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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 14
Whitney Walters
December 7, 2006
Thursday Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
CLE at PIT IND at JAC OAK at CIN GB at SF NO at DAL   Early Injury Status  
Sunday Early MIN at DET PHI at WAS SEA at ARI Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
ATL at TB NE at MIA TEN at HOU BUF at NYJ CHI at STL   (Q): Questionable  
BAL at KC NYG at CAR   DEN at SD     (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)  
 
Cleveland (4-8) at Pittsburgh (5-7) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson B

Early word is that Frye's wrist will keep him out and the rookie will get the start. Don't be fooled by his surprising 2-TD performance in relief last week. This is a tough game on the road and the Steelers will bring lots of pressure on the immobile QB.

RB Reuben Droughns
Jason Wright
B

The mess that is the Browns' backfield gained a bit of clarity last week. Droughns returned to the starting position and White was his primary backup. Droughns had a very productive 5.0 YPC day, but Wright struggled running the ball. This shared backfield appears to be set. The Browns will surely wish to establish the run, but shared production against a tough Pittsburgh defense is no answer for your fantasy team. Both will end up with around 60 total yards.

WR Braylon Edwards S3

Edwards isn't necessarily a bad matchup here as he had his biggest game of the season three weeks ago against Pittsburgh. But being on the road this time with a rookie quarterback makes a repeat performance highly unlikely.

WR Joe Jurevicius B

Popped back up on the fantasy radar with his biggest game of the season last week, going 6-75. The previous three games he'd accounted for just 5-39. Nothing to see here, just keep moving.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (Q) S3

In an oddity this season, Winslow had a season low three passes go his way last week, and none until the fourth quarter. He's now had three subpar games in a row and any time you have a quarterback change it can spell doom for a tight end since check-downs may become infrequent. But both Steelers safeties are out due to injury and Winslow is a primary target enough to potentially avoid a serious drop in production.

Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S3

Big Ben put up 272 yards and two scores on Cleveland three weeks ago. The production could be more difficult to come by in this rematch. With the short week it's not likely Ward or the recently injured Wilson will be available targets. Look for more of an emphasis on the running game and barely startable numbers from Roethlisberger.

RB Willie Parker  S1

A big rivalry game at home and a limited WR corps. Look for Parker to get the rock early and often in this matchup with the average at best Cleveland run defense.

WR Nate Washington
Santonio Holmes
S3

With Ward and now Wilson out, Washington and rookie Holmes are the starting wideouts for the Steelers this week. Washington is a great long-ball threat and Holmes is improving and very explosive. Both should be able to put up okay numbers but will be limited by a likely scaled back passing game.

TE Heath Miller B

Even with the injuries at wideout Miller is still seeing only a few looks in the passing game. He will get you a score about every fourth game, but that's not enough for fantasy owners.

 
Atlanta (6-6) at Tampa Bay (3-9) Back to top
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick S3

May have found the end-zone twice last week, but his two game total of just 17 completed passes is a season low point. But with Vick it's all about the rushing, and in week two he torched the Bucs for 127 yards and a touchdown, his highest fantasy production of the season on the ground.

RB Warrick Dunn S3

Dunn received 21 carries last week, his first 20-plus effort in a month. The results were good and you can bet the Falcons will continue to emphasize the running game since their passing game is horrible. Norwood's improved play and explosiveness will keep limiting Dunn's upside.

RB Jerious Norwood U

The explosive rookie dipped back under 10 carries last week, but as his 69-yard score showed, he's a threat to make a big play every week.

WR Michael Jenkins U Jenkins has been the most consistent Falcons wideout but makes a risky fantasy start given the continued struggles of the Atlanta passing game. The Tampa secondary has given up a league worst 23 receiving touchdowns this season.
WR Ashley Lelie
Roddy White
B A complete waste of fantasy roster space.
TE Alge Crumpler S1

When your QB only completes 8-12 passes a game it takes being his primary target to be of any fantasy use. Thankfully for fantasy owners that's the case with Crumpler.

Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Bruce Gradkowski B

The Falcons may have one of the worst pass defenses statistically, allowing over 250 YPG, but that's not enough to warrant playing this struggling rookie QB.

RB Carnell Williams S3

The formula remains the same for the Bucs. Run Cadillac to take the pressure off their struggling rookie quarterback. Unfortunately the offense is playing so bad the formula isn't working. The inexperienced offensive line just isn't getting the job done up front. Williams hasn't scored since week three and has had over 20 carries just once in the past six games.

WR Joey Galloway S3

Now that Clayton is done for the year, the passing game for Tampa will begin and end with Galloway. He'll remain the top wideout for Tampa, but his upside is limited. Even when he gets open down field, Gradkowski's lack of arm strength prevents taking advantage.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Hilliard is the expected candidate to fill in for the injured Clayton, but he's no more likely to be of use to your fantasy team than Clayton was.

TE Anthony Becht
Alex Smith (Q)
B

Smith and Becht split what little tight end production there is in this offense.

 
Baltimore (9-3) at Kansas City (7-5) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

Another tough road matchup for McNair and the Baltimore passing game. He'll continue to carry the offense and put up startable fantasy numbers against the average Kansas City defense.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

Lewis hasn't topped 100 yards rushing since week eight and the Chiefs haven't surrendered a 100-yard game to an opposing back since week six. Not exactly the kind of trends that present big game potential. On the plus side Lewis is the team's battering ram when they get close to the goal-line. He's scored five touchdowns in the past five games.

WR Derrick Mason S2

Mason has come on of late and is a solid matchup this week against the aging and beatable Kansas City corners.

WR Mark Clayton S3 Since Clayton's stretch of four solid games out of five, he's put up two forgettable performances. With Mason clicking now and Heap always there, the #3 option isn't very viable for fantasy teams.
TE

Todd Heap

S1 The best weapon in the Ravens' passing game and will play a big role against the Chiefs' cover 2 zone schemes. Like many that run those zone coverages, the Chiefs struggle to stop top tier tight ends.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green U

Green may have finally got it going last week in Cleveland, but the Ravens present a very difficult matchup. He'll be pressured all afternoon by a defense that's logged 41 sacks this season and pulled in 20 interceptions. If given the time however, he could make a few big plays down field. The Ravens secondary seems to give up a few each game.

RB Larry Johnson S2

Still a solid fantasy starter, but no running back is a stud start against Baltimore. The Ravens hold opposing backfields to just 65 YPG on the ground and with their last game being a Thursday nighter they will be well rested.

WR Eddie Kennison U

The Chiefs finally opened up the passing game with Green last week and the result was a nice game from Kennison. In fact, it was his best fantasy outing of the season. That would be hard to repeat against any opponent, let alone the Ravens. But CB Rolle has struggled with deep coverage this season and Kennison may be good for a big play or two.

WR Samie Parker B Parker has caught more than a single pass in only two of the past seven games.
TE Tony Gonzalez (P) S2

Back to his fantasy stud ways, but gets the Ravens downgrade this week.

 

Indianapolis (10-2) at Jacksonville (7-5)

Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S2

In this offense, stud potential is always there. Three of Manning's past four games have been single touchdown affairs and that's all he put up on Jacksonville back in week three. The Jags see Manning and Co. twice a season and pressure him better than most teams.

RB Dominic Rhodes B

The mid-season slump seems to be behind Rhodes as he's averaged 75 total yards over the past four games and found the end-zone again last week. He doesn't have the quicks of his rookie running mate, but it seems he'll continue to get his touches. Just not enough to warrant plugging him into your fantasy lineup.

RB Joseph Addai S3

Addai's worst game of the season came in week three against the Jags. The matchup is equally tough this time around and the talented rookie's fantasy potential will continue to be limited by the presence of Rhodes in the running game.

WR Marvin Harrison
Reggie Wayne
S2

Harrison, Wayne - Wayne, Harrison. No matter how the offense flows in the passing game, these two are every week fantasy starters.

TE Ben Utecht
Bryan Fletcher
B

Even with Clark out, Utecht only managed his third straight 18-yard game. He did have a touchdown catch called back on penalty however. Fletcher took the lead role in the passing game last week. So one TE falls out of the mix and another steps in and we end up with the same split production that is of little value to fantasy players.

Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard B

Garrard hasn't proven to be the answer at quarterback for the Jags, and he's surely not for your fantasy team. In his six starts he's averaging just 180 YPG and has thrown a touchdown in only half of those games.

RB Fred Taylor S2

This is a running team and Taylor continues to be the primary ball carrier. He should easily get 20-plus carries in this matchup with the Colts, who are giving up 160 YPG rushing and are still stuck at the bottom of the run defense rankings.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (P) S3

Four straight games with a touchdown. Even with the limited touches it's hard to ignore that kind of production. Jones-Drew's only 100-yard rushing game of the season came against these Colts in week three.

WR Matt Jones U The production seems to be finally sliding Jones' way. He's caught a touchdown in each of the past two games and his 128 yards last week was the first 100-yard game for a Jacksonville receiver this season.
WR Reggie Williams B

Garrard seems to be settling into a comfort zone with Williams. After five straight games with either zero or one catch, Williams has nine in the past two games. Nice to see his production increase, but it's not enough for fantasy owners to bother with.

WR Ernest Wilford B Since his two touchdowns in week nine, Wilford has been only a bit player in the passing game, catching more than two balls only once.
TE George Wrighster (P) B

The Jacksonville tight ends are only catching about one pass per game, but over the past two games two of them have been for touchdowns. Wrighster seems to be the target of choice, but both Lewis and Brady are active.

 
Minnesota (5-7) at Detroit (2-10) Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brad Johnson B

Johnson's play has been tailing off all season and it came crashing down last week against the Bears. There is some talk about benching him permanently, but Bollinger is the only experienced QB behind him and he came out of last week's game injured. Even with this favorable matchup it's best to steer clear of this situation.

RB Chester Taylor (D) B

Detroit may be a nice rushing matchup, but Taylor is banged up with bruised ribs. He's likely to play through the pain Sunday, but expect him to receive limited touches. Fason may take the tough goal-line carries and Moore may play more on third downs.

RB Ciatrick Fason U If Taylor ends up sitting this game out, Fason would reap most of the benefit from facing the weak Detroit defense. If Fason starts he makes a nice sleeper pick this week.
WR Marcus Robinson (P) B Despite the missed time due to injury, Robinson had been the most consistent fantasy receiver in a Viking uniform. He would make a borderline fantasy start this week against Detroit, but the horrible play of QB Johnson limits his potential.
WR Travis Taylor B

Even with the passing game's poor performance of late the ball is still being spread all over the field. Ten different players have been in the mix the past two games.

TE Jermaine Wiggins (P) B

Wiggins played through his knee injury last week that is expected to keep him sidelined this week.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S3

The turnovers keep piling up for Kitna, but so does just enough offensive production to make him a borderline fantasy starter against the struggling Minnesota pass defense.

RB Kevin Jones S3

Jones received 26 touches last week, a good sign that his ankle won't be a problem going forward. The Vikings are flat-out stuffing the run, but Jones keeps his fantasy value thanks to his consistent production in the short passing game. He's on pace for 90 receptions this season.

WR Roy Williams S2

A stud receiver stuck in a passing offense that's barely alive. He has a good matchup this week with a struggling Minnesota secondary and is due for a touchdown.

WR Mike Furrey U

The passing game is struggling but Furrey continues to be a fine complement to Williams. He's getting it done almost every week now and caught his fourth touchdown of the season last week, the same number of scores as Williams. The Vikings' secondary presents another favorable matchup.

 
New England (9-3) at Miami (5-7) Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

Brady had his lowest output of the season in week five against Miami, and traditionally struggles against them. He's averaged just 140 YPG over the past five meetings, but does on average toss a couple of touchdowns in each. Sounds about right for this rematch on the road.

RB Corey Dillon S3

Even with Maroney out last week Dillon carried the ball only nine times. Three were for touchdowns however. With Maroney possibly sidelined this week Dillon could see an uptick in carries. But don't expect much. Even with the light load he's shouldered so far this season he still looks slow out there and will start to run out of gas after a dozen or so carries. If Maroney sits this one out Dillon will share time with Faulk and Pass.

RB Laurence Maroney (Q) B

Maroney either suffered a "wind knocked out of him" injury last week or a concussion, depending on who and what you want to believe. Bottom line is that we will have no idea of Maroney's playing status until we either see him on the field or on the sidelines Sunday. It's fantasy playoff time and most teams can't afford to take that kind of risk. Unless he's practicing full speed during the week, fantasy owners should find another option.

WR Reche Caldwell S3

Caldwell's upside remains limited due to the "spread it around" approach to the Patriots passing attack, but last week's 8-112 performance was a season best. Miami presents a difficult challenge and Caldwell is a borderline starter this week at best.

WR Doug Gabriel
Troy Brown
Chad Jackson (Q)
Jabar Gaffney
B

The ball is being spread all over the field and the Pats are constantly rotating their receivers. The most consistent of this bunch lately has been Brown, but no Patriot receiver beyond Caldwell is worth your time.

TE Ben Watson S1

While the Miami defense has been playing great, one area that they continue to struggle in is tight end coverage. They give up about 50 YPG to the position and have been scored on in each of the past two games.

Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Joey Harrington S3

Harrington started his 2006 campaign against the Patriots in week five. Since then he's struggled at times but is playing with more confidence of late. With RB Brown still out the offensive game plan will again feature the passing attack. There are plenty of matchups to take advantage of down field with the talent of Chambers, Booker and McMichael.

RB

Sammy Morris (P)

B

Morris will get one more start for the injured Brown. He was limited last week against the Jags' #5 rush defense and will be again facing New England's #3 rush defense.

WR Chris Chambers S2

When a receiver gets the looks Chambers does the hope is that he pays off for your team more often than not. That's been a hit-and-miss proposition however for this talented wideout. Against the banged up and struggling New England secondary odds are good that his fantasy owners will get another hit.

WR Marty Booker S2 Booker has developed a nice chemistry with Harrington and has caught three touchdowns in the past two games. He's become a solid complement receiver to Chambers and is benefiting from the extra coverage Chambers is getting down field and in the red-zone. Maintains his fantasy starter status against the injury riddled Pats secondary.
WR Wes Welker (P) B

Since Booker has taken on a bigger role in the passing game, Welker's has shrunk. He maxes out at 4-5 catches most weeks.

TE Randy McMichael B

The passing attack led by Harrington just doesn't seem to go McMichael' way very often. In the past five games he's averaging just three catches for 25 yards in each. He always presents a difficult matchup for secondaries due to his size and speed. But if the Dolphins aren't going to use him consistently he's of little use to your fantasy team.

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