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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 14
Whitney Walters
December 6, 2007
Thursday Night
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Early
Monday Night
Sunday Late
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)
 
Chicago (5-7) at Washington (5-7) Back to top
Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Rex Grossman B

Grossman played one of his better games of the season last week even though he was sacked a season high six times. A possible good sign for the future. Or another Grossman tease. Only time will tell. This week's matchup with a struggling Redskins defense may be a decent one, but this is still Grossman and you likely have better options on your roster.

RB Adrian Peterson S2 Carried the load last week for the first time and didn't disappoint. In his first game subbing for the injured Benson, Peterson didn't find the end-zone but his 149 total yards topped Benson's best of 110. His ability to be a three down back in this offense makes him a better fantasy option than Benson. Look for another solid game against the average but declining Washington defense on a short week.
WR Muhsin Muhammad
Bernard Berrian
B

Starters Berrian and Muhammad are still getting the most looks in the passing attack, but the ball is also being spread around to Peterson and the tight ends, as well as the non-starting wideouts. There's just not enough consistency to rely on here.

TE Greg Olsen
Desmond Clark

B

Just when we started to think Olsen has emerged as the fantasy tight end of choice for the Bears he's fallen off big time. The last four games have seen 7, 2, 1 and zero catches with no scores. Last week it was all Clark, who had his best game of the season (5-76, TD). At this point in the fantasy season you need a sure thing at tight end, and this situation is far from that.

Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jason Campbell S3

Campbell's play has been improving over the past month, but he under performed in a great matchup last week. This is not a good matchup with Chicago and the team is on a short week following an emotional situation no team wants to deal with. You should avoid relying on him if possible.

RB Clinton Portis X

The Bears are giving up big yardage and touchdowns every week on the ground. But Portis left last week's game with a sprained ankle. With a short week to rehab he becomes a risky fantasy option in this very nice matchup.

RB Ladell Betts X Betts may come back into the picture this week if Portis is unable to play or limited.
WR Santana Moss S3

Moss is the wideout targeted the most by Campbell. But as the Washington passing game continues to struggle, he's rarely a big time fantasy option. That will be the case this week as well. Moss is small and quick, but can struggle against physical press coverage. The kind applied by the Bears.

WR Antwaan Randle El B

Questionable to play due to the hamstring injury that kept him out last week, and a short week to rehab. If he does play he'll be limited and ineffective against the Bears aggressive press coverage.

WR Keenan McCardell B Even with Randle El out last week, McCardell spit time with fellow backup Caldwell, making neither a fantasy option.
TE Chris Cooley S2

Remains the most consistent part of the Washington passing attack and QB Campbell looks his way often. Has a good matchup this week against the Chicago cover-2 defensive schemes, which can leave the middle of the field vulnerable to a good tight end.

 
San Diego (7-5) at Tennessee (7-5) Back to top
San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers B

The running game was in high gear last week so they didn't call on Rivers for much. Against the very tough Tennessee defense, even if they do need him to produce, he won't likely come though. Only three QB's this season have thrown for more than a single touchdown on the Titans.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S2 LT caught a break last week in Kansas City, but he returns to his difficult schedule this week on the road in Tennessee. The Titans rush defense numbers have slipped over the last month, but with the return of DT Haynesworth will start to turn that around. Against the previous four top rated run defenses he's faced this season, LT has averaged just 64 rushing YPG but did score three times.
WR Vincent Jackson   B

Made his one catch last week pay off, but that single grab is becoming the norm now. In the last seven games Jackson has pulled in more than one pass only twice.

WR Chris Chambers B

Chambers was the Chargers leading receiver last week with two catches. That's the kind of game it was and may very well be again facing the very tough Titans defense on the road.

TE Antonio Gates S2

Over the last five games, mixed in with a couple of stud performances have been games of 1-10, 3-26 and 1-(-1). Gates' inconsistency has lowered him from stud status, but his upside and prominent role in the passing game keep him a must start most week. Even in this difficult matchup with the Titans aggressive linebackers and safeties.

Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young S3

The Titans continue to let Young loose and his numbers over the past month show for it. He's averaged 264 YPG in that span, nearly twice what he averaged in his previous seven starts this season. This is not a real favorable matchup, but the improving play of his wideouts and Young's running bonus push him into borderline starter status.

RB LenDale White S3

White averaged over 20 carries a game through the first half of the season, but over the past four games that has dropped to just 10 a game. Only two backs have rushed for more than 100 yards on the Chargers, and both needed 25-plus carries to get it done. This week White will likely struggle and will be playing with a dislocated finger. Borderline at best.

RB Chris Brown B Brown has matched White carry for carry over the past two games and scored last week. With White seeming to be in decline and sporting a bum finger, Brown may play a bigger role this week and going forward.
WR Brandon Jones B Can't stay healthy and a non-factor.
WR Roydell Williams B

Last week Williams had his best game since week seven and his first touchdown since week two. Fellow wideout Gage and the tight end position are just more active in the Titans air attack.

WR Justin Gage S3 Its been a month since Gage has failed to produce startable fantasy numbers. His play has improved and he's become Young's primary down field target. The matchup this week with the very solid San Diego secondary isn't a good one, but he still could manage borderline numbers if he can sneak into the end-zone again.
TE Bo Scaife S3

Scaife continues to get the looks in the passing game, but he rarely posts more than 4-5 catches for 40-50 yards. Tight ends not named Tony Gonzalez have failed to have much of an impact against the Chargers this season.

 
N.Y. Giants (8-4) at Philadelphia (5-7) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S3

Manning hasn't put up more than a single touchdown since week seven and had his second worst game of the season in week four against the Eagles. He continues to struggle and is just not a good play on the road against a tough divisional opponent.

RB Brandon Jacobs S3

Jacobs is expected back just as Ward is going to the sidelines for the season. Not expected to be 100% and won't likely get a full workload. Even against a tough Philly run defense, that should be enough to warrant you sliding him back into your starting lineup - barely.

RB Reuben Droughns B

Droughns is just not a feature back option for the Giants. He's averaged just 3.2 YPC on the 77 he's received this season and will rarely top 10 carries in a game, even with the injuries to the other backs.

WR Plaxico Burress S3

Just not getting it done and has been out produced by Toomer in two of the past four games. He just hasn't been able to have much of an impact in the passing attack due to then ankle and knee problems. Burress went 12-234, TD in his two games against Philly last season but was held to just 4-24, TD in their week four matchup. Expecting much more than that in this familiar rematch with the Eagles secondary isn't advisable.

WR Amani Toomer S3

Toomer is little more than an aging possession receiver. But with Burress severely limited and Shockey under achieving, he's the best option Manning has most of time.

TE Jeremy Shockey S3

In two of his last three matchups with Philly (including this season's), Shockey has failed to manage more than 17 yards receiving. He also hasn't scored on them since 2005. Without Burress to stretch the defense down field, his success underneath has taken a big hit.

Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S2

You can bet Feeley and his 7 interceptions in two games are headed back to the bench this week even if McNabb isn't 100%. McNabb's worst game of the season came week four in the well documented 12-sack affair with the Giants. Thankfully this time around the Giants secondary may be more banged up than he is and he'll have Westbrook behind him.

RB Brian Westbrook S1

Westbrook is the key to the Eagles offense and the top fantasy back in most leagues. He rarely disappoints.

WR Kevin Curtis S2 Curtis came up small in week four against the Giants, along with the rest of the Philly air attack. Look for much different outcome in this rematch against the struggling Giants secondary.
WR Reggie Brown U

In the four weeks prior to McNabb's injury, Brown had started to post some decent numbers. He's still behind Curtis and Westbrook in McNabb's progressions but against the Giants suspect secondary he may surprise.

TE L.J. Smith B

Smith has worked his way back into the offensive flow and has 14 catches and a score over the past four games. He missed this year's first game with the Giants but has performed well against them in the past. He makes an okay start if you are desperate at tight end, but most fantasy teams probably have better options.

 

Dallas (11-1) at Detroit (6-6)

Back to top
Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S1

The #2 fantasy quarterback against a Detroit defense in sever decline.

RB Julius Jones S3

The Detroit run defense has struggled most of the season, but has hit on hard times of late, giving up nearly 300 rushing yards in the past two games. It's the same old story with the Dallas backfield. Jones will get you some yards (typically around 60) but rarely scores.

RB Marion Barber S2

Barber doesn't typically top the 100-yard mark, but in this very favorable matchup with Detroit the odds are good he will this week.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Just start him.

WR Patrick Crayton S3

Crayton returned last week and took advantage of his favorable matchup. Draws another one this weekend, but will always be an iffy fantasy start due to the dominance of Owens and Witten in the passing game.

TE Jason Witten S1

It's all hands on deck this week for the Cowboys air attack. That included the always reliable Witten.

Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S3

The Detroit passing game is out of sync and Kitna hasn't posted more than a single touchdown in three games. If the Lions want to hang with the high-powered Dallas offense this week he'll have to break that trend. He'll easily throw the ball 40-plus times in this matchup, but he's without his top wideout and is the most sacked QB in the NFL. Don't expect much more than you've been getting from him lately.

RB Kevin Jones B

Detroit needs a more balanced attack to succeed offensively, so look for Jones to get much more than the paltry three carries he had last week. Problem is that Dallas is the #4 run defense and after they get a double digit lead the Lions will have to abandon the run.

WR Mike Furrey S2

Furrey has been consistently average all season, but when Williams went down last week he became the target of choice for Kitna in the fourth quarter. Look for that to continue in this matchup with Dallas. If Dallas has a weakness on defense it's in preventing wideout production. Furrey is a great receiver in the Welker / Stokley mode, and given the opportunity (which he hasn't had so far this season) he can produce.

WR Calvin Johnson S3

With Williams gone for the season, Johnson is expected to move into the starting lineup. But other than the week 12 game where the Lions forced the ball to him 15 times, he's been a fantasy disappointment. Will that change with him moving into the starting lineup? It's possible. But the better fantasy bets are Furrey and McDonald.

WR Shaun McDonald S2

McDonald will continues to benefit from his favorable matchups in the secondary from the #3 WR spot. The Dallas secondary is not deep, so look for a better than average performance here.

 

Miami (0-12) at Buffalo (6-6)

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Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB John Beck B

Beck's passing numbers improve each week, but his overall play isn't and the Dolphins are simply falling apart around him. Since the Bills have virtually no pass rush, the rookie may see his weekly increase continue. But it won't be enough for any fantasy owner to consider turning to Beck as the season winds down.

RB

Jesse Chatman

B

Chatman is banged up and has just 49 total yards on 25 touches in the past two games. He may not play this week due to the lingering ankle injury. He did put up 149 total yards on the Bills just four weeks ago, but he's just not a fantasy option right now.

WR Marty Booker
Derek Hagan
Ted Ginn Jr.
B Even favorable matchups like this one should be avoided for the entire Miami passing game ...
TE David Martin
Justin Peelle
B

... including the tight ends.

Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Edwards B

Edwards did have his best day passing the ball last week, but for the fourth time in five games he failed to throw a touchdown. Despite this favorable matchup with the reeling Dolphins, the rookie just isn't a fantasy option. Most teams have little need to throw the ball on Miami. They just run the ball all day.

RB Marshawn Lynch B

Has returned to practice but is not expected back on the field this week.

RB Anthony Thomas B Not expected to play this week.
RB Fred Jackson S2 Jackson took advantage of his first NFL start last week and is expected to make his second on Sunday against the Dolphins and the worst run defense in the league. This second favorable matchup for the youngster in as many weeks is going to be a boon for those fantasy owners that have him available to plug into their lineup.
WR Lee Evans B

After teasing his fantasy owners for a few weeks, Evans has returned to his frustrating self, catching just 14 balls for 175 yards and no touchdowns in the past four games. This week brings another favorable matchup most fantasy owners will avoid. The Dolphins secondary is highly suspect, but so is the Edwards-to-Evans connection.

WR Josh Reed U

Reed is playing a bigger role in the passing game lately and has out performed Evans in each of the past three games. As the defensive focus is primarily on Evans, Reed could surprise this week against the suspect Dolphins secondary.

WR Roscoe Parrish B After five straight weeks with one or fewer catches, Parrish has had back-to-back 4-catch games. Great for him, but not enough to warrant any fantasy attention.
TE Robert Royal
Michael Gaines
B Royal and Gaines get occasional looks in the passing game, but the tight end's primary role in Buffalo is to provide blocking and pass protection.
 

Carolina (5-7) at Jacksonville (8-4)

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Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde B Another week and another expected start for the old-timer. This week it's the tough Jacksonville defense on the road and he should maintain his permanent spot on your bench.
RB DeShaun Foster B Foster has been carrying the load all season but his production has gradually decreased. Last week he averaged just 2.8 YPC. This is a difficult matchup for Foster and there's a decent chance he'll loose significant carries to Williams again, now that the Panthers can now start looking to next season.
RB DeAngelo Williams B

In week one Williams had 15 carries. The next week only eight. In week six he had 10 carries for 121 yards. The next week only five. Last week Williams had a season high 17 carries and out performed Foster. This week? Who knows. But against a tough Jacksonville run defense, even if the Panthers surprise us all and get Williams double digit touches for two weeks in a row, don't expect much.

WR Steve Smith S3

With Vinny at QB again, Smith should be able to maintain his barely startable production. It won't come easily this week however against the solid Jacksonville secondary.

WR Drew Carter
Keary Colbert
B

The only Carolina wideout that should be taking up space on your roster is Smith.

TE Jeff King B

King may have pulled in his second touchdown of the season last week, but in Vinny's four starts he's had just two catches in each game.

Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard S2

The bottom line here is that Garrard is what he is - a consistent fantasy producer with little upside. He put up 257 and two TD's last week on Indy and has averaged about 250 and 2 TD's a game since returning three weeks ago. The Panthers have one of the league's weakest pass rushes and Garrard should have little trouble maintaining, or even besting, his average in this home matchup.

RB Fred Taylor S3

It appears that the aging Taylor is getting stronger as the season wears on. He's posted back-to-back 100-plus yard games. The difficulty for fantasy owners hoping for more of this kind of production is the fact that he's done it on just 14 carries in each game. That's a very difficult pace to maintain. Even against the average at best Carolina run defense.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew S2

Only getting around 12 touches a game, but thankfully for MJD owners one of those carries has gone for a touchdown in the last four games. Nothing about this matchup indicates a different scenario.

WR Reggie Williams
Dennis Northcutt
Ernest Wilford
S3

Garrard and his receivers are in a nice rhythm now and the ball is being spread around pretty evenly. Northcutt and Wilford tend to get the most looks, but Williams seems to be a preferred target in the red-zone. Since none stand out it will be hard for fantasy owners to rely on any of these wideouts. Williams has the most upside due to his touchdown production.

TE Marcedes Lewis U

Over the past two games Lewis has as many catches (10) as both starting wideouts. He's a talented tight end that can have an impact, but too often he disappears from the Jacksonville passing game (six games with two or fewer catches). The Panthers do not defend the tight end position well, so there's a good chance Lewis will score his third touchdown of the season this week.

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