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FANTASY FOOTBALL WEEKLY FEATURES

Start/Bench List - Week 17
Whitney Walters
December 27, 2007
Saturday Night
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Early
Sunday Late
Sunday Night
Sunday Early
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)
 
New England (15-0) at N. Y. Giants (10-5) Back to top
Both sides of this matchup presents a lot of question marks for fantasy owners. Most believe the Patriots will go for this win even though they've locked up their playoff position. How much that takes against a Giants team that has also locked up the #5 seed is anyone's guess. Look for New England to play their starters until the game has been won. That could take less then a half, or it could take until the final whistle. Any fantasy starter on the Patriots should be used with that risk in mind. However, with Brady and Moss two touchdowns from breaking single season marks, odds are good they will play enough to secure those records. For the Giants, look for banged up players like Jacobs and Burress to sit this one out.
New England
Pos Player SBC
QB Tom Brady S1*
RB Laurence Maroney S2*
WR Randy Moss S1*
WR Wes Welker S2*
WR Donte' Stallworth U
WR Jabar Gaffney U
TE Ben Watson B
New York
Pos Player SBC
QB Eli Manning S3*
RB Brandon Jacobs S2*
RB Reuben Droughns B
RB Ahmad Bradshaw U
WR Plaxico Burress S2*
WR Amani Toomer S3
WR Sinorice Moss B
TE Kevin Boss B
Asterisk (*) in SBC rating indicates player is at risk of sitting or seeing limited action.
 
Seattle (10-5) at Atlanta (3-12) Back to top

Seattle had a solid all-around effort last week and has a lock on the #3 seed in the playoffs. This game against the highly inferior Falcons is meaningless and you will likely see the Seahawks rest their starters starting in the second or third quarter. Hasselbeck and his primary receivers (Branch and Engram) could be viable starters, but risky. The Falcons may hold some fantasy value in this matchup worth rolling the dice on. The second half could be all Atlanta - with Redman, White and maybe Norwood padding their stats against Seattle's backups.

Seattle
Pos Player SBC
QB Matt Hasselbeck S2*
RB Shaun Alexander
Maurice Morris
B
WR Bobby Engram
Deion Branch
S3*
WR Nate Burleson U
TE Marcus Pollard
Will Heller
B
Atlanta
Pos Player SBC
QB Chris Redman S3
RB Warrick Dunn
B
RB Jerious Norwood U
WR Roddy White S3
WR Michael Jenkins B
TE Alge Crumpler U
Asterisk (*) in SBC rating indicates player is at risk of sitting or seeing limited action.
 
Pittsburgh (10-5) at Baltimore (4-11) Back to top

The Steelers can still secure the AFC's #3 seed in the playoffs, but need some improbable help from the Raiders. They also need to work on the offense post-Parker. Look for the regulars to get just enough work to ensure a win and some offensive cohesion. Roethlisberger and Davenport are banged up however, so they may be cautious with them. On the other side you are looking at a Baltimore team that has little to play for and began resting players last week. McGahee won't likely suit up, so backups Anderson and Smith will carry the load out of the backfield. Mason appears to be the early favorite for rookie QB Smith, but how long he plays is anyone's guess.

Pittsburgh
Pos Player SBC
QB Ben Roethlisberger S2*
RB Najeh Davenport S3*
RB Carey Davis B
WR Hines Ward S2*
WR Santonio Holmes S3*
WR Nate Washington B
TE Heath Miller S3*
Baltimore
Pos Player SBC
QB Troy Smith B
RB Willis McGahee B
RB Musa Smith
Mike Anderson
U
WR Derrick Mason S3*
WR Mark Clayton B
WR Devard Darling B
TE

Todd Heap

B
Asterisk (*) in SBC rating indicates player is at risk of sitting or seeing limited action.
 

Dallas (13-2) at Washington (8-7)

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This matchup means everything to one team and nothing to the other. Dallas has a lock on the NFC's top seed and they saw their star wideout go down with an injury last week. Romo is also still sporting a banged up thumb on his throwing hand. Don't expect to see the key starters get much work in this game, even though a loss means sending a hated division rival to the playoffs. Glenn is expected to see some limited snaps at wideout. The Redskins will be playing for their playoff lives at home, so look for fairly typical production from their key fantasy players.

Dallas
Pos Player SBC
QB Tony Romo S2*
RB Julius Jones B
RB Marion Barber S2*
WR Terrell Owens B
WR Patrick Crayton S3*
WR Sam Hurd U
WR Terry Glenn B
TE Jason Witten S1*
Washington
Pos Player SBC
QB Todd Collins S3
RB Clinton Portis S2
RB Ladell Betts B
WR Santana Moss S2
WR Antwaan Randle El S3
TE Chris Cooley S2
Asterisk (*) in SBC rating indicates player is at risk of sitting or seeing limited action.
 

Carolina (6-9) at Tampa Bay (9-6)

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The Panthers continue to struggle on offense, but are playing out the season strong. That should remain the case in this final divisional battle against a Tampa Bay team looking to ease into the playoffs. Even the league's worst offense (the Niners) was able to generate some production on the Bucs last week, so there's some hope for the Carolina players. Smith is a fantasy starter on a good day, but he pulled up lame last week and may be limited. The Panthers seem committed to getting Williams some late season work, so there may be some value there. Don't look for much from the Bucs. They began resting key starters last week and Galloway suffered a shoulder injury. He will likely sit, and will be joined on the bench by the other starters by the end of the first half.
Carolina
Pos Player SBC
QB Matt Moore B
RB DeShaun Foster B
RB DeAngelo Williams S3
WR Steve Smith S3*
WR Drew Carter
Keary Colbert
B
TE Jeff King B
Tampa Bay
Pos Player SBC
QB Jeff Garcia S3*
RB Earnest Graham S3*
RB Michael Pittman
Michael Bennett
U
WR Joey Galloway B
WR Ike Hilliard
Michael Clayton
S3*
TE Alex Smith
Jerramy Stevens
U*
Asterisk (*) in SBC rating indicates player is at risk of sitting or seeing limited action.
 

Buffalo (7-8) at Philadelphia (7-8)

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Both teams are out of the playoff hunt, but are looking to finish at .500 for the season. You should expect both Buffalo and Philadelphia to play out the season strong in week 17. Without stud LT Peters, the Buffalo passing game will struggle. He's a key to their pass protection and the Eagles aggressive pass rush will take advantage of his absence. The running game will struggle as well against the stout Philly run defense. McNabb and the Eagles passing attack looked great last week against a terrible Saints defense. The Bills are only slightly better. Westbrook continues to play through nagging knee injuries, cementing his reputation as one of the league's toughest backs. But there's a chance they may be limited, as there's no real need to risk further injury to the knee and Buckhalter is a fine backup.
Buffalo
Pos Player SBC
QB Trent Edwards B
RB Marshawn Lynch S3
RB Fred Jackson B
WR Lee Evans B
WR Josh Reed B
TE Robert Royal B
Philadelphia
Pos Player SBC
QB Donovan McNabb S2
RB Brian Westbrook S1*
WR Kevin Curtis S2
WR Reggie Brown S3
TE Brent Celek B
Asterisk (*) in SBC rating indicates player is at risk of sitting or seeing limited action.

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