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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 12
Whitney Walters
November 25, 2004
Thanksgiving Day Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
IND at DET TB at CAR PHI at NYG NYJ at ARI OAK at DEN
CHI at DAL SD at KC WAS at PIT BAL at NE Mon 9 PM
Sun 1 PM TEN at HOU Sun 4 PM BUF at SEA STL at GB
CLE at CIN JAC at MIN NO at ATL MIA at SF (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
 
Indianapolis (7-3) at Detroit (4-6) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 One juicy matchup after another as he goes for a place in the record book.
RB Edgerrin James S1

Look for the Colts to run James often as the game progresses and after the high-powered passing attack has built a lead.

WR Marvin Harrison S2 Fantasy stud for sure, but keeps hovering at the S2 level thanks to the ball being spread more in the passing game.
WR Reggie Wayne S2 The #2 WR opposite marvelous Marvin has become a top 5 fantasy receiver. The fantasy would has been waiting a long time for this to happen, but not many dreamed it could be this good.
WR Brandon Stokley S2 As long as this offense is clicking you have to stick with your Colt players, and that includes Stokley and ...
TE Dallas Clark
Marcus Pollard
S2 ... the tight ends.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

Harrington's play is becoming a big concern for the Lions. He faces one of the most porous pass defenses in the league this week in the Colts. His 91 yard performance last week against what, until then, was a porous Viking pass defense doesn't provide much hope. If he struggles on Turkey Day he may get the hook.

RB Kevin Jones X Jones logged his first career 100-yard game last week and shows signs of improvement with each game. Indy has been playing against the run better of late and the very good possibility of the Lions having to turn to the passing game to keep pace with the Colts hurt Jones' chances this week.
WR Roy Williams X

Off to a fantastic start this season Williams has been slowed by a bum ankle and a mostly unproductive receiving corps that make it easier to take him out of games defensively. He's averaging only three catches a game since the bye week five weeks ago and has only a single score. Indy provides a tasty matchup but it's hard to place much confidence in his ability to produce right now.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim (Q) U If Hakim can get on the field at close to 100% this week he could surprise. Much attention will be given to taking Williams out of the game, providing the opportunity for success. The high probability of the Lions having to play catchup all afternoon doesn't hurt.
TE Stephen Alexander X Alexander scored his first touchdown of the season last week and may produce again this week. The Indy defense allows good TE production and with Hakim still hurting and defenses taking Williams out of action there are very few other options for Harrington.
 
Chicago (4-6) at Dallas (3-7) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Craig Krenzel B The Bears are sticking with the rookie who has three touchdowns and 12 turnovers since taking over at quarterback. Hopefully you never even gave him a tryout on your fantasy team.
RB Thomas Jones S2

Jones looked close to 100% last week in his return from injury. This game should remain close and Jones should get plenty of work as the only productive piece of the Chicago offense.

RB Anthony Thomas B Zero carries last week. The A-Train is on blocks until Jones goes down again.
WR David Terrell
Bobby Wade
B

When your passing game is dead last in the NFL with little hope of improving under the guidance of a rookie quarterback it's doubtful that any Chicago receiver will be of much help to your fantasy team.

TE Desmond Clark

B

Since Krenzel took over Clark has only three catches.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Henson B

Vinny's old body is hurting and the "old" rookie is expected to get his first NFL start. Chicago's pass defense is somewhat suspect, but don't expect Parcel's to put much of the offensive load in Henson's shoulders. Look for him to do a lot of handing off.

RB Julius Jones S2 If you can put up 81 tough yards against the Ravens you should be able to be fantasy worthy against a Chicago defense that's allowing over 130 YPG on the ground. Expect to see Jones get plenty of work again this week.
RB Eddie George B May get a few more than his three carries last week, but the writing appears to be on the wall now that the rookie is back.
WR Keyshawn Johnson (P) X

Johnson is in the same boat as the rest of the Cowboy offense, the matchup with Chicago's defense provides some potential but the downside of a rookie QB in his first start balances it out.

WR Quincy Morgan X Morgan looks strong and has become the focus of the Dallas vertical passing game. Not hard to do opposite the not-so-fast Keyshawn. He has some potential Thursday, but he also carries some serious downside thanks to the rookie QB.
TE Jason Witten S2 Changes in quarterbacks can be good or bad for tight ends. Witten could become Henson's best friend on Thursday, or he could become the weird uncle that sits with the youngn's at the kid's table. For what it's worth Henson didn't go to Witten once on his only scoring drive last Sunday.
 
Cleveland (3-7) at Cincinnati (4-6) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb B

The Cleveland offense is in a tailspin, lead by an inept passing game. They turn to Holcomb this week due to Garcia's shoulder injury. This QB situation should be avoided.

RB Lee Suggs (Q)
William Green
X

What was developing into a strong running game has become one of the league's weakest over the past few weeks, averaging only 73 rushing yards by the backs and no touchdowns in the past three games. The running attack catches a break this week going against the terrible (ranked 31st) Bengal run defense. Suggs has lead the way lately but his new toe injury may open the door for a few more carries for Green. Bottom line is that both may do better this week but the shared load will hurt their fantasy potential.

WR Andre' Davis (Q) B

Remains questionable due to the turf toe injury.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

Without Davis' vertical speed in the mix it's easier for opposing secondaries to press and limit the short to mid-range passing game that is the strength of the possession style receivers, Northcutt and ...

WR Antonio Bryant B

... Bryant.

TE Aaron Shea
Steve Heiden
B Shea gets very few opportunities but most are at the goal-line. Heiden sees more action but rarely scores. Combined they'd make a starting fantasy tight end. Separately only Shea is a deep starter at best.
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer B

Until Palmer can make better decisions and manage the game better his success on the field will be limited. Last week's two touchdowns was the first multi-TD effort he's had since week one. So to expect him to repeat that consistently is a bit unrealistic.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 Johnson lacks the athleticism that can take him to the next level, but his physical running style should wear down the smallish Cleveland defensive front enough for some late game success.
WR Chad Johnson X Amazingly Johnson has remained consistently in the 60-80 yard range each week this season, with a few upticks and last week saw him get into the end-zone. But it was only this third time this season and at his current pace he'll cross the goal-line again some time in mid to late December.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh
Kelly Washington (P)
B Each have had their brief moments this season with Warrick out, but brief moments are not what your fantasy team needs.
TE Matt Schobel (P) B The tight end didn't even see a pass come his way last week.
 
Tampa Bay (4-6) at Carolina (3-7) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brian Griese S2 Griese continues to play well. Look for the Bucs to challenge the lack of depth in the Carolina secondary by running more multi-receiver sets. This will provide enough success to keep Griese in his fantasy starter status.
RB Michael Pittman S2

Just keeps on rolling. This week against an improving but still porous Carolina run defense it'll be more of the same. In the last four games he's topped 100 yards three times and scored six touchdowns.

WR Michael Clayton S2 Clayton has been Griese's go-to receiver but the presence of Jurevicius has cut into that role a bit. The Bucs will continue to throw the ball and the rookie will still be a big part of the air attack. The Panthers provide another nice matchup for him this week.
WR Joey Galloway B Improving but his vertical speed still looks limited by the lingering groin injury. Without his speed Galloway is of limited value to your fantasy team.
WR Joe Jurevicius S2

Jurevicius' best performance of the year show that his knee injury looks to be behind him now. With the ever improving Clayton on the other side Jurevicius has the ability to win most of his matchups. This week against the suspect Panther corners is no different.

TE Ken Dilger X Dilger has shown promise since Griese took over at quarterback. But last week's 1-for-7 effort also show the kind of inconsistency that can hurt a fantasy team. Having fellow TE Will Heller in the mix doesn't help either.
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme (P) X

Delhomme saw his numbers take a dip last week but he didn't seem too bothered by the thumb injury, which is a good sign. Even with that positive sign and his good play of late, with the #2 passing defense coming to town he's a risky start this week.

RB Nick Going X

Huh? First fantasy owners had to worry about the Davis vs. Foster debate. Now it's week 12 and we're dealing with the Hoover vs. Going vs. Bennett debate. My how things can change. At this point it looks like Hoover's injury and Bennett's inexperience with the team leaves Going standing alone for now. Going is still just a converted fullback so don't expect 100-yard plus, multi-TD games very often, if ever again.

WR Muhsin Muhammad X Muhammad is by far the best option Delhomme has in the passing game and despite everyone knowing that he continues to produce each week. Sometime big. The Bucs bring a challenging matchup this week as Muhammad won't find many one-on-one matchups to exploit against their cover-2 zone schemes. But it's hard to go against a guy that's put up 441 yards and 7 touchdowns in the past four weeks.
WR Keary Colbert X The rookie is very inconsistent and hasn't seen the end-zone since week five.
TE Kris Mangum (Q) B Mangum has his ups and downs, but he's a dependable receiver that's being asked to mostly block.
 
San Diego (7-3) at Kansas City (3-7) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2 The Chiefs provide a nice matchup for any quarterback, but with Tomlinson back to form the offensive focus will likely shift away from Brees. He will surely continue his fine play but don't expect many three TD games the rest of the way as Tomlinson will carry more of the load.
RB LaDainian Tomlinson (P) S1 Whew! Finally! Tomlinson looked great last weekend following the Charger's off week and is primed for another big game against the Chief's swiss cheese defense.
WR Eric Parker X Will be a possible fantasy surprise most weeks due to the attention opposing defenses have to give Tomlinson, Gates and McCardell. But because he's now the fourth option in the receiving food chain his production will be inconsistent.
WR Keenan McCardell S2 Has adapted quickly to the Charger offense and Brees. In his first three games he's posted 15 catches for 209 yards and a touchdown. The prospects only get better this week against a struggling Chiefs secondary.
TE Antonio Gates S1 Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the top fantasy tight end of the 2004 season. There don't appear to be many signs of him slowing down either. If anything, the threat of a 100% Tomlinson will provide Gates with even better matchups with safeties having to deal with run support.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

With a solid running attack, Gonzo and two healthy receivers on the outside, Green has hit a nice stride. The Chargers secondary is still full of holes that the Chiefs and Green can exploit.

RB Priest Holmes (D) B

Holmes is expected to sit out at least one more week.

RB Derrick Blaylock (P) S2 Came back to earth last week against the always difficult New England defense. This week the task is even tougher facing the #1 run defense in the league. The Chargers have allowed a total of just 128 yards to opposing backs in the past three games. Blaylock is an iffy start this week, but he does stay active in the short passing game, helping his fantasy value.
WR Eddie Kennison S2 The Chargers continue to protect their inexperienced corners by playing them off the line of scrimmage. Given this kind of space both Kennison and ...
WR Johnnie Morton S2 ... Morton are experienced enough to work these matchups to their advantage. Look for another productive game out of both.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1 The young guns are making some noise this year but "old-time" Gonzo is still on pace for one of his best seasons.
 
Tennessee (4-6) at Houston (4-6) Back to top
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

The good news is that McNair survived last week's game with no re-aggrevation of the sternum injury. The not so good news is that the Titan's offense remained only moderately productive. The matchup is much better this week however against a Houston defense that's allowed a league worst 24 touchdowns through the air.

RB Chris Brown (Q) S2 Rested the troublesome turf toe injury last week and is expected to return to action Sunday. Should put up some good numbers against a struggling Texan defense. Brown owners had better hope that Smith's solid performance last week won't have him cutting into Brown's carries.
RB Antowain Smith B Filled in nicely last week for the injured Brown and will be a solid backup if the need arises again. With Brown expecting to play that need won't be this week.
WR Derrick Mason S2 Mason isn't tearing it up this season but he's been a consistent source of fantasy points for his owners. That should gradually improve now that the quarterback situation has hopefully settled down.
WR Drew Bennett S2

Mason is the playmaker and draws the extra coverage, but Bennett remains a constant target for McNair and a solid fantasy option most weeks.

TE Erron Kinney B

Kinney looks to be emerging now that he's healthy, but the three headed monster that exists now with him, Meier and Troupe cuts into his fantasy value.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X Carr is in a slump and hasn't played this bad since week one. He's put up 108 passes in the last three games and has only a single TD and three interceptions to show for it. The key for his success this week will be for the running game to pull a Titans safety into the box and for the spread offense to stretch a Titan secondary that lacks depth due to injury.
RB Domanick Davis S2

The Texans should be able to stay close in this one Davis should continue to get a heavy workload both running and catching. Davis has yet to have a 100 yard rushing game but his active role in the short passing game (second in the league in receiving yards among backs) and touchdowns have kept his fantasy value respectable.

WR Andre Johnson S2 Johnson is seeing almost constant double coverage and more since there is no real threat other than him in the passing attack. The results have been inconsistent production and no scores since week five.
WR Jabar Gaffney U Gaffney has been coming on and Carr is looking his way more with all the attention Johnson gets on the other side. He went catchless last week but could surprise this week against an injury depleted Titan secondary.
WR Corey Bradford B Has not been a factor since losing his starting job to Gaffney. Went catchless last week.
 
Jacksonville (6-4) at Minnesota (6-4) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich (Q) S2

Barring a setback in practice this week Leftwich is expected to return to the starting lineup Sunday. Without a doubt this matchup warrants you plugging Leftwich back into your starting lineup as well. But temper your expectations as he will not be 100% and the time off will surely result in a bit of rust. Taylor should also play a bigger role in this game as well.

RB Fred Taylor S1

The 31st ranked running game (Detroit) was able to put up 129 yards on the struggling Viking run defense last week. You can bet they'll see a heavy dose of Taylor on Sunday.

WR Jimmy Smith S2

Smith ranks fifth in the NFL in receiving yardage this year but his three touchdowns have hurt his fantasy status. Regardless of quarterback one thing remains constant for the Jags, Smith is the main man in the passing attack and should be able to take advantage of this favorable matchup with the Vikings.

WR Troy Edwards
Reggie Williams
B Outside of Smith the ball is getting spread around too much for either of these two to build their fantasy value with consistent production.
TE Kyle Brady
Todd Yoder
B Both Brady and Yoder have been in the mix as the Jags are spreading the ball around in the passing game. But as with most two-headed TEs, neither are of consistent fantasy value.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2 After struggling for three weeks without Moss in the last two we've seen Culpepper finally start to be productive without his star receiver. With or without Moss this week C-Pep should find enough success against the stout Jacksonville defense to warrant him being in your fantasy team's starting lineup.
RB   Onterrio Smith
Michael Bennett
Moe Williams
B

Despite having both Smith and Bennett back the running game is completely out of sync right now and all three (with Williams) are getting touches. Even against the reeling Lions defense last week the three of them could only muster a total of 72 yards on the ground. To complicate things even more all three received carries inside the 10 yard line. Jacksonville is a formidable opponent for just a single back. With three sharing the load none are worth starting on your fantasy team.

WR Randy Moss (D) X Early indications are that Moss will return this weekend, but it will depend on how he responds to workouts during the week. Even if he does play it is not expected to be every down and he is not going to be 100%. Start him at your own risk.
WR Nate Burleson S2

Even if Moss returns Sunday Burleson has proven himself capable of being a good option for Culpepper and the passing game. He's scored in each of the last four games and should remain a vital part of the air attack.

WR Marcus Robinson X

Robinson has been hit and miss thanks to a bothersome toe injury. Last week he ended up with only a single 7-yard catch and hasn't had a fantasy worthy effort for weeks.

TE Jermaine Wiggins S2

Wiggins just keeps getting it done. He had a season high eight catches last week and scored for the second week in a row. He's become an important part of the Vikings passing game and that shouldn't change even when Moss returns.

 
Philadelphia (9-1) at NY Giants (5-5) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2 For the second week in a row McNabb had a very low completion total (18 and 15 last week) but found the endzone on four of them. The Eagles will want to jump on the Giants early to force the younger Manning into passing situations. So look for them to come out blasting both barrels.
RB Brian Westbrook S2 For the second week in a row Levens got half as many carries as Westbrook. If not for his active role in the passing game Westbrook's fantasy value would be low right now. But that isn't the case so look for him to remain startable, especially against a Giants defense allowing over 125 YPG on the ground.
WR Terrell Owens S1 Put up three touchdowns on the Giants in week one.
WR Todd Pinkston U Last week Pinkston had his second 100-yard game in the last five and actually outproduced Owens for the first time this season. McNabb seems to be looking his way more and the fantasy potential is there as Owens consistently draws double or even triple coverage on the other side of the field. The consistency just isn't there yet.
TE L.J. Smith (P)
Chad Lewis
B The tight ends continue to play a role in the Eagles' passing game. But since that role is split between Smith and Lewis, neither can be relied on as a consistent fantasy starter. If you have to pick one Lewis has been the most productive lately.
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning B

The rookie looked about as well as could be expected last week against the forgiving but aggressive Falcon pass defense. The task gets MUCH more difficult this week against a defense that will come after him from every possible angle.

RB Tiki Barber S2 The Giants will keep leaning on Barber now that their prized rookie is behind center and the Eagles have shown that they can be run on this season.
WR Amani Toomer X

Toomer was barely startable before the switch to Manning. For now he's going to be way to inconsistent to rely on during this critical part of the fantasy season.

WR Ike Hilliard B Hilliard has been a complete bust this season and is off limits.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Looks like the rookie has learned the value of a great tight end early and Shockey's value won't be hurt too badly by Manning taking the reigns.

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