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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 17
Whitney Walters
December 29, 2006
Saturday Sunday Early Sunday Early Sunday Late Sunday Late   Player List by Position  
NYG at WAS DET at DAL PIT at CIN ARI at SD MIA at IND   Early Injury Status  
Sunday Early JAC at KC STL at MIN ATL at PHI SF at DEN   (O): Out    (D): Doubtful  
CAR at NO NE at TEN SEA at TB BUF at BAL Sunday Night   (Q): Questionable  
CLE at HOU OAK at NYJ     GB at CHI   (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 (7-8) at Washington (5-10) Back to top
Playoff Picture: NYG - Playing for a spot.  
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S3

This is a solid matchup with the terrible Washington pass defense. But when you go out and throw for just 74 yards in a game that included a single 55 yard touchdown, you have serious concerns about Manning's ability to get it done.

RB Tiki Barber S1

The Redskins' run defense is average at best and they have nothing to play for. The Giants and Barber do.

RB Brandon Jacobs B Jacobs was inactive last week due to injury and he may not see the ball much in this matchup even if he plays.
WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress saved a goose egg last week with his single 55 yard touchdown catch. There is no other Giants wideout with any fantasy play and Burress has been very consistent given the continued poor play of his quarterback. The Shawn Springs-less Redskins secondary continues to play poorly as well though.

TE Jeremy Shockey (Q) S1

The offense is much more efficient with they involve the ultra-talented Shockey heavily in the passing game.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell B

The Giants may be a weak pass defense that will be even weaker with no DE Strahan, but the best Campbell has done in a month is 217 yards and a touchdown. This team is going to run the ball all afternoon and Campbell has little fantasy upside. He's completed just 13 passes in each of the past two games.

RB Ladell Betts S2

The Giants run defense isn't as weak as many Betts has faced recently, but he's rushed for 100-plus yards in five straight games, averaging 27 carries in each. He'll get the touches and will continue to produce. His downside of course is the meaningless game for Washington.

WR Santana Moss S3

Moss' production remains low due to the limited passing attack being employed now with Campbell at QB. But he's developing a nice chemistry with Campbell, who looks his way often down field. There are matchup advantages to be had down field, but don't expect much production in this offense.

WR Brandon Lloyd
Antwaan Randle El
B If the Washington wideout's last name isn't Moss he isn't worth your time.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Cooley has been Campbell's most consistent option outside of Moss in the passing attack and that's not going to change.

 

Carolina (7-8) at New Orleans (10-5)

Back to top
Playoff Picture: CAR - Playing for a spot.   NO - Clinched division and bye.  
Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jake Delhomme (P) or
Chris Weinke (P)
B

Delhomme is back to practice and may return to the starting lineup this week. But it won't be known for sure until game time. Either way you'd be better off finding a surer option. Weinke is playing horribly and Delhomme was struggling before the thumb injury.

RB Deshaun Foster
DeAngelo Williams
S3

Prior to last week's run fest, Foster had just 15 carries in the prior two games and Williams had only four. Last week the Panthers ran the ball a season high 52 times with the load mostly being split between the two backs. Expect that pattern to continue in this matchup but with fewer carries for each - and less of a fantasy impact.

WR Steve Smith S3

Smith hasn't approached a 100-yard game in over a month and got shutout... yes... shutout last week. He remains a stud with great potential, but with the passing game a mess under Weinke and likely nothing to play for by kickoff, Smith is a risk to rely on this week.

WR Keyshawn Johnson B

Couple of catches and 40 yards if you're lucky.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S3

With New Orleans unable to improve its playoff position, look for their stars to start the game but head to the bench after about a half. The team will likely score at least two touchdowns by that time and be in the lead. All Saints are a fantasy risk this week.

RB Deuce McAllister S3

Ditto for McAllister.

RB Reggie Bush S3

Ditto for Bush.

WR Marques Colston S3

Ditto for Colston

WR Devery Henderson
S3

Ditto for Henderson.

WR Joe Horn (D) B Horn will rest one more week and hopes to return for the playoffs.
WR Terrance Copper (Q) B Suffered a sprained ankle last week. They will likely rest him Sunday.
 
Cleveland (4-11) at Houston (5-10) Back to top
Playoff Picture: None.  
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ken Dorsey B

The passing game wasn't going anywhere when guided by Frye or Alexander, so there's no reason to think it will suddenly come to life with Dorsey running the show.

RB Reuben Droughns S3

With Wright placed on IR last week, Droughns carried the full load in the backfield. The result - 19 carries and 92 yards. His third highest yardage total of the season. Look for Houston to be just about as forgiving.

WR Braylon Edwards
Joe Jurevicius (Q)
B

The size of both Edwards and Jurevicius present matchup problems for most secondaries. Unfortunately the Cleveland passing game isn't giving them enough of a chance to make any fantasy noise.

TE Kellen Winslow Jr. (Q) S3

Winslow will end the season as the top pass catcher for the Browns and their most consistent fantasy performer. Unfortunately that consistency has taken a hit with Anderson under center. He's averaging about 35 YPG in the past month and hasn't scored since week eight.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Carr B

The past four games have brought a TOTAL of 462 passing yards and a single touchdown. This could very well be Carr's last game in a Texans uniform.

RB Ron Dayne (P) S2

December has been the month of Dayne in Houston. Over the past four games he's rushed for 429 yards and scored five touchdowns. He closes out what may be his best season in years against another terrible run defense.

WR Andre Johnson S3 Has the talent and skills to be an impact player - as we saw through the first half of the season. The second half has been another story. He's averaging just 55 YPG and has scored only once.
WR Eric Moulds B

At best Moulds is good for 3-4 catches in his complementary receiver role.

TE Jeb Putzier
Mark Bruener
B

With Daniels likely to sit this meaningless game out, look for Putzier and Bruener to split what little tight end production there is.

 
Detroit (2-13) at Dallas (9-6) Back to top
Playoff Picture: DAL - Clinched playoff spot, playing for division.  
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S3

In true Mike Martz fashion, only three teams have put the ball in the air more than Detroit this season and no quarterback has been sacked as many times as Kitna.

RB Arlen Harris B

No team runs the ball less than Detroit (only 19 attempts per game) and Harris has rushed for a total of just 62 yards in his two starts since replacing Jones.

WR Roy Williams S2

Williams will be a tough matchup for the struggling CB Henry. Look for Detroit to go right at him early and often.

WR Mike Furrey S3

Furrey plays a big role in the Lions' passing game. He's had two 100-yard games in December and often out-catches Williams. He has a tough matchup this week however with CB Newman and could struggle some.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S3

So where exactly did that ol' Romo Bandwagon go anyway? After a strong start he's thrown four touchdowns and seven interceptions in the past month. He'll get another chance to get back on track this week against Detroit and their suspect secondary and weak pass rush.

RB Julius Jones S3

The Cowboys seem to have lost confidence in Jones. Through the first 10 games of the season he averaged 20 carries per game. Over the last five games - just 11 carries. And he's not doing much with the carries he gets, less than 50 YPG. This is a favorable matchup with the Detroit run defense, but the limited carries greatly limits his fantasy value.

RB Marion Barber S2

For the third time in five games Barber was shut out of the end-zone last week. He'll get more chances against a porous Lions run defense that has surrendered 20 rushing touchdowns this season.

WR Terrell Owens S2

Despite the fact that you want to hit him over the head with a 2x4 every time he opens his mouth, only six receivers have been thrown to more this season and his 12 touchdowns leads all wideouts.

WR Terry Glenn S3

Glenn hasn't found the end-zone in the month of December but continues to play at a very high level.

TE Jason Witten S3

Witten hasn't scored since week eight as the wideouts are getting the end-zone favor in this passing game. But he still produces startable fantasy numbers most weeks... barely.

 
Jacksonville (8-7) at Kansas City (8-7) Back to top
Playoff Picture: JAC - Playing for a spot.   KC - Playing for a spot.  
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard (P) S3

Garrard's play improved last week but he remains an iffy fantasy starter at best. The matchup this week with the Chiefs pass defense is not a real favorable one and the Jags remain a conservative run-first offense.

RB Fred Taylor (P) B

Taylor is still nursing a bad hamstring. Since the running game doesn't really suffer with MJD as the primary back, don't expect Taylor to be rushed onto the field. The Jags will want him healthy on the off chance they make the playoffs.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew (P)

S2

MJD has put nearly 500 yards of offense and scored five touchdowns in the past three games. The last two he's filled in for the injured Taylor and will likely do so again this week against the below average KC run defense.

WR Matt Jones (P) S3

Jones has four touchdowns in the past five games and is the only Jacksonville wideout worth your fantasy attention this or any other week. His size and speed make him a matchup problem for any secondary.

WR Reggie Williams B

Over the past five games Williams is averaging just three catches for about 40 yards. He also hasn't seen the end-zone since week five.

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.
Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Green B

Pull out the big game he had in Cleveland a few weeks ago and Green is averaging only 155 yards a game and has thrown just two touchdowns since his return. The passing game just isn't there for the Chiefs. This is a conservative offense that centers around the running of Johnson.

RB Larry Johnson S1

Jacksonville has the league's #3 run defense and has allowed just two 100 yard games all season, none since week five. This will not be an easy matchup for LJ, but this game means the playoffs for KC and they will put the offense on his shoulders as usual. Don't expect a monster game, but LJ has done just fine against the top run defenses he's faced all season.

WR Eddie Kennison
Samie Parker
B

Bottom line - this passing game begins and ends with Gonzalez. Since Green's return six weeks ago Kennison and Parker have rarely topped three catches and have combined to score only two touchdowns.

TE Tony Gonzalez S1

Even with the passing game producing very little for the Chiefs lately, Gonzo will still get the lion's share.

 
New England (11-4) at Tennessee (8-7) Back to top
Playoff Picture: NE - Clinched division.   TEN - Playing for a spot.  
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady (P) S3

About the only thing you will be able to count on in this meaningless road game for the Patriots will be Brady. He'll see the most action of any starter and will look to stay sharp since he's been struggling a bit of late.

RB Corey Dillon B

With Maroney back don't expect much from Dillon this weekend. The Patriots can't improve their playoff position and won't work their bruising back much.

RB Laurence Maroney S3

The explosive rookie got back to work last week and he seemed strong and healthy on his seven carries. Look for another light workload in this very favorable matchup with the Titans' run defense.

WR Reche Caldwell S3

Caldwell remains Brady's most reliable down field target and is the leading receiver on the team. He makes a nice option this week against the struggling Tennessee secondary.

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 this offense. Ten different receivers caught balls last week.

TE Ben Watson (Q) B

Look for the Patriots to rest Watson another week given this game means nothing in playoff positioning.

TE Daniel Graham
Dave Thomas
B Graham remains the starter and the rookie Thomas is filling in as the second TE for Watson. Both produced last week with Thomas shining by going 5-83 with his first pro touchdown. Same old story for a split tight end position - inconsistent and of little fantasy value.
Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young B

The passing game is starting to come around but remains fairly limited under Young. He's averaged just 14 completions a game in December. But he's also had three multi-TD games in the past five and is extremely productive running the ball. Against New England however you shouldn't expect much. The Patriots are a top all around defense and will have the schemes in place to limit the rookie's opportunities to succeed.

RB Travis Henry (Q) S3

Henry has been a nice fantasy surprise this season but the Titans' run offense struggles against strong defenses. The Patriots' #5 run defense qualifies as tough.

WR Drew Bennett B

Bennett has disappeared the past two games and can no longer be relied on.

WR Brandon Jones B Jones has scored three touchdowns in the past five games and had his first career 100 yard game last week. Shows some promise but isn't consistent enough to count on every week.
TE Bo Scaife (Q) B

Scaife's playing status remains in doubt due to the ankle injury.

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