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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 15
Whitney Walters
December 14, 2006
Thursday Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Night   Player List by Position  
SF at SEA CLE at BAL NYJ at MIN DEN at ARI KC at SD   Early Injury Status  
Saturday DET at GB PIT at CAR PHI at NYG Monday Night   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
DAL at ATL HOU at NE TB at CHI STL at OAL CIN at IND   (Q): Questionable  
  JAC at TEN WAS at NO       (P): Probable  
  MIA at BUF            
     
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)  
 
San Francisco (5-8) at Seattle (8-5) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Alex Smith B

Teams have been stacking the line of scrimmage to stop Gore and Smith has had some nice matchups over the past two weeks he has failed to take advantage of. He's also thrown seven interceptions in the past three games.

RB Frank Gore S1

Holes in the Seahawks' run defense have been exposed over the last month, starting with the 212 yards Gore put up on them in week 11.

WR Antonio Bryant B

An ineffective quarterback and benched last week for disciplinary reasons. Not a good combination. Despite this somewhat favorable matchup with the Seattle secondary, Bryant should be avoided. Only once in the past six games has he had more than two catches.

WR Arnaz Battle B

From a fantasy perspective Battle has been out performing Bryant over the past 5-6 games. But when your quarterback is completing just 12-14 passes a game, there is no fantasy upside to take advantage of.

TE Vernon Davis S3

Finally a sign of life from the promising rookie. With the down field passing game not clicking, QB Smith has been working the short game lately and looked Davis' way a team high eight times last week. That trend should continue. The Seahawks are solid against tight ends - allowing just 40 YPG to the position and just two touchdowns all season. But Davis is a matchup nightmare and could be the best fantasy option in this passing game for the remainder of the season.

Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Since his return from the knee injury, his yardage has been limited but he's tossed six touchdowns in the past three games. Wallace put up 252 yards and two scores on San Fran on the road in week 11. Hasselbeck should have little trouble surpassing that.

RB Shaun Alexander S1

Has only scored once since returning, but the Niners present a good opportunity for him to find the end-zone again. They've surrendered 16 rushing touchdowns on the season, second most in the league.

WR Deion Branch S3

Branch has not gotten into a groove with his returning quarterback. He's averaged just 3-40 over the past three weeks. With Jackson out this week he may take on a larger role in the passing game, but Hasselbeck seems to be very comfortable working with Hackett.

WR Nate Burleson U Burleson has been a huge bust this season, but he'll get the start for the injured Jackson. He has scored twice this season but has had more than a single catch only three times. But he'll get the looks this week as the starter, and against the weak Niner secondary he could make a nice fill-in #3 WR if you need one.
WR D. J. Hackett S3

Hackett has been a nice surprise for Seattle this season. Even with the Jackson injury the team plans on keeping Hackett in his #3 WR role that enables them to get him in favorable matchups with nickel and dime corners. Against the past two weak secondaries that role has resulted in nice fantasy numbers. It will be no different against the Niners.

TE Jerramy Stevens B

Looks like Hasselbeck and the coaches may have finally lost confidence in their talented tight end with hands of stone. Only one pass went his way last week, compared to the 11 looks he'd received in the previous two games.

 
Dallas (8-5) at Atlanta (7-6) Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S3

For the second game in a row Romo struggled to produce. He's thrown four interceptions in his last two games and isn't getting it done for his team or yours. The Falcons present a very favorable matchup for Romo to get it going again as their secondary will struggle to keep up with Owens and Glenn all night.

RB Julius Jones S3

Jones' 77-yard touchdown last week reminded everyone why he's still the starter for the Cowboys. But then the running game went into the tank against a very beatable Saints run defense. The Falcons are a solid defense but can be run on. Look for Dallas to do just that, and for both Jones and ...

RB Marion Barber S3

... Barber to get back to their normal carry distribution. Giving both a borderline startable status Saturday.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Mr. Terrell "Woe Is Me" Owens matched a season low three catches in last week's dismantling by New Orleans. You can bank on a nice bounce back against a struggling secondary, headed by the highly over rated DeAngelo Hall.

WR Terry Glenn S2

Glenn continues to play at a high level, but remains second fiddle to Owens.

TE Jason Witten S3

Witten's numbers lately are on the low-end for a top tier fantasy tight end. He hasn't scored since week eight, and that score is his only one on the season. Don't expect much to change in this matchup as the focus will be on the mismatches the wideouts have in the secondary.

Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Michael Vick B

It's the same old broken record with Vick this season. The passing isn't there - he hasn't completed over 14 passes in over a month - and if he doesn't gain yards with his rushing he's worth little to his fantasy owners. Dallas has the talent on defense to contain Vick in the pocket and his running game may be limited without Dunn and Norwood, making it easier to focus on him.

RB Warrick Dunn (Q)
Jerious Norwood (Q)
B

No early word on Dunn's or Norwood's playing status, but even if one or both are able to go they will surely be limited.

RB Justin Griffith B

Griffith may be the starting running back for Atlanta Saturday. If so, don't expect much from him against the very stout Dallas run defense.

WR Michael Jenkins
Ashley Lelie (P)
Roddy White
B Jenkins has been the most consistent Falcons wideout this season, but all three have a very difficult time dealing with physical, man-to-man coverage. That is what they will be seeing all night against corners Henry, Newman and Glenn.
TE Alge Crumpler S3

Continues to lead the team in almost all receiving categories but his weekly fantasy value is limit due to a passing game that produces just 8-12 completions per game. Over the past five games Crumpler has scored only once and averaging just 2-3 catches and 40 yards.

 
Cleveland (4-9) at Baltimore (10-3) Back to top
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson B

The team will continue to give the rookie a shot with starter Frye still limited by the wrist injury. It's Baltimore on the road. That about says it all.

RB Reuben Droughns
Jason Wright
B

Over the last month Droughns' rushing numbers in thee games have gone like this - 0 yards, 4 yards and 6 yards. In Cleveland's last meeting with Baltimore, Wright was the leading rusher with 31 yards.

WR Braylon Edwards S3

The Rookie Anderson is looking for his talented young wideout often and Edwards has scored four touchdowns in the past six games. He also had his best game of the season in week three against Baltimore, going 5-116 and scoring a touchdown. The Browns offense however is in a serious funk and both Edwards and ...

WR Joe Jurevicius S3

... Jurevicius get borderline starter ratings due only to the possibility that there will be some late game garbage time catches to boost their numbers.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (Q) B

Winslow's 7-92 game against the Ravens in week three was not only one of his top performances of the season, but it was the only time all year that Baltimore has allowed a tight end to catch more than four passes or 48 yards. The Cleveland passing game is going to be very limited in this rematch so don't expect a repeat performance.

Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Steve McNair S2

McNair had one of his better games of the early season against Cleveland in week three. There are no indications this rematch won't be any different.

RB Jamal Lewis S2

Lewis is averaging just 68 YPG this season and has topped 100 yards rushing only once. On the flip side he's had very few poor games and has scored six touchdowns in the past six games. Consistent with little upside pretty much sums up Lewis this season. This week may be a bit different. The Browns are reeling on defense due to injuries at linebacker and defensive line. They've been gashed for 425 rushing yards in the past two games. Lewis has some upside in this matchup.

WR Derrick Mason (Q) S2

The Browns struggled to cover the Ravens receivers in week three. Mason went 7-132 in that meeting and ...

WR Mark Clayton S2

... Clayton went 8-74. Both have been fairly consistent since HC Billick took over the play calling seven weeks ago and their success should continue against an injury depleted Browns secondary.

TE

Todd Heap

S2 Heap is in a scoring slump, having scored only once in the past six games. A far cry from the five touchdowns he scored in the season's first seven games. But he remains a fantasy starter because he's a primary target in the Ravens' passing game. Odds are slim that a fantasy owner has a better option on his roster.
 

Detroit (2-11) at Green Bay (5-8)

Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S3

Kitna had his best game of the season in week three against Green Bay when he threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns. It's been pretty much down hill from there, as the turnovers continue to haunt Kitna. The Packers pass defense has improved of late and there pass rush should get a boost facing the make-shift Detroit offensive line. With RB Jones out there may be a tendency to pass the ball more in this matchup, maintaining Kitna's fantasy starter status.

RB Arlen Harris S3

With Jones done for the season, Harris is the favorite to pick up most of the touches out of the backfield. He played under OC Mike Martz with the Rams and filled in for him earlier in the season with Jones was banged up. He's also a better receiver out of the backfield then fellow backup Aveion Cason. The Packers can be run on and have allowed over 500 yards rushing in the past three games. But don't expect more than desperation, borderline starter numbers from Harris behind a banged up offensive line.

WR Roy Williams S1

Williams is the only offensive weapon left standing for Detroit. He'll get plenty of action in this matchup with an aging Green Bay secondary.

WR Mike Furrey S2

The surprising Furrey has become a consistent part of the Lions' passing game and has actually out caught Williams in each of the past four games. The Packers' secondary presents another favorable matchup.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

Favre struggled with the Lions last season but torched them in week three. He followed up three poor games with a nice performance last week on the road and should have little trouble keeping the fine play going this weekend back at Lambeau Field.

RB Ahman Green (P) S2

Green had great success against Detroit earlier in the season, and so have many other backs this year. Look for the Lions to get another heavy dose of Green in this rematch.

WR Donald Driver (Q) S1

Another week and another favorable matchup for Driver against a struggling secondary.

WR Greg Jennings S3

Jennings is far removed from the very hot start he had this season. He just hasn't been himself since returning from the sever ankle injury he suffered earlier in the season. One of the rookie's best games was in week three against Detroit (3-101 and a touchdown). A less than 100% Jennings will not have a duplicate effort.

TE David Martin (Q) B Martin is expected back this week but the tight end in Green Bay has become a non-fantasy position.
 
Houston (4-9) at New England (9-4) Back to top
Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

Carr did bounce back a bit last week. But when you throw for just 32 yards that's easy to do. Regardless of matchup Carr just isn't a fantasy option.

RB Ron Dayne B

Dayne didn't get the start last week, but for the second week in a row he was the Texans' leading rusher. His two week total of 182 yards is second only to Lundy's week 7 and 8 total of 206 yards. Houston may stick with Dayne if he can stay productive. But they could just as easily give Lundy the bulk of the load if he gets a hot hand. Until last week teams had found running on the Patriots a difficult task, so the odds of either Dayne or ...

RB Wali Lundy B

... Lundy getting hot and producing for your fantasy team this week are slim at best.

WR Andre Johnson S2

Johnson's hot start to the season - where he had four 100-yard games and four touchdowns in the first seven games - is a distant memory for his owners. He still gets it done most weeks. But the past six games have produced only one touchdown and no 100-yarders. His matchups in the secondary aren't bad this weekend, especially against the struggling CB Hobbs. But with Carr playing so poorly it's hard to get excited about any Johnson matchup these days.

WR Eric Moulds B

Moulds had been good for 3-4 catches each week in his complementary receiver role. But his last two games have been single catch efforts.

TE Owen Daniels B

Daniels has carved out a limited role in the Houston passing game, but he hasn't scored in six weeks and without scores his 3-25 average isn't fantasy worthy. Fellow TE Putzier is also starting to get a few looks each week, further limiting Daniels' potential.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S2

As expected Brady struggled last week against Miami on the road. He'll bounce back with a good game this week when he faces the terrible Houston defense.

RB Corey Dillon S3

With Maroney out last week Dillon carried the backfield load and ended up with a near season high 16 carries. Not what the Patriots want, but what they are stuck with until Maroney returns.

RB Laurence Maroney (Q) B-S3

Maroney's "back" injury kept him sidelined last week and there is no word as to when he will return to action. If he practices this week and is declared fit for game time then he makes a decent start against the porous Houston run defense. But as with any injured Patriot player, he carries a ton of risk.

WR Reche Caldwell S3

Caldwell had an off week with the rest of the New England offense, but he remains Brady's most reliable down field target. He should have a very productive afternoon against a Houston secondary that struggles in coverage.

WR Troy Brown B

Brown stays active in the passing game but rarely will produce fantasy worthy numbers. The ball is spread around too much in the passing game and he's still being called on at times to play defensive back.

TE Ben Watson (Q) B

Watson suffered a leg injury early last week that may keep him out Sunday.

TE Daniel Graham (Q) S3 If Watson remains out and Graham can play, he will fill in and should perform well given the limited options Brady has in the passing game.
 
Jacksonville (8-5) at Tennessee (6-7) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard S3

After a couple of games of improved play, Garrard had little to do in last week's dismantling of the Colts with the running game. Garrard may have thrown for three touchdowns in his first meeting with the Titans this season, but this will be another running affair. Don't expect more than 20-25 passing attempts, but for Garrard to be effective with those limited chances.

RB Fred Taylor (P) S2-S3

Taylor touched the ball a season low nine times last week, but that's all it took to register a season high 131 rushing yards. He faces another porous run defense this week but could be slowed by the minor hamstring "tweak" he suffered in last week's game. If he is he falls to an S3 rating.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (P)

S3-S2

MJD has scored in five straight games now and is an every week fantasy start despite his limited touches. This is another prime matchup with the Titans' 28th ranked run defense. Not as good as the Colts' 32nd ranking last week, but good enough. If Taylor is limited by his hamstring injury then Jones-Drew upgrades to an S2.

WR Matt Jones U Last week was a mulligan for Jones and the entire Jacksonville passing game. Even with the non-existent passing game he led the team in looks from Garrard. That three game trend will continue and actually generate some decent fantasy points this weekend. The starting corners for Tennessee average 5-10 in height, eight inches below the top of Jones' head.
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 12 in the past three 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. The passing game is just too limited to support a #3 WR. It barely supports a fantasy viable #1 WR.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young B Young continues to progress, but the Titans still seek to limit him to 20-25 pass attempts per game. So his passing game fantasy value is very limited. It's his rushing that has made him a decent fill-in for some teams. He's rushed for 282 yards in the past four games and has scored a rushing TD every other game since week five. This is an "other" week and one of his other "other" weeks was earlier this season against the Jags. Their defense is just too good for Young to be a fantasy option this week.
RB Travis Henry (Q) B

Henry sprained his ankle in the big win last week and his status for Sunday is unknown. He may try to give it a go, but going against the Jags' #4 run defense on a bum ankle isn't promising for your fantasy team.

RB LenDale White (Q) B White was a game day scratch due to an illness last week and his status for the Jacksonville game is up in the air.
RB Chris Brown B Due to the injuries to Henry and White it may be Brown getting the call Sunday. At a minimum he'll likely see some action.
WR Drew Bennett (Q) B

Bennett leads the way in the WR corps and is the only wideout with a 100-yard game to his credit (he has three) this season. The passing game is too limited and the ball is being spread around too much for him to be a reliable fantasy option.

TE Bo Scaife (Q) S3

Scaife has been a bit limited due to injury but remains one of Young's favorite targets, especially in the red-zone. With the wideouts limited by the fine secondary play of Jacksonville this week, Scaife will see a few extra looks if his bum ankle doesn't limit his ability to play.

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