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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 15
Whitney Walters
December 15, 2005
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sun 1 PM Sun 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  
TB at NE ARI at HOU PIT at MIN CIN at DET ATL at CHI  
KC at NYG CAR at NO SD at IND CLE at OAK Mon 9 PM  
DEN at BUF NYJ at MIA SEA at TEN DAL at WAS GB at BAL  
  PHI at STL SF at JAC   (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
 
Cincinnati (10-3) at Detroit (4-9) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S1

Don't let last week dissuade you. This is Detroit after all.

RB Rudi Johnson (P) S2

With Perry out Johnson will get the full workload in the backfield. By the looks of last week's 30 carry, 169 yard pounding of Cleveland, he's more than ready to carry the load. Detroit is no better at stopping the run than the Browns are.

WR Chad Johnson S1

Should bounce back nicely against this first non-division opponent in three weeks.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

This is surely sounding like a broken record, but it is what it is. Another week of Johnson drawing the best of the opposing corner options (Dre Bly) and Houshmandzadeh being left with a great mismatch against an inferior corner (Andre Goodman).

WR Chris Henry X The rookie went catchless last week as the passing production dried up. That shouldn't repeat any time soon, but there typically isn't much left in the passing game beyond Chad and T.J.
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia X

Garcia has had two starts now since returning from the leg injury and the offense is still as horrible as ever. It's now becoming clear that the complicated passing game is what may be at the root of the problem as it's creating too many miscommunications down field. The result is an offense with no punch and no ability to stretch the defense vertically. Garcia's only saving grace this week may be the garbage time stats he gets late into this blowout. If they haven't put Harrington in by then.

RB Artose Pinner X

With Jones out this week with an elbow injury, Pinner will be asked to shoulder the running game Sunday. He's a better option than Bryson, who's more suited to a third-down role. Pinner could surprise this week since the Bengals don't stop the run well. But that would require a close game, providing a decent amount of carries.

WR Roy Williams S2

The passing game is a mess in Detroit and about the only thing you can count on is that Roy Williams is by far the biggest threat and has the most talent. That's worthy of a borderline S2 this week only because they Lions will need to pass more in order to keep pace with the Bengals offense.

WR Mike Williams
Scottie Vines
X

Mike Williams and Vines share time opposite the other starter, Roy Williams. Both had been effective at times but have disappeared over the past two weeks with the new play caller on the sideline. They have only five catches between them in the last two games. Could see more action this week, but should be avoided none the less.

WR Charles Rogers B Since his return from a drug suspension Rogers has done little to distinguish himself. Two weeks ago he was deactivated and last week he went catchless.
TE Marcus Pollard X West Coast style offense, West Coast quarterback, vital role for the tight end. Yeah right.
 
Cleveland (4-9) at Oakland (4-9) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Charlie Frye (P) U

Who would have imagined that the rookie would come out of his first game against the Bengals and have better numbers then Carson Palmer. That translated to just 138 yards and a score, but he did run for a touchdown, helping his fantasy value. Frye has a decent matchup this week in Oakland and should perform well. But at this point in the fantasy season you should turn to him only if you are in a real bind at quarterback.

RB Reuben Droughns (P) S2

Droughns is on a role and you can bet the Browns will keep feeding him the ball with a rookie at QB and against an Oakland defense that's sliding, badly.

WR Antonio Bryant U

Bryant has been the most consistent fantasy producer in the Browns passing game and is its focal point again with Edwards out. Could surprise this week against the Raiders and their makeshift secondary.

WR Dennis Northcutt X

Returned to the starting lineup last week. Is not well suited for the role and produces little.

TE Steve Heiden (Q) X

Heiden reappeared in the offense last week, his first fantasy relevant performance with Frye at QB. He's a big, dependable target and the rookie would be well served to look his way.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X

Even in a season going nowhere, the grass isn't always greener is it? Tuiasosopo was so impressive last week that his four game tryout lasted all of one game. Now it's back to Collins, whose fantasy numbers weren't all that bad when he got booted to the bench. Cleveland lacks much of a pass rush so Collins shouldn't see much of the pressure that typically causes him problems.

RB Lamont Jordan S2

The Browns present a great matchup for Jordan, and with Collins back at QB he'll have more room to run since Collins can stretch the defense down field.

WR Randy Moss (P) X

Moss owners must be rejoicing at the return of Collins. At least that gives Moss a chance to produce this week at home against the Browns. Sadly however, Moss is still slowed by several nagging injuries and is not even worthy of being a decoy for the Raiders. So he's surely not worthy of a being a starter for your fantasy team.

WR Jerry Porter S2

Porter is healthy, playing well and is a dangerous down field weapon. With Collins back look for Porter to attack Cleveland's zone coverage deep.

WR Doug Gabriel B

Hasn't made more than two catches in over a month.

TE Courtney Anderson X In the two games prior to the "Tui" fiasco last week Anderson had six catches for 66 yards and a touchdown. Could see additional looks this week since he won't be needed as much in pass protection against the weak Cleveland pass rush.
 
Dallas (8-5) at Washington (7-6) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Bledsoe X

After a lackluster two months Bledsoe got it going last week with 300 yards and three touchdowns, his first such effort this season. The Redskins defense may wear red, but they won't be confused with the Chiefs anytime soon. Expect Bledsoe to revert back to his mediocre ways in Washington on Sunday.

RB Julius Jones X

Jones continues to struggle and received fewer than 20 carries last week (only 12) for the first time in a month. Unfortunately the indications are that the carry count may stay limited as the workload is split between Jones and ...

RB Marion Barber X

... Barber. After two weeks of little activity the rookie was given 15 carries last week and had a highly productive 82 yards. With that performance it's very likely he's gained a split workload for the remainder of the season. And we all know what a split workload in the backfield does to the RB's fantasy value.

WR Keyshawn Johnson X

Johnson's possession receiver role in the Dallas passing game is invaluable. But the fantasy facts are that he's rarely productive enough to be a starter. He averages less than 50 YPG and has topped 60 yards only three times, and those were all prior to week seven.

WR Terry Glenn S2

Glenn draws the top matchup this week with the under achieving Carlos Rogers. So look for the Skins to give him safety help over the top to try and prevent Glenn from breaking off big gains. Something he did in their week 2 meeting when Glenn went 6-for-157 and a touchdown.

TE Jason Witten X

Witten will of course remain very active in the passing game. But this week he goes to the other extreme in matchups. Last week he faced the worst defense against tight ends, Kansas City, and this week he goes against the best, Washington.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Mark Brunell X

Over the past month Brunell has squandered two good and two great matchups. The results - 627 yards and just two touchdowns. It's just not happening any more for the Redskins passing game.

RB Clinton Portis S1

Portis has averaged 26 carries a game over the past month and the Redskins show no sign of pulling back on the reins.

WR Santana Moss S2

Moss put up 159 yards and two touchdowns on Dallas in week 2. That was a looooong time ago and the Washington passing game is just a shadow of it's early season self. Still, Moss is going to get his and having a healthy Thrash back will help draw some of the coverage. Well maybe just a little of the coverage, but anything will help.

WR Taylor Jacobs
James Thrash (P)
B

Jacobs and Thrash. Thrash and Jacobs. Any way you look at it there's no fantasy value here. The best from either of these two is 4-for-44.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Even when the passing game struggles, Cooley will get his looks as he's Brunell's only viable option outside of Moss.

 
Atlanta (8-5) at Chicago (9-4) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick (P) X

Vick is sporting some bruised ribs and if he plays in this game you can bet he won't be running around too much against the hard-hitting Bears. Injuries continue to take a toll on Vick and he typically doesn't play well when he plays hurt as it limits his play making abilities.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

You have a banged up QB and the blueprint for the Bears defense was created last week by the Steelers. Look for a heavy dose of both Dunn and ...

RB T.J. Duckett X

... Duckett in this matchup.

WR Michael Jenkins
Roddy White
Brian Finneran
B Even in a game where they throw the ball with success the Atlanta wideouts are rarely fantasy factors. Everyone in the fantasy world seems to hope and wish for that to change, but hopes and wishes aren't worth squat to a fantasy team.
TE Alge Crumpler S2 Crumpler hasn't had many of the "big" games this season, but he's remained one of the more consistent and reliable fantasy tight ends.
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B

Hasn't been a fantasy option all year, and if he holds on to his starting job through the end of the season he won't be the rest of the way either.

RB Thomas Jones S2

The Bears continue to run the ball well and this is a good spot for Jones to get it going again. Jones hasn't had a 100-yard game since week six but the Falcons have given up six of them this season.

RB Adrian Peterson B

Peterson may see a few extra carries in the next three games in order to not over-work Jones. But he's still just a backup and of no fantasy value.

WR Muhsin Muhammad X

Muhammad had season highs last week with nine catches and 91 yards. He has a decent matchup this week with CB Jason Webster, but more than a 4-6 catch game is being overly optimistic. He is due for another touchdown though.

WR Justin Gage B

Muhammad does draw a lot of attention in coverage but when your passing game is an unproductive as the Bears, the #2 WR is of little use to fantasy owners.

TE Desmond Clark

B

Clark is a great pass-catching tight end with good size and speed. But until Orton looks his way more than just a couple of times a game he's not a fantasy option.
 
Green Bay (3-10) at Baltimore (4-9) Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) X

It's been a long season for Favre and he's looking more run down and beat up with each passing week. This is the Packers third road game in four weeks and don't expect the aggressive Baltimore defense to give him a break on Monday night.

RB Samkon Gado S2

The mini-Nigerian Nightmare just keeps surprising each week. Last week was his best game yet as he racked up over 170 yards against the Lions, carrying the ball 29 times. It'll be tougher sledding this week on the road in Baltimore, but the Ravens have allowed three 100-yard rushers in their last five games.

WR Tony Fisher B Fisher will get a few carries in relief of Gado and a few looks in the passing game as the third-down back. That's about it.
WR Donald Driver X The Green Bay passing attack continues to struggle and the Baltimore secondary continues to get healthier. Driver is Favre's go-to receiver, but is not a good bet in Baltimore.
WR Robert Ferguson
Antonio Chatman
B

Ferguson has been slow to make an impact as the #2 WR since returning from the torn knee ligament. He's just 9-for-85 over the past four games. Since Ferguson's return Chatman has been almost a complete non-factor, going catchless in two of the four games.

TE Donald Lee
David Martin
X

With Franks out Martin and Lee continue to produce. Martin led all Packers receivers last week with five catches for 38 yards. They are both very active in the passing game, but the output being split between them hurts their fantasy worth.

Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B Despite the occasional flash of ability, Boller is still a liability to the Ravens and to any fantasy team. So Mr. Billick, just how many chances does this kid get?
RB Jamal Lewis (Q) B Lewis was a last minute scratch last week due to a thumb injury, and that injury will likely land him on the sidelines again this week in street clothes.
RB Chester Taylor S2

An injured thumb is the break all Taylor owners had to be hoping for as the fantasy playoffs are in full swing. Lewis is likely out again this week and the Packers are a great matchup as they allow over 120 YPG on the ground.

WR Derrick Mason X Mason has been consistent but only moderately productive with Boller at quarterback. His six catches last week where a high mark since Boller's return. The Green Bay cornerbacks are steady but not all that great. Look for nothing more than Mason's typical mediocre production Monday night.
WR Mark Clayton X

Boller has been finding his rookie playmaker at an alarming rate over the past two weeks. Well... alarming for the Baltimore offense. He has 14 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown in that span. Quite a feat for a Ravens receiver. Expecting that to continue is a bit much to ask.

TE

Todd Heap (P)

S2 One constant through all of Boller's struggles is his propensity to get the ball to his big, talented tight end.

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