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Start/Bench List - Week 17
Whitney Walters
December 29, 2005
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sat 1 PM Sat 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  
NYG at OAK BUF at NYJ MIA at NE TEN at JAC    
Sun 1 PM CAR at ATL NO at TB CHI at MIN    
ARI at IND CIN at KC SEA at GB WAS at PHI (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
Denver (12-3) at San Diego (9-6) Back to top
Playoff Picture: DEN - Has clinched #2 seed  
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Plummer B

With nothing to play for Plummer is a prime candidate to take an early seat on the bench this weekend.

RB Mike Anderson (O) B

Anderson suffered a slight ankle sprain last week and isn't expected to play on Saturday in this meaningless game.

RB Tatum Bell X Bell is a game-breaker and should get more carries this week with no Anderson in the lineup. But just because he's 131 yards shy of 1000, don't expect to see him overworked against a Chargers defense that isn't likely to surrender that kind of yardage to anyone. Look for Bell to take a place on the sidelines in the second half and watch Ron Dayne finish off the game.
WR Rod Smith X

Reliable and consistent, but also not young anymore. He won't play the whole game.

WR Ashley Lelie (P) B

Lelie hadn't had six catches since week 2 before last week's 110 yard effort, his highest production of the season. Unfortunately he left the game early with a cut on his arm that needed 14 stitches to close. He's not expected to play Saturday.

TE Jeb Putzier B Only occasionally productive and rarely used around the end-zone. No touchdowns this season.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

Look for Brees to play most, if not all, of this game despite the Chargers being out of the playoff race. This is a division rival and they are playing at home.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson X

Not that LT owners need to be told this, but since injuring his ribs LT has averaged just 71.5 YPG and has not scored a touchdown. This game could go either way. If LT plays most of the game he should do very well, but if the Chargers don't want to punish their injured star in a meaningless game he will spend a lot of time on the sidelines and disappoint yet again.

RB Michael Turner U As everyone saw against Indy in week 15, Turner is a very fast and capable backup. He'll likely get a chance to show his stuff this week "if" LT sits. Denver is tough against the run but is expected to rest many starters. Turner should surprise this week if given the chance.
WR Keenan McCardell
Eric Parker (Q)

The Broncos' secondary remains very vulnerable and will likely be without CB Champ Bailey for most of the game this weekend. Both McCardell and Parker are nice starts.

TE Antonio Gates S1 Gates should have little trouble putting up numbers against the resting Broncos.
New York Giants (10-5) at Oakland (4-11) Back to top
Playoff Picture: NYG - Has clinched playoffs, still playing for division  
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning X

Manning continues to struggle and hasn't thrown for more than a single touchdown in a month. He's not throwing the ball well and pressure is getting to him. Oakland presents just an average threat of pressure and the secondary is still banged up. Look for Manning to bounce back a bit this week, but just a little.

RB Tiki Barber S1

Even in a "limited" effort last week he totaled 129 yards. He's the main cog in the Giants' offensive machine and should be in your starting lineup every week.

WR Plaxico Burress X

It's been five games since Burress has tasted the end-zone and he hasn't topped 50 yards receiving in a month. Manning and Burress have only connected on 42% of Manning's passes in the past four games and he seems to have more confidence in Toomer right now. Burress has a serious matchup advantage against the injury depleted Oakland secondary, but he's failed to exploit those same types of advantages lately.

WR Amani Toomer S2

The Manning-to-Toomer connection has been the most consistent part of the passing game for weeks. In the past three games Toomer has averaged six catches for 70 yards and has scored two touchdowns. His matchup with the weak Raiders' corners is a good one.

TE Jeremy Shockey (Q) S2

Shockey had his worst game of the season last week in Washington, going just 2-for-18 and spraining his ankle. The week prior against KC he was just 3-for-33. Hasn't had three unproductive games in a row all season and you shouldn't expect one against the struggling Raiders if he's able to play at close to full speed.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kerry Collins X

Collins left the Giants on not so good terms and gets a chance for some payback this week. Unfortunately he'll need an effective offense to help him in his cause. And effective is not a word used to describe the Oakland offense this season. He's averaging just 200 yards and a touchdown in his last five games. Don't expect much more Saturday.

RB LaMont Jordan (D) B Jordan's toe injury had ended his season. He will not play in the season finale.
RB Zack Crockett U

Crockett put up 61 yards on 15 carries against the tough Bronco defense last week and will be called on again Saturday. The Giants have been okay against the run this season but have taken a downturn with each loss of a linebacker (two have been placed on IR and their best is still out). Crockett should surprise this week.

WR Randy Moss (P) S2

Moss had 13 looks last week, the most since week one's 16. He also topped 70 yards receiving for just the third time since the injuries. Moss remains a decent start against the weak Giants pass defense.

WR Jerry Porter S2

Porter has struggled right along with the Oakland passing game for the past month. He still gets plenty of looks though and should get it done this weekend against the Giants secondary.

TE Courtney Anderson (D) B Missed last week due to a knee injury and had just two catches in the previous three games.
Arizona (5-10) at Indianapolis (13-2) Back to top
Playoff Picture: IND - Has clinched #1 seed  
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown S2

McCown is now the captain of the league's top passing offense and the results last week were to be expected - nearly 300 yards and two touchdowns. If the Cardinals' line can give him some time against the Indy pass rush you can look for similar results this week.

RB J.J. Arrington
Marcel Shipp

Arrington and Shipp combined for 65 rushing yards last week, a very good game for the duo. That says about all you need to know about their fantasy worth.

WR Anquan Boldin
Larry Fitzgerald

Boldin and Fitzgerald both have over 1300 yards this season and it's very likely they'll have over 1400 each after this game.

WR Bryant Johnson B McCown's not looking much beyond the starters, Boldin and Fitzgerald.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning B

Don't expect to see more than a series or two out of Manning this week.

QB Jim Sorgi U These final meaningless games are always hard to predict, but Sorgi did well last week and since the Cardinals have little to play for and the Colts are at home, he may surprise again this weekend.
RB Edgerrin James B Has only had 13 carries in each of the last two games and you shouldn't expect anything more this week.
WR Marvin Harrison (Q) B

Not expected to play again until the playoffs.

WR Reggie Wayne X Wayne saw some decent time last week and could again thanks to the injury to Stokley. Don't expect much production though as he'll likely be shut down by halftime.
WR Brandon Stokley (Q) B

Stokley lived up to his sleeper status last week with a nice 122-yard effort, but is expected to sit this one out after tweaking his knee.

WR Troy Walters U Looks like the last man standing in the Colts WR corps. That's enough to warrant sleeper status.
WR Aaron Moorehead U Along with Walters, should see extensive playing time this week with Harrison and Stokley out and Wayne very limited. A deep sleeper this week.
TE Dallas Clark

Both tight ends should produce their average this week at best with backup QB Sorgi tossing the ball through most of this game.


Baltimore (6-9) at Cleveland (5-10)

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller S2 Boller has had two career games in a row now and is making all us doubters look bad. Can he keep it up against Cleveland? Likely.
RB Jamal Lewis S2

Lewis seems to be the man again in Baltimore. In three of the past four games he's played, Lewis has 20-plus carries and is averaging nearly 100 yards. Despite a season of massive letdowns, that's a trend that can't be ignored, especially against the 29th ranked run defense.

RB Chester Taylor B

Just 11 carries in the past two games and no longer a fantasy factor.

WR Derrick Mason S2 Mason has been consistent but only moderately productive with Boller at quarterback. But things are looking up. He's has 20 catches in the last three games and is by far Boller's prime target outside of his tight end.
WR Mark Clayton X

The rookie playmaker's involvement in the passing game continues to improve. In three of the past four games he's had more than 80 yards receiving and has scored three touchdowns (one on a run). With Boller on a roll he's a possible starter this week despite Cleveland's somewhat impressive pass defense numbers.


Todd Heap

S2 Getting it done right along with Boller. Every week starter.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Charlie Frye B

The rookie is showing some promise, but has gone scoreless in the last two games and Baltimore doesn't present a very good opportunity to break that little streak.

RB Reuben Droughns X

Droughns has seen his rushing numbers fall off each week since his 100-yard game over a month ago. Last week's 36 yards on 10 carries against Pittsburgh was a season low. A duplication of his week six effort of 55 yards against Baltimore is about all you should expect on Sunday.

WR Antonio Bryant X

Bryant is by far the top receiving threat in the Browns offense. That translates into only moderate production most weeks.

WR Dennis Northcutt B

Has returned to the starting lineup with Edwards out and in three weeks he's caught 10 balls for just 77 yards. Not much of an improvement over his production when he wasn't starting.

TE Aaron Shea X

Shea returned last week with five catches and two looks down by the goal-line. It was the first time rookie QB Frye had looked extensively to his tight ends. Shea should see similar action this week against the aggressive Baltimore defense.

Buffalo (5-10) at New York Jets (3-11) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kelly Holcomb U

Holcomb became the first Buffalo QB in 44 games to throw for 300 yards last week and led the team to victory over the Bengals - his fourth win this season. Expect to see Holcomb under center for the final game Sunday and for him to close out the season strong against the reeling Jets.

RB Willis McGahee S2

The Jets can't stop the run and McGahee should close out the season doing something he hasn't done in two months - top 100 yards rushing.

WR Eric Moulds S2

Moulds is the undisputed #1 WR with Holcomb at the helm. In the past two games, 25 of Holcomb's 66 passes have gone his way. The result has been a 110 and 99 yard game. The play of the Jets secondary is one of the bright spots this season, so look for Moulds to finish strong this weekend, but not to go off.

WR Lee Evans X

Last week's 5-for-107, 1 touchdown performance was a first for Evans in 2005. It was the first time he out-produced Moulds with Holcomb at QB. That's not likely to happen again this week, but Evans is still a decent play in deeper leagues this week.

WR Josh Reed B

Against Cincinnati last week the Bills had to pass more and used a lot of 3-WR sets, resulting in a better than normal day for Reed. Don't look for a repeat in New York.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brooks Bollinger B

Bollinger surprised with a career-high 327 yards last week and two touchdowns. Considering he put up an almost season low 135 yards and no touchdowns against New England just three weeks ago, it's best not to get too excited about his prospects for Monday night.

RB Cedric Houston S2

Former starter Curtis Martin had his biggest game of the season in week six against the lowly Buffalo run defense. This week Houston gets a crack at them.

WR Laveranues Coles X

Coles has caught three of his five touchdowns in the past two games, but he's still averaging just 45 yards a game since Bollinger took over at QB.

WR Justin McCareins  X Like Coles, McCareins is active in the limited Jets passing game which results in about 45 yards per game.
TE Doug Jolley B

Goes 14 weeks with rarely more than two catches, blows up in week 15 with a nine catch game, and then disappears completely last week. Jolley stays off limits.

Carolina (10-5) at Atlanta (8-7) Back to top
Playoff Picture: CAR - Still playing for division/wildcard  
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme S2

Delhomme had one of his more productive days throwing the ball last week. Interesting since it came without the services of Mr. Smith for much of the game. With Smith back this week he should perform well in this critical game against a known division opponent.

RB DeShaun Foster (Q) S2

Foster was fairly ineffective last week against the Cowboys, gaining just 68 yards on 22 carries. This week should be much different as he had his biggest game of the year just four weeks ago against the Falcons and their sieve-like run defense.

RB Nick Goings B With Stephen Davis out, Goings is now the backup to Foster. Don't expect more than just typical backup type numbers. In other words, no fantasy value here.
WR Steve Smith S1

Let his team and all fantasy owners down last week by being ejected early. Like everyone else Atlanta will try unsuccessfully to take Smith out of the offensive game plan.

WR Ricky Proehl X

Even with opposing defenses focusing on Smith in the passing game other Panthers receivers have been limited. Proehl is a valuable veteran and has scored a touchdown in two of the past three games, but last week's was likely just a result of the Smith ejection.

WR Drew Carter U The talented second-year pro out of Ohio State is a big, fast receiver that can be of some benefit to the Carolina passing game. He's come on with his first five catches of the season in the past two games and scored his first career TD last week.
TE Kris Mangum B Mangum continues to fill in for the injured Gaines. Neither of the Carolina tight ends are fantasy factors.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick X

The Panthers had the answer for Vick in week 13, but at home it may be another matter. Vick will likely play well in the season finale at home, but well is a relative term when you discuss Mr. Excitement. Last week he did throw for two touchdowns, but it took a complete overtime for him to accumulate just 161 yards passing. Look for another typically limited effort against the strong and motivated Panthers defense.

RB Warrick Dunn X

Dunn's hamstring is still not 100% and he's not his quick-cutting self. He hasn't scored since week 9, about the time Duckett returned, and is getting just 16 carries a game now. Don't expect more than a limited 60-80 yard performance this week since he'll likely be playing at less than 100%.

RB T.J. Duckett X

Duckett got it going somewhat last week, but had one of his worst games of the season against the Panthers in week 13 (4 carries for 4 yards). Look for him to again struggle gaining yards. His only value this week is at the goal-line.

WR Michael Jenkins
Roddy White
Brian Finneran
B Until Vick somehow acquires the ability to consistently get the ball down field to his wide receivers, they are off limits to fantasy owners. They may see 3-4 catches, or they may see 0-1.
TE Alge Crumpler S2 Isn't setting the fantasy world on fire lately. He's getting just about 3 catches a game over the past month and hasn't scored in that span. He's still Vick's most reliable target and a solid starter any week.

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