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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)  
 
Seattle (8-4) at Arizona (3-9) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Has thrown for just 325 yards in the two games since his return. He could double that this weekend in the warm desert air against the suspect Cardinals defense.

RB Shaun Alexander S1

Running on fresh legs and a healed foot. Welcome back stud.

WR Darrell Jackson S2

This shootout in Arizona should produce plenty of scoring opportunities for both Jackson and ...

WR Deion Branch S3

... Branch. Jackson seems to bet getting the lion's share of the looks since Hasselbeck's return, but Branch has an equally good matchup in the Cardinals' secondary.

WR D. J. Hackett B

Hasselbeck isn't going to need many options beyond the great matchups he can take advantage of in the secondary beyond DJax and Branch.

TE Jerramy Stevens B

Hasselbeck continues to fire passes to his talented tight end with hands of stone. In the past two games he's caught just 3 of 11. The Seahawks are finding much success with 3-WR sets, leaving Stevens out of the mix often.

Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Leinart S3

Leinart's fantasy value just doesn't look to improve much over the remaining games as the matchups are not that favorable. The Arizona offense continues to struggle. The rookie QB hasn't thrown for more than a single touchdown since week six. Maintains a barely startable status this week since it's likely he'll be playing from behind.

RB Edgerrin James S2

The play of the offensive line has improved and James was able to log his first 100-yard game last week against one of the league's worst run defenses. So just when things start to look up for James' owners the Cardinals pull the rug out. Ten times last week they ran a back other than Edge down near the goal-line. A trend that may continue. He may not get you many scores, but James should be able to get the yards. Seattle has given up big yardage games to quality backs all season.

RB Marcel Shipp (P) B Shipp hadn't scored since 2002 and was never known as much of a goal-line back. So who knows what possessed the Cardinals to start inserting him into goal-line situations. I guess you try anything when you're 2-9. Is Shipp the new goal-line stud in Arizona? Only time will tell. Chances are he'll have much fewer opportunities this week.
WR Anquan Boldin
Larry Fitzgerald
S2 The big game potential is still there for these two receivers, but the frequency in which they occur is greatly reduced with Leinart running the show. The Seattle cornerbacks are talented but do give up big plays. Look for both Boldin and Fitzgerald to put up decent numbers.
WR Bryant Johnson B

The Arizona offense just doesn't support a consistently productive #3 WR.

 
Buffalo (5-7) at N.Y. Jets (7-5) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB J.P. Losman B

The Buffalo passing offense is ranked 30th in the league and Losman is ineffective more often then not, rarely putting up startable fantasy numbers. That trend isn't likely to change on the road this week against a solid Jets pass defense that hasn't allowed more than a single passing touchdown in the past five games.

RB Willis McGahee (Q) B

McGahee was held to just 26 yards on 16 carries last week against the stingy Chargers defense and left the game with an ankle injury. He was in a walking boot earlier in the week and sat out practice Wednesday. Both bad signs and indications that at a minimum he'll see only limited action Sunday. Too bad given the horrible Jets run defense he'll face.

RB Anthony Thomas U The A-Train filled in admirably for the injured McGahee a few weeks back and it looks like he may be called on to do it again this week. If he does get the call he's a nice sleeper start against a Jets defense that surrenders 136 rushing yards and a score per game.
WR Lee Evans S2

Evans is the only viable fantasy receiver on the Bills team and has a very good matchup this week with struggling Jets corners Poteat and Coleman. He had his second best game of the season in week three against New York, going 8-for-107.

WR Peerless Price
Roscoe Parrish
Josh Reed
B Beyond primary target Evans the remaining limited production is split randomly amongst these three receivers. Only twice all season has any one of them caught more than four balls.
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chad Pennington (P) S3

Pennington has looked sharp the past two weeks, but both games were against defenses with very suspect secondaries and limited pass rush abilities. Buffalo doesn't meet either of those criteria so Pennington will likely see a drop off in production this week. He only threw for 183 yards and a single touchdown in the week three meeting with the Bills.

RB Cedric Houston (P) S3

With Barlow seemingly out of the picture for now the running load is being carried by both Houston and Washington. Houston got his first start of the season last week and responded with a breakout performance. His 25 touches was twice his previous season high. This is a great matchup against a Bills run defense that's allowed 160 yards per game and six touchdowns over the past five weeks. But given the randomly rotating backfield the Jets have used all season, he carries risk as a fantasy starter.

RB Leon Washington B We are now six weeks removed from Washington's breakout game earlier this season. Now he's been limited to just 12 carries in the past two games and seems to have slid into a backup role behind Houston... for now.
WR Laveranues Coles S3 Coles' production has been up and down this season due to injuries and the general inconsistent play of the offense. Last week was a down and his tough matchup with CB Nate Clements Sunday may produce another down but barely startable outing.
WR Jerricho Cotchery S2

Cotchery's combination of size and speed are a difficult matchup for many cornerbacks. This week will be no different against the overmatched Terrence McGee. Look for another solid game from this talented young receiver.

TE Chris Baker B

In typical fantasy frustration fashion, last week Baker capped off five straight one-catch games by going 4-for-50 and a score. I guess even the obscure tight ends have to score on occasion.

 

Denver (7-5) at San Diego (10-2)

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Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler B

The rookie had a pretty rough debut and now has to go on the road for an even tougher and more important game. Cutler and his big arm couldn't even get the vertical passing game going as he was off target most of the time. Pressure is a rookie quarterback's worst enemy. Welcome to San Diego son. Let me introduce you to the Chargers defense. They just happen to lead the league in sacks. Enjoy your stay.

RB Tatum Bell S3

Tatum return last week gave the Denver running game a much needed boost just in time to face the brick wall of a Shawne Merriman led San Diego run defense. Don't expect much.

RB

Mike Bell

B

With the other Bell healthy, this Bell is nothing more than an occasionally used backup. At least for now. With Denver this season you just never know.

WR Rod Smith B

He wasn't doing much with Plummer at quarterback and the early returns don't show many signs of improvement with Cutler.

WR Javon Walker S3

Walker has a great individual matchup this week with a set of San Diego corners that struggle in coverage. But that shortcoming is typically masked by the intense pressure the Chargers front seven put on opposing quarterbacks. This game should be no different as the inexperienced Cutler will be hard pressed to get the ball down field to his big playmaker.

TE Tony Scheffler B As expected the tight end production had a slight uptick with the rookie under center. Alexander has now caught a touchdown two weeks in a row but may not play due to an ankle injury. The door may finally be opening for the talented rookie tight end that had a great rapport with Cutler in the pre-season.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers S3

Rivers seems to have hit a bit of a wall. Over the past two games he's struggled and thrown for just 293 yards and a single touchdown. Denver's defense may give up the occasional big play in the passing game, but overall they excel in limiting the quarterback production. He is at home so there's a slight chance he can play his way out of this little slump. He put up 222 yards and two touchdowns against the Broncos just three weeks ago and is one of only two QB's to score multiple times against this defense.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Seriously... What more can be said?
WR Eric Parker
Keenan McCardell (Q)
B

Parker continues to be a non-factor and McCardell is still battling a calf injury. There's just nothing here. The offense begins with LT and ends with Gates.

TE Antonio Gates S2

Gates did go for 5-48 in his last meeting with Denver, but the Broncos have been tough on tight ends all season. No tight end has scored on them or gained more than 68 yards.

 

New Orleans (8-4) at Dallas (8-4)

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New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

Brees' streak of big games took a week off for the Reggie Bush show. He'll get back on track this weekend, but don't expect a big game. The Cowboys present one of his most difficult matchups of the season and he may be without his two starting wideouts. The production won't come easily.

RB Deuce McAllister S3

Bush continues to get all the hype, and McAllister continues to carry the Saints' running game. It'll be tough sledding this week however in Dallas. Their defense ranks 4th in the league in stopping the run, allowing just 90 YPG.

RB Reggie Bush (P) S3

Well, it took 13 weeks, but all those early draft picks on Bush finally paid off. Before you go expecting to see that kind of scoring explosion every week, don't forget that it came at home against a tired and weak Niners defense. The Cowboys are not traveling, they are not tired and their defense is anything but weak.

WR Marques Colston (Q)
Joe Horn (Q)
B

Both Horn and Colston are shaping up to game-time decisions again this weekend. Colston hasn't played for weeks and Horn has gutted out a couple of limited starts on a bad groin.

WR Devery Henderson
S3

Henderson has been a beast while filling in for the injured Colston, and he gets an S rating this week just on the fact that he may be the only reliable target Brees has to go to down field. But this matchup is a very difficult one as the Cowboys have three top rated cornerbacks. Without a healthy Colston or Horn, Henderson won't have much room down field.

WR Terrance Copper U Copper scored three straight weeks then disappeared in last week's game. He could be in the starting lineup this week due to the injuries to Horn and Colston. If he is he may make a nice sleeper start if you are in need of a #3 or #4 WR on your team. If either Horn or Colston play Sunday night, forget about Copper.
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S3

Romo has now sandwiched his 5-TD turkey day explosion with two very mediocre 200-yard, zero touchdown games. He should get back on the upswing in this matchup. The Saints have allowed 21 passing touchdowns this season, second most in the league. But the passing attack will likely be limited as the focus will turn this week to the much better matchup for the running game.

RB Julius Jones S3

For the second week in a row Jones ended a game with fewer carries than Barber. In fact, for the second game in a row he had a season low 11 carries. The Saints give up 5.0 YPC on the ground, so this would be a great matchup if you could rely on Jones getting his 20 carries. But that hasn't happened in three of the last four weeks, so it's tough to rely on that now.

RB Marion Barber S2

Barber just keeps on scoring. Last week's two touchdown game was his third in a row and fourth on the season. The Saints present a great matchup for the Cowboys running game and Barber remains a solid fantasy starter even though he'll remain a time-sharing backup to Jones.

WR Terrell Owens S1

This should be a nice flashback game for Owens, as he used to routinely torch the Saints back when he played for the Niners.

WR Terry Glenn S2

Glenn has become a great complement receiver to Owens and is a lock for around 80 yards and a potential score just about every week. The suspect New Orleans corners present another good matchup to exploit.

TE Jason Witten S2

Witten got back on track last week and this is another excellent matchup.

 

Chicago (10-2) at St. Louis (5-7)

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Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman U

Grossman's play is getting worse with each passing week. You may need to sit him depending on your options, but this matchup presents a good opportunity for him to bounce back. The running game will be operating at full force against the sieve like Rams' run defense and that will open up the play-action passing game for Grossman and the aggressive, vertical attack the Bears like to run. Look for him to surprise on Monday night.

RB Thomas Jones S2

Edgerrin James logged his first 100-yard game against the Rams last week and Marcel Shipp, yes Marcel Shipp, scored three touchdowns. That pretty much sums up the Rams run defense and Jones' chances for a good game. Especially with the passing game in the tank.

RB Cedric Benson U

For three games in a row now Benson has been very productive with his 9-10 carries and has scored in the last two games, giving him five touchdowns on the season. It's hard to ignore Benson's explosiveness and ability go pick up the tough yards. Look for him to remain active in the running game and to possibly surprise with another touchdown this week as the Bears will surely focus on running the ball due to the mismatch with the terrible Rams defense and the poor play of their quarterback.

WR Muhsin Muhammad S3

Muhammad hasn't been a fantasy factor for a month now thanks to the struggles in the passing game. That should correct itself Monday night.

WR Bernard Berrian S3

As with the rest of the Bears' passing attack, Berrian has struggled at times lately. But he did put up 104 yards in week 12 and has the skill and speed to break a big play on any down.

TE Desmond Clark

B

The short passing game is a thing of the past now for Chicago. Until it returns Clark isn't a fantasy option. He's caught just four passes in the past four games.

St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger (P) S3

Bulger got back on track last week but did throw a season high three interceptions. This week he gets the pleasure of facing the league's #2 pass defense that's allowed a league low eight passing touchdowns and has pulled in a league high 21 interceptions. His struggling offensive line will make this matchup even tougher.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson is a beast and an every week fantasy start. This week obviously presents a difficult matchup, but the Bears do allow over 100 YPG rushing and Jackson remains very involved in the Rams' passing game.

WR Torry Holt (P) S2

The Bears secondary has given up more than 58 yards to a receiver only once in the past six games and hasn't been scored on in a month. Very difficult matchup for a stud wideout.

WR Isaac Bruce S3

Bruce will spend much of his Monday night matched up against either CB Tillman or Hester. Two corners he has a matchup advantage on. Look for the experienced veteran to have more success than you'd think against Chicago.

WR Kevin Curtis (P) B

It's been a long time since Curtis made a fantasy impact. Five games in fact.

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