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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 13
Whitney Walters
December 1, 2005
Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  
ATL at CAR GB at CHI TB at NO ARI at SF OAK at SD  
BUF at MIA HOU at BAL TEN at IND WAS at STL Mon 9 PM  
CIN at PIT JAC at CLE   DEN at KC SEA at PHI  
DAL at NYG MIN at DET   NYJ at NE (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
 
Washington (5-6) at St. Louis (5-6) Back to top
Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell S2

The Washington passing game just can't seem to find its way lately. They have been unable to take advantage of favorable defensive matchups the past two weeks and Brunell has thrown only three touchdowns in his last five games. A passing matchup doesn't get much more favorable than the Rams these days, who gave up a career day to Carr last week.

RB Clinton Portis S1

The Rams are almost as poor stopping the run as they are against the pass. Portis should have no trouble finding the end-zone again this weekend.

WR Santana Moss S2

Moss ended his four-game TD drought last week. All the injuries to the wide receivers have left Moss under constant double coverage of late. That will continue this weekend in St. Louis, but thankfully the Rams don't have much talent in the secondary to double him with.

WR Taylor Jacobs U

With Patten and now Thrash out, the #2 WR role falls on little used Jacobs. With all the attention Moss will draw in coverage, the opportunity is there for someone to make some noise on the other side of the field. The former second round draft pick out of Florida has the speed and ability to make it happen Sunday.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley had an off game last week but should crank it up again this week against the ghastly Rams defense.

St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick U

All early signs point to the rookie getting his first NFL start this weekend. Based on his performance last week it's well deserved. With game footage available and a week to get ready, the Redskins will be better prepared for the Rookie than the Texans were. Starting a game is a lot different that coming off the bench and it would be expected for Fitzpatrick to struggle this week.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson got back on track last week with 110 yards and a score, his first in a month. Earlier in the season the Redskins were one of the top run stopping units in the league. But a steady decline has them in the bottom half of the list now. With a rookie under center you can bet the Rams will want a strong running game to support him.

WR Torry Holt S2 Having a new quarterback could make things a bit dicey for starters Holt and ...
WR Isaac Bruce S2

... Bruce. But Fitzpatrick showed the ability to get the ball to his big guns last week. It won't be nearly as easy this time around as the Washington secondary is a big step up from Houston's. Being at home should give them just enough edge to remain solid fantasy plays this week.

WR Kevin Curtis X

Without the overtime last week Curtis would have put up a big, fat zero in the stat sheet. This is worth noting since it's very likely that Fitzpatrick will be the QB again this week. A young, inexperienced QB (no matter how smart he may be) is going to be much less likely to work through this primary reads and get the ball to the #3 or #4 WR's.

 
Denver (9-2) at Kansas City (7-4) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer U

Plummer just keeps chugging along at his moderately efficient pace. Great for the Broncos, not so much so for fantasy owners. Plummer's thrown for more than 250 yards only three times this season and for more than a single touchdown only three times as well. This matchup with the dismal KC secondary gives him some upside this week however. So if you are in a QB bind, you could do a lot worse than Plummer this weekend.

RB Mike Anderson S2

Statistically the Chiefs rate out as the #5 run defense in the league. That's a bit deceiving since most teams spend their day's passing all over their suspect secondary. The Broncos will stick to what they do best, and that will mean a good dose of both Anderson and ...

RB Tatum Bell (P) X

... Bell, who is expected back this week after a week off due to the chest injury.

WR Rod Smith S2

Smith has been solid and consistent all season and Plummer seems to find him regardless of situation or matchup. He's had only one 100-yard game this season but typically does well against the Chiefs.

WR Ashley Lelie U

Lelie left last week's game with a mild concussion but will be fine this week. For whatever reason Lelie has under performed in Kansas City - putting up only 36 and 37 yards in his last two trips to Arrowhead. The corners for KC are aggressive and the opportunities will be there for Lelie to burn them deep for some big gains. Don't be to shy about starting Lelie this week.

TE Jeb Putzier X

Denver's opponents are realizing they need to do everything they can to stop the run. This has opened up more space for Putzier to work over the middle. Most weeks Plummer is doing a good job of finding him.

Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2

Denver brings good pressure and blitzes quite a bit this year. Green has put together a couple of solid games and if his line can keep the Broncos' rush at bay there will be some single coverage in the secondary for him to exploit. Look for Green to have a moderately successful game throwing the ball.

RB Larry Johnson S2

The Broncos are again at the top of the league's run defense rankings. Doesn't really matter though does it? You start Johnson every week.

WR Eddie Kennison S2

Kennison seems to bring his best when facing his last team, the Broncos. In their last three meetings he's totaled 21 receptions for 314 yards and two touchdowns.

WR Samie Parker X

Parker's return has created a bit of a spark in the KC passing attack. With his explosive down field speed he's becoming a better option than the aging and inconsistent Kennison.

TE Tony Gonzalez S2

After a slow start Gonzalez is now on pace for a 90-plus catch season, which could be his second highest total. He's also on pace however for one of his lowest touchdown totals, having only one so far this season. Should be another great matchup this weekend with Champ Bailey, who typically limits Gonzo's production.

 
New York Jets (2-9) at New England (6-5) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brooks Bollinger U

New England is making a habit of giving up 300-yard games to opposing quarterbacks. Bollinger's 251 yard effort last week could indicate that he has a 300-yard performance in him. But while there may be some upside in this matchup, I'm not sure you should put your fantasy team's playoff hopes in Bollinger's hands this week.

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 S2

The Jets had one of their best days throwing the ball last week and Coles was only a small part of it. Should be able to bounce back Sunday facing a New England secondary whose massive injury problems are well known.

WR Justin McCareins  U

McCareins finally got into the act last week with his first touchdown of the season. Has a bit of an upside this week.

TE Doug Jolley X

Jolley has been more active of late and had a season high four catches for 62 yards last week. The young Bollinger needs a big reliable target down field and Jolley may finally be developing enough into the passing schemes to provide one.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

Brady continues to perform at a high level this season despite all the team's struggles. Will be challenged this week with one of his most difficult matchups of the year facing the Jets' fourth ranked pass defense. Getting a healthy WR back like Given or Johnson would help, but that isn't going to happen. Brady will struggle, but remains a decent fantasy start this week despite the shoulder injury that's had him listed on the team's injury report for like the last 254 games.

RB Corey Dillon (Q) X

Supposedly Dillon has targeted this week's game with the Jets for his return to action. Whatever. Don't expect to know for sure until the Patriots' first offensive snap of the game. This is a great matchup for the NE running game, but whether you plug Dillon back into your starting lineup will depend on how much of a risk taker you are.

RB Heath Evans
Patrick Pass (Q)
X

Evans and Pass continued to split the carries in Dillon's absence last week. What carries there were anyway. It amounted to 8 for Pass and 6 for Evans. At least Pass scored a TD. But now Pass has shown up in the team's injury report with a hamstring injury. What a complete mess. And what a wasted opportunity for the NE running game against the lowly Jets.

RB Kevin Faulk (Q) B Faulk is slated to return to practice this week, but don't expect him to play this week. The broken foot he suffered 10 weeks ago was serious and he's not going to bounce back quickly.
WR

Deion Branch

S2

With all the WR injuries, Brady depends heavily on Branch and his tight ends. As a result Branch sees the best coverage option the opponents can throw at him. This week that means former teammate CB Ty Law. Should be entertaining. Look for Branch to struggle.

WR

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

B

Beyond Branch the New England WR corps is a fantasy crap shoot. Injuries and ineffective play leads to someone different stepping up opposite Branch most weeks, if anyone actually does. Outside of Branch it's best to steer clear of NE WR's.

TE Daniel Graham (Q)
Ben Watson
X With Graham back in the mix, what was some decent fantasy production for the solo NE tight end (Watson) is now going to be split up between the two of them - making neither a very good option.
 
Oakland (4-7) at San Diego (7-4) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X

San Diego's secondary continues to have issues, but their pass rush doesn't. They have 35 sacks on the year (only Seattle has more) and Collins was planted seven times last week. If the Raiders don't figure out their protection problems it will be another long and ineffective day for Collins.

RB Lamont Jordan S2

Jordan was limited running the ball in his week six meeting with San Diego, but he did find success catching the ball out of the backfield. Look for that same pattern this week, with Jordan doing just enough to warrant a fantasy start in most leagues.

WR Randy Moss (P) S2

In the last seven games Moss has more than three catches only once. Amazingly, over that six week span 32 other WR's have scored more fantasy points in your average league. That still leaves Moss a potential starter most weeks, but expectations have fallen through the floor. Get 40 yards and a score out of him and you consider yourself fortunate. At least he's matched up with a highly suspect secondary this weekend.

WR Jerry Porter S2

If Collins can get the pocket time Porter will feast on the vulnerable CB duo of Florence and Jammer.

WR Doug Gabriel B

Moss may be ineffective lately, but as long as he plays he limits the snaps Gabriel gets since the Raiders feature mostly 2-WR sets.

TE Courtney Anderson B With Collins under great pressure last week he looked Anderson's way much more than usual. Prior to last week's five catches Anderson hadn't caught more than two balls since week three.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

With the Raiders likely to focus on stopping the run, Brees should have some success exploiting the matchup advantages he has down field against the young and inexperienced Oakland cornerbacks.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Do you really need a reason?
WR Keenan McCardell S2

McCardell may be a bit long in the tooth, but his experience will serve him well while schooling the young and beatable CB duo of Washington and Asomugha.

WR Eric Parker U

Parker has come on of late despite missing some time due to injury. In his last three games he's averaged over 75 yards and scored twice. Like McCardell has a favorable matchup this weekend against the youngsters at cornerback.

TE Antonio Gates S2

Played through the sprained foot last week and it showed. He ended the game with just three catches for 39 yards and had three uncharacteristic drops. His play improved late in last week's contest, a good sign that he should come around Sunday night against the Raiders.

 
Seattle (9-2) at Philadelphia (5-6) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Hasselbeck continued his steady production last week with a typical 250 yard effort. He did however toss two touchdowns for the first time since week five. The Eagles and their struggling secondary present a good opportunity for a repeat performance Monday night.

RB Shaun Alexander S1

Alexander was held to just one touchdown last week. What a disappointment. ;-)

WR Bobby Engram S2

Engram had been improving each week since his return from injury until last week's disappointing 34 yard effort. The Giants were very focused on taking Engram out of the game and it worked. Don't expect the same tactics from Philly.

WR D.J. Hackett U

The talented rookie has put up some solid games since Engram's return because he can use his size out of the slot to take advantage of overmatched nickel cornerbacks. That will definitely be the case this week against Philly's Dexter Wynn.

WR Joe Jurevicius X

Jurevicius hadn't done much since Engram's return to the lineup, but with him taken out by the Giants last week Jurevicius exploded for his best game in years. He'll stay active as a solid possession receiver for Hasselbeck, but don't expect games even close to that the rest of the way.

TE Jerramy Stevens X Stevens had been consistently average all season, but has fallen off in the last two games - pulling in just a single catch. Loads of talent, but just doesn't seem to be in the offensive flow right now. That could change this week as the Eagles do not defend the tight end position very well.
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mike McMahon X

Little known fact. The Seahawks lead the league in sacks. McMahon was simply terrible last week and will be under heavy pressure in this matchup. Look for McMahon to scramble quite a bit in this matchup.

RB Brian Westbrook S2

Another little known fact. The Seahawks have allowed a league low 3 rushing touchdowns this season. Good thing Westbrook scores just as easily catching passes out of the backfield as he does running. The Eagles are really leaning on him lately. He has 90 touches in the last four games, the most he's had in any four-game stretch in his career.

WR Greg Lewis X

Lewis is consistent but not real productive in the Eagles passing attack. That doesn't look to change any time soon.

WR Reggie Brown U

Brown didn't have a reception against the Packers last week after catching 11 passes in the previous three games. He's the speedster of the WR group and has the most upside each week since he's the only real play maker besides Westbrook.

TE L.J. Smith S2

His production took a dip last week along with the entire passing game. But he remains a valuable target for QB McMahon and should stay in your fantasy lineup.

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