The Huddle on Facebook Facebook   The Huddle on Twitter Twitter   The Huddle Mobile Mobile Welcome, GuestJOINHELP


Start/Bench List - Week 13
Whitney Walters
November 29, 2007
Thursday Night
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Early
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)
Denver (5-6) at Oakland (3-8) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler S2

Cutler's play continues to improve and he posted his second 300-yard game of the season last week. In week two he went for 269 yards and a touchdown against Oakland and their defensive play has degraded since that game. With a severely banged up backfield the Broncos may have to pass more than this matchup would dictate.

RB Travis Henry X

May play this week and may be serving a one-year suspension starting next week. If he plays it won't be in a starters role.

RB Selvin Young or
Andre Hall
S2 The Raiders can simply not stop the run. Whoever starts for the Broncos on Sunday should have a nice game. The early favorite is Young, but don't expect to know for sure until game-time.
WR Javon Walker B Played only eight snaps last week and it looks like the Broncos are going to take a patient approach to working Walker back into game shape. Until he shows he's ready to go for a full game he should stay on your bench.
WR Brandon Marshall S3 Oakland CB Asomugha will typically line up on Stokley's side of the field, but look for the Raiders to flip him to Marshall's at times. Marshall is a big-play receiver and this matchup should be an entertaining one. With excellent options in Stokley and Scheffler, and the gradual return of Walker, the need for Marshall will diminish. Unless Cutler and his gun-slinger mentality forces the ball to Marshall (which could very well happen), there will be better targets this week. Look for limited production from Marshall in this matchup.
WR Brandon Stokley S3

Stokley has produced consistently while filling in for Walker and will continue to do so while he gradually moves back to the #3 WR role as Walker works his way back into the mix. Has been scoring every other week over the last six weeks. This is one of the "other" weeks and he also scored on Oakland in week two.

TE Tony Scheffler S3

Scheffler had his best game of the season last week and is becoming a favorite target for Cutler. The Raiders have given up only one tight end touchdown this season, but that has more to do with their inept run defense. Teams can just run the ball to the goal-line in the red-zone. Given the banged up Denver backfield however, Scheffler may be more active in those situations than most Oakland opponents.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Daunte Culpepper B

McCown put up a 73 yard stinker against Denver in week two, but the passing game is much improved from that time under Culpepper. Improved enough to warrant plugging him into your starting lineup against the strong Denver pass defense? No.

RB Justin Fargas S3

Since taking over in week nine, Fargas has been a solid fantasy producer. This week you may see a step backwards. Lost in the overall run defense numbers for Denver is the fact that they have improved greatly since their bye in week six. Prior to that point they allowed 167 YPG on the ground. Since then only 98 and two touchdowns. In the last three games only 83 and one score.

WR Ronald Curry
Jerry Porter
B Yes the excellent Denver secondary has been burned on occasion. But you can't pin your fantasy hopes for points on a possible play or two in a game. Neither Curry or Porter are worth relying on this week.
TE Zack Miller B

3-4 catches a week appear to be the high mark for the talented rookie in the limited Oakland passing attack.

New York Giants (7-4) at Chicago (5-6) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S2

Despite his four interception meltdown last week, Manning maintained his consistently average fantasy production. The under manned Chicago secondary continues to struggle and the last two QB's they've faced have posted 300-yard, two TD games.

RB Brandon Jacobs B

Early indications are that Jacobs is a week away from returning to the playing field.

RB Derrick Ward S2 Expected to return and start this week for the Giants. The passing game is struggling somewhat and Chicago can be run on, to the tune of 120 YPG. Look for Ward to get plenty of touches in this favorable matchup.
RB Reuben Droughns B

Will likely give way to Ward this week but may get a few goal-line opportunities.

WR Plaxico Burress S3

It took a horrible Vikings pass defense last week to snap Burress out of his slump. Unfortunately he came out of the game with a knee injury to add to his chronic ankle problems. In the prior four games Burress topped out at 4-47 and he's just hasn't been able to have much of an impact in the passing attack due to ankle problems. Now with a bum knee in the mix he makes a very risky borderline starter.

WR Amani Toomer S3

You would think with Burress limited, Toomer would emerge. But Toomer is what he is. A possession receiver with little upside. He just can't stretch the defense vertically.

TE Jeremy Shockey S2 Outside of his big 12-129 effort in week ten, Shockey has had a disappointing season, averaging just 4-44 a game. Without Burress to stretch the defense down field, his success underneath has taken a hit. There's some upside in this matchup however as Chicago has struggled against quality tight ends this season.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B

Grossman wasn't a fantasy starter before the Griese experiment and he isn't one now. He'll be under intense pressure all game, and we know how that will go.

RB Adrian Peterson S2 With Benson lost for the season, the ball is now handed to his solid and talented backup. The Giants are strong against the run, but one advantage Peterson has over Benson is the fact that he's been serving as the 3rd-down back. So he'll be in on most downs, giving him the ability to rack up yards in both the running and passing games.
WR Muhsin Muhammad
Bernard Berrian

The Giants don't rate out as strong against the pass, but they pressure the quarterback as good as anyone in the league. With their mistake prone quarterback under pressure all afternoon, don't expect much from his wideouts.

TE Greg Olsen


Olsen has emerged as the fantasy tight end of choice for the Bears, but he's disappeared in two of the last three games. The going won't be easy this week. Since the Giants get their pressure on the QB without having to blitz often, they can cover the tight ends well. Over the last five games they are giving up just 4-32 a game and have been scored on only once.


Tampa Bay (7-4) at New Orleans (5-6)

Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Luke McCown B

With Garcia likely to miss this game due to the back injury, the Bucs will turn to McCown. Despite a favorable passing matchup with New Orleans, don't you follow suit.

RB Earnest Graham S2

With a backup in at quarterback, Graham will see plenty of carries Sunday. He's been a solid performer since taking over for Cadillac and remains a decent start this week against the better than average New Orleans run defense.

WR Joey Galloway S3

Galloway would be an easy start this week against the struggling Saints pass defense, but with McCown running the show his upside is limited.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Hilliard has been a fairly consistent producer this season, but without Garcia all bets are off and you should look elsewhere for a borderline wideout to start this week.

TE Alex Smith U

Smith has seen his looks increase in recent weeks, and a talented pass catching tight end can be an inexperienced QB's best friend. The Saints have given up nearly 300 yards and three touchdowns to opposing tight ends over the past five games. Smith is worth a shot as a sleeper start this week.

New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S2

Brees hasn't seen many difficult matchups lately, but this is one. The Bucs bring the #1 fantasy defense against quarterbacks into town this week. Look for Brees' numbers to take a hit, but for him to still be a decent start in most leagues.

RB Reggie Bush S2

His production is tailing off and the shin injury has slowed him. Should be healthier this week and get back on track a bit against a Tampa run defense that's been vulnerable this season.

RB Aaron Stecker B

Stecker actually started the game last week and received a season high 13 carries. But Bush's injured shin should be better this week and Stecker will go back to his limited action as backup.

WR Marques Colston S2

Colston is on a five game tear and one of the only bright spots he had in the first half of the season was against the Bucs in week two, when he went 8-70 and a TD. There's really no reason not to have him in your starting lineup this week, even with the difficult matchup with the Bucs pass defense.

WR David Patten B Patten remains Brees' second most targeted wideout, but Colston is sucking up all the production. Patten hasn't scored or had more than three catches since week nine.
WR Devery Henderson
Lance Moore

These guys occasionally might find the end-zone, but Henderson hasn't had more than three catches since week five and Moore since week three.

TE Eric Johnson
Billy Miller
B Johnson is still technically the starter, but Miller has been out performing him in the last two games. As is the case with most, if not all, 2-headed tight ends, neither holds much fantasy value.

Cincinnati (4-7) at Pittsburgh (8-3)

Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2 Over the past month Palmer has played at a solid clip. But the Steelers #1 pass defense has done a number on most quarterbacks this season, including Palmer in week eight. He had just 205 yards and a single score in that game. Having Henry as a third option down field will help in this matchup and if his offensive line can give him enough time, Palmer should be able to go for 250 and 2 scores Sunday night.
RB Rudi Johnson B

Johnson missed the first meeting with the Steelers this season, but last year he averaged just 47 YPG against them. The Steelers are only giving up 61 rushing YPG to backs so far this year and you shouldn't expect Rudi to land on the plus side of that amount on the road and still seeing some carries go to backup Watson.

RB Kenny Watson B

Watson hasn't had over nine carries in four games, but he's had 5, 7 and 8 catch games in that span. He's worth considering in a PPR league if you are desperate for some points.

WR Chad Johnson S2 Well, whatever problems Chad and his QB were having seem to have been solved. He has outpaced TJ in catches, yards and touchdowns over the past three games. It won't be easy and Johnson typically struggles against the Steelers (38 YPG in the last three meetings), but this is a big game for the Bengals and I think 85 will have one of his better games against Pittsburgh and score on them for the first time since 2004.
WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

Taking a back seat to Johnson again and seems to be dealing with nagging injuries every week that are hindering his effectiveness. The return of Henry is also cutting into his production. Has averaged over 70 YPG in his last three games with the Steelers and scored three times.

WR Chris Henry S3 After two very solid weeks Henry's numbers took a hit last week against Tennessee. They may return this week as he has the most favorable matchup in the Pittsburgh secondary. In Henry's two games against the Steelers last season he put up 193 yards and three touchdowns.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2

Big Ben put up 230 yards and two touchdowns on the Bengals five weeks ago and there's nothing about this rematch with Cinci's very suspect defense that indicates he won't match or better those numbers.

RB Willie Parker S1 Parker's best game of the season was against the Bengals in week eight and he registered one of his two touchdowns in that game. Look for more of the same this week.
WR Hines Ward S1

With Holmes likely out again, look for Roethlisberger to keep leaning on the old reliable Ward in this very favorable matchup. He scored twice on Cincinnati in week eight.

WR Santonio Holmes B Expected to be out another week with a sprained ankle.
WR Nate Washington U The sporadic and under achieving Washington will likely fill in for Holmes Sunday night. He's a good fit for the job as, like Holmes, he's a vertical weapon Roethlisberger can use down field for big plays.
TE Heath Miller S3

Miller isn't going to get you big yardage, but he's always a good bet for a score in the Pittsburgh passing game.


New England (11-0) at Baltimore (4-7)

Back to top
New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S1

Brady's "off" game last week still resulted in nearly 400 total yards. Being "off" against the struggling Ravens secondary shouldn't be a problem this week.

RB Laurence Maroney B

The Patriots ran just 13 running plays last week and Maroney had 10 of those, all in the second half. He did manage to score his second touchdown in as many weeks, so the game wasn't a complete waste for his fantasy owners. Maroney hasn't had more than 15 carries in five games, and against a Baltimore defense that's allowing a league low 2.8 YPC, that's just not going to cut it this week.

WR Randy Moss S1 Last week was only the second game Moss failed to score in this season.
WR Wes Welker S2

Isn't going to have a career night every week, but in this passing attack he's a sure bet for startable fantasy number in each game.

WR Donte' Stallworth S3

Stallworth hasn't been much of a factor since his big game in week six. Since than he's scored only once and averaged just 50 YPG. In this offense there's always some upside in the passing game as the Patriots will take whatever the opposing defense gives them.

TE Ben Watson B

Watson's pace has slowed over the second half of the season as he's only getting 2-3 catches a game. Don't look for that to change this week against the solid Baltimore LB corps.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller B

Maybe Boller can pad his stats in the fourth quarter of what will surely be another New England blowout. But no fantasy team should put their hopes in that for their quarterback production this week.

RB Willis McGahee S3

The Ravens will try to get McGahee his 20 carries, but it's likely they will fall behind early in this matchup and have to abandon the run. He does have a six game scoring streak going, and that's hard to ignore.

WR Derrick Mason S2

Mason had his fifth 13-target game last week and remains the only viable fantasy option in the Ravens passing attack. The ball may be in the air more than normal in this matchup, so odds are good Mason can generate some startable fantasy numbers.

WR Mark Clayton
Demetrius Williams

Clayton is a non-factor in the passing game and Williams remains out with an ankle injury.


Todd Heap

X Another week and another maybe, possible, somewhat unlikely return for Heap.

< Back to page 1  |  < Back to page 2

Other Features

Game Predictions
Projected Player Stats
Team Defense Report
Training Room
Free Agent Forecast
Commentary From the Edge
Tunnel Vision
a d v e r t i s e m e n t