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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
 
Washington (3-7) at Pittsburgh (9-1) Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Patrick Ramsey B The offense wasn't much more effective under Ramsey's guidance last week against the tough Eagles. Don't expect it to get any better against the even tougher Steelers.
RB Clinton Portis X Against stiff run defenses Portis has become a risky fantasy start due to the poor offensive line play and just general bad execution on offense. Well, the defenses don't get much stiffer than Pittsburgh's this season.
WR Lavernues Coles X

Ramsey does look Coles way and he's still the best vertical option the Redskins have. The Steelers will make it very difficult on the Ramsey-to-Coles connection by pressuring Ramsey and not giving him the time to find his best down field target.

WR Rod Gardner (P) B Since his big week three effort Gardner hasn't topped three catches or 41 yards.
TE Chris Cooley B The H-back is proving to be worth a couple of catches a week, if that.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B Big Ben may be the darling of the media, but he's no fantasy darling. He hasn't thrown over 200 yards since week five and has only a single touchdown in the last two games. Don't look for much improvement this week against a surprisingly strong Redskins pass defense and without his #2 WR.
RB Duce Staley (Q) X Here we go again. Duce is expected back, but look for a late week decision. If he's close to 100% and plays he's an iffy start against a solid Washington run defense.
RB Jerome Bettis (P) X If Bettis is called on again don't expect him to tear it up against the Redskins. Even if Staley returns look for The Bus to get more work than he had prior to Staley's injury.
WR Hines Ward X

Ward's numbers have taken a dive. He has a TOTAL of only eight catches in the past three games. A bounce-back will be difficult this week against the strong set of Redskin corners. Having Burress out won't help either. Ward had only a single catch last week once Burress went down and he saw constant double coverage.

WR Plaxico Burress (O) B

Out this week due to a hamstring pull.

WR Antwaan Randle El U Will fill in for the injured Burress this week and could surprise. It won't be easy however. Randle El is explosive and dangerous after the catch but he's small and struggles against physical corners.
 
New Orleans (4-6) at Atlanta (8-2) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X Not necessarily a good matchup for Brooks this week. The Falcon secondary isn't great but they will likely drop seven into coverage often, forcing him to be accurate in order to succeed. As we all know accuracy and patience aren't Brooks' better qualities. Look for him to struggle under the pressure.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 McAllister was held to his (non-injury) season low of just 42 rushing yards last week. But in typical fantasy stud style he also had a huge day catching the ball, going 11-for-87. The Falcons will present a tough challenge but you can't sit a stud back that can get it done in both facets of the game.
WR Joe Horn (P) S2 Horn is by far the stud of the New Orleans passing attack and has a great matchup this week against a struggling Falcon secondary. Despite Brooks' inconsistent play Horn remains a solid fantasy start this week.
WR Jerome Pathon B

Pathon just hasn't taken hold since his first start in week seven and a 6-for-79 performance. Since that time he's totaled only eight catches in three games. With Stallworth suddenly back in the mix his numbers won't improve.

WR Donte' Stallworth X Huh?!? Stallworth had been making a habit of single or zero catch games for weeks and lost his starting spot to Pathon. Then he decides to make the fantasy world notice him again, for the first time since week two. If you want to bank on him suddenly repeating last week's performance then pick him back up and toss him into your lineup. Keep in mind that he's shown nothing this season to warrant that kind of investment.
TE Boo Williams X Still doesn't look 100% back from the bothersome hamstring and could be asked to stay in and block more this week against the very aggressive Falcon pass rush.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   S2

Vick has been a fantasy disappointment all season, relying on his rushing ability to make him even close to startable (see last week). But when you're facing the league's worst passing AND rushing defense it's hard to pass up the matchup.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 Dunn has approached 20 carries only twice since week three. He looks to have his speed and burst back now, and against the horrible Saints defense he shouldn't even need 20 carries to help your fantasy team this week.
RB T.J. Duckett  X Just when it looked safe to put Duckett into your lineup he goes back to a sub-par effort with no carries at the goal-line. It's hard to sit him against such a bad defense, but with Dunn and Vick cranking the Falcons may never have to score from inside the five yard line.
WR Peerless Price X Price went catchless last week for the first time in over 80 games and may be approaching a career rock bottom. This is an obvious great matchup this week for any offense, but with the state of the Falcon receivers it's difficult to recommend starting any of them. Even Price.
WR Dez White
Brian Finneran (P)
B Finneran is still slowed by injury and White still disappoints. Neither are worth your attention, even against the Saints. Look for the rookie Jenkins to start working his way into the rotation.
TE Alge Crumpler S2 May not see as much action since the Saints are so bad his great talent won't be as needed to move the ball and/or score. But remains a fantasy starter.
 
NY Jets (7-3) at Arizona (4-6) Back to top
New York Jets
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Quincy Carter B Carter wasn't terrible last week, but he wasn't very good either. Facing the Cardinals this week will present an easier opponent but he's just not a startable fantasy quarterback in this fill-in role.
RB Curtis Martin (P) S2 Martin has a bruised knee but is expected to play Sunday. As expected the Jets are emphasizing the running game without Pennington. Arizona doesn't pose much of a threat so Martin should continue his fine season this week.
RB LaMont Jordan X After Martin went down last week Jordan was very productive with 18 carries for 73 yards. Jordan has been playing much better of late and may see some extra carries this week to spell Martin.
WR Santana Moss X Moss is a vertical threat. But that requires long-ball accuracy, patience and pocket time from your quarterback to be effective. Carter offers none of those qualities.
WR Justin McCareins   S2

McCareins hasn't been as good as his billing, but he has scored in three of the last four games and is getting more looks from Carter than Moss is. He should be able to produce this week as well since he's bigger and faster than the Cardinal corners.

WR Wayne Chrebet B

The Jets aren't running nearly as many 3-WR sets with Carter at quarterback, limiting Chrebet's potential.

TE Anthony Becht B The Cardinals are a blitz heavy team and with Carter needing comfort in the pocket for any success the tight ends will be primarily blockers this week.
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Shaun King B Say what you want about HC Dennis Green, but this move makes absolutely no sense. McCown is a better quarterback in almost every facet of the game. He may had been in a slump but the Cards had just faced three of the tougher pass defenses in the league (BUF, MIA, NYG) prior to the benching. King is not a fantasy starter now, and may never be.
RB Emmitt Smith (Q) X The deck is stacked against Emmitt this week. The passing game under King won't warrant special defensive attention, the Jets are solid up the middle in run defense (Smith's strength) and he's sporting a bum ankle.
WR Anquan Boldin X Last week's numbers are deceiving since the Cards were in a big hole early and had to try and throw their way out if it (King threw the ball 52 times). This is not an effective passing attack with King behind center. Lower your expectations for both Boldin and ...
WR Larry Fitzgerald X ... the rookie Fitzgerald.
TE Freddie Jones B Saw an uptick in production last week with King at quarterback. He almost doubled his numbers from the three previous games combined. May be worth a flyer if you're looking for a backup TE to close the season out with. But he's not startable until he shows some consistency.
 
Baltimore (7-3) at New England (9-1) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller X Over the past four week Boller has averaged 34 pass attempts a game. That is nearly double his average from the previous five games. Are we finally seeing the move to the more pass oriented offense everyone expected out of HC Billick? Maybe. Boller has doubled his season's TD total in the past two games. Even with a banged up secondary the Pats pose a challenge to Boller's apparent progress.
RB Jamal Lewis (O) B Out this week due to a sprained ankle.
RB Chester Taylor X Will be called on again in relief of the injured Lewis. Put up solid numbers (averaging 100 total YPG), but nothing great, when he filled in during Lewis' suspension earlier this season. Look for more of the same against a solid New England defense.
WR Travis Taylor X Taylor has played well since his return from injury and has the speed and quickness to do some damage against the injury plagued New England secondary.
WR Clarence Moore X From fantasy darling to a single 24 yard catch in the span of one week. Such is the nature of the unpredictable Baltimore passing attack. The Ravens will spend another week without TE Heap and Moore remains a threat in the red-zone due to his 6-6 frame.
TE

Todd Heap (Q)

B Heap may miss another game and there are no other tight ends worth looking at.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X Last week against the pathetic Kansas City defense Brady had his first 300 yard game since week one. Don't expect a repeat with the Ravens coming to town. Brady is a borderline fantasy starter most weeks but falls under that line in this matchup.
RB Corey Dillon S2 Dillon has looked solid and healthy for two weeks now and the Patriot running attack is looking strong. The Ravens are not the brick wall they used to be but Dillon will be hard pressed to stay productive against them this week.
WR Deion Branch S2 Branch announced his presence in the Patriots lineup with authority on Monday night. His not so subtle 6-for-105 and a score were a reminder that he was projected to be "the man" this year in the New England passing attack. Well, it's been 11 weeks in the coming but that time may have arrived.
WR

David Patten
Troy Brown

B

On a night when their QB was tossing for over 300 yards Patten and Brown played only a small role. With Branch back that is likely to continue. The Pats do a good job of spreading the ball around so one may jump out every so often, but for the most part these two are bit players now in the passing attack.

WR

David Givens

B

It's not a coincidence that Givens' worst performance of the season (1-for-3) came on the night that Branch returned to the lineup.

TE Daniel Graham B After a three game stretch where he had only a single catch, Graham showed up in the box score last week with 3-for-83, his best yardage total of the season. Is that enough to warrant you going to him now? No way.
 
Buffalo (4-6) at Seattle (6-4) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe B Avoided the hook for now with his first three touchdown performance of the season last week. That will be tough to repeat and he likely won't on the road in Seattle. He should play good enough to keep his starting job for now, but not good enough for you to consider him for your starting spot.
RB Willis McGahee S2 In the Bills' perfect world they'd run the ball more than pass it. The past two weeks they've come close to that. Look for them to keep moving toward that goal and for McGahee to be the prime benefactor.
WR Eric Moulds S2

Mark Campbell? Are you kidding? I don't know which is worse for Moulds owners. The three touchdowns Campbell stole from the wide receivers or the fact that he lead all Bill receivers with a paltry four catches. Any way you slice it last week's 3-for-17 effort was a major disappointment. Turning it around this weekend against the ball-hawking Seattle secondary won't be easy.

WR Lee Evans X Lee has spent most of the season in fantasy oblivion but the talented rookie has occasionally shown flashes of ability. With Reed still out of action Evans will be called on to provide some defense stretching routes down field.
WR Josh Reed (Q) B Likely to sit another game out due to injury.
TE Mark Campbell X Bledsoe is a quarterback with a history of liking his tight ends. But before everyone goes ga-ga over last week's three TD performance don't forget that in the three prior games Campbell had a big fat nothing, not even a single catch.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck (Q) B Hasselbeck remains very questionable with what HC Holmgren calls the "worst charley horse in the history of charley horses." In what has become a weekly occurrence in the NFL, the decision on whether or not Hasselbeck will play this week won't come until Sunday morning. It's best to find another option this week.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 The Bills are one of the top run stopping units in the league, but Alexander is a stud and will get plenty of carries with either a hurting QB or his backup behind center. Averaging over 27 carries and 150 yards for the past four games.
WR Koren Robinson B Finally suspended and won't be back until week 16. His fantasy season is basically over.
WR Darrell Jackson (P) S2

Jackson is the most consistent Seahawk WR and will be the key to them moving the ball through the air. Rice and Engram won't draw any extra coverage so he'll have to perform at a high level to shack the likely double coverage all day.

WR Jerry Rice X

Finally broke out when moved into the starting lineup last week. His 86 yard, 1 TD performance is likely the best you'll get out of him and it would be better to see more than a single good game out of him. But if you need WR help in a deep league he's a decent start.

WR Bobby Engram B Moves back to #3 in the WR rotation now that Robinson is out.
TE Jerramy Stevens B Another season of promise seems down the drain. Mili is back and Stevens continues to disappoint.
TE Itula Mili X Should play a bigger role in the passing game now that he's healthy and Robinson is gone.
 
Miami (1-9) at San Francisco (1-9) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB A. J. Feeley (Q) B

Hurting and had four turnovers to his single touchdown last week. The Niners secondary remains very forgiving but it's hard to recommend Feeley given his health and the ineffectiveness of the passing offense in general.

RB Sammy Morris (Q)
Travis Minor (P)
X Minor is expected to get the start and receive the most carries due to Morris' rib injury but Morris may be recovered enough to stay in the mix. Morris should be avoided this week but there's potential for Minor. The Niners are in a free-fall and aren't really stopping anyone. If this is a tight game (which it should be) and Minor gets the carries he has the talent and quickness to produce.
WR Chris Chambers
Marty Booker (P)
X Chambers and Booker are solid talents stuck on a team in a downward spiral thanks to one injury after another. Chambers seems to never be fully utilized and Booker is still dealing with an ankle sprain. The best bet between these two is Chambers everything is up in the air with a new coach and QB.
TE Randy McMichael S2 By far the best thing going in the Dolphin passing attack this season and he did remain active last week with Feeley at QB. A good sign.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tim Rattay B

Rattay and the Niner passing attack put up a horrid 147 yards last week against the #2 pass defense in the league. This week they get #1.

RB Kevan Barlow B Barlow may have some touchdowns of late but he's barely averaging two YPC in the past two games. The Dolphins rank 30th in rushing yardage allowed, but even with that matchup I can't recommend Barlow as a fantasy starter this week. He's showing no desire or burst and backup Maurice Hicks has seen 15 carries over the last two weeks.
WR Cedrick Wilson
Brandon Lloyd
Curtis Conway
B Why even bother?
TE Eric Johnson X Those 10 and 13 catch games and his last touchdown are now distant memories. He still can produce average fantasy numbers but even those efforts are not consistent.
 
Oakland (3-7) at Denver (7-3) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X The week off seems to have helped Collins. He has one of his best outings last week and most importantly was virtually mistake free. Week five against the Broncos was Collins' most forgettable games this year (136 yards). With a solid running game established now Collins should improve on that week five performance. But against the very stingy Denver pass defense it won't be enough to warrant him moving into your starting lineup.
RB Tyrone Wheatley (Q) X As was the case last week the going will be tough against the strong Denver run defense. The foot injury that's landed him on the injury report this week won't make the situation any better. Don't expect much from Wheatley Sunday night.
WR Jerry Porter X

If you're a superstar you can get the benefit of the doubt against Champ Bailey. Porter is not one.

WR Doug Gabriel B

Gabriel has the potential to payoff for fantasy owners with his vertical abilities. But that potential hasn't really been reached since week one.

WR Ronald Curry U

Curry had his ups and downs last week but he remains a favorite option for Collins in third-down and red-zone situations. Should be able to use his elusiveness to make some plays against the Bronco's nickel cornerbacks.

TE Doug Jolley
Teyo Johnson
B

Great! Just when you think someone like Jolley might emerge due to an injury, someone else pops into the picture and BAM, another two-headed TE.

Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer S1 The Raiders pass defense just isn't getting it done and Plummer is on a roll. He also seems to play much better at home so this is a great spot for him.
RB Reuben Droughns S1 Droughns has 29 and 28 carries in the last two games. You can expect to see more of the same against an Oakland defense that allows over 125 YPG on the ground.
WR Rod Smith X In the past two weeks Smith has had his least productive games. What makes that puzzling is that it was against two of the worst pass defenses in the league. Another puzzler -- in the past three games against Oakland he's totaled just three catches for 51 yards. If you're a stats kind of guy you may want to sit Smith this week. If you prefer matchups then this remains a good one for Smith.
WR Ashley Lelie S2

Lelie continues to fly under the fantasy radar but has scored a touchdown in six of the last eight games. He's not likely to get you a ton of catches and has yet to top 100 yards, but his knack for a big play each week keeps him a decent starter most weeks.

TE Jeb Putzier X Always a threat to score but his overall production is sporadic and hurt by the presence of Carswell.
 
St. Louis (5-5) at Green Bay (6-4) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

The Rams aren't even pretending to want to run the ball any more. Bulger has put up 40 passes a game over the last two. Look for more of the same Monday night and for there to be just enough production on the road in Green Bay to make him fantasy worthy.

RB Marshall Faulk X Followed up a season high 139 yards rushing two weeks ago with a career low SIX yards last week. The carries just aren't coming and the Packers have been great against the run during their current five game win streak. Jackson taking 8-10 touches a game sure isn't helping either.
RB Steven Jackson B Enough action to hurt Faulk's fantasy value but not enough to help his own.
WR Torry Holt (Q) S2 The Packers don't match up well with the multi-WR sets the Rams will spread the field with so look for both Holt and ...
WR Isaac Bruce S2 ... Bruce to remain productive fantasy starters.
WR Shaun McDonald B

May see a bit more action this week as the Rams should run more spread formations to stretch the Packers secondary.

TE Brandon Manumaleuna B In four of the last five games the big Rams TE has only one or zero catches.
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S1 Favre has looked great since the off week and you can expect him to be going deep often against a team like the Rams on Monday night.
RB Ahman Green (Q) S2 The ribs are much more of a concern this week then the terrible St. Louis run defense. The extra day off should help and Green is expected to start. As with any back with a rib injury he's a risk due to the possibility of being knocked out of the game with one good hit to the mid-section.
WR Javon Walker S2 Walker and Favre excel at exploiting the man coverage he gets when teams bring a safety up in run support. That won't happen as often this week against the Rams zone coverages, but it will enough for a few deep chances at the end-zone.
WR Donald Driver S2

Driver doesn't have the consistency of Walker, but he has either put up 100 yards or a score in four of the last six games.

TE Bubba Franks S2 Franks had a decent non-TD game last week, which are very rare. His role in the passing game will be increased this week against the cover-2 zone schemes used by the Rams. With Walker and Driver working deep Franks will find lots of room on underneath routes.

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