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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 13
Whitney Walters
November 30, 2006
Thursday Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
BAL at CIN DET at NE NYJ at GB HOU at OAK SEA at DEN   Early Injury Status  
Sunday Early IND at TEN SD at BUF JAC at MIA Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
ARI at STL KC at CLE SF at NO DAL at NYG CAR at PHI   (Q): Questionable  
ATL at WAS MIN at CHI   TB at PIT     (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)  
 
Minnesota (5-6) at Chicago (9-2) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B

In what has to be considered a fluke performance, Johnson actually threw for THREE touchdowns last week. That's two more than his best game all season. Flukes don't happen twice in a row, especially not on the road against the Bears.

RB Chester Taylor (Q) S2

Not all hope is lost for backs facing Chicago this season. Yes, they've given up a near league low four rushing touchdowns, but they also allow almost 100 YPG on the ground and another 32 yards in the passing game to running backs. The Vikings will run Taylor straight at the athletic Chicago defensive front, attempting to limit their sideline-to-sideline speed advantage. Taylor rushed for 74 yards against the Bears in week three.

WR Marcus Robinson (P) B Robinson was the most consistent fantasy receiver in a Viking uniform prior to his injury and has scored four of the seven wideout touchdowns this season. He looks healthy now, is at full speed and has moved into the starting lineup. He'll be a borderline starter most weeks from here on out, but not in this matchup with Chicago.
WR Travis Taylor
Troy Williamson
B

Even with last week's passing success, the ball is being spread all over the field. Ten different players got looks from Johnson. Wiggins going down helps focus the passing game some, but this unit isn't going to bring you any fantasy help against Chicago.

TE Jermaine Wiggins (Q) B

Wiggins is coming off back-to-back six catch games but suffered a knee injury that is expected to keep him sidelined this week.

Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman S2

Grossman has just two good games since coming off the bye week five games ago. He's become inconsistent and mistake prone, and it's limiting his fantasy value. He may catch a break in this matchup. As good as the Vikings are against the run, they are about as bad against the pass.

RB Thomas Jones (P) S3

The Vikings run defense is for real, stuffing all comers. The Bears will stay committed to the run for a time but will have to turn to the passing game to move the ball. Don't expect much from Jones this week. He rushed for just 54 yards in week three against the Vikings.

RB Cedric Benson B

For two games in a row Benson has received a very productive ten carries and he scored his fourth touchdown last week. It's the first time he's had back-to-back double digit carry games since weeks four and five. A good sign that he may stay more involved in the running game, but he's still not a fantasy option à la Barber III, Jacobs or Jones-Drew.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S3

Muhammad has had a couple of off games (just 5-66) but Grossman continues to look his way often. The struggling Minnesota secondary presents a nice bounce back matchup for the veteran wideout.

WR Bernard Berrian S2

Berrian bounced back from his rib injury last week with his first 100-yard game since week four. This is another great matchup for the Bear's deep threat and odds are good the speedy rookie will repeat.

WR Mark Bradley B

Now that Berrian is back, Bradley will find his opportunities limited.

TE Desmond Clark

B

The ride appears to have come to an end. For three weeks in a row Clark has been thrown to only twice despite solid matchups. With a healthy set of wideouts now the tendency has been to stretch the Chicago passing game vertically. That effort often leaves Clark out of the mix. He's also staying in more to block as they Bears are looking for ways to improve Grossman's protection.

 
N.Y. Jets (6-5) at Green Bay (4-7) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington (P) S3

Pennington looked very sharp last week against Houston. It had been weeks since that was the case. He has a good chance to keep his fine play going against the very beatable Green Bay pass defense. Possible game day snow may slow him down however.

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

The Jets' running backs put up a respectable 74 yards against the Bears two weeks ago but a pathetic 35 yards against the Texans last week. As Seattle showed on Monday night, the Packers can be run on. But this backfield is too crowded and too inconsistent to make any of the three backs getting carries of fantasy worth. Barlow has been particularly ineffective lately, gaining just seven yards on 12 carries in the past two games.

WR Laveranues Coles
Jerricho Cotchery (P)
S2

Both Coles and Cotchery got it going last week and as Pennington and the passing attack improve, so will the production of his two big play receivers. The Green Bay secondary has allowed a league high 21 receiving touchdowns this season and present a great matchup.

TE Chris Baker B

Baker hasn't scored since week three and has become a weekly one-catch wonder.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre (P) S3

Favre's numbers aren't typically that bad, but his turnovers last week killed four potential scoring drives. His arm seemed fine, but his patience was lacking. Look for Favre to settle down this week at home and have a nice bounce back game.

RB Ahman Green (P) S2

There are few teams worse than the Jets at stopping the run. They give up 135 YPG and have allowed a league high 13 rushing touchdowns. With Favre's continued erratic play, the Packers would be better off giving Green 30 touches and letting him carry the offense. The potential bad weather in Green Bay this weekend may make that scenario more likely.

WR Donald Driver S2

Driver continues to be one of the better receivers in the league and a consistent fantasy performer for his owners. That shouldn't change in this very favorable matchup.

WR Greg Jennings S2

Jennings got back into the offensive flow last week and his matchup Sunday with CB Justin Miller is a juicy one. It's time for another big game from the talented rookie.

TE David Martin (Q) B Martin was banged up last week and didn't play. He's expected to return Sunday but the tight end in Green Bay has become a non-fantasy position.
 
San Diego (9-2) at Buffalo (5-6) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers S3

Rivers had his worst start last week and it was only the second time he failed to throw a touchdown. He should have little trouble bouncing back against an improving but still suspect Buffalo secondary. Weather may keep his fantasy production limited however since it may be snowing in Buffalo this weekend. If it turns out to be a clear day then he's a decent start.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Buffalo is terrible defending the run. Just in case you actually need a reason to start LT.
WR Eric Parker
Keenan McCardell (Q)
B

Every week the story remains the same for the Chargers. The offense begins with LT and ends with Gates. Leftovers go to any of their four wideouts, with Parker and McCardell the typical leaders.

TE Antonio Gates S1

Gates was very involved in the passing game last week, getting 13 looks, his second highest count this season. Don't look for that involvement to decrease much.

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

Losman has shown improvement in his play this season. His completion percentage is way up and he's cut down on the mistakes. So far however that isn't translating into consistent fantasy numbers. This week will be no different facing the sack happy Chargers.

RB Willis McGahee S3

McGahee returned last week. He ran strong and looked good on his way to his first multi-touchdown performance of the season. The Chargers run defense has been a bit off without LB Merriman - allowing backs 95 rushing YPG vs. just 71 before the suspension. He returns this week and will make it tough going for McGahee and the Buffalo running game.

WR Lee Evans S3

Evans is the only viable fantasy receiver on the Bills team and has a decent matchup this week with San Diego corners Florence and Jammer. If Losman can get some time in the pocket he'll connect with his stud WR enough to warrant a borderline start.

WR Peerless Price B Price may be the winner of the job as Buffalo's #2 WR, but his 2-4 catches a week won't help your fantasy team win.
 

San Francisco (5-6) at New Orleans (7-4)

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San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith U

Smith has topped 200 yards passing only once in his last eight games. In those same eight games he's thrown for more than a single touchdown only twice. There are matchup factors this week that give him a good chance at one of his best fantasy games this year. The Niners will have to score points to keep pace with the Saints, and despite their high ranking in passing yards allowed, New Orleans has surrendered 20 passing touchdowns (only three teams have allowed more) and have only five interceptions (a league low).

RB Frank Gore (Q) S1

Gore was dinged up in last week's game but will be good to go against a Saints' defense that's allowing a near league worst 5.0 YPC. You can bet you'll see a ton of Gore in this matchup as the Niners will want to control the clock and keep the New Orleans offense off the field as much as possible.

WR Antonio Bryant S3

We've now gone four straight games with no touchdowns and only two catches in each. He's taken a back seat to #2 WR Battle and even TE Johnson in the passing game. His matchup this week is good however and there will likely be more balls in the air than normal for San Fran. There's a good chance he'll rebound with a nice game.

WR Arnaz Battle U

Battle continues to out perform Bryant. Over the past three games he's gone 14-138-1 to Bryant's 6-116. He's become a nice possession receiver for Smith and his matchup with the poor Saints' corners this weekend is a good one.

TE Eric Johnson B

Oddly, two of Johnson's best games have come in the past two weeks with the rookie Davis back in the lineup. But Davis was more involved last week, getting his first catch since returning. That trend is likely to continue, killing what little fantasy value Johnson had.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S1

This one is pretty simple. Brees is on a major fantasy roll and the Niners pass defense is improving but still very suspect.

RB Deuce McAllister S2

McAllister had one of his best games in weeks against the tough Falcon defense. It was his second 2-TD performance in three games. When this high-powered offense gets down near the goal-line, McAllister is the man getting the call. There should be plenty of scoring chances against the Niners' struggling defense.

RB Reggie Bush S3

Bush's numbers took a dive last week as he only touched the ball eight times. That's not going to happen very often as this offense needs Bush's skills to spread opposing defenses, preventing them from stacking the line of scrimmage. He remains a borderline starter for PPR leagues only.

WR Joe Horn (Q) S2

Horn was held back last week due to a difficult matchup in the secondary. That won't be the case this weekend against the Niners.

WR Marques Colston (Q)
S2

Word is that Colston will return this weekend and this is a great matchup for him. The Niners' secondary is down one corner (Shawntae Spencer) and they weren't that good with him in there.

WR Devery Henderson
Terrance Copper
B With Colston back these two will take a back seat in the passing game again. Both will likely see time in 3-WR sets, so some production will continue. Just not the consistent production fantasy owners need.
 

Houston (3-8) at Oakland (2-9)

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Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

Carr may have put up a season high 321 yards last week, but if there's one area the Raiders are actually having success in it's their pass defense. They remain at the top of the league's rankings and will prevent Carr from repeating a fantasy startable performance.

RB Wali Lundy
Samkon Gado
B

These two will be splitting time again facing an Oakland defense that allows 133 YPG on the ground. If one of these backs takes the lead and gets 2/3 of the carries they might pile up barely startable numbers. If you feel lucky, flip a coin, start one of them and hope. My advice would be to look elsewhere for a fantasy back.

WR Andre Johnson S2

Through eleven games the Raiders have allowed just five passing touchdowns to opposing wideouts and only four have been able to gain more than 70 yards (none over 87). Johnson is the primary target in this passing game and he's a beast, but he'll be limited in this difficult matchup.

WR Eric Moulds B

After being forgotten most of the season, the Texans seem to have remembered lately that while Johnson gets all the double-teams there's a very good receiver with single coverage on the other side of the field. In the past two games Moulds has 15 catches, his highest two game total of the season. He may help your team down the road, but not this week.

TE Owen Daniels B

Daniels has carved out a limited role in the Houston passing game, but he hasn't scored in four games and without scores his 3-30 average isn't fantasy worthy.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks B

Brooks has played okay since his return two weeks ago, but the Oakland offense is as anemic now as it's been all year. That may improve with the "demotion" of OC Walsh this week, who was obviously in way over his head. New OC John Shoop was last in charge of the Bears' 2001 offense, known for its hyper-conservative short passing game. Sit back and watch this develop before you even consider starting Brooks.

RB Justin Fargas   U

Since Jordan went down, Fargas has received 33 carries, which is more that Jordan was getting before the injury. But his 84 yards on those carries gives him a poor 2.5 YPC average. Much worse than Jordan's 3.8 YPC. Fargas is a fast, straight ahead runner that will need big plays to make any fantasy noise. He may get a couple this weekend, and will also benefit from increased looks in the short passing game under the play calling of new OC Shoop.

WR Randy Moss B

Moss has been rendered a complete fantasy bust this season and seems to be out there just going through the motions. Well he gets a new play caller now, the only problem is that Shoop is best known for his horizontal passing attack. Moss is about as non-horizontal a receiver as you'll find in the NFL.

TE Randal Williams
John Madsen
B

Brooks has done a good job over the past two weeks getting the tight ends more involved in the passing game. This pair has 11 catches for 164 yards and a score over that span (45% of the passing yardage). With new OC Shoop calling the plays that may continue. But with the production being split and the big unknown of a new OC it's best to avoid this situation for now.

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