Start & SitNovember 22, 2006

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Week 12

By Nick Hopkins

My, how time flies! For many fantasy owners, Week 12 is one of the last weeks of the regular season, before the playoffs begin. This week represents your last chance to sneak in to the playoffs, or an opportunity to increase your seed, or maybe lock up a first round bye. Whatever your goal, it cannot be argued how critical these last couple of weeks are. Hopefully, with the Cafe’s help, you will qualify for your league’s playoffs, and you can start worrying about getting past the guy who drafted LaDainian Tomlinson this year. So take a look at the Week 12 Start and Sit, good luck, and have a Happy Turkey Day!

Our system is based on two separate rankings: Risk and Reward. Each player or defense was given a statistical ranking for each of the two categories.

Risk is determined by anything that could negatively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as matchup, situation, and injuries.

Reward is determined by anything that could positively affect the player in question’s performance. This includes such things as talent, matchup, and situation.

The Ranking for the two categories is as follows:

Risk: Score of 0 being the lowest risk, 10 being the highest risk.
Reward: Score of 0 being lowest reward, 10 being the highest reward.


Peyton Manning – INDvs PHI16.52.59.0
Drew Brees – NOat ATL15.02.87.8
Philip Rivers – SDvs OAK15.02.87.8
Carson Palmer – CINat CLE14.53.37.8
Tony Romo – DALvs TB13.33.56.8
Jake Delhomme – CARat WAS13.03.86.8
Marc Bulger – STLvs SF13.04.37.3
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAvs GB12.54.57.0
Alex Smith – SFat STL12.04.36.3
Joey Harrington – MIAat DET12.04.56.5
Tom Brady – NEvs CHI11.84.36.0
Eli Manning – NYGat TEN11.84.86.5
Michael Vick – ATLvs NO11.55.06.5
Brett Favre – GBat SEA11.55.06.5
David Carr – HOUat NYJ11.34.55.8
Jon Kitna – DETvs MIA11.05.36.3
Charlie Frye – CLEvs CIN10.84.85.5
Jeff Garcia – PHIat IND10.84.85.3
Chad Pennington – NYJvs HOU10.85.05.8
Steve McNair – BALvs PIT10.54.85.3
Matt Leinart – ARIat MIN10.55.56.0
Brad Johnson – MINvs ARI10.34.34.5
David Garrard – JACat BUF10.35.35.5
Vince Young – TENvs NYG10.35.55.8
Jake Plummer – DENat KC10.05.85.8
Rex Grossman – CHIat NE10.06.36.3
Trent Green – KCvs DEN9.85.55.3
Bruce Gradkowski – TBat DAL9.06.05.0
Ben Roethlisberger – PITat BAL9.06.55.5
JP Losman – BUFvs JAC8.86.35.0
Jason Campbell – WASvs CAR8.36.54.8
Aaron Brooks – OAKat SD7.86.03.8
Seneca Wallace – SEAvs GB5.58.33.8
Andrew Walter – OAKat SD4.38.52.8
Mark Brunell – WASvs CAR1.09.80.8

Tony Romo, DAL (13.3 rating): As much is it pains me to say this, as a Redskins fan, Tony Romo has been everything Dallas could have asked for, and more. He has thrown for 8 touchdowns with only 5 picks, for a sparkling 100.0 QB Rating in his debut season. Look for the solid numbers to continue against a Tampa Bay defense that is not what it used to be. The Bucs have surrendered 16 touchdowns on the year, and have only managed to intercept 5 passes.

Steve McNair, BAL (10.5 rating): Air McNair had done a commendable job leading the offense for the resurgent Ravens. However, McNair has made a bigger impact with his intangibles than with his pure passing numbers. The Ravens usually rely on their strong defense to carry them in games, and that should be the case this week against the Steelers. Both of these teams like to count on their great defenses, and wear out the other team with the running game. I expect this divisional matchup to be a toughly contested, possibly sloppy, low-scoring game.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDvs OAK18.01.09.0
Frank Gore – SFat STL14.83.38.0
Rudi Johnson – CINat CLE14.03.57.5
Larry Johnson – KCvs DEN13.84.07.8
Tiki Barber – NYGat TEN13.84.07.8
Brian Westbrook – PHIat IND13.53.87.3
Chester Taylor – MINvs ARI13.33.87.0
Steven Jackson – STLvs SF13.34.37.5
Ronnie Brown – MIAat DET12.84.57.3
Willie Parker – PITat BAL12.54.87.3
Warrick Dunn – ATLvs NO12.04.56.5
Joseph Addai – INDvs PHI12.04.56.5
Ahman Green – GBat SEA11.84.36.0
Jamal Lewis – BALvs PIT11.85.06.8
Mike Bell – DENat KC11.54.86.3
Deuce McAllister – NOat ATL11.55.06.5
Julius Jones – DALvs TB11.34.55.8
Fred Taylor – JACat BUF11.34.86.0
Thomas Jones – CHIat NE11.35.06.3
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat BUF11.35.06.3
Shaun Alexander – SEAvs GB11.05.36.3
Marion Barber – DALvs TB10.55.35.8
Cadillac Williams – TBat DAL10.35.05.3
Dominic Rhodes – INDvs PHI10.35.35.5
Travis Henry – TENvs NYG10.35.35.5
Reggie Bush – NOat ATL10.35.55.8
Brandon Jacobs – NYGat TEN10.35.55.8
Willis McGahee – BUFvs JAC10.05.55.5
DeAngelo Williams – CARat WAS10.05.85.8
Wali Lundy – HOUat NYJ9.85.85.5
DeShaun Foster – CARat WAS9.55.55.0
Leon Washington – NYJvs HOU9.55.85.3
Edgerrin James – ARIat MIN9.56.05.5
Laurence Maroney – NEvs CHI9.56.05.5
Corey Dillon – NEvs CHI9.56.05.5
Reuben Droughns – CLEvs CIN9.35.85.0
Kevin Jones – DETvs MIA9.36.86.0
Michael Turner – SDvs OAK9.05.04.0
Kevan Barlow – NYJvs HOU8.86.04.8
Tatum Bell – DENat KC8.86.35.0
Chris Perry – CINat CLE8.55.33.8
Ladell Betts – WASvs CAR8.06.34.3
Cedric Houston – NYJvs HOU8.06.54.5
TJ Duckett – WASvs CAR7.86.34.0
Samkon Gado – HOUat NYJ7.86.84.5
Jerious Norwood – ATLvs NO7.56.54.0
Justin Fargas – OAKat SD7.56.84.3
Vernand Morency – GBat SEA7.36.53.8
Maurice Morris – SEAvs GB7.07.34.3
Correll Buckhalter – PHIat IND6.86.33.0
Michael Robinson – SFat STL6.86.33.0
Lendale White – TENvs NYG6.56.83.3
Cedric Benson – CHIat NE6.57.33.8
Ron Dayne – HOUat NYJ6.36.52.8
Musa Smith – BALvs PIT6.07.33.3
Najeh Davenport – PITat BAL6.07.53.5
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs CIN5.37.52.8
Mike Anderson – BALvs PIT4.37.82.0
Noah Herron – GBat SEA4.38.32.5

Joseph Addai, IND (12.0 rating): Addai has proven to be the more effective of the two Colt running backs this season. The rookie is on pace for just under 1000 rushing yards, and over 300 receiving yards to boot. The Colts appear to be favoring Addai more and more over Dominic Rhodes. Addai should put up some good numbers against a Philadelphia defense that is weak against the run. The Eagles rank 26th in the NFL in rushing yards allowed per game, in part thanks to the 143 yard total Travis Henry put up on them last week.

Corey Dillon, NE (9.5 rating): Dillon has been solid this year, contributing 7 touchdowns in 10 games. However, he was injured in last week’s game, and is listed as questionable for the upcoming game against the Bears. Laurence Maroney came in to replace Dillon and was very effective. Even if Dillon does play this week, I expect him to lose more carries than usual to Maroney. Not to mention, running room is often tough to find against Chicago’s defense.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Steve Smith – CARat WAS17.32.39.5
Chad Johnson – CINat CLE15.03.38.3
Terrell Owens – DALvs TB14.33.88.0
Torry Holt – STLvs SF14.33.88.0
Anquan Boldin – ARIat MIN13.83.57.3
Javon Walker – DENat KC13.54.37.8
Darrell Jackson – SEAvs GB13.33.56.8
Marvin Harrison – INDvs PHI13.34.07.3
Andre Johnson – HOUat NYJ13.04.07.0
Reggie Wayne – INDvs PHI13.04.07.0
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIat MIN12.84.06.8
Joe Horn – NOat ATL12.84.37.0
Plaxico Burress – NYGat TEN12.84.37.0
Donald Driver – GBat SEA12.84.57.3
Deion Branch – SEAvs GB12.53.56.0
Roy Williams – DETvs MIA12.54.87.3
Chris Chambers – MIAat DET12.34.06.3
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINat CLE12.34.87.0
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs CIN12.04.36.3
Hines Ward – PITat BAL12.04.86.8
Keyshawn Johnson – CARat WAS11.83.85.5
Laveranues Coles – NYJvs HOU11.55.06.5
Eric Parker – SDvs OAK11.33.85.0
Marty Booker – MIAat DET11.34.55.8
Rod Smith – DENat KC11.34.86.0
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJvs HOU11.34.86.0
Terry Glenn – DALvs TB11.35.06.3
Lee Evans – BUFvs JAC11.05.36.3
Joey Galloway – TBat DAL11.05.36.3
Reche Caldwell – NEvs CHI11.05.56.5
Mike Furrey – DETvs MIA10.84.85.5
Greg Jennings – GBat SEA10.85.36.0
Donte’ Stallworth – PHIat IND10.85.56.3
Isaac Bruce – STLvs SF10.85.56.3
Mark Clayton – BALvs PIT10.54.85.3
Wes Welker – MIAat DET10.34.04.3
Keenan McCardell – SDvs OAK10.34.04.3
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIat NE10.05.05.0
Troy Williamson – MINvs ARI10.05.05.0
Antonio Bryant – SFat STL10.05.05.0
Eric Moulds – HOUat NYJ10.05.35.3
Reggie Brown – PHIat IND10.05.55.5
Travis Taylor – MINvs ARI9.84.84.5
Eddie Kennison – KCvs DEN9.85.55.3
Chris Henry – CINat CLE9.85.85.5
Nate Burleson – SEAvs GB9.54.84.3
Arnaz Battle – SFat STL9.54.84.3
Michael Jenkins – ATLvs NO9.55.34.8
Ernest Wilford – JACat BUF9.55.34.8
Bryant Johnson – ARIat MIN9.55.55.0
Reggie Williams – JACat BUF9.55.55.0
Marcus Robinson – MINvs ARI9.55.85.3
Bernard Berrian – CHIat NE9.56.05.5
Drew Bennett – TENvs NYG9.35.04.3
Derrick Mason – BALvs PIT9.35.34.5
Mark Bradley – CHIat NE9.35.54.8
Matt Jones – JACat BUF9.05.84.8
Santonio Holmes – PITat BAL9.06.05.0
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs CIN8.85.54.3
Michael Clayton – TBat DAL8.85.54.3
Troy Brown – NEvs CHI8.85.84.5
Justin McCareins – NYJvs HOU8.86.04.8
Chad Jackson – NEvs CHI8.55.54.0
Randy Moss – OAKat SD8.56.55.0
Doug Gabriel – NEvs CHI8.36.34.5
Tim Carter – NYGat TEN8.05.53.5
Dennis Northcutt – CLEvs CIN8.06.34.3
Bobby Engram – SEAvs GB8.06.34.3
Santana Moss – WASvs CAR8.06.54.5
Kevin Curtis – STLvs SF7.86.03.8
Brandon Stokely – INDvs PHI7.86.34.0
Hank Baskett – PHIat IND7.86.34.0
Sammie Parker – KCvs DEN7.86.54.3
Jerry Porter – OAKat SD7.87.04.8
Josh Reed – BUFvs JAC7.56.33.8
Nate Washington – PITat BAL7.56.54.0
Roddy White – ATLvs NO7.06.83.8
Antwaan Randle El – WASvs CAR6.86.33.0
Rashied Davis – CHIat NE6.86.53.3
Ashley Lelie – ATLvs NO6.86.83.5
Roscoe Parrish – BUFvs JAC6.36.52.8
Brandon Lloyd – WASvs CAR6.06.82.8
Marques Colston – NOat ATL5.87.83.5

Joe Horn, NO (12.8 rating): Saints quarterback Drew Brees has thrown for a whopping 3114 yards in the first 10 games of the season, the third highest total through 10 weeks in NFL history. So you know the Saints are going to put the ball in the air, and after returning to the field last week, it appears Horn is going to be the main recipient of those passes. His partner in crime, WR Marques Colston, was injured last week, and is listed as day-to-day. If Colston does play, he keeps Horn in single coverage, and may draw standout CB DeAngelo Hall. If he does not play, Horn becomes Drew Brees’ best receiving target. Either way, Horn is a strong play.

Reggie Brown, PHI (10.0 rating): The Eagles were dealt a huge blow when QB Donovan McNabb’s season was ended early by injury for the second year in a row. All of Phily’s offensive weapons take a hit, but perhaps Brown suffers more than anyone. First, Donte’ Stallworth comes back to relegate Brown back to the #2 WR, and now the Eagles Pro Bowl QB, known for spreading the ball around, goes down with an injury. Brown becomes a shaky start against the Colts, who actually rank very highly against the pass, despite their troubles stopping the run.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Antonio Gates – SDvs OAK14.33.07.3
Jason Witten – DALvs TB13.33.87.0
Jeremy Shockey – NYGat TEN13.33.87.0
Alge Crumpler – ATLvs NO13.03.86.8
Todd Heap – BALvs PIT12.83.86.5
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs CIN12.84.87.5
Owen Daniels – HOUat NYJ12.54.06.5
Heath Miller – PITat BAL11.54.35.8
Jeremy Stevens – SEAvs GB11.54.56.0
Chris Cooley – WASvs CAR11.54.56.0
LJ Smith – PHIat IND11.34.55.8
Desmond Clark – CHIat NE11.04.85.8
Ben Watson – NEvs CHI11.04.85.8
Randy McMichael – MIAat DET10.54.85.3
Jermaine Wiggins – MINvs ARI10.34.54.8
Dallas Clark – INDvs PHI10.35.35.5
Eric Johnson – SFat STL10.04.84.8
George Wrighster – JACat BUF9.85.35.0
Stephen Alexander – DENat KC9.54.84.3
Bubba Franks – GBat SEA9.55.04.5
Dan Campbell – DETvs MIA9.34.84.0
Kris Mangum – CARat WAS9.05.04.0
Joe Klopfensteinvs SF9.05.34.3
Daniel Graham – NEvs CHI9.05.84.8
Tony Gonzalez – KCvs DEN9.07.36.3
Marcus Pollard – DETvs MIA8.85.34.0
Ben Utecht – INDvs PHI8.85.54.3
Chris Baker – NYJvs HOU8.85.84.5
David Martin – GBat SEA8.54.53.0
Alex Smith – TBat DAL8.55.84.3
John Gilmore – CHIat NE8.35.84.0
Kris Wilson – KCvs DEN8.35.84.0
Reggie Kelly – CINat CLE8.36.04.3
Bo Scaife – TENvs NYG8.36.04.3
Itula Mili – SEAvs GB8.05.53.5
Jason Dunn – KCvs DEN8.05.83.8
Ben Troupe – TENvs NYG8.06.54.5
Anthony Becht – TBat DAL7.85.83.5
Bryan Fletcher – INDvs PHI7.55.53.0
Jeb Putzier – HOUat NYJ7.06.53.5
Adam Bergen – ARIat MIN7.06.83.8
Courtney Anderson – OAKat SD6.56.53.0
Mike Sellers – WASvs CAR6.36.52.8

Chris Cooley, WAS (11.5 rating): In Jason Campbell’s first start at quarterback for the Redskins last week, the young QB seemed to develop a good rapport with Chris Cooley, connecting with the tight end five times for 58 yards and a touchdown. With Santana Moss again questionable with a hamstring injury, and WR David Patten also unlikely to play, I would expect that Cooley will once again be Campbell’s favorite target.

Eric Johnson, SF (10.0 rating): Johnson was hardly worth starting at any point this year, despite showing some flashes early in the season. With 49ers first round pick Vernon Davis likely to play this week for the first time since his injury early in the season, Johnson figures to have even fewer chances to put up fantasy points.

Nate Kaeding – SDvs OAK14.52.87.3
John Kasay – CARat WAS13.83.37.0
Shayne Graham – CINat CLE13.53.06.5
Robbie Gould – CHIat NE13.04.07.0
John Carney – NOat ATL12.83.56.3
Jay Feely – NYGat TEN12.83.56.3
Adam Vinatieri – INDvs PHI12.84.37.0
Jason Elam – DENat KC12.33.86.0
Matt Stover – BALvs PIT12.34.36.5
Lawrence Tynes – KCvs DEN12.04.06.0
Josh Scobee – JACat BUF11.83.85.5
Josh Brown – SEAvs GB11.84.05.8
Jeff Wilkins – STLvs SF11.84.56.3
Mike Vanderjagt – DALvs TB11.34.86.0
Morten Andersen – ATLvs NO11.35.06.3
Joe Nedney – SFat STL11.04.35.3
Ryan Longwell – MINvs ARI11.04.85.8
Jeff Reed – PITat BAL11.04.85.8
Neil Rackers – ARIat MIN10.84.85.5
Jason Hanson – DETvs MIA10.84.85.5
Dave Rayner – GBat SEA10.55.05.5
Kris Brown – HOUat NYJ10.34.54.8
Phil Dawson – CLEvs CIN10.35.05.3
David Akers – PHIat IND10.05.35.3
Olindo Mare – MIAat DET9.85.04.8
Mike Nugent – NYJvs HOU9.85.04.8
Stephen Gostkowski – NEvs CHI9.85.55.3
Rian Lindell – BUFvs JAC9.55.55.0
Nick Novak – WASvs CAR9.35.54.8
Matt Bryant – TBat DAL9.05.84.8
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKat SD8.56.04.5
Rob Bironas – TENvs NYG7.56.84.3
Michael Koenen – ATLvs NO3.58.52.0

John Kasay, CAR (13.8 rating): The dependable veteran has been very good this season, hitting all but two field goals, both of which were from 50+ yards out. Kasay also leads the league in made field goals over 50 yards, with three. His next opponent, Washington, has given up more field goals than any other team in the NFL.

David Akers, PHI (10.0 rating): Donovan McNabb’s injury affects the entire Eagles offense, which in turn will limit Akers’ chances. The Colts defense has only given up nine field goals to their opponents this year, the second fewest in the NFL.

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
San Diegovs OAK15.82.38.0
Dallasvs TB14.03.57.5
Jacksonvilleat BUF13.83.37.0
Carolinaat WAS13.32.86.0
Minnesotavs ARI13.33.56.8
Chicagoat NE13.34.57.8
Baltimorevs PIT13.04.07.0
Seattlevs GB12.83.86.5
Indianapolisvs PHI12.33.86.0
New York Giantsat TEN12.33.86.0
Miamiat DET12.34.36.5
Denverat KC11.54.86.3
Pittsburghat BAL11.54.86.3
New Englandvs CHI11.55.57.0
Cincinnatiat CLE11.34.35.5
Kansas Cityvs DEN11.04.55.5
Arizonaat MIN10.84.35.0
Buffalovs JAC10.54.55.0
San Franciscoat STL10.54.55.0
St. Louisvs SF10.55.05.5
New York Jetsvs HOU10.35.05.3
Houstonat NYJ10.04.54.5
New Orleansat ATL9.85.55.3
Detroitvs MIA9.55.55.0
Philadelphiaat IND9.36.35.5
Atlantavs NO9.05.84.8
Tampa Bayat DAL9.05.84.8
Green Bayat SEA8.85.84.5
Clevelandvs CIN8.35.84.0
Washingtonvs CAR8.36.34.5
Tennesseevs NYG7.06.83.8
Oaklandat SD5.08.03.0

Jacksonville (13.8 rating): The Jags defense that dominated early on in the season fell off a bit in the middle, but they played well against the explosive Giants offense in week 11. They made Eli Manning look like a rookie again, while causing three turnovers and limiting New York to ten points. This week they travel to Buffalo to face an offense that is young and mistake prone, and will still probably be missing their star running back, Willis McGahee. Bills QB J.P. Losman had a nice game against the Texans thanks to two long TD passes, but I expect that the Jaguars will bring him back down to Earth.

Philadelphia (9.3 rating): The Eagles defense has been good this season, but they are a dangerous play at Indianapolis. At home on the fast turf of the RCA Dome, the Colts have shown the ability to make even the best defenses look average. If you have another defense that ranks highly on the list, this may be a good week to leave the Eagles defense on your bench.

Special thanks to dream_017, lmcjaho, Leber, Kilroy1872, knapplc, madaslives911, mattb47 and SwiperNoSwiping for their rankings and involvement with this week's article. For more insights and additional fine-tuning, visit our Who to Start/Bench forum section or listen to The Coach's Voice on Fantasy Cafe Radio.
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