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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 11
Whitney Walters
November 16, 2006
Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
ATL at BAL MIN at MIA STL at CAR DET at ARI SD at DEN   Early Injury Status  
BUF at HOU NE at GB TEN at PHI SEA at SF Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
CHI at NYJ OAK at KC WAS at TB IND at DAL NYG at JAC   (Q): Questionable  
CIN at NO PIT at CLE         (P): Probable  
     
Start/Bench Codes (SBC)  
S1: Start 'em Tier One (Stud / Great matchup) U: Upside player (Possible sleeper)  
S2: Start 'em Tier Two (Solid matchup) X: No matchup advantage or disadvantage  
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)  
 
Atlanta (5-4) at Baltimore (7-2) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S3

Without the rushing numbers Vick would not be a fantasy starter. But with them he is. Thanks to the injury to LB Ray Lewis and the poor play of CB Samari Rolle, Vick is not a bench candidate this weekend against Baltimore. But it's close.

RB Warrick Dunn S3

Dunn will likely carry the full load again with Norwood expected to miss another game. This is a difficult matchup and the Falcon offensive line is under performing. Dunn makes borderline starter status however due to the back injury that may again keep LB Ray Lewis sidelined, and the shoulder injury that does have his backup Mike Smith out. If Lewis plays however, you might want to look elsewhere for a starting back.

RB Jerious Norwood (Q) B

His playing status remains in doubt due to the strained knee that kept him out of last week's game.

WR Michael Jenkins S3 Any Falcon wide receiver is an iffy fantasy start. If there's one to consider however, it appears to be Jenkins. He hasn't caught more than three passes all season but has scored in three of the past four games. Outside of Crumpler Vick seems to be most comfortable going to Jenkins in the red-zone.
WR Ashley Lelie
Roddy White
B Lelie is his typical pass dropping, disappointing self and White way too inconsistent as a #3 WR to be of any fantasy value.
TE Alge Crumpler (Q) S1

Even with the passing game back to its typical anemic state, the big tight end remains a primary target for his quarterback.

Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

The Falcons' poor pass defense takes another hit this week with the loss of DE Patrick Kerney. The pass rush will be limited now and McNair should continue his fine play and fantasy production against a banged up secondary with matchups to exploit.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

Lewis was limited last week due to the Ravens having to turn to the passing game. Don't look for a repeat of that against the Falcons. Atlanta has been inconsistent against the run all season and have struggled of late.

WR Derrick Mason (Q) S2

Mason had a season high eight catches last week and his first Raven touchdown. He will likely draw tough cover corner DeAngelo Hall, but look for the Ravens to move him around and place him in motion to gain more favorable matchups.

WR Mark Clayton S2 With CB Hall spending most of his time covering Mason, Clayton will find himself wide open on most downs against either the injured Jimmy Williams or his terrible replacement Allen Rossum. Look for a few big plays for the speedy Clayton Sunday.
TE

Todd Heap (Q)

S2 Hasn't scored in a couple of weeks and gets a bad ankle downgrade.
 
Buffalo (3-6) at Houston (3-6) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B

Losman's numbers have been on the decline, landing with the thump of an 83 yard game last week. The Houston defense is showing improvement lately and this is not as good a matchup as some may think. The Texans haven't allowed more than a single passing touchdown in the last four games.

RB Anthony Thomas S2

Thomas got his first start last week for the injured McGahee. He ran strong and looked good. The Bills should have a few more scoring opportunities this week against Houston, so the A-Train remains a solid fantasy start.

WR Lee Evans S3

When your quarterback throws for only 83 yards it's hard to be much of a fantasy factor. On a positive note, Evans' five catches last week were the most he'd had in three weeks. He'll continue to be Losman's primary target and a borderline starter against a suspect Houston secondary.

WR Peerless Price B Due to injuries Price has settled in as the more consistent #2 WR in the Buffalo offense. He has a nice matchup this week but the passing game isn't producing enough to make him a fantasy factor.
TE Robert Royal B Still has only one game all season with more than a single catch.
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr (Q) B

Carr hasn't thrown for a touchdown in three weeks and left last week's game with a shoulder injury. He's expected to be okay and start Sunday. For Houston, NOT your fantasy team.

RB Wali Lundy
Samkon Gado
B

For the second game in a row Lundy was ineffective. He ended the game standing on the sidelines watching backup Gado get the carries as Houston held onto their lead. Lundy is expected to remain the starter but it shouldn't surprise anyone if he begins losing more carries to Gado. With one of the league's worst running games now splitting carries, neither back is a fantasy option, even with the decent matchup this week. Lundy carries too much risk and Gado even more. Both could easily end the game with 15 carries for around 50 yards or less.

WR Andre Johnson S2

A beast and fantasy star that is held back only by the inconsistent and poor play of his quarterback. Should continue to shine against the suspect Buffalo secondary.

WR Eric Moulds B

No more than three catches in the past four games and hasn't seen the end-zone since week one.

TE Owen Daniels U

Has been targeted 11, 5 and 6 times in the past three games and is looking more and more like their #2 option in the passing game. He's been active in the red-zone and is always a threat to score.

 
Chicago (8-1) at N.Y. Jets (5-4) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman S2

Grossman continued his sporadic play last week, but this return to the Meadowlands should net his fantasy owners similar results against the struggling Jets' defense.

RB Thomas Jones S2

Thomas got his third 100-plus yard effort in five games last week and scored again. He's the unquestioned workhorse now and should have a great game facing a Jets defense that routinely surrenders 100 yard games and has allowed a league worst 13 rushing touchdowns.

RB Cedric Benson B

With more then half the season in the books it's time to call this one done. Benson is getting fewer than 10 touches a game and isn't doing much with them. He's a non-factor in the Chicago running game.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S2

Grossman is finding Muhammad more consistently now and the results have been good. He's scored in each of the past three games and put up a season high 123 yards last week. He should have little trouble keeping it going against a New York secondary that has developed a habit of giving up big plays.

WR Bernard Berrian (Q) S3

Is expected to return from the rib injury this week. The matchup here is good, but as with any player returning from injury, the risk is high. Hence the borderline S3 this week.

WR Mark Bradley B Returned from injury just in time to fill in for the absent Berrian. He answered the call with 79 yards and his first pro touchdown. Bradley would make a nice late season sleeper except for the fact that Berrian should be back at the #2 WR spot this week.
TE Desmond Clark

S2

Clark's catches and yardage have taken a downturn lately, but with the play-action passing game in high gear he's a threat to score every week.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington (P) B

Pennington and the passing game continue to struggle and any hope of improving will need to be tabled until after the Chicago game this weekend.

RB Leon Washington B

Washington continues to run well, but with Barlow's emergence and success last week, the Jets' running game is a big unknown now. Surprisingly the Bears have allowed each of the past three backs they've faced to rip off 100-plus yard games. But those backs have names like Barber and Gore. Little Leon isn't in their class.

RB Kevan Barlow (P) B

Barlow ran himself back into the fantasy mix last week with a strong 17 carry effort and another score, his sixth of the season. It looks like he may start getting more than the 10-12 touches he had been getting. Still, against the Bears that's not enough to warrant you sticking him into your starting lineup.

WR Laveranues Coles (P) S3

Coles got plenty of looks last week but was unable to make any big plays. He still seems bothered by the lingering calf injury. Not a good situation going into a matchup with the very talented CB Nathan Vasher.

WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

With Coles still slowed it's been Cotchery that's come up with the big plays for the Jets. He's led the team in catches over the past month and has a more favorable matchup this week than does Coles.

TE Chris Baker B

Baker hasn't scored since week three and still has just three games with more than a single catch.

 

Cincinnati (4-5) at New Orleans (6-3)

Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S1

Palmer busted out last week against an unlikely opponent, San Diego. This week he gets a likely bust out matchup with the Saints.

RB Rudi Johnson S2

Johnson hasn't topped 100 yards in a month but should this week. The Saints are allowing a near league worst 5.0 YPC on the ground. Look for the Bengals to get Johnson the 20-plus carries he should be getting each game in this matchup as they seek to control the tempo of this tough road game against a high-scoring offense.

WR Chad Johnson S1

Okay, now that's more like it! The Saints' secondary have surrendered a league worst 17 touchdowns and both Johnson and ...

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (P) S2 ... Houshmandzadeh should have little trouble keeping their productive play going Sunday.
WR Chris Henry U

Henry did get a touchdown last week and dropped another one, but the passing game looked a lot more like the 2005 version when it was all about Chad and TJ. Still, Henry has a key role in the offense and should continue to be a startable fantasy wide receiver in deep leagues. He, like the rest of the receivers, has a very favorable matchup with the New Orleans secondary.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S1

Brees has quietly put up top 5 fantasy numbers so far this season. There should be enough offense in this matchup to keep those numbers going this week.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

After a couple of weeks of ineffective play the New Orleans running game got it going again last week against a tough Steelers defense. McAllister isn't likely to top 20 carries the rest of the season, but his productive play (especially at the goal-line) should continue against the Bengals who are allowing over 125 YPG on the ground.

RB Reggie Bush U

Well it took nine games and a double reverse to do it, but Bush finally scored an offensive touchdown. The fantasy owners that have stubbornly stuck with him can only hope it doesn't take another nine games for his next trip across the goal-line. There's going to be a lot of offense in this matchup so we may see something we haven't since week one - a total of 100-plus yards from Bush.

WR Joe Horn (Q) S2

Before Horn went out with a groin injury he had put up his two biggest games of the season. His replacements have kept that production going in his absence. He returns this week and should have little trouble picking up right where he left off three weeks ago.

WR Marques Colston   S1

Leads the league in yards. Leads the league in touchdowns (tied with three others). Is tied with Marvin Harrison for third in catches. Has failed to either score or gain 97 yards in only one game all season. That's about as stud as you can get.

 
Minnesota (4-5) at Miami (3-6) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B

This is a pretty simple equation. Johnson puts up barely startable numbers with the best of matchups, and this isn't one of those. The one constant for the Dolphins this season has been the fine play of their pass defense.

RB Chester Taylor (Q) S2

Taylor is getting the touches and yardage, but this offense just isn't presenting many scoring opportunities for him. He's only scored twice and it took a record 95-yard run to get one of those. The Dolphins present a difficult matchup as they've surrendered only two 100-yard rushing games and just two touchdowns on the year. Taylor is also starting to wear down physically.

WR Travis Taylor
Troy Williamson
Marcus Robinson (Q)
B

Robinson may return to practice this week but is unlikely to play. Taylor and Williamson remain the starters but receivers Billy McMullen and Bethel Johnson are now getting into the mix and the backs are out-catching the wide receivers. The Viking passing game should be avoided from top to bottom.

TE Jermaine Wiggins B

The tight end is just not a part of the passing game and most of the short routes are going to the backs.

Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington S2

Harrington isn't being asked to do much, but he's playing effectively. As good as the Vikings are against the run, they can be that bad against the pass. The Dolphins' QB should bounce back from his zero touchdown game last week and toss a couple against Minnesota.

RB

Ronnie Brown (Q)

S3

The Vikings haven't allowed a back to cross the goal-line since week four and have been putting the breaks on every running attack they've faced. They allow a league low 2.9 YPC and 67 YPG on the ground. This is a very tough spot for Brown. Two factors in Brown's favor: 1) the Vikings will not jump out to a lead so he will get his carries and 2) he will likely make up for any loss in rushing numbers with an increased involvement in the short passing game.

WR Chris Chambers S2

Well it's not for lack of trying. The Dolphins continue to look Chambers way... a lot. But the production isn't there. Chambers is one of only two receivers with more than 80 targets (he has 91) on the season that has fewer than 40 catches. Most have more than 50. Corners Smoot and Winfield are under performing this season so Chambers has a good chance to improve Sunday.

WR Wes Welker B

With Booker back at full speed, Welker is no longer getting the double digit looks and he's no longer a fantasy option.

WR Marty Booker U Booker has just five catches for 30 yards in the past two games. Look for a bounce back performance this week. He has a favorable matchup with the struggling Vikings corners.
TE Randy McMichael S2

Led the team with five catches last week. McMichael remains a key to the passing attack as he presents difficult matchups for linebackers and safeties down field. The Dolphins will need that this week.

 
New England (6-3) at Green Bay (4-5) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

Brady's struggles continued last week in his second poor performance in as many weeks. Odds of hitting three in a row against one of the worst pass defenses in the league are pretty slim.

RB Corey Dillon S3

Dillon may be running on fumes, but he's still running. The problem for fantasy owners is that Dillon is only getting about 10-14 carries a game and you need a touchdown from him to make him a start worthy back. Something he's doing about every other game.

RB Laurence Maroney S3

It's now been five games since Maroney broke out with his huge 125-yard, 2 touchdown effort. Since then he's rushed for over 38 yards only once and hasn't been back in the end-zone. The rookie has immense potential, but plugging him into your starting lineup and hoping this is the week he makes good on that potential is becoming a very risky move.

WR Reche Caldwell U

Caldwell may be proving to be that rare commodity this season - a viable fantasy New England receiver. He's getting the most consistent looks from Brady each week and over the past month has only one game with fewer than five catches. His matchup with CB Al Harris this week is a good one.

WR Doug Gabriel
Troy Brown
Chad Jackson
Jabar Gaffney
B

The ball is being spread all over the field and the Pats are constantly rotating their receivers. All four of these receivers have scored or had more than 60 yards over the past month, but rarely more than once. No Patriot receiver beyond Caldwell is worth your time.

TE Ben Watson S2

The Packers haven't allowed a touchdown to a tight end all season. That streak ends on Sunday.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) S2

Favre is playing at a level he hasn't reached in a year and a half. He hasn't thrown an interception in four of the past five games and hit a season high in yardage last week. Look for him to keep the hot streak going at home in a marquee matchup with Brady.

RB Ahman Green (P) S3

Green faces another tough matchup this week and will see his production limited. The Patriots are allowing just 80 YPG rushing. The Packers are now using backup Herron and FB Henderson almost exclusively in the passing game so Green has no ability to make up for poor rushing games with receiving yards. He's a borderline start again this week.

WR Donald Driver S2

Driver should have little trouble keeping his fine production going this week facing an overmatched CB Ellis Hobbs.

WR Greg Jennings (P) S3

Jennings has returned to action but not to productive play. It's apparent that the ankle is not 100% back. He did make it through last week's game without aggravating the injury, so look for improvement this week against a struggling New England secondary.

TE David Martin (Q) S3 Martin remains the primary tight end in the Packers' passing attack, but he'll never be more than a borderline fantasy starter that's best suited for a desperation injury fill-in.

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