Start & SitDecember 13, 2007

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Week 15

By Nick Hopkins

It’s Week 15 and we are now into the thick of the fantasy playoffs! Hopefully you made it this far, avoiding being knocked out by big games from players like Tom Brady, Joseph Addai, and Marion Barber III. I know I almost had seasons finished by clunkers from normally reliable studs like Carson Palmer and Adrian Peterson. But this is a new week, with new games, and new intriguing matchups. It all starts on Thursday as the Texans host the Broncos. There’s no time to waste – on to the rankings!

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.


Tom Brady – NEvs NYJ18.11.29.3
Peyton Manning – INDat OAK16.61.98.6
Tony Romo – DALvs PHI16.32.68.9
Matt Hasselbeck – SEAat CAR16.12.38.4
Brett Favre – GBat STL15.72.58.2
Drew Brees – NOvs ARI15.03.08.0
Derek Anderson – CLEvs BUF14.82.97.7
Carson Palmer – CINat SF14.73.17.8
Jay Cutler – DENat HOU14.52.97.4
Kurt Warner – ARIat NO13.24.17.3
Kyle Boller – BALat MIA13.03.76.7
Ben Roethlisberger – PITvs JAC13.03.96.9
Philip Rivers – SDvs DET12.73.96.6
Jeff Garcia – TBvs ATL12.64.06.6
Trent Edwards – BUFat CLE12.54.57.0
Vince Young – TENat KC12.24.16.3
Donovan McNabb – PHIat DAL12.24.36.6
David Garrard – JACat PIT12.13.86.0
Tarvaris Jackson – MINvs CHI12.04.36.2
Eli Manning – NYGvs WAS11.94.26.1
Sage Rosenfels – HOUvs DEN11.84.66.4
Jon Kitna – DETat SD11.44.76.0
Chris Redman – ATLat TB10.45.25.6
Todd Collins – WASat NYG9.95.45.3
Brodie Croyle – KCvs TEN9.55.04.6
Marc Bulger – STLvs GB9.16.05.1
Vinny Testaverde – CARvs SEA9.05.74.7
Cleo Lemon – MIAvs BAL8.95.34.1
Kellen Clemens – NYJat NE8.95.94.8
Luke McCown – TBvs ATL8.84.93.7
JaMarcus Russell – OAKvs IND7.36.03.3
Trent Dilfer – SFvs CIN6.86.43.2
JP Losman – BUFat CLE6.36.12.4
AJ Feeley – PHIat DAL6.05.92.0
Josh McCown – OAKvs IND6.06.72.7
Damon Huard – KCvs TEN6.06.12.1
Brian Griese – CHIat MIN6.06.42.4
Joey Harrington – ATLat TB5.96.22.1
John Beck – MIAvs BAL5.57.22.7
Billy Volek – SDvs DET5.46.92.3
Kyle Orton – CHIat MIN5.36.21.6
Brooks Bollinger – MINvs CHI5.26.51.7
Chad Pennington – NYJat NE5.26.51.7
David Carr – CARvs SEA4.96.51.4
Gus Frerotte – STLvs GB4.76.71.4
Jason Campbell – WASat NYG4.66.61.2
Matt Schaub – HOUvs DEN4.07.61.7
Daunte Culpepper – OAKvs IND3.98.32.2
Byron Leftwich – ATLat TB3.77.20.9
Shaun Hill – SFvs CIN3.67.20.7

Matt Hasselbeck, SEA (16.1 rating): Hasselbeck had his best game of the season last week against Arizona, throwing four touchdown passes without an interception. He should have another good game in Carolina against the struggling Panthers. The Panthers pass defense looks respectable on paper (12th in the NFL) but they have given up 18 touchdowns to 12 interceptions, and have not really looked good in any facet of the game over the second half of the season. Carolina is 1-6 in their past 7 games, giving up 30+ points four times over that stretch.

David Garrard, JAX (12.1 rating): Garrard has been quite a pleasant surprise for his fantasy owners this year, recording an astounding 13-to-1 touchdown to interception ratio this season. In four games since returning from an injury he has picked up the pace even more, with 7 touchdowns to only one pick. The only reason he is a “Sit” candidate this week is because of the strong Steelers’ pass defense he is up against. Pittsburgh got exposed a bit last week against the Pats, but I expect them to bounce back with a strong showing this week. The nice thing about Garrard, however, is that even if you are forced to start him you know he is unlikely to give you too bad of a game.

Running BacksOpponentRatingRiskReward
LaDainian Tomlinson – SDvs DET18.21.39.6
Joseph Addai – INDat OAK17.41.99.2
Brian Westbrook – PHIat DAL16.12.88.9
Ryan Grant – GBat STL16.12.78.8
Willis McGahee – BALat MIA16.02.58.5
Earnest Graham – TBvs ATL15.92.48.3
Adrian Peterson – MINvs CHI15.43.18.6
Frank Gore – SFvs CIN14.83.38.1
Jamal Lewis – CLEvs BUF14.72.97.6
Marion Barber – DALvs PHI14.73.38.0
Marshawn Lynch – BUFat CLE14.63.17.7
Steven Jackson – STLvs GB14.53.47.9
LenDale White – TENat KC14.43.37.6
Rudi Johnson – CINat SF14.32.97.2
Brandon Jacobs – NYGvs WAS14.13.57.6
Willie Parker – PITvs JAC13.63.87.3
Edgerrin James – ARIat NO13.43.46.8
Clinton Portis – WASat NYG13.33.87.1
Shaun Alexander – SEAat CAR13.33.87.1
Selvin Young – DENat HOU13.23.66.8
Justin Fargas – OAKvs IND13.23.76.9
Fred Taylor – JACat PIT12.64.26.8
Laurence Maroney – NEvs NYJ12.34.06.3
Chester Taylor – MINvs CHI12.34.46.7
Maurice Jones-Drew – JACat PIT12.24.46.6
Aaron Stecker – NOvs ARI12.14.36.4
Travis Henry – DENat HOU11.54.56.0
Kevin Jones – DETat SD11.44.96.2
Thomas Jones – NYJat NE11.24.55.7
Kenton Keith – INDat OAK10.94.45.3
Samkon Gado – MIAvs BAL10.94.75.6
Kenny Watson – CINat SF10.74.75.4
Reuben Droughns – NYGvs WAS10.64.95.6
Jerious Norwood – ATLat TB10.64.95.4
Fred Jackson – BUFat CLE10.64.85.3
Kolby Smith – KCvs TEN10.25.05.3
Adrian Peterson – CHIat MIN10.15.05.1
Chris Brown – TENat KC10.05.25.3
Julius Jones – DALvs PHI10.05.05.0
Maurice Morris – SEAat CAR9.94.74.6
Warrick Dunn – ATLat TB9.85.04.8
Darius Walker – HOUvs DEN9.55.75.2
DeShaun Foster – CARvs SEA9.45.65.0
Michael Pittman – TBvs ATL9.34.74.0
Kevin Faulk – NEvs NYJ9.35.24.4
Leonard Weaver – SEAat CAR9.14.63.7
Ladell Betts – WASat NYG8.95.64.4
Correll Buckhalter – PHIat DAL8.65.64.2
Jason Wright – CLEvs BUF8.65.33.9
DeAngelo Williams – CARvs SEA8.65.84.3
Maurice Hicks – SFvs CIN8.25.33.4
LaMont Jordan – OAKvs IND8.16.04.1
Leon Washington – NYJat NE8.16.24.3
Antonio Pittman – STLvs GB8.05.43.4
Pierre Thomas – NOvs ARI8.05.83.8
Vernand Morency – GBat STL7.95.43.2
Musa Smith – BALat MIA7.76.44.1
Garrett Wolfe – CHIat MIN7.76.64.3
Heath Evans – NEvs NYJ7.65.63.2
Brian Leonard – STLvs GB7.65.93.4
Patrick Cobbs – MIAvs BAL7.55.63.1
Michael Turner – SDvs DET7.56.23.7
Najeh Davenport – PITvs JAC7.36.43.7
TJ Duckett – DETat SD7.06.03.0
Marcel Shipp – ARIat NO7.06.53.5
Michael Robinson – SFvs CIN6.95.72.6
Michael Bennett – TBvs ATL6.76.02.8
Joe Echemandu – HOUvs DEN6.76.83.6
Lorenzo Booker – MIAvs BAL6.67.03.5
Jerome Harrison – CLEvs BUF6.56.73.2
Dwayne Wright – BUFat CLE6.16.62.7
Mike Anderson – BALat MIA6.07.13.1
Jesse Chatman – MIAvs BAL5.97.13.0
Aveion Cason – DETat SD5.77.02.7
Ron Dayne – HOUvs DEN5.67.32.9
Tony Hunt – PHIat DAL5.56.21.7
Greg Jones – JACat PIT5.57.42.9
Brandon Jackson – GBat STL5.46.72.1
Mewelde Moore – MINvs CHI5.47.42.8
Jason Snelling – ATLat TB4.87.62.4
Tatum Bell – DETat SD4.86.61.4
Ahmed Bradshaw – NTGvs WAS4.87.62.4
Gilbert Harris – KCvs TEN4.87.92.7
Mike Bell – DENat HOU4.67.31.8
Dominic Rhodes – OAKvs IND4.37.92.2
Larry Johnson – KCvs TEN4.27.41.6
Ahman Green – HOUvs DEN4.07.01.0
Chris Henry – TENat KC3.97.61.5
Andre Hall – DENat HOU3.78.11.8
Anthony Thomas – BUFat CLE3.67.61.1

Jamal Lewis, CLE (14.7 rating): I’ll admit, I did not think Jamal had much left when the Browns picked him up last off-season, but he has put together a nice year. The bruising back is 79 yards away from 1000, to go with 9 touchdowns. And he has looked his best in recent weeks, rushing for 406 yards and 3 touchdowns in his past four games. He has a good matchup this week at home against Buffalo.

Kolby Smith, KC (10.2 rating): Smith burst onto the scene three weeks ago with a 150-yard, two-touchdown game against Oakland, but he has since come back down to Earth. He had a very disappointing game last week, carrying the ball 13 times for only 12 yards against a weak Denver run defense. I would expect another mediocre game against the Titans’ 10th ranked run defense this week.

Wide ReceiversOpponentRatingRiskReward
Randy Moss – NEvs NYJ18.01.49.4
Reggie Wayne – INDat OAK16.42.58.9
Terrell Owens – DALvs PHI16.12.58.6
Marques Colston – NOvs ARI16.02.58.5
Braylon Edwards – CLEvs BUF15.72.68.3
Larry Fitzgerald – ARIat NO15.72.78.4
Wes Welker – NEvs NYJ15.22.67.9
Greg Jennings – GBat STL15.22.88.0
Brandon Marshall – DENat HOU15.22.77.9
Joey Galloway – TBvs ATL15.02.87.8
Chad Johnson – CINat SF14.53.17.6
TJ Houshmandzadeh – CINat SF14.43.27.6
Andre Johnson – HOUvs DEN13.73.87.6
Hines Ward – PITvs JAC13.73.77.4
Lee Evans – BUFat CLE13.63.97.6
Plaxico Burress – NYGvs WAS13.63.87.3
Torry Holt – STLvs GB13.53.67.1
Derrick Mason – BALat MIA13.53.67.1
Roddy White – ATLat TB13.43.67.0
Deion Branch – SEAat CAR13.13.87.0
Donald Driver – GBat STL13.03.66.6
Bobby Engram – SEAat CAR12.93.66.4
Shaun McDonald – DETat SD12.54.26.7
Anthony Gonzalez – INDat OAK12.54.57.0
Jabar Gaffney – NEvs NYJ12.44.06.3
Calvin Johnson – DETat SD12.34.36.6
Kevin Curtis – PHIat DAL12.14.46.6
Patrick Crayton – DALvs PHI11.94.36.2
Chris Henry – CINat SF11.94.46.3
Dwayne Bowe – KCvs TEN11.94.46.3
Bernard Berrian – CHIat MIN11.94.56.3
Brandon Stokley – DENat HOU11.74.15.8
Chris Chambers – SDvs DET11.74.15.8
Arnaz Battle – SFvs CIN11.74.15.9
Mark Clayton – BALat MIA11.64.25.8
Donte Stallworth – NEvs NYJ11.44.55.9
Joe Jurevicius – CLEvs BUF11.14.65.7
Reggie Williams – JACat PIT11.14.75.8
Reggie Brown – PHIat DAL11.14.85.9
Santonio Holmes – PITvs JAC11.15.06.1
Michael Jenkins – ATLat TB11.04.95.9
Amani Toomer – NYGvs WAS11.04.85.8
Nate Burleson – SEAat CAR11.04.85.8
Kevin Walter – HOUvs DEN11.04.65.6
Sidney Rice – MINvs CHI11.05.16.1
Justin Gage – TENat KC10.94.85.6
Bryant Johnson – ARIat NO10.74.75.4
Vincent Jackson – SDvs DET10.74.65.3
David Patten – NOvs ARI10.44.95.3
Jerry Porter – OAKvs IND10.35.15.4
Ronald Curry – OAKvs IND10.35.35.6
Laveranues Coles – NYJat NE10.25.05.3
Ike Hilliard – TBvs ATL10.24.85.0
Muhsin Muhammad – CHIat MIN10.24.95.1
Steve Smith – CARvs SEA10.15.15.3
Javon Walker – DENat HOU10.05.15.1
Jerheme Urban – ARIat NO10.05.15.1
Santana Moss – WASat NYG10.05.45.4
Roydell Williams – TENat KC9.94.94.8
Devery Henderson – NOvs ARI9.95.25.0
Ted Ginn – MIAvs BAL9.65.65.3
Josh Reed – BUFat CLE9.55.04.6
Roscoe Parrish – BUFat CLE9.45.24.6
Dennis Northcutt – JACat PIT9.45.44.8
Jerricho Cotchery – NYJat NE9.25.74.9
Robert Ferguson – MINvs CHI9.25.74.9
Antwaan Randle El – WASat NYG9.25.34.5
Devin Hester – CHIat MIN9.15.64.8
Darrell Jackson – SFvs CIN9.05.14.1
Mike Furrey – DETat SD9.05.94.9
Drew Bennett – STLvs GB9.05.74.7
Michael Clayton – TBvs ATL8.95.34.2
Bobby Wade – MINvs CHI8.95.74.6
Nate Washington – PITvs JAC8.85.74.6
Andre Davis – HOUvs DEN8.16.34.4
James Jones – GBat STL8.06.24.2
Ernest Wilford – JACat PIT8.06.24.2
Drew Carter – CARvs SEA7.95.93.8
Anquan Boldin – ARIat NO7.77.14.9
Ben Obomanu – SEAat CAR7.75.22.9
Ruvell Martin – GBat STL7.66.03.7
Laurent Robinson – ATLat TB7.66.13.7
Craig Davis – SDvs DET7.66.23.7
Sam Hurd – DALvs PHI7.66.23.8
Keenan McCardell – WASat NYG7.56.33.8
Ashley Lelie – SFvs CIN7.46.13.4
Derek Hagan – MIAvs BAL7.36.33.6
Demetrius Williams – BALat MIA7.36.23.5
Matt Jones – JACat PIT7.36.74.0
Isaac Bruce – STLvs GB7.36.63.8
Sammie Parker – KCvs TEN7.06.43.4
Marty Booker – MIAvs BAL7.06.93.8
Eric Moulds – TENat KC7.06.53.4
Antonio Chatman – CINat SF7.06.13.1
Glenn Martinez – DENat HOU6.76.93.6
Eddie Kennison – KCvs TEN6.76.53.3
Brandon Jones – TENat KC6.76.63.4
Koren Robinson – GBat STL6.76.43.1
Rashied Davis – CHIat MIN6.76.73.4
Lance Moore – NOvs ARI6.66.53.1
James Thrash – WASat NYG6.56.73.2
Tim Carter – CLEvs BUF6.46.53.0
Dwayne Jarrett – CARvs SEA6.36.83.1
Justin McCareins – NYJat NE6.36.93.2
Hank Baskett – PHIat DAL6.26.83.0
Tim Dwight – OAKvs IND6.07.33.2
Malcolm Floyd – SDvs DET5.97.02.8
Troy Williamson – MINvs CHI5.67.43.0
Aaron Moorehead – INDat OAK5.56.72.2
Terrance Copper – NOvs ARI5.57.22.7
Dante Hall – STLvs GB5.47.32.7
Jason Avant – PHIat DAL5.27.62.8
Jacoby Jones – HOUvs DEN5.17.72.7
Cedrick Wilson – PITvs JAC5.07.62.6
Sam Aiken – BUFat CLE4.97.62.5
Joe Horn – ATLat TB4.97.62.4
DJ Hackett – SEAat CAR4.67.32.0
Craphonso Thorpe – INDat OAK4.67.31.9
Terry Glenn – DALvs PHI4.27.01.2
Steve Smith – NYGvs WAS4.18.22.4
Marvin Harrison – INDat OAK3.68.01.6

Marques Colston, NO (16.0 rating): The resurgence of the Saints’ passing game has benefited no one more than Colston. The second year wideout has been on fire lately, recording at least 7 catches and 90 yards in 5 of his last 6 games. I see no reason for that pace to fall off, as the Saints will continue to rely heavily on their passing game because of their weak defense and decimated backfield. Colston has a good matchup this week against an Arizona team that was torched by Matt Hasselbeck for four touchdowns last week.

Steve Smith, CAR (10.0 rating): Ouch, how the mighty have fallen. Considered a top-5 fantasy receiver before the season, Smith has not gone over 100 yards or scored a touchdown since Week 6! As long as Carolina continues to struggle (especially at quarterback) Smith’s numbers will suffer. Don’t be afraid to sit this stud wide receiver if you have better options on your bench.

Tight EndsOpponentRatingRiskReward
Jason Witten – DALvs PHI16.52.38.9
Antonio Gates – SDvs DET16.42.48.8
Kellen Winslow – CLEvs BUF16.22.48.6
Chris Cooley – WASat NYG14.73.17.9
Dallas Clark – INDat OAK13.63.57.1
Donald Lee – GBat STL13.33.66.8
Tony Gonzalez – KCvs TEN13.23.87.0
Jeremy Shockey – NYGvs WAS13.03.96.9
Robert Royal – BUFat CLE12.64.06.6
Ben Watson – NEvs NYJ12.44.06.4
Owen Daniels – HOUvs DEN12.33.96.2
Tony Scheffler – DENat HOU12.34.26.4
Vernon Davis – SFvs CIN11.74.25.9
Heath Miller – PITvs JAC11.64.66.1
Eric Johnson – NOvs ARI11.44.15.5
Greg Olsen – CHIat MIN11.04.95.9
Zach Miller – OAKvs IND10.34.75.0
Visanthe Shiancoe – MINvs CHI10.14.84.9
Ben Patrick – ARIat NO10.14.44.5
Marcedes Lewis – JACat PIT10.04.94.9
Randy McMichael – STLvs GB9.94.94.8
Alex Smith – TBvs ATL9.94.94.8
Chris Baker – NYJat NE9.95.35.1
Marcus Pollard – SEAat CAR9.95.04.9
Desmond Clark – CHIat MIN9.95.55.4
Daniel Graham – DENat HOU9.55.14.7
Reggie Kelly – CINat SF9.44.74.1
Alge Crumpler – ATLat TB9.35.44.7
Jeff King – CARvs SEA9.25.54.7
Bo Scaife – TENat KC9.25.14.3
Ben Utecht – INDat OAK8.65.64.1
Matt Schobel – PHIat DAL8.35.63.9
Quinn Sypniewski – BALat MIA8.35.63.8
Sean McHugh – DETat SD8.25.94.1
Anthony Fasano – DALvs PHI8.05.93.8
Ben Troupe – TENat KC7.95.63.5
Kyle Brady – NEvs NYJ7.95.83.7
Bryan Fletcher – INDat OAK7.85.93.6
Anthony Becht – TBvs ATL7.75.83.4
Billy Miller – NOvs ARI7.56.13.6
LJ Smith – PHIat DAL7.46.33.7
David Martin – MIAvs BAL7.36.03.3
Will Heller – SEAat CAR7.06.53.5
Bubba Franks – GBat STL6.96.43.3
Justin Peelle – MIAvs BAL6.66.12.7
Matt Spaeth – PITvs JAC6.56.73.2
Christian Fauria – CARvs SEA6.16.72.9
Casey Fitzsimmons – DETat SD5.96.82.7
Todd Yoder – WASat NYG5.87.12.9
Richard Angulo – JACat PIT5.67.32.9
Jeb Putzier – HOUvs DEN5.47.42.7
Jason Dunn – KCvs TEN5.27.12.3
Todd Heap – BALat MIA4.37.61.9

Robert Royal, BUF (12.6 rating): Desperate for a tight end and looking to pluck one off the waiver wire? Robert Royal might be your man. The Bills seem to be interested in working Royal into the offense. He had four catches two weeks ago against Washington, and another three last week for 46 yards and two touchdowns. Does that make him a sure thing? Certainly not, but he could be worth a shot if your tight ends are weak as it is. Plus, he performed one of funniest touchdown dances (more like a touchdown “wiggle”) I have ever seen when he was with the Redskins a few years back, so I’ve got to show him some love.

Heath Miller, PIT (11.6 rating): Miller owners have to be getting a little concerned at this point. Heath has only caught 10 passes with no touchdowns over the past four weeks. He faces off against another tough defense in Jacksonville this week. Just something to keep in mind if you are debating between Miller and another tight end.

Stephen Gostkowski – NEvs NYJ16.11.98.0
Mason Crosby – GBat STL16.12.18.2
Shayne Graham – CINat SF15.42.47.9
Nick Folk – DALvs PHI15.42.47.9
Phil Dawson – CLEvs BUF15.22.47.6
Adam Vinatieri – INDat OAK15.12.67.7
Rob Bironas – TENat KC14.52.67.1
Matt Stover – BALat MIA14.22.56.7
Jason Elam – DENat HOU14.22.97.0
Rian Lindell – BUFat CLE14.23.17.3
Nate Kaeding – SDvs DET14.12.97.0
Josh Brown – SEAat CAR13.93.06.9
Neil Rackers – ARIat NO13.92.96.8
Kris Brown – HOUvs DEN13.63.16.8
Ryan Longwell – MINvs CHI13.33.46.7
Robbie Gould – CHIat MIN13.33.66.9
Olindo Mare – NOvs ARI13.33.16.4
Josh Scobee – JACat PIT13.03.46.4
Lawrence Tynes – NYGvs WAS12.93.76.6
David Akers – PHIat DAL12.93.66.5
Matt Bryant – TBvs ATL12.93.26.1
Shaun Suisham – WASat NYG12.93.66.4
Jason Hanson – DETat SD12.74.16.7
Jeff Reed – PITvs JAC12.24.16.3
Sebastian Janikowski – OAKvs IND11.44.45.8
Jeff Wilkins – STLvs GB11.34.65.9
Joe Nedney – SFvs CIN10.94.35.2
Mike Nugent – NYJat NE10.54.95.4
John Carney – KCvs TEN9.95.15.0
John Kasay – CARvs SEA9.85.15.0
Jay Feely – MIAvs BAL9.55.44.9
Morten Andersen – ATLat TB9.45.14.5

Mason Crosby, GB (16.1 rating): The Packers keep scoring and Crosby keeps booting it through the uprights. He hasn’t been perfect, but he has been about as reliable you could expect a rookie kicker to be. His matchup this week is very favorable. He is playing in a dome against a Rams team that gives up an average of 24.3 points per game (7th highest in NFL) and has allowed 26 field goals on the year (3rd most in NFL).

Mike Nugent, NYJ (11.5 rating): A kicker playing against the Patriots? In Foxsboro? In December? In inclement weather? I’ll pass…

Team DefenseOpponentRatingRiskReward
Minnesotavs CHI15.43.08.4
New Englandvs NYJ15.33.08.4
Seattleat CAR14.62.87.4
Indianapolisat OAK14.42.97.3
Baltimoreat MIA14.43.07.4
Tampa Bayvs ATL14.33.07.3
Green Bayat STL13.93.27.0
San Diegovs DET13.83.47.2
Tennesseeat KC13.83.27.0
New York Giantsvs WAS13.03.56.6
Cincinnatiat SF12.83.46.1
Dallasvs PHI12.34.06.3
Denverat HOU12.13.75.9
Jacksonvilleat PIT11.24.65.8
Pittsburghvs JAC11.14.65.6
Chicagoat MIN10.85.16.0
Washingtonat NYG10.74.45.0
New Orleansvs ARI10.34.54.9
Houstonvs DEN10.24.74.9
Arizonaat NO9.84.84.6
Clevelandvs BUF9.75.04.7
Buffaloat CLE9.45.24.6
Detroitat SD9.35.54.8
Kansas Cityvs TEN8.95.34.1
Philadelphiaat DAL8.25.73.9
St. Louisvs GB7.95.93.7
Miamivs BAL7.76.13.8
Carolinavs SEA7.55.93.4
San Franciscovs CIN7.26.23.4
Atlantaat TB6.56.63.0
Oaklandvs IND5.87.02.7
New York Jetsat NE3.38.72.0

Minnesota (15.4 rating): Minnesota’s opportunistic defense has played a huge role in their surprising season and current position as the NFC’s second wildcard representative. The Vikings are 4th in the NFL in sacks with 34 and second in fumble recoveries with 16, but most impressive are their EIGHT defensive touchdowns (6 off interceptions, 2 off fumbles). This week the Vikes host the Bears and their QB carousel.

Washington (10.7 rating): The Redskins’ defense has played much better than it did last year, but injuries have really taken a toll on this team. Washington has not played well in the Meadowlands against the Giants for the past few years anyway. Plaxico Burress and Jeremy Shockey will likely take advantage of the Skins’ depleted secondary.

Special thanks to SwiperNoSwiping, dream_017, madaslives911, treat24, plantation, Amuk, WaCougMBS, BlueBandit24, and tarpon17 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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