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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)
 
Jacksonville (9-4) at Pittsburgh (9-4) Back to top
Jacksonville
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB David Garrard S3

It won't be an easy task for Garrard to produce this week in Pittsburgh. But you don't look for upside with this fantasy play. It's all about consistency with Garrard and he's taken on all challengers so far this season with consistent success. This week should be no different.

RB Fred Taylor S3

Despite everyone's best efforts to write Taylor off, he's just completed a strong three game stretch, with three 100-plus yard games and two touchdowns. He'll need to break off another big play to keep this streak going, and counting on that against the Steelers stout run stopping defense is risky business.

RB Maurice Jones-Drew S3

Averaging just 41 total YPG over the past month and without a score (like last week) he's a dud fantasy play. Granted, MJD has scored in seven of the last ten games. But relying on that is a risky fantasy play, especially this week against the top run stopping defense in fantasy.

WR Reggie Williams S3 Garrard is spreading the ball around quite a bit and the other wideouts seem to get more looks. But Williams seems to be a preferred target in the red-zone and has the most upside due to his touchdown production and recent big play ability.
WR Dennis Northcutt
Ernest Wilford
B

Due to Garrard spreading the ball around to his receivers, it is hard to rely on any of them. Northcutt and Wilford do get looks in the passing game, but their fantasy potential is limited.

TE Marcedes Lewis B

Lewis maxed out at 5-57 three games ago and expecting him to top that any time soon is just wishful thinking.

Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Ben Roethlisberger S3

The passing game has cooled off over the past month, with Roethlisberger averaging just 183 YPG. Despite their strong defensive reputation, the Jags rank 27th in passing yards allowed this season. On the other hand, only twice all season have they surrendered more than a single passing TD in a game. Don't look for Big Ben to do anything special in this matchup.

RB Willie Parker S2 Jacksonville only gives up 78 rushing yards a game to opposing backs, but they allow 3.9 YPC. Look for Parker to get enough carries in this matchup to top 100 yards again and for him to get his third touchdown of the season.
WR Hines Ward S2

Ward isn't going to get you huge numbers any more, but he's the #1 target in the Pittsburgh passing game and Roethlisberger looks his way often in the red-zone, making him a scoring threat each week.

WR Santonio Holmes X

Returned last week but was very limited. Expected to get more snaps this week, but until he posts a full and productive game, Holmes is a very risky fantasy play.

WR Nate Washington B

Washington continues to under achieving and now that Holmes is working his way back into the WR rotation he's a non-factor.

TE Heath Miller S2

With Holmes still not 100%, Miller will come in handy this week. Jacksonville has not defended the tight end well this season, giving up nearly 60 YPG and a touchdown every other week to the position. Look for Miller to find the end-zone again Sunday.

 
Seattle (9-4) at Carolina (5-8) Back to top
Seattle
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2

Hasselbeck had a season high four TD's last week against an injury depleted secondary. The matchup isn't as good this week with the Panthers, so don't look for much more than his typical 250 yard, 2 TD performance.

RB Shaun Alexander
Maurice Morris
S3

We are two weeks into the new split Seattle backfield and we seem to have a good indication of how this is going to play out. HC Holmgren has stated that Alexander and Morris will continue to rotate series going forward. What that means to fantasy owners is that neither are good plays, but both have the potential for having a fantasy impact depending on who finds the end-zone in a given week. The Panthers are nothing special against the run, but they have allowed only a single 100-yard rushing performance in the past five games. Since Morris is more likely to catch a few balls out of the backfield, he gets the nod in fantasy potential this week.

WR Deion Branch
Bobby Engram
Nate Burleson
S3

In the two games since Hackett went down again, Branch has been targeted 14 times, Engram 13 and Burleson 13. Branch has 8 catches and a touchdown, Engram nine and two, Burleson nine and two. In other words, the ball is being spread evenly amongst the Seattle wideouts and none of them holds a real fantasy advantage over the other two. Nothing about this matchup indicates a different outcome Sunday.

WR D.J. Hackett B

Out at least one more week.

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.

Carolina
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Vinny Testaverde or
Matt Moore
B Vinny was 13-28-84 last week and no lock to be the starter Sunday, or the remainder of the season with the Panthers out of the playoff hunt. They may run with rookie Moore.
RB DeShaun Foster B Foster's production continues to trend down and he's fumbled four times in the last three games. Seattle is not that great against the run, but Foster is just not a fantasy option any more.
RB DeAngelo Williams B

Nine of thirteen games this season have been sub-10 carry outings for Williams. With the season winding down there may be a chance the Panthers decide to get him more work. I wouldn't count on it. And even if he does, the Carolina running game has under performed all season.

WR Steve Smith S3

Smith has settled into a consistent fantasy groove over the past four games, posting between 6-44 and 8-64 with no scores. In that span he's had three different quarterbacks throwing him the ball, so the starter this week shouldn't really matter. Look for that 6-50 average to continue with fleeting upside potential.

WR Drew Carter
Keary Colbert
B

The only Carolina wideout that should be taking up space on your roster is Smith. These two have accounted for just 12 catches in the past three games.

TE Jeff King B

King may pull in the occasional touchdown, but his typical two catches a game are not going to move him into anyone's starting lineup.

 
Baltimore (4-9) at Miami (0-13) Back to top
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Boller U

As expected Boller regressed last week against the Colts. He gets a good shot at rebounding this week against the woeful Dolphins. He hasn't played as well on the road, but this is a favorable matchup for him any way you slice it. Should surprise with a decent game with a couple of touchdowns.

RB Willis McGahee S2

The Ravens will surely feed McGahee the ball in this matchup and he has some serious upside against the terrible Dolphins run defense.

WR Derrick Mason S3

Mason is the primary target in the passing game and his 3-30 last week was his worst showing in over a month. Miami has given up 21 passing touchdowns this season and odds are good Mason will pull in at least one of the two Baltimore is likely to produce in this matchup.

WR Mark Clayton S3

Clayton showed up again last week (7-90) for only the second time all season. He's hard to rely on since he's highly inconsistent, but this matchup with the Dolphins provides the best opportunity he's had all season to put together two solid fantasy games.

WR Devard Darling B Has found his way into the end-zone in two of the past four games, but that production has come on just eight catches.
TE

Todd Heap

B Until he finishes a game with some decent stats he's on your bench.
Miami
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Cleo Lemon B

The Dolphins ended the Beck experience and will now return to the more fitting Lemon. Don't expect his play to be any better then it was before, especially against the Baltimore defense.

RB

Samkon Gado

B

With Chatman possibly sidelined again, Gado is expected to get another start. He managed 93 total yards and two scores last week against Buffalo. Don't expect anything even close to that against a Ravens defense that held LT in check in week 12 and has severely limited the production of all but the most talented backs they've faced this season.

WR Marty Booker
Derek Hagan
Ted Ginn Jr.
B The Miami passing game is completely off limits for fantasy teams.
TE David Martin
Justin Peelle
B

See above.

 

Green Bay (11-2) at St. Louis (3-10)

Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S1

The old man is banged up but keeps on going. He'll likely pass another Dan Marino record Sunday in this highly favorable matchup with the struggling Rams defense. Look for the Packers to throw the ball more this week now that Favre is healthier. This matchup just says 300-3TD to me for some reason.

RB Ryan Grant S2

Season highs in carries (29) and yards (156) last week and draws another favorable matchup this week in St. Louis. Not as good as last week's, but no running matchup is as good as the Raiders.

WR Donald Driver S2

The passing game was limited last week with Favre completing a season low 15 passes, so Driver's numbers took a big hit. That should correct itself this week in the warm confines of the Edward Jones Dome and against the very suspect Rams secondary. After a 10 game drought, it may be time for Driver to find the end-zone again.

WR Greg Jennings S2 Only three receivers have scored more than Jennings' 11 on the season. He's become the Packers big-play wideout and is a solid start every week regardless of opponent.
WR James Jones B

Jones' production had been very limited of late, and before last week's donut game he had more than three catches only once in the past two months. There's always a chance for a big play in this air attack, but you just can't rely on that.

TE Donald Lee S3 After two limited games, Lee got back into the fantasy swing last week. The Rams do a decent job defending the tight end, but they've allowed 50 and 65 yard games over the last month.
St. Louis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Marc Bulger B

Bulger may return this week but there are still questions about his playing status. The risk is too great and the matchup with Green Bay is not a good one. Look elsewhere for your starting QB this week regardless of who the Rams start.

RB Steven Jackson S2

Jackson continues to run hard and put up over 100 total yards weekly. The Packers run defense has fallen off just a bit of late, so don't look for them to shut Jackson down in this matchup.

WR Torry Holt S2

Not much upside this week against the fine CB duo for Green Bay. But he's produced all season despite all the issues at quarterback and you should keep rolling with him. Just lower your expectations this week.

WR Isaac Bruce B Bruce is having a hard time staying healthy at this point in his career and just isn't putting up consistent enough numbers to warrant fantasy teams using him as a starting WR.
WR Drew Bennett B

Bennett hasn't been able to stay healthy and contribute consistently this season.

TE Randy McMichael U

McMichael pulls in the occasional touchdown but hasn't had more than two catches in the past four games. The Packers have really struggled against tight ends this season, so if you are in need of a possible sleeper TE this week, McMichael may fit the bill.

 
Buffalo (7-6) at Cleveland (8-5) Back to top
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Edwards U

Edwards finally found the end-zone again last week, with four of his 11 completions hitting pay dirt. But it took the woeful Dolphins to make that happen. Next up, the woeful Cleveland pass defense. If you are looking for a sleeper #2 QB for your lineup this week, Edwards could fill that need. But if the game stays close he could just as easily hand the ball off 35-40 times again and have limited impact.

RB Marshawn Lynch S2

The biggest surprise may not have been his speedy return last week, but the 23 carries he received in his first action since the ankle sprain. He had no setback, so it looks like he's good to go for the remainder of the season. The Bills did give backup Jackson 15 carries and there's talk of that kind of spit continuing. But there's no talk of lowering Lynch's touches, so he makes a nice start this week against the weak Browns defense.

RB Fred Jackson B

Jackson did get 15 carries last week and it looks like that may continue. But Lynch is the far superior back and Jackson's likely role going forward will be as a change of pace. Don't expect startable production.

WR Lee Evans U

Evans teased fantasy owners in weeks 8 and 9 only to under perform for the following month. Now comes another teaser game, and fantasy owners must decide if he has another one in him this week against the suspect Browns secondary. Last week was still not a real productive outing as his two touchdowns came on his only two catches. I wouldn't want to pin my fantasy playoff hopes on a repeat, but if you need to swing for the fences with an upside receiver, Evans may be your guy.

WR Josh Reed B

Reed is playing a bigger role in the passing game lately and has out caught Evans in each of the past three games. But he maxed out at 6-55 five games ago and hasn't scored all season.

WR Roscoe Parrish B Followed up his back-to-back 4-catch games with his sixth one catch or fewer game in the past eight.
TE Robert Royal B Yes, Royal managed to pull in two scores last week, but he still hasn't had more than four catches in a game this season and is splitting time with backup Gaines. Still not a fantasy option.
Cleveland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Derek Anderson S2

The Cleveland air attack is still in high gear but the success in the ground game is taking the scoring pressure off. Anderson has settled in at a 2 TD per game pace and that should be very attainable against a very suspect Buffalo defense at home.

RB Jamal Lewis S1

Lewis is running strong has another favorable matchup this week as the weather turns to winter in Cleveland. He's accounted for 492 total yards and scored five touchdowns in the past four games. The Bills have allowed 510 total yards and seven touchdowns in that same span.

WR Braylon Edwards S1

Having a monster year and a must start every week. Great matchup this week with the suspect Bills secondary.

WR Joe Jurevicius B

Banged up and coming off a 1-7 game. Was only good for 4-5 catches a game and a rare score before. Not a fantasy factor right now.

TE Kellen Winslow S1

Has cooled off over the past two games, going for just a combined 7-69. That's his worst two game stretch of the season. Two off games in a row was a first for Winslow, so it's highly unlikely he'll post three.

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