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Start/Bench List - Week 12
Whitney Walters
November 22, 2007
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Monday Night
Start/Bench List by Position
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: Unclear situation / Could go either way
S3: Start 'em Tier Three (Borderline / Barely) B: Bench 'em (Bad Matchup / Too much risk)
San Francisco (2-8) at Arizona (5-5) Back to top
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

Smith may return to practice this week and start or the team may stick with Dilfer. Either way the results will be about the same.

RB Frank Gore S3

Gore appears to be close to 100% recovered from his ankle injury, but at times it does seem to bother him. Only one team runs the ball fewer times than the Niners and Gore has reached 20 carries only once all season. With the massive amount of RB injuries this season, Gore is likely a viable starter in your league, but this week's matchup with the surprising Cardinals defense isn't a very good one.

WR Darrell Jackson B Another two catch game last week and a dropped touchdown.
WR Arnaz Battle B

Battle is the most active receiver on the team and has posted 164 yards over the past two games, nearly half of the passing production. In this pathetic passing attack that's a high mark for expected production.

TE Vernon Davis S3

The Niners got back to featuring Davis in the passing game last week and that will likely continue. Unfortunately, in this offense that's not going to amount to much. Even if they get him 8-10 looks a week the results will be barely startable in most leagues. Not a good matchup this week as the Cardinals rank #1 in fantasy points allowed to tight ends.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner S2

Warner is playing some of his best ball in years and the Niners present a decent home matchup against their average pass defense.

RB Edgerrin James S2

The big games aren't there this season, but James has been consistent. His 204 carries ranks him second behind Parker, his rushing yards puts him in the top 10 and only six backs have scored more touchdowns. In a season filled with running back turmoil you can do a lot worse than James' consistently average output.

WR Anquan Boldin
Larry Fitzgerald
S2 Boldin and Fitzgerald struggled in week one against San Francisco with Leinart at quarterback. We are half a season removed from that game and the Arizona passing attack has improved under Warner and the Niners are in a free fall.
TE Leonard Pope B In typical Pope fashion last week, he followed up a 5-52-2TD game with his fourth single catch outing of the year (he's had two zero catch games also). Hit and miss tight ends are just too unpredictable and not desirable fantasy starters.
Baltimore (4-6) at San Diego (5-5) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B

It took a high scoring game against the league's worst pass defense to push Boller ever so slightly into fantasy starter status. This week it's San Diego on the road and back to the reality of Boller being a fantasy non-factor.

RB Willis McGahee S2

The Ravens pushed McGahee over the 20-carry barrier for only the second time in five games last week and it paid off. McGahee's scored in each of those five games and the Chargers run defense allows 143 total YPG to opposing backfields. Another nice start here.

WR Derrick Mason S3

Mason remains the only viable fantasy option in the Ravens passing game and this week should be no different against the average Chargers secondary.

WR Mark Clayton B

A week after his big tease game, Clayton returned to his normal unproductive self last week with a 2-9 effort.

WR Demetrius Williams B

Remains out with an ankle injury.


Todd Heap

X Another week and another maybe, possible return for Heap. Don't count on it. Too bad as the Chargers are a good matchup for tight ends.
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers B

Rivers had a surprisingly productive game last week against a tough opponent. But it took 40 pass attempts to get there. It was the first time in five games that he topped 200 yards passing. Even with Ravens secondary struggles I wouldn't expect much from Rivers this weekend. Baltimore CB Rolle is expected back which should help also.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S2 Another week and another tough matchup for LT. This makes four games in a row and will be his most difficult matchup of the four. Only two backs have rushed for more than 80 yards against Baltimore this season and only three have scored.
WR Vincent Jackson   B

In the four games since Chambers joined the team Jackson has only four catches.

WR Chris Chambers U

Chambers had his best day as a Charger last week, gaining 93 yards on four catches. Even with the probable return of CB Rolle there's a good chance Chambers will burn the Ravens secondary deep at least once.

TE Antonio Gates S1

The poor play of his quarterback continues to hurt Gates fantasy value, but he got back into the end-zone last week and remains Rivers' primary down field target on most plays. The Ravens rate out as very good against the tight end, but they rarely face elite ones. Winslow has been the only one this season and he went 9-160 against them this season.


Denver (5-5) at Chicago (4-6)

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Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler B

Cutler's leg appears to be fine and he came out of last week's game with no setbacks. Despite his fine play most of this season, Cutler's tossed more than a single touchdown in only one game. On the other side of the ball Monday night - only one quarterback has thrown for more than a single touchdown against Tennessee and three have been shut out. Not shaping up to be a very good spot for starting Cutler this week.

RB Travis Henry X

Henry's knee injury has kept him out of the last two games and his suspension appeal may have a decision this week. Bottom line is Henry makes a very risky fantasy play this week. Even if the appeal doesn't come down his playing status for the late game may not be announced until game-time Sunday. If he ends up being available and healthy, he makes a decent start against a Chicago defense that has struggled against the run most of the season.

RB Selvin Young X Young suffered a knee injury Monday night but the team feels it's minor and he may be able to play this week. If so then he makes a decent start against a Chicago defense that has struggled against the run most of the season.
RB Andre Hall X If both Henry and Young can't go this week, look for Hall to get the start. After making a name for himself on kickoff duty, Hall busted off a 62-yard touchdown Monday night after Young went down with a knee injury. If he starts this week then he makes a decent play against a Chicago defense that has struggled against the run most of the season.
WR Javon Walker X Returned to practice this week for the first time since mid-October and the team is hopeful he'll be ready to return Sunday. Until he does and shows he's ready to go for a full game he should stay on your bench.
WR Brandon Marshall S3 Marshall should continue to be productive with or without the return of Walker this week against a Bears defense that no longer strikes fear in opponents.
WR Brandon Stokley X

Stokley is a great slot/possession receiver that has produced nicely while filling in for Walker. If Walker returns this week look for that production to decrease and his red-zone opportunities to be limited. If Walker remains out then Stokley retains more fantasy value and makes a borderline start in this matchup.

TE Tony Scheffler B

Scheffler hasn't scored in three weeks but remains an active target for Cutler over the middle. His fantasy value is hurt by the continued involvement of fellow TE Graham in the passing game. Not a good play this week against Chicago. Only two tight ends have gained more than 45 yards on the Bears and only three have scored.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B

Denver's pass rush has really fallen off with the loss of some key front seven players. As a result the secondary isn't holding up as well as you'd expect with the talent they have. But this is Grossman and he'll surely struggle. This is his first home game since regaining the starting job, so any struggle will be met with the usual loving crowd reaction. There is just no way you can trust this guy as a fantasy starter.

RB Cedric Benson S3

Benson had his most productive game of the season last week on just 11 carries. The Broncos have tightened up their run defense of late and have allowed only 85 YPG over the last three. Since that's about the high end on a Benson performance, let's just call it even and say that's where he lands this week.

RB Adrian Peterson B Scored his first touchdown of the season last week but is just a third-down back now and doesn't get enough touches to warrant any fantasy attention.
WR Muhsin Muhammad
Bernard Berrian

The Broncos may be struggling some against the pass, but the secondary still has two of the top corners in the league and I wouldn't want to rely on either Bears receiver this week. The only thing keeping Berrian slightly on the fantasy radar is the possibility of a long bomb from Grossman connecting.

TE Greg Olsen


Olsen has now emerged as the fantasy tight end of choice for the Bears. He's getting at least 7-8 looks a game and has six-plus catches in two of the last three games. Denver struggles against tight ends and Olsen will likely end up the top receiver for Chicago this weekend.


Philadelphia (5-5) at New England (10-0)

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Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb B

The ankle doesn't appear to be serious but there's going to be a chance McNabb sits this game out. Either way he's a bad play against the Patriots on the road.

RB Brian Westbrook S3

Westbrook is the key to the Eagles offense and New England knows it. They will surely look to take him out of equation and may have the schemes and talent to make it happen. But Westbrook has a knack for producing no matter the matchup, so he should remain in your starting lineup.

WR Reggie Brown
Kevin Curtis

With or without McNabb in the lineup this is a bad spot for the Eagles passing attack.

TE L.J. Smith U

Smith has worked his way into the offensive flow and has eight catches over the past two games and a score. If there's an element of the passing game that may have some success against the Patriots defense it will be the tight end. If you need a flyer tight end this week then Smith may be your man.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S1

Brady's bound to have an off game sooner or later, right?

RB Laurence Maroney S3

Maroney tweaked his ankle last week and was the ball only six times. He's expected to be fine and be the primary ball carrier Sunday night. But the way things are going that will likely translate into a sub-20 carry game, and even against the struggling Eagles defense, Maroney is just a borderline start.

WR Randy Moss S1 Just start him.
WR Wes Welker S2

Moss isn't going to pull in four touchdowns every week, so there should be a couple extra up for grabs in this match for both Walker and ...

WR Donte' Stallworth S2

... Stallworth to fight over.

TE Ben Watson B

Watson found the end-zone again last week after a six week absence. But the three looks a game he's getting in this high-powered offense is a sign that he's an afterthought in the schemes.


Miami (0-10) at Pittsburgh (7-3)

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Pos Player SBC Comments
QB John Beck B

Completed just 9 of 22 passes last week against the average Philly defense. This week? On the road against the Steelers #1 ranked defense.


Jesse Chatman


Chatman has filled in well for the injured Brown, but this week brings a very tough matchup with Pittsburgh on the road and a mildly sprained ankle.

WR Marty Booker
Derek Hagan
Ted Ginn Jr.
B This has disaster written all over it. Avoid everyone in the Dolphins passing game, wideouts and ...
TE David Martin
Justin Peelle

... tight ends.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2

Since Brady torched them for six touchdowns in week seven, the Dolphins have allowed just a single score through the air. The loss of WR Holmes may hurt the vertical attack somewhat, but this matchup still leans toward favorable.

RB Willie Parker S1 The Dolphins are allowing a league worst 134 YPG on the ground to opposing backs. Look for Parker to get plenty of carries in this matchup and bounce back big.
WR Hines Ward S2

With Holmes out look for Roethlisberger to lean on the old reliable Ward in this matchup.

WR Santonio Holmes B Expected to be out this week with a sprained ankle.
WR Nate Washington U The sporadic and under achieving Washington will fill in for Holmes Monday night. He's a good fit for the job as, like Holmes, he's a solid down field weapon.
TE Heath Miller S3

The Dolphins perform well against tight ends. They've allowed only three scores all season and only two tight ends have gained more than 44 yards. Don't look for big numbers here, but Miller is always a good bet for a score in the Pittsburgh passing game.

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