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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 17
Whitney Walters
December 29, 2005
Saturday Sun 1 PM Sat 1 PM Sat 4 PM Sun 8:30 PM  
DEN at SD BAL at CLE DET at PIT HOU at SF STL at DAL  
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
 
Cincinnati (11-4) at Kansas City (9-6) Back to top
Playoff Picture: CIN - Have clinched division, KC - Still playing for final wildcard spot  
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer (P) S2

The Bengals will likely play hard thanks to their letdown last week against Buffalo. The big question is Palmer's injured groin. There's a chance he might not play this week, or at a minimum play a limited number of series. The KC secondary is still one of the most burnable in the league, so if he plays he's still a solid start.

RB Rudi Johnson (P) S2

Johnson squandered a golden opportunity for a big game last week. He'll get another chance against a Chiefs defense that is not as good against the run as their numbers show.

WR Chad Johnson S2

Seems to do better against non-divisional opponents. It'll help this week that they have a terrible secondary as well. Falls to S2 status due to the possibility of playing without Palmer.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

Houshmandzadeh has become one of the more consistent and reliable fantasy receivers. He doesn't put up 100-yard games very often (only two this season), but getting 60-80 yards and a score out of him has become almost automatic.

WR Chris Henry X

The rookie returned last week for a typical touchdown, his fifth since mid-season. The fact that it occurred on just a single catch isn't a good sign as fellow WR's Washington and Tab are now seeing more action as the #3 receiver. If he gets the playing time he'll likely produce against a Chiefs secondary that lacks the depth to deal with the Bengals' 3-WR sets.

Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green S2 This will be a high scoring game and the Chiefs will move the ball through the air often to keep pace with the Bengals' offense. The Cincinnati secondary is opportunistic but forgiving enough for Green to have a good day throwing the ball.
RB Larry Johnson S1

The Chargers' #1 run defense couldn't even slow him down last week. Stud, period.

WR Eddie Kennison S2

Kennison played last week but was very limited because of his injured knee. If he's healthy this week he's a decent start against the Bengals.

WR Samie Parker S2 Parker provides consistent but limited production weekly now and he scored last week. With Kennison limited he makes an excellent target for Green down field. Should be plenty of passing in this matchup to provide a chance for Parker to produce again.
TE Tony Gonzalez S1 Gonzalez hasn't scored in three games so he's due.
 
Detroit (5-10) at Pittsburgh (10-5) Back to top
Playoff Picture: PIT - Still playing for final wildcard spot if DEN wins  
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington B

If you can't produce against the Saints you sure aren't going to in Pittsburgh.

RB Artose Pinner (Q)
Kevin Jones (Q)
B

Pinner may get another start as it's unknown what Jones' status will be this week. Either way you don't want a Detroit running back in your lineup this week against Pittsburgh... period.

WR Roy Williams X

Williams had his second 100-yard game of the season last week in New Orleans. Things won't be so easy in Pittsburgh Sunday, but of you have to pick a Detroit player to play this week it would be Roy Williams. Just don't expect much.

WR Mike Williams
Scottie Vines (P)
Charles Rogers
B

All saw playing time last week but only Williams caught a pass... a single pass.

TE Marcus Pollard B Pollard remains active in the passing game and did have six catches last week. Still not a fantasy option however.
Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger (P) X

After a bad stretch Roethlisberger is taking better care of the ball and has not thrown an interception in three games. In those same three games he's thrown 20, 15 and 20 passes. This game may get out of hand early so don't expect much more then that this week from Big Ben.

RB Willie Parker  S2 The Steelers will run the ball all day on the hopeless Lions. Parker's a starter this week any way you look at it.
RB Jerome Bettis X

Bettis was back in action last week and found the end-zone again, the sixth time this season. Don't expect much more than 5-7 carries again as the Steelers need The Bus to be as fresh as possible for the playoffs.

WR Hines Ward S2

Ward continues to succeed against the mostly single coverage he receives thanks to the strong running game. The Steelers may not be passing much, but at least Ward pulls in the majority of the production most weeks.

WR Antwaan Randle El X Randle El has been fairly consistent this season. That rarely translates into a starting role on most fantasy teams however. This week will be no different. Look for a typical 3-for-40 performance.
TE Heath Miller X

With the Steelers back to running the ball, Miller is being used more as a blocker in the running game than a receiver down field. He hasn't scored in two months and has only 17 catches for 197 yards in that eight game span.

 
Miami (8-7) at New England (10-5) Back to top
Playoff Picture: NE - Have clinched division, still playing for #3 seed  
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Gus Frerotte X

Frerotte wasn't real effective last week but he did manage to toss two touchdowns. Some feel that the protective wrap he wore on his hand was the reason for the poorer play. It'll be the Patriots' defense that will be the cause this week.

RB

Ronnie Brown (Q)
Ricky Williams

B

Without Brown to share carries with last week, Williams ripped the Titans for 172 yards and a touchdown. Brown may return this week. Either way it's best to look elsewhere for your fantasy production. In the past four games the Patriots have allowed a total of just 101 rushing yards. The only hope here is for New England to rest some of its key front seven starters.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Chambers may not be getting the yardage he was two games ago, but he's still finding the end-zone every week - six touchdowns in the past four games. The Patriots secondary may be playing a bit better lately, but they still lack talent and are very inexperienced.

WR Marty Booker U

Since getting back from his calf injury, Booker has contributed to the Miami passing game with some nice long catches. In the last three games he's had 193 yards on just eight catches, nearly a 25 YPC average. A decent play this week as a #3 WR if you need help.

TE Randy McMichael S2 Chambers hasn't scored in the last four games and he's had just around 40 yards in three of those. He's way overdue for a score, but Chambers seems to be sucking up all of those lately.
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

Brady continues to put up decent fantasy numbers and did so against these Dolphins in week 10. Since this game does hold some value for the Patriots in playoff positioning it's likely you'll see Brady on the field until near the end or until the game is in hand.

RB Corey Dillon (P) S2

Like most games this season, Dillon's yardage total last week of 77 yards was unimpressive. It's the ninth time (out of the 11 he's played) this season he's been under 100. But the touchdowns are coming now at a very nice clip. He's scored six in the past four games. He did get 26 carries last week but 17 went to others as well. It's hard to predict how much work he'll get this weekend since the offense runs just about as well with Faulk or Pass carrying the rock. A risky start this week.

WR

Deion Branch
David Givens
Troy Brown

X

How frustrating for fantasy owners to have to watch a NE linebacker get both of Brady's touchdown tosses Monday night. But that's par for the course for the Patriots' passing game. They spread the ball around every week and as a result the WR corps holds only marginal fantasy value.

TE Daniel Graham (P)
Ben Watson
B Watson return from injury last week but Graham remained out. The tight end hasn't been a viable fantasy option for weeks.
 
New Orleans (3-12) at Tampa Bay (10-5) Back to top
Playoff Picture: TB - Still playing for division/wildcard  
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Todd Bouman B

Played better in his second start last week, but didn't find the end-zone. It won't get any easier this week against a fired up Tampa team playing for a division crown.

RB Antowain Smith
Aaron Stecker
X

Over the last month Smith and Stecker are averaging about 70 yards and have scored just once. Neither have any fantasy value in Tampa this weekend.

WR Joe Horn X

In week 13 Horn had just 40 yards on two catches, about par for the course these days. Expecting more out of him or ...

WR Donte' Stallworth   X

... Stallworth (3-for-20 in week 13) at this point is being overly optimistic. They are both talent receivers so there's always some upside. But a miserable season is coming to an end on a road trip to Tampa and you should expect much from the Saints this week.

TE Zack Hilton X

Hilton has been getting a lot of looks lately and did have a great 7-for-83 performance last week. I still wouldn't want to start him this week against Tampa.

Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Simms X

It took an extra quarter last week for Simms to put up decent fantasy numbers. The overtime game was his first multi-TD effort in five games. The Saints are just playing out a disheartening season, but their strength on defense happens to be against the pass. Don't expect more than marginal numbers from the young Simms.

RB Carnell Williams S2

The Bucs formula for success - take the Caddy out for a drive and put the pedal to the metal. Against the porous Saints run defense this weekend that will be a formula for fantasy success as well.

RB Mike Alstott B

Hasn't carried the ball more than four times in seven games, but did get a passing touchdown last week. Without goal-line touches Alstott still has little fantasy value.

WR Michael Clayton (O) B

Suffered a turf toe injury last week and isn't expected to play Sunday.

WR Joey Galloway S2

Galloway picked up the pace last week with the most catches he's had since week eight. With the Bucs continuing to run a conservative passing attack his upside is limited, but he does still get a shot or two at long gains thanks to his speed.

WR Ike Hilliard X With Clayton down Hilliard will likely get the start. Aside from last week's single catch effort he's become a fairly consistent target for Simms of late. But in this offense that maxes out at about 5 catches and 40-50 yards.
TE Alex Smith X

The talented rookie rarely received more than four looks a game prior to last week's 12. Off of those 12 looks he easily set season highs for catches and yards. With Galloway the only solid option for Simms, Smith may become more active in the passing attack.

 
Seattle (13-2) at Green Bay (3-12) Back to top
Playoff Picture: SEA - Have clinched #1 seed  
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck X

Seattle's offense is in a groove and they will want to keep that going in the season finale. But don't expect that to translate into extensive playing time for Hasselbeck. He'll take an early seat on the bench in this matchup.

RB Shaun Alexander S2

This one is pretty simple. Alexander will play until he gets his record breaking touchdown. Then it's to the sidelines.

WR Darrell Jackson (P) B

Jackson will not play much, if at all. The team wants him as healthy as possible for the playoffs.

WR Bobby Engram X

Predicting the performance for the Seattle starters is a difficult task this week, especially for the receivers. Engram will play, but how much is up in the air. He may be rested because this is a final meaningless game, or because this turns into a blowout. Either way both he and ...

WR Joe Jurevicius X

... Jurevicius are risky starts this week.

TE Jerramy Stevens X

After going two months with no touchdowns and limited action, Stevens has now scored in each of the past three games and looks more active in the passing game. He's a talented weapon for Hasselbeck in an offense loaded with them. A candidate for not playing the whole game.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre X

This season can't be over quick enough for Favre and the Packers. The last month of games has meant zero touchdowns and nine interceptions for Favre. Don't be surprised to see him take a bow early in this one and for rookie Rodgers to get some playing time.

WR Tony Fisher
Noah Herron
B

The unknown Herron got the start last week, but Fisher saw some action as well. A split backfield in a meaningless season finale is nowhere to look for fantasy help.

WR Donald Driver U If you want to start a Packer this week, then Driver is your man. He's been the most consistent target for Favre and should lead the team in receiving again this week.
WR Antonio Chatman X Chatman is the only remaining healthy WR for the Packers that has played with them all season. He'll get some action in a meaningless game that will have plenty of balls in the air. Does that translate into a fantasy starter? No.
TE Donald Lee X

With Martin now injured the TE production falls to Lee by default. He'll get the looks, but hasn't done much with them all season.

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