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Start/Bench List - Week 16
Whitney Walters
December 20, 2007
Thursday Night
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
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)
Green Bay (12-2) at Chicago (5-9) Back to top
Green Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Brett Favre S2

What can you say? The old man just keeps on cranking out the yards and touchdowns in one of his most consistently good seasons in years. Put up 322 and a touchdown on Chicago in week five. There's a chance for bad weather at Soldier Field, so you may need to temper your expectations.

RB Ryan Grant S2

Grant wasn't playing in week five when Green Bay faced Chicago, but the backs (Wynn and Morency) put up 121 rushing yard and a score on the Bears. Just about what the Bears have been giving up on average all season. Look for Grant to continue his fine play in another favorable matchup.

WR Donald Driver S2

So is this the week Driver finally hits pay dirt again? If he does he'll take his typical decent performance to the next level.

WR Greg Jennings S2 Jennings has 12 touchdowns on the season and has scored at least one in all but two games this season. That kind of fantasy consistency just can't be ignored.
WR James Jones B

Jones' production had been very limited of late, now that they Packers have a running game. The passing attack focused mainly on starters Driver and Jennings. 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 Only one catch last week, but he made it count. You aren't going to get big numbers out of Lee, but he's fairly consistent and plays a prominent role in the red-zone offense.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kyle Orton B

Orton's play last week says it all. 184 yards and no scores against the worst rated pass defense in the league.

RB Adrian Peterson S3

Saved his fantasy bacon last week with eight catches for 51 yards. He'll need that kind of production again to have any fantasy value. The Bears offense is in serious trouble with Orton at QB and the running game will be limited once they fall behind.

WR Bernard Berrian
Muhsin Muhammad
B With Orton at quarterback there is no fantasy value in the Chicago passing game. Especially against the Packers fine CB duo.
TE Greg Olsen
Desmond Clark


The Packers are one of the more vulnerable defenses to the tight end position. But with the poor quarterback play, and with Olsen and Clark splitting production, this matchup should be avoided along with the rest of the Bears passing game.

Houston (7-7) at Indianapolis (12-2) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Sage Rosenfels S3

Rosenfels isn't lighting it up, but he's been consistently productive since he started his second stint filling in for the injured Schaub. This week's matchup with the top rated Indy pass defense is not a good one however. He's a borderline starter at best.

RB Ron Dayne S3 Dayne made a surprising return to the lineup last week and received 11 very productive carries. He should be good to go this week with the extra time between games. The Colts are beat up on defense and are giving up nearly 100 YPG to opposing backfields, so Dayne isn't a bad play and is a good bet to score in this matchup.
RB Darius Walker B

With Dayne's return to the starting lineup, Walker slides back to being just a backup. He will still get some carries as the Texans want to continue to evaluate him for the future.

WR Andre Johnson S2 Johnson has been very productive since his return and has scored in all but one game he's played in this season. This is a tough matchup, but you shouldn't sit him.
WR Kevin Walter B

Rosenfels is spreading the ball around well, making Walter a hit-or-miss fantasy option that will likely be more miss than hit in this difficult matchup with the Colts.

TE Owen Daniels S3

Daniels has posted only two seven catch games this season. The first came in week three against Indy. Over the past three games with Rosenfels at QB, Daniels has just three catches in each. That's about all you can expect from him in this tough rematch with the Colts. But he does get some red-zone looks, so a score isn't out of the question.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Peyton Manning S2

Tricky spot for Manning owners as the Colts have locked up their post-season position. However, the Colts are not going to want to end the season with loses, especially against a division rival. Also, the Colts aren't blowing anyone off the field any more and Houston should give them a good game, keeping Manning in for the majority of the contest.

RB Joseph Addai S1

Addai laid a fantasy egg last week in what was likely his best matchup of the season. This week he gets a rematch with a Houston team he scored twice on in week three. The Texans play some solid run defense at times, but there's nothing about this matchup that should cause you any concern with starting Addai.

WR Marvin Harrison B Same old story here. May return but odds are not in his favor.
WR Reggie Wayne S1 Gonzalez is coming on, but Wayne is still Manning's prime down field target. Look for him to re-establish his scoring ways in this matchup with the below average Houston secondary.
WR Anthony Gonzalez S3

Manning is gaining confidence in the rookie and he got a few more down field calls last week. He's scored three touchdowns in the past two games and two of his past four games have been 100-yarders. He's a viable part of the Colts air attack now and should be in your starting lineup until Harrison returns.

TE Dallas Clark S2

The emergence of Gonzalez seems to have lessened the reliance on Clark in the passing game. Last week he posted his second single catch game in a row. That may have more to do with the fine LB play of Baltimore and Oakland than anything however. That will not be the case against the Texans. Look for Clark to bounce back with a very nice game.

N. Y. Giants (9-5) at Buffalo (7-7) Back to top
New York
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Eli Manning S3

Threw the ball 52 times on a gusty night in Jersey. Yeah, that made a lot of sense. Manning still hasn't put up more than a single touchdown since week seven and he just lost his stud tight end. Since the Bills got torched by Brady for five touchdowns in week 11, they've allowed only one. It will likely be another cold, wet and rainy game in Buffalo and if the Giants take a logical approach to this game they will throw the ball much less. This is just not shaping up to be a very good spot for Manning.

RB Brandon Jacobs S1

50 carries in the past two games and Jacobs has been very productive since his return from injury. Look for more of the same in another winter weather game in Buffalo, and for Jacobs to score at least once.

RB Reuben Droughns B

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

WR Plaxico Burress S2

Burress looks as good as he has all season. The poor outing last week (3-35) was due to the terrible wind conditions. He was, and will remain, Manning's prime target in the air attack. Especially with Shockey out. He'll be able to dominate the smallish Bills corners.

WR Amani Toomer B

Toomer amazingly went catchless for the second time this season last week despite getting nine looks. He's simply not a fantasy option.

WR Sinorice Moss B Moss had a season high five catches last week, but it took Manning throwing the ball 52 times to make that happen. That won't be the case this week.
TE Kevin Boss U Boss is a rookie that has very good receiving skills. He'll need them taking over for Shockey, as the tight end plays a key role in the Giants passing game, especially in the red-zone. He'll get the looks, so there's a chance he could surprise. But the Bills are decent against the tight end and unless you are desperate, now is likely not the time to take a flyer with your starting tight end.
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Trent Edwards B

The bad weather turned last week's favorable matchup into a passing nightmare. This week it's more bad weather and the very aggressive Giants pass rush.

RB Marshawn Lynch S2

Has received 44 carries since his return from injury two weeks ago and looks to be running strong. He's a lock for 20-plus carries and this matchup against the Giants run defense is decent. They can be solid against the run, but have surrendered a 100-yard rushing effort in each of the past two games.

RB Fred Jackson B

Jackson will be limited to sub-10 carries a game in a typical backup role.

WR Lee Evans B

The Bills passing game is one of the worst in the league and Edwards continues to struggle as an NFL QB. But one thing he can do is get the ball deep to Evans. The Giants secondary is banged up, so if the weather isn't too bad there's a good chance Evans could pull in a long touchdown Sunday. That's a chance most fantasy teams shouldn't take however.

WR Josh Reed B Hasn't scored all season and is simply not a fantasy option.
TE Robert Royal B Never more than four catches and hit that level only twice all season.

Tampa Bay (9-5) at San Francisco (4-10)

Back to top
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Jeff Garcia S3

Returned last week but wasn't asked to do much after the game got out of hand early thanks to the Bucs defense and special teams. This is a decent matchup with the Niners, and there's always a bit of extra motivation when returning to play an old team. But Garcia is what he is, a borderline fantasy starter that should only be used as a stopgap.

RB Earnest Graham S2

Graham has become an every week fantasy start. He scores every week and produces out of both the running and short passing games. Cross-country road trips are difficult, but the Niners run defense presents a favorable matchup.

WR Joey Galloway S2

It's hard to produce when your quarterback completes only 15 passes. That won't happen again this week and Galloway remains a solid fantasy option that produces most weeks. Thanks to the Tampa running game, Galloway will see plenty of single coverage that he can beat deep.

WR Ike Hilliard B

Hilliard isn't much of a fantasy factor and hasn't topped 44 yards since week nine.

TE Alex Smith B Smith has tons of talent, but he has yet to break the three catch barrier in a game and has only three over the past three games.
San Francisco
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Shaun Hill B

Let's not go overboard here with Hill's decent play last week. He'll struggle all day against the Bucs secondary and will likely toss an interception or two.

RB Frank Gore S3

Gore may be the only part of the Niners offense that works this week. Tampa allows 137 total YPG to the running back position and they haven't given up a rushing TD since week nine, so they are due. It won't be easy going, but Gore should get 20-plus carries and be fairly active in the short passing game.

WR Darrell Jackson
Arnaz Battle
B The Niners passing game with Hill at QB will be completely shut down this week by the fine Tampa Bay pass defense.
TE Vernon Davis B

Davis has five catches in each of the past two games and found the end-zone again last week. There's a slight chance the passing game to the tight end may work this week. But odds are against it. Only one defense allows fewer fantasy points to the tight end than the Bucs. As a result, Davis loses his borderline starter status.

Atlanta (3-11) at Arizona (6-8) Back to top
Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Chris Redman B

Yeah it was the Bucs, but come one... 34 passing yards! Regardless of the very favorable matchup with the Cardinals, Redman is to be avoided.

RB Warrick Dunn

The majority of Dunn's 8 carries last week came with Norwood on the sidelines with an ankle injury. It appears he'll be riding the pine for most of the two remaining games.

RB Jerious Norwood U

Saw more playing time than Dunn last week, but thanks to an ankle injury that resulted in only nine very productive carries. His ankle is expected to be fine and he should play this week. If he does he has a very good matchup with a Cardinals defense that gives up nearly 140 total yards to opposing backs each game. He makes a nice sleeper start if you need one.

WR Roddy White
Michael Jenkins

There may be a glimmer of fantasy hope this week with one of these receivers. Arizona ranks near the bottom of the NFL pass defense rankings and only one team allows more fantasy points to the wide receiver position. But at this point, you really shouldn't rely on any Atlanta player. This team could just as easily continue to spiral out of control as they could produce some barely startable fantasy numbers.

TE Alge Crumpler B

Crumpler finally hit rock bottom last week with a big fat donut.

Pos Player SBC Comments
QB Kurt Warner S2

The Falcons are imploding and their secondary is banged up. Another nice matchup for Warner as he keeps pushing to finish the season strong in the hopes of setting himself up as a starter going into next season.

RB Edgerrin James S3

James has seen fewer than 20 carries in four of the last five games. That trend could continue now that the playoffs are out of the picture. But with only Arrington and Shipp behind him, odds are good that he'll get enough touches against the porous Falcons run defense to warrant another borderline start. this week.

WR Anquan Boldin S3 A surprise starter last week and leading receiver for the Cardinals. I guess that special contraption on his broken toe worked. He's expected to play this week and this is a very good matchup for him and ...
WR Larry Fitzgerald S3

... Fitzgerald. But with both receivers playing with injuries and the Cardinals out of the playoff chase, there's the risk now of the team limiting their playing time.

WR Bryant Johnson U Johnson only holds value if the team limits Boldin and Fitzgerald and he sees extended action against the imploding Falcons defense.
TE Ben Patrick
Troy Bienemann
B Both backup tight ends saw action last week and both actually scored. That's an anomaly you shouldn't count on reoccurring.

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