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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 14
Whitney Walters
December 9, 2004
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM
NYG at BAL IND at HOU MIA at DEN SF at ARI PHI at WAS
OAK at ATL CHI at JAC NYJ at PIT STL at CAR Mon 9 PM
CLE at BUF SEA at MIN DET at GB TB at SD KC at TEN
NO at DAL CIN at NE     (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
 
NY Giants (5-7) at Baltimore (7-5) Back to top
New York Giants
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning B

And the hits just keep on coming. First Atlanta, then Philly, then the Redskins now Baltimore. The rookie doesn't stand a chance.

RB Tiki Barber X This is beginning to be a broken record as the Giants must establish the run to keep the pressure off of Manning. That is proving to be difficult against defenses that can stack the line and dare New York to pass. Since the Manning era began Barber's receiving stats have virtually disappeared his rushing yardage is decreasing and he hasn't scored. Barber is still a startable back against easier opponents, but on the road against the Ravens doesn't qualify.
WR Amani Toomer (Q) B

The passing game is in the tank under the guidance of Manning and Toomer has revealed that he's struggling with a lingering hamstring injury. He has only five catches in the past three games and has yet to score this season.

WR Ike Hilliard B Barely registered on the fantasy radar before Manning took over.
TE Jeremy Shockey S2 With the wide receivers limited most weeks and the running game struggling, Shockey is currently Manning's best, and most used option in the passing game. But that passing game isn't producing much. Shockey is just a borderline starter.
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B The Giants are statistically a top five pass defense. Not like you need a reason to have Boller on your bench, but it's as good as any.
RB Jamal Lewis (Q) B Out another week with a sprained ankle.
RB Chester Taylor S2 Had his best game of the season last week in relief of Lewis. Draws another fine matchup this week with a Giant's defense that drops lower and lower in the rushing rankings each week. Keep him in your starting lineup.
WR Travis Taylor (Q)
Clarence Moore (P)
Kevin Johnson
B All three have some potential each week, but they are victims of a sporadically terrible passing game. If your fantasy team is having to rely on a Baltimore wide receiver odds are that your season is coming to an end this week, if it already hasn't.
TE

Todd Heap

U Got back on the field last week and suffered no setbacks. He went 3-for-22 and was a target in the end-zone once. A good return that he should improve on this week against the Giants.
 
Oakland (4-8) at Atlanta (9-3) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2 Collins is on a very nice three game streak and the Falcons show some vulnerability to the pass each week. The loss of Curry will be a big blow to a receiving corp lacking depth and could make moving the ball through the air more difficult. The backs were very involved in the passing game last week and that will have to continue with the addition of the tight ends for Collins to keep his success going.
RB Justin Fargas
Amos Zereoue
B With Wheatley down four different backs touched the ball last week for a total of 19 touches for 128 yards rushing and receiving. Great if you could play a team RB.
WR Jerry Porter S2

Porter has put two nice games together, something he hasn't done all season. With Curry out he's the best option in the Raider passing attack now. He has a serious size, talent and experience edge over the Falcon secondary.

WR Doug Gabriel X

Gabriel moves to the forefront with Curry out and will be asked to step it up. Problem is he hasn't done that all season so why should we expect him to start now?

WR Ronald Curry B

Lost for the season.

TE Doug Jolley
Teyo Johnson
B

Both tight ends will play a role this week and one may surprise. But with both involved it's a coin flip as to who the surprise may be.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick   S2

In the past five weeks Vick has put up two stinkers against the Bucs. The other three games however have been solid fantasy performances. This home game against Oakland provides another opportunity for Vick to shine.

RB Warrick Dunn S2 Oakland's lack of speed and athleticism up front should provide Dunn the lanes for success on the edges. They won't be able to match his speed around the ends. The opportunities will be there this week but Dunn continues to carry a downside thanks to Vick eating up a good chunk of the Falcon running attack.
RB T.J. Duckett  X DT Ted Washington and crew up front are playing well and have what it takes to limit Duckett's ability to run between the tackles, his strength.
WR Peerless Price
Dez White
Brian Finneran (P)
B There's not really much more that can be said about this receiving corp. As a group they have struggled with injuries and have been major disappointments. None can be recommended as fantasy starter and only Price is even worth taking up a spot on your roster.
TE Alge Crumpler S1 Signs a huge new contract then goes right out and has his worst game of the season. Don't you just hate that? There's absolutely nothing about this matchup that should make you think he won't bounce back Sunday.
 
Cleveland (3-9) at Buffalo (6-6) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Luke McCown B

There is no official word on the starting quarterback for the Browns this week and it could be either McCown, Holcomb or Garcia. Here is my official word... "Stay away."

RB Lee Suggs (Q) B Not expected back this week.
RB William Green X

Green and the Cleveland running attack just aren't getting it done. Poor quarterback play and giving up huge leads isn't helping. Green will continue to carry the load as Suggs is expected to miss another week but production against the very tough Buffalo defense will not be easy. Look for Green to struggle.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

Sill gets it done now and then. Having Bryant to stretch the field has helped open up some of those underneath routes Northcutt is best suited for.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Despite all the quarterback troubles Bryant has put together back-to-back 100 yard games, something that a Brown hadn't done since 1989. And the four touchdowns have him flying high on the fantasy radar. Before you plug him in to your starting lineup remember that the Browns have been playing from behind the past two weeks, way behind. He's not a lock.

TE Aaron Shea
Steve Heiden
B The tight end performance depends on the quarterback. While Holcomb looks their way often, Garcia does less and McCown basically ignored them last week. That coupled with the split time keep these two from being a fantasy option most weeks.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe S2 Bledsoe surprised everyone by finding a groove against the top notch Miami pass defense last week. He can still get it done when given time in the pocket, and that's exactly what the Dolphins gave him last week and what he'll likely get more of this Sunday against Cleveland.
RB Willis McGahee S1 The Browns run defense is just flat out terrible, allowing a league worst 16 rushing touchdowns and 140 YPG.
WR Eric Moulds S2

Moulds remains Bledsoe's prime target in the passing attack and scored his first touchdown in five weeks last Sunday. As with most weeks he remains a decent but not great fantasy start.

WR Lee Evans S2 After spending most of the season in fantasy oblivion, Lee has put together two fine efforts on the road against difficult secondaries. This week he gets neither.
TE Ryan Neufeld X With the #1 and #2 tight ends down, Neufeld found himself on the playing field Sunday and responded with two catches for 40 yards in limited action. May end up being the starter this week due to injuries to Campbell and Euhus. Bledsoe has been finding his tight ends during the Bills current resurgence and Neufeld could surprise if he's the starter.
 
New Orleans (4-8) at Dallas (5-7) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks S2 The Cowboys pass defense leaves much to be desired, but Brooks has shown an uncanny ability to play poorly regardless of opponent this season. But this matchup should provide enough edge to warrant using Brooks.
RB Deuce McAllister S2 Has received more than 20 carries only once in the past five games, topped off by a season (non-injury) low seven last week. Also hasn't touched paydirt since week 10. His offensive line is depleted by injury but the Saints should come to their senses this weekend and get McAllister a full workload.
WR Joe Horn S1 Despite the Saints' struggles on offense Horn has remained one of the more consistent fantasy wide receivers this season. He draws another great matchup this week as the Cowboy's CB tandem of Newman and Frazier don't have the speed or talent to stay with him.
WR Jerome Pathon B

Given every opportunity to succeed this season, Pathon has fallen flat. He may be starting over Stallworth but his fantasy value has never been lower.

WR Donte' Stallworth X Stallworth's efforts are inconsistent from week to week. He has a favorable matchup this weekend with the Dallas corners but is hard to rely on given his play and Brooks ineffectiveness at times.
TE Boo Williams X Seems to have recovered from the bothersome hamstring problems, but because of the poor pass protection he's being asked to stay in and block more. As a result he'll rarely have a big game. A 3-for-30 is more the norm now.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde U

Vinny is still making key mistakes but is doing just enough to keep the offense moving. He'll have to do less this week as Jones will carry a big load. But just as Jones if facing the worst run defense, Vinny draws the league worst pass defense. This could turn into a high scoring affair and Testaverde could surprise with another solid fantasy effort.

RB Julius Jones S1 This kid is starting to look special. This week he gets his 30 or so carries against the worst rush defense in the league.
WR Keyshawn Johnson S2

Johnson may be slowing with age but he remains Testaverde's main target in the passing game thanks to his great pass catching abilities.

WR Quincy Morgan X

Morgan is giving the Cowboys some speed and big-play ability, which they need to stretch defenses vertically. Until that translates into fantasy worthy production on the field Morgan is off limits in all but the deepest of leagues.

TE Jason Witten S1 The Saints' linebacker corps has been depleted by injury and will have a heck of a time dealing with Witten.
 
Indianapolis (9-3) at Houston (5-7) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1 One of Manning's four 5+ touchdown games was against Houston in week 10.
RB Edgerrin James S1

The offensive load is being shared with James on a more consistent basis of late.

WR Marvin Harrison
Reggie Wayne
Brandon Stokley
S1 If they are split out and wearing a Colts uniform they should be in your fantasy team's starting lineup. All three will top 1000 yards soon, maybe even this week.
TE Marcus Pollard S2 May go solo again this week as fellow TE Clark is not expected to play. Won't be needed much this week in pass protection (no team gets to the QB less than Houston) so he could be up for one of his better games of the season.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr X Statistically this is a good matchup for Carr as the Indy secondary continues to be very forgiving. But the Colts have moved into the top tier of pass rushing units as only three teams have more sacks on the season. If the Texans and Carr can handle the pressure he could put up a nice fantasy effort. If not, it could be another long afternoon for Carr on Sunday.
RB Domanick Davis S2

Don't shy away from Davis this week. While his carries may be limited once the Texans begin to fall behind the high-powered Colts, Davis is an excellent receiver and will stay active in the passing game. One of his biggest fantasy games of the season was week 10 at Indianapolis.

WR Andre Johnson S2 The Indy corners don't have the talent to stay with Johnson so he'll see constant double coverage from the safety, something he's struggling with this season.
WR Jabar Gaffney
Corey Bradford
B Is there even another receiver on this team other than Johnson? As far as fantasy players are concerned the answer is no.
TE Billy Miller B Miller logged his tenth zero or one catch game last week. If you are looking for a repeat of his week twelve 42-yard and a TD effort, good luck. You'll be searching for a very, very long time.
 
Chicago (5-7) at Jacksonville (6-6) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Hutchinson B Got a pass last week thanks to the horrible play of the Vikings defense. Don't bet on that repeating this week on the road in Jacksonville.
RB Thomas Jones X

The Bears patchwork offensive line played well last week. The problem for Jones was that after seeing virtually no action for two weeks Anthony Thomas came off the bench and took half of what could have been a 30 carry game. Jones still holds great potential but given the still struggling line, the strong Jacksonville defense and now the risk of Thomas taking carries, that potential comes with great risk this week.

WR David Terrell
Bobby Wade
B

Make the Bear's passing game prove itself more than once before you start considering their wide receivers for you fantasy team.

TE Desmond Clark (Q)

B

Prior to last week's 6-for-58 and a TD explosion Clark hadn't had more than a single catch since week seven. May be worth a spot on your roster but not in your starting lineup until a repeat performance.
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich S2

Leftwich is showing no signs of lingering problems with his knee and is poised for a big game this week. The Bears are vulnerable to the big play and will have difficulties matching up with the three and four wide receiver spread formations Jacksonville will likely employ.

RB Fred Taylor S1

Look for the Jags to spread the field more with multi-WR sets this week and for Taylor to have his way with the sieve-like Chicago run defense.

WR Jimmy Smith (P) S2

Smith leads the league in 25+ yard receptions and will get a chance to add a few more this week if the Bears commit to slowing down Taylor and the running game.

WR Troy Edwards U Edwards could surprise this week from his slot position with some opportunities to find the soft spots in the Bears' soft cover-2 schemes.
WR Reggie Williams B Pops for a nice gain on occasion when Leftwich is forced to look beyond Smith in the passing game. But that isn't enough to make him fantasy worthy.
TE Kyle Brady
Todd Yoder
B Both Brady and Yoder stay active as the Jags do spread the ball around in the passing game. Neither are of consistent fantasy value however.
 
Seattle (6-6) at Minnesota (7-5) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Fantasy owners finally saw the Hasselbeck they'd been waiting all year for. The terrible Minnesota pass defense provides a great opportunity for a repeat performance.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 Check your league's season stats and you may find that Alexander has snuck into the top running back spot. The Seahawks will continue to look to establish the run early to open up the passing attack. Should easily get 25+ touches.
WR Darrell Jackson S2 Jackson is the most consistent Seahawks WR and remains the key to them moving the ball through the air. Rice possibly drawing some coverage on the other side now will only help.
WR Jerry Rice S2 Looks to have finally found a rhythm with Hasselbeck and a place in the offensive flow. It's doubtful that will pay off for fantasy owners every week, but this week the Vikings present a good matchup even the aged one can exploit with their top CB Antoine Winfield out.
TE Itula Mili X Was slowed last week by a neck stinger but should return to action Sunday. Still plays a strong role in the passing game and is always good for a few catches a game.
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper S2 Even though the Vikings offense continues to struggle, Culpepper puts up fantasy worthy numbers each week. The Seahawks secondary has been underachieving of late and Culpepper should have another fine game.
RB   Onterrio Smith S2

Smith got the lion's share of the work again last week before going out with a slight groin injury -- a good sign (the carries, not the injury). The Seahawks can be run on when you spread them out of their base defense, something the Vikings can do with ease.

WR Randy Moss (P) S2 It's obvious that Moss is nowhere close to 100% back from his hamstring tear and now is complaining of back troubles. With Moss there is always potential but he has only seven catches for 71 yards and a short TD since returning two weeks ago. He remains a cautious starter unless you have a much better option with upside.
WR Nate Burleson X Burleson seems to be hurt the most when Moss is out there. Most teams seem to be able to handle him with the starting CB not on Moss. He has scored but has only five catches for 52 yards in the past two games.
WR Marcus Robinson S2

With coverage once again rolling to Moss' side of the field, Robinson is beginning to exploit the matchup advantages he has on most nickel corners. That trend will continue this weekend.

TE Jermaine Wiggins S2

Wiggins doesn't score touchdowns like a top tier tight end, but he racks up yardage like one. His 67 yards per game over the past five puts him in the top three. Culpepper has great confidence in him and looks for him often on third downs and in the red-zone.

 
Cincinnati (6-6) at New England (11-1) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer X

Once can be a fluke but twice can begin a trend. Palmer's second strong game in as many weeks is even more impressive considering it game against the tough Ravens defense. But can he repeat that kind of effort against the equally tough Patriots? It's fantasy playoff time and I wouldn't want to take that kind of a chance unless I had no other option.

RB Rudi Johnson S2 Johnson will surely be motivated to do well against his former teammate Dillon, but the task won't be easy. New England's run defense has improved throughout the season and they have the beef up front to clog the middle, Johnson's sweet spot. The Bengals will remain committed to the run however so Johnson just makes borderline starter status this week.
WR Chad Johnson S2 Johnson is showing a knack for coming up big against the toughest defensive challenges. He gets another chance to do just that this week at New England.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh X Has stepped up on occasion this season but has disappeared just as often.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) X The typical 230/2 man (that's yards and touchdowns) has been held under 200 yards in each of the past two games and has thrown only a single touchdown. Odds are that this won't be three in a row, but with Dillon running all over the Bengals there will be little need for Brady to put up even his average numbers.
RB Corey Dillon (P) S1 You don't think Dillon will be motivated at all this week with his former team coming to town do you? Toss in the fact that the Bengals can't stop an opposing back to save their life and you have a matchup dripping with potential.
WR Deion Branch X Since his big return game three weeks ago Branch has just five catches for 64 yards. There isn't a lot of passing offense being generated right now in New England and what is is being spread pretty thin (to nine different receivers last week). Branch and ...
WR

David Givens
David Patten
Troy Brown

X

... one of the gang may break out on occasion, but it's best to find another option until the Pats passing game generates enough fire power for a consistent receiver to emerge... which may be never.

TE Daniel Graham (Q) B After a solid couple of games Graham slid back into fantasy oblivion with a single catch game last week. And now he's dealing with a rib injury.

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