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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)
 
Oakland (4-8) at Green Bay (10-2) Back to top
Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Whoever B

Both Culpepper and McCown are banged up and the starter has yet to be determined. What appears to be determined however is that whoever the starter is, he'll be giving way to Russell for at least a couple of possessions a game.

RB Justin Fargas S2

Since taking over in week nine, Fargas has been a solid fantasy producer. He has yet to get fewer than 24 touches in the past five games. The Packers defense is about average, allowing 143 total YPG to opposing backs.

WR Ronald Curry
Jerry Porter
B The Raiders passing game ranks 30th in the league and rotating quarterbacks isn't helping. The wideouts in this offense just can't be relied on for consistent fantasy production and this week's matchup with one of the league's top CB duo's won't change that for the better.
TE Zack Miller U

Miller scored his second NFL touchdown last week and has posted four straight solid games. So far 3-4 catches a week appears to be the high mark for the talented rookie in the limited Oakland passing attack. But the Packers have a bad habit of making opposing tight ends look good.

Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

The old man is banged up (ankle and elbow injuries) but will start Sunday. He'll need to be on top of his game again as the Raiders sport the #1 defense against quarterback fantasy production. They've allowed only two touchdowns in the past eight games and an average of just 165 passing yards in each.

RB Ryan Grant S1

Continues to roll and this week matches up with the league's worst run defense.

WR Donald Driver S3

Driver remains Favre's primary target but the touchdowns are going to ...

WR Greg Jennings S3 ... Jennings. Both will struggle this weekend however against the shutdown abilities of CB Asomugha and strong play of CB Routt.
WR James Jones U

Jones has just three catches in five of the last six games and his looks have fallen off since WR's Robinson and Martin have become more active in the passing game. This could be a nice sleeper spot for Jones this week. The starting Raiders corners are tough but their depth is questionable. Jones will be Favre's more favorable matchup down field on most passing plays.

TE Donald Lee S3 Lee has just four catches in the past two games and tight ends have been coming up small against the Oakland defense all season. Not a good spot for Lee here.
 
St. Louis (3-9) at Cincinnati (4-8) Back to top
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger S2

Bulger has been cleared to return to action and his fantasy owners couldn't have asked for a much better time to get back on the field. He may not be fully "there" in his first game back from the concussion, but an almost 100% Bulger against the woeful Bengals defense is as good as it's going to get for his owners for the remainder of the season. GB and PIT are up next.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Hasn't had a 100-yard rushing game since his return, but he's getting 20-25 touches a game and has scored four times in the past five games. Last week was his best of the season, totaling 167 yards. Look for more of the same against the porous Cincinnati defense Sunday.

WR Torry Holt S2

In what's been an otherwise disappointing season for Rams players, Holt just keeps cranking out the fantasy production. He's scored in three of the last five games and also had 110-plus yards in three. It will be more of the same this week going up against the very suspect Bengals secondary.

WR Isaac Bruce S3 Bruce is having a hard time staying healthy at this point in his career and isn't putting up big numbers this season. But he's scored in three of the past four games and is a consistent producer in the passing game.
WR Drew Bennett B

Saw limited action last week due to his bothersome hamstring injury. Bennett just hasn't been able to stay healthy and contribute consistently this season.

TE Randy McMichael B

McMichael has now scored in two of the past four games and the Bengals are nothing special when it comes to defending the tight end position. But only once all season has McMichael posted more than three catches and he just isn't a reliable fantasy option at this point in the season.

Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Palmer came up small last week and seemed to be greatly effected by the bad weather. But he's been playing well and this is still the #4 passing offense in the NFL. A return home to face a below average Rams pass defense should provide a nice bounce back game for fantasy owners.

RB Rudi Johnson S3

The Rams haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, but are giving up just over 100 YPG to opposing backfields. At this point it's getting difficult to predict Rudi's use each week. Since his return from injury he's had two 20-plus carry outings. But he's also had two sub-10 carry games. If the running game proves to be ineffective early you may see the Bengals quickly abandon the run. That has been their M.O. of late. It's likely they will be able to move the ball on the ground against the Rams however, so look for a borderline effort from Johnson this week.

RB Kenny Watson B

Watson hasn't had over nine carries in five 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 this week.

WR Chad Johnson S2

In the past three games Johnson has been targeted 10, 14 and 15 times. He seems to be back in sync with Palmer and should produce a big game this week against the suspect Rams secondary.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

TJ is taking a back seat to Johnson again and the nagging injuries that have cut into his practice time may be hurting the chemistry he had going with Palmer earlier in the season. After scoring in the first eight games, TJ has only one in the past four. Having Henry back in the mix isn't helping either.

WR Chris Henry B

Just as quickly he made fantasy noise upon his return to action, Henry's cooled. Just five catches for 72 yards in the past two games. Chad and TJ's matchups this week are pretty strong, so the need for Palmer to move to his third option will be limited.

 
Tampa Bay (8-4) at Houston (5-7) Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia S2

Garcia is expected back this week and draws a nice matchup with Houston. The Texans allow about 230 yards and two touchdowns a game and that's about what Garcia has been averaging lately. Won't be asked to do any extra lifting this week, but should hit his average.

RB Earnest Graham S2

Graham continues to be a late season savior for many fantasy teams. That trend should keep going this week against the porous Houston run defense.

WR Joey Galloway S2

Galloway should draw the struggling CB Faggins enough in this matchup to burn him deep a couple of times.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Hilliard has been a fairly consistent producer this season, just not at a very startable level. He's pulled in more than four balls only once in his last five games.

TE Alex Smith B

Loads of talent, but Smith just can't seem to get beyond the three catch level and backup Stevens scored the tight end touchdown last week.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Sage Rosenfels B Rosenfels returns to the starting lineup for Houston this week. The Bucs have been solid against the pass all season, allowing only two QB's to throw for more than two touchdowns and giving up just 200 YPG. As a starter in weeks 8 and 9, Rosenfels threw for just 180 yards and one TD a game. Expecting much more than that this week would be unrealistic.
RB Ahman Green B Hasn't been on the field since week nine and may not be again until 2008.
RB Ron Dayne S2

Dayne has been a decent option for the Texans at running back and has likely filled the same role for his fantasy teams. That should continue Sunday. The Bucs are very tough against the pass but can be run on for about 100 YPG.

WR Andre Johnson S2 Difficult matchup this week with the tough Tampa Bay defenders, but Rosenfels will be looking his way often. Johnson had 14 looks last week. Most of that time was with Rosenfels under center.
WR Kevin Walter B

Walter is still a work in progress and has a very difficult matchup this week with the Bucs corners. He'll struggle.

TE Owen Daniels S3

This is a tough spot for Daniels. Only two tight ends (Clark and Cooley) have made any fantasy noise against the strong Tampa Bay pass defense this season. With the options at wideout limited, Daniels should still get enough looks to make him a borderline starter. But just barely.

 

Minnesota (6-6) at San Francisco (3-9)

Back to top
Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tarvaris Jackson B

Jackson continues to improve his play and had his first 200-yard game of the season last week. The Niners defense has given up some big QB games lately, but this is still a Vikings team that throws the ball fewer times than any other team in the league thanks to their #1 running game. They will not ask Jackson to do enough to warrant making him a viable fantasy starter.

RB Chester Taylor S3

Taylor split time with Peterson last week and received 14 very productive carries and caught two passes out of the backfield. This Vikings ground game is one of the best the NFL has seen in a while and as long as Taylor gets touches in the mid-teens range he has a very good shot at producing startable fantasy numbers. That should be very doable against a Niners defense that's giving up over 150 total YPG to opposing backfields.

RB Adrian Peterson S1

Returned and looked no worse for the brace protecting his weakened knee. He's in your lineup every week he's in the Vikings'.

WR Bobby Wade
Sidney Rice
B

Wade and Rice are the best this passing attack has to offer. Both scored last week and Rice has found the end-zone in three of the last four games. Of the two, Rice seems to have the most fantasy promise due to his red-zone use. But even with Jackson's improving play, there isn't a reliable fantasy option here.

TE Vishante Shiancoe B

Has had two or fewer catches in each of the last five games and dropped a sure touchdown last week.

San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Dilfer B

Dilfer has had two favorable matchups in a row and has posted decent fantasy numbers. This week bring favorable matchup #3 to the table. But the results won't likely be the same. The Vikings do allow a league worst 298 YPG to opposing QB's, but their secondary is aggressive and they bring a fair about of pressure. The pressure is what will knock Dilfer's slim fantasy value down this week.

RB Frank Gore S3

After a one week glimmer of hope, Gore went back to his more typical limited use (only 17 touches) last week. He's going to have to get more touches this week, especially in the passing game, to have a chance at fantasy relevance against the Vikings stout run defense. Borderline starter at best this week.

WR Darrell Jackson B Looks like a complete afterthought in the passing game.
WR Arnaz Battle U

Battle was the only Niners receiver with more than one catch last week and scored his second touchdown in as many games. He's the most active wideout on the team and could surprise with a nice performance this week. The Niners will likely be playing catch-up and the Vikings secondary has been forgiving all season.

TE Vernon Davis S3

Davis is a hit-or-miss fantasy prospect this season. Two of his last four games have been one-catch affairs. This week against the Vikings provides a better than average chance at a hit. The Vikings allow a decent amount of yards to tight ends and the position has caught thee touchdowns in the past four games.

 
Arizona (6-6) at Seattle (8-4) Back to top
Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner X

Warner's production took a hit in last week's very favorable matchup. He was without Fitzgerald the entire game and Boldin went down in the third quarter. This is a much more difficult matchup with Seattle's stingy pass defense and he will for sure be without Boldin and maybe even Fitzgerald. If Fitz can play then Warner will be a borderline starter. If not then the downside is too big and owners should look elsewhere.

RB Edgerrin James S2

James had 24 carries last week, his highest total in five games. With the injuries at wide receiver the Cardinals will have to keep leaning on their iffy ground game. His matchup with Seattle isn't as good as last week's, but with the increased workload James should serve your starting lineup well. He had his best game of the season in his last matchup with Seattle, but week two was a long time ago.

WR Anquan Boldin B Will not play this week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald X

Without Boldin in the lineup, if Fitzgerald is able to play at close to 100% he'll be a solid start as usual. But as of Wednesday his playing status was very much in doubt.

WR Bryant Johnson U With Boldin down and Fitzgerald a possible scratch, Johnson will be the last wideout standing with any significant experience with Warner or this offense. The Seattle pass defense is tough for sure, but if Johnson is all they have then he'll still make a nice sleeper start for your fantasy team.
TE Leonard Pope U Only once all season does Pope have more than three catches. But he's a huge target and pulled in his fifth touchdown of the season last week. If both Boldin and Fitzgerald are out this week, Pope will play a more prominent role in the passing game and could surprise.
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Hasselbeck is what he is. A solid fantasy starter with little upside. Only once in the past seven games has he thrown fewer than two touchdowns, and only once all season has he thrown more than two. This is a good matchup this week at home against an injury depleted Cardinals secondary.

RB Shaun Alexander S3

Alexander was healthy enough to start and get 20 carries last week. He also maintained his season long average of just 3.3 YPC. The Cardinals are a decent matchup and if he gets another 20 carries this week he'll maintain a startable status.

RB Maurice Morris B

Thanks to a 45 yard touchdown run last week, Morris paid off for his fantasy owners. But his five carries is a big concern, and if that's all he's going to get in this time-share with Alexander then his fantasy value is minimal. Prior to Alexander going down in week nine, Morris was averaging just five touches a game.

WR Deion Branch S3

Branch has struggled catching the ball since his return, but has at least four catches in each of the those three games and has been targeted 27 times. Not as sure a bet as Engram at this point, but startable.

WR D.J. Hackett B

Out at least one more week.

WR Bobby Engram S2

Back in the starting lineup with Hackett out and doing what he's done all season. Crank out solid fantasy numbers.

WR Nate Burleson S3 Stepped up last week with Hackett out but is running third behind starters Branch and Engram. With the backs and tight ends taking minimal looks in the passing game, there are enough balls to go around for Burleson to remain a fantasy factor in most leagues.
TE Marcus Pollard
Will Heller
B

Both Pollard and Heller see action each week but rarely account for more than a couple of catches each.

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