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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
 
Miami (3-7) at Oakland (4-6) Back to top
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Rosenfels got his shot last week and fell flat. The Dolphins will go back to Frerotte who should be recovered from his injured finger just enough to get by on Sunday. This is a decent matchup with Oakland, but Frerotte has rarely taken advantage of his good matchups in the past.

RB

Ronnie Brown

S2

Since Williams got it together four weeks ago, Brown has 61 carries for 293 yards and Williams has 230 yards and at TD on 51 carries. Ladies and gentlemen, that's what we call a RBBC. Brown has the most upside and the Dolphins will run the ball against the Raiders because the passing game has been terrible lately. He'll lose plenty of touches to Williams so he's a borderline starter.

RB Ricky Williams X

Williams is becoming more effective running the ball and had his best effort last week gaining 83 yards on 13 carries. Still, he's too risky to start as he still falters at times and under performs.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Last week was a stinker all the way around for the Miami passing game. Don't let that prevent you from sticking with Chambers. He's effective most weeks and is Frerotte's top target down field. He'll have success this week against the injury depleted Oakland secondary.

WR Marty Booker X

After logging his second 100-yard game of the season Booker followed that up with a zero catch effort last week that ended his consecutive games with a catch streak at 82. Miami will pound the ball so there should be some opportunities for Booker down field. Not enough to warrant moving him into your lineup however.

TE Randy McMichael S2

Last week's ineptness in the passing game resulted in McMichael going catchless for only the third time in his career. On the plus side he did have a TD catch called back by a penalty. Look for McMichael to get it going Sunday against a Raider LB corps that's short on speed and experience.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins S2

Collins has put up some nice yardage numbers lately - 310 against DEN and 289 against WAS last week - both solid units. That's a good sign that he's learning to move the ball without solely relying on Moss. Miami doesn't bring much to the table defensively and has struggled recently.

RB Lamont Jordan S2

Jordan wanted to lead the Raiders on receiving this season and so far he is with 52 catches. That's a big plus in PPR scoring leagues. The huge offensive line in front of Jordan should create plenty of running room against a Dolphins' defense that will be without it's two best tacklers, LB Zach Thomas and S Lance Schulters.

WR Randy Moss (P) S2

Not playing with much fire and seems unhappy again. What a surprise. With the running game likely clicking in this matchup, even a lackluster effort by Moss against man coverage is startable for a fantasy team.

WR Jerry Porter S2

Porter has feasted on single man coverage lately. He had his second 100-yard game in the past four weeks and has scored four TD's in that span. As with Moss, if he sees one-on-one coverage Sunday the Dolphins won't be able to cover him consistently.

WR Doug Gabriel B

Gabriel is the no. 3 receiver in an offense that mostly features two. He's best avoided, especially this week since he pulled up lame last week with an injured ankle.

TE Courtney Anderson B Anderson hasn't been a factor since week 3, catching two or fewer balls each week. Most of his work comes in pass protection now.
 
Green Bay (2-8) at Philadelphia (4-6) Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

Favre continues to carry the Packer offense on his back. Bad for the Packers, but good for fantasy owners. The problem is everyone knows it's all about Favre this season. The Philly secondary will be without one of its stars, CB Lito Sheppard, but they can easily drop extra defenders into the secondary since there is no running threat. Look for Favre to struggle just enough on the road this week to make him a borderline fantasy starter at best.

RB Samkon Gado X

Well Samkon, looks like your 15 minutes may be up. No matter how good a runner he is, HC Sherman isn't going to play him if he fumbles, which he's done three times in two games. The Pack may go back to Fisher as their starter this week against Philly. Likely to get another chance and step up, but it's a risk most fantasy teams should avoid.

WR Tony Fisher X Fisher replaced Gado on Monday night but didn't fair much better, gaining only 14 yards on four carries. Regardless, may find himself the starter again this week. Don't expect much behind an offensive line that hasn't given their runners much help all season.
WR Donald Driver S2

Favre has leaned on Driver since losing Javon Walker in week 1. For the most part Driver has produced. Will be matched up with CB Sheldon Brown most of the day. Brown has struggled all season and seems to have lost his confidence, becoming a liability in coverage. Driver should produce in this matchup.

WR Robert Ferguson U Ferguson was able to get on the field Monday night and caught his first pass since going down in week 7. He should be fine going forward and will work his way back into Favre's firing line as soon as this weekend.
WR Antonio Chatman B

Chatman will still be utilized in 3 and 4 WR sets, but the Packers work primarily out of 2-WR sets so Chatman's fantasy value is minimal now.

TE Bubba Franks
Donald Lee
U

Since Franks big 7-catch game in week 8 he has rarely outperformed fellow TE Lee. The Packers seem to be using both a lot in 2-TE sets and Favre is very comfortable throwing to either of his big targets. The Eagles struggle to cover tight ends on a weekly basis so look for both Franks and Lee to get solid fantasy numbers this week.

Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mike McMahon X

McNabb is done so McMahon is the man in Philly for the rest of 2005. McMahon, mobile and with good arm strength, nearly had a 300-yard game last week against the Giants in his debut as a starter. He'll remain serviceable this week and beyond.

RB Brian Westbrook S1

With McMahon the starter from here on out look for the Eagles to pass a bit less and run a bit more, helping Westbrook's fantasy value. He's had 32 carries in the past two games and has responded with 152 yards rushing and a score. That is in addition to his usual output in the passing game. Look for a big game from Westbrook this week. Last year he caught 11 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns against the Packers.

WR Greg Lewis (Q) B

Lewis is consistent but not real productive in the Eagles passing attack. His sprained elbow injury makes him easy to bench this week.

WR Reggie Brown U

Brown is a speedster with good size and the skills to succeed. More importantly he's been getting the most looks in the passing game lately. The switch to McMahon hasn't seemed to change that and the injury to fellow starter Lewis gives him some upside this week.

WR Billy McMullen B McMullen will get some additional looks this week with Lewis slowed or out due to the elbow injury. Don't expect McMahon to get this far down in his progression very often.
TE L.J. Smith S2

Maybe Smith needs to play injured more often. In the past two weeks (concussion and a sprained knee) he's caught 13 balls for 140 yards. McMahon obviously understands the need for a great pass catching TE.

 
New York Giants (7-3) at Seattle (8-2) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

Manning has had his moments this season, but for the most part he's still going through the growing pains of a young quarterback. Road games have only been Manning's friend when there was a distinct matchup advantage. That's not the case this week so look for him to struggle in Seattle.

RB Tiki Barber S2

Barber just keeps on rolling, and that isn't likely to stop in Seattle this weekend.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Manning's struggles have meant fewer opportunities for Burress down field. That, along with Manning finding more comfort working with Toomer, has resulted in Burress' fantasy value taking a bit of a hit. His matchup with CB Marcus Trufant this week should allow him to build on this 100-yard game last week.

WR Amani Toomer U

Toomer doesn't make the big plays down field like his running mate Burress, but since week seven he's been matching him look for look each week. The result - solid fantasy numbers and three TD's in the past five games. No reason to think that trend won't continue this week in Seattle.

TE Jeremy Shockey (Q) X

Was slowed last week due to a chest injury. Thankfully for his owners his single catch was for a touchdown. He has not improved and there's a chance he'll sit this game out. Look for a game-time decision on his playing status. Even if he is able to play his matchup with SS Michael Boulware is not a good one, especially since he won't be 100%.

Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2 Hasselbeck has been a steady but unspectacular performer this season. He's thrown just one TD pass in each of the past five games and has exceeded that mark only three times. Part of the blame could be all the injuries at WR. He's still without #1 option Darrell Jackson. The other part is the dominance of scoring monster Alexander, who eats up red-zone yardage with his legs like most teams do through the air.
RB Shaun Alexander S1 The Giants are solid against the run, but who cares. Alexander is a TD machine.
WR Bobby Engram S2

Engram has re-emerged as Hasselbeck's prime target since returning from cracked ribs three games ago. This matchup with the Giants' secondary is a good one and Engram is a solid start just about every week.

WR D.J. Hackett S2

With Engram back, Hackett is lining up in the slot where he can use his size advantage against overmatched nickel corners.

WR Joe Jurevicius X

Jurevicius filled in well for the injured Seattle WR's, but now he's back to a more familiar role of possession receiver, good for 3-4 catches a game to keep the chains moving.

TE Jerramy Stevens S2 Stevens has been consistently average this year, but look for an uptick in production this week as the Seahawks will likely use his size and speed to test Giants' linebacker corps hit hard by injuries.
 
New Orleans (2-8) at New York Jets (2-8) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks X

The Jets may be banged up on offense, but there's little wrong with the secondary that has only allowed seven passing scores in ten games. Brooks only consistency is that he is inconsistent and going against a great secondary is no way to catch a good game from him.

RB Antowain Smith S2

The Jets are just flat terrible with rush defense and every opponent has been going for 30 carries or more in a game against them. Smith has to share a bit with Stecker and maybe even Anthony Thomas eventually but this week the running game takes center stage with Antowain as the lead singer.

RB Aaron Stecker B Stecker had some nice pass yardage last week but he rarely gets enough carries to merit fantasy attention. With Antowain successful this week, even less reason to rely on Stecker.
WR Joe Horn X

Horn has not scored since back in week two and while he's turned in two decent yardage games in the last three weeks, the Jets secondary has been very solid and knows which player to give the most attention to this week. No wideout has had more than 87 yards against the Jets this entire season and most only half that much.

WR Donte' Stallworth   X

Good corners from the Jets should stop Stallworth's two game scoring stretch but he'll get enough attention from Brooks to manage a moderate game here. This is one of the worst match-ups for the Saints passing game this season.

WR Az-Zahir Hakim B

Hakim has continued the tradition of making the Saints slot almost worthless in fantasy terms. If he has two catches it will be a big week.

TE Zack Hilton U

Hilton had a career high 72 yards last week and goes against a defense that has allowed most teams to have more success with tight ends than wideouts. Since the defensive backs are busy blanketing wideouts and the rest of the defense is trying to stop the run (and usually failing), the tight ends enjoy better games against the Jets.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brooks Bollinger (Q) B

Bollinger is expected to start even though he had a concussion last week and could not finish that game. The shelf life of a Jets quarterback is less than fresh fish.

RB Curtis Martin (P) X

Martin remains the main weapon of the Jets but since even the beer vendors know that, the defenses just load up to stop him. The Saints are only average against the run but the Jets are not even average with the run.

WR Laveranues Coles X

The turnstyle at quarterback has made Coles return a major disappointment but if any wideout can succeed, it will be Coles and the Saints secondary is nothing special. Then again the passing game here is nothing special either.

WR Justin McCareins  X

Safest bet is to take Coles production and half it and that's what McCareins typically does.

TE Doug Jolley B

In the shutout last week when the Jets needed him most, Jolley only had one pass thrown to him for a four yard gain. The position is just not utilized in this scheme.

 
Pittsburgh (7-3) at Indianapolis (10-0) Back to top
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (P) S2

Big Ben returns in time for one of the best games of the year. Roethlisberger has been throwing for two scores in almost every start and going against the high-scoring Colts, the Steelers will need to post some points. He's never had much yardage and the Colts secondary has held most opponents to lower yardage but this game more than any will require Big Ben to step up and keep throwing.

RB Duce Staley   B

Since Parker is back, Duce is back on the bench and waiting for the next injury to get some playing time.

RB Willie Parker (P)   S2 Parker had almost all the carries last week and he added his first touchdown reception which could lead to a couple more passes per game. The Colts have not allowed a 100 yard rusher this year but most backs get reasonably close and guaranteed the Steelers will want to run and keep that Colt offense off the field.
RB Jerome Bettis B

Bettis has been nursing a quad injury and he's been of minimal fantasy value this season. His only fantasy relevance is scoring on a short run but he's only done that twice this season anyway.

WR Hines Ward S1

The Colts have been solid against wideouts this season but Ward is clearly the primary here for a team that eventually will be throwing on every down. Ward won't likely reach 100 yards since Chad Johnson was the first to do that against the Colts, but if there is any touchdown by a Steeler it will likely be him.

WR Antwaan Randle El X Though Randle El started the year out well, he's been below 50 yards in every game since week three regardless of who the quarterback is.
TE Heath Miller S1

No player should be happier than Miller about Roethlisberger returning since Miller has disappeared without him. Five of the six scores by Miller this year were from Big Ben and the Colts have been giving up scores to tight ends this season.

Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S2

Manning has been of fire but the visiting Steelers haven't allowed any QB to have more than one TD. While Peyton can obviously challenge that, this will be the toughest defensive test for Colts offense this season. Since Roethlisberger will be back, the Colts will likely revert to their clock-chewing running game.

RB Edgerrin James S1

James fell short of 100 rushing yards last week since the Colts opted for a surprise pass attack but back at home this week he'll get at least the volume of carries to challenge the century mark. Last week, Peyton showed the NFL what to expect if they load up against the run too much.

WR Marvin Harrison
Reggie Wayne
S2

Harrison had a low game against the Bengals but Wayne turned in big numbers. The Steelers have an outstanding secondary that probably favors Harrison slightly but if either reach 100 yards it would be the first time this season the Steelers let it happen for a wideout.

WR Brandon Stokley U

This is the sort of game that can find a place for Brandon. The big-time defense will focus on all the usual suspects and leave Stokley from the slot with the least coverage of any Colts wideout. Any long gainer in the passing game favors Stokley the most.

TE Dallas Clark U Clark comes off a career best game and while he has been much less effective in most games, there is a chance that the Steelers worry too much about James, Harrison and Wayne and leave the short middle open for Clark. He'll likely be rush blocking on most plays but showed he can step up last week and if Roethlisberger can make this game close, Clark will be needed more.

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