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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 12
Whitney Walters
November 23, 2006
Thanksgiving Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
MIA at DET ARI at MIN JAC at BUF OAK at SD PHI at IND   Early Injury Status  
TB at DAL CAR at WAS NO at ATL CHI at NE Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
DEN at KC CIN at CLE PIT at BAL NYG at TEN GB at SEA   (Q): Questionable  
  HOU at NYJ SF at STL       (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)  
 
Houston (3-7) at N.Y. Jets (5-5) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr (P) U

Carr hasn't thrown for a touchdown in a month and he's way overdue for a strike. He's likely to get one this week, maybe even two. The Jets have allowed a quarterback to throw for multiple touchdowns only twice all season, but with starting CB Andre Dyson likely out they are severely overmatched in the secondary.

RB Wali Lundy
Samkon Gado
S3

Based on last week's game and comments by HC Kubiak, it looks like Lundy will remain the starter but will split carries with backup Gado. The pair was very effective last week against the soft Buffalo defense and they draw an even softer matchup Sunday. Any split backfield is a high risk proposition however, especially given the Texans' poor offensive line play this year. But I'm going to stretch this one and say both will again get fantasy starter numbers, barely. Gado may have the better chance given his use at the goal-line.

WR Andre Johnson (P) S1

It's been a month since Johnson's last big game. That streak comes to an end Sunday. With CB Andre Dyson out his replacement will be Justin Miller, the corner that lost his job to rookie Drew Coleman earlier this season.

WR Eric Moulds B

There may be a few more balls flying around this week in the Houston passing game, but not enough to warrant moving Moulds into your starting lineup.

TE Owen Daniels B

Daniels had been a nice surprise for a few weeks, but 1-10 game last week shows he isn't a reliable fantasy option.

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

It's been two months since Pennington torched anyone and until last week's meltdown it had been two months since anyone had torched the Texans secondary. Houston will recover and Pennington will continue to struggle.

RB Leon Washington
Cedric Houston (Q)
Kevan Barlow (P)
B

Now that Houston has returned from his knee injury, this has turned into a three-headed mess that should be avoided by fantasy players.

WR Laveranues Coles S3

Coles appears to be recovered from the nagging calf injury that slowed him for about a month. He'll struggle to be productive this weekend. Prior to last week's fluke performance by Lee Evans, the Houston secondary hadn't given up more than 61 yards to a wide receiver since week two (when they played Indy).

WR Jerricho Cotchery S3

Ditto for Cotchery - minus the calf injury part.

TE Chris Baker B

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

 
Jacksonville (6-4) at Buffalo (4-6) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard   B

In four starts Garrard has thrown a touchdown in one of the games. He may get you 30-40 rushing yards a game, but that doesn't make up for the lack of scores. Look for the Jags to continue to keep the passing game dialed down with few big play chances down field. The Bills don't present a real difficult matchup, but with this passing attack it's a wash.

RB Fred Taylor (P) S2

It was a long time coming, but Taylor finally got over the 20 carry mark again last week and it paid off for both the Jags and his fantasy owners. He also received five carries inside the five-yard line, which is a positive sign. Look for Jacksonville to lean heavily on the running game in this matchup against the very porous Buffalo run defense.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew S3

The story remains the same for Drew. No more than 10-12 touches and a good chance to score every week.

WR Matt Jones B

Since Garrard took over at quarterback, Jones has just seven catches in four games. He just has not been in sync at all with his new QB since he returned from injury.

WR Reggie Williams B

Four straight games with just a single catch. Garrard just isn't looking his way.

WR Ernest Wilford (Q) S3

Through Garrard's four starts no receiver has benefited more than Wilford. He's leading the team in every receiving category since his new QB took over. Look for that to continue against the suspect Buffalo secondary.

TE George Wrighster (P) B

The rarely used tight end got some serious attention last week as Garrard looked his way seven times, which netted him a season high 54 yards. Most weeks however he gets just a couple of catches and a rare score.

Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B

Despite Losman's amazing eruption last week, he's just not a fantasy starter. Especially against the very tough Jacksonville defense. Only one quarterback this season has passed for more than 250 yards against the Jags and only two have thrown for more than one touchdown.

RB Anthony Thomas S3

Thomas continues to fill in for the injured McGahee and showed some great versatility catching seven balls last week. He'll need that same versatility if he wants to succeed against Jacksonville's top five run defense.

WR Lee Evans S3

Look for Evans to get a little extra attention from the Jags thanks to his performance last week. He'll continue to be Losman's primary target though since there is really no one else in the team's WR corps worthy of Losman's attention.

WR Peerless Price B Due to injuries Price has settled into the #2 WR role in the Buffalo offense. He may have found the end-zone last week, but most games that #2 WR spot in this passing game nets him just a couple of catches.
 
New Orleans (6-4) at Atlanta (5-5) Back to top
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S1

Even more important than his career high 510 yard effort last week is the fact that it was his fourth straight 300-plus yard game. Consistency like that makes for great fantasy value. This is a rematch of Brees' worst game of the season, his 190 yard, zero touchdown outing in week three. His prospects for a better game this time around took a hit with the loss of two wideouts last week to ankle sprains. But when the odds are against Brees he typically does just fine.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

McAllister's yardage numbers haven't been great but he's the man the Saints call on when down in scoring position. He got three of those calls last week but was unable to convert. He'll get a couple more scoring calls against Atlanta and deliver on at least one.

RB Reggie Bush S3

Bush capped off his best two game stretch with his first 100-plus total yard effort last week. The injuries to the Falcons' defense continue to take a toll and Bush should be able to stretch his solid two games into three. Brees will rely on him more in the passing game with the injuries at wide receiver.

WR Joe Horn S3

Horn has been tearing it up lately but his rematch with CB DeAngelo Hall will be a difficult one. Hall held him to just 3-47 in week three.

WR Marques Colston (Q)
Terrance Copper (Q)
B

Both receivers are expected to miss this week's game due to ankle sprains they suffered last week. Of the two Copper appears to be the worst.

WR Devery Henderson S2 Look for the Falcons to stick CB DeAngelo Hall on Horn and for Henderson to have his way with either the injured Williams or the terrible Rossum.
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S3

Vick continues to push the boundaries of what a startable fantasy quarterback is thanks to his rushing yardage. This week his passing numbers should improve. The Saints' secondary is terrible and you can bet the Falcons will want to test them with some big plays down field.

RB Warrick Dunn S2

The Falcon running game and offensive line continue to under perform. It's been six games since Dunn even sniffed 100 yards and he's been out gained by Vick in each of the past three games. The Saints have a hard time stopping the run, so look for Dunn to get close to a hundred in this matchup.

RB Jerious Norwood B

Returned from his knee injury last week, but the Falcons seem more interested in using him as a kick returner than Dunn's backup.

WR Michael Jenkins S3 Jenkins still hasn't caught more than three balls all season, but he's become a prime red-zone target for Vick, scoring in four of the past five games. The Saints' CB duo of Thomas and McKenzie are weak and Jenkins should continue his fantasy success Sunday.
WR Ashley Lelie
Roddy White
B Nothing but continued disappointments.
TE Alge Crumpler S1

The big tight end remains a primary target for Vick even though his production has taken a dip in the past two games. He'll bounce back this week against a Saints' LB corps that struggles in coverage.

 

Pittsburgh (4-6) at Baltimore (8-2)

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Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger B

Big Ben just can't seem to shake his turnover problems. He threw three more interceptions last week. Now he faces a Baltimore defense on the road that leads the league in pick-offs. Not a good combination. Roethlisberger has a lot of weapons at his disposal now, but this matchup just carries too much risk.

RB Willie Parker  S2

Parker has been a consistent fantasy producer all season. That doesn't look to change. With LB Ray Lewis iffy to play and the rest of the LB corps banged up, you can bet they will see plenty of Parker Sunday. Still, Parker has been limited before on the road. In away games this season he's averaged just 50 yards rushing compared to 128 at home.

WR Hines Ward (Q) S2

As Roethlisberger's play improves the Steelers are utilizing their deep pass receiving talent. But Ward is still the primary target down field and should have a nice game matched up against the struggling CB Samari Rolle.

WR Nate Washington
Cedrick Wilson
B

Wilson remains the starter but is good for only a few catches a game. Washington comes off the bench and is good for even less.

WR Santonio Holmes U Holmes isn't starting, but he's improving and getting more playing time in 3-WR sets and is working as the #2 WR on every third series now. He's explosive and can really stretch the field. Look for a big play or two Sunday.
TE Heath Miller B

Yes, he gets the occasional touchdown, but his weekly production is limited. Hasn't caught more than 34 yards since week one.

Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

McNair's play has improved since Billick took over the play calling and he's averaged 253 yards passing. The touchdowns have been inconsistent however. The Steelers secondary is solid but they have been susceptible to big plays this season. With the running game somewhat limited, McNair will pass more and should find just enough success with Heap and Mason to warrant starter consideration.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

Pittsburgh is tough against the run, but the game plan remains the same for Baltimore. Run Lewis as often as possible. He'll find the going tough up the middle against NT Casey Hampton, but will find some room getting to the edge.

WR Derrick Mason S3

Over the past three games Mason has been out performed by Clayton and in only one of those games did he do better than three catches for 28 yards. He draws another tough matchup this week with CB Deshea Townsend.

WR Mark Clayton S2 Look for the Ravens to work Clayton out of the slot some to take advantage of a serious mismatch with nickel corner Ike Taylor.
TE

Todd Heap

S2 Hasn't scored in a few weeks but did get a scoring look last week from McNair. That streak may continue. Heap hasn't scored on Pittsburgh in their last four meetings.
 

San Francisco (5-5) at St. Louis (4-6)

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San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith B

Smith found the end-zone again last week, once with his arm and even once with his legs. But when you have a back running like Gore is right now, there isn't a need for a big passing game. Smith has averaged just 137 yards passing over the last four games.

RB Frank Gore S1

Okay, I know I said this last week, but... Now it's REALLY going to be hard to follow up a career high 212 yard performance. But don't think he can't get close facing a Rams defense that's getting gashed by backs every week.

WR Antonio Bryant S3

If Bryant's big games came as often as his speeding tickets we may have a fantasy star here. But for three straight week's he's put up just two catch efforts and has taken a back seat to #2 WR Battle. His matchup this week is a decent one and there's a good chance he'll rebound with nice game. But with the Niners' limited passing game don't expect much, and there is still a chance he'll be suspended by the team for his arrest last Sunday.

WR Arnaz Battle (P) U

Playing with an injured hand, but playing well. He's caught 11 balls in the past two games and should be able to keep that going against the struggling Rams secondary.

TE Eric Johnson B

Johnson actually led all Niners receivers last week with 48 yards. But rookie Vernon Davis was active and did get some snaps. Look for Davis to be even more involved this week and eliminate what minimal fantasy value Johnson had.

St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

Bulger followed up his worst game of the season in week 10 with an ever worse one last week. He's back at home this week however and the Niners present a great bounce back matchup. They struggle against the pass and have allowed 18 passing touchdowns this season, second worse total in the league.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson's worst game of the season last week was the result of the Rams abandoning the run and giving him just seven carries. Don't look for that to happen again as HC Linehan has publicly stated it was a mistake. Good news for Jackson owners as the Niners, despite improved play of late, can be run on.

WR Torry Holt S1

Even with the struggles in the passing game last week Holt had a good game. He's an every week stud starter.

WR Isaac Bruce S2

Bruce had a rough outing last week, catching only a single ball. But he wasn't alone. Only Holt had more than one catch. Bruce bounces back in this mismatch with the San Francisco secondary, no problem.

WR Kevin Curtis B

Curtis' play is just too inconsistent for most fantasy owners. He's now followed up two good games with two stinkers. The Rams have cut down on the number of 3-WR sets they run lately, limiting Curtis' chances for fantasy success.

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