennessee has allowed just three WR TDs and one 100-yard receiver in its last six games. The good news is, Thomas won't have to share with MSW and Tiquan Underwood puts up much less of a fight.

Mike Sims-Walker

B MSW has been ruled out of this one with an ankle injury.

Marcedes Lewis

S3 If there’s to be any passing-game fireworks from the Jags they’ll likely come from the tight end against a Tennessee defense that’s allowed three TE TDs and three 90-plus yard games to the position in just the past month. Zach Miller lurks, but Lewis is still the more targeted and more productive option.
DT Jaguars B

The Jags have done nothing to warrant consideration here, but if it’s Rusty Smith instead of Kerry Collins getting the start they’ll bump up to an S1.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S3

The expected starter after missing the past two weeks with a strained calf, Collins came off the bench to throw for 110 yards and a TD in the earlier meeting with Jacksonville. And that was the home version; in five road games the Jags have surrendered 11 TDs and an average of 270 passing yards per game. If you’re scrapping for your fantasy life and stuck for a starting quarterback, Collins might just pull your bacon out of the fire.

RB Chris Johnson S2

He’s no longer Mr. Automatic—even at home, where he’s been held under triple digits three times in five outings and hasn’t seen the end zone since the season opener. But after putting up 111 yards and a TD on the Jags earlier this year he should hop back in the saddle against a Jacksonville D that’s allowed six RB TDs in the last five games.

WR Nate Washington
Randy Moss
Justin Gage
B While giving up three WR TDs in the past month may not constitute a shutdown defense, it’s a far site better than how the Jags’ secondary had been faring previously. They held the Titans to a Kenny Britt TD in the earlier meeting, but neither Gage nor Moss played in that tilt. Not that it will matter; the slim upside any one of these might have is trumped by the improved play of Jacksonville’s secondary.
TE Jared Cook B Bo Scaife left last week’s game with a stinger, leaving Cook to pick up nine targets—albeit from Rusty Smith. Collins may not look upon him as favorably, plus Scaife may return.
DT Titans S3 The Tennessee D may be banged up, but they’re facing a more INT-prone David Garrard (four in the last two games) and they still have Mark Mariani in the return game.

Denver at Kansas City

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton S2 Don’t expect a repeat of the previous meeting, when Orton threw for 296 yards and four TDs despite giving way twice on the goal line for Tim Tebow to score rushing and receiving touchdowns. The Chiefs haven’t allowed a 300-yard game in Arrowhead, though every visiting QB has at least 223 passing yards, and they’ve limited three of their last four foes to single TD tosses. Still, that gives Orton plenty of opportunities to throw, and he’s tended to turn those opportunities into fantasy points this year.
RB Knowshon Moreno S2 Moreno not only carried a season-high 22 times in the first meeting with KC, he also recorded his first NFL 100-yard game. And while the Chiefs have been tough on the run since—no RB rushing TDs since Week 6—Moreno doesn’t need to rely on ground transporation. Over the past five games 229 of Moreno’s 542 combo yards and three of his five touchdowns have come via the pass; he had 50 and a score in the earlier meeting. Knowshon has scored in three straight and four of five and topped triple-digit yardage in three straight; one way or another, he’ll get his.
WR Brandon Lloyd


The Chiefs might get Brandon Flowers back for this one, but that shouldn’t scare you off of Lloyd. He has touchdowns in four straight (a total of six during that span) and is the one constant among Denver’s receiving corps.

WR Jabar Gaffney


With Lloyd doing the downfield work and Moreno handling underneath, there just aren’t enough table scraps to make either fantasy relevant this week.

DT Broncos B It’s not just that their defense is lousy and KC takes good care of the football. But that’s more than enough to earn a seat on the fantasy bench.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Cassel S2

Despite handing off to the league’s top rushing attack Cassel has multiple TD tosses in four straight and six of the last seven. That stretch includes his 469 and four in Denver in Week 10, but it’s highly unlikely this one plays out in a similar, Chiefs-down-by-35-midway-through-the-second-quarter fashion again. So if you can settle for something in the 200-yard, two-TD (maybe three, as the Broncos have given up at least a trio of TD tosses in three straight) range this time, Cassel’s still your guy.

RB Jamaal Charles

Let’s try this again. Just like last time these clubs met, you have a top rushing team against a bottom run defense. But the odds of another 35-point lead for the Broncos leading to just 18 carries between Charles and Jones are too astronomical to contemplate, so we’ll stick with the original prediction: the Chiefs will run on Denver at will. And if it goes south again, take solace in the fact that Charles still carved out some fantasy help with 5-80-1 as a receiver.

RB Thomas Jones

There’s a little more risk associated with Jones, as he generally needs the TDs to be a real fantasy factor. He should push 100 yards on the ground, but if he’s stopped short he doesn’t have the passing game fallback Charles has. And over the last four games, three of the six RB TDs the Broncos have allowed have come via the pass.


Dwayne Bowe


C’mon, at this rate the guy could be double-teamed by Lester Hayes and Dick “Night Train” Lane in a rainstorm with Derek Anderson throwing the ball at him and he’d still find a way to score. Not only has he scored in seven straight, he’s scored multiple TDs in three straight and five of the seven. Champ Bailey? Bah. Bring on Bowe.


Tony Moeaki


He’s back on the radar after scoring last week, and you might see an opportunity after the Broncos allowed three TE TDs last week against the Rams. But Moeaki is firmly in the “other” group of the KC offense, which is half Bowe, half Charles and Jones, and not much left over for “other”. Use at your own risk.

DT Chiefs B This one feels like it’s going to play out too offensively to offer much in the way of defensive fantasy assistance

Washington at New York Giants

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb B

There was that one-game streak where McNabb had multiple touchdowns. But seeing as the Giants have shut out back-to-back hot QBs (the nuclear Mike Vick and the at least lukewarm David Garrard) the past two weeks, it’s tough to see McNabb getting back to such a lofty level of fantasy productivity.


Keiland Williams
Ryan Torain

B The Giants have allowed back-to-back 100-yard games, but there’s a significant talent-level difference between LeSean McCoy and Maurice Jones-Drew and what the Redskins have to offer. Plus, those backs take the vast majority of their team’s carries; who knows how Shanny will divvy up touches this week. Seriously, would you be all that surprised if he pulled Olandis Gary out of his pocket and gave him goal line carries? Torain practiced on a limited basis Friday, his only work of the week, but he may try to give his tender hammy a go on Sunday. If he doesn't, throw James Davis into the mix as well. It's a hot mess you'll want to avoid.
WR Santana Moss
S3 You know what you’re gonna get: a half dozen catches, something in the 75-yard range, but probably no score. It helps in larger PPR leagues, but most other places it make Moss a fringe fantasy contributor at best.
WR Anthony Armstrong
B Armstrong has actually outperformed Moss three of the last four games, but he’s still mostly a one-trick pony in this offense—a lightly used deep threat. He’s a little like putting twenty bucks on “17 black” as you pass the roulette wheel: hit it and you’re living large, but the odds strongly suggest you’ll just be walking away twenty bucks lighter.
TE Chris Cooley B

None of the trends favor Cooley: the Giants haven’t allowed a TE TD since their Week 8 bye—and had allowed only two to that point anyway; Fred Davis is carving into Cooley’s looks and productivity; and Cooley himself hasn’t scored since Week 4.

DT Redskins B Eli’s prone to the tipped picks, but for the most part the Redskins aren’t doing much that will lead to generating fantasy points.
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S1

Eli brings a string of seven straight multiple-TD outings into this game, but which Redskins defense will he face: the ones who gave up eight touchdowns and 545 yards going in and coming out of their Week 9 bye? Or the ones who shut out the Titans and Vikings over the last fortnight, limiting the teams to a combined 399 passing yards? Probably more former than latter, though the Giants have a running game to fine-tune as well so that may limit how many passes Eli winds up throwing.

RB Brandon Jacobs

Jacobs held on to the ball and the starting gig last week; he’s rewarded here with a favorable matchup against a defense that was well on its way to allowing a third straight 100-yard rusher had not Adrian Peterson’s ankle prevented him from finishing the game. However, Jacobs hasn’t seen the end zone since Week 7 and with Bradshaw sure to take some touches Brandon’s upside is limited.

RB Ahmad Bradshaw

Despite the reduction in touches Bradshaw was just as productive as Jacobs last week. Eventually the Giants will opt to get their best players on the field, but for now Bradshaw’s upside is limited despite a favorable matchup.

WR Mario Manningham

With Hakeem Nicks and Steve Smith still out (technically Smith is listed as doubtful, but both have already said they're targeting Week 14 for their return), Manningham remains the top dog in this show. Against a secondary that’s allowed six WR TDs in the last three games, that’s more than enough.

WR Derek Hagan

Hagen is merely a placeholder until next week, when the Giants hope to get Nicks and Smith back.

TE Kevin Boss

Boss has scored in three of his last four and appears to be the guy who’s stepping up into the vacancies created by Nicks’ and Manningham. At this point the season, he’s played well enough to warrant a fantasy start.

DT Giants S3 Eventually those sacks and picks start changing into fantasy points... right?

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