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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 12
Whitney Walters
November 24, 2005
Thu 12:30 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  
ATL at DET BAL at CIN NE at KC JAC at ARI NO at NYJ  
Thu 4:15 PM CAR at BUF SD at WAS MIA at OAK Mon 9 PM  
DEN at DAL CHI at TB SF at TEN GB at PHI PIT at IND  
  CLE at MIN STL at HOU NYG at SEA (times ET)  
    Player List by Position
Start/Bench Codes (SBC) Early Injury Status
S1: Must start, 1st string. X: No start or bench indications / Could go either way. (O): Out    (D): Doubtful
S2: Solid starter, 2nd string. B: Bench 'em / Too much risk. (Q): Questionable
U: Upside player / Possible sleeper. (P): Probable
 
New England (6-4) at Kansas City (6-4) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

All the injuries in the backfield have caused more of the offense to fall on Brady's right arm. That has meant solid fantasy production out of the traditionally average fantasy QB. The backfield may be getting healthy, but KC is a matchup ripe for another big game from Brady.

RB Corey Dillon (Q) X

Let's face it, regardless of what the team says about Dillon's playing status this week, no one will really know the truth until the Patriots' first offensive snap of the game. By then it's too late for fantasy owners.

RB Heath Evans
Patrick Pass (Q)
X

With Dillon sidelined look for Evans and Pass to continue sharing the load in the backfield. Both were productive last week with Evans having a slight edge. Their production will take a hit this week however as the Chiefs are solid against the run.

WR

Deion Branch

S2

Brady depends on Branch to stretch the field, so look for the Chiefs to double-up on his coverage. Regardless, Branch remains the only consistent Patriot receiver and the only one worth a weekly fantasy start.

WR

David Givens (Q)
Troy Brown (Q)
Bethel Johnson (Q)
Tim Dwight (Q)
Andre Davis

B

Beyond Branch the New England WR corps is a mess. Givens, Johnson, Brown and now Dwight are hurt. All or none could play this week. Davis has had only two catches since joining the club mid-season but may the last man standing this week. Bottom line is that outside of Branch it's best to steer clear of NE WR's.

TE Daniel Graham (Q) B Only made it in for two plays last week and it's unclear as to his availability this weekend due to the shoulder injury he suffered two weeks ago.
TE Ben Watson S2

With all the injuries to the offensive skill positions, Brady has been in need of another option in the passing game. For the past two weeks that option has been Watson. He pulled in two TD's two weeks ago and led the team in receiving last week. If Graham remains out Watson is a solid start this week against a Chiefs team that has problems covering tight ends.

Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

Green has been struggling lately but as expected got it going last week against the lowly Texans. The Patriots are anything but lowly, but their secondary could sure be described that way. Look for Green to have another good day throwing the ball.

RB Larry Johnson S2

Doesn't have the great matchup like the past two weeks, but Johnson is on a roll and the Chiefs will need to run the ball this week against the Patriots. A positive for Johnson this week and beyond will be the expected return of one of the best OT's in the game, Willie Roaf.

WR Eddie Kennison S2

In each of New England's past five games they have given up a 100-yard performance to an opposing WR. It's a long shot for that streak to continue, but Kennison has the skills to burn the suspect NE secondary and keep it alive.

WR Samie Parker X Parker returned from injury last week and scored his first touchdown since week 3. He may pull in a few catches here and there, but he's too far down on the offensive food chain in KC to carry much fantasy value.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1

Gonzalez is coming off back-to-back games of eight-plus catches and is again the swizzle stick that stirs the drink that is the Chiefs passing game.

 
San Diego (6-4) at Washington (5-5) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

The Redskins pass defense had a nice run but in recent weeks has been suspect. Coverage has been breaking down and they are not getting good pressure on the quarterback. Brees and the Chargers offense should continue their fine play of late.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Since Tiki Barber smoked them in week 8 the Redskins have not allowed an opposing rusher more than 52 yards. Amazingly Tomlinson has only one 100-yard game in the past four. Something gives this weekend. The Chargers are in a tough matchup on the road and will need to lean on LT both running and catching the ball.
WR Keenan McCardell X

Tied with Gates for receiving touchdowns this season, McCardell has found a role in the Chargers passing game that typically makes him startable as a #3 WR on most fantasy teams. This week's matchup with CB's Springs and Harris should be no different.

WR Eric Parker X

Everyone got into the act last week with the blowout, and that included Parker, who has now put up 60 yards and a score in two of the last three games. If Gates is slowed this week then you can expect more balls to come Parker's way. Otherwise don't expect much against Washington.

TE Antonio Gates (Q) S2 Initial signs indicate that the foot injury is not serious and that Gates will play this weekend. Keep an eye on the reports out of San Diego later in the week. If he plays then you start him.
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell X

The Washington passing game has become erratic and unreliable. Brunell's thrown a touchdown in only one of the past four games. On paper this is a good matchup for Brunell even though the Chargers 27th ranked pass defense has been playing better lately. But since Brunell hasn't been able to exploit any favorable matchup in the past month, it's best not to bet on him doing so this weekend.

RB Clinton Portis S2

Difficult matchup for Portis this week as the San Diego defense makes running backs under perform on a regular basis. May be a bit risky, but Portis remains a good play.

WR Santana Moss S2

Has been less effective in recent weeks and hasn't scored since week seven. That should change this week facing the suspect CB duo of Florence and Jammer.

WR David Patten
James Thrash (O)
B Both Patten and Thrash have been banged up lately and barely register on the fantasy value scale behind Moss and Cooley. This week with Thrash out Patten should get a few extra looks. Nothing of note however.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley is a big, reliable target and is the one piece of the Washington passing attack that's working despite their struggles.

 
San Francisco (2-8) at Tennessee (2-8) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ken Dorsey X

Dorsey was more than respectable in his first full game this season. The Niners continue to play hard each week and visiting the struggling Titans may create some payoff for the effort. Dorsey's and the Niners' offensive success may be short lived as rookie Alex Smith is close to returning from his knee injury.

RB Kevan Barlow X

Barlow has been more off than on this season and last week was a big OFF. He ran for just 21 yards on 12 carries and left the game with a concussion. He's questionable to play this weekend in Tennessee.

RB Frank Gore (D) B

Injured and not expected to play this week.

RB Maurice Hicks X

Will serve as Barlow's backup if Gore can't go. Given Barlow's questionable status due to a concussion, Hicks may end up as the Niners top back again this weekend. He gained 83 yards last week on 11 carries.

WR Brandon Lloyd U

Has a knack for making the highlight reel each week with spectacular catches. With an actual NFL caliber QB back under center last week Lloyd was highly productive against Seattle. The suspect Titans secondary presents a nice opportunity for a repeat performance.

WR Arnaz Battle X Battle is close to 100% back from the arthoscopic knee surgery he had two months ago. He should be able to make a little noise this week with the decent Dorsey at QB and facing the vulnerable Tennessee secondary.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair (Q) U

The Niners have spent most of the season being the patsy for opponents. However, they have not given up more than a single passing touchdown in the past four games. They may go back to patsy this week however as the loss of Byrant Young is a big hit to their defensive front.

RB Chris Brown S2

Brown keeps getting it done and has now scored in four of the last five games. That trend should continue this week against the Bryant Young-less Niners.

WR Tyrone Calico (Q) B

Continues to be hindered by injuries. Has had only one game this season with more than two catches.

WR Brandon Jones U

Jones continues to recover from the knee injury and did play the entire game last week. But after his early 21-yard catch he was ineffective. Another week will surely help him regain his early season form. And the beatable San Fran secondary will help also.

WR Drew Bennett S2 Got back on the playing field last week and quickly reestablished his fine working relationship with McNair - leading the team with 6 catches for 55 yards. You can expect more of the same this weekend against the visiting Niners and their suspect secondary.
TE Erron Kinney (Q) S2

Kinney remains one of the top pass catching tight ends in the league -- behind only Gates and Gonzo. Good matchup this week gets even better with Bennett back and able to stretch the field vertically, leaving the middle open for Kinney to do some damage.

TE Ben Troupe B Troupe returned to action last week but was very limited. His production should improve over the next few weeks, but until then he's not a fantasy option.
 
St. Louis (4-6) at Houston (1-9) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jamie Martin S2

With Bulger out indefinitely it's back to Martin. And right out of the gate he gets a killer matchup with the helpless Texans. Problem is that he suffered some bruised ribs last week and isn't expected to be 100% for this game. You might actually see a bit of rookie Ryan Fitzpatrick in this game. Borderline starter this week with some risk.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson has been impressive most of the season but had a setback last week with a 12 carry, 6 yard running effort. With an ailing backup QB and facing the league's worst run defense, you can bet he'll bounce back in a big way this week.

WR Torry Holt S2 Tore up the Cardinals' secondary last week and should do the same to the Texans' on Sunday.
WR Isaac Bruce S2

Bruce is looking close to 100% recovered from his severe toe injury. He had a TD catch last week. It may be worth noting however that Bulger threw that pass and later in the game Martin tossed one to Curtis. That may not be just a result of game situation as Martin has worked extensively with Curtis during Bruce's long absence. Bruce is still a decent start this week facing a Houston secondary that will throw a 3rd-string CB at him, but ...

WR Kevin Curtis S2

... it may be Curtis that gets the most looks from new starting QB Martin. Curtis will have the pleasure of facing off with the Texans' 4th-string corner.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr U

Well I blew it with my upside prediction for Carr last week. That'll teach me to put my faith in the Texans passing game. I guess I'm not going to learn my lesson just yet though. This week's matchup with the Rams presents another great opportunity for Carr to out-perform his norm. Come on big fella, get out there and throw a couple of touchdowns.

RB Domanick Davis (P) S2

After falling behind big to the Chiefs last week the Texans had to abandon the run and throw the ball. Davis ended the game with just 13 carries, his lowest total of the season. This game should be tighter and provide the Texans with the chance to pound Davis for 20-plus carries. Against a Rams defense allowing almost 130 YPG, that's a good thing.

WR Andre Johnson S2

Johnson has been solid since his return in week nine. This week's matchup with the weak St. Louis secondary provide him a great opportunity go catch his first touchdown of the season.

WR Jabar Gaffney X

Since Johnson's return three weeks ago Gaffney's been a decent complement - getting a good number of looks from Carr and scoring a TD against Indy. That's one more TD than Johnson has since returning.

WR

Corey Bradford

B Bradford has been highly inconsistent this season and more often than not is completely ineffective.
 
Jacksonville (7-3) at Arizona (3-7) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Byron Leftwich S2

Arizona presents another matchup that Leftwich can take advantage of. With the emerging talent of Matt Jones and Ernest Wilford, Leftwich has several options down field with big play ability. Should be able to beat the overmatched Cardinal defense all afternoon.

RB Fred Taylor B

Gave it a go last week but was obviously not fully recovered from the ankle injury. Didn't last long before he left with a thigh injury and minus eight yards rushing. Again, his playing status for this game is in question and likely won't be answered until Sunday.

RB Greg Jones S2

Jones was forced into action again last week when Taylor went down again. It's likely that Jones will start this weekend for the Jaguars and is a decent start for your fantasy team as well. The Cardinals are not very physical up front on defense and the Jags should have success running Jones between the tackles.

WR Jimmy Smith (P) X

Smith is still getting the looks, but it's youngsters Wilford and Jones that are catching the touchdowns. Smith hasn't seen the end-zone since week four and his 89 yards last week were the most he's had since that week as well. He also suffered a flare-up of the hamstring injury that has been limiting him. Great matchup this week with Arizona but the conditions are not optimal.

WR Matt Jones U

As will happen most weeks, the Cardinals will focus on slowing down the Jacksonville running game. With Smith drawing prime coverage, that leaves both Jones and ...

WR Ernest Wilford S2

... Wilford in single coverage most of the time. Both have the size and athleticism to exploit the Arizona corners one-on-one.

Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner X

Since his return to the starting lineup Warner has averaged 326 YPG and tossed three touchdowns last week. The Cardinals will still be forced to throw often thanks to a running game on life support. But against the league's top defense against the pass it's not likely Warner will continue the success he's had of late.

RB Marcel Shipp B

Shipp has taken a back seat to the improving Arrington, and in the league's worst running game, that's not a valuable place to be.

RB J.J. Arrington X

Arrington is running the ball much better and has the Cardinals on the verge of climbing out of the league's basement of rushing offenses. It helps that the offensive line, while still poor, seems to be gelling a bit and their play improving. All that said, facing the Jags this week is probably not a good spot to try and move Arrington into your starting lineup.

WR Anquan Boldin S2

Boldin picked up right where he left off last week. He was 8-for-105 and a TD in his return from the knee injury. The Jags prefer to run cover-2 zone schemes in the secondary so look for Boldin to work the soft spots and then use his athleticism to make big plays after the catch.

WR Larry Fitzgerald S2

Fitzgerald is on a serious roll and has really found his spot in the limited Arizona offense. In six of the past seven games he's either scored or had 100 yards. Four times it's been both. As with Boldin he's in a tough spot this week facing the top ranked pass defense with one of the top cover corners, Rashean Mathis. Still, it's hard to bet against such talent... and Mathis can only cover one player at a time in their cover-2 zone.

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