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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 15
Whitney Walters
December 13, 2007
Thursday Night
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Saturday Night
Monday Night
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 (6-7) at Houston (6-7) Back to top
Denver
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jay Cutler S3

Bounced back last week with one of his best games of the season. Faces a similar pass defense statistically this week in Houston. They have a solid secondary and have been pressuring the QB better over the past two games. Don't expect another four scores as the running game will be more prominent in this matchup. But Cutler still makes a decent start this week.

RB Travis Henry S3

The Texans have been run on all season and this matchup will be no different. Look for Denver to pound the ground game. The big fantasy question is which back will be the better performer. Henry has just 25 carries in the two games since his return from the knee injury and is not 100%. But he has scored the team's only three rushing touchdowns in those games. He won't likely be the starter Thursday, but should get 12-15 carries and a couple more scoring opportunities.

RB Selvin Young S3 Young got the start last week and posted his second 100-plus yard game in the past four games. He'll likely be the starter again this week as the Broncos are easing Henry back into shape. The running game will be dominant in this matchup, with both backs getting enough work to warrant a fantasy start against a favorable run defense.
RB Andre Hall B Out of the mix with Henry and Young healthy.
WR Javon Walker B Still not 100% and deactivated last week. The Broncos are working him back in slowly and until he plays close to a full game and produces he's not a fantasy option.
WR Brandon Marshall S2

Marshall has his biggest game of the season last week and has become a constant threat in the Denver air attack. Another good matchup this week with a so-so secondary and another good fantasy start.

WR Brandon Stokley S3

Stokley has produced consistently while filling in for Walker and will continue to do so until he returns to full speed. That's not going to happen soon it appears, so look for another solid performance in another solid matchup for him Thursday.

TE Tony Scheffler S3

Scheffler isn't going to get you a big game, but he's a consistent part of the Denver passing game, is good for 3-5 catches a week and is a common red-zone target for Cutler.

Houston
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Sage Rosenfels S3

Rosenfels' return to the starting lineup last week was a successful one against a very strong Tampa pass defense. Denver hasn't allowed a 200-yard passer in three games but has allowed five scores in that span. Rosenfels high water mark in this matchup is going to be around 200 yards and two touchdowns.

RB Ron Dayne B Sporting a bum ankle on a short week. Not likely to be ready for this game.
RB Darius Walker S3

Walker stepped in for the injured Dayne last week and posted a nice game. He's a semi-talented back that has some decent receiving skills. Look for him to get the start this week and perform okay against a solid but sometimes vulnerable Denver run defense. A better fantasy start for PPR leagues.

WR Andre Johnson S2 Big time matchup with one of the league's top CB duos. No wideout has had more than 66 yards against Denver in the past month. But at least one touchdown has been scored in three of those four games. May not light it up Thursday, but you can't shouldn't sit him.
WR Kevin Walter B

Rosenfels spread the ball around well last week and Walter got into the action again. He's a hit-or-miss fantasy option in this offense. There's a chance he could surprise with a nice game in this matchup opposite the attention sucking Johnson. Just not a good one.

TE Owen Daniels S2

The Broncos have been vulnerable to tight ends all season. With the wideout options limited in this matchup, Rosenfels will be looking to his big tight end often.

 
Cincinnati (5-8) at San Francisco (3-10) Back to top
Cincinnati
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Carson Palmer S2

Zero touchdowns in two games. Not a very good way to usher in the fantasy playoffs. Thankfully for his owners he gets another nice matchup this week in better weather conditions to help right the ship. The Niners don't have a good pass rush and are a team circling the drain on the 2007 season. The Bengals should out play them.

RB Rudi Johnson S3

Johnson has received 23 or more carries in two of the last three games. He's also scored in each of those three. He seems to have his legs back under him now and should continue his startable ways against a below average San Francisco run defense.

RB Kenny Watson B

Watson hasn't had more than five carries in the past three games, but he's had 5 and 6 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

Johnson has a tough matchup this week with SF corner Clements. But he's just as likely to go off for 100-yards and two scores as he is to struggle. It's playoff time and you have to go with his upside.

WR T.J. Houshmandzadeh S2

After scoring in the first eight games, TJ has only one in the past five. But he out caught #85 last week and remains a prime target in the air attack.

WR Chris Henry B

His numbers have dropped each week since his return and landed with a thud last week in a 1-16 outing. Chad and TJ are dominating the passing game and Henry just isn't a reliable fantasy option.

San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Shaun Hill B

I don't care how bad the Bengals pass defense is, you don't take a shot on an unknown #3 QB with a bad finger on his throwing hand.

RB Frank Gore S3

Gore is struggling along with the rest of the Niners offense. But he's about all they have and has still managed to generate 228 total yards in the last two games. The Bengals leaky defense should provide enough opportunities for success to warrant a continued borderline starter status for Gore.

WR Darrell Jackson
Arnaz Battle
B The Niners passing game is a complete mess and the wideouts should be avoided, regardless of what on paper is a favorable matchup.
TE Vernon Davis S3

About the only positive to having the inexperienced Hill at quarterback is the fact that most QB's in this situation tend to rely more on their tight ends. So despite the change at quarterback, Davis holds on to his borderline starter status.

 
N.Y. Jets (3-10) at New England (13-0) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kellen Clemens B

Six games into his tenure with the Jets, last week Clemens had his best game throwing the ball. His receiving options are banged up and limited and he's going into New England against what will be a fired up Patriots team. If this game goes according to conventional wisdom it will be a blowout, meaning Clemens could rack up some decent fantasy numbers in garbage time. But you shouldn't pin your playoff hopes on that chance.

RB Thomas Jones B

Jones continues to put up decent yardage numbers, 100 per game over the last month. But the touchdowns are just not there and he only managed 42 yards against New England in the season opener. If the weather turns bad Sunday, Jones could be relied on more than expected, but once this game gets out of hand the run will be abandoned.

WR Laveranues Coles S3

Only one wideout has put up more than 67 yards on the Patriots since week five, and Coles only posted 59 against them in week one. But he did score twice. Since the Jets will likely have to turn to the air attack early in this matchup, Coles should see plenty of action.

WR Jerricho Cotchery S3

Surprisingly played last week with his surgically repaired finger, and played very well, posting his third 100-yard game of the season. This is a difficult matchup all around for the Jets, but with the expected reliance on the passing game, Cotchery should be able to post startable numbers.

WR Brad Smith B Smith has served well as a #3 WR for the Jets, but his 2-3 catches a week won't serve your fantasy team as well.
TE Chris Baker B

Baker hasn't had more than four catches all season and has scored only once over his past eight games. Just not a fantasy option regardless of matchup.

New England
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tom Brady S1

Whatever you want to call this rematch with the Jets, one thing it is for certain - a great matchup for Brady and the Patriots air attack. The only downside will be the possible bad weather Sunday.

RB Laurence Maroney B

Since Morris went down in week six, the Patriots have run the ball fewer times than any team in the league and Maroney has averaged just 10 a game. They aren't even trying to run the ball any more. If the weather is as bad as forecasted Sunday, that may change. Either way, you shouldn't count on Maroney.

WR Randy Moss S1 Hasn't shown up every week this season, but he's shown up more weeks than any other fantasy receiver.
WR Wes Welker S2

Not a big producer every week, but rarely takes a week off from scoring for your fantasy team.

WR Donte' Stallworth B

Stallworth hasn't been much of a factor since his last touchdown seven games ago and had just a single nine yard catch last week. He's taken a back seat to Gaffney in the passing game.

WR Jabar Gaffney S3 I didn't think I'd ever be adding Gaffney back into the SBL, but a touchdown in each of the past three games is hard to ignore. In that span he's been targeted 17 times to Stallworth's 16, and actually started the game last week. If this turns into the high scoring affair most expect, there should be enough to make Gaffney worth taking a shot on if you are in need of a #4 WR in a deep league.
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 and has scored only once in the past eight games.

 

Tennessee (7-6) at Kansas City (4-9)

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Tennessee
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vince Young B

The rib injury will limit Young in practice this week but he's expected to play through the injury. His struggles will likely continue in Kansas City against their aggressive pass rush. Cutler was only the third QB this season to throw for more than a single touchdown. Young is a 50-50 fantasy proposition at best, and that's not good enough this time of the season.

RB LenDale White S2

White logged another 100 yard game last week and the Titans will likely lean on him again this week as Young struggles. That's a good thing for fantasy owners since the Chiefs run defense has been gashed for over 140 YPG in the last five games.

RB Chris Brown B Brown only had his typical 5 carries last week but scored his second touchdown in as many games. Can't be relied on given his limited touches.
WR Roydell Williams B

In this unpredictable passing attack, Williams has been the top performer over the past two weeks. The result is just 8-104 and a TD, so there's not a lot to get excited about here.

WR Justin Gage S3 After four solid weeks, Gage fell off the map last week with a 1-12 outing. Until last week he had become Young's primary down field target and a consistent fantasy producer. This week's matchup provides a good chance for his production to return.
TE Bo Scaife B

Scaife topped out at 57 yards in week 13 and hasn't seen the end-zone since week three. The Chiefs do a pretty good job on opposing tight ends and have given up only two scores all season to the position.

Kansas City
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brodie Croyle B

If 150 yards and a 50-50 chance of a touchdown is what your fantasy team needs, then run with Croyle. Chances are your fantasy team needs much more then that.

RB Kolby Smith S3

The rookie was completely shut down last week and faces a tough matchup with Tennessee this week on a bum knee. This matchup is all about DT Haynesworth. He got dinged again last week but is expected to play. If he's in and effective then the Chiefs will struggle running the ball. And when the worst running game in the NFL struggles, the fantasy value will be very limited. 80 yards and a possible score will be your high end potential this week.

WR Dwayne Bowe B

Bowe continues to be the top rookie WR this season, but his fantasy numbers are limited. Since week four he's scored only once and had over 84 yards receiving only once. The ineffective KC offense just isn't going to get him the opportunity to have much of a fantasy impact against a very tough Tennessee defense.

WR Eddie Kennison
Jeff Webb
Samie Parker
B Outside of Bowe and Gonzalez there is no fantasy value in the KC passing game. These three have combined for 15 catches in the past five games.
TE Tony Gonzalez S3

Last week was the first time this season Croyle fed the ball to Gonzalez at least 10 times. He'll need that kind of action in this matchup to produce against a Titans defense that has been very tough against the tight end all season.

 

Atlanta (3-10) at Tampa Bay (8-5)

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Atlanta
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Redman B

Redman put up the second best passing game of the season for the Falcons Monday night. His matchup this week with the Bucs is on the other end of the spectrum. Don't expect much from Redman or this team to close out the season.

RB Warrick Dunn
B

Dunn has just 16 carries for 20 yards in the past two games and the Bucs haven't given up more than 68 yards to a back in six games. There's nothing but downside here now that the Falcons have lost their head coach.

RB Jerious Norwood B

Another week and another eight touches. With HC Petrino gone anything could happen here with the talented Norwood. But you can't place your fantasy playoff success here with the hope that the Falcons will get him the ball more this week.

WR Roddy White S3

White has been a consistent and startable receiver over the past month, but with the loss of their head coach and traveling to face a very tough Tampa pass defense, he's a very risky play. He went just 4-28 in week 11 against the Bucs.

WR Michael Jenkins S3

Jenkins has the talent to make an impact and has scored in each of the past two games. He also went 9-73 four games ago against Tampa Bay. Like White, a very risky play this week due to the downward spiral this team is in.

TE Alge Crumpler B

Last week saw the second best passing game for the Falcons offense and Crumpler contributed a whopping 3-16. That about sums up his fantasy season.

Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia S3

The last full game Garcia played was against the Falcons and all indications are that he'll make his return against them this weekend. He put up 159 yards and two scores in that game and he should easily match or better that effort Sunday.

RB Earnest Graham S2

Graham tied a franchise record last week by scoring in his fifth straight game. The way the Bucs are running the ball and the way the Falcons are defending the run lead one to believe he'll break that mark Sunday. Graham posted 102 yards and a score on Atlanta in week eleven.

WR Joey Galloway S2

Galloway is a solid fantasy option that produces whoever his quarterback is.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Hilliard hasn't been much of a fantasy factor all season and he's pretty banged up.

TE Alex Smith B

Loads of talent, but Smith just hasn't been able to get beyond the three catch level this season. Even with backup Stevens absent last week he managed only two catches. Stevens will be out one more week and the Falcons are weak against the tight end, but Smith is just not a viable fantasy option.

 

Arizona (6-7) at New Orleans (6-7)

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Arizona
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner S2

The Saints have faced Luke McCown and Chris Redman in the past two weeks. The result was 611 yards and four touchdowns allowed. Start Warner with confidence this week.

RB Edgerrin James S3

James has seen fewer than 20 carries in four of the last six games. His limited use may continue in this matchup that favors the passing game. An iffy start this week.

WR Anquan Boldin B Not likely to return this week.
WR Larry Fitzgerald S2

Fitzgerald was obviously not 100% last week but he gutted out a fairly productive game. Another week of rehab will only do more good, so look for his play to improve against the very suspect Saints secondary.

WR Bryant Johnson S3 With Boldin likely out again, Johnson will be asked to help fill that void again. He only had the single TD grab last week but was targeted eight times, which was more than everyone but Fitzgerald. There's a chance Urban out performs him again, but this very favorable matchup with the Saints secondary is too good to pass up if you are in need of a decent #4 WR this week.
WR Jerheme Urban S3 It wasn't always pretty, but Urban stepped up big time last week for the Boldin-less Arizona air attack. With Boldin likely out again you could see a repeat against a Saints team that's struggled against the pass all season. But there's a risk because Johnson is also active and has scored in the past two games.
TE Ben Patrick B The tight end is not a big part of the Cardinals passing attack, and now with Pope lost for the season there are no fantasy prospects here.
New Orleans
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Drew Brees S1

Another good matchup for Brees this week. With Bush lost for the season, this offense is all about the down field passing attack with just enough of a running game to keep opposing defenses honest. The Cardinals are giving up nearly 300 yards and over two touchdowns a game over the past five.

RB Aaron Stecker S3

With Bush shut down for the season, the running game is all about Stecker. He'll give up some carries to Thomas, but the bulk will go to him. The focus of this offense now is the passing attack however, so big numbers are not going to be found here. Stecker is just a stop-gap for fantasy teams in need at running back.

WR Marques Colston S2

Back in form last week and remains the prime target in the passing game. Look for more down field opportunities for Colston now that Bush is gone.

WR David Patten S3

Despite his lack of production, Patten had remained Brees' second most targeted wideout. That all changed last week with a season high 9-122-TD performance. Now the big question - will that continue? With the offensive shift to a more vertical passing attack, the odds are good that it will. And the poor Arizona pass defense helps this week.

WR Devery Henderson
Lance Moore
B

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. Too unpredictable to rely on.

TE Eric Johnson
Billy Miller
B Johnson and Miller continue to split time, making neither a fantasy option.

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