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Start/Bench List - Week 13
By Whitney Walters
November 26, 2003
Turkey Day Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
ARI at CHI MIN at STL   KC 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
Green Bay (6-5) at Detroit (3-8)  
Thu, Nov 27, 12:30 PM ET on FOX at Ford Field Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) S2 Favre is being called on to do less now that the running game is in high gear. He hasn't had a 200 yard passing game since October, but he's typically good for multiple touchdowns. If you don't mind the interceptions then Favre is a decent start this week.
RB Ahman Green S1

Went off for 160 yards and a TD in week two against the Lions, and that was before the Pack really got the running game going.

WR Donald Driver X

Getting the most attention in a limited passing game. With the dominance of the Packer running game Driver is getting few chances to produce. Hasn't seen the end-zone since week five.

WR Robert Ferguson X

Ditto for Ferguson. Has been over 36 yards receiving only twice this season. Did score last week, but it was his first since week two.

WR Javon Walker B

Made a splash with his single catch last week, but that makes only four in the past three games. Until there is some consistent production from Favre to Walker, he's bench material.

TE Bubba Franks B The team has stopped calling his number at the goal-line and he was never much of a fantasy producer outside of the scores.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

May have a future with Detroit, but with NO talent around him on offense, the future is NOT now.

RB Shawn Bryson X

Bryson's best chance to help fantasy owners was last week. But in a close game against a Viking defense giving up an average of 221 yards rushing in their past three games, he flopped with only 21 yards on eight carries. The Pack aren't that good at stopping the run, but at this point it doesn't really matter for Bryson owners.

RB Olandis Gary B Out-carried Bryson by two last week, but had a pathetic 19 yards (1.9 per carry).
WR Az-Zahir Hakim X

Has scored in each of the last two games and has achieved fantasy relevance by attrition due to injuries. About the best you can say about Hakim at this point is that he's just about all Harrington has to throw to.

WR Bill Schroeder B

Had 44 yards receiving last week, his second-highest total of the season. Has had trouble staying healthy and had sit out some of last week's game with a concussion.

TE Mikhael Ricks X As the wide receivers continue to be decimated by injury the tight end position is playing a bigger role in the passing game. Ricks is the best the Lions have to offer and did pull in five balls last week (second on the team).
Miami (7-4) at Dallas (8-3)  
Thu, Nov 27, 4:15 PM ET on CBS at Texas Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Fiedler (P) B

Say what you will about Fiedler, he remains one of the winningest active quarterbacks in the NFL. That doesn't typically translate consistently into fantasy value however, and surely won't this week against the stiff Cowboy pass defense.

RB Ricky Williams S2 After failing to utilize their only star performer for a few weeks, the Dolphins have found run, Ricky, run again. Has carried the ball 59 times in the past two games and put up 100+ yards in each. Dallas is ranked #2 in run defense, but they are undersized up front. You should expect a heaping portion of Ricky to top off your Thanksgiving day.
WR Chris Chambers X It took Fiedler all of one play to find his down field play maker Sunday night. 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 James McKnight B Will be needed as the Dolphins look to spread the Cowboys' defense out as much as possible with multi-WR sets, but outside of Chambers and McMichael there is no consistent force in the Miami passing attack.
WR Derrius Thompson (P) B Same goes for Thompson, who is looking like a forgotten man.
TE Randy McMichael S2 Didn't have the numbers last week, but Fiedler was definitely looking his way often. If the Cowboys are forced to commit safety support to stop the Dolphin running attack (a likely scenario) McMichael should stretch the middle of the field vertically with some success.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter X

With no running game last week Carter stepped up and had one of the better games of his career with the offense squarely on his shoulders. Is he up for a repeat in this short week against the Dolphins' run defense? Hard to tell as he's shown week-to-week inconsistencies in the past.

RB Troy Hambrick B

The running game continues to struggle as Hambrick has now averaged under 2.6 YPC in four of the past five games. Expect more of the same this week against another of the league's toughest run defenses.

RB Aveion Cason B With Murrell getting cut last week Cason moved up to the backup RB position. Had the nice 16 yard TD on the double option, but was ineffective otherwise.
WR Joey Galloway X

Hey, was that Galloway I saw in the end-zone last week? Yeah, I think it was. Could mean nothing as the Cowboys had to turn to the passing game against Carolina. Or it could mean something as he's healthy now and back to being a viable part of the passing game after a seven week absence. Odds are it'll be both this week against another stingy run defense.

WR Terry Glenn X

Look for more passing in this matchup and just like last week for Glenn to be the biggest benefactor.

WR Antonio Bryant B

With 44 passes thrown last week Bryant was only able to pull in two.

TE Dan Campbell
Jason Witten
B The rookie Witten may have a future, but for now the TE position should be avoided in Dallas as it's another of those fantasy killing two-headed TEs.
Arizona (3-8) at Chicago (4-7)  
Sun, Nov 30, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Soldier Field Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Blake S2 Given the right matchup Blake can bail you out of a tough QB spot. This may be one of those weeks. He's always more dangerous when given time in the pocket and little pressure. That is exactly what he'll get this week against a Bears defense that has a league low 13 sacks on the year.
RB Marcel Shipp  X The Bears have trouble stopping the run and Shipp has proven himself very effective when given a heavy workload. And there lies the problem for Shipp owners this week and beyond. Emmitt Smith is due to return to action and may see as much as half the carries. Not good.
WR Anquan Boldin S2 The best fantasy option the Cards have to offer. Has scored four touchdowns in the last four games. The CB pair of Azumah and Tillman do not match up will with Boldin. Look for him to make a few big plays after the catch.
WR Bryant Johnson  B Johnson is sharing time with Bryan Gilmore as the Cards try to find a complementary receiver for Boldin. So far it isn't working.
TE Freddie Jones U Has become a solid second tier TE and is getting as many looks as any other receiver on the team other than Boldin.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kordell Stewart B Yeah, right.
RB Anthony Thomas S2 Chicago's only hope with Kordell back at QB is to pound Thomas at Arizona, so he should see plenty of carries. It won't be easy however as the Cardinals are surprisingly strong against the run, allowing only 3.6 YPC. Only four teams have a lower average. Kordell stealing carries at the goal-line will also hurt.
WR Marty Booker U Had only one fantasy worthy game with Kordell as QB earlier in the season. But hey, that's one more than he's had with Chandler.
WR Dez White B

A straight-line speed receiver that is most effective when he has a QB that can (and is willing) to wait in the pocket for him to clear in deep patterns. Does that sound even remotely like Stewart?

WR David Terrell B

Five catches for 32 yards in the past three games.

TE Desmond Clark X Hasn't been the breakout many expected this year, but he remains fairly consistent. That shouldn't change with Kordell back under center now.
Atlanta (2-9) at Houston (4-7)  
Sun, Nov 30, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Reliant Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Doug Johnson U

Looked fairly sharp in his return to action last week against a solid Titan defense, but nearly half of his effort went to Dunn. The Texans do however provide a much better matchup this week. Johnson could surprise with another decent fantasy performance.

RB T.J. Duckett  S2 With Dunn gone for the year (placed on IR) Duckett will now carry the load. He obviously doesn't have Dunn's home run abilities, but given 20+ carries against a Houston defense allowing 140 YPG on the ground he could put up big numbers.
WR Peerless Price U Anything can happen when one of the leagues worst passing offenses meets one of the league worst passing defenses. Price doesn't match up well against the Texan corners, Glenn and Coleman, but he's the best down field option Johnson has.


Brian Finneran B Has been worthless since his return and is now bothered by a broken thumb.
TE Alge Crumpler X Just isn't getting the looks now that he's being kept in so much for pass protection. Hasn't had more than two catches in a game since week five and hasn't scored since week two.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Banks X Continues to be somewhat effective filling in for the injured Carr but has completed only 23 passes in his two starts. If there's ever a time to succeed it may be this week against one of the only defenses that may be worse than their own against the pass.
RB Domanick Davis S2

Just what the fantasy doctor ordered for Davis, who's been getting the carries (50) but averaging only 2.7 YPC in the last two games. There may not be a team playing worse against the run right now than the Falcons.

WR Andre Johnson S2 On talent alone Johnson has the ability to produce most weeks but has been inconsistent. Against the league's worst pass defense this week you have to give him a shot.
WR Corey Bradford U 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. Can you say number four?
WR Jabar Gaffney B

#3 WR in a bad passing attack being run by the backup QB again this week.

TE Billy Miller S2 Has scored in three of the last five games. The Falcons' soft coverage schemes in the red-zone continue to be abused by opposing receivers. Look for Miller to score again this week.
Buffalo (4-7) at N.Y. Giants (4-7)  
Sun, Nov 30, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Giants Stadium Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe B The Giants are only so-so against the pass, but they do pressure the QB as good as anyone. They are second in the league with 30 sacks. Not a good situation for a QB that's showing week after week to be unable to handle an unstable pocket.
RB Travis Henry X 22 carries on a cracked fibula isn't bad at all. In fact, it's pretty amazing. But he had to fight for every one of his 77 yards. If Moulds isn’t healthy enough for Buffalo to run 3-WR sets to spread the defense, Henry will have to fight for every yard again against the physical Giant front seven.
WR Eric Moulds X The Bills passing game just isn't getting it done and Moulds hasn't been the same since "returning" from his groin injury. He also had to leave last week's game due to a hamstring cramp. If 100% healthy he could produce against the beat-up Giant secondary, but he's not.
WR Josh Reed X Since his breakout game in week seven Reed's numbers have tailed off each week along with the Bills passing game. This is a decent matchup against a secondary hit by injuries, but it's hard to recommend Reed or ...
WR Bobby Shaw B

... Shaw with the offensive line and Bledsoe playing so poorly.

TE Mark Campbell B Good for a few catches a game at best.
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins B

His numbers have been terrible in two of the past three games and he looked somewhat shell-shocked Monday night against Tampa. Getting Shockey back will help, but the Giants are completely out of sync in the passing game. No pass protection, hurt receivers dropping balls, etc, etc. Not a good option this week.

RB Tiki Barber S2

No one will be happier to see Shockey back in the lineup than Barber. With Shockey back to open up the field and keep SS Lawyer Milloy off the line, Barber will have more room to run.

WR Amani Toomer X

The typically sure-handed Toomer looked out-of -sorts Monday night. He will have a good change to redeem himself this week. The Bills' corners are very physical, but when matched up against the 5'-9" Winfield he'll have a significant height advantage.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Not only is he being slowed by injury problems, but he does not match up will against physical cornerbacks like Clements and Winfield.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Expected to return this week but won't be 100%, probably for the rest of the season. Unless you've backed him up with a very good option, Shockey owners have little choice but to stick him back into their lineups this week.
Cincinnati (6-5) at Pittsburgh (4-7)  
Sun, Nov 30, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at Heinz Field Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna U

Look for more of the spread offense the Steelers hate, and for another fine performance from Kitna this week.

RB Corey Dillon X HC Marvin Lewis keeps saying that Dillon is the team's starter, and this week he proves it. After out-carrying and out rushing Rudi last week, look for Dillon to get the starting nod this week. The downside is the stingy Steeler run defense and the continued presence of Rudi.
RB Rudi Johnson B It's hard to figure at this point, but it looks like for now Johnson will begin to fill more of a somewhat used backup. That will likely translate into 10-12 carries a game. Enough to help his team but not enough to help yours.
WR Chad Johnson S2 Gentlemen (and ladies), may I introduce to you the first legitimate stud receiver to wear a Bengal uniform. The Steelers have nothing in the secondary to slow this guy down.
WR Peter Warrick S2 The way to beat the Steelers is to run 3-WR sets. Warrick typically moves to the slot in those formations and will have his way with Steeler nickel back Dewayne Washington in this matchup.
WR Kelly Washington B The rookie has a lethal combination of size and speed, very similar to Chad Johnson. He's been learning the ropes behind Warrick's very successful season as the #3 WR. Last week's 5-61, TD performance showed a flash of what may be in store for the Bengals as this young talent develops further.
TE Matt Schobel B With the vertical passing game working and Warrick tearing it up underneath there's no need for the tight end in the Bengal offense right now.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tommy Maddox X A dismal season took a terrible turn for the worst last week with the 9-24-73, TD performance. The Bengals have enough holes in their pass defense to provide Maddox the opportunity to bounce back, but the loss of his center to injury won't help.
RB Amos Zereoue B Has been virtually worthless since losing his starting job to Bettis.
RB Jerome Bettis X Finally received the carries he needs (24) and it paid off with his best performance of the year (93 yards). If the Steelers are smart offensively (and the jury's still out on that one) they will repeat the running approach against the Bengals, a team not nearly as solid against the run as last week's Browns are.
WR Plaxico Burress B

Two catches for 16 yards last week. Still waiting...

WR Hines Ward S2 After a one-catch stinker last week you can bet Pittsburgh will look to get Ward involved early and often.
TE Whoever  B Another season of worthless Steeler tight ends.
Minnesota (7-4) at St. Louis (8-3)  
Sun, Nov 30, 1:00 PM ET on FOX at Edward Jones Dome Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2 Has struggled lately (4 interceptions and only 1 TD in the past two games) and the Rams' cover-2 schemes will test his patience. The opportunities will be limited, but they will be there if the running game is clicking. If Culpepper waits on them he'll make some big plays.
RB Moe Williams B Bennett is back and Williams will receive minimal carries now. He will stay active in the passing game and likely at the goal line, but that's not going to be enough to make him a fantasy starter in most leagues.
RB Michael Bennett  S2 Looks solid and received three times Moe's carries last week. Would have had more if not for the coffee incident at half-time (link). Bennett will find plenty of running room as the Vikings will spread a Rams' defense that has struggled of late stopping the run.
WR Randy Moss S2 Appears at times to be far from 100% and he's obviously playing hurt. But in a shootout like this I'll take a less than 100% Moss any day of the week, especially Sunday.
WR Nate Burleson
Kelly Campbell

Even with Moss hobbled, Burleson and Campbell are afterthoughts in the offense. Through eleven games they have only a combined 38 catches between them.

TE Jim Kleinsasser S2 An ankle injury slowed him down last week. He has become very involved in the passing game and remains a solid fantasy starter most weeks.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger X Bulger has hit a bit of a fantasy slump. Even against the woeful Cardinals last week he didn't pay off for his owners, tossing only one TD and four interceptions (making 10 in the last 4 games). Most weeks the Vikings mask a very bad pass defense with several interceptions. If Bulger can get back to making good reads he'll torch the Vikings secondary. If not, then he'll continue to struggle.
RB Marshall Faulk S1 With Bulger's struggles and the Vikings opportunistic secondary, the smart thing would be to lean heavily on Faulk this week.
WR Torry Holt S1 On pace to break Jerry Rice's single season receiving yards record. Should add another buck-fifty to that total this week against the overmatched Viking corners.
WR Isaac Bruce S2 Got into the end-zone last week for the first time since week three. Very nice. Has a good chance to repeat this week against an overmatched secondary.
TE Brandon Manumaleuna B Another one of those many "2-catch-a-game" tight ends.
New England (9-2) at Indianapolis (9-2)  
Sun, Nov 30, 1:00 PM ET on CBS at RCA Dome Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S2

Brady is hitting a nice late season groove, his offensive line is providing him with excellent protection and the running game is improving. Brady has a great feel for hitting soft spots against cover 2 schemes like the Colts' and his healthy receivers this week have pretty decent matchups.

RB Antowain Smith X Okay, I give up! If possible you should avoid this whole Patriots running back situation. After two solid performances since returning from injury Smith is basically ignored and given only 8 carries last week and did nothing with them.
RB Kevin Faulk  X Ditto for Faulk. Since Smith's return Faulk's touches were decreasing significantly. Then BAM, he gets 31 touches and puts up 188 total yards. The Colts struggle to stop the run, so if you're felling lucky and think Faulk will get the touches again, plug him into your lineup.
WR Troy Brown
David Givens

Missed his third game last week. Due to the early nature of this report this week, some injury situations are going to be unknown. This is one of them. If you turn in early lineups this week avoid both Brown and Givens as neither may play this week.

WR Bethel Johnson X Filled in nicely last week for the injured Brown and may be called upon again Sunday. The production won't come as easily this week however against a very tough Colt pass defense.
WR Deion Branch S2

Should again see extra looks as the top WR due to all the injuries. Branch is a great matchup against the soft zone coverages Indy play and his run after-the-catch abilities could result in a few big plays.

TE Daniel Graham S2 Continues to struggle with consistency and dropped passes, but Graham has become a valuable part of the Patriot passing game due to his great talent and all the WR injuries.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S2 Hit a bump in the road last week against Buffalo, and my hit another this Sunday. In an interesting anomaly in an otherwise flawless career, Manning seems to struggle the most against Bill Belichick coached defenses and has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns against them. But he hasn't faced the Pats since 2001 so maybe it's time for a little payback.
RB Edgerrin James S2 Has put up two monster fantasy games in a row but faces a team that has given him problems in the past and has improved against the run since the return of NT Ted Washington.
WR Marvin Harrison S2

Seems to be close to 100% recovered from the hamstring injury. A great matchup this week with "The (Ty) Law", who is dinged up as well. They will likely play to a draw and Harrison will get his numbers.

WR Reggie Wayne X Even with Harrison's return to action, Wayne remains a key player in the passing attack. Look for the Colts to continue to try and work matchup advantages for him against the #2 and #3 cornerbacks in both the man and zone coverages run by the Patriots.
WR Troy Walters B Walters' hamstring injury may keep him out again this week.
TE Marcus Pollard X May return after missing two game due to a sprained knee.
TE Dallas Clark B May miss this week's game due to a strained back suffered last week. At a minimum he'll be limited.

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