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Start/Bench List - Week 12
By Whitney Walters
November 20, 2003
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
DET at MIN NO at PHI Sun 4 PM OAK at KC Mon 9 PM
JAC at NYJ SEA at BAL CIN at SD   (times ET)
Player List by Position
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)
S1: Must start, 1st string.
S2: Solid starter, 2nd string.
X: No start or bench indications / Could go either way.
B: Bench 'em / Too much risk.
U: Upside player / Possible sleeper.
Early Injury Status  (O): Out  (D): Doubtful  (Q): Questionable  (P): Probable
Carolina (8-2) at Dallas (7-3)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Texas Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme B Doing what it takes to win games for the Panthers. But that's not good enough for your fantasy team, especially against the Cowboys' #1 pass defense.
RB Stephen Davis S2 Looked solid last week in his return from the ankle injury. The Panthers will not be intimidated by the stout Dallas defense. They will put them to the test with blocking schemes designed to neutralize their athletic and speedy linebackers. Interesting note: Dallas has faced a running team ranked higher than 21st only once. Carolina is #3.
WR Muhsin Muhammad B Just when everyone had given up on him, he explodes for 189 yards last week. Hard to rely on a guy however that still hasn't scored since week one and prior to last week had topped 46 yards receiving only twice.
WR Steve Smith S2 Smith should find himself matched up against rising star, CB Terence Newman this week. The rookie has been solid in most of his man-to-man matchups, but Smith's combination of speed and excellent route running will cause some problems that Delhomme can take advantage of.
TE Whoever B The three tight ends each caught a single pass last week.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter B

Carter appears to be digressing of late. He looks tentative in the pocket and has made bad decisions that are calling back memories of his earlier career. The Cowboys have the talent advantage on the perimeter but the Panthers excel in pressuring opposing QBs. Carter is likely to buckle under that pressure.

RB Troy Hambrick B As the offensive line blocking continues to break down, so does Hambrick's effectiveness. He's averaged under 2.6 YPC in three of the past four games. Don't expect much of a turn-around this week against a Carolina defense that has allowed a league low four rushing touchdowns this season.
RB Adrian Murrell   B Since being re-signed, Murrell has seen nine carries followed by 16, followed by three. May see more touches this week, may not. Not starter material.
WR Joey Galloway B

Has been ineffective this season and now is slowed by a quad injury.

WR Terry Glenn X

The Panthers have no answer for his speed and athleticism in the secondary. The downside of this matchup comes in the form of the excellent play of the Carolina front. With Carter under intense pressure all day it will be hard to take advantage of this matchup.

WR Antonio Bryant B

Will get more attention with Galloway slowed and had an amazing 12 balls thrown his way last week. What's even more amazing is that he was only able to catch three of them.

TE Dan Campbell
Jason Witten
B The rookie Witten may have a future, but for now the TE position should be avoided in Dallas.
Detroit (3-7) at Minnesota (6-4)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Metrodome Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

The Vikings have been playing some of the worst pass defense in the league lately. But the Lions really don't have the talent at WR to take advantage enough to make Harrington worth starting this week.

RB Shawn Bryson S2

Bryson has paid off very little this season, but if there's a week he could, it's this one. The Vikings have surrendered an average of 221 yards rushing in their past three games. Bryson isn't likely to explode, but this matchup can't be ignored. His consistent 4-5 catches a game help also.

RB Olandis Gary B Has had more than 8 carries only once in past four games.
WR Az-Zahir Hakim U May have won fantasy relevance by attrition. With Scotty Anderson now gone Hakim could actually pay off for a daring fantasy owner this week. He has season highs last week in catches and yards and scored his first TD. If you are hurting at WR and feel lucky, give Hakim a try this week.
WR Bill Schroeder X

Inconsistent and has been bothered by a nagging leg injury, but he could be productive this week against a Viking secondary that has played terribly lately.

TE Mikhael Ricks
Casey Fitzsimmons
B As the wide receivers continue to be decimated by injury the tight ends may play a bigger role in the passing game. Problem is that neither of these guys can be consistent enough to help your fantasy team.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S1 Still putting up good fantasy numbers but his mistakes and bad decisions are hurting his team. The Vikings won't likely fall behind this week and will be able to maintain a more balanced attack, which should benefit Culpepper.
RB Moe Williams S2 Look for the Vikes to stick to the running game this week as they will not likely fall behind the woeful Lions. Williams may see his carries cut this week by Bennett, but he remains a monster in the passing game and the goal-line back.
RB Michael Bennett  U Last week obviously didn't go according to plan as the Vikings had to turn to the passing game early as they fell behind. That won't happen this week and this is a prime spot (third week back and at home) to get Bennett some serious work.
WR Randy Moss S1 A mild concussion two weeks ago and shut down last week by Oakland. That's not likely to happen two weeks in a row against the Lions.
WR D'Wayne Bates B

Since returning from injury has only a single catch in each of the three games.

WR Nate Burleson
Kelly Campbell

Both Burleson and Campbell have had their moments this season, but through ten games they have only a combined 32 catches between them.

TE Jim Kleinsasser S2 Has become highly involved in the passing game, leading the team with seven catches last week. Remains a solid fantasy starter.
Indianapolis (8-2) at Buffalo (4-6)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Ralph Wilson Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S2 Was able to succeed last week even with all the injuries his prime weapons. Harrison and Walters may play this week and that will help, but the Bills will provide more of a challenge this week for sure. He may be in a tougher spot, but you can't sit him.
RB Edgerrin James S1 With all the injuries to the receiving corps, James will again be asked to carry the load. And expect him to deliver.
WR Marvin Harrison (Q) X Expected to practice on Friday and play this week. But hamstrings and wide receivers can be a strange combination sometimes. Keep an eye on our Priority News for late week and game day updates on his status.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 Even with Harrison possibly back this week, Wayne will still play a key role in the passing attack. Look for the Colts to work matchups with nickel corner Kevin Thomas, a matchup Wayne can exploit.
WR Troy Walters (D) B Early reports are that Walters' hamstring injury will keep him out this week.
TE Marcus Pollard (Q) B Expected to miss at least one more week due to the sprained knee.
TE Dallas Clark S2 Stepped to the forefront last week with the injuries to Harrison and Pollard. Harrison may be back, but Pollard won't be. Clark will again be a big part of the passing game.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe B Okay, it's time to move on. If you can't even throw for 200 yards or score against one of the worst pass defenses in the league, forget it. He looks flat out terrible. The offense has scored a league low six passing TDs and given up almost a league high 30 sacks.
RB Travis Henry (Q) B As expected, Henry tore it up against Houston last week. Bad news is that he suffered a cracked fibula. Reports are indicating he'll play, but you'd be taking a big risk if you followed suit this week.
RB Sammy Morris U If Henry sits out this week, Morris is the likely starter. He may split carries with Joe Burns however. If the Bills can keep it close and stick to a running attack Morris has a chance to produce against a suspect Colt run defense.
WR Eric Moulds (Q) X Since "returning" from his groin injury Moulds has gone 6-53, 5-32 and was a late scratch last week. If he plays this week he will not be 100%, and with Bledsoe playing the way he is it's unlikely Moulds is worth a spot in your starting lineup.
WR Josh Reed S2 Has played well since his breakout game in week seven. With Moulds slowed at best, gone at worst, Reed will again be the focus. He is well suited against zone coverages and if Bledsoe can deal with the pressure Reed may have a chance to make some plays.
WR Bobby Shaw X

Has been disappointing most week, but with no Moulds he tied his season best last week with 92 yards. But with the struggles in the offense Shaw hasn't seen the end-zone since week 4.

TE Mark Campbell B Good for a few catches a game but that's about it.
Jacksonville (2-8) at N.Y. Jets (3-7)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Giants Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich B The rookie continues to struggle.
RB Fred Taylor (P) S2 Goes from facing the leagues best run defense to facing the worst. Only one problem, he's not likely to be 100% this week. Keep an eye on reports coming out of Jacksonville (which you can find in the Priority News). The more positive the indications are that Taylor is okay, the more likely you should get him in your lineup this week.
WR Jimmy Smith X

Even with the best of matchups you can only expect average-at-best performances out of Smith while his rookie QB takes his lumps.

WR Troy Edwards B Has actually out-caught Smith over the last four games (17 to 13) but hasn't found the end-zone. This trend may reach an end this week with the addition of Johnson into the mix.
WR Kevin Johnson B Expected to play this week, but I wouldn't plug him into your lineups just yet. Smith and Edwards are playing well and you still have a struggling rookie at QB.
TE Kyle Brady B If you are looking for 2-3 catches and 20-30 yards, this is your guy.
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington S2 Once of the hottest fantasy quarterbacks since getting back into the Jets' starting lineup. He's thrown nine TDs in his three starts. The Jags present nothing on the defensive side of the ball that makes me think this trend won't continue.
RB Curtis Martin X Getting the yardage (three 100 yard games in the last four) but not the scores (that would be none). Will struggle this week against a very tough Jaguar defense that allows a league low 3.1 YPC rushing.
RB LaMont Jordan (P) B Gets some fantasy hype due to his power running style and goal-line efforts, and because many continue to think Martin is done. He is strictly Martin's backup however and has had more than seven carries only once this season.
WR Curtis Conway X Has been a solid performer since taking over the Chrebet and scored his first TD of the season last week. With Moss stretching the secondaries vertically there are plenty of opportunities for Conway underneath in crossing patterns. As Pennington continues to work with him his production will increase.
WR Santana Moss (P) S1

Moss is the man in NY now. He's averaging 108 yards a game in the last five and has scored in every game since week six.

TE Anthony Becht B Hasn't been a factor, even with Chrebet going down.
New England (8-2) at Houston (4-6)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Reliant Stadium Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2 The running game should be very effective this week, opening up the play-action passing game for Brady. Even with the injuries at wideout you can't ignore this prime matchup against what many consider the worst pass defense in the league.
RB Antowain Smith S2 Except for the time missed due to injury Smith has been the feature back for the Pats. What that typically translates into is a 15 carry game with an occasional score. Expect the typical again this week with some upside due to facing one of the worst defenses in the league.
RB Kevin Faulk  B Since Smith's return Faulk's touches and impact have decreased significantly.
WR Troy Brown (Q) X

After missing two games, Brown is expected to return to action this week. He remains a risk however until he gets through a full week of practice and the pre-game warmups.

WR Deion Branch U

The second year receiver doesn't get consistent looks, but has the after-the-catch abilities that can result in big plays. That kind of production is hard to rely on, but the odds are good this week that a big play or two will happen against the woeful Houston pass defense. He's also the only receiver not slowed by injury.

WR David Givens (Q) B Went down with a leg injury last week after pulling in two nice passes for 67 yards. May not be available this week.
TE Christian Fauria B Has given way to the young Graham.
TE Daniel Graham S2 Was shut down last week by the aggressive and speedy linebackers and safeties of the Cowboys. Houston can't come even close to matching that talent so look for Graham to be productive again this week.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Banks B Has been somewhat effective filling in for Carr this season, but don't even think about starting him against New England this week. Or any week for that matter.
RB Domanick Davis X

Struggles against strong run defenses. The Patriots fit that description and will show plenty of 8-men fronts with Banks at QB. Davis will still get his touches though and if they keep him active in the passing game he still has a chance to produce.

WR Andre Johnson X On talent alone Johnson has the ability to produce most weeks. But as most rookies he's inconsistent. If you have no other good options then Johnson isn't bad. Obviously more downside this week with Banks at QB.
WR Corey Bradford B His only fantasy value comes from his ability to turn in the occasional long touchdown reception, which has happened three times now this season for an average of 72 yards per TD.
WR Jabar Gaffney B

#3 WR in a bad passing attack being run by the backup QB this week. No thanks.

TE Billy Miller X After scoring in both weeks 8 and 9, Miller has disappeared, catching only one ball in the last two games. Banks was the QB in week 9, so there's some hope this week.
New Orleans (5-5) at Philadelphia (7-3)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Lincoln Financial Field Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks B Brooks isn't being helped by a WR corps that just can't stay healthy. His inabilities with the blitz will cause problems against one of the blitzn-est teams in the league.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 Seven straight 100+ yard games with two 2-TD efforts to boot. Two of those games came against the Panthers, but Philly still poses a challenge this week.
WR Joe Horn (Q) X Just can't seem to get over the knee injury. Re-aggravated the injury last Sunday. Even if he gets on the field he presents a high risk to finish the game. Against the ever-improving Philly secondary it's best to look elsewhere this week.
WR Donte Stallworth (Q) B Battling quad and ankle injuries.
WR Jerome Pathon B

Likely to be the only healthy receiver this week. Still wouldn't want to have him as a starter.

TE Boo Williams U Takes over for the injured Conwell. The TE is a viable part of the Saints offense and with Brooks under heavy blitz all afternoon, Williams will be needed for quick dump-offs.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2 After a terrible start to the season, McNabb is beginning to flash his elite fantasy QB status each week. That should continue this week against a Saints defense that takes a very conservative approach to coverage.
RB Brian Westbrook S2 Imagine what he could do if the Eagles weren't so set on a RBBC. Oh well, that's not likely to happen. You'll just have to accept the limited carries and the TD per game pace he's on.
RB Duce Staley B Only a factor if both Westbrook and Buckhalter go down with injuries.
RB Correll Buckhalter X Only carried the ball five times last week, but one of those went for a TD. At this point his only real fantasy value is in TD-only leagues.
WR James Thrash U Has improved along with McNabb over the past few weeks. Way overdue for his first TD of the year, and could see it this weekend.
WR Todd Pinkston (P)
Freddie Mitchell (P)
B Pinkston has had more than 3 catches for 35 yards only once this season. Mitchell, only twice. It's just not happening for these two.
TE L.J. Smith (Q)
Chad Lewis
B The rookie Smith is proving to be too inconsistent and the team is looking to Lewis more of late. Splitting tight end production is death to fantasy owners.
Pittsburgh (3-7) at Cleveland (4-6)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Cleveland Browns Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tommy Maddox X Did not fare well against Cleveland in week five (only 136 yards and no TDs). The Steelers have shown some improvement since then, but they don't have the running game necessary to force the also improving Cleveland secondary to commit up to stopping the run.
RB Amos Zereoue B Has been almost worthless since losing his starting job to Bettis.
RB Jerome Bettis (P) B The Browns have shown this season to be vulnerable to bruising, power runners. You'd think that would make Bettis a good start this week. Well it doesn't because the Steelers fail to get Bettis the carries he needs week after week. He's also been pretty ineffective with the ones he getting.
WR Plaxico Burress (P) B

Major league disappointment, but he stepped up last week when Ward went down. Or was it just that there was no one else to throw to? . Three of his last five games have been one-catch affairs. Until he proves worthy it's to the bench.

WR Hines Ward S2 Remains the only weekly bright spot in the Pittsburgh offense. Banged up last week but won't be slowed Sunday against the Browns.
WR Antwaan Randle El (P) B Mostly a bit player in the passing game that was called upon last week and delivered. But you can't rely on Ward getting knocked around each week.
TE Jay Riemersma (D) B Can't seem to stay healthy this season, and is a non-factor anyway.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb X

Too bad he can't play Arizona every week. Prior to last week his best performance since returning from injury had been the previous week's 150 yard, single TD effort. The Steelers aren't going to roll over just yet, so Holcomb remains a 'tweener at best.

RB James Jackson X Now filling in for the suspended Green. Didn't get much yardage production last week as the aerial assault was in full swing. But the offense was in scoring position enough to give him goal-line scoring opportunities. Don't expect a repeat this week against what is still a stiff Steeler run defense.
WR Andre' Davis U

The team is looking for the young and explosive Davis to step to the front and become Holcomb's go-to guy. May start happening with Johnson's sudden exit.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

Has been the team's most consistent receiver this season. But if it takes a near 400-yard day from Holcomb to give his #3 WR any fantasy value, you better not be looking Northcutt's way often.

WR Quincy Morgan X Same goes for #2 man Morgan.
TE Whoever  B Doesn't matter who they get to play each week.
Seattle (7-3) at Baltimore (5-5)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at M&T Band Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck B Has been running the offense effectively, but his numbers (typically about 220 yards and a single TD) aren't holding much interest for fantasy owners. This week you should find another option if possible as going on the road against the Ravens will pose the biggest challenge yet.
RB Shaun Alexander S2 The Seahawks possess what is likely the league's most underrated running attack. The challenge is stiff this week, but with the help of guys like OL Walter Jones and FB Mack Strong, if they stay committed to the run Alexander remains a solid start this week.
WR Koren Robinson X The matchups just aren't there this week on the perimeter for Seattle. Both Robinson and ...
WR Darrell Jackson X ... Jackson have struggled off and on this season. This week presents a very good opportunity for both to have their struggle switch in the "on" position.
WR Bobby Engram B

Has been a very productive #3 WR this season. This week however the nickel back matchup is not much of an advantage, and with Hasselbeck under heavy pressure the opportunities for the #3 WR will be limited.

TE Itula Mili X Two things can happen to a tight end when facing a pass rush like the Ravens. There are more opportunities due to quick dump-offs, or there are fewer due to having to stay in for pass protection.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Anthony Wright B Gets the start over Redman this week. Not a bad decision since Redman looked like a deer in headlights last week after coming in for the injured Boller. Either way, no need to run to your waiver wire for this guy.
RB Jamal Lewis S2 As last week showed, Lewis will be facing mostly 8-man fronts for the rest of the season. But the Raven offensive line can still be dominating and has a good chance this week against a Seattle defensive front without two of it's key components (Chad Eaton and Norman Hand).
WR Travis Taylor
Frank Sanders (Q)
Marcus Robinson (Q)
B This group had no fantasy value with Boller at QB and they have even less now, if that's even possible.
TE Todd Heap S2 Even with all the problems Wright now brings to the passing game, Heap remains a viable fantasy tight end. Almost two-thirds of the completions were Heap's last week.

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