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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)
 
Indianapolis (11-2) at Oakland (4-9) Back to top
Indianapolis
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S1

Back on track and a must start every week as expected. The only downside in this matchup is how bad the Oakland run defense is. The Colts won't have to pass the ball a lot to succeed.

RB Joseph Addai S1

No-brainer start against the league's worst run defense.

WR Marvin Harrison B Same old story here. May return but odds are not in his favor.
WR Reggie Wayne S1 Had a season low two catches last week in a game that saw a season low 13 pass completions. A tough draw this week with the Oakland corners. But stud Asomugha will naturally lineup on the opposite side, so there's plenty of room for production here.
WR Anthony Gonzalez B

The rookie is gaining comfort with the outside position and got some nice down field opportunities last week. Two of his last three games have been 6 catch, 100-plus yard efforts. This week however he may be closer to the three single catch games he's had over the past five weeks. The matchup just isn't in his favor.

TE Dallas Clark S2

Clark lapsed into an unproductive stretch earlier in the season and last week's 1-15 performance may be the start of another. The Raiders have held their own against tight ends this season as S Huff and the linebackers are solid in coverage. Clark is also losing opportunities to backup Utecht in the passing game. Leads all tight ends with nine touchdowns on the season, so he's always a threat to score.

Oakland
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Josh McCown B

Culpepper has yet to return to practice so it looks like McCown will get another start. You will also see Russell for at least two series this week back at home. Whoever's leading the Raiders is not a fantasy option, especially against one of the top defenses in the league.

RB Justin Fargas S3

Fargas has been carrying the load and running strong for over a month, but injured his ribs last week and will not be 100% for this matchup with the stout Indy run defense. He's a risky play but should get you decent numbers if he can carry a full workload Sunday, as the Colts are a little banged up along the defensive front.

WR Ronald Curry
Jerry Porter
B With McCown starting and Russell seeing action, you just can't put your fantasy hopes in any part of the Oakland passing game.
TE Zack Miller B

See above.

 
Detroit (6-7) at San Diego (8-5) Back to top
Detroit
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jon Kitna S3

As the Detroit offense struggles to find the proper run-pass balance, Kitna is a frustrating fantasy option. He has 300 yard, 2 TD ability each week, but has been falling short of that lately. This week's matchup with the solid Chargers pass defense is not a favorable one. But it's not a necessarily bad one either. With LB Merriman out the pressure on Kitna will be lessened, allowing him more room for success.

RB Kevin Jones S3

Jones' carry count over the past five games is 4, 11, 20, 3 and 23. Not exactly the consistency you are looking for in a fantasy back. When he gets 20-plus carries, Jones is very effective and averages over 95 yards and a touchdown. That should be the case Sunday against the average at best Chargers run defense. Now if they will just run Jones at least 20 times. A risk since there is no way to predict if Detroit will commit to the run.

WR Mike Furrey B

In his first opportunity to step up since Williams wend down, Furrey came up small. The Lions ran him mostly out of the slot and he just didn't have much success there, which is pretty much how this whole season has gone for him. Not a playoff fantasy option. Johnson and McDonald are better plays.

WR Calvin Johnson S3

Johnson will get plenty of looks in the Detroit passing game, and with Williams out he becomes the prime red-zone and end-zone target. The Chargers have a solid and improving secondary that makes plays every week. This will be a tough matchup for the rookie, but his ability to go up and get the ball and score make him a decent fantasy start.

WR Shaun McDonald S2

Not a burner or a leaper, but McDonald is quick, smart and he knows this offense very well. Like Johnson he has a tough matchup this week with the Chargers secondary, but he'll be Kitna's primary target and he'll find a way to produce in the passing game.

San Diego
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Philip Rivers S3

Rivers' play of late has improved and he's starting to make some plays in the passing game. Great matchup here with Detroit, but with LT hitting on all cylinders there may not be a big need for Rivers and the air attack in this game. A risky fantasy start with some possible upside.

RB LaDainian Tomlinson S1 Scoring almost every week and putting up big yardage again. It's been weeks since LT has had this good a matchup.
WR Vincent Jackson   B

Jackson was more active in the passing game last week, but his three catches was only the third time in the past eight games he's had more than a single catch. Even with this favorable matchup, Jackson should stay on your bench.

WR Chris Chambers S3

Chambers continues to lead the way in the Chargers passing game and was targeted 10 times last week, a high since coming over from Miami. The good matchup this week with the suspect Detroit secondary lands Chambers once again in the borderline starter category.

TE Antonio Gates S1

The matchups are good all around against Detroit and Gates should have another productive afternoon.

 

Philadelphia (5-8) at Dallas (12-1)

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Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Donovan McNabb S3

McNabb did not play well last week coming back from the ankle and thumb injuries. He was fidgety in the pocket and the inaccuracy returned. The Cowboys are solid enough in the secondary to limit his pedestrian receivers and they bring a lot of pressure on the quarterback. This isn't shaping up to be a very good spot for McNabb. Borderline starter at best this week on the road.

RB Brian Westbrook S1

Westbrook is the key to the Eagles offense and the top fantasy back in most leagues. Despite playing most of the season with a troublesome knee injury, he's rarely disappointed. In week nine against Dallas he posted 155 total yards and a score.

WR Kevin Curtis S3 Curtis hasn't been much more than a 3-5 catch, 50-70 yard receiver since week six. Opposing defenses are taking away the long ball from the Philly passing attack, limiting the big game potential he flashed earlier in the season.
WR Reggie Brown B

Brown gets a decent amount of looks as the third option in the passing game, but he rarely produces fantasy worthy numbers.

TE L.J. Smith B

Smith is not expected to play this week due to injury and the Eagles tight ends position has had zero fantasy value this season.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tony Romo S1

Romo should keep on rolling against a Philly team he put up 324 yards and 3 TD's on in week nine.

RB Julius Jones B

Jones just isn't getting it done for fantasy owners. He starts the games but gives way to the more productive Barber quickly. He's topped 50 total yards only once in the past five games.

RB Marion Barber S2

Barber is getting it done all over the field. He had a season high 10 catches last week. The Eagles are not an easy matchup for the Dallas running game, but Barber's scoring upside will keep him in most fantasy lineups. He totaled 106 yards and a score in week nine against Philly.

WR Terrell Owens S1

Came up big in week nine against his old team and will do so again this week at home.

WR Patrick Crayton B

This is not a favorable matchup for Crayton and he pulled up lame in last week's game. Always an iffy fantasy prospect due to being behind Owens and Witten in the passing game.

TE Jason Witten S1

Not a lot to say here following his record tying 15 catch performance last week. He's an every week starter.

 

Washington (6-7) at N. Y. Giants (9-4)

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Washington
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Todd Collins B

Collins takes over for the injured Campbell and has had some extra time to prepare for this matchup. He'll be under a lot of pressure and you should be looking for startable fantasy production elsewhere.

RB Clinton Portis S3 Portis has not run the ball well in the last two games, but the extra time off should help him regain his strength. The Giants are a stout run defense and they will be keying on the run with Collins in at quarterback. Don't expect more than a run of the mill performance out of Portis Sunday night.
RB Ladell Betts B Scored his first touchdown of the season last week but plays only a minor role in the offense.
WR Santana Moss S3

Moss has been the wideout targeted the most by Campbell, and that will likely continue with Collins under center. The long ball won't be there with Collins so what little big play potential there was in the struggling Washington passing game is now gone. Should be active enough to warrant a borderline start, but just barely.

WR Antwaan Randle El B

The hamstring should be better with the extended time off since his last game, but he's still not 100%. Beyond Moss and Cooley, you just can't expect enough production in the Redskins passing game to push Randle El to starter status.

TE Chris Cooley S2

Remains the most consistent part of the Washington passing attack and QB Collins will rely heavily on him. Collins doesn't have Campbell's arm, so the short-to-medium passing game will be more prominent.

New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S3

Manning hasn't put up more than a single touchdown since week seven. This should be the game he breaks that streak with a multi-TD effort. Burress seems to be working his way out of his injury funk, Manning just missed a score to Shockey last week and the Redskins secondary is depleted.

RB Brandon Jacobs S2

Jacobs returned and received 25 productive touches last week. Look for more of the same in this matchup against the strong Washington run defense. Ward posted 94 yards on the Redskins in his week three start and you can expect at least that and a score from Jacobs in this game that could see some snow on the field.

RB Reuben Droughns B

Not a factor with a healthy Jacobs back in the lineup.

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress has posted two very nice games in the past three weeks and seems to finally be busting out of his mid-season injury slump. The Washington secondary has been struggling of late and Burress should come through for his fantasy owners again Sunday night.

WR Amani Toomer B

Toomer is little more than an aging possession receiver. The production just isn't there at a level worthy of fantasy starter consideration. His high yardage point of the season was the 91 he posted in week one.

TE Jeremy Shockey S3

This has just not been Shockey's year. Only once has he topped five catches in a game and he's accounted for just 114 yards over the past four. He is due for a touchdown (Manning overthrew an easy score to him last week) and had a nice game in week three against Washington. With Burress making an impact again there may be more room for him to succeed.

 

Chicago (5-8) at Minnesota (7-6)

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Chicago
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B

Orton hasn't taken a live snap in almost two years, but will return to a somewhat familiar role as starting quarterback for the Bears. Minnesota may sport the worst pass defense in the league, but no way do you want to be looking for lightening in a bottle with this matchup.

RB Adrian Peterson B

The Bears running game hasn't improved with Peterson carrying the load. In two starts against solid run defenses he's averaged just 2.6 YPC. Don't look for any improvement this week on the road against the league's #1 run defense. His receiving abilities out of the backfield have kept his fantasy value up, but with a new QB this week it's best not to even count on that.

WR Bernard Berrian S3 Berrian's numbers have been limited, but he has scored three times in the past five games. But with a switch at quarterback, even this favorable matchup with the Vikings secondary is risky.
WR Muhsin Muhammad B

The aging possession receiver is good for 3-4 catches and 30-50 yards a week and hasn't seen the end-zone since week seven. Not a fantasy option.

TE Greg Olsen
Desmond Clark

B

The Bears tight ends get plenty of looks and that should increase this week with Orton at the helm. But just like all the other split tight ends, neither holds much fantasy value. At this point in the fantasy season you need a sure thing at tight end, and this situation is far from that as you can't count on both having startable games and picking the top performer is futile.

Minnesota
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Tarvaris Jackson B

Jackson's play continues to improve, but this remains a run first, run second and run third offense. Jackson will only be asked to do just enough to keep the Chicago defense somewhat honest.

RB Chester Taylor S2

As they did in week six, the Vikings will look to run the ball all night on the weak Chicago run defense. That means enough touches for Taylor as Peterson's backup to make this a completely startable fantasy backfield. In Peterson's monster game in week six, Taylor managed 83 yards rushing.

RB Adrian Peterson S1

Peterson hit a wall last week, but it's playoff time and you just can't sit this kind of huge upside on your bench. He won't likely go off for a repeat of the 224 yard, 3 TD game he had against Chicago in week six as the Bears will surely be geared up to prevent that embarrassment again. But the bottom line is that the Bears defense is banged up and can be run on.

WR Sidney Rice B

The Vikings passing attack is very limited and the limited completions are spread around to several receivers. Rice is the preferred red-zone target and has scored four of the teams nine passing touchdowns this season, three of which have come in the last five games. Still, he's not someone you should be counting on this time of the fantasy season.

TE Vishante Shiancoe B

Has had two or fewer catches in each of the last six games. Simply playing a small role in a very limited passing attack.

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