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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)  
 
N.Y. Giants (6-6) at Carolina (6-6) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2 Manning played himself out of his slump somewhat last week, a good sign going on the road against what has been a very solid pass defense this season. But the Panthers did give up their only 300-yard, 3-TD game of the year last week to the rarely impressive Garcia. Anther good sign for Manning.
RB Tiki Barber S2

Barber hasn't cracked 100 yards rushing in a month but continues to pile up the total yards (143 last week). The Panthers offer nothing special in the way of defensive opposition. A similar all-purpose back (Westbrook) put up 124 yards on them Monday night.

RB Brandon Jacobs S3 It's the same story every week with Jacobs. Very few carries (only five last week) but almost always at least one scoring opportunity.
WR Plaxico Burress S2

Despite the heat Burress has taken lately, he's been very consistent for his fantasy owners. He's scored in each of the past three games, giving him eight on the year. CB Lucas presents a tough matchup for Burress, but beyond him the Panthers are at a serious disadvantage in the secondary. Look for New York to work Burress into those advantageous matchups.

WR Tim Carter
David Tyree
B Neither of these receivers have been active in the passing game since starting to fill in for Toomer. Between them they have just 13 catches in the last four games.
TE Jeremy Shockey S1

Shockey continues to help fill the void left by Toomer's exit. Guess which defense ranks last in fantasy points allowed by tight ends. That's right, Carolina. They simply don't have the linebackers or safeties to cover a top tier tight end like Shockey.

Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme (Q) S3

Delhomme broke out of the two game slump he'd been in but still made drive killing mistakes late in the game. The Giants last four opponents have averaged 250 yards passing per game, which would place them close to the bottom of the pass defense rankings. Despite this good matchup Delhomme is a borderline start due to the risk of his thumb injury.

RB Deshaun Foster (P) B

Foster's elbow injury kept him sidelined again last week but the early word is he'll try to play this weekend. Running apparently isn't the problem, it's his ability to block. So if he does play he may be limited to non-passing downs.

RB DeAngelo Williams S3

Since Foster went down, Williams has shown why everyone was so high on him. The rookie has fresh legs and has accounted for nearly 400 yards of offense in the past three games. With Foster possibly returning to action, Williams' potential could be limited.

WR Steve Smith S1

Smith has been scoring every week but hasn't had a big game since week 10. The New York secondary presents a golden opportunity for another one. If Delhomme ends up not playing Smith gets an obvious downgrade.

WR Keyshawn Johnson U

Johnson is definitely back in the passing game plan, especially when the Panthers get down near the goal-line. But this is still Smith's party and KJ only gets the leftovers. Most weeks that'll mean about 50 yards and a possible score. This matchup will be no different but has a slight upside given the suspect play of the Giants corners. If Delhomme ends up not playing Johnson moves to your bench.

 
Oakland (2-10) at Cincinnati (7-5) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Aaron Brooks B

Week one of the John Shoop era wasn't much of an overall improvement even though Brooks did pass for a season high 238 yards last week. The Bengals may rank as the worst pass defense in yards allowed, but now is no time to turn your fantasy hopes over to any one wearing the silver and black.

RB Justin Fargas   U

This is a similar defensive matchup to last week's against Houston. Fargas' fantasy potential is limited however by the anemic Oakland offense and the use of both Lee and Crockett in both the running and short passing game.

WR Randy Moss U

Moss' 4-44 performance last week was his best in a month. This matchup may give Moss owners one last shot at getting some value for that draft pick. Cincinnati's Tory James has been abused all season and if Moss can pull his head out of you-know-where for at least half of this game he could surprise with a decent fantasy outing.

TE Randal Williams (P) S3

Williams has been the most consistently productive Raider receiver over the past month and he led all players with six receptions last week. The tight end will play a key role in the new conservative passing game Oakland will run now.

Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

It's only been a matter of time, but this is the week the wheels finally fall off the best pass defense in the league. Look for at least 250 yards and two touchdowns out of Palmer.

RB Rudi Johnson S2

Rudi and the running game struggled last week as expected against Baltimore. He'll bet back on track facing an Oakland defense that's given up 436 yards and five touchdowns rushing in the last three games.

WR Chad Johnson S2

Johnson is an elite receiver and has been on a serious roll. He get a slight downgrade this week due to the fine play of the Oakland corners. Look for both Johnson and ...

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh (P) S2 ... TJ to find the going difficult when matched up with CB Asomugha. The Bengals will move them around and take advantage of the better matchups away from Asomugha.
WR Chris Henry U

Henry is a hit-or-miss fantasy prospect that hasn't had more than five catches in a game all season but does find the end-zone. With CJ and TJ locked in a tough battle with Oakland's starting corners, Palmer may look Henry's way a few more times in this matchup.

 
Philadelphia (6-6) at Washington (4-8) Back to top
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia (P) S2

Garcia proved to be tough and effective against Carolina on Monday night. This week's matchup with Washington presents an easier task. The Redskins' pass defense has allowed a league high 23 touchdowns, pulled in a league low five interceptions and generated a league low 15 sacks.

RB Brian Westbrook (P) S1

The Redskins may have allowed just a league low four rushing touchdowns this season, but they are not stopping the run. Over the last month they have given up nearly 150 rushing yards a game to opposing backfields - including the 113 Westbrook put up on them in week 10.

WR Donte' Stallworth S3 An effective Garcia means fantasy hope for Stallworth owners. He and fellow wideout Brown were targeted a team high nine times Monday night. Stallworth remains the only big-play threat for the Eagles and you can bet they will take a few shots down field against the suspect Washington secondary. He smoked them for 139 yards and a score in week 10.
WR

Reggie Brown

B

With Garcia under center Brown and Stallworth have been equally active in the passing game. For Brown that translates into a much more conservative fantasy output. Typically of the non-startable variety.

TE L.J. Smith S2

Smith unexpectedly disappeared from the passing attack Monday night despite the big game from Garcia. Consider that an oddity that won't likely repeat. The true West Coast style offense being run now by Philly will continue to feature the tight end and the cover 2 zone schemes run by the Redskins' defense is vulnerable to a top tier tight end.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell B

The poor play of Brunell against Philly in week 10 was the final nail in his playing coffin. Now Campbell will get his shot at the Eagles. Campbell has shown some promise but was flustered by Atlanta's pressure last week. Look for the Eagles to attempt the same and for Campbell's numbers to remain limited.

RB Ladell Betts S2

The running game is in full force now for Washington and Betts owners are reaping the benefits. He's carried the ball 52 times and rushed for 259 yards in the past two games against solid defenses. That's a better two game stretch than Portis had all season. Opposing backs have put up over 600 yards and five touchdowns rushing on the Eagles defense in the past month.

WR Santana Moss S2

Moss' hamstring finally appears healed and his young QB with the rocket arm is learning to find him deep. His matchup with the overrated CB Lito Sheppard will pay off for fantasy owners this weekend despite QB Campbell's growing pains.

WR Brandon Lloyd
Antwaan Randle El
B The passing game is going to be somewhat limited under Campbell and that limited production will be focused primarily on Moss and Cooley. Lloyd may not even play Sunday due to disciplinary reasons stemming from last week's game.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley remains a favorite target for new QB Campbell and was about the only thing working in the passing game last time these teams met.

 

Tennessee (5-7) at Houston (4-8)

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Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young B

Young is gaining some confidence and becoming a more effective passer. He still has a ways to go but thanks to his 50-80 rushing yards per game lately he's no longer a no-brainer bench each week. But his downside potential is still too high for most owners. Even though the Texans rank near the bottom in pass defense their play in that area has improved greatly since the first month of the season. They held Young to just 87 passing yards in their week eight matchup.

RB Travis Henry B

The going will be a bit tougher this weekend for Henry. The Texans run defense has improved and they've held the past four backfields to just 65 YPG on the ground. They also limited Henry to just 29 yards in week eight. The Texans will likely bring some extra bodies up to force Tennessee to throw the ball more.

RB LenDale White (Q) B White appears to be healthy again and got 4 carries last week. He'll likely get closer to his usual eight against the Texans.
WR Drew Bennett
Bobby Wade
Brandon Jones
B

All three of these receivers have shown some promise lately. Both Bennett and Jones have scored twice in the past five games. Unfortunately the passing game is so limited under Young that they typically only pull in 1 to 3 balls a game. Very often it's just one.

TE Bo Scaife S3

Since Troupe went down, Scaife has caught seven balls over the past two games. That's more than any wideout. He's been a bit limited due to injury but remains one of Young's primary targets, especially in the red-zone.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

Regardless of matchup Carr just isn't a fantasy option. Amazingly the Texans won last week with him passing for only 32 yards, and he's thrown just one touchdown in the past six games. His play should improve this week against a Titans team with a weak secondary and not much of a pass rush.

RB Wali Lundy B

Lundy got the early touchdown last week but gave way to Dayne in the second half. Indications are that may continue (see below), making Lundy of little fantasy use even in this favorable matchup with the porous Titans run defense.

RB Ron Dayne U The fantasy headache that just won't go away. The Texans dusted Dayne off last week after a month absence and gave him 18 carries. Carries that proved to be very productive against the weak Oakland run defense. Tennessee's is even worse. Rumblings out of Houston are that the coaches feel Dayne is a "second half" type of back. A straight ahead power runner that can succeed later in games when opposing defenses are worn down. Most of his 18 carries last week came in the second half and that trend may continue. If it does (a risky proposition given the RB history here) Dayne could surprise again facing a Titans' defense that gives up 144 rushing YPG.
WR Andre Johnson S2

Even with the Texans' struggles in the passing game, there's been just enough to keep Johnson in fantasy starter status every week. Last week's 1-9 stinker should prove to be a singular anomaly. It won't even come close to happening again. Especially not against Tennessee's 28th ranked pass defense.

WR Eric Moulds B

Toss out last week's fiasco against Oakland. Moulds has shown signs lately of being a productive complementary receiver to the double-team drawing Johnson. That role could pay off with another surprise performance against the struggling Titans' secondary.

TE Owen Daniels B

Daniels has carved out a limited role in the Houston passing game, but he hasn't scored in five games and without scores his 3-25 average isn't fantasy worthy.

 

Green Bay (4-8) at San Francisco (5-7)

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Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre 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

The Packers' offensive line continues to deal with injuries and poor play, but as last week showed, give them a porous run defense to work against and they can get Green some decent numbers. The Niners qualify as another porous run defense.

WR Donald Driver S2

As Favre struggles he continues to lean on the one familiar face he has - Driver. Don't look for that to change any time soon. Keep Driver in your lineup this week as he has another favorable matchup with the struggling Niners defense.

WR Greg Jennings S3

Since Jennings' ankle injury (that kept him out or limited for three games) he's been just a shadow of his early season self. Through week five he had 359 yards and three touchdowns. In the five games since the injury he has just 197 yards and no scores. He seems to be back in the flow of the offense but there are concerns from the team that he may still bothered by the injury, limiting his greatest asset, down field speed. Whatever the reason, the big plays that were once there are now going to Driver. Until he's 100% his big game potential is limited.

TE Bubba Franks B Martin remains out and ol' Bubba continues to fill in. The tight end in Green Bay has become a non-fantasy position.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith U

Smith couldn't take advantage of his good matchup last week. Odds are good however that he can pay off for fantasy owners in this great matchup. Green Bay ranks 30th in passing yards allowed and dead last in passing touchdowns allowed. Smith also seems to play better at home.

RB Frank Gore S1

The entire Niner team fell apart last week in New Orleans (their third road game in four weeks) and Gore had his worst game of the season. Forty yards on just 13 carries. Back home in a much more even matchup, look for Gore to bounce back and add another big game to his growing list of accomplishments this season.

WR Antonio Bryant S2

Bryant has been inconsistent right along with the Niners passing game. This week presents a very good matchup however. The Packers' secondary outside of CB Woodson has played poorly all season.

WR Arnaz Battle S3

Battle continues to put up decent but unspectacular numbers opposite Bryant. He rarely gets you more than his 4-40 average but has scored as many touchdowns as Bryant. His favorable matchup with the Green Bay secondary provides a good chance at an above average performance.

TE Vernon Davis B

With Johnson out, the rookie Davis is getting his chance. Unfortunately he's not taking advantage. He's still struggling with the playbook and system and is a complete non-factor.

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