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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
San Francisco (5-5) at Green Bay (5-5)  
Sun, Nov 23, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Lambeau Field Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Rattay  S2

Looks to be getting at least one more start. Rattay has shown the past two weeks to excel at picking up the blitz and to have an accurate arm. The Pack must blitz to get any pressure, so this should be another solid week for "The Rat."

RB Garrison Hearst (P) U Got the bulk of the carries last week but was still out produced by the concussed Barlow. And so it goes for the Niner running attack. This week you may get an up tick in Hearst's numbers as Barlow will be coming off the concussion and the Packers continue to struggle stopping the run.
RB Kevan Barlow B First games back from concussions can be sticky. He may see some action, but odds are it will be limited or less than his usual work load.
WR Terrell Owens (P) S2 I just love those "don't bother me teammates, I'm celebrating" celebrations, don't you? Anyway, that's another topic. Owens has had an up and down year, but in the past four games he's scored three times and put up two monster efforts. Always comes to play against the Pack.
WR Tai Streets (P) B Streets' quad injury appears more serious than first thought as he didn't play much at all Monday night. If he remains limited there are no real options in the Niner passing game outside of TO.
TE Jed Weaver B Typically a fantasy non-factor, with all the injuries to the wide receivers Weaver may see some additional looks this week.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) B With the running game in high gear Favre is being called on to do less, which is good because the broken thumb is obviously creating some limitations in his game. Until he's fully healed it's best that you go with another option if possible for your fantasy team.
RB Ahman Green S1

The Niners do a good job stopping the run, but the Packers are simply steam-rolling opponents now with the running game.

WR Donald Driver X

4-30 in past two games. Continues to disappoint.

WR Robert Ferguson X

6-62 in past two games. Took advantage of CB Tim Wansley last week as expected. Won't have that type of advantage this week.

WR Javon Walker B

3-15 in past two games. Bench until further notice.

TE Bubba Franks (P) B The team has stopped calling his number at the goal-line and he's being slowed by a thigh injury.
Chicago (3-7) at Denver (6-4)  
Sun, Nov 23, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Invesco Field at Mile High Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Chandler B There are some matchup advantages that can be exploited in the Denver secondary, but pass protection for Chandler has been poor all season. He'll be under intense pressure all afternoon.
RB Anthony Thomas X Despite it's losses at linebacker the Broncos remain solid against the run. But the biggest obstacle to Thomas' fantasy success this week will be his team falling behind early and having to turn away from the running game.
WR Marty Booker X When Chandler is under pressure, neither Booker, ...
WR Dez White X

... White, or ...

WR David Terrell B

... Terrell have shown the ability to get open quickly and make plays after the catch. Both skills are required for any success in the perimeter passing game.

TE Desmond Clark U Look for Clark to have an impact this week if the Bears choose to attack the advantage they have here over a crew of linebackers that can struggle in coverage.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer (P) S2 The Bears get little pressure on opposing QBs (only 11 sacks) and are forced to blitz. This will be a problem against a QB with Plummer's mobility and weapons.
RB Clinton Portis S1 Take away his two injury games in weeks 3 and 4 and you end up with an average of almost 140 total yards a game this season. What seems to be preventing him from reaching super-stud status is Plummer's abilities around the goal line. Portis is getting fewer carries in those situations.
WR Rod Smith S2 Despite it's better statistics, the Chicago secondary isn't much better than the San Diego secondary Smith abused last week.
WR Ashley Lelie U

Only had two catches last week in Plummer's return, but one was a very nice 48 yarder. Look for a few more deep opportunities this week as the Broncos stretch the Bears' defense.

WR Ed McCaffrey (Q) B Still not recovering well from the leg injury and is likely to sit out again.
TE Shannon Sharpe S1 With the lack of depth at WR Sharpe will be a key to the passing game from here on out.
Cincinnati (5-5) at San Diego (2-8)  
Sun, Nov 23, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Qualcomm Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna U

The Chargers' ineptness in pass coverage has them playing a lot of very soft zones in an attempt to prevent big plays. Kitna will have the opportunities down field and can put up some nice numbers if he can take advantage.

RB Corey Dillon B May begin seeing a few more carries now, but it's hard to imagine the team messing with a good thing, a.k.a. Rudi.
RB Rudi Johnson S2 Has rushed for an amazing 347 yards in the past two games against two of the poorer run defenses in the league. Now here comes number three. Unfortunately now also carries the risk of losing carries to a healthy Dillon.
WR Chad Johnson S2 Gave the deep ball up to Warrick last week. The Chargers' young corners may be skilled, but they don't have what it takes to keep up with Johnson. Look for a few big plays to come his way Sunday.
WR Peter Warrick S2 With Johnson stretching the field deep, Warrick will have his way underneath the Chargers' soft zone coverages.
TE Matt Schobel (P) B With the vertical passing game working so well and Warrick tearing it up underneath there just isn't much of a need for the tight end in the Bengal offense right now.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Doug Flutie B Look for the Bengals to do what most teams do against a QB with the limitations Flutie has. Hold him in the pocket where he has no clean passing lanes. The fact that he only has one viable down field target (Boston) isn't helping either.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson S2 Should rebound from the stinker he put up last week on the road in Denver. The Chargers should be able to stay closer in this one and can stick to the running game, getting LT more than last week's eight carries.
WR David Boston X With Dwight out and Caldwell mostly ineffective, Boston is all the Chargers have to offer in the way of a down field threat. That's the bad news. The good news is that Boston has the physical skills to beat the double coverage he'll see all afternoon.
WR Tim Dwight (O)
Reche Caldwell
B Injuries, poor play and a run oriented offense make any WR outside of Boston worth very little.
TE Whoever B With Alexander's return and the emergence of rookie Antonio Gates there are now three TEs seeing action. All three had ZERO catches last week.
St. Louis (7-3) at Arizona (3-7)  
Sun, Nov 23, 4:15 PM ET on FOX at Sun Devil Stadium Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S1 It doesn't get much better than the Cardinals this season.
RB Marshall Faulk S1 We'll just call this the "any explanation will do" game of the week.
WR Torry Holt (P) S1 Because that's one nice grab in the NFL Network Total Access commercial.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 Because he has that cool double "a" thing going in his first name.
TE Brandon Manumaleuna B May get you the occasional TD, but that's about it.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Blake X Blake has the ability to put up big numbers one week then fall flat on his face the next. Given the right matchup he can bail you out of a tough QB spot, but this isn't likely one of those weeks. His only upside this week is that the Cardinals will be playing from way behind in this one.
RB Marcel Shipp (P) X Has the offensive line and abilities to produce each week. But as last week showed, this team can fall behind quickly then the running game can't be utilized. The odds of that happening again this week are pretty high.
WR Anquan Boldin S2 The only legitimate down field threat on this team. With the Cardinals likely having to turn to the air to keep pace this week, Boldin should do alright.
WR Bryant Johnson  B Had a flash of potential two weeks ago. But flashes are not what you need on your fantasy team.
TE Freddie Jones X Has become a solid second tier TE this season. Draws a very difficult matchup this week with the SS Adam Archuleta, but has the size to win any battles in the end-zone. Now you just have to hope Arizona can get down there a few times on Sunday.
Oakland (3-7) at Kansas City (9-1)  
Sun, Nov 23, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Arrowhead Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rick Mirer B If he can only complete nine passes against one of the worst pass defenses last week, what can you really hope for from this guy?
RB Charlie Garner (D) B Likely to miss another game with the back injury.
RB Tyrone Wheatley S2 Garner is out again and Fargas has been IR'ed, so the path is clear for Wheatley to have another nice game against a KC defense that's giving up almost 5 YPC on the ground.
RB Zack Crockett X Won't get you many carries, but most of them come at the goal-line. In TD-only leagues he's a must start.
WR Jerry Rice B

Please, make it stop.

WR Tim Brown B

Dropping sure touchdowns isn't the way I wanted to remember one of the greats.

WR Jerry Porter X

If you're waiting for that "breakout" from Porter this year, better have a comfortable chair to wait in. You're not going to see it until next season.

TE Whoever B

The Raiders are playing three different tight ends now.

Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2 Has quietly become one of the hottest QBs in the league, throwing for 954 yards and seven TDs over the last three games. At home against Oakland provides no reason that won't continue.
RB Priest Holmes S1 Oakland's giving up almost 150 YPG rushing. After a sub-stud outing last week, Priest is sure to get it going Sunday at Arrowhead.
WR Eddie Kennison S2 Has defied all odds and strung together three solid fantasy games in a row. I've been burned every time in the past, but what the heck, give him a go this week if you don't have other strong options at WR.
WR Johnnie Morton S2 Lead the team with seven catches last week. A rarity. Morton is the best all-around talent the Chiefs have at wide receiver and is capable of those type of games each week. But with so many other options in this offense the chances become slim.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1 Just keeps crankin' it out.
Tennessee (8-2) at Atlanta (2-8)  
Sun, Nov 23, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Georgia Dome Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S1 McNair and the Titans struggled last week, but this Sunday they get the NFL's official "get well" team... The Falcons.
RB Eddie George S2 It's hard to say what's going on with the Titan running game. For a few weeks George shares carries, then he gets most of the workload. This much we do know however. Only one team allows more rushing yards a game than Atlanta and no team has given up more rushing TDs.
RB Robert Holcombe
Chris Brown
B Great rushing matchup this week, but since Brown's return from injury, both he and Holcombe have been divvying up the carries that George doesn't get. Not a formula for fantasy value.
WR Derrick Mason S2 The Falcons have shown some slight improvements since shuffling their secondary. But they are still giving up big plays every week. They have no match for Mason's top-end speed and quickness out of his breaks.
WR Justin McCareins S2

Will again start this week because of the injury to Drew Bennett. An excellent end-zone target due to his height advantage.

WR Tyrone Calico X This rookie's rare combination of size and speed is quickly making him a favorite target for McNair. Calico is also seeing extra playing time due to Bennett being out. But as most rookie receivers, he's also showing his inconsistencies. Should be able to torch the Falcon secondary, but he remains a risk.
TE Erron Kinney
Frank Wycheck
B The bane of our fantasy existence, one of the many two-headed tight ends this season.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Doug Johnson B

Okay, now it's back to Johnson. Whatever.

RB Warrick Dunn X The Falcons have given Dunn over 50 touches in the past two games and he's put up monster numbers. Unfortunately he doesn't have a soft defense to abuse this week. The Titans bring the #1 run defense into the Georgia Dome this weekend but may be without two of their defensive linemen. Dunn may have a chance.
RB T.J. Duckett  X Duckett is seeing his carries drop like a rock, but he's scored four TDs in the last three games. He remains a solid starter in TD-only leagues.
WR Peerless Price
Brian Finneran
B With Johnson back at QB the value of Price and Finneran raises somewhat against the suspect Titan secondary. The Titan pass rush may also take a hit with Javon Kearse and Robaire Smith possibly out. One of these two may get a big play and surprise this week. Just don't count on it.
TE Alge Crumpler X Since moving into coach Reeves' doghouse he's averaging under two catches a game. Johnson's return at QB brings some hope as he look Crumpler's way more, but it's best to leave Crumpler on your bench unless you have no other good option.
Washington (4-6) at Miami (6-4)  
Sun, Nov 23, 8:30 PM ET on ESPN at Pro Player Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey (Q) B

Not only is he facing the tough Miami defense, he may have to sit this one out due to a flair-up of an old foot injury.

RB Trung Canidate B Continues to disappoint. Against the Dolphins, forget about him.
RB Rock Cartwright (Q) B Miami allows a league low 3.1 YPC on the ground and Cartwright's sprained ankle will keep him limited or out this week.
WR Laveranues Coles (P) X Has proven himself a top-flight receiver, but with a decimated backfield and a possible inexperienced backup at QB, his chances are bleak this week
WR Rod Gardner B Ditto for Gardner.
TE Whoever B Four different Redskin tight ends have totaled twelve catches this year.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese
Jay Fiedler (Q)

It continues to get worse and worse for Griese. The official announcement won't come until later in the week, but if Fiedler can play he'll get the start. If not it's another week of Griese. Either way stay clear of this situation this week.

RB Ricky Williams S2 Pounded out 105 yards last week, but it took 36 carries to do it against the tough Ravens. The Skins won't pose nearly the challenge this week. With the horrible QB situation, the Dolphins only chance is to again give Ricky as many carries as he can take. Good news for fantasy owners.
WR Chris Chambers X The past two weeks with Griese under center have brought only six catches for 64 yards. May catch a break for fantasy owners this week against the suspect Redskin pass defense.
WR Derrius Thompson B When your team signs an old receiver they let go earlier in the year (Oronde Gadsden) this late in the season, it's not exactly a vote of confidence.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Regardless of who lines up at QB, McMichael should produce as he matches up well against the Redskin safeties.
N. Y. Giants (4-6) at Tampa Bay (4-6)  
Mon, Nov 24, 9:00 PM ET on ABC at Raymond James Stadium Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X

Collins has the talent and skill to pick apart a zone defense like the Bucs. But with an ineffective offensive line and no power running game to give him time, no stud TE and a banged up WR corps, the odds of him doing that are slim.

RB Tiki Barber X Has only scored three times this season, but has been a consistent yardage stud. This week will be a challenge however. The Bucs have shown great vulnerability to a strong power running game. Barber and the Giants don't fit that mold at all and will likely struggle to move the ball on the ground.
WR Amani Toomer X

The Giants will look for opportunities to match Toomer up against CB Tim Wansley, who will have difficulty dealing with his size and strength. Look for him to be able to make some plays down field this week.

WR Ike Hilliard (Q) B While Hilliard typically fares well against zones, his knee and ankle injury problems will make it hard to deal with the press coverage from the Tampa cornerbacks.
TE Marcellus Rivers X Went 3-16 last week in the first "Shockey-less" game for the Giants. That may end up being the norm for Rivers, 3-4 catches a game. Because he doesn't have the game breaking abilities of a Shockey those opportunities won't likely add up to much production.
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson X

Will see tons of pressure this week at a time when his blocking and blitz pickups are becoming more ineffective. With less time to set up and throw, it's a good bet that Johnson will struggle this week.

RB Michael Pittman S2

After getting all but 11 of the team's carries in the previous three games, PIttman got out-carried by Jones last week. Go figure. It's hard to say what's going to happen next in Tampa these days. This is a great matchup for Pittman, but he now carries some risk due to the team's instability.

WR Keenan McCardell (P) S2 By far the most consistent Buc receiver this season and now the owner of the #1 WR spot. Might have been impacted more by the Johnson benching if Jurevicius wasn't back in action. But it's basically a wash and he should remain productive.
WR Joe Jurevicius U

Quickly slides into a starting spot just a week after returning from injury. His height and size create huge matchup problems for the Giants. JJ better be ready to carry the load this week because he'll be needed.

TE Ken Dilger  B The best receiving TE the Bucs have and may be called upon more with Meshawn out of the picture.

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